Author: CalvaryBaptist703

The Danger of the Plastic Baby Jesus in the Yard

 

All over the world and especially all over America this week there are little manger scenes on display in Cities and Towns and court squares and front yards. Some are wooden, some are plastic, some even have lights and you plug them in and they light up. Some even have live animals and actors to play the part. To be frank I like them all and I find it rewarding that so many people still have the backbone to display a manger scene no matter who whines about it. Unfortunately however after the “Christmas season” is over the lighted manger scene will be unplugged and boxed back up along with the donkey, the lamb, the wise men and plastic Joseph and Mary. They’ll all be put back in the basement or attic (many will store them right beside the plastic Santa) to be forgotten for another year. Many untold millions love Christmas, and with good reason I might add – it is after all the day we’ve dedicated to a celebration of God’s own Son stepping out of heaven and into a human body that he might redeem man from the curse & penalty of sin. I understand the premise behind the plastic manger scenes. But there is a “danger in the manger scene” and it is this: The Lord Jesus hasn’t been ‘away in a manger’ for over 2000 years! Now he has a crown on His head and He doesn’t sleep! Sadly many know only that plastic plug in Jesus. The one who makes no demands and has nothing to say. He just lays there in the fake manger being adored by his plastic parents, wise men and animals. That’s sadly just exactly the kind of Jesus many want. One whom they can stuff back in the box and stick back in the basement or attic the rest of the year. He’s not unlike the blow up Santa; just another ornament to decorate an empty life with. Plastic plug in baby Jesus and blow up Santa will sit quietly out in the shed with the plastic witch & plastic Easter bunny and make no demands year after year. You can do as you please with little plastic Jesus, but I wish I could warn all of the world! The real Jesus went on to Calvary where He paid the penalty of death for YOU! The real Jesus was buried in a tomb and after 3 days He rose from the dead FOR YOU. If you’ve been saved by the blood of the Lamb the manger is just the beginning! The real Jesus will live all year in your heart sitting upon the throne. Yes the manger is a tender reminder of the love of our God IF you’ve met the risen Saviour. But if you haven’t, that plastic baby Jesus might just as well be a plastic statue of you. I don’t really care what people do with plastic baby Jesus, but I would to God that they would put the real one in their heart before it is eternally too late. Come worship the great King with us at Calvary Baptist Church. (903)729-5924. 703 Gillespie Rd, Palestine, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

I Will Not Be Told

Some years ago I was preaching in a jail in Tennessee to a handful of men, most of whom had been in tears throughout the sermon and afterwards one asked to speak with me privately. He told me how he’d ruined his life with booze & drugs and of how he had really ‘messed up this time’. I told him about the Lord Jesus Christ [the Life-Changing miracle worker] and prayed with him. A few days later this same man’s long-term ‘fiancé’ called me and asked if she could meet with me regarding the sermon her fiancé had mentioned from the jail service I’d held. Later, when I met with her, she told me of the charges she too was facing and wanted to know if there was yet hope. She described having been raised by loving parents but said she couldn’t stand their rules. They were ‘strict and uncompromising’. Her father was demanding and her mother unreasonable she said. She hadn’t spoken to them in over two years. She told me of how she’d left home under wrong circumstances, gotten into drugs which had cost her a good marriage and two teen children (whom her parents were raising). She cried and told me she hadn’t seen her kids and had no relationship with them. She’d had a string of run-ins with the police and multiple failed relationships. At the moment she had a whole new set of charges pending ahead of her. She was being abused, a constant victim of domestic violence, etc. I asked her if she couldn’t simply call her parents whom I was sure would be thrilled to help (John 15:11-24). Her answer? NO! My father demands I dress a certain way, behave a certain way, talk a certain way and dictates the places I can go and who I can socialize with and be friends with. Nearly shouting by this point she said, I REFUSE TO BE TOLD WHAT I CAN AND CANNOT DO! Gently I asked her “even if that refusal has ruined your relationship with your parents [whose demands and standards were there for her protection], and has cost you a marriage? Even if that refusal has robbed you of your children and has destroyed your relationship with them? As she went on describing her outrage at all they who had tried to keep her from the life she’d chosen I felt a great pity for her. Sunken eyed, hollow cheeks and unkempt hair – It made me angry again at the old devil who had turned her against her family and even her own children. Even faced with the terrible consequences of her rebellion and pride she still couldn’t see what it has done to her. As I sat there listening to her I imagined her shackled like Charles Dickens fictional character Jacob Marley with great heavy chains of rebellion forged link by link and lock by lock. A great ponderous iron ball dragging along behind her. That’s where many people are in these last days! They’ve not realized that some rules are good and some standards are loving. This is Pastor Malcolm Harrison inviting you to bring a Bible and join us at Calvary Baptist Church in Palestine. We have services at normal church times as well as Sunday school for all ages.

