Tag Archive | Church

Jeff Noblit – The Primacy of Preaching the Word of God

True Church Conference 2012

True Church Conference  live-streamed.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Message 4 – Jeff Noblit – The Primacy of Preaching the Word of God

 

The text of the sermon is 2 Timothy 3:16-4:8.

 

The scriptures are infallible.

The scriptures are all-sufficient.

The scriptures are to be preached.

 

A. The charge of the gravity of the work (2 Timothy 4:1).

1. The charge is given in the name of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

2. The reference is accountability to an avenging God and His judge, His Son Jesus Christ.

3. The charge is given in view of the kingdom of Jesus Christ and its soon appearing on earth.

4. We should tremble when we think about the charge to preach the word.

B. The charge to consistency in the work (2 Timothy 4:2)

1. Preach the word in season and out of season.

2. We are too weak in the pulpit. We say “It’s no use” too easily.

C. The charge to endure hardship (2 Timothy 4:5)

1. We need to endure in overcoming dullness.

2. There are times people will not endure the teaching of sound doctrine.

3. There will be times of desertion (verse 3). People will turn away to teachers who tickle their unsettled ears. We must not become preachers who give the wayward what they are looking for. We must be preachers who give the wayward what they need.

4. There will be divisions (verse 4). Too many groups and factions are built around men and man’s teaching.

5. There will be depression. Depression is rooted in self and rooted in pride. It comes from the fear of man.

D. The charge to the continuity of the work (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

1. Preaching is a continuum.  We must be faithful in our place and faithful to bring up those after us.


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Barry King – Storms that Reveal the Need for Reformation

True Church Conference 2012

True Church Conference  live-streamed.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Message 3 – Barry King – Storms that Reveal the Need for Reformation

 

The text for the sermon is Ecclesiastes 12:9-14.

 

A. The Primacy of Wisdom

1. Wisdom is taken for granted, it is assumed, it is presupposed. It is the principle thing.

2. The brevity of life, the certainty of death, and impending judgment is certain.

3. We cannot assume wisdom any longer. It has been conspicuously absent.

4. We face storms because we lack the wisdom to live in a holy manner. We face storms of our own making and reveal the need for reformation in our own lives.

 

B. The Priority of the Word

1. The Word is referenced repeatedly in the text. Words of wisdom, words of delight, words of truth.

2. The words of truth must be prioritized. Words of truth guard the congregation.

3. We live in a day of much error, much heresy. We have the responsibility to guard our people by giving them the words of truth.

4. The word is all-sufficient to guard our people.

5. The words of wisdom must not only guard, they must also guide. They must be a goad. We must teach the rebellious and stubborn.

6. We must preach through precept and we must live by example. People need to know that the way of a transgressor is hard.

7. The word is to be used as a weapon against the world.

8. We also need the words of delight to gladden the people. The preacher must seek to find words of delight.

 

C. The Problem of Weariness

1. Beware of anything beyond wisdom and the words of truth.

2. There is a weariness in chasing after anything that is beyond being a biblical Christian. All paths apart from the word of God lead to a weariness of the flesh.

3. See Isaiah 40:28-31 and Galatians 6:6-9. We must not get weary and give up. God season is not necessarily our idea of a season.


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Brett Beasley – Reforming a Church to Biblical Health

True Church Conference 2012

True Church Conference  live-streamed.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Message 2 – Brett Beasley – Reforming a Church to Biblical Health

 

The text for the sermon was Acts 20:25-31.

 

The apostle Paul is speaking to those who had been chosen to lead the church at Ephesus. It was a challenge to them. Striving to reform a church to biblical health is: 1) Constant, 2) Costly and 3) Worthy.

A. The Call of the Man of God

1. The call of man by God is a divine call. It is a call that can be given by God alone.

2. The call is to be a shepherd of the church. To watch over the flock of Jesus Christ.

3. The call is to watch yourselves. Continual self-examination.

a. Ezekiel gives examples of all these items above. Ezekiel was called by God. Ezekiel was called to be a watchman. Ezekiel was called to confront the corrupt priests of the day.

b. See Acts 20:29. Fierce wolves will come in and will not spare the flock.

4. The call is to share the word of God. See Acts 20:26-27.

B. The Care for the Church of God

1. The care cannot be divorced from the call.
2. We are to pay careful attention to the flock. We are to watch out for the souls of the flock. It requires tireless effort. We are called to be stewards of the purchase of Jesus Christ that He purchased by His blood.
3. We must feed the flock.
4. There is never a moment when the shepherd does not think about his sheep.
5. No title without the task, no role without the responsibility.

