Monday, November 21, 2016

Where O Where? It's Over There, or There, or It Could Be Over There

Recently I went to a very large hardware store to purchase a needed product.

I did not know where to look so approached two employees to ask help. They were talking so I waited politely next to them. However, neither acknowledged me, and when they finished talking, both of them walked away in different directions!

So I approached another walking towards me, but he did not stop when I asked him for help to find where an item was located; he simply pointed and said “Over there”. Now where was "there?" as he had pointed towards 3500 or so shelves covering half an acre!

I came to what I thought maybe "there" and asked another worker who said, " I don't know, look on the shelf over there." I went over there, but what shelf?

After 15 minutes looking at several shelves there and there and there, I finally had to leave.

When my wife asked what took so long, she looked confused when I simply said, "I was there and there and there. Where I do not know, but ‘over there’."

​Do we as Christians do something similar to make it difficult for people to hear and know the one place to obtain salvation, forgiveness of sin, redemption, how to go to heaven or do we simply point quickly in any directions and say "over there," or do we take them by the hand and lead them directly to the Savior through the Gospel?

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Few Suggestions Regarding "One Aspect" of the Job Description/Responsibilities of Church Mission Committee/Council Members

Dear Mission Pastors and Church Mission Council Members,

Hello friends. Thank you for your concern for missions and worldwide out reach of the Gospel. May our Lord be praised!

We meet with mission committees worldwide as they ask for help and advice to be effective as a committee.

Over the years we have worked much with them, since the world missions scene is constantly changing and responsibilities of committees expand.

I have written the following simple challenge to committee members to help them understand the importance of their job before accepting a position on a committee.

It may be a little outdated but would you mind commenting on it and add what is needed so I can share with others? Would it also be possible to send me your committee guidelines?

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Suggestions Regarding "One Aspect" of the Job Description/Responsibilities of Church Mission Committee/Council Members:

It is a joy to meet, fellowship, plan and advise mission committees worldwide. Usually members are dedicated men and women of God who serve as volunteers to advance the Gospel to the nations.

It is discouraging sometimes, however, for missionaries on furlough/home assignment to meet with the mission committees of supporting churches and discover the members know little or nothing of the missionaries’ calling, history, life, family or ministry.

The missionaries are asked questions such as, "Where do you serve?" "Do you have children?" "How many?” “How long has our church supported you?" etc.

A missions committee should require certain things of their missionaries such as doctrinal integrity, regular communications, etc.

Equally important for the church leadership and elders is to have simple but important guidelines for each member serving on the missions committee.

As a start here are some vitally important responsibilities:

1. The know the testimony and history of each church-supported missionary.
2. To receive and read the regular prayer and ministry communication newsletters from each missionary.
3. To be familiar and current with the family (each child) of the missionary.
4. To commit to praying for each missionary.
5. To write the missionary regularly (every three months or so).
6. The committee should meet at least every other month to review the ministry of each missionary and to pray, plan, and make decisions for the advancement of world missions.

These are "simple suggestions" for churches and can be adjusted as needed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Do We Break Christian Fellowship Over Dancing and Drinking?

Let's be careful about cutting off friends, relatives, and, especially, other Christians over matters we may not agree on -- matters (and even personal convictions) about personalities and practices like sipping wine, drinking beer, and dancing.

There are some Christian speakers that I do not appreciate at all, but I have friends who think he is great. So, do we break fellowship? Cannot we fellowship in Christ and still not agree on personalities who we like or do not?

Alcohol helped destroy my family so the day the Lord brought me to Himself, I gave it up immediately! To me it seems as if Scripture teaches that we as believers should not drink, but some of my Christian friends feel they are "free" to do so. (The book of Proverbs teaches that leaders definitely should not drink, and as all Christians are to be leaders and examples in life. Perhaps this shows none of us should drink.) So, do I break fellowship with them or do they break with me labeling me a legalist?

Dancing has hit the church big time – dancing at weddings, parties, etc. it is amazing to see how many Christians know all the modern songs and "dancing moves." Drinking, parties, and dancing were my life; so when Christ saved me, I gave it up! And yes, it still bothers me to see how so many of my fellow brothers and sisters dance at weddings, Christmas presentations, dramas, and even church-sponsored activities. But, my question again is, do I break fellowship with fellow godly believers who feel perfectly fine with "shaking it up a little?"

