Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


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April 30, 2011
"How has this week gone," you ask? I am so glad you asked.
Last Sunday was awesome. It was Easter Sunday. No, the Easter Bunny didn't make an appearance. We didn't have a fashion show either. Church should not be about a fashion show or about being seen. Church is about worshiping God and hearing the preaching. It was the Laodicean church, as I recall, which was focused on fashion. The Laodicean church was also the church which was lukewarm, which God said he would spew out. Anyway, the church was full, the Spirit of God was moving, hearts were troubled by the preaching and some families were helped. But, that was Sunday.

Monday night, we had a men's meeting and fish fry. I am not one who loves fresh fish. I like it processed to the point it tastes like chicken, but this was great. Aside from the fish, our souls were fed as Bro. Michael brought a devotion.

Tuesday, rest.

Wednesday, church. Usually, we are working with our 3rd - 6th graders in BASIC Training, but this week we were in the main service. It was one of those foggy services - and that was before the preaching. Really, Preacher's message paralleled the theme of this blog. He preached about why we, as preachers, must sound the trumpet of warning. I needed the encouragement. Wednesday night through early Thursday morning, we prayed the storms would pass us by. I am so thankful the Lord chose to spare us and our home from any damage!

Friday, our youth traveled to a church in South Carolina. The glory fell again. God was certainly moving in a magnificent way. The youth choir sang and testified. Several people testified from the floor. There was some more testimonies and then the preaching. Again, our preacher took us to the same passage, but he delivered a different slant on the passage. It was a different challenge to the preachers and again, I was blessed and encouraged beyond measure.

As Saturday draws to an end, I am tired. We took our BASIC Training kids on a little hike. Aren't they a great looking bunch? Isn't it great that all the young ladies look like young ladies while the young men look like young men? I am so thankful our preacher has entrusted their training to us. BASIC Training is a lot like SIGMA. We have been in SIGMA before. When it is done right, it is a great program, but SIGMA is not quite the right fit for this age group.

As I said, we took this group on a little hike in a local national park. We had a bus ride from the church to the park. Almost immediately, I was impressed (again). With other "church groups" I have been around, there was an endless barrage of crude remarks and worldly music (or ringtones). Not this group. We were no more than out of the church parking lot before the singing started. It was YOUTH CHOIR and it was incredible! No one was sharing their iPod with their worldly music (not even any of the supposed adults), they were singing praises to God.  Why are these 'tweens singing and praising God on the bus? They look up to a Godly group of teens who do the same thing. I love following the youth choir when they travel. You see, our youth group enjoys hearing preaching (of course, some of these young men are genuine preachers and do, occasionally, preach) and they enjoy singing praises unto God.  For our youth, a trip is a chance to have good clean, innocent fun. It isn't about being with their boyfriend or girlfriend. It isn't about sharing an iPod with the world's rotten music. When the youth choir get to wherever they're going, they've already been to church. They have already been worshiping God. They don't have to spend half the night at the alter confessing what they did on the bus ride to wherever they're going, they show up full of the Holy Spirit.  For them, it's about God. I was blessed, today, to enjoy a few minutes of that on the way to the park today.

