?

Log in

[icon] bby_rep
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries

Tags:
Current Music:Pop music about breaking up and being alone in life (store)
Current Location:Chit Chat Coffee Shoppe
Security:
Subject:An Ecclesiastical Overview of the Epistles to Timothy
Time:05:26 pm

       

            The Apostle Paul is commonly considered the man used of God to establish the framework of what we now call Independent Fundamental Baptist churches [for those not in the know, IFB churches have followed a long line of churches with various names, including Paulicians, as our churches are built after the model set forth in the Pauline Epistles. The name Baptist was given to us many years ago when we were the 'Anabaptists,' or, re-baptizers. The Baptism by immersion of believers only was frowned upon by the Catholic church, so the term 'Anabaptist' was given, which the Christians accepted]. He wrote a total of fourteen epistles to various churches and men urging them to live for Christ and give themselves a sacrifice for Him. Paul’s opening words to Timothy in one of his letters include, “charge some that they teach no other doctrine… rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” (1 Tim. 1:1,4). To have only the truth taught, that should be the desire of any Christian. God chose to provide His entire Word to humanity, so that those who know Christ can live according to His will and desire. This Word includes Paul’s writings, and in this report the doctrines and standards put forth for the church in Paul’s epistles to Timothy.

 

            The epistles written to Timothy are known for the qualifications set forth for any who desire the office of a bishop. These epistles are known as Pastoral Epistles, because they outline what is needed for a man to hold a church office. In 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Paul describes what is necessary for a man to be a bishop (an overseer, or a pastor). To be a bishop one must observe and meet the following qualifications: be blameless, a husband, married, vigilant and sober, of good behaviour, hospitable, be a teacher, not a drinker or a striker, not greedy, have patience, not be a brawler, not covetous, rule his own house with children in subjection, not be a novice (be trained and studied), and have a good reputation among the lost. Also, deacons must meet a list of extensive requirements. Deacons must be grave, not be doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy, have a good conscience, be married, and rule their children well (1 Tim. 3:8, 9, 12). Deacons must also be proven faithful before given the office (1 Tim. 3:10). Beyond the clear qualifications, Paul’s writing also requires for ministers to be spiritually trained (1 Tim. 3:6, 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:13-17). All men who serve God in any capacity must have a good testimony (1 Tim. 3:7, 4:12, 15, 16) and avoid profane and vain babblings (1 Tim. 6:20, 21; 2 Tim. 2:14, 16, 23). Aside from these, men must put the brethren in remembrance, flee the love and riches and lust, endure, teach, reprove and rebuke, and evangelize. Though in this current society it may seem impossible to find men who meet these criteria, God has not tapped dry. Thank God for those men who continue to serve Him in word and deed.

            Second, Paul wrote a great deal concerning false teachers and heresies. Repeatedly, Paul stresses to Timothy not to give heed to fables or vain speech, and to withdraw himself from those who depart from sound doctrine. Each epistle carries a description of men who depart from the truth and live in heresy (1 Tim. 4:1-7; 2 Tim. 3:1-13). Paul teaches that these who depart from the truth are of no good to the ministry, and that he himself had discarded men who taught blasphemy (1 Tim. 1:19, 20; cf. 2 Tim. 2:17, 18). The appropriate way to handle a blasphemer in the church is to separate yourself from them, and avoid their fables and babblings. Also remember that Paul taught concerning those who mistreat the men of God, “Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.” (2 Tim. 4:14, 15). Furthermore, Paul teaches to avoid “oppositions of science falsely so called…” (1 Tim. 6:20), which is particularly significant in the day that the church is in now. In the name of science men try to discredit the Bible and disprove God’s existence. Remember that Paul taught us to avoid these oppositions, not fuel them with contention and insecurity. This is not the only age the church has faced heresy in, may the church never forget God’s Word on this ever important subject.

            Third, Paul goes to great lengths in his epistles to Timothy to instruct the church on appropriate ‘polity’ and responsibility. The truth is that the church is responsible for a great amount of duties in this world. Paul exhorts in 1 Timothy 2 that the church pray for all men, including the government and authorities. Beyond that, the church is responsible to care for widows who are widows indeed (1 Tim. 5:3-6, 8-16). Believers individually should care for widow relatives, but those widows who have proven themselves faithful are to be cared for by the church. Younger widows are encouraged to remarry and raise a family for God (1 Tim. 5:14). The church ought to operate as a family, caring one for another. Paul outlines in 1 Tim 5:1-2 that the elder men should be treated as fathers, the younger men as brothers, also the elder women as mothers and the younger women as sisters. As a family, the duties laid on the church are the responsibility of all believers. The church should not operate as a corporation with the pastor as the head, but rather a corporation with Christ as the head (we being His body). As the Head of the corporation gives an order, it is necessary for each other part of the body to do its function so the end of the order can be accomplished. When there is a prayer request, it falls on the whole body to pray. When there is a financial need, it falls on the entire body to give. In this way, the church completes it responsibilities.

            Last, there are a few passages of the epistles to Timothy that discuss the ‘sensitive’ issue of gender. It is important, first, to note that many will take the passages in the Bible such as 1 Tim. 2:9-15 and become dictatorial and cultish. The Bible is clear on the role of a woman in the church, but Christians must be careful not to add to the Scriptures on this matter, which has become all the more delicate since women have taken a dominant position in the home and the church. First of all, Paul wrote under the Holy Spirit’s power that women ought to dress modestly, accomplish good works for God, be learners of His Word, and be silent. The Bible is clear when it states that it is a shame for women to speak in the church (the church not being a building, but an assembling of believers; 1 Cor. 14:34, 35; cf. 1 Tim. 2:11, 12). Women have an important role in the churches of today, and let us remember that it is required of overseers and deacons to have wives (1 Tim. 3:2, 12). In fact, deacon’s wives are held to a high standard just as deacons themselves. Paul writes these requirements of a deacon’s wife: to be grave, not slanderers, to be sober, and faithful in all things (1 Tim. 3:11). It is often said that a pastor would be nothing without his wife aiding him, and this is true. Be sure to consider the women of today’s churches, treating them with love and care as mothers and sisters. Let no Christian ever take for granted the women God has blessed for their church.

