Dusty Shoes
Nov07

Dusty Shoes

Someone told me once that the best way to evaluate the heart of a missionary is to look at their shoes. They said that a missionary should be out visiting, evangelizing, and witnessing. A sure sign of their presence and work is the dust on their shoes… Today, Hope Baptist Church decided to get their shoes dusty. We gathered together and knocked on doors, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and inviting each person to attend a special showing of the latest My Hope video by Billy Graham, “The Value of a Soul.” 1 day, 24 people, 501 presentations of the good news delivered.   Amazing what a little Hope and a lot of Jesus in the hearts of His people can...

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Certainty in an uncertain World
Mar14

Certainty in an uncertain World

We live in a world of shifting morality, uncertain priority, and rampant apprehension. This world is quick to disregard God and elevate self. We live in an American culture that invests its greatest efforts towards entertainment, while ignoring the reality of the ones being entertained.  At some point in our walk of discipleship, we are called by Christ to take up our cross and follow Him.  We should not expect to be comfortable and entertained carrying our cross.  We should expect the same mocking, scourging, and pain to be inflicted upon us as was upon our Savior Jesus. But all is not dim – we have certain victory!  In his article, “Cities of Ruthless Nations will Revere Thee” John Piper explains this well: Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. (Isaiah 25:3) Isaiah sees the day coming when all the nations — representatives from all the people groups — will no longer be at odds with Yahweh, the God of Israel and his Messiah, whom we know to be Jesus. They will no longer worship Bel or Nebo or Molech or Allah or Buddha or utopian social programs or capitalistic growth possibilities or ancestors or animistic spirits. Instead they will come in faith to the banquet on God’s mountain. And they will have the veil of sorrow removed and death shall be swallowed up and the reproach of God’s people will be removed and tears shall be gone forever. That’s the setting for understanding the vision of verse 3: “Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you.” In other words God is stronger than the “strong people” and he is so powerful and so gracious that in the end he will turn ruthless nations to revere him. So the picture Isaiah gives us is one of all nations turned to God in worship, a great banquet for all the peoples, the removal of all suffering and grief and reproach from the nations who have become his people, and the final putting away of death forever. This triumph is sure because God is doing it. Therefore we can be certain of it. Not one life spent in the cause of world evangelization is spent in vain. Not one prayer or one dollar or one sermon or one letter of encouragement mailed or one little light shining in some dark place — nothing in the cause of the advancing kingdom is in vain. The triumph is...

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Worship: The Proper Response
Nov01

Worship: The Proper Response

Recently, my neighborhood has seen an influx of Jehovah Witnesses’ (JW) knocking on doors. I thought it fitting to compose a simple response, that should be more conversational than confrontational with the visitors. There are several different approaches to talking with a JW. The conversation could be regarding their soteriology, their shady history, their ever-changing theology, or their odd revelatory updates. I, however, prefer to converse about their belief that Jesus was actually an angel, not the Son of God. I will typically lead the conversation toward the resurrection account in Matthew, completely avoiding the Gospel of John. Following the account of the resurrection the Disciples went to tell the others about what had occurred. In Matthew 28:9-10 something very interesting takes place: And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me. There are at least two things we must consider when the text in Matthew states that Jesus was worshipped. The first consideration are the first two Commandments. The first Commandment states that there is one God and that He alone is to be our God (Ex. 20:2-3). The second Commandment states that we are to not bow down or serve any idols; that is, to reserve our allegiance and worship for God alone (Ex. 20:4-6). The second consideration is the strict prohibition of the worship of angels. In the book of Revelation (Rev.19:9-10), the writer is overwhelmed with a sense to worship as he sees and experiences this heavenly splendor and prophecy; but as he falls to his feet to worship, he is strongly warned to reserve His worship for God alone. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. The main problem to resolve is this: why were the Disciples in the Matthew account not reprimanded for worshipping Jesus? The Apostle Peter was reprimanded and called Satan when he put His concern for the flesh of Jesus above the mission of Jesus (Matt 16:21-23). Why was a rebuke withheld when the Disciples worshiped Jesus?...

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