Jesus Christ

Missions in Myanmar

by Dr. HL Champion on February 27, 2014

My Calling to the Burmese People Part I –  Dr. HL Champion

After two years of intercessory prayer from Samuel Lian a Burmese pastor in Kalamyo, Myanmar with his small church and college their request was granted from God. After being friended on Facebook from this insidiousness and persistent man of God, Pastor Lian rallied his prayer troupes every week in prayer for me to come and minister among his people.

After several exchanges of prayer emergences on both parts, his and mine. We grew to become true Pastor Friends. Yes, may online requests are made from third world preachers of the Gospel for those who have to come and minister to them who have little of this world’s goods. Many in other lands are fraudulent as the ministry of Christ is merchandised to receive funds mainly for the use of the ministry leader. Such as it is in America.

But, great numbers are legitimate. While many invitations come to most of the ministers on Facebook to ”come and see”.    This short page introduces to you a vast mission field so unlike other third world countries and the mission strategies of so many Christian groups. Bible Believing preachers of the Gospel have used the boarders surrounding Myanmar to cross over and provide a semi-underground evangelism. It is to the Glory of God for all that has happened in this manner.

God has allowed me to come into this Mission field directly as an American Independent Baptist by invitation which is developing into  life calling for the rest of my days! Blessings on you who follow Burmese Missions.

If you wish to participate with World Missions in any form or field contact Dr Champion at [email protected]

 

 

Christians of similar platforms often conflict politically. Such was the case of Tim Tebow and Robert Jeffress.  Baptist.org commends both parties for their respective convictions on issues facing those who are believers in the Holy Bible.  Tim Tebow has the sports world as a virtual congregation to present the basic truth of Jesus Christ as Saviour to a blinded world. Robert Jeffress  as a pastor to a physical congregation opts to be fundamentally bold to stand on comprehensive applications of the Christ life in a decadent world.  We applaud both, for their testimonies for Faith and Practice as commanded by God’s Word.
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow speaks at the Easter service of Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas, Sunday, April 8, 2012. (AP Photo/William Philpott)

WILLIAM PHILPOTT/AP

NY Jets QB Tim Tebow has spoken at mega-churches in the past, including this appearance at the Easter service of Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas last year.

Tim Tebow apparently consulted a higher power – Twitter – and decided not to speak at the controversial First Baptist Church of Dallas in April.

Tebow, still on the Jets’ roster until further notice, tweeted Thursday that he would cancel the appearance “due to new information that has been brought to my attention.”

From @TimTebow: “While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic … First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my … upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those … needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!”

Tebow was scheduled to speak at the mega-church on Sunday, April 28, but reports quickly surfaced, pointing out that the views of the church’s lead pastor, Robert Jeffress, didn’t exactly coincide with Tebow’s squeaky-clean image.

According to a statement from Jeffress, Tebow has told the pastor that he would like to come to First Baptist Dallas to speak at a future date.

Jeffress has spoken out in the past against Muslims, Jews, Mormons and homosexuals, claiming that Islam “promoted pedophila” and has said that “Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and virtually everyone else” are members of cults, according to reports. He has said Islam and Mormonism are “heresy from the pit of hell” and tied Catholicism to “a Babylonian mystery religion” that corrupted the early Christian church.

He makes no apologies for his comments.

“I think as pastors we have a duty to preach ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and not just discuss those that are politically correct,” Jeffress said. “It’s my role to speak clearly on the issues on which the Bible speaks clearly. It’s my role to preach what the Bible says, and that includes the controversial issues.

TEBOWWEB22S_2_WEB

FREDERICK BREEDON/GETTY IMAGES

Tim Tebow sees little action after the Jets trade for him before the 2012 season.

“The reason for this firestorm is not because the word of God has changed. It’s because society has changed.”

“I applaud Tim Tebow’s decision to cancel his appearance,” Hudson Taylor, the founder of the non-profit Athlete Ally, said in a statement. “Regardless of his reasoning, his absence serves as a reminder that the discrimination of gay and lesbian athletes and individuals has no place in sports or society. I hope Tim will take this opportunity to speak out for respect and acceptance of all people, regardless of a persons sexual orientation.”

