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Monday, September 30, 2013

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO STOP YOU?






Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

II Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”



Dr. Lee Roberson said to me one time about my pastor Dr. Jack Hyles, “Jack’s a survivor.” What a great statement to be made of any person let alone a man of God. I believe Dr. Roberson was a “survivor.” That which stops many men did not stop these men of God. It appears that is the difference in those who succeed and those who fail in life.

What will it take to stop you? Will it take a little homesickness that makes you desire to be a little child again? Will it take a disease in your body that will conquer you with pain and prevent you from being a survivor? Whoever said disease was supposed to stop any one?

How tough you are and determined you are to go on is based on what it will take to stop you! What will it take? Will it be a lack of character that causes you to financially fail? You and I are as tough as whatever it takes to stop us! Will it be a disloyalty and a critical tongue that will cause you to win the Benedict Arnold of the year award? Will it be a lack of self-discipline, which keeps you from staying and using the gifts God has given you? Will it be your disobedience to the Great Commission that causes you to fail? Will it be the lack of discernment an inability to spot liberals like John MacArthur Jr. or C. S. Lewis? 

Will it be the desire for popularity that will cause you to interact with the wrong religious crowd? Will it be blind followship of a man and disloyalty to the Word of God? Will it be some wacky doctrine like hyper-Calvinism or hyper-dispensationalism or the teaching of a non-inspired King James Bible?

What will it take to stop you? Will it be pressure to trim your sermons and teaching for the affluent or the so-called educated? Will you sell your pulpit for less than a bowl of chili? Will it be a church split that will cause you to run from a modern day Diotrephes, Korah, or Jezebel? Will it be the temptation to compromise with family members?

Tell me what is it that will stop you and I will tell you how tough you are! Will it take friends of a lifetime turning on you so you will turn on the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother? What will it take to stop you? Will it be a fallen Christian who shakes your faith in God’s servants as you look at the few and not the many? Will it be a son or a daughter that broke your heart and caused you to give up and join them in being a fallen parent? 

Will it be when some denomination, that you should not have been in, blackballs you? Will it be the deacons who threaten to fire you? Will it be the press and TV stations that attack you and your church? Will it be lawsuits?

When an Evangelist and his wife set out to destroy you by spreading filthy lies and innuendoes about you will that be the thing that stops you? Will it be the Epstein Barr virus disease? Will it be a heart disease, cancer, fatigue, mono, or hepatitis? Will it be living below the poverty line in order to serve God? Will be some discontented rule breaking classmate from whom you should separate yourself from long before now? Someone ought to give you the Doctor pantywaist degree!

Show me what it will take to stop you and you will see how tough you really are? Will it be discouragement, depression, discontentment, or disillusionment that will drive you and determine your defeat and demise? Will it be you not getting your way and not being able to adapt to adverse situations? Will it be compromise that will cause you to win the pussy footer of the year award? Will it be being hen pecked that will cause you to fail in life?

What will it take to stop you? Will it be a lack of courage and intestinal fortitude to take tough times? Will it be listening to some bum who wants to steal your purity? Will it be a female who tempts you to sell you man-hood to please a gland? Will it be being a thief at work and stealing your paycheck without working for it? Will it be ditching church? Will it be enjoying the wrong kind of music? Will it be some para church ministry that makes you think you might be able to serve God without having to fight the battles of a local church?

Will you be like Judas who was after money? Will you be like John Mark who goes back home and quits before earning his degree? Will you be like a Jacob who has not character? Will you be like Rehoboam who seeks advice from the young instead of the seasoned veterans? Will you be like Solomon who could not resist a pretty face? Will you be like a Balaam who sells out for a little honor? Will you be like Korah who without basis criticizes leadership? Will you be like a Jezebel who was a self-willed woman? Will you be like Ahab who lets her be that way? Will you be like Jonah who doesn’t want to be a preacher? Will you be like Diotrephes who wants preeminence? Will you be like Demas who went to the world? Will you be like Samson?

The state of Texas could not stop Evangelist Lester Roloff! The Tarrant County Baptist Association of Texas could not stop Dr. John R. Rice! The London Baptist Association could not stop C. H. Spurgeon! Evangelist R. L. Sumner could not stop Dr. Jack Hyles!

Is there a bill you cannot pay? Is it an enemy who is after you? Is it an illness? Is it discouragement? Is it disappointment? Show me what it takes to stop you and I will tell you how tough you are. Slander and bad health could not stop David Livingston! TB could not stop David Brainerd. Prison could not stop John Bunyan! Blindness could not stop Fanny Crosby. The Roman Empire and the prison could not stop the Apostle Paul! The Babylonian Empire could not stop Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Cyrus and the Media Persia Empire could not stop Daniel.

What will it take to stop you? An 800 ministerial association could not stop Elijah! A giant names Goliath could not stop little David! Hamilton County Baptist Association could not stop Dr. Lee Roberson! The Dallas County Association could not stop Dr. Jack Hyles and Dr. Joe Boyd!

Exile could not stop the Apostle John! Burning at the stake could not stop the influence of John Huss! Why do you stop? What is it that is going to cause you to stop while others go on?

The Red Sea and Pharaoh could not stop Moses, a flood could not stop Noah, Pharaoh’s threats could not stop Jochabed, abandonment and imprisonment could not stop Joseph, an invalid wife could not stop C. H. Spurgeon, and constant threats on his life could not stop Billy Sunday!

Cancer could not stop Marlene Evans, the wife of Dr. Wendell Evans! An iron lung could not stop Evangelist Monty Watts! The Congregationalists could not stop D. L. Moody! Prison could not stop the Apostle Peter!

