Sunday September 17th, Answer key Standing Firm in the Gospel Philippians 4:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 13

Below is the answer key for those who are taking notes and may not have recorded all that was taught.

Stand firm in the Lord.

  • Opposition is part of the Christian life.

Euodia an Syntiche.

Distractions such as these cause major problems in the church

  • Distraction from the goal of the Gospel.
  • Disunity among believers
  • Displaced worship.

1Jn 2:9-11

Mat 5:21-24

1Co 13:1-13

 

Love is

  • Patient- Longsuffering, put up with failures.
  • Kind- Purposefully seeking to benefit others by helping or assisting.
  • Not envy or boast It is not jealous or self-promoting.
  • Arrogant It has humility, not elevating oneself above others. Not self-inflated
  • Rude Does not act unbecomingly (Has manners)
  • Does not insist on its own way It does not insist on its own agenda or spotlight.
  • Not irritable or resentful Not easily put off or carries a grudge. Lets things go.
  • Does not rejoice at wrongdoing Not vengeful or happy when others suffer.
  • Rejoices in truth It cares more about what is right than looking good.
  • Bears all things Hides the faults of others.
  • Believes all things It does not readily believe rumors or gossip.
  • Hopes all things Love gives second chances and focuses on the good of a person.
  • Love never ends Loves in not limited by time, distance, events. See romans 8:31-39

 

Survey of Ideas to Reach our Jerusalem and Judea

Below is a copy of the survey that was passed around during our think tank Sunday evening July 16th.

Reaching our Jerusalem and Judea

Act 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

How would you define our mission field? (In your own thoughts of what you think of when you hear mission field or Meade county)

 

What is the gospel message?

 

Have you ever shared the gospel with a person and challenged them to follow Christ as their Savior?    Y  N

What does it take to reach a person with the message of the gospel?

 

What hinders a person from Christ?

 

What can we do to better create opportunities to share the gospel?

 

How can we as a church support you to share the gospel?

 

Who do you see as your personal mission field?

What keeps a person from attending church?

 

What things can we do differently at church to reach people?

 

What new things can we do?

 

Please rank the following on a 1 to 10 scale, 1 being less important and 10 being critically important.

How important is it for you to share the gospel?

How much effort do you make in praying for the lost?

How important is Sunday School to you?

Would you attend a special Bible study if it were offered?

What things would you like to learn, and would bring an un-churched friend to attend in a small group?

1

2

3

 

What ideas for reaching people would you like to share?

 

 

What else comes to mind that you would like to share?

Trends in Reaching Our Mission Field

Below is the handout held on Sunday evening July 16th.

Trends in Reaching Our Mission Field

Southern Baptists

Southern Baptist lost 200,000 members in 2015, and had 300,000 fewer baptisms for the first time in 68 years.[1]

 

Losses of 204,409 in 2015 followed 236,467 of 2014.  The population of the United States grew 321.4MIlliion in 2015 and 318.9 in 2014.  Thus, in 2015 there were 15,294,764 Southern Baptists.  That is one Southern Baptist per 21 people in the USA.

 

The Ekron Mission Field

Meade County is only 11% churched with a 16.9% poverty level.

 

 

What is Being Said

Sam Eaton wrote an article entitled “From the depths of my heart, I want to love church.”[2]

A few insights;

  • Church impressions of Millennials is the lowest in recent history (22-35 year olds)
  • For under 30 y/o, only 20% , 2 in 10 believe church attendance is worthwhile. (All time low)
  • 59% of these raised in church no longer attend.
  • Millennials are the least likely group to attend church.

Millennials believe that no one cares what they think.

  • Lack of interest in opinions
  • Lack of invitation to serve as leadership

Care more about love than missions statements.

  • Desire action and service
  • Stick with the heart of the gospel

Churches lack a compassion for the poor

  • “If our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is in us at all.” David Platt
  • Become active in the community to help people in need.
  • Have the church serve others regularly.

Stop Blaming the Culture

  • Explicitly teach how our lives should be different than the culture.

The You Can’t Sit With Us Effect.

  • Churches that feel cliquey, like high school.
  • Be radically kind and compassionate.
  • Serve together.
  • Train people to help others connect.
  • Do not blame others for not being connected. Some are shy, have anxiety, are struggle. Bridge the gap.

Millennials do not trust institutions

Millennials want to be mentored. They crave relationships.

  • Urgently strive to create relationship opportunities
  • Develop mentors and provide ongoing encouragements

Millennials want to feel valued.

  • Have a genuine love interest in them.
  • Show appreciation.
  • Do not major on failures.

Millennials want to talk about controversial issues.

  • Have an environment to do so.
  • Create a program for youth to transition into adult life
  • Intentionally train youth to live a godly life.

Public Perception

  • Make your church present felt at public events.

Stop talking about US

  • Respect their generation
  • Don’t fail to deliver. Under promise and deliver in abundance

Churches are failing to adapt.

