Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Compromise: An amicable agreement between parties in controversy, to settle their differences by mutual concession. A concession to something that is harmful or depreciative.
Conviction: A fixed or strong belief.
Unity: The state or quality of being in accord; harmony. Singleness of purpose or action; continuity.

Compromise in man's relationships with each other is a necessary means of living together in an imperfect society. Concessions are made every day by all of us, and we are admonished in the word of God to make them. The Scripture instructs us in Romans 12:18 "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

That means giving in to get along. So, what is all this about compromise in the church? Well, while compromise is a necessary evil that we all must live with while we live among each other, there is one person in the universe with whom we cannot compromise. God Almighty will not compromise with you or with anyone else. Real compromise is always at the expense of something one desires to do, or what one believes. In the case of Christians, there is the matter of convictions: A fixed or strong belief. We are being asked to give up convictions and to compromise for the sake of unity.

We hear among believers today the catch-phrase "doctrine divides". We will agree with that. Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34. He was totally uncompromising with those of his time. It was either his way, or not at all. What a narrow minded bigot! How could anyone say "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. He is God. His doctrine was divisive. He was uncompromising and got himself crucified for it. It is unpopular. Doctrine divides! Is then doctrine important, or should it give way to believers all getting together under the banner of "love"?

Let's see what the Scripture says:
Luke 4:32 "And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power." Christ's doctrine astonished those of his day, not only because it was delivered in power, but because it was radically different than the "status quo" of the religious world.
John 7:16 "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." He stated flatly that the doctrine he preached was from above. With him there was no room to compromise. He was not interested in "getting along" with his religious contemporaries. He was interested in pleasing his Father.
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Paul's admonition to young Timothy was to give attention to doctrine. Yes, that horrible item was an absolute essential for Timothy in his ministry.
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. It is clear that in order to do God's will, it is essential to learn sound doctrine.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. These elders were honored because they laboured in the Word and doctrine. I am sure they would be labeled Bible Believing independent Baptists now-a-days. They refused to compromise in this most important arena.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Here we discover that one of the purposes of God inspiring the Holy Scriptures was to profit us with his doctrine. It is PROFITABLE!
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. The word of God is to be preached and doctrine is its cornerstone.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; Aha! Have we discovered anything yet? We live in the time spoken of. Men will not endure sound doctrine. They (get it!) HEAP to themselves teachers. How is this done? Through the medium of television. They are instructed to disregard doctrine. They are told to emphasize the things they have in common.
Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Sound doctrine is necessary to exhort or teach.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: Last, but not least, there should be doctrine, and it should be "sound". Sound as in: "free from defect, decay or damage; deserving confidence, trustworthy." (Websters II Riverside University Dictionary)

A unity based on compromising strong belief is a shallow, fragile and ungodly unity. Believers (if they are really true believers at all) are selling God out (compromise) for the sake of an unscriptural unity. In the sixties and seventies, the ecumenical movement paved the way for the present-day fountain of all compromise, the charismatic movement. Those involved may be truly born again Christians. They may be sincere. They view the divisions among Christians as an evidence of Satan's work. They have found one "experience" they all have in common, regardless of their differing "theological positions" that unites them all. That experience is the so-called baptism of the Holy Ghost with the accompanying speaking in tongues. Once someone has "received" the "Holy Ghost" and spoken in tongues, their Christianity has been validated. No matter if they are Roman Catholic, Assembly of God, Lutheran, Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, or even Mormon. All variety's of belief are now acceptable if one has had the "experience"! This unholy alliance will eventually be responsible for damning the souls of millions, as members of the Roman Catholic Church are accepted in the "Evangelical" community as true believers. Their unscriptural doctrines and false gospel will not bring them safely home to God, but will lead them down to hell. Revelation, chapter 17 discloses a city harboring a religious system that deceives the whole world! The apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:17,18 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." John the human author of the book of Revelation says in Revelation 18:4,5 "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."

This present day church is pictured for us in Revelation 3:14-20. Read it carefully. "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

What is he saying? He is standing at the door of his Church, the present 20th century apostate church, and asking if there is anyone there who desires truth, holiness and godliness. If you will open the door he will come and fellowship with you in spite of the wickedness of the remainder of his saints. Will you?