            Paul found it necessary to write concerning these things to Timothy. As Christians, who believe in the local independent church, believers must consider all of the standards and doctrines of the church set forth in Scripture. The Bible speaks truth plainly, whether a man chooses to accept it or not. God help Christians to build up strong churches according to His Word, and not of ourselves.

comments: 1 comment or Leave a comment Share

Tags:
Current Music:O Sacred Head, Now Wounded - Traditional Orchestra (unknown)
Current Location:Dorm Lobby
Security:
Subject:"Such Reasoning is Pure Conjecture... and is Unsupported by Scripture"
Time:11:48 pm

            Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, in his book An Analytical Red Letter Harmony of the Four Gospels: A Return to the Historic Text, suggests the theory that the Magi who visited Christ after his birth must have visited one day after his birth. His arguments include: a mistake in the interpretation of the Greek words paidion and pais, his parents moving into a relative’s house, a critical breakdown of English word usage (though he expresses the importance of the Greek just a paragraph prior), and that a few scholars of the past suggested that they visited Christ as a child. Aside from all the theories and evidences presented, one problem stands out above all else. This problem has nothing to do with the theories concerning the time that the Magi visited, the problem is rooted in the author.

            
             Dr. Jones makes the statement in his book, “…but such reasoning is pure conjecture and constitutes adding to Scripture. This is all based on Roman Catholic tradition and is unsupported by Scripture.” (Jones 219). My problem with this statement of Mr. Jones’ is that he makes the exact same error- most of his evidence is entirely speculative and has no Scriptural foundation. Some of these evidences to support his theory that the Magi visited Christ one day after His birth are, “His parents would have moved into a house as soon as possible… The whole tone of Matthew 2:1 is that the Magi visited the Christ child soon after his birth… Were Jesus two years old when the wise men came, they should then have been led to Nazareth not Jerusalem…” (Jones 218). All of these statements are without Scriptural support and entirely speculative. I don’t intend to write a paper solely critical of his commentary, but this man supports his speculations as fact with the support of basic logic, while in the same publication condemning others who do the same. In his own words, “…but such reasoning is pure conjecture… and is unsupported by Scripture.”

            
            On the subject itself of whether Christ was visited by the Magi as a babe or as a young child, there can be no argument against Scripture. As a Biblicist, and as a Baptist by doctrine, I believe the preservation of God’s Word in the Authorized Version. The King James Version of the Bible states clearly concerning the Magi’s visit to Christ, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11 KJV). The Bible says this of the wise men: they visited a young child in a house. Comparatively, this could not be the day after the Luke 2 shepherds visited Him. The Bible is the final authority, and man’s thoughts and devices can only fall short of God’s infallible Word.

            
             We must remember as Baptists, but mostly Biblicists, that the Bible is clear and concise in its doctrine. Concerning the age of Christ when He was visited by the wise men, the Bible speaks all It wants to, and we should not speculate or manipulate Scriptures to say otherwise. It needs to be in the mind of ever Christian not to become the abusers of Scripture as so many others have. Dr. Jones presented his theory in An Analytical Red Letter Harmony of the Four Gospels, but the Bible overrides his thoughts. We must stand by the Word, for all else is “…pure conjecture… and is unsupported by Scripture.”

 

comments: 1 comment or Leave a comment Share

Current Music:And Can it Be? - SMS - Hymns for the Home, Vol. 2
Current Location:Dorm Lobby
Security:
Subject:A Brief Ecclesiastical Overview of First and Second Timothy
Time:11:37 pm
Ministers
Bishop 
-It is a good work (1 Timothy 3:1) 
-Blameless 
-A Husband 
-Vigilant and Sober
-Good behaviour
-Hospitable
-Teaching
-Not given to Wine
-Not a striker
-Not greedy or out for money
-Patient
-Not a brawler
-Not covetous
-Ruling his own house, having children in subjection (1 Timothy 3:5)
-Not a novice
-Be reputable among the lost [i.e. Have a good witness] (1 Timothy 3:7)
Deacons
-Grave [serious, or solemn] (1 Timothy 3:8)
-Not doubletongued
-Not given to much wine
-Not greedy or out for money
-Have a good conscience holding the gospel
-Must be proven faithful before receiving office (1 Timothy 3:10)
-Have a wife (1 Timothy 3:11-12)
-Ruling their children well (1 Timothy 3:12) 
General Requirements for Men who Serve in the Ministry
-Christ enables us (1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:9)
-Ordained (1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:9)
-Teachers (1 Timothy 2:7, 3:2, 4:11; 2 Timothy 1:11, 2:24)
-Takes care of the church (1 Timothy 3:5)
-Should have a family [clearly not required, note Paul himself] (1 Timothy 3:2, 4-5, 11-12; 5:8)
-Should be spiritually trained (1 Timothy 3:6, 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:13-17)
-Have a good witness (1 Timothy 3:7, 4:12, 15-16)
-Put the brethren in remembrance (1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:14)
-Be impartial (1 Timothy 5:21)
-Flee from the temptations of riches (1 Timothy 6:9-11)
-Avoid profane and vain babblings (1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:14, 16, 23)
-Don’t be ashamed of the gospel (2 Timothy 1:8)
-Pass on the Truth (2 Timothy 2:2)
-Endure (2 Timothy 2:3, 4:5)
-Flee youthful lust (2 Timothy 2:22)
-Patient (2 Timothy 2:24)
-Preach (2 Timothy 4:2)
-Reprove, Rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2)
-Exhort (2 Timothy 4:2)
-Evangelize! (2 Timothy 4:5)

