Tuesday, March 31, 2015

IS THE CAPITOL CONNECTION THE RIGHT PATH TO TAKE?


THE RIGHT CONNECTION



Sometimes by merely expressing something that I believe to be true I set off a firestorm that takes me by surprise. Such was the case when I recently issued a warning to the brethren regarding putting our faith in politics as our hope for saving this nation. I truly believe that some of these attackers are predisposed to find fault in most anything I say, but there are some who truly do not understand my position. For that reason let me try to explain my thoughts.

1. I have very little confidence in what Washington can do to preserve let alone save this nation. Matthew 6:33 exhorts God’s people to “…seek ye first the kingdom of God…” and that has been my marching orders from day one.  I believe God will care for the rest in His time.  Our elected officials are a reflection of us as a nation. I have seen politicians come and go and most have very little lasting effect, after all, they are politicians. Their campaign rhetoric of promises rarely come to pass because most are in the business of being re-elected. 

I do believe in the admonition of Romans chapter 13 to honor them. I have NEVER failed to make personal contact with our representatives to make sure of their salvation and to encourage them to do what is Biblically correct. As a church we always honored them publicly from our auditorium platform. I use my pulpit, printed page, telephone and media outlets to let it be known what this Baptist preacher believes is best for our state and country from God’s perspective and not man’s perspective. However, the majority of my time is spent reaching the common man on a daily basis with the gospel. The Scriptures clearly state concerning our Lord, “…the common man heard him gladly.”


2. Revival among God’s people always has more long lasting affect than does a political revival. II Chronicles 7:14 is a reminder by God to His people to focus on their relationship with God more than their relationship with politicians. The healing of the land, the answer to prayers, and the forgiveness of sin is found in the ability of God’s people to humble themselves before an almighty God.  When that occurs God will intervene and respond to His people. The lack of focus on God’s house in favor of the White house is a glaring mistake made by many throughout our history as a nation.

3. Same play just different actors and I have seen this play before. The idea of the Moral Majority led many pastors and Christians away from the main thing. The largest churches in every state of the union at that time were independent Baptist churches, but after the Moral Majority influence it ceased to be so. In my opinion two things led us down the wrong path; first the coming together to influence politics through an organized group and second the Christian school movement. Both brought us under the tent with liberals who influenced us and diverted us from the main thing of winning souls, baptizing them, and maturing them within the walls of a local church.

4. Soul winning is always God’s preferred method for saving a nation. Jeremiah 5:1, God exhorted the preacher to go until he found one seeking truth. Revelation 3:20 is a verse we use in soul winning, and I am not opposed to that, but it is penned to a local church.  The emphasis is if one man will open the door Jesus will come in and sup with him and he with him.  All it takes is ONE to get God’s attention and that one is not primarily a politician, but the common man. If the salt has lost its savor what good is it. Abraham could not find one besides his family of nine to prevent the judgment of God.  It is the value of one which is the common denominator in Scripture that gets God’s attention. One sparrow, one hair, one who repents, etc. 

We need more righteous people. It is funny how the people who attack me for my position on politics will ignore my emphasis on soul winning. That seems very strange to me. Instead of attacking a man who has a 40 plus years of a track record of emphasizing soul winning, you would think they would rejoice in it. Instead they jump down my throat for warning of the danger of overemphasizing politics.

The Moral Majority was not a political endeavor. It was a spiritual endeavor that brought together Mormons, Jehovah False Witnesses, Church of Christ, Moonies, etc., and like Balaam’s day brought a spiritual cancer that cost the next 
generation dearly.


Pastor Jerry Falwell

5. Building great churches that can influence a community will do a greater good. Pastors should teach their people about getting involved in their duty to vote, but we must do even more to reach more people with the Gospel who will hopefully vote. The very thing that spared the Apostle Paul’s life was the fact he was a soul winner. The thing that will spare this nation is not found in Washington D. C., but on the highways and hedges of our cities. Our personal soul winning will get God’s attention. God will put the angels on rations to care for a soul winner. Acts 1:8 gives us the key with the word “both.”  However, it must begin in our Jerusalem. Dr. Lee Roberson would say over and over again, “The light that shines brightest at home will shine furthest from home.”

