Pastor
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Pastor’s Blog

 
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Quit “Huggin” Hate

The Bible (in the Olivet Discourse) teaches Christians a host of things to watch for in the last days. But did you know that in the end times intentional un-forgiveness will abound in the world? Matthew 24:10 “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
I believe this is speaking, not only of the world, but of the condition church. Christians will get offended in God’s house and instead of forgiving their brethren, they hold a grudge. If we read carefully the inspired Word of God – this grudge turns them against each other leading to the dead end of hatred. What happens next is significant!
Matthew 24:11-12 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Take Notice!!! A Christian cannot fellowship with God while possessing a heart full of hatred and un-forgiveness. Forgiveness is so important to God that He commands us to seek reconciliation with our brethren before we attempt any type of worthy worship.

Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

Trying to worship God while holding onto un-forgiveness is unacceptable and unbiblical worship to the Lord. Again, if we read the Word correctly, this particular sin will lead the unforgiving Christian to embrace false prophets. This type of pseudo-preacher will not preach against sin, but promote a plethora of secular ideologies or social themes. These superficial services will lead many to love sin which will cause the heart to harden leading to a rejection of the Truth.

I wanted to take a moment in this blog to share a tremendous truth.

Many churches are being destroyed or are spiritually anemic because Christians are justifying a lack of forgiveness. In God’s house – it doesn’t matter who’s right!! We are to try to make peace with the whole body of Christ. Remember the words of our precious Savior as He hung suspended between heaven and earth, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do…” Luke 23:34. Jesus was innocent and still forgave His persecutors. Can we not follow our Savior’s example?!

Let me encourage everyone to examine their hearts. Jesus said the world will know us by our love for Him and each other. John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Is there anyone or anything you have not placed at the feet of Jesus? Let go of un-forgiveness and “love one another” looking to Jesus “the Author and Finisher of our faith.”  The church will be stronger and (like David) you will have the joy of your salvation returned. A peace and joy we possess when we “quit Huggin” hate.”

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A More Perfect Union?

The title to my blog today is a phrase taken from the preamble of the United States Constitution. A document written by our forefathers who sought freedom from oppression and the desire to establish a country where everyone enjoyed equal liberties. A country that opposed discrimination in any form. A country where immigrants were welcome to call home (regardless of color or belief).

However, the lawlessness and intolerance displayed in various cities across the nation this year causes great concern for all patriots. The actions of the few indicate this great nation probably has not achieved the “more perfect union” our ancestors dreamed when penning the great document called our constitution. Before addressing the Christian response to what we are witnessing in our culture, let me commend the national and state departments for Free Will Baptist in their response to condemn racism. Free Will Baptist historically and presently oppose racism in any form. Jesus Christ invited everyone to be a part of the family of God. The Great Commission commands us to go to the “uttermost part of the earth” and share the good news of the Gospel. Christians should welcome all people groups to the family of God.

 

So how can Christians make a difference in these turbulent times? The answer is simple! Return to the Word of God. The Lord has already informed us there will be perilous times in the last days. God’s Word foretold a day when people would be unthankful, unholy, traitors, and lovers of pleasure. Let me encourage readers to reread 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and evaluate whether you think this might be the day we find ourselves. But God has not given us the “spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…” 1 Timothy 1:7-8a.
 
While the devil may be rejoicing in the unruly actions and lawlessness in America-there are many peacemakers in our land.

We are called Christians!! And we can make a difference in these disturbing times. May I strongly encourage Christians not to cower before the architect of chaos (the devil); but be proactive in this spiritual warfare. Here are three things every Christian do:

  • Don’t stoop when you can kneel – Please don’t engage in name calling, finger pointing, and the blame game. We are witnessing the signs of the times and anytime we react negatively or carnally, the nation hurts. The cause of Christ is hindered. This is a spiritual warfare and we will only help our nation by responding the biblical way. Jesus commands us to turn the other cheek. Instead of stooping to their level (verbal retaliation, threats, etc.); put off ungodly actions (Colossians 3:8). A much better course is to gather in prayer and ask God to intercede on our behalf. Let’s shed some tears at the throne of grace with a broken heart. Yes, the enemy seems like a giant and undefeatable. But let’s review what David said when he faced the giant, “…this battle is the Lord’s...” 1 Samuel 17:47

Spoiler alert: THE DEVIL HAS ALREADY LOST!!

  • Share the Gospel – The word gospel means “good news”. With all the negative news filling the airways, our circle of influence could use some good news. There is no better news than the Lord Jesus Christ. What He has done in your own life will be blessing to the people around you. He can take anyone out of the darkness of bigotry and bring them into a glorious family of many colors.
  • Attend a local Bible believing church – It is commanded by God (Hebrews 10:25). Not only do we learn about Jesus through His Word, we also enjoy the opportunity to encourage one another. It’s easy to feel defeated or hopeless after listening to the many voices in the week accentuating the negatives. The Lord knew we would need each other during the last days of the church age. He knew how wicked and violent our world would become. That is why Jesus never intended our walk be a lonely walk. We need each other! Now more than ever in this wicked environment do we need to find the spiritual oasis of a local church,
My closing remarks are to let everyone know that God loves you and will never forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). No Christian can go where God’s love is not present (Romans 8:35-39). So as we travel into the mission field each day, let’s walk in obedience to the new commandment given in John 13:34-35, where Jesus said “…love one another as I have loved you…by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for another.” If we love as Christ loves us, we shall help get closer to a more perfect union.

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Feeling Stressed?

This morning I was reminded of those days in our life when we are struggling to find peace. An individual was sharing her concerns over an important matter in their family. Now in this situation, she and her husband had done everything possible to achieve the desired outcome. Yet, she was still experiencing trouble sleeping, having negative thoughts, and a loss of daily joy. Have you ever had one of those days? I know I have on many occasions struggled to find joy or peace.  So how do we move forward when the darkness of despair covers us like a blanket?

 As believers in Christ, we know prayer is one of the greatest blessings to every Christian. The Lord tells us repeatedly to come to Him with our troubles. He even promises to answer our prayer.

Psalm 50:15 “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”

Psalm 55:16 “As for me, I will call upon God: and the Lord shall save me.”

There are many places in Scripture that God tells us to come to Him and He will hear our cries. But the truth of the matter (if we are honest) is that when we are struggling, we don’t feel like praying. Everything within us just wants to cry and worry. So how do we find relief during these moments? Here are a few tips that may help. 

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