The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Everyone Teach Someone

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 4, 2008

The title of this post was born from 2 Timothy 2:1-4, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. [vs2] And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. [vs3] Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. [vs4] No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

The Book of 2 Timothy is Paul’s farewell and final epistle in the Bible. Now there are many interesting things about this Book, but did you know that there are TWENTY-NINE different people named in this Book? Most of these named were a blessing unto Paul, and the thought of these ones ought to remind us that God does His work through people.

In my last post, Witnessing IS NOT a gift, I stated that “no one is excluded from being a vocal witness for Christ“. It is our responsibility to not only be a vocal witness for Christ, but it is also our responsibility to teach others the things that have been committed to us.

It’s not only, Everyone REACH Someone, but it’s also, Everyone TEACH Someone!!!

In our Scripture text above, we know this is the Apostle Paul speaking to Timothy. Paul called Timothy, “my own son in the faith” (1 Tim 1:2). Timothy grew up with strong Christian influences in his mother [Eunice] and grandmother [Lois] (2 Tim 1:5; 3:15). Although these influences were vital to Timothy, I believe he was lead to the Lord by Paul, his “father in the faith“.

Paul not only was the one to reach Timothy, he also would be the one to teach Timothy. Paul taught Timothy, and Timothy was supposed to commit what was taught to him to faithful men who would teach others also. WOW! WHAT A GREAT EXAMPLE AND MODEL FOR ALL OF US TO APPLY!

As a laborer for our Lord and Saviour, it is your responsibility to do your very best with God’s help in teaching someone else who will then be able and go teach someone else. Just look at your own life in Christ. Is there a hand print of others in your life who have made an impact, a difference, and an investment? I truly believe all of us who name the Precious Name of Jesus can say with affection, “YES”. So then let me ask you this: Are you investing your life in the life of someone else?

This PRINCIPLE again is found in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” It is essential that you and I pass on to someone else the things that we’ve learned of God. As someone once said, “Those who know must tell those who do not know“.

But be aware, for in teaching someone else, there is always a PRICE to pay: [vs3] “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Time, effort, prayer, expenses, and sacrifices are just some of the costs of teaching God’s Truth to someone else. It’s not easy – it’s hard. This is why many believers just aren’t teaching or aren’t being taught. Having a godly heritage to go on after us demands a price to be paid. Question is: Are YOU willing to pay the price?

If you’re willing, then you’ll be thankful to know that there’s only One PERSON to please! [vs4] “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” This PERSON is the One who has chosen us to be His soldiers – the Lord Jesus Christ! Keep your eyes upon Jesus. Why will you follow this principle laid out by Paul for Timothy and for us? You want to please the Lord Jesus. Why will you invest so much, even your whole life in the life of someone else and pay the price? You want to please the Lord Jesus.

Friends, Jesus is why everyone should teach someone! Take your eyes of yourself and the seemingly monumental tasks of teaching, training, and the discipleship of others, and turn your eyes upon Jesus. Know that God does His work through people and He is pleased when you and I commit what has been taught to us to faithful men who will then teach others also.

DEDICATE TO DISCIPLE!

And it will surprise you what the Lord will do!

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Witnessing IS NOT a Gift

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 1, 2008

Have you heard something like this before, “I don’t think everyone of us is responsible to witness for Christ…I believe it’s only the pastor’s job and maybe a few others who have some special ability to witness. It’s not everyone’s job“.

IS IT TRUE THAT GREAT NUMBERS OF BELIEVERS ARE EXEMPT FROM THIS AREA OF SERVICE?

Certainly, there are many believers who do not really think they should be a vocal witness for their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Just take a peek into our churches that are supposed to be New Testament Bible-believing, evangelistic churches, and what will you find? Sadly, you’ll discover multitudes of believers who’ve NEVER reached and led a soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t it odd that this great number of “unevangelistic” brethren are members of “evangelistic” churches?

As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter“…

NO ONE CHRISTIAN IS EXCLUDED FROM BEING A VOCAL WITNESS FOR CHRIST!

What does the Bible have to say about this vital matter of witnessing? Well, the Bible DOES NOT teach that witnessing for Christ is a gift that is possessed by only a few choice folk. The Bible never says that only those who have “the gift” to witness are to witness for Jesus.

