Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pastoral Counsel from the 1700's

A pastor on another mailing list posted this message earlier this week which I found quite interesting considering the time frame of this writing. To me, the men of yesteryear always seem to have great depth and wisdom in their desire to serve the Lord - although the things of our "modern" world have made our everyday lives much easier, it also has taken away our dependence on the Lord and the "pleasures" of this world have prevented us from building a close relationship to the Lord. Let's desire to be different!!!

The Nature, Importance, Duties and Qualifications of the Pastor. By James Meikle, 1730-1799

1. Do not contract many worldly acquaintances.
2. Learn to be abused without becoming angry.
3. Do not meddle much with the affairs of this life.
4. Argue coolly, and from conscience—not for victory.
5. Do not pretend a 'show of sanctimony' before men.
6. Do not be ashamed of piety in any company.
7. Whatever else you read, read a double portion in the scriptures of truth.
8. Shun familiarity with the men of the world—else celestial truths, as uttered by you, will be despised.
9. Do not be much concerned about your own reputation—as long as the truth and the gospel do not suffer.
10. Learn daily more of Christ and more of yourself—else your other studies will profit little.
11. Seek not great things for yourself. Seek not great fame, great applause, great comforts, or a great income. But seek great things for Christ. Seek for him great glory, many converts, and much fruits of righteousness.
12. Consider the preciousness of souls, the value of salvation, the weight of the sacred charge, the terrors of the Almighty, the solemn day of judgment, and your own utter inability. Then shall you have no vain confidence, but depend on God alone.
13. Please all men so long as you are consistent with the truth—but do not wound the truth to please any.
14. Set your affections on things above—so shall spiritual things be your delight, and not your burden.
15. In company, always study to say something for edification. In this way, you preach every day—as well as on Sundays.
16. Be much with God in secret—so shall God be with you in public.
17. See that the behavior of every person in your family is a pattern to all observers; and not matter of reproach—to the joy of God's enemies.
18. Let your flock be continually on your mind. And not only pray with them in public, and from house to house—but carry them to your closet, and pray for them in private.
19. Do not neglect to visit them at all proper times, but especially embrace those golden opportunities—sickness and affliction.
20. Have sympathetic feelings with the sufferings of all your flock.
21. Let your life be consistent with your message. What you preach on Sunday—practice through the week.
22. Do not only press charity on the wealthy; but let your example, according to your ability, show the way.
23. Lend your ear to reproaches--rather than applauses. Reproaches may let us see some of our foibles or failings. But commendation is very apt to kindle self-conceit—of which everyone has enough.
24. Be temperate in eating and drinking. Do not, when at a feast, though temperate at other times—be a glutton or a wine-bibber.
25. With respect to your flock, consider that you are made the steward of a family, and therefore must, seeing the great Master allows it—provide food for all—meat for the strong, and milk for the weak.
26. Keep an exact list or catalogue of your flock—who is pious or profligate; who is in affluence or poverty; who is in health or sick—and read it often.
27. Give a pleasant ear when others are commended. But always frown away the friend that would commend you to your face.
28. Be scant in exhibiting 'specimens of your learning', or comments on the Scriptures in their original languages. For a fine grammarian may be but a novice in piety and the gospel.
29. In preaching, aim at God's glory and the good of souls. And then, without deviating from that rule—please all men as much as possible.
30. Let your sermons be always the fruit of much study and application. And never dare to serve God or his people with that which cost you nothing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Read the Bible??? What a Concept!!!

I thought this column from a recent NewswithViews mailing was interesting.... click the above link to read the entire column. Listed below are some excerpts from the article.....

The America I grew up in was decent, but that’s all changed. When I was a youngster people had morals and respected laws. Kids obeyed their parents, parents spent time with their kids, families went to church together, even had their meals together. Prayer was said at the dinner table and allowed in public schools.

In those days Christians believed that all truth is God’s truth, that God revealed His truth to us in His Word (the Bible) and in Him who said, “I am the Truth.” The scriptures were memorized and quoted frequently and no one was offended by it. People placed their right hand on the Holy Bible and solemnly swore to tell the truth, the whole truth… And meant it.

God actually reveals Himself in Scripture, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. Which begs the question, why are so many Bibles shut away in drawers or collecting dust on bookshelves?

One excuse for not reading the Bible is that flawed men wrote it. Funny how that logic doesn’t apply to the Washington Post, The Enquirer, Doctor Phil or Deepak Chopra! Take my word for it. The Holy Spirit did not inspire Dr. Phil’s books. The Spirit of God did, however, inspire the authors of Scripture.

