A Constant In An Ever Changing World

January 18, 2011 2 comments

A Constant In An Ever Changing World

Adam Pogue

As I reflect on the last couple of months one word continues to come to mind – Change!  My wife and I have been blessed with a new healthy baby boy and God has directed my family to a new city to go and preach the Gospel.  That is a lot of change for such a short time.  No doubt every one of you has experienced your own changes over the last few months.  Maybe you have made new friends, started new classes, obtained a new role at work, started a new job, or maybe you too (or members of your family) are planning an upcoming move.  If we are certain of anything it should be the fact that in this life we will encounter change.

In this ever changing world man has tried to change God and His commands.  Man has even tried to distort who and why Jesus came to this earth.  But we take comfort in this fact:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and foreverHebrews 13:8.  In a world of change it is quite challenging to think of something or someone who was the same yesterday, is the same today, and will remain the same forever.    

Not only will Jesus Himself never change, but His love and what He did for you will never change.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  No matter what earthly events change for us Jesus will still be the son of God (John 3:16), our Lord (Romans 10:9), our path to salvation (John 14:6), and head of the church (Ephesians 1:22).  Man may twist the words of Jesus and His apostles (2 Peter 3:16).  But if you are one who seeks the truth of God and follows the example of Jesus be encouraged that Jesus will never change.  However He will change you.

Upon your obedience to the New Testament Scriptures and baptism into Christ you should expect to be transformed in the following ways.  First, you will become a “new creation” and all things in your life will “become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Second, you will no longer live for yourself but for others and more importantly for Him who died for you (2 Cor. 5:15).  Third, you will receive spiritual blessings of which the most important is eternal life and an inheritance in heaven (Ephesians 1:3-14).

Not only can we be confident that Jesus, His sacrifice, and love will not change, but also His desire for you to be saved will not change.  2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  It does not matter what decisions you have made in the past that have conformed you to the world.  My hope is that you will decide today you will change for Christ, our constant in an ever changing world.

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Does Revelation 20 Teach Premillennialism?

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Through the centuries the book of Revelation has become a breeding ground for false teachings of every kind.  Many different teachings created by men have been based from it such as – creating an authority for instruments to be used in worship to God (harps in heaven, 5:8) and the exact number of humans on earth that God allows to be saved and given a home in heaven (of course, 144,000, 7:4).

Yet no system of false doctrine has ever been more deeply indebted to the book of Revelation than “premillennialism.” Have you ever heard of talk that the Middle-East and its current political and military events will affect us and that one day soon a war called Armageddon is bound to occur there?  That is a premillennialism view.  Have you ever heard of an author named Hal Lindsey?  In the 70’s he co-authored a book named The Late Great Planet Earth that set out to explain end time prophecies and predict when Christ would return to earth to set up an earthly kingdom.  This false doctrine has been a best seller for years even with the secular publishers and has sold over 35 Million copies (http://www.raptureready.com/who/Hal_Lindsey.html). The New York Times called it the “no. 1 non-fiction bestseller of the decade”.  This is the premillennialism view.  What about this one…  Have you heard about or seen an incredibly popular book and movie series by Tim LaHaye called the “Left Behind” series?  To date this series has sold 63 Million copies (http://www.leftbehind.com).  It as well basis its story line off of the premillennialism belief.

As you see this belief is not something only held by a few or in a few religious bodies.  Premillennialism is a widely held belief by many and in many religious bodies.

So I want us to look at the question many in the world ask “Does Revelation 20 Teach Premillennialism?”  If we are not aware of these false teachings and aware of how we can show it to be false and contradictory to the Bible, then we are not doing our jobs as Christians.  So we must from time to time study the false teachings of men and equip ourselves so we can with love help those who have been taught this to find the truth about their salvation and the Day of Judgment.

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What it Takes to Finish for Christ

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

How many of you can relate to playing sports when you were younger and being told over and over again by a coach that you will need to finish strong if you expect to win the game?  Can you relate to having a favorite team or individual athlete you watch and getting upset when they seem to give up at the end when they face adversity?  How many of you can relate to watching your children or grandchildren and no matter the outcome of their game the most important thing you want to see is them finish strong?

I recently watched a show on TV about the Green Beret training course for the United States Army.  I forget the exact number, but I believe 200 plus began the training.  As it continued only 50 or less finished the course and gained the honor of becoming a part of the United States Army Green Beret.

Why could only 50 or less make the cut?  Well as the show documented for many reasons but mainly because of the inability to mentally or physically finish the training.  What about as Christians?  If you took a truthful inventory of your daily walk with the Lord are you still living in a way that continues to stay strong for Christ or are you failing mentally or physically for God?

We learn from Luke 14:25-35 that anything less than 100% radical commitment to Christ is not commitment at all.  Satan constantly hurls worldy living at us but to be the Christian Jesus expects us to be, we must be able to finish the race to inherit an eternal home in heaven.

Please join me as we look at 3 lessons Jesus teaches in Luke 14 to equip ourselves with the skills to “Finish the Race for Christ.”

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The Harvest is Great, But the Laborers are Few

November 16, 2010 1 comment

Harvest

Jesus tells us in Luke 10:2, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

This verse is often used to encourage some Christians to become preachers, but have you ever considered it may be talking about more than that?  Jesus wants each of us to play a role in teaching the lost, not just the evangelist, as the following verses instruct.  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”  – Mark 16:15-16.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20.

We have all been called by Christ to spread the good news that He died and was resurrected to save our souls.  Do you ever reflect on how well you are spreading the Gospel to those around you?  Jesus gave us the parable of the good Samaritan to teach us how we are to physically care for our fellow man.  But consider for a moment that Jesus was teaching us much more than that.