Statement by First Baptist Church Dallas:

The leaders and congregation of First Baptist Church Dallas are disappointed that New York Jets’ Quarterback Tim Tebow today has announced he will no longer speak at First Baptist Church Dallas on April 28, 2013, as part of the month-long celebration events surrounding the grand opening of our new $130 million, state-of-the-art campus on Easter Sunday.

Mr Tebow called Dr. Jeffress Wednesday evening saying that for personal and professional reasons he needed to avoid controversy at this time, but would like to come to First Baptist Dallas to speak  at a future date.

We are saddened that Mr. Tebow felt pressure to back out of his long-planned commitment to First Baptist Dallas from numerous New York and national sports and news media who grossly misrepresented past comments made by our pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically related to issues of homosexuality and AIDS, as well as Judaism.

As a Christian pastor, Dr. Jeffress takes a biblical approach to moral and social issues, closely following his duty to preach ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and not just address issues that are politically correct. First Baptist is a church built on the truth of Scripture, even though at times that approach can be perceived as controversial or counter to the prevailing winds of culture.

The reason for the recent media firestorm is not because the Word of God has changed, but because society has changed.

More important, contrary to editorializing in the media, Dr. Jeffress shares a message of hope, not hate; salvation, not judgment; and a Gospel of God’s love, grace and new beginnings available to all.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/tebow-cancels-gig-controversial-dallas-church-article-1.1269712#ixzz2LrDaDz47

One of the dynamics of church growth is member retention. Keeping Christians engaged in attendance has become a task of entertainment for too many congregations. Discipleship according to the three facets of the Great Commission has become just a theory and not a practicum.  I am featuring this article to be one of many of those who are addressing Church Absentee-ism.

 

Thom S. Rainer  - President, LifeWay Christian Resources Feb 1, 2013 - http://tnbaptist.org/BRARticle.asp?ID=4636

Church folks leave and others come for the same reasons.

 

Numbers of gifted persons and organizations have studied the phenomenon of the church “back door,” the metaphorical way we describe people leaving the church. And there will always be the anticipated themes of relocation or personal crises. We should recognize those issues, though we can respond to the latter more than the former.

But all the research studies of which I am aware, including my own, return to one major theme to explain the exodus of church members: a sense of some need not being filled. In other words, these members have ideas of what a local congregation should provide for them, and they leave because those provisions have not been realized.

Certainly we recognize there are many legitimate claims by church members of unfulfilled expectations. It can undoubtedly be the fault of the local congregation and its leaders.

But many times, probably more than we would like to believe, a church member leaves a local body because he or she has a sense of entitlement. I would therefore suggest that the main reason people leave a church is because they have an entitlement mentality rather than a servant mentality.

Look at some of the direct quotes from exit interviews of people who left local congregations:

• “The worship leader refused to listen to me about the songs and music I wanted.”

• “The pastor did not feed me.”

• “No one from my church visited me.”

• “I was not about to support the building program they wanted.”

• “I was out two weeks and no one called me.”

• “They moved the times of the worship services and it messed up my schedule.”

• “I told my pastor to go visit my cousin and he never did.”

Please hear me clearly. Church members should expect some level of ministry and concern. But, for a myriad of reasons beyond the scope of this one column, we have turned church membership into country club membership. You pay your dues and you are entitled to certain benefits.

The biblical basis of church membership is clear in Scripture. The Apostle Paul even uses the “member” metaphor to describe what every believer should be like in a local congregation. In I Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul describes church members not by what they should “receive” in a local church, but by the ministry they should “give.”

The solution to closing the back door, at least a major part of the solution, is therefore to move members from an entitlement mentality to a servant mentality. Of course, it is easy for me to write about it, but it is a greater challenge to effect this change.

May I then offer a few steps of a somewhat practical nature to help close the back door by changing the membership mentality? Here are five:

(1) Inform church members. Though I do not have precise numbers, I would conjecture that more than half of church members do not have a biblical understanding about church membership. Providing that information in a new members’ class can move an entire congregation toward a servant mentality.