So dear friends, let's settle these matters in our own hearts, and be careful about separating ourselves from other godly men and women because of personalities or practices.

God's Word says, "Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near." (Philippians 4:5). Today is a good day to be "gentle" with each other!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Christian Wedding or Las Vegas Floor Show?


It is embarrassing to go to some weddings, even Christian ones!

Older and younger Christian women, who have always dressed modestly and appropriately, seem to throw off all restraints at a wedding to dress in scanty attire fit only for burlesque.

Why is this? Why suddenly do they dress like a woman of the street instead of for God and His glory?

Question for discussion: In counseling and planning with couple and their families, would it not be wise for a pastor, leaders and godly women of the church to give some dress guidelines especially for the wedding party?

To ask them, "Is your wedding going to honor Christ and the institution of Christian marriage, or is going to be remembered as a Las Vegas floor show?"

What's All This Expert Talk On Missions (My Way is the ONLY Way)

It is sad to be confronted in the media (face book, blogs, e-publications, etc.) by mission experts which are really just opinions (and, excuse me, just plain dumb, stupid and especially un-biblical)!

At a conference for pastors, one mission leader spoke his opinions which came across very powerfully but were certainly not biblical! However, these opinions were accepted as gospel truth by the many pastors and others present. Even though the conference leaders were contacted about this, they continue to have this 'missions expert' speak often.

It is the false teaching that most countries have sufficient doctors, nurses, school teachers, builders, sports personnel, vocational teachers, etc. so they can handle these areas of need and what we, the evangelical church, only need to do is to send trainers of pastors!

Oh really? Is that what we do in the US, in Canada, NZ, the U.K., etc., just train pastors and forget Sunday school, youth programs, men's fellowships, camps, and retreats?

So in a country like the Philippines, with a population of over 100 million with 90 million still without Christ, with several hundred thousand street children and orphans, unreached tribes, millions of neglected poor in slums, severely violent overcrowded prisons, etc., do we not send missionaries to these needy ones? Missionaries with the Gospel, discipleship, and compassionate care?

Yes, we need hundreds of older missionaries to work with the 41,000 untrained pastors of the Philippines, but also hundreds of additional missionaries to serve with the Gospel and compassionate care among the unreached!

So feel free to share opinions about methods, but remember that your methods and opinions are not to take the place of the biblical and clear teaching of obeying the Great Commission!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Rome Versus the Bible

by Michael Gendron

What would you do if you discovered many of the teachings of Roman Catholicism are opposed to the Bible?

Would you choose to believe the Word of God or the words of men? It is impossible to believe both. (Paragraph numbers in parenthesis are from the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994).

Authority

The Bible teaches Scripture has authority over the church. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).

Catholicism teaches the Church has authority over Scriptures. The manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church ...to the Pope and to the bishops (100,119).

Justification

The Bible teaches man is justified once by faith and justification provides a permanent right standing before God and results in glorification (Romans 8:30).  To the man who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness (Romans 4:5).

Catholicism teaches man is justified repeatedly by sacraments and works because he loses the grace of justification each time a mortal sin is committed.
The sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification (1446).

Regeneration

The Bible teaches man is regenerated by the Holy Spirit. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body (1 Cor. 12:13). From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth (2 Thes.  2 :13, Titus 3:5).

Catholicism teaches water baptism is the sacrament of regeneration (1213). The water of Baptism truly signifies our birth into the divine life (694).

Salvation

The Bible teaches man is saved by God's unmerited grace. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith --and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast (Eph.  2:8-9).

Catholicism teaches man is saved by meriting the graces needed for salvation. We can merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for the attainment of eternal life (2010).

The Bible teaches man is saved for good works. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10).

Catholicism teaches man is saved by good works. In this way they attain their own salvation and cooperate in saving their brothers (1477).

The Bible teaches man is saved for all eternity. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. (Eph.  1:13-14).

