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America’s Only Hope

I don’t think I need to tell you that America is in really bad shape today. We often lay the blame on the fact that we are in the last days. We use passages like 2 Timothy 4 to excuse the condition.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

One thing that we seldom do is ask why this time has come upon us. Is it just something that God has ordained so it had to happen? I know that God foresaw it and recorded here so we would understand what happened, but I don’t think that is what He really wanted to happen. I am sure He would rather that we would remain faithful to His precepts. This does not take away from God’s sovereignty. Sovereignty does not mean He always gets what He wants, it means He has the right and power to correct and punish.

We also blame it on the liberals who have no moral compass to guide them because they have rejected the God of the Bible. They will do absolutely anything to get their way. If you will think about it, they are this way because there is no real righteous example for them to follow.

A French political scientist and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited America to seek the secret to America’s greatness. Here is what he said:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”

The secret to America’s greatness was found, not in her resources, her institutions, or even in her Constitution. It was in her goodness that came from the pulpits of her churches being “aflame with righteousness.”

Here are some sad statistics that give insight into why America has lost her greatness.

  • 4,000 Churches close their door every year

  • 4 out of 10 American attend Church weekly

  • 4 out of 10 Church attendees will Divorce

  • 3 out of 10 Pastors report that their Children are not in Church

  • 9 out of 10 Pastors believe the Bible speaks to the controversial political issues of our day

  • 1 out of 10 Pastors preach on these controversial political issues

  • We “win souls” only to see most of them disappear in a few weeks or months (more later)

Neither President Donald Trump, nor any other politician, can make America great again. America has lost her greatness because she is no longer good. She is no longer good because American pulpits are not aflame with the preaching of righteousness.

We are all familiar with 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This was the solution for Israel of old, and it is the solution for America today. This will not happen until our preachers put on their big-boy pants and start making our pulpits “aflame with righteousness.”

Paul’s message to Timothy was:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)

All preachers, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, revivalists, or any other name you want to give to a preacher, must follow the principles in this passage. Nothing else can stop the drift away from sound doctrine. It has been my experience that if we do this, those who are true Christians will love our preaching, and many of those who are not will respect us and want to know more. This is how I turned around three dying churches and got them back on the path to both spiritual and numerical growth.

Preach the Word

The first principle is that we must preach the Word of God. Notice that it doesn’t say teach the Word, it says preach the Word. Teaching is good and necessary for spiritual growth, but the Word must be preached if it is going to change lives. “This is what the Bible says,” is not enough. It must be “Thus Saith The Lord.”

I may offend some here, but verse by verse is good teaching, but it is seldom good preaching. I challenge you to find verse by verse preaching in the Bible. Bible preaching always preaches on topics. Don’t misunderstand me, we should do verse by verse teaching, but if we want our people to be sound in the faith we must teach doctrine. I have been told that verse by verse covers every doctrine in the Bible, but this is not wholly true. It does touch on every doctrine, but it does not get into the depth of doctrine.

Ask your church members if they can defend the deity of Christ to a Jehovah Witness. Can they defend eternal security to a Pentecostal? Can the prove, from the Scriptures, that it is God’s will to save all men, and not just a few that He chose in eternity past?

Read the writings of the old time Baptist church members and you will see that they could. I am not talking about pastors, I am talking about ordinary church members. I once asked these questions to one of our good and faithful church members, a man whose heart is set on serving God faithfully, and he could not defend these issues.

Be instant in season, out of season

This just means be ready at all times, when it is convenient (in season) and when it is not (out of season).

Reprove

This means we must be willing to point out error, even when it offends.

Rebuke

This means to make it personal and charge the person with his sin.

Exhort

Exhort means to encourage, through the use of strong language, to do what is right.

How are we to do this?

First of all, we are to do it with longsuffering. This simply means that we are to do with even though we may suffer some undesired consequences. It may cost us church members. We may suffer resistance from our deacons. It may offend the brethren. If we don’t do it we offend the God of Heaven, to whom we will all answer one day.

Secondly, we are to do it with doctrine. When I was a baby Christian, we never talked about discipleship or discipleship classes. They were not needed because our pastors taught doctrine from the pulpit. If you were in church you learned what we believed, why we believed it, and how to defend what we believe against those who teach false doctrine.

