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True Church Conference – Next Week

The True Church Conference is next week February 17-20, 2011, at Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Jeff Noblit, Bruce Ware, Steve Lawson, and David Miller will be preaching. Cost per person is $125.

It isn’t too late to register for it.

My husband will be there and will probably be sending sending me notes like usual.

The theme of the 2011 True Church Conference is going to be The Gospel Centered Church: Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess in the Local Church.



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True Church Conference 2011 – Coming Up Soon

February is coming soon!  Still time to plan to go to the True Church Conference.

The theme of the 2011 True Church Conference is going to be The Gospel Centered Church: Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess in the Local Church.

The conference will be held from February 17-20, 2011, at Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Jeff Noblit, Bruce Ware, Steve Lawson, and David Miller will be preaching.  Cost per person is $125.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website: truechurchconference.com



The theme of the 2011 True Church Conference is going to be The Gospel Centered Church: Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess in the Local Church.

The conference will be held from February 17-20, 2011, at Grace Life Church of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Jeff Noblit, Bruce Ware, Steve Lawson, and David Miller will be preaching.  Cost is $105 per person through December 31, and $125 after that.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website: truechurchconference.com

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Hyper-Calvinism and Prayer

Conrad Mbewe at the True Church Conference made a very succinct comment concerning the subtle forms of hyper-Calvinism when it comes to us loving sinners.

Conrad Mbewe make the point that one way to spot hyper-Calvinism in the church is to look at it’s PRAYER MEETING. He pointed out that any church which claims to be evangelistic but has a dead prayer meeting is hyper-Calvinistic. Likewise he said that any preacher who claims to have evangelistic preaching who’s prayer closet is empty is a hyper-Calvinist.

From Julius at Constrained By Grace

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Jeff Noblit – The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

The tenth, and final, session of the True Church Conference 2010 was presented by Jeff Noblit during the regular Sunday morning service at Grace Life Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. His topic was The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God.

1. The entire local church family is to be involved in missions.

a. World missions was born in the local church. It should rest in the local church, not in a board or agency (see Acts 13:1-3). Notice that God sent out missionaries from a church that still had multitudes of unbelievers surrounding them. Notice the double call. The Spirit called, and the local church called.

b. The first missionaries were accountable to the local church (see Acts 11). Peter had to provide an account to the church in Jerusalem of his mission activities. (also see Acts 14:24-28 and Acts 15:1-23)

c. The first missionaries task was to plant local churches (see Acts 14:23).

d. How important is missions to be? (see Psalm 96:3.) The command to “go into all the world” is given five times in the New Testament.

2. People are to be personally involved in local missions.

a. The local church is important, but it is also important for individuals to be personally involved in world missions.

b. We must personalize missions. We must get out of our comfort zone. We must have a heart for unreached people groups. We must be ready for God to call our own people. We must have regular reminders and emphasis.

c. Missions must be strategically planned. It must be Biblical. It must involve training people and training leaders. It must involve strengthening local churches (see Acts 15:41). We must look for open doors (1 Corinthians 6:9).

3. God must mobilize prayers, fasting, finances, laborers.

a. see Acts 8:4, Acts 5

4. The end is for the glorifying God among all peoples.

a. see Revelation 5:9-12


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True Church Conference 2010 – Breakout Sessions

On both Friday and Saturday, True Church Conference 2010 offered a variety of breakout sessions in which leaders of Grace Life Church provided practical guidance on how they have implemented True Church concepts. The handout materials can be found at:

http://www.anchoredintruth.org/resources/breakouts

(All of the PDF’s aren’t up yet but hopefully will be shortly.)


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Conrad Mbewe – The Great Commission

The ninth session of True Church Conference 2010 was led by Conrad Mbewe, speaking on the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20. The highest reason for evangelism is because it is for the glory of God. Other reasons are: because of our love for sinners, because it is the work of a disciple to be a fisher of men, because of the power of the gospel in the lives of people. And in the Great Commission we find another reason: obedience to a command of our great Head Jesus Christ.

There is significance to the timing of the words of the Great Commission. They are His words just before His ascension. They carry the same weight as the weight of a father’s words to his children when he is on his death bed. We need to come back to this passage frequently and ask the question “Am I obeying this command?”

There is a word that appears four times in these three verses – “all”. Surely there is a revelation of the heart of the meaning of this passage in this word “all”.

The ends of these verses are the Lord Jesus Christ. They begin with Jesus, they end with Jesus. In the middle is our responsibility.

