Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Easter Pep Talk For Gospel PreachersThis Easter

The pulpit at Hodges Chapel of Beeson Divinity and the world's best D.Min program.  I am a grateful alumni.  


Preacher you have a mission to complete this Sunday.

This is Easter week.
This is what I as a preacher, and also a member of a congregation, suggest to help preachers to think about to get it going.

1.) Preachers Do Not Be Smirky Or Rude To People Who Need The Gospel.
You know the C&E people( Chrismas and Easter only)
Preacher do not say Merry Christmas and Happy Easter or refer in a snarky way to people who need to hear the gospel.
Many mothers, fathers and friends have prayed fervently that
they could get who they can in the family and in their friendships to hear the gospel.
Jesus told Peter to "feed my sheep."
If you feed the sheep they will return.
Peopel need the spiritual Word to eat.
Preach the gospel!

2.) Do Not Abandon Your Pulpit For Any Reason - PREACH THE GOSPEL!
Once on Easter I was not preaching or had a ministry position.
While  on the road I attended six church services including a main Easter morning service.
No Word or gospel message.
Music dominated.
I was driving from church to church that Holy Week and it was like the day of young Samuel.
1 Samuel 3:1 (NASB) "... And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent."
When I go to recitals, schools, businesses or art performances I have never had the event stopped and someone say "And now the gospel will be preached and the mystery of the atoning salvation of Jesus Christ will be delivered to convert your soul and change your eternal destiny."
This is our time and our mission.
This Sunday preach the gospel.

3.) God Had One Son And He Made Him A Preacher.
I heard R.C. Sproul say that once.
God places high value on the preached Word.
You should too.
In the gospels carpenter tools were long ago put away.
Jesus had a three year itinerant preaching ministry that changed the world.
I once started a lively discussion in seminary pointing out that Jesus was a preacher.
Gasps and disproving responses followed this perceived slight of our Lord by who? Prospective ministers.
This shows you what my seminary really thought of gospel preaching.
As a matter of fact Jesus was not only a gospel preacher He was a expository (basing the gospel message on the Scripture read) preacher.

Matthew 4:14-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
15 “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI,
BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—
16 “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT,
AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH,
UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

4.) Remember God Ordained And Established Preaching To Share The Gospel To Save This Lost World.

The LORD believes in the power of preaching - you do it.

1 Corinthians 1:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
"21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe."

5.) Remember Saint Francis Was A Fireball Gospel Preacher.
Saint Francis never said the silly statement attributed to him.
"Preach the gospel always, when necessary use words."
People who say that hate or do not understand gospel preaching.
Lives depend on the preached Word.
Why would he not say such a stupid statement?
Francis believed Holy Scripture and PREACHED THE GOSPEL!
Check this link to Christianity Today's Mark Galli's article putting that lie to rest.
"Speak the Gospel, Use deeds when necessary."
Mark Galli | posted 5/21/2009
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/mayweb-only/120-42.0.html

Preacher, yes you can sing songs on Easter, art work can be displayed by the kiddies, and yes you can do a lot of special things this Sunday.
Do not forget to make the main thing the main thing.

6)Make the Gospel clear
Jesus through His perfect life, death, burial and resurrection will pardon sins, make peace with God and all who repent and confess Him as Lord will be saved and be welcomed into the kingdom.

Preacher, you cannot forget and not verbally explain humanity's sin, the need for a Savior, Jesus Christ and His perfect life lived, His sacrificial death as He took the wrath of God on the cross intended for sinners, He was the perfect sinless Lamb of God sacrificed for sinners like me, that we are commanded to repent and turn from our sins and to Christ for forgiveness of sins, peace with God, salvation for the unworthy like us, and eternal life and citizenship in Heaven for those who believe.

Preacher you can do it.
This Sunday smile, say hello to all, walk to the pulpit, turn your back on the fluff and many non-essentials and as Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said take your Biblical text and "make a beeline to the cross."

1 Corinthians 1:17 (NASB)
"17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void."



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I Am a Christian and Not A Christ Follower


Why I Am a Christian and Not A Christ Follower


One of the zingers frequently said is
something like “I am down with Jesus and not with his friends.”
And there is the undocumented Gandhi quote about how he “almost”
became a Christian except he blames Christians. (a probable made up quote 
since Gandhi was a Hindu he could have added Jesus on to their pile of gods.)

Robert Schuller was big on dropping “Christian” from his vocabulary over a decade ago.
“Christ follower” was his new handle.
Religion does like fads.
Christ follower is what can also describe Mormons, Jehovah Witness,
New-agers and plenty of folks.
This does not sound like the redeemed church that the divine Jesus Christ
 said He would die for in Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The word tradition is often lessened by fads like a tradition of wearing
Your lucky T-shirt to a football game with out washing it.
Tradition is a pretty good reason for those “Born again” to call themselves Christians.
Try 2,000 years worth of tradition.

