Monthly Archives: July 2010

False Gospels

While looking deeply into the issue of church discipline at our church, I discovered my lack of seriousness with those who preach a different gospel. We should seek to find out (especially within our local congregations) what everyone believes about the gospel. If we have family members of differing beliefs, we should discuss the gospel with them to see if we are at least in agreement on the gospel.
Now, once we discover those who believe and teach a false gospel how should we respond? We cannot go on in the relationship like nothing is wrong. We had better begin taking some serious measures. Things like prayer, not having fellowship with them, pointing out what Paul says of those who preach a false gospel, and preach the true gospel to them. When I mention breaking fellowship with them, it does not mean void of contact. In fact, the intention of getting together will drastically change. You will long for the sweet fellowship to be restored. Moreover, the broken fellowship will be a fuel for our gospel preaching.
So, have you taken seriously those who preach a false gospel. Do not continue on with them as if nothing is wrong. Preach the gospel!

Ruth the Moabite

It is of profound significance that we see Ruth the Moabite in great contrast to many Israelites of her day. It was a dark time in the period of the judges. The cycle of apostasy, servitude, supplication, and salvation is extremely clear. Yet, when many in Israel were turning to the idolatry of the nations (or worse mixing their idolatry with God’s ways); nevertheless, Ruth is turning from her gods, abandoning her family, forsaking her inheritance, and turning to the one, true, and living God. This is amazing!
I wonder why Ruth is being drawn to this God who delivered this famine, took her father-in-law, and left her a widow? I have a theory. I believe Ruth was hearing that God had standards and with Him it is not “anything goes.” Yes, I perceive that the gods she worshiped growing up were like the ones king Adoni-bezek in Judges 1 worshiped. This tells me that God revealed Himself through punishing sin.
I assumed Elimelech (that is, one of many) is dodging repentance and thus feminine is in the land (Lev. 26:3-4). If God looks over the sin of His people then He appears to be like the mute idols of the nations. Praise be to GOD for His holiness and jealousy for His name. May we be as zealous for holiness as He that we might bear fruit for God (Rom. 7).

Teaching My Children Mercy!

Recently I was preaching in our county jail and trying to explain the gospel and its various implications. I told them what Jesus did on the cross was “Substitutionary Atonement.” Of course, they were not familiar with this theological truth, nor did I expect them to understand it. That is why I was there explaining the gospel right?
You might be thinking, “I thought this post was about teaching his kids mercy.” Well, the following is how I taught my daughter mercy and the previous is the context to which I used the teaching of my daughter to explain the gospel. So, I have two agendas here. One, to help you teach your sons and daughters mercy (showing them the gospel) and proclaiming the gospel to others; whether that be through experiences at home or however.
Now, the teaching of mercy. The other day one of my daughters broke one of the rules in our home. The one who received the breaking of the rule came to me in order to inform me of this violation. So, I called the one who broke the rule to come and speak to me about it. She was quick to admit her wrong and I was thankful for that. Nevertheless, she was less reluctant to admit her need for punishment. I began to explain how God cannot look over sin. He is holy and just, therefore he must punish sin. So, I asked her, “If your brother hits you, do you think it is necessary that I punish him for hitting you?” And she replied, “Yes!” Again, I asked, “If your sister takes your toys away from you, should I punish her?” Again she emphatically replied, “Yes!!!” Now I turned the question to her, “Is it fair that I let you get away with no punishment for breaking the rule you have admitted to?” She then (with understanding) replied, “No, I do need to be punished.”
With that having been established, I then proceeded to teach her mercy. I explained to her that mercy is NOT getting what you DESERVE. But, in order to remain just (like God) someone must take the punishment for the crime. So I began drawing conclusions about this foundation. I indicated that she had admitted the breaking of our rules. She agreed that God is holy and just and cannot NOT punish sin. (I know I used a double negative but it was needed.) And she understood her need for punishment.
In light of this, I then moved to the substitute. I told her that I was going to take the punishment for her and that she would be the one who was to deliver the punishment. It broke her heart that I was to receive the punishment for her sin and that she had to do it. Human pride rose to the surface as she discovered my innocence and her guilt. She did not want to do it. She wept with tears as she lightly tapped me with our paddle. I then began to tell how Jesus Christ had done this for her sin and if she placed her trust in him, for her punishment, she would be saved.
As I shared this with the guys at the jail, they sat there with amazement and hopefully a clearer understanding that God had to punish sin and he did on his Son. But, it is not yours unless you repent and believe in Christ. We will see as I twice a month preach to these guys.
So, have you ever shown your children mercy (the gospel)? Do you now understand the gospel better…substitutionary atonement, propitiation? Maybe you yourself need to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. In him you will find mercy. In him you will have your sins forgiven and receive his righteousness. Praise be to God for reconciling himself to us!

A Long Dry Spell!

I quickly noticed from my recent little post that it has been a long time since I posted anything…not to mention I have not even looked at the blog page in months. Blogging has been swallowed up by many other things. Even now I am not sure why I have a sudden urge to write again. Maybe it will be more help to me than anyone who reads the posts (especially this one).
I think writing is good for pastors because it causes one to think through and anticipate what others need to know surrounding the topic he is discussing. Not to mention making sure the context is set in place before writing on a particular subject.
Nevertheless, I will occasionally be posting things as I learn from our Great God! Praise be to God! Bless his holy Name!

What is Worldliness?

Greg Beale said in a sermon that I recently listened to that one of his friends describes worldliness as any attempt by the world to make sin comfortable and righteousness uncomfortable.