The question before us is what will it take to stop you? The death of daughter did not stop Kevin and Paula Connor! The death of baby girl did not stop our son Scott and his dear wife Jenny! The birth of a handicapped son did not stop our other son Bob and his dear wife Kelly.

The loss of wife and children and burying them in Burmese soil could not stop Adoniram Judson. The death of his wife could not stop Ezekiel! The kingdom could not stop Esther!

Hey, what will it take to stop you? Will it be a nagging wife, a sluggard husband, a pretty figure, a hard time, a difficult job, hurt feelings, heat, bad climate, not getting your way, a headache, sore throat, little sleep, criticism, or homesickness?

Show me what it will take to stop you and I will tell you how tough you really are. What will they say 50 years from today about you when your name is mentioned?

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO STOP YOU?


Friday, September 27, 2013

DEALING WITH THE PAST


Philippians 3:13, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before."

Everyone has a past.  Everyone needs to be alert enough as to the effective handling of the past. The question is are we supposed to forget the past?  Here are some thoughts.


  • WE HAVE A PAST AND WE CANNOT PRETEND WE DO NOT
  • OUR CRITICS ARE CONSTANTLY BRINGING IT UP EVEN THOUGH THEY DO NOT KNOW THE FACTS - HOWEVER, GOD KNOWS AND I KNOW!
  • EVEN THOSE WHO LOVE AND FORGIVE KNOW OUR PAST, BUT DECIDE NOT TO INVESTIGATE
  • WE SHOULD NEVER ACT LIKE WE  HAVE NEVER SINNED
  • WE SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO HIDE THE PAST
  • ACKNOWLEDGING A FAILED PAST GIVES US OPPORTUNITIES TO PROMOTE THE GRACE OF GOD
  • OUR PAST IS A PART OF OUR MINISTRY
  • WE ARE COMMANDED TO FORGET THOSE "THINGS" WHICH ARE BEHIND-NOT OUR PAST
  • WE OUGHT TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR PAST WHILE REFUSING TO DISCUSS THE "THINGS" OF THE PAST
  • TO DISCUSS PAST "THINGS" OPENS  OLD WOUNDS AND PICKS AT THEM CAUSING THEM TO BLEED AGAIN
  • THE "THINGS" OF THE PAST ARE OUT OF SIGHT AND SHOULD BE OUT OF MIND
  • WE CAN BE ASHAMED OF THE "THINGS" OF THE PAST WITHOUT BEING ASHAMED OF "THINGS" WE DO FOR OUR GOD TODAY
  • DO NOT LOWER YOUR HEAD WHEN PEOPLE REPEAT THE "THINGS" OF THE PAST FOR I AM STILL NOT CONDEMNED IN CHRIST
  • ALL OF US CAN GO ON IN SPITE OF THE "THINGS" OF OUR PAST
  • GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR PAST

GOTTA LOVE FORGIVENESS!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WONDERFUL WEEK END IN SOUTH CAROLINA





Dr. and Mrs. Haynes

I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching and preaching for my dear friend Dr. Mike Haynes.  He has pastored for 30 years the TRIDENT BAPTIST CHURCH of Goose Creek, SC, just outside of Charleston, SC.  I had the honor of traveling and preaching with Dr. Haynes for over one decade with Dr. Jack Hyles.  Dr. and Mrs. Haynes were so kind to me.  They took me out for a meal Saturday night and I thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship.

Dr. Haynes and Pam

When I arrived Dr. Haynes met me at the Charleston, SC, airport.  He took me to the motel and I registered for my stay.  On our way to my room on the elevator there was a couple already on the elevator.   We greeted them and started up to the third floor.  They were headed to the fourth floor.  I began telling them I was from Texas and we laughed a little.  

I had an opening to give them the Gospel and they listened intently. As the door of the elevator opened to let us off on the third floor I asked them if I could pray for them.   They said yes and I explained that the prayer does not save, but that Christ does the saving of the soul. They prayed and we rejoiced with them.  

I apologized for taking so much of their time.  The man said, "No, this is the best thing that could have happened." They thanked me and we exited.  While they were praying I thought I heard someone in the hallway talking.  We stepped off the elevator and there was a dear lady standing alone in the hallway.  I thought to myself I wonder who she was talking too.  Then I asked her, "Did you pray with us?"  She answered, "Yes I did!"  So, we rejoiced with her.

This same young convert came to my room on Sunday afternoon between services and knocked on my door.  I opened the door and she introduced to me a friend of hers.  She asked if would pray with her also.  I did and she did! AMEN!

I went back to rest my back and I heard a knock at the door again.  I got up and went to the door.  It was the two who who trusted Christ on the elevator the day before and they wanted to thank me for talking to them and praying with them.  That's a first.

I went back to rest some more.  I have 3 herniated discs - L3, L4, and L5.   I lay there for about 15 minutes and once again I heard a knock at the door.  I got up again and went to the door and a lady said I was told there was a man of God who would pray with people.   WOW!  I gave her the Gospel and she prayed and invited Christ to be her personal Saviour.  Well SOMEBODY SAY AMEN!


10 SAVED AND 2 BAPTIZED

Sunday Morning


Sunday morning I taught my Sunday school lesson on "FORGIVENESS" and I preached my sermon "I HAVE FALLEN AND I CAN GET BACK UP."   God gave us 10 precious souls and 2 adults followed the LORD in baptism.  On Sunday night I preached "FANTASY VS. REALITY."  What a wonderful spirit these dear people of God demonstrated on this Lord's Day. 

All of the books on our book table were sold and the people were very kind to this preacher.  I always enjoy being with my dear friends the Haynes family.

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!
















Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SLAVE OR BOND SLAVE?




