Monday, August 29, 2016
“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:27
Ricky Tsang was an Asian man from Canada with a debilitating disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that confined him to a wheelchair. He listened to my sermons for the past many years and sent me a lot of encouraging e-mails. He had originally contacted me about 6 years ago to tell me that he had gotten saved as a result of listening to the preaching from Faithful Word Baptist Church. After staying alive much longer than expected, Ricky went home to be with the Lord recently at age 35. Ricky had an inspirational attitude about his disease and was a blessing to all those around him. He has been an encouragement to me personally, and I am thankful that he is "walking, and leaping, and praising God" in heaven.
I’ve seen where Ricky told this story publicly before, so I think he would want me to tell it. Like many disabled people, Ricky had been abused by a Sodomite. He would not get saved because he was bitter toward the Lord about what had happened. He struggled with statements he had heard from Christians such as, “Even Jeffrey Dahmer is in Heaven.” After hearing the sermon “Sodomite Reprobates” Ricky realized that God is a righteous God. He finally believed and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his saviour because of hearing that sermon.
People will say that the reprobate doctrine turns people away from the gospel, but for every one that the reprobate doctrine “turns away,” it brings in a guy like Ricky who needed to hear it. I praise God for Ricky’s friendship and this important lesson he has taught us about the results of hard preaching.
Ricky is not the only one that has been hindered by the watered-down doctrine that God loves everyone. There are people that you will meet at the door out soul-winning who will scoff and say that we teach that “child molesters will be in Heaven.” I’ve had to go through Romans 1 with people and explain to them that child molesters/Sodomites are reprobates who have been given over to vile affections because they have rejected God. There are people on this earth who have gone too far and can no longer get saved, and being a pervert is a symptom of being a reprobate. Jeffrey Dahmer, and others like him are burning in Hell! This is not to say that we should regularly bring up Romans One when soul-winning, but if a person brings up that issue, sometimes expounding the reprobate doctrine to them can remove an obstacle, so that they will get saved.
As a pastor, it is not my job to worry about which scripture passages might turn people away. Preachers need to preach the whole counsel of God. As soul-winners, we need to be ready to tackle the hard questions out soul-winning. When I preached a sermon against the Sodomites, I had no idea that someone would get saved as a result of that sermon, but I am thankful that Ricky did.
Here is the sermon on Sodomite Reprobates.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Luke 12:15
When children are materialistic, they usually learned it from their parents. Competitiveness in kids is why some schools implement uniforms so that parents won’t feel pressured to provide the expensive brands. Unfortunately, adults are often guilty of trying to keep up with the Jones’s in the area of their children’s wardrobes.
If you are crazy enough to buy your child $200 limited edition Jordans for no special occasion, at least teach him not to brag about it. This starts with setting a better example yourself. You might know how to mask your bragging better than your teenager does, but people see right through it. Should a lady really be boasting about the shopping sprees made possible by a child support check from her ex? You see, a married couple living on one income with a large family probably can’t afford to spend that kind of money on shoes that their children will soon outgrow.
If that stay-at-home mom you feel superior to would just leave her husband, she too, could put her kids on a bus in the morning and not see them again until late that evening. If she was working full-time plus collecting child support, maybe then her kids could have the same wardrobe as your spoiled brat. I realize single moms have to do what they have to do, but a broken home is nothing to boast about. Yes, your kids get a lot of money thrown at them because they have a “Disneyland dad” who is trying to compete with you. He may even have another wife who is working to help pay for it all.
Not only is buying expensive shoes for children impractical, but raising them to have champagne tastes is doing them a disservice. Often, when young people get married, they feel like they should quickly attain to their parent’s financial status. The reality is that most young couples have to start out in an apartment or other modest house, and money can be tight at first. Your son’s wife will want him to bring home the proverbial bacon—not the latest athletic shoes for himself. Those Nikes he bought while still living at home might have to get a little dirty until he finds a better job. In fact, once the babies start coming, he might not be able to spend much money at all on his own personal ensemble.
Some people need a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future: I know of a guy who was provided with constant new shoes growing up and still gets them just as often now that he is in his thirties; however, he makes his money dealing drugs. The reality is that an honest job doesn’t always facilitate an extravagant lifestyle, but when people are taught to feel that their value is determined by what they wear, they sometimes have trouble adapting to living on a budget.
There’s also this mentality out there that your child’s wardrobe is more important than yours. If you work at a job where you’re on your feet all day, you might be the one that needs the brand new shoes. Your kids on the other hand probably don’t have foot problems and will do just fine with something inexpensive. Yes, you should provide your children’s needs, but good parenting is not measured by the amount of money you spend on their attire. Your children are more than just accessories or dress-up dolls.
The bottom line is that prideful people will try to show off by overspending. The best way to deal with these types is to make it clear that you are unimpressed and unashamed.