1. All authority – given to Jesus Christ. He demonstrated authority while he was here on earth in his humanity. But it would appear that a different measure of authority was given to Jesus after His crucifixion and resurrection. He was ascending to His mediatorial kingship. We should have comfort and confidence in obeying the command of the Great Commission because Jesus has all authority.

2. All nations – make disciples. This appeared to be an impossible command. How could a group of twelve ordinary Jews perform this extraordinary task? How could a Jew be expected to go to the Gentile nations? The book of Acts shows their hesitancy. God used tribulation to scatter those He used to fulfill this command. God used a vision to change Peter.

a. see Genesis 12:2-3 and Revelation 5:9-10

b. Should our goal be to have a good church, with a good pastor, and good music, in a good building? No, our goal is world conquest. Our goal is to push back the domain of darkness across the expanse of the globe.

3. Teaching them to obey all things – that Jesus has commanded. This indicates that there are those who are in rebellion against the authority of Jesus. Our job is to make these people into loyal subjects of the King. Not just know all things, but to obey all things. This is more than a cultural mandate. This is a mandate to convert the nations.

a. We are all called to obey, and all called to call others to this same obedience.

4. With you always – to the end of the age. We return here to the ideas of comfort and confidence. The efficient cause of our labor does not depend on us, it depends upon He that is with us. We need spiritual eyes to see that He is with us, and if we see that, then we would see the vigor of our obedience increase.

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Dr. Michael Haykin – Missionary Pioneer Andrew Fuller and Hyper-Calvinism

The eighth session of the True Church Conference 2010 was given by Dr. Michael Haykin, discussing Andrew Fuller. Andrew Fuller was a missionary pioneer and a critic of hyper-Calvinism. Andrew Fuller was a Baptist in England. Haykin’s text was Psalm 2:1-12. How did Andrew Fuller counter the hyper-Calvinism that was present in the Baptist churches of his day?

William Carey in India received help from those who were in England, in America, and in India. Fuller “held the ropes” for Carey. Fuller tied the Baptist theological heritage of the 18th century with the Baptist evangelical movement of the 19th century. Fuller was early on exposed to hyper-Calvinism by his first pastor. He had not seen a baptism by the age of 16 even though he was a Baptist. But then he was exposed to the writings of John Bunyan and realized that he was lost and undone. He had spiritual experiences (such as an experience with Romans 6:14), but was not converted. This went on for almost three years. Fuller cast his soul on Jesus Christ in 1769 just like Esther – “If I perish, I perish.”

Fuller was called into the pastorate six years later. He read Gill and he read the Puritans. He saw the Puritans preach on evangelism, but he did not see this in Gill. He decided Gill was right and the Puritans were wrong. But then he was convicted by the scriptures and the calls to believe found therein. He came to believe that the gospel was to be preached to all men within hearing.

Fuller moved on to Kettering, which was the home church of John Gill. Here he published a book which emphasized the command for unconverted sinners to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ – The Gospel of Christ is Worthy of All Acceptation. In this he took on the beliefs of John Gill. Jesus indiscriminately called the lost to believe in Him.

The preaching of the gospel must passionately exhort unbelievers to believe in Jesus Christ. Baptist churches were lethargic at best in proclaiming the gospel message. He was instrumental in the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society. He added a mark of the Baptist church – a Baptist church is a church which is mission-minded.

Fuller was a man of theological balance. He was a missionary theologian. He was an upholder of the doctrines of grace. He had the ability to sustain long-lasting friendships. Even though he was forthright in telling people his thoughts, he took censure without offense and he gave censure without offense. Fuller built his life upon the word of God.


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David Miller – The Wrath of an Unpropitiated Lord

The seventh message of the True Church Conference 2010 was delivered by David Miller. His text was Malachi 4:1-2. Propitiation is that which is required to satisfy the wrath of God. An unpropititated Lord is the Lord who has not been satisfied.

Modern-day church is a Ponzi scheme. We have to figure out a way to get enough people coming through the front door to replace those going out the back door, But there is a day of reckoning coming.

1. The destruction of the wicked announced (verse 1)

a. The reality of the wrath of God. The day shall come and shall burn like an oven.