WITNESSING IS NOT A GIFT ~ IT IS A COMMAND!

 Matt 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15, “And he {that’s Jesus, friends} said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” {NOTE: These are Christ’s last words on earth before ascending to the Father!}

Anyone who says that “only a select few” are to witness is simply not acquainted with the plain teaching of God’s Holy Word. That’s putting it nicely, don’t you think? How about this: If you think that there’s only a “select few” who have the responsibility to witness, you’re hiding behind a shallow excuse.

Stop clutching to your weaknesses, shyness, lack of training, fear, or any other excuse and start believing the God of the impossible who specializes in using weak vessels! There is not a single Christian who cannot become an effective revolutionary witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Witnessing IS NOT a gift; it is a COMMAND. God did not excuse the majority of His children from the most urgent task in all the world.

ARE YOU UP FOR THE TASK?

WITH GOD YOU ARE!

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

The Employment of Your Tongue

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 29, 2008

Do you realize the Christian’s adversary – the devil – is in the word business? He cares much about what he says. He takes great interest in words. He even takes great interest in the ones he can influence to lie and to tear down! In fact, he’s ‘gainfully employed’ in the business of deception, lies, and deceit…and words are the tools of his trade! Remember the devil’s first words recorded in Scripture: “Yea, hath God said” and “Ye shall not surely die”.

The Lord Jesus said of Satan in John 8:44 that “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it“. SO: By what the Lord said in this verse, do you think it would be profitable unto the devil if he could lie about and make people doubt God’s Word? I believe the answer is YES…it would be profitable unto him!

 

BTW: Have you ever wondered why there are over 100 English translations of the Scriptures? I’m sure you’ve heard of the NIV [New International Version] and the NASV [New American Standard Version], etc, but have you ever heard of:

 

 The An Inclusive Version” [AIV]…Here’s the write-up on it:

 

There are two reasons for this new version. The languages into which the Bible is rendered are changing. New manuscripts are discovered that are older and more reliable, and new investigations into the meanings of words reveal that more accurate renderings are possible…People who have disabilities are not referred to as “the blind” or “the lame,” but as “people who are blind” or “those who are lame.” Because the church does not assume that God is a male being, in this version God is never referred to by a masculine pronoun, or by any pronoun at all. As the church does not believe that God is literally a father and understands “Father” to be a metaphor, “Father” is rendered in this version by a new metaphor, “Father-Mother.”

How about the “Cotton Patch Version” [CPV]…Here’s it’s write-up:

It is not only a translation into modern American English but into American ideas. It cuts across the time space barrier, and the scene shifts from a first century Greco-Roman world to twentieth century America where Paul is no longer an aristocratic Pharisee, but a converted Southerner who boldly speaks the mind of Christ on such matters as racism, brotherhood, possessions, church membership and responsibility, the claims of Christ, and personal Christian living. Its plain, hard-hitting language is earthy and sweaty, straight from the cotton fields and city streets.

Don’t you think that to make people doubt God’s Word the devil would publish deceptions of God’s Word? Oh yes, the devil is very involved and employed in the word business! He takes great interest in the ones he can influence for to lie and to tear down.

 

BUT LET’S NOT FORGET: GOD, TOO, takes a great interest in words! FAITH hinges on His Word – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” [Rom 10:17]. His Word is held in the Highest Regard – “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindnessand for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” [Ps 138:2].

 

God takes great interest in what He says…and we’ve seen that the devil takes great interest in what he says…but have you realized THEY BOTH take great interest in what YOU and I say? Great interest is taken in our tongue! So let me ask you this: Is your tongue being employed in the faith?

Do you care about what you say?

Has your tongue been tamed?

–- Has it been brought under the influence of the Spirit of God?

 

Exodus 20:16 says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour“. Of course, this is the ninth commandment. I wanted you to see this again because I need you to see that God has taken the time to set aside 1 out of the 10 Commandments to tell us that we’re not supposed to lie!

 

NOW WHY DID GOD DO THAT?

 

–I believe it’s because God knows that our tongue – the words you and I speak – carry tremendous influence! IN WHAT WAYS do we influence with our speech, and HOW CAN WE employ our tongue?

