Archive for February, 2015

On the Relevancy of Scripture

Here is one more article concerning false teachers present today, then we’ll move on. I think it is important to point out some of the ideas about the Bible that are floating around out there.

A preacher of some renown, named Rob Bell, several years ago wrote a book promoting the idea that there is no literal hell, and that Jesus would eventually save everyone. Let me tell you right now, the Bible nowhere teaches such heresy. Now, this same person, appearing on a popular television program, announced that the church was on the verge of total commitment to same-sex marriage.

He went on to say that if the church wants to be relevant in our day, she needs to stop depending on what he called “2,000 year-old letters”.

Personally, I will continue to depend on those old letters we call God’s Word, the Bible, for judging what is true, and what is false. Contrary to what this man promotes, I believe the Bible is totally relevant to this discussion.

In 2 Peter, chapter 2, we get a vivid picture of the destination of those who distort God’s Word, and deceive their followers. That place is called hell, and it is definitely not a place of enjoyment.

As a pastor, I understand that I have a great responsibility to correctly handle God’s Word, and to speak it clearly. The Bible is no less relevant that it has ever been. May it always be so!

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).

Finally, this: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3).

In Truth,
Pastor Jerry

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On Being Ready

Hello all,
Sunday evening we held our 9th annual Valentine supper. I think it is safe to say everyone in attendance was glad they came. Thanks to those who decorated, took reservations, and helped out in any other way. Special thanks to the catering crew for a great meal, and to Pastor Don for his special brand of music and cowboy poetry.

In news from the lake house, the sun porch continues on its way to completion. We had hoped to get some siding on, but the colder temperatures have slowed those plans. Maybe I can get the kitchen remodel finished up instead.

As we see events in the world unfolding, I am once again reminded of the Bible’s teaching concerning the times and events preceding the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the 24th chapter of Matthew’s gospel, we read the words of Jesus. He is speaking to his disciples: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. These are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (Matthew 24:7-9). He goes on to say, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (verse 36).

What should be our response to this teaching? He follows with these words: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (verses 42-44).

How are we to be ready? By confessing our sin, asking His forgiveness, and turning from our sinful ways. I do not write these things to frighten you. My prayer is that all who read these weekly articles would answer the Lord’s invitation to receive His gift of salvation. It is by and through making Him our Lord and Savior that we are able to face tomorrow, and the challenges it may bring.

In His love,
Pastor Jerry

He Will Return

It is good to be enjoying some spring-like weather. We made a concentrated effort at the end of the week to get our sun room enclosed. As I write this, the roof is on and all the windows are installed. Now, if it rains or snows, no worries. I have lived in this state long enough to know that spring-like weather in February has nothing to do with spring.

Our devotional thought this week comes again from Peter’s second letter. In chapter three, he warns us of false teachers who deny the second coming of Jesus Christ. In his day, they were basically making fun of Christians who were looking for His return. They were saying, things have been the same forever, and if He was coming back, He surely would have done so by now.

Peter says they (those who scoff at the idea of Jesus’ return) have forgotten that God formed the heavens and the earth. Then, in the time of Noah, He sent a flood to destroy the earth, excepting Noah and his family, because they were the only godly people on the earth at that time. God then repopulated the earth through Noah, with the promise that He would never destroy the earth with water, giving the sign of the rainbow that he would keep his word.

Because of sin, God will at a future date destroy the earth again. However, He is very patient, waiting until every person has had the opportunity to accept His gift of salvation. Peter says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).

Make no mistake, God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). His promises are true and will not be broken. Scripture says the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear…the earth and everything in it will be laid bare (2 Peter 3:10).

These are Peter’s words of advice to Christians: “What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives…, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.” (Verses 11-14).

How are we found to have these qualities? Only through faith in the One who died in our place.

Standing on His promises,
Pastor Jerry

Finishing Well

Winter has returned. Snow, wind, and sub-zero temperatures Sunday morning, caused many churches to cancel services.

Like millions of others, I watched the Super Bowl Sunday night. I had no strong preference of which team I wanted to win, but was somewhat surprised by the ending. In all, I thought it was a good game.

One of the big draws for the Super Bowl is all the new advertising that is debuted during the game. In kind of an ironic twist, at least one of those ads indicated that cheating was okay as a means to win the race.

As I remember the story, when the turtle and the hare had their race in the old fairy tale, the turtle won by taking a slow and steady pace, defeating the speedier rabbit.

We are told in the Bible the one who runs the best race is the one who keeps his eye on the finish line, not being distracted by things going on around him. The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

The Apostle Paul said, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—“(Acts 20:24). Then, near the end of his life, Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

To the church at Corinth, Paul exhorted his readers to run in such a way as to get the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24).

In each of these examples, the emphasis is on finishing well, not so much being first across the finish line. How does a Christian finish well? Only one thing mattered to Paul: to finish the work God had given him to do. We do not have the same calling as Paul, but the following applies to all Christians.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

In Him,
Pastor Jerry