Paul and Barnabas liked the title.

Acts 11:26 New International Version (NIV)
26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.


Peter viewed the title Christian as a badge of honor.

1 Peter 4:15-16  (NIV)
15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.


 What did Jesus think about His friends those put down Christians?
Everything.

Acts 20:28
28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

10 Problems "Progressive Christians" (and Liberal Atheists) Have With Noah



10 Problems “Progressive” Christians (and liberal atheists) have with Noah


1.  It is in the Christian Bible (yes it is our Bible).  Says who?  Jesus.
     Matthew 24:37-38 New International Version (NIV)
37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  - Jesus

2.  Noah was an intense man of faith credited by The Lord.
       Hebrews 11:7 (NIV)
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

3. Noah is all about righteousness and judgment.
     2 Peter 2:4-6  (NIV)
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

4. Why yes the story of Noah is about salvation.  Physically and by foreshadowing it tells the story of the world’s only Savior.
    1 Peter 3:19-21 (NIV)
19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

5. Noah was “ Preacher of righteousness.
   2 Peter 2:5 (NIV)
5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;

6.  Noah is about God’s patience and grace.  Yet one day it will end.
    1 Peter 3:20 (NIV)
to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

7. Noah was ignored with his prophetic Word.  Jesus said to pay attention now.
     Luke 17:26-27 (NIV)
26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” –Jesus

8. Noah like Jesus was ignored by critics.  It cost the critics everything.
       Luke 17:26 (NIV)
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.

9.  Noah like Jesus preached of a coming judgment but also a singular gracious salvation.
Matthew 24:36-38 (NIV)
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of
Man. – Jesus

10.  Noah believed in a Savior.
       Jesus believed in Noah and the Noah true event was a story about His coming salvation and then judgment.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Question: What does it means by" lover of themselves" (2 Timothy 3:2)?



QUESTION RECEIVED:
What it mean by lover of themselves (2 Timothy 3:2)?

MY ANSWER:
People are selfish and lovers of themselves.  It is always good to read the surrounding passage to put it into context to see what it is about.  People become selfish and self-centered.  Even “religious people”.


2 Timothy 3
New International Version (NIV)
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Jesus says to deny self and serve Him to live and receive true love.

Matthew 16:24
New International Version (NIV)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.


You must be born again Jesus said in chapter 3 of John.  Die to this world.  Turn from sin and receive Him into your heart soul and mind and confess him as Lord.   He is worthy of our love and we can know His love eternally. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Question> You Gonna Eat That Bunny?



Question:  You Gonna  Eat That Bunny?

QUESTION RECEIVED:
I am trying to collect some information, and need replies from those that have either been to seminary school, or at least have thoroughly read the Old Testament. Here’s my question, Do rabbits chew cud? I know it seems strange, but this will really help. Thanks, Sarah

My ANSWER:
My guess you are really worked up on Bible minutia or you are playing a game of Bible “gotcha” about if rabbits chew cud with someone who has some great yet weird revelation only they know about Scripture.
You may wonder is it legal by Scripture standards to do so.  Hares and rabbits I guess have about 100 different species.  Through wild breeding they have probably been hundreds if not thousands of variations since Old Testament days.
Rabbits are not listed in the Bible yet hares are.  Is there a difference? Yes, but who should care if eating is all you care about .

Why should this really be unimportant?
You have liberty in these times to eat what you want.
Acts 10
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”


These verses talk about cud chewing.
(Leviticus 11:3–6) (Deuteronomy 14:7)
I pray if you are a believer you will pursue study that is more worthwhile.

If you are seeking Christ there is liberty in what you want to eat.
Here is a clear passage

Mark 1:15 (ESV)
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” -Jesus



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Question on > Eternal Life



Question Received
 If our soul is immortal why isn't that confirmed on one of convocations of the church?

MY ANSWER:
The immortality of the soul is confirmed by the Word of God.
The church answers to The Word of God.
Where will your soul spend eternity?
Mark 1:14-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Turn from sin to The Savior Jesus Christ and have eternal life with Him.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.



Here are passages from the Old and New Testaments that confirm that the soul is eternal.

Monday, March 24, 2014

QUESTION RECEIVED >Can a Christian like deadpan comedy?




QUESTION RECEIVED:
Can a Christian like deadpan comedy?

MY ANSWER: 
Comedy in ministry is a sensitive matter.
I have heard jokes so funny that it wiped out sermon concentration.
I have also heard humor that invited friendliness and “broke the ice” in a service.
I have also heard and seen mean edged humor, especially in youth groups, that hurt unity and trust.

Deadpan humor?
Jesus seems to have liked it.
When Jesus called James and John “Sons of Thunder” he was talking about their lively arguing not their great preaching or saying that one of their parents were Thunder.


Markk 3:17  New American Standard Bible
and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges,which means, "Sons of Thunder ");


Like anything else we show or share in ministry it should be edifying to our King.