(2) Raise the bar of expectations. We have dumbed down church membership in many congregations to where it has little meaning. Clarify expectations of members. Again, doing so in the context of a new members’ class is a great way to begin.

(3) Mentor members. Take two or three members and begin to mentor them to become biblical church members. After a season, ask them to mentor two or three as well. Let the process grow exponentially.

(4) Train members. Almost 100 percent of pastors agree that their role is to train and equip members. But almost three-fourths of these pastors have no plans on how they will train them (see Ephesians 4:11-13).

(5) Encourage people to be in small groups. Those in Sunday School classes and small groups are more likely to be informed and functioning church members. In others words, there is a much greater likelihood of a member with a servant mentality to be in a small group than not.

What are you doing in your church to close the back door?

What are you doing to move members from an entitlement mentality to a servant mentality?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

President, LifeWay Christian Resources

On Feb. 1, 2006, Dr. Thom S. Rainer became the ninth president of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Before coming to LifeWay, Rainer served as the dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as pastor of churches in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Indiana prior to joining Southern in 1994 as founding dean of the Billy Graham School.

He has served as a church consultant and church growth conference speaker for several years and is in frequent demand as a speaker today. Rainer is author of more than 23 books, including Simple Church,Transformational Church, and The Millennials.

Rainer was founder of the Rainer Group, one of the nation’s leading church and denominational consultant organizations. He led the Rainer Group until assuming LifeWay’s presidency.

He and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel, respectively.

By Robert J. Thomas;  Director of Calvary Ministries to Catholics

As we begin this study let me first state that part of our ministry is to examine the doctrinal differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity by comparing official Catholic doctrines with the clear teachings of the Bible. The world needs to know that the majority of Catholic doctrine is at variance with the clear teachings of the Bible. The Catholic Church pronounces anathemas (curses) on all who oppose their false and heretical teachings.. For instance Council of Trent SIXTH SESSION CANONS ON JUSTIFICATION CANON 9 “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.”

My dear friends, what the Catholic Church has actually done in this Canon and others is condemn the very Gospel. I am reminded of what Paul clearly stated in Galatians 1:8-9

“But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him by accursed. As we said before, so say I again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Having been born and raised in a Roman Catholic Church, I learned at an early age that attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist was the most important sacrament a Catholic could receive. It is the Mass and Eucharist that the Church of Rome points to with great pride to distinguish herself from other denominations. The very life-line of the whole religious system rests upon the Mass. I was taught that it was the foundation-the pinnacle- the very heartbeat of Catholicism. In the Book, The What and Why of Catholicism, the Mass is described as follows: “The Sacrifice of the Mass forms a pivot upon which all else turns. If it is what Catholics believe it is, then here is the greatest external manifestation of the love of God for man and the most magnificent testimonial to the validity of Catholicism; but if it be false, it is the worst farce and blasphemy ever perpetrated upon God or man and the Catholic faith collapses into nothingness.”

John’s Gospel has a total of seven “I am’s.”

John 10:9-“I am the door.”

John 15:1-“I am the true vine.”

John 8:12-“I am the light of the world.”

John 10:11-“I am the good shepherd.”

John 11:25-“I am the resurrection and the life.”

John 14:6-“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

John 6:48-“I am the bread of life.”

All seven of these I am sayings are clearly figures of speech. It is interesting that our Catholics friends will usually readily admit that the first six are figures of speech; however, they insist that the last one “I am the bread of life” must be taken literally. All seven of these statements are figurative or symbolic statements and are meant to convey literal truth regarding the Lord Jesus; that He is the source of spiritual life and salvation. So, let’s examine John 6 and see if this chapter establishes the Mass.

Roman Catholics refer to verses 51 to 58 to try to prove the Mass.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove amongst themselves, saying, How can this man give us 

his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread that came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”

Let’s once again remember that Scripture always reaffirms Scripture. Our Catholic friends pull this passage of Scripture out of its context and use it in an attempt to establish and prove the Mass. In order to fully understand what Jesus is talking about in verses 51 to 58, we must look at the context of the entire sixth chapter of John. Taken as a whole, John chapter six has both literal and spiritual aspects.

