Utube: Luke 16

We had Brother Lewis with us for the day on December 9th and he was a great blessing to our church.
This is the Youtube link from our site for his Sunday AM message.  He preached on Luke 16.  If you have a chance it will be worth listening.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THQLyDVT1KY
Enjoy,
Pastor Mike Carney
Lighthouse Baptist Church
www.lighthousebaptistchurch7.com
www.youtube.com/user/LBCHolbrook
Galatians 6:14
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Close Ailing Churches?

There is a healthy enthusiasm for planting churches. It is preached and taught at Bible colleges everywhere. Planting churches is certainly Biblical.  Church planters are to be admired and supported in prayer and finances. Statistics tell us that many churches close each month. Some of them close for a legitimate reason such as God writing “Ichabod”  (God has departed) over the door for some unconfessed sin or disobedience. These are the extreme cases. Unfortunately, there are leaders who have said that some old churches should be closed to make room for the new churches and younger church planters. While it is true that bodies do die a natural death in time, it is not true that the assets of such bodies should be thrown to the wind just because the body is sick. Most of the churches that have been closed could have been salvaged.  The same care, prayer, and forethought should be offered to ailing churches that is offered to many baby churches. Then the land, buildings, bank accounts, and furniture could be saved to be useful to the Lord in future ministries. Sometimes there are unscrupulous men who take ailing churches just to bring them down and liquidate the assets, hoping to benefit personally by the closing the church. This is ungodliness.  Churches are carefully planted by those who are called to do so. Church planters have sending pastors. We often use the term “baby church” when speaking of a church plant. This infers that this baby church has a mother church. Many pastors have been very particular when it comes to the authority of a church planter and the church which he plants. They are careful to be sure that everything is in order and in alignment with Biblical principles. Optimism is high. Enthusiasm is fervent, and the church planter is experiencing faith that could move mountains. This generates money for the new church and the church planter. Some to these churches survive and become great lighthouses for the Gospel. If the church plant grows to maturity, it will reproduce itself many times in the following years. There is the occasion where churches fall prey to Satan’s attacks. Discouragement often causes pastors to resign from their ministries prematurely, and the glorious bride of Christ is treated like an unwanted orphan or an immoral woman. She is left to her own devices. She receives no care except from those who falsely claim to love her. She is used and abused and often left to fend for herself. Men are placed in charge of her who are not qualified to fill the pulpit. Personal agendas take precedent over Biblical principles. When the last blessing has been wrung out of the church that falls into this horrible condition it is often said, “It would be better if the  church closed it’s doors.” My question is, “For whom would it better?” Certainly, it would not be better for the Lord nor His testimony in the community. It would not be better for the souls that had been saved through the ministry of that church. It would not be better for the original church planter nor the church that sent him to plant that church. My conclusion is that when a church closes, it is only better for the devil. He hates the Lord, the Bible, and the churches. If qualified men with integrity will step up and get involved with ailing churches, they could save some of those churches from untimely deaths. There are such men all around us. They are affiliated by fellowship and doctrine. If a man’s doctrine is right, and he is not corrupt morally, or financially, he could be used by the Lord for such a purpose.  It will take some Biblical knowledge, a healthy dose of practical wisdom, mixed with courage to attempt the seemingly impossible chore of reviving an ailing church.  If it is God’s plan for churches to be born, then surely it is His plan for them to be rescued when they are unhealthy.  The Bible teaches that the church is a body. It is a body of living souls.  How could we possibly justify closing these ailing churches? God wants them to be healthy and prosperous for the His glory.

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Obamica / Obamanation?