Catholicism teaches man is saved only until the next mortal sin is committed. Those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell (1035).

The Bible teaches salvation is offered to those outside the church. "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors as though God were making His appeal through us, be reconciled to God" (2 Cor.  5:20).

Catholicism teaches salvation is offered through the Church. Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Church is necessary for salvation. Anyone refusing to enter it or remain in it cannot be saved (846).

The Bible teaches that all sins are purified by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7).

Catholicism teaches some sins are purified by the fires of Purgatory. They undergo purification in Purgatory, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (1030-31).

Saints and Priests

The Bible teaches man becomes a saint when the Spirit baptizes him into the body of   Christ. (Eph. 4:11-12).

Catholicism teaches man becomes a saint only if the Pope canonizes him. This occurs when he solemnly proclaims that they practiced a heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God's grace (828).

The Bible teaches every Christian is a priest and a member of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).

Catholicism teaches every man needs a priest for salvation. Catholic priests guarantee that Christ is acting in the sacraments which are necessary for salvation (1120-29).

The Lord’s Supper

The Bible teaches the Lord 's Supper is a memorial. "Do this in remembrance of me" (1 Cor. 11:24-25).

Catholicism teaches the Lord's Supper is a sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice...the same Christ who offered Himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner. (1367)

The Bible teaches that believers receive Jesus once, spiritually, in the heart. God... put his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Cor. 1:22).

Catholicism teaches Catholics receive Jesus physically, frequently, in the stomach. The body, blood ...soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ...is truly, really and substantially contained in the Eucharist (1374-78).

Condemnation

The Bible condemns anyone who perverts the Gospel including the Roman Catholic clergy. If we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:6-9).

Catholicism condemns with over 100 anathemas those who believe the Bible instead of the Canons of the Council of Trent. These condemnations are still in effect today.

These thirteen teachings of Roman Catholicism demonstrate how the traditions of men can nullify and oppose the Word of God (Mark 7:7-13). True saving faith is granted by God as people hear and believe His Word (Rom. 10:17). Eternal life can be received only as a gift of God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Accordingly, we must come to the cross of Christ with empty hands of faith, leaving everything behind, except our sins (2 Cor.  5:21).

Proclaiming the Gospel
Evangelist Mike Gendron
PO Box 940871
Plano, TX 75094
Phone: 972-495-0485

Bible quotes: The New American Bible for Catholics.

Catechism references: Catechism of the Catholic Church, @ 1994 by the United States Catholic Conference.

What Jesus Says, He Does

When senators, congressmen, mayors, and presidents run for office, they promise and say many things. As you know most of what is promised is never done. It reminds us of the saying, 'When all is said and done, a lot more is said than ever done!"

This is not so however, with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord of lords and King of kings is absolutely true and honest and fulfills everything He has said. What He says, He does!

In the Gospel according to Luke, Jesus said that men shall not live on bread alone. He didn't and we try but can't.

He said you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only. He did.

Jesus said He would preach the Gospel to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, recover the sight of the blind, to set free those who are down trodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord; He did all of these.

Also in the book of Luke, Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He did.

Jesus said that He, as the bridegroom, would be taken away from his disciples. He was.

He said that He, the Son of Man, would suffer many things and be rejected the elders, rejected by the chief priests and the scribes, that He would be killed, but be raised up on the third day. He was.

Jesus said that these words were to sink into our ears because the Son of Man was going to be delivered into the hands of man. He was.

Continuing in the book of Luke, Jesus said that as Jonah was a sign to the wicked generation that He, the Son of Man would also be a sign to His generation. He was a sign.

He said, He would perish in Jerusalem. He did.

Jesus said that He will confess us before His Father if we will confess Him before men. He will. He said that He came to cast fire upon the earth. He did.

Jesus said the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, that we are to beseech Him, the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest field. He will if we will obey Him.

He said that He, the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. He has saved. He will continue to save!

Jesus said that heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will not pass away. They haven't and they won't.

Jesus said in Luke 22:26 & 27, "Let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves." Jesus was the example of true servanthood.

And near the end of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said, "But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God," He is, friends, He is. The Lord Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God.