Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The American "Gospel"

"Today in America we have sought to conform the gospel of Jesus Christ to our culture in order to attract as many people as possible. But by doing that we've reduced the gospel down to nothing. The message we preach no longer has the power to truly convert and change a man."

-- Paul Washer from the sermon "The Gospel in Romans 1"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Onward and Forward

Psalm 38: O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down. There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering Because of my foolishness. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are full of inflammation, And there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart pants, my strength fails me; As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me. My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, And my relatives stand afar off. Those also who seek my life lay snares for me; Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction, And plan deception all the day long. But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth. Thus I am like a man who does not hear, And in whose mouth is no response. For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I said, "Hear me, lest they rejoice over me, Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me." For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong; And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied. Those also who render evil for good, They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good. Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why Do We Drift Toward Error?

I saw this quote from A.W. Pink on and I couldn't pass it up, I had to post it.

Why do we always seem to drift toward doctrinal error?

"The Lord's command in Mark 4:24 is "take heed what ye hear". Corrupt nature is thoroughly in love with error and will more readily and eagerly receive false rather than true doctrine. Should any dispute this statement, we would refer them to Jeremiah 5:31: "the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so". Said Christ unto the Jews, "because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not" (John 8:45): what a commentary on fallen human nature - had He preached lies they would have promptly received Him.

Alas, what is man: he will run greedily after something new and sensational, but is soon bored by the old story of the Gospel.

How feeble is the Christian, how weak his faith, how fickle and unstable the moment he is left to himself. Peter, the most courageous and forward of the apostles in his profession, denied his Master when challenged by a maid. Even when given a heart to love the Truth, we still have "itching ears" for novelties and errors, as the Israelites welcomed the manna at first, but soon grew weary of it and lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt.

Real and urgent then is our need to heed this command,
'Beware of false prophets.'"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Willow Creek and Brian McLaren Go "Serpent Sensitive"

This is an important article to read because it shows how Willow Creek condones the heretic Brian McLaren by inviting him to be the featured speaker at their "Shift" youth conference.

Thus, I would agree with Russell D. Moore, (senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky), that Willow Creek has gone from "Seeker Sensitive" to "Serpent Sensitive".

here is an excerpt:

"McLaren's comments at Willow Creek are not themselves surprising," he said. "What is surprising is that a Christian conference, especially one growing out of a movement designed to reach 'seekers' for Christ, would invite him to speak. When McLaren questions the existence of hell and the hope of the second coming, he is not a 'new kind of Christian.' Such things are neither new nor Christian.

"They are instead a repetition of the voice of a snake in a long-ago garden: 'Has God said?' and 'You shall not surely die.' It is tragic that one of the world's most renowned evangelical churches would highlight this kind of Serpent-sensitive worship."

CLICK HERE to read the article.

Monday, April 21, 2008

You Gotta Look Like Them to be Relevant?

"I was preaching somewhere in a town of 5,000 people and this guy [who was a street preacher] . . . had earrings and everything and hair all moussed and all this stuff because man, he was working the street. . . . He’s the dude, he’s the man you know, Serpico for Jesus type thing . . . and he’s like you don’t understand, you’re in context, you know, you’re preaching . . . [And I said] look, I worked inner city Dallas, I lived with male prostitutes, alright? And I’ll tell you how I dressed: I wore a pair of blue jeans, tennis shoes, a shirt, and my hair was combed. ‘Cause I want to be honest with you, those guys down there selling their bodies and the other guy’s selling drugs, and the girls dying of AIDS, they could care less whether I looked like them or not. What they wanted was someone who loved them. So that whole idea of you gotta look like them to be relevant–no, you gotta love them to be relevant."