CALLED UNTO LIBERTY

Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

I Peter 2:16, “As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”


The Scriptures here make it clear that His people have been called unto liberty in order that they might become servants. The redeemed have been liberated from slavery so they can volunteer to be a slave. Show me in the Scriptures where we are to do less as a servant than we did as a slave.

In the book of Matthew as a slave under the law we were not to commit adultery but as a servant, or bond slave, we are not to look and lust after women. Both of these verses deal with the fact that we are people “called unto liberty” or freedom. Then it tells us why we have liberty and freedom and that is so we can voluntarily become servants. In other words bond slaves or a volunteer slave of Jesus Christ.


EVANGELICAL or EMERGING CHURCH

Today we hear the word “Evangelical” or phrase "Emerging Church" an awful lot. I still prefer the word “fundamentalist” but one area that distinguishes Evangelicals and culture driven ministries from fundamentalist is this area we are discussing in this article. When the Evangelical or Emerging church proponent speaks about liberty and freedom he associates liberty as being freedom from all rules to do what he or she wants to do.

If a male desires to wear an earring he can wear an erring. If a male wishes to wear long shaggy hair he is free to wear long shaggy hair like the hippies of old. If he or she wants to wear shorts then they are free to wear shorts. If a female wants to wear mini-skirts she is free to wear mini-skirts. If she wants to wear pants, shorts or man's apparel she is free to wear them. If a person wants to listen to bad music he or she is free to do so.

The Evangelicals and Culture driven minions are wrong in this area as they are in the majority of their beliefs. That type of freedom is not what these verses are saying. God is simply speaking about liberty from the wrong master in order that one may serve the right master.

Every one is a slave! There are no free people! Bond slavery to Christ is the only way to be freed from compulsory slavery of sin and Satan. Either you are a bond slave of Jesus Christ or you are enslaved to Satan. It is freedom form what would require us to serve to freedom to volunteer to serve. It is freedom to be a volunteer slave to do what you were made to do.

This microphone that I used last Sunday when I preached was meant to be plugged into a power source. There is no other place where that microphone can fulfill its purpose in life unless it is plugged in the right place. Suppose the microphone says I’m free and I can go where I want to go. That microphone was made to be attached to its plug and God’s people were made to be plugged into God. The only freedom God’s people have is to be what God made them to be and what God wants them to be.

This is not the type of freedom that says if you do not like the traditional type Sunday services have worldly contemporary church services. After all we must connect with the unsaved in order to draw them to Calvary. It may be Evangelical or Emerging church thinking, but it is not Bible thinking! It is not the kind of liberty that says the child of God is free to do what he wants to do. It simply means you are free to do what God wants you to do.  The draw is either a Holy Spirit or an evil spirit draw.  Both are powerful and work.  When you use the flesh to draw you will not end up with Spirit of God results.

Some of God’s people are in essence spiritual hobos or spiritual nomads. Some of them ought to purchase a Bedouin tent, a couple of camels, a donkey, some sheep, and just wander around from performance to performance in order to feel love.

The microphone was made to be plugged into a power source only. The only right that microphone had is to do the thing that God made it for.

God had a job that God wanted done and God made me to do that job. God had a job that God wanted done and God made you to do that job. That means I am made to do that job and you are made to do the job God created you for. Yielding to God and following God will end in "good success" not just "success." 


SATAN’S MASTERS

There are masters that Satan uses to enslave me to keep me from the job God has for me to do. So when God frees me from these masters that Satan would use to enslave me God does not free me for me! God frees me for God! God does not free me to go where I want to go, but God frees me to go where God wants me to go. God does not free me to do or to be what I want to do or be. God frees me to do and be what God wants!

The current Emerging church and Evangelical world is built around this destructive thought that we are free.  Then they spout out in unison that if fundamentalists believe in decent hair cuts on the males and decent dresses on the females that they are legalists and restricting freedom. However, there stupidity is showing! Legalism has nothing to do with the way you dress and the way you wear your hair for legalism is properly defined as those who add something to the Gospel.

Jehovah False Witnesses, Mormons, Church of Christ, or Catholics are legalists. These modern day reformation theologians who teach a Protestant repentance are legalists because they add something to the Gospel. The Seventh Day Adventist and the World Wide Church of God are legalists.

However, when my mother cut my hair and kept it cut she was not a legalist. My mama was telling me that I was set free to volunteer to be what God wanted me to be and I could not do that while being a slave to the free love hippy culture of my day.

God wants to give me liberty from these masters so I can choose to be a bondservant. Sin is basically you not doing what God put you here to do. The biggest sin is the sin of not being what God made you to be. I am a little tired of seniors and young people saying I’ve always enjoyed the study of law, or I’ve always wanted to be a businessman, or I’ve always wanted to be an accountant, or I’ve always loved sports, or I have always wanted to go to the University of Texas. By the way adults are just as bad as young people!

Sin is basically you not doing what God made you to do! There are things that the devil puts in front of you that will hinder you from doing what God wants you to do. If your pastor were to get drunk he could not pastor your church. Thus, the great sin is not getting drunk, though that is a sin, but the great sin is that drunkenness keeps him from being what God made him to be as the pastor of your church.

If a college student lets homesickness control them then they have let what they have always wanted to do stop them from doing what God wants them to do. So homesickness and drunkenness are equal in sin value.

Being a slave to nicotine is another example. Satan wants to enslave you and I so we cannot be a bondservant to Jesus Christ and do what God made us to do. You have always wanted to be a lawyer so you let what you want direct your life and thus are kept from doing what God wants for your life. Thus doing what you have always wanted to do and nicotine addiction are the same. They are equal in sin value because the great tragedy is you not doing what God wants you to do. Freedom is living within boundaries and not outside of boundaries.


