Archive for February, 2013

The Predestination Paradigm:
The Plan or the Man?

by Ron Hale

He has served as Pastor, Church Planter, Strategist (NAMB), Director of Missions, and Associate Executive Director of Evangelism and Church Planting for a State Convention, and now in the 4th quarter of ministry as Minister of Missions.


Can you picture in your mind the most magnificent church that you have ever entered? For me it was walking into St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna, Austria.

Seeing the big picture, the architect must have initially pictured and purposed the Cathedral in his mind.  He studied the lay of the land and marked out the length and width of the building — first conceptually, then onto paper in design drawings.  Yet, the concept preceded the construction.

Eventually men with rougher hands marked out the outer walls with stakes or markers in preparation for building.  They studied the plan and began to dig the foundation and lay stones.  Therefore, the “marking out” of the building plan beforehand was imperative. 

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Soul Winner: Bryce Evans

 

PastorDanNelsonby Dan Nelson

For 28 years, Dan Nelson has served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Camarillo, Calif. Pastor Nelson will submit a series of posts to SBCToday about people who influenced him for the sake of evangelism.

 


Bryce Evans was pastor of Agricola Baptist Church when I reconfirmed my call to preach. I was licensed and ordained under his ministry there. Brother Evans was a great encourager to me. He heard me speak in an opening session on youth day in our church and almost immediately scheduled me to preach on Sunday morning. He encouraged me to get all the training I could get while I was young. He had taught at Clarke College in Newton, Miss., before coming to Agricola. Although I did not attend Clarke, he concurred with my decision to go to William Carey College. He even took me to enroll and get settled there.

Brother Evans was a model of ministry evangelism. By that I mean he did evangelism in the course of ministry wherever he went. Many times he would ask: “Want to go visiting with me?” He believed in taking someone else with him when he visited. In revival meetings he would be sure to take the evangelist to as many people as possible and introduce him to unsaved people for an opportunity to share the Gospel with them. 

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Integrity or Hypocrisy: That is the Question!

 

By Franklin L. Kirksey, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice.

These expositions by Dr. Kirksey are offered to suggest sermon or Bible study ideas for pastors and other church leaders, both from the exposition and from the illustrative material, or simply for personal devotion.

 


Psalm 26:1-12

Introduction

Integrity or hypocrisy: that is the question!  This is a choice we must make.  Someone suggested there are three types of people in the world, believers, unbelievers, and make-believers.  Lord Bacon (1561-1626) stated, “An ill man is always ill; but he is then worst of all when he pretends to be a saint.”[1]

Dr. Elon Foster (1833-1898) shares, “A farmer called on the Earl Fitzwilliam to inform him that his crop of wheat had been destroyed by his hounds.  The gentleman inquired what his loss was.  He thought fifty pounds would not more than repay it.  The earl immediately gave him the money.  As the harvest approached, the farmer found that his trampled wheat was the most luxuriant.  He went again to the earl, and wished to return the money.  ‘Ah!’ exclaimed the earl, ‘that is what I like: this is as it should be between man and man.’  Then, writing a check of one hundred pounds, presented it to the farmer, saying, ‘Take care of this, and, when your eldest son is of age, present it to him, and tell him the occasion that prompted it.”[2]

From Psalm 26:1-12 we read, “Vindicate me, O Lord, / For I have walked in my integrity.  I have also trusted in the Lord; / I shall not slip.  Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; / Try my mind and my heart.  For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, / And I have walked in Your truth.  I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, / Nor will I go in with hypocrites.  I have hated the assembly of evildoers, / And will not sit with the wicked.  I will wash my hands in innocence; / So I will go about Your altar, O Lord, / That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, / And tell of all Your wondrous works.  Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, / And the place where Your glory dwells.  Do not gather my soul with sinners, / Nor my life with bloodthirsty men, / In whose hands is a sinister scheme, / And whose right hand is full of bribes.  But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; / Redeem me and be merciful to me.  My foot stands in an even place; / In the congregations I will bless the Lord.”

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Eternal Memories

By Walker Moore

Walker Moore founded AweStar Ministries, a missions organization that has put thousands of teens on fields ‘white unto harvest’ around the world.


Not long ago, my wife and I were coming home from visiting her sister in Hannibal, Mo. If you’ve ever been to Hannibal, you know every location seems to be named after one of Mark Twain’s fictional characters. There is the Becky Thatcher Café, the Mark Twain Dinette, Indian Joe’s Campground and the list goes on. But it’s great that my wife has such a cool place to call home. On the way back to Tulsa, we cross I-70 and on the south side of the road, a huge sign reads, “Nostalgiaville USA.”

We’d passed the place many times over the years but never stopped. Since we weren’t in a hurry and the next bathroom was miles down the road, we decided to stop and see what kind of nostalgia they were peddling.

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The statement, “Christianity is not about a bunch of do’s and don’t’s,”
is a bit ridiculous…

johnathan_pritchettBy Johnathan Pritchett


I find troubling statements like “Christianity is not about a bunch of do’s and don’t’s.” Sadly (for some, not me), the Bible protests against such statements, however popular they are. Avoiding the whole relationship between “Law and Gospel,” or “Law and Grace,” or “Biblical commands or principles,” or however one wants to deal with the related issues of Old Covenant and the New Covenant, or to there being New Covenant commands and how they function in and for believers, and just sticking to the New Testament in general; those under grace are given a whole bunch of “do’s” and “don’t’s.” There is no way around it. There is nothing wrong with it either. The “do’s and don’t’s” are from God.

One day, it ought to be possible to talk about “do’s” and “don’t’s” without having to preface the whole conversation with the total sum of Protestant theology. We don’t live in that day. So yes, no one is saved or justified by doing any “good works” or following “rules and regulations;” but, salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is not the total content of Christianity.

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