After all of this, I get to go to bed looking forward to Sunday. I am so blessed.
April 15, 2011
Have I bragged on our church lately? I didn't think so.. There are many churches around which are called 'Baptist'. There are even some which are called Independent, Fundamental Baptist. However, in our all travels - visiting literally hundreds of churches, I have to say there is only one which is as Biblically solid and yet as balanced as our church. The Word of God is preached without apology, but with love. People are saved on a regular basis and the congregation is real. Perhaps this is the important part. The congregation is real. It is not a congregation composed of one or two families which run the church. Nor is it a congregation filled with graduates or students of a Bible college. It is a congregation composed of a cross-section of our community. We have people who are wealthy, people who are poor. People of all races attend our church. Recovering addicts are in our church and serving along side of people who have served God all their lives. However, social classes are irrelevant. Everyone is equal in our church just as everyone is equal at the foot of the cross. I love our church. I must also say that I love the ministries in which the Lord allows us to participate. We have just recently started a program with the third-sixth graders. It is much like Sigma, but modified slightly to fit the needs and skills of this age group. I must say, I have been so impressed with our young people. They still don't really understand what we are doing, but they are loving it. When it is operated correctly, Sigma is a great program. On another note, there has been a lot of conversation about the recent 20/20 episode claiming to expose IFB churches. One thing I have seen in some IFB attendees, and even a few so-called preachers, is hypocrisy. People will paint on their fundamentalism when at church yet act like the rebels they are everywhere else. It is these hypocrites which are the ones giving us a black eye. They are the ones who make us all look like hypocrites. We are not all hypocrites. How can a man preach against Hollywood when he has cable television in his office? How can a man preach against worldly music at one moment, then joke about his favorite drunken country singer the next? How can a man preach on Ephesians 6 and the order of the home when his children are in rebellion? Yes, when you examine IFB churches, you will see they are full of people and people are sinners. You will also see they are led by men who are sinners. The difference, the critical difference, is in wisdom.
Pr 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
A wise man will respond to instruction, even if he is a leader. When the Lord shows the pastor of some error, the man of God will respond. However, many so-called preachers are too proud to admit they are sinners. They are unwilling to give up their pet sin. Because there are some churches which are led by men who may not even be saved, should we throw out every IFB church? Of course not! The true Independent Baptist Church is the only church which can trace its heritage back to Christ! The true Independent Baptist Church which holds to the fundamentals is the only church which has the true path to salvation and service. As IFB churches, we are independent. Unlike other churches, IFB churches do not have an earthly authority outside of the church. The Pastor is the leader of the church and Christ is the head of the pastor. (Does that mean that the pastor 'rules' every aspect of a church member's life? No!) One reason why our church is so blessed is our pastor. He has a wonderful balance of preaching the truth and seasoning it with grace. The 20/20 episode mentioned a Facebook page for people who were "recovering" from being in IFB churches. Is it possible these people were never really, genuinely saved? I believe there are many people in our IFB churches who are not saved, including many deacons, Sunday school teachers and even Pastors who are not saved. I am absolutely convinced that these who are not saved are the source of hypocrisy. I am also convinced that when these kids (unsaved) grow up and leave the authority of their home, they jump into absolute rebellion. You see, one who is not saved does not understand the things of God. The Bible is foolishness to them and the standards of the Bible (which they do not understand) are repulsive.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Second, we often see standards forced upon people, but the "why" behind the standard is never taught. So, a little girl is told she must dress a certain way, but she is never taught the concept of Biblical modesty. Kids are taught that they should not drink alcohol, but they are never taught the Biblical reasons why consuming alcohol is a sin. (yes, Jesus turned water into wine. No, Jesus did not contradict Scripture and make alcoholic wine.) Perhaps the worst case is the kids who are taught to listen to their pastor then go home where momma and daddy live a different way. Each of these cases, in their own way, produce rebels. Anyone who studies the Word of God with a sincere desire to learn the truth will see that they must be in an IFB church. I am not saying that one must attend an IFB church to be saved. However, if one is genuinely saved and responding to the Spirit of God, he will be IFB. One last thing... Dr. Surrett of Emmanuel Baptist Church recently posted this in response to the 20/20 episode. It is an excellent examination of the core fallacy of the 20/20 episode.
April 7, 2011
