Thursday, April 30, 2015

WHY CAN'T WE USE THE NEW KING JAMES?


The New King James?




Is the old  King James Bible ispired?

If…it is not inspired, if …it is not preserved, if…it is not inerrant, then go ahead and use the New King James Bible! Once that door is open then by all means don't stop there.

First, at some point, faith must enter into this equation. Psalm 12:6-7 teaches a continuity of the Scriptures from generation to generation and nation to nation. If we are to follow Bible principles, then we should use the Bible that has not skipped any generation. The originals are in Heaven and have been given by the Holy Spirit to man on earth. When Enoch was translated to Heaven he was exactly the same Enoch that he was on earth. When the Words of God were given from Heaven via the Holy Ghost to man on earth even though they were translated into Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or English they are still the same words. 
To question this is to side with Satan in the questioning of the Words of God. 

Second, language usage decays. The English of 1611 was a more precise, more poetic, less corrupt language; it lacked the innuendos, the slang, and the casual usage of words prevalent in English today. I do not want a Bible that follows the decay of the language. I want a Bible that was translated when the English language was at its best. 

By the way typos have nothing to do with the loss of inspiration or inerrancy. Sometimes someone will mock fundamental preachers who stand and say they hold in their hand the 1611 KJV. The truth is I hold in my hand the 2015 KJV and next year it will be a 2016 KJV. This is preserved inspiration I hold in my hand! The truth is all that needed to be done to bring into conformity the spelling has been accomplished by the translators.

Third, the publishers of the New King James were not honest, like most people who become higher critics of the King James Bible. They said they were going to turn the "thees" and "thous" into "you" and "yours." They said those would be the only changes. Yet, they changed many more words than these, reorganized verses, changed phrasing, etc. It is not an updating of the King James Bible; it is a bad translation in and of itself.

Fourth, to attack solid Bible believers who hold to the preserved inspiration of the King James Bible as being some nut jobs, who are pushing double inspiration, is a smoke screen. They merely want to appear to be academically superior to the "common man." This way you have to go to them in order to know what God is saying. This is the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which is the conquering of the laity by the clergy. This is Protestant and Catholic teaching. It is interesting to me that the historicity of the Scriptures for their academia always runs through Rome. Paul warned us about people who would "corrupt" the Scripture.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

THE TRAGIC STORY OF BRUCE JENNER


Lessons Learned From Bruce Jenner

There is much discussion regarding the recent announcement of Bruce Jenner’s search for his “true” sexual identity. I have fond memories of Jenner as a great olympic athlete, but he nows says that he was tortured even during those times with his struggle. I contend that his struggles back then were nothing more than a missing identity that God wanted to give him through Christ. It was not a sexual identity problem, it was a sin identity problem. After all, how could Bruce Jenner or anyone else for that matter find their identity without finding the Lord, who created their identity.

The greatest shock to me in recent days has been the misguided response of so many Christians regarding this issue and how churches should respond to those like Mr. Jenner. Allow me to weigh in with a few thoughts.

1. A ministry should not be built on the demographics of a certain sin. When people ask me how we are ministering to those with a certain sinful lifestyle I cannot answer them because my goal is not to reach a certain segment of sinners. My goal is to preach the Gospel to every creature. I do not believe we should decide to start a ministry to any one group of sinners. As sinners cross our paths and the Holy Spirit leads them to us and us to them we present the answer, which is salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus was led through Samaria to meet a fallen woman. He was led to a man possessed of devils. He was confronted with a woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus never made a ministry out of a segment of sinners, but came to seek and save all that are lost. 

The job of churches is not to find a solution for dealing with a certain “special” group of sinners. “For the wages of sin is death…” The Scripture does not say, “sins” but it does say, “sin” in the singular. God’s emphasis for salvation was on the sin nature whose by-product is the plurality of “sins.” When we group sins we are unable to deal properly with the sin nature of man. Our eyes are then off of the prize. Confront the sin condition first and then deal with the sins.

2. It is our job to preach the Gospel to every creature without preference or discrimination. Some people ask what churches are doing to reach the so-called “gay” community. I despise the thought of how our society has corrupted good words like “gay” and twisted them to glorify iniquity. However, I will tell you what we are doing. We are preaching the gospel to every creature, which would not exclude those in that or any other sin. Some ask how we are addressing those with sexual identity issues and once again I answer by saying we are commissioned to preach the Gospel; which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to every creature, and not one particular segment of sinners.

