Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Public Ministry / Taken from Pastor James Knox

I came upon this article and can't help but see that he is absolutely right. I know I have not posted for a very long time, but I just had to share this. Are we missing something which we should be involved in? I believe so. This is a very difficult thing to do in very rural areas, but we all have some city nearby. I believe that the time is now. By the way, I will post updates from Bryant Pond Baptist Church soon! Public Preaching It is not uncommon for persons encountering the public preaching of the word of God to ask, “Why are you doing this?” Such persons do not respond in this manner to someone shouting, “Car Wash,” “We Buy Gold,” or “Tickets, Get Your Tickets.” This evident bigotry in opposing only one form of public advertisement says more about the person lodging the complaint than it does about the activity. It is not uncommon for those whining about public preaching to say something along the lines of “I am a Christian, and I do not think this is proper,” or “I know a lot of people who go to church, and they disagree with what you are doing.” Since such persons have no standard of right and wrong in their lives and refer only to majority opinion for their determination of what is acceptable, such hollow arguments carry the day. Now, to answer the question as to why someone would proclaim the word of the Lord in a public place and do so loud enough to be heard, let us do something uniquely different and see what the Bible says about the matter. 1. Public preaching began in the garden eastward in Eden, when the Word preached outdoors to a man and a woman who did not want to hear it. In fact they hid themselves to avoid the preacher (Genesis 3). 2. Enoch preached publicly, and his message was 80% negative (Genesis 5; Jude 1:14-15). 3. Noah preached in public for decades, and his lack of response did not deter him (Genesis 6-8; 2 Peter 2:5). 4. Moses preached in the courtyards of Egypt to a people who worshipped false gods and goddesses (Exodus 4-12) 5. For forty years as the nation of Israel traveled to the land of Canaan, their worship services, sacrifices, and preaching were all done in public places (Leviticus-Deuteronomy). 6. The children of Israel stood outside the city of Jericho and shouted to the people standing upon its walls (Joshua 6). 7. Joshua preached to a disobedient nation who claimed to believe in God while clinging to their idols, in public (Joshua 24). 8. Gideon preached in public (Judges 6-7). 9. Samuel preached outdoors to a rebel crowd, and the result was the conversion of Saul. 10. David preached in public and led outdoor worship services (1 Chronicles 13, 2 Samuel 6). It is not likely those who complain about public preaching are still reading, but if you are that rare soul with integrity, let me ask you, who are these church-attending people who say people should not preach in public? Makes you wonder if they ever turned off the TV long enough to read the Bible, doesn’t it? 11. Solomon preaches outdoors, when there was a house of worship just a few yards away (2 Chronicles 6). 12. Elijah preaches in public, telling the crowds that their ministers are corrupt, and their religion false (1 Kings 18). 13. Elisha follows suit (2 Kings 4). 14. Shemaiah, Abijah, Azariah, Michaiah, Jehu, Jehoshaphat, Jahaziel, Zechariah, Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Habakkuk, et. al. Every prophet in the Old Testament preached the word of the Lord in public places to people who did not want to hear it (2 Chronicles – Malachi). 15. John the Baptist never preached in a synagogue or house of worship – always outdoors where people were gathered. 16. Jesus Christ preached the majority of His sermons outdoors. And if it was all lovey dovey fluff and nonsense, why did multitudes hate him and eventually demand His crucifixion? 17. All the apostles and disciples of Jesus preached in public places. This was their pattern in Israel, Greece, Rome, throughout Asia and Europe, etc. To say that public preaching is somehow not a Biblical or Christian practice is to display massive ignorance of the plain truth of the matter. One could say they do not like it, and they would be consistent with historical fact. Atheists, idolaters, pagans, satanists, adulterers, drunkards, murderers, molesters, et. al. have never enjoyed having a light shined upon their darkness (John 3:19-21), but that does not make something non-Christian. This is evident to the thoughtful individual. 18. A converted Jew (John 9), a converted Gentile (John 4), a converted devil-worshipper (Mark 5), and a converted religious leader (Acts 9) all preached in public. 19. Peter, Stephen, James, John, Paul, Silas, Barnabas, Thomas, etc., that is, every apostle and disciple mentioned in the church history book of Acts preached the word outdoors to people who were going about their business. Contrary to the false reports circulated by the unlearned and bigoted in our day, to keep Christianity in the church and not make it known in the public forum is the non-scriptural position. 20. Should you have made it this far, you are now challenged to read this partial list of Biblical commands / instructions to preach the truth of God’s word in public places. In case you are not going to look them up, the partial list contains nearly 100 scripture references. So before you read or ignore the list below, to both objections: “Why are you doing this?” Because it is and has always been the right thing to do. “I’m a Christian, and I disagree.” We choose to obey God’s truth not your falsehood. The Partial List (in Addition to the References Cited Above) Luke 2 Luke 17 Luke 19 Mark 4 Mark 5 Mark 16 Matthew 3 Matthew 4-7 Matthew 9 Matthew 13 Matthew 15 Matthew 24-25 Acts 2 Acts 3 Acts 5 Acts 7-9 Acts 13-14 Acts 16-19 Acts 21-22 Acts 27-28 1 Kings 8 1 Kings 13 2 Chronicles 1-8 2 Chronicles 13 2 Chronicles 15 2 Chronicles 18 2 Chronicles 28-29 Ezra 3 Nehemiah 9 Job 3-41 Psalms 57 Psalms 94 Psalms 96 Psalms 116 Proverbs 1 Proverbs 8 Isaiah 58 Isaiah 62 Jeremiah 2-3 Jeremiah 5-11 Jeremiah 19 Jeremiah 22-26 Jeremiah 38 Jeremiah 50 Ezekiel 4-7 Ezekiel 21 Ezekiel 25 Ezekiel 27 Ezekiel 29 Ezekiel 35-39 Jonah 3-4 If you even glanced at this list of places where God’s people preached in public, you are asked to send just one passage in the Bible where the practice is forbidden. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31). Neither is there salvation in any other (Acts 4:12) James W. Knox November 2013

