Secret Church 16

Our introduction to this ministry lead by International Missions Board President David Platt was exciting and challenging. A small group of us met on Friday night April 29th for SIX AND A HALF HOURS! We were introduced to the many different religions that fill world. Man’s effort to reach God has existed since only days after the fall. From Cain’s feeble attempt to appease God with his inadequate individual efforts to the massive and growing effort of the Islamic State, our attempts to come to God have only resulted in humanities continual failure. So the question is: “How do we reach the people of these world religions?” Dr. Platt laid out the major tenants of five of the world’s major religions. Explaining the fallacies that exist in human effort, He helped us to see the that regardless of the religion, people are merely misguided in the pursuit of something greater than themselves. Many do not know who God is. Some do not even understand that they are attempting to relate to God. Regardless of the religion (even modern “Christianity“) we cannot reach God. But God in His infinite mercy has made a way that we can be with Him. For information on this event and others like it, please navigate to Radical.net

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On Mission Connection

This year’s OMC was another picture of God’s love for people. We gathered the first part of this week to meet with some of the  most giving and loving christians around. Our friend and brother from Cincinnati , Jason McKinney shared the testimony of several of his new acquaintances for our Sunday morning worship service. He presented a real challenge to each of use to share the Gospel regardless of our training or credentials. Stories of new converts bringing friends to Christ and reformed drug addicts witnessing in prison display the love of God to all of His creation. Sunday evening Bro. Steve Pearson from the TBC shared the alarming numbers of evangelicals that are seemingly losing ground in Tennessee Baptist Churches. He helped each of us to see the hand of God at work in our communities, despite the loss in numbers and reminded us of the value of personal evangelism. An introduction to a new focus of the TBC deemed Connect > 1 was a highlight of his message. Connect 1 is a new campaign from the TBC that challenges all christians to bring one person to Christ this year. A simple task, but very challenging when we see that less than 2% of evangelical christians share their faith on regular basis.

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Absolutely!

I like absolutes, black and white not grey. Much of our thinking and actions fall into the realm of relativism today. Relativism is “the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.” Some things are relative I guess. However, logic and sound reasoning screams to me that absolutes exist. Truth is not relative to how the wind blows at the moment, truth is absolute.

The Apostle Paul spoke in absolutes when he spoke of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the coming resurrection of Christians. I speak to my Christian friends when I say read carefully and thoughtfully the following words…

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Cor. 15:12-19)

All of Christianity hangs of the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ, absolutely! Note what he says if there is no bodily resurrection:
1. (v.14) Preaching is vain.
2. (v.14) Faith is vain.
3. (v.15) Christians are lairs because we are telling people that God raised Jesus from the dead.
4. (v.16) We are still in sin. We are not forgiven. There is no forgiveness of sin if Christ did not rise.

5. (v.18) All of those who have died believing in the Resurrected Christ have forever perished.
All of those are absolutes! No relativism in what he presents here. For many years I have epically pondered what he says in (v.19), “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. If Christ did not rise


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Think rightly

I was reading this morning the story of when Jesus had to rebuke Peter and an interesting word grabbed my attention. You will find the story in the 16th chapter of Matthew. Jesus was explaining to the disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed, and rise the third day. I think Peter probably never got past the part of suffer and be killed because he got hold of Jesus and basicly said, “This ain’t happening to you!” Jesus replied, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou a

rt an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (KJV)
It’s the old word “savourest” that arrested my inquiry.
In the greek it is (phroneo) meaning “to have a mind” or “to be mindful”. That helps me better understand what Jesus was saying. Peter was being rebuked because he didn’t have a “mind” for the things of God. At that moment Peters “mind” was devilish, “get thee behind me Satan”. It was Devilish because he was about to interfere with the plans of God, i.e. the death burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Paul used the same word (phroneo) when writing to the Christians in Colosse and in Rome.

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (phroneo) on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:1,2)

“For to be carnally minded (phroneo) is death; but to be spiritually minded (phroneo) is life and peace. Because the carnal mind (phroneo) is enmity against God… (Rom 8:6,7a)


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In God’s Hands

Well, we all know that it’s election time. This morning I found myself pondering the “Sovereignty of God”, a doctrine, if studied thoroughly with Bible in hand, makes some Christians nervous.

Nevertheless, I turned to the forth chapter of Daniel in which the great ancient king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. Basically he was told that the kingdom would be removed from him…but not without reason.

“ This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men (v.17)…..

…. till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.(v.25b)

….after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. (v.26b)

….until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. (v.32b)

And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (v.35)”

Note the repeated phrases in this chapter. The point is being driven home that God rules in this world. Not chance. Not circumstances. Not the little things that “pop-up”. Not politicians. GOD RULES!


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