Compromise is the great wickedness of the present day church. We have not written the above to pretend we are any better than anyone else. We are simply sinners saved by the grace of Almighty God, with a great desire to lead God's people out of the apostasy of these wicked times into a sweeter fellowship with Christ, based on obedience to the truths revealed in his Holy Word.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The New Testament in the First Century

(Listed below is an excerpt from the October 16, 2006 edition of the Fundamental Baptist Information Service published by David Cloud and Way of Life Literature. I have detailed the first item of seven important things regarding the N.T. in the First Century. Additional information can be found at www.wayoflife.org)

The following is an excerpt from the 775-page "Faith vs. the Modern Bible Versions," available from Way of Life Literature. In the following material we cover the inspiration and canonization of the New Testament. The Roman Catholic Church claims that it gave us the Bible, but a careful study of the early history of the New Testament and a simple comparison of the churches described in the New Testament with that of Rome overthrows this ridiculous doctrine.

Every believer should be informed of the following seven important things that occurred in the first century.


Jesus Christ received words from God the Father (Jn. 17:8) and He promised that those words would not pass away (Mat. 24:35). He further promised that the Holy Spirit would guide the apostles into all truth, would bring things to their remembrance, and would show them things to come (Jn. 14:25-26; 16:12-13). Thus, the apostles and prophets who wrote the New Testament did not have to depend upon their fallible human devices. Edward Hills wisely observes: "The New Testament contains the words that Christ brought down from heaven for the salvation of His people and now remain inscribed in holy Writ. ... For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in heaven (Ps. 119:89). Although the Scriptures were written during a definite historical period, they are not the product of that period but of the eternal plan of God. When God designed the holy Scriptures in eternity, He had the whole sweep of human history in view. Hence the Scriptures are forever relevant. Their message can never be outgrown. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever (Isa. 40:8)."

The N.T. was inspired in its words. Paul said this in 1 Cor. 2:9-13 ("the words" v. 13). When Timothy was instructed to keep the commandment "without spot" (1 Tim. 6:14) Paul was reminding him that every detail of the New Testament is inspired and authoritative.

The Gospels and the Apostolic Epistles were recognized as the Word of God from the beginning. Contemporary books on the history of the Bible commonly state that the authors of the New Testament did not know that they were writing scripture and refer to the reception of the New Testament as scripture as something that was haphazard and that took a long time. We must understand that most books on the history of the Bible in the past 100 and more years were written by men who have been infected deeply with the skepticism that has permeated biblical scholarship since the late 19th century.

Consider the following statements from the Bible itself that prove that the writers of the New Testament understood that they were writing by inspiration and that the New Testament books were recognized as the Word of God by the apostolic churches.
(1) Paul considered his writings to be authoritative, the very words of God (1 Cor. 11:2; 14:37; Gal. 1:11-12; Col. 1:25-26, 28; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14).
(2) Paul expected his writings to be circulated from church to church (Gal. 1:2; Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27).
(3) Paul stated that Scripture was being written by the New Testament prophets by divine revelation under inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 16:25-26; 1 Cor. 2:6-16; Eph. 3:4-5).
(4) Peter said that the word being preached by the apostles was the word of God (1 Pet. 1:25).
(5) Peter put the commandments of the apostles on the same level as that of the Old Testament prophets (2 Pet. 3:2). A Jew would not have dared to make such a claim if he were not convinced that the apostolic writings were Holy Scripture, because he looked upon the Old Testament prophets as the very oracles of God.
(6) Peter calls the epistles of Paul Scripture and puts them on the same level as the Old Testament (2 Pet. 3:15-16). "Although some [of Paul's epistles] had been out for perhaps fifteen years, the ink was scarcely dry on others, and perhaps 2 Timothy had not yet been penned when Peter wrote. Paul's writings were recognized and declared by apostolic authority to be Scripture as soon as they appeared" (Wilbur Pickering).
(7) The book of Revelation was written as the prophetic Word of God (Rev. 1:3; 21:5; 22:18-19).
(8) Luke claimed perfect understanding of the things of the Gospel, which can only come by divine revelation (Luke 1:3). Luke is either making a vain boast or he is claiming inspiration.
(9) Paul quotes from the Gospel of Luke and calls it Scripture, putting it on the same level as Deuteronomy (compare 1 Tim. 5:18; Deut. 25:4; Lk. 10:7). Wilbur Pickering observes: "Taking the traditional and conservative point of view, 1 Timothy is generally thought to have been written within five years after Luke. Luke was recognized and declared by apostolic authority to be Scripture as soon as it came off the press, so to speak" (The Identity of the New Testament Text, chapter 5).
(10) In warning the believers of false teachers, Jude refers to the "words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 17). He holds these words up as the divine standard.
(11) John held up the teaching of the apostles as the absolute standard of Truth (1 John 4:6).


