Thursday, August 21, 2014

How Much Does A Person Have to Know to Be Saved?

The other day I was drug once again in that age old "discussion" of how much gospel does a person need in order to become a Christian. Another way of saying this is how simple can the gospel be made so that people can still be converted. Or just how much does a person need to know or be told in order to "get saved?"

Quite frankly I have disliked this discussion for quite some time. I have always felt that both the Lord and the gospel end up with the short end of the stick on this one. 

Those who are shallow in bible understanding and those who think that the gospel must be so simplistic, strip the gospel of vital information. I have heard some gospel presentations that were barely above Amway invitations. 

Do you remember those old Amway ambushes? Your friend, or a "couple" invited you to "dinner" or "snacks" and wouldn't tell you anything more. Then when the evening began you discovered you were a "target" set up in an ambush to be suckered into Amway. Oh, did I say suckered, did I mean to say solicited?

Stop and think about it for a minute will you? First, why do some people think the gospel should be so stripped down and so simple? 

That's easy-peasy! They don't think the "target" will get it. They don't think the "lost soul" that they are "sharing" the gospel with will understand it.

But wait a minute, what does I Corinthians 2:14 say? "The natural person [the unsaved individual in his/her natural state] does not accept [receive- with the view of understanding] the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly [foolishness] to him, and he is not able to understand them [why?] because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:14, ESV)

Until the Holy Spirit sovereignly chooses to regenerate an individual they will not and cannot understand spiritual truths. They cannot understand the spiritual principle, the spiritual truth, the spiritual motivation and animation behind biblical truth. It is true that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, but faith does not come until the Holy Spirit has imparted the gift of faith as He imparts spiritual life. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit then faith and repentance comes as the lost soul understands and repents by faith.

So, I think sharing the gospel is somewhat similar to answering the question most parents fear the most, "where do babies come from?" The most intelligent response gives just enough information to satisfy the child who has asked the question. 

Avoid two extremes - avoid giving a university level dissertation on reproduction and avoid giving so little information that the questioner is confused, unsatisfied, or seeks information elsewhere.

Share enough biblical truth based on your "hearers" abilities,background, circumstances, intelligence level, and/or need. Give the full gospel - don't hold back.

The "success" of the gospel, the person's salvation that you are dealing with is NOT DEPENDENT UPON YOU! God will save those whom He has ordained to eternal life. It is not up to you to get anyone to "sign on the dotted line." Your job is to prayerfully, graciously, and humbly share the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ and then to water that freshly planted seed with fervent prayer. God will give the increase to those whom He chooses in His timing,

So, go into all the world, as ambassadors of Christ, being witnesses to His death, burial, and resurrection. Preach, teach, and share the entire gospel news with every creature. Bear precious seed and you will return rejoicing bringing your sheaths with you.

And by the way, don't give me that asinine rubbish about "Share the gospel - and use words if necessary." The very fact that we are to preach, proclaim, or share the gospel requires words! Think about these things and don't naively accept them because they first, sound good, and second, sound "christianese." 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hungry People - Happy People

There is no greater joy than to share the Word of God with people who love the Lord and love His Word. There is such freedom in presenting an eternal truth for God's glory and the good of His people when His people want to hear His Word.

My heart goes out to a couple of Pastors whom I know who have lamented on more than one occasion that their people have absolutely no response to the Word whatsoever. It was  great day at North Kelso Baptist Church. Small, but such a positive, happy, and hungry group of wonderful people.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Gospel-Driven Disciples Announces Retirement!

I first heard about blogging in February of 2009. I was up early, surfing the net in a Motel 6, on a cold, snowy, February morning in Bend, Oregon. I was on temporary assignment managing an American General Branch. I had come across an article by Abraham Piper giving six reasons why pastors should blog.

Needless to say I took the challenge. I found e-blogger that morning and the Gospel-driven Disciples was born. I have tried to produce a sound, solid, and scriptural blog that would exalt our Sovereign God, edify Saints, and evangelize sinners.

I have enjoyed my blog immensely. I have looked forward to almost each and every post. However, I have found that it is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with my studies, sermon preparation, and my desire to write a book.

Recently I have begun a new project that takes up most of my time. As you have noticed the time that I have had to develop quality posts has declined. I have not had the time to post each day as I did over the last several years.

Therefore I am announcing my retirement as a blogger on the Gospel-driven Disciples. The Gospel-driven Disciples Blog will come to a close on December 31, 2014. I will try to produce a quality and uplifting blog as often as possible until that day.

I cherish each and every one of you who have stopped by and commented on my posts will stay with me during this transition. I would like however to say, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you' to every loyal reader. I love everyone of you.

No, you are not going to get rid of me that easily. If you desire you can still follow my blogging on a new blog that I have toyed with over the last several months. I am now going to attempt to post daily in this new blog. I trust that you will follow me to my new blog and follow that blog just as you did this one. 