 

 

 

No Man Could Bind Him, No, Not with Chains!

Some of you bible believers may recognize this phrase “And no man could bind him, no, not with chains” from Mark chapter 5. There we are told the account of the “Devil Possessed man of Gadara”. If you’ve not read it lately I encourage you to do at this point before proceeding. There is so much to consider in this piece of scripture but for sake of time let me point out that this poor devil possessed soul was living in the graveyard…cutting himself with stones. That is how Satan rewards his followers…self-loathing…self-hatred…self-injury! As is clear from the text, the people there had many times hunted the poor soul down and captured him. They’d many times bound him, certainly they’d tried ropes at first…and then when those had failed to hold him they’d even resorted to using chains to try to restrain him. Yet in his rage and fits   and If you know your Bible you may recognize that phrase “And no man could bind him, no, not with chains” as a quote from the New Testament, Mark chapter 5 Some years ago during a tent revival meeting a woman came up to the preacher and said “my twenty four year old sister is coming Sunday preacher, please pray that God would grant her repentance unto salvation”. Sure enough the sister came and the preacher (a friend of mine) preached a Holy Ghost anointed sermon that filled the altars with lost and backslidden souls that night. The young woman too raised her hand admitting before God that she knew she was not saved and that she was being convicted of God. Yet when the invitation time came she remained in her chair and despite much prayer, she refused to come forward and take Christ as her Lord. That Sunday night after the meeting she told the preacher “I can’t come tomorrow night but I’ll be back Tuesday night”. Despite his urging she wouldn’t accept Christ that night; she said “perhaps I will Tuesday night”. The next night she was talking to a friend on the phone while she sat on the couch with her little three year old daughter in her lap. During the call, her friend tearfully said “she just quit talking and I heard the phone hit the floor…I called her name over and over but she didn’t answer”. Later the three year old came into the other room where her grandfather was napping and said “Paw-Paw I’m done playing with mommy in the floor but she won’t get up”. He went into the room and found his daughter lying on the floor unresponsive and not breathing. The Coroner said in his autopsy report {cause of death unknown}, he said, ‘there’s nothing wrong with her’. 2 Corinthians 6:2 warns [For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation]. Revelation 3:20 tells us God said “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” If she had known that her appointed time [Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment] was mere hours away I believe that young lady would have ran to that altar and begged the great King of Kings to impute his righteousness unto her [Romans 4:7-8; Ephesians 2:8-9]. I believe she’d have called out saying “God, be merciful unto me a sinner” [Luke 18:13]. Sir, mam, when did you come under conviction, call out in repentant faith and open the door to your heart for a merciful God to come in? Hell is filled with people that were going to “get saved later”. We here at Calvary beg you not to put it off one moment longer. Malcolm Harrison is the pastor at Calvary Baptist Church 903-729-5924 703 Gillespie Rd on the Loop across from Pizza Hut. Visit us on the web at Calvarybcpalestine.com. On Facebook Calvary Baptist Church of Palestine.

 

 

 

 

