Gospel preaching is powerful because God designed it that way and man cannot design anything more powerful. For we see that through Gospel preaching men are saved from sin (1 Cor. 1:18-21). Since that is the case (and it is), we do not need less preaching, we need more (Acts 6:7). A sermonette by a preacherette will only make Christianettes. We not only need more preaching, but we need more bold preaching—after all that is what the church of the Bible prayed for (Acts 4:29) and God answered their prayer (v. 31). If that’s the way God wanted it then, then that’s the way it needs to be now. Preaching that does not reprove, rebuke and exhort is not Gospel preaching (2 Tim. 4:1-2). It is worthless and we do not need that which has no value. (these are a few facts about preaching we need to remember).
Mothers come in all shapes and sizes. She works in the kitchen preparing your meals and in the laundry room washing and folding your clothes. She supervises your homework, cheers for you at the game, nurses you when you are sick, helps you solve life’s problems, makes delicious cookies for you, checks your report card, gives you your vitamins, holds you when you hurt, and hugs you when you go to bed. No one seems to understand you as good as your mom.
But a Christian mother does even more. Not only do you see her work diligently with her hands, but she also reads to you from the Bible, prays for you to be kept safe, instills in you moral principles that will make you honest, fair and true. She shows you how to have courage in your despair and how to have strength in times of weakness. She demonstrates how to be strong and yet gentle at the same time. Her example shows you how to have peace in your heart even when trouble threatens. Her faith is seen daily and that is helping you to understand how important trusting and serving God really is.
In worship she sings so sincerely the spiritual songs and hymns. As the sermon is given she listens so attentively and respectfully. She requires that you sit still in your seat during the message from God’s word. In doing this she has taught you respect for the Heavenly Father. She speaks to all a cheerful word when worship services are over. Mothers that serve the Lord are women that help the sick, befriend the lonely, and have a genuine concern for all.
A godly mother supplies strength to her family and to the church. In this way she seeks first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).
The Bible speaks of such a woman and calls her “a virtuous woman.” It says that her worth is “far above rubies” (Prov. 31:10). Of such a woman, the Bible says, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her” (Prov. 31:28). The Bible says that those closest to her should recognize her value and praise her. In other words, a godly mother should be honored because of her influence for good.
Let every day be mother’s day. Don’t save all of your love and praise for only one day. One day is good, but each day is better. But also, follow her example as she follows the word of God.
Do you realize that your view of God will affect how you treat others?
The Nazis. Adolf Hitler viewed God as non-existent. He accepted the theory of evolution which holds the idea of survival of the fittest. His armies killed millions of innocent men, women and children whom they deemed weak and inferior. He believed that not only could they do this, but in view of the evolutionary theory, they should do this. If his parents had taught him the Bible perhaps this dark period of history (1935-1945) could have been avoided.
The cannibal. In third world countries, tribes who live in remote areas can sometimes be cannibalistic or be dangerously hostile to outsiders. Even in our country a serial killer named Jeffery Dahmer cooked and ate some of his victims. Why would people act this way—kill and eat their victims? Simple—they have no understanding of God nor that man is made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27). Like Adolf Hitler, they do not understand that life is sacred. People who know the God of the Bible do not kill and eat strangers.
The abortionist. The further America moves away from the concept of God and minds are conditioned by the theory of evolution the more insensitive our citizens become to human life. Take note of the staggering numbers of abortions in America. Over fifty million babies have been killed in abortion clinics across our land since 1973 and the end is not yet in sight. It is a fact that the most dangerous place for Americans to live is not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but it is the unborn living in the mother’s womb. People who know their Bibles will respect and safe-guard human lives in the womb.
The Ku Klux Klan. If man does not have a correct view of God, the lives of others are in constant danger. Take the Ku Klux Klan for an example. They claim to believe in God and some claim to be Christians. However, their ruthless shootings, bombings, hangings, burnings and drownings of people of color are well documented. At one time they would tar and feather anyone who spoke out against them. They view God as white and couldn’t be any other nationality than a red-neck American from the south. The right understanding of the word of God would put hate groups out of existence because it says that all men are the offspring of God (Acts 17:28).
People who believe that their ancient ancestors were monkeys will usually act accordingly.
Students of the New Testament will behave in a completely different way. Love, compassion, concern, help for the helpless, food for the hungry, assistance for the widow and fatherless, good to all will be seen of them.
How do you view God?
