Weariness in Well Doing – Malachi 1:13

  I don’t know if it is true of every pastor, but this pastor has been getting unsolicited suggestions to buy stuff. And one which has come up recently, over and over again, are materials dealing with “ministerial burn-out.” “Ministerial burn-out” is a term which others have called “Pastoral Fatigue,” or “Spiritual Workers Weariness.” Spurgeon in his “Lectures to My Students” called it “The Minister’s Fainting Fits.” There are days, weeks and whole months when the man of God may be ready to quit the ministry. It may seem like he’s spinning his wheels and accomplishing nothing for either God or his church. He may feel spiritually drained; his spiritual gas tank is empty. God has put him on the shelf, and he’s looking down on the world which is passing him by. I haven’t bought any of those books, because it’s been a long time since I have had one of those fainting fits. I will not say that this the same thing as what we find in verse 13, but it is related. Let’s consider that word “weariness” this evening. God said, “Ye have profaned (my name), in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a WEARINESS is it!” Did you know that this word is found in one form or another more than sixty times, and several of them are fairly well-known New Testament scriptures? We can conclude that weariness, whether ministerial or otherwise, is apparently fairly common. And, by the way, the Lord even uses it of Himself,...

Why Jehovah isn’t a Muslim – Mark 12:28-34

Your next door neighbor – the one who has lived there for fifteen years – tells you one day that he is selling his house and moving to a condominium. You are shocked. You didn’t see that coming. Then a week later the “For Sale” sign goes up. You see people coming and going next door. There is an open house. Two weeks after that, above the “For Sale” sign, there is another which says, “Sale Pending.” Exactly five weeks after your neighbor’s announcement, a van pulls up and furniture begins to move into the now empty house. You are curious about your new neighbors. Will they be as tolerable as your former neighbor? Eventually, a car pulls up and a man, woman and three kids pile out and run into the house. You carry a plate full of cookies next door and introduce yourself. In the course of your conversation you tell them that you are a Christian, and you invite them to church. It is then you learn that your new neighbors are Muslims. There are about 3.5 million Muslims in the United States. That is not a large percentage – slightly more than 1% – but the scene I just painted is becoming more and more common. In England there are 2.6 millions Muslims in a population of 66 million – more than 5%. As their numbers grow, they are going have to find places to live; your neighborhood is one such place. Even if they don’t live next door, you may find them at places you do business – banks, stores, gas stations. To your...

March 7

On this day in 1869, Oliver Willis Van Osdel was immersed and joined the Baptist church in Yorkville, Illinois. He had been raised as a Methodist, but he survived, and the Lord saved him when he was a child. He served in the army during the War between the States and survived. He studied law and survived that as well. On the evening of his baptism he preached his first sermon. When his Methodist family asked him about his decision to become a Baptist, he replied that it was their fault because they had given him a Baptist Bible. Osdel was ordained on April 30, 1874 and for the next 35 years served God in a great many churches across the country – from Michigan and Illinois, to Kansas and Texas, and even in a tiny, out of the way place called “Spokane, Washington.” Then in 1909 at the age of 62, he returned to a church he had pastored earlier – the “Wealthy Street Baptist Church” in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and there he finally settled down to a twenty-five year ministry. Brother Van Osdel died in 1934 at the age of...

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...

January 3

On this day (January 3) in 1644 the British Parliament, which was then controlled by the Presbyterians, passed a bill making sprinkling the official act of “baptism” in England. The bill read, “The minister is to demand the name of the child, which being told him, is to say (calling the child by name) ‘I baptize thee in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.’ As he pronounceth the words, he is to baptize the child with water; which for the manner of doing it is not only lawful but sufficient and expedient to be, by pouring or sprinkling of the water on the face of the child, without adding any other ceremony.” (Remember, this is similar to an Act of Congress.)\ This bill actually reversed the law of 1534 which enforced immersion, and under which those who were not baptized were to be treated as outlaws. That law, directed by King Henry VIII, was passed when the Roman Catholic Church was abandoned and the Church of England became the established English religion. At that point and for more than a century, immersion was the only “baptism” permitted in Britain. Like the earlier law, which was designed to attack the practice of the Roman Church, it is now generally admitted that the law of 1644 was passed primarily to choke out the Baptist cause – which was then prospering in the country. It is amazing and amusing that many religious historians claim that immersion was unknown among Baptists until 1641. Not only did almost every in England immerse, but immersion has been practiced...