In the Old Testament, there are many examples of God speaking figuratively in regard to eating and drinking. For example, in Hosea 10:13, we see, “ye have eaten the fruit of lies.” Again we read in Proverbs 4:17-“they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.” Isaiah 30:20-“The bread of adversity, and the water of affliction.” Psalm 34:8-“O taste and see that the Lord is good.” One final passage is Psalm 60:3-“Drink the wine of astonishment.”

Let me set the stage by looking at several Old Testament passages dealing with the drinking of blood.

Leviticus 3:17-“It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.”

Leviticus 7:26-“Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.”

Leviticus 17:10-12-“And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Therefore, I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.”

Deuteronomy 12:16-“Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.”

Deuteronomy 12:23-“Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.”

Deuteronomy 15:23-“Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.”

I Samuel 14:33-34-“Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day. And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with the blood.”

How often does God have to say not to eat or drink blood before it is so?

JOHN 6 occurs Twelve Months Before The Death of Jesus.

To set the stage for John 6, we need to first examine that miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 in verses 1 -14. There was a lad that had five barley loaves and two small fishes. Jesus performed a miracle and fed the 5,000 with loaves and fishes. The Jews were all filled; they had their needs met; and that was all they cared about. They were not even aroused by the fact that Jesus had performed a miracle. They had gotten a free meal and that was all that was on their mind. Next in verses 15-21, Jesus sends the apostles across the sea of Galilee and he comes to them walking on the water in the midst of a storm.

Beginning in verse 22, the Jews are searching for Jesus the next day for one purpose and one purpose only. They want another free meal. This is very evident by the words of Jesus in verse 26-“Jesus answered and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” This statement of Jesus is literal.” In verse 27, Jesus speaks to the Jews on a spiritual basis. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the father sealed.” These Jews that Jesus was speaking to had absolutely no spiritual understanding. They were unregenerate individuals and therefore they could not understand the spiritual aspects of what Jesus was teaching.

Romans 8:7-“Bccause the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

I Corinthians 2:14-“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

In verse 28, the Jews inquire as to what they need to do to please God. In verse 29, Jesus addresses their spiritual condition. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” What does Jesus clearly state the solution to their spiritual problem is? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Plain and simple! They were lost in sin and needed to believe on Jesus. They needed to be saved

by grace through faith alone. Why? Because salvation is in Christ and Christ alone. Their Jewish religion would not save them. No religion has ever saved a single person. That is why the Roman Catholic Church is in error when she makes the statement, “The one true holy mother church without which there is no salvation.” Please don’t waste my time by telling me that the Catholic Church does not teach this. I can post multitudes of official information from the Catholic Church including direct quotes from Benedict XVI that will prove my point. In fact, I am looking at a statement that Benedict XVI made on July 7, 2007: “All non Catholic congregations are not true churches in the Biblical sense of the word. There is absolutely no salvation outside of the Holy Catholic Church.”

In verses 30 and 31, the Jews once again show their obvious lack of spiritual understanding. They want Jesus to give them a sign (another miracle). They remind Jesus about the physical manna that their fathers had received while they were wondering forty years in the wilderness. The Jews were merely looking at the literal aspects of the manna for food and not the spiritual significance that God had provided the manna. In verses 32 and 33, Jesus reminds them that God gave them the manna and not Moses. This manna from God took care of their physical needs. However, Jesus wants to take care of their spiritual needs. In verse 34, the Jews still with no spiritual understanding, desire an everlasting buffet. They want to be provided with literal food on a daily basis just as their fathers were in the wilderness. They were completely missing the spiritual aspects.

The pivotal part of the entire chapter is in verses 35 and 36. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.” In verse 35, Jesus is speaking spiritually. In this chapter Jesus is clearly teaching about salvation. Jesus is referring to the spiritual hunger in man for salvation. He promises to everyone who will “come to him” that he will satisfy their spiritual hunger for salvation forever. Likewise, we also drink to satisfy thirst. A one time coming to Jesus and believing on Jesus will satisfy man’s spiritual need of salvation forever. This is accomplished by grace through faith alone. (Rom. 10:9-10, 13: Eph 2:8-9; John 3:16) According to verse 36, the Jews have seen Jesus and all the miracles that he has done (including the feeding of the 5,000); however, they are still spiritually ignorant.