Come As You Are, Leave As You Came

I suppose I’ve been asked 100 times by now “pastor, is your church a come as you are church?” That’s an interesting question. In Mark 5 we’re told about a man possessed by devils, living in the tombs (graveyard), cutting himself with rocks and running wild. We are told he cried & wailed and no one could chain him or capture him for long. Can you imagine that being your son or daughter? Can you imagine those heartbroken parents going out with lanterns hoping to see their son; to see if he’s still alive, to see if he’s been hurt badly and what his condition is, hoping to see their devil possessed son and inside hoping they wouldn’t see him because it hurt too much. Can you imagine that young man covered with his own blood, naked, wild eyed, wounds all over which he inflicted on himself, running wild and living in the graveyard among the tombs? But when Jesus came that devil possessed son ran to him, fell flat before him and worshipped him [Mark 5:1-20]. Notice that Jesus didn’t say “hey pal…go clean up your act and then come back. He didn’t say “go get a shave and a haircut and change clothes and then come see me”. No…we must all come as we are (unclean, lost, sinful and needing a Saviour). Would I tell those parents No…your son can’t come to church until he puts on a tie and coat. Would I tell them their poor devil possessed son must remain in the tombs and not come to church and learn of Jesus until he gets his act cleaned up? No… his only hope is Jesus! His only chance is Jesus! He MUST COME as he is! I will not tell them their poor lost son is not fit for our pretty church pews and our carpeted floors. BUT NOTICE SOMETHING IMPORTANT ABOUT “COME AS YOU ARE”: AFTER the man in Mark 5 was changed by Jesus he went, got dressed, quit carrying on and was sitting listening to Jesus! He, like so many Jesus met, were drastically and permanently changed in every way. The Son of the Living God never left anyone the same! He never leaves anyone the same. He changes you drastically inside and out! You must come as you are yes! BUT YOU CANNOT STAY AS YOU CAME! Jesus changes everything! Read [II Corinthians 5:17]. Sadly today many have this “NO CHANGE” mentality and they’ve even created some so-called ‘churches’ that specialize in a ‘come as you are’ Churchianity where you can come as you are, stay as you please and leave as you came. They want mercy, grace and Jesus so long as He doesn’t tell them how to live, dress, behave or think. So many want God but not on His terms. The devil possessed man [Mark 5] was ready to let God change it all. If you’re ready for God to change your life HE WILL.

Digging Under God’s Fence

Many years ago, though at the time I knew I’d regret it, I fell victim to the pleadings of one of my children for a puppy. No ordinary puppy mind you, but a rather frightening mix of Dalmatian, dachshund and some other as yet unidentifiable mongrel. “Max” as ‘it’ was eventually named grew from disturbing in appearance to outright disconcerting but the family loved him and had many good laughs at his expense. Max developed a problem though…digging under the fence he would wander the neighborhood causing mischief and stirring up trouble. All efforts to stop this unruly behavior failed and all efforts to thwart his escape gave way to new holes under the fence. I ordered the holes filled in and blocked but to no avail. Chastening, threatening and even trying to frighten him to stay in the yard all failed and, as expected, Max got out and was hit by a car. He was badly injured and I should have put him out of his misery, but I didn’t have the heart and the children begged me not to. So for several weeks we doctored, wrapped, bandaged, fed him soup and waited. Slowly he recovered and never dug another hole under the fence. Ecclesiastes 10:8 says “He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him”. Sadly many Christians are just like that dog…always digging under the fence and roaming around in worldliness and carnality. Always looking for a way to “get away with sin” in their lives; ungodly friends, ungodly music, ungodly talking, unequal yokes {wrong friends, wrong relationships, unequal marriage}; some “Christians” are always interested in the things God is trying to keep out of their lives rather than what He’s trying to put into their lives. There are some Christians I know who are always “digging under the fence” God has put around them and the consequences are plainly evident. Inside God’s will you find shelter, love, providence, mercy, grace, blessings, purpose, closeness, companionship and fellowship. Those of you who’ve been around a while know well the truth of this warning! Outside God’s will awaits heartbreak, pain, suffering, struggle, hardship and difficulty or worse [Proverbs 13:15]. God’s words aren’t a barrier meant to keep them you having fun, it is there to keep the world out of your life! In Job 1:10 Satan, after searching for a way to get in and wreck Job’s life, said to God “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side…?” We must all live in this sin-sick world, but God in his mercy, set scriptural boundaries {a fence if you will} for Christians to minimize this world’s impact and influence upon our lives! The walls are for your protection. My advice to you is ‘be thankful for the shield of God’s boundaries in your life’.