The Narrow Way – Matthew 7:13-20

I have shared this story with you several times, but never in its entirety. Let me correct that this morning. Years ago, I flew from Calgary, Alberta down to Lubbock, Texas to attend a Bible conference at the Tabernacle Baptist Church. Two of my closest friends in the ministry were there – E. L. Bynum, the host pastor, and Forrest Keener from Lawton, Oklahoma. Those two men were extremely close and probably considered themselves to be each others’ best friend. Both had a great sense of humor, and both poured that humor out on the other on many occasions. One evening during the conference, as Bro. Bynum rose to introduce his friend Forrest Keener as the next speaker, he went onto the pulpit with a handful of strips of paper. Earlier, he had taken twenty or thirty sheets of white paper and cut them lengthwise into strips 1″ by 11.” Then he introduced his friend, announcing he had special paper for those of us who liked to take notes. He said that Forrest Keener was one of the deepest, but narrowest, of all the preachers he knew, and that this kind of paper would be perfect for notes on his message. Of course, most of the congregation burst into laughter, I included. But then I looked over at Bro. Keener and noticed that he was not laughing, or even smiling. He was either already plotting some sort of friendly retaliation. Or perhaps he didn’t particularly like being described as “narrow.” I think I can safely say that most people do not like being described as “narrow.” Sometimes that implies...

It was Christmas day in 1766, in a poor Welsh home, that a baby boy was born. His parents decided to name him Christmas. As a child, after the death of his father, Christmas Evans had no opportunity for an education. When he was fifteen he still could not read. But at the age of eighteen he was born again through the work of an evangelistic Presbyterian minister. At that point, excited about the things of God, by serious application, in a matter of weeks Christmas learned to read his Bible. In the following months he read every book available to him, and he began to learn Hebrew, Greek and English as well. Intending to become a Protestant preacher, he started preparing a message against the Anabaptists. In the process he studied what the Bible taught about baptism and learned the truth. At the age of twenty-two he was immersed in the River Duar by the Baptist pastor, Timothy Thomas. And soon after, he began to preach the gospel of free grace. Christmas Evans went on to become one of the most God-blessed Welsh preachers in history. He led hundreds of his country-men to Christ and helped to establish dozens of churches. The exact numbers have been lost to history. He was six feet tall, built like an athlete, and he had only one eye, the other apparently was sown shut. The picture of Christmas Evans in “The Baptist Encyclopedia” makes him look like he had a perpetual wink. After his death, on this day (July 19) in 1838, Robert Hall said of him, “He was the tallest, stoutest,...

January 19

Our subject this morning was a man with a very unique and interesting name; it is theological and prophetical. His family name was Noel, which you probably know means “Birth of God.” This man was born in England in 1799 and was raised in the Church of England. The Noels were a part of the aristocracy of the day, so this young man had the best education available and his mind was worthy of the challenge. He graduated with distinction from Trinity College, Cambridge, after which he became an Anglican prelate. At the age of 27, he was one of the most popular preachers in London and served as one of the chaplains to Queen Victoria. As an honest and intelligent man, his study of the Bible lead him in a direction away from the Church of England. He wrote a booklet entitled “The Union of Church and State” which was negative to the subject. And then he was truly baptized on August 9, 1849 in the John Street (Baptist) Chapel. I said that he had an interesting name. For some unknown reason his parents gave him the prophetic name of “Baptist.” Our subject is Baptist W. Noel. And incidentally, the man who immersed him had an equally appropriate name. The pastor, or under-shepherd, of the John Street Chapel was named “Shepherd.” Baptist Noel, the former non-baptist, was baptized by Pastor Shepherd or Shepherd Shepherd. After his immersion, Bro. Noel was asked to speak. In his message he assured his audience, which included many who were not Baptists, that he had thoroughly studied the subject in the Bible and...