Jesus once again in verses 37 to 39 is speaking about the results of salvation. All who come to Jesus by grace through faith alone seeking eternal life will receive eternal salvation. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father except by me.”

Now let’s look at verse 40 very carefully and compare it with verse 54.

John 6:40-“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:54-Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

According to verse 40, anyone who sees the Son and believes on him has everlasting life. This verse is literally true. All who come to Christ by grace through faith alone have eternal life. According to verse 54, all who eat the body and drink the blood of Jesus also have eternal life. If verse 54 is to be also taken literally as our Catholic friends insist, we have a real dilemma. I often put the following situation to my Catholic friends and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. According to verse 40, I have seen the Son and I have laterally by grace through faith alone believed on him. Therefore, I have eternal life and will never perish. I do not accept the Roman Catholic premise that I must literally eat Christ’s flesh and literally drink his blood to experience eternal life (the Eucharist). According to Catholic teaching then, I do not have eternal life. However, according to verse 40, I have eternal life because I have believed on Christ unto salvation. Solve my dilemma. No, my dear Catholic friends, verse 54 is not to be taken literally, Jesus is merely conveying a spiritual truth. The only possible solution to this dilemma is for us to understand that Jesus was speaking figuratively or spiritually in verse 54 to explain what he had literally taught in verse 40.

In verses 43 to 47, Jesus is very clearly speaking about salvation and once again the Jews don’t have a clue. Verse 47 sums it up, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” In review, Jesus very clearly told the unbelieving Jews in verses 28, 29 and 30 that they needed salvation. Next, in verses 48 to 51, Jesus is speaking spiritually again and comparing Himself spiritually to the manna that came down from God in the wilderness. Just as the Jews physical needs were met by the manna in the wilderness; just as their physical needs were met the day before when the 5,000 were fed, Jesus can and will meet their spiritual needs if they will believe on him unto salvation.

Verse 52 once again clearly demonstrates the lack of spiritual understanding on the part of the Jews. They were only thinking about physical food when they asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” In verses 53 to 58, Jesus is comparing the physical manna in the wilderness to his spiritual flesh and spiritual blood. We must remember that this event occurred one year prior to his death. According to verse 58 the fathers ate the literal manna in the wilderness and are all dead. However, if anyone believes on Jesus and experiences eternal life by grace through faith alone, they can spiritually partake of his flesh and blood because they have eternal life. Remember that the Jews certainly knew and understood the Old Testament warnings against drinking blood!

It is quite interesting that beginning in verse 60, many went away because they did not want the spiritual aspect of Christ’s ministry and only desired the physical bread. They had the wrong motives. Let’s finally look at verses 68-69: “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” The disciples had correctly understood the teachings of Christ because they had eternal life and therefore had spiritual discernment. They understood completely that salvation was in Christ and in Him alone.

Calvary Ministries to Catholics  
132 Powder Springs Dr.   Duncan,SC 29334

(864)9491375
E-mail [email protected] 

Website: http://excatholic.baptist.org 

January 25th, 2012 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org

The right book!

1, 8, 3, 1…  which are you?  What is this about?  Read on and see –>>

   In the scriptures, in Matthew 26:36-46, we read about 13 people that I want to address.  Jesus and 11 of his disciples when to a place called Gethsemane.  At this time Judas was off betraying his Lord for some money.  Jesus brought Peter and the two sons of Zebedee closer and gave them an assignment to watch with him.  Jesus went on a little further and prayed to the Father.
   Here is our break down: 1 person is off betraying.  8 people are given no assignment. 3 are given an assignment and struggle with it.  1 goes on to the presence of God and perseveres.
   In our churches, Bible study groups, cell groups or gatherings we find within Christianity this same break down. Which are you?
   The bad 1.  Are you the one off running your mouth? Judging, condemning, running others down with your words?  Is there sin in your life that turns others away from the Lord? Are you giving non-Christians ammo to destroy confidence in Christ?  I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “Lord protect me….. from thy followers!” 
  The 8.  Are you just a pew-filler?  Are you one of those Christians that attends church or Bible study? You support financially, and there is no actual fault in your doings.  You just don’t actually do anything much for the Lord.  You’re just… there. This is the largest group.