The election is over. My son’s in-laws were involved in a car wreck last night that placed them in the hospital, and it is snowing. It is a gloomy day locally. It is a bad day across the country for Christianity as we have known it for the last fifty years. It would be easy to be negative about the results of the election. It would be easy to find somebody to blame for the turn of events that has led the country to install the most anti-Christian president this country has ever known. This is, no doubt, a partial result of the low numbers of bonafide believers who went to the polls to vote. The truth is that people with historic, constitutional, Judaeo Christian  values are now outnumbered in the citizenry of the United States. The non citizens, illegal aliens, and welfare recipients outnumber the tax payers, land owners, and entrepreneurs. Whether we have allowed it or not our country has forever changed towards becoming a socialist republic dominated by those who scoff at the constitution, religious freedom, and small business enterprise. Our politicians have voted themselves high salaries, exorbitant retirements, free medical service, and exemption from many of the rules and laws that others must live. It is obvious that we have political, moral, and religious corruption on a national basis. It is a cancer that is eating at the core values of our country. The love of money, power, and greed has tainted politics at every level. In order for a decent, law abiding person to rise in the ranks of political leadership he or she will have to learn the art of compromise with people who, by any normal standard of decency, have been infected with corruption. Sadly, corruption is becoming the norm in politics and government. Good people often shy away from government service simply because they know that they cannot survive the ordeal of political success and maintain their integrity at the same time. The rules of practice for foreigners to enter our country have been ignored. Redistribution of wealth from those who have accumulated it lawfully to those who have done nothing to warrant having it. There is a govenmental department to oversee every sphere of our lives. These departments are led by presidentially appointed “Czars” rather than cabinet level elected officials. Our country has evolved into what looks more like a kingdom than a “nation under God.” Until recently we have been a nation that has been goverened by a rule of law. There was a time when breaking that law was criminal. Now it is only political opinion. Nearly every kind of law breaker can be excused, or exempted by some political gerrymandering. Speeding tickets are about the only thing that sticks in court. Drunk drivers even get more than reasonable chances to escape the laws, especially if they are politicians. We may as well rename our country Obamica instead of America. It is indeed the Obama nation. I have survived twenty-eight winters in New England. Every storm seems to me worse than the last one. I won’t be around for twenty-eight more elections, but my children, and their children will be. I shudder to think of the what they will have to endure if each election continues to be worse than the last one. Christianity has never included the majority of the population. It is more practical to see that there is always a “remnant”  divinely preserved through the dark years for the glory of God. By the time mankind is finished destroying all the previous evidence of Divine Intelligence and rewriting history to suit their anti-God bias, Christians may indeed be living in the caves and dens of the earth once again. It is time to mourn and repent and seek the Lord while he may be found.

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Support Letter 10/27/12

As of the writing of this letter, we are in Newport, Vermont. I will be speaking about ‘Harvest Time’ on Sunday, October 28, at Bible Baptist Church where Brian Fecher is the Pastor. It is sunny today, but the mother of all tropical storms, (Frankestorm) is about move up the coast and destroy all the Halloween festivities. Too bad. Thankfully, in New England, there will be mostly power outages and water damage. All the friends and loved ones we have are preparing. I will not send this letter in the mail, as I usually do, since we have been, and will continue to be, traveling for some time.Since our last letter, we have been in 11 churches. Most of the meetings have been missions’ conferences. In August: I flew to Costa Rica to help GIBM Missionary Bob Martin. I taught the last module in his institute on The Church and preached the graduation service. After preaching in Costa Rica, I worked with Pastor Dick Webster at GIBM Deputation School teaching several hours and preaching one night at the Missions Revival at Liberty Baptist Church. In September: I preached  for Marvin McKenzie, Bible Baptist Church, Puyallup, WA;  Rick Wilder, Olympia Bible Baptist Church, Olympia, WA ;  Russ Tyree, Valley Bible Baptist Church, Auburn, WA;  I also attended the  GIBF Meeting hosted by Bible Baptist Church, Everett, WA, where six new missionary candidates were endorsed and introduced to the Fellowship. Returning to Texas, I preached at Grace Baptist Church, Flower Mound, TX, and First Missionary Baptist Church, Healdton, OK. So far in October: I preached an 8 day mission’s revival for David Peterman, Christ Independent Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA, (this church responded enthusiastically to the challenge of increasing their faith (Their faith promise commitment increased by 58% over their last year’s giving). While in Philadelphia, I also preached for Joe White, Grace Baptist Church.  One Wednesday, I preached for Randy Lewis, Blackstone Valley Baptist Church, Cumberland, RI, and one Sunday at Calvary Baptist Church, Middletown, RI. (This church is without a pastor at this time, and prayers should be offered for them as they go through the process of waiting on the Lord to provide the man for their pulpit).Our plans for December: We still have several engagements on the calendar and many miles to travel to keep them. We are driving one of our son’s vehicles while in New England. Our plans include preaching at the 38th Anniversary service for Pastor Martin Stevens, Sherbrooke, QC, and one Sunday with Mario Monette, in St. Hubert, QC.  The churches and the faithful men who continue to pastor in New England need special prayer.  As many as 60 million people live on the East Coast. I think it was Larry Clayton who said, “If they spoke a different language and there was a fence around them, we would consider it a mission field.” There is a tremendous need for church planters and ministry teams here. There is no “Home” and “Foreign” designation in the Bible. Jesus plainly said, “The field is the world.” It is hard for me to find words to express my appreciation for the support that many of you have provided to keep us going for the Lord. Although it sounds redundant and flat, we are truly thankful for your faithfulness to help us. God has opened many doors for us, and it is your support that makes it possible for us to go through those doors. We want to help churches and missionaries in every way we can for as long as we can.Best Wishes Always!
Robert Lewis 1 Cor. 15:58

