Saturday, December 3, 2016

We are already in Malawi

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Brother Garrett Kirchway and his wife, Neo, spent almost two weeks in Malawi last month, and things went really well. They’ve already put together a highly-motivated soul-winning team of six people, and in the short time that they were there, they saw a total of 162 souls saved!

The team consisted of Brother Kirchway, his wife Neo, their cab driver who Neo led to the Lord, another one of their converts, and two local pastors. Those two pastors, who are breaking away from local denominations, welcomed the Kirchways with open arms and are excited about helping with Faithful Word Baptist Church Malawi.

The homos that said we had been banned must have been lying because the Kirchways did not have any problems getting into the country. There’s always the possibility of being banned, but Lord willing, we will start the church there in April 2017.

Not only were the people of Malawi extremely receptive to the Gospel, but they really want to go to church and are looking forward to the launch of FWBC Malawi in April. One young man who had just gotten saved was asked what he would tell homosexuals that don’t want the church to be started there, and he replied that he would tell them to “go to Hell.”

Enough people in Malawi are fluent in English for us to conduct church services in English, but it is a blessing to already have some locals on our team who can also speak the native language of Chichewa. We plan to kick things off with another soul-winning marathon in April, which is a great opportunity for soul winners who are interested in going on another missions trip.

As always, the haters of God are trying to make this about our stand against homosexuality, but that’s not the focus of our church or this mission. When we have these mission trips, we are there to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to train locals to do the same. That said, if we are able to establish a permanent church there, Brother Kirchway will be preaching on all subjects, both popular and unpopular.

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

Here is a sermon by Brother Garrett Kirchway

Friday, December 2, 2016

Being a Self-Motivated Worker

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

A common theme in the Bible is the importance of being a self-motivated worker. You will be more successful at your job if you do not require constant supervision. Not only does the ant work hard, but it gets things done on time instead of procrastinating or making excuses. A lot of people today, especially millennials, need to learn to be better workers.

“Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;” Romans 12:11

Don’t tell me how spiritual you are if you are slothful in business because working hard is part of serving the Lord. The word slothful comes from a slow, sedentary animal called a sloth. If you are lazy at your job, then you’re unspiritual. Being a hard worker is part of your Christian testimony, and a good employee stays busy even when the boss isn’t watching. Being someone your boss can rely on will not only help you succeed in your career, but it will also please the Lord.

“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:” Ephesians 6:5-7

Being in business for yourself takes even more self-discipline, but the profits are greater since someone isn’t being paid to supervise you. People who are successful at running their own businesses get up early and do what needs to be done even though they don’t have to report to a boss.

“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” Proverbs 27:23

Working hard is as important for women as it is for men. Ladies, your husband ought to be able to trust you to manage your time wisely when he’s not there. Just as an employer expects his employee to find things to do, your husband shouldn’t have to constantly give you to-do lists to keep your household running smoothly. Proverbs chapter 31 is all about being productive as a homemaker.

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27

When I talk about working hard, I’m not talking about becoming rich. I’m talking about doing what it takes to effectively raise a family and serve the Lord. We need to be able to pay our bills, support our families, and make a few extra bucks to give to those in need. Don’t think of your daily work as just passing time, so that you can do something more spiritual afterward. Being a hard worker IS spiritual.

Here is the sermon on Animals in the Bible: Workers

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Setting Bible Reading Goals

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

With a new year quickly approaching, it may be time to reevaluate your Bible reading plan. Hopefully you are already opening your Bible every day, but are you keeping track of what you read? People who don’t log their Bible reading don’t end up reading as much as those who systematically check off books of the Bible as they read them.

Most Christians have never even read through the Bible one time, so if you’ve done that, you are ahead of the curve. That said, don’t become complacent after having accomplished that feat. The Bible is an infinite book, so you will glean more truths each time you read it. Not only that, but you will quickly forget a lot of what you’ve read, which is why reading through the Bible every year is so important. Don’t be slothful in your Bible reading or your knowledge will start to decay.

“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.” Ecclesiastes 10:18

If you’re a layman in the church, and you’re reading through the Bible one time annually, that’s great, but 15 or 20 minutes a day is not going to make you an expert or prepare you to pastor a church. These guys that open their mouth and scripture just flows out have worked hard to get to that point. If you want to avoid doctrinal error and be ready to answer the hard questions, you will need to spend more time in the Word.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

If you are preparing to be ordained at Faithful Word Baptist Church, you had better take your training seriously. We need to start more churches, but I’m looking for preachers who have already read the Bible ten times cover to cover. Think of a pastor as a spiritual lawyer who interprets the law of God and a doctor who helps people get the sin sickness out of their lives. How many hours do you think people read every day when they are studying to become doctors and lawyers? Pastoring a church is a much greater responsibility because of the eternal impact preachers have on people’s lives.

“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10

In any area of life, you reap what you sow, and Bible reading is no different. The more time you spend reading, the more knowledge you will obtain. They say it takes at least 21 days to form a habit, so now is the perfect time to establish a Bible reading routine that will prepare you to achieve your spiritual goals for 2017.