Turkey hunters use a call that sounds just like a female turkey. When the male bird (the gobbler) hears it he thinks it is a female bird. He is lured by the sound he hears and is completely unaware that it is really an ambush in which he will die. The gobbler cannot see the source of the sound, he can only hear it, but he comes to investigate the female bird he thinks is there. When the gobbler comes within range the hunter shoots him and takes him home for dinner.
Likewise, the devil uses many calls in this world to allure Christians away from following Christ. There is an amazing assortment of voices that call each and every day. These voices are very enticing, attractive, and effective.
The call of mammon. Jesus spoke of mammon when He said, “Lay not for yourselves treasures upon the earth...” and that “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:19, 24). Mammon refers the things of his world, i.e. riches, houses, lands, jewels, clothes, luxury items, etc. You know that the devil is going to use this call on you, don’t you? There have been many that have heard this call and like a gobbler they go running after mammon instead of putting spiritual matters first (Matt. 6:33). The devil has bagged many people with this call and these will he take home with him.
The call of man-made doctrines. The devil has multiplied thousands of false prophets in this world teaching every kind of doctrine imaginable (1 John 4:1). Every kind of sect is available and seeking to pull people into their fold. There are religious organizations that allow multiple wives, other groups permit gambling, drinking; and dancing. Some sectarian groups are extremely strict with dress codes (i.e. Amish), while others are very loose and teach universalism (everyone is going to heaven). They are constantly calling people by way of the internet, radio and television. Millions of people are attracted to them because they use the Bible and claim allegiance to God. But it is only another ploy of the devil as he gathers victims into his snare.
The call of sensual lust. The devil is calling each of us by way of movies, television, music videos into sexual sins. Many are running like a chicken with his head cut off straight into this trap. He just keeps calling, and calling, and calling day after day knowing that many will come. Are you answering the call of the devil??
The call of God. But God is also calling men. He is calling with the truth of the Gospel. God calls people into the life that will lead people to heaven. It is the life of spiritual and moral purity. It will lead us away from worldly ambition, man-made doctrines and sensual lust. God and the devil are both calling us—to which call will we heed??
We do not have the devil on our minds twenty-four hours a day. Usually we do not give a major portion of the day thinking of how satan is planning our downfall. Our minds are occupied with going to work, mowing grass, shopping for food, paying bills, cleaning house, and washing clothes. We may not be focused on him, but if you are a Christian he is focused upon you.
When God asked the devil what he had been doing, twice in the book of Job the devil said, “From going to and fro in the earth and from walking up and down in it” (Job1:7; 2:2). When God asked the devil if he had considered His servant Job and how faithful he was, the devil assured God that he knew all about him. The book of Job shows us what the devil did to try to wreck Job’s faithful relationship with God.
The devil knows about everyone of us in the same way. The devil knows our weakness. The Bible says that we must be watching out for him because as a lion he is tracing out ways to destroy us. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant, your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” The Bible calls him an adversary. He is our enemy. He is busy, walking about, seeking a victim just as a lion would do on the grassy plains of Africa.
If an animal, such as a antelope ignores the lion, he will likely become the lion’s supper. Animals cannot afford to ignore the lion. Neither can we afford to ignore the devil. A lion is a hunter, and this is the animal to which the devil is compared. He is hunting down Christians every day.
In December of 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Then they attacked Midway Island, and the Philippines Islands. Ignoring these attacks did not make the enemy at that time go away. Because it was a time of war the Japanese kept attacking. America had to defend itself by resisting the enemy.
Ephesians 6:10-17 informs us that we are at war with the devil and all of his evil forces. We can ignore him, but that will not stop his attacks. God has given us a weapon with which to defend ourselves; it is a sword. Ephesians 6:17 says our sword is the word of God. James 4:7 tells Christians to resist the devil. Resist the devil with power of the inspired scriptures.
The battle cannot be won by ignoring the devil. He is identified as the enemy that seeks to tear us to spiritual pieces (1 Peter 5:8). Let’s all vigorously send him running by studying your Bibles much, much more.
- Richard Massey
Read the two statements below and consider which has a more powerful impact on your thinking:
1. Turn away from sin and become a Christian because God loves you so very much (John 3:16).
2. Turn away from sin and become a Christian because if you do not you will live eternally in a burning
hell (Rev. 21:8).
Both statements are completely Biblical and true, however, it seems to me the latter statement has the greater impact. It contains the danger, the harm, and the punishment for not becoming a Christian.