 

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How to Keep From Losing your Pastor’s Confidence


This writing is the first lesson of a series entititled, “Ethics in the Ministry,”  by Robert Lewis, and is provided here on the occasion of Pastor Appreciation Month, October, 2012.

 A. Be Agreeable With Him In All Public Situations

Being agreeable is not necessarily approving of all that your pastor says or does. You must remember that he is first of all God’s man and then your pastor. The fact that he is your pastor gives him certain advantages when it comes to the matter of differing opinions. I like to use an example from baseball to describe the priority given to a pastor when there are differing opinions on a matter. In baseball when the batter hits a ball and runs to first base there is a principle that is in effect when he begins to run. If the first baseman receives the ball and tags the base at the same moment that the runner tags the base, then the tie goes to the runner. When there are differing opinions in the church on a matter, God has protected the position of the pastor in a similar fashion. As “the tie goes to the runner,” so in the church the tie goes to the pastor. The foundational scripture for this thinking is:

Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.

In other words the pastor is to be imitated because he has spoken, and is living according to, the Word of God. He cannot say “Do as I say, not as I do.” The end of his conversation is to lead people in the paths of righteousness and not into sin. Therefore he has a weightier voice when opinions are divided. He is to be remembered for the position he holds, and the person he represents.

Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!

God hates discord which is produced by false witnesses and liars. They are everywhere. It is not what they do that is most harmful to the church, but how the church and those who are falsely accused respond to the lies. When a person responds in kind to false witnesses and slanderers they are playing into the hands of the devils to destroy their own testimony.

Proverbs 6:19 A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Proverbs 16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth [very] friends.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Philippians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

I Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

ELDER: 4245. presbuteros {pres-boo’-ter-os}; comparative of presbus (elderly); older; as noun, a senior; specifically, an Israelite Sanhedrist (also figuratively, member of the celestial council) or Christian “presbyter”: -elder(-est), old.[i]

I Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

B. Be Supportive Of Him And His Family

I Corinthians 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

In other words, it is normal, right, and reasonable for a pastor to be compensated by his flock from their resources. He is their captain in the war against sin and Satan. He is the husbandman who labors in their vineyard. He is the shepherd who feed the flock. It is clear in the scripture that the pastor to be compensated for his warfare against the devil. He is to find his physical sustenance from the vineyard in which he labors. He is to enjoy the same milk that the flock enjoys.

I Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? (Deut 25:4)

I Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward.

Oxen who are “treading out the corn” labor at a steady pace, pulling their load, and eating enough to satisfy them, and keep them strong as they labor.

I Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

RULE: 4291. proistemi {pro-is’-tay-mee}; from 4253 and 2476; to stand before, i.e. (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise: -maintain, be over, rule.

HONOR: 5092. time {tee-may’}; from 5099; a value, i.e. money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy, esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself: -honour, precious, price, some.

Some churches function with a board of elders. Sometimes different duties are ascribed to different elders. There are ruling elders, teaching elders, serving elders and so on. Even in these churches which claim to practice “elder rule” there is always a big elder. That is to say that there is usually one of the elders that actually functions like a pastor, overseeing the church family and the other elders. Pastors would be ruling elders if they are called elders at all. They are to rule. They are to oversee. They are to take charge of the flock. When you have a pastor (an elder that rules well), he is to be taken care of in an unusually generous way. Since he is God’s man who is in a battle with Satan for the souls of men, he must not have the burden of personal poverty to deal with. His compensation is to be greater (double honor) than the sheep he cares for. Even if he is self-sufficient financially he must allow his congregation to supply his needs. If he does not he runs the risk of not thinking in terms of accountability. In addition he is teaching the congregation that they do not have to pay their own way. This is all well and good for him. But when the next pastor comes along who is not financially independent, the congregation will not think correctly about his compensation. They will assume that every pastor should have outside income because they are “poor”. They have been taught to get something for nothing.  Anything from the budget for a pastor will seem to be too much.

I John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

How can a church claim to love a pastor if they are not compassionate towards him and the needs of his family?

C. Be Intolerant Of Criticism Toward Him Or His Family

Church people should know that if they have talked to a deacon, a staff member, a family member, or any close friend of a pastor, they have spoken to him (the pastor himself). When a person hears criticism about a pastor (or anyone else for that matter) they may be able to stop the gossip in the following ways.

1. Let the person who is doing the criticizing know that you have no secrets to keep between you and your friend (pastor) and that whatever they tell you will be repeated to him the next time you see him.

 2. If half-truths, slander or false accusations surface in a conversation, do not argue the point. Simply say, Let’s confront him now. Then either call him or offer to go see him so that the accuser can confront the one he is talking badly about.

Either of these approaches will in all likelihood, take you out of the accuser’s loop.

Genesis 21:23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: [but] according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise.

Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

SCORNER: 3887. luwts {loots}; a primitive root; properly, to make mouths at, i.e. to scoff; hence (from the effort to pronounce a foreign language) to interpret, or (generally) intercede: -ambassador, have in derision, interpreter, make a mock, mocker, scorn(-er, -ful), teacher.

CONTENTION: 4066. madown {maw-dohn’}; from 1777; a contest or quarrel: -brawling, contention(-ous), discord, strife. Compare 4079, 4090.

Proverbs 25:23 The north wind driveth away rain: so [doth] an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

COUNTENANCE: 6440. paniym {paw-neem’}; plural (but always as singular) of an unused noun [paneh {paw-neh’}; from 6437]; the face (as the part that turns); time(-s) past, (un-)to(-ward), + upon, upside (+ down), with(-in, + -stand), X ye, X you.

Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, [there] the fire goeth out: so where [there is] no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

TALRBEARER: 5372. nirgan {neer-gawn’}; from an unused root meaning to roll to pieces; a slanderer: -talebearer, whisperer.

I Samuel 18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

When you love someone as your own soul you will not be thinking of his mistakes or the evil which you perceive that he has done. You will want good for him as you would want it for yourself. You will want him to look good, feel good. And be well provided for.

After King Saul was killed and David ascended to the throne of Israel, David looked for a descendant of Saul to show kindness to. He found Mephibosheth who was the lame son of Jonathan, David’s soul mate. David brought Mephibosheth to the city of David to eat at the king’s table and be cared for because David loved Saul and Jonathan. Saul was wrong in his attitude and his actions against David, but David saw him as God’s anointed servant and therefore blessed him in every way he could. God would deal with the pride and treachery of Saul, but David would not lend himself to be Saul’s judge.

