Wednesday, August 31, 2016

There IS Such a Thing as a Carnal Christian: Paul Washer Exposed

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5

Salvation is a free gift, but a false gospel always adds works to salvation. Although some people will actually come out and say that you are saved by faith plus works, they are usually subtle about it. They’ll say that it’s not works that save you, but that you aren’t saved unless you do the works. Paul Washer is a false teacher who turns Romans 7 on its head by claiming that, “There’s no such thing as a carnal Christian.”

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 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. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:14-25

The fact that Washer would attempt to twist this clear scripture that is so relatable to the rest of us, immediately flags him as a false prophet. Washer will tell you that Romans 7 is not about the Christian Apostle Paul. He’ll say it’s about unsaved people. The above passage is supposedly the description of Paul’s experience before he was saved. Notice in verse 25 Paul is thanking “God through Jesus Christ?” Before Paul, aka Saul, was saved, he didn’t have any regard for Jesus Christ, remember? “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

When you got saved, your spirit was regenerated. The only reason that you sin right now is because of your flesh. Until Christ comes in the clouds, we have this unregenerate flesh. Our bodies are not changed at the point of salvation. This is why people who are saved still experience physical ailments. Our bodies won’t be changed until the resurrection when Christ appears in the clouds:

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52

Anyone who is honest with himself knows that we all struggle with sin in our lives. Like the Apostle Paul, we all feel wretched at times. Whenever I preach on Romans seven, it always resonates with people because the struggle with sin is universal.

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

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5: 25

The flesh and the spirit are at war with one another, which is why we need to be reminded to walk in the spirit. Even the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest Christians who ever lived, was humble enough to admit he continued to battle with sin. Paul Washer is a lying Pharisee who is on his way to Hell.

Here is a sermon where I cover this subject in much more detail.

Monday, August 29, 2016

People Getting Saved Because of the Reprobate Doctrine

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

Ricky Tsang was an Asian man from Canada with a debilitating disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that confined him to a wheelchair. He listened to my sermons for the past many years and sent me a lot of encouraging e-mails. He had originally contacted me about 6 years ago to tell me that he had gotten saved as a result of listening to the preaching from Faithful Word Baptist Church. After staying alive much longer than expected, Ricky went home to be with the Lord recently at age 35. Ricky had an inspirational attitude about his disease and was a blessing to all those around him. He has been an encouragement to me personally, and I am thankful that he is "walking, and leaping, and praising God" in heaven.

I’ve seen where Ricky told this story publicly before, so I think he would want me to tell it. Like many disabled people, Ricky had been abused by a Sodomite. He would not get saved because he was bitter toward the Lord about what had happened. He struggled with statements he had heard from Christians such as, “Even Jeffrey Dahmer is in Heaven.” After hearing the sermon “Sodomite Reprobates” Ricky realized that God is a righteous God. He finally believed and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his saviour because of hearing that sermon.

People will say that the reprobate doctrine turns people away from the gospel, but for every one that the reprobate doctrine “turns away,” it brings in a guy like Ricky who needed to hear it. I praise God for Ricky’s friendship and this important lesson he has taught us about the results of hard preaching.

Ricky is not the only one that has been hindered by the watered-down doctrine that God loves everyone. There are people that you will meet at the door out soul-winning who will scoff and say that we teach that “child molesters will be in Heaven.” I’ve had to go through Romans 1 with people and explain to them that child molesters/Sodomites are reprobates who have been given over to vile affections because they have rejected God. There are people on this earth who have gone too far and can no longer get saved, and being a pervert is a symptom of being a reprobate. Jeffrey Dahmer, and others like him are burning in Hell! This is not to say that we should regularly bring up Romans One when soul-winning, but if a person brings up that issue, sometimes expounding the reprobate doctrine to them can remove an obstacle, so that they will get saved.

As a pastor, it is not my job to worry about which scripture passages might turn people away. Preachers need to preach the whole counsel of God. As soul-winners, we need to be ready to tackle the hard questions out soul-winning. When I preached a sermon against the Sodomites, I had no idea that someone would get saved as a result of that sermon, but I am thankful that Ricky did.

Here is the sermon on Sodomite Reprobates.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

If the Shoe Fits

"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Luke 12:15

When children are materialistic, they usually learned it from their parents. Competitiveness in kids is why some schools implement uniforms so that parents won’t feel pressured to provide the expensive brands. Unfortunately, adults are often guilty of trying to keep up with the Jones’s in the area of their children’s wardrobes.

If you are crazy enough to buy your child $200 limited edition Jordans for no special occasion, at least teach him not to brag about it. This starts with setting a better example yourself. You might know how to mask your bragging better than your teenager does, but people see right through it. Should a lady really be boasting about the shopping sprees made possible by a child support check from her ex? You see, a married couple living on one income with a large family probably can’t afford to spend that kind of money on shoes that their children will soon outgrow.

If that stay-at-home mom you feel superior to would just leave her husband, she too, could put her kids on a bus in the morning and not see them again until late that evening. If she was working full-time plus collecting child support, maybe then her kids could have the same wardrobe as your spoiled brat. I realize single moms have to do what they have to do, but a broken home is nothing to boast about. Yes, your kids get a lot of money thrown at them because they have a “Disneyland dad” who is trying to compete with you. He may even have another wife who is working to help pay for it all.