The 3.  Are you a worker? Do you tell people about the Lord and his free gift of salvation? Do you actively do what the Lord wants in your life? Yes, you might struggle and mess up, but do you try to serve God? Do you take what you learn in your daily scripture reading and try to apply it? Do you actually do what you hear in church or read in the Bible? Or do you fall asleep and fail the Lord?  Do you serve God or expect to be served by him?

  The good 1.  Are you the one who goes on into a deeper relationship with God?  Not the work of the Lord only, but the Lord of the work.  Are you hungry for the presence of God in your life?  Do you continue in prayer, not to bring your shopping list of what you want from him, but to surrender yourself to him?   Do you want that closeness with God more than anything? Do you pray earnestly from the heart, honestly… until you are heard by him? Is loving him more important than anything else?  Are you willing (as Jesus was) to separate from the others enough to get alone with God and really focus on him and his will for you?

Are you a 1, 8, 3, or 1? 

  Here are the verses:
Matthew 26:36-46  “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.   And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?   Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 
  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” 

Straight ahead!

  December 12th, 2011 | Buen Consejo| for http://www.baptist.org
 Under the law securing an eternity with the Lord and not spending eternity burning in the lake of fire was set up differently than it is now under grace.
A confusion enters here: Someone asked Jesus (while under the law):  Matthew 19:16, 17  “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”  You might say, this was a trick question. He did not ask what is needed to have eternal life. He asked, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” That is where confusion starts.
  It might seem well founded, if you don’t know enough about the scriptures. Simple requirement under the law: Leviticus 18:4, 5  “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.”
  These are the “works” to do. But the works or deeds of the law are not going to get you to heaven. (I’m still talking old testament, under the law) Romans 3:20  “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  The deeds or works did not and will not get anyone into heaven.
  Habbakuk 2:4  “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”  The law had to be “attempted” to be done perfectly as a demonstration and exercise of truly seeking him and his ways.  But it had to be done by faith.  Not the faith that says, “Jesus died for me, I’ll trust him.” But a faith that said, “God said to do these things, so I will try and live in them, trusting that, though I will fail, he will have a way to get me to him.”  But if you would not try to do the works and live in the holy law, you were not really seeking him.
  Under the law blood sacrifices and offerings of many kinds were prevalent.  They did not save anyone.  Hebrews 10:4  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” These sacrifices did not take away sin, but covered it for the time being.  That is also why, when the old testament saints died they went to paradise in the center of the earth, not heaven. Their sin was covered, not taken away.  
   John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  When Jesus paid the price of his precious blood (and presented his risen body to the Father), the salvation of old testament saints was complete.
   So under the law eternal life came by walking in the law of God by faith, trusting his sacrifice system and mercy to not give you what the law showed you you really deserved.
  Works are not “Wow, you built an orphanage, you deserve heaven!” Works are showing you trust the LORD, seek him and want his ways. But it’s still his grace that keeps anyone out of the lake of fire!
Buen Consejo | October 24, 2011 | for http://www.baptist.org
 