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

This message is for the members of a church; Christians in general. These are the attributes which have been endowed to us from our Savior. They clearly need to be “put on,” or pursued in lour daily routines. The truth is that no one can be argued into heaven nor into a holy walk. It is something that must be chosen by an individual. It is to be “put on” like a garment.

Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

II Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

D. See Him As God’s Man

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.

I Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]:

II Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. . .

I Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

FOOL: 3474. moros {mo-ros’}; probably from the base of 3466; dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (morally) blockhead, (apparently) absurd: -fool(-ish, X -ishness).

MIGHTY: 2478. ischuros {is-khoo-ros’}; from 2479; forcible (literally or figuratively): -boisterous, mighty(-ier), powerful, strong(-er, man), valiant.

E. See Him As Your Friend

Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 18:24 A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.


[i] All Greek and Hebrew word definitions in this work are from Strongs Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries as found in  Swordsearcher 6.1 by Brandon Skaggs.

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Rhode Island

Wednesday, October 17th, I preached at Blackstone Valley Baptist Church, Cumberland, RI. This is the church that my wife and I started in 1975. My Son, Randy Lewis, is the pastor now. The church is doing will under his leadership. One of his sons, Justin, is called to preach the gospel as well.

Pastor Randy and Kathy Lewis

Andrew, Justin, Robert, Randy and Joshua Lewis

Justin Lewis Preaching at Blackstone Valley Baptist Church

Sunday, October 21st, I preached at Calvary Baptist Church in Middletown, RI. I spoke in the adult Sunday School, preached at 11AM and again at 1:30 PM after a delicious Harvest Fellowship Dinner. This is church is currently without a pastor and is worthy of your prayers. I will be preaching here at least two more times on this trip.

New England is beautiful at this time of year and we are certainly privileged to be here to see the fall foliage.

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Marching to Zion – Hebrews 10:19-25

Sometimes when  you go on a journey you have to follow someone because you have never been that way before,  and you do not know the directions. Your leader told you to “stay close” so you would not lose your way. Sometimes they gave you written instructions just in case you did get lost in traffic, and they told you “just stick to the directions, it’s easy to find.” Sometimes they said, “now if you do get lost, and you don’t understand the instructions, so and so will be along in a little while to show you the way.  If you don’t show up soon, I will come back myself to fetch you.”

We Christians are on a journey. We have not passed this way before. It is easy for us to get sidetracked if we do not follow the directions our Savior left for us to follow. The Holy Spirit will guide us when we lose our bearings if we will follow the directions in the Bible. There are others on the journey who can show us the way. By and by, Jesus will Himself will come for us and deliver us to our final destination. Here in our text we find three simple commands for all who are “Marching to Zion.”  There are going to be those that Satan uses to try to get us off the pathway. If that happens there will be a price to pay for our disobedience and lack of faith.

Here are three simple steps that will help us not to fall behind, lose direction, or become alienated from others on the journey.

I. Vs. 22 – Stay Close

Heb 10:21 And [having] an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

A.  Stay Close to Your High Priest (Jesus)

Joh 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

1Ti 2:5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator (go between, reconciler) between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

1 Jo 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate  (comforter, intercessor,) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation (atonement, covering, payment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

B.   Draw near to Him with:

1. A True heart –

Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

2. Full assurance of faith

Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

3. Hearts sprinkled from evil conscience

1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

4. Bodies washed with pure water

Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Psalms 24:3-4  Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?  4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

II. Vs.  23 – Stick to the Story  (9:28, 10:10, 10:14)

Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)

 Ancient sailing vessels “flew their colors’ from the main mast of their ship. These colors would identify the country of origin and the owner of the vessel. Sometimes when they would detect another vessel in the distance they would haul down their colors until they discovered whether or not the other vessel was ‘friendly’ or an enemy. This was not the case for many a brave captain. No,  what they would do is to take their colors to the mast and nail them in place so that their flag could not be easily hauled down to save them embarrassment or conflict.  They were not ashamed of their flag nor the one who owned the vessel.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

III. Vs. 24 – Stay Faithful  – trustful, true

Ps 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

1 Corinthians 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses [was faithful] in all his house.

1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

How can we be. . . and stay faithful?