C. Reforming a Church to Biblical Health

1. Why does the church need to be reformed to biblical health?

a. The doctrines are deficient in the church.
b. The culture has ravaged the church.
c. The scriptures are deficient in the church.
d. The church, if left to itself, will drift, like sheep without a shepherd.

2. What are the struggles with reforming a church to biblical health?

a. You will struggle with the flesh. This is because of the fear of man. We must not be concerned with our own reputation. We must not seek the approval of man, whether that be the congregation or peers.
b. You will struggle with opposition
c. Sound doctrine can unify, but is can also divide.
d. Preaching the word of God will have varying affects on people.

3. Reforming a church to biblical health comes with a high personal cost.

a. There is the cost of divisions.
b. There is the cost of desertions.
c. There is the cost of loss of friendships.
d. There is the cost to the pastor’s wife.

4. Reforming a church to biblical health requires grace.

a. We must remember that not all in the congregation will be at the same place we are – in beliefs, in biblical understanding.

5. There is joy in seeing Christ reform a church.

a. But we must stay the course.

6. Pastoring means loving the sheep.

a. Some of the sheep are difficult. Some require a little more shepherding.

7. Treasure Jesus Christ and make much of him.

a. its about Jesus Christ and his glory.
b. We need to stay with our first love.


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Does This Make Sense?

As seen on a local “Christian” college bulletin board.

Part-time Nanny Wanted

  • Earnest Christian faith (however we’re not concerned with where, or even if, you go to church)
  • Now does that make sense?

    Is it even possible?

    Can a earnest Christian not be part of a local church?

    Granted it can be hard to find a good sound church in many areas but does that excuse you from gathering together with other believers in a church? Even when we looked for a new church we were part of church where we were held accountable.

    Does the type of church matter?

    I really think it should.

    Really now we are talking about someone keeping your children.

    Think about it!


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    Session 7 – Preaching the Sovereignty of Christ (Lawson)

    Session 7 – Preaching the Sovereignty of Christ (Lawson)

    Text: Revelation 1:9-16

    Revelation 1:9-16

    9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

    10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet

    11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

    12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,

    13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.

    14 The hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,

    15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.

    16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. (ESV)

     

    1. Why we preach.

    a. The banner over all we do is the glory of God. But under this answer there are subsidiary but important answers.

    b. We preach so that the preacher may present every man complete in Christ. That is, bring them into the presence of God as a mature man.

    c. Our joy is to see others rewarded by God.

    d. In other words, our goal is the sanctification of the believer leading unto their final glorification.

    i. Notice the progression in the Great Commission – make disciples (salvation), mark disciples (baptism) and then mature disciples (teaching).

    e. Justification and sanctification are inextricably linked. No one comes through the narrow gate and then hooks a hard left to get onto the broad road.

    f. Colossians 2:6-7. Three metaphors for receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and living the process of sanctification:

    i. Walking in Him

    ii. Rooted in Him

    iii. Built up in Him

    2. To whom we preach.

    a. In Colossians 1:28 there is a phrase mentioned three times – every man. We have one message for every man, and that is Jesus Christ.

    3. What we preach.

    a. In Colossians 1:29 we see:

    i. The human side of preaching. Paul says “I labor.” “Labor” here is wearisome toil. Exerting all of one’s strength. And if that is not enough, Paul goes on to use the word “striving”. We get our word “agonize” from this word.

    ii. The divine side of preaching. How can any preacher carry out the charge entrusted to him? By the power of God within us. By the energy of God. By the power of God which he works within us like dynamite.

     


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    Session 6 – Questions and Answers (Mohler)

    Session 6 – Questions and Answers (Mohler)

     

    The sixth session of the conference was a question and answer session with Dr. Mohler and Dr. Lawson.

     

    Question: Has church autonomy been a benefit or detriment?

    Answer: The Baptist church is characterized by strong associations which hold churches together in the gospel. Church autonomy is not the issue. Sometimes churches must withdraw from fellowship with other churches.

     

    Question: What about pastors that are not prepared to go into the pulpit?

    Answer: Where there is no prospect for recovering a church for the gospel those that love the gospel should be with people who are like-minded. False churches are revealed by their teaching and their lack of fruit. We need to be able to tell the difference between a congregation and a crowd.

     

    Question: How engaged should pastors be with current events?

    Answer: To the extent for the congregation to be faithful and no farther. The church is not a political action committee. But there are many issues that look political that are really Biblical – marriage being one.

     

    Question: Being doctrinally precise is important. How much emphasis is placed on doctrinal precision in seminary?

