Monday, April 16, 2007


God has called me to be a watchman on the wall, to sound out a warning. I will give an answer to Him one day whether I have been faithful to that duty. If I warn of judgment to come and people do not listen, then the blood is on their own heads. Of course, God is most concerned that we heed the warnings, turn from our sin to Him, and thus apply the blood to our hearts that we may be forgiven! Should I fail to alert the people, then as they slumber on until judgment falls, Scripture says their blood will be on my hands for I failed in my sacred responsibility.

So, I have no way of knowing how many will read these words, how many will care, whether any will heed them. From a human perspective, this may be a sheer waste of time. But from heaven's view, I will have been faithful at my post, and in the end that is what will matter most. So I put the trumpet of truth to my lips:

We must have revival, or we will continue to decline until God at last turns the lights out and closes the doors! Then what hope is there for our nation? Where will the lost find the light of the Gospel, if this beacon is extinguished? What is to become of our children and grandchildren as this land plunges into abominable rotteness because the salt has lost its potency?

This morning as I studied God's Word, the following message from the second chapter of Joel burned in my heart and I must express it.

Joel writes:
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—
Dear people, the hour is late. We have the briefest sliver of opportunity before everything disintegrates. There has been an exponential increase in the speed of our slide downward toward the abyss. I dare not set a date for the Lord's return, but I cannot imagine how in our present path that we cannot be but a hair's breadth away from the Day of the Lord. Are we ready to stand before Him? He is coming for a beautiful Bride--His church, expectant and longing for Him--will we be part of that Bride? Are we ready?

What would it require to get throughly right with God and experience revival? Joel answers,
12 ‘Even now,‘ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.‘ 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. 17 Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’‘ 18 Then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.

We must acknowledge that we have walked away from God. Half-hearted measures will not do. A show of superficial piety will not suffice. We must seek God with every fiber of our being--whole-hearted devotion. There must be a hunger for God so intense that it eclipses our hunger for even physical food. Our souls are shriveled as we are in a spiritual famine and those pangs of passion for the Bread of Heaven should bring us as beggars to our knees and to our God!

Brokenness marks the church that encounters a Holy God in revival! Our eyes are dry! We would weep over a house going up in smoke, seeing our precious possessions engulfed in flames, but there is no wailing over the millions of souls dying and plunging into the lake of fire! We would be upset over a family member diagnosed with terminal cancer, yet have do not grieve over the cancer of sin eating away at our brothers and sisters in the church! How can we watch some sentimental love story on TV and get misty eyed, and listen to the romance of redemption--how God loved us in Christ--and respond with a yawn? Until the altar is covered with tears, our prayers will be mere formality rising no higher than the ceiling. I have been in a room where family gather to mourn over the death of a loved one--unashamedly and profusely they pour out their pain in their sense of loss. Have you read the book of Acts lately? Do you understand what we have lost? Satan is planning a funeral for our church! Will we weep and cry out to a God who has power to raise the dead?

Now, we are not talking about just emotion--something worked up and contrived--built by the tempo of music and psychological manipulation--no, no--God says don't rend your garments, but your hearts! Our eyes are dry and are hearts are unbroken. We can choose brokenness today and we must!

If we will return to God, we will find Him so gracious. In place of judgment, we can experience blessing. He longs to be compassionate to us. We have been an adulterous wife, but so amazing is His love that He will forgive us and restore us if we will come back to His arms.

God bring back the glory! Restore your people to fellowship with You that the world may know there is a God in heaven--that the sweet name of Jesus would be magnified through the earth. With fasting and fervent prayer we gather in a sacred assembly to hear Your Word and wait upon You to visit Your people. Start with this preacher as I weep between the temple porch and the altar. Lord, grant that someone would hear this trumpet call today as it is sent out. For the sake of Your Son--Amen!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This is Part 12 of a continuing series of articles examining the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. This statement of faith was adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting on June 14, 2000 “to set forth certain teachings which we believe.”

The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.*

God is Sovereign. He reigns over all. Nothing happens but by His permission; nothing is done but by His decree; nothing can thwart His will. Planets pursue their courses according to the power of His word. There is no place, no realm, and no dimension of this universe and eternity that is not under His domain.

Yet, in a special sense, the Kingdom of God is extended to all His subjects who enthrone Christ in their hearts. The sincere confession, “Jesus is Lord,” means that we have bowed our wills to His and have become citizens of that heavenly Kingdom. His law governs us. His angelic army guards us. His benevolence graces us.