THE WALLS AROUND OLD TESTAMENT CITIES

The Old Testament cities had walls around those cities such as Jericho. Those walls around those cities were there to give them freedom inside of the walls not freedom outside of those walls. They were to give them freedom not slavery.  Inside of those walls freedom existed while outside of those walls was slavery.

There were people outside those walls who wanted to enslave the people inside those walls. Thus, the walls were there to protect God’s people from the outside people who wanted to enslave them. The liberty was not outside the wall but inside the wall.

We use to have a black poodle named Buttons. Our neighbor to our right, not the one who lives there now but earlier, had a Rottweiler dog. A big mean dog! The neighbor had an electrified fence around the top of his fence to keep the dog in. Our stupid black poodle would race up to the fence on our side of the yard to challenge that Rottweiler almost every night with just a fence separating the two dogs. 

Some of you are like our poodle Buttons in that you want your freedom and you want to take on the Rottweiler’s of the world. If you did get out of a your fenced area the Rottweiler’s of this world would eat you up! May I ask a question where was Button’s liberty inside that fence or outside that fence? Ok, then where is your liberty and where is your freedom: inside the fence or outside the fence? Liberty is inside the fence! Freedom is inside the fence!

Those rules are there at your Christian school and Christian college to keep the young people from the things that would enslave them so you cannot be what God made you to be and do. Adults have by experience figured out what enslaves and then they set you free from those things so it will be easy for you to be and to do what God wants you to be and do.

Liberty is not at the University of Arkansas, University of Texas, or Baylor University, or SMU. Liberty is at a Texas Baptist College where a fence has been built to keep the students from those things that will enslave so they cannot be and do what God meant for them to be and to do.

The reason students and young people feel so much so-called pressure is because you want to be outside the fence. Liberty is inside the wall not outside the wall. God says that liberty is safety inside His rules protecting you from the salve traders on the outside waiting for you. Rules do not make rebels they merely expose the rebels.

Moms and dads who are living outside the walls have little power with their children. No wonder our children don’t’ seek counsel when the parents make decisions without seeking counsel.

We are not legalists we just happen to believe in being bondservants to Jesus Christ and that there are things that will stop us from being and doing what a bond slave for Christ is to do and to be. Everyone is some ones’ slave! If we are not a bond slave for Jesus then we are a slave of this world.

If you are not a bond slave for Christ you have created a vacuum that will be filled by Satan. You are giving an opportunity for Satan to control your life. The only deliverance you can have from Satan is to volunteer to be a bond slave to Jesus Christ then the Holy Spirit of God will set you free fro the slavery and enslavement of this world.


WHEN CAN ONE EXERCISE THIS FREEDOM?

Someone asks the question when can I exercise this freedom inside of the wall? When you are wise enough to choose what up until now has been chosen for you! You are not ready to choose until you would choose what has been chosen for you so far in your life.

When a bone is broken they put it in a cast. They keep the cast on until the bone heals. Now that is exactly what your parents, teachers, and pastor are doing! Adults have placed a cast on you and the truth is you are not old enough to have the case removed. The fact that you act like you act proves you are not ready for the cast to be removed.

When pouring concrete you have to place some forms down before you pour the concrete. When do you remove the forms? When the concrete is hard enough to retain its same position after the form is removed. Who decides that time? The one who puts the forms into place such as your parents, principal, preacher, or youth director, etc. When can I be free, when your mom, dad, principal, teacher, youth director, preacher, etc., say so!

As long as you want to go to the Rock Concert, Hollywood movies, drink liquor, or smoke you will end up being a slave to this world. Thus the adults have built for you some forms in your life. “But preacher you are creating a generation gap!” No sir the only gap we have is a parental gap of liberalism attempting to divide authorities for selfish reasons. The concrete form is not to be removed until the concrete holds the same form and only the person who built the form can tell if the concrete will hold its form when the forms are removed.

A rebel child will be a rebel junior higher. A rebel junior higher will be a rebel high schooler. A rebel high schooler will be a rebel college student. A rebel college student who marries will become a rebel you married couple. Adults are to build the forms and keep the forms until the concrete keeps its form.

This generation is a result of people like those of the book of Judges. “Every man did that which was right in their own eyes.” Wait a minute! It does not say “wrong.” These are people who decided themselves what was “right.” In other words they set their own forms. It would be best to allow godly adults who have proven themselves longer than you to set the forms. These were sincere people who wanted to do right but they wanted to decide what was right. NO! The Bible decides what is right and what is wrong!

The devil came to Eve and misquoted the Bible to her. Satan said if you would eat of that tree of knowledge, “You will be as gods knowing good and evil.” So, Eve said, “I want to know what is good and what is bad." Thus Eve ate of that tree so she could be the authority of good and bad. NO! The Scriptures decide that not you Eve. The Word of God decides that not you Eve.

My life is spent attempting to help those who are enslaved. Why, because they chose to do what they wanted to do. I know of no unhappy bond slave for Jesus Christ. NONE! However, I know plenty of unhappy salves to this world.


SUMMARY

·      Liberty to do what God wants you to do
·      Liberty to be what God wants you to be
·      Liberty that exists because of the walls
·      Liberty that exists inside of the walls
·      Liberty that is lost outside of the walls
·      Walls built by the authorities and not ourselves

Thursday, September 12, 2013

HINTS ABOUT HEAVEN


HEAVENLY HINTS

Philippians 1:23-24, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”


I wish you dear readers could have known one of the many faithful deacons whom I was privileged to serve with by the name of Cecil Kammediemer. I wish also that you knew another deacon by the name of Wayne Daniels and another deacon Norm Tennimon. However, one of my favorites is Joe Simmons a faithful usher who on his death was worried about who would take his place at his post. I think of our Receptionist Elaine Howie and our Records Secretary Mary Robinson. 

