On the radio and on television, to the thousands and thousands of you who are watching, many of you on cable television in New Mexico and Oklahoma and Louisiana and throughout the northern part of Texas, this is the First Baptist Church. And this is the pastor bringing the message entitled, Predestination. In our preaching through the Book of Acts we are in chapter 27. And in this chapter is one of the finest illustrations of this great and meaningful doctrine that you will find in the Word of God. I am going to read the two parts of it; the first one, God’s decree and the second one, man’s volitional effort.
by Walker Moore
Awe Star Ministries
“What do you do for a living?”
I hear that question over and over as I travel. I could say I’m a professional meeting attender. I’ve spent my life in meetings. I could write my autobiography and name each chapter after a meeting.
Chapter 1: Youth Pastor Search Committee Meeting.
Chapter 2: Finance Committee Meeting.
Chapter 3: Youth Committee Meeting.
Chapter 4: Another Finance Committee Meeting.
Chapter 5: Building and Grounds Committee Meeting.
Chapter 6: Bus Committee Meeting.
Chapter 7: Still Another Finance Committee Meeting.
Chapter 8: Personnel Committee Meeting.
Chapter 9: Youth Pastor Search Committee Meeting (a different church this time).
Chapter 10: Yet Another Finance Committee Meeting.
Yes, I still find myself going from meeting-to-meeting. When I was an associate pastor, I was on 21 committees at the same time. We even had a Committee on Committees.
Yes, we Baptists love our committee meetings. Wasn’t it John the Baptist who invented them? A Baptist church with only two members would have at least three committees. Non-believers go to hockey games as much for the fights as for the competition. After you become a believer, you attend church meetings and expect the same kind of action. Why can’t we just get along?
A Navy ship was doing maneuvers in the middle of the Pacific Ocean when the officers came upon a deserted, uncharted island. Puzzled, they decided to explore. As they arrived on the beach, they were greeted by a lone man, extremely excited to see them. He told them he had been stranded there for 30 years and had survived by fishing and gathering coconuts.
The officer noticed the man had built three huts. They asked him to give them a tour and explain how he used these small buildings. He took them to the first one and said, “This is my home.” Next, he showed them the second and said, “This is my church.”
They all stood around for a while when an officer asked, “And what about the third hut?”
“That’s where I used to go church.”
“Ahh, you must be a Baptist!” the officers concluded.
We can’t even get along with ourselves. But Jesus told us the greatest hallmark of His followers was that we love one another: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). We have committees to monitor the money, the mission endeavors, the thermostat and even those that check on other committees. But if love was so important to Jesus, shouldn’t we have one that monitors how much we truly love one another?
If we did, we should call it the One Another Committee because the Bible has so much to say about one another: “Be devoted to one another in love” (Rom. 12:10); “Serve one another humbly in love (Gal. 5:13); “Bear each other’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2); “Encourage one another” (1 Thess. 4:18); “Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Eph. 4:32); “Instruct one another” (Rom. 15:14); “Encourage one another” (1 Thess. 5:11) and a host of others. The One Another Committee would do more than just hold meetings. It would change the world.
In the end, it’s not the volume of the organ or the color of the carpet that brings people to Jesus. He told us how the world will know we belong to Him: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
Could it be that we don’t love one another because we’re too busy clinging to our rights? Jesus gave up his rights as God to live and walk among us. He was subject to the same temptations as we are, but he didn’t earn His place on the cross; not one single sin was His. Instead, He gave up His rights to have a relationship with us. And relationship should be the biggest desire for those who follow Him—the kind of relationship that says, “Your needs matter more than mine.”
When we start loving one another as Jesus loved us, watch out, world! That love will spill over into the highways and byways of life. I don’t know why, but while I am writing this, one song keeps running through my mind: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” The Holy Spirit sure sounds a lot like Dionne Warwick today.
Since our church doesn’t have a One Another Committee, I guess I’ll appoint myself as a committee of one to monitor how I’m doing. I know I’m a little late, but it’s never too late to say, “You matter to God and you matter to me.” Happy Love One Another Day!
As a Biblical literalist, I am never satisfied with interpretation that is dismissive with regard to words of Scripture. I firmly—even unwaveringly—hold to the principles of verbal plenary inspiration, that God has given us words, and that words matter. I interpret the Bible literally, I want a translation that is word-for-word (not idea-for-idea), and I want every word taken seriously.
This is rare in itself in today’s church. But, even among those who claim to interpret the Bible as I do, I am amazed at how quickly we settle for something less than our standard when it comes to difficult passages like Acts 2:38.
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38, NKJV)
Earlier in Acts 2, after the receiving of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles began the great task of obedience to the Great Commission. Having not received the “utterance from God’s mouth” (Acts 22:14) that would reveal the mystery of the age of grace (in which there was neither Jew nor Greek, but whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved), the Day of Pentecost sermon from Peter on that day was, by necessity, a Jewish message of the coming Kingdom. Peter was rightly convinced that the end-times had arrived. If Paul was right about his mystery being untraceable and unsearchable in previous generations, then Peter made the only conclusion he possibly could have known without further revelation. He did not have any clue about the postponement of the Kingdom and the insertion of a mystery age into the plan of God. Only later, after adopting the mystery of Paul, did Peter give testimony that the great and glorious day of the Lord would be postponed, even to the point that some would call it “slowness.”
Read more of this instructive commentary HERE.
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Hello my name is Church:
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me.
I have no shortage of critics.
Perhaps you have heard that I am
Text: Acts 13.48
(all comments initially moderated)
On television and on radio, by the thousands and the thousands, you are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, its service at the eleven o’clock hour. This is the pastor bringing the message entitled The Doctrine of Election. In our preaching through the Book of Acts, we’re in chapter 13. And in verse 48 the author of the book, Dr. Luke, writes a little concluding clause:
“And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.”
Whether we would like it or not, whether we believe in it or not, whether we accept it or not, it is there in the Bible. “And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.” This is a work of God; like the wonder of the creation above us and around us and beneath us—just as that is a work of the hand of Almighty God—so this, God’s purpose of redemptive grace in human history. This is as much a sovereign work of God as the creation we behold above and around us.