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why Doctrine Instead of Theology???

(This is an excerpt from an article written by Pastor David Reagan; the full article can be found by following the link found above.)

This study consciously and purposely deals with the doctrine of God instead of the theology of God; or, Theology Proper. The reason for this approach is based on the meaning of the two words and the approaches they tend to describe. To understand this distinction, we need to define the words.

Simply put, doctrine is defined as that which is taught. Bible doctrine would then be those things which are taught in the Bible. The word, doctrine, is used 56 times in the Bible. The Bible teaches that doctrine has three common sources: man, devils, and God. We are to avoid the doctrines of men (Colossians 2:22) and the doctrines of devils (1Timothy 4:1) and rely fully on the doctrine of God. This doctrine is often called “sound doctrine” (1Timothy 1:10; 2Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1). It is the doctrine that proceeds directly from the words of the Bible: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine…” (2Timothy 3:16); the “faithful word” enables us “by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).

Theology, on the other hand, is the study of God. Although it comes from the Greek words for God and study (or word), it is not a Bible word. Because theology is often used to refer to a large range of Bible-related subjects, the specific study of God is sometimes called Theology Proper. Many people do not see the difference between doctrine and theology. However, there is a substantial difference in how the two are developed in a practical way and it is important that we make the distinction.

Bible doctrine is the teaching that comes directly out of the word of God and is founded on the very words of God. To teach doctrine is to begin with full faith in the words of the Bible, to dig out all that the Bible says about a subject, and to organize that material in the way that best agrees with the approach God Himself makes on the subject.

Theology, by its nature, puts greater emphasis on logical systems built by man. Theology tends to begin with the system and then go to scripture for support, while doctrine begins with the scriptures and allows it to develop its own logic as much as possible. Theology in itself is not evil and much that has come to us by way of theology helps us to see God’s truth. However, theology is too often undergirded with human philosophy and reasoning. Even doctrinal studies lean on human understanding too quickly. However, when the student begins with the idea of developing an intellectual system of theology, the dangers are greater and the study more quickly moves away from the plain teaching of scripture.

For these reasons, this study is approached as a study in Bible doctrine and not the development of a theological system. We cannot fully avoid human systems of understanding, but we can start with a prejudice against them in favor of the plain teachings found in the Bible. We can look for the biblical structure of truth before imposing systems of the intellect. We can seek to keep the necessary human outlines as simple as they reasonably can be. We can lean heavily to Bible patterns of thought and organization. This is what is attempted in this study. Where we fail, we fail because of human frailty and not because of prejudice against God’s holy word.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

God's Inspired Word

[This is written by Dr. James H. Brookes (1830-1897)]

REMEMBER WHAT the Word of God does for us, and then think of the daring presumption of the man who tells the people that it contains numerous “errors and mistakes”.

By it we are begotten - “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18)

By it we grow - “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2).

By it our souls are saved - “...receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21).

By it we are wise unto salvation - “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” (IITim.3:15).

By it we are cleansed - “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3).

By it we are sanctified - “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

By it we are built up - “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32).

By it we are washed - “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Eph.5:25-26).

By it we are defended against spiritual wickedness -“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

By it we are kept from the paths of the destroyer -“Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” (Psa. 17:4).

By it our path through life is lighted up - “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psa. 119:105).

By it we are made to rejoice - “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16).

By it we are warned - “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psa.19:11).

By it obstacles are removed and scattered - “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29).

By it the secrets of all hearts are revealed - “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).

By it every blessing that comes from the hand of our Father is made sacred - “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (I Tim.4:5).

By it an all-sufficient and only rule of faith and practice is provided - “...If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:31).

By it unbelievers are to be judged - “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John12:48).

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wanted: Faithful Men by Pastor Bobby Mitchell

There is an incredible famine of faithfulness in these days. Many churches could take Proverbs 20:6 as their theme verse— “Most men will proclaim every man his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” Thank God that the Apostle Paul found one in Timothy. To that young preacher Paul issued the following command from the Holy Ghost: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

Every God-called, Spirit-led pastor desires to commit the truth to “faithful men.” But, the sad fact is that there are few that qualify for the training! Many that profess Christ are unfaithful men— unfaithful to the Word, the work, the war, the worship of God, and some are even unfaithful to their wives. Here’s a challenge, sir— BE A FAITHFUL MAN!