I am thinking of one of our faculty members Bill Nelson with his weekly letters of encouragement to me as his pastor. I am thinking of little Candice Connor who would stare at me, think for a minute, and then run up to me and hug my leg. I cannot but think of Dr. Paul Duckett Jr. who served with me on staff for 18 wonderful years!

All of these have one thing in common they are waiting for us in Heaven. I am thinking of over 150 of the dear members of Longview Baptist Temple who are in Heaven as of the writing of this article.

Every time the death angel visits someone has a broken heart, and empty spot at the dinner table, an empty spot in the bed, and has a heart that is heavy. I am thinking of Kathleen Davis who sat on the front pew at Longview Baptist Temple, Longview, TX, for over a decade and died from cancer. Held to a wheelchair all of her life by illness. She never missed church and not only a faithful rider of our Sunday school buses, but she visited every Saturday on that same bus route. She is missed!

Little by little age starts to show herself in all of us. May I say to all of us Heaven is getting nearer and dearer and sweeter all the time? I remember the day when the word came that our bus mechanic Bill Neiland had died suddenly from a heart attack how shocking it was to all of our church family. I recall the phone call at midnight of the tragic car accident where Bill Nelson returning home from his Shreveport bus route was suddenly and tragically taken in an automobile accident on I-20.

Every Memorial Day our church LBT made a tradition of reading the names of the dear members who have graduated into Heaven and each one had a special spot in my heart as pastor. I would sit in the pastor’s chair and thank God for every one of those soldier’s of the cross who helped make LBT the great church she is. Over one million souls came to Christ during my 3 decades of pastoring that great church.

So much is mentioned in the Bible about the New Jerusalem that is in Heaven after the Millennium, which is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. We find ourselves in a guided tour by John in Revelation chapters 21-22. We are shown so many things about the New Jerusalem in this guided tour by the Apostle John.

We are told of its size approximately 1,500 miles wide, high, and long. This cube, if you will, typified by the Holy of Holies. John tells us in this conducted tour about the walls of the city being 214’ high. We are told about the gates of the city being twelve gates with each made of one big pearl! Wow, I wonder what the oyster looks like? Ha!

We are told about the foundations of the city, the streets of the city, the trees of the city, the river that flows through the city, the glorified body the redeemed will have, and so much is told about the New Jerusalem, but there is no such tour about the Heaven that exists now. Nobody in the Bible tells us how big Heaven is now, what the streets are like now, about the gates now, or about the whether there is a river there now. No one tells us if there are streets there now. We assume the streets are of gold, because the streets of the New Jerusalem are, but the Scriptures do not say.

Surprisingly very little is said about the present Heaven. Occasionally we can see the door open briefly for us to quickly look in. Let us now take a brief peek into the Heaven that exists now. In the Bible we have a man who died and went to Heaven and came back. He is about the only one who can give us a glimpse into the present Heaven.

Let’s look at what the Apostle Paul said. The Apostle Paul on his first missionary journey went to the place called Lystra and there outside the city of Lystra he was stoned and died. The Scriptures tell us in I Corinthians chapter 12 he was caught up into the third Heaven. Now, let us ask Paul what he observed up there? For he is about the only one who give us any glimpse of the present Heaven.

Do you realize that deacon Cecil Kammediemer, the Apostle Paul, John R. Rice, Bob Jones Sr., Billy Sunday, Lester Roloff, Lee Roberson, Carl Hatch, Curtis Hutson, and Jack Hyles see Jesus and talk to him daily.

Hey Paul what is it like now? Paul says, “I can’t tell you! There is no way I can tell you because there is no human vocabulary that can describe it to you.” Paul what is Heaven like now? He replies, “You have never seen anything like it that I can use to describe what Heaven looks like.” Paul said, “The eye has never see anything like Heaven is now. The ear has never heard anything like Heaven has right now." Well Paul, can we imagine what Heaven’s like and Paul says, “You can’t even begin to imagine what Heaven is like now!”

Paul says, “I’m helpless in being able to tell you what it is like now for eye hath not seen he says!” Mrs. Gray and I have been to Hawaii and there is no way to describe it and do it justice. We have been to the Caribbean and again there is no way to describe its beauty and majesty.

We ask Paul for help! Paul says let me give you a few words to describe Heaven now.


PARADISE

Paradise is a word Paul used. Paul called Heaven Paradise. Now what is Paradise? It was the word the Jews used for the ultimate in blessings. I mean the ultimate or that which was beyond description. Paul said Heaven is the ultimate in blessedness. What does it mean?

·      It’s the ultimate in joy
·      It’s the ultimate in contentment
·      It’s the ultimate in happiness
·      It’s the ultimate in peace
·      It’s the ultimate in fun
·      It’s the ultimate I pleasure

Paul said I can’t tell you how wonderful it is so I’ll just have to choose the best words in our vocabulary to help you understand what its like now.


MANSION

The second word used to describe Heaven as it is now is the word “mansion.” The word mansion in the Greek was the word for the ultimate comfort in a dwelling. Paul said I’ll take the top word you know concerning housing to help you understand. The top word you know concerning blessedness you know is the word “Paradise.”

Paul said I was there, I was caught up into the third Heaven, and I can’t tell you what its like for it is unlawful. The word “unlawful” means it is sacrilegious. Paul said it would be sacrilegious for me to take a human vocabulary and try to tell you how wonderful Heaven is now. Heaven is a wonderful place God is preparing for his people.

