Friday, September 19, 2014

Disappointed Sinners

It dawned on me how disappointed an unredeemed man must be with Christ. How can we who know Christ be so insensitive to say emphatically that Christ died for the sins of a specific individual when we know not if they are a subject of redemption? Can you imagine their utmost disappointment to stand before God and be told to depart from God and when they cry out, "Wait, one of your servants told me that you died for my sin, how do I not benefit from that?" Oh, how much safer to say, "You must know that you have been sentenced to eternal death and condemnation, unless you come to see your sin against God and feel the weight of the burden of guilt and sin, which when it becomes unbearable, you cry out to God for deliverance and salvation." Safer to say, "God has graciously provided a sacrifice whereby His wrath was appeased, will you turn to that sacrifice." When Christ has been revealed to the soul who cries "What must I do to be saved?" then we can say, Christ died for your sins for you have proven yourself to be a subject of redemption to the glory of God! 

(Gregg Metcalf)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Seven Things That Are Detrimental to the Church

This list is by no means exclusive. I am sure we can add many more things for days to come. For example, the lack of church discipline today church-wide is a major problem. However, I would let this item fall under, "the shift from a God-centered vision to a man-centered vision." I do so because when God is no longer our orientation and the comfort, welfare, and ease of man is our orientation, then discipline will cease in the local churches. 

So, having said that, let me share with you what I think are at least seven (7) items that have had a detrimental affect on the local church. By the way these items are in no order of importance or significance.

  • The chasing of the American dream
  • The dumbing down of the gospel
  • The shift from a God-centered vision/focus to a man-centered vision/focus
  • The casualness/nonchalance in the pulpit
  • The removal of the pulpit
  • The loss of expository preaching
  • The influx of Neo-evangelicalism
For a bonus:

The emergence and rise of the rock-star pastor

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Free Will: Is It a Biblical Concept?

I stumbled across a statement one day in a book I was reading. I can't remember the book any more because it actually was a few years back. I have always made it a habit to write down various statements, quotes,  quips, or pithy sayings in order to at some point find the time to reflect on them. Many times I forget who made the statement which prevents me many times from giving credit/shame on you to the source. And yes, sometimes it is years before I come across my notes and muse on them.

I came across this statement once and because at the time I thought it was provocative I wrote it down meaning to come back to it. Well, Saturday I stumbled on it again and here goes:

"The will does not command the heart; the heart commands the will."

That sounds like such a loaded statement, doesn't it? It just doesn't sound right. If the heart is used as "the seat of emotions" then it sounds like our emotions control our will. One would think that it should be the other way around, the will or volition should control the heart or the seat of emotions.

But look at Matthew 12:33-35

"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil."

Matthew seems to imply that the heart is equal to or can be equated with the human nature. So, if this is the case, what does it imply?

  • Words and actions are fruit of the human nature; they reveal our nature
  • It implies that the will is in bondage (not free) to the heart. Men are not free to do what they should do.
  • It implies that the nature (heart/sin nature) controls the will
  • The will is only free to do what the nature/heart commands because that is all the nature knows. It operates within the confines of itself.
  • Even in bondage to the heart (nature) we are still responsible before God (Romans 7:18-23)
  • All men are born slaves or in bondage; either to sin (old nature) or to God (new nature). 
  • God liberates us from the bondage of sin making us a slave to righteousness. With this new nature we freely follow Christ.
To be continued...

Monday, September 15, 2014

And if the Lord is willing...

Beginning tomorrow, and because I don't know what will happen tomorrow and because my life is like a vapor that has appeared for a little time and then will vanish away, I add, if the Lord wills, I shall begin musing on some hot-bed theological topics.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Test of Stewardship (Part 1)

SERMON                  GM14-032

SERIES:              Christian Living in a World of Chaos & Contradiction

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Stewardship        (Part 1)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 4:7-12

SUBJ:                  The Stewardship of Love

SUMMARY:       The truth I propose then for your consideration is this: That genuine believers as recipients of fellowship and Sonship are charged with a stewardship that when faithfully discharged demonstrates a true relationship with God.

SCHEME:           that Christians discharge their stewardship

Our theme is:  Genuine Christians love one another

This is a good reminder for us all that the great and blessed privileges that we enjoy as recipients of fellowship and Sonship with God results in a stewardship.

 Proposition:  The truth I propose then for your consideration is this: That genuine believers as recipients of fellowship and Sonship are charged with a stewardship that when faithfully discharged demonstrates a true relationship with God.

Interrogatory Sentence:  How do genuine Christians faithfully discharge their stewardship duties?

Transitional Sentence: This passage supplies us with three (3) principles to be good stewards.