Friday, September 29, 2006

Seven Deadly Sins of Believers

I recently read this article from The Flaming Torch ( and thought I would share it with those of you who frequent my blog. Have you have heard the same statements made in your own circle of friends and family as well as from others at church???


I am not referring to drunkenness, adultery, etc. There has been enough of that and it has caused great harm to the testimony of God and the ministry of the Church. The sins I am speaking of are often overlooked, but they have done more harm than all other sins of believers put together. The seven deadly sins are:

1. That's his interpretation, but I don't agree with it! This is deadly and I have heard my share of it. Of course, the person is speaking of the Pastor! This person never goes to the Pastor as the Bible tells him to do; in his arrogance, he just sets himself up as a greater authority and usually causes a church split.

2. Don't tell anyone, but . . . In 54 years, I have seen more injury to the Church through gossip than all other sins combined. This could be greatly minimized if God's people would just say to such a one, “Let's go to the person involved (usually the Pastor), and you can tell me in front of him.” That's what the Bible says. Unfortunately there are as many willing ears as there are loose tongues. God help them, because He is not happy with this.

3. No one is telling me what to believe, what to wear, what to look at, etc. No, that's right – not even God can tell some people. We are living in a day of unparalleled self will and arrogance. See II Timothy 3:1-5, The word of God still says, “Obey them that have the rule over you ...” (All of these sins are related to self-will.)

4. I know the Bible is against it, but I believe the Lord led me to do it. These people act as though they have a special dispensation from God to disobey His Word. You had better be careful! You are saying that God Himself is in complicity with sin and error! You are saying you are something special. You are very foolish!

5. Times change and the church needs to change with them. We are seeing this with a vengeance among Bible-believing Fundamentalists with churches closed Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, contemporary music, come-as-you-are dress, sensual dress, etc. This is how we got liberalism 125 years ago.

6. God understands . . . That is, what I am doing may not be just right, but my circumstances are different than others. Yes, He understands, and He also understands you are going to have to pay for your sin and disobedience, because “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” There is no reason to disobey God!

7. You have to be prudent and use common sense. While this may have some legitimacy, these people only want to believe or do what their puny minds conceive. A step of faith is beyond them. They won't attempt anything out of the ordinary, anything that requires trusting God rather than themselves. I have seen people like this poison others with their unbelief and thus do great harm and hold back the work of God.

Notice, all these sins have to do with the self-life. The greatest problem in the work of God is self. In fact, self cannot do the work of God – only hinder it. Christian, God is not happy with self-will and sowing discord among the brethren!

Is there a cure? Yes! “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

The problem is getting these self-willed babies to take the cure!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Survey of "Young Fundamentalists"

Republished September 26, 2006 (first published October 5, 2005) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

A survey of "Young Fundamentalists' Beliefs and Personal Life" was published this year, and it contains some interesting findings. The survey was done by Jason Janz, Assistant Pastor of Southern Sheridan Baptist Church of Lakewood, Colorado, Dave Burggraff of Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and Jerry Thacker of Right Ideas. It is available online at

For the purposes of the survey, a "young fundamentalist" is one who is under 35 years old. The survey was done entirely online between January 21 and February 14, 2005, and was extensive, containing 135 questions pertaining to life and doctrine. Roughly 1,100 surveys were completed. When analyzing the survey it is important to understand that it covers only a relatively small portion of "fundamentalism" and that it was not scientifically done. Responders were not selected personally by and contacted individually by those taking the survey, but word was sent out to a number of schools and organizations who were invited to participate. There was no attempt to obtain a scientific and across the board "sampling" of fundamentalism.

More than 90% of the responders are graduates of schools that have taken a clear stand against the defense of the KJV, with the largest representation (a full 79% of the total) from Bob Jones University (29%), Maranatha Baptist Bible College (22%), Northland Baptist Bible College (21%), Piedmont Baptist College (4%), Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary (3%). Obviously the teachers in these schools or in churches associated with these schools pushed the survey more heavily than those affiliated with other schools. Only about 4% of the responders graduated from a school that takes any sort of textual stand for the KJV, and of these, as best as I could tell from the published information, 3 out of 4 of these are graduates from Pensacola Christian College.

A majority of the responders grew up in a church that was affiliated either with the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship (FBF) (211), the Sword of the Lord (163), General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) (117), Baptist Bible Fellowship (BBF) (113), Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) (98), Presbyterian (68), or Southern Baptist (77).

Thus very few of the large number of truly unaffiliated independent Baptist churches were represented in the survey.

Many, if not most, of the largest fundamentalist churches in America are not represented in the survey.

Many of the fundamental Baptist schools are not represented at all, such as Fairhaven Baptist College, Crown College, West Coast Baptist College, Ambassador Baptist College, Landmark Baptist College, Heritage Baptist University, Maryland Baptist Bible College, Southeastern Fundamental Baptist College, Golden State Baptist College, Hyles-Anderson Baptist College, Massillon Baptist College, Heartland Baptist College, Baptist Bible College of Springfield, and Norris Bible Baptist College. As my readers know, I do not support some of these schools, but to obtain a more accurate sampling of what "young fundamentalists" believe, it would be necessary to include a much broader base of response, including these and other schools and institutions.

Further, there are hundreds and hundreds of fundamental Baptist churches that give little or no support to Bible colleges or mission boards or organized fellowships. A true sampling of "young fundamentalists" would have to find a way to include these staunchly fundamentalist and Biblicist assemblies. A pastor friend who looked over the survey observed, "The very fact that they focused on colleges is very telling to me. That is the 'bastion of fundamentalism' to them--the institution of higher education. I'm glad the Lord is interested in and at work through His churches." 1 Timothy 3:15 says it is the church which is the pillar and ground of the truth.

With these severe limitations in mind, therefore, we will examine the survey results.

Only 83% of the responders agreed with the statement that "the Bible is the inspired Word of God, not mistaken in its statements and teachings, and is to be taken literally, word for word." For 17% to refrain from agreeing with that statement is a serious matter.