How to Deal with Heresy
-Don’t listen to fables (1 Timothy 1:4)
-Discard those who teach blasphemy (1 Timothy 1:19-20, cf. 2 Timothy 2:17-18)
-A description of those who depart from the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-7; 2 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:3-4)
-Men who teach ‘otherwise’ those things ungodly (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
-Withdraw yourself from those men (1 Timothy 6:5)
-When ‘science’ is the heretic (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
-“…in the last days…” (2 Timothy 3)
-Beware of those who do evil to the preacher (2 Timothy 4:14-15)

Church Responsibility
-Pray for all men (1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8)
Roles
-Elder men as fathers (1 Timothy 5:1)
-Younger men as brethren (1 Timothy 5:1)
-Elder women as mothers (1 Timothy 5:2)
-Younger women as sisters (1 Timothy 5:2)
Elder Widows [Widows cf. Ruth]
-Well reported for good works (1 Timothy 5:10)
-Raised Children
-Lodged strangers
-Cared for the saints
-Cared for the afflicted
-Diligently followed every good work
Younger Widows
-Be careful of waxing wanton (1 Timothy 5:11-13)
-Remarry (1 Timothy 5:14)
-Bear children
-Guide the house
-Don’t give the adversary a place!
-Care of widows (1 Timothy 5:3-6, 9-16) 
General
-Not to be charged for widows who are related to believers- it’s the believer’s responsibility to care for their widow relatives! (1 Timothy 5:16)
-Elders are not to be accused without two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19)
-Rebuke openly one who sins, as an example [Harsh, but it’s there] (1 Timothy 1:20)
-Be content with God’s provisions (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

The Gender Role
Women
-Modest Apparel (1 Timothy 2:9)
-Good Works (1 Timothy 2:10)
-Learning (1 Timothy 2:11)
-Silent (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
Deacon’s Wives
-Grace [serious or solemn] (1 Timothy 3:11)
-Not slanderers [NO GOSSIP!]
-Sober
-Faithful in all things
Men
I note that most references to men seem to be the catch-all for Christians, referencing prayer. However, we can see in Scripture that men are held to a standard. Paul exhorts to…
-Flee youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22)
-Study (2 Timothy 2:15)
-Endure Hardness (2 Timothy 2:3)
-Avoid profane and vain babblings (1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:14, 16, 23)
While it is common for men to get carried away with the passages such as 1 Timothy 2 and become dictatorial pastors, we must keep in mind this is God’s Word and requires study. This is a basic overview of Paul’s epistles to Timothy from the aspect of church ‘polity.’ God has set the standard for Christians, for His churches. Though at times they seem harsh or controversial, remember that this is a divine Word, and we must allow it to be our authority.
comments: Leave a comment Share

Tags:
Current Music:The sounds of being alone. (My heart beating slowly)
Current Location:Dorm Lobby still
Security:
Subject:Elders and Essenes and Zealots, Oh My!
Time:11:10 pm
Current Mood:lonelylonely
In the life of Christ, there were many religious and political groups that Christ and His chosen apostles had to deal with. Four of these particular groups are the elders, essenes, publicans, zealots. Christ, as the Lamb of God which came to take away the sin of the world, dealt with each of these people in His day to day ministry. That is why, when studying the life of Christ, it is important to understand and appreciate what each of these groups brought to the culture, lifestyle, and context of His life, and those of the apostles. In this paper the basic purposes of each of these groups will be examined and considered in light of the Lord’s ministry on earth.

First, the elders held a position of importance during Christ’s earthly ministry. The elders had a religious position more than a apolitical one, and handled many spiritual affairs. The elders were respected because of their wisdom and experience. The elders became rulers of the synagogues and Christian elders carried the same respect in the church as in secular society. The church elder, however, had much more responsibility than simply being old. An elder had to meet the requirements laid out in the pastoral epistles (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9, 2:1-5).

Second, the essenes were a sect of Judaism cast out from mainstream life. The lived communally and most often times were celibate. They did not agree with temple priesthood, and instead strictly followed the law in their own clans. Though the essenes are never mentioned in the Bible, they are in the writing of Josephus, Philo, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Third, the publicans were collectors of Roman revenue. The main purpose of the publican was to collect taxes for the Roman government. Technically, publican is the lowest rank on the structure of tax collecting, but it was used as a term for any tax collector. Many of Christ’s disciples were publicans, including Matthew (the apostle author of the first canonical gospel) and Zachaeus (the wee little man). Publicans, because of their excessive profits, were considered as low as common harlots.

Fourth, the zealots were the political Jews that fought tooth and nail against the Roman government. They were very aggressive and patriotic about their beliefs. Even some of Jesus’ disciples were zealots. The most notable would be the Apostle Simon (Luke 6:15). The zealots were fueled by their belief that only God had the right to rule over the Jewish people. To these, patriotism and religion were inseparable.

These four groups molded and shaped the culture, lifestyle, and context of the Lord’s life. It is unknown why the Lord came to mankind during this period, but the fact that He lived among these people in this culture is cause enough for diligent and intentional study on the behalf of any Christian. This paper has presented the basic facts of each four groups, and hopefully and prayerfully this will help every reader have a little more insight into the society in which Jesus loved, and how it is not much different than that of ours today.
comments: Leave a comment Share

Tags:
Current Location:Dorm Lobby
Security:
Subject:"Why I Left the Christian Contemporary Music Movement"
Time:11:06 pm
Dan Lucarini wrote the book Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement to educate people on the truth of music and the trouble of what Christians are calling ‘worship’ in our churches. Mr. Lucarini was a worship leader in a number of liberal churches until there came a time in his life when God showed him the wrongs he was doing, and the great harm he was causing to church bodies and individual Christians.