This new blog is entitled North Kelso Baptist Church and you can find it at northkelsobc.blogspot.com. You can also check out a new website under construction at www.northkelsobaptistchurch.com

In addition to church news and announcements, I will continue to expose my readers to valuable books, writers, pastors, sermons, theological issues, biblical exposition, personal commentary and opinion, my warped sense of humor, and various other things of importance to today's believers.

Please continue to follow on my blog by joining the site, reading it each day, praying diligently for its content to both honor God and help the believer, and by leaving a comment. Please don't go away! :)



Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Test of Sonship (Part 6)


I am sorry and apologize for the formatting problems.

SERMON            GM14-026

SERIES:              The Christian Life Viewed as Sonship

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Test of Sonship     (Part 6)

SCRIPTURE:     1 John 3:16-18

SUBJ:                  John illustrates his point

SUMMARY:       You must love fellow believers through activity rather                              than by words

SCHEME:           that Christians love their fellow-believers by exemplifying their love
_____________________________________________________________

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Power of Prayer

God uses humility. He uses humble people. We are not going to change God's mind or plans regardless of the fervency and frequency of prayer, but God will use our prayer to change us bringing us in line with His eternal  plans and designs as we pray.



--Gregg Metcalf,
North Kelso Baptist Church

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Danger, Danger Will Robinson!

"So, considering everything, The Shack is a warm, enjoyable book that is only Christian fiction and we Christians shouldn’t take those areas where it directly contradicts God’s word to be a serious issue.  Why?  Because it is only fiction.  It isn’t real.  It's okay.  Lighten up.  Just enjoy the book and stop being so picky about stuff and stop comparing it to Scripture so much." (Matt Slick, The Shack is only Fiction, C.A.R.M.)

Are you kidding me? No, this is so serious that it cannot be a laughing matter. I don't know you Matthew Slick and for good or bad I don't know anything about C. A.R. M. But if you are serious, and I am still waiting for you to shout out, "April Fools,"but if you are serious then you are very, very, very dangerous man.

There are times I feel as if I am a lone, almost imperceivable voice in a vast wilderness. I feel like I am attempting to empty the Pacific Ocean with a spork (or if you want to be more technical, a foon.)

The Shack is not a warm, enjoyable book that is intended to be "only" Christian fiction. First of all, what in the world is "Christian Fiction?" I can't even conceive of what can be considered fiction for Christians. (No I did not say nor am I am implying that there is no such thing as fiction or that Christians can't enjoy fiction.)

Second, how can anyone who treasures the Bible as a special revelation from Almighty God seriously say to anyone that we should not be concerned when the Bible is contradicted by blasphemous lies?

Third, it can only be a brilliant lie from Satan himself to consider contradictions to God's Word as harmless fiction. And by the way, no sir! I will not lighten up. 

Satan has taken a brilliant means to continue to confuse, confound, and counterfeit his lies. The majority who read this trash will not know that it is merely "warm enjoyment." They may be confirmed in its intended deception. This is no different, at least to me, than saying, "Oh, here is a warm and enjoyable drink meant to comfort or entertain you. This drink is filled with vitamins, minerals, flavorings, and such. But oh by the way, the poison and the harmful other ingredients are not important they are just counterfeits and contradictions of real ingredients. So don't worry about,just sit back and drink up!"

How can I in all honesty lighten up and enjoy it without being "picky" about truth or what the book portrays. I will not stop comparing any teaching, fiction or non-fiction by checking it against Scripture.

Scripture is all I have. It is my authority. It authenticates truth and it invalidates all non-truth. If something violates either the glorious, majestic, holy, righteous, and magnificent character of my God I will not lighten up, I will stand up, and I will call it what it is.

I have a limited audience and very little influence. Regardless, of the fact that I am but a mere, almost invisible ripple in a huge body of water, I emphatically and most vehemently warn you that The Shack is not harmless fiction.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Diary of a Pastor, Entry 5

Once again it is Monday. Sipping a hot, black cup of coffee and staring at the pages of my ESV Study Bible. Sunday is over, it has come and gone. 

Great gathering at NKBC, or is it of NKBC? At...of... I don't know. But it was a wonderful Lord's day service. 

Such a joy to preach to people who truly and visibly appreciate the Word of God. I love what one congregant said, "We don't go by clocks around here, we just figure it is over when you are done."

God said, "For the preaching of the cross, is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God."


Paul said in Romans 16:26, 27 (BBE) "Now to him who is able to make you strong in agreement with the good news which I gave you and the preaching of Jesus Christ, in the light of the revelation of that secret which has been kept through times eternal, But is now made clear; and by the writings of the prophets, by the order of the eternal God, the knowledge of it has been given to all the nations, so that they may come under the rule of the faith; To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory for ever. So be it."

There is no greater  privilege than to be called to preach God's word to God's people. There is nothing I can do that would be any better for God's people than to preach Jesus Christ.