 

I. YOUR TONGUE CAN BE EMPLOYED IN AN EDIFYING WAY

 

I’m sure you’ve experienced words that have influenced you in an edifying way. While in the Air Force I received one of many refrigerator magnets at a seminar we had to attend entitled “101 Ways to Praise a Child”. On the magnet were edifying statements like “Great job” and “What an effort“. There were 101 of them printed to remind us of 101 ways to edify our children…and that was the Air Force assisting us with this! It is very important that our tongue be employed in an EDIFYING WAY!

 

Eph 4:29, “Let no corrupt {meaning, rotten} communication proceed out of your mouth…”

 

Let me just interject this right here: Some of you may be in the habit of using swear words. Now not only is that a filthy and rotten habit, but it’s not edifying…AND, I believe, it also shows lack of intelligence and a weak vocabulary.

 

Do you know what word really makes me cringe…especially when I hear it from a very young or a very old person? Please excuse me…but it’s the word “sucks”. “That sucks”…what does that even mean? How did THIS become acceptable?

1 Cor 15:33, “evil communications corrupt good manners

Col 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth”.

 

Again, Eph 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt {rotten} communication proceed out of your mouth…” But the rest of vs29 says, “…but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

 

We’re supposed to be edifying one another, building up each other in the faith, and not tearing each other down! Let us employ our tongue in an edifying way!

 

II. YOUR TONGUE CAN BE EMPLOYED IN AN ETERNAL WAY

 

I have books I read that were written by men who’ve gone on before me…BUT: their words still have an influence on me! They “being dead yet speaketh”! They and their writings have an eternal influence on me. What they’ve written influence me for eternity AND others are being affected and influenced as well – WOW! You just don’t know how much influence your words have! What can YOU say that will influence someone for all eternity? How about the words of the Gospel? How about, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” [Luke 2:10-11].

 

Wow…our tongue has an eternal employment and influence. This is why God’s so interested in our tongue! And this is why the devil wants to influence you to lie and to tear others down.

 

III. YOUR TONGUE CAN BE EMPLOYED IN AN EVIL WAY

 

James 3:5-8, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! [vs6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. [vs7] For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: [vs8] But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

 

Must I explain this point further than James? We all know our tongue can be employed in the evil ways of gossip, lying, etc. Someone once said, “Opened by Mistake is more used for the mouth than the mail”!

 

THE WORDS YOU AND I SPEAK CARRY TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE…

HOW IS YOUR TONGUE EMPLOYED?

DO YOU HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO SOMEONE FOR WHAT YOU’VE SAID?

DO YOU NEED TO ASK GOD’S FORGIVENESS FOR EMPLOYING YOUR TONGUE IN AN EVIL WAY?

 

AREN’T YOU TIRED OF TEARING OTHERS DOWN…

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Good-O-Meter

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 27, 2008

This was sent to me and I wanted to post this short video for you to watch…it reminds me of:

Matt 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [vs22] Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [vs23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

AND: Rom 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [vs11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [vs12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

One more thing: I wouldn’t have portrayed the Lord Jesus in a T-shirt, jeans, and “hip” wrist-wear, so try to look beyond that [You’ll see what I’m talking about close to the end…Lord bless!]

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Relationship vs. Fellowship

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 25, 2008

I’d like to follow-up my It’s a RESCUE! post with this one because I’ve been perusing around other posts and reading the many people who truly believe that the salvation the Lord Jesus Christ had so FERVENTLY GIVEN and is so FREELY GAINED and is so FIRMLY GRIPPED upon His own…can be lost by THEIR actions [or lack thereof].

Forgive my presumption, but just from what I’m reading, I’m seeing that many people do not have a spiritual grasp on what the difference is between RELATIONSHIP and FELLOWSHIP…so here it goes, and may it be a help to you!

RELATIONSHIP

Due to the fact that every one of us have been born into this world, every one of us has a standing before God…and it’s not good:

Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; [vs2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [vs3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

You see, every one of us had [or still has] a standing before God of “being dead in trespasses and sins”; “the children of disobedience”; and “by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

But don’t stop there…listen to Ephesians 2:5-10!

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, [by grace ye are saved;] [vs6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [vs7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [vs8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [vs9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [vs10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

PRAISE GOD!!! By the Grace of God, and not by OUR OWN WORKS, can a person be saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…delievered from their debt of sin they owe and from their destiny of Hell. [BTW: just thought of this…isn’t it odd that many who don’t believe salvation is forever believe that Hell is?]

