What I Learned In Church Yesterday

Looking over the entire Lord’s Day, other than the worship of God. The overall theme… At least for me was GO! The GO really started in Sunday School… We’re in Philippians 3:12-16 We talked about how we are being made perfect in Christ-likeness but haven’t attained it yet 1 Timothy 6:12 Hebrews 12:1. But we must continue to go forward and pursue it 1 John 3:2 We talked about laying hold of it and pressing forward to the prize of he upward call of God in Christ. As we were discussing the verses along with many cross references. One of the women in the group said ” we really don’t want to get in trouble for Christ… That if we GO! and do what the word of God tells us, we’re going to get into hot water and that will lead to suffering and persecution. So we kind of went into one of our rabbit trails about Going! Matthew 28:19-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “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.”

I think in the Contemporary Christian Church in general…We have a big problem… What happen to Go? We want to be comfortable… But as one writer puts it:

There is absolutely no question about what the mission and ministry of the church of God in this world is. Our work is clearly defined and established by our Master. This commission is not given just to the apostles. It is not given to preachers, pastors, evangelists, and missionaries. It is a commission given to the whole church of God. This is not a command to go to mission fields, though that is certainly included in it. Rather, this is a charge to us all to be Christ’s witnesses as we go through this world. The text might better be read, “Therefore (since I am Lord) as you are going into all the world, teach all nations!”

I love the mission statement of my church… It is short, powerful and to the pointWIN, BUILD and SEND We go out to our areas of influence, our families, friends and coworkers and share the word of God to them Romans 10:17 giving the an answer to the hope we have in Christ 1 Peter 3:15 Letting them see the change in us, our character and fruit Galatians 5:22-23 and the word of God says He causes the growth 1 Corinthians 3:7 and by His doing we are in Christ 1 Corinthians 1:30. Salvation is God’s sovereign work Acts 2:47 We have forgotten that. Then they come to church as a believers being built up in Christ… Growing in the grace and knowledge of their Savior 2 Peter 3:17, 18. Getting help with discerning all things 1 Thessalonians 5:21, being protected by the Elders Acts 20:25-30, devoting themselves to the Pastor/Elders teaching 2 Peter 1:19-20, 21, partaking in breaking of bread, prayer Acts 1:14 and fellowship (sharing/ partnering in Christ) Acts 2:42 Then the process starts over and over… as Jesus said Himself I will build my church Matthew 16:18 As one writer puts it.

Christ called it “My church,” emphasizing that He alone is its Architect, Builder, Owner, and Lord. The Greek word for church means “called out ones.” While God had since the beginning of redemptive history been gathering the redeemed by grace, the unique church He promised to build began at Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit, by whom the Lord baptized believers into His body-which is the church.

What solidified this overall theme of GO! for me was the announcement from one of the Elders about The Persecuted Church… As he was naming the countries and what they were being persecuted for and the terrible things that were happening to them. I kept on saying We are too comfortable with our Christianity… These persecuted Christians are the epitome of the word GO! Not everyone can go as far as they do… But let me say this with conviction and clarity… We can go outside the four walls of our comfortable confines (our church) and say as Jesus said when He started His ministry Repent and Believe Mark 1:15 and let the Spirit of God do the rest, knowing the result will be what He wants and desires it to be. Isaiah 55:11 There is something in some of us who are afraid to leave the work of Salvation, of Regeneration up to God… It’s like we’re saying He really needs our help to save those who would believe. Let us shout out and join Jonah in saying Salvation is from the LORD! Jonah 2:9 Let Him build His church and let us be obedient to His word. Read Ezekiel 36:22-32 and count how many times the personal pronoun “I” is used referring to God doing it all. As a dear brother said in Sunday School yesterday

“He doesn’t call us to be successful but faithful to His word” Now we just have to be obedient to His word and leave the rest to Him.

I’ll close with the last stanza of the Hymn we sung yesterday.


His Word shall not fail you, He promised;
Believe Him and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

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Praise the LORD!

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A little of this and a little of that

I thought I would include today my post this past Wednesday Why I Am A Calvinist (A Bible Christian) First of all,  I really don’t like to label myself anything but a Christian… hence the name of my site. John Calvin didn’t event the Doctrines Of Grace… but people throughout history need labels. They have been there from the beginning of time. So that being said,  I need to back up a bit. I was 21 years old and told God loves you

The Glory of God and the Life of the Mind… Christianity honors the life of the mind, not because it celebrates the power of human intellect, but because Christ himself instructed Christians to love God with heart, soul, and mind. By Albert Mohler

“The church used to be a lightning bolt, now it’s a cruise ship. We are not marching to Zion – we are sailing there with ease. In the apostolic church it says they were all amazed – and now in our churches everybody wants to be amused. The church began in the upper room with a bunch of men agonizing, and it’s ending in the supper room with a bunch of people organizing. We mistake rattle for revival, and commotion for creation, and action for unction.” Leonard Ravenhill  HT:Truth Matters