3. We should not elevate sin as a lifestyle. Sin is bondage not a lifestyle. It is a mistake to call the sins of men a lifestyle when the Bible says the wages of sin is death. Maybe we should call it the “gay deathstyle.” When we acknowledge it as though it is acceptable, we make the sin exceedingly less sinful, which is the exact opposite of how it should be treated. You do not win men by coddling men in their sins, but by convicting men of their sins because of their sin nature. That is accomplished through the foolishness of preaching the truth of the Words of God.

4. That said we are not to berate the sinner unkindly. Many have been guilty of and convicted by the Holy Spirit of sometimes being ungracious towards those who are sinners because of their sin. That is not our job. It is our job to preach against the sin nature, with its sins, exposing the fact that it brings death when one rejects the free gift of Jesus Christ. From there it is the job of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to those involved in any sin.

5. It is the power of the Gospel that frees men from sin, not solutions to their specific sins. Bring a person with any sin to the saving power of the gospel and that power can change them more effectively than our man made programs. Now please do not misunderstand me, there are things we can do to help a person who has a certain struggle, but first they must submit to the power of the Gospel and repent (change their mind) regarding that sin. Let me illustrate. If Bruce Jenner came to Christ, he would have the power of the Gospel to overcome his sin. He may have situations inherent to his particular struggle that must be dealt with, but that comes after the fact not before. In other words we do not deal with the sin problems before the Gospel, but after it.

6. It is never right to accept the sin with the sinner, nor is it right to reject the sinner with the sin. Jesus never condoned the sins of those he saved, nor did he condemn the sinner who was caught in that sin. The woman caught in the act of adultery was not told to go and not commit adultery any more. Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”

7. No sin is a God given one. In fact it is not even a God allowed one. God never does anything that leads us into any sin. God cannot tempt us with evil. If a person struggles with sexual identity they are struggling with setting themselves up as God. Our job is not introspection to determine what we feel we are, but to submit to God for what he made us to be. Anything else is idolatry. A person’s confusion is not their sexual identity, but their god identity. They are either submitted to God or they are making themselves as a god to determine what they are.

8. We must not allow society to make any sin respectable enough for us to acknowledge it as a lifestyle. Here is where we must not be badgered, threatened, intimidated, legislated or in any way pressured to cave in to sin. Sin is sin and we are not to make any sin respectable or acceptable. The sinner is to be treated with respect, but not the sin. There is little doubt that persecution is ahead for those of us who refuse to acknowledge sin as acceptable, but that is what it means to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Stop feeling we are out of touch because we are not addressing these “issues.” Our job is not to address issues, but to confront sin.

9. Where there is confusion there is evil working. God is not the author of confusion, but Satan certainly is. He began in the garden by trying to confuse Eve with what God really said. I am sorry Mr. Jenner is confused, but that is not God’s problem. God is however the only solution to that problem. People who say they are confused about their sexual identity need to realize that God is not the author of confusion, but Satan certainly is. When we say that some are born confused we are simply saying they are born into sin. The solution is not dealing with the confusion, but with the sin nature. The Gospel is the solution for all man’s confusion.

10. The root of all confusion is our sin nature, therefore the solution is the Gospel. Go to the root and you will find the cure. If we deal with the symptoms of confusion we will still have confusion, but if we go to the root which is found in Romans 5:12 we see that it is only through Christ that the confusion can be cleared away. The transformed mind cannot precede salvation because the carnal man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. We do not seek to deal with the confusion of man, whether sexual or otherwise, before we deal with their sinful nature and that can only be accomplished through the power of the Gospel.

I do not hate Mr. Jenner, nor do I wish him ill. While I do not sympathize with his misperceived confusion, I feel compassion for his need for the transformative Gospel of Christ in his life.

Friday, April 24, 2015

'I PUT MY LIFE IN MY HANDS"

PUTTING MY LIFE IN MY OWN HANDS



Judges 12:3, “And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?”

I Thessalonians 4:11, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;”


One of the most amazing statements made in the Bible is that statement made by Jephthah, “When I saw that ye delivered them not I put my life in my hands…” One day you will need this truth so please pay attention to this article. One of these days you are going to come to a heartache, burden, sorrow, battle, and you will need this truth.