God’s Word Doesn’t Return Unto Him Void

Isaiah 55:11 presents an oft quoted verse that contains an oft overlooked and ominous truth. It says “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but is shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it”. Take the Bible in hand with me and let’s consider FIVE things God’s word does: 1. It CONVICTS: God’s word convicts all who truly hear it, first of their sin and second of their standing and state before God. Remember this phrase “No Conviction = No Conversion”; it means that if there hasn’t been conviction of sin – there has not been conversion from sin. An essential element of any conversion is conviction by the Holy Spirit by the word of God (Romans 10:17 proves this irrefutable truth “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”). 2. It CONVERTS: If the hearer will permit the word of God to do its convicting work and will submit to that convicting, the word of God will bring him to a place of repentance and faith and can work its converting work. Remember this phrase “No Repentance = No Regeneration”. Jesus came preaching and saying “…I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”; not surprisingly this is removed from counterfeit bibles in Mark 2:17. 3. It CONDEMNS: When God’s word is refused, rejected or denied, it takes an ominous turn and condemns the hearer. “Repent or Perish”! Contrary to the modern ‘tip toe through the tulips’ approach of many of today’s preachers, God has much to say to those who reject his word, and all of it condemning! A man once told me, after I had invited him to church, he’d not submit and ask God for forgiveness after all these years of self-indulgence. Three days later and quite unexpectedly he was dead and I was again reminded “God is not mocked…” 4. It CONFIRMS: According to 2 Corinthians 5:7, this conversion, accompanied by the new birth, produces a “new creature in Christ”, also referred to as “the new man”. The truths of scripture confirm in my heart that God is my father and that I am His son. The truths of scripture have become real and living words in my life and heart. A Christian cannot help but to see things in a new light and the more he or she reads the bible the more evident, the more manifest, indeed the more irrefutable the scriptures show themselves to be. 5. It CONFORMS: Since I surrendered my heart to the scriptures they have been working within me, conforming my attitudes, my emotions, my thinking, my understanding, my values, my views indeed my life to fit the bible. The old saying “we don’t change the bible, the bible changes us” is far more than just a quaint phrase. Calvary Baptist Church isn’t the place for Pharisees and Judges but for those who want to meet God!

Bitterness

    CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH

TRUST THE BIBLE

“Bitterness

      Pastor Malcolm Harrison

 Recently I preached the message “When you can’t forgive” using the shameful event of David & Bathsheba’s terrible adultery as my text [II Sam 11] which it would help you to read before continuing. By way of introduction let me say that one of the most painful things in life is betrayal! If you’ve lived very long you may already know the great pain & heartache of having been done wrong…maybe even by someone you loved and trusted! Often in the wake of betrayal & heartache come great wrath, anger and bitterness. Let me tell you a story: Back before David slew Goliath there was a man of great wisdom named Ahithophel. So very wise and great was he that the Bible says his counsel was “as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God” [II Sam 16:23]. Ahithophel later became one of David’s counselors and most trusted friends. But David fell into a terrible sin – adultery with a married woman known as Bathsheba! She was the young beautiful wife of up and coming military hero Uriah. Uriah was a great warrior and though young himself he had already risen to David’s own elite force of valiant fighting men! Together Uriah & Bathsheba had dreams and a bright future! But while Uriah was off fighting for King and country, his King was committing adultery with his beautiful young wife! David and Bathsheba ruined forever that bright future with a night of adultery. If you’ve read the text, you know that Bathsheba ended up pregnant and to hide it, David brought Uriah home from the front to spend time with his wife so that it would appear the baby was Uriah’s and not David’s. When that failed, David had Uriah murdered in battle. Bathsheba had a loving Dad and doting Grandfather. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many times Bathsheba’s granddad gave her piggy back rides and took her fishing as a child, but it does tell us who he was. Can you guess? The beautiful young Bathsheba’s grandfather was none other than the great Ahithophel {David’s friend and counselor}. When Ahithophel discovered the dark secret of what his dear friend the great King David had done with his precious granddaughter; how he’d defiled her and gotten her pregnant & ruined a family’s hopes and had murdered her husband to hide it all he was consumed with rage! It was a painful betrayal of his son, his granddaughter, his grandson-in-law, of the throne and of God! Anger & outrage spread like a wildfire in Ahithophel! It consumed him so deeply he said horrible things [II Sam 16:15 to 17:6] and even asked David’s wicked son Absalom to let him have some men with which to go hunt David down and kill him personally [II Sam 17:1-4]. But meanwhile David had been confronted with his sin, and he and Bathsheba had paid in tears with the death of their baby for that night of fun and that murder [II Sam 12]. Sin always has a price and it’s always much higher than you think it’ll be! David sought and obtained mercy & forgiveness from God. We don’t know if he ever went to Ahithophel and asked his friend’s forgiveness, but if he did it fell on deaf ears. This betrayal had hurt Ahithophel too deeply for him to forgive. The bitterness of seeing Bathsheba in David’s arms, while her husband and baby lay cold in the grave turned his heart to stone and his great wisdom to darkness. I would caution you as your friend and as a pastor, anger and bitterness will eat you alive – you must forgive! By the end of II Sam 17 Ahithophel hung himself. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Many verses come to mind in dealing with the results of anger and betrayal, of bitterness and wrath and all of them point to a simple truth: The heart that’s been born again and filled with the Spirit of God cannot long endure the heavy burden of bitterness and anger without suffering harm. See Colossians 3:13   “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” and Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”. I encourage you to search for God’s strength in mercy by asking God to help you find compassion and forgiveness! This is the will of God. Yes, it is hard but with God all things are possible! Robert E Lee, a great Christian man, was once asked “whatever shall we do…just look what they’ve done” by a war ravaged family whose large old Oak tree had been shattered to shreds by Union cannon fire. He reflected a moment in silence and then said, “cut it down”. That’s good advice! Get the sad reminders out of sight, cut the bad memories down and move on! Come visit us at Calvary Baptist Church! 903-729-5924