  • Data clearly shows that churches are not connecting with Millennials.

 

Who is Growing

Some are growing, but with a twist on reading the data. [3]

The top 100 fastest growing churches tend to be larger churches in metropolitan areas.[4]

Conservative churches tend to grow while liberal churches are in decline. [5][6]

“For example, 93 percent of growing-church pastors said they agreed with the statement “Jesus rose from the dead with a real, flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb,” compared with 56 percent of declining-church pastors, according to the summary.

And 71 percent of pastors at growing churches said they read their Bibles daily, compared with 19 percent of pastors at declining churches.”

 

5 Trends learned from the top 100 growing churches[7]

1 Non-Denominational Dominates

2 Biblical Truth Builds Churches

3 Millennials aren’t the problem

4 Transparency is Critical

5 Technology is Changing the Mission Field

[1] Baptist News Freefall continues in SBC Membership Bob Allen June 8, 2016

[2] http://faithit.com/12-reasons-millennials-over-church-sam-eaton/

[3] https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/factchecker-are-all-christian-denominations-in-decline

[4] http://www.outreachmagazine.com/outreach-100-fastest-growing-churches-2016.html

[5] https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/04/liberal-churches-are-dying-but-conservative-churches-are-thriving/?utm_term=.76107e7d0f19

[6] http://religionnews.com/2016/11/21/study-finds-churches-with-conservative-theology-still-growing/

[7] http://am.digital/5-things-learned-100-fastest-growing-churches-america/

Lists, Books, and Recommended Reading

History Day Research 045 - Copy

I love lists.  Calendars, electronic checkbooks, scraps of paper, and legal pads all bring me great organizational joy.  My accounting background still fondly remembers the moment I first laid eyes on Lotus 123.  My heart raced to exclaim that computers had been created for just such a purpose.  It all started early in life for me.  Going to the Danville public library to visit my grandmother found my childhood fascinated with the card catalog system for tracking those beautiful columns and rows of books.  It essentially combined my love for reading with my bent towards organization.  Today, I relish in the use of Evernote and Dropbox on my iPod.

Just the other night in a deacons meeting my heart quickened.  One of the brothers shared how after years of only reading his Bible and books for work he was taking it upon himself to begin reading, in which he might grow further in Christ.  Restraining myself from actually fist pumping in the air, I silently praised God for this breakthrough.  You see, I am a firm, ardent, and staunch believer that we should never stop learning.  We need to be discerning Bereans, who test and take to heart everything as to the glory of God.  Since we are to be worshippers in spirit and in truth the discipline of study is as imperative as rungs and sides of a ladder to reach greater heights in learning and application.  We learn, we apply, then we learn some more.

Learning is a means of sanctification.  It is critical to discipleship.

Therefore, today I would hope to encourage you all to learn.  Again, learning is a means of sanctification.  Below you will find my current recommended reading list, under several categories.  Some books might as well be included in several groupings.  However, my purpose here is to give each category of life its own set of tomes for indulgence.  I would love to get your feedback and hear of books you love.  Please write to me at seniorpastor@ekronbaptistchurch.com.

 

Ten Books I Want My Church Members to Read

  • The Bible- I don’t want to make the Bible a side suggestion. I want it to be the imperative.  There is no substitute here, and it should be devoured more than bread or water.
  • Prayer- Ole Hallesby
  • The Screwtape Letters- C S Lewis
  • The Atonement- Leon Morris
  • The Cost of Discipleship- Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This book should be read annually as it wards against mediocrity.
  • Maximum Impact- Wayne Mack If we are to be the church, then we must know how to represent Christ and His message through love.
  • Spiritual Depression- Martyn Lloyd Jones. This book speaks to the depths of the soul in its desires and hope.
  • Desiring God- John Piper
  • Instruments in the Redeemers Hands- Paul Trip If you are a disciple you will be dealing with people.  This tome has helped me to enjoy the trials of ministry.
  • Christless Christianity- Michael Horton In a kaleidoscope world of “Christian” viewpoints, this book brings clarity to what we ought to see.

 

Ten Books for Apologetics

  • Who Made God? Ravi Zacharias & Norman Geisler
  • The Testimony of the Evangelists Simon Greenleaf
  • Between Heaven and Hell Peter Kreeft
  • The Defense Never Rests Craig Parton
  • I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist Norman Geisler & Frank Turek
  • Why I am a Christian John Stott
  • Tactics Gregory Koukl
  • Why Good Arguments Often Fail James Sire
  • Christianity and Liberalism J Greshem Machen
  • Mere Christianity C S Lewis

 

Ten Books for Youth to Read

  • Don’t Waste Your Life- John Piper
  • Do Hard Things- Alex and Brett Harris
  • Radical- David Platt
  • Pilgrim’s Progress- John Bunyan
  • God’s Passion for His Glory- John Piper
  • Respectable Sins- Jerry Bridges
  • Basic Christianity- John Stott
  • Worldliness- C J Mahaney
  • Preparing for Marriage- Wayne Mack. Many books on dating deal mainly with sex.  I ask, should not a book on dating delve into the natural result of such a relationship.  Let us help youth to understand what God requires of a marriage relationship before they initiate the giving away their affections.