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More random thoughts about Dad...

Tomorrow we will have the official service for Dad. As the family gathered tonight I could not help but think of how Dad would have been so happy to see Ashley reading to two of her younger cousins. Dad would have loved to see Joshua riding bikes with the younger grandchildren. He got such joy in just watching his "great 8" play together. I stood out front for a few minutes tonight and I could almost see Dad sitting there in a lawn chair watching the children ride bikes. I heard the dog begin barking as one of the children came inside, and imagined for a moment that he would come hobbling up the stairs. I can swear that I still hear his voice when I walk into a room "Heaoo Matt!". I just can't believe he is gone from this earth. Now that I am done being selfish, I am so glad that he has graduated to his reward. He is with the Lord. As for the service tomorrow, please pray that I will be able to speak what God has put on my heart. Please pray that hearts will be stirred to salvation. God can.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Seasons of life

For me, writing is therapy. I have gotten away from writing much due to the busyness of life, but at this time of loss I find it helps. I am glad that my dad (Meredith Tilden Jones) is now with the Saviour whom he has served for so many decades now. He fought cancer valiantly for over three years. Dad's earthly body was riddled with problems for the last 7 years or so, but now he has a new and glorified body in heaven. I am so thankful to know that his battle is over and that he's on the winning side. There has been a flood of emotions and thoughts over the last few days, and I know that they will continue to come. We cleaned out his room at the Hill House in North Bath yesterday. This was difficult, as it was the last earthly place we were with him. Today we begin cleaning out his trailer. This will probably be very difficult as well. I truly cannot imagine how those with no hope deal with this. It is truly hard enough even knowing he is in heaven. Tonight we have our mid-week service at Bryant Pond Baptist Church. I am not sure how I will handle it, but we will be there, although with a guest preacher. Tomorrow we will be back here in Wiscasset with the family. Well....my Dad. He has been a faithful member of the Bible Baptist Church in Wiscasset since the very early 80's. Throughout his life he faced many difficult times. Through it all, he never complained, he just kept serving the Lord. When he found out he had type 2 diabetes, he did not complain (though he showed my brothers and I the needle he needed to give himself shots with and implored us to change our lifestyle so we wouldn't end up having to do that). When Dad found out that he needed a quadruple bypass, he did not complain. He had the surgery and kept serving God. When Dad found out that that nagging pain in his hip was prostate cancer that had spread into his bones, he did not complain, he just kept serving God. When he fell, tearing all the ligaments in his knee, requiring surgery and months of a cast and therapy, he did not complain, he just kept serving God. Do you see a theme here? I seem to catch myself complaining whenever a preference of mine is not met.... Dad was a great man. He is already missed. As a side note, I have all of his Bibles, and what a testament it is to his faithfulness to study the Word of God. Even in the midst of pain.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another one bites the dust....

