Friday, October 21, 2016

Fight the Good Fight

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” –the Apostle Paul

In the Old Testament we read a lot about physical battles, but in the New Testament the Bible teaches that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” and that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.” There is still a war going on and many battles to be fought, but it’s a spiritual warfare, not a physical one.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Now, a lot of people get it when we say that in the Old Testament they fought all these physical battles, but in the New Testament we don’t. Everybody’s got that down it seems—they realize we aren’t still in a physical fight. But what they fail to understand is that we are still at war. We are in a spiritual warfare against our own flesh, against sin, and against wicked people who teach false doctrine and try to silence us.

"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Romans 7:22-23

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:17-18

“They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.” Proverbs 28:4

There’s a Christianity today that has forsaken the law by not doing any fighting at all. They don’t understand that from Old Testament to New Testament we are just going from a physical fight to a spiritual fight. The average church today teaches that we went from a physical fight to NO fight, and that our job is to just get along with everybody. But there are in fact spiritual battles going on today, and that’s why the Old Testament battles are so applicable.

Here is a sermon to go with this article

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Judge Not!

Judge not! Judge not! People keep repeating that as some kind of mantra, but it just doesn’t make sense. Today’s watered-down Christianity that teaches we should never judge anyone is not logical and is a perversion of scripture.

Maybe I should use the whole judge-not thing next time I go to court…

I’m offended by your name, your honor. You’re a “judge,” and the Bible says, “Judge not.” Or perhaps next time I reprimand my two-year-old, he should respond with, “Only God can judge me.”

The Bible doesn’t teach that we should never judge, but people often take Matthew 7:1 out of context. They ignore the next few verses and what the passage is actually saying:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

Notice it doesn’t say to leave the mote in your brother’s eye. What the passage is saying is to make sure you aren’t a hypocrite and take care of your own problem first. It’s like when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendant does that safety demonstration. They tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then you can help someone else.

We shouldn’t have a holier-than-thou attitude, but do you know what it means to judge? It means to make a decision—to have an opinion. What about the homos? “Who am I to judge?” What about rape, murder, pillaging? “No opinion. Only God can judge.” Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds!?

Ironically, when people tell us we are judgmental for preaching against certain sins or certain people, they are, in effect, judging us. Somehow it is okay for them to tell us that they feel that we are doing something wrong, yet they don’t think we should make judgments based on what GOD says is wrong.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24

People will try to say that, because you aren’t perfect, you can’t judge anyone. I guess no one can correct their children, speak out against anybody, or preach the Word of God. How would I obey the following verse, which applies to me as a pastor?

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2

When people criticize me for preaching God’s law, it’s not really me that they are disagreeing with. Their problem isn’t with me but rather with the “lawgiver.” People will inevitably play the judge-not card when something in the Bible shines a light on their sin.

Here is a sermon where I go into this subject in more detail.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fixating on One Issue

“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:27

Have you ever known people that are obsessed with one subject? No matter what you try to talk to them about, it always goes back to that one thing. There are pastors that every sermon they preach, they somehow tie it in with their favorite hobby-horse issue. Fixating on one issue is a common tendency that many of us struggle with. The Bible is a deep book, so as Christians, and especially as pastors, we need to make a concerted effort to stay balanced.

Some preachers only like to talk about the King James Bible versus other versions. Others focus on end-times prophecy, creation versus evolution, or even specific false religions. Some people want to blame all of the evil in the world on Islam or Catholicism, and they wonder why I don’t preach more about their most hated religion. They need to realize that the Devil is in control of all false religions, so I try to hit on all of them.

I don’t want to be known for just one thing. I don’t want to be just that post-trib guy, because I also want to be the guy that defends the King James Bible. I want to be the one that takes a hard stand against the homos, but I also have a lot to say about Bible reading and memorization. I like to preach sermons on marriage and child rearing, but I’m also all about soul winning.

Little kids often want to watch the same movie or hear the same book read to them over and over again, but as we get older our interests should broaden. Babes in Christ will often want to fixate on a convenient doctrine that doesn’t require a change in their life. They want to keep hearing how bad the homos are or what’s going to happen in the end times. They aren’t interested in hearing preaching against their besetting sin, but that’s precisely what they need to hear.