The Danger of Following the Wrong Spiritual Teacher Now we in America have been living under some serious warnings lately. It seems as though every day the news media dispenses to us another set of warnings and how we might somehow find a path of safety in a terrorist-filled environment. We as individuals, we as a nation have been put on the highest alert, we’re told, because there is a severe and deadly danger existing and it threatens us in the most unexpected ways. Death can come, it has for many, and it can come in those places we have learned to trust as safe places, our work place, an airplane, a post office, an envelope in the mail, our food, our water, our bridges, the air we breathe so unconsciously. We’re now told to be alert because all those safe places could become deadly. By John MacArthur

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2010 Deals for Christians by Tim Challies has some links you might want to check out for internet specials this Christmas shopping season… He writes…With Thanksgiving coming up fast, so too are 2010’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Black Friday is the traditional after-Thanksgiving day to take advantage of great sales. Cyber Monday is the Internet equivalent, the day that online retailers tend to do big sales of their own (though many online stores offer deals on both days). I am working to collect details of deals on Christian books and music. So check back here on Friday and Monday to find out where you can save some money this Christmas season.

National Geographic’s Photography Contest 2010 National Geographic is once again holding their annual Photo Contest, with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 30th. For the past eight weeks, they have been gathering and presenting galleries of submissions, encouraging readers to rate them as well. National Geographic was again kind enough to let me choose some of their entries from 2010 for display here on The Big Picture. HT: Z

’Tis not that I did choose Thee

’Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.
Thou from the sin that stained me
Hast cleansed and set me free;
Of old Thou hast ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.

’Twas sov’reign mercy called me
And taught my op’ning mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heav’nly glories blind.
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first.

Words: Josiah Conder, 1836.

Music: Savoy Chapel, John B. Calkin, 187

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Mozart Friday

I am learning about Mozart in music history and really enjoy this aria from his opera, “The Magic Flute.”  It is the Queen of the Night Aria.  The control and skill to sing this is amazing.  Enjoy.

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Why I Am A Calvinist (A Bible Christian)

First of all,  I really don’t like to label myself anything but a Christian… hence the name of my site. John Calvin didn’t event the Doctrines Of Grace… but people throughout history need labels. They have been there from the beginning of time. So that being said,  I need to back up a bit. I was 21 years old and told God loves you, Jesus died for you so now it’s up to you. So I prayed this prayer and I was pronounced saved. OK! I spent the next 18 years of my life living like a unregenerate man… doing all sorts of sin. Absolutely no fruit or change in my life for the things of God… Just myself. Now let me say I have no problem with someone coming forward who is truly repentant and praying a prayer for God to save them. But is your salvation based on God’s Spirit saving you and trusting Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone or just this prayer alone.

I was always told to stay away from those Calvinist… They believe in Election. I remember saying to myself… What’s a Calvinist and why do I need to be elected. I was told we’re not robots… We have free Will. I remember my Mom listening to John MacArthur in the early eighties until she found out He was a Calvinist, then stopped. So fast forward … I eventually found myself in a small town church, starting my climb to salvation… Not knowing then, it was God’s effectual calling on me. I was in my car listening to talk radio, saying this is boring. So I found this man on the radio preaching and I was so drawn to what he was preaching, I listened… And kept on listening to Grace To You day after day. It wasn’t the man I was looking forward to listening to… It was his preaching… It was the word of God. Never before have I heard it preached like that… He was preaching with authority, with passion and such clarity,  like he actually knew what he was talking about. Over time I was convicted… being drawn to God John 6:44. From that time forward, I just knew I believed the gospel of Jesus Christ… My sin became more sinful to me and I repented to a holy God to save me. What do you think John MacArthur was preaching on that day ? Election.

But it wasn’t until I heard a sermon by Phil Johnson at Grace Life preach on a text in Romans… When he had the nerve to call the apostle Paul a Calvinist. I remember his exact words… You know… Paul was a Calvinist ! WOW wait a minute, John Calvin wasn’t even around then… I wanted to wrap my hands around his neck. But soon understood what he meant. So from that time forward I study and struggle for over two years to understand this doctrine that I was seeing all throughout the bible… What about whosoever will may come, what about drinking freely of this water Revelation 22:17… I say what about it… Come and drink! But there are words like Calling… 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2, 3-4, 5 His choice of you 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 Election 1 Peter 1:1-3 Predestination Ephesians 1:11 Foreknowledge Romans 8:29-30 they didn’t go away. They’re still there too. I found myself reading many helpful books from godly men like R. C. Sproul Chosen by God and Steve Lawson Foundations of Grace the forward in this book from John MacArthur was unbelievable. The gospel of John has verse after verse solidifying God sovereignty in salvation  John 3:8, John 5:21, John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:63,65 John 8:36, John 15:16 Just to name a few… Everybody quotes John 1:12 but leaves out John 1:13

But when it was all said and done it was Romans Chapter 9 that settled it for me.