Before Bibles began playing host to dust mites, Christians knew what they believed and why they believed it. Not anymore. Biblical moral values no longer dictate the way believers live their lives. Professed Christians have all but cast off their biblical worldview and blended in with our godless society. Is it any wonder that the religion of Secular Humanism has infiltrated our nation’s institutions?

Jesus taught that truth is rooted in the authority of the scriptures, which have been tested, reflected upon, and debated for over two thousand years. Truth is not a personal preference. Truth is person. And that person is Jesus Christ. If you sincerely want to know more about Christ, read the Bible.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Biblical References Toward Heretics/False Teachers

We must have a biblical, godly attitude toward heresy or liberality. Let me give you ten distinctions that we need to have. The following was adapted from an article by: G. Archer Weniger, D.D.

In these days of theological confusion and ecclesiastical compromise, what is the Biblical position for the Bible believer to assume toward heretics and false religious teachers? Are we to patronize them, associate with them, accept their sponsorship, increase their numbers, send them converts, add to their prestige, follow their leadership, identify our churches with them, obliterate important Biblical distinctions with them? The Bible's answer is clear.

1. Try them... 1 John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
2. Mark them...Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
3. Rebuke them...Titus 1.13, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith."
4. Have no fellowship.... Ephesians 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
5. Withdraw thyself... 2 Thessalonians 3:6, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us."
6. Turn away from them... 2 Timothy 3:5, "...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
7. Receive them not... 2 John 10-11, "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. " To our day false teachings are fostered by misplaced hospitality.
8. Have no company with him… 2 Thessalonians 3:14, "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed."
9. Reject them...Titus 3:10, "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition, reject."
10. Be ye separate... 2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."

(Excerpt taken from Pastor John Walls message "What is helping to ruin America")

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Hope of Israel Baptist Mission

Please check out the above link for a wonderful ministry reaching out to the Jews around the world pointing them to Jesus Christ, the Messiah. I saw Bro. Fried several weeks ago at the National Sword of the Lord Conference in Walkertown, NC, and he is still busily raising funds to print a Hebrew-Russian New Testament prophecy bible to get into the hands of Russian Jews throughout the world. His mission work has already successfully printed a Hebrew-English New Testament and it has been distributed to thousands of Jews here in the US and around the world. His website has plenty of good material regarding Jewish news items and Jewish culture as well as biblical studies about the Jews.

We should not neglect the Jews in our daily witnessing for Jesus Christ. Here are some reasons for Jewish evangelism;

A. The Jews are still God's chosen people. Deut. 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
B. God still loves Israel. Deut. 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Isa. 49:16-16 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
C. There is only one way to be saved for both Jew and Gentile. John 3:18, 36 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
D. The Great Commission demands it. Matt. 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Isa. 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
E. The Blessing and the Curse. Gen. 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Why Run Buses???

The new church we joined when we moved to this area just over a year ago has a very active bus ministry, reaching thoughout the city and county of which our church is located. All three of my sons have been very active in this work.... getting up very early Sunday morning in order to get to church to begin the routes to pick up both children and adults for Sunday School and the morning worship service. Recently, Courtney (and sometimes Bethany) has been going with them on the return route taking the riders home after the morning service. Each of them enjoy being a friend to each individual bus rider, giving many love and encourgement that they don't often see at home. All the riders over time can sense the love each worker has for them personally, and the workers provide a living testimony of what Christ can do for those who truly allow Him to control their words and actions out in the world. They get back to church sometime after 2:00pm, after leaving our house at 7:00am each Sunday morning. Tiring?.... yes! Frustrating at times?.... yes! Time well spent?...... Definitely YES!!!

Pastor Danny Bezet from Victory Baptist Church in Baytown, TX recently posted this information on one of the mailing lists I read from time to time. Listen to some of his reasons for running buses.....


1 – BECAUSE – There are millions of children under the age of 12 that are without any spiritual knowledge or instruction.
2 – BECAUSE – Over 75% of children in America never attend Sunday School. These children are our future.
3 – BECAUSE – It costS the Church around $10,000.00 to get an adult saved and less that $1.00 to get a child saved.
4 – BECAUSE – To see a child saved is to see a soul saved and a life that can be lived for Christ.
5 – BECAUSE – What is learned in childhood is remembered is old age.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
6 – BECAUSE – Children need Jesus and we must seek them.
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? Matthew 18:11-12
7 – BECAUSE – Children are trustful, believing, teachable, and easily led to Christ OR AWAY FROM HIM.
8 – BECAUSE – Christ warns of the penalty for neglecting them.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 18:6-10
9 – BECAUSE“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14