A faithful man is one who has first been REGENERATED. He has been born again of the Holy Spirit. What about you—was there a time when the Holy Ghost of God REPROVED you of your sinfulness, REBUKED you of your ungodliness, and you RESPONDED by REPENTING and RECEIVING the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? Only the saved man can qualify for this holy designation of “faithful men.”

He is also one who RECEIVES the Word of God. Too many are REJECTING, REWRITING, REARRANGING, RECONSTRUCTING, and REINVENTING the Word of God. But, “faithful men” will not go that route! The faithful man doesn’t get mad at the truth-telling preacher either. Like the Berean Christians of Acts 17:10,11 he RECEIVES the Word of God as it is preached, RESEARCHES the message with the Scriptures, and then REACHES a conclusion about what God’s man has declared.

The faithful man allows his pastor to “commit” the truth to him! He is humble and takes time to be taught the Word and treasures it in his heart. He is not “carried about by every wind of doctrine” because he RETAINS the truth. In other words, he sticks with, stands for, and strives about the truth.

That last part of 2 Timothy 2:2 is where it really gets good. When a man is REGENERATED, RECEIVES the Word of God, and RETAINS it, he is at the place where he can be used of God to REPEAT it to others. He is “able to teach others also.” The work of God goes forward mightily as men develop into “faithful men.” Sinners are sought, the seed is sown, souls are saved, and saints are settled as faithful men continue the wonderful process of preaching the Word of God in the power of the Holy Ghost.

Sir, don’t allow the famine of faithfulness to famish your family and assembly. Before God Almighty, and for His glory and honour, commit by His grace to be a faithful man from this day forward.

Pastor Bobby Mitchell
Mid-Coast Baptist Church
Brunswick, Maine

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Religious Double-Talk

"Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech." 2 Corinthians 3:12

No true Christian hides behind religious ceremony and mysterious terminology when declaring what he or she believes, because their faith has been already fully declared in the clear wording of the Bible. People today however have become used to something called "double-speak" when it comes to God, and anything that is related to God. To be clear, double-speak is the use of "deliberately ambiguous or evasive language." In other words, it is when a person uses the art of "waffling." You never know what they are really saying. Politicians are great at employing this art of "evasive speech" that basically has no meaning. They know how to talk out of both sides of their mouth. To one person they may say one thing, and then to another person they say something quite different. And when challenged, they steer quite clear of defining what they mean. This art however, has taken hold today on the hearts and minds of people when it comes to God and truth. The fact is, people today do a lot of talking about God, but fewer and fewer believe that He even exists, or even cares about this planet anymore.

The Art of Manipulation

What has happened is that people have gotten into the very same habit that politicians get caught up in - using words only to their own advantage. Words no longer have distinct meaning. Instead, everything now is only meant to impress the hearer, and not to convey any real information. The goal is pure manipulation!

It is this double-speak that saturates people's references to the Bible nowadays. The modern 90's educated example of humanity willfully subjugates the Bible to his or her own advantage, all-the-while, never believing it! Its called, "Using the Bible, but never believing it!" For example, have you noticed how that people are quick to give a Bible as a gift at weddings and baptisms, and yet would never expect it to be read, much less believed? Isn't that strange?

People also have a habit of reading Bible stories to children, and expecting them to believe them (as a child), but would never expect a "thinking adult" to go along with those so called "mythological" bed-time stories!

And then there is the person who is always quick to quote "Judge not, that ye be not judged..." from Matthew 7:1 in the Bible when someone points out a certain problem in their life. These kind of people only quote Scripture to their own advantage - in order to protect their sins. They know what source to use, but they would never be caught obeying the rest of the Bible!

One last thing. Have you ever noticed people reminding others how that "even Jesus made water into wine" just so that they could justify their regular trek down to the favourite pub?! The problem is, they haven't a clue what they are talking about, yet they act like that reference to a Scriptural account should settle the matter forever! These are hypocrites of the grandest sort! Hypocrites who only USE words for their own advantage. This use of God's word is like a wolf using sheep's clothing - to get the sheep!

Isn't it amazing that entire religions will USE the Bible as the authority for their existence, and yet at the end of the day, they are only USING it to get your submission to THEM, and not to God! To test this statement, ask ANY theologian of ANY "Christian" religion why their religion is best, and their response will always include a reference to the Bible being their authority. But then ask them if the Bible is perfect, and sufficient ALONE for you to find their way of belief! They will laugh you to scorn because they believe that you need THEM, and not the Bible in order to know "truth." They believe that we "simple-minded people" should just leave the Bible to them, and trust that THEY know how to "interpret it!" Right! The Bible is just being used as the springboard into our wallets and purses! All religions work this same way. But thankfully God works differently!