God’s Fences

CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH

TRUST THE BIBLE

“God’s Fences”

    Pastor Malcolm Harrison

 

 

Against my better judgment many years ago I let one of my son’s talk me into letting him have a puppy. We had a large back yard with a privacy fence and my son assured me he’d tend to the dog’s needs, and like many dads, I fell for it hook, line and sinker! “Max” as ‘it’ was eventually named, was a pathetic excuse for a dog. It was some kind of multi-mix mutt which I strongly suspected of having been conceived in a lab or some sinister experiment. It was spotted like a Dalmatian, built like a Dachshund and had the face of a lab; a good example of a female dog that spends time ‘outside the fence’. Nonetheless we all became fond of the mongrel and had many laughs at his expense. Max had a problem though; he was constantly digging under the fence and roaming the neighborhood vandalizing trashcans and stirring up trouble; just the kind of behavior one can reasonably expect from a suspicious looking spotted dog. The children would often have to roam the neighborhood calling out and trying to find him and then they’d chase, bait, beg, threaten or carry him back to the yard again. Over just a few years we’d filled in more “under the fence” holes than we could count. Bricks, tires, blocks, posts, debris…it didn’t matter; Max would just dig a new one. I ordered my sons to hide and scare Max back in when they caught him at it – it didn’t work. I even resorted to beatings, within reason, to drive him back into the yard – it didn’t work. Sure enough one day Max was standing in the road and was hit by a speeding car. To put it gently – it was bad. Cuts, rips, deep gashes, many teeth knocked out, hide peeled, bleeding profusely, Max was hurt bad. My daughter was screaming, Max was bellowing but it was far too late then the damage was done. I should have put him out of his misery but I didn’t have the heart and the children begged me not to. So, bleeding and hurt bad, they carried him home and for several weeks we doctored, wrapped, bandaged, fed him soup and waited. Slowly he recovered and after his release into the yard, never dug another hole or tried to get out again. Ecclesiastes 10:8 says “He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him”. Sadly many Christians I’ve seen are just like that dog…always digging under the fence and roaming around in worldliness & carnality. Always looking over their shoulder back to the “flesh pots” of Egypt…always looking for a way to “get away with sin” in their lives. Filthy worldly music, filthy movies full of cursing, nudity, promiscuity, unequal yokes {wrong friends, wrong associations, wrong relationships, wrong marriage}; some “Christians” are always more interested in the things God is trying to keep out of their lives than what He’s trying to put into their lives. There are some Christians I know who are always “digging under the fence” God has put around them. Max had it made inside that fence, we gave him everything a dog could want but it was never ‘enough’. So it is with a Christian living inside the boundaries of the walls God has placed around you. Inside God’s will you find shelter, love, providence, mercy, grace, blessings, purpose, closeness and companionship and fellowship. Out side God’s will awaits heartbreak, divorce, pain, suffering, struggle, hardship and difficulty [Prov 13:15]. What Max couldn’t understand was, the fence wasn’t there to keep him from having fun, it was there to keep the world away from him! What some Christians can’t seem to get is that God hasn’t walled you inside the Bible to keep you from enjoying life, he’s walled you about with the scriptures to keep the world out of your life! The walls are for your protection. Our house has doors with locks. They’re not to keep me in, but to keep the world out! They keep me safe & protected. The Bible’s limitations on Christian living are not against you – they’re FOR YOU! Praise God! Sadly, I see more and more young people {even some adults} many from good Christian homes setting their eyes on things outside the fence of God’s will. They choose foolish idols, foolish influences, foolish relationships and foolish friendships, things that bring heartache, addiction, pain, suffering, shame and failure…sooner or later, they get hit by one of those ‘cars’ on life’s highway. Some survive…some don’t. Don’t believe that? Visit an abortion clinic, a prison, a jail, a rehab center. Weekly I speak with “Christians” who ‘dig under the fence and get out of God’s will’. He’s called, begged, chastised and rebuked but still…some won’t learn and won’t listen. I could tell you true accounts by the dozen of Christians who “got run over” by a car they never saw and they are still suffering from the wounds of a terribly painful lesson about ‘digging under God’s fences”. Stay in!!! Come visit with us at Calvary Baptist Church at 703 Gillespie Rd in Palestine, Texas 903-729-5924