 

10 Books for the Weary

  • When I don’t Desire God- John Piper
  • The Christian Life- Ole Hallesby
  • Life Together- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Beside Still Waters- Charles Spurgeon
  • Future Grace- John Piper
  • Revival- Martyn Lloyd Jones
  • How Long Oh Lord- D A Carson
  • Surprised by Suffering R C Sproul
  • Revival Richard Owen Roberts
  • Out of the Depths Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

Twelve Books for Leadership

  • The Reformed Pastor- Richard Baxter
  • Brother’s We are Not Professionals- John Piper
  • Lectures to My Students- Charles Spurgeon
  • Preaching and Preachers Martyn Lloyd Jones
  • Competent to Council- Jay Adams
  • Counseling- John Macarthur
  • How to Say it- Rosalie Maggio
  • The Art of the Personal Letter-Margaret Shepherd
  • Manners- Emily Post
  • Speaking the Truth in Love- David Powlison
  • The Deliberate Church- Mark Dever
  • Warnings to the Churches- J C Ryle

 

Ten Biographies You Need to Read

  • The Diary of David Brainard. Jonathan Edwards
  • Through Gates of Splendor. Elisabeth Elliot
  • Surprised by Joy. C S Lewis
  • The Life of John Newton
  • Foxes Book of Martyers
  • Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther- Peter Smith
  • The Hiding Place. Corrie TenBoon
  • Bonhoeffer. Eric Metaxas
  • Confessions. St. Augustine
  • The Insanity of God.  Nik Ripken

 

Ten Books for Married Couples

  • Sacred Marriage- Gary Thomas
  • Strengthening Your Marriage- Wayne Mack
  • This Momentary Marriage- John Piper
  • The Exemplary Husband- Stuart Scott
  • The Excellent Wife- Martha Peace
  • Uprooting Anger- Robert Jones
  • The Art of Divine Contentment- J C Ryle
  • How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong Leslie Vernick
  • God, Marriage, and Family Andreas Kostenberger
  • This Momentary Marriage John and Noel Piper

Five Books for Parents

  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart- Tedd Tripp
  • The Peacemaker- Ken Sande
  • Instructing a Child’s Heart- Tripp
  • Boys and Girls Playing Together- J C Ryle
  • Sacred Parenting- Gary Thomas

 

Other Books that need to be read……

  • Uprooting Anger Robert Jones
  • When People are Big and God is Small Ed Welch
  • The Atributes of God- A W Tozer
  • The Holiness of God- R C Sproul
  • The Cross Centered Life- C J Mahaney
  • Holiness J C Ryle
  • Instruments in the redeemer’s Hands- Tripp
  • The Heart of Addiction- Mark Shaw
  • Counsel from the Heart- Elise Fitzpatrick and Eric Johnson
  • Idols of the Heart- Elise Fitzpatrick
  • Lies Women Believe- Nancy Demoss
  • Unpacking Forgiveness- Chris Brauns.

Sermon Outline for Sunday May 21, 2017 Having Contentment in the Advance of the Gospel Philippians 1:1-21

These notes are  preaching outline that was used for the sermon.  There may certainly be deviations from the written text.  Audio of the sermon may be found at EkronBaptistChurch.com.

P1070328

 

Our Text

Philippians 1:1-21  Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:  (2)  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (3)  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,  (4)  always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,  (5)  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  (6)  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  (7)  It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.  (8)  For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.  (9)  And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  (10)  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  (11)  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  (12)  I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,  (13)  so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.  (14)  And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.  (15)  Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.  (16)  The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.  (17)  The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.  (18)  What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,  (19)  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,  (20)  as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  (21)  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Our purpose in life is to glorify God. Therefore, the journey of meeting this goal provides the greatest joy this world can offer.

The greater the opposition, the greater we display the awesomeness of God.

Recap of last week: Paul is in chains, in prison, writing to the Philippian church about the joy he has in partnership with them, despite what they might interpret as failure.

So Paul writes about two conditions that are upon his mind, and yet God is to be glorified within.

  1. Circumstances
  2. People

Circumstances (Prison/Chains)

The Sharing of the Gospel in the Royal Guard

12-14 Paul’s imprisonment has led to the sharing of the gospel where it never would have had an audience.

Paul is speaking of himself here, and yet, he is boasting in Christ.  I am where I am by His grace.

He does not tell us the details of why he is there, they don’t matter. (We often talk too much of our selves and the injustices done to us)

What does matter is the sharing of the gospel. The imprisonment, has not restricted him, but rather provided a freedom to share the message of Christ.

 

People (Detractors/haters/Pride)

Its Not a Popularity Contest

15-18 Trouble caused by detractors does not matter.