The Results of Religious Double-speak

People begin to regard the Bible only as a TOOL of religion, and no longer as the words of God that can deliver the soul from hell! This leads to people by the droves turning over their Bibles to a select group of so-called theological intellectuals. And in exchange for God's truth, people end up with proposed sex education classes for 7 years olds, hypno-therapy sessions, bio-energy seminars, drug pushers, more government welfare programmes, more marriage break-ups, horoscopes, abortions, child abuse cases, and everything else that is rampant in our "modern" illuminated society!

Beware of "scholars" and "theologians" who themselves do not submit to the authority of God's words, and rather set themselves up as your authority! They truly are wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15) who seek only to steal your money and sell your soul!

When Bible believing Christians refer to the word of God, they are referencing a written document that can be produced in a court of law, and tested and examined. When they quote from it, they are willing and ready to have what they quote questioned, and validated on a literal basis - not on a subjected one! Real Bible-believers do not submit to visions and miracles, and intangible events that no one can ever evaluate. They submit to a complete and perfect, written word of God called the Holy Bible! God does not use "double-speak!" He would be a pretty sorry God if He had to stoop so low to say one thing and mean another. He doesn't need your money - He wants to save your soul!

What is a Baptist Church?

(This is a follow up post to the Baptist Distinctives one which I posted the other day. This is taken from Bro. Craig Ledbetter's, a missionary to Ireland, website, with additional information found by simply clicking the post title link above.)

There are lots of churches labelled, "Baptist." The need is to discover what is one that is Biblical. So, What is a Baptist Church? Simply put, a Baptist Church is a local group of people who firmly believe and practice the following things as presented in the Bible:

1. Baptists Believe the Bible is Perfect. We accept every word of it completely – from cover to cover. God claims: “Every word of God is pure.” Proverbs 30:5. We believe the King James Bible is the preserved word of God in English.
2. Baptists Preach and Teach only the Bible – not books about the Bible, nor do we teach extra prayers, or teach our own church doctrines, but only the truths found clearly in the Bible. “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 might be perfect.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17 We base every belief and every aspect of Christianity only on the Bible – to the exclusion of all traditions, no matter how good they may be.
3. Baptists Believe the Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross for all sins of all time, was buried, and then rose again just as He promised three days later for the salvation of His followers from hell! “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel… that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” 1Corinthians 15:1-4.
4. Baptists Believe all people are born sinful and separated from God, and must be born again from the heart by simple and obedient faith in the Gospel!
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. Jesus commands, “Ye must be born again” John 3:7!
5. Baptists Believe a person who is saved (born again) by God’s grace is eternally secure in His care
– you cannot lose your salvation once you receive it. Jesus said in John 10:28, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
6. Baptists Believe in a literal heaven, and a literal hell
, and reject the idea of purgatory, nirvana or any other place that is contrary to the word of God. Jesus promised His followers a place in God’s heaven, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3. Jesus also will say to the damned, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41
7. Baptists Believe if a person rejects Jesus Christ, and trusts instead in their religion, or their good efforts, that person will not earn heaven, but end up in hell. “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition… Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” Mark 7:9,13 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already.” John 3:18
8. Baptists Believe when a person is saved from sin and hell, they are to be baptized in water by full immersion, not by sprinkling – baptism is to be completely immersed in water as a testimony of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for them. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41. After getting baptized you should join a Baptist church!
9. Baptists Believe Baptism is nothing more than our obedience to God’s word. It does not save a soul, or bring any spiritual blessing or grace upon the participant – only what Jesus did on the cross has any special and eternal effect on a believer. “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
10. Baptists Believe Jesus Christ is coming again very soon
, and this time to be King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords! “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:13 “And he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:5
11. Baptists Reject experiences (miraculous or otherwise) when contrary to God’s word.
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do” Revelation 13:14 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.” Revelation 20:10. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13,14
12. Baptists Worship God as a Trinity
- three equal Persons, and yet one God - the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7
13. Baptists Reject the worship of any other being, whether Mary, or of saints, or of religious objects since their worship is completely contrary to the word of God. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
14. Baptists Believe every born again believer is equal in the sight of God
because of the power of Christ’s salvation, and that each believer has direct access to God because of Jesus Christ. There is therefore no need for priests or any other religious hierarchy. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God … Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16.
15. Baptists Believe the Christian life is one of complete obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” John 14:21.