6. When I see something that concerns me I will issue a warning. A warning is not a condemnation. I am too old to let it slip by as if there is no down side to this. When my children would get close to the street I cried out a warning to be careful. A warning is not a condemnation. My goodness some of you are too sensitive to the wrong thing. 

I have no personal agenda. I have no place I long to be, to preach, or a title I long to have. My life is over. I have not one jealous bone in my body. When others accuse me of something I always remember what Brother Hyles would say, “They can only accuse you of why you are doing something based on why they would do the same thing.” I am therefore your enemy because I tell you the truth? Maybe you just can’t spot the truth or worse yet handle the truth.

7. Reaching and influencing politicians is best done on a local level. Get to know them as I have tried to do through the years. If we want to win them to Christ let's get to know them. Communicate with them on a human level and win their trust to us. Going to Washington D C is not going to be the most effective way to reach them. When you leave they will remember you like the last group that came through. Personal involvement is the key to getting into their world.

8. I rejoice in any successful effort for right, but that does not negate the need for a warning. If someone gets saved in Washington I will praise the Lord just as I will when someone gets saved in any other setting. If however I feel the setting poses a dangerous spiritual precedence, I will issue a warning then too. Every time I hear a report of someone trusting Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade I rejoice, but I also cringe because they have no solid spiritual place back home where they can be nurtured, grounded and grow spiritually.  If you don’t believe me call their hot line 24 times and see the various answers you get about how to be saved.  Evangelist Bob Jones Sr. was correct when he said, “Billy will gather fruit, but at the same time he will ruin the orchard.”

9. What kind of message are we sending to our people when we place too big an emphasis on Washington. I believe the ghetto child won out soul winning is just as important as winning the politician. Are our photo opts putting a seeming higher price on certain souls than on others? Just asking. Please don’t misunderstand me.  I know I sound like an old fuddy duddy, but honestly I have seen this before and I don’t want us to make the same mistakes again.  My wife would say often, “We will never make history until we learn from the mistakes of our own history.”  



10. I’m not upset with anybody. I’m just an old man who trusted Christ 59 years ago, volunteered 43 years ago to serve full time our Lord.  I have no church, no board, no college, no denomination, no aspirations, etc., except a lifetime of investment in a cause that has cost me dearly and for which I would die.  

I preached with the greats of yesteryear, had them preach for me and I preached for them. I rubbed shoulders with the greatest generation of servants we have ever known. I can almost see some of them looking over the precipice of Heaven’s portals wiping the tears away while voicing concern for some potential judgment errors of our day. Not wicked decisions-just not wise decisions. If I am wrong I would rather err on the side of caution.  God bless you as you seek wisdom to serve our Lord!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

GREAT WEEK OF SPIRITUAL REFRESHMENT

TREMENDOUS WEEK AT THE OLD PATHS CONFERENCE 2015

Pastor Bob Gray II

What a wonderful week of spiritual refreshment existed at Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, TX.  The NATIONAL OLD PATHS CONFERENCE 2015 from the very first night until the closing service Wednesday night every sermon fit together. The day sessions were extraordinary and practical. Everyone had something for them to add to their spiritual tool box for the work back home.

Brother Allen Domelle set the atmosphere with his sermon on "THE TOUCH OF GOD" on Monday night. Pastor Jack Trieber preached his sermon on "THE ROOT OF THE MATTER." Wow, what great truths. Altars were full and many decisions were made.

The day sessions filled the bill for the delegates. The ladies and the men were certainly given very practical life lessons to help in their ministries at home.

Tuesday night Pastor Jack Trieber preached first and I preached second. The altars were once again full and the response was overwhelming. Many left the service and called unsaved loved ones to give the Gospel to them. 