Now when a person has partaken by faith the Lord’s salvation, that person is now born into the Family of God! Remember the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus in John 3? In that conversation, Jesus said this in verse 5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

“Born of water” – that’s a natural birth [what happens right before a woman delivers…her water breaks]; “Born of the Spirit” – of course, that’s a spiritual birth. BOTH BIRTHS bring a soul into a family…”born of water” brings a soul into an earthly family, and “born of the Spirit” brings a soul into a spiritual family, or “the Kingdom of God”!

FRIENDS, THIS SPIRITUAL BIRTH IS A RELATIONSHIP! After salvation, God has become your Spiritual Father and you’ve become His child: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:26]

Now that salvation has been established as a RELATIONSHIP, the question has to be asked: “Can a child of God cease in being a child of God“? That’s the thought and belief that’s on trial! Many I’ve been reading believe because of something they did or of something they will do, they will not be saved or have that RELATIONSHIP anymore with God.

KNOW THIS: Sadly, Christians have turned away from God before – the Apostle Peter is a great example. He DENIED his Lord three times, but he DID NOT lose salvation…because salvation is a RELATIONSHIP.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: THE PRODIGAL SON. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:11-32 the prodigal son forsook his father, took his inheritance, and went and wasted away all that was his. He turned his back on his father, but what did his father do? He received him back – not to be his son again, but because he was his son. Even when his son was away from him, and for all intended purposes he was considered dead, that boy was STILL his father’s son. That boy broke his FELLOWSHIP with his father, but his RELATIONSHIP was always that of his son.

THINK ABOUT THIS: When our children disobey or do wrong, they are still our children – they will always be because they were “born into the family”…but when they disobey or do wrong, FELLOWSHIP has been broken because by their actions they’ve gone against what we said to do or not to do. FELLOWSHIP can be restored if the child receives the correction and love of those parents, just like with the prodigal son and his father…and JUST LIKE WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER!

 

Is Grace greater than all our sin? Is God “God-enough” to not only save you, but keep you saved? When Jesus says in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: [vs28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [vs29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” – Do His Words, “they shall never perish, neither shall any man [that’s means even we ourselves can’t!] pluck them out of my hand‘”, mean what they say? How about vs29…a child of God is sealed by the Holy Spirit, seated in the Hand of Christ, and secured with Christ in the Father’s Hand…now I’d say that’s ETERNAL SECURITY!

 

So after all this…WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REMOVE THAT RELATIONSHIP?

 

ARE YOU STRONGER THAN GOD – CAN YOU AND YOUR ACTIONS PLUCK YOURSELF FROM GOD’S ALMIGHTY HAND? I trow not!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

It is a RESCUE!

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 23, 2008

The Biblical word salvation unfortunately means many different things to many different people. SO, when I talk about “being saved” or folks “needing salvation” or when I quote Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…”, various thoughts come to mind with people.

Now my intention with this post is NOT to make salvation “hard” or difficult to understand…in fact, my intention is just the opposite. I pray there are some who are reading this who need an understanding of Bible Salvation.

Now don’t let me lose your interest here with this, but I must tell you: SALVATION in the Bible is translated from the Greek word soteria meaning RESCUE! I think that’s awesome to see…why? Well, when it comes to salvation, someone needs to be rescued from something! A person cannot say they are “saved” but have no testimony of being rescued, or saved, FROM something. Every one of us are in great need of rescue from something [and I’ll get to that later on], and that is why SALVATION has been provided for all!

BUT WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR A PERSON TO UNDERSTAND HE OR SHE NEEDS TO BE RESCUED?

Answer: There has to be such an affect on the heart of a person from knowing on what they need to be saved from! Needing to be rescued – needing to be saved – is a heart condition. A person’s heart must be “worked on” and “worked over” for them to see and admit their need of rescue…their need of salvation.

If only the intellect is peaked, but the heart not pricked, Man will split Hell wide-open.

WHAT DOES EVERY ONE OF US NEED TO BE RESCUED FROM?