We use to gather around the piano on Sundays and Mama would play and we would sing…

I’ve heard of a place that’s called Heaven
Sweet home of the happy and free
Fair haven of rest for the weary
How beautiful Heaven must be

Oh, they tell me of a home far beyond the skies
Oh, they tell me of a home far away
Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise
Oh, they tell me of a home with an unclouded day

Oh, the land of the cloudless day
Oh, the land of the unclouded day
Oh, they tell me of a hoe far beyond the skies

There is a land that is fairer than day
And by faith we can see it afar

Now my Mama and Daddy are there seeing and talking to Jesus every day! WOW!

Paul you have been there could you just give us a little hint of what Heaven is like now? Give us a few words to help us!


IT’S A PLACE

Jesus said, “I go to prepare a PLACE for you.” The word “place” simply is defined as “a region” or “a locality” or something that is solid and occupies space. Doesn’t sound like a bunch of blind folded spirits in a vacuum to me as the liberals in Southern Baptist Seminaries are teaching their empty headed ministerial students. It is a PLACE!

It is a place with real streets, real houses, and real mansions. A place you can see and a place with real bodies. Paul said it is a place! God tells us just enough! Paul can’t decide which human words to use to describe Heaven. So God allows Paul to use the word “Paradise,” or the ultimate, “mansions,” or the best dwelling, and the word “place,” or a real place! Paul is using human words to help describe the indescribable.


GAIN

Paul then uses another word “gain.” Paul said, “It’s gain.” The word “gain” can be defined “make a profit.” He is saying Heaven is more profitable than here.  It is “gain” to go to this “place” called Heaven. Our loved ones and friends who are in Heaven have gained not lost. Paul said it is virtually impossible to use human words to describe such a Heavenly place as Heaven.

Paul must however use human words to give us a hint of what Heaven is like now.


FAR BETTER

Paul said is "far better" to be in Heaven. What a place it must be? Far better is a double positive, which in essence means “more better.” He is saying it is so much better than here and only a double positive will work in aiding us in our understanding. We said about Mama, “She’s far better off!” The truth is we have not the foggiest idea how much better off Mama is and the others who are in Heaven.

Paul you gave us hints with words like Paradise, mansions, place, gain, and far better is there any thing else you can give us as a hint? Yes, says Paul for I have one more word!


JESUS

Remember when Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, held the coats of the men who stoned that good godly deacon and Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father?

Jesus said, “I will receive you unto myself that where I am there ye may be also.” It really doesn’t matter what the streets or mansions are made of as long as Jesus is there. It doesn’t matter if the gates are made of 2 x 4’s as long as Jesus is there. It doesn’t matter if the streets are asphalt as long as Jesus is there. However its not that way for the streets are paved with gold, the mansions are real, the gates are of pearl, the foundations are made of precious stones, and on top of all of that Jesus is there! AMEN!


DEPARTURE

Paul what’s it like to die? He gives us another word for he says to die is like the word “departure.” He said the time of my departure is at hand. The word “departure” is a sea faring term. It is a neutral term for it is like when a big old ship leaves the port of dock or like a jet pulling away form the airport gate. Paul gives us some hint about Heaven in certain words.

·      Paradise-ultimate
·      Mansions-the ultimate in dwelling
·      Place-it is real
·      Gain-more profitable
·      Far Better-more better
·      Jesus-will be there with us
·      Departure-like a ship leaving the dock

Paul do you want to die? No! Paul do you want to go to Heaven now? Not now he says! Boy, that makes me feel better!  Paul why don’t you want to go now? He answers because I have some more people whom I love and they need me. I have more souls to lead to Christ. I have more churches to establish. He said, “To depart is far better, but is more needful for me to stay!’ Amen to that Paul!

GOTTA LOVE SOUL WINNING!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2 NEW BOOKS COMING OFF THE PRESSES - 6-8 WEEKS


This book has been read, reviewed, and recommended by Dr. Wendell Evans who is President Emeritus of Hyles-Anderson College.

TRIAL BY FIRE-Satan's Attack On Independent Baptists will be coming off of the presses in MN in 6-8 weeks. This is a 33 chapter 384 page hardback book with a beautiful dust jacket.  Some of the chapters include -
  • Satan's Attack on our Harmony
  • Collateral Damage
  • The Tolerance of Intolerance
  • It's Time to Grow Up
  • Our Stand on Homosexuality
  • Why Do Adult Children Rebel
  • Dangers in Major Scandals
  • Accountability
  • If Ministering Stops being Fun
  • Millennialists
  • Satan's Attacks using Calvinism
  • IFB Preaching Attacked
This is just a few of the chapters that will be included in this book.  I believe this will be of immense help to the youth who did not know the mentors of the faith most of us grew up with and knew personally.




JACK HYLES-The Communicator is also a 384 page hardback book with a beautiful dust jacket.  There are 33 chapters of insight into the wonderful ability Jack Hyles possessed in transferring his passion and purpose to those who not only  worked with him, but thousands of others who followed him.  

There are many who believe right, but are unable to transfer that belief and practice to others.  No pastor can accomplish what he desires to accomplish for God without faithful workers.
If you loved WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING then you will love this book also.  Here are some of the chapters -

  • Put Your Pens Away
  • Profundity Wrapped in Simplicity
  • Repetition
  • The Line Outside His Door
  • One Great Truth Per Sermon
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • The Art of Topical Preaching
  • Communicating with Humor
  • Please Pardon My Poetry
  • A 3 x 5 Card


Both of these books were in the making for two years and have hundreds of hours involved in their production.  Both of these books will be included in a case.  8 of each will be in the case of 16.