    Answer: Not all theological issues are at the same level. Certain things must be believed by all Christians. Other things vary among believers. We need to practice Christian triage. We can disagree over certain things. We must agree over other things.

     

    Question: What are some things coming down the pike in terms of heresies to warn our congregations?

    Answer: Here right now: 1) Can we trust the word of God to tell us all things, particularly in Genesis and the historical Adam? 2) Churches bending the rules of Biblical sexuality. Watch out for the CBF. The cultural and legal pressure will be huge. 3) The exclusivity of the gospel and Jesus Christ as the only way. Intolerance and exclusivity will be catch phrases. 4) The nature of justification. This is the heart of the gospel. Are there any saving works of righteousness? 5) The “Grace Movement” that denies the necessity of sanctification.

     

    Question: Why does God call all people to repent? Why does God threaten things that He is not going to carry out?

    Answer: God commands all men to repent because He is just. Just as He commands all men to obey.

    All commands from God are impossible to obey. There is a special grace given to those who will obey, who will repent. Things that God says He will do that He is not going to do are a learning narrative for the hearer. He wants the hearer to contemplate what the implications are. It is God revealing Himself, not changing His mind.

     

    Question: How has it affected you when students left and showed that they were not one of us?

    Answer: It is horrifying when a parent sees a child go out and walk away from the faith. Likewise for a pastor to see a member walk away from Christ. We mourn every shipwreck, but we dare not turn our eyes away from them. We must strive to present every man complete before Christ. We must not have “product envy”. The congregation looks about the same week after week. Evidence is slow to come.

     

    Question: What about Mark Driscoll and the affects of his teaching, particularly on youth and young people?

    Answer: We must be a company of discerning men. Wherever the gospel is found we should rejoice. But we cannot agree on the all the implications of the gospel. We must be careful of over-contextualization, especially the contextualization we do not think about, such as being crude. There are things that do not need to be discussed because they have nothing to do with the gospel. There needs to be age discrimination, gender discrimination. And we need to talk about certain things in only a certain way. We also have a problem with hero-worship.

     

    Question: How would you assess the state of the Southern Baptist Convention?

    Answer: I (Mohler) am a willing and appreciative Southern Baptist. That being said, we are a messed up people. The SBC is at a very tender moment. Denominationalism is dying. Churches do not need from denominations what they used to – literature, etc. We were called together to do missions, which we still do well. We train ministers well. The state of the SBC varies by geographic region and by generational group. Younger people see no need for denominations and associations.

     

    Question; What about the movement to be like the world?

    Answer: We are all dressed like someone in the world. We cannot escape being like the world. What we must do is not be influenced by the world in an inappropriate manner.

     

    Question: What about the cosmic child abuse charge? How do we answer this Biblically?

    Answer: We have a slaughterhouse religion, we have a bloody cross religion. It would be true of any of us that if we willed the suffering of our son we would be guilty of child use. We must answer this question by refuting that God must meet human definitions of morality. But to pay from an infinite crime required an infinite sacrifice by God.

     

    Question: What do you do for your soul to combat burnout?

    Answer: Read. When I (Mohler) get tired, I read. It is not what I suggest for everyone. I read many things that I don’t read by choice. I rest by reading things I chose. I also feed my soul by preparing to preach the word of God. Praying scripture and memorization. Burnout is a disguised form of spiritual depression.

     

    Question: What is meant for elders to have faithful children?

    Answer: The pastor of a church should have an orderly, Christ-centered, reputable household. We under-interpret the text, and we over-interpret the text. It is not just an aspiration. But the issue can be over-interpreted related to children no longer in the household. The text addresses what is normative – married, children, no scandal. The pastor exerts first of all his pastoral authority in the home.

     

    Question: What do you and Dr. Ligon Duncan talk about in regard to the covenantal family issue?

    Answer: Too little water too early. We do not see the tie between circumcision and baptism in the New Testament that we would expect to see if infant baptism were appropriate. The New Testament is a sign of regeneration. However, there are benefits to children being in the household of parents who are part of the covenant.

     


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    Immature Christians – MacArthur

    The Marks of Immaturity, and How to Keep Growing by John MacArthur

    Selfishness is one telltale sign of immaturity. Babies are completely self-centered. They scream if they don’t get what they want when they want it. All they are aware of are their own needs and desires. They never say thanks for anything. They can’t help others; they can’t give anything. They can only receive.

    And certainly there’s nothing wrong with that when it occurs in the natural stage of infancy. But to see a child whose development is arrested so that he never gets beyond that stage of helpless selfishness—that is a tragedy.

