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RSS Robot

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  1. There are many things we want in abundance. Choices. Opportunities. Results. But what the first-century church had in abundance was trials. The apostle Peter said they were “in heaviness through manifold temptations” (1 Peter 1:6). They had trouble coming at them from every angle. The modern American church is not used to this. Sure, we’ve had trouble in the past. But we’re in a season right now when trouble is coming at us from every side. There’s a worldwide pandemic that has drastically altered our ministry schedules and has repeatedly—almost weekly—forced us to adapt. There is civil
  2. Lancaster Baptist Church is committed to the infallibility of the Bible as God’s revelation to man (2 Timothy 3:16). Included in God’s Word is the truth of Christ as the expressed image of God (Hebrews 1:2–5), the head of the church (Colossians 1:18), and the King of kings (1 Timothy 6:14–15). As the head of the church, Jesus has commanded us to assemble (Hebrews 10:25), to preach (2 Timothy 4:2), and to sing praise to Him (Colossians 3:16). The church is described as an assembly of called out believers. While the times of these assemblies may vary and considerations may be made for health an
  3. We are leading today in some amazingly-perilous times. Around us is confusion, hurt, loss, fear, and turmoil. Sometimes as leaders we wonder where to even begin and how God can use us in the midst of such overwhelming needs. It is always encouraging to me to remember that since the first century, the gospel has been presented to a culture that is anti-God, confused, and crooked it its moral persuasion. We see this throughout the New Testament, including in Philippians 2:15: “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,
  4. You’ve heard the statement, “A crisis doesn’t build character; it reveals it.” The statement is largely true, but a crisis reveals so much more than just our character. In the midst of a crisis, emotions and opinions abound. But in all that is said and shared and expressed, a picture begins to emerge that reveals aspects of your life perhaps not easily seen at any other time. Here are five: Your Spiritual Fervor In some ways, moments of crisis intensify our spiritual fervor. When the only option is to cry out to God for help, it’s what many Christians—and sometimes even non-Christians—do.
  5. Discerning Christians are aware that a revolution against God, godliness, and biblical teaching has been underway for the past few decades. We are currently seeing a rage in our society that resembles the description of Psalm 2 and will likely continue fomenting until our national election. Between the COVID-19 crisis and the anger in the streets, we need biblical Christians to discern the times and deploy with the gospel message. The revolutionaries are successfully intimidating Americans away from Scripture and reorienting society away from godliness. We see this taking place in several are
  6. As spiritual leaders, we often see the fruit of a problem that has an unseen root. In our world right now, we see a lot of hurt, division, hate, and anarchy. There is political and emotional upheaval on every side. But rather than rushing to address the surface issues with surface answers, we should turn to the Holy Spirit and the pages of Scripture for discernment and wisdom as to the true issues. One of the Bible words that speak to the circumstances of our day is delusion. For instance, 2 Thessalonians 2:11 speaks of the delusion that will come during the Tribulation as the world follow
  7. We have heard many things deemed essential or non-essential recently in our society. We certainly appreciate many of these essential professions—health care, first responders, food, transportation, and more. Yet, one essential life role that is too often overlooked is that of being a father. As a dad of four, I can tell you that this role is not only essential, but it is also rewarding. I agree with the words of George Herbert: “One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters.” There are many people who can influence our kids, but a father’s influence—for good or for bad—is more wei
  8. Recently, I heard a message by a well-meaning speaker teaching teens how they could “earn value with God.” The lesson was particularly confusing because when he used Scripture to teach on our value with God, he rightly said that our value is based on the price Jesus paid for us. We have done nothing to earn God’s grace or His sacrifice for our salvation, yet His sacrifice reveals how much we are worth to Him. But then the youth pastor pivoted and began teaching how after salvation, young people can increase their value with God. He gave an illustration that basically said, “Your salvation is
  9. Our society right now is filled with negativity. There is health and economic uncertainty. News channels—social and traditional—are filled with anger and hostility. Sometimes it feels like we are being bombarded with unrelenting sources of discouragement. You turn on any news channel right now, and you will find anchors forcefully working to convince you to see things their way and side against someone or something else. Scroll through social media, and you’ll find posts designed to draw you into online conflict. Turn on the radio, and you’ll hear angry voices hoping to evoke frustration. Pi
  10. Our society right now is filled with negativity. There is health and economic uncertainty. News channels—social and traditional—are filled with anger and hostility. Sometimes it feels like we are being bombarded with unrelenting sources of discouragement. You turn on any news channel right now, and you will find anchors forcefully working to convince you to see things their way and side against someone or something else. Scroll through social media, and you’ll find posts designed to draw you into online conflict. Turn on the radio, and you’ll hear angry voices hoping to evoke frustration. Pi
  11. After serving as a pastor of the same church in Los Angeles County for thirty-four years, I can say that I have never seen such a combination of trying circumstances in ministry as we now see. Rarely has our nation needed the message of Christ as it does now, yet local churches across America are paralyzed or limited in function due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Almost every church’s service structure has been modified, and most, if not all, have seen salvation and baptism decisions greatly decline. To be sure, there are “principalities [and] rulers of the darkness” (Ephesians 6:12) beneath th
  12. After serving as a pastor of the same church in Los Angeles County for thirty-four years, I can say that I have never seen such a combination of trying circumstances in ministry as we now see. Rarely has our nation needed the message of Christ as it does now, yet local churches across America are paralyzed or limited in function due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Almost every church’s service structure has been modified, and most, if not all, have seen salvation and baptism decisions greatly decline. To be sure, there are “principalities [and] rulers of the darkness” (Ephesians 6:12) beneath th
  13. Among God’s greatest gifts to us is one of the most-loved verses in the entire Bible—Romans 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.—Romans 8:28 It would be impossible to know how many Christians all over the world and throughout the past two millennia have found hope and help through these words as they anchored their trust in the God who promised them. Over the past few months, as our world has reeled under the unfolding events of a global pandemic and now hurt, anger, and civic unrest, I have gone
  14. Among God’s greatest gifts to us is one of the most-loved verses in the entire Bible—Romans 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.—Romans 8:28 It would be impossible to know how many Christians all over the world and throughout the past two millennia have found hope and help through these words as they anchored their trust in the God who promised them. Over the past few months, as our world has reeled under the unfolding events of a global pandemic and now hurt, anger, and civic unrest, I have gone
  15. Thirty-four years ago this summer, the Lord brought our family to Lancaster, California. On our first Sunday night service, I preached a message from Philippians 1:27 which not only set the direction of our church for these past thirty-four years, but also became our theme verse. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;—Philippians 1:27 In recent days, I’ve been thinking especially of the phra
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