Monday, October 16, 2017

John Calvin....500 Years of the Reformation

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.
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John Calvin (1509-1564) is the most influential pastor in church history. He wrote commentaries on nearly the entire Bible, which are still in print today. His systematic theology, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, is arguably the most significant Christian book ever published. Calvin was the architect of Protestant theology, and his teachings gave rise to republican government, public education, and even capitalism.

Calvin was first and foremost a preacher, generally giving six sermons a week. He moved the baptismal to the back of the church, and placed the pulpit in the middle, marking a change in the purpose of corporate worship—Christians would no longer gather for sacraments, but instead for the preaching of the Word.

Born north of Paris, he was converted to Christ in his 20’s and then forced to flee France—Protestants were not welcome there. He eventually settled in Geneva, where he spent the rest of his life pastoring. 

Under Calvin’s preaching, Geneva was reshaped. Refugees poured in from England, Scotland, and France, themselves fleeing persecution. So many came that Geneva’s population doubled under Calvin’s pastorate. He started a program to train men to return to their own countries as gospel preachers, and so many of his disciples became martyrs that this institute was known as “the Calvin school of death.”

Calvin died at age 54—he simply burnt out. He outlived his wife, and three children, but his legacy still towers over church history.

Copied from The Cripplegate

Thursday, October 12, 2017

From the Shepherd's Heart....Friday, October 13, 2017

This Sunday we continue preaching through the early chapters of the book of Genesis by beginning chapter three.  I had expected to do two messages from Genesis 3 but I am planning on doing at least four at this point.  The first three will be under the same title "The Beginning of Temptation on Earth" with this Sunday looking at the Serpent.

Who is Satan?  Where did he come from?  When did he show up on earth?  What are his characteristics?  How much power does he have?  What about demons?  Can a believer be demon possessed?  How can we have victory?

Then after two times of putting this sermon off (the last time last Sunday night when we had to cancel due to Tropical Storm Nate), I thought I would not preach it.  But Tuesday while praying about it, I just sensed the Lord saying, "So you don't believe the church needs to hear about spiritual rest?" 

So this Sunday night I will go back to Genesis 2: 1-3 to speak about "The Beginning Rest."

Do you know believers are to "rest" in the Lord?  Are you resting?  What about "working for the Lord?"  Can you work and rest?

Looking forward to swinging the two-edged sword this Lord's Day.  Bring your Bible, be here for Sunday School and worship both times.  I know the Lord will be!!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

From the Shepherd's Heart...Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I can not begin to express my joy and pure delight, plus honor, to have Bro. Mitchell Lawrence from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to be with us on Wednesday night, October 18 in the 6:10 service.  It has been my honor to serve alongside of this brother in Zimbabwe for three years and I just never imagined I would get to host him at Rainsville First.

Plan NOW and let nothing prevent you from being in attendance to hear Bro. Mitchell next week.  (He is pictured here with me and Larry Wright who just preached here at RFBC in September).

This is Fall Break and the Arrow Kids' Clubs are not meeting tonight and neither do we have a meal. But the Students and Adults both are meeting at 6:10 and I can't wait to finish Philippians 3: 12-16 "The Joyful Christian Race."

This Saturday is a special day for "Fall Festival."  The second annual Car Show begins at 8:00 with a Cornhole Tournament added in this year. 

Then we have a BBQ Cookoff with BBQ plates for sale from 11 until 2.  You may eat in or carry out.

All of this is to raise funds for our mission endeavors.

Please, support the day as we raise mission funds.

Also, this Saturday evening is Kendle's Friends.  I appreciate our Team who has taken up the mantle to continue this important ministry. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Menno Simons...500 Years of the Reformation