So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this, will it?” Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. Romans 9:18-24

So my conclusion was who am I to argue with God… If you believe the bible and the words that it contains, you believe in Election, you believe in Sovereign Grace, you believe whosoever will may come because He first chose you before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:1-2, 3-4. You love Him Because He first loved you… You chose Him because He first chose you. Not because God travels down the corridors of history to see if you’re going to respond to this grace… A serious misuse of the word foreknowledge, which I hope to get to soon. No He called me, He Chose me,  He saved me, He secures me and He does this all for His glory.

So I say to who ever is reading this… Whosoever will may come, so come and drink  Amen !


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The Church

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

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

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The Great Commission and Contending for the Faith

How to Contend for the Faith

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What I Learned In Church Yesterday

As you know last week I finished up The Parable of The Lost Son. I used many resources, books and commentaries to help me learn and teach it to the folks at my church… so before I get to What I Learned In Church Yesterday, I wanted to give you two books I recommend for reading. A Tale of Two Sons By John MacArthur. He writes “Of all Jesus’ parables, the prodigal son is the most richly detailed, powerfully dramatic, and intensely personal.  The parable is not a warm and fuzzy feel-good message, but a powerful wake-up call with a very earnest warning.” You will not be disappointed with this book. You can listen to his sermons series for free Here. The second one is The Prodigal God by Tim Keller. John Piper writes “The Prodigal God is vintage Keller–biblically faithful with a fresh angularity. That is, Keller seizes a great truth and comes at it from an angle and with language that help us see it in new ways.” You can listen to seven short sermons by Tim Keller on Luke 15:11-32 Here

I ended the class and my post last week with this verse Acts 2:23 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…. Then had some discussion with some people about foreknowledge – just what does it mean ? So plan on seeing that sometime this week. The answer just might come as a surprise to you. Now just what did I learn in church yesterday?

Well, I found myself back into the same Philippians class I had left to teach The Prodigal Son. They really didn’t go very far in Philippians… I remember leaving some where around the middle of chapter two… and yesterday we were in Philippians 3:7-11 Just the way I like it… slow, deep and accurate. 2 Timothy 2:15 He must have learned that from someone… Tim, our elder is doing a great job. He already hit on Philippians 3:7-8, 9 last week, so he took us through Philippians 3:10-11 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. And started a bit on Philippians 3:12-16

The great truth that came out of this study for me is Those of us who believe and  suffer with and for Christ will attain the resurrection from the dead… Just as Jesus did. Amen! Romans 8:10-11 and Romans 6:4-11 Those of us who believe will live in the presence of Christ for eternity… And if the resurrection of Christ never took place we are just bumbling idiots here. But Jesus has defeated both sin and death… the resurrection is the greatest act of power… He defeated death and sin… So this same God has the power to bring us, who were dead in our trespasses and sin and make us alive in Christ Ephesians 2:1-4 Just like He resurrected  Lazarus from the dead (Lazarus come forth) He chooses us… those of us who believe for eternity, before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love. We have gone from death to life and have been crucified with Christ Galatians 2:20 So many people hear the gospel call… but few are Chosen Matthew 22:14 Repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ Mark 1:15 and live forever with Him in eternity. For Salvation is from the Lord Jonah 2:9

If you’re reading this and you are a lost soul… Call out to God to save you, repent your sins to a Holy God and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and by grace the bible says you are saved… Not by your doing but His Ephesians 2:8-9 Repent and Believe! How do you know that you’re saved… you’ll know.  First of all if you believe what the word of God says and if it’s a godly repentance you’re saved… Then the Holy Spirits testimony Romans 8:14… You will go from death to life and there will be a change in your life…  People will see a difference in your life… You will hate your sin and desire the things of God. Then you can be confident that He who saved you will keep you until glory Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

That’s what I learned in church yesterday.

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Preach and Teach It

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3 Years Old

The Bible Christian turns 3 Years Old Tomorrow

My desire has always been to give God the glory Romans 11:36… to edify the brethren 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and send forth God’s word, knowing He will do the rest Isaiah 55:11 And if I don’t… it’s like fire in my bones. But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. Jeremiah 20:9

Is not God’s word like a Hammer

I am not a man pleaser… but God pleaser Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. A true Slave of Christ proclaims the only gospel of God and does not live to please man. He does not compromise… but he speaks the truth in love Ephesians 4:15.

The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

Romans 11: 33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.


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