Sunday, April 29, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Saved from the Sinner’s Prayer

This is a testimony of Ryan Richie, who grew up in a Baptist church… and said the prayer… Ryan Richie is now a missionary in Peru by the Grace of God, please pray for him and his wife Nicole as they count their lives as nothing and testify to the gospel of the Grace of God.
Acts 20:24 – But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Saved from the Sinner's Prayer from I'll Be Honest on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

An Intimate Hour with God

Author: Jim Elliff

The Lord invites us to know Him better. What a privilege! If the joy of heaven is in knowing the Lord's presence without any sin to hinder us, surely seeking His presence now must be the greatest possible pursuit.

Do you feel your need to pray? A person who has no need to pray cannot be living by faith. Prayerless-ness says, "I am sufficient in myself for everything required of me." But is that so? And do you not grieve God by your persistent self-sufficiency? The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. 11:6).

The following suggestions are designed to help you spend an extended time in prayer and meditation with God. You may spend this hour alone or with others. The order is not essential, but does provide a helpful way to progress. This tool may be used daily or for special times of retreat with God. Some may wish to follow this hour with more intense Bible reading.

It is sometimes good to kneel or to lie down before the Lord. "Come let us bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker" (Ps. 95:6). Walking while praying can also be helpful, or sitting in a comfortable chair so that all the focus can be on God. Be sure and find a quiet place.

Continue reading here.

The Basics: How Do I Know If I'm Saved?

by Les Lanphere

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

The Biblical prescription for salvation is: Repent, believe, and be baptized. Looking around the American Church landscape, you’ll quickly notice that there are an awful lot of people who say they’ve done those things, yet haven’t changed at all. So is that all there is to it, just do a couple rituals, change into some dry clothes and get on with your normal life? Does being a Christian actually change anything? Is it up to me to pick myself up by my bootstraps and start changing? How do I know if I’m doing it right?

Jesus says we must take up our crosses, and follow Him. The Bible says we must die to ourselves. What does it mean to take up a cross, or die to self? Are these extra things we have to do to get to Heaven?

You Must be Born Again

The problem with mankind is that we don’t desire God. He made us and we quickly walked away. Ever since Adam’s sin we have been prone to sin, and incapable of good.

“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” -Genesis 6:5

Scripture tells us that the good news of Christ’s death for our sins is impossible for this natural, evil man to believe. We can’t do anything good, and believing in Jesus would be the greatest thing anyone could do… so we’re stuck. We are in our sins, we don’t want God, God has a plan of salvation, and we all refuse to believe it.

Our sinful natures must be altered in order for us to actually exercise faith. Thankfully this is all part of the plan. Six hundred years before Christ came, God told us how he would deal with this part of the problem.

“And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh” -Ezekiel 11:19

As far as our ability to respond to God goes, we are dead. The part of us that is sensitive to God, that can believe the gospel, died in the garden, and so the Bible tells us we are “dead in sins and trespasses”. We have cold, dead hearts of stone. So when the gospel finally makes sense to us, it’s because God has changed our hearts. It is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. He takes out or sin-loving, God-hating heart of stone, and replaces it with a God-loving, sin-hating heart of flesh. We are then free, for the first time, to believe the gospel.

In the Bible, this work of God to change a man is called being “born again” it’s also referred to in scripture and especially by theologians as “regeneration”. Just like being born naturally, we have no control over how or when this happens to us. God changes a man at His own will, whenever He wants. We do know, however, that it most often happens when the gospel is being preached to a person, or when someone is thinking about the gospel.

We Can’t Just Go On Sinning

Looking at the gospel without this key of regeneration leads to an interesting, and dangerous problem. Jesus died to forgive our sins, His perfect life covers over our sinful life, all our sins, past, present, and future are already taken care of the moment we believe. If salvation is just a sort of an easy one-time inoculation, then the obvious question is: “so I can just sin all I want, and not worry about the consequences anymore?”. Actually, that’s exactly what a clear understanding of the gospel should lead us to ask. But that can’t be right, can it?

God isn’t stupid. He didn’t miss this detail. As discussed earlier, natural man can not believe, so the work of Christ can not be applied through faith to just any ol’ sinner. The same work God does to make a man able to believe, also changes his nature so drastically that it reverses his relationship to sin. The person’s desires are completely changed. He no longer loves to sin, and he starts to fight against it. He now desires to seek God’s will and do God’s work. He has a love for God’s word (the Bible) and God’s people (the Church).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” -2 Corinthians 5:17

What Does it Look Like to be a Christian?