I am not going to in this article is deal with the vow of Jephthah about sacrificing the first thing that came out of the gate if God would give him the victory. I want to bring to your attention when Jephthah was fighting against the Ammonites how he was that great general conscripted by the people to fight the Ammonites. He contacted the tribe of Ephraim, one of the favored tribes in the Bible, and he told them of the battles yet the Ephramites did not come to his aid. He fought the battle for he even said; “I put my life in my hands.”

He fought the Ammonites without his own people’s help. After the victory is won, which is so often the case, the Ephramites said, “Why didn’t you come and ask us to help?” They wanted the spoils without fighting the battle. Jephthah told them that he did call for their help! “When I was at the crisis point I called for your help but you didn’t come! You didn’t show up at all!” Thus we have the statement by Jephthah; “I put my life in my own hands.”

There are two things that he did that brought the victory. He divided his problem into two areas with the first area being what he could not do about his problem or what he could not control. The second area was what he could do about his problem. Basically the two areas consisted of what he could not fix and what he could fix!

Jephthah divided his problems into two areas of what he could not control or could not fix plus what he could control or could fix. Whichever area you choose will determine your joy and success in life and victories in life. When you look at things you can’t control or you can’t fix then you look at things you can control and you can fix you must decide at that point where to expend your energy.

If you live in the things you can’t control or fix you will despair, complain, and have self-pity. In this are of choice you will become the victim. We have a society, which has evolved into a victim society or a victim of circumstances. Modern psychiatrists say we need to look for the blame! Hogwash! They say you are a victim but God says let’s find a cure because you are a victor! You can live in the first area or you could choose to live in the second area?

Jephthah chose to live in the second area. He had a problem! He faced a big problem so Jephthah divided his problem into two areas.

·      What I cannot control or fix
·      What I can control and fix

Thus Jephthah choose the second area and he focused on what he could control and what he could fix. In essence he said it will do me not one bit of good to live where I cannot control. I can blame Ephraim, I can fight Ephraim, I can write hot letters, and I could tell everyone about how Ephraim treated me but that will not accomplish one thing. Ephraim is not going fight with me and if I focus on what I cannot control I’m going to fail.

However, I can focus my energies on what I can control and put my life in my own hands! Jephthah is saying I have two good arms, two good legs, a good mind, some men who are with me, and a country that is loyal to me so I’m going to focus on what I can control!

Every problem we have can be divided into these two areas. If we choose the first we will be miserable for sure. If we choose the second area we will be a success. If I become bitter and let my enemies dominated my mind and my life I can’t control them and I can’t fix them and that will not help me. I can’t help, encourage, and love people if I’m bitter. I can’t encourage if I am discouraged! I can’t love if I hate! I can’t focus on others if I’m focused on me! I cannot keep people from attacking me or criticizing me but I can prove them wrong!

That is why we fight back because we are in areas we cannot control or fix. Do not spend your life focusing on what you can’t control and fix. Spend your life focusing on what you can control and fix.

All the critics in the world cannot stop me from helping, giving, soul winning, reading my Bible, praying, giving tithes and offerings, and from supporting soul winning ministries.  As of the writing of this article, if I can make it after 58 years of being saved and 43 years in the ministry then you can make it too! I have made it because I do not live in area number one with things I cannot control and things I cannot fix.

Anyone can make focusing on the cure while no one can make it focusing on what you cannot cure! Anyone can make it by focusing on what you can control or fix. No one can make it focusing on what you cannot control or fix.

Let the heathen rage! Let the critics criticize! Let the scandalizers scandalize! Let the gossips gossip! Let the attackers attack! Let the liars lie! Let the enemies hate but you live fixing what you can control.

The truth is if you want to really get back at your enemies ignore them and do something big! Let the works speak for you! I’m going to spend my life focusing on what I can control and not on what I cannot control.

Jephthah said I’ve been betrayed by the Ephramites and I have two choices. One to spend my life becoming critical, bitter, vengeful, or I could forget about Ephraim and figure out how to win the battle and put my life in my own hands fixing that which I can control.

We also have two choices to make. You can feel sorry for yourself, get despondent, get bitter, get angry, or you could decide to expend energy in working on what you can control and ignore what you cannot control. You can cry how unfair life is or you can tackle life as it is!

Jephthah had the answer of “I put my life in my hands.”


