Whom Will You Believe?

WHOM WILL YOU BELIEVE? THE BIBLE OR THIS WORLD’S OPINIONS OF “RIGHT AND WRONG”?

With all of the pressure that this world is putting on “preachers” and the “church” to cave in and go along with what “they” say is right, far too many “Christians” today are at best drifting away from the Bible as being the final authority in their lives OR at worst totally abandoning its teachings and tenets so that they can “go along to get along.”

None of this conflict between the church and the opinions of this world is a surprise to those who study the Bible and believe that it is true. Yet, some “believers” have always been willing to forfeit their eternal future for a more comfortable place in whatever current society that they want to be accepted by.

Before the Civil War (and in some places still today), Preachers (and their churches) in the South preached and supported the culture and practice of slavery for personal gain and acceptance in society. Yet, it should have been the churches who stood up with the loudest voice and protested against slavery even from BEFORE the beginning of our nation.

In Germany before World War II, far too many preachers and churches supported Hitler and justified his hatred of Jews while turning a blind eye to what was going on in the death camps. Yes, those who protested were often jailed and some were executed. BUT that is sometimes the price of our faith and of faithfulness to God.

Nevertheless, all of the above and every other instance where those who were once faithful believers compromised for the expediency of their temporal existence in NO WAY invalidates the Bible as the Word of God AND the need for those who are His people to stand for His Word and His teachings regardless of the cost.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

1 Peter 1:6-9
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TESTING AND TRYING THAT IS COMING TO THE CHURCH FROM THIS WORLD, WILL YOU STILL BE STANDING FOR RIGHT AND TRUTH OR WILL YOU CHOOSE THE EASY WAY OUT? ETERNITY WILL PROVE THAT IT WASN’T THE EASY WAY, BUT IT TAKES TRUE FAITH IN THE BIBLE TO BELIEVE THAT, DOESN’T IT?

Hebrews 11:24-27
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

IT TOOK FAITH FOR MOSES TO CHOOSE TEMPORARY PAIN OVER COMFORT AND PLEASURE NOW IN ORDER FOR HIM TO HAVE AN ETERNAL COMFORT AND REWARD. EVERY BELIEVER WILL BE FACED WITH THE SAME CHOICE. SOME ARE FACING THAT CHOICE EVEN NOW! WHAT WILL YOUR CHOICE BE? BETTER CHECK THE PRICE TAG?

Prayer Works!

PASTOR, DO YOU PREACH TO PEOPLE THAT YOU DON’T REALLY PRAY FERVENTLY FOR EVERYDAY?

‪Do you spend more time preparing to preach, than praying to preach?‬

Here is what Paul said numerous times to the churches that he was responsible for: “I don’t CEASE to pray for you.”

Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Ephesians 1:15-16
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Philippians 1:3-4
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance [Gk = mention] of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Romans 1:7-10
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Colossians 1:2-4
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

PAUL SAID, “FOLLOW [Gk = “imitate”] ME, AS I FOLLOW CHRIST! PAUL IS EXAMPLE, DO WE FOLLOW HIM?

THE PEOPLE OF GOD ASKED THE PROPHET SAMUEL TO PRAY FOR THEM, AND HE RESPONDED THAT IT WOULD BE SIN FOR HIM TO CEASE TO PRAY FOR THEM.

1 Samuel 7:8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 12:22-23
22 For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

OUR CALL TO PRAYER, OH MAN OF GOD!

Isaiah 62:6-7
6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,
7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

PREACHER, DO YOU PRAY OR GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS? PRAYER WORKS! BUT ONLY IF WE ACTUALLY BIBLICALLY PRAY!

God’s Plan For Evangelism

IS INVITING PEOPLE TO “CHURCH” and FILLING THE “HOUSE” (A “CHURCH BUILDING”) GOD’S PLAN FOR EVANGELISM? NO!

THE LORD SENT US “OUT” TO PREACH! HE DID NOT COMMAND THE LOST TO “COME” TO A BUILDING TO HEAR THE GOSPEL!

AFTER THE DAY OF PENTECOST (THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH), THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE SCRIPTURE WHERE ANY BUILDING WAS EVER CALLED “THE HOUSE OF GOD.”

THERE IS NO VERSE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WHERE A BUILDING WAS EVER IDENTIFIED AS BEING “THE CHURCH.”

“THE CHURCH,” “THE HOUSE OF GOD,” ETC. WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE BODY OF CHRIST: HIS PEOPLE!