It appears as though on May 1, 2011, the current Pope will recognize the former Pope's entrance into heaven. This entrance, combined with current Pope's declaration that this person may now intercede on behalf of a believer who prays to him amounts to what the Catholic Church calls Beatification. It is what the Catholic church describes as the third of four steps in becoming a saint. How sad. These poor followers of the various Pope's believe they must go through all these man-made hurdles to achieve sainthood. How sad it is that these deceived masses believe their hope is in praying to someone who is already dead. Where to begin? First, I am thankful that I do not have to wait until some time after my death for another man to decide whether or not I qualify to be a saint. First, if we are to believe Paul, the true saints of God are among the living. Consider:
Romans 15:25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
If we are to believe Saint Paul, he was going to Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. Why would he waste time ministering to the dead? He would not. So, we see the saints are living. So, who are the saints? Again, if we trust Saint Paul, we can see a trend...
1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
In 1 Cor 1:2, Paul is writing to the saints which are in the church of Corinth. So, we should assume that the saints are church members. There are many other examples of this trend. Saints are nothing more than saved church members. So, guess what, I am officially a saint! More importantly, my sainthood is not determined by someone else. My salvation, and therefore my sainthood, were purchased by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary when my sin debt was paid. That purchase became a free gift which I could choose to accept through my own free will. There was nothing I had to do to earn my salvation and there is nothing I need do to obtain sainthood. I really pity the followers of the Catholic church. As a saint of God, I do not need to await beatification to enter into heaven. It is not up to the Pope to determine my eternal destiny. I am saved therefore, I am destined to spend eternity at the feet of Christ. However, there is another aspect of beatification: intercession. According to the Catholic church, one who has been beatified may accept prayers and intercede on behalf of those on earth. Like much of the Catholic doctrine, this is in direct contradiction to the Word of God. While we are all to intercede for each other in prayer, we should not pray to each other. Prayer is an offering and a sacrifice which must only be offered to God. Moreover, prayers to the dead have, traditionally, only been made by the pagans who worship their dead. If you look at the foot of Peter in the Basilicia of St. Peter, you will see his toes have been worn and polished by years of worshipers who touched or kissed his foot. You draw your own conclusion: are they worshiping Peter? There are certainly many who pray to him. I am certainly a saint (as I am saved by the grace of God), but I would never allow you to pray to me. Worse than intercession, the idea of mediation comes in to play with those who have been beatified or anointed as saints by the Catholic church. It is claimed by some that a saint can petition on your behalf and can even argue our case, so to speak, before God on our behalf.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (6) Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
There is only one mediator: Jesus Christ. To claim that anyone else can be a mediator between you (or I) and God is nothing more than idolatry.
April 5, 2011
A St. Petersburg, Fla newspaper reports that a circuit judge will be not be using state law or US federal law to decide a case. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Richard Nielsen will be using Muslim Sharia law to decide the case instead. The last time I checked, the United States was a Christian nation, founded by Christians upon Christian principles. The last time I checked, the Koran was not acknowledged in the US Constitution nor was it acknowledged in US or state law. Why is it that a judge will now be using the Koran as a guide in deciding the merits of this case? The title of this blog is Sound the Trumpet. If you read the "About..." section, you will see that one of the purposes of this blog is to sound a warning to people -- a warning to show the dangers which face our nation as well as the church. At the moment, our great Christian nation is fighting a war in several countries. From our perspective, these are wars against terror and wars defending the rights of individuals to determine their own destiny. However, from the viewpoint of our opponent, these are separate fronts in a single holy-war. There are many in the world who believe the teachings of a man named Mohammad are true. They believe all people must convert to Islam, even if it means they be converted at the edge of a sword. God would never condone this. Today, that holy-war is being waged on our own soil as well. There is a rich Muslim heritage of hate toward anyone who bases their faith in the Word of God. There is a custom of hate which goes back to God's rejection of Ismael. If you recall the Word of God, Isaac was the one chosen by God, not the son born of adultery. While our brave soldiers are fighting for freedom on foreign soil, sharia law is coming to America. The population of the United States stood together and rallied when our great Christian nation was attacked by Muslims on Sept. 11, 2001. Where are the cries of God bless America and the rallies as our nation is attacked through the use of Muslim sharia law? While our brave soldiers are fighting for the freedom of other nations, our nation is being destroyed from within and there is hardly more than a peep from our people.
1Ti 2:1-4 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.
We need to pray. As Christians, we need to pray for all to be saved. We also need to pray for those who are in authority and we need to pray for all of these to be saved. Moreover, we should pray that God will guide leaders, in ways they do not understand, to protect our nation and the liberties we enjoy. We should pray that our leaders come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We should also pray that the eyes of all Americans be opened and the Muslim attackers be revealed for who they really are.