One young man had been estranged from his dad. This young man was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday. He listened to my sermon "IS THERE A PLACE CALLED HELL?" and slipped out during the invitation to call his estranged dad who was unsaved. He was able to lead his dad to Christ over the phone. He came back rejoicing and gave testimony of winning his dad to Christ.

The next day as I proceeded to the Dining Hall to teach several stopped me to tell of them calling loved ones the night before and leading them to Christ.  One of our assistant Pastors told me of leading his young son to trust Christ. What more could you ask for?

I trust you will put into your schedule to join the NATIONAL OLD PATHS CONFERENCE hosted by LBT next year. The dates were announced as March 21-23, 2016. It is well worth the expense to come and find spiritual refreshment among God's servants.

Pastor Jack Trieber


Pastor Bob Gray II

LBT Youth Choir

Alvin Martinez

Bob Buchanan Family


Mrs. Kelly Gray, Jordan, and LBT Youth Choir

Pastor's Session

Aly and Pa
Evangelist Allen Domelle

Mark you 2016 calendars now to attend the 2016 NATIONAL OLD PATHS CONFERENCE at the Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, TX.




Thursday, March 19, 2015

ORDER TODAY! THE BOOKS ARE OFF THE PRESSES!


THEY ARE OFF THE PRESSES - ORDER TODAY!



$14.95 a book


$14.95 a book

I just received an email from our printers in MN and the books are coming off of the presses and ready for shipment. Next week at our OLD PATHS CONFERENCE at Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, TX, our book table will have those books for purchase.

Churches and bookstores will be able to purchase by the case of 30 @ $8/book plus S/H these new books. I believe the material in these books will help jump start the outreach for any local church that will embrace these Biblical principles.

Pastor Jack Hyles employed Sunday school principles that brought to existence the world's largest Sunday school in 1972. This occurred before the birth of Hyles-Anderson College. It is amazing to see how these principles worked without a college.

The personal soul winning created an atmosphere of concern for the souls of men, women, boys, and girls; but it was the Sunday school that built these young converts spiritually who in turn reached their world. 

In a day when many are vacating the Sunday school those who will build great Christians will be the local churches who employ a thriving Sunday school system. This will bring into the work of the ministry many who would other wise sit on the benches. These books will help any local church do both for without both strong mature Christians will never exist.

Please go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM to order these new books. Once you place your order it will take 3 to 4 days for them to be drop shipped to your locale. It is cheaper to purchase them by the case of 30 @ $8/book plus S/H.  

There are 400,000 plus churches of all types in our nation. If the Bible believing local churches would sharpen their soul winning tools and organize a strong Sunday School system we would see a reversal of our outreach to our worlds. Jesus is coming soon and we must have a second mile kick in order to finish our portion of the race for souls. 

You can call 903-576-1307 or 903-237-9019 or email dayres5@juno.com or barges@me.com to order.  Do not put this off. The longer you delay the more souls we will lose. This one-two punch will help your local church in your outreach in your world.




Friday, March 13, 2015

JACK HYLES' PASSION FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL Book



"JACK HYLES' PASSION FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL"


$14.95 a book
237 pages

This book will provide insightful and powerful Biblical thoughts on what Jack Hyles used throughout his 5 decades of ministry. He was successful as well as being in the forefront of the Sunday school movement.

The unique perspective of this book is its focus on the pre-era of Hyles-Anderson College's influence on the Sunday school of First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN.  The "World's Largest Sunday School" award was given before HAC.  The post HAC influence in some ways overshadowed the real Sunday school of FBC. 

Most local churches will never have a college base of workers. The search into the Sunday school of pre-HAC days is vital to understanding how this ministry can aid local churches in reaching their Jerusalem. This can be accomplished in our day for Christ without the  benefit of a Bible college. 

I remember Brother Hyles limiting the HAC workers for work in the "A" Sunday school by setting a limit of 10% college involvement. I am convinced this book will help the cause of Christ in your town with your Gospel outreach.

If you purchase this book by the case of 30 they will be delivered directly to you from MN. Once the books come off of the presses in MN they can be drop shipped to you within 3 to 4 days.  

