Saturday, July 16, 2005

Training Children

A passage from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional readings....... parents are commanded to train their children. Are we, or are we passing the buck and allowing the church, the school system, the television industry, the government, or as Hillary has put it, the "village" to train our children?????

"Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation." --Joel 1:3 In this simple way, by God's grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land--the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty, we are to begin at the family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord's arrangements. To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday School Teachers, or other friendly aids, these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; proxies and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. Parental teaching is a natural duty--who so fit to look to the child's well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots Popery is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents' prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honour the Lord and receive His smile.

Friday, July 08, 2005

What Do You "Want To" as a Christian???

Listed below are some "want to" items copied from Pastor Otwell in another mailing list..... do you have purpose in your Christian walk and life???

1. I want to LOVE like Jesus tells me to love, and to love all those whom he wants me to love. John 13:34,35 Luke 10:27 1 John 3:14 Ephesians 5:25
2. I want to LOOK before others like I should as a Christian, in my:
a. Appearance
b. Attitude
c. Apparel
d. Appetites
e. Actions
f. Activities
3. I want to LEARN more about Jesus and his life, so that I can be a better servant, and a brother to my brothers in Christ, and a husband to my wife, and a pastor to the church I now pastor. Matthew 11:28-30 2 Peter 3:18 Philippians 3:1-12
4. I want to LIVE a surrendered life, a life of sacrifice, and I don't want to forfeit the blessings of the future life in heaven, so I can enjoy this present life in this world. Mark 8:34-38
5. I want to LAY ASIDE every weight and the sin that will hinder my race for mark, and the prize. Hebrew 12:1 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Philippians 3:13
6. I want to LIFT up Jesus to a lost and dying world, as well as to the wayward saints, the weary saints, the wasted saints, the wilderness saints, the wanting saints, the working, and watching saints. John 12:32
7. I want to be LED by the Holy Spirit of God in everything I do, in every place I go. I want the Holy Spirit to be in charge of all my activities, my actions and my associational ties. Romans 8:14 Galatians 5:16-26
8. I want my LIFESTYLE to be without carefulness, covetousness and incontentment. Hebrews 13:5,6 Philippians 4:6,7,11
9. I want to LAY UP treasures in heaven, by freely giving and investing in the souls of men. Mathew 6:19,20 Colossians 3:1-4
10. I want to LOG up more quality hours, and time for the Lord.... Ephesians 5:16
11. I want to LAST until my course has been run and finished. I want to be able to say with the saints of old, and the new testament saints, that I fought a good fight, and kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6,7 And to finish like Jacob, when I go be also found worshipping leaning on the top of my staff. Hebrews 11:21

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bible Study

Five traits that are found in those who do effective Bible study:

1. They know Jesus Christ personally - I Cor. 2:11-16, Rom. 8:5,7
2. They revere and show respect for the scriptures - Pslm. 119
3. They depend on the Holy Spirit's leading - Pslm. 119:12,18,27,35
4. They make sure their life is clean - I John 1:9
5. They develop a keen hunger to know the Bible - Pslm. 119:77,97

Satan is our enemy in every aspect of living the Christian life. This is bluntly true in the Bible study part of our life. He will keep us from the from the Word if he can. Matt. 13:19 says he will even steal the Word if he is allowed.

The life circumstances we are living through affect what we see from the Word. Our personal differences and quirks can hinder us as well as our educational background (this can either help or hinder).

Experience from discipling men and from my own life has revealed that unconquered sinful habits affect Bible study. If I am making excuses for a habit, I easily read past what the Word says about it. If I am under severe conviction about my habit then that is all I see in the passage, missing the other truths taught in it.

Divine illumination is our most critical need in our Bible study:
1. Christ knew we would need divine help - John 16:13
2. Christ provided divine help - I John 2:20-21
3. Christ does not want us dependent solely on others - I John 2:27
4. Christ will compare scripture with other scripture - I Cor. 2:13-14

Oh, for a greater number of noble believers who will study the scriptures for themselves to make sure their Bible teachers are saying what God really says in His Word! We must challenge believers to be good "Bereans."