OBSERVATIONS

·      Let challenges motivate you
·      Focus on what you can control and fix
·    Do not let others entice you into spending your life expending energy on what you  cannot control
·      Refuse to be a victim

·      Stay busy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

GOD IS LOOKING FOR WEAKNESS

THE PRINCIPLE OF WEAKNESS



Exodus 2:12, “And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.”

Moses was a strong man, Moses was an outdoorsman, and Moses was a shepherd.

Exodus 4:10, “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Notice Moses’ strength was demonstrated in “smiting.” Note his weakness was “speaking.” He said he was not eloquent.

Exodus 4:11, “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”

Notice Moses’ strength was smiting and his weakness was speaking.

Numbers 20:7-8, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.”

What was Moses’ strength? It was smiting! What was Moses’ weakness” It was speaking! What did God tell Moses to do to the rock? He told him to speak! Thus, God was asking Moses to use his weakness.

Numbers 20:9-11, “And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.”

What was Moses’ strength? It was smiting! What was Moses’ weakness? It was speaking! What did God ask Moses to do to the rock? He asked him to speak. What did Moses do to the rock? He smote the rock!

Numbers 20:12, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”

God told Moses that he would not be able to go nor lead God’s people into the Promised Land. God said to Moses you have been with my people for forty long years and you have led them. God said Moses I told you to “speak” to that rock and you “smote” that rock. Because you did not obey me you will not enter into the Promised Land.

What was Moses Sin?

My question is what was the sin that Moses committed that kept Moses from entering into the Promised Land? It was the sin of using his strength instead of his weakness.

What was Moses’ strength? It was smiting! What was Moses’ weakness? It was speaking! What did God ask Moses to do to the rock? He asked him to “speak” to the rock. What did Moses do to the rock? He “smote” the rock. Moses’ strength was in “smiting” and Moses weakness was in “speaking.” God is saying to Moses I want your weakness not your strength.

When you and I give our weakness to God and he uses our weakness God receives all the glory. When you or I succeed with our strength we receive all the glory. God is saying to Moses I want you to speak to the rock because you are weak in that area. Moses said, “I want to smite the rock because it is my strength.

The truth is not many people succeed in the field of their strengths. Very few of these folks succeed and that is why God desires our weakness. That is why Paul said, “In my weakness am I made strong.” Why? Because you do not beg God to help your strength for we beg God to help our weakness. In your strength you do it by yourself. In your weakness you do it with God’s help because you know you can’t do it by yourself.

Some have a difficult time in school while others seem to have little trouble in school. To some weakness is learning, memory work, comprehending, or reading. Both the strong and the weak will graduate, but the one with a weakness will receive the education. Grades are not necessarily an indicator that one has received an education.

I was an introvert in school and at church. My strength was on the ball field. My weakness was speaking and being a natural leader. God wants our weakness so we will depend upon him and not ourselves. Some one says about another he or she has “a great talent” in a certain area. That may be true but chances are he or she will never use it for God.

If God uses you he will probably use you in a weak area in your life where you will have to throw yourself at his feet and beg for his help. Your weakness plus God’s strength is stronger than your strength without God’s strength. All of us will come nearer begging God for strength when we do not have any strength of our own. God made it very clear in Scripture that he has chosen the weak, the foolish, and the base things of this world to confound the wise and to set at naught the mighty. Why, because God receives the glory that way.

The leader who makes it is always some little guy who says, “I don’t think I can do this?” He goes alone out into the woods and begs God, “Oh, my God I’ve got a responsibility that is beyond my capabilities and I do not know how to do this. Oh, God you have to help me?” God says, “That’s what I’m looking for in a leader. I am looking for weakness thus he and God provide the necessary leadership.

God is looking for leaders who give their weakness to God and God adds his strength and the job is done God’s way.


OBSERVATIONS

·      God wants your weakness not your strength
·      Your weakness plus God ‘s strength is stronger than your strength
·      Your strength crucified can become weakness
·      Yield both your weakness and your strength to God
·      Uncrucified weakness is as dangerous as uncrucified strength

·      God’s work must be done in God’s power and God’s way.

Friday, April 10, 2015

IS RESTORATION STILL A PART OF THE MESSAGE?

Restoring The Fallen


Years ago a man bought a beautiful piece of land on which he was going to build a large custom home. On the back of that land was an old house covered over by vines and foliage. From a distance, it looked to be merely a remnant or a shell that would probably have to be torn down, but upon further investigation he discovered that the old house was a dilapidated New England Victorian style mansion.