Go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM and visit the STORE and order TODAY!  You can order it and "PASSION FOR SOULS" for a pre-sale price of $10 through the end of April.  The book will sell for $14.95 after April.

Both books may be purchased by the case of 30 for a discounted price of $8/book plus S/H.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

YOU CAN ORDER "PASSION FOR SOULS" NOW!

PASSION FOR SOULS 

240 page book
$14.95
SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM store



BOOK ENDORSEMENTS

Dr. Bob Gray II
"Dad,


I am sitting on a plane having just completed your manuscript of PASSION FOR SOULS.  Words are not enough to express how full my heart is right now. I truly believe this is your greatest work ever, because it is the greatest need ever. I cannot wait to get my hands on a completed copy and begin to infuse this thinking into our church. So practical and timely. 

I know you have a busy schedule, but I would love for you to think about teaching a soul-winning class at the church. I have written my quote for the back. I hope it is not too long. I meant every word of it. I Love You Dad. Thanks for reminding me of my highest calling.

I am excited my father has chosen to capture in print the inspiration and information on the subject of Soul Winning. Unfortunately to the casual reader it will appear to be just another book on the subject, however to the Gray family and the members of the two churches my father pastored it will be a walk down memory lane of the many times we saw our father and pastor masterfully win a soul to Christ, pick up that person for church, walk that person down the aisle, inspire that person to follow the Lord in baptism, and then watch that person grow in Christ. 

Among the library of great books written on the subject of Soul Winning,  PASSION FOR SOULS will be the book most read and used. Open it’s pages and go on a journey that will too give you A PASSION FOR SOULS."



Dr. Scott Gray

"Of all the books that have been written on this subject, you have found the one book that I can guarantee the author has lived 100% throughout his ministry. Thank you, dad, for your great example of having a true Passion for Souls."



(I did not realize how difficult it is to try to make just one statement when I have so much I would love to say. I’m not sure if that statement is what you wanted, so please let me know if you need anything else. Again, I am excited for this book and I know it is going to help everyone who reads it.)

Love you,

Scott Gray
Senior Pastor 
Liberty Baptist Church
3864 Guess Rd.
Durham, NC 27705
919-471-5522
Evangelist John Hamblin

"I'm thrilled that you are holding in your hands right now, this tremendous bound volume, "My Passion For Soul Winning" by my dear friend, Dr. Bob Gray, Sr.

I've said, as Andrew was the Apostle of Personal Workers in the days of the early church, Dr. Bob Gray, Sr. is the "Apostle of Personal Workers" in the present church"

Here is a principled fundamentalist, powerful preacher, published author and proficient soul winner, who has not only lead tens of thousands to Christ but also has trained and tutored tens of thousands of personal soul winners.

In this bound volume you will find the drive, desire, duty, determination and demeanor, of one, without question, of the most successful personal soul winners of our day.

Study, soak up and be ready to be stirred up, by these next chapters and pages from one who's soul truly carries with it 24/7...."A SOUL WINNERS PASSION"!"



Dr. Jeff Fugate

"This book is in my opinion the BEST book I have ever read on the matter of personal soul winning. It is encouraging, instructive, enjoyable and convicting. I recommend this book to new Christians as well as to seasoned soul winners. Thank you Dr. Gray for your example of personal soul winning and for putting your life's work into this book."

Dr. Jeffery J. Fugate
Clays Mill Road Baptist Church









MARCH 23-25, 2015 - DON'T MISS THIS ONE!


Monday, March 9, 2015

CALLED BUT NOT CHOSEN

MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN

  
Matthew 20:16, “So the last shall be first and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”

Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Luke 23:25, “And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.”


We read twice basically the same words, “Many are called but few are chosen.” Then we read the statement, “Jesus Christ chosen of God.” The Bible says in Matthew 20:16, “…for many be called, but few chosen.” It says the same thing in similar words in Matthew 22:14. These verses have been so misunderstood and misinterpreted. Our hyper-Calvinist friends say that this means many are called to salvation but everybody who’s saved is chosen by God thus God chooses some to enter Heaven and some to end up in a devil’s Hell. These people are full of prunes! God said that He was not willing that any should perish. God leaves the decision of eternity up to, “Whosoever will…” God offers man salvation but man must partake himself of what God has provided. God’s buffet table is set and He is waiting for man to partake.