“True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love; meanwhile, the persecution, suffering and anguish that come for the sake of it give a glorious joy and comfort.”
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Menno Simons (1496-1561) entered seminary in the Netherlands, only a few years after Martin Luther’s trial in Germany. Because this was at the height of the Reformation, he was forbidden from reading the Bible. After becoming a priest he stumbled across a Lutheran work defending infant baptism, found it lacking, and turned his attention to Scripture.
A few years later he was converted to Christ, renounced his ordination, and was baptized.
He spent the rest of his life a wanted man. Charles V, the same Emperor who oversaw Luther’s trial, led the manhunt for Simons. A reward was offered for his capture, and those found guilty of aiding him were executed on the spot.  
Despite Simon’s commitment to pacifism, he and his followers were also persecuted by the Reformers, who viewed them as a threat to their own reformations. They were called “ana-Baptists” (literally—“re-baptizers”), a derogatory term meant to mock believer’s baptism. Many of them were drowned or burnt; in fact, more Anabaptists were killed by Protestants than Protestants were by Catholics.
After Simon’s death, his followers had no place in Europe where they could call home, and many eventually fled to the Americas. Because of his commitment to Scripture, believer’s baptism, regenerate church membership, and church-discipline, Simons is remembered as “the first evangelical pastor.”
Taken from The Cripplegate

Friday, October 6, 2017

From the Shepherd's Heart....Friday, October 6, 2017

We have had a wonderful Answers in Genesis Conference last weekend that proved to be even more than I expected (and this was my second time to experience the conference plus at least three trips to The Creation Museum).

In light of that, I was second-guessing my planned and announced message "Why I Believe in a Young Earth" for this Sunday.  But after prayer, I have decided to go ahead and deliver the message.

Why?  Because I believe I will have some new and great insight that you did not hear this weekend, especially Monday night?  No.  Answers in Genesis handled the topic much better than I can.

But here are three reasons I am preaching this message:
1.  Not everyone that will be present this Sunday heard the presentations from Answers in Genesis.
2.  There is one important theological issue I have seen that AIG did not mention that I want you to see with me.
3.  You need to hear your Pastor say, "I believe in a young earth and this is why..."

So, this Sunday morning I will share this message with you.

Then Sunday night I will do the message I omitted a few Sundays ago when I added a message about the husband-wife responsibilities.  I will go back to Genesis 2: 1-3 to share about the Sabbath Day rest and what God did and what He initiated.

Due to us hosting a county-wide Dodgeball Tournament Sunday night for youth, we are going to have an abbreviated Sunday evening service.  We will start promptly at 6:00 and end at 6:30.

That way those adults serving at the Tournament can attend and those attending worship can be off the property by the time of the tournament.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

From the Shepherd's Heart....Wednesday, October 4, 2017

First let me begin by wishing my wife, Roxanne, Happy anniversary.  Today is our 37th wedding anniversary and I am so grateful to God for the wonderful gift God gave me October 4, 1980 at Sardis Baptist Church on a delightful Saturday evening.  Love you babe and praying God gives us many more wonderful years together.

Thank you for your wonderful participation in the Answers in Genesis weekend.  WOW - so powerful.  All the sessions are available on the church's web site here.

I am delighted to be back leading Wednesday night service tonight as we continue our study in Philippians 3.

Everything else is going full blast tonight, as well. 

See you here!!!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Lady Jane Grey....500 Years of Reformation

“How can it be that the bread is our Maker, when the baker made it? Who then made the baker?”
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Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554) is known as the nine day queen of England. A distant relative of Henry VIII, she spent much of her childhood in the king’s court, being groomed to marry Edward, the next-in-line for the throne. By age 7 both she and Edward knew Latin and Greek, and through reading the New Testament both had been converted to Christ.

Edward became king as a boy, died a few years later—likely poisoned by one of his advisers—resulting in Lady Jane becoming Queen. Jane knew nothing of the order of succession, and came to the throne reluctantly. But she realized that if she took a stand for Christ and against the Mass, she could leave a mark on England.  

After only nine days, Jane was betrayed by her father and overthrown by her Spanish (and Catholic) cousin, Mary. Imprisoned, she was offered mercy if only she would take the Mass. Instead she publicly debated Mary’s chaplain about transubstantiation. By all accounts the seventeen-year-old girl won the debate, for which she would lose her life. She was beheaded shortly thereafter.

Jane’s legacy is seen in the fact that after Bloody Mary’s death, England would never again be a Catholic nation. English history was forever changed by the gospel-fueled martyrdom of a teenage queen.

Published by The Cripplegate