For years he had been buying and restoring antique pieces of furniture, so he decided that he would also try to restore the old mansion.

He cleaned the outside of it, cut away the overgrown brush, stripped the chipping paint off of what used to be perfect woodwork, replaced pieces of wood that were missing, and fixed little nicks and notches in the woodwork.

He would go to junkyards and find parts that were discarded and worthless by themselves, but were the missing piece for some antique door, fireplace, or stairwell. He used those pieces to fix and repair those things in the house.

He furnished the house with furniture that he had started purchasing as a very young man at junk stores and garage sales. He would find an old piece of furniture that someone had painted, and would strip it, clean it, and restore it to its original luster and beauty. Slowly, but surely, he restored and furnished that old house until one day it was finished. It was beautiful, and he was so very proud of what he had done to a house that once had seemed worthless.

Those visiting his home were taken on a tour, and told of the history of each piece of furniture in each room. They learned how he had found each one, what it looked like originally, and what it was meant to look like. Then he would explain all of the work that had gone into making it look as good as new.

In most cases, those restored pieces were much more valuable than when they were new. It was incredible what he had done to restore things that once were considered mere junk.

What a perfect example of restoration. It is amazing what could be done with a discarded home, a discarded little piece of wood, or a discarded piece of furniture, when one who is a master craftsmen, and who envisioned what it once was and what it could still could be, with his loving hands begins the enormous task of restoring it.

Because of the work of the master, that old restored home and its restored furniture was far greater than it was originally. The glory that it brought was not just to itself; it was also to the master who had done the handiwork of restoring it. He was so proud, so pleased, and so delighted with what he had done with those discarded things. There was an obvious glow about him as he explained all he had done to restore them.

He did not talk of these pieces of furniture as worthless pieces of junk. He spoke about them as precious possessions. When he had purchased each one, he had done so with a vision, a plan, and a preconceived idea of what it could become.

Those pieces of furniture were now collector’s items, worth thousands of dollars, and the home would probably be valued in the millions of dollars, with all of its antique contents. Yet, there was a time when all of it was virtually worthless to most people. Once upon a time when they were new they were worth something, but they had been discarded, or painted-over until they had eventually become junk.

Then, one day someone saw what they could become again, and the master was able to restore them to even greater value and usefulness.

That is a perfect picture of what restoration in a church is all about. Many a person, born-again by the Spirit of God, goes into the Christian life with great hopes and dreams. Many a pastor sees these young converts and wonders what great things they will be able to do. They become a showpiece in the church.

My, how proud we are of these unblemished Christians. How excited and how delighted we are to show them off to everyone. Their beauty is our pride and our joy, but one day something happens. That beauty is tarnished by sin. Eventually, that once worthwhile life becomes worthless, discarded, junk.


There are tens of thousands of Christians who tragically have fallen away. Lives that have been tainted, shattered, cracked, now have coats of sin that cover their once beautiful life. Most people consider them as junk that have no more use. The Christian world virtually discards them as useless trash.

It is a tragedy of the church that there are not more people who have become masters of restoration. Maybe the most beautiful lives are those that were built from pieces that have been discarded, and that had to be rebuilt by someone who could see a vision of what they still could be.



There are tens of thousands of people who once were worth something, who pastored churches, who taught Sunday school classes, who sang in the choir, or who won many souls to Christ. These people were everything we believed the church was supposed to be. Maybe we believed wrong.

Maybe for too long we have believed that the church is a new furniture store for displaying our perfect pieces of furniture that have never been marred, splintered, or broken. Maybe we have put on a pedestal the works of men that were never stained, rather than displaying the great works of God's grace.

We fill our churches with people out of the custom-made furniture store rather than bought at a garage sale and remodeled, fixed, and restored. The church needs to be more like that restored Victorian mansion. We need more people who look at the broken lives of those who once held value and see the potential of even greater value.

It is easier to win a lost person and make a new piece of furniture out of him than it is to take a saved person that is fallen and let Christ restore him to even greater value than he was. But both are important, and both must be viable ministries of the church. We need to reach the point where we never lose sight of what God can do in the life of someone who has been restored.



What Is Restoration?