There are other churches that believe many of the above list, but it has always been, since the beginning of the Christian church, the Bible believers, who have banded together to preach and teach all the Bible, and to live it without fear of man or king. The groups who believed the above list, were labeled “Baptists” by the Catholic Church during the great persecutions of the Dark Ages. The label was meant to mock the Bible believer, and scare others from thinking and studying the Bible for themselves. Baptists are neither Catholic, nor Protestant, but Bible-believing Christians.

Friday, October 13, 2006

If I Do Not, Who Will? by Bill Brinkworth

I am a Christian. If I do not tell the unsaved how to keep from spending an eternity in Hell, who will?
If I do not tell them that sin is wicked and destroys our lives and those around us, who will?
If I do not tell them what God says is sin, who will?
If I do not tell them that abortion is against God's commandments, who will?
If I do not tell them that homosexuality is a chosen sin-style that angers God, who will?
If I do not tell them that God's way is right, and all other ways are wrong, who will?
If I do not tell them that God planned for man to have one wife, and that both should be faithful to each other until death, who will?
If I do not tell them that God has preserved His will and way in the King James Bible, so we will know exactly what He wants us to know, who will?
If I do not tell them that everything that names itself "Christian" is not necessarily of God, who will?
If I do not tell them that there is a real Devil that does not want them to do what God wants them to do, who will?
If I do not tell them that it is the same Devil that tempts, confuses, and deceives them so they will not know God's way or want to obey it, who will?
If I cannot show the world that there is a proper, rewarding, God-desired lifestyle, who will?
If I do not show the unsaved world that there is a difference between those bound for Heaven and those bound for Hell, who will?
If my life is not an example of how good God is, and that He is alive and still working in His children's lives, whose will?
If I do not have the courage to stand up for what I believe, and what God's Word says, who will?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Power of God's Word

(Here is a sermon outline sent recently to me by Bro. Tom Walker of preacherscorner.org)

The Power of God’s Word

Read Heb. 4:12. The Word of God could be likened to the power that comes from a mighty reservoir. If we are to know God’s almighty power in our lives, then we must feed upon His Word. What does the Bible have power to do?

I. It Has Power To Convict of Sin- (Acts 2:37). When the people heard the Word of God they were pricked in their hearts. Those under conviction said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" It is conviction of sin that gets you ready for repentance and faith.
II. It Has Power To Regenerate- (I Pet. 1:23). We are born again by the Word of God. His Word is not something that comes and goes, but it is stable and permanent. It lives and abides forever and ever.
III. It Has Power To Produce Faith- (Rom. 10:17). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. This fact stresses the importance of preaching the Word of God both to lost sinners and to the saints. No wonder Paul said, "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel."
IV. It Has Power To Cleanse- (Eph. 5:25). We are washed of water by the Word of God. "Water" there has reference to God’s Word. Nothing will cleanse us like truth will!
V. It Has Power To Build Up- (Acts 20:32). The word of His grace is able to build up the saints. There has to be spiritual growth after we are saved. At times you will be discouraged and will constantly need built up in the most holy faith.
VI. It Has Power To Make Wise- (Psm. 119:130). When the Word of God enters into our hearts, it gives understanding to the simple. "Simple" can mean "open minded." Those who are open to what God says are the ones who become wise.
VII. It Has Power To Give Assurance- (I Jn. 5:13). If we rest and trust in what the Bible says to us, we can be assured we are children of God.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Baptist Distinctives

What Are the Eight Baptist Distinctives?

These teachings may be remembered by associating them with the letters that form the word "BAPTISTS."

BIBLICAL AUTHORITY The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because the Bible is inspired by God and bears the absolute authority of God Himself. Whatever the Bible affirms, Baptists accept as true. No human opinion or decree of any church group can override the Bible. Even creeds and confessions of faith, which attempt to articulate the theology of Scripture, do not carry Scriptures's inherent authority. 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20,21

AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself. Thus the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious hierachery outside the local church may dictate a church's beliefs or practices. Autonomy does not mean isolation. A Baptist church may fellowship with other churches around mutual interests and in associational tie, but a Baptist church cannot be a "member" of any other body. Colossians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5,19,23

PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER "Priest" is defined as "one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God." Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No other mediator is needed between God and people. As priests, we can study God's Word, pray for others, and offer spiritual worship to God. We all have equal access to God -- whether we are a preacher or not. 1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 5:9,10