WHAT DO THESE VERSES MEAN?

It means that everybody can be saved from having to end up in a devil’s Hell and from those who accept salvation there are a few people out of that group that are chosen by God to full-time Christian service. Any one can be saved from going to Hell because God calls all to salvation. Jesus died for the whole world not just part of the world! There is another call a call by God Himself to full-time service.

As we search the Scriptures we find the words chosen of God appears several time. It is a wonderful thing how that the Scriptures are the best commentary on the Scriptures. God explains Himself quite well!


THE NATION ISRAEL IS CHOSEN BY GOD

Isaiah 44:1, “Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen.”

There are many nations in the world and people from any nation on earth can be redeemed but God has chosen one nation to be honored and that nation according to God Himself is Israel. This choosing is by grace and not merit. There is no reason for the choosing. God chose this one little nation called Israel not mighty Italy, not intellectual Greece, not powerful Babylon, not famous Egypt, but little Israel out of all the nations of the world.

God calls everybody to salvation through Jesus Christ under every flag of every nation in the world but one little nation was chosen by God Himself and what an honor. By the way it was not because it was a better people or a better nation. It was not because it was a famous nation but because God so chose to do so!

Please do not misunderstand everybody in every city of the world can be saved for God calls all men to salvation but He chose one nation and one little city.

God did not choose Rome, Athens, Cairo, Corinth, Alexandria, Luxor, Carnac, Nineveh, but Jerusalem! WOW! What an honor to be chosen by God to be the ONE city from across the world to be chosen for His own!


GOD CHOSE A HIGH PRIEST

Psalm 105:26, “He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.” Aaron the High Priest was chosen! There was only one High Priest in the entire world and that priest was Aaron chosen by God Himself! Can you begin to imagine what an honor it must have been for Aaron to be chosen as THE High Priest!

The truth is Aaron was not one of the better men of the Scriptures. In fact Aaron in some cases was a very weak man but some reason God chose Aaron to be the only High Priest at that time in the entire world. What an honor to be chosen by God as the nation of the world! What an honor to be chosen by God as the city, Jerusalem, the city of the world! What an honor to be chosen by God to be the High Priest of the world!


GOD CHOSE A MAN AFTER WHOM HE WOULD NAME ISRAEL

Psalm 135:4, “For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.”

Personally I would have never chosen Jacob. A man who stayed home to make chili while his brother goes hunting is not my kind of a man but God chose Jacob and his name was changed to Israel later on in His life!

The name Israel means “prince” and God chose Jacob. Please do not misunderstand everybody is called to salvation but here is one man in the entire world to be selected by God Himself.

·      What an honor for little Israel to be chosen
·      What an honor for little Jerusalem to be chosen
·      What an honor for Aaron to be chosen
·      What an honor for Jacob to be chosen

Think about it God by-passed Moses and chose Jacob, by-passed Abraham and chose Jacob, by-passed Joseph and chose Jacob, and by-passed Isaac to chose Jacob. When God chooses it is by grace. He does have the power you know?

God did not choose Israel as THE nation except but by grace. God did not choose Israel, Jerusalem, Aaron, or Jacob by their merit but by His grace. The truth is we do not know why God chose these by His grace! That is the reason He is God and I am Bob!


GOD CHOSE MARY

In Luke 1:26-36 God chose a woman named Mary. What an honor to be chosen by God to bear in her body the Christ child. What an honor to be chosen by God not because she was better than anybody else. The truth is we do not know why she was chosen.

Anybody can be redeemed but God chose this little lady to give birth to the Christ child. What an honor! This is done no by merit but by grace!