These detractors were not outsiders, false prophets, or the like.  Rather, what hurt most was they we fellow believers who preached the same message truthfully, and yet criticized Paul.

Some did preach the Gospel faithfully with love.

Others, judged Paul and worked in a one-upmanship manner.

Paul, did not consider their approval or their standards of success to be his goals. (See verse 18 and 21)

Paul’s consideration: Philippians 1:18  What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

Ultimately His motivation is solely; Php 1:21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Your life situations are always a gospel opportunity to learn its application and share its power.

The gospel gives joy. It is the foundational message of the church.  Jesus suffered and counted it worthy to go to the cross to glorify His Father.  You see, Jesus died, not just to save sinners, but to more explicitly demonstrate the person of God the Father.

Consider the eternal truth in Revelation

Rev_4:11  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Rev_5:9  And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,

Rev_5:12  saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

We too ought to count it a blessing to be considered worthy to suffer for the gospel of Jesus.

I often use this word Glory.  What is it to glorify God?

It is to revel in worship of the true person of God.  Not making Him in our own image, physically or mentally.  But rather to consider with great joy four aspects of the person of Christ.

  1. Aspects of His character
  • Love
  • Wrath
  • Justice
  • Grace/Mercy
  • Goodness
  • Omniscience/Omnipotence

     2.  His Transcendence (otherness) His qualities that we cannot relate to.

  • Holiness- the purity of all He is and will ever be. Without sin and unable to entertain sin.

See, The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent

https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Primer-Christians-Learning-Glories/dp/1885904673

     3. His accomplishment/Faithfulness/history

  • Read the Old Testament
  • Creation alone and any study of science is vital to grasping the intricacies of detail that God orchestrates.
  • Job, 34 onward

     4. Hope

  • Where has He ever failed?
  • Where has He ever broken promise?
  • Where would you be without God?
  • Look to the promises that are yet to be fulfilled and have hope in Him, and thus live.

 

Paul’s hope was not in things of this world.  They failed to bring contentment.  What does matter in the Christian life, it our being centered upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here we are not distracted by the world but attracted to God.  Doing so rearranges out values, goals, and motives.  It will then produce the joy that we were created to have to be worshipers of God.  Worship, always includes spirit and truth, doctrine and emotion, direction and affection.

The gospel is not just for salvation, It is daily needed for sanctification.

  • Daily abide in Him as your source of joy and strength and values.
  • Daily, walk by the Spirit (Romans 8)
  • Deny self, take up the cross, and follow Him.

I see many, like me, affected by the crud of life.  The only way to contented joy is through Christ, look no further.

Paul, even though in chains and facing opposition, was centered upon Christ.  He was convinced, that his circumstances were not chains themselves but opportunities.  We can confidently know that

Php 1:6  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Philippians Sermon Series Draft Outline: Christian Contentment in a Confused World

Saints,

The publication below is the draft outline for what I hope to preach throughout the next several months as we explore the book of Philippians.  Some changes are expected to occur, yet I hope this post will help you in your preparation and study.

Bro. Wes

philippians

 

Sermon 1 May 7 Introduction to Philippians and

The Church, God’s Means for Contentment CH 1:1-5

Background

Philippi- The city and its Origin

Prison- Paul’s location for writing

The founding of the Philippian Church- Found in Acts 16.

 

Note: The Art of Divine Contentment (Book)

 

Greeting

Php 1:1  Paul and Timothy, servants   of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Php 1:2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

Php 1:3  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

Php 1:4  always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

Php 1:5  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

 

 

Sermon 2 May 14

The Work of Christ in Your Life for Contentment

Php 1:6  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Php 1:7  It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

Php 1:8  For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Php 1:9  And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

Php 1:10  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Php 1:11  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

 

 

Sermon 3 May 21

Contentment as You Advance of the Gospel in an age of Skepticism

Php 1:12  I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,

Php 1:13  so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.

Php 1:14  And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Php 1:15  Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.

Php 1:16  The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.

Php 1:17  The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.

 

Sermon 4 May 28

Contentment Despite our Circumstances The goal of glorifying God.

Php 1:18  What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

Php 1:19  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,

Php 1:20  as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

Php 1:21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Php 1:22  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.

Php 1:23  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

Php 1:24  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

Php 1:25  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,

Php 1:26  so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

 

Sermon 5 June 4

Content Comes from the Gospel

Php 1:27  Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Php 1:28  and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

Php 1:29  For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

Php 1:30  engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

 

Chapter 2

 

Sermon 6 and 7 June 11 and 18

Content in Christ (6) 

The Mind of Christ (7)

 Php 2:1  So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,

Php 2:2  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Php 2:3  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Php 2:4  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Php 2:5  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Php 2:6  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

Php 2:7  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Php 2:8  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Php 2:9  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

 

Sermon 8 June 25

Contentment Through Worship

Php 2:10  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Php 2:11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lights in the World

 

Sermon 9 July 2

Work out Your Salvation for Your Contentment

Php 2:12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

Php 2:13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

 

Sermon 10 July 9

Flee Discontentment, Put off the Old and Put on the New

Php 2:14  Do all things without grumbling or disputing,

Php 2:15  that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Php 2:16  holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Php 2:17  Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

Php 2:18  Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

 

Sermon 11 July 30

Timothy, A Model of Contentment in a Confusing Church

Php 2:19  I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you.

