Preaching

In his chapter on preaching Evangelist Junior Hill says of some preachers, “they have unwittingly distanced themselves from anything that remotely resembles Bible Christianity. Driven by an insatiable hunger for numerical success they have down-played repentance, cast aspersions upon faithfulness and commitment, and deliberately obscured the clear and authentic demands of the cross.” (Junior Hill, Out Of Season, page 30)

I had the terribly sad experience of sitting under the teaching of a ‘pastor’ for over three months and not one time did I hear a call to repent. Neither did I hear words of Jesus Christ dying on a cross for the sins of mankind. There no mention of the death, burial, or resurrection. The word sin did not leave the preacher’s lips.

The focus was on practical instruction to behave better in morality. The sin problem is left unresolved.

‘Invitations’ were relegated to ‘grab someone you trust’ after the service. Attendees are instructed to seek out someone other than the ‘pastor.’

Jesus is spoken of in this verse, And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (‭John‬ ‭12‬:‭32‬ NASB)

Pastor, let’s keep the main thing the main thing.

Until next time,

Hoss

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What’s Right with the Church?

I wish to use the following scripture to springboard the second of two messages about the church. The first was on What’s Wrong with the Church. And the second is on What’s Right with the Church.

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. (‭Matthew‬ ‭16‬:‭18‬ NASB)

The first message used the acronym of H-U-M-A-N-S. For this message I will use the acronym F-A-R-M-S

You can easily see how the church is to be like a farm and us as farmers. Seeds are planted, nurtured, cultivated and growth takes place. It’s a long process but it works whenever God places His hand on it. To that end I pray to God for His hand to be on His true Church and on me His willing disciple.

So ‘What’s Right with the Church?’

I. Foundation
We are to build the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3‬:‭10-11‬ NASB)

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭18‬ NASB)

II. Authority
By who’s authority are the matters of the church executed? No one other than the Lord Jesus Christ has the authority to lead a church fellowship.
Such authority should not be left to one man to dictate.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (‭Jude‬ ‭1‬:‭24-25‬ NASB)

When the local church operates under the authority of Jesus Christ, it is right! A prevailing spirit of unity results because the local congregation is a part of allowing the right Person to be the Authority.

III. Remembrance

We need to remember.

But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, (‭Hebrews‬ ‭10‬:‭32‬ NASB) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭14-16‬ NASB)

In 1996 a statistical survey surfaced which stated 96% of the people believe in God. 58% of the people believed in Hell. 6% believed they were going to Hell. (Source unconfirmed due to lost notes)

Question is, do you really believe only 6% are headed to Hell? Some evangelical today would argue just the opposite and that is only 6% are going to Heaven.

IV. Message/Material

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know- this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭22-24‬ NASB)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭1, 11-18, 29-30‬ NASB)

by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭2-6, 12-20, 22‬ NASB)

V. Salvation

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭19-20‬ NASB)
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (‭Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬ NASB)

Summary

So long as Jesus Christ is the foundation of our church, so long as Jesus Christ is the Authority within our church, so long as Jesus Christ is Remembered for His life, Death, Crucifixion, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension in our church, so long as Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the Message Preached in our church, resulting in the Salvation of lost souls in the church; then is the church RIGHT!

Until Next Time,

Hoss

Source: Notes from years ago. Approximately early 1996

Posted in Christian, Church, Faith, God's Favor, Jesus, Leadership, Religious, Uncategorized, Worship | Leave a comment

What’s Wrong With The Church?

I wish to use the following scripture to springboard two messages about the church. The first will be on What’s Wrong with the Church. And the second on What’s Right with the Church.

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. (‭Matthew‬ ‭16‬:‭18‬ NASB)

Churches and conflict are a part of life experiences just as it is in business, politics, and social media. It is a sad reality. It is not a new experience either. Acts 15:1-2 record a much earlier church conflict. Salvation by circumcision cause no small dissension.

Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. (‭Acts‬ ‭15‬:‭1-2‬ NASB)

Now I can’t be specific in the discourse that follows because I’m not writing a book. So as you read think of it as a “general discussion”

What’s wrong with the church? In a word H-U-M-A-N-S. No big surprise huh? Well let me take the word ‘human’s’ and use it as an acrostic.

I. Humility
There simply is not enough of it. The behavior of most humans is one of sellf-gratitfication. Take Herod for example.

Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king’s chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king’s country. On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. (‭Acts‬ ‭12‬:‭20-23‬ NASB)

What is it that our Lord wants? Consider these requirements that come from Him.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? (‭Micah‬ ‭6‬:‭8‬ NASB)

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. (‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭10‬ NASB)

There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭6‬:‭16-19‬ NASB) (haughty eyes = pride)

II. Unity
There is simply not enough of it. Churches are filled with discord, cliches, groups, power struggles. Don’t believe me? In the last serevice, where did the folks sit at in your church; answer, the same places they usually do. Same people hanging with the same people.
Don’t think there is discord; then ask those being silent what they really think? No ‘groups’ in your church? Have a fellowship meal and watch the same folks sit together time and time again. Others in the church see it and know not to interfere with their routine.
No power struggles in your church? Try pointing out inconsistencies in the spiritual matters of the church and watch your popularity take a nose dive. As long as you are in God’s will, the nose dive is no more than an unfortunate side effect. I believe you would agree it is better to be in the Lord’s favor than in man’s.
Still, unity is God’s desire.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! (‭Psalms‬ ‭133‬:‭1‬ NASB)
Let love of the brethren continue. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭13‬:‭1‬ NASB)

III. Mischievousness

There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, (‭Proverbs‬ ‭6‬:‭16, 18‬ NASB)

Working behind the scenes to further your personal agenda at the dismiss and ‘care less what others think’ is a sure way to get the attention of those with gifts of discernment. The challenge for them is disclosure. How and when because no matter how or when the evil is brought to light, conflict follows.

IV. Attitudes
Got the wrong kind in most churches. Generally what we see exhibited is the attitude of “what can the church do for me” rather than “what can I do for the church?”

Enter the ‘sanctuary‘ to worship God in spirit and in truth. We are here for Him.

The earth is the LORD ‘ S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers. Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face- even Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah. (‭Psalms‬ ‭24‬:‭1-10‬ NASB)

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (‭John‬ ‭4‬:‭24‬ NASB)

V. Negativism
Here is where you say, ‘aren’t you being negative with what you are sharing? That would be true if I left all my remarks to what you have read thus far. However, I will move to the positive side in just a few. So bear with me.
The two most common words from church members. “I can’t.” Seldom do you hear ‘I’ll try’ or ‘I will do it.’

VI. Sin – It’s everywhere.
Just because you may not hear your church leader share from the room the various activities are sin does not mean they do not exist. We have church leaders who will not call out sinner much less call sinners to repentance.
It’s a new age. We must be careful with our words because we want to draw a crowd to our service. Getting a crowd to the worship service and not feeding them the true word of God and calling upon all to recognize their sin is like inviting them to dinner and just feeding sweets.
There are people who want to say they did not know such and such was a sin. No one told them. They did not attend church.
You can draw a crowd and get the attention of the community. But if they are not hearing the words of faith, repentance, confession, shedding of Jesus’ blood, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection, then that’s all you have…a crowd.

as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭10, 23‬ NASB)

This concludes my limited remarks on whats wrong with the church. Please watch for my next blog on what is right with the church.

Until Next Time,

Hoss

Source: Notes from years ago. Approximately early 1996

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The Temptation of Tolerance

Tolerance is not Acceptance.

Some confuse being tolerant of sin as okay just because there is the absence of rebuke and reproof. That’s as damning as confusing a bible lesson with whole gospel preaching.