5% of the responders believe that the Bible is "the inspired Word of God, not mistaken in its teachings, but is not always to be taken literally in its statements concerning matters of science, historical reporting, etc." This statement is not as carefully worded as it could have been, so that it is difficult to know exactly what these 5% were thinking. Did they think, perhaps, that the question was saying that the Bible is not always to be interpreted literally or that it uses language of "appearance" and such? Or do they actually believe that the Bible contains historical and scientific errors? If it is the latter, this is an extremely serious matter, even if it is only 5%. Even New Evangelicals such as the late Francis Schaeffer, Carl Henry, and Harold Lindsell believed that the infallible inspiration of the Scripture is the "watershed" of believing Christianity. Harold Lindsell testified that within a mere 10 years of its founding "neoevangelicalism ... was being assaulted from within by increasing skepticism with regard to biblical infallibility or inerrancy" (Lindsell, The Bible in the Balance, 1979, p. 319). New Evangelicalism was characterized by a rejection of separatism and an almost indefinable yearning for a more positive Christianity, which is exactly what we see among many of today's fundamental Baptists. I have warned that fundamentalists who adopt the New Evangelical philosophy will go down the same road of compromise and that it will produce the same unbelief, and I am convinced that we are already seeing evidence of this. I believe that if we could know the truth of the matter, there are professors at some of the fundamentalist schools that participated in this survey who do not believe the Bible is absolutely infallible in every detail and who are beginning to adopt form critical views of the Gospels and such. The late Edward F. Hills, who had a doctorate in modern textual criticism from Harvard, warned that the adoption of modern textual criticism eventually leads to modernism, that "lower" and "higher" criticism are companions.

12% of the responders believe "the Bible becomes the Word of God for a person when he reads it by faith." This, of course, is the heresy of Neo-Orthodoxy, unless, again, the responders did not understand the question's meaning and implications.

Only 1% agreed with the statement "we should separate from 'KJV only' organizations/ministries." It appears from this that very few take the more radical position that the defense of the KJV is a cultic and dangerous position, which is interesting.

Only 9% have read books on both sides of the Bible Version issue. This is very telling and it is largely the fault of the faculty of the aforementioned schools. It explains why there is such widespread ignorance of this issue and why a reasonable, non-Ruckmanite, textual-based defense of the KJV is so widely and persistently misunderstood and misrepresented. "Young fundamentalists" coming from the circles represented by this survey admit that they are not educated on this issue.

33.9% said they are unsure as to which text is "the best representation of the Greek New Testament." God inspired only one Bible and has promised to preserve it, and it is sad to see so many professing fundamentalists, who allegedly believe in infallible inspiration, unsure about where that Bible is located.

31% said the Textus Receptus is "the best representation of the Greek New Testament."
21.4% said the Westcott-Hort or the UBS or the Eclectic text is "the best representation."

13% either believe in annihilation or believe that hell is not a literal place and eternal in duration.
58% hold a Calvinist view of sovereign election, with another 8% unsure on the issue.
11% believe that a believer can achieve "a state of Christian perfectionism."

Only 79% claimed to be pre-millennial and post-tribulational; 14% hold either to the amillennial (8%) or postmillennial (5%) views.

When asked in question # 34 if their definition of fundamentalism includes "secondary separation from evangelicals," far more disagreed (about 590) than agreed (about 350).

A significant number said a "militant contention for the faith" is NOT a part of their definition of fundamentalism (roughly 360 out of the 1000 who responded to this question do not include that in their fundamentalism). It appears that there should be more messages on Jude 3 in the circles represented by this survey.

A significant number said "the philosophy of Rick Warren or Bill Hybels" is not an issue that determines whether or not one is a fundamentalist (roughly 395 said it is not an issue whereas about 500 said it is an issue).

48% of the responders disagreed with the statement "Fundamentalists need to preach against loose music standards."
70% disagreed with this statement: "One of the main problems within fundamentalism is the growing trend towards Calvinistic theology."

46% agreed that "John Piper's ministry has been a help to me" (which might help to explain the high number of Calvinists and the New Evangelical leanings among the responders).

A full one-half of the responders disagreed with this statement: "Unity and fellowship with other ministries and leaders must be based on unity in all matters of faith and doctrine." They disagreed with simple biblical statement!

62% agreed with the statement, "Fundamentalists have majored on the minors."
Only 55% agreed with this statement, "I am a convinced fundamentalist and I have no intention of ever leaving fundamentalism." Thus a whopping 45% of the responders are not convinced fundamentalists.
40% said, "I feel more at home with the likes of John Piper and John MacArthur than many fundamental leaders." Again, this is an extremely telling statement and the percentage agreeing with it is significant.

Only 14% agreed with this statement: "There is danger in much of the contemporary music today, and fundamentalists need to continue to hold the line." This is a truly amazing statistic. It means that 86%, the overwhelming majority, of the 1,100 "young fundamentalists" from the circles covered by the survey think that contemporary music is innocent to the future of fundamentalist churches and lives. This represents a degree of ignorance that I find incomprehensible. It appears that there are a large number of fundamentalist pastors who have a lot to answer for in allowing their people to remain so dangerously uneducated.

When asked what Bible they would use if they were to start a church, 55% said they would use something other than the KJV -- 22% said the NASV, 16% the NKJV, 13% the English Standard Version, and 4% the NIV.

35% admitted that they had personal Bible devotions 3 or fewer times during the past week.
Nearly as many of the responders said it is not wrong to attend R-rated movies as said it is wrong.
20% believe that drinking in moderation is permissible.

I can only thank the Lord that there are hundreds of fundamental Baptist churches that are not properly reflected in this survey.In reviewing the survey and my analysis, Dr. Thomas Strouse of the Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary observed: "It is obvious that the term 'fundamentalist' (coined out of Protestantism) does not necessarily mean NT Christian. It is an external, man-made movement promoted to a large degree by the BJU/FBF influence.
We need to focus on what we really are--independent NT Baptists."