Chapter 1 – Saving Butterflies from the Storm
Butterflies can be carried about in storms, beating their wings but unsuccessful in their struggle. This is what it is like for the Christian that gets lost in the storm of the contemporary movement.
These butterflies that Mr. Lucarini writes of get trapped in the sand of the beaches, and though the storm has past they are unable to get up and fly again. We must be careful, first of all, to protect Christians during the storm. But, ultimately, there is a struggle against time and elements to restore Christians who have been beaten and hurt by this movement.
Chapter 2 – My Story
Before salvation, Mr. Lucarini was involved in rock music, drugs, and even sexual immorality. After he accepted Christ he began to attend his wife’s church, which took a stand against rock music. After joining the church, he joined the choir and became very involved with his new music. Being a former rock music writer, he put his ‘old man’ talents to use and began writing music for church. A hair cut and a few performances later and Mr. Lucarini was ready to go full time. His story leads through a number of positions in churches as a worship leader, but ultimately leads to his conviction to turn from his music style.
Chapter 3 – The Big Lie
The big lie is that God will accept any means of ‘praise’ as worship. Accepting anything as worship completely removes Biblical discernment from the process of church action. It doesn’t seem necessary to say, but it must be said, that a church needs Biblical discernment to accomplish God’s work. The big lie also encourages a “come as you are” mentality. Though God does call “come as you are” He will never call “remain as you are.” The big lie does not end with the concept of God accepting anything as worship; it grows and extends itself into most every aspect of a Christian’s life. The big lie leads to all sorts of confusion and division, which God does not desire to be in any Christian’s life, nor in the ranks of any church.
Chapter 4 – What is the True ‘Heart of Worship’?
The heart of worship is a device of mankind used solely in defense of CCM when no good answer is available. Any Christian who disagrees with CCM may be said to “not have the heart of worship.” Mr. Lucarini writes, “Is it clear now what the ‘heart of worship’ truly is? When we approach God, the attitude of our hearts must be one of complete submission.” (Lucarini 55).
Chapter 5 – I Want My MTV!
Many CCM supporters are all about ‘me.’ Self-indulgence is a plague in our churches. This is reflected in the entire groups of Christians and church-members who fuel their arguments entirely because they want their own kind of music. When a Christian allows their pre-conversion life to rule their new creature, they are not following Christ at all. Remember that God is our audience in ministry. He watches and keeps track of everything that we do for Him. When you put your own desires into ‘worship,’ and indulge self, it is not pleasing to God.
Chapter 6 – Seducing the Saints
CCM will easily destroy a church because of this one simple fact: it seduces the flesh. Immodest dress, sensual movement, misplaced passion, personal intimacy, and other sin baggage all come from the seduction of the saints.
Chapter 7 – Splitting Churches
When CCM is introduced to a church, there is usually a clear separation between the conservatives and the contemporary. Though many pastors try to have two services to cater to both groups, there can be no division in the church without serious repercussions. Ultimately, one group will be cast out and left churchless, usually the conservatives. The truth is that when any church begins to incorporate CCM, the conservative members of that church are held at a lower standard, their convictions and stands being overridden by the ‘progressive’ views of the ‘church.’ Simply put, CCM is splitting churches, some sound churches, and destroying local assemblies.
Chapter 8 – Isn’t This Just a Matter of Personal Preference and Taste?
The belief that because God created diverse people with diverse ‘tastes’ is shaky and errant. Remember Biblical standards such as these: abstain from all appearance of evil, our freedom in Christ has limits (1 Corinthians 10:23), do not allow preference to be an offense to a brother in Christ, be a builder and not a destroyer. If you use the diversity catch-all, you forget the standards set forth in Scripture and embrace the idea that God does not work in His people, but merely watches us. Our personal preference means nothing, we are to die to self and follow the Spirit’s guidance.
Chapter 9 – Isn’t Music Amoral?
No, music is not amoral. Amorality simply means that the subject has no morals in it. However, music has morals and different genres support and hold different morals. However, since all music is written by man, the music must carry some of the ideas and morals of the writer. A song written by the band Black Sabbath will inherit the wickedness of Ozzy Osbourne, and a song written by Fanny Crosby will inherit her faith. In CCM, any man who does not have a true heart submitted to God will not have appropriate morals shown in their music. Keep this in mind if at any time you are listening to a Christian artist that sounds secular. Music is moral, and it can be used for right or wrong.
Chapter 10 – But God Made Music – Isn’t All Music Inherently Good?
While God made man, sound, harmony, melody, rhythm and order are all God’s creations, man writes the songs. And because man can sin, his music can carry just as much the negative morals. Remember that God has set standards in His Word that are to be examined and followed. Do we know that all musicians in the Bible were good? Remember that Jubal, the ‘father of music’ was a descendant of Cain and lived in the time that sin was rampant. Also remember that God set requirements to be a musician in the Temple, including that a musician must be of the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe. These men were consecrated for God. Because God had to set rules for music, it seems to be that there was a need to establish an order for this art.
Chapter 11 – Show Me Where the Bible Says That Rock Music is Evil
Simply argued: “Show me in the Bible where God waived that “abstain from all appearance of evil” clause just for you.” Also, “Show me in the Bible where God is pleased you chose the same music style as Madonna, Hootie and the Blowfish, and the Dave Matthews Band.”
Chapter 12 – Doesn’t the Bible Teach We Can Use All Things to Reach People?
No. The Bible does not teach this, and no man could find a verse to support this. The closest is Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 9:22, where he talks about becoming all things to all people. This verse, if used, is out of context and not applicable. Paul, the man who wrote about dying to self and living a separated life did not condone using sinful or immoral methods in soul-winning. Remember that hearing comes by the Word.
Chapter 13 – Should Praise Music be Treated Differently?
What does the word praise mean? The word praise is an audible gift to God. Hebrews 13:15 defines praise: “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” The fruit of our lips should be pure, not worldly.
Chapter 14 – Didn’t Martin Luther and the Wesleys Use Contemporary Music in Church
This argument bears with it a lack of serious study and an almost childish mindset of “if they did it, why can’t we?” The truth concerning these men is that they did introduce singing hymns with vulgar tunes. However, they were criticized for it and removed the vulgar tunes so as not to have that record ruin the sacredness of the song. In fact, those tunes weren’t reintroduced to the particular songs until the men were dead. The truth has been twisted in this argument, but simple study will show what really happened to the music of Luther and the Wesleys.
Chapter 15 – Isn’t CCM Easier to Sing Than Traditional Hymns?
The argument here is that because of the old language and harmonic arrangements, new churchgoers will have trouble understanding and properly worshipping God with hymn singing. While we know that hymn singing benefits the Christian, the church, and the home, there is a serious argument made that it is making it difficult for new people to worship God. However, from Mr. Lucarini’s experience, there are two reasons many Christians find CCM more difficult. First, it is hard to learn all of the songs. Second, the people in the pews are often intimidated by the worship team and ‘professionalism’ of the singers. Hymns may be older and difficult for new converts, but they ought not be intimidating or difficult to pick up on. All in all, if you find hymn singing difficult, taking up the cross and marching on will afford you many blessings.
Chapter 16 – Isn’t God Using CCM to Save and Disciple Teens?
Why don’t we use pagan rituals to draw people in? Why not play the latest R rated movie for the young people? (some churches do, as a matter of fact). Why can’t we go ahead and take the gospel out of the next Pirates of the Caribbean so all young people can understand it? It does not take a worldly influence to get young people to learn about God. Churches, colleges, and schools across the nation are testimony to that. Remember, again, that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
Chapter 17 – Down the Slippery Slope of Blended Services
The Bible teaches an important lesson concerning Christians living like the ‘old man.’ The old man is the man that a person was before salvation. When saved, a person is to take off the old man, and put on the new man (Christ). But if a Christian does not fully transition, they are merely carnal. These are Christians that focus on earthly and fleshly influences as opposed to spiritual. Paul teaches that the Spirit and flesh are contrary (Galatians 5:16-17). We cannot try to keep two different ‘styles’ together in the church. There is a pain caused to conservatives when they are required to share their worship time with performers. And, sadly, the slope always ends with the ushering in of complete CCM services.
Chapter 18 – How Then Shall We Worship Together?
The answer is simple. We must completely remove CCM from our churches. This will break down barriers and allow for sincere and appropriate worship of God. Our principles as a church will not be compromised and our assembly can all worship in spirit and truth.
Chapter19 – How Do We Choose Acceptable Music for Services?
First of all, determine if you have the right relationship with Christ. You cannot lead a person in music properly if you yourself don’t walk daily with the Lord. Don’t use music that encourages sway or sing, and break up any praise band. Never sing a song that may offend someone, because that hinders worship. Remember to make sure any hymn or song is doctrinally correct. Last, keep the microphones on the stands. Our singers are not performers, don’t encourage that image.
comments: 2 comments or Leave a comment Share