(Excerpts taken from Bible Tract Bulletin Vol. 46 Number 2 - Rev. Mark Smith, Director)

Ac 17:10-11 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

2 Tim. 3:14-17 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Religion has gotten popular! It’s sweeping the country!! Juke boxes grind out the latest popular hymns! [It's even on TV with special documentaries.... in the movies by Mel Gibson...... on the top-seller lists as "Left Behind" or "The DaVinci Code"]

Movie magazines carry news of religious activities of the movie stars! More money is coming into religious treasures than ever before. Great new church buildings are being built. A greater percentage of folks belong to churches than ever before in history! Tremendous evangelistic campaigns are regularly held and thousands are in attendance and great numbers of decisions are recorded. [hmmmm.... even Billy Graham had his last finale in New York City last weekend, complete with the Clinton's.... stadium packed, top news coverage.... and Billy asked Bill to join him as an evangelist and let Hillary run the country.... true Biblical wisdom from the man of God...... NOT!!!]

Quite regularly the current best-seller is a book on religion. The newspapers and magazines carry regular columns by religious writers. The radio and television carry religious programs! Religious Universities, Colleges, High Schools, and Elementary Schools are growing by leaps and bounds! Religion is booming! The cry of “Revival” is heard over and over!! [Of course revival is rampant here in the US.... just knock on a few doors or pass out a few tracts...... everyone you talk to is already a "Christian" How dare you ask??? hmmmmm.... I thought we were to be concerned for all men's souls and where they will spend eternity!!!]

Religion is back — by popular demand! The tragedy is that it has been diluted, streamlined, whooped up, condensed, smoothed out, made palatable enough to meet what the public demands in a religion. Instead of meeting the demands of God, religion has been changed to meet the demands of the public!! [Just as the Word of God has been changed many many times over the last 125 years, especially the last 50..... diluted, streamlined, made easier to understand, updated for today's new culture, etc etc etc]

In the haste to get everybody aboard the “bandwagon” a “carnival” spirit has developed. The bands are playing, the flags are flying, and everyone is invited to a hayride of happiness — a religious romp! Popcorn, peanuts, and paper hats. It reminds me of the first time I took my youngest boy, David, to the Cincinnati Zoo. He was about four years old at the time. It was on this trip that he got his first glimpse of “cotton candy.” We stopped and he watched with great delight as the man behind the counter very skillfully spun the large, beautifully colored sticks full of this wonderful stuff. After watching with envy the others who were receiving this delicious looking delight he turned pleading eyes to me and the purchase was made. I never will forget the look of delight that came on his face as he held the huge, colored concoction and took his first bite. As the cotton dissolved into nothing in his mouth a look of amazement and disappointment took the place of delight. [And the lives of many today are not fruitful Christian living.... but disappointment, discouragement, wrecked homes, suicide, and hate.....]

Appearances had been deceiving. Thus it is with our modern “cotton candy” boom in religion! It’s big and beautiful until you really try to get your teeth into it and dissolves into nothing.

It could also be compared to “bubble gum” — it makes a fine showing until it breaks and leaves behind a sticky mess!! [And we are in a mess!!!!! That's because we have gotton rid of God!!! There is only one God, and the god of this world is fake.... and deceiving many to a future in Hell!!!]

The popularity that religion enjoys has been purchased at a terrific price. The desire to please man has supplanted the desire to please God. Today’s religion is designed to satisfy the carnal appetites of carnal Christians and the unregenerate. “What do I get out of it” is the approach made to this religion. [God doesn't care how we live as long as we love him.... holiness is not important today.... God wouldn't bind us down with standards..... why Galatians teaches us about those LEGALISTS] When the services are entertaining and make the participants “feel good” they are stamped as successful. The world’s methods and manner are as in the business world. Finances and figures have been made the test. A lot of people and a lot of money are interpreted as the sure blessing of God. It is considered sacrilege to question the doctrine or the ethics of anyone who has been successful in gathering a large crowd and abundant cash! [Anything goes..... any bible, any music, any dress.... why, we don't even have to go to church!!! We can worship God fishing at the lake, or on the golf course, or at the race track and football game]

In view of the seeming boom in religion it would be well to consider what has happened to the gospel!! What little gospel is preached is of such a shallow, frothy nature that it would bring a snort of disgust from such a one as the Apostle Paul. The strong message of the gospel has been so diluted as hardly to be recognizable. [Maybe because the gospel has been so diluted in the new bibles.... we really ain't that bad.... we were just stuck with rotten parents and teachers and poor financial situations....] Sickeningly cheap, sentimental appeals are made for sickeningly cheap, sentimental decisions! What has happened to the sledge hammer messages concerning the hideous corruption of sin? [Sin??? What do you mean by sin??? Surely you wouldn't be calling me a sinner..... why I do my best..... my good out weighs my bad..... drinking is socialable, safe-sex is responsible, divorce is OK because I love someone else - you don't expect me to stay with the same gal for life do you???]