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Why Does Jesus Hate???

My friend, Pastor David Reagan of Antioch Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN, recently answered a question submitted by someone viewing his web ministry, Learn the Bible (, which I thought I would pass along today on my blog. I hope it is a help to someone who needs to study their Bible more and not just listen to what others say about Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

Rev. 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Question: In the early chapters of Revelation, Jesus tells John to write to the seven churches, and the verse above is one of Jesus' statements to the church of Ephesus. Why does Jesus hate anything or anyone?

I can understand why it might at first be difficult to think of Jesus Christ as hating anything. For one thing, the emphasis found in the coming of Christ to earth is that this is the supreme expression of God's love to man. For another thing, modern "christianity" has defined the character of Jesus Christ in line more with what they want Him to be than with who He really was. The challenge is to return to the true biblical description of Jesus. Let's see if we can take a few steps in that direction by considering the ability of Jesus to hate and His actual practice of that hatred.
You have already answered the first question that most people ask: Does Jesus hate anything or anyone? The answer, of course, is yes. The verse you mention is clear, but we will see other proofs in a little bit. But let's look at the follow-up question: Why would Jesus hate anything or anyone? I would like to give several answers to that question.
1. First of all, Jesus hates because He is God and it is a characteristic of God that He hates that which is evil and eventuallythose who are evil. Just consider the following verses as evidence.
Psalm 5:4-5 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Jesus is divine and will have all the attributes of diety. One of those attributes is to hate that which is evil.
2. Righteousness requires that we hate certain things. Let me give an easy illustration. Would it be wrong to hate the sexual abuse of a young child? Of course not. Then why do we think that righteousness means only love and no hate. The Bible is full of instruction on this subject. Here are a few examples:
Psalm 26:5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
Psalm 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
There are more verses, but this should be enough. To be righteous, a saint should hate certain things. Jesus was absolutely righteous. Therefore, He hated these things.
3. Jesus even taught His disciples to hate certain things. Consider these verses:
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
If Jesus told His own disciples to hate certain things, then surely He practiced what He preached.
4. The Bible teaches both by direct statements and clear examples of His actions that Jesus hated certain things. Your example from Revelation 2:6 is one good example. Consider this one also:
Psalm 45:6-7 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
This passage is a prophecy about the coming of Jesus Christ. These verses are quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9 and are said to be said "unto the Son." There is therefore no question that this refers to Jesus. Yet, it says that Jesus hates wickedness.
Not only that, we see several examples of this in the Bible. Jesus Himself says this of false prophets, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew7:23). Certainly, this is a hatred of wickedness and a future hatred of those who follow after wickedness. But we also see examples of this side of Jesus during His earthly ministry. Consider this passage:
John 2:13-16 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up toJerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
Another example can be seen in the diatribe of Jesus against the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23. Here is just a sample. You might want to read the entire chapter.
Matthew 23:13-17 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofoldmore the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
This is not an expression of sweet love. Jesus was angry and He showed a vehement hatred of their ways.
In conclusion, the evidence is clear. Jesus hated and had reasons to hate. The question I have is: Why is it so difficult for people to imagine Jesus hating anything? I think the answer is that people today do not base their concept of Jesus on the Bible. They have created a Jesus in their own imagination. This is the Jesus of tradition and of man's imagination; not the Jesus of the Bible. The Bible tells us of this tendency to make Jesus into something He is not and warns us of those who come and preach "another Jesus" (2 Corinthians 11:4). The Jesus of popular conception is "another Jesus." He is more like Santa Claus (another invention of the human imagination) than the Jesus of the Bible. The answer is to get back to the Bible in order to understand who the true Jesus is and then to follow Him. Thank you for bringing this subject up.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Barrenness of a Busy Life

This was posted a few weeks back on another list, and the topic was mentioned earlier today in an email from my brother-in-law, so apparently, it seems that I should post this today. I pray that it can be a help to someone.

The Tragedy of Substituting Work for Worship

Satan called a worldwide convention. In the opening address to his evil spirits he said, "We can't keep true Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from having conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience with Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, read their Bibles, and have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time so they do not have time to have an intimate fellowship with Christ. This is what I want you to do: keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds."

How tragic it is that the devil has been so successful in getting so many believers to overextend themselves today in this world's pursuits to the neglect of fellowship with Christ. In the Song of Solomon 1:6, the writer laments, "they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard have I not kept.” While busily engaged in the maintenance of temporal affairs, he had forsaken His first love. Diligent in the cares of life, he had tragically neglected his own soul's nourishment.

Hudson Taylor warns of the danger of allowing the demands of this life to keep us from maintaining the vineyard of our fellowship with Christ. “Our attention is here drawn to a danger which is pre-eminently one of this day: the intense activity of our times may lead to zeal in service, to the neglect of personal communion. Such neglect will not only lessen the value of the service, but tend to incapacitate us for the higher service. Let us never forget that what we are is more important than what we do, and that an fruit when not abiding in Christ must be fruit of the flesh and not the Spirit As wounds when healed often leave a scar, so the sin of neglected communion may be forgiven and yet the effect remain permanently.”

The story is told about a spring whose waters had certain medicinal properties so that those who drank from it were helped in the cases of various ties. In the course of time, homes sprung up around the spring. Later, a hotel was built, then stores of all kinds. Eventually, a town grew into a city! Years passed. Then there came a day when visiting tourists would ask, "By the way, where is the spring from which this grew?" Dwellers of the city would rub their hands in embarrassment and say, "I am sorry that I cannot tell you, but, somehow, in the midst of all our progress and improvement we lost the spring and no one knows where it is."