June 16

William Baynham was born into a wealthy Virginian, Episcopalian family. At the age of 21 he earned his degree, intending to practice medicine. Then during the summer of 1834, through the preaching of William Broaddus, he was converted to Christ. It is reported that for some time after that when he heard the name of Jesus, he would weep. William Baynham joined the Eon Baptist Church in Essex County, Virginia. Before long he began to fill the pulpit – much to the delight of the church. In January 1842 he was called to become their pastor. Ten years later he was called to pastor the Upper Zion Baptist Church, but in the process he didn’t forsake his first charge. He pastored Enon Baptist for 43 years and the Upper Zion church for 33 years. In 1880 The Religious Herald, a Virginia Baptist paper, requested and published a number of letters from elders who had served lengthy pastorates. Bro. Baynham submitted the following: “The real ground of my continuance for so long a period as pastor of my two churches has been our strong mutual love. In my portion as pastor I have endeavored to be one with my charge. I have tried to show myself the friend… The children have had a good share of attention. In affliction I have been prompt and attentive, ready to render personal assistance as necessary. One rule has been unvaried with me; not only not to neglect the poor, but to show them all kindness and attention. My social relations I choose for myself – my kindness and affection for my church member...

April 2019

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Springtime Blessings The Lord is blessing us with a most beautiful spring, rain, moderate temperatures, and verdant lush plant growth. Spiritual blessings are ours also by His hand with attendance numbers climbing for three of the four Sundays of the month to 15, 14, 21, and 9 for each respective Sunday. We had two new visitors and several returning visitors on the Sundays and returning visitors that came to our midweek services. The service with 21 in attendance was, of course, Resurrection Sunday. The people that came that Sunday come once a year, and I preached as fervently as possible. It seems that they remain unmoved by the Holy Spirit of God for they have not returned. Roxanne has from three to four in her Sunday School class now, and that is a blessing to her as well as the rest of us. The children are well behaved and seem to enjoy her teaching. Soon it will be graduation time, and we have already been invited to LaShonda Dale’s college graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 18th. Lord willing, we are planning to go and support her and her two sons in that event. LaShonda has been sporadic in her church attendance due to her heavy college and work load. We hope that will change after graduation. On the last Sunday of the month we had a Native American attend our service. He asked some good questions and acted very interested. However, he has not returned since. Other Events Additionally, several of us attended the Bible Conference of Covenant Baptist Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Bro....

The Blessing of being a King – I Peter 2:6-11

  Paul mentioned to the Corinthians “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” God has not enabled any of the Apostles to perfectly reveal all the blessings contained in salvation. There has not been a prophet or poet authorized to explain what eternity with God will be like. There are no Biblical similes with which to whet our appetites for our future state in God’s holy abode. In fact it is difficult to understand even what we currently possess by God’s grace. Do you fully understand what Peter tells us? “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” This evening I’d like to return to one of these Christian offices, even though I’ll not be able to explain all that it entails. Every Christian is a king, or if you like, we are kings and queens. We are not just princes and princesses. Even though nearly every little girl dreams of being a princess, Christian ladies are more than that. We are not mere mayors, governors, councilmen, and prime ministers. The Bible says that we are kings as well as the priests which we considered last week. Christian, you are a king or a queen. Revelation 5 is the chapter which precedes the Tribulation – you could say that it is the introductory chapter. Please turn to Revelation 5:1 – “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with...

The Creation of Salvation – Genesis 1:1-31

  I need your help this morning. After spending more than four hours developing this message on Friday, as I was looking at it yesterday it appeared to be very confusing. I considered scrapping it, but didn’t feel the Lord’s approval in doing that. So I am asking you to pay attention and to really concentrate on what I’m trying to say. Listen between the lines if you have to, asking for the Lord’s blessings. The confusion will come as I try to maintain both scriptural facts and my own intended allegories. It is important that you see where one ends and the other begins. When I became a Christian, ie. when I was born from above, I had a keen interest in science. As a kid, I did many of things that little boys did back before video games and television. I collected bugs and butterflies, pinning them to boards and making little signs to identify them. I performed autopsies on dead animals. I carried the brain of a robin in my pocket, until it inexplicably disappeared one day. I had a nominal interest in dinosaurs, but I was more interested in living things than those long extinct. When as a teenager the Lord saved me, my perspective on the natural world slowly changed. While believing the words of Genesis 1, for a while I tried to explain them from the perspective of science and evolution. But of course, my sophomoric brain was quickly pulverized, and I gave up on Darwin in lieu of Moses and Paul. Early in my Christian life someone pointed out that there is...