Tags:
Current Music:Fruchey and Chris discussing "Baptists Gone Wild"
Current Location:Dorm Lobby
Security:
Subject:Jesus Came Out Alive!
Time:11:04 pm

One day nearly two thousand years ago Jesus of Nazareth hung upon a cross at Golgotha to die. Charged with the sin of blaspheme for calling Himself the Son of God, Jesus was wounded and killed. Like other men, He died and His body was put to rest. Just as Muhammad, Buddha, Smith, and Russell, Jesus was buried while His friends and loved ones mourned. However, Jesus was not just a Nazarene and a man, but He was the Christ, God’s only begotten Son, and He did not stay in His tomb. On the third day, Jesus conquered death and the resurrection of the saints was secured. The gospel story doesn’t end with a manger, a cross, or a tomb- but that all three were empty that third day when Jesus came out alive! The doctrine of the resurrection of Christ is clearly taught by the Scriptures. The truth of the Lord’s resurrection is fourfold: the importance, the nature, the credibility, and the results.

Jesus Christ’s birth, life, and death all carried a significance that no person can fully understand or appreciate. Though He had no sin, He became sin. The same immortal God that created man in His own image was made in the image of man. Though these are true, the most important part of Christ’s advent is that He rose again. Paul writes in his first epistle to the Corinthians, “…if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (I Corinthians 15:14). If Christ has not risen from the grave, then Christianity would be a lie, and God would be a liar. The plan of the resurrection had been clear since the fall of man, when God declared to Satan that “…her seed… shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15). God is making clear a prophecy of His own coming, and that He that though Satan would harm Him, He would have the ultimate victory. If Christ had not had the ultimate victory in His resurrection, then the promise of God would have failed. However, it is known that Christ did rise again, which will be covered soon.

The nature of Christ’s resurrection is truly a matter of which study will strengthen one’s walk with God as well as bless their fellowship with others. The fact that Jesus Christ literally died for all mankind is powerful and almost incomprehensible. On the cross at Golgotha, Jesus Christ died. Had Christ not physically died, He could not have physically rose as the victor over death and Satan. Of His own testimony, the Words of God, as well as multiple New Testament writers and Old Testament prophets- Christ died! Not only did Christ then raise again, but He rose with a supernatural body! A typical human death of the innocent Man led to the resurrection of a more than typical body!