SIN. Pure and simple. We don’t need to be rescued from loneliness, depression, or even sickness; and I don’t mean to belittle these for I would desire to be rescued from them; BUT our GREATEST RESCUE is the rescue from the penalty of sin. Because of our great, great granddaddy, ADAM, a debt of sin has been passed to all who are of mankind, and now, that penalty of sin rests upon ALL OF US – “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Romans 5:12.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN GOD MAKES KNOWN THIS SPIRITUAL DEATH PENALTY BECAUSE OF SIN?

I. HAVE YOU EVER GONE THROUGH CONTRITION?

Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” A “broken heart” is one who has the heaviest kind of affliction and trouble due to sin. The word contrite literally means crushed. God rescues the ones who are oppressed and crushed by their sin!

BUT WHY WOULD A HEART BE CRUSHED OVER SIN – HOW DOES ONE COME TO THIS CONTRITION?

II. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UNDER CONVICTION?

Conviction means that you’ve been convinced of your own condemnation through your own conscience. Before anyone can ever be brought to REPENTANCE of sin; and before anyone is ever CRUSHED by their sin and have a broken heart and contrite spirit; there must be a witness to the conscience that brings about CONVICTION.

WHAT CONVICTS YOU OF YOUR SIN?

What has witnessed to your conscience about you being wrong and guilty before God and needing rescue to be right with Him? How about this:

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:25

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7

 God’s Holy Word – God’s Law and the Commandments – convict us of our sin before Him! Don’t believe it??? Take the Good Person Test and find out for yourself. It is truly amazing to see that God shows us from what we need to be RESCUED!

SALVATION is simply a RESCUE. The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, came down to dwell among His creation, not just to be a Great Teacher and Healer, but to primarily be THE RESCUE for you and for me. Jesus claims that He is God AND He claims that HIS BLOOD ALONE would be THE PAYMENT for your sin debt and penalty before God the Father.

How do you appropriate or receive His Payment in your place?

Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”

John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name“.

HAVE YOU BELIEVED ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR WHO HE IS AND FOR WHAT HE SAYS HE AND HIS BLOOD CAN DO?

OR: ARE YOU SO CONVICTED AND BROKEN AND CRUSHED OVER YOUR SIN BEFORE GOD THAT YOU DESIRE STRONGLY TO TURN FROM YOUR WICKEDNESS – LEAVE THE ATTITUDE OF LOVING SIN BEHIND – AND SINCERELY TURN TO AND TRUST THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR WHO HE IS AND FOR WHAT HE SAYS HE AND HIS BLOOD CAN DO?

IT IS A RESCUE!!!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Fervency in Prayer

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 20, 2008

“…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

James 5:16

 

 The Apostle James [as he’s called in Gal 1:19] DOES NOT tell us “the prayers” of God’s people avail much…no…he says, the “EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER” of a righteous man avails much!

 

The words effectual fervent have been translated from one Greek word, energeo [en-erg-eh’-o], and it means to work in effectually; to be mighty in – to have energy and to be energetic! God tells us through James that if His children’s prayers are going to “avail much”, and if the prayers of the people of God will “move the Arm that moves the world”, it will have to be by the “effectual fervent” [energetic] prayers of the people of God!

 

Please note: We have no power to control God…

-We cannot dictate to Him nor can we command Him…

-We cannot resist Him in the execution of His purposes…

 BUT: we may humbly ask Him for what we desire…

AND [it gets even better!] God graciously tells us in James 5:16 that such asking will have much effect for our own good and for the good of our fellow-men!

 

If there’s anything that can prevail with God, it has to be prayer…humble, fervent, and earnest petitioning!

 

WHERE’S THE FERVENCY IN OUR PRAYERS?

 

Where’s the “worked in and worked up” praying that God says will avail so much with Him? Where’s the energy, earnestness, and sincerity that’s boiling so hot in us that we MUST commune with our God? That’s the praying we need to do…that’s the praying we need to have!

 

HOW CAN WE GET IT?

 

How can we go from “prayer” to “the effectual fervent prayer”? Just 4 thoughts briefly…

 

1. There must be DESPARATION

 

When was the last time YOU were desparate for:

-The POWER of God?

-The PRESENCE of God?

-The PROMISES of God?

-The PEACE of God?

-The PERFECTION of God?

[Jesus said in Matt 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Perfect means complete, pure, holy]

 

When was the last time YOU had a deep-felt, desperate need for these things from God? That would also have been the last time you had effectual fervent prayer.