GOD CHOSE THE 12 APOSTLES

In John 6:70 God chose twelve! He chose out of all His followers twelve to be His Apostles. I do not know why he chose these twelve Apostles and neither do you! The truth is, between you and me; I do not think Peter was such a red-hot Christian much of the time, which proves it, is by grace. The truth is all people can come to Christ but God according to His own sovereignty choose a few. Many are called but few are chosen and God chose twelve! What an honor to be chosen of God!

When God made me the pastor of the Faith Baptist Church of Bourbonnais, Illinois, on August 27, 1976 with 150 people and 90 of those on buses I felt like the most honored man in the entire world! When God made me pastor of a New Testament Baptist church I was thrilled and overcome to think I was chosen by God to pastor one of one of His New Testament churches. I couldn’t sleep at night! I would rise at 4:30 and go to the church house and just walk around. I would sit at my desk and weep! I would then go to the altar and shout a while!

My friend if God has chosen you then throw back your shoulders and realize that you are a nobody but God has chosen you for Him and you are somebody special to Him! Kings, Presidents, Senators, corporate CEO’s, and educators have not been honored like you have been honored! God has chosen you and before you become proud it is not because of anything you have done to deserve it. It is not according to your merit but God’s grace! I am nothing and I know it but God for some reason only known to Him has chosen and placed me in the ministry. WOW! What a thought!

·      God chose a nation by His grace
·      God chose a city by His grace
·      God chose a man by whose name a nation was named
·      God chose a woman to bear the body of Jesus
·      God chose 12 Apostles by His grace


GOD CHOSE A MISSIONARY

Acts 9:15, “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.”

You who are missionaries are chosen by God; so enjoy being a part of these who have preceded you such as the Apostle Paul, Adoniram Judson, David Livingston, Rick Martin, and a Kevin Wynn and many others!

Wait a minute you were not chosen because of anything you did to attract God’s attention, for you were chosen by grace not merit. If you refuse then you must realize God’s callings are without repentance! You may change your mind but God does not change His mind. You may disqualify yourself but you can still go soul winning in your city and keep people out of Hell for in the final analysis that is what the ministry is all about!


GOD CHOSE A KING

In II Chronicles 28:5 God chose a king named Solomon. WOW! What an honor to be chosen by God Himself! Hold it! God for sure did not choose Solomon because he was a red hot Christian. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 substitutes in case one of his wives was sick. A bus kid one time called them 300 combines! Ha! For some unknown reason God chose Solomon.

I am attempting to emphasize the underserved honor and yet the honor to be picked or chosen out of a great group as a small group of the chosen by God Almighty! AMEN!


GOD CHOSE A MOUNTAIN CALLED MOUNT ZION

In Psalm 132:13 God chose a mountain called Mount Zion and that mountain was chosen to become the Pentagon, the Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court of the Millennium when Christ rules and reigns on the earth. What an honor! God by-passed the great Alps, the beautiful Adirondacks, the Smokies, and the Rocky Mountains to choose one little mount Zion on which Jesus Christ Himself would sit on a throne to rule and reign.

If you are a member of an aggressive soul winning New Testament Baptist church you ought to thank God every day for you are a part of the only institution on the face of the earth started by Jesus Christ to spread the Gospel to the world. Yours is a chosen place and a chosen church! By His grace God has allowed us to be a part of this great miracle of grace.

·      We have noticed a chosen place
·      We have noticed a chosen king
·      We have noticed chosen priest
·      We have noticed a chosen city
·      We have noticed a chosen nation
·      We have noticed chosen Apostles
·      We have noticed a chosen missionary
·      We have noticed chosen full time servants


THOSE CHOSEN IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION

Isaiah 48:10, “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”

There is another group that is never mentioned much as being chosen for full-time service. I find in Isaiah 48:10 those chosen in the furnace of affliction.

Would someone please tell me what Job ever did? Would someone please tell me of a great revival that Job ever preached? Please tell me of a great church Job every built? Please tell me of a great Ark that Job ever built? Please show me anything that Job did and yet Job was as much chosen by God for full-time Christian service as the Apostle Peter, or John, or Jonah with his great revival at Nineveh. Chosen for what, he was chosen to suffer to show the rest of us how we are to suffer when our burdens come! I am saying to you that Job was chosen for full-time Christian service! Everyone is called to salvation but a few are chosen of God and such was the case with Job.