Christ’s resurrection is easily proven. Many people have tried to deny it, and still do deny it, but there is proof of His resurrection that cannot be ignored. First of all, the transfer of the Lord’s day from the Sabbath to the first day as a lasting practice proves the truth. If Christ had not rose again, why would this change last so long? For that matter, why would the Church still be active? The Church is one bride who will not be ‘left at the altar!’ The Church knows Christ rose for us and is coming again! As for testimony, there were more people that witnessed Christ’s resurrection than did the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Why should all Americans and the world believe that the Declaration of Independence is truly written by our nation’s fathers if only a handful of people witnessed it? Yet Christ appeared to multitudes and strangers after His resurrection. Christ appeared not only to the apostles and disciples, but spent forty days on the earth with His people. His resurrection must be true for Him to have completed the establishing of the first ministry. Not to mention that those who testified of His resurrection were all men and women of good character and reputation. To say that there is no evidence of Christ’s resurrection is foolish and wrong.

When Jesus Christ rose again there were accomplishments made that the entire Christian belief relies on, and the entire world depends on. It provides the believer with assurance that God has accepted him, that Christ is interceding for him, that there is a source of power and provision for his needs, and proof of his own resurrection coming. For the non-believer, the resurrection of Christ proves the certainty of resurrection as well as the certainty of judgment. Our faith is justified and our sins buried in Christ’s resurrection.

Jesus Christ was no ordinary man but was the Son of God who died and rose again. The resurrection of Christ is a necessary event for anything to be, and for our faith to be true. What Christ did for Christians is more than any person or thing could do. Buddha cannot provide assurance for his worshippers, nor can Muhammad prove his teachings from the dust. The Lord Jesus Christ, though, can show His followers the time and place that He was raised up out of Hell and walked out of the tomb. Jesus came out alive, and the night was turned to day! Jesus came out alive, and that’s all any believer needs for absolute security and peace.

comments: Leave a comment Share

Tags:
Current Music:Chris and Fruchey talking about the naked guy in Mark 14
Current Location:Dorm Lobby
Security:
Subject:What's in a Name
Time:10:59 pm

For any person who has heard the name Jesus Christ, there is a special meaning. What is it, though, that makes a name significant to a person? For many, the name Jesus is special because it means ‘saviour’ or ‘deliverer.’ This is not only who Christ is, but also what His name literally means. It was completely intentional for people in ‘Bible times’ to name their children for a purpose, as it is for many peoples today. Names carry a great deal of meaning, and this paper is written with the intent to reveal why a name is so important.

            The first name ever given to a person is found in Genesis 2:19, the man who is named Adam. ‘Adam’ literally means ‘man,’ which is very fitting as the name Adam is frequently replaced by ‘the man’ throughout the Genesis account of Creation. Adam’s wife (named after the fall of man) is Eve, which means ‘life.’ These two names are used for the first man and woman to show exactly what they were: one man and one woman, the mother of all living. Other names given for obvious reason include Esau, which means ‘red,’ a simple description of him. Another is Moses, which means ‘drawn out,’ a description of his birth. Names were usually given at the time of circumcision (eight days after birth) and always had a symbolic or prophetic meaning. Some names were of divine origin, including Jesus’ name, which was told to Mary by Gabriel (Luke 1:26-31) and to Joseph by an angel (Matthew 1:19-21). The name Jesus was given to the Christ by His parents by the word of God. Another name for Christ is Immanuel, meaning ‘God with us.’ How appropriate that the coming of the Lord Jesus to all the people of the earth is led by the name so testifying of the gospel!

            The names of people were not the only ones that carried significance. Cities and locations were often named for a purpose. The city of Jerusalem is expected to mean ‘peace or vision of peace.’ Jerusalem, though the place where Jesus Christ was crucified, is a place of peace chosen by God. Other locations, however, carry a darker title. The apostle who betrayed Christ, Judas Iscariot, hung himself in the very field that his blood money was used to purchase. Aceldama is a Greek word, translated to English meaning ‘The Field of Blood.’ This field was purchased with the money Judas had received in exchange for betraying Christ, and he then went and hung himself in it. Aceldama, that is to say, the field of blood, carries a name of dark memories. A third location with a significant name is Beth-aven. In the book of Hosea, the prophet under Holy Spirit inspiration writes about this city whose name means ‘house of vanity or house of deception’ (Hosea 3:15, 10:5). Hosea’s figurative use of the city’s name not only proves the meaning of the name, but that the meaning has a significance we cannot understand. These are only a few examples of cities and locations whose names have meanings much deeper than the name itself. Any person can know what Jerusalem is, but can all know the peace it provides? Every language scholar can easily decipher the meaning of Beth-aven, but do they understand the symbolism of this ‘house of deception?’

            Each name has a meaning that in study reveals characteristics or stories of that name’s bearer. What, though, is the purpose of these meanings? The Bible gives examples of names that had a very important message tied into them, and the stories behind these name ‘changes’ are spectacular. For example, the changing of the name from Jacob (meaning ‘supplanter’) to Israel (meaning ‘one who strives with God’) shows how Jacob went from the younger sibling of no inheritance to one earned a new relationship with God (Genesis 32:24-28). Another example of a symbolic name change is that of Saul’s change to Paul (Acts 9:1-31). The changing of the name from ‘asked of God’ to ‘little’ shows a change in his relationship to Christ, becoming the least of all apostles but a tool for God (I Corinthians 15:9-10). The name also represented character, those traits which were described in the name. A person’s name could tell their traits, their quirks, and even their effect on others. Third, a person’s name could describe their relationship to God. In the book of Judges, Gideon and his army cried out, “The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon” (Judges 7:18-20). Gideon’s name in the battle cry associated himself with the power of God, a testimony that today’s Christians should have as they fight their spiritual battles.