Please take advantage of the 50% off plus S/H for a case before they come off the presses in 6-8 weeks. After that the retail price will be $25 per book, but if you pre-order a case of 16 you will receive 50% off of the retail price plus S/H.

If you are a church or bookstore then email dayres5@juno.com or bgraysr@me.com.  You may call Mrs. Ayres at 903-576-1307 to place your order.  The case of books will be sent directly to you from the printers in MN.

DON'T PUT THIS OFF - CALL TODAY!

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!



Thursday, September 5, 2013

WHEN IN ROME DO NOT DO AS THE ROMANS DO!



WHEN IN ROME DO NOT DO AS THE ROMANS DO

Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”


The Scripture says not just “be NOT conformed” for it says “be ye transformed.” The secret is the mind and in the renewing of the mind by being transformed and not conformed to this world.

The book of Romans is divided up in to two sections, chapters 1-11 and chapters 12-16. The pivotal verses are found in Romans 12:1-2. In the first eleven chapters of Romans we have doctrine. In chapters 12-16 we have practical living or application of the doctrine to a real world.

Paul is saying the redeemed ought to live this way because of the wonderful doctrines in the first eleven chapters. An example would be the doctrine of “justification.” Paul is saying, “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God” or because you are justified by faith that you “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”

Someone says, “I’m addicted to movies, pornography, or to internet pornography.” I don’t believe it for a minute! You can quit it right now and walk away from it. It’s not addictive like narcotics or liquor. You can quit that junk if you would produce enough character, decency, discipline and Christianity. The Bible says we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.

God is saying because you are justified be not CONFORMED to this world, and do not stop there, be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. Why…

·      Because of propitiation
·      Because of justification
·      Because of sanctification
·      Because of predestination
·      Because of election

Plus all of the other great doctrines found in Romans chapters 1-11. Then Paul goes on to tell us in the rest of the book of Romans what it means and what kind of a life we are supposed to live as God’s children.

God has given to the Christian a little world within a world with our local church, Christian schools, and Christian colleges. If you are in one of the Christian schools and are living a loose moral life you are a traitor to the cause of Christ, to the school, to the college, to the local church and to your pastor. Nobody ought to ever cause themselves to be expelled from a Christian school because of being immoral loose living, bad music, pornography, or sexual promiscuity. No member of a local church should ever be involved with immoral activity for you are in essence a traitor if you do.

Thus we have a little world within a world. This bigger world we live in is a godless world and we are forced to interact. Some have to interact with worldliness at home, or in a secular business, or a secular school, and unfortunately sometimes there are students in the Christian school who are worldly and you find yourself having to interact with them. However, I would be ashamed of myself if I were thick with the wrong crowd in a Christian school. I’d be ashamed of myself to be thick with the wrong crowd in a Christian college.

Now, we are required in some ways to interact with a godless Christ-less world. May I point your attention to whom this passage was given? The passage of, “be ye not conformed to his world but be transformed” is a passage written to the Christians in Rome. They were corrupt, pagan, skeptical, and a perverted people. The entire environment was not only un-Christian but also anti-Christian. The Bible says this book was written to the saints in Caesar’s household.

We have this admonition, “be ye not conformed to the world.” What does that mean? It simply means dress like a Christian and not like Paris, or Hollywood, or New York. It simply means males ought to have haircuts that look like a male and not the Beatles or Justin Bieber. God is saying to his people I would rather you have Dr. Lee Roberson as your hero than Arnold Swartznegger. I would rather you have Jack Hyles as your hero than Garth Brooks.

Then he says, “be ye transformed” or as different from this world as Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration. This my friend was written to Christians of Caesar’s household in godless anti-Christian Rome, corrupt, pagan, skeptical, and perverted Rome. Yet to the saints in this foul corrupt environment Paul writes these words, “be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed.”

No Christians in Rome had a Christian school to attend. They had not Christian grade school, junior high school, high school, or college to attend. Yet God said to these people in the middle of godless anti-Christian Rome it is possible for you not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Paul is saying it is possible to live in the midst of a Roman moral quagmire without lowering your flag of purity. Please listen! That means that it is possible today also to do the same. It is possible today to live in a society controlled by TV, Hollywood, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and the Internet and still live for God via the renewing of the mind.

It is possible to live in this sex crazed, Hollywood infested world, HBO world, Cinemax world, Showtime world, and hip-hop music, and be not conformed to this world. If it is possible for the saints at Rome then it is possible for the saints of today!

Paul said it is possible in this horrible morally polluted atmosphere to breathe without poisoning the souls of the Christians in Rome. It was possible to walk in its septic streets without soiling the white garments of saint-hood. Paul tells them not to be creatures of circumstances or happenstance, but to take a stance for God.

Stand up at work for Jesus while others curse him. Stand up for Jesus at school while others mock him. Paul is saying to these saints in Rome do not do when in Rome as Romans do, but when in Rome do as Jesus would do. He is saying to them be not the slave, but the master of your environment. He preaches not the doctrines of conforming, but the doctrine of transformation.

Paul is saying to the saints in Rome man is not to become a creature of his circumstances or the toy of his surroundings, or a piece of clay molded by his peers, but he is saying do not be conformed be ye transformed. It bothers God when his daughters are quick to take up the hairstyles of modern day Romans. 

It bothers God when any of his children are quick to pick up the modern appearances and so desperately want to be accepted by the modern day Romans. It probably occurs because God’s people spend more time reading “Glamour Magazine” than the Bible. Young Christian ladies spend more time in “Sixteen Magazine” than in their own Bibles. It bothers God when his sons are so quick to get a tattoo or pierce their ears simply because of the modern day Romans.