Here is the sermon on Reaping Where You’ve Sown.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

TB Joshua Exposed as a False Prophet

If this man looks familiar, you may have seen him on the hell-e-vision station, “Emmanuel TV.” Hopefully you don’t watch that, but “Prophet T.B. Joshua” is the leader of Nigeria’s Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), and he recently announced that God told him the next president of the United States would be a woman. Since all the polls were saying Hillary was ahead, it’s not like T.B. was going out on a limb by predicting what people already knew…

Well, surprise, T.B. Joshua! Hillary didn’t win, so you are a proven false prophet! I’m not saying T.B. just guessed wrong about the election like a lot of other people did, but he actually said that GOD TOLD HIM a woman would win! Even after this epic fail, T.B.’s followers just can’t admit their hero is a fraud.

What about the irrelevance of his predictions? He gave advance notice of Michael Jackson’s death, but somehow he did not foresee the collapse of a SCOAN guesthouse in Lagos, which killed 115 of T.B. Joshua's followers. Regarding T.B. Joshua’s recent political prediction--Did people actually think that God felt the need to notify some guy in Nigeria of who the next U.S. president would be just 2 days before the election!? What would be the point?

It’s not like we had to hear about the failed prophecy to know T.B. Joshua was bad. From what I’ve read, the guy sounds Satanic, but he already lost me at being a popular TV preacher and by calling his church a synagogue! T. B. and others like him are wrong on all kinds of doctrine, including the Gospel, so they are false teachers anyway. There are Pentecostal/Charismatic preachers like this all over Africa, getting rich doing fake healings and making false predictions. We need more bold men of God living on the dark continent to rise up and speak out against these deceivers.

We aren’t living in the Old Testament where they only had part of the Bible and needed some additional information to know how to proceed. We can read Genesis through Revelation and then read it again, and learn something new every time. Unfortunately, the majority of people following these phony prophets haven’t even bothered to finish reading the Bible one time. The fact that people were so excited about T.B. Joshua’s big prediction just goes to show that they are more interested in what’s going on in politics than in the truths that God reveals to us in his word.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Managing Your Time Out Soul-winning

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

When we go out soul winning, we are looking for people who are receptive to the gospel. Don’t let someone who is looking for an argument rob you of your time that you could be spending with another person who would be genuinely interested. On the other hand, if someone is receptive but just slow to understand, take some extra time to be even more thorough with that person to make sure they comprehend each point.

If somebody asks me a weird question, I might tell them we can get back to that, and then I’ll change the subject back to the gospel. I try not to take the bait but instead stay focused on getting through the presentation. Have I gotten into arguments out soul winning? Yes, I’m human, but most of the time I try to be patient with people since the goal is to either get them saved or to at least plant a seed.

At times our pride can get in the way and cause us to want to show off our Bible knowledge. Because of this, newer believers are sometimes better soul winners because they are less likely to get off on rabbit trails, trying to win an argument. It’s not beginners luck—it’s just that they don’t know enough Bible to debate about the more obscure subjects.

Those of us with more experience should still try to stay on topic rather than being baited into a fruitless argument. When I change the subject back to the gospel, I usually hope they forget about their original question, but depending on what the question is, I may answer it after the person gets saved. The point is to avoid foolish questions and use our time wisely. Encourage new converts to come to church where they will hear preaching on all manner of subjects, but our primary goal out soul winning is to win people to the Lord.

The type of questions we do want to answer are those pertaining to salvation. People may have been taught something different at their church and have a hang up that needs to be addressed. Answer relevant questions but maintain control of the conversation, so you don’t waste valuable time or veer too far off course.

If someone is combative about a key salvation point even after you have proven that doctrine with a couple of clear scriptures, it is time to walk away. Be polite when you leave, but don’t waste your time arguing with someone that clearly won’t be getting saved—at least not that day.

“A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;” Titus 3:10

Sometimes it will become evident that someone just doesn’t understand salvation. Some people will constantly change the subject throughout the presentation, showing that they are missing the point. We should try to get through to them, but there comes a time when you have to realize the person just isn’t going to get saved. Consider leaving them with additional materials and invite them to visit your church for more preaching on the subject. They may just need some time for the verses to sink in, and perhaps in the future, they will understand it better coming from someone else.

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-11

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Be Patient with People

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Whether interacting with unsaved people, children, or people who are wrong on certain doctrines, we need to have patience with them. There was also a time when we didn’t know the things we know now.

When out soul winning, expect people to give some wrong answers, and remain calm and tactful when they do. Don’t take so much pride in your biblical knowledge that you become caustic when people don’t understand or even disagree with you.

You might be thinking--but Pastor, when you get behind the pulpit, you can be pretty abrasive. Well, preaching in church is not soul winning. My sermons are geared toward believers, and often as Christians we need a good swift kick in the pants to wake us up.