Has the wrath of God been satisfied for the non-elect? The Universalist says yes. Jesus died for everyone and everyone will be saved. The Arminian says yes, the blood of Christ is sufficient for all but efficient for those who believe. The Calvinist says no, the blood of Christ only propitiates the sin for whom it is applied. The blood is not potential salvation, it is actual salvation.

b. The recipients of the wrath of God. The wrath of God is on all those who are proud and on all who do wickedly.

c. The results of the wrath of God. They shall be as stubble. They shall be burned up. They shall be left with neither root nor branch.

2. The deliverance of the righteous assured (verse 2).

The righteous will leap like a calf released from a stall. The lame will rise because of the healing within His wings.


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Barry King – The Sin of Unbelief

The sixth session of the True Church 2010 was lead by Barry King. He is a pastor from Wood Green in London, England. Barry’s topic was the Sin of Unbelief. His text was Isaiah 45:22 (KJV). This is the same text that was used in the conversion of Charles Spurgeon. Would to God that this text would raise up a Charles Spurgeon in our generation also.

Isaiah 45:22 (KJV) sets forth the duty of all men to believe the gospel. It is a sin to fail to obey it.

1. First, there is the simplicity of the command – Look. The text looks back to Numbers 21 and the record of the poisonous snakes. The people were called to look onto the brass serpent and live. God calls for all men to look unto Him. The text also looks forward to John chapter 3. The Son of Man must be lifted up and all men are commanded to look upon Christ.

a. A form of hyper-Calvinism is to confound the simplicity of the gospel. Some are given to morbid introspection. The gospel command is to look, not lament. Some are given to intellectualism. The gospel command is to look, not learn.

2. Second, there is the exclusivity of the command – Look unto me, there is none else.

3. Third, there is the universality of the command – all the ends of the earth. God commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel.

Moving to two items implicit in the meaning of the text:

4. Fourth, there is the impossibility of the command. Isaiah was to preach to those who, having eyes, could not see and look, who had ears, but could not hear, who had a heart, but could not understand.

a. How can God command someone to do something that they are unable to do? This does not address the ability of man but the authority of God. God asks men to do things they are unable to do (see Mark chapter 2 – stretch forth your hand or John chapter 11 – Lazarus come forth).

5. Fifth, there is the responsibility of the command. It is our duty, our responsibility, to preach the gospel to all men.

a. We give the people who call us hyper-Calvinist the weapon that they use to shoot at us because we do not fulfill our responsibility to do this. It is more than a general concern for the lost.


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Conrad Mbewe – Loving Sinners

The fifth session of True Church Conference 2010 was presented by Conrad Mbewe of Zambia, Africa. Mbewe is known as the “African Spurgeon.” Mbewe’s sermon was on Loving Sinners. His text was Luke 19:41-44.

An argument of hyper-Calvinism in regards to evangelistic preaching is that preaching should be directed only to the regenerated person. The book of Acts shows this is not the case. Sermons in the book of Acts were directed to unbelievers. Hyper-Calvinism locks you away from loving sinners the way Jesus did.

The context of the text is following Palm Sunday and the excitement that that entailed. The people were praising God. It was the triumphal entry of Jesus. But instead of being joyful, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Why? Because Jesus saw the destruction that lay in the future of the city.

Points from the passage:

1. If you love sinners the way God loves them then it will move you into evangelism because they are ignorant of what it takes to bring peace with God (verse 42a).

a. This was the season when the Son of God was on earth, but the people did not realize it. They were chasing after things which could not satisfy.

b. The people were busy practicing the externals of religion with no change of heart.

c. Jesus spent His time with sinners. We concentrate on inward programs but have lost sight of those on the outside who need Christ’s love.

2. If you love sinners the way God loves them, then it will move you to pray for them that God will open their eyes because only God is able to do so (verse 42b).

a. Unless God speaks life into us we will remain dead. Jesus knew this, but He still wept. His heart was  broken by their blindness.

b. See Romans chapters 9-10. Paul wept over the spiritual blindness of his brother Israelites.

3. If you love sinners the way God loves them it will move you to preach to them of the judgment to come (verses 43-44).

a. The judgment to come broke Jesus heart. And also for the reason for the judgment – because they had rejected the day of their visitation by God.

b. And how much greater the condemnation will be for those who reject the resurrected Savior.

c. This should move us to action.

d. See Luke chapter 16.

e. If you are rescuing people from a sinking ship, you don’t spend time looking into God’s eternal plan to see who He wills to save and who He wills to die. You put everything you have into rescuing everyone you can.

Jesus’ love for sinners held Him to the cross. What is your love for sinners causing you to do?



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