*This article was originally posted HERE and is used by permission.
Southern Baptists’ decline in baptisms reached its 15th year in 2015, decreasing by more than 10,000 from 2014 data recorded by our churches through the Annual Church Profile. Continue reading
**This article was previously posted by Dr. Braxton Hunter on his website www.braxtonhunter.com and is used by permission.
Dr. Hunter is: former president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE), professor of apologetics at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana
Shock therapy for a church! That’s what my father used to say with regard to what a powerful evangelistic/revival sermon could do for a local congregation. He’s right. My father was used of God on a weekly basis for years in full-time evangelistic itinerate ministry. For over nine years I’ve done the same. I’m not necessarily a great orator or communicator of biblical truth, but almost everywhere I go we see multiple people come to faith in Christ for the first time. With all of my own insecurities (and for all the self-doubt) I had to ask myself a few years ago why it was that God used this ministry to such a degree. Other similar ministries have the same God, same access to the Spirit, same Bible and same truths, but don’t realize the same harvests. This is not universally the case. I know many evangelists who see filled altars with great regularity. Then it occurred to me. Continue reading
In Luke 15:2 the Bible says: “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” In the hustle and bustle of the season we may be murmuring. Complaining is a wide and broad road and many travel on it. Thankfulness is a narrow and straight road that few find. Is it strange that what the Pharisees were complaining about is what I am most thankful for? I am thankful for the fact that Christ receives sinful men. This is a biblical fact that I will never doubt. Paul put it this way: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). Why did He come? To do miracles? To give us a good example? To write a book? None of the above. He came to receive and redeem sinners. This is a glorious fact because every person ever born is a sinner (Romans 3:23), so that means Christ died for every single person. Friend, it is a fact: Christ receives sinful men. He receives sinners based on His great grace and willingness to forgive. The sinner comes repentant of his ways believing everything that the Bible says about Jesus Christ.