Why aren’t our pulpits aflame with righteousness?

We have been spoiled by men’s philosophies and traditions.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

It starts with a fear of man. We would rather offend God, and be accepted by men. We have been taught to be positive in our teaching because negativity drives people way. We have tailored our presentation of the Gospel so as not to offend the sinner. One of the first things we tell the lost person is, God loves you. Then we quote John 3:16. Next, we present all of the benefits of being saved. We make it all about the person, rather than all about God.

We do reap many benefits from salvation, but that is not why God saves us.

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

In our invitations, we use man’s psychological methods to get people to the altar. We ask inoffensive questions and have the people answer them by a raised hand. We ask these questions to prime the pump and take away any fear that the lost may have about raising their hands. We then ask those who are not sure of their salvation to raise their hands. Then, during the invitation, we use the fact they raised their hand to shame them to coming forward. Of course, we do it inoffensively, but we do it.

Where in the world do we find this in the Scriptures?

In Acts Chapter 2, Peter’s message told them that they were in dire trouble with God because they had just crucified His Son. On Mars Hill, Paul told the philosophers they would have to answer to the unknown God who created the universe. In Nineveh, Jonah told them that the city would be destroyed in 40 days. Steven’s message to the religious leaders when he was stoned told them how they, like their fathers, had rejected God and His precepts, and that they would be judged for this.

There was no invitation, yet people got saved in each case. I am not saying invitations are wrong, but that is the Holy Spirit that is to do the convicting and bring about a reaction.

In Acts Chapter 2, 3,000 got saved. On Mars Hill, a few got saved, and through them, the Gospel came to Europe and America. In Nineveh, it is estimated that something like on million souls repented and turned to God. Steven’s message only reached one soul that we know about, but it was the great Apostle Paul who was used of God to give us most of our New Testament.

Our problem is, we don’t believe what the Bible says about how souls are saved. I am not talking about the fact that it is by grace, through faith, without works. I am talking about what it takes to bring people to understand their need and desire to know how to be saved.

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)

It is the preaching of God’s Word, not men’s plans and methods, that brings sinners to seek salvation and believe the Gospel. When preaching has its proper place in our soul-winning efforts we will see a good harvest. We will see professions that do not fade away in a few weeks or mounts.

The only hope for our nation is a return to God’s precepts and methods by God’s people.

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Covid-19 Facts

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Political Issues of the Last Days

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2)

This passage tells us to expect false teachers in the last days. These teachers will bring in “damnable heresies” and will “bring upon themselves swift destruction.” The sad thing is many will follow them, and because of these false teachers, the “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”

In this next passage, great sorrow or distress (woe) is pronounced upon those who, among other things, “call evil good, and good evil.”

Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! (Isaiah 5:18-23)

I think it is obvious that these two passages describe our day very well. There are false teachers in the pulpits of this land, in our education system, in the news media, among our politicians, and among political pundits.

In the early twentieth century, the progressives tried to become mainstream in America. They were soundly slapped down by the American voters. They did not go away, they just quietly slipped into the background and started infiltrating our schools and our media. They understood that if they could influence the thoughts of the people, they could eventually take over the nation. They have done their job very well and we are seeing the results today.

This was only possible because of the liberalism in the pulpits of America. The decline really started in the nineteenth century when our preachers started going to Europe, especially Germany, to further their education.

Theistic rationalism, which actually has its beginnings in the eighteenth century, is a hybrid of natural religion, Christianity, and rationalism, in which rationalism is the predominant element. By the middle to late part of the nineteenth century, it pretty much dominated the Protestant schools of Europe.

Natural religion is a type of theology that derives its arguments for the existence of God from reason and the ordinary experiences of nature. It is distinguished from revealed religion, which derives its arguments from Scripture. Nature has many things that show the truth of revelation, but it is not the basis of revealed religion.

Man’s reason is the primary basis of the arguments for or against the existence of God in theistic rationalism. In other words, rationalism makes man’s reason the primary source of knowledge and the test of truth. In essence, it replaces God’s revelation with man’s reason.

The principle of calling evil good, and good evil, is not new. Those who sought to destroy our Baptist ancestors, especially the Albigenses and the Waldenses, used their goodness to condemn them. The wickedness of those who did all they could to destroy our ancestors said:

“If an individual is found who neither curses, swears, lies, commits adultery, murders, possesses himself of another’s goods, nor revenges himself on his enemies, they say he is a Waldensian, and deserves to be punished.”