Don’t raise your children with this ghetto mentality that they’re entitled to a new pair of Jordans every month, and to look down on people whose parents have different priorities. If all you can afford is shoes from Payless or the thrift store, don’t feel bad about it. Maybe then your children will learn that there is more to life than shoes.
“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Here is a sermon to go with this article
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30
The Boston Soul-Winning Marathon this past weekend was a great success! We had 110 people show up to go soul winning! Sure we had more than that in Atlanta, Georgia, but this time, we were not the Bible belt. This was Boston, Massachusetts, which is located in a very liberal, left-winged part of the country. There were people there from Canada and all over the United States, but I was hearing a lot of New England accents, so a lot of people were local! We had 141 people saved and 11 baptized!
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:19
Not only that, but we had a great time of food and fellowship over breakfast and lunch at Panera Bread. These marathons are like rallies that help people across the country to get on fire for the Lord, and I think that it’s great that there are people who attend every marathon we put on!
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” Hebrews 10:24
There will be another soul-winning marathon this weekend in Nashville, TN. Brother Richard Miller who is starting a church in mid-October in Nashville will be there and will be heading up a last-minute mini marathon. I won’t be able to make it to that one, but I encourage anyone in that area to attend as well as those of you die-hards that are able to travel long distances to the marathons. I appreciate your friendship and the sacrifices you make to attend these events.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
In addition to the soul-winning marathons that have been put on by our church and other like-minded churches, there have been people organizing their own other soul-winning marathons across the country, which is great! Brother Peter James recently held one in the Bronx, New York, and brother Giancarlo Guerrero is trying to put one together down in Miami, Florida.
To find out the dates of future soul-winning marathons, check the "Events" page at the church website.
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32
Here is a sermon to go with this post.
Monday, August 22, 2016
In a day when many churches are removing Baptist from their name, we will continue to call our church a Baptist church. The purpose of a name is to identify something, and names in the Bible have great meaning and significance. Ambiguous names such as Crosspoint, Such and Such Christian Fellowship, or Adventure Church leave people scratching their heads as to what those churches believe.
At one time it made sense for a church to simply be called “the church,” when it was the only church in a particular city. The word "church" alone was probably enough to indicate a congregation of Christians. Later, the Baptist distinction was needed to differentiate biblical Christians from Catholics and Protestants. We don’t call ourselves “The Church at Tempe” today because that wouldn’t tell people much about our church. Not only that, but Faithful Word Baptist Church is not the only church in Tempe.
Many churches that have generic sounding names are in fact affiliated with a denomination, but when we talk about non-denominational churches, we are referring to all churches that don’t have an identifier in their name. You will often find something in the fine print somewhere about an affiliation, but churches will downplay that connection in order to attract people of other faiths.
We are an independent Baptist church, so we are not part of a denomination, but Baptists have traditionally believed certain fundamentals of the faith, so the Baptist label is a way to indicate that we believe those same truths. When someone walks into a Baptist church, he or she can at least count on a few things:
· All Baptists believe in baptism by immersion.
· Al Baptists believe baptism is for believers.
· All Baptists will at least give lip service to the fact that our doctrine should be based on scripture alone.
· Virtually every Baptist believes in the eternal security of the believer.
Non-denominational churches, on the other hand, will usually avoid taking a stand on much of anything so that everyone will feel welcome. This type of church has the backward philosophy of bringing the world into the church rather than going out and evangelizing the community through door-to-door soul winning. We want to reach the unsaved, but church should be geared toward the saved.
It’s not just the unsaved that feel comfortable in the average non-denominational church, but also people from other factions of Christianity. Unity is great within a local church, but we don’t need unity with everyone in the world. Church should be an assembly of born-again baptized believers that are in agreement because its members believe the same on the most important doctrines. We are not supposed to fellowship with people who are called “brother” yet are living in certain sins or are blatantly disregarding Bible doctrine.
There are a few churches out there that do not have "Baptist" in the name but are still great churches. I’m not saying that a church has to be called "Baptist" to be right with God. Calling our church "Baptist" is a preference as opposed to a conviction, but I believe it is beneficial to keep that identifying label. Not only does it help like-minded believers to find our church, but it will also cause people who promote false doctrine to avoid it.
It’s hard enough to find a decent Baptist church, but once you venture outside of the Baptist umbrella, it’s a jungle out there, folks. Finding a good non-denominational church is liking looking for a needle in a haystack. Looking for a church with Baptist in the name is a great starting point, but the right kind of church will usually add more adjectives to their website and other advertisements to help describe what they believe. Not only are we Baptists, but we are independent, fundamental, King James only, soul-winning Baptists. And these days we should probably add to that description that we believe salvation is by grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing. Those who would disagree with any of these specifics should remove the name Baptist off of their sign because we aren’t the ones who have changed.