    And that is exactly the spiritual state of multitudes in the church today. They are utterly preoccupied with self. They want their own problems solved and their own comfort elevated. Their spiritual development is arrested, and they remain in a perpetual state of selfish helplessness. It is evidence of a tragic abnormality.

    Arrested infancy, in turn, results in a lack of discernment. Just as a baby crawls along the floor, putting anything it finds in its mouth, spiritual babies don’t know what is good for them and what isn’t. Immaturity and failure to be discerning go together; they are virtually the same thing.


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    Family Integrated Church

    What is a Family Integrated Church? Many people have no clue since very few have experienced them.

    Is Challies’ definition correct?

    These leaders claim that the Bible clearly teaches that we must not age segregate. Ever.

    … the claims of FIC extend far beyond Sunday school. The film even suggests (not too subtly) that allowing your children to participate in any kind of program led by someone other than the father is a way in which you turn their hearts away from the father and toward someone else.

    … making family integration the pivotal and central doctrine for the church.

    … It’s a destructive message

    Does this describe a FIC?

    By no means.

    Family Integrated Churches come in all types, many denominations and there are sound Biblical ones and there are ones who peddle a false gospel.

    The only accurate definition for a FIC is that worship and Bible study is characterized by all ages being together.

    But does that mean they can never have separate activities?

    Of course, not. If that was the case then they would be guilty of legalism. There is no real time frame that fits every FIC. Some always meet together; some usually meet together and a few just offer the option of meeting together.

    Just as being a Family Integrated Family is a matter of the heart being a Family Integrated Church is a matter of the heart. It isn’t a set of dos and don’ts that bind us. It is actually the freedom to worship the Lord with your family.

    FIC typically means that when the church is gathered together, the whole body of the church is gathered. No one portion of the church is shunted off to separate classes or separate worship services. But if there is a need there might still be individual classes or studies. For example: There might be a men’s meeting or a ladies meeting where the topic is not deemed suitable for young children. But that would be rare, can’t think of any we’ve had. Typically if we are having a special women’s meeting the women and all the girls over 12 are welcome. Twelve is just a general age range of transitioning the children to the adults. The younger children and the boys would then be with their Fathers. Then the same for the Men and older boys as needed. The idea though is that the children are still with a parent and under their authority.

    The film even suggests (not too subtly) that allowing your children to participate in any kind of program led by someone other than the father is a way in which you turn their hearts away from the father and toward someone else.

    Really now, if you take that to the logical conclusion then the mothers wouldn’t be allowed to lead their children in school or home. Grandfather wouldn’t be allowed to teach the boys to fish. Grandmother couldn’t teach the girls to quilt. However, when youth are spending more time with a youth leader than with their own father, you will risk some serious problems. This similar thing happens often in divorce situations. Maybe the father has the children one weekend a month. Often he takes the kids to the movies, out to eat, to the park, maybe buys them something they want; yet he rarely deals with the tough issues; the discipline, the school work, chores. Mom is the one left with the tough decisions and she can’t cater to the children each weekend. See how Dad could easily become the favorite while mom is complained about. Now apply that to youth groups. The youth leader takes the kids places, feeds them their favorite food, and supplies opportunities for friends to be together while requiring nothing in return.

    I have no vested interest in converting others to a family integrated model of church. It is not a salvation issue although essentially it can be related to one’s theology. However, it is important to share with others so that they can study the issue themselves. If a person chooses then to reject it, that is between them and the Lord. But most have not even considered the issue or worse rejected it based on flawed information.

    There is a wide range of ecclesiology represented in FIC. There is no one view of church that can be pegged on every FIC. Generally though all do subscribe to the father’s being the spiritual leader but even in that, how it is lived out is totally different in each church and even in families of the same church.

    There are several “loud and belligerent” women who have left some seemingly extreme FIC and attack any semblance of the idea everywhere. They are busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13) running to and fro leaving comments and writing diatribes against FIC. Challies had a few of those folks comment on his post. Some have rejected Christianity and many have divorced because they rejected an extreme FIC, patriarchy, quiverful, dominionistic “cult” with false teaching for lack of a better word. The same extremes of false teaching happens in segregated churches also just often not as “loudly”. However, they may not have even been in such flawed churches after all. You never know. When someone rejects the faith they often exaggerate problems and issues to validate their rejection.

    There will always be extremes to watch out for. As long as a person continues to go back to the Scripture comparing everything to that one plumb line we may stray at times but we will always come back to the center at some point. Sometimes it takes the extreme to see where just a little skew in the direction at one point can lead us way off track in the future. Think the airplane flying .5 degrees off course and how far off course they will eventually be.

