Friday, April 24, 2015

What Does It Mean To Come To Christ?

Watch, listen or download the full message: Come! Come! Come! by Colin Mercer here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

"... make known His deeds among the peoples." (1 Chronicles 16:8)

I would like to share something God did yesterday at church by showing a sequence of events that only God could arrange to complete what He had planned.

Two weeks ago, I spoke with Alan about a message he felt God put on his heart.  I asked if he was ready to preach that Sunday (a week from yesterday) if the other elders agreed.  Alan felt it best to wait since that Sunday was the dedication of his daughter.

So last Tuesday, the elders met with Alan who shared what God put on his heart. After sensing God was indeed moving, the elders shelved the existing preaching schedule to have Alan share God's message yesterday. 

After the service was over, I saw Alan speaking with a man I'd never seen before.  The man was obviously broken and crying as he was speaking with Alan.  His name is Dave.

So when I went over to see if I could help, I saw that Dave was struggling and crying and telling Alan that the message Alan gave spoke directly to his heart.  Dave continued to struggle terribly so we asked Dave if he wanted to go into a side room to talk more privately.

In the side room, Dave said he was on his way back from a serious disappointment in Franklin and extremely upset.  He got a phone call and pulled over to take the call - directly in front of our church.  He told us, "I've been by your church a hundred times and never noticed it before."

This time God told him to come into the church.  So Dave came up the stairs and went to the doors that were locked, rather than the unlocked doors,  and he was going to turn around and leave.  But there was a man in the lobby who opened the doors and simply said, "Welcome".  Dave said hearing that helped him feel it was "gonna be OK".

As he continued to struggle terribly, Dave shared that he was saved and baptized years ago, but he had fallen away.  And that God had spoken to his heart through the message.  Dave shared that he knew he needed a change but he didn't know how. 

So Alan and I spent some time sharing what God gave us to say to Dave - and after a while we asked him if he wanted to recommit to God.  He said through his tears he did but he didn't know what to do.  So we brought him to 1 John 1:9 - about confessing, repenting, and being cleansed by God who still loved him.

Then we led Dave in a prayer of re-commitment.  Praise God!!

I trust you are seeing how God's hand was all over Dave's recommitment:

  • The timing of Alan sharing the message God gave him.
  • God putting it on the hearts of the elders to step aside and let God speak through Alan yesterday, and not some future date.
  • Dave getting a phone call and pulling over directly in front of Life Church.
  • God moving in Dave's heart to come into the church.
  • A man happened to be in the lobby after the service had started to welcome Dave when the door was locked.
  • God speaking through Alan's message directly into Dave's heart - drawing Dave to Himself.
  • God giving Dave a vulnerable heart to sit with two total strangers in a quiet room.
  • God giving us the words to say to Dave to help him see his need to get right with God. 
Please pray for Dave who said he wanted to come back to Life Church next week.  Pray that God will continue to draw Dave back to Himself.

And most of all - give praise to our loving, merciful, gracious God who will orchestrate anything and everything to save the lost and to redeem His wayward children.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.  Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.

Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done ..." (1 Chronicles 16:8-12)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What Really Happened on the Cross?

Watch, listen or download the full message: The Tapestry of Grace by Peter Masters here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why a Mediator? (Excerpt)

Elder Brad Jobert brings this message to Life Church in Norton, MA on April 5, 2015. Listen to the full message here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Christian’s Intolerable Intolerance to Tolerance

Now it may be difficult for contemporary Christians to understand what I am about to say, but the Christians living in the first few centuries of the Christian faith were marked and persecuted as Atheists and you will be, too. If a revival doesn’t break out in this country, this is one of the reasons you are going to go to jail.

Now, the culture surrounding the Christian was immersed in Theism. The world was filled with images of deities and religion was a booming business. Men not only tolerated one another’s deities, but they swapped them and shared them like baseball cards. The entire religious world was going on just fine until the Christians showed up and declared that he gods made with hands are no gods at all. They denied the Caesars the homage they demanded, refused to bend their knee to all other so-called gods and the confessed Jesus alone to be Lord of all. And, therefore, they were labeled Atheists.

The entire world looked on such draw dropping arrogance and reacted with fury against the Christian’s intolerable intolerance to tolerance.

Now I want you to look at something. Look at these words. Jaw dropping arrogance. The same scenario abounds in our world today. Against all logic we are told that all views regarding religion and morality are true no matter how radically different they are or contradictory they may be.

The most overwhelming aspect of all of this is that through the tireless efforts of the media and the academic world, this has quickly become the majority view. However, pluralism does not address the issue or cure the malady. It only anesthetizes the patient so that he no longer feels or thinks.

Now the gospel is a scandal because it awakens man from his slumber and refuses to let him rest on such an illogical footing. It forces him to come to some conclusion. How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him and if Baal, follow him. The true gospel is radically exclusive.

I never thought I would have to say this in front of a bunch of evangelicals. I never thought there would come a day when I would have to say such a thing to evangelicals that the gospel is radically exclusive. I never thought that we would begin to lose Christ as the only way.

Now listen. The true gospel is radically exclusive. Jesus is not a way, but the way and all other ways are no way at all. Now listen to this very carefully, because this is what is happening today. If Christianity would only move one small step toward a more tolerant ecumenicalism and change the definite article “the” in “the Savior” for the indefinite article “a” or “a Savior” the scandal would be removed and the world and Christianity could become friends. Do you realize that? If we would simply say that Yahweh is a god we would have no persecution on our hands. If we would simply say that Jesus is a savior, I would be on the Oprah Winfrey show. Do you realize that? All the scandal would remove if we just said he is our savior. You have yours, we will have ours. We are not going to impose anything upon you. We are not going to wrangle in dialog. Nothing. If that is your way, you go with that way and I will go with mine.

If we would only do that, we would never be persecuted. But if we do that, Christianity ceases to be Christianity, we cease to be Christian, Christ is denied and the world is without a Savior.

Watch, listen, read or download the full message: "Regeneration vs Decisionism" by Paul Washer here.