1. Restoration is recognizing the future value of a person's life. It is recognizing his true potential. It is looking beyond the surface of paint stains, nicks, and scratches that sin has brought, and seeing what would happen if we could restore him. We have a garage sale mentality. However, instead of looking for garage sale pieces of furniture, we are holding too many garage sales of our own.

Many of our churches basically auction off their sinners. We put them out as garbage. We leave them with no place to go and, more often than not, others come along and snatch them up in an attempt to restore them. Why? Because we are afraid of them! We are afraid to take on that challenge.

Perhaps we fear it would taint our separatists' image to take on someone who has fallen. Perhaps we do not truly believe in restoration, or perhaps we have never examined the value of a life that was once worthwhile, and thought of what that life could be again.

When Jesus was looking for someone to lead in the great revival of Pentecost, He did not use a new piece of furniture that had never been scarred. He went down to the sea and found Peter, who had cursed and swore and denied that he had ever known Jesus.

Jesus brought him to the shore, fed him, and worked a miracle of restoration on him. When you look at Peter's life, do you ask what might have been had he never denied Christ, or what might have been if he had never cursed and swore, or what might have been had he never denied that he knew Jesus? Of course not! You look at the life of Peter and see the grace of God that would restore and use such a man as this.

I wonder just how many valuable lives are being wasted because of the lack of a spirit of restoration that exists in so many of our churches. We have young people who have grown up in our churches and graduated from our Christian schools yet have fallen away from the Lord. Many of these are still tender and would love to come back, but they do not know if they will be treated like garbage by other Christians. We must recognize their value to the Lord and respond in a way that reflects that value.

2. Restoration is placing upon our shoulders the responsibility of bringing a fallen person back to a point of usefulness. It is the church accepting the responsibility for those within it who fail and fall, not to excuse his sin, but rather to lift that person back to a place of usefulness. That requires the meekness and patience to work with a person, believing that there is still hope to restore him to a state of usefulness.

If it is not the job or the responsibility of the church to reclaim these lives, then someone else must claim them. All too often Satan is willing to claim them for his own. Many times lives that once were useful for God fall away because of sin and are accepted willingly by the world. Satan finds great use for them.

The tragedy is that in many cases those lives could have been very effective. Because of a sense of hopelessness, or a sense of no place to go, or no way to come back, they never return to that usefulness they once experienced. A broken life is always a tragedy, but how much greater is the tragedy when that broken life could have been restored. Yet, because of our unwillingness to accept the responsibility, that life simply wastes away.

We must not allow that to happen. We must do our best to actively work in the process of restoring lives. It is not easy, nor can we expect the results to always come quickly, but in the end the reward is in seeing a life restored back to usefulness for the Lord.

3. Restoration is the recognition of the value that God places upon each and every one of His children. Sometimes, Christians fail to place the same value upon each other as Christ does. We are talking about restoring the life of a human being who is bought and purchased by the precious blood of Jesus.

We are talking about restoring someone God loved enough to send His Son to die for. We are talking about restoring someone who has the very Spirit of Christ living within him. We are talking about restoring a brother or sister in Christ.

Why is it that we do not recognize that the love of God extends to the fallen saved as well as the fallen lost? Why is it that the church seems unable to recognize that Christ loved us so much that when He saved us, He indwelled us with His Spirit in order to retain possession and ownership? Why is it that when we sin, God does not discard us, does not take back that spirit, and does not withhold the eternal life that He gave us? Yet, we as a church tend to discredit and disregard that life.

When the Bible speaks of restoration it says, "ye which are spiritual." In other words, ye who have the spirit within you, and who have a spiritual nature, restore those others who also have a spirit. In other words, if you are spiritual, there is a bond and a love. There is disgust in many of God's people for fallen brethren. It is almost a feeling of contempt. The Bible says, "herein shall ye know that ye are my disciples because you love one another."

The Bible does not say you love one another only when you do not sin. Often there is contempt for saved people who have fallen. The Bible says restore such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering thyself.

The idea is to watch yourself. Do not allow yourself to slip into the sin. Yet, the Bible does say restore. Who? "Ye which are spiritual." The true mark of a spiritual person is the ability to restore another Christian. Why would that be? That is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus was in the restoration business, and if we are to be like Jesus, we, too, must accept that as part of our responsibility.



We need to understand what the Bible means when it says, "when a man be overtaken in a fault." The Bible is not speaking here of a man being possessed by a fault. The Bible says overtaken by a fault. What exactly does this mean?