Php 2:20  For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.

Php 2:21  For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Php 2:22  But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.

Php 2:23  I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me,

Php 2:24  and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

 

Sermon 12 August 6

Epaphroditus A Biography of Contentment

Php 2:25  I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,

Php 2:26  for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.

Php 2:27  Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Php 2:28  I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.

Php 2:29  So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,

Php 2:30  for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.

 

Sermon 13 August 13

Rejoice Despite Opposition for our Confidence is in Christ

Chapter 3

Php 3:1  Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

Php 3:2  Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—

Php 3:4  though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:

Php 3:5  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;

Php 3:6  as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Php 3:7  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

 

 

Sermon 14 August 20

Suffering Yet Joyful. Contentment Comes from Attaining a Worthy Goal while Losing What Burdens You.

Php 3:8  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

Php 3:9  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

Php 3:10  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Php 3:11  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

 

Sermon 15 August 27

The Joy of Continual Growth

Php 3:12  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Php 3:13  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

Php 3:14  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Php 3:15  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

Php 3:16  Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

 

Sermon 16 September 3

The Joyful Hope of a Citizenship in Heaven

Php 3:17  Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.

Php 3:18  For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.

Php 3:19  Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

Php 3:20  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Php 3:21  who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

 

Chapter 4

Sermon 17 September 17

Contentment in a Sure Foundation

Php 4:1  Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

 

Sermon 18 September 24

Why We Find Contentment in Serving Despite Differences

 Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer

Php 4:2  I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.

Php 4:3  Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

  • Keep the Kingdom and the name of Christ as the goal.
  • Serving Christ not ourselves

 

Sermon 19 October 1

Contentment by Means of Worship

Php 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Php 4:5  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

 

Sermon 20 October 8

Contentment in an Anxious Age

Php 4:6  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Php 4:9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

Sermon 21 October 15

Handling Whatever Comes Your Way with Contentment

Php 4:10  I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.

Php 4:11  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Php 4:12  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

 

Sermon 22 October 22

Thankful Contentment Through the Church

Php 4:14  Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

Php 4:15  And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.

Php 4:16  Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.

Php 4:17  Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.

Php 4:18  I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

Php 4:19  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Php 4:20  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

Php 4:21  Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you.

Php 4:22  All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

Php 4:23  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

 

 

Seven Woes of Man Made Religion Overcome by a Christ Centered Life

Below are the rough draft outline notes for the sermons preached at Ekron Baptist on March 19th and 26th.  An audio of these messages will be available at EkronBaptistChurch.com

Elsa Illinois 2008 167

From Matthew Chapter 23

Mat 23:1-39  Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,  (2)  “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,  (3)  so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.  (4)  They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.  (5)  They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,  (6)  and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues  (7)  and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.  (8)  But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.  (9)  And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.  (10)  Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.  (11)  The greatest among you shall be your servant.  (12)  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.  (13)  “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.  (15)  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.  (16)  “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’  (17)  You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?  (18)  And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’  (19)  You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?  (20)  So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.  (21)  And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it.  (22)  And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.  (23)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.  (24)  You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!  (25)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  (26)  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.  (27)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.  (28)  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.  (29)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,  (30)  saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’  (31)  Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.  (32)  Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.  (33)  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?  (34)  Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,  (35)  so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.  (36)  Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.  (37)  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  (38)  See, your house is left to you desolate.  (39)  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

Jesus dies to establish His church, thus He preaches that we would learn manifestations of false worship and counterfeit Christianity.

 

The Setting

Jesus teaching the crowds and disciples.

  • Sincere in their beliefs
  • Scholarly in studies
  • Missed the point of grace and redemption as they were prideful and concerned with their own power.

Pharisees and Sadducees in Moses seat (authority)- do and observe what they say, but not what they do.

  • Preach and not practice
  • Load heavy burdens hard to bear, lay on people but lift no finger to help
  • Do deeds to be seen by others, love fancy greetings, and titles such as Rabbi.

The idea here is not dealing with never using Rabbi, but rather the pillar placing of men.

Essentially: these were in it for what they could receive, rather than what they could give.

The greatest among you shall be a servant, “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

 

The Woes

Woe 1.             “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

The Pharisees and Sadducees led a religion of pretense.  They did not follow God, but rather a god of their own making.

  • They preach the kingdom, but do not live the Kingdom.
  • Faith for them is intellectual ascent (Mental, systematic, loopholes to obedience), not a matter of the heart (True being)
  • Pride was their underlying motive. It is the subtlest damning poison.  It competes with others in judgment and assessment.  We pride ourselves on being even slightly better than anyone else at some level, not matter how minute it is.
  • They did not love God, but rather the things of God.