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Learn by Doing
“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” Hebrews 5:13
Everything in life is easier to learn by doing than just by hearing about it. To become skillful in any area, you will need to do more than just reading, listening, and watching. Eventually, you will need to learn by doing.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
A pastor who preaches sermons and goes out soul winning is more qualified to teach the Bible than some scholar who sits in an office all day. So-called theologians often don’t know as much as the average church member who is knocking doors and applying biblical principles in his business dealings and family life. It’s people who never go soul-winning who get messed up on salvation doctrine.
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who BY REASON OF USE have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14
Life Skills and Trades
When teaching others, it is important to let them actually gain hands-on experience. Let your children help cook dinner or fix the vacuum cleaner. Yes, give them the information first and supervise if needed, but then let them learn by doing. Even though I grew up watching my dad do electrical work, I became a better electrician once I had a boss that wasn’t afraid to let me mess up and gave me the opportunity to do the work myself. Yes, I made mistakes, but that was an important part of the learning process.
If you’re going to learn a foreign language, you do have to study and memorize things, but once you know 20 words, you ought to start using them. You’ll advance faster by speaking right away and making mistakes than if you wait until you feel you are an expert in the language. It’s not about impressing people—it’s about learning to communicate. And don’t even get me started on these so-called Greek experts that couldn’t even order a meal if you dropped them off in Greece.
Just like with learning a foreign language, when you start presenting the gospel, you might not sound very good at first. Start memorizing and underlining the verses, listen to the sermons, watch the soul-winning seminar, but there is no reason to put off becoming a silent partner. What you are studying at home will sink in better if you are actually experiencing it out in the field. If you wait until you feel completely prepared, you might never get out there. The next step is becoming a talker. Just start talking, and don’t be too proud to get stumped at the door. You can always go home and study up on a subject, so you’ll know the answer for next time.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
You do need to take in information through reading, listening, and watching, but once you’ve learned something, put it into practice right away, so you don’t forget it. Studying and being a worker go hand in hand.
Here is a sermon on Learning by Doing.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” Matthew 18:15-17
The Bible makes it clear that it is never right to file a lawsuit against a brother or sister in Christ. There is a biblical protocol to follow when someone has wronged you: First, go to the person and try to make it right. If that doesn’t work, bring one or two witnesses to help document the conversation. If all else fails, the guilty party may need to be expelled from the church.
“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” 1 Corinthians 6: 1-8
“Going to law” in this passage is not talking about reporting crimes such as rape, murder, or child molestation. God put the death penalty on those crimes in the Old Testament, and we should never sweep something like that under the rug. Crimes of that nature should absolutely be reported to the authorities. What the scripture is referring to is suing another believer for financial reasons.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” Matthew 5:38-40
When you truly love your neighbor, you will loosen your grip on the things of this world. If you loan something to someone, make sure you can afford to kiss it goodbye. I’m not saying it’s right to borrow something and not give it back. The Bible makes it clear that people should pay what they owe.
“The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.” Psalm 37:21
That said, we should never sue other believers. Sometimes another Christian will wrong you financially, but if the church doesn’t give you justice, then too bad for you. Two wrongs do not make a right. It is wrong to sue your brother in Christ and it is wrong to sue a church, which is a body of believers.
Here is a sermon to go with this article.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1
We are living in a day when Hollywood movies, television shows, and commercials promote homosexuality and other violence, are effectively brainwashing the masses. Schools are changing their history curriculum. Sodomites and their sympathizers are protesting our churches. A dating site called “Christian Mingle” is adding a new search option for homos. Anarchy is breaking out in our streets due to a race war being fueled by the media and politicians. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.
Although we lament the condition of society, it is not cause to be discouraged. Instead of wishing that we had been born during a more peaceful era, we can be thankful that we were chosen to be alive during these tumultuous times and have the opportunity to fight for what is right. We can also be grateful that we still have the freedom to preach the Bible, even though we are facing more opposition now than in recent decades.
"Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this." - Ecclesiastes 7:10
We are living in this time period for a purpose. Now is not the time to sit back and put our heads in the sand like so many Christians are doing. Cutting up your Target card isn’t changing much, folks. You need to support bold preachers and get involved in soul-winning churches in order to take part in the spiritual battle of today.
“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Read your Bible more, pray more, go to church more, go soul-winning more, and take time to teach your children, younger siblings, and converts important Bible doctrine. Preaching the gospel to people is important, but it is only a part of the Great Commission. Most of us have weaker Christians within our circle of influence that we can bring to church and talk to about spiritual things. Do something every day to help further the cause of Christ. Sometimes even just sharing a sermon on social media or giving a friend a biblical DVD can get them fired up and start them on a whole new path. If we aren’t going to see the great tribulation, the next generation might, or their children might. Those of us who are more mature in the faith need to furnish the next generation with the knowledge they need to face uncertain times.
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20
Here is a sermon to go with this article.