When I opened the latest edition of the Lincoln County News newspaper, right on the front page is an article about the Damariscotta Baptist Church voting in a woman as their pastor. This marks the first woman pastor in their long history. The news hit me right in the gut. I knew that the DBC has been sliding in a liberal direction for many years, as they long-ago dumped the KJB and yoked up with the liberal American Baptist Churches of America organization. But still, the news...really affected me. This once great church(which claims Adoniram Judson, Sr. as the very first pastor) somewhere down the line had a pastor who dropped the ball. Bible doctrine took a back seat to something else. It could have been a program of some kind, perhaps even a good program. Now...imagine your own church. If the pastor fails to instill absolute confidence in the KJB as the very Word of God, infallible and inerrant, eventually the congregation will drift. If a pastor is not feeding the sheep, the sheep will starve, and when the pastor leaves, the sheep may just bring in the wrong man (or woman) to replace him. The wrong pastor, with a congregation that has been Biblically starved, is free to drift further and further from true Bible doctrine. I say all of that to say that I am truly convicted that I must do my very best to feed the sheep with solid Bible preaching and teaching. The pulpit should never be a "doctrine free" zone. When a church body is properly fed, even if the pastor was suddenly gone, they would be equipped to stay on the right track. By the way, what does the Bible say about the qualifications for a preacher? 1Timothy_3:2 "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach" (The terms Bishop and Elder both refer to the pastor of a church) 1 Timothy 3:4-5 "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" Furthermore, Titus 1:6-9 also makes it very clear that a pastor is a "he". Also, consider that all of the apostles were men. There were no female pastors in the Bible.... Notice that in the article, she never referenced the above facts: This patriarchy, still strong in some churches and denominations, does not have a basis in the Bible, which is full of strong, female leaders, Harris said. The sisters Martha and Mary were followers of Jesus Christ and active in his ministry. The merchant Lydia was an early convert to Christianity, "a woman of power and money who had a church in her house," Harris said. Priscilla was another important figure in early Christianity, a brave church leader and companion of Paul the Apostle. "When the first church was established, there were lots of women," Harris said. Christians who oppose female leadership interpret some of Paul's writings to mean women should "stay quiet and not teach or be in leadership over men," Harris said, "but that's not what Jesus did." Thus, if Jesus Christ "had women involved and leading in his ministry, then why wouldn't we do it here and now?" Harris said. "Personally, I think the spirit can move anybody," she said. "God is greater than our genders." Harris believes the trend toward acceptance of female pastors and leaders stems as much from logistics as theology. By the way, Paul's writings are actually God's writings, as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." So, God's Word tells us in 1 Timothy 2:12 "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." Also, 1 Corinthians 11:3 tells us "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." The Bible is crystal clear, you must be a man to be a pastor. It is sad that such clear Bible teaching is tossed out the window with thoughts like "God is greater than our genders". God certainly is greater that our genders, but God will NEVER go against His Word. Thoughts that women can be pastors or preachers only come when one does not know or does not care what the Bible truly has to say. We have a perfect Bible and it is our sole authority. Think Biblically. Live Biblically. Men, preach Biblically.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hidden blessings part 2

Here are some more blessings that I forgot to mention: We have a young lady who is recently saved who brings her baby with her to church. She has been very faithful to come on the Sunday mornings that she does not work. She came back on Sunday night and it truly blessed my soul. After the service she went to Brother Tignor and thanked the family for what they do. That was a blessing to me. It is an absolute joy to watch her grow in the Lord. We have a teen who has been saved for just about three weeks now and it is a blessing to hear her ask good questions about the Bible and faith. She has been very faithful and has even began singing with our choir. God has truly been good!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hidden blessings!