God has placed in the Bible the two great motivators for becoming a Christian; pleasure and pain; heaven and hell. Those are the two great rewards that await every soul on earth; one is desired and the other is frightening (Matt. 25:14-46).
Bible preaching requires that these subjects not be ignored or neglected. I am a Christian and I remain a Christian because I have heard preaching on both subjects.
People become Christians because they want to obtain the blessings of heaven and avoid the torment of hell. Christians should welcome preaching on both of these vital subjects. This kind of preaching will help save us (1 Cor. 1:18-21), and it will help us become a more complete Christian (2 Tim. 3:16 – 4:2).
Why not choose heaven and avoid hell by becoming a Christian today? In eternity you will be so very glad that you did.
Why would anyone wish to be called bitter? You will if you try to live in this world without God. This is what happened to Naomi (whose name means pleasant). After living in Moab a number of years her life became bitter (Ruth 1:20-22). Her husband had moved his family from Bethlehelm into the pagan nation of Moab to find a better life (Ruth 1:1). However, life was not better there. Naomi’s husband and two sons died in that place. Life among the ungodly brought Naomi bitterness not success.
When Lot moved his family into Sodom he thought life would be better. It was a place where he thought his fortunes would thrive as he viewed the green pastures (Gen. 13:10-13). Conversely, the opposite happened. Like Naomi’s husband, Lot lost his family too (Gen. 18-19). Sodom was a place of bitter loss. Lot lost his wife and a number of his children. Fire and brimstone rained down from heaven upon that wicked place killing some of his family. His wife turned into a pillar of salt. It was a sad end.
In the parable Jesus told of the prodigal son He explained how the young man went into a far country to have a good time (Luke 15:11-24). He thought life would be better away from the father’s presence. The prodigal son lost everything including any dignity he had. It was not pleasant to eat the husks from the pig’s feeding trough.
It was when Naomi returned from the pagan land of the Moabites that life began to change for the better. At the end of the book of Ruth, Naomi was not bitter; conversely she was rejoicing over her new baby grandson. When she came back God began to fill her life with blessings and joy.
The prodigal son humbly returned to his father’s house to confess his sinful ways. His father received him home with joy and a host of immediate blessings. It was a happy reunion. He left the far country of despair with its pig pen and pathetic food and came back to a loving welcome home and a table full of freshly dressed beef.
These three passages teach a wonderful lesson to every Christian. Nothing good awaits the Christian who leaves God’s house. You can venture off from the church looking for good things, but you will not find them there (Eph. 1:3). These examples teach us that God will not allow you to find good things outside of the church. These passages teach us that outside the church is loss, bitterness, and even death. You might have a few days of fun, but eventually “the thrill is gone.” Then what?
God allows each of us to make the choice to stay in the church or to leave. Will your choice be wise or foolish?
It is never safe to neglect the fundamentals of God’s Word. Fundamentals are the basic facts of the Holy Scriptures. They are the foundational principles upon which other tenets are built (Heb. 5:11-14). Our learning process must begin with fundamentals. In grade school you first learned your A-B-C’s. Next, you learned words. Following that you moved on to sentences. Finally, you advanced to other matters of comprehension. But, learning the alphabet was crucial to your educational advancement.
Some folks were never fully grounded in the fundamentals of the Gospel. This handicaps their spiritual development. If they try to be teachers and preachers of the Gospel, they become a danger to the church. Their teaching is skewed and their doctrines destructive. They are like a person trying to teach the subject of math, having never understood the fundamentals—i.e., adding and subtracting. Such individuals do not make good math teachers. The same is true with teachers of the Gospel.
How can the following be true? “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). How can these learn biblical information, but not know the Truth? Perhaps they never understood the basics. In the church today there are preachers that see no sin in the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship. Some will have spiritual fellowship with anyone that calls God “Father” and Jesus “Savior.” They no longer believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. This is a far cry from Jesus and the apostles. It is not what preachers of the past stood for.
What is bringing about these changes? Why has this become so widespread? Believe it or not, it has a lot to do with a neglect of fundamentals. Brethren in the pew are not as fundamentally sound as in years gone by. Many elders have not been grounded in the basics. They are, in part, to blame for the success of false teachers across the brotherhood. They should be removing false
teachers from the pulpits, instead they are not able to recognize false teaching when they hear it.
Fundamentals must be taught in all of our classes. We need to start early in grounding our children and new Christians in the elementary facts of the gospel. It is an important step in bringing real strength to the church.
- Richard Massey
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