Could it be that in the midst of all our ministerial progress we have lost the Spring from Whom it has grown? Is it possible that while we were boasting in the successes of our church growth strategies in the 1970s and 1980s we lost the divine Spring of His glory? Certainly we could not have been so consumed in the work of building our ecclesiastical kingdoms that we were negligent in worshipping the King of Kings? Vance Havner said it right when he warned, “There is nothing that crowds out the quiet hour any more than the very work that draws it's strength from the quiet hour."

I am convinced that it would do many a believer well to stop and evaluate whether he has been too busy for God. In spite of personal experience, giftedness, or past spiritual growth, no saint can weather the storms of this present age without daily withdrawing from this world of noise to get his heart strengthened in the presence of-God. Not even the most apt theologian can overcome the weakness of the flesh without having his soul renewed by Him that is altogether lovely in the secret place of prayer.

As that man of faith, George Mueller, put it, "Let none expect to gain mastery over his inward in any degree, without going in his weakness again and again to the Lord for strength. Nor will, prayer with others or conversing with the brethren make up for secret prayer."

May it be our resolve to make it our discipline each day to never entertain the presence of any man until we have met with God. I am persuaded that if worship is neglected we will hinder the work of Christ and trouble our brethren in the ministry. As Oswald Chambers cautioned, "Worshipping God is the great essential of fitness. If you have not been worshipping . . . when you get into the work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you." Let us be diligent to daily meet with the Master. -Don Currin

Friday, September 22, 2006

Defects in the Christian Character - Part 3

(Listed below is an outline taken from a preacher's (Cornelius Tyree) article in a publication written in 1859 regarding his concern about the defects he discerned within professing Christians of his day - I wonder what he would think of today's Christians???)

The prevalent DEFECTS in the Christian character—and how these defects operate against the spread of the Gospel;

1. We say in general, that the common type of Christian character is greatly lacking in PERSONAL HOLINESS.
2. Another prevalent and hurtful defect in the Christian character of this day is FICKLENESS.
3. Another defect in the religion of most professors is that they make PIETY SECONDARY to the interests of time and sense.
4. A lack of LOVE is another defect in the mass of Christians.
5. Another palpable defect in the present type of Christian character, is the lack of a CALM, SATISFIED, CHEERFUL SPIRIT.
6. Another marked defect in the majority of Christians of this age, is their lack of HUMILITY.
7. Another prominent delinquency in the Christian character, in its ordinary development, is SELF-INDULGENCE. The religion of Christ is a self-denying, cross-bearing religion. Hear the precepts of Christ: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." He preached self-denial, and He sacrificed Heaven and Himself for the world. He requires His disciples to be detached from the world. And how closely the first Christians trod in the self-denying steps of their Master! Property, reputation, personal ease, and friends—they joyfully surrendered for Christ. They counted all things but loss for Him and His salvation. They gave themselves to Him—who gave himself for them. Now there are thousands of modern professors who cannot help knowing that in this essential particular, their manner of living is utterly unlike that of Christ and His primitive followers. The mass of professors live for self-indulgence and self-advancement. They seem determined not to encumber themselves with more religion than will allow them to take the world along with them to heaven. The religion that many have, costs them nothing. Have not the churches been encumbered and weakened long enough with professors, who dream they can go to heaven without paying tribute to our divine King? From such professors the cause of Christ gains nothing and loses much. They misrepresent the Savior, mislead their children, discourage their brethren, and harden into hopeless impenitence, mankind around them. Alas, this is not the day for self-denying, devoted Christians! It is a day of too much prosperity. O for another great reformation!
8. Another defect in the common type of religion, is INACTIVITY. God never intended any servant of His, in any kingdom or rank, to be idle. Jesus Christ, our great model, did not sit down in Jerusalem and require those who needed His salvation to seek him out and wait His convenience; but with a holy industry He went about doing good. With a zeal as steady as time, with a perseverance that no opposition could turn aside, and with a singleness of purpose that neither men nor devils could frustrate or discourage, He continued to preach, pray, and travel—to reclaim the depraved, to deliver the oppressed, elevate the down-trodden, and comfort the distressed—until He finished His work on the cross. And how closely did the first disciples follow the example of their Master in this respect! In that day there were no lounging idlers in the vineyard. Action! action! for Him who died for us and rose again, was their life-long motto. They were Christians indeed. Heaven and earth acknowledged them such. Had the same mind to work been in all subsequent Christians, long before this, the millennium would have dawned on this dark world. But alas! most of the Christians that have lived since, have been engaged about almost everything else, rather than fulfilling the unrevoked command of their Lord—to exert themselves in conveying the gospel to every creature. To be a New Testament Christian it is not enough to possess and display the passive virtues, such as meekness, gentleness, patience and love. Every Christian is bound, in addition to being sound in the faith and consistent in life—to do all be can, by his hand, his mind, his voice, and estate—to spread the empire of his Redeemer. There are Christians enough in the world to place Christianity in the ascendant, if they all would only go out of themselves in efforts to enthrone Christ in the hearts of others. If all were as laborious for Christ as a few have been, in less than a century the entire race would be brought to the knowledge of Christ. Our religion must become incarnated, and take the form of action, or the world will never be impressed deeply with its divinity and importance.
9. Another deficit in most Christians, is their lack of symmetry; or, their LOPSIDEDNESS. Christianity, as it shines upon the pages of the Bible, is a perfect system. All beauty, all worth, all excellences, are so blended and intermingled with the rest, that the more we study His character, the more are we impressed with its perfection. But in the present generation of His disciples, we see in but few, any approximation to this feature of His character. In the great majority you will see some one or more of the Christian's traits, and be at the same time struck with the palpable absence of others. In some of their connections they serve God and reflect His truth; but in other relations equally important, they serve another master, and reflect his dark image. Before leaving the prevalent deficiencies in the Christian character, it may be well to point out the causes of this disproportionateness in the development of our faith. Many of these defects are produced by the partial and distorted exhibitions of the Christian system that are given in the creeds, sermons, and books of the different sects. The New Testament develops Christ's religion as consisting of faith in His atoning death, and imitation of His perfect character. But how deplorably is the latter feature of Christ overlooked by the evangelical pulpit and press! Hundreds of books have been written on Christ, as an atoning sacrifice; in all our long list of good books is there one formally on Christ the model? Sunday after Sunday our pulpits resound with sermons on the cross—and this is infinitely important; but how rare is Christ preached as our Pattern, Model and Example! Now the effect of all this has been to make Christians more like Christ in their sentiments and feelings—than in their life and conduct.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Defects in the Christian Character - Part 2

(Listed below is an outline taken from a preacher's (Cornelius Tyree) article in a publication written in 1859 regarding his concern about the defects he discerned within professing Christians of his day - I wonder what he would think of today's Christians???)

