Saturday, May 27, 2006
Before you ask, no, it isn't mine. I found this picture somewhere else on the internet. At present I don't have a digital camera, so I can't post pictures of my stuff yet. Not only that, but I don't yet know how to scan my photos in. Believe me, ignorance is not bliss.
For those who would say that it is extremely carnal for a pastor to love old cars so much, you'll get no argument from me. All I can say is "O wretched man that I am..."
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
But wait! There's more! After recovering from my initial amazement, and after quietly giving thanks that such wisdom dwelt among men, a response was triggered in my own mind. Almost without thinking, I said:" That's interesting, because I've just been thinking that the more I lay around, the less I am able to accomplish". Now I don't expect my observation to get equal time with Steve's, but it does prove the truth of the proverb:"Iron sharpeneth iron..."(Pro.27:17)
Monday, May 22, 2006
From ch.9v.51 through ch.19v.27, the events and teachings recorded take place as He journeys toward Jerusalem. He knows that this part of His earthly ministry is going to end very soon at Calvary. So, it seems to me that He intensifies the tone of His teaching so that it will have a maximum effect on His hearers.
His teaching in this section is designed to do at least two things: 1.To instruct His true followers.2.To identify the false ones. In order to accomplish that, He sets the standard high and draws a bold, clear, and well-defined dividing line. We all are on one side or the other. Ch.11v.23 states it in unmistakable terms:"He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." Now that's radical! There is no neutral ground. Nope, none. Not any. Nary a bit.
Jesus demands an all or nothing commitment. He is not teaching, as some mistakenly believe, some higher form of Christianity. It is the ONLY form of Christianity that He taught. Jesus' teachings are not suggestions but commands. We are either endeavoring to obey them as commands or we are actively rebelling against them.There is no middle ground.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
(Luk 9:29) And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
(Luk 9:30) And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
(Luk 9:31) Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
(Luk 9:32) But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
(Luk 9:33) And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.
(Luk 9:34) While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
(Luk 9:35) And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
(Luk 9:36) And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.
(Luk 9:37) And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.
Lesson #1. God gives mountain-top experiences: Those precious times when His presence is so sweet, His glory is to some degree unveiled , and we get a fresh understanding of His work and ministry.
Lesson #2. Mountain-top experiences are relatively rare. Jesus taught His disciples and revealed His glory in many ways, but as far as the gospel record is concerned, there was never another experience like the one described in these verses.
Lesson #3. Christians can easily be distracted by an emotionally charged experience and begin to focus on prolonging or repeating it.
Peter said,"Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us build three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah:" These words indicate that his focus was already beginning to shift from the manifestation of Jesus' glory to a desire to prolong the experience.
Lesson#4. It's all about Him! Peter was willing to put Jesus first in his tabernacle building proposition. But the cloud came, and the fear, and then the Voice. "This is my beloved son: hear him". He is not to be #1 on our list of important things to be considered in our christian service or worship. He is everything! It's not about the emotional experience, although passion in worship is good. It's not about the other participants or those who help us in worship. It's about Him!
*He is to be the focus of all our preaching.
*Praying is about what He wants more than about what I want.
* He alone is to be the focus of our worship.
*Our witnessing should be about Him, His glory, His holiness, His demands, and the remedy He has provided for man's sin.
Lesson #5. Ministry takes place at the foot of the mountain (v.37). Those to whom we are called upon to minister, will not be on the mountain with us. They are in the lowlands. However, the One who is with us on the mountain, leads us as we minister in the valley.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him(God), which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him.
So, here it is folks. The unvarnished truth: The God of scripture and of Jesus' own teaching is a God of wrath. Yes, He is also a God of love. That too is plainly taught in scripture(1Jn.4:8). The problem is that there are many preaching that truth while so few are preaching this truth. This post is my stumbling attempt to help give equal time to the absolutely essential teaching of the wrath of God.
The scriptures are filled with examples of God's wrath. His judgement and wrath begin to be seen very early in the biblical record. In Gen. ch.3, because of their sin, God put the sentence of death on Adam and Eve, cursed the earth, and expelled them from the garden of Eden.
Later, because of the corruption of the race, God, by the flood, destroyed both man and beast from the earth.(Except for those within the Ark)
Again in Gen.19 His wrath is poured out on Sodom. He visits His anger on Israel's Egyptian oppressors by plagues and in the Red sea. He opens up the earth to swallow up rebellious Korah and his gang. He even severely judges His beloved king David because of sin. No sin nor sinner ever goes unpunished.
Not only do we see examples of God's wrath in scripture, but we also see warnings of God's wrath. Rom.2:1-11; Heb.10:26-31, Just to name a couple.
God's word clearly teaches that those outside of a saving relationship with Him through Christ, are presently under wrath. Not that they will be under wrath at some later time, but right now, they are living, every moment, on the brink of Divine retribution(Jn.3:18,36). It's going to happen. Divine wrath is going to fall. It may be by sudden death, or by suicide,or by an overdose, or a natural disaster, but it will happen. Jonathan Edward's text comes to mind (Deut.32:35 their foot shall slide in due time...). They will not only be cut down physically, but
they will immediately begin to experience the fiery indignation of His anger.
Yet when it happens people are shocked as if they had no warning or opportunity to prepare. They act as if they had no idea that such a tragedy could befall someone so near and dear to them. How could God do such a thing? Then we as pastors in seeking to offer words of comfort, are tempted to try to explain or even try to defend God's honor against the suggestion that He has been somehow unjust in allowing it to happen.
