Thursday, January 19, 2017
“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.” 3 John, verse 9
Brother Garrett Kirchway, who is currently on a missions trip in Guyana, was looking for a church to attend on Thursday night since a lot of churches have a Thursday night service. He found out about an IFB church pastored by Joshua Rhoades and gave Mr. Rhoades a call to ask for directions.
Brother Garrett had given his first name and said that he was looking for a church to attend that night. Rhoades, an American missionary in Guyana, was apparently suspicious of an American wanting to visit and questioned Brother Garrett further about who he was and where he was from.
“My name is Garrett Kirchway, and I’m from Arizona. So far I've been going to New Testament Baptist Church, and on Sunday I was at Foundation Baptist Church.”
“Do you have anything at all to do with Steven Anderson?”
“Yes, that’s my home church.”
“Well then you wouldn’t even be welcome here.”
What in the world! Joshua Rhoades has never met me or Brother Garrett to have anything against us personally. Obviously, he must be aware of some doctrinal differences, but so what? A Hindu or Buddhist would obviously be welcome to attend the church, but a fellow Baptist with doctrinal differences is not? I can’t help but wonder what he has against us. Is it my position on the post-trib rapture or the hard preaching against Sodomites?
What is the scriptural reason to not allow Garrett to even visit his church? Is Garrett a drunk? No. A fornicator? No. An idolater? No. What could he have possibly done to offend Pastor Rhoades? He hadn't even spoken with him or met him!
Perhaps Joshua Rhoades preaches another gospel? It kind of looks that way, unless his doctrinal statement was a careless copy and paste from another church. The following is a quote from the salvation section of the doctrinal statement on Missionary Joshua Rhoades’ website:
“…It involves repentance (a change of mind concerning sin and a turning from it) and faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross of Calvary…”
Even the repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved crowd normally welcomes those of a different stripe, so could it be that this guy is offended by my preaching against the homos? One of the most common reasons other pastors won’t fellowship with me is that I have said that no homo will ever be allowed in our church. Even many of the more mainstream independent fundamental Baptist churches have something in their bylaws that allows them to kick out Sodomites, so it’s strange that so many take offense to me just saying it out loud.
I wonder if Sodomites are welcome to visit Joshua Rhoades’ church? All I know is that Brother Garrett Kirchway, a soul-winning Baptist missionary, is not.
Here is a sermon that covers SCRIPTURAL reasons to not allow someone to attend church (drunkenness, fornication, etc.)
Pastor Ram Angad recently requested that the city grade the street where the church building is located. This would normally take a long time, but they somehow pushed it through immediately, so it is nice and smooth for the 40-day revival. Instead of having to rent a tent every year for $2,400, Brother Angad is hoping to purchase or make one that he can use year after year. He also decided to buy some lumber to build more pews since the price of renting chairs is going up this year. The men of the church have been working on the new baptistery, which is looking good and is almost complete.
Saturday was their regular soul-winning time, and Brother Kirchway got to preach the “soul-winning charge” before they headed out. Brother Kirchway’s team knocked four doors and got three people saved, which goes to show how receptive people are there. Neo’s team got two people saved, so it was a fruitful morning.
Brother Garrett’s impression of the people of Guyana so far is that they are a shy and humble people. Interestingly, they seem to know a lot of Bible, meaning they can quote some of the salvation verses, but they are usually not saved. Many of them have just never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel.
“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:30-31
On Sunday, Brother Kirchway spent some time at another church, Foundation Baptist Church. He had already been asked to preach in their evening service, but that morning when he met with the pastor, the pastor requested that he share his testimony and preach during the morning service. During the testimony, Brother Kirchway mentioned that he has a passion for soul winning and wants to go soul-winning every single day while he’s there. A couple of children came up to him after the service, expressing an interest in soul winning with him. Their parents don’t go to that church, so Brother Garrett was thinking that maybe he could try to meet with the parents and check their salvation and maybe arrange for the kids to go out soul-winning with him and his wife Neo.
After the morning service, the pastor and his family took Brother Kirchway to lunch at Pizza Hut. Brother Kirchway really appreciated that and had a great time of fellowship with this dear family. He told them all about what happened to him in Botswana, and the pastor asked him to talk about that in the evening sermon since he wants his congregation to be prepared for future persecution.