Isn’t this exactly the attitude of the left today? This attitude has permeated the Democrat Party. This is not to say that all Democrats hold this view of things, but the majority of the leaders in that party do.

The Democrat Party supports almost every kind of debauchery. They are for killing babies in the womb, legalizing drugs and prostitution, abhorrent sexual conduct and relationships, taking away our freedoms of speech and religion, taking away our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and I could go on and on.

The Democrats have convinced many of our youth that capitalism is bad, and socialism is good. They don’t tell them that capitalism is what made America great and that socialism has destroyed every nation where it has been implemented. Margret Thatcher said that socialism works until they run out of other people’s money. It would be hard to find a more true statement concerning the nature of socialism.

Socialism ignores the nature of man. In theory, it sounds good to say that everyone contributes to the pot, and everyone takes out what he or she needs. If man was not selfish by nature, this might possibly work. But, man is selfish by nature. He will contribute as little as possible and will take out as much as he can.

Capitalism, on the other hand, rewards those who work hard by allowing them to benefit from the fruits of their own labor.

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. (Isaiah 3:10)

The capitalistic system rewards the efforts of those who apply themselves, whereas the socialistic system rewards the lazy. There is much more I could say on this, but my purpose is not to deal with the pro’s and con’s of these two philosophies, but to show why we are in the state of corruption we find ourselves in today.

America was founded on the precepts of the Bible. Our law is based upon the law of God as summarized in the Ten Commandments. Rationalism has made man’s opinions the standard and has dismissed God’s precepts as archaic and outdated. The result is, there is no objective standard by which we are to live.

We teach our young people that we, as humans, are nothing more than evolved animals. We then wonder why they act like animals.

We teach that everything is relative, and there are no fixed rules to follow. Every person has the right to make up their own rules and decide which “truth” they want to follow. We then wonder why there is so much rebellion and why everyone thinks they have the right to do whatever he or she wants.

Our pulpits have failed to feed the flock with the Word of God. Fear of offending has caused preachers, even in fundamental Baptist circles, to soft-peddle the truth. They have also failed by making most of the preaching about reaching the lost. It is true that the lost must be reached, but the main purpose of the church is not evangelism, it is building the saints so they are prepared to reach the lost.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12)

I suggest you read the rest of the passage to get a more complete understanding, but for the sake of keeping this from getting too long, I will just deal with these two verses.

The body of Christ is the local church. I am not taking the space here to prove this, but you can get my book on the universal church on Amazon.

The edifying of the body of Christ has two aspects. The first is the perfecting of the saints. The pastor cannot do all of the work of reaching the lost by himself. It is the duty of each and every Christian. The lost will not, and cannot, be reached if they don’t see something different in the lives of Christians. Christianity grows the best under persecution because the Christians prove they really believe what they say. It is seen in their willingness to suffer, and even die for their faith.

Another aspect of perfecting the saints is teaching them doctrine. How can they reach the lost if they can’t give a good answer for what they believe? How can they convince unbelievers of the truth if they can’t articulate it?

When our young people go to school and are taught evolution and relativism, how can they remain strong if they don’t know why they believe what they believe? The left has risen up as a formidable force because, first of all, they were not taught the truths of the Word of God. Secondly, realizing that our pulpits were not teaching doctrine to the young people, the left know that they could control the thoughts and attitudes of Americans by infiltrating the education system and the media. They have done a good job, and we need to start fighting back by teaching the deeps truths of the Word of God. We need to instill the precepts of God in our children so they cannot be fooled by the lies being taught in our schools and by the media.

Let me wrap this up by telling you what motivated this article. It is totally beyond me how a Christian can vote for someone who holds to those principles of the Democrat Party. I know that there are some politicians in the Democrat Party who are pro-life and don’t support some to the evils promoted by this party. However, there is a biblical principle that they are violating.

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33)

You can’t hang around bad folks and not be tainted by their evil. I have experienced this principle personally. As a young Christian, I went into the Army and didn’t smoke or drink alcohol. I thought I could go to the club and drink Coke with my lost friends and maintain my purity. It took some time, but I finally became just like them and took up drinking and smoking. It wasn’t until many years later, when I changed by companions, that I was able to overcome these bad habits. Even then, it was not easy.