            Names in the Bible have important meanings and messages. From the very first names in humanity, to the meanings behind locations and cities, and the cultural and relationship messages in each, the name of a person is a key to determining who they are and what they stand for. Today’s society has largely left this practice, and it would be wise for the people to return to it. The book of proverbs says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1). The name Brian means ‘high or noble’ and Gordon means ‘great hill or hero,’ and was once a Scottish surname. These names may not say a lot about individual people, but the other people and places within the names speak volumes about any person. All the Brian’s can strive to be noble, and all the Gordon’s can strive to be heroes, but most of all let no man ever forget the importance of what’s in a name.

comments: Leave a comment Share

Tags:
Security:
Subject:Elijah and God's Will; Jonah and God's Will pts. 1&2
Time:03:29 pm
I have been very slack about updating here lately. I am keeping a journal notebook and I'm going through various chapters and stories with my friend, onetwothree_abc, and that's been the focus of my thoughts. On top of that, a study in the life of Joseph in Sunday school. But here are the last three 'days' [more accuratly, lessons] of the study I am doing regarding God's will.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.

And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
1 Kings 17

This is the first mention of the prophet Elijah in the Bible. Here we have, in verse 1, a brief deatil about him. He is a Tishbite, from Gilead. We also see he was bold for God. Because of his boldness, he got himself in trouble with Israel. This is how God worked in his life through 1 Kings 17.

Protection (1 Kings 17:1-7)
"Get thee hence... and hide thyself..."
Elijah went boldly to King Ahab and said that it would not rain as long as Elijah did not want it to. This was the punishment for Ahab, who worshipped Baal (1 Kings 16:30-34). Some might recall that a drought is God's punishment for sin (Deuteronomy 28:15, 23-24). Well, Elijah's proclamation did not go over well, and God told Elijah to hide at the brook Cherith. While Elijah was hiding in God's will, God provided food, water, and ministering for him. God protected him from all the Israelites that would want to harm him. Notice this- the brook Cherith had water in it. Elijah drank that water. Isn't it strange that nobody else went to that brook for water? I think the only explanation is that God's mighty hand kept all the other folk away while Elijah was safe at the brook.

Recognition (1 Kings 17:10-24)
"Now by this I know that thou art a man of God..."
Elijah then went to a widow's house in Zerepath. Elijah was with this woman and her son performing mircales. When Elijah first got the house, the miracle with the meal. The woman has a certain amount of meal and it was close to being gone, In fact, the woman had planned on her and her son dying. But Elijah's presence, and the woman's obediance, led to a supply of meal that didn't expire. Yet.... the woman didn't recognize Elijah's work for God until the end of the chapter. Elijah was there and unapreciated, and unrecognized as the man of God, but he stuck with it. Eventually, after sticking with God's will and prayer, Elijah brought the widow's son back to life and she recognized him.

God's Timing
"...I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel... I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die."
The woman and her son were preparing to die. Elijah showed up and gave them what they needed to live. It is important to recognize that working and doing what God would have you to do, we may save people's lives. Only in God's will can we properly spread the gospel and see good fruit growing. Remember, God gives the increase. You can try all you want to do God's work, but it is in vein if you aren't working with Him.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1

Jonah was commanded by God to go to Ninevah and preach to them. Jonah, instead, got on a boat to go to Tarshish. He fled God's will, and this is what happened.

Fear (Jonah 1:2-3)
"...Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD..."
God was very clear about what to do. In Jonah 1:2, God says, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me." Jonah fled God's will. Of course, GOd's will must be carried out and in this story, God was wuite forceful.

Storm (Jonah 1:4-10)
"...Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them..."
Jonah, in his disobedience, got on a boat with a number of other men. When God brought punishment to Jonah, the other men all suffered. They cast their wares into the sea to save themselves. Jonah's disobedience cause loss from all the men on the ship. If Jonah had not given into God, all those men could have died.

Fish (Jonah 1:17)
"...the LORD had prepared a great fish..."
it is also noteworthy that God had prepared a fish ahead of time to swallow up Jonah. It was no fluke that a fish ate him up, but God had it all planned out. God's will is definite.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah 2

At this point, Jonah is in the whale's tumtum. Here is how to get back in God's will the nice way, as shown by Jonah.

Call Upon God (Jonah 2:2)
"...out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice..."
Jonah called out to God for help. Just like a human relationship, communication is key to solving a problem.

Recount (Jonah 2:3-7)
"...I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple..."
Jonah, in verses three through seven confesses where he is and what he's gotten into. When we are out of God's will, we must confess to God how we got ourselves out of it, and ask Him to help us back in. Once you admit that you are wrong and God is in control...

Surrender (Jonah 2:8-9)
"...I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."
Surrender to do what God wants. Jonah promised to pay his vows to God. We all must do that as well. Promise God you'll do it right, and he will pick you up again.

Wait (Jonah 2:1-10)
"...the LORD spake unto the fish..."
The entire portion of Jonah 2, Jonah is in the fish and doesn't know what's going on. God is commanding the great fish, all Jonah can do is pray. Eventually, God tells the fish to vomit Jonah up. God did not tell Jonah where he was, or when he'd be released, but God spoke to the fish. Putting our faith in God's will means we may not always understand the things around us, or what's going on in our life. We must have faith in God to work it out.
comments: 6 comments or Leave a comment Share

Tags:
Security:
Subject:Paul on God's Will
Time:08:49 pm
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother... And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:1, 21-29

Paul wrote this apostle from a prison cell, around A.D. 60. It is amazing to see what he has to say.

Paul starts this epistle saying that he is an apostle by the will of God. He then explains just what it means to be in God's will. I want to pull four main thoughts out this passage. Rather, four elements, that are key to the will of God in your life. I pray that considering these will help yout to find where you are, and whether or not that place is the perfect and acceptable will of God.

Reconciliation
"...yet now hath he reconciled..."
Jesus Christ died on a rugged cross to save sinners from Hell. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. The first step to being in God's will is to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and be born again. The Bible says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9). it says right here in 2 Peter 3:9, God's will is not for any man to perish. You walk into Gods will the moment you are saved. So, how do you stay in it?

