Mission’s Four Principles – Acts 13:1-5; 14:23-28

  Our church has supported the work of missions from its inception. Even when we had very little money, we helped to keep a few missionaries on their respective fields. For decades now, we have taken a tenth of our general offerings and put that money into missions. In a sense our church, as a body, has given its collective tithes and offerings to missions. And then the Lord enabled us to sponsor 1, 2 and then 3 missionaries – members of this assembly. We have been blessed sufficiently to send large offerings to missionaries whom we don’t support monthly. All of this looks good on paper and makes us feel good about ourselves. But the truth is – for some it may be nothing more than ointment on guilty consciences. It is easy to substitute our support of missions for our own lack of evangelism at home. And the church’s tithe to missions even takes our personal support of that ministry out of our hands and out of our minds. Last week’s rare visit of a visiting missionary, should have re-ignited our interest in this kind of ministry. And with the addition of our Colorado members, we have been put into the work of missions even more directly. On the foundation of the instruction we received last week, I’d like to build a little four-sided tabernacle. This message today has a double thrust. First, it contains general instruction to on nature and principles of missions. But I would like you to open your eyes to a potential future missionary endeavor. Ours is one of the very few sovereign...

What is it to be a Christian? – Matthew 4:18-22

  What does it mean to be a “Christian?” There are dozens of different answers, and sad to say, few of them are correct. Why do I even have to say that attending a Christian church doesn’t make a person a “Christian”? I have to say it is because so many believe it to be true. From where should we glean our definition “Christian”? From the dictionary? The internet? The News? When we are talking about genuine Christianity, we have to use the Bible to form our definitions. So just because someone is a Catholic, a Methodist, a Presbyterian or a Baptist, that doesn’t make him a Christian – these words are not found in the Bible. To be born in the United States rather than in Iran or Saudi Arabia doesn’t make us Christians. To celebrate Christmas or Easter doesn’t make us Christians any more than to dress up on Halloween or keep the Passover. The word “Christian” is rare in the Word of God. You might say that it developed after the completion of the New Testament, but that isn’t quite true. In our earlier scripture we heard King Agrippa blurt out “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” What did he mean by that? Paul had been pointing out that the Old Testament prophesied about the resurrection of Christ. Are we to assume that Christians believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Yes, we may make that assumption. But more particularly WHY did Christ die? As a sacrifice for the sins of many. In I Peter 4 the Apostle says, “If any...

November 18

William Cathcart was born on this day in 1826. Despite his parents’ Scottish ancestry, his birth place was in Ireland. He was raised in Presbyterianism. He was converted to Christ at an early age, and at nineteen, when he was convinced of believer’s baptism, he was immersed and received into the Baptist church at Tubbermore. A few years later, William felt the call of God into the ministry. He attended the University of Glasgow and Rawdon Baptist College in Yorkshire. Then he was ordained in 1850, becoming the pastor of a church near Sheffield, England. Soon after that he married Eliza Caldwell. In 1853 the Cathcarts emigrated to America, arriving on this day in 1853. So this is a double anniversary for the Cathcarts. The following month William began a ministry in Groton, Connecticut, before being called to the Second Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He ministered there for twenty-seven years. Elder Cathcart was a staunch Baptist, holding to a literal interpretation and application of the Bible. He was no stranger to controversy, but it stemmed from his firm faith and not from any adversarial attitude in his character. He also loved history, compiling information on God’s preachers both from the past and those whom he personally knew. Much of that collected information was edited and eventually placed into his monumental work, “The Baptist Encyclopedia.” It was first published in 1881 and has remained in print ever since. It ought to be found in every pastor’s library. In 1875 in honor of the centennial of the Colonies freedom from England, Cathcart put some of his research into a smaller work...

The Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 17:4

  You probably remember the ancient puzzle: “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” When I was a kid, and still entrenched in Darwinism, I mulled that over and over. “Let’s see, did the fish evolve into a bird or did that fish lay a hen’s egg?” Hum?????? Now that I have the Bible in my hand, and the Lord has graciously taught me to believe it, I have no problem. God created a full-grown bird and her mate, just as He did a fully mature man and soon thereafter Eve. That hen laid its first clutch of eggs and birds have been producing chicks for over 6,000 years now. Perhaps the more perplexing question is: “Who was the first brave human to eat the egg of a bird?” In our last lesson we looked at Proverbs 17:3 – “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.” I was tempted to skip over the next verse. With 14 more chapters and an average of 25 verses per chapter, there is the potential of 7 more years of these Wednesday evening devotionals. Would that be a problem? While, I don’t think so, others might disagree. But then again, if we only looked at every other verse, we’d still be here for years. The truth is, there are doctrinal and practical lessons in every one of the proverbs. There are exhortations and illustrations found in these verses which the preacher might never address if they weren’t placed before our eyes right here. You may say this or that verse doesn’t relate...

November 11

On this day (November 11) in 1790, Thomas Baldwin was installed as the pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston. Thomas was raised in Canaan, N.H. by his mother and step-father. He was given a good education which he hoped to use in the legal profession. He married and was elected to serve in the state legislature. But then his first-born child died, his heart began to turn to things more spiritual. When in 1780 two Baptist preachers came to Canaan, the Lord revealed to Baldwin the truths of the gospel. A few months later, he left his Protestant roots and was immersed as a testimony and confession of his faith in Christ. When the Baptist church in Canaan invited him to become their shepherd, he accepted. For seven years he faithfully served the Lord and His local congregation without any financial remuneration. During that time, he added evangelism and missionary work to his list of responsibilities, often traveling more than a hundred miles in severe winter weather to carry to the truth to willing and unwilling ears. He also honed his skills in debate and writing. He wrote extensively, and his book on baptism was for some time considered to be one of the better apologies for the truth. When he began his Boston ministry the Lord continued to bless. By the end of 1791, seventy new members had joined, and there were more each year for some time. Thomas Baldwin earned the praise of Baptist leaders on both side of the Atlantic, from Francis Wayland to Andrew Fuller, and perhaps even more to his character, he...

The Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 17:3

  How much or how often do you think about Heaven? Young people rarely do, because they have so much earthly life before them – but they should. Older people – those saints who are nearing the end of their earthly lives, may consider it more often. But we should all “Set (our) affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Because Christ, who is our life, shall (soon) appear, then shall (we) also appear with him in glory.” Assuming you do, what do you picture when you think about Heaven? Isn’t most of our thinking primarily speculation, because so little is revealed in the Bible? There is a reason why people sometimes call Heaven “Glory,” with a capital G, as if it is a place. There has never been a place on this corrupted earth which has touched the hem of the glory of Heaven. It is, and forever will be, a place of absolute beauty. And contributing to that beauty will be absolute purity. It is sometimes said that there is no perfect church on earth, because you and I are members. Wouldn’t Heaven be less than Heaven – less than perfect – if we walked into it today? There are things necessary prior to our presentation to God in all His glory. And we can summarize those necessities in the word “purification” and by one definition of “refinement.” In eschatology we are told about periods and events of refinement. We have touched on a couple of these recently. As I suggested last Sunday, the purpose of the Tribulation – “Jacob’s Trouble” – will be...

Eschatological Absolutes – Jacob’s Trouble – Matthew 24:15-31; Jeremiah 30:1-11

  From time to time, you will hear me use the term “Jacob’s Trouble.” I believe that this is one of the Eschatological Absolutes – one of the assured events of the future. When I use that term, I am using it as a synonym for the seven year “Tribulation” spoken of by Daniel, and which is expounded here, and in Revelation as well as in other scriptures. The term is used only once in the Bible, and that is in Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” Despite...

Eschatological Absolutes: the Return of Christ – Acts 1:1-11

  A month ago we had the first in a series of messages entitled “Eschatological Absolutes.” My plan is to address those areas of prophecy which I think are unassailable – Biblical absolutes. Printing presses around the world, produce hundreds of new books about prophecy every month. Some of them are spewing out brand new ideas or, as they profess, new “revelations” from God. These writers are heretics, and often their purpose is to take money from gullible prophesy buffs. Some of the new books – a minority – are simply restating the common doctrines which have been held by fundamental churches for the last few hundred years. But most of the new books are advocating new perspectives and diverging opinions on the old doctrines. These writers are usually sincere, professing humility, while attacking the authors and preachers of generations ago. They are whittling away at the foundations which built churches like ours for many generations. Without a doubt there is a variety of controversy in the area of eschatology. For example, for hundreds of years there has been speculation on the identity of the Antichrist. It has been this pope or that one, but when they died, the speculators had to come up with other others. Hitler was the Antichrist for some writers, and then he died. (Are we sure he really died?) Other dictators and politicians have been identified as the antichrist beast from John F. Kennedy to obscure leaders from Eastern Europe to Africa to Donald Trump. Yes, there is controversy in eschatology, but I am trying to avoid it as much as possible in this...

September 2018

Dear Pastor and Brethren: New First-Time Visitors This Month! The Lord has sent us five first-time visitors this month. Thurman and his wife, Needra, visited with us the third Sunday of the month as well as LaShonda and her teenage boys Dante and Deonta. LaShonda and her boys visited with us again the following Sunday but have not returned yet. We hope to give them a return visit soon. Thurman and Needra did not return to visit with us again. Earl Oswalt visited with us on the first and last Sunday of the month and Jacob Mason visited with us the last Sunday of the month. They both visit with us from time to time. We believe that the Lord is dealing with these folks, because they keep coming back from time to time, and we visit them as they respond to us. We pray for them and would appreciate your prayers for them as well. Our Fifth Saturday Fellowship, a Success! The Lord blessed us sweetly with our Fifth Saturday Fellowship meeting! It was our first time to host such a meeting, and all our people worked together smoothly to host it. We had twenty-seven people attend of which eleven of them were our folks and sixteen were guests. We had the congregational singing of three hymns, Victory in Jesus, Wonderful Grace of Jesus, and Ye Must Be Born Again. Two solos, and a men’s quartet completed the special music. The preaching was excellent with each preacher well prepared. All was accomplished by the leadership of the Holy Spirit and redounded to the glory of the Lord! Some...

November 4

Henry Novotny was born in 1846 in Czechoslovakia during a period when that country was thoroughly Roman Catholic. When he was still a youth, he attended a secret Protestant meeting and was so impressed that he began reading the forbidden Bible and other literature. When one in the little group died, his family didn’t want a Catholic funeral, so they asked Henry if he would say a few words, and he agreed. Shortly thereafter he told his friends, “I resolve that with God’s help I shall leave the Roman Catholic Church and become a Protestant.” On this day in 1870 Henry Novotny entered seminary in Switzerland. From there he took his wife and two children to Edinburgh, Scotland for further studies, but then he got into trouble – he came to see Baptist doctrine. He returned to the Continent and was immersed by Charles Ondra, pastor of Europe’s largest Baptist church, in Lodz, Poland. Novotny then moved to Bohemia where he began his Baptist ministry. Despite persecution, he preached seven times every Lord’s Day, baptizing in the frozen rivers, writing and publishing the truth, despite the law against it, and building churches. By the time of his death, he had helped to start more than 30 churches in cities across Bohemia, and there were God-called men, trained by Novotny leading most of those...