Sunday February 23, 2014 at Bryant Pond Baptist Church, we did not set any kind of attendance records. In fact, we were below our 2013 average attendance. We did not have record offerings.on Sunday. We did not have to take out the van and the bus like we do most Sundays. We didn't have enough children that we were picking up. So...I'm complaining....right? Actually, Sunday was a powerful day for me and I wanted to share some of these blessings with everybody! In Sunday School we announced our next youth service (March 9 at 6pm). Already we have music acts and two young men preaching! This is a huge blessing! They are picking a verse or verses and speaking on them, what they mean. This is exciting! We have children that play the clarinet, the trumpet, the flute (two of them), the piano.... In the morning service we had a visit from a member who has been "on the books" since 1942! Wow! (by the way, her health does not allow her regular attendance) In the morning service we had a couple of ladies visit...they came in after the music had started so I didn't have a chance to introduce myself before the service. I noticed one of the ladies was paying close attention but the other was not....after the service I worked my way to them and found out they are Bulgarian. One lady did not speak a word of English. Her daughter did, and is a member of a Baptist church in Mass. She complemented us on our website and having our sermons online. In the evening service we had special guests the Tignor family, missionaries to Equador. It was great to finally meet this family, and they are a great bunch! Brother Chris preached a great message and the service was wonderful! I was very pleased at how generous our church was with them. It warms my heart to serve with such missions-minded folks! The best part of the day was a girl named Lexi. She has been attending semi-regularly for a number of weeks now. She has had some questions about salvation for a time, but every time we were going to sit down, something else got in the way. Yesterday before the am service I walked up to her and asked her if she had gotten saved yet. She hadn't. We talked and she was ready to ask God to save her soul. She bowed her head and prayed. When she said amen she had a smile from ear to ear! She was so excited! It was so awesome to see! Our experience this Sunday goes to show, it is not always about the numbers, nor about the offerings, but it is about God moving and watching Him change lives! Are you down about numbers? Maybe you just need to look a little deeper. God is good and He will never let us down!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thoughts on "Duck Dynasty" drama...

Social media is crammed with stories and posts about the Duck Dynasty controversy. Many of my brothers and sisters in the faith are very upset with the A & E network for their suspension of Phil Robertson. Robertson was suspended from the show (basically fired) for expressing his opinion of sodomy in GQ magazine. I fully agree that Robertson has the right to express his belief in the Word of God and what it says of the sin of sodomy. I also understand that is A&E's right to suspend Robertson. It is also every person's right to protest that suspension. In all of this I have seen many well-meaning Christians attempt to lay the ills of the country at the feet of the crowd that is calling for the suspension. There is no doubt that this "tolerance" crowd is completely intolerant of any disagreement with their beliefs. However, the fact that Robertson was suspended points to a bigger issue than liberal bias. The true issues of this country lay completely at the feet of the churches of America. All of the anger towards A&E should really be anger with ourselves. If we had invested the time we spent watching Duck Dynasty into walking down our streets and witnessing to our neighbors, there would be more "like minded" people all across the country. I am not saying that it is a sin to watch this show, but are we putting first things first? Are we getting angry and writing emails of protest? That is fine. Are you knocking on doors and preaching on the streets? If not why not? Unfortunately many are willing to speak up to protest the ill treatment of their favorite tv star, but not willing to speak up to tell a lost soul about the fact that Jesus Christ can save you from your sins. This message is so much more important than any tv show. We all understand the absolutely deplorable condition of this world. What are we going to do about it? Write letters of protest or go and tell some lost sinner about Jesus? One more note here....please understand that the Robertson family does not believe in salvation by grace through faith. They believe that baptism is a part of salvation. This doctrine (called baptismal regeneration) is heresy and it is a perversion of the grace of God. You must fully trust in the shed blood of Christ for your salvation, plus nothing, minus nothing. I am glad that they are using their platform to preach, but let's not direct people to a message that will damn them.

Browns to Montana