(Warren Jones)

Until next time,

Hoss

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Discernment Without Disclosure

“What value is discernment without disclosure? Just as well have a ship in the middle of a vast desert.”

The remedy?

“Place the ship where the water will welcome it. Such is true of discernment. Share the disclosure where the ears will welcome it.” (Warren Jones)

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The Glory Of The Gospel

Hoss:

Thanks iChristian for sharing this.

Originally posted on iChristian:

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

The glory of the gospel is that when the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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How Much Do You Have?

(The following was shared on my Facebook page and I have since decided to share it on my blog)

I may not be the brightest bulb in the lamp but my years of pastoring churches and general observations throughout my 50+ years have taught me a few things.

I’ve learned to trust God even in the hard decisions. The easy decisions can take God for granted. The difficult ones test your personal faith.

God has taught me He does not want a leader but a servant. The greatest leader in any church fellowship is the one who serves like Jesus.

I must first serve God thus allowing Jesus to lead through me. Dictatorship is not leadership. A pastor is not the CEO, he is an Under-shepherd reflecting the love of Jesus Christ. Decisions affecting the local fellowship are to be made by the local fellowship.

Forcing ones agenda down the throats of a congregation is like forcing green peas on a newborn baby. Results are usually the same. It gets spit back out at Ya!

I’ve learned some people can put their own definition to words which do not fit the truest definition. The “Gospel” by definition is ‘Good News’ as it relates in the arena of Christianity.

However, it is not enough just to say ‘good news.’ Go ahead and tell what the ‘good news’ is. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh who Lived, was Crucified on a Cross, Shed His Blood so we may have Forgiveness of Sin, was buried and three days later Rose from the dead having conquered death, hell and the grave, and then this same Jesus ascended into Heaven to be at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. NOW THAT IS GOOD NEWS! It is good news because had Jesus not come to save our souls we all would go to hell. Are you saved? Where are you going to spend eternity?

A disturbing reality in my life is to learn the heartache of being misunderstood. Sometimes our dearest friends fail to see the sincerity and passion of our convictions. I have been the recipient of the venom of those called to love one another only for them to judge, shackle and dismiss what God is doing.

Gratefully I have experienced the love of Christ flowing through some dear saints of His. This is a gift I nor you show take lightly. It is priceless.

I have been the vessel of one who is ‘too slow to forgive.’ I have been the target of others who are too slow to forgive. It appears God’s people will keep you chained to your past sins longer than God Himself does.

Mark my words. Any local fellowship which harbors an unforgiving spirit in their fellowship seriously hinders the working of God in their midst. Revival will. Ot come where there is no forgiveness among the people.

Deception and manipulation are tools all too often found within the ministry of God’s ordained people. I have sat and heard men use illustrations which were personal to them only to have heard it the week before from a radio preacher as his personal illustration.

I’ve listened to men take credit for messages they did not prepare but copied. Philosophies of ministry pro ported as if it originated with them.

Is it no wonder God is held at an arms length. Mega-fellowships of people gather on an increasing number. Shallow preaching focusing on moral behavior instead of dealing with sin results in large crowds at ‘church?’ however, the call of God is not to water down the Holy Word so to draw great crowds but to rightly divide the Word of God.

Go out to them. Compel them to come. Give them the whole counsel of God. Share the entire good news.

I often think the pastors who may be in more favor with God are the ones who don’t have the hundreds of followers but those who when they preach the word of God will lead their people to feel the guilt of their sin and raise their joy of confessing sin.

During the sermon, you may feel bad as the preacher shares but before the closing prayer is uttered, you should at least be given a real opportunity to deal with that sin which so easily besets us.

Sad to learn in my recent years the term “traditional” church is a bad word. It isn’t tradition or contemporary or even blended which brings people to worship. It is the Holy Spirit of God honoring our obedience to Him and our giving the people what they need spiritually to live in favor with God.

Some of what I have learned. Glad to say, I’m still learning. One final statement for ponder.

You Have As Much Of God As You Want.

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