Category: F

Finishing What You Started

In Luke 14:28-30 The Only Begotten Son of God said “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.”

Can I call a few observations to mind? #1 “Christianity isn’t easy” or #2 “cheap”. Another good lesson to draw from this text for the student of the word of God would be #3 “Finish What You Started”.
I cannot stress enough what damage is done when professing Christians cave in and fall out. Many have I met who mock the Bible and insult Christianity and when you get to the bottom of it you often find that some Christian they trusted long ago, someone they loved quit and it robbed them of their hope! Time and again I’ve listened to the testimonies of those who at first appearance seem to hate Christians…someone who, as a child, watched their grandparents, or parents make a decision to follow Christ and then after some time they fell out, quit and their fall completely devastated someone who was watching to see if “it was real”. 
I wish I had space here to share with you just a few testimonies of some I’ve talked to over the years who said “No…I don’t want to hear about Christianity or Christ or God or Church…it wasn’t important to my parents and it isn’t important to me”. 
It is sad to think of those moms and dads who turned their own kids away from God by starting and then quitting. One man told me his father turned him away from Christianity by playing good Christian on Sunday and otherwise living like a hellion Mon-Saturday. “If that’s Christianity you can keep it”. 
Can I give you Christian parents, neighbors, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters some advice?! You are being watched and your walk is making an impact. Don’t quit! Don’t wobble on the axle! Get that Bible in its place every day; get that Christian life in its place every day! Put your feet on the floor saying “Lord…help me to honor you today lest I cause someone else to stumble and fall by my poor example”! If you’ve started on this Christian course of life – FINISH IT! If you’re a Christian, you’ve started a good thing, but a hard thing….So FINISH IT! Get serious about it before it is too late and you find yourself watching those who were watching you, headed to hell because you didn’t have the will and drive to dig in and go all the way! Don’t quit! Someone has to be willing to stand up for Jesus even if everyone else quits. Finish it! 
If you’ve already fell out; get up, brush off, and get going again! 

The Fatted Calf Needs a Bigger Stall!

In Luke chapter fifteen we have one of the greatest known accounts of God’s love in the New Testament. The famous story that is known as “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”. If you don’t know the story, I urge you to read it before you go any further here.

In the story a foolish son has taken his inheritance, made a terrible decision to go far away, and it had cost him all he had. Shamed, starved, impoverished, humiliated and with a broken spirit he had finally woken up to reality and decided to go home and ask his father’s mercy. When he arrived home, instead of the harsh rebuke he deserved and expected, his father fell on him, loved him, kissed him and welcomed him back. He ordered his servants to kill and cook the “fatted calf” (a tender calf kept stalled and fattened up; readied for a celebration in case his son returned).

It is this fatted calf I want to direct your attention to this week. I wonder how long the father must’ve waited and hoped and looked longingly up the road as he dreamt of his son’s return. How long had the calf languished in the barn just getting fatter and fatter? I don’t know, but I do know that is where many prodigal sons and daughters are as you read this. Afar off in sin, humiliated and shamed and crushed under the weight of this sin-sick world. All that remains is that they should “come to themselves” as this son did. That they should finally admit their terrible decisions had been costly and moreover that they should finally set out for home and a father’s love. Many such sons and daughters have we met out in life. Ruined, shamed, defiled by either themselves or their ‘so-called friends’ and sent into life’s pig’s pen.
Many longing fathers and brokenhearted mothers have we met who watch and wait, who glance hopefully at a silent phone and listen daily for the knock at the door announcing a wayward child’s return. Are there not many such sons’ and daughters’ overdue now? Ah for some the calf has been fattened so long he needs a bigger stall! How much longer will they sit in the pig’s pen chained there by their own stubborn pride? What will it take to rouse them? Our great Father too has many such sons and daughters who have taken their inheritance of eternal life and gone on their own journey out of his will. But even sitting out there out of church and out of his will they are no less sons.
Come home I say!! If as a preacher I could take you a letter from our Father I can tell you what it would say! “COME HOME SON”! COME HOME DAUGHTER! Make our Father wait no longer. If you’re one of those prodigals who is ready to come home I invite you to come and celebrate your return at Calvary Baptist Church! We’ll celebrate your return as many of us have celebrated our own homecoming.

The Four Portraits of Christ

It has been said that most seminaries {pronounced cemetery} is a like a dark alley into which many good young men have been led and quietly had their faith strangled to death. One of the ways this is done is by educating them out of believing the old King James Bible. Those who’ve been ‘educated’ are easy enough to spot – they’ll invariably speak in favor of and justify embracing things God is against. They’ll contradict the Bible. One such example is found in allusions to the so-called “synoptic gospels”. This popular ‘cemetery’ teaching holds that Matthew Mark and Luke are all in agreement and seem to complement each other; but that John is an anomaly filled with questionable and impossible events. However, these four glorious mountains provide us, just as God intended, with four very different portraits of our Lord. In Ezekiel chapter 1 we read of the four living creatures each of which has four faces [verse 10] The face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox and the face of an eagle. The parallels are uncanny at best and at the very least depict four allegories of the gospels. These four creatures are unwavering in purpose (like the four gospels). They are joined and move together (like the gospels). They are very interesting and majestic in their parallels of the four Gospels. Consider, Matthew – the transition book from the Old Testament to the New Testament – presenting the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish people. Known as the “King Book” of the “Lion of Judah” [Rev 5:5]. Matthew presents us with Jesus Christ the King more than any other book and the scripture themselves name the lion as the king of beasts. Then notice that the gospel of Mark provides no blood line, no lineage, he just dives right in and shows us the Saviour-servanthood and humility and lowliness of Jesus Christ in his incessant laboring in the harvest fields of God, like an ox, working and working and working. Then notice how the gospel of Luke presents us with our Lord Jesus Christ the son of ‘man’. Luke’s portrait of the ‘son of man’ shows us Jesus Christ the man like no other book. Then of course consider how John shows us Jesus Christ the ‘son of God’ in a majestic depiction of his deity. This is the God man, soaring high and lifted up like an eagle above all. These four creatures are also found standing before the throne in the Revelation of Jesus Christ where in chapter 4 they give praise and glory to Him who sits on the throne! No friends there are not 3 gospels in agreement and one questionable gospel record any more than those four creatures of Ezekiel are questionable, NO! All four creatures agree together, move together, work together and are connected. The FOUR portraits of the Lamb of God (The Gospels) are joined in perfection and tell all who have ears to hear “Trust the Bible”.