 

 

Take Ye Away The Stone

Pastor Malcolm Harrison

 In John chapter 11 God gave us the wonderful & incredible account of the resurrection of Lazarus. There are many different doctrines and teachings to be learned and studied in this great event! One I’d like to share with you to help you in your prayer. First, read John 11 to refresh your memory. As you read verse one you see Lazarus was sick and in verse three his worried sisters Mary & Martha sent for Jesus! When Jesus got to them, after Lazarus’s death, Mary & Martha regard his arrival as “too late” and poor Mary says “Lord, if thou had been here, my brother had not died” vs 32. Jesus tells her to show him the grave. Have you ever wondered why Jesus asked her to show him where the grave was when he knew full well where it was? Carefully study and pray about that question. The answer should bring a smile & a tear to your face. Notice verse 39 [that is where we’ll take our text] and notice what Jesus said to Mary & Martha “Take ye away the stone”. Did you ever wonder why Jesus {son of Almighty God who can calm the seas, raise the dead, heal the sick, cast out devils and by whom all the whole universe was formed} would ask two women to move a huge stone? He certainly doesn’t need them or anyone else to move the stone away. He could’ve turned it into a parakeet or a bucket of fish had he but willed it. He could have turned the stone into a big ginger-bread cookie had he but thought it, but no, he told these two women to take away that stone….don’t you wonder why? Because like always God is teaching…through his son Jesus the Christ we are being taught several very important things here. One of which is this: Prayer involves removing obstacles! Sometimes the reason God doesn’t answer our prayers is that there is an Obstacle between our prayer petition and God. Here is our problem…we want God to move, but we don’t want to move! Sometimes God says to us “as long as you know that there’s an obstacle between me and your prayer request, I won’t answer it until you remove the obstacle”. We let things get in our life, sins that create obstacles to our prayers…sins create barriers that come between us and what we’re asking God for. We pray and beg God to move and the Holy Spirit within us all but shouts “yes God would love to answer your prayers but you’ve got this adultery here and that beer there and this filthy language here that you’ve got to deal with…What about these?” So, if we’re listening, the Holy Spirit shows us in our hearts what the “stone” is that must be removed…and we don’t want to move it…we don’t want to deal with our sins. So we ignore the Holy Spirit’s urgings and convictings….and our prayers go unanswered and our fellowship with God is broken! Some might be thinking “my goodness preacher…is it really that serious…can sin in my life, like skipping church, really prevent God from answering my prayers”? Lets see what the Bible says [Prov 28:9, Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:2-3, Jeremiah 14:11-12]. Willful intentional unrepentant sin most certainly WILL become a stone which God demands YOU take away before he will answer your prayers! Take a father who has a very sick child. Such a man needs his prayers to reach heaven Amen?! He needs God to answer his prayers on behalf of that child! But the dad is living in adultery and wont repent of it, won’t forsake it. God is in Heaven watching, waiting to answer, hoping the father will remove that “stone of adultery”, but the father loves his adultery more than his son and will not “take away the stone”. The prayer goes unanswered…the child doesn’t recover and the father blames God! All along it was the dad’s power to get that prayer answered, but he himself prevented God from answering! Is your love of sin, stronger than your desire to see God answering prayer in your life? Jesus said “Take ye away the stone”. One thing I can tell you as a son, as a father, as a husband and as a pastor who has seen many, many wonderful prayers answered, is that if you’ll repent, take away the stones of willful sin and get on your heart’s knees before God, you’ll see God answering prayers in your life! Come Visit us Soon at Calvary!