IS THERE A HARM IN CALLING A BUILDING “THE CHURCH,” “THE HOUSE OF GOD,” ETC.? WELL, IS IT EVER OK TO LIE? NO MATTER HOW LONG WE HAVE SPOKEN THE “LIE,” IT CAN NEVER MAKE THE LIE TRUE! NEVER!

IS A LIE EVER “HARMLESS”? RIDICULOUS QUESTION!

SOME WOULD SAY, “BUT IT IS A TRADITION”! THANK YOU FOR THE SET UP!

THIS IS WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT “TRADITION”:

Matthew 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Matthew 15:6-9
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
(See also Mark 7:5-13)

“NICE STUFF” TRADITIONS!? THEY CAUSE US TO TRANSGRESS THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, MAKE HIS WORD OF NONE EFFECT, AND MAKE OUR WORSHIP VAIN! THE CLAIM “OUR TRADITION” IS FREQUENTLY USED TO “JUSTIFY” ALL KINDS OF FALSE DOCTRINES.

ARE SOME TRADITIONS “OK” AND OTHERS BAD? NO! RELIGIOUS TRADITION AND BIBLICAL TRUTH HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE! ALWAYS!

(I know, I know the “law” about using “caps.” But I’m “preaching” and that’s what you do when you preach is “yell,” right?)

PLEASE CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING!

SOME QUOTE THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE:

Luke 14:21-23
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

HOUSE (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary) g3624. οἶκος oikos; of uncertain affinity; a dwelling (more or less extensive, literal or figurative); by implication, a family (more or less related, literally or figuratively): — home, house(-hold), temple.
AV (114) – house 104, household 3, home + g1519 2, at home + g1722 2, misc 3;
I. a house an inhabited house, home any building whatever of a palace the house of God, the tabernacle
II. any dwelling place of the human body as the abode of demons that possess it of tents, and huts, and later, of the nests, stalls, lairs, of animals the place where one has fixed his residence, one’s settled abode, domicile
III. the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household the family of God, of the Christian Church, of the church of the Old and New Testaments
IV. stock, family, descendants of one

THIS “HOUSE” IS THE HOUSE OF GOD, THE BODY OF CHRIST!

SO, WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WHO “THE HOUSE” IS?

Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

HABITATION (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary) g2732. κατοικητήριον katoikētērion; from a derivative of 2730; a dwelling-place: — habitation.
AV (2) – habitation 2;
I. an abode, a habitation

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:15-20
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Peter 2:4-5
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

WHAT HAPPENS BIBLICALLY WHEN “A HOUSE” (BUILDING) IS FULL?
THE LOST CAN’T GET TO JESUS WITHOUT FIRST “TEARING UP THE HOUSE”!

Mark 2:1-12
1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

WOE, BE UNTO US IF GOD HAS TO USE THE GOVERNMENT, NATURAL DISASTERS, ETC. TO GET THE CHURCH OUT OF OUR BUILDINGS AND INTO THE WORLD, JUST SO WE WILL OBEY HIS WORD!

IF HE HAS TO, JESUS WILL TEAR UP OUR HOUSE!

True Leadership

True leadership is not what you do but what you can get other people to do.

True leadership is not how great you are, but how great you can lead other people to be!

A true leader is not the “star” with those who follow him being his “audience.” A true leader makes everyone else “stars”!

A true leader is never a “one man show”! The goal of a true leader is to multiply the number of people who can do what he does!

A true leader teaches the principle, then personally demonstrates the principle, then empowers others to do the principle, then coaches them to do the principles better!

True leadership is like true parenting, you work yourself out of a “job.”

In other words, a true leader leads like Jesus led!

Once a Dad always a Dad, BUT being a Dad to married children is not the same as being a Dad to children at home!

Still Dad BUT not the same way.

Being a leader to those who are working “for” you is very different than leading those who are working “with” you!

And the goal of a leader should always be to “grow” people to go from working “for” them to working “with” them!

As a Dad and a “father in the Gospel,” my goal is not to have Sons and “Sons in the Gospel” who are great preachers and great leaders, but who are great people with great character — who are great Christians!

I would rather they be known for the quality of their spirit than for the quality of their sermons, the rightness of their attitudes than the rightness of their postulations,
and the magnanimity of their charity than the magnificence of their persona!
In other words, I want them to be true Christians!

As a parent, doing what is best for our kids is almost never the easiest! In fact it is usually the hardest thing to do!

However, I must do what is right to them, if I want them to do right!

THAT is my job as a parent – TO TEACH MY CHILDREN TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! NOT WHAT IS EASY!

‪I am supposed to be my kids’ PARENT!

NOT their buddy, best friend, playmate, etc. I may be those things at times, but first and foremost, I am ALWAYS the PARENT!‬