The prevalent DEFECTS in the Christian character—and how these defects operate against the spread of the Gospel;

1. We say in general, that the common type of Christian character is greatly lacking in PERSONAL HOLINESS.
2. Another prevalent and hurtful defect in the Christian character of this day is FICKLENESS.
3. Another defect in the religion of most professors is that they make PIETY SECONDARY to the interests of time and sense.
4. A lack of LOVE is another defect in the mass of Christians. Jesus Christ was an incarnation of love. Love to man, however dimmed and down-trodden, was the great passion that animated and impelled Him. The same undying compassion for the unsaved, was, in a great measure, possessed and manifested by the apostles. What intense, world-wide compassion still lives in their sermons, prayers, and epistles! They moved the world because they wore as a frontlet on their brow—the compassion of the cross. This is the religion that Christ and His apostles taught and exemplified, and the religion that the Scriptures record and require of all who would make good their claim to the Christian's name. But how distressingly unlike Christ and the primitive saints, in this particular, are the professors of this day! How unbrotherly toward each other, and how selfish, cold, and repelling, toward mankind around them! What bitterness between those who have one common Savior! What uncharitableness in their mutual bearing toward each other in the ministry! What petty quarrels and alienations between professors! What feud, strife and evil speaking in the churches! How unkind member toward member! The type of religion, then, that we need, must combine and display a due proportion of warmth as well as light. All Christians who have made their mark on the world, have had compassionate hearts and affectionate manners. The great need in the ministry is not more learning, nor polish, nor acquirements—but a deeper and intenser love for souls, to vitalize their matter and manner. In sum to Christians in all relations, love is indispensable in order to convert sinners from the error of their way.
5. Another palpable defect in the present type of Christian character, is the lack of a CALM, SATISFIED, CHEERFUL SPIRIT. The religion of Christ is a joyful religion. The gospel is glad tidings of great joy. Christianity is the most blissful theme in the universe. It did not create sin, woe, and death. Its mission is to remove these evils, and fill earth with gladness, and heaven with shouts of transport. It banishes unhappiness by removing its cause; and then awakens in the soul a positive, pure, ever-augmenting happiness. In whatever state the early saints were—they were content. In everything they gave thanks. If sorrowful, they were always rejoicing. They were cheerful in the house of their pilgrimage. They charmed the ear of a godless world by their songs of joy, as they walked on to the grave. But how have modern Christians deteriorated in this respect! "Some professors have long and demure faces, and are always sighing and groaning as if they were at a funeral." Others practically declare that their religion is not satisfactory—by going to the world for pleasures. They seem less calm and cheerful in the service of Him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light—than they did while in bondage to sin and Satan. Now such Christians greatly misrepresent their religion, and hinder the world's conversion. It is high time, then, that such mistaken views of heaven-born Christianity should be corrected. We owe it to deathless souls around us to be satisfied and cheerful Christians. Christian brother, repent of your past sadness, and the harm you have thereby done—and cheer up! For you, death has been abolished, hell conquered, and heaven purchased. For your good, God has pledged that all things shall work together. No, Christian brother! by your unhappiness you are wronging your Savior, your religion, yourself, and the world. Only just come up to your duty and high privilege, and make full proof of the blissful power of the gospel, and you will do more to spread our Lord's empire than all our books and sermons can do!
6. Another marked defect in the majority of Christians of this age, is their lack of HUMILITY. How fully and urgently do the Scriptures inculcate this virtue as an essential part of the religion of Christ! And then how strikingly was this grace displayed in our Model and Redeemer. He voluntarily chose the humblest life, the humblest associates, the humblest food, the humblest dress, the humblest manners, and died the most humiliating death. Now, in a good measure these precepts must be exemplified, and this trait in Christ's character imitated by all who would wear Christ's name. But is this feature of Christ's religion developed in the life and conduct of Christians? No! See how some, on account of their status, others on account of their wealth, others on account of their abilities, others on account of their high social position, and others on account of their distinction in the church of Christ—are puffed up with pride. How ambitious and haughty are many, who claim to be the ministers of Christ! Here there must be a reformation. The proud must be humbled. The meek and lowly disposition which was in Christ, and characterized all His early saints, must also be in and be exhibited by the disciples of Christ now, or they will never effectually carry out their high mission.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Defects in the Christian Character

(Listed below is an outline taken from a preacher's (Cornelius Tyree) article in a publication written in 1859 regarding his concern about the defects he discerned within professing Christians of his day - I wonder what he would think of today's Christians???)