Here is what we need to remember at those times: 1st of all, God has never made a secret of the fact that He is" ...angry with the wicked every day."(Ps.7:11b)or that their"...judgement...lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."(2Pet.2:3). He has sufficiently given warning.
Neither have His faithful ministers tried to hide the fact that the disobedient are in danger of wrath. We continually proclaim it. The problem is that our people are not hearing us or they don't believe it.
In the 2nd place, we need to remember and report that wrath is the natural result of God's justice, not a violation of it. His actions don't need defending, His truth needs declaring. As preachers of the 'good news',we must also faithfully declare the 'bad news' that those who live a disobedient unrepentant life are every moment in danger of wrath.
Every breath, every heartbeat, and every step outside saving faith in Christ is one breath, one heartbeat, one step closer toward the full outpouring of His wrath.
Jesus, on the cross, absorbed in His own body the righteous wrath of God in the stead of His people. But the overwhelming, overflowing, horrifying wrath of God is reserved for all those who reject His saving mercy.
Every idle word spoken, every thought that does not acknowledge God, every meal eaten in unthankfulness, every work of self-righteousness,or for self-advancement is an act of war against the Ruler of the universe(Pro.21:4). Day by day and moment by moment the unsaved, simply by their everyday activities, are storing up more and more wrath(Rom.2:5). For those who will be the objects of His wrath, an early death would be a mercy, for their guilt is being multiplied exponentially every moment.
In conclusion, what is the proper response to such a frightening truth?
If you are a Christian, get busy! Our lost friends and loved ones require our most valiant efforts of prayer, and witness now. Tommorow may be too late.
If you are not a Christian, run to Jesus! And in humble repentance, plead for mercy. Mercy, oh, how I love that word.
Friday, May 12, 2006
A. I am still an independent baptist in that I pastor (or pester depending on which of my members you talk to) an independent baptist church.
B. I have not 'recovered' nor am I 'recovering' from the fundamentals of the Faith. Rather I am daily coming to a deeper understanding and love for the fundamental doctrines and bible truth.
C.I am still a baptist. I can love, appreciate, fellowship with, and profit from anyone ,who is doctrinally sound on the basics, no matter what his denomination. But I am a baptist by conviction.
Then, from what am I 'recovering'? I am recovering from some of the doctrines, but mostly from the attitudes of some (not all) of my IFB brethren.
- The bless God, you'd better listen to me attitude."I have all the answers,so you don't need to think for yourself".
- The if you question me, you're a compromiser attitude.".The only reason others don't preach it like I do is that they are sissy crowd pleasers".
- The I can't fellowship with anyone who doesn't see every detail exactly like I do attitude. "And even though you seem to believe just like me, I'm gonna keep my eye on you because you might say or do something that I don't agree with . Or you might fellowship with somebody that I don't agree with, and then I'll have to tell everybody what a compromiser you are. Thereby exalting myself as the Lone Ranger of Rightness.
- The I never struggle, doubt, or fail attitude. "If you do, then you probably aren't saved".
- The Go ahead. Get mad and leave the church attitude. "You look better going than you do coming anyway".
I could go on and on. Like others, I could tell some horror stories as well as some humorous ones, but I'll have to save them for another time.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I am a newcomer to computers, the internet and blogging. You will also quickly detect that I am new to writing. Apart from sermon prep, I haven't done much of it. I started this blog in part to force myself to articulate my thoughts and theology by writing them out. So this is going to require a new discipline for me . I am greatly influenced by superior bloggers such as:Phil Johnson, Frank Turk, James Spurgeon,Tom Ascol and many others of this stripe. My two favorite blogs, of course, are PASTOR STEVE WEAVER'S BLOG and DOXOBLOGY. These two young men are the smartest, most articulate, fervent, anoited, cutting edge, doctrinally sound to be found anywhere on the internet.(Is my prejudice showing?) I confess that I am not in the same league with these men that I have named either educationally or spiritually. However I do occasionally have something to say and I intend to try to say it coherently on this blog. Have mercy on me and try not to judge me too harshly if I fail in this attempt. I feel a little uncomfortable saying "I" so much, but in this introductory post I think I need to kinda 'splain myself and where I'm coming from. Theologically I'm a Calvinist. I pastor a small independent baptist church in Titusville Fl. where I preach verse-by-verse through books of the bible. I am not into the KJVonly debate, however I do only preach from the KJV. I can readily identify with guys like James Spurgeon and RegularJoe in that I also am a recovering IFBer. I guess I never really fit in with them, though, and was often viewed with a certain amount of suspicion. Although I tried to be accepted, I just didn't seem to fit in. For one thing I never beieved in nor did I practice Hyles style easy-believism. I was always a little too close to Calvinism, although I hadn't come to a full understanding of the doctrines of grace. I always have believed that the church's primary purpose is not "soul winning" but to worship and glorify God. Please don't mis-understand this last statement. I believe in the great commission.My family and I spent a total of 5 years on the mission field in Old Mexico. I just believe that evangelism must be done in a scriptural way and that it is to be done for the glory of God. The focus is on God and not the "soul". By the way, can you tell that I don't know how to make this thing do paragraphs? Now, you might ask "why is this blog named AMAZING GRACE AND OLD CHEVYS ?" The answer is simple. I love the doctrines of grace and am still, after 28 years, amazed that God would extend His saving grace to me. I also love old Chevys. I like to drive 'em, I like to see 'em, I like to buy 'em, I like to sell 'em. I like 'em. What more can I say? If John Calvin were alive today he would say "Old Chevys are the bomb".