 

A Child Of The King

One of the common misconceptions promoted by the ‘all inclusive’ religion of today is the notion that ALL people are the “Children of God”. From internet forums to the erosive ‘community church’ movement self-styled ‘pastors’ are promoting this unbiblical precept in an effort to change who God is and thereby to change the definition of “Christian”.

Nonetheless let’s ask the question: Is this true? Is this really Biblical? Not hardly. In this brief article let me encourage you to “Trust the Bible”! Turn with me to the “Gospel of John” Chapter 8 verse 24-59 (In the REAL Bible…by which of course I mean of course the Authorized Bible…The King James Bible). Read those verses carefully and pay close attention to verses 36-47. There we find the Jewish Pharisees (the religious cream of the crop) getting more and more disgusted with Jesus’ narrow view of who is and who is not a follower of God nor the children of God. In verse 39 this religious crowd said “we are the children of Abraham” (by which they were referring to their genealogical descent from Abraham and which to them meant they were physically “holy” and beloved of God).

Jesus answered saying “If ye were Abraham’s Children ye would do the works of Abraham”. [The reference is allegorical – a son who loves his father obeys his father and follows his father’s leading in life – Proverbs is filled with references to good vs bad sons. Jesus is in effect saying if you really were good sons of your father you’d do as your father did. Abraham followed God and it is a forgone conclusion that if these Pharisees were going to claim to be Abrahams children then it follows that they’d do what their father did…but since they were not doing that, it is concluded that they are NOT his true children]. To drive his point home he adds “Ye do the deeds of your father” Vs 41 and they saidGod is our Father’. What follows is an outrage to liberals, atheist, agnostics, evolutionist, and particularly to the ‘religious liberal’. vs 42-44 IF GOD WERE YOUR FATHER YE WOULD LOVE ME…YE ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do”.

THERE IT IS! If you want to know WHY America and the rest of the world is at the point it is at…there is your answer. There are two peoples of the earth. They who love and follow God and they who do not. All divisions of people pale in comparison to this. “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God”. It is not complicated – it is in fact very simple. Either you love God and follow God (by the way it is of course a matter of fact that there is just ONE GOD) or you don’t.

Is everyone on the planet, regardless of doctrinal view or religious label, a child of God? Jesus answered that question point blank in our text: NO! Only they who “love and obey God” (all who deny Christ Jesus do so in denial of God’s word and of God himself – herein is the damning danger of denying the Trinity 1st John 5:7 and all of John 17). The Pharisees believed sincerely and completely that their “physical birth and blood line” was their ticket to heaven. The Jews practicing the keeping of the law of Moses believed like the Pharisees that salvation was to be had only in obeying the law and being a Jew (either by birth or by becoming a proselyte). {Paul wrote Galatians by inspiration of the Holy Ghost to explain that it is NOT the physical birth but the spiritual birth that counts when it comes to the matter of salvation}. Still today many believe that physical birth makes us all the children of God and as such that all people are simply traveling various ‘roads to heaven’ and that all religious roads lead to God. The Biblical reality is that some are the children of God and some are not. Those that are became the children of God by the New Birth{John 1:12, 3:3-5, 16-18, 36, Ephesians 2:8} without which one is a child of the devil {John 3:36}. Over the years many have asked me “how could a good and loving God throw his own children into hell”? Excellent question! The answer is that God will not throw his own children into hell but He certainly WILL throw all the children of the Devil into Hell [Rev 20]. The King James Bible says * You either come to God by Christ Jesus or you don’t come at all. All ‘religions’ not revolving around the Lord Jesus Christ and the new birth by Grace through Faith are hopeless roads to Hell. All people regardless of standing or state, Nationality or religious view, race or creed are either the children of God by the New Birth or they are the children of the Devil, PERIOD. The Pharisees hated Jesus for this saying. The Jews hated Jesus for this saying and crucified him for it. The Muslims hated this truth so they propped up their own Dagon [1st Samuel Ch 5] whom they named Allah and assigned him a false prophet named Muhammad. All over the world Christ Jesus is hated for the truth [John 8:45]. No wonder then that He said “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are NOT of God” [John 8:47]. To deny the Holy Bible is to deny God AND reveal that one is OF THE DEVIL. We hope you’ll bring your family to visit with us soon at Calvary Baptist Church across from Pizza Hut on the Loop in Palestine, Texas this week! Church – 903-729-5924