TWO ORDINANCES The local church should practice two ordinances: (1) baptism of believers by immersion in water, identifying the individual with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, (2) the Lord's Supper, or communion commemorating His death for our sins. Matthew 28:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11;23-32

INDIVIDUAL SOUL LIBERTY Every individual whether a beleiver or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. No one should be forced to assent to any belief against his will. Baptists have always opposed religious persecution. Howver, this liberty does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself. Romans 14:5,12; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Titus 1:9

SAVED, BAPTIZED CHURCH MEMBERSHIP Local Church membership is restricted to individuals who give a believable testimony of personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer's baptism. When the members of a local church are believers, a oneness in Christ exists, and the members can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 4:3

TWO OFFICES IN THE CHURCH The Bible mandates only two offices in the church - pastor and deacon. The three terms - "pastor," "elder," and "bishop" or "overseer" - all refer to the same office. The two offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as heirarchy outside or over the local church.

SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government's purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1-7 and the church's purposes in Matthew 28:19 and 20. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can properly influence government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches controlling the government. Matthew 22:15-22; Acts 15:17-29


Baptists arrived at these distinctives through careful study of the Bible. That is why these teachings are more precisely called the Biblical distinctives of Baptists rather than Baptist distinctives. These teachings emerged as Baptist distinctives because individual Baptist churches have consistently and independently held to them, not because some group of Baptist leaders composed the list and then imposed the distinctives on local churches. Church groups other than Baptists have held some of the Baptist distinctives, and one may even find churches that hold all of the distinctives but do not call themselves Baptist. Such groups are "baptistic," but for some reason they choose not to be identified as Baptists. On the other hand, some churches naming themselves "Baptist" are not truly Baptist because they no longer hold the historic Baptist beliefs or even the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Baptists are people of the Book above all else. And Baptists enjoy a priceless heritage of generations who have exalted God's Son our Savior and have proclaimed God's inspired Word.


What sets one church apart from all the others? We have seen that it is the church's distinctive beliefs that set it apart from all others and that Baptists in general hold to some convictions that make them different from all other groups.

(These notes were copied from Pastor David Reagan's notes for a Baptist History class from over three years ago. They were copied by permission from the Lush family.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Churches With No Clocks

This article was posted by David Cloud earlier this week, and it reminded me of my former pastor's thoughts about watching his church members pull into the church parking lot. Some of his church members took great time parking their vehicles so that they could make a swift exit out of the parking lot after the service. He oftened wondered if their thoughts and attitudes were more in line with "getting out of church" instead of "getting in church" and spending time with God and His word. What about you??? Are you more anxious to "get out of church," possibly making excuses to not even go in the first place, or are you grateful for being given the opportunity to worship God and open His word and fellowship with other like-minded believers "in church???"


The following is by Pastor Buddy Smith, Grace Baptist Church, Malanda, Queensland, Australia.

There is a very strange group of churches I have stumbled across in Australia. They are the churches with no clocks. I visited four of them recently and have the pleasure of pastoring another. There is not a clock to be found in any of them. Admittedly, most of the people who attend still wear a watch, but it is amazing the effect it has on the church for it to have no clock. Here are a few observations I made in the churches with no clocks:

The song service seems to be freer and not ruled by the faint metronomic ticking of the clock. When the soloist breaks down in tears, nobody even thinks about how much time it will take for them to finish the special. Everybody just cries with them.

The preacher does not need to race the clock to the finishing line at 12 noon. In fact, I sat in a service in one of these churches recently and feasted sumptuously at the Father's table for over an hour, and it troubled me not at all that the dear preacher was "almost half an hour late finishing the sermon." No, I take that back, he wasn't late. He was just on time. His hearers would have thought he was late if they'd had a clock to hold him accountable. In another of these strange churches without clocks, the pastor told the visiting speaker not to even worry about the time, but to just give the people everything he had brought for them. So he did. And no one complained. Strange, very strange.

I saw a brother who was carrying a heavy burden over a sick child get a dozen hugs and a thousand words of comfort, and nobody cared what time it was.

The people who attend these churches do not seem the least bit concerned about getting home in a hurry after the services. I have seen them talk to each other for over an hour after the sermon. I got the impression that their hearts were so full that they just needed more time together so they could do a bit of "running over" before they wandered off home. One dear old lady in one of these churches told me it was 3 PM before she finished her lunch. And it is the same at night. These strange clockless Christians actually sit down and talk to each other over a cuppa [a cup of tea], and show no desire to depart.