- Paul Washer

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Lottery

I marvel at the numbers of people who love to play the Lottery. One chance in a million but, Oh the return. Millions of unearned dollars! Money! Lots of it! Prosperity and peace. Certainty. Dreams come true. Who would not want it? My mind drifts to an old friend who at one time worked for one of the nation's city's public television stations. They had decided to do a special on the fortunate few who had won their state's lottery. Before the show ever aired it was abandoned. It appears they were having difficulty finding any positive success stories within the ranks of the fortunate few. The show was appearing to be so abysmally depressing that it was not run. I can only speculate why they refused the show as I would think the point was to highlight the lives of the fortunate but perhaps the fortunate no longer appeared fortunate. I remember speaking to another friend who played the Florida lottery religiously. I asked if he felt he would truly benefit if he were to win. "I could handle it." was his reply. I asked him if he considered himself a physically strong person and when he admitted that he was not particularly so, I then asked him if he thought he could lift 200 pounds over his head. "I don't think so." was his reply. "Then why do you believe you could hold on to something you had nothing to do with earning or lifting in the first place?" I remember the words of a preacher who said, "If we are trusting God for what we think we need are we really trusting God at all?" I am reminded of my life that is well into the middle age and think of the pleasures and joys I have known. The irony is that none of those were as a result of money. The greatest pleasures in life have all been due to the relationships I have had and none have equaled the encounter when I first met the King Jesus. The ride has been bumpy at times but He has never ceased to fill me with awe and wonder and I find thoughts of riches languish far behind the sweet memories He has given. I do believe I am truly a rich man. How odd I have so little money.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

God’s Sovereignty and Prayer

"It grieves me that so many believers view the doctrine of God’s sovereignty as a deterrent to a healthy, vibrant prayer life. That kind of thinking demonstrates an inadequate, incomplete and unacceptable understanding, both of God’s sovereignty and of prayer. In truth, we pray because God is sovereign. He alone has power over all human events. In praying, we don’t run from His sovereignty, we run to it.

It’s absolutely true that God is sovereign over every detail of our lives. Job acknowledged that even the number of every person’s days is determined (Job 14:5). Life and death are in His hands (Jam. 4:15). Yet we eat and breathe and sleep and take measures to avoid any kind of calamity that might end our lives prematurely. Why? That’s the very same question as, “Why pray if God is sovereign?” Here’s the answer to why we need to breathe, and why we need to pray: God ordains the means as well as the end. And our prayers are one of the important means by which He accomplishes His will and glorifies Himself in the process."

– John MacArthur

HT: Christian Research Network

Sunday, April 06, 2008


by Al Whittinghill, found on

Surely every honest person in the church of the Lord Jesus today must have a deep inner awareness that "something is wrong"! Isn't it true that there is an ominous sense of danger as one considers the Biblical characteristics of the New Testament church and then compares them to the state of the church in our day? Contradictions abound! We may try to cover this uneasiness many ways - humor, amusement, busyness, keeping a positive attitude, distracting ourselves acquiring "the trinkets of time," new building programs and creating "successful" religious organizations; but the symptoms of Divine displeasure saturate our nation o n every level. There seems to be "a rumor from the Lord" that is letting His people get the sense of impending trouble if we do not have a serious change in the attitudes of our hearts. God is seeking to get the attention of the nation, beginning with His church. Will we not listen to Him before it is forever too late? Just think of what the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ would be like in our day if God had His way! No one wants revival in the church more than He Who died to purchase her and make her His very own precious, holy Bride!

What are some of the attitudes and thinking that hinder God's people from experiencing Heaven - sent revival? As we consider some of these things, let us first pause and pray that our hearts would be humbled and able to discern what the Spirit of God is saying to us (please read Psalm 80:3-7, and Psalm 85:4-9).

Why No Revival?

1. An attitude of wrong priorities: Until we have a renewed mind, we have no real sense of what is really important. Revelation 2:4-5 makes it clear that the Lord desires that loving intimacy with HIM be the center of everything. Most people are so worn out by their work that they have nothing left for Jesus. Someone o nce said, "Most Americans worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship." Some who cannot bear a long worship service feel cheated if the sports match is short. Perhaps no sin is greater than a long sermon! We keep trying to fit God into our worldly schedule when He is waiting for us to be willing to fit into His Heavenly o ne. Why are you o n earth today? What will we say at the end of life when we leave money and everything behind and face eternity? Matthew 6:33.

2. An attitude of complacency: Complacency is our state when we are self-satisfied and have a casual approach to God. The church of Laodecia in Revelation 3:15-17 shows the attitude of those who become content in "lukewarm living" and become blinded to their true condition. "Why do we need revival? After all, God is blessing us!" Revival will come o nly to a desperate church, not a contented o ne. He is ever the Rewarder of those who "diligently seek Him," not the mere casual inquirer. Maybe the reason for so little real hunger and thirst for the genuine things of God in our day is because we have gorged ourselves on the things of this world. My old friend Leonard Ravenhill used to say, " The only reason that we don't see real revival is that we are content to live without it."