There are enough Christians in America, who say they believe the Bible to sway any election. More than seventy-five percent of them don’t even bother to vote. A large part of them who do vote, don’t vote on biblical principles, but on what they think the government will give them.

There is no politician who is perfect. Most of them are not saved and don’t really know what the Bible says. There are, however, many who have relatively righteous convictions. We need to seek them out and vote for them.

Party affiliation is also an important issue. The way our government works makes having the right party in control extremely important. In the most recent election we ended up with a divided government. The Democrats in the House will do everything they can to stop the Republicans from doing what needs to be done for our nation. They will slow down the improving economy, and maybe even reverse it. National security will undoubtedly suffer. Unrighteousness will surely increase throughout the land.

The reason more was to done to turn back the evils imposed on us by the left is there are too many RINOs in the government. This term means Republicans In Name Only. We didn’t get health care fixed because of one such Republican. We didn’t get funding for the border wall because weak RINOs were unwilling to stand up for our security.

I could go on and on, but this has already gotten longer than I intended. The bottom line is, preachers, don’t be afraid to speak about political issues from the pulpit. Christians, educate yourselves about the issues and vote for those who will support biblical precepts. Not voting is supporting the opposition.

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A Christian Attitude toward the Kavanaugh/Ford Drama

Non-Christians often determine guilt or innocence based on their political opinions and whom they WANT to be right. As Christians, we must not do this.

We must remember that we really don’t know who is telling the truth; we weren’t there. We live in a time when false accusations are made all the time. An example is the Duke Lacross team being accused falsely of inappropriate actions. As Christians, we should distinguish ourselves by being ready to listen to each side, slow to voice our opinion, and not allowing anger to color our “discernment.”

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: (James 1:19)

Any thinking person should disapprove of the handling of the accusation by Senate Democrats. Their goal was not to help or protect Dr. Ford, but to use her as a political tool for vengeance on the Republican Party because of their hatred of President Trump. Like Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh was only a tool. The lack of compassion on the part of Democrats has subjected what seems to be a very wounded woman to more stress, pain, and anxiety than was ever necessary.

As I watched the testimony of Dr. Ford with an open mind, I can see why some would believe her story. It did not lack sincerity or emotion. There were, however, many holes in her story that left many important questions unanswered.

As I watched Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony with an open mind, I found nothing objectionable about either his demeanor or his responses. I thought this is precisely how you would expect a man who has been falsely accused and unjustly smeared as a rapist in front of the entire country to act.

I have no doubt that the emotions of both parties were real, genuine, and appropriate. This is why cases in our courtrooms are based on evidence, not emotions. It is impossible for even the most discerning mind to determine, from the emotions and sincerity of the witnesses’ testimonies, who is right and who is wrong.

As Christians, we should distinguish ourselves from the world. We should not determine guilt or innocence based upon political or emotional feelings. We should never make a decision based upon what or how we want things to be. The only righteous moral standard for justice comes from God alone. Without this standard, everything becomes an effort to gain political power and to impose one’s moral code on others. Those who unjustly accuse others can justify what they do by saying “The end justifies the means.” The Bible says something entirely different.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

God’s system of human judgment requires proper evidence. “She said,” he said allegations are not sufficient to condemn. A person’s life should not be destroyed simply because someone accuses them of something. There must be corroborating evidence to support the allegation.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (Deuteronomy 19:15)

As Christians, we are not to make hasty judgments based upon who or what we want to be right. A simple accusation is not sufficient to determine the guilt of a person. We are to listen carefully to the accuser and the accused. One thing is certain, in every accusation, there is an injustice. Either the accuser has been treated unjustly by the accused, or the accused is unjustly maligned by the accuser.

Remember, the legal system in America was based upon the legal system found in the Bible. God cares about justice. He expects His children to care about it also. If He required the corroborating testimony of multiple witnesses, so should we. We are to be persuaded by evidence.

In the presence of evidence, we do not dismiss it. In the absence of evidence, we do not condemn. If we do not use God’s standard for justice, we are moving toward the loss of all of our freedoms. There must be a presumption of innocence for the accused or the result will be more injustice.