C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not Reaching or Not Coming

“The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the denomination’s lowest level since 1987. Although the SBC added 473 new churches and gave more than $1.3 billion to support mission activities around the world, there’s no escaping the disappointing fact that Southern Baptists are not reaching as many people for Christ as they once did, according to Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, which gathered the information on the denomination’s behalf.”

This is the opening paragraph to a LifeWay research article by Rob Phillips. This post is not for or against Rob Phillips, but I would like to consider the thought “there’s no escaping the disappointing fact that Southern Baptists are not reaching as many people for Christ as they once did.” In fact, we could further narrow down the point of this post to “not reaching” in the scope of the context of the paragraph. What exactly is meant by “not reaching” in the context of this article?

If the meaning of “not reaching” is that the SBC is not presenting or making available the gospel of Jesus Christ to “as many people for Christ as they once did” I find this hard to believe. Even this same initial paragraph points out that “the SBC added 473 new churches and gave more than $1.3 billion to support mission activities around the world.” This is more churches, giving more access to persons in different locations, and also more money, making available more opportunities for the gospel to be presented and given to persons.

If the meaning of “not reaching” is that the SBC is not seeing as many accept Christ (i.e. “The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the denomination’s lowest level since 1987.”) as Lord and Savior, attend or stay in church, etc. then is the SBC really responsible for such numbers? Maybe if the Truth is not being preached.

Acts 2 states: “46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

I Corinthians 3 declares: “5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”

By obeying God, we are to use all godly means to reach persons with the gospel message of Jesus Christ, but the Spirit must move the souls to come. For should they come but for a time, having never been moved by the Spirit of Truth, what more do we have but a number, a baptism, yet merely a tare among the wheat. Is not the Book of Life valued above SBC membership rolls?

Souls do not come because they have either “left their first love” or have never loved Him at all. Pray that all men everywhere would repent, starting first with ourselves, that we ourselves would desire Him and enjoy His fellowship above all. Through Him shall we reach, through Him shall they come.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Science: A Battle of "'cherry-picking' the data?"

Apparently, there is a small issue in Science as to whether we are still experiencing global warming, or are we about to enter a new ice age.

Article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352241,00.html

Whom shall I trust?

2 Peter 3:10 declares, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. "

Unregenerate Director Strives To Deface Christ

Anyone with any sense about them will clearly see through the smoke and mirrors of director Paul Verhoeven’s desire to swindle persons with his desire to claim “Christ probably was the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her during the Jewish uprising in Galilee” in his upcoming so-called “biography of Jesus.”

According to Fox News’ quote of Donohue, apparently he notes that Verhoeven has “been working 20 years trying to sell this argument and hasn't come up with anything.” But who says a biography of someone, clearly Verhoeven has never met nor personally knows, has to be nonfiction? Clearly he doesn’t have a problem with writing a fictional biography. (I jest.)

Interestingly, it seems that Verhoeven claims to be a Catholic (according to the article), but makes his money causing others to break the very commandments of God, namely fornication, in his choice of movies to direct.

Is there really any wonder this man “states that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 original apostles of Jesus, as the New Testament states” and “was a regular attendee of the Jesus Seminar, which was co-founded by the late religion scholar Robert W. Funk. The seminar called into question miracles and statements attributed to Jesus.”

Come on Verhoeven, simply repent (as we all should) and accept Jesus Christ (the very Son of God) as your Lord and Savior. The Spirit, through the Scriptures, will give you a much better picture of Him than your human attempt at a recreation biography of another Jesus ever will.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Friend or Acquaintance

Scripture declares in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loveth at all times.”

Now, love properly defined does not mean everything we find our friend doing or saying is acceptable and we totally agree with. Sometimes our friendships need to be seasoned with “reprove, rebuke, [and] exhort[ing] with all long suffering and doctrine.”

Honestly, how shallow are most of our so-called friendships, to be honest, whether they be with Christian or non-Christian persons? Do we honestly love them, or do we simply enjoy the prestige or the things that may come from knowing them? Or do we happen to merely hang around them so that we may feel that we are “in the click?”

How often do we use the word “friend” and how often do we honestly mean it?

Are we quick to forget, gossip about, or turn our backs on certain persons that we claim are our friends, as soon as we find another more interesting one? What about if they embarrass us for one reason or another, or hurt us (even by mistake), or others come forth to pull us from them?

Proverbs 18:24 declares, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Do we show ourselves to be “friendly?” Do we stick “closer than a brother” to those we ourselves claim are our friends? If not, then why do we even use such terminology, merely deceiving ourselves and the persons we declare it to? Why not simply denote that all are merely acquaintances that may come and go with the wind, but shall not remain as faithful friends that we shall “loveth at all times?”

Can we share our deepest sorrows and greatest joys? Can we trust that our words, our fears, or concerns are honestly considered and kept secret from the world around us? Is there a faithfulness to one another that goes without saying? Do others find a haven of rest in knowing we care for their physical, emotional, and spiritual well being and desire only the best for them?

What of the times we see them falter or fall from what we believe is right? What of the days that go by where we feel awkward to confront them with such thoughts of encouragement and constructive criticism with only charity in our thoughts? Do we find such in those we cherish as so-called friends? Do any remain at our darkest hour?

Do you truly have any friends or merely acquaintances?
Are you truly a friend or merely an acquaintance?

Do you have a true friend, one who has stuck by you, through many things in your life? Have you told them how much it matters to you? Maybe you should.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Exposing parts of My Heart

These are original poems as formerly written, with only minimal changes or corrections having been made, to allow my initial thoughts to persist.

1994 - 2008

Because of Love
Is This Where Love Ends
How Hard Is It to Ask
What Is Love
To Lose Love
The World...
Missing You
Missing You, Again
No True Emptiness
Parable of the Squirrel
Lonely Dark Nights
To My Valentine
The Day
The Words of the Snake
Lame Christian Excuses
Your Shadow
Letting Go (Part 1)
Faith is Risen Anew (Letting Go, Part 2)
My Preacher
Just Like You Were One Day
Oh, the Love You Show Me
Stand Up !!!
The Heavens Declare
Ye Are of Your Father
Staring Back At Me
To Be Complete
From Among the Others
When You Love Someone
Alexis Rose
I Love You More Than
Samuel David LaRue
Because of My Saviour, I Live!
A Soldier on His Way Home
A Letter From Hell
Wedding Vows
I Am His for Eternity
Don’t Wait On Me
A Call to Missions
I Have a Savior
Christ Bore the Cross
I Plead For My Brother
Christ Is Still Here
A Little Soul
A Soldier of the King
Thank You
Oh Son of God, I Praise Your Name
Oh, Rich Man
They Say I Killed My Baby
A Gift from Me to You
Beloved Friend
Moments of Silence
La Ciudad, Mexico Mission Trip 2008
Twisted Inside, Heart Against Mind
The Struggle of Sorrows

Friday, April 04, 2008

Beloved Friend

From among the darkness, amidst the storm
Comes forth a light, with a steady arm
Held out toward me, reaching forth
Bidding me come, to find support
Afraid to trust, but grasp it still
Allowing myself, to acknowledge it’s real
An honest smile, with words of truth
A gentle spirit, to encourage and soothe
A faithful friend, where charity dwells
Able to believe, my heart made well
Truly amazing, to find such a one
A caring soul, when life seems undone
Words of wisdom, acts of grace
Deeds of kindness, freely displayed
Sharing love, and giving hope
A joy from within, they promote
Selfless thought, my spirit mends
Forever dear, my Beloved Friend

Timothy Waldrop

John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.