    Just as all age-segregated churches would not want to be characterized by Peanut Butter Evangelism non age-segregated churches should not be characterized by the worst of FIC. FIC does not necessarily include what is characterized by the terms Patriarchy or Quiverful. There are some churches that combine all three but the majority do not at least to the extreme level. Yet the average person would lump my church in that mix. Because we do have family integration, fathers are the head of the home, and a majority allow God to direct their child bearing.

    While many FIC homeschool, homeschooling and FIC do not have to go together. Our church has homeschool children and public schooled children. The even more surprising fact to some is that our FIC church has young single adults, senior adults, and young marrieds without children. Many people think that FIC’s tend to only have large homeschooling families.

    We have older couples, single youth, married childless couples, working wives, homeschool children, public school children, large families, small families, divorced families and we welcome any combination of the above. Yet no matter what, fathers will be encouraged to lead and disciple their families. We do not have separate classes. We meet together for Bible study prior to the worship service. Yet we have two elders and one of them does not homeschool and his wife works fulltime outside the home. Most of our church activities are family oriented. We have our cookouts together. The elders playing football right along with the youth and children. The whole family goes to Six Flags together as a church group. Birthday parties are family celebrations. The children are studying the formation of the English Bible right along with the adults. They ask good questions and are filling out the study sheets. They aren’t learning Noah took two animals into the ark for the 100th time.

    I know many other churches that are FIC. Some are churches that meet at homes. Others are churches which strive for a more Acts type model with everyone sharing together and no actual preacher preaching a sermon. One church I know has an integrated SS and worship time yet offers children’s catechism classes.

    … making family integration the pivotal and central doctrine for the church.

    I’m sure there are churches that have made family integration the main focus; however, I haven’t seen any. Family integration is the means to an end. It is not the end itself. Our goal as a church should be to worship the Lord in a manner He desires, to teach the believers and to go and make disciples of all nations.

    I’ve been in both age segregated and FIC types of churches, even grew up in youth groups. Neither model is perfect nor will they ever be perfect here on earth. Nothing we do will guarantee that our children are among the elect in the last days. I am confident in God’s Sovereignty and that He will do what is best for each of us. However, even so, I will work diligently to be obedient and do the absolute best I can to have my children taught God’s Word in a sound Biblical manner. That for me means homeschooling, being home with my children, supervising outside influences (media, internet, friends, and teachers), a family integrated church and a sound Biblical church. FIC in a sound Biblical Church is the best church model I know for my children to hear God’s Word outside the home and if it is ever not sound we are there to hear it and to discuss the matter with our children.

     


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    Divided The Movie & Challies

    Divided, the movie is available to view for free.

    Modern Youth Ministry is
    Contrary to Scripture

    Will you take action to change that?

    Divided the Movie Tim Challies’ response:

    Your church is heavily influenced by evolutionary thinking. It is founded on principles created by pagans and for pagans. You have succumbed to hellish thinking and imposed it upon your church. At least this is the case if your church has a nursery or a Sunday school or any other kind of program that involves dividing people by age. That is the rather audacious claim of Divided, a documentary that is being heavily promoted by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC). Divided is a film about youth ministry. Kind of. At its heart it is a movie that promotes Family Integrated Church (FIC).

    What do you think?

    Does it really matter what we think?

    Can we back it from Scripture?

    Not that I’m a pragmatist but really what does the evidence show?

    Is the movie and the response both done in an inflammatory manner which negates the value by causing an emotional response?

    Added: Odd, after watching the movie I didn’t find it as inflammatory as I was led to believe it would be from Challies’ initial post and response. 

     


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    Hospital or Country Club?

    What would best describe your church?

    Is your church a hospital or is it a country club?

    A Hospital Church is one that everyone is sick with sin, some more than others.  But yet they are seeking to be progressively sanctified (made well) and made more and more in the image of Christ.  They are not content to remain sick nor do they ignore the sickness.  In a Hospital Church everyone is sick and willingly admits it yet they are not content to remain that way.  Those in a Hospital Church spend much time showing how others outside are sick, sick unto death, and yet don’t realize it.  But the most unique feature is that those in the Hospital Church are actually cured, they just still must deal with lingering side effects of the disease until the cure is fully realized.

    A Country Club Church is one for the well people.  The “sick” are the ones outside the church.  Activities are designed so that contact with the “sick” is limited.  Those in a Country Club Church are no longer “sick” and desire for others to come join them to be well also.

     


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