That said, when I am behind the pulpit, I am preaching about subjects in general to a group of people. Unless there is a serious problem going on in the church, I try not to directly preach against anyone in the congregation. I have a personal rule that I learned from my old pastor: I do not add or subtract from my sermon because of who walks through the door.

For example, a man with long hair might walk in on the day I’m planning to preach on that sin, and I’ll still preach on it. If he instead shows up on a day that I am preaching on a different topic, I won’t throw in a dig about hair length. If my pre-planned sermon ends up applying to someone in the audience, I try to be extra friendly and nice to them after the service. That way they realize I wasn’t singling them out or trying to preach them out the door. I’m thankful for everyone who shows up, and having people in church who don’t look like life-long Baptists shows that our church is growing and reaching people.

The exception to this laid-back approach is when someone comes in trying to teach false doctrine. People with sinister motives will be kicked out of church, but most people come here because they like our church and want to be here. A lot of people are new to church or perhaps have been in the wrong kind of church for decades, and it takes them a while to learn more of what the Bible actually teaches.

When visitors don’t get saved after I present the gospel to them, I tell them I’m glad they are here and I hope to see them again. A lot of people get saved the first time they hear It, which is why door to door soul winning works, but others might need to come to church a few times or even for a few months before they fully understand the gospel. Don’t jump to conclusions and give up on visitors who have “rejected the gospel.” There are always those that need to hear it more than once.

As parents, we need to be patient with our children and remember what we were like at their age. Don’t get me wrong, we do need to be strict with them to prevent them from going into sin, but your teenager can’t be expected to have the maturity and wisdom that you have in your thirties or forties. Stick to your guns, but don't have unreasonable expectations.

A perfect example of being patient with people who are behind us spiritually is found in Acts Chapter 18. Apollos was a guy whose heart was in the right place, but he didn’t know anything about Jesus and the death, burial, and resurrection. Priscilla and Aquila wrote letters telling people to receive him. They realized he just needed time to learn.

We need to follow the example of Priscilla and Aquila and have patience with those who are at an earlier stage than us in their learning. Remember that you catch more flies with honey. If someone ends up being pushed away, let it be because of our position, not because of our disposition.

Here is the sermon on Patience When Teaching.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Jesus Spent 3 Days and 3 Nights in Hell

The Bible teaches that Jesus spent three days and three nights in hell between his physical death on the cross and the resurrection, but for some reason, this doctrine has become unpopular. Some have tried to use this teaching against me for shock value because most people nowadays have never even heard of it. I don’t care if the whole world stops believing that Jesus’ soul went to hell, I will continue to preach on it since it is so clear in scripture. David prophesied about it in Psalm 16, and the passage is interpreted in the New Testament in Acts Chapter Two:

“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Psalm 16:10

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” Acts 2:31

Jonah also foretold of the three days and three nights Christ would spend in Hell:

"And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice." - Jonah 2:2

“The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.” Jonah 2:5-6

Notice how some of the above passage is referring to Jonah’s actual experience in the whale’s belly, while other statements are clearly symbolic. In case there was any doubt that Jonah was prophesying about Jesus’ experience in hell, the association between the two events is confirmed in Matthew 12:40:

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

The Oxford dictionary website lists the second definition for the word heart as: “the central or innermost part of something.”

I often use an artichoke heart as an example of this definition of heart. Also, when we talk about a person’s heart metaphorically, we are referring to the very core of their being. When the Bible talks about Jesus being in the heart of the earth, it is referring to hell. A sepulcher perhaps a few feet below ground level is not anywhere near the heart or center of the earth.

A common objection people will make is that they will bring up what Jesus said to the thief on the cross. Yes, he told the thief he would be with him in paradise that day because God is omnipresent, meaning he can be in more than one place at once.

“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Psalm 139:8

Some will try to go back to the Greek and claim that hell doesn’t mean hell. They’ll try to say hell in Acts 2:31 is referring to paradise or what some wrongly refer to as “Abraham’s bosom.” (Paradise in the Bible is actually synonymous with Heaven.)

Acts 2 and Psalm 16 would not make sense if Jesus was enjoying himself since he clearly did not want to be left in that place. Hell means hell and the time Jesus spent there was a part of the sacrifice.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me on this. I am not saying that one must believe that Jesus went to hell to be saved. The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection. (The reason Jehovah’s Witnesses are not saved is because they don’t believe in the bodily resurrection.)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

As if Psalm 16, Acts 2, Matthew 12:40, and Jonah 2 weren’t enough, this doctrine is alluded to in literally hundreds of verses! What about all of those burnt offerings in the Old Testament? The animal sacrifices were all pointing to Jesus Christ. Why did those symbolic offerings include fire and burning if Jesus Christ did not also have to go through the fire?

Even though our understanding of this doctrine is not a salvation issue, we should not ignore the spiritual component of Jesus’ death. Realizing more of what our Lord went through gives us a greater appreciation for what he did for us. We know that the price of sin is a physical death as well as a spiritual one, and we are thankful for every aspect of the salvation plan.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Here is the sermon where I discuss this subject in more detail.