Not only is buying expensive shoes for children impractical, but raising them to have champagne tastes is doing them a disservice. Often, when young people get married, they feel like they should quickly attain to their parent’s financial status. The reality is that most young couples have to start out in an apartment or other modest house, and money can be tight at first. Your son’s wife will want him to bring home the proverbial bacon—not the latest athletic shoes for himself. Those Nikes he bought while still living at home might have to get a little dirty until he finds a better job. In fact, once the babies start coming, he might not be able to spend much money at all on his own personal ensemble.

Some people need a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future: I know of a guy who was provided with constant new shoes growing up and still gets them just as often now that he is in his thirties; however, he makes his money dealing drugs. The reality is that an honest job doesn’t always facilitate an extravagant lifestyle, but when people are taught to feel that their value is determined by what they wear, they sometimes have trouble adapting to living on a budget.

There’s also this mentality out there that your child’s wardrobe is more important than yours. If you work at a job where you’re on your feet all day, you might be the one that needs the brand new shoes. Your kids on the other hand probably don’t have foot problems and will do just fine with something inexpensive. Yes, you should provide your children’s needs, but good parenting is not measured by the amount of money you spend on their attire. Your children are more than just accessories or dress-up dolls.

The bottom line is that prideful people will try to show off by overspending. The best way to deal with these types is to make it clear that you are unimpressed and unashamed.

Don’t raise your children with this ghetto mentality that they’re entitled to a new pair of Jordans every month, and to look down on people whose parents have different priorities. If all you can afford is shoes from Payless or the thrift store, don’t feel bad about it. Maybe then your children will learn that there is more to life than shoes.

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Here is a sermon to go with this article

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Boston Soul-Winning Marathon Results

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30

The Boston Soul-Winning Marathon this past weekend was a great success! We had 110 people show up to go soul winning! Sure we had more than that in Atlanta, Georgia, but this time, we were not the Bible belt. This was Boston, Massachusetts, which is located in a very liberal, left-winged part of the country. There were people there from Canada and all over the United States, but I was hearing a lot of New England accents, so a lot of people were local! We had 141 people saved and 11 baptized!

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:19

Not only that, but we had a great time of food and fellowship over breakfast and lunch at Panera Bread. These marathons are like rallies that help people across the country to get on fire for the Lord, and I think that it’s great that there are people who attend every marathon we put on!

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” Hebrews 10:24

There will be another soul-winning marathon this weekend in Nashville, TN. Brother Richard Miller who is starting a church in mid-October in Nashville will be there and will be heading up a last-minute mini marathon. I won’t be able to make it to that one, but I encourage anyone in that area to attend as well as those of you die-hards that are able to travel long distances to the marathons. I appreciate your friendship and the sacrifices you make to attend these events.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

In addition to the soul-winning marathons that have been put on by our church and other like-minded churches, there have been people organizing their own other soul-winning marathons across the country, which is great! Brother Peter James recently held one in the Bronx, New York, and brother Giancarlo Guerrero is trying to put one together down in Miami, Florida.

To find out the dates of future soul-winning marathons, check the "Events" page at the church website.

“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32

Here is a sermon to go with this post.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Churches That Take Baptist Off the Sign

In a day when many churches are removing Baptist from their name, we will continue to call our church a Baptist church. The purpose of a name is to identify something, and names in the Bible have great meaning and significance. Ambiguous names such as Crosspoint, Such and Such Christian Fellowship, or Adventure Church leave people scratching their heads as to what those churches believe.

At one time it made sense for a church to simply be called “the church,” when it was the only church in a particular city. The word "church" alone was probably enough to indicate a congregation of Christians. Later, the Baptist distinction was needed to differentiate biblical Christians from Catholics and Protestants. We don’t call ourselves “The Church at Tempe” today because that wouldn’t tell people much about our church. Not only that, but Faithful Word Baptist Church is not the only church in Tempe.

Many churches that have generic sounding names are in fact affiliated with a denomination, but when we talk about non-denominational churches, we are referring to all churches that don’t have an identifier in their name. You will often find something in the fine print somewhere about an affiliation, but churches will downplay that connection in order to attract people of other faiths.

We are an independent Baptist church, so we are not part of a denomination, but Baptists have traditionally believed certain fundamentals of the faith, so the Baptist label is a way to indicate that we believe those same truths. When someone walks into a Baptist church, he or she can at least count on a few things:

· All Baptists believe in baptism by immersion.
· Al Baptists believe baptism is for believers.
· All Baptists will at least give lip service to the fact that our doctrine should be based on scripture alone.
· Virtually every Baptist believes in the eternal security of the believer.

Non-denominational churches, on the other hand, will usually avoid taking a stand on much of anything so that everyone will feel welcome. This type of church has the backward philosophy of bringing the world into the church rather than going out and evangelizing the community through door-to-door soul winning. We want to reach the unsaved, but church should be geared toward the saved.

It’s not just the unsaved that feel comfortable in the average non-denominational church, but also people from other factions of Christianity. Unity is great within a local church, but we don’t need unity with everyone in the world. Church should be an assembly of born-again baptized believers that are in agreement because its members believe the same on the most important doctrines. We are not supposed to fellowship with people who are called “brother” yet are living in certain sins or are blatantly disregarding Bible doctrine.

There are a few churches out there that do not have "Baptist" in the name but are still great churches. I’m not saying that a church has to be called "Baptist" to be right with God. Calling our church "Baptist" is a preference as opposed to a conviction, but I believe it is beneficial to keep that identifying label. Not only does it help like-minded believers to find our church, but it will also cause people who promote false doctrine to avoid it.

It’s hard enough to find a decent Baptist church, but once you venture outside of the Baptist umbrella, it’s a jungle out there, folks. Finding a good non-denominational church is liking looking for a needle in a haystack. Looking for a church with Baptist in the name is a great starting point, but the right kind of church will usually add more adjectives to their website and other advertisements to help describe what they believe. Not only are we Baptists, but we are independent, fundamental, King James only, soul-winning Baptists. And these days we should probably add to that description that we believe salvation is by grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing. Those who would disagree with any of these specifics should remove the name Baptist off of their sign because we aren’t the ones who have changed.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

By Reason of Use

Learn by Doing

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” Hebrews 5:13

Everything in life is easier to learn by doing than just by hearing about it. To become skillful in any area, you will need to do more than just reading, listening, and watching. Eventually, you will need to learn by doing.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22

Bible Doctrine

A pastor who preaches sermons and goes out soul winning is more qualified to teach the Bible than some scholar who sits in an office all day. So-called theologians often don’t know as much as the average church member who is knocking doors and applying biblical principles in his business dealings and family life. It’s people who never go soul-winning who get messed up on salvation doctrine.

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who BY REASON OF USE have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14

Life Skills and Trades

When teaching others, it is important to let them actually gain hands-on experience. Let your children help cook dinner or fix the vacuum cleaner. Yes, give them the information first and supervise if needed, but then let them learn by doing. Even though I grew up watching my dad do electrical work, I became a better electrician once I had a boss that wasn’t afraid to let me mess up and gave me the opportunity to do the work myself. Yes, I made mistakes, but that was an important part of the learning process.

Foreign Language

If you’re going to learn a foreign language, you do have to study and memorize things, but once you know 20 words, you ought to start using them. You’ll advance faster by speaking right away and making mistakes than if you wait until you feel you are an expert in the language. It’s not about impressing people—it’s about learning to communicate. And don’t even get me started on these so-called Greek experts that couldn’t even order a meal if you dropped them off in Greece.

Soul Winning

Just like with learning a foreign language, when you start presenting the gospel, you might not sound very good at first. Start memorizing and underlining the verses, listen to the sermons, watch the soul-winning seminar, but there is no reason to put off becoming a silent partner. What you are studying at home will sink in better if you are actually experiencing it out in the field. If you wait until you feel completely prepared, you might never get out there. The next step is becoming a talker. Just start talking, and don’t be too proud to get stumped at the door. You can always go home and study up on a subject, so you’ll know the answer for next time.

“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

You do need to take in information through reading, listening, and watching, but once you’ve learned something, put it into practice right away, so you don’t forget it. Studying and being a worker go hand in hand.

Here is a sermon on Learning by Doing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Handling Legal Disputes Between Christians

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” Matthew 18:15-17

The Bible makes it clear that it is never right to file a lawsuit against a brother or sister in Christ. There is a biblical protocol to follow when someone has wronged you: First, go to the person and try to make it right. If that doesn’t work, bring one or two witnesses to help document the conversation. If all else fails, the guilty party may need to be expelled from the church.

“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” 1 Corinthians 6: 1-8

“Going to law” in this passage is not talking about reporting crimes such as rape, murder, or child molestation. God put the death penalty on those crimes in the Old Testament, and we should never sweep something like that under the rug. Crimes of that nature should absolutely be reported to the authorities. What the scripture is referring to is suing another believer for financial reasons.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Matthew 5:38-40

When you truly love your neighbor, you will loosen your grip on the things of this world. If you loan something to someone, make sure you can afford to kiss it goodbye. I’m not saying it’s right to borrow something and not give it back. The Bible makes it clear that people should pay what they owe.

“The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.” Psalm 37:21

That said, we should never sue other believers. Sometimes another Christian will wrong you financially, but if the church doesn’t give you justice, then too bad for you. Two wrongs do not make a right. It is wrong to sue your brother in Christ and it is wrong to sue a church, which is a body of believers.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Perilous Times

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1

We are living in a day when Hollywood movies, television shows, and commercials promote homosexuality and other violence, are effectively brainwashing the masses. Schools are changing their history curriculum. Sodomites and their sympathizers are protesting our churches. A dating site called “Christian Mingle” is adding a new search option for homos. Anarchy is breaking out in our streets due to a race war being fueled by the media and politicians. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.

Although we lament the condition of society, it is not cause to be discouraged. Instead of wishing that we had been born during a more peaceful era, we can be thankful that we were chosen to be alive during these tumultuous times and have the opportunity to fight for what is right. We can also be grateful that we still have the freedom to preach the Bible, even though we are facing more opposition now than in recent decades.

"Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this." - Ecclesiastes 7:10 

We are living in this time period for a purpose. Now is not the time to sit back and put our heads in the sand like so many Christians are doing. Cutting up your Target card isn’t changing much, folks. You need to support bold preachers and get involved in soul-winning churches in order to take part in the spiritual battle of today.

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Read your Bible more, pray more, go to church more, go soul-winning more, and take time to teach your children, younger siblings, and converts important Bible doctrine. Preaching the gospel to people is important, but it is only a part of the Great Commission. Most of us have weaker Christians within our circle of influence that we can bring to church and talk to about spiritual things. Do something every day to help further the cause of Christ. Sometimes even just sharing a sermon on social media or giving a friend a biblical DVD can get them fired up and start them on a whole new path. If we aren’t going to see the great tribulation, the next generation might, or their children might. Those of us who are more mature in the faith need to furnish the next generation with the knowledge they need to face uncertain times.

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

My Thoughts on Church Buildings

“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9

The church is not a physical building, tabernacle, or temple. The church is the people. That said, it is very scriptural for a church to meet in a building. Even in the earliest New Testament church, they met in “the upper room,” which had to have been large enough to accommodate at least 120 people. We know that the church grew after that, so it was either a very large room, or they eventually moved to a different location. People who are against us meeting in a building are just silly because we can’t fit 300 people in our house, and neither can you. Faithful Word Baptist Church was started in a house since it was started from scratch, but when a new church already has over 50 members from day one, it no longer makes sense to start in a house.

Success is not Measured by a Building

People will criticize us for not owning a building, but God looks at our church as an assembly of people. We don’t need lofty spires and stained glass windows. In fact, we don’t want to pattern ourselves after Catholic cathedrals or Protestant palaces. We don’t care about impressing the gaytheists and fagnostics who make fun of us for meeting in an office space or strip mall. The average church member is happy with comfortable chairs and air conditioning, and we do our best to provide that.

Pitfalls of Buying a Building

It is impossible to anticipate the fluctuations in church attendance or changes in the real estate market. I’ve known a lot of churches that got into trouble financially by financing buildings. Just as people divorce over finances, church splits also happen for similar reasons. Buying a commercial property is different than buying a home. The minimum down payment on a business property is a higher percentage than what would be required to buy a house. Since we are not backed by a denomination, several people would have to cosign on the loan. When I get up and preach a face-ripping sermon, I don’t want to have to worry about running off wealthy trustees or cosigners who may not necessarily be the most spiritual people in the church.

I’ve seen churches split over finances, whether things went well or poorly. I can tell you about churches that did well financially, and it corrupted the pastor. I have also seen churches get smaller to the point where they could no longer afford the building. Even if a building just fell into our lap, I would not want to lose the flexibility of renting. When you rent a building, you can select the building for the size you are right now. There is no long-term commitment, so you can upgrade or downsize as needed. There’s no stress over the cost of major repairs since you can simply call the landlord.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

When there is money in a building, the church can be targeted. This could come in the form of a lawsuit, harassment from the I.R.S., or members trying to overthrow the pastor to gain control of the facility. When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. I’m not saying it is wrong for other churches to buy or build buildings. I’m just explaining why Faithful Word Baptist Church will never own a building.

Here is a sermon that explains this concept in greater detail.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

God Commands us to Attend Church

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

The Bible commands us to attend church, which is defined as a local, called out assembly of believers. In Psalm 22:22, God uses the word congregation, and he quotes that same passage in Hebrews 2:12, substituting the word “church” for “congregation.” This proves that the word church means congregation. When you are listening to preaching on your computer or other device, you may be learning, but you are not congregated together with other believers.

Church is Powerful

There is something different about hearing the Bible read in church versus reading it at home, and we obviously need both. Not only is Bible reading different in church, but preaching is too. Listening to sermons remotely is never as powerful as experiencing the service in person.

The Spirit Moves

God’s spirit speaks to us in church in a special way through the preaching. I will often choose a sermon topic seemingly at random, and people will come up to me afterward and tell me that I preached on the very thing that they have recently been struggling with. The Holy Spirit often leads a pastor to preach exactly what you need to hear. You might be more distracted while listening to a recording and miss something that would have made more of an impact in person. Not all sermons in all churches are recorded. Not only that, but sometimes the recording equipment fails. Don’t miss out on a sermon that God might be leading the pastor to preach just for you.

Fellowship and Work

God knew that we needed the positive influence of other believers to succeed in the Christian life. We live in the world and have to interact with unbelievers all week. We need the fellowship of other Christians to keep us encouraged and motivate us to do more for God. We call the kitchen area at our church “the break room” because church is a place that sends us out to do the Lord’s work.

Psalms and Hymns

Even the singing is an important part of the church service. We don’t just schedule a few hymns at the beginning because we are expecting you to arrive late. The reason that it is so important that the songs we sing are doctrinally correct is that songs will often stick with us long after we forget the sermon.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

Online sermons can be a very beneficial supplement—I listen to sermons, too, but they are no substitute for regular church attendance. Realize the importance of being a part of the institution that God said he would build. The Bible says that Christ purchased the church with his own blood. Not going to church is a serious sin that will lead you into more sin, because you need fellowship, and you need to sit under the preaching.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Reaching the Navajo Nation with the Gospel

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

The Navajo tribe is the largest Indian tribe in the United States. Although the Navajo Nation covers over 27,000 square miles and includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, the Navajo population is only around 250,000 people. The tribe is a close-knit community where distant cousins often remain in contact with each other and families are further associated with each other through a clan system.


The key to the Navajo’s survival as a tribe has been their willingness to plan for the future. Unlike hunter-gatherer tribes that could be wiped out by one bad winter, the Navajo people have survived by constructing buildings and raising sheep. Because Native Americans lacked a written language for quite some time, their creation and flood stories were passed down verbally and bear very little resemblance to the truth. Interestingly, the traditional Navajo houses called “hogans” are built to face toward the East, which could be reminiscent of an earlier society that wanted to pray toward Jerusalem.

Traditional Beliefs

The traditional Native American religion is one of superstition and ceremonies. The Navajo belief system is polytheistic in nature. “Father Sun” and “Changing Woman” are examples of Navajo deities. Evil spirits are feared and scary “shape-shifting” entities such as “skin walkers” are rarely mentioned. As with other false religions, their exact beliefs vary and what goes on in the ceremonies is often kept secret from outsiders. When knocking on doors on the reservation, you will often get different answers from different people on what they believe. Some typical responses are that they believe in “traditional religion” or, for shock value, “peyote religion.” Because the tribe is a relatively small community, people usually know of Christians in their extended family, which can make it easier to talk to them about the Lord.

Younger Navajo people are not usually as religious, so they are often easier to reach with the gospel. Some of the elderly people are not fluent in English, but their children and grandchildren are usually happy to interpret for them at the door. Navajo people like to use their traditional language, so some churches conduct at least one service in Navajo, complete with a Navajo hymnal.

Baptists are Failing

Unfortunately, many of the Baptist churches on or around the Navajo reservation teach a repent-of-your-sins plan of salvation. Other churches have the right gospel but the numbers of people out soul-winning are very low. I would love to see our church someday send out a pastor to a city located on or near the Navajo reservation.

Soul-Winning on the Reservation

An important Bible quote to remember when soul-winning on the reservation is, “Beware of dogs.” I heard someone say that the average Navajo family has five kids and five dogs. Although family size is shrinking, you can expect to run into plenty of aggressive dogs and unfenced yards. “Rez dogs” will usually back down if you appear to be on the offensive and do not show your fear.

Another thing to remember out soul-winning is to recognize and respect cultural differences. For example, a firm handshake and direct eye contact are encouraged in our “belagana” culture, but the opposite is considered polite to the Navajo, so don’t be offended if someone seems stand-offish. Natives are superstitious about talking about death, which can be an obstacle out soul-winning. Death and Hell have to be discussed, but it may be helpful to gently acknowledge that this is a subject we do not enjoy talking about, but we still have to think about it sometime. Many Navajo people are shy and politely agreeable, so it is important to get them engaged in a dialogue when presenting the gospel to make sure that they actually believe what you are showing them from the Bible.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Navajos tend to be stoic and don't show a lot of emotion. If they answer the questions correctly then they are getting it, even if they seem lackadaisical.

Another Church Needed

One soul-winning church could potentially preach the gospel to the entire Navajo Nation through door-to-door soul winning, which would need to include small town soul-winning marathons across a large geographical area. If you have a burden for Navajo people and feel you might someday be qualified to pastor a church, Faithful Word Baptist Church is the perfect training ground for you. We have Navajo members in our church that can teach you more about their culture than I can. The natives are friendly here at Faithful Word Baptist Church! Join us, and get a burden for this often forgotten people of the Southwestern United States.

Here is a sermon on Reaching the Navajo Nation.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sikhism in Light of the Bible

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

Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. Like Buddhism, Sikhism comes from Hinduism, which is older. Spin-off Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Sikhism teach many of the same things we see in Hinduism, including reincarnation, karma, and meditation. Although Sikhs claim to believe in one god, Sikhism affirms all of the Hindu gods and teaches that all roads lead to heaven. Over 90 percent of the people who practice Sikhism are from the Punjab region of India/Pakistan, and people who believe in Sikhism don’t even claim that it is for everyone. Instead, they will say things like, “We have our own god.”

In contrast, there are Bible-believing Christians in every country and language group. You can’t even associate Christianity with a certain ethnicity since people of so many nationalities embrace it. The Bible makes it clear that all people have to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved and that his name is Jesus.

The Sikh religion is shrouded in mystery. One of the tenets of Sikhism is the significance of the name of their god or the “Nam” as they call it, yet they cannot even tell you what that name is. Their holy book, which is treated as a person, often gets its own dedicated room of the house. Some of them also say that each of the “gurus” were God, so a good thing to point out to them is that none of the gurus rose from the dead.

In the Bible, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet as an example of humility. In stark contrast, the first guru of Sikhism, who founded the religion around 500 years ago, instituted a ritual where Sikhs were required to drink the dirty water he washed his feet in. This practice continued until the tenth guru did away with it. Interestingly, the Bible condemns this strange practice:

“Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.” Ezekiel 34:18-19

Eastern mysticism is becoming more and more popular, with people in the Western world adopting many of its traditions. Yoga instructors will often teach people to open their mind to demonic influence under the guise of relaxation techniques. The only thing we should be meditating on is God and the Bible. God is the one who makes sure that we reap what we sow—we should not be attributing this fact to “karma.” Cremation of the dead is yet another Eastern practice that has crept into even Baptist churches.

The bottom line is that Eastern religions including Sikhism teach salvation by works, and they are not worshiping the God of the Bible. We need to reach Sikhs and other unsaved people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We love the Indian people, but we hate the false religions that are sending them to Hell.

“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:104

Here’s a link to a gospel presentation in Punjabi, and here is a sermon on Sikhism in Light of the Bible.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Some of My Favorite Books

Reading is a much more educational way to spend your time than watching TV or listening to talk radio. People often ask me what books I like to read other than the Bible. Here are a few of my favorite books in various categories.


"Ninety-three" by Victor Hugo
"Toilers of the Sea" by Victor Hugo
"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens
"Ivanhoe" by Sir Walter Scott
"Eclipse of the Crescent Moon" by Géza Gárdonyi 

Non-fiction Books:

"Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser
"Blood Feud" a.k.a "Blood Medicine" by Kathleen Sharp
"How Music Works" by John Powell
"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg
"Fluent in 3 Months" by Benny Lewis
"The Power of Body Language" by Tonya Reiman 

Books about History:

"Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford
"Mao: The Unknown Story" by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
"The Bridge at Andau" by James Michener
"The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
"The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War" by H. Crocker
"Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution" by A.J. Langguth

There are many more that I could list, but these are just a few of my top favorites. Obviously our primary reading material should be the Bible, but other reading outside of the Bible can be educational and broaden our understanding of a variety of topics relevant to our lives. Every time I read a new book, I get at least one sermon idea out of it because I read everything through the lens of God's word and my understanding as a Christian. Here are some sermons inspired by books I have read:

My sermons "Gambling" and "Habits," both preached on 4/7/13, were inspired by the book "The Power of Habit."

My sermon "The Whole World Lieth in Wickedness" preached on 6/30/13 was inspired by the book "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World."

My sermon "Learn by Doing" preached on 7/3/16 was inspired by the book "Fluent in 3 Months."

I am not a fan of "speed reading." I believe in carefully reading every word. I also read every good book at least twice. I always like to say, "Any book that is worth reading once is worth reading twice!"

I do like audio books in addition to reading physical books. They can be great for learning on the go and multi-tasking.

Let me know in the comments if you have read and enjoyed any of the books on my favorites list!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Coptic Orthodox Confusion

Bishoy Abdelshaid, an aggressive protestor of Verity Baptist Church, told the Sacramento Bee that he is a Member of St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church. He is protesting because of a sermon Pastor Jimenez preached against the homos after the Orlando shooting.

Although his specific “Sacramento diocese” located in Roseville, California, does not provide a detailed statement of faith on their website, they are part of the Coptic Orthodox church that follows a pope in Egypt, so a consistency in doctrine would be expected. A priest of another Coptic Orthodox location in the Bay Area stated that “homosexuals will not repent of their sins.” Further down the page this statement is contradicted when they are told to repent. This confusing information can be found on a website called Interestingly, even the Coptic Orthodox Church hints at the reprobate doctrine.

Perhaps the question of whether or not all Sodomites are reprobates is just as controversial in Orthodox churches as it is among Baptists. Either way, they know it is a sin, they know it is unnatural, they acknowledge that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were homos, and they acknowledge that the death penalty was put on Sodomy in the book of Leviticus. So what is Bishoy so upset about unless he himself is a Sodomite? Maybe someone should tell him that his own religion condemns him. That freak is going to hell in every religion!

Solving the Dilemma

Even blinded unbelievers usually know instinctively that practicing homos are not saved, which presents a dilemma. They either have to believe that Sodomites must repent of that sin before getting saved, that they will automatically change after salvation, or that they are reprobates and it is too late for them. I obviously believe the latter since salvation is a free gift and not of works. Here is a sermon where I lay out the reprobate doctrine in more detail.

I realize that there are “gay” churches, but obviously those are run by reprobates themselves. Even before I came to the conclusion that being a Sodomite is a symptom of being a reprobate (see Romans 1), I knew that practicing homos were not saved. Any idiot knows that.

Regardless of what they actually believe about Sodomites, Coptic Orthodox churches are completely apostate because they teach a hardcore works salvation. If Bishoy Abdelshaid is an example of their typical member, I shudder to think what goes on in St. Mary’s children’s ministries. Not only was Bishoy seen on Twitter posing in a tutu, but in 2013, he re-tweeted a filthy post promoting pedophilia on a three-month old baby! Please pray that this wicked pervert is stopped before he hurts innocent children.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Orthodoxy Exposed

Orthodoxy, whether it be Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox or any other type of orthodoxy, is an apostate false religion. The differences between Orthodox churches are mainly regional, i.e. Greek Orthodox vs. Russian Orthodox. Orthodoxy has all the same heresies of the Roman Catholic Church, because it is the same Mystery Babylon religion which predates Catholicism. Changing the name of a heathen goddess to “Mary” did not make Catholicism and Orthodoxy “Christian.” Pagan practices such as having monks do not come from the Bible. The same superstitious paganism seen in Catholicism is present in the Orthodox religion.

The most important thing to note is that Orthodox churches are wrong on salvation. They teach that salvation involves faith + works + the sacraments and that salvation is a process. Being born again is a one-time event, not a gradual process.

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:7

Here is a list of Orthodox practices, which show its striking similarities to Catholicism:

Infant baptism
Celibate bishops (even though Orthodox parish priests are allowed to marry)
Chanting vain repetitions
Monks, nuns, and monasteries
Praying to Mary
Praying to saints
Praying for the dead
Candles, incense, icons, idols, and relics (a “relic” can be anything from a piece of wood to the dead body of a saint, which they take on tour)
Services are often conducted in a language not everyone understands

The Coptic Orthodox Church

The Coptic Orthodox Church is based in Egypt and claims to have been started by Saint Mark. This is similar to the Roman Catholic claim that Peter was the first pope. The Coptic pope wrote a book called the Heresy of Salvation in a Moment. That same pope also said that “salvation is not attained through good works, but is not attained without them.” This convoluted statement is typical of a works-based religion, but what does the Bible say?

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5

Orthodox churches are completely apostate. Christians shouldn’t be listening to the Youtuber, “Brother Nathaniel,” who is a member of an Orthodox church. This person is a false teacher who chants a vain repetition for hours at a time. If you are a Christian, this man is not your brother in Christ. You wouldn’t listen to a Catholic priest, so don’t listen to an Orthodox one either, because it’s the same religion.

Here is a sermon on Orthodoxy in Light of the Bible

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Your Appearance

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which IN CONTINUANCE were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

When a child is developing in his mother’s womb, he or she is actually being formed and fashioned by God. People often struggle with being dissatisfied with the way they look. Others have the opposite problem and become conceited about their looks. Realizing that God made you exactly the way he wanted you to look should help with either problem.

The following passage describes women who were vain and prideful about their appearance:

“In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.” Isaiah 3:18-24

The women described here were elaborately adorned with expensive clothing and accessories and had a proud look. Being preoccupied with your appearance is prideful because you are assuming people care more about how you look than they actually do.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

If you are a single lady who wants to attract the right kind of men, you need to have a holy appearance. A woman that is dressed in a classy way is a beautiful thing--it is a different kind of beauty that brings respect as opposed to lustful thoughts.

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Beauty is largely in the eye of the beholder, but obviously some people are more handsome or beautiful than others. That said, we shouldn’t look at what God created and call a person ugly. When people appear ugly to others, it is likely that they have abused or modified their body in some way.

This is an extreme example, but when God made Michael Jackson, he made that little black boy that sang ABC 123. God did not create the monster he later turned into. Be content with the way God made you, and know that you are beautiful in God’s sight. There is no need to drastically modify your appearance with plastic surgery, caked-on makeup, or a starvation diet.

On the other hand, we ought not look slovenly. There is a difference between having a natural look and being lazy. Hygiene, neatness, and a healthy diet can go a long way in helping you look your best. People in the Bible took the time to look presentable:

“Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.” Ruth 3:3

“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” Proverbs 31:22

You should not become prideful about your appearance nor should you fret about it either. Realize that God made you look a certain way for a purpose—even if you don’t understand it. People with straight hair often wish they had curly hair and vice versa. Others wish that they could be shorter or taller, but God knew what he was doing when he made each and every one of us. Perhaps you need to take better care of yourself by gaining or losing weight, but don’t let Hollywood brainwash you into thinking you need to be a certain size or look a certain way to be attractive.

Here is a sermon on Your Appearance.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Meaningful vs. Meaningless Life

In the book of Ecclesiastes we read about King Solomon who pretty much had everything, yet he said it was all vanity. Money doesn’t buy happiness. You can’t take it with you. Name the cliché about earthly riches not being the answer, and Solomon would probably agree.

“And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

“Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Those of you who aren’t serving the Lord are living a meaningless life. Your house is your habitat, and your job keeps you busy like a hamster running on a wheel. If you aren’t doing anything with lasting value, you are basically living the life of an animal. Your motto is “let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.” But what about after that?

First of all, you need to be saved, or you will spend eternity in Hell. After salvation, though, a wise person will start laying up treasures in heaven. Some of what we do in life is necessary--like working to provide for our family, taking care of our homes, etc. Recreational activities help us to improve our relationships with family and friends. Even personal hobbies are fine, because the Bible does teach that we should enjoy life. Be careful though, that you don’t fill up all of your time with things that have no eternal value.

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

God did not put us on this earth to merely exist, which is why we often have an empty feeling at the end of a wasted day. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Reproducing ourselves spiritually and physically, learning the Bible, and investing in other people should be high on our priority list. Souls being won to Christ is what really makes a difference in this world.

“And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude 22-23

Decide each day that your day is not going to be meaningless. In addition to accumulating a little wood, hay, and stubble, be sure that you are doing something meaningful every day of your life. Different people are in different situations and some have more free time than others, but we can all carve out some time to read the Bible, pray, win souls, and influence others to do the same.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day 4 of the Red Hot Preaching Conference

“I do love my neighbor, that’s why I preach against the homos!” –Pastor Roger Jimenez

Pastor Jimenez was on fire on Sunday! His sermon was based on the fact that what you love will determine what you hate. The springboard verse was Hebrews 1:9, and the title of his sermon was “Love Hates.” The media was there, and Pastor Jimenez preached to them directly at times.

“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:9

He did a great job explaining that if you love something, then you will have to hate something else. For example, if you love children, then you’ll hate pedophiles. If you love unborn children, you’ll hate abortion.

At one point he told Dusty Arnold, a homo who calls himself a reverend, to take his little rainbow tie and do us all a favor and go hang himself! Amen! These protestors are all enemies of God, and they want to corrupt innocent children. If you love your children, then you ought to hate the Sodomites who would harm them.

“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:” 2 Peter 2:14

Pastor Jimenez preached hard against sin and explained why we hate certain things. It was great when he addressed the children specifically, warning them to flee fornication and to never touch alcohol. Kids need to hear more of this kind of preaching in today’s pulpits, but unfortunately, men like Pastor Jimenez are few and far between.

What preaching conference would be complete without a man of God naming the names of the wicked TV shows of today that no Christian should be watching? It was a long list, and Duck Dynasty was included right along with some very filthy shows. AMEN! Those stupid rednecks are part of the “Church of Christ” cult, and I’m tired of Christians praising them.

There was another great rant about the false prophets and liberal preachers of our day who Jimenez called out by name.

“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

There were several baptisms on Sunday morning, and churchgoers were so excited about the preaching and fellowship, they almost didn’t notice the news cameras and protestors. Pastor Jimenez sermon was the perfect grand finale for the last day of the conference.

Sunday night, ten conference goers got a chance to preach, and I’m told that those guys did a great job! I am amazed and humbled at the number of talented, up-and-coming preachers there are in this movement! God willing, these guys will stick with it, and in several years, they will be scattered all over America and the world doing great exploits and seeing many thousands saved!

Here is a link to the sermon.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hanging in There by Staying Humble

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

Most people do too little in the Christian life, but some actually do too much. Occasionally, people will take on more responsibility than they can handle in order to prove that they are a good church member, but your motivation for serving the Lord shouldn’t be pride. When you do things for the right reasons, you will live a more balanced life and be more likely to stay in church long term.

For example, if you are only able to make it out soul-winning twice a month, don’t quit altogether just because the pastor preaches once-a-week soul winning. You will do more by being consistent in your routine than by constantly stopping and starting back up. Your circumstances may improve in the future, but the important thing is that you don’t quit just because you aren’t the superstar of the church.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not necessarily telling people to do less for the Lord. Some people might do well with a heavy workload, and I’m not telling those people to slow down. If you are feeling overwhelmed, though, you might need to pace yourself. Don’t worry that someone else is able to do more. The Bible teaches that it is unwise to compare ourselves with others.

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

As Christians, we need to know how to run, but we also need to know how to walk. You are not always going to operate at peak performance. You have to be able to get through those low points. If you quit, you won’t be able to renew your strength. A holier-than-thou person might be tempted to run more to seek the praise of men, and then when they don’t get the recognition they crave, they drop out of the race completely.

The Bible mentions walking about twice as much as it mentions running. If running at full speed is all you ever do, you’re not going to make it in the Christian life. Christianity is measured in decades, not years. It’s an ultra-marathon as opposed to a sprint. Instead of trying to impress others by excelling in the short term, jog at a more sustainable pace or temporarily slow to a walk.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with PATIENCE the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1

I’ve been in church my entire life, and I’ve seen people fall victim to being “righteous over much.” People who get really excited about serving God for a short time often burn out quickly. My old pastor called this type of person a Roman Candle Christian.

“Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” Ecclesiastes 7:16

When you would rather throw in the towel than slow down, pride is often the culprit. Holier-than-thou types end up either being Roman candle Christians or complete phonies. The Bible teaches that God hates a holier-than-thou attitude.

“Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” Isaiah 65:5

Be patient. Keep showing up for church even if you don’t feel like it, and things will eventually get better. Don’t be guilty of this all-or-nothing mentality where you feel like you have to leave a church rather than slow down temporarily or step down from a position. Stay humble, and keep moving forward in the Christian life.

Here’s a sermon to go with this article.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Day 3 of the Red Hot Preaching Conference

On Saturday, we had 195 people out soul winning! This is an all-time record for any of the soul-winning marathons I have ever been a part of. This more extreme IFB movement is starting to spread like wildfire, and people are not only listening to the preaching, but they are participating!

“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:46-47

We had a full house again for the Saturday preaching service, and Pastor Logan Robertson preached a short sermon on “How to be Filled with the Spirit.” He preached hard against drinking and didn’t hold anything back when he called out Youtubers, Afshin and Marshall, for their bizarre teaching on alcohol. Not only that, but hearing Pastor Robertson say fag and queer in his New Zealand accent was classic. One of the many great points in the sermon was a reminder of what a serious sin covetousness is. Listening to this man preach was a rare treat since his sermons are not yet available online.

Pastor Dave Berzins preached a dynamic sermon from Matthew 23 on not being a Pharisee. Even the reading of the text at the beginning of the sermon was powerful. Pastor Berzins talked about how as Christians, and especially as pastors, we need to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. We need to avoid hypocrisy and keep practicing what we preach. We need to do things for the Lord as opposed to doing them for the praise of men. He gave us a strong warning about pride and boasting that was an important reminder for all.

“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:16

Later in the evening, the teenagers had a fun time playing laser tag and the fellowship continued afterward at the church building. I am also told that there was a singles dinner going on at the same time. Attending events such as preaching conferences and soul-winning marathons is a great way to meet like-minded believers. A sweet spirit of fellowship is one of the many strong suits of this growing movement.

“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42