3. An attitude of resignation: Some Christians say, "If God wants to send revival, He will." This negates our responsibility as a church to seek His face! Others might say, "We already have revival just claim it." This self-deceived approach hardly bears comment. once again I quote Brother Ravenhill: "The church is so subnormal, if we became normal, it would amaze us." I have heard well meaning people say, "There's nothing that we can do; it's up to God to send revival." We then end up blaming God's sovereignty for the sad state of the church. If there is no revival in the church, we can be very sure that the lack is o n our part and not God's! In fact, a Christian is more to be blamed for not being revived than a lost man is to be blamed for still being lost! We must stir up the gift of God and press into His desire for the church. This must start with each individual taking responsibility before God for becoming pleasing to God, and a "channel of revival."

4. An attitude of prejudice, or misconceived notions about revival: We say that we are "open to God," but we really mean as long as He works within our expectations or preconceived terms of reference. It must be "traditional, respectable, rational" with no out-of-control display of emotions, (This might even be the same one who goes to the ball game and paints himself and shrieks for his team.) We want order! The mysterious, irrational, or supernatural has always tended to make the carnal mind nervous. "Lord revive us but do it this much, and no more and do it this way and with these people. Thank you. Praise you." We often believe God to the point of discomfort or inconvenience or costing us something dear, and then we back off! Too many treat Him as "a supernatural aid to a happy life," and we want Him as long as He doesn't change what we like. But any person that is not open to change is NOT open to revival. There can be no revival until we are willing to change. Psalm 110 says, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power." Am I willing to give up my own ideas? Am I willing to give up my comfortable, but dead, tradition? Please see Mark 7:9 if you are hung upon tradition. Oh, to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

5. An attitude of "loving comfortable truth": The Bible warns us that in the last days men will have itching ears. It is a necessity that preachers NOT scratch them. "Preach love to us not all that stuff about self denial and suffering." "We don't want to offend anyone." "You're making people feel guilty; people won't come back, and we won't grow." "You'll drive people away if you keep preaching against sin." But friends, sin is THE great hindrance to the mighty outpouring of God's Spirit. It is far better to drive men away by faithful preaching than to drive the Holy Spirit away by unfaithful preaching! It's time to sound the reveille and not sing lullabies! Those who have a "let-us-sleep" attitude will never appreciate the preacher who sounds the trumpet in their ear. o ne might say "Brother, don't expose the sins of the church to the world." Well, don't worry; they discovered them a long time ago! Given the state of the church today, there is no comfortable way to get to the place of genuine revival blessing! It may be very painful for us. Our attitude must become that we would rather BE right than merely FEEL right. Light is the o nly answer for darkness.

6. An attitude of "the love of reputation": This really is just "the fear of man" or pride (see John 12:42-43 for a glimpse of it). We have a great fear of "losing our dignity" (we mistakenly think that we have some dignity), or having others think that we "don't have it all together." This is the essence of the heart of a hypocrite. "What will people think if I humble myself and surrender totally to God?" Well, what will God think if you don't? "Poor man, I saw him weeping over his sins in church." We should pity the person who has never cried over the revelation of their sins as God reveals them! I believe that it may even be right to question the salvation of the person who has never wept over their sins in the presence of a Holy God. We are called to be a holy people, different and separate from the world. If the world feels at home with us, then it is right to assume that "the offense of the cross" has ceased. 2 Tim. 3:12. The only important thing is "What does God think?" We must take off our church masks and get honest with God and become real with o ne another. We must come to the place where we can honestly say, "I'm not afraid of holiness. I'm not going to be afraid of going all the way with God, cost whatever it may."

7. An attitude of ignorance of God's Word: Psalm 11:3 states, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Hosea tells us that God's people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge of God. Jesus said to the Pharisees in Mark 12:24, "Do you not therefore err because you do not know the scriptures, neither the power of God?" All throughout the Bible and history, revival has come o nly as God's people begin to take His word and His promises seriously. Search the scriptures, and let them search you! Fifty years ago the average lost man in America knew more of God's word than the average saved man does today! We are way too accustomed to eating "second-hand" Truth. For the baby, milk is simply food that someone else has digested. We live in a day of darkness and man-made light. Cults flourish, and the church languishes in large measure because we do not know the Word of God. It is high time for the church to return to the Bible! The o nly hope that the world has is that the Church will o nce again see herself in God's mirror and be provoked to put on her beautiful garments in response to HIS revelation. The world must hear an anointed, "Thus saith the Lord," from an obedient church.