If you are considering becoming a pastor, you need to take an interest in a variety of different subjects—both popular and unpopular. One of the reasons I like doing the Wednesday night chapter sermons is that it forces me to preach about things I may not have otherwise thought to preach on.

There are people in the pulpits as well as in the pews that go overboard on certain things. We need to make sure that we get a well-rounded view of Scripture instead of trying to make every chapter of the Bible about that one doctrine we are fixated on. This is especially true for aspiring pastors. People will enjoy the preaching when they first start attending a new church, but they will quickly become bored once they realize the sermons all revolve around one topic. If you want to grow spiritually, you need a balanced diet, and if you are a preacher, you need to avoid running any one subject into the ground.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Street Preaching Clowns

The BBC Documentary entitled, “Hate Preachers in America,” came out a few days ago. What I didn’t like about the film is that they put our church side by side with a pompous gang of “street preachers” who hold up signs and yell at people out in public. Since they went back and forth between showing our church and that other group, someone might get the impression that we are affiliated with those clowns.

The group featured in the documentary is led by Reuben Israel, a Zionist with a lot of false doctrine. Most street preachers believe that you have to repent of your sins to be saved, and many of them teach that you can lose your salvation. For example, Reuben Israel has said that you if you commit suicide you will go to Hell. The worst part of the documentary was when one of the street preachers, Aiden, actually said that he doesn’t sin anymore.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8

Not only are most street preachers preaching another gospel, but they go around pointing out people’s sins in a rude way. For example, the documentary showed a street preacher condemning some people who were outside of a bar. This message is not the gospel, and approaching people in that way is not going to get anyone saved. One does not have to repent of the sin of drunkenness to be saved.

People do need to realize their sinful condition, but giving them a general example such as, “We’ve all told a lie before,” will usually suffice. The condescending attitude of many street preachers stems from the fact that they think they got saved by turning over a new leaf.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Preaching that we are all sinners like the Bible says is much more loving and tactful and will always get a better response. Those who start coming to church will hear hard preaching against specific sins, but the goal of soul winning is not to get the sin out of people’s lives.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

Another major difference between us and the street preaching crowd is our approach in dealing with the Sodomites. We aren’t telling homos to get saved, because they have already been turned over to a reprobate mind and can no longer believe the gospel. We preach what the Bible says about sodomy, but we would not purposely vex ourselves by attending a filthy queer pride event.

“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 101:3

The lady who filmed the documentary actually went with us to the Atlanta soul-winning marathon and also to another huge soul-winning event in Sacramento. She witnessed effective soul winning firsthand, yet none of that footage was included in the documentary. Instead of showing hundreds of people getting saved and many being baptized at our soul-winning events, she showed street preachers being obnoxious and spinning their wheels.

The goal of the documentary was to make us seem hateful, so portraying us as humble soul winners would not have furthered the BBC’s liberal agenda. Whenever they showed clips of me preaching, they attempted to undermine the message by editing out the supporting Bible verses. They wanted to make it seem like I was preaching my own opinions and that our church members were just following me instead of getting their views from the Bible. Somehow one verse slipped through, which is the perfect warning for the British Broadcasting Corporation and the United Kingdom:

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalm 9:17

On a less important note, I didn’t appreciate being painted as a Trump Supporter, when I don’t support Trump at all—I never have. All in all, I was pleased with the parts of the documentary about our church since it will help spread some truth and hopefully people will will be reached when they look up our sermons.

Here is the full BBC documentary 

Here is the BBC documentary with all the street preaching clowns edited out 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Being Friendly Out Soul-winning

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

The number one thing that I see people doing wrong out soul winning is that they are being unfriendly. I find myself doing a mental face palm when I am out with a soul winner who is coming off as gruff and business-like. We need to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ, and being extra friendly will help overcome the fact that we are uninvited guests at someone else’s home.

I always start with a big smile when the person first answers the door. When you smile at someone, they usually smile back, and this gets things off to a good start. After exchanging smiles with someone they are far less likely to be rude to you.

The other way I try to keep things friendly is that I avoid “striving” or arguing with people. The Bible teaches that we are to be meek and gentle when instructing people who are unsaved or perhaps just mistaken about something. The best way to prevent getting into an unnecessary argument is to “avoid foolish questions.”

I avoid answering a weird question unless it is directly related to salvation. I’ll tell the person that “we can come back to that,” and then I’ll politely get back to the gospel presentation. Don’t let pride take over and get sucked into an unfruitful argument. Stay focused on the goal, which is getting people saved.