Faithfulness
"...If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled..."
Faithfulness is key to being in God's will. A person cannot come to God without faith that He Is. So, without faith a person can't be in God's will. it is also important, while having faith in God Himself, to have faith in the church. Hebrews 10:25 reads, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." God's will is for every one to be in a church family, serving Him. If you are not in church, there is a good chance you aren't in God's will. Of course, going to church doesn't make you saved, and doesn't make you a Christian. However, it allows you to be an encouragement to other believers, and it is a great opportunity for God to speak to your heart without distractions like television and the phone. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes, under the inspiration of God, that every person, even the weak and lowly, have an important part in the church.

Afflication
"...fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh..."
Yes, it is true, that a person must suffer to be in God's will. Why is that? Well, a Christian's responsibility to God is to spread the gospel, and the gospel is something hated by the world. Look at the news or the schools- everything we are told and taught is based on the negative. The world feeds on the darkness and sorrow these stories and reports cause in us. Naturally, we will be attacked and hurt when we try to shine a light in this place. But we must.

Also, consider Jesus Christ. In Gethsemene, He prayed for God to take the suffering away from Him. However, He surrendered to God's will and ended up carrying a cross to Calvary, to be crucified. He suffered in God's will. It is now the job of every Christian to suffer, as Christ suffered, for a lost and dying world.

Hope
"...be not moved away from the hope of the gospel... Christ in you, the hope of glory..."
Hope is huge when it comes to God's will. Hope for Heaven, hope for eternal life, hope for something better in eternity. When we are reconciled to God through Christ, we enter His wonderful will. While we pray and get guidance to stay in God's will, we must be faithful and we must suffer for God. In all this, trials, sufferings, pains, we have hope of something greater. Faith of the substance of things hoped for. Our hopes are proven in our faith, and our faith is proven in the unwavering hand of God. God help you and I to see where His hand is leading, and help us to stay with Him every step of the way. Amen.
comments: Leave a comment Share

Security:
Subject:The Root of Change
Time:08:11 pm
As I was talking to a special friend tonight, they made a comment about changes in my life. They had seen me change from a creepy punk bus kid to a preacherboy thing. I thought about it, and this is my articulation of my feelings. Please enjoy.


It is absurd to suggest that a person's life changes as their thoughts do. The mind is something that cannot be altered, but only controlled. The heart is the root of change.

The heart is something that cannot be changed by a person's will. The only One with the authority to change a person's heart is their Almighty Creator, God. The cause of change is that our carnal or sinful hearts are of stone, but our born again hearts are flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 reads, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."

So, in salvation a person's heart changes. Are there other changes in the heart? No. The heart may die, but not change.

There is an example in the Bible where a man gets so deep in sin and darkness that his heart dies, and ultimatly God takes his life for it. In 1 Samuel 25, we find the story of Nabal. Nabal had a lot of posessions, and King David sent to get some of them. When his messengers got to Nabal, he refused to give any of his meat or sheep over. So, David went to kill him. Nabal's wife Abigail goes to meet David with a bunch of offerings, and David turned away without killing anyone. Abigail went back to her house, where Nabal was getting drunk. The next morning, when he was sober, Abigail told him what happened. We read, "But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone." (1 Samuel 25:37). This does not say his heart changed, but he himself did. His heart died, and the result was a change in his life. In fact, ten days after his heart died, God killed him. "And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died." (1 Samuel 25:38).

This is the core of my thought. A physical, personal, or lifestyle change is the result of the work in a person's heart, not the result of a change in a person's heart.

It's really simple. A person changes because of what is in their heart, not because their heart changes. First of all, the Holy Spirit must be held within something unchangable. Consider this- how could an unchanging God reside in a palce where change can be caused by something as weak as a person? The Holy Spirit must be in control fo the heart before it can accomplish anything.

Second, look at Ephesians. Ephesians 4:22-24 read, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." After a person is saved, they are commanded to change. This illustration of putting off the old man, and putting on the new is the physical change. Me cutting my hair shorter, for example, is an occasion of putting on the new man. It is not the result of my heart changing, but the result of a work in my heart. The Holy Spirit moves me to. A haircut cannot signify a great spiritual change, but it is the result of a great spiritual change.

Third, look at Matthew 7. Matthew 7 talks about judging people, and we find this in verses 17-20: "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." In these verses, Jesus Christ taught the important principle that we can see a person by their fruit. That is, what comes of their work. A lot of modern, 'contemporary' Christians will defend their worldliness by telling someone it is wrong to judge. However, it only shows a lack of Bible in their life- Jesus Christ teaches us how to judge. We shall know them by their fruits. In these verses, Jesus Christ was actually teaching how to recognize a false prophet. But the principle is true of all humankind- the only way to know what is in a person's heart is by seeing the fruit they bear. If the fruit of a person is noserings and green hair, then it is clear they do not hold particular Biblical standards.

HOWEVER... It is not safe to judge a person simply by their fruits. That's the core of this thought. A person's heart is the cause of change, but does not change itself. In order to judge a person as a lover of God or a Christian involves the heart, and that is why only God knows. There are times when we will see a person and assume they are not a Christian. And that is understandable, and Christ taught how to recognize just how serious a person is. But we are not Christ, and we do not always know. Remember, the other eleven apostles did not know which would betray Christ. None knew which would betray Him. Even so- we will not know where a person is with God just by their fruit.

A change in one's life is the result of a work in their heart. The heart is God's dwelling place, it is the first change after a person's salvation. God help us all to understand that it is what we hold in our hearts that causes change, and then help us to be receptive and open to what God is willing to put in these hearts.
comments: 10 comments or Leave a comment Share

[icon] bby_rep
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries