These Are Not Drunken – Acts 2:1-28

Our message this morning was from Acts 2:40 – “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” We began reading from verse 29 – “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David.” While I was preparing for that message, I began looking over the entire chapter. Coming to verse 15, I was reminded of another scripture I had just seen in my sermon idea notebook. Peter said, “These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.” The other scripture which popped into my mind was Ephesians 5:18 – “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” These two scriptures are double-linked – they both speak of the filling of the Holy Spirit, and they are linked by “drunk” and “drunken.” A question then struck me: “Why did some of the people at Pentecost say that God’s servants were drunk?” From that two more questions emerged: “Should Christians be offended if people think they are drunken?” And, “Should God’s people actually display characteristics of drunkenness?” Surely not. In trying to answer these questions, I think we might have a lesson or two. To get the background, let’s consider what took place on that very special Day of Pentecost. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and...

The Untoward Generation – Acts 2:22-41

We are being told these days that unless we have a “G5 phone” we are antiquated – nearly dinosaurs. The “G” in “G5″ refers to the 5th GENERATION of cell phone – engineered, we are told, to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. I can remember way back in the spring of 2015 when the first G4 was brought out. I’m feeling old – more and more old all the time. There is other kind of talk about “generations” these days, and it has little to do with family genealogies. We have generations of phones and computers – and even groups of people. Perhaps you have heard of the people called “Generation X” or “Gen-X.” Do you know who belongs to that so-called “generation?” It includes people born between 1965 and 1980 – the “Gen-X” people are now 40 to 55 years old. I am a part of the “Baby Boomer Generation” because I was born in 1949. Who comes up with these terms? They don’t make a lot of sense. Take as a perfect example, the “Millennial Generation.” The “Millennials” had to be born at least 4 years before the close of the last millennium. Kids born during the year 2000 are actually of the “Z Generation.” And following “Generation Z” comes the “Generation Alpha.” I would think that the FIRST letter of the Greek alphabet would come before, not after, the LAST letter of the English alphabet. “Alpha” should precede “Zed.” Again I ask you, who comes up with these ridiculous designations? They certainly don’t come out of the Word of God. But in...

February 28

Joseph Reese was born in Wales. When he was 13 years old his family moved to the area of South Carolina called “The Congarees,” becoming one of the first families to settle there. He was raised in the Anglican church, but when the pioneer Baptist preacher, Philip Mulkey, visited the Congarees, Joseph was born again. Later, as the Separate Baptist, Daniel Marshal, began to evangelize the area, Reese joined with him. In 1765 they led 32 people to establish the Congaree Baptist Church, and Brother Reese became their pastor. Three years later, on this day (Feb. 28), he was ordained to the gospel ministry, assisted by Regular Baptists Oliver Hart, from Charleston, and Evan Pugh from Mount Pleasant. Pastor Reese served the Lord at Congaree throughout most of his life, with breaks to serve as a chaplain in the Revolutionary War, and for a short time pastoring at Boiling Springs, S.C. One of the highlights of his ministry was to be an instrument in the conversion of Richard Furman, who became a well-known and highly-used minister of Christ throughout the South. The historian David Benedict states that during the last years of his life, Bro. Reese became infirm and unable to leave his bed. But as he deteriorated several of the members of his church would come to his home and carry their former pastor, in his bed, three miles to the church house. After hearing his pastoral successor preach, Reese would often prop himself up and address a few words in a conversational style to his friends, who often melted into tears. Joseph Reese died on March 5,...

The Brand of Christ – Galatians 6:14-18

As you can see these are the last words of Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. Having studied this book just a few years ago, I hope you remember Paul’s general purpose. The Book of Galatians is a defense of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. It carries warnings against a reversion to the corrupt Judaism which declared that obedience to the law was necessary for salvation. And since this was at the core of his gospel message, this letter also carries a vindication of Paul’s Apostleship. As to Paul’s authority – he reintroduces himself saying – “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father…” “I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” He says, “When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood,” after which he relates how the Lord taught him the truth. And as to his defense of the gospel he says, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have...

January 2021

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Another New Year 2021 started with an unusual amount of consternation and fear in the hearts of most people in general. Political fear, economic fear, and health fear seem to head the list of those fears. However, we are not afraid by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Did not the Psalmist say, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” How can we fear while seated at such a table of spiritual prosperity? Some Early Blessings Although we have, for the most part, lost our Latino outreach, we now have Jose Bautista and two of his children, Josselyn and Jesus (Hesus), regularly attending our Sunday services. We have two Mexican brothers and their lady friend expressing their desire to come to a Sunday service but have been hindered by work demands thus far. LaShonda and her boys, Dona’te, and Deonta, were out for two weeks due to Covid-19 positive results being found in Dona’te. Thankfully, the Lord prevented any serious symptoms from developing in Dona’te’s life, and they have promised to return to services the seventh of February. During January we had our highest number in attendance on the tenth with sixteen attendees. We had a repeat visitor, LaShonda’s niece, Tyasia, visit with us on the seventeenth, giving us fourteen in attendance on that Sunday. Sickness and the loss of Bro. Ruben’s three children from our services have affected our attendance numbers. We are rejoicing over the Lord’s blessings in spite of pandemic fears. Ministry Blessings I finished my...

February 21

Most of the first immigrants to this continent brought with them the politics and religions of their homelands. As a result, with only a few exceptions, most of the first thirteen colonies authorized a single denomination and practiced something called “a clergy tax,” or something similar, in order to support that one denomination. Both religious and government leaders felt that churches could not exist without the State supporting whatever religion was most preferred in that colony. Even when those colonies became states and the State religions were disenfranchised, the idea remained that the teachers of religion could not survive without the support of the government. And perhaps in some cases it was true. Of course, the Baptists had universally opposed this policy up and down the East Coast and were often persecuted for their position. Eventually, primarily through their efforts, State churches were abolished. However, on this day (Feb. 21) in 1785 the Georgia legislature passed a bill for the support of religion with public tax money, whatever the denomination. Nearly everyone was pleased with the generosity of Caesar, except for the Baptists. The bill provided that any “thirty heads of families” in any community might choose any sort of minister “to explain and inculcate the duties of religion” and “four pence on every hundred pounds valuation of property” should be taken out of the public tax for the support of any such minister. Despite the fact that they were among the largest denomination, and despite the income that such monies might provide, the Baptists in Georgia immediately began to protest. A document condemning the decision was prepared, and...

The Language of Heaven – Isaiah 6:1-8

When we get to Heaven; after appearing before the bema – the judgment seat of Christ…. After we settled in to our God-designed mansions… As we get to know our neighbors, and we begin our Heavenly duties… How will we communicate with those around us. With Abraham and David? Paul and Barnabas? When we meet fellow saints who had lived in the Philippines or Korea, how will we talk with them? Will we demand that they learn English? As God’s cherubim come to us with commands or blessings, with what language will we greet them? My question is: what will be the language of Heaven? It’s not an important question; it’s not something to worry about and for which we should be prepared. It’s just a question out of my curiosity. But I do plan to bring this question to a very serious conclusion, so I hope you hang in there with me. I am absolutely convinced, based on scripture that I know what language we will use in Heaven. I have just finished reading (and skimming) over two completely opposite books. One was pro-Hebrew to the 10th degree, trying to make me look at the New Testament through Jewish eyes. And the other was anti-Zionist to the 13th degree, condemning just about everything Jewish since Israel’s return from Babylonian captivity. Neither one of these books addressed my question, but I guarantee that the author of the first book would say that in Heaven everyone will speak Hebrew. And I am certain that the authors of the second book hate modern Israel so much they would refuse to speak...

Surprise! You are in Heaven! – I John 5:10-20

  Let’s say that some friends of yours has paid for you to go to a fancy restaurant with your spouse. This is a very nice, highly recommended, place to which you had never been before. Let’s make it an ethnic restaurant where nothing on the menu was familiar to you. In fact, it’s so ethnic you can’t read the menu because it is written in some really obscure language. What is the likelihood of you enjoying your meal, if you just told the waiter, “I have $50.00; bring me the best that my money can buy?” Do you like surprises in restaurant dining? Or how about going to a car dealer and telling the salesman: “I’m going to have to borrow a lot of money anyway, so it doesn’t matter what your cars costs. You pick one for me, and I’ll sign the papers right now. You fill in the blanks and deliver whatever you like to my house tomorrow morning.” Does anyone like surprises when it comes to buying new cars? Would it be a good Sunday if when you got home, you found your house had burnt down? Would you over-joyed if you left the building this morning you found a flat tire on your car, and when you opened your trunk, you discovered that your spare was flat as well? Have you ever gone to the store to buy some large, essential item, and your credit card was denied? When it comes to the important things in life we don’t want surprises. We like to be in control, or at the very least to think...

February 14

It is believed by some that the Apostle Paul personally carried the gospel to the isle of Britain. Whether true or not, Bible Christianity was firmly established among the peoples of those islands long before the arrival of Catholicism. One area where the Baptists flourished was Wales, and as the American colonies began to grow, Wales sent some of their pastors to evangelize and establish churches on this side of the Atlantic. Cathcart’s Baptist Encyclopedia speaks of a Welsh preacher named Abel Morgan. That man was born a few years after another our Abel Morgan arrived in this country. On August 23, 1711, the church in Blaenaugwent, Wales, held a special service to honor their pastor who had served them for 15 years. With broken hearts they said farewell to Elder Abel Morgan and his family, who felt the call of God to emigrate to America. On September 28 their ship pulled anchor, but contrary winds came up, and the ship was forced to find shelter for three weeks. When they sailed again, they made it as far as Cork, Ireland, before having to seek a safe harbor for another five weeks. Finally on November 19 they were able to recommence their journey. A month later, in the middle of the Atlantic, Brother Morgan’s son died – followed by his wife three days later. They were both buried at sea. Pastor Morgan greatly suffered his loss, but because he was sure of God’s will, he had no thoughts of returning home. On this day (Feb. 14) in 1711, he and the rest of his children arrived in Philadelphia. Soon...

February 14

It is believed by some that the Apostle Paul personally carried the gospel to the isle of Britain. Whether true or not, Bible Christianity was firmly established among the peoples of those islands long before the arrival of Catholicism. One area where the Baptists flourished was Wales, and as the American colonies began to grow, Wales sent some of their pastors to evangelize and establish churches on this side of the Atlantic. Cathcart’s Baptist Encyclopedia speaks of a Welsh preacher named Abel Morgan. That man was born a few years after another our Abel Morgan arrived in this country. On August 23, 1711, the church in Blaenaugwent, Wales, held a special service to honor their pastor who had served them for 15 years. With broken hearts they said farewell to Elder Abel Morgan and his family, who felt the call of God to emigrate to America. On September 28 their ship pulled anchor, but contrary winds came up, and the ship was forced to find shelter for three weeks. When they sailed again, they made it as far as Cork, Ireland, before having to seek a safe harbor for another five weeks. Finally on November 19 they were able to recommence their journey. A month later, in the middle of the Atlantic, Brother Morgan’s son died – followed by his wife three days later. They were both buried at sea. Pastor Morgan greatly suffered his loss, but because he was sure of God’s will, he had no thoughts of returning home. On this day (Feb. 14) in 1711, he and the rest of his children arrived in Philadelphia. Soon...