The prevalent DEFECTS in the Christian character—and how these defects operate against the spread of the Gospel;

1. We say in general, that the common type of Christian character is greatly lacking in PERSONAL HOLINESS. Our religion on record—is a holy religion. It wages a war against all sin—great and small. It has no mantle to enwrap a small or fashionable sin under the guise of an infirmity. Take a few of the precepts of our religion as it is, in the oracles of God. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." And then witness how holiness was personified in its Author. Jesus was the embodiment of the holy precepts which He taught. He was a bright model of all His people should aim at and show. His manner of life corrects all in us that is wrong, whether of defect or excess. Now how far short do the mass of professing Christians fall, of exemplifying these precepts, and of copying Christ their great model! How unscriptural and un-Christlike are hundreds who name the name of Christ! What a marked difference in point of purity between the religion of the Bible and of Jesus, and the religion of most professors!
2. Another prevalent and hurtful defect in the Christian character of this day is FICKLENESS. The religion required of us in the Scriptures, and displayed by Christ, is a steady, uniform, life-long habit. The command is, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." Many Christians are half-hearted, transient, and fluctuating in their religion. Chameleonlike, they take a hue from every new condition they are placed in. They change with the times, vary with circumstances, and always conform to the company they are in. With the worldly they are worldly, and with the pious they are saints. Now, for the sake of God's honor and the world's good, this defect should at once be corrected. Every lover of Christ and the souls of men, should determine to be thoroughly and permanently pious.
3. Another defect in the religion of most professors is that they make PIETY SECONDARY to the interests of time and sense. The Scriptures, in the way of commands and examples, make the service of God, man's chief business beneath the sun. Paul did many things, but they all had a oneness of design. So of all the New Testament disciples. Their religion formed their theme, business, and character. Nay more—true religion was the great business of the Master Himself. And from the very nature of the case, if the religion of Christ is anything—it must be everything. If it is of any importance at all—it is of all importance. Man's chief end is not to buy, sell, and get gain, and then go and sleep an everlasting sleep in the grave; but it is to live that he may do good, and find an admission into Paradise when he dies. Everything else pales into insignificance in comparison with this. But how many, in this day, make the religion of Christ their "all and in all?" It is our painful conviction that many modern professors reverse the divine order, and sink their religion into an affair of subordinate importance. The language of their lives is that they prefer many worldly objects to the favor and honor of Christ. Who, in all the ranks of Christ's enemies, does as much against the truth as the church member who reads the corrupt romance more than his Bible; takes a deeper interest in the mirthful assembly, where God is forgotten, than he does in the prayer-meeting; and who manifests more zeal in promoting a political party than he does the church of Christ? This glaring defect in our Christian characters must be corrected; we must return to the first principles of the gospel—or disappointment and defeat will await all our efforts to convert the world. We must become people of one book.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Does Everyone Go to Heaven???

(Click the link above to view the complete article by Dave Daubenmire posted on News With Views; below are some excerpts from the article.)

You don’t hear much about hell anymore. It is not a very popular subject. In today’s “Who am I to judge” America, it is unusual to hear a pastor speak on this most important of all issues.

The recent abduction of two Fox News reporters by Palestinian extremists and their alleged conversion to Islam really caught the eye of the world. Many of the radio talk-shows focused on the “conversion” to Islam of Steve Centanni and his cameraman Olaf Wiig. I listened in amazement as I heard caller after caller explain why they too would have “converted” in order to save their skin. In a society where we worship entertainment and those who provide it, it is frightening that even those who call themselves “Christian” do not really understand what that term means. Is it possible to deny Christ and go to Heaven?

Hell is the farthest thing from the minds of Americans. In fact, I have heard the mantra many times that “this is hell right here on earth.” Funny, that isn’t what Christianity teaches. No, most “Christians” today think that they are going to go to Heaven because they are “a good person,” or they “go to church,” or they “try to do what is right,” or my favorite, “I was born a Christian.” How can any Christian study the Bible and come to that conclusion?

Right there is the answer. Christians today don’t study the Bible. They take for granted what others have told them about it. The crucifixion of Christ, the central event of Christianity, is not understood by most church goers. Christ died to save us from our sins and an ultimate eternity in Hell. That message is lost on most Christians today.

The American culture today is hell-bent (sorry) on convincing you that “I’m OK, you’re OK,” when in fact we are not. America is sick because Americans are sick. We are sin-sick, whistling past the graveyard, oblivious to the impending doom waiting at the end of our journey. We are a nation of “Christians” careening towards hell….truly living our best life now. Not concerned about eternal life? How about eternal death? Sorry, but someone has to speak the Truth.

If you really knew Christ you would never deny him. If you are merely following a religion then you are not a Christian. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. Would converting to Islam to save this life really be worth it? Would you trade an eternity in Hell for a few more years now? What if Steve Centanni had been beheaded after he converted?

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. I think He meant it.

Do you KNOW Him? Have you received Him into your heart, or are you burdened down with a “moral code” that you can never quite live up to?

Yep. Everyone is going to Heaven. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to stay. Death waits us all at the end of this earthly journey.

Hell is real. What will you do with Jesus?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Wallet Worship

We are in a worship service.
We have worshiped through singing.
We have worshiped through praying.
We have worshiped by reading the Scriptures.
We have worshiped by listening to special music.
We are worshiping by listening and responding to the preaching of God's Word.
There was another act of worship in our service.
This act of worship is probably the most unpopular.
This act of worship is one that most do not want the pastor to talk about.
This act of worship is done with your wallet.
That's why I have entitled the sermon, "Wallet Worship".

I would like us to consider three things about worshiping God by Giving to His work.

Why should I part with my hard-earned money? Why should I put more than a token gift in the offering plate? There are, of course, many reasons. Here are three:

1. Gratitude
When you give, to whom are you giving? Are you giving to the church, the pastor, the missionary, the Sunday School, or the building fund? No! When you give in worship, you are giving to the Lord! The church, the pastor, the missionary, the Sunday School and/or the building fund will benefit, but your giving should be to God.

If you know Christ as Savior, you're giving is out of gratitude for what He has done for you. See Ephesians 2:4-10 to see what He's done for us.

2. Ownership
Psalm 24:1-2 - Because of creation God owns everything. Because of creation God owns your possessions. Because of creation God owns you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 shows us that God has an even greater hold on us as Christians. Because of what God has done for us, he owns us. He should be allowed to use those things he has entrusted into my care.

3. Dedication
Romans 12:1 - If my body is a living sacrifice, that means that all I have and all I am His. If what I have is that with he has entrusted to my keeping, I am responsible to properly use it.

