Category: R

The Resurrection

My pastor, Lev Humphries, wrote the following article which I offer to you here as a blessing: [The Resurrection of Christ was a hot topic in New Testament times. It was one of the most often preached topics of Peter and Paul. In fact, in Acts 23 when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. That sparked a division For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel: but the Pharisees confess both. Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim.2:18 that Hymenaeus and Philetus had, erred, saying that the resurrection is past already;… False doctrine concerning the resurrection is not new. 1 Cor. 15 is mostly concerned with the resurrection and tells us If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.Verse 20-22 stateBut now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Whether you are saved or not, you will be resurrected. Jesus spoke of this in John 5:28-29. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Verse 24 explains that salvation is not merited by those who do good. It is received by faith. Verse 29 is a result of faith in Christ, the New Birth. If you look at Rom. 10:9-13, we have an invitation to the lost to call upon the name of Christ. If you look at verse 9 you will see the importance of believing in the resurrection of Christ: That if thou shalt confess with they mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Remember 1 Cor.15:17, And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain…1 Peter 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotton us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.Revelation 1:18 Jesus statesI am He that liveth, and was dead; and , behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death“] This Sunday is the day we will celebrate what Christians refer to as “Resurrection Sunday”. It is the most crucial doctrinal truth of the Bible. In fact without the resurrection there would be no New Testament, no God ordained church and no eternal hope, no forgiveness of sins and no escape of damnation. Without the resurrection there would be no way for believers to be reconciled to our great merciful God! Without the resurrection there would be no hope of that glad reunion with dear loved ones who have died believing on God. We would sing no glad songs of joy, peace and hope. This Sunday we invite you to come and rejoice with us in the resurrection at Calvary Baptist Church in Palestine.

Repairing the Walls and Rebuilding the Gates

What with all the social misfits walking into churches and shooting innocent people in recent years, many churches have wisely opted to arm, train and prepare, as much as possible, in order to combat the possibility of such an event. As both a US Military veteran and a veteran police officer I openly commend and applaud anyone who takes seriously proactive precautions to defend themselves. I believe schools, day care centers, Churches and such places should, out of decency, be ‘off the table’ for targets even for a depraved madman.

Unfortunately events of late have demonstrated with stark reality that churches, schools, malls, concerts, theaters – nothing is safe. No big surprise there in light of Supreme Court rulings concerning prayer, schools, abortion and such. One societal degradation after another. One social, moral and spiritual defilement seems only to lay a foundation for the next and for most of us it seems the America we grew up in is under attack. As if some charlatan were trying to replace it with one where patriotism, decency, moral sensibility, backbone and courage are extinct. In months past I have spoken with a few who questioned churches preparing to defend those inside [which coincidentally includes infants, children, women, the elderly]. To such I say “we’ve put in smoke detectors, fire alarms and emergency exits to prepare for potential hazards. A systematic approach to preparedness, defense and training are much the same”. We’ve insured our vehicles in case of wrecks, our buildings in case of flood or storms – just in case something terrible happens. Shall we prepare for a storm outside and not for one inside?

As the minister of God, pastor of the church and one familiar with taking up arms under the flag of our country; I applaud those who arm themselves and train to respond to such as would harm a child, an elderly one…or other defenseless one, be it in a church, a school, or a grocery store. Our country has ever met tyranny with arms. In the Bible, cities had walls, gates and heavy doors, armed defenders, armed patrols…all ordained of God. King David, a type of Christ, went about with a sword which he used frequently. In fact the Lord Jesus Christ himself said in Luke 22:36 reads “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one”. Why? Because sometimes wicked people try to do wickedness upon those who cannot stop them.
My own view is that I had rather see a church defend its defenseless ones and suffer the criticisms of men than to refuse to do so and live with the resultant horrors and inconsolable conscience thereafter. Like farmers preparing a field for planting and yet trusting God for the harvest, or fisherman lowering their nets for a catch, but trusting the catch to God – so too must we all prepare the horse for the battle but trust the outcome thereof to our Great King.

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

One of the only places where the Christian is plainly and directly told to “study the word” is now and has always been under attack. It is a huge and vitally important direction to study the bible and it’s found in 2nd Timothy 2:15 {Consequently I am sure many of you won’t find it at all surprising that men & devils, modern ‘versions’, textual criticism and so-called scholars have done their best to omit it, delete it, pervert it, mishandle it, distort it or reword it ad nausea}

Let’s see what it actually says in ‘the real bible’ – by which I mean of course the AV 1611 – “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. WOW!! What a mountain of doctrine and guidance for the Christian life! It’s no wonder that so many have tried for hundreds of years to distort this verse; for of a certainty if more people (including preachers) would “study the word” many fake churches & ‘denominations’ would soon go out of business.
By the way ‘rightly dividing the word’ and getting your doctrine straightened out has never wrongly divided the brethren [2nd Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15; 1st Timothy 1:3, 4:1, 2nd Timothy 4:2-4]. Next notice that the verse says by studying you can meet God’s approval – which means that by failure to study and ‘rightly divide’ or understand the word of God you can incur God’s disapproval! The obvious fact being there stated is that someone who fails to study inevitably fails to understand, comprehend, apply and live out “sound doctrine” in their lives and as such they fail to demonstrate to those around them that ‘form of doctrine which was delivered unto’ them [Romans 6:17].

Now we know that as the night draws near in these last days that fewer and fewer are actually studying and I know some of you, like me, are dumbfounded how someone can claim to be a Christian and yet seem uninterested in ‘shewing themselves approved unto God’.
Note also that the goal for the Christian is to be a ‘workman’ for the Lord. A workman in the lives they touch. A worker of the Lord in the life of their spouse, their children and their circle of friends.

Also notice that failing to study in order to ‘rightly divide the word’ leads inescapably to being ashamed before God. I don’t know about you but I already have enough things to be ashamed of and have no desire to add to this long list. Charles H Spurgeon (who was called the prince of preachers) said some great things with which I agree heartily {apart from his notorious blundering on the subject of Calvinism and the so-called ‘doctrines of grace’} in effort to encourage young preachers to study, once said ‘God already has enough biblically ignorant men and women making fools of themselves’; he doesn’t need you to join their ranks.

As for me I already have much to be ashamed of so I do not wish to add biblical ignorance and failure to rightly divide the word to the list. What a fool is that man or woman who knows more about fishing, building, farming or games and movies but almost nothing when it comes to the scriptures.