A runner is running a race and attempting to reach the finish line. As he runs there is something behind that runner trying to catch him, and stop him from finishing the race. Finally, it overcomes him, knocking him out of the race. The job of a Christian is to restore that person who is overtaken in the race. It is not talking about someone who has decided that he wants to live the life of sin. It is someone who ran the race, fell, and lies bruised and battered in the midst of the race.

Peter was trying. He sinned, but he was trying. He failed, but he was trying. He denied Christ, but he was trying. He cursed and he swore, but he was trying. When it overtook him, he wept bitterly. His heart was broken. Peter wanted to run the race. Peter wanted to serve the Lord. Peter wanted to follow Jesus. He was trying, but he was overtaken. Jesus came to him and said, "I want to put you back on the track and use you again." Restoration should be first and foremost to those who have been overtaken in a race; those who have been knocked out of the race; those who have been out there on the front lines and fallen.

The most maligned people in Christianity are the pastors and Christian leaders who fall into sin. Often times these people have been overcome and have no way out. They did not know how to escape, but they kept on running.

Why? It is because they wanted to serve the Lord. They meant well. Their hearts were right in their desire to please God, but they did not know how to get rid of the fault, and it eventually overtook them.

Often, when a preacher is overtaken by sin in his life, we call him a hypocrite. That is not what Jesus did. Jesus understood. He appreciated Peter for what he tried to do. He did not praise him for his mistake, nor did He malign him for his efforts. He knew he meant well. He knew he was flesh. He knew that this was a humbling experience already. Jesus wanted Peter to know that He still wanted him to run. He could get him back on the track, and restore him to usefulness.

We should not be quick to discard the preachers, the teachers, and the people that are out there on the lines trying to serve God who are overtaken.
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Why is it that they are the ones we cast before dogs to be devoured? They are the ones who have proven their desire to run the race. Perhaps we would see a lot less of the world judging our own if we would restore our own.

The world takes a life that has been destroyed or overtaken, tears it up and uses it for kindling, and laughs as they do. If the church would take those pieces and restore them, the world would see exactly how great a God we have, how good the grace of God is, and what He can do in a life. That is what the world wants. The world wants to go somewhere where people truly love sinners.

If we love those that sinned who are among us, is that not even a greater proof of our love for those who are not among us? When we love those who disappoint us, who have let us down, and for whom we had high expectations, would that not prove even more to the world the sincerity of our love?

If we show them that God never discards his own, would that not cause more of those who are lost to want to know that God? We are living in a day of true tragedy in the church, because we have not realized the greatness of the restoration powers of God, and have not been willing to accept restoration as our responsibility.

4. Restoration is seeing a person all the way from uselessness to usefulness. It is one thing to bring a person out of their sin and clean them up; it is quite another to keep working with that person until we have helped them find a way to be used of God again. Often times we like to see a person salvaged from sin, but we do not see a place for them to really be used of God. We clean them up and keep them in the closet and their lives never find a place of great ministry for God.

When an individual is restored there may be some things that they will never be able to do for the Lord, but instead of concentrating on what they cannot do, we must immediately begin looking for things they can do.

God saves people to use them and He restores them to use them as well. Let us not limit those we restore to a place of worthlessness. Restoration in itself demands a place of service or usefulness.

Somehow, we must capture the spirit of restoration, and commit to reclaiming lives once useful for God.

Look around at some of those in the junk pile of Christianity and see what could be if the Master restorer were ever allowed to do His marvelous handiwork. Restore such an one, for Jesus' sake.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

SPECIAL RATE BY THE CASE ON NEW BOOKS!

NEW BOOKS MAY BE PURCHASED BY THE CASE OF 30 FOR $8/BOOK PLUS S/H
(Retail for $14.95/book)




Please consider purchasing these two companion books for your church or book store. The two go hand in hand in pushing the reset button for a growing and maturing church.

Call 903-576-1307 or 903-237-9019 or email dayres5@juno.com or email bgraysr@me.com and order today. Every adult should have a copy of these two books. There is no doubt in my mind the effect will be felt for an eternity. 

They normally sell for $14.95 a book. However, if a case of 30 are purchased they will sell for $8 a book plus S/H. Do yourself and your church members a favor and order today.

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 bgraysr@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.





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!