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,” 2 Timothy 2:24

“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” Titus 3:9

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:” 1 Peter 3:8

Good social skills may take a little practice but loving others more will help put you in the right mindset. Start with a big smile, and be careful not to come across as abrasive or cold. Remember that you are bringing good news and that you will achieve better results by being friendly.

Here is a sermon on Soul Winning Dos and Don’ts.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Meddling In-laws

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Just remember: LEAVE AND CLEAVE. If there is ever a time that you have to choose between your parents and your spouse, always side with your spouse. It’s great to have a relationship with your parents, and the Bible commands us to honor our father and mother, but they should not be controlling the new household that was created when you got married. Parental interference is a common source of strife in marriage.

This interference can come in the form of bossiness, unsolicited advice, or in severe cases, disrespect toward your spouse. Marital problems arise when one spouse doesn’t like the way the other handles his or her parents. This is usually more of a problem with younger couples since many young people are just too attached to their parents when they first get married.

Numbers Chapter 30 deals with the nullification of a vow made by a woman. It is the girl’s father who has that power while she is living at home and not yet married, but that authority transfers to her husband once she gets married. This demonstrates the important principle that the husband, not the father, is the head of the wife.

Sometimes even just expressing concern about what your parents think can offend your spouse. For example, you are making some kind of a decision together, and you tell your spouse what your parents had to say about it. If this type of conversation is a hot button issue for your spouse, then the less that you mention your parents, the better.

One young married man told his wife to keep the garage door shut so his dad wouldn’t drive by and see the new vehicle in the garage. Even though it was the husband’s decision to make that purchase, the wife didn’t like his attitude. She didn’t feel like their finances should be anyone else’s business. This is a very mild example but it goes to show that your spouse doesn’t want you to have a childlike mindset about your parents. Men, your wife has a hard enough time submitting to you, and she has no desire to be under the authority of your parents. She wants to see you as independent.

A wife’s parents can sometimes try to control their son-in-law by bending their daughter’s ear about him. This kind of negativity can undermine a wife’s respect for her husband. The lady would be wise not to pass that information on to her husband since it will inevitably result in a fight. In fact, she may have to tell her parents that she can’t have anything to do with them until they stop criticizing her husband. This works both ways. A husband might need to tell his parents the same thing about how they treat his wife. Both spouses want to feel that they are a priority in each other’s lives and that the other person will always stand up for them.

Often with parents and other extended family members, staying away from them for a little while can help get them back on their best behavior. A short punishment period will usually make them think twice about not respecting certain boundaries. In rare cases, the in-laws may have to be cut off completely, but chances are, they will correct their behavior to preserve the relationship with their child and/or grandchildren. It’s all about having the courage to stand up to them. They are your parents, so they may have a tendency to treat you like a child no matter how old you are, but it is up to you to act like an adult. Men need to cut the apron strings, and women need to submit to their own husbands.

As parents we need to remember to stay out of our adult children’s marriages. If you’ve had trouble with your parents or in-laws, remember those struggles when your own children grow up and get married. Follow the golden rule and be the type of parent and in-law you wish you had.

Here is a sermon on Meddling In-laws

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Contentment vs. Covetousness

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

The Bible talks a lot about contentment versus covetousness because there is a tendency for people to never be satisfied. We really need very little in this world, and we can avoid temptation by living a simpler life and not getting caught up in materialism.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” 2 Timothy 3:1-2

Seeing covetousness on that list reminds us of what a serious sin covetousness is. If we spend time with covetous people, we will start feeling competitive about material things. We should not be like the world where we exalt the rich and look down on the poor. The Bible teaches that God hates pride and that we shouldn’t even want to be rich.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10

When you buy lottery tickets or get involved in get-rich-quick schemes, you are ignoring God’s Word. God often keeps us lean financially because he knows what is best for us. We are happier when we have just what we need in life.

“Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:” Proverbs 30:8

We can avoid a lot of problems by not coveting after material wealth. Learn to be grateful for what God has given you: your health, a warm bed, food, shelter, and the opportunity to lay up treasures in heaven. Stop worrying about impressing other people, and just be thankful for the Lord’s provision.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

Here is a sermon: Not Satisfied With Abundance.