 

Overcome: Humbly seek the God of the Bible.  Seek Justification and Sanctification, that is seek not just entering Heaven, but being changed here upon earth to serve Christ. DO not look out for your own dodges and self-appointed systems.  Seek growth and be willing to change according to the scriptures.

 

(Sidebar comments on why verse 14 is not in some translations)

Woe X.            Mat 23:14  [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation.]

Footnoted in many translations, this verse is not in many of the better and earlier manuscripts. This is a reiteration of the threefold description above.  They take from widows to exalt their own power.

 

Woe 2.             Mat 23:15  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

They present a false view of Christ and make disciples of themselves. They lead people to an ideology, rather than salvation.

So not only are they living a false belief, they push it upon others.  Not knowing the Scriptures (which do come later) that not everyone should aspire to be a teacher, for teachers will receive a stricter judgment.

They love the idea of control or superiority over another.

Example: Jealousy over another’s success, recognition, achievement, or respect.

 

Overcome:  The charge of raising a family, teaching a class, or ministering within a church should never be about us, but ultimately all about Christ.  The focus and center is to be the glory, the all sufficiency of Jesus.  The cross is the power, not some rule of thumb and  7 things for this or 3 for that that guarantee success.  That is salvation by works. We must live, in fear of God, leading others to Him, knowing that we will give an account for the way we invested in lives.

Overcome by keeping everything under subjection to point to Jesus, not ourselves.

 

Woe 3.             Mat 23:16-22  “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’  (17)  You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?  (18)  And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’  (19)  You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?  (20)  So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.  (21)  And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it.  (22)  And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

The Pharisees and Sadducees operated by traditions that had loopholes to obedience.  This passage essentially points out the dodges to obedience that had been worked in the swearing of oaths. Thus, when hard pressed to do what they did not wish, they would change the rules to suit the needs of the moment.  They would claim to not be bound to certain circumstances.

For example, the promising of their savings to the church rather than helping their parents in old age.

Overcome: Overcome this by love that costs you something.  Obedience is costly. Do not treasure convenience or avoid duty.  Delight in being part of the Kingdom of God rather than building your own kingdom that will perish. Lay your treasures up in Heaven. Pitch in and do the work of an evangelist, have a costly Christianity.  Do not love the things of the world, the things of the flesh.  Demonstrate the love of God to all, and remember the verses about loving your enemies.  They were written for a purpose.

 

Woe 4.             Mat 23:23-24  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.  (24)  You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

The Hypocrite nitpicks the details but fails in the big picture. They criticize in one area, but limit it to other people.  They are experts at finding excuses.

Example 1: Serving the poor.  They judge that the poor person is simply stupid, or getting what they deserve.  They there is no compassion.  They curtail love in order to serve themselves further.

Example 2: I watched a live stream youth event at Southern Friday night.  In the comments, someone criticized the smoke machine.  This is not a doctrinal issue. It is not immoral.  It was a personal preference coming in and taking away from the bigger picture.  The evening was not built upon entertainment of the focus on a person, other than Christ. They were criticizing to draw attention to their own superiority rather than looking at the depth of Gospel being presented.

Example 3: They nit-pick translations of the Bible but fail to love and seek the actual message of the text.

Overcome: by getting dirty in practical ministry.   Working with people is messy. Do something beyond tithing or putting $10 in the offering place for a special need.  Actually get out and meet people where they are at and disciple them in love.

Love someone of another race.

Feed the hungry regularly with the intention of sharing the gospel, not soothing conscience.

Find someone in the church and walk with them, not just in a time of need but beyond that.

Bare the burdens of someone who cannot, for the long haul.

Bring folks into your home and life as a means of sharing the gospel and being the gospel.

 

Woe 5.            Mat 23:25-26  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  (26)  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

Hypocrites wear a mask, to impress others.  In some way, we are all guilty here. We often are more concerned with what other people think of us than what God sees on the inside.

So, by greed and self-indulgence, were all about themselves.  There is no evidence of refined love for God by loving others. Hypocrites want to appear holy, but are not.

Overcome: By the power of the Holy Spirit, overcome the idolatry of the fear of man and the false appearance of being holy. Do not be rude, for that is not love.  But become ever more concerned with what God sees in your life than what man judges.  Strive for holiness and purity before God. A truly repentant believer will always be more concerned for their own sin than the sin of others (Isaiah, “Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips.”)  When it comes to the sins of others, they will not harbor judgment, but rather a sense of “I dwell among a people of unclean lips.”

 

Woe 6.            Mat 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.  (28)  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Hypocrites appear beautiful and monumental. Yet, inside they are dead.

The tombs of the area were often washed white, especially during the Passover.  This was to warn people not to come in contact with a dead body, and then become ceremoniously unclean for participation in worship at the Temple.  The Pharisees appeared glorious outside, but inside were dead and unfit.