Luke 10:30-37 – “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”  37And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

When it comes to telling others about Christ what example do you most mirror?  Are you the example of the priest (Vs. 31) or the Levite (Vs. 32) who sees lost souls all around you yet continues to walk by without caring for them.  Or can you say that you mirror the Samaritan (Vs. 33) who will stop and take the time to help the spiritually lost by sharing the Gospel of Christ with them? Jesus tells us in verse 37 to “do likewise.”  I believe Jesus would like us to apply that to mankind physically and spiritually.  So the next time you fall short of mentioning Christ to a friend, family member or co-worker due to fear or procrastination remember the parable of the good Samaritan.  If we fail to share the message of Christ with the lost around us we are no better than the priest or the Levite passing by a man and leaving him for dead.

As Luke 10:2 reminds us the harvest of lost souls is great, but the number willing to teach them is small.  However, all it takes to change that is a decision on our part to not let another day pass without taking advantage of opportunities to spread Gospel.  Is there someone you could share the message of Christ with today?  If so share it with them and may God bless your effort to win them for Christ.

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Are You Ready for Growing Pains?

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Today as Christians do their part to help the Gospel of Christ be spread we try many new ways to reach the lost.  But, from time to time we need to take an inventory of the fruits of our labor to see if we are doing the right things to reach the lost. Some of the easiest ways to reach them may be the common things we don’t even realize.

I’m finding most of our churches want to grow, but they are not willing to pay the price it requires.  Do not misunderstand.  Churches pay prices.  Expensive prices.  But they are not paying the price growth requires!”   (In the Line of Fire, Larry West)

We are doing everything but what it takes to make churches grow!  We are paying prices, expensive prices, every price but the price growth requires!”  (In the Line of Fire, Larry West)

Quotes like these from countless church growth studies raises a question as to whether we are willing to pay the price to grow.  If we continue to do the same thing in the same way, we should expect the same result!  But if we will consider the following ideas 1) Sound Teaching plus 2) Evangelizing as a Team Effort plus 3) Making sure our Attitudes Expect Growth plus 4) Understanding we all have our own unique way that we can Evangelize plus 5) Counting the Cost of Growth and working towards it for the good and Growth of the Kingdom of God I know we can and will grow for the Lord.

Please join me in this 5 part study on what we can do as a body of Christ to help the Kingdom of God grow.  (the complete 5 part series conducted by Andrew Roberts and Adam Pogue can be found and heard @ www.thebibleway.org)

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Finding Peace Through God

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Peace of mind is something that we all want.  We all want to be able to rest, to not have to worry, to feel free to enjoy life, family, friends, work, church, hobbies, entertainment, etc.  We want to be able to enjoy ourselves and not be burdened with worries that rob us of happiness, life, and our feeling of purpose.  Sometimes when we can’t find peace of mind, we get depressed.  Some get angry and lash out at God or someone else near to them.

Abraham Lincoln was once quoted on his thoughts about peace and happiness in our lives:  Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  I would tend to agree with President Lincoln.  The question I want to ask you is…  Are you seeking peace and happiness in your life and if you are where are you seeking it?  From earthly objects, countless self help books in the library or Are You Seeking Peace Through God?

Please join us as we look at 3 applications from Philippians 4:6-9 of not only how we can obtain peace through God, but how God expects us to seek peace through Him!

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How is Your Relationship with God?

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

How is Your Relationship with God?

Adam Pogue

In the story of Adam and Eve we often only apply the obvious lesson of obeying our Father and creator.  But if we will step back and look at this story in Genesis we will be able to apply another important lesson from God’s word.

Genesis 3:8-13 tells us that God walked in the garden in the cool of the day and Adam and Eve hid.  However, they did not hide because they were afraid of hearing God walk amongst them but their sin against Him is what worried them.  This can lead us to believe that God most likely had done this before and had spoken to His created man before, but why?  The reason is because God sought a relationship with His creation.  We are told in 1 John 3:1-2 that we are called “children of God!”  As we are His children, of course He wants us in His life and of course He wants to have a relationship with us.  However, He does not force His love onto His creation.

At the end of the day our loving God gives us a choice of abiding with Him or not.  How many co-workers, friends, or even family members do you know who choose to shut the door in God’s face?  So many of us would go to the end of the earth for a spouse, a family member, but will we drive across town to worship our Lord who saved us from sin and hell?  We can all be guilty of forgetting that God in fact does want you as a family member and we need to apply common relationship principles to our walk with God.

Take these examples for instance.  1) A husband must make time to talk with his wife everyday and care for her wants, and needs in order to strengthen the relationship.  2) A friend must show a willingness to serve another friend in order for the relationship to grow or else it will fade.  Who would want a one sided friend who never gave back something to you physically or emotionally?  3) Children must respect their parents and choose to obey requests made of them or the family will begin to break down and can even break apart.

These illustrations may seem like common knowledge, but are we applying the same principles to our relationship with God?  Question #1 Do you take time to talk with God everyday and let Him know about your day, thank Him for your blessings, and lay your cares upon Him for rest? (Matthew 11:28-30)  Question #2 Do you show God a willingness to serve Him and others around you by your daily actions or is your relationship with God a one sided lane that only receives blessings without giving back? (Matthew 20:26-28; Mark 10:45)  Question #3 Do your daily actions prove to God you are willing to obey Him and place Him first in your life? (Deuteronomy 13:4)  If not your relationship with Him will break down and will eventually break apart!

Genesis 2 and 3 can teach us some very important principles about God.  So let us bear in mind, if we would do something for our earthly relationships then we should be willing to do that and even more so to please our creator, our Father, and our merciful God.  My hope is that every one of us will remember to apply these thoughts to our relationship with God today!

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