The prayer meetings are affected by it as well. One of these churches has become so lax in their consciousness of the passing of time that they actually had five seasons of prayer at a prayer meeting recently, and a few of these were quite lengthy. And they don't seem to be troubled by this at all. I wonder what would happen if revival came to one of these strange churches without clocks?

Would they pray all night?
Would they have preaching that went all day and far into the night?
Would they allow people to stand up in the services and testify of God's grace and not try to work by a schedule?
Would they linger on till dawn to pray for those who were convicted of sin and had not yet found peace with God?
Would they lose all track of time and forget what day it was because they loved God more than the clock?
Would they drift away home at last, having faces that outshone the sun, hearts full of joy, and lips that could no longer be silent?

I don't know, but I do know I want to go to a church that has a higher calling than watching the clock, and a better agenda than running to the world's timetable.

I suspect there are no clocks in Heaven. That's good enough for me.

I think I'll soon be leaving my watch at home.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Will of God

(Bro. Gene Griffin posted this earlier this week on another mailing list. It is worth sharing!!!)

THE WILL OF GOD is of primary importance to each and every Christian. It is so needful that each believer know how to find God’s will and put His will into practice.

But, what is the will of God?

We determine God’s will to be His purpose and plan, His choice or direction for us. It is basically what He desires for us.

Before we look at how to find the will of God for our daily lives, let us consider several false concepts regarding God’s will.

1. Some feel that God’s will is an unpleasant experience. In other words, they feel that God will ask them to do something or go somewhere that is bad for them. This is a deception of the Devil. The answer to this is that the will of God is good. Rom. 12:2. God always gives his best.

2. Some feel that the will of God is hard to find. In other words, God’s will is difficult to know. The truth is that God wants to show us His will for our lives. The fact that we are still here indicates that God has something He wants us to do. He is anxious to show us His will. The will of God is not hard to find for those who want to know it. There are several reasons why the will of God seems hard to find for some:
(1) Some really don’t want to know the will of God.
(2) Some are double-minded, James 1:5-8.
(3) Some have false concepts that we are dealing with here.

3. Some feel that God’s will is for preachers only. This is obviously very wrong. 1 Cor. 12:18 declares the purpose and function of every member of the body of Christ. In other words, there is a place for each and every member of the human body, so therefore, each member of the body of Christ. If you are saved, God has a will for your life. He has something He wants you to do. You are important to God and not just those in full time Christian service.

4. Some feel that God’s will involves only important things. This is also very wrong. God is interested in small things. For example, He mentions the sparrow (Mt. 10:29; Luke 12:6-7), the hairs of our head being numbered (Mt. 10:30); the widow and her mites (Mk. 12:42-44). Our Lord is interested in the small things of our lives, not just those that we esteem to be important. To Him all things are important.


1. Dedication, Rom. 12:1-2. The reader should look up and read all Scripture references very carefully, especially this one in Romans 12. Also consider 1 Sam. 3:9 and Acts 9:6. The first step in determining the will of God is that we must be surrendered. We must be yielded to Him. God cannot guide an individual who is not surrendered.

2. Desire, Phil. 2:13. The word "will" here means desire. Where does one get a desire to do anything for God? God gives it! This is God’s call. Then God works in the doing of His will. In other words, God puts a desire upon our hearts to do a certain thing. Our response should be to yield to that will. Then, as we yield ourselves to Him, He works through us in the doing of His will. He puts a desire upon our hearts, then does the work through us as we yield to Him.

This desire comes from a burdened, burning heart that wants to do God’s will above all else, and to honor Him in the process.

3. Destination, Acts 16:9. The next step is: Where does God want us? God is good at steering us in the right direction. This is only possible as we lead a surrendered life day by day. In other words, God guides us as we surrender to Him. Stay surrendered, and God will guide you where He wants you, doing what He wants you to do. It is just that simple. How wonderful our God is!

Put into practice what you have learned here regarding God’s will and how to find it, and you will never want for direction in your life. And you will lead a life of blessedness in His service.

Let us close this chapter by giving some practical observations about the will of God:

1. Be willing to do anything God shows you.
2. Fill yourself with the Word of God.
3. Walk in the Spirit. Lead a surrendered life.
4. Take one step at a time.
5. If uncertain about the next step, keep doing what you are doing presently
until you have clear direction from the Lord.
6. Don’t worry about it.
7. God’s call comes through dedication, desire, and destination.