What is the difference between Redemption, Remission and Forgiveness?  Did you even know that they are different?  Which one saves you?? Can you have one of the other two and still be lost?
Many people say that if you ask God to forgive your sins, you’ll be saved. That is not how it works. Forgiveness only restores the relationship that wasthere before.  If some neighborhood kid breaks your window with a baseball, then comes to knock on the door to apologize, you might forgive him.  But that will not make him your son. That will not fix the window. If a lost sinner asks God to forgive him, his life will improve. He will not become God’s child or have his sin washed away.
  Remission means to be covered up or retained to not spread, increase or be in the way. But it is still there. Like a cancer in remission is still a cancer.
  Redemption means to actually buy something and go pick it up.  That is what saves you. Jesus Christ died for  your sins to purchase you and own you. He will also one day come and pick us up.
Let’s look at some scriptural evidences-  First came preparation. Luke 1:77  “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,”  Through remission of sin (to get it out of the picture, but not gone) the way is prepared to receive knowledge.  Jesus cleared the way for your understanding of salvation so you could chose it, if you want. Matthew 26:28  “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”  Acts 10:43  “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Next he would actually offer himself to take away that sin. John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He would pay the price to buy us out- redemption.  Leviticus 25:51  “If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.”  Numbers 3:49  “And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:”
  Romans 3:24  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 1:7  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”  Ephesians 1:14  “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (earnest means- down payment)
  We also get free forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:14   “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”   Romans 4:7  “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”  Acts 5:31  “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Forgiveness is only in there because of the repentance that allowed you to submit to him for redemption.
  After salvation remission is irrelevant and redemption is permanently fixed, but forgiveness to maintain and sustain a close, blessed walk with the Lord is a continual process.  It has nothing to do with going to heaven or  hell. It has to do with the personal relationship between you and the Lord.  If you have a son and he behaves poorly (imagine that!), you might punish him.  If he wants a new bike, you might deny him that. If he needs help with something, you might not help him…. but does not cease to be your son.
  In your personal walk as a Christian forgiveness is a daily, if not hourly process, even moment to moment, depending on the individual. You will not receive forgiveness with blanket prayers like, “Lord, forgive my sins..”, “Lord, forgive me for not doing what I should have and for doing what I should not have, and where I failed you…bla, bla..” The scriptures are clear: 1 John 1:9  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  You don’t ask for forgiveness. You confess your sins to the Lord.  Confessing sins means enumerating  them, that is, name and itemize them.  “Lord, I lied.”, “Lord. I knew I should read my Bible and did not.”, “Lord, I felt I should talk to that person about you, but chickened out.”  This way, when you have agreed with the Lord that these items are sin, you get forgiveness and can’t claim next time that you did not know it was sin.
Summary:  Remission prepares the way for you to receive the knowledge of salvation.  Redemption gives you the actual salvation. Forgiveness is thrown in to start the relationship at a new beginning.  

September 8, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org  |

Faith statements?  What is your faith in the Lord about?  Or, whom is it about? Him.. you..?  Do you serve God?  Or does he serve you?

So many Christians make statements of faith in the Lord (concerning their daily lives) that sound like these: “The Lord will take care of me.” “The Lord will meet my needs.”  “The Lord loves me, even if ya’ll don’t.” “I know the Lord will heal me.” and so forth.  Most of the statements of faith are about what the Lord can or will do for them.  Though there are times and places for that, such statements indicate a lack of faith. That’s why you have to remind yourself about promises he has for you. Instead, if you actually believe he will meet your needs, go on and do for him.  Proverbs 30:15a “The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give.”

Of the great statements of faith that I see in the scriptures I offer you these:  Do you remember Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Dan 1:6)? OK, maybe you don’t. They are the Hebrews known more commonly by their Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  OK, now you remember.  Nebuchadnezzar, the evil king, was going to throw them into a fiery furnace if they would not bow down to his idol.  Their statement faith is my first and personal favorite.  Daniel 3:16-18  “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”  They said, God can deliver us, but if he doesn’t, that’s fine too. We still will not bow down to that thing.

Job offers another great statement of faith: Job 13:15  “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”

These statements do not say, God will make it easy, God will make sure I win! I’m a prince or princess before God, he’ll make sure I have a rich, smooth path!  God will see that I’m treated worthy of my position as God’s child!  These statements say that whatever the Lord has decided to put me through or have happen to me.. that’s fine. Just so long as I please him. It’s about the Lord, not about us.

Modern day christianettes, who listen to sermonettes, while smoking their cigarettes or briefly taste a tiny bit of devotional thought, looking for a gem or gold nugget to make them feel good and don’t dig into real deep scripture study wind up being a part of Generation Entitled, too quickly. Faith is not about God making your life easy, pain free or wealthy. God is not a genie in a bottle or a wishing well for you to get what your flesh wants.  We are to be living sacrifices for his service, not put God to work to serve us. Romans 12:1  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  A sacrifice is not dominated by what it wants for itself.