For more information on what being a Christian really looks like, scripture is clear. The book of First John lays out the changes we should be looking for. Read through it, if you aren’t seeing your life moving constantly (though sometimes very slowly) in those directions, you have valid reason to be concerned about your salvation. A Christian can’t lose their salvation, but people can be fooled into thinking they were saved, when they were never truly born again.

What If I’m Not Saved?

If all this quesitoning and introspection leads you to think you might not be in Christ, you need to go back to the beginning. Make sure you understand the gospel. Ask a Christian friend or pastor to clarify any questions you might have, and compare their answers to scripture. If you think you clearly understand what Christ did, but still see no change in your life, cry out to God. The fact that you desire to be holy is proof that God is working in you, get on your face and ask Him to save you and change you… He’s always faithful.

“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”" -Romans 10:13


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Preaching Repentance

Listen or download the full message here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church

Excerpt of a message given by Mark Dever at Together for the Gospel 2012. Watch the full message here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why You Don’t Read Your Bible

Author: Jim Elliff
To go through life as a professing believer without taking in the Word of God is like trying to drive across the country without a road. You won’t make it. It’s like saying, “I’m not really interested in God at all.” People who don’t have any interest in God, sadly, go to hell.

You must have Bible intake. You may get it from the ears if you cannot get it with the eyes. And if you can’t get it with either, you can get it with the fingers, by Braille. And if you cannot get it any way, but want it, then God will understand. Yet almost all the time, God will help you do it. Don’t tell me you love Him if you don’t care at all what He says.

I once read a story of a man who survived a blast which blinded him. He tried Braille, but the nerves in his fingers wouldn’t cooperate. Accidentally, he touched the Braille markings with his tongue and discovered he could actually read that way. At the time the report was written, he had read through the Bible several times with his tongue. What then is your excuse?

Continue reading here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

If Jesus Christ is Not Risen, Our Faith is Worthless

"Don't think I would even ask you to make Jesus Lord of your life. That's the most preposterous thing I could ever tell you to do. Jesus Christ is Lord of your life. Whether you serve Him or not. Whether you bless Him, curse Him, hate Him, or love Him, He is the Lord of your life. Because God has given Him a name that is above every name so that at the name of Jesus Christ every knee shall bow and tongue confess that He is Lord. Some of you will bow out of the grace that has been given to you and others will bow because your kneecaps will be broken by the One who rules the nations with a rod of iron." -Paul Washer

This is an excerpt of Paul Washer's sermon "The Greatest Words in all of Scripture"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter in 2:12

HT: PyroManiacs

Praying Men

by Pastor Ron Bridge of Rehoboth Baptist Church

"I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting" (1 Timothy 2:8, italics mine).

The reasons for the weakness and shallowness of the American church are manifold and too many to list, but here are a few of them: There has been a general failure to preach and teach the whole council of God which can be attributed to a loss of confidence in the word to build up the church. As a result the church has turned to a myriad of programs to attract the world to the church and has become more like the world in the process. Many churches no longer have a Sunday evening service and have abandoned a midweek prayer meeting. The result of this is that Christians are spending too much time in the world doing the things of the world, and as a consequence, they begin to look and act like the world. The dramatic cultural shift brought about by the rise of feminism has also greatly impacted the church. To a great extent men have lost, neglected or have simply abdicated their traditional leadership role in society. A similar neglect and even abdication is also evident in many churches.

This is not to downplay the vital role that women play in the life of the church (some churches would not survive without faithful women). But, it is to stress that when men neglect or abandon their God- given leadership roles in the church, the church is no longer able to fulfill the mandate to make biblical disciples. The Bible teaches the absolute equality of men and women in Christ (Gal.3:26-29), but it also teaches that there are distinct roles for men and women (1 Tim. 2:8-3:13). To put it simply, men are to lead in the church and women are to provide support. Both roles are vital and both have equal honor. When a church follows this pattern it is building on the right foundation.

The particular areas of male leadership are identified in the passage as leading in prayer (2:8), leading in preaching and teaching (2:12), leading in church administration (3:1,8) and providing leadership in the home (3:4,12). I think that the order in which these appear are not accidental. Prayer is the starting point or the foundation on which a life of biblical manhood is built (study of the word of God while not mentioned in this section is, of course, implied). The early church followed the customs of the synagogue so when Paul stressed male leadership in prayer it would not have been surprising to his readers, it would have been natural. Anything less would have been surprising. So, I want to challenge the men of Rehoboth Baptist Church to take the leadership in prayer in the home and at church. Men, you should be leading your family in prayer and you should be leading the church in prayer. There is no excuse for failure in this essential biblical discipline. If the men of the church neglect to lead in this one point they will be prone to neglect in every other point as well. So, brother, fulfill your biblical mandate!

For the kingdom and His glory,
Pastor Ron