December 31

Oliver Hart, a particular favorite of mine, was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1723. Early in life he was exposed to the preaching of George Whitefield, the Anglican, the Tennents, a father and son who were Presbyterians, and Edward and Able Morgan, two Baptists. After the Lord saved his soul, he was baptized by Jenkins Jones, becoming a member of the Baptist church in Southampton, Pennsylvania. After his ordination in 1749, Oliver felt called of God to visit Charleston, South Carolina. The day he arrived, the only ordained Baptist preacher in the city died. His church felt that God providentially sent a replacement for their beloved pastor. For thirty years Brother Hart lead the First Baptist Church, one of the most important churches in the south. When the British took Charleston during America’s War for Independence, Hart was forced to flee. Shortly thereafter he was called to pastor the church in Hopewell, New Jersey, the home of John Gano and James Manning. He served that church for fifteen years. Although not privileged to receive a college education, Hopewell was the home of the first Baptist secondary school in the country, which ultimately developed into the first Baptist seminary and university. Hart was eventually given an honorary Master of Arts degree by Brown College, which was then under the leadership of James Manning. After a long and prosperous ministry, primarily in two churches, Oliver Hart passed away on the last day of 1795 at the age of...

November 5

Under Britain’s Toleration Act of 1649, which also applied to all her colonies, officials of neither the State nor the Church could prosecute Baptists for merely preaching the gospel. But our Baptist brethren in Virginia were so hated that the State trumped up other kinds of charges in order to silence them. For example, the Order Book of Orange County, Virginia, for July 28, 1768, states that John Corbley, Allen Wiley, Elijah Craig and Thomas Chambers were found guilty of a Breach of Good Behaviour and were ordered into Bond. The document said that they were charged as “Vagrant and Itinerant Persons” who “assembled themselves unlawfully at Sundry Times and Places under the Denomination of Anabaptists for Teaching and Preaching Schismatick Doctrines.” They were accused of being vagrants. Despite being arrested on several occasions they consistently went back to their preaching ministries. John Corbley was one of those pioneer Baptists in Virginia who struggled against religious persecution. His trials were many and varied, including the slaughter of his wife and family by Indians, but he continued faithful to the end. On this day (November 5) in 1775, at the age of 42, he constituted a Baptist Church at Forks-of-Cheat in West Virginia with 12...

July 9

Brother and Mrs. George Hough felt that the Lord was calling them to minister in His name in India with Adoniram Judson, but, like the Judsons, they ended up in Burma. When they began to tell their friends and relatives about the Lord’s call, some were delighted, but not Mrs. Hough’s family.  They knew that it was likely they’d never see their daughter again.  To answer her mother’s broken heart, Mrs. Hough wrote some lovely and passionate letters.  She explained God’s call and the joy that filled her heart and that of her husband.  She pointed to her mother’s desire for the salvation of her children, reminding her that foreign mother’s should have the same desire.  “Why should not I go to India (Burma) as well as other women, and share with my husband the trials and comforts of a life devoted to the cause of truth?  I hope you and all other Christians will pray for us, that we faint not in the day of trial.”     The trials came and Brother Hough suffered along side Brother Judson.  He too was jailed, while his wife prayed for his safety and delivery.  Both Brother and Mrs. Hough suffered with disease and poverty.  And for a long time they saw little fruit for their service.  Eventually, on this day (July 9) in 1859, the Lord called Missionary Hough home.  His wife was, of course, grieved, but she was not dissatisfied with their choice to leave the pleasures of home and to serve the Lord in Burma.  She continue in Burma, ministering to the women and children of that...