Wallet worship is wrong when we worship our wallets, instead of worshiping with our wallets. 1 Timothy 6:10
The wrong kinds of Wallet Worship include:

1. Being Selfish
Another word for it is "stingy". You want to be "comfortable", without regard to helping others. Luke 12:16-21

2. Being Scared
Many of you never started giving generously to God when you were young. Now you are afraid that you cannot afford to tithe or to give above the tithe to missions. You are afraid that ends will not meet. Our Lord answers this concern in Matthew 6:19-21, 31-33.

3. Being Sneaky
Some folks who talk the most about giving end up giving the least. Some will even try to deceive others about the amount of their contribution to the Lord's work. Acts 5:1-11

Here are four different principles to apply for the right kind of worship with the wallet.

1. THE ABRAHAM PRINCIPLE - Genesis 14:18-20
Abraham demonstrates the giving of the tithe.
There was no law as yet about giving when Abraham did this.
But Abraham gave willingly, gratefully, systematically, and generously to the Lord's work.
If Abraham considered the tithe as fitting, shouldn't we at least make that our minimum gift?

The principle is to simply not to rob God! I think of the tithe as those, that we would give to the local church and the offerings are those gifts that are over and above the tithe. Often these gifts go to support missionaries. God promises blessing when we give properly. Malachi 3:10-11

3. THE WIDOW PRINCIPLE - Mark 12:41-44
Jesus is more impressed with the percentage of the gift (In this case it was 100%!), that he is the amount of the gift.

4. THE PAUL PRINCIPLE - 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Paul reminds us that we will reap in proportion to how much we sow. Vs. 6
We are to give purposefully, willingly, and cheerfully. Vs. 7
When that is done, there will be no lack. Vs. 8

(This sermon outline is by Pastor Jack Peters from his Sermon Seeds ministry.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sinful Praying - When Praying is Wrong

(Pastor Mike Walls posted this short message on another mailing list earlier this week; prayer is probably the most neglected practice in our Christian walk, so I thought that this post would be interesting for others to read and compare vs. their own private prayer practice. Lord, please teach me how to improve my own prayer life!!!)


Most praying is sinful. No, this is not a typo. The staggering fact is not all prayer is good. Most, if not all, religions embrace a lofty concept of prayer. But prayer, in and of itself, is not necessarily good. Wrong praying is just as sinful as not praying at all.

The lost art of biblical prayer is so rarely practiced that hardly anybody would ever think prayer could be sinful. But the psalmist writes, "How long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?" (Ps. 80:4). Here God was not angry because they didn't pray. God was angry because of the prayer they offered Him. Moreover, David says of the wicked, "Let his prayer become sin" (Ps. 109:7). The true and living God is not pleased with all prayer. He is even angry at some prayers. Let's examine some types of sinful praying.


Many individuals and churches that were once on their faces before God have now turned their backs to God! Such was the case in Ezekiel 8. There were 25 men in the inner court of the Lord's house "with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun" (v. 16). While their bodies were in the inner court of the Lord's house, their hearts were set on idolatry. These men were in the right location, but they were facing the wrong direction. They had turned their backs toward God.

God said to the idolatrous Israelites in Jeremiah 2, "They have turned their back unto me, and not their face" (v. 27). The essence of idolatry is setting one's gaze on something other than God. Such was the case at the foot of Sinai when Israel worshipped the golden calf. Moses' face shone with radiance because he had looked on the glory of God on the mount. In contrast, the calf worshippers turned their backs to God. Lot's wife, in order to look back at Sodom, had to turn her face from the Godward direction and directive. Desiring Sodom rather than God, she was turned to a pillar of salt.

How often do we show much love with our mouths, but our hearts are far from God? Our talk talks and our walk talks, but our walk talks louder than our talk talks! To pray while defying God's commands and ignoring His standards, hoping that God will overlook disobedience, is to turn our backs to God. This is SINFUL PRAYING!


Our Lord denounced the hypocrites who loved to pray "in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men" (Matt. 6:5). Jesus taught that prayer is for the closet (secret place), not the concourse. I wonder if a lot of the praying on the Capitol steps is really more about hoping the television networks will lay down on tape our kneeling frames for the evening broadcasts than prevailing with God?

I have attended very few "Prayer Breakfasts" that were really concerned about making contact with heaven's throne. Most, if not all, were concerned about making a political statement, impressing others with a worthy cause, drawing attention to an agenda, or just plain making a "fair show in the flesh" (Gal. 6:12).

One reason local church prayer meetings have fallen on hard times is because it is impossible to have meaningful public prayer corporately when there is little or no private time of prayer alone. To pray in public while neglecting private prayer is SINFUL PRAYING.


There is a time to pray. There are also times when prayer is sin. Prayer is never a substitute for obedience. Joshua and the elders of Israel were moaning and complaining before God after the Israelites were defeated at Ai. They were putting on quite a show tearing their sackclothes, throwing dust in the air, and griping to God. God broke in on this spectacle and said to Joshua, "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned" (Josh. 7:10-11).

God's people were defeated because Achan had partaken of the accursed (forbidden) thing. Disobedience in the camp, disobedience in the church, and disobedience in the heart hinder the blessing of God. More prayer was not the remedy on this occassion. Their great need was to get the sin out of the camp!

-Harold Vaughan

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rightly Dividing the Word of God

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (KJV)

In seminary I learned about not bending the word of God. Bending the word of God is taking a verse of scripture out of its own context and using it wrongly. By bending the word of God it is possible to take a verse or passage of scripture out of the bible and use them to establish a doctrine that is not true. It is not only possible to create a false doctrine by bending scripture; it is common for people to pull a verse of scripture out of the bible to support what they want the bible to say. People who do this has most likely never read the Bible from cover to cover to understand its complete context, but have only read passages of scripture in isolation from the whole of the word of God. Bending scriptures is a shameful act, and those who bend the word of God should be ashamed of taking scripture out of context and using it to defend a wrong belief.