A. Provoking one another – vs. 24 Challenging

B. Not forsaking the assembling – vs. 25 –

C. Exhorting one another – vs. 25 – encouraging

We are on a journey; We have never been this way before; we do not know the directions; We have been told to STAY CLOSE to our guide and if we stumble along the way we have a book full of directions to lead us and if we don’t exactly understand it  He will  send the Holy Spirit to GUIDE us; and then He HIMSELF is going to come and fetch us and bring us to our final destination!  It is important to stay close to our high priest; to stick to the story of our salvation, and to stay faithful to in our commitment to one another in living the Christian life if we would avoid the chastisement that surely comes to those who sin willfully after they have received the knowledge of the truth. Vs. 26

 

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Philadelphia, PA

Robert and Judy Lewis

Robert Lewis, CharlesHorton, Dave Peterman

­On Saturday,  October 6th, my wife and I connected in Philadelphia to continue our ministry together. On October 7th, we started an eight day missions revival with Pastor Dave Peterman and Christ Independent Baptist Church. Brother Peterman has been in the church since 1988. He joined the staff of the church in 1992 under the leadership of Pastor Victor Rivera, who pastored in Philadelphia from 1986 until 2009.  Pastor Rivera is now the Director of Northeast Baptist Outreach, which is a church planting ministry of Christ Independent Baptist Church.  Pastor Peterman accepted the pastorate in October, 2009. This church is the sending church for three church planting missionaries and currently supports sixteen missionaries and projects. Three of the missionaries (Acquilino to the Philippines, Stevens to Honduras, and Riveras to the NE) are  out of this church are endorsed by Global Independent Baptist Missions. As we entered into the missions revival the church was giving 13% of all of the offerings to missionaries and missionary projects through faith promise giving. I preached Bible messages every service with an emphasis on giving to the Lord and going to the mission field. Many people rededicated themselves and their assets to the Lord during the meeting. This was an eight-day meeting. In all I preached to the congregation eleven times. They were gracious and many of them came to every service. My wife spoke to the ladies of the church on Saturday and I spoke to the men separately about ministry issues.  Pastor White of Grace Baptist Church graciously allowed my wife and I to occupy their missions apartment for the week, saving the church quite a sum of money. I spoke at Grace Baptist Church two times on August 14th and thanked them for their contribution to this missions revival. At the conclusion of the meeting the church family an increased their weekly committments to missions by 58% over last year’s giving. We were very well cared for while visiting in Philadelphia and the church provided a generous love gift to us when the meeting was over. We are off in the morning to New England where we have several more meetings over the course of the next few weeks.

Please remember to pray for our safety and our effectiveness in ministry.

Pastor David Peterman, Cathy, Bethany, Nathaniel,and David
Christ Independent Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA

Fran and Marivel Aquilino
Missionaries to the Philippines

Eliel and Stephanie Toledano
Spanish Church Planters, Lumberton, NJ

Kevin DeAngelo, Church Planter
Zion Baptist Church, Haslet, NJ

Anthony Garris, Church Planter
Inner City Baptist Church, Camden, NJ.

DeWayne Rawlings, Nathan Peterman, David Peterman

Victor and Katie Rivera and his mother, Haydee

Pastor Joe White, Grace and children
Grace Baptist Church, Phiadelphia, PA

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Healdton, Oklahoma

Yesterday, September 30, I was the AM speaker at First Missionary Baptist Church. This is the church where I served as Interim Pastor from 2007 to 2010. Kevin Pridemore is the Pastor. The church is getting ready to celebrate it 90th Anniversary! When I arrived at the church I found that the attendance was up (More than 100 people showed up for the preaching), the building was clean and the people were ready to worship. Many improvements have been made under the leadership of Pastor Pridemore and his wife.  I was “in my element” when I got to the pulpit, surrounded by long time-friends and prayer partners. I preached from Genisis 47:27-31 and the Lord blessed His Word. My Brother, Tom, and his wife Kay drove down from Chickasha to be in the services and enjoy the lunch prepared by the church family.

