Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 State of the Professing Church

Wow! when I was in high school between 1966-1969, the year 2010 seemed like ages away. I had no understanding or belief that it would ever come to reality. But here it is, and I have several concerns for our nation, the church of Jesus Christ, and the "so-called" church.

Our nation is on a fast track to socialism and being a part of the global world system promised in the end times. Yet, I am nor afraid or unsettled. My hope and faith is in a sovereign God who is fulfilling His purposes and plans for planet earth. My hope is not in Washington or a politician.

A recent study in the Book of Habakkuk taught me to live by faith, trust God, and understand He is on His throne and working His plan. While we are to be salt and light through the Word of God and prayer, I understand that these things must come to pass.

My deeper concern is for the professing church.

Many mainline denominations, preachers, and so-called Christians have apostasized in doctrine, duty, and deportment.

The true gospel has been replaced by a social gospel void of sin, repentance,hell, commitment, and holiness. Denying self, cross-bearing, and following Jesus is mo longer part of the salvation message.

We now have many ways to God or many ways to many Gods. One is scorned today ifthey believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation and that salvation involves a turning from sin in repentance and genuine faith.

The Bible is seen as irrelevant and insufficient to meet man's need. There is no longer absolute truth and absolute morality.

There is a great apathy and unloyalty to the things of God and the house of God by those who profess Jesus as Lord. Convenient Christianity is the prevailing mood.

But most of all, there is no expectation of the coming of the Lord. A genuine hope of His return motivates us to long for, live for, and learn more about his return. The church has settled in the world and conformed to the world so that in many instances you can't tell the church from the world.

Even so come Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Unlikely Christmas

As I prepare my Christmas message for Sunday, Dec 20, 2009, I asked God to show me how to present the familar passage of Luke 2:1-12, in a different way, but yet true to the text. To me this is an inexhaustible passage full of great truths.

As I read the Christmas story fresh and anew, I was struck by one word, and that word is "unlikely." The passage is full of unlikely people, places, and events.

So I will share with the congregation of Trinity Baptist this outline:

1. An Unlikely Person [vs. 1-3]

2. An Unlikely Place [vs. 4-5]

3. An Unlikely Plan [vs. 6-12]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Home Churches

I am often asked about home churches, or meeting in homes. Remember that the local church is not a building but a people [Rom. 16:5].

I see nothing wrong with a church in your home or small cell groups, if we do what a church is supposed to do. I see 3 questions we must answer:

1. Why did the early church meet in homes? The early church met in homes because there was no buildings and because of persecution.

2. Why are you meeting in your home? If you are meeting in your home to counter the “traditional church,” then you are meeting for the wrong reasons. Many times these people have a problem submitting to authority and have selfish ego’s and a “bone to pick,” with the traditional church.

3. Who is meeting in your home? If it’s only your family, then its not a N.T. church, its no more than a family devotional? Everywhere I read in the N.T. where the church met in a home, there were others present besides their families.