Both the morning and the evening services went very well. Brother Kirchway made a lot of contacts and various preaching opportunities were set up for the next week. One of the young men in the church talked about his hospital ministry where Brother Kirchway will be able to preach in the lobby. Another opportunity will be preaching in a Christian club that meets in a high school during lunchtime. They told Brother Kirchway they wanted him to preach hard against fornication and alcohol to the Christian kids there.
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1
Here is a link to Garrett preaching in a public school in Guyana on his first day there
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
My sister and brother-in-law were recently approached in Walmart by a man carrying an NIV who asked them if they were familiar with the “Church of God.” After they responded that they were Baptists, he proceeded to announce that God is also female and that the Bible talks about a “Heavenly mother.” At first, they thought the female he might be referring to was Mary or maybe even “Shekinah,” but it was something even weirder.
They rebuked his strange doctrine with scripture and schooled him on some other things including the Bible version issue. They tried to give him the gospel throughout the discussion, but he kept going to back to the female God thing. They challenged him to show them that from the Bible, and he took them to Galatians 4:26.
"But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." - Galatians 4:26
This seemingly intelligent, well-spoken young man actually believed that "Jerusalem" in that verse is God and felt that he had successfully proven that God has a female persona. The guy’s beliefs defied logic, and my brother-in-law even got him to admit that he believed only people who go to his church will go to Heaven—a textbook sign of a cult. The cult member also admitted to believing that Old Testament saints like King David burned in Hell until Jesus visited them after the crucifixion and told them how to get out.
He denied the simple truth of John 3:16, stating that you also have to also keep the Passover and Sabbath to be saved. Admittedly, that part of the discussion was kind of a moot point since the guy believed in a female God, but at least they hit him with several verses in an attempt to get through to him.
Apparently, a couple of verses in Galatians that mention "Jerusalem" are the basis of a cult called World Mission Society Church of God, which was founded by a man in Korea who they believe was the second coming of Jesus Christ! If you’ve ever wondered how Jim-Jones style cults recruit people, apparently, they might approach you while you’re out shopping.
Poor people in third world countries often fall prey to bizarre cult leaders and antichrists, but it’s surprising that a seemingly educated American was worshiping a woman in Korea as God! He said that Jerusalem IS a woman and that she lives in Korea. At one point, he even had the audacity to say that she is God's wife! This already brainwashed person was not interested in hearing the Roman’s Road.
We aren’t the only ones out there proselytizing, so we need to try to reach people before someone else does. Unfortunately, there are gullible people all over the world who might be just as receptive to joining a cult as they would be to getting saved.
“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Proverbs 14:15
Here is a video to go along with this story
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
“But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:32
The Bible clearly teaches that if you divorce your spouse and marry someone else, then you are committing adultery. People will sometimes misunderstand this concept and assume that they are living in a perpetual state of adultery if they’ve been divorced and remarried.
They’ll wonder if they are still married to the first person in God’s eyes, but that is not the case. The Bible teaches that once you remarry, it would be an abomination for you to go back to your former spouse—even after your current spouse dies. The only couples who are supposed to be reconciled are people who have gotten divorced but have both remained unmarried.
“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 24:1-4
“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
As a pastor, it is my job to preach against the wicked sin of divorce. I want to try to prevent people who have not already made that mistake from ever going down that road. Not only that, but if you are on your second or third marriage, I’m not trying to tear you down for your past sins. I’m warning you not to divorce your current spouse. Stay with the person you are married to right now because whoever you are currently married to is now God’s will for your life.
People have accused me of being a fraud because my parents are divorced and have both remarried. Since when is it the child’s fault when his parents get divorced? The only reason these people even know that about my parents is because I have mentioned it from the pulpit. Obviously, I am not trying to keep it a secret.
I’ve forgiven my parents, and I’m not mad at half of our society that gets divorced, but I’m not going to downplay divorce or stop preaching against it. God hates it, and it destroys families. If you have committed that sin in the past, you ought not be offended when you hear preaching on the subject. Don’t you want the younger generation to avoid the heartache and punishment you have experienced? Even if you don’t have children with you in church, I would think that you would want your current spouse to hear preaching that will give him or her a reason to stick with you through the bad times.
Here is a sermon to go with this article
Monday, January 16, 2017
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18
Fornication is defined as a man and a woman sleeping together before marriage. This sin is condemned throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament. We are all sinners, but not all sin is equal. The Bible teaches that fornication is so serious that it can get you thrown out of the church.