 

2. There must be CONVICTION

 

Many don’t have Holy-Ghost conviction on their lives. Many don’t know the conviction that prevents sleep, produces misery, and points to Calvary!

 

Where’s the conviction that comes when we pray for souls? It seems that nothing happens when we pray…Why? Well, it might be:

1. We’ve become cold…

2. We’ve become careless or we “care less”…

3. We’ve become corrupted by the world…

4. We’ve become comfortable in the world…

 

Are we – are YOU – really convinced that souls are going to Hell? When was the last time in praying for a lost soul that God broke your heart and tears ran down your face for that soul?

 

*CONVICTION will bring us from “prayer” to “effectual fervent prayer”!

 

3. There must be INTERCESSION

 

Why don’t we intercede on behalf of others, as we should? Could it be that:

 

1. We’re satisfied with things we have and of who we are?

2. We really don’t see the need to pray?

3. We really don’t have the heart to pray?

 

Start interceding for someone else. Start going to God on someone else’s behalf. Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others“. Do you see the great need for it? Do you have the heart for it? To be a true intercessor for others will bring about effectual fervent prayer!

 

4. There must be COMPASSION

 

I read of a pastor one time that God used to plant a church in the middle of a tough, inner city. When asked how it was done, he replied, “Wet eyes, bent knees, and a broken heart.”

 

Jude 22, “And of some have compassion, making a difference”.

 

When you have compassion, it shows that:

1. You believe in Hell…

2. You believe in the coming judgment…

3. You believe in the brevity of life…

4. You have concern for the souls of men…

 

And therefore, COMPASSION will bring you from “prayer” to “effectual fervent prayer”!

 

 

Are you ready to pray…effectually fervently…will all humility / energy / sincerity?

 

Are you ready to “work out” with God what God has already “worked in” with you?

 

PRAY…JUST PRAY!

 

 

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

A Baptist Preacher’s Influence on the First Amendment

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 18, 2008

On the “Constitution Route” [Hwy 20 in Virginia] about seven miles east of Orange, VA, there is this interesting monument. On it is the embossed head of John Leland, the influential Baptist preacher and champion of our country’s religious liberty. It is believed that the monument marks the location where James Madison and John Leland met to discuss Madison’s candidacy for Virginia delegate to the Convention to ratify the Federal Constitution.

 

At that meeting, Leland pressed Madison concerning his stand on religious freedom and individual rights. Madison promised Leland if he was elected, he would do all in his power to see that religious freedom and individual freedom would be incorporated into the Constitution by amendment. Elder John Leland and the Baptists of Orange threw their support behind James Madison who was elected. As expected, he voted in favor of ratification of the Constitution. Then, true to his word, he drafted and introduced twelve amendments to the Constitution.

 

Article III of Madison’s proposed Bill of Rights reads, “Congress shall make no laws establishing articles of Faith, or mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition to the government for redress of grievances.”

 

The members of the Convention condensed Madison’s proposed third article. In fact, they changed it to the First Amendment which reads; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Posted in Baptist Echoes | Tagged: , | 17 Comments »

Take the N.I.V. Quiz

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 15, 2008

To take the NIV quiz, just answer the following questions from the New International Version (NIV) Bible. If you’d like to use the NIV online, please click on the NIV picture and change the “search” version to “NIV“.

Oh yes…one other thing – the answers to these questions MUST BE TAKEN FROM the actual verses of this translation AND NOT from any footnotes. After completing the quiz, let us know how you did!

1) Matthew 5:44 [fill in the blanks]: “Love your enemies, _______________ them that curse you, ____________  ___________ that hate you, and pray for them that _____________  ______________  ____________ and persecute you.”

2) In Matthew 17:21 what 2 THINGS did Jesus say were required to cast out the devil that was vexing a man’s son?

3) According to Matthew 18:11, what was the very important reason WHY Jesus came to earth?

4) In Matthew 27:35, when the wicked soldiers parted the Lord’s garments at the cross, they were actually fulfilling prophecy…from this verse, write down what was that prophecy.

5) In Luke 22:14, how many Apostles were with the Lord Jesus?

6) According to Acts 8:37, was is THE REQUIREMENT for baptism?