8. An attitude of disunity: Factions in the body are a proof of carnality. This grieves and quenches the Holy Spirit greatly. "Discord" is the very opposite of the "one accord" that we read of in the book of Acts that made her such a mighty vessel of God. Unforgiveness hidden in the church is like a bullet left in the body! Are we more concerned about our opinions and interests than we are the honor of God? The Bible says that "only by pride comes contention"(Prov. 13:10). Divisions will leave as we humble ourselves at the level ground of the cross. one of the watchwords of the great Welch revival was "Bend the church and save the world." So often a great move of God has broken forth when proud, disunified believers have obeyed the scriptures and humbly sought forgiveness of o ne another. Will we do it?

9. An attitude of compromise: Proverbs 14:14 says, "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways." Compromise never happens because of ignorance. It is a sin against light! It is a "going back" on what God has shown us to our "own ways". He whispered; we were stirred; yet we forgot, ignored, suppressed or disobeyed the truth. We can rationalize our unwillingness to obey God many ways, but none of them is valid! Are we willing to suffer for righteousness sake? The devil wants to lure us into a thousand things that will dull us to the Truth and cause us to become passive and bored with, or distracted from, the deep things of God. We live in a day when the world has become "churchy," and the church has become worldly. Sometimes it is very hard to tell who is who. Would you agree? But the Lord knows those who are His, even those who have been squeezed into the mold of the world. He will have mercy on the one who responds fully to His call. It's time to break out of the mold of the world and to be conformed to HIS image. We must not sidestep the real issues that the Holy Spirit brings to our hearts. Calvary must always precede Pentecost! Refuse to tolerate areas in your heart that you find yourself excusing to God or others.

10. An attitude of prayerlessness: Real revival is always transported to earth o n the wings of the desperate, believing prayers of God's people. God will not do, apart from prayer, what He has promised to do in answer to prayer. He will wait until we come to Him with humble, repentant, believing hearts. The greatest moves of God always follow prayer. We can try everything known to man to make things better or take care of our difficulties, but nothing will work. Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying on her feet because she is not living on her knees. It is time to seek His face, individually and corporately. Let us turn to the Lord with all our beings and realize that God yearns to send revival o n His people even more than we claim to want it.

God is faithful to His word. Nobody wants a revived church more than He does. If we will remove the hindrances to real fellowship with Him and seek Him as He longs to be sought and found, then He will surely pour out His glorious Life-giving Spirit on us. Why is there no revival? It is o nly because His church has been content to try to live without it. "Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause Thy face to shine, and we shall be saved."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Worship is Neither Evangelism or Entertainment

Here is an interesting post from

Quoting Robert Godfrey . . .

"The call for entertainment in worship in our time is often cast in a particularly seductive form. Entertainment is often sold in the name of evangelism. We are told that we must make worship interesting and existing for the unconverted so that they will come to church and be converted. At first glance that argument is very appealing. We all want to see many brought to faith in Christ. Who wants to be against evangelism? But we must remember: entertainment is not evangelism, and evangelism is not worship. People are evangelized, not by a juggler, but by the presentation of the Gospel. And while evangelism may occur in worship as the Gospel is faithfully proclaimed, the purpose and focus of worship is that those who believe in Christ should gather and meet with God.

In 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 the apostle Paul comments on the presence of an unbeliever in a worship service. He does not call for the church to entertain the unbeliever or make him feel comfortable. Rather, in the clear and understandable articulation of the truth, the unbeliever should be convinced that he is a sinner. "So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you!'" Faithful worship, where the primary purpose is the meeting of God with his people through his Word, may well have the secondary result that unbelievers will come to faith. But worship must not be constructed for the unbeliever. Rather, it is for God and the church.

The whole service in the church, then, must not be shaped for either entertainment or evangelism. Instead, it must serve to unite the people of God for their meeting with God."