Bending the word of God to support a wrong belief also causes other scripture to seem to be in contradiction with itself. When this happens we make excuses for the conflicting passages of scripture. When addressing this issue with a person by pointing out his wrong beliefs I showed him a verse of scripture that was in disagreement with what he believed. He made the excuse that the Apostle Paul only wrote that particular passage of scripture to stress a point but he didn't really mean what he wrote. The word of God does not contradict itself and the Apostle Paul meant everything he wrote.

One of the ways we know that we are interpreting scripture is when we can back it up with other supporting scripture. When scripture appears to contradict itself then our interpretation is wrong. Instead of trying to defend our wrong beliefs by bending scripture and making excuses for contradicting verses, we must bend our beliefs to line up with the truth of the word of God.

The Apostle Paul says study to show yourself approved unto God. Don't just read a verse here or read a verse there. Don't just read passages of scripture in isolation from the whole of the word of God. Don't just listen to what others teach you about the Bible, but read it from the beginning to the end and read it over and over again. In studying the word of God we must clear our minds of our own ideas of what the Bible says and allow the word of God reveal its truths to us. If we go about studying the word of God with the intentions of using the scriptures to support our wrong beliefs, then we are not studying to show ourselves approved unto God. But if we clear our minds of our own beliefs, if we approach the word of God with a teachable spirit, then we will be able to study the word of God and be able to rightly divide the word of truth.

"Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

(Taken from a devotional thought by Rev. Alan R. Northam on 1/21/04)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Favor of God

Pastor David Reagan of Antioch Baptist Church and the web ministry recently answered this question from a web visitor on his site. I don't know about you, but I truly desire to have the favor of God upon my life!!!

What does having God's favor mean? or the favor of God mean?

To favor means to give special regard to; to treat with goodwill; to show exceptional kindness to someone. Sometimes, it means to show extra kindness in comparison to the treatment of others; that is, preferential treatment. Deuteronomy 28:50 warns of judgment by a "nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young." Though it is natural for us to favor the young in times of affliction or judgment, this nation will not give such favor.Esther received royal favor above all the other virgins (Esther 2:17). It is from this use of favor that we get the word, favorite. The greatest favors are shown to the favorite.

However, favor is not always used in a comparative way toward others. It sometimes simply means that the one favored is shown kindness and treated with a generosity and goodwill far beyond what would normally be expected. This is generally the favor that we receive from the Lord. We are treated much better than we could expect. Of course, every believer is favored to some degree. Therefore, we must understand God's favor in degrees. The more we please God, the more we will be favored by Him. Also, it is important not to think of this favor in material or worldly terms. God's favor most likely will be given in spiritual blessings more than in material blessings. Here are some of the ways by which we obtain the favor of the Lord:

1. By praying unto the Lord (Job 33:26).
2. By keeping the commandments of the Lord (Proverbs 3:1-4).
3. By seeking and finding God's wisdom (Proverbs 8:35).
4. By diligently seeking good (Proverbs 11:27; 12:2).
5. By living righteously (Proverbs 14:9).

There are many benefits of being in the favor of the Lord. Here are some of them:

1. Our petitions are more likely to be granted (Esther 7:3).
2. God will compass us with a shield (Psalm 5:12).
3. We will receive life (Psalm 30:5).
4. Our enemies will not triumph over us (Psalm 41:11).
5. God will show mercy (Psalm 119:58).

We can grow in favor both with God and with man- as did the child Samuel (1Samuel 2:26) and the child Jesus (Luke 2:52). The phrase, to find favor in the eyes of, or, in the sight of, came from the Old Testament. Every saint of God should desire and seek to have favor in the eyes of the Lord. We grow in that favor as we faithfully live for the Lord.

However, this should not be looked upon as some sort of secret formula for getting everything we want. For purposes of His own, God sometimes takes those He loves through special trials. Job is the primary example but similar instances happen in the lives of many. However, if we continually draw closer to the Lord, we will come to dwell in His favor and in His favor is life (Psalm 30:5).

Saturday, September 02, 2006

No Child Left Behind

My friend Ray Perdue posted the following message from Thru The Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee earlier this week on another email list; I believe J. Vernon McGee's programs were taped in the late 60's and early 70's, although you can still find them aired on many Christian radio stations. I find his comments right on target, and wonder today many years later if we as Christian parents are heeding his warning!!!

And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. (Exodus 10:8-11)

Pharaoh told Moses that the adults could go into the wilderness and sacrifice but they were to go without the children. Pharaoh suspected, undoubtedly, that if Israel would go three days' journey into the wilderness they would keep going. He wants to stop them, and he knows that if he keeps the children, the adults will come back.

Just as Pharaoh tempted and tested Moses with compromise, so the child of God today is tempted with compromise. Children all across the country are being brought up in an educational system that is absolutely contrary to the teachings of Christianity. The child of God is told that he must learn to get along in the world, make all the money he can, and get involved in the world. I have been a pastor for over thirty years, and again and again I have seen Christian parents want the best for their children. They want them to have the best education. They want them to succeed and be rich. One after another has fallen and departed from the Lord. Many members of churches I have served have lost their children to the world. Wanting the "best" of the world for their children is the most subtle temptation that can come to Christian parents.

What do you expect, my friends, when you send your children to these worldly institutions and they come home thoroughly brain-washed? Why do you say, "My, how could he do that when he was brought up in a Christian home?" The problem is that he was not actually raised in a Christian home. The parents of many young people may be lovely Christian people but they did not really train their children in Christian precepts and values. They were so anxious and ambitious for them to get on in the world that they lost them.

Moses and Aaron would not accept Pharaoh's compromise. There is a lesson here for the modern-day Christian. God called Israel to leave Egypt "lock, stock, and barrel." The children were not to be left in Egypt to be raised in their educational system. If we expect to bring our children up in the wisdom of the world and expect them to pour all of their energies into becoming successful, we should also be prepared to lose them to the world.

From Edited Messages on Exodus by J. Vernon McGee