Has the day of identifying the sinner past? Today it is advertised so that no one will be offended at the preaching of the gospel!! What a change! What a come down!! The gospel has always offended! It offends Satan! It offends the guilty sinner and either brings him to repentance or hardens his heart! It offends the carnal Christian!!! [But you can't see my heart.... how dare you judge me!!!] It offends the false teachers and their followers! It offends the promoters of sin and sinful pleasure! In today’s gospel the question of sin is dealt with in such generalities that it is almost impossible to determine who is guilty! [Preacher, you're hateful if you deal with sin... you are suppose to show love.... pat me on the back and tell me I'm OK]

Repentance has become a forgotten doctrine confined to the yellowing pages of neglected articles of faith. What used to mean “Godly Sorrow” doesn’t even involve mild embarrassment today! The crowds have never responded very well to true repentance so modern religion by popular demand has discarded it. Faith has been reduced to a mere head consent, a hand shake, and a card signed. [Repent??? Of what??? I'm doing my best.... I'm not that bad.....]

Today’s gospel has been watered down so thin it has lost the miracle working power of regeneration and is producing a shallow, casual, unregenerated religion. [Again, could this be as the result of the watered down Bibles prevalent in our churches today.... of course, most "Christians" have never even read the Bible, but they know what it says!!!]

Contrary to the popular idea that we are in the midst of revival stand some undeniable facts that show we are in the midst of a time of apostasy!!! There is a great “falling away!" First of all consider the moral condition of our country. The figures have been published so many times they do not need to be reprinted here. Crime is at an all time high!! Juvenile delinquency increases every year!! Divorce rates climb every year. Jail houses, penitentiaries and detention homes are packed to overflowing!! [I'm listening.....]

Drunkenness and dope addicts mounts with each passing day! Illegitimate births and abortions increase ever year. Murder, rape, suicide, robbery, scream the headlines of our papers!! Sex mad and whiskey soaked! The nation reels down the path of the pursuit of Pleasure!! Check the material in the popular books, songs, radio and television shows, movies, etc. and get a glimpse of what appeals to America. True revival will check the flood tides of sin!! This has not happened in today’s so-called revival!! [But I have read of revivals in the past that did check the tide of sin.... of course, those preachers used the King James Bible, and preached against sin. They were bold and stood up against the sins of the world. Do you think that made a difference???]

It is not producing hatred for sin and love of righteousness!! It does not demand that Christians live a separated dedicated life to God. [Separated??? Now preacher, you are messing with my life.... you have no right...... I need to fit in with the world so that I can win them to Jesus!!!]

Second, consider the rapid rise and growth of a multitude of cults and false religions. This is not revival!! Real revival brings men and women a love for the truth. The entire revealed truth of God is not declared in the Gospel of today so the “converts” wander off after whatever religion suits their particular fancy. The keynote today is compromise. Everybody is to forget their “petty doctrinal differences” and join hands in a “great compromise.” In the midst of this kind of atmosphere false cults and religions are booming! Modernism marches on!!! [Truth..... uncompromising...... doctrine??? Does that make a difference???]

Third, consider the shallow carnal Christian today’s so-called “revival” produces, indeed, if it produces any Christians. [There you go judging me again..... you can't see my heart!] May God help us to return to a gospel that glorifies God, antagonizes Satan, squelches sin, convicts sinners, produces repentance, routs false teachers, abolishes false religions, promotes sound doctrine, and brings about the miracle of regeneration that makes a hell bound sinner into a new creature in Christ Jesus. [I wonder what Bible and what church one would find those characteristics???]

[comments in brackets and in red are by me - Standing in the Gap]

Till Jesus Comes,
Pastor Robby Coggins
Fellowship Baptist Church
24347 NC Hwy 125 N
Williamston, NC 27892