 Songleader, Robert Hurst, Leading congregational singing

 Robert Lewis – Preaching

Pastor Kevin Pridemore, Robert Lewis, Robert Hurst, Tom Lewis

Tom & Kay Lewis, Ninneka, Oklahoma

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There is no Perfect Church

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.

There is no perfect church though every authentic church is built upon a perfect Savior. He is the founder of it; the Head of it, and the owner of it. He is currently invisible and this has led to many errors in ministry. Because He is invisible, many suppose that He is also incapable or at least inattentive to the corruption that grips men who lust for power and prestige. The fact that He is invisible motivates us to discover why.dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

Joh 20:21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

From that moment forward the presence of God was manifested in the disciples of Jesus Christ by His in-dwelling presence. He was going away. In His absence they would be expected to learn from, and listen to, the one who lived within them. As they followed His commands they were to be empowered for service to Him. This Spirit-filled service to Him, multiplied by numerous individuals, was expected to bring salvation to multitudes as indeed it has over the last two thousand years. We do not need to go to a shrine, nor a holy place to get in touch with our God. He lives in each one of us who is born of the Spirit of God. This has been a blessing. No pilgrimage is necessary to be “spiritual.” We need not touch the garments of any living soul to get a blessing from our God.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke all quote the familiar text: Mt 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. In the (physical) absence of the Savior we have the indwelling presence of The Holy Spirit, and the preserved Word of God. A church must recognize the workings of each of these elements, and persons, in order to maintain order in the church. A church that emphasizes one or the other of them without regard to the interaction they have one with another will inevitably wind up being led by corrupt men. Some men will do what they “feel”is right even when there is clear teaching to the contrary in the Bible. Sometimes they will say they are being “led by the Spirit” while they are doing things that are in direct violation of Biblical principles. We cannot help but be attracted to talented people with pleasing personalities. They always wind up in leadership among men. But we must look further than the surface pleasantries to find the men that God will use as leaders in His churches. Many pulpits are filled with vain men who are good in business and easy to get along with, but who rely upon their training, gifts and talents, more than they do the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God. The same principle is true when finding men who will use the office of a Deacon. Power corrupts men at every level. When a church is looking for leadership they often search for someone who is pleasant, talented, and good looking. This is normal, but apparently there has been gross negligence in many cases in evaluating the patterns of history that follow some alleged men of God. When they fail through moral corruption, cowardice, or deception, the church is devastated. Unfortunately in some cases there will be one or more opportunists who will seek to gain control of the church and its assets when confusion and disharmony rule the day. All this will be done to “save the church”. After all, Jesus is invisible, inaudible and He needs “help.” People who do not search the scriptures will be easily fooled and sometimes persuaded to violate their conscience during stressful circumstances.

1Co 14:33For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Sometimes well meaning people make unwise choices in the heat of the battle. There needs to be  leaders involved, who are not related, who will pray, and seek the Lord, and search His Word, and afflict themselves at the altar of prayer. I say afflict themselves as the people did in the time of Ezra:

Ezr 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

God wants His church to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He wants it to be a powerful tool in His hand. He wants it to be useful to HIM to accomplish His purposes in the lives of the people. This can only be accomplished when the leaders of the churches search the scriptures and submit themselves to the principles found in them. There must be Godly leadership if a church is to avoid the snares and pitfalls that are so common today. The fact that a man is called to preach does not make him spiritual. The fact that a man holds the office of a deacon does not make him spiritual. Men in leadership in the churches must be prayed for and encouraged to follow the Bible to resolve conflicts and seek new leadership.  They must do this while speaking the truth in love. The church is not infallible. The Bible is. Men who must have their way or else have injured churches and hurt their own souls. There must be a plan of accountability for men in leadership in the churches. The congregation must be taught to hold their leadership accountable for the decisions they make in the church in the “absence” of the Founder and Head.

 Next: Section III – The Plan: Accountability

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