God is telling his children they are not to copy this pagan world. There is a difference between dressing appropriately and going gaga over the latest styles and so quick to embrace them simply because we want the Romans to love us. We are not to pattern ourselves after this modern world. If the world lies on a beach in their underwear then God’s people ought to do the opposite. If the women of this world wear their short and man’s apparel then the Christian ladies ought to do the opposite. We are in the world but not of the world!

He tells the redeemed in Rome you are to be more than a product of your environment, more than a result of geography, more than a piece of merchandise molded and made by surroundings, more than a manufacturers object of weather and meteorology. You are not to be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed that ye may prove what is that good an acceptable perfect will of God.

It thrills God to see his children around town reflecting Scriptures rather than society. When he sees the boys with decent haircuts and without their pants hanging down to their ankles with their underwear showing. God loves it when he sees his young ladies dressed in modest clothing without a vampire look. I thank God I belong to a church where members dress right and people around town know they belong to Longview Baptist Temple.

It may be difficult to not be conformed to this world but difficult is not spelled “I M P O S S I B L E.” He says do not drift but steer! He says do not float but swim! He says do not descend but ascend. He says do not blend but transcend. He says do not condescend but apprehend. He says do not be a slave to dust be its master. He says swim the tide.

God is saying to his children in Rome be like the lily in the mud which transforms sordidness into beauty and stagnates into fragrance. He is saying to them do not bow your knee to the god of fashion, the Bael of conformity, the deity of compromise, the altar of timidity to the prince and power of this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Christians who are conforming to this modern Roman world and not transforming it doesn’t bother you because you do not care what God wants you to do any way, but those who do care will keep on transforming and not conforming.

Conquer this world’s gravity! Be a lily in the mud, a daisy in the gutter, a flower in the wilderness, a stream in the desert, and a rose amidst needles and thorns. If you have to flee to the catacombs flee singing! If you are appetizer for the lions then die praising God. Throw your shoulders back and chest out, lift up your head, and hold your banner high to let everyone know you are a child of God!

Emerson said, “Whoso would be a man must be a non conformist!” If the Bible is true, if God be real, and you desire to be a man then do not conform to this world and see what happens? Show me a famous Christian who was a conformist? Show me one in history?

The Hall of fame list includes John Bunyan who spent twelve years in the Bedford Jail. Why, because he would not stop preaching the Gospel on the street corners! He had a blind daughter who would come to the Bedford Jail and say, “I’ve some good news daddy. They will let you out of jail if you promise to quit preaching the Gospel on the streets.” He was a non-conformist!

John Wesley was a non-conformist! Read his diary sometime and you will read, “Kicked out of church after church after church…” We garnish his tombstone and crucify the people who are like him today!

·      John Bunyan a non-conformist
·      John Wesley a non-conformist
·      Peter a non-conformist
·      Paul a non-conformist
·      John the Baptist a non-conformist
·      James a non-conformist
·      Savonarola a non-conformist
·      Martin Luther a non-conformist
·      Cromwell a non-conformist
·      John R. Rice a non-conformist
·      Lester Roloff a non-conformist
·      Tom Malone a non-conformist
·      Lee Roberson a non-conformist
·      Shadrach a non-conformist
·      Meshach a non-conformist
·      Abednego a non-conformist
·      Daniel a non-conformist
·      J. Frank Norris a non-conformist
·      G. B. Vick a non-conformist
·      Curtis Hutson a non-conformist
·      Carl Hatch a non-conformist
·      Charles Spurgeon a non-conformist

Why, because they refused to let the devil tell them how to behave and what to believe. In my 41 years of preaching, as of the writing of this article, I have stood for the King James Bible, Jesus’ blood as the only cleansing agent for sin, the local independent Baptist church, salvation by grace through faith in the blood of Christ, the new birth, sinless life of Christ, vicarious death of Christ, bodily resurrection of Christ, the pre-millennial pre-tribulation rapture of the saints, old fashioned separation from the world, old time religion, soul winning, holy living, and eternal security of the believer for which I am not about to quit now because of current society!

I John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

II Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing…”

For you sweet little Christians there is more to the Bible than just Psalm 23. God said, “Touch not the unclean thing” and “Keep oneself unspotted from the world” and “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” and “The saints shall someday rule the world” and “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world but thou shouldest keep them from the world” and “They are not of the world even as I am not of the world” and  “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” and “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” and “They who have turned the world upside down have come here also” and “Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world even our faith” and “Ye are a holy generation a royal priesthood” and “That he might deliver us from this present world” and “I have overcome the world” and “The friendship of the world is enmity with God” and “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world” and “Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world.” WOW! I think you had better talk this over with God!

You can live in a godless home and still be transformed and not conformed. I can prove it for some of you reading this article are living in godly homes and you are being conformed and not transformed. Thus, it must not be the home as much as it is you!

Paul told the Christians in Rome that is was possible in their morally polluted atmosphere to breathe without poisoning their souls. Now, if it is possible for the Christians in Rome then it is possible for the Christians in you city to live for God.

You can work in a godless factory go to a godless school, live in a godless home, live in a godless neighborhood, and still be transformed. It is a shame that some of the bus riders from the ghettos of your area live better Christian lives than those who have moms and dads who sing in the church choir, served on the deacon board, teaches Sunday school, serve on the church staff, or are faithful church members. Be ye transformed and not conformed!

It matters not who you are and what you are you can live for God wherever and whenever. Factory workers can live for God. If they could do it in Rome and Paul expected them to do it in Rome then so can any of us! The Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible expected them to live for God in Rome, which means we can also live for God in our Rome.

GOTTA LOVE THE OLD TIME RELIGION!