Overcome: Fight against everything that seeks to bring Spiritual death. Practice the art of abiding in Christ. (Romans 8) Rid your life of sin. Flee the appearance of evil.  Be more concerned with your heart before God and your heart before men will change.

 

Woe 7.            Mat 23:29-36  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,  (30)  saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’  (31)  Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.  (32)  Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.  (33)  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?  (34)  Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,  (35)  so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.  (36)  Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

The Pharisees harbored disgust at their forefathers for the crimes against God’s prophets and teachers yet they were guilty also.  They swore against such things. And yet, in just days they would lead murder against Jesus, culminating in a far worse rebellion against God Himself.

We are no different.  How often do we praise Christ on Sunday but go back to living like the world on Monday, or even Sunday afternoon?  We condemn things of the past, but make not preparation to live differently in the present and future.

Overcome: Be redemptive and seek to work redemption for others.  A transformed life seeks to expound the glories of what God can do. Break free from traditions and lead a radical authentic missionary life. Seek, by faith, to live out the very teaching of Christ in a way that goes and makes disciples of all nations.  Realize, others are not your enemy, they are the objective.  Muslims, Jews, Black, White, Straight, Gay, or whatever, we are called to be redemptive.  What better way to demonstrate al almighty power of God than to go to the most desperate situations and see radical redemption. Be doers of the word and not hearers only.  Demonstrate the change that can only come by Christ

 

Summation

Mat 23:37-39  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!  (38)  See, your house is left to you desolate.  (39)  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

The overcoming life is gathered in Jesus.  It is a life that abides in Him, forsaking all its own pretenses. It is always more concerned with its own standing before God rather than rants on Facebook and being better than someone else.  It holds to the standards of God and practices them, even when no one else does.  It is a life centered on Jesus Christ and therefore is Kingdom minds and biblically authoritative. It is a life of the love of God.

Before you post that news……

 

Dear all,

This past election has taught me several things.  One of the most prominent lessons is the age-old adage, “Don’t believe everything you hear,” or for that matter read, especially on the internet.  Many times, alarmist groups or personalities go about slandering others by creating nonsense stories.  Each lie follows the plan of Satan, wrap a whole lot of evil in a truth coating.  This is just how Eve was deceived and ate of the forbidden fruit.

Listed below is a short list of some of the more popular websites for checking the credibility of stories, rumors, and facts.  One helpful tip is to copy a portion of the story, paste that in your browser search bar, and see if it comes up anywhere else.  Odds are, that if it is old news, hyperbole, rumor, disingenuous, urban legend, factual, actually true, or credible you will find it mentioned in a reliable source to confirm or deny suspicions.

Even if a dear trustworthy friend posts a story on Facebook, you need to consider whether you are falling victim to fake news.  I personally have failed to do this in the past, and it causes embarrassment.  As Christians, we need to be wise, are commanded to stop gossip, and should concern ourselves with righteousness in all that we speak, post, or read.

By the way, I am not endorsing these sites or advertisers that may be connected with them.  They are secular sources and should be treated with caution themselves.

http://www.snopes.com/

http://www.factcheck.org/

http://urbanlegendsonline.com/

https://www.truthorfiction.com/

 

 

 

Ekron Update for January 16th 2017

What a great week it has been at Ekron Baptist.   Perhaps the most exciting event was having International Mission Board missionary Bart Gibbs with us for both services and discipleship traininbart-1g.

In the morning he preached from Esther 4:14 where Esther learns that perhaps her entire life was created for a time to save her people.

What is your ministry?  What is your calling? How are you being a missionary right where God has you?

 

As we talked with Bart, we can see that the entire world is now seeing unprecedented growth of the Muslim faith.  This photo was taken in Louisville, of a store that caters to the dietary requirements of those following Islam.  The effect of Islam is not only predominate in Europe and parts of southeast Asia, it is a reality in the United States.  Those following this belief are in our schools, governments, neighborhoods, and commerce.  And as Bart said, “They are not they enemy, they are the objective.”  As Christ has loved us while we were yet sinners, we need to love all people and work to share the good news of Christ.

halal

We need to become educated in how to share our faith with Muslim people.  To do so, this list will help you find books and videos to get started.

If there is enough interest, we will have a series of classes on reaching our Muslim neighbors.