How about listing some of these honored to be chosen by God Himself!

·      Jesus
·      Solomon
·      Peter
·      Paul
·      Mary
·      Abraham
·      David
·      Moses
·      Aaron
·      R. G. (our grandson)
·      Lee Ann (my wife)
·      And many others you could name

I am chosen to preach all the time while many of you reading this chapter are just as called to suffer all the time by God! That wheel chair is not a wheel chair it is a calling of Almighty God. That physical pain is not a physical pain it is a calling of Almighty God. Many of you reading this chapter are in full-time service and for the first time in your life you realize this is a calling of God!

·      God chose a nation
·      God chose a city
·      God chose a High Priest
·      God chose a missionary
·      God chose 12 Apostles
·      God chose a mountain
·      God chose full time servants
·      God chose a woman named Mary
·      God also has chosen many for the furnace of affliction

These are just as chosen as the nation Israel, city of Jerusalem, Aaron, Jacob, Peter, Paul, (and Mary! Sorry I could not resist it!), and the twelve Apostles. In every church there are those who are so honored by God. They have been called into full-time service to teach the rest of us! They are chosen by God to teach the rest of us how to suffer and how not to suffer! They are truly full-time servants of God!

By the way God carefully chooses them and if you are one of them you are not the unfortunate ones. I could name dozens of dear precious souls whom I have been privileged to pastor in my 33 years of pastoring who preached much better sermons through their lives than I did from behind the pulpit1 It is the rest of us that are the unfortunate ones!

Just as Aaron was chosen by God to be the High-Priest, Paul was chosen by God to be the missionary to the Gentiles, Jerusalem was chosen by God to be THE city of God, Israel was chosen by God to be THE nation, and Aaron was chosen by God to be THE High-Priest you have been personally chosen by God to full-time service to teach the rest of us something we do not know!

Please tell me what great church John Bunyan built? Tell me the great mission field in which John Bunyan served? Tell me what great college John Bunyan built? Wait a minute I do not believe John Bunyan is any less chosen and less great than Charles Spurgeon. C. H. Spurgeon was chosen by God to pastor the great Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle in London, England, while John Bunyan was chosen of God to show all of us how we are to take our stand for right and how to suffer for right!

John Bunyan sat in prison for 12 long years and that was his full-time service. He was imprisoned because he refused to quit preaching on the streets! This was his full-time service.

God chose the deacon Stephen to show us how to die. God chose Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, Texas, to show the rest of a nation how to keep on going through the fire of slander, media persecution, law-suits, internet gossip forums, and ex-worldly church members. The Scripture says, “They departed from the presence of the counsel rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame.”

That is not a sickness you have that is a call of God that you have on your life for God Himself has chosen you. That is not a paralysis you have that is a calling of God that you have. That is not cancer that you have that is the call of God that you have. That is not a son with 14 major maladies that you have that is the call of God that you have. That was not an accident when you fell 20 feet from a tree and shattered your knees; that is the call of God.

You have an opportunity to tell the entire world that you can take it, keep on going, and they too can make it! You can praise God while at baby land cemetery at the graveside, at the funeral home and during the persecution!

That is why the Apostle Paul could say, “I rejoice in tribulation. I glory in persecution.” That is not a car wreck when your son was taken it is the call of God! That is not a disease they diagnosed it to be MS that is the call of God. Please hold your head up high for God has chosen you to serve Him full-time. That is not loneliness when Christmas finds you alone that is the call of God. My wife Lee Ann is as much chosen of God as I am! R G. Gray III is as much chosen and called of God as Dr. Bob Gray II is!


Thank God the Gospel came to a little town of 1,000 people in Southwestern Michigan to a little 11-year-old boy in 1957. You see everybody can be saved from a devil’s Hell, but thank God for the time that God chose for you to do something for Him.