There are rebels to His reign, however. Satan, the usurper, seeks to overthrow His Kingdom. His minions, both in the demonic hordes and the human pawns who move at the impulse of his nefarious schemes, are rebels against His authority. Temporarily, God, in His infinite wisdom and inscrutable ways, patiently endures this vain show of defiance—which He will ultimately quash as a man grinds a gnat under his thumb.

Paul put it this way, “After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, ‘God has given him authority over all things.’ (Of course, when it says ‘authority over all things,’ it does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) Then, when he has conquered all things, the Son will present himself to God, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28 NLT)

If we would be part of that eternal, coming Kingdom of God, we must submit to Christ as Lord now!

* Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 5:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22. (Baptist Faith and Message, 2000)

Thursday, April 05, 2007


There is no way to properly thank Sunday School workers for their commitment to Christ. Neither can we adequately gauge their work without the perspective of eternity. Sometimes we may think all our efforts are in vain--but as Scripture says, "Judge nothing before its time." (1 Corinthians 4:5) I hope these words from one of the great preachers of yesteryear will be an encouragement to you today!

An Act of Faith: Sowing the Seed—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)
Charles Spurgeon is one of the best known preachers of the 19th century. His success as a pastor was founded in part on a God-given gift of oratory and his faithfulness in proclaiming the Word thorough expository sermons. Spurgeon defined success in ministry in terms of evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power working among men. In this excerpt from a sermon given to Sabbath-school teachers, he stresses the importance of faith combined with obedience.
It is always an act of faith to sow seed; because you have, for the time, to give it up, and receive nothing in return. The farmer takes his choice seed-corn, and throws it into the soil of his field. He might have made many a loaf of bread with it; but he casts it away. Only his faith saves him from being judged a maniac: he expects it to return to him fifty-fold. If you had never seen a harvest, you would think that a man burying good wheat under the clods had gone mad; and if you had never seen conversions, it might seem an absurd thing to be constantly teaching to boys and girls the story of the Man who was nailed to the tree. We preach and teach as a work of faith; and, remember, it is only as an act of faith that it will answer its purpose. The rule of the harvest is, “According to thy faith, be it unto thee.” Believe, dear teacher, believe in the gospel. Believe in what you are doing when you tell it. Believe that great results from slender causes spring. Go on sowing your mustard seed of salvation by faith, expecting and believing that fruit will come thereof.1
1 C. H. Spurgeon, “The Mustard Seed: A Sermon for the Sabbath-School Teacher,” in The Miracles and Parables of Our Lord, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2003), 709.

Thanks for all you do! You are making an eternal difference!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


My father and mother are marching through their seventies. It's hard to comprehend. But time races by...and now I am a grandfather myself. My Dad and Mom's health could decline anytime and I will assume the role of parent and they will be the kids. Talk about a role reversal! But I had best do a good job and care for them with kindness--being patient and having understanding, for I will reap what I sow.

These thoughts were triggered by a poem I received. Drink it in--the hour may soon come for you to face this reality. You may be there already.

Author Unknown

To Our Dear Child:
On the day you see us, old, weak and weary…
Have patience and try to understand us…
If we get dirty when eating…
If we cannot dress on our own…
Please bear with us and remember the times we spent feeding you and dressing you up.
If, when we speak to you, we repeat the same things over and over again…do not interrupt us…listen to us.
When you were small, we had to read to you the same story a thousand and one times until you went to sleep.
When we do not want to have a shower, neither shame nor scold us…
Remember when we had to chase you with your thousand excuses to get you to the shower?
When you see our ignorance of new technologies…
Help us navigate our way through those worldwide webs.
We taught you how to do so many things…to eat the right foods, to dress appropriately…to fight for your rights.
When at some moments we lose the memory or the thread of our conversation…let us have the necessary time to remember…and, if we cannot, do not become nervous…as the most important thing is not our conversation but surely to be with you and to have you listening to us…
If ever we do not feel like eating, do not force us.
We know well when we need to and when not to eat.
When our tired legs give way and do not allow us to walk without a cane
Lend us your hand.
The same way we did when you tried your first faltering steps.
And when someday we say to you that we do not want to live any more, that we want to die. Do not get angry. Some day you will understand.
Try to understand that our age is not just lived but survived.
Some day you will realize that, despite our mistakes,
We always wanted the best for you
And we tried to prepare the way for you.
You must not feel sad, angry, nor ashamed for having us near you. Instead try to understand us and help us like we did when you were young.
Help us to walk…
Help us to live the rest of our life with love and dignity.
We will pay you with a smile and by the immense love
We have always had for you in our hearts.
We love you, child.
Mom and Dad