7) What did Saul [soon to be, Paul] ask his Lord Jesus Christ in Acts 9:6?

8] 1 Timothy 3:16 is perhaps THE GREATEST VERSE in the New Testament concerning the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ…in this verse, WHO was manifested in the flesh?

9) 1 John 5:7 speaks to the Three Persons in the tri-unity of God…from this verse, who are these Three?

10) Revelation 1:11 is another very important verse that proves the Deity of Christ. In this verse, Jesus says, “I am the A________ and O__________, the ____________ and the ___________. Fill in the blanks from the NIV.

→This brief quiz is intended to point out that there are differences in translations of the Bible. All these questions can be answered with the Authorized Version, or King James Version [KJV] Bible.

→My question is [and yours ought to be]: WHY? Why are there differences in the translations…major differences, and not just differences in spelling, grammer, etc, as it’s been touted?

→Did God say it or didn’t God say it? Did God speak His Word specifically, or did He give a general thought that would be left up for us to figure out what He was meaning? For example: When a parent tells his child, “Take out the trash and clean your room“, that parent means, “Take out the trash and clean your room“. It does not mean “take out the trash” only or “clean your room” only. The child may only “take out the trash“, but that’s not everything his parent told him to do.

WHAT SAY YOU? WHY DOES THE NIV AND THE AV [or, KJV] CONTAIN DIFFERENCES IF IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE THE VERY WORDS OF GOD? …hhhmmmm…

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Old Landmarkism

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 12, 2008

[The following was taken from The Baptist Encyclopedia, William Cathcart, Editor, 1881]

The following sketch was written at the editor’s [Cathcart] request by one of the ablest Baptist ministers in this country. His account of the opinions of all landmarkers is entirely reliable:

 

The origin of the term old-landmarkism was as follows: About the year 1850, Rev. J. R. Graves, editor of The Tennessee Baptist, published at Nashville, TN, began to advocate the position that Baptists cannot consistently recognize Pedobaptist preachers as gospel ministers. For several years he found but few to sympathize with this view.

 

Among the few was Rev. J. M. Pendleton, then of Bowling Green, KY, who in 1854 was requested by Mr. Graves to write an essay on this question, “Ought Baptists to recognize Pedobaptist preachers as gospel ministers?”

 

The essay was published in four consecutive numbers of the aforesaid paper, and afterwards in the form of a tract. The title given to it by Mr. Graves was “An Old Landmark Reset“. The title was considered appropriate because there had been a time when ministerial recognition and exchange of pulpits between Baptists and Pedobaptists were unknown. This was an old landmark, but in the course of years it had fallen. When it was raised again it was called “an old landmark reset“. Hence the term “old-landmarkism,” and of late years, by way of abridgment, “landmarkism“.

 

That the doctrine of landmarkism is not a novelty, as some suppose, is evident, because William Kiffin, of London, one of the noblest of English Baptists, advocated it in 1640, and with those who agreed with him formed a church, of which he was pastor till his death, in 1701 [a very long pastorate]. These facts are taken from [J.M.] Cramp’s “Baptist History,” and he refers to [Joseph] Ivimey’s “Life of Kiffin“:

 

[David] Benedict, in his “Fifty Years among the Baptists,” in referring to the early part of this century, says, “At that time the exchange of pulpits between the advocates and the opponents of infant baptism was a thing of very rare occurrence, except in a few of the more distinguished churches in the Northern States. Indeed, the doctrine of non-intercourse, so far as ministerial services were concerned, almost universally prevailed between Baptists and Pedobaptists.” pp. 94-95.

     

Truly the old landmark once stood, and having fallen, it was deemed proper to reset it.

 

The doctrine of landmarkism is that baptism and church membership precede the preaching of the gospel, even as they precede communion at the Lord’s table. The argument is that Scriptural authority to preach emanates, under God, from a gospel church; that as “a visible church is a congregation of baptized believers,” etc., it follows that no Pedobaptist organization is a church in the Scriptural sense of the term, and that therefore Scriptural authority to preach cannot proceed from such an organization. Hence the non-recognition of Pedobaptist ministers, who are not interfered with, but simply let alone.

 

At the time the “Old Landmark Reset” was written, the topic of non-ministerial intercourse was the chief subject of discussion. Inseparable, however, from the landmark view of this matter, is