Do what is right because it’s right. Not for reward or to avoid chastisement.  Look for what you can do for God, not what he can do for you.  Selfishness is the fastest route to misery.

September 8, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org

A story of two brothers. One was seeking something very different than the other was. Which are you like? What can you learn from this story?

The LORD said to a woman named Rebekah, Genesis 25:23-26  “And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.  And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.  And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.  And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.”

  Esau and Jacob.  These are two famous brother. Jacob later became named Israel. He is the father of the children of Israel, the Jews. Esau is the focus of today’s post.  The story continues: 

  Genesis 25:27  “And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.  And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

  And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:  And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.  And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?  And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.”

Basically, what happened is that Esau was out in the field, Jacob was in the camp and had food. Esau was very hungry. Esau was soooo dramatic! He’s going to die if he doesn’t eat!  How sad!  You can go nearly 3 days without water and weeks to months without food. He just valued his precious flesh so much he did not want to suffer or discipline it. Jacob swooped right in, “Sell me this day thy birthright”. He saw that his brother was desperate and took advantage.  “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?”  So Esau sold it. How near sighted! He sold his birthright for one meal.

What did Esau think of this action after his belly was full?  Hebrews 12:16, 17  “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” Esau not only regretted it deeply, but tried to undo it and could not.   

What does the Lord think of this action?  Romans 9:13  “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” God hated him for selling his spiritual things for carnal (fleshly) things.  

What about you? You might say, “I’d never be stupid enough to sell my spiritual things for the temporary fleshly things!”  Are you sure?  Let’s see if the Esau shoe fits you:

Perhaps you are not saved yet. “I don’t want to be a Christian. It’s not as much fun!”  “I don’t want to have to go to church, or read my Bible!”  “I want to drink, get high or have sex without someone telling me what to do!” “I already know how to be good enough for God. He will welcome me into heaven! I’m enjoying this life and not hurting anyone!” Here’s the problem: Romans 3:10   “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”   Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”   Next problem: Jesus said, Luke 13:3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Revelation 20:14,15   “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

You have sinned against God, you will go to hell if you do not repent and surrender to God through faith in Jesus Christ.  John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 1:12  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” Romans 10:13   “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Repent, call upon Jesus to save you. Later could be too late.

Perhaps you are saved. What choices do you make? Flesh or Spirit? How much time do you spend reading your Bible every day? How much time with the TV? iPad? iTunes? Facebook? (reading my Bible studies is partial credit only) When you have a chance to talk to someone about Jesus do you use the excuse that you don’t know enough scripture? Yet, at home you won’t study the scriptures to learn them, write them down or get ready! You have a medical condition I call “Fullacrapnia”. It can only be cured by a daily doses of vitamin B.I.B.L.E.  Learn from Esau. I know some people think they can whine, stick out their bottom lips and talk God out of it. If you are foolish enough to believe that, then you might also suffer from “Buttheaditis”. Not as easily cured! The scripture above said, “..For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”  Cry all you want, he will not hear.

Remember also, another lesson to learn from Esau, “..For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected..”  Esau wished he had not done it.  While the appetite is on you, you think the thing you’re gaining is great. But, afterward you are left empty, depressed and in a lot of trouble. Smarten up! Think ahead!  Do what is right by God. Choose the spiritually correct. You’ll never regret that! Romans 10:11  “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

September 8, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org |

Just as one would not eat only meat, only veggies or only honey; one must use the scriptures wisely.  A balance between the harder to digest meat and the quicker energy honey, offset by the break down of the fiber rich foods is healthiest.

Here is a plan that would give a balanced diet:
Morning reading:  New Testament.  A good order for a new beginner would be John, then Paul’s writings (Romans through Philemon).
A more knowledgeable student could begin with Paul.  After completing Paul’s letters go to Acts, followed by Hebrews through Revelations.  20 minutes in the morning for this first reading (more is always allowed).
Mid-morning: Proverbs or Psalms.  10 minutes of either or a mixture.
Lunch: This is a good time to read the gospels. 10 minutes.
Evening: Old Testament. Start at Genesis- 2 Kings.  After that the major prophets.  Next the Chronicles through Job.  Lastly the minor prophets. 20 minutes.
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