 

Books on Islam, Muslims Converting to Christianity and Other Resources

   https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Muslims-Encouragement-Christ-Confidence/dp/0802471110/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484576488&sr=1-6&keywords=thabiti+anyabwile

https://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Allah-Finding-Jesus-Christianity/dp/0310527236/ref=pd_sim_14_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0310527236&pd_rd_r=ZYEENNCFBXFHCB2XHCJ0&pd_rd_w=B6wYK&pd_rd_wg=fRE9P&psc=1&refRID=ZYEENNCFBXFHCB2XHCJ0

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/DREAMS-VISIONS-Jesus-Awakening-Muslim/dp/0849947200/ref=pd_sim_14_8?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0849947200&pd_rd_r=GYTY89Q9VS3BGKX71XZT&pd_rd_w=aBGdC&pd_rd_wg=tPv9q&psc=1&refRID=GYTY89Q9VS3BGKX71XZT

 

  https://www.amazon.com/Am-Inspiring-Stories-Christians-Extremists/dp/1434709876/ref=pd_sim_14_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1434709876&pd_rd_r=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S&pd_rd_w=bqo6c&pd_rd_wg=QshQk&psc=1&refRID=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S

 

    https://www.amazon.com/Insanity-God-Story-Faith-Resurrected/dp/1433673088/ref=pd_sim_14_8?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1433673088&pd_rd_r=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S&pd_rd_w=bqo6c&pd_rd_wg=QshQk&psc=1&refRID=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S

 

   https://www.amazon.com/Land-Blue-Burqas-Kate-McCord/dp/0802408141/ref=pd_sim_14_10?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0802408141&pd_rd_r=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S&pd_rd_w=bqo6c&pd_rd_wg=QshQk&psc=1&refRID=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S

 

 

 https://www.amazon.com/Every-Christian-Needs-About-Quran/dp/0764209760/ref=pd_sim_14_14?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0764209760&pd_rd_r=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S&pd_rd_w=bqo6c&pd_rd_wg=QshQk&psc=1&refRID=BBF8S4FCA8SZY5ADQV2S

 

 

International Mission Board Resources

https://www.imb.org/2016/09/06/20160906islam-101-zane-pratt/

https://www.imb.org/2017/01/13/walking-with-the-spirit-in-dark-places/

https://www.imb.org/2016/09/01/get-involved-with-global-missions-now/

https://www.imb.org/2016/08/31/2016083120160831reach-chinas-muslims/

https://www.imb.org/2016/12/16/how-to-explain-the-incarnation-to-muslims/

https://www.imb.org/2016/12/15/discipling-new-believers-in-church-involvement/

To help you be On Misssion, we have developed a great new resource.  At the entrances of the church you will find our new invite cards.  You can use these as a step towards inviting the people you meet to come and hear the Gospel.  Pick some up every time you come to church and put them into action by inviting folks to Ekron Baptist.

cards sach

On Sunday nights, we are just getting started with two new discipleships.   At 6:30, I am leading Shepherding a child’s Heart.  This is a great study for using the Bible to make a life changing impact on our kids, grand kids, and anyone whom you may disciple.  Too often, we parent with behavior in mind.  But a quick read of the Bible will reveal that God looks at the heart, ans we should too.  Drop in anytime to be a pert of this study.

Also on Sunday nights, and a repeat on Wednesday nights, is our Men’s Study, The Cross and Everyday Life.  This video driven study is led by Jimmy Busby on Sunday nights, and Mark Zweifel on Wednesdays.

breakfast

 

Don’t forget, this Saturday at 7:00am is our quarterly Men’s Prayer Breakfast.  Come for Food, Faith, and Fellowship. Our guest speaker is Rev. Christ Wilson of Payneville Baptist.  Men of all ages are welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

The Shack, it is Not a Place to Dwell

On March 3rd of 2017 a screen adaptation of The Shack, by William Paul Young will be released.  It breaks my heart to be writing this.  For the book, itself is blaspheme.  I tried reading it once, as several in my church recommended it to me, but I could not stomach the text.  That being said, what I read and what I have researched from credible sources, comes with enough concern for me to advise you to be prepared to talk about the book, but do not be given into the sin of making God in your own image.

Through a loose allegory, God is perceived, by Young in ways that were never meant to be.  God is portrayed in man’s own image or at least fanciful imagination.  Young makes God out as he desires God to be, and none of it is solidly rooted in scripture, but by twisted interpretation.

At the risk of perking a curiosity, and in a need to bring about information that will help you in conversations with those who will inevitably discuss the movie and book, I want to share two articles that were written in years past analyzing the poor theology of this tome.

The first article, The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment, by Al Mohler deals with how we so often lack the necessary discernment to guard our hearts.

The second article is of the same era, “The Shack by WIlliam P. Young,” by Tim Challies.  It is a lengthier article, focusing more on the content of the book itself.

Many times, people hold to a story or idea because it pulls at the heartstrings.  But this should cause us to remember, Satan himself uses this tactic, and we are warned explicitly in scripture that

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2Ti 4:3-4)

Remember, God gave us His word as our first source for discerning truth from falsehood.  The Bible was written that we can know God.  We do not need the help of Mr. Young to do this.  It is the sheep of God who hear His voice and discern it form the voice of others.  Pray for those who may be led astray by The Shack.  Pray that they may come to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

However, the problem at hand is more than false teachers teaching falsehood.  That has been around since before the birth of Christ.  The real underlying problem is rather deeper.  It is that too many professing Christians do not know their God well enough to tell the difference between what is clearly in the bible and what is counterfeit.

So, let us learn from the Berean brethren; let us comparing everything we hear with the bible we already have.