“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” 1 Corinthians 5:11
“…Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Corinthians 5:13b
If you are saved and sleeping with someone you aren’t married to, you need to repent of that sin. If you are living together, and you’re not married, then you are living in sin. If you plan to keep coming to church, your options are to get married or stop living together.
The Bible teaches that we should only have physical relations within marriage, so if you aren’t married yet, you need to deny that ungodly lust and wait until you get married to enjoy the benefits of marriage. If you aren’t ready to marry the person you are dating, then you shouldn’t be sleeping together. Have some self-control and respect for your body!
“For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
People who commit fornication for the first time often do not end up marrying that person but go on to be with person after person. Our bodies were not designed to exchange bacteria with hundreds of different people. In fact, there are infections people can get that are not considered STDs per say but are virtually unheard of in people who got married as virgins and have had only one partner. I realize that people die and their spouse can remarry, but sleeping with more than a few people in your lifetime is very unhealthy. In fact, the Bible calls it filthy.
“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:” Revelation 17:4
Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, fornication is still wrong. Remember the story of Dinah in Genesis chapter 34?
“And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?”
So many women today are in relationships where they would like to get married, but the guy won’t marry them. These jerks need to do the right thing, but the women are also to blame. Unfortunately, the old adage still holds true: Why buy the cow if you can get the milk free?
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
In churches that have “faith promise missions,” they hand out cards, and people pledge to give a certain amount weekly, throughout the year. I’m not against churches that do this, but I don’t personally believe in it because I wouldn’t want someone to invoke the wrath of God when they fail to keep their promise.
People have a tendency to break financial vows even when they make them in church. This used to bother me when I went to a church that had a faith promise missions program. I remember there would be two figures in the bulletin. There was the total promised and the total collected, and those two figures were always different. The promise was always a little higher than what was actually coming in. They would make it sound like getting 75 percent of what was promised was good, but I remember being nervous about it. It always made me think of Ananias and Sapphira.
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.” Acts 5:1-11
When I decided to relocate to another state mid-year, I didn’t forget about my faith promise. I added up how many weeks were left in the year and paid off what I still owed. God didn’t tell me I had to make that promise to begin with, but since I had, I needed to keep it. I could have mailed the offering in each week, but I didn’t know how my job was going to go at my new location, so I just paid it off in advance to be on the safe side. I was poor in those days, but I scraped up the money by selling some stuff before I left.
That’s great if you can give sacrificially to legitimate missionaries on a regular basis, but don’t be too quick to make a vow to God. Whatever promises you make to God, you had better keep. Better yet, don’t make a financial vow at all.
“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” Ecclesiastes 5:4-6
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
A couple of years ago I preached a sermon called "AIDS: the Judgment of God" that brought the wrath of the Sodomite community down on our church. They went on a campaign to attack our church in many different ways, and one of the things they did was call down the list of the churches that we recommended in our church directory and complain about our church being so harsh to the "LGBT community." This prompted several pastors to write to me and tell me that they wanted to be removed from the directory because they did not want to be associated with that type of preaching.
The same week I received an email from Pastor Chris Corrigan of Sligo Baptist Church asking to be removed from the directory without stating a reason. I wrongfully assumed that he was one of the pastors who had a problem with my preaching against the Sodomites, and included him in a blog post listing pastors who had discouraged me during that time of persecution. It turns out that he was asking to be removed because of an unrelated incident that had happened in his church where someone who listened to my sermons online had been causing problems. The timing was coincidental, and I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions and lumped him in with the others who stated why they wanted to be removed. I apologized to Pastor Corrigan for my mistake.
Another moral of this story for those who listen to my sermons is that you should try to be a blessing in your local church and not go in there expecting it to be identical to Faithful Word Baptist Church. If you want to go to FWBC, then move to Phoenix and go to FWBC. If you attend a different independent fundamental Baptist church, then you should respect that pastor's authority and get on board with the program of that local church. Don't just march in and start handing out copies of "After the Tribulation." Focus on what you like about the church and the things you do agree with, and let that church be a place for you and your family to grow, and thrive, and serve the Lord. Over time, you can be a positive influence in that church, but make sure you have the right attitude and are not filled with pride. Also keep in mind that you are not the pastor of the church.
Here is a blog post on 3 Ways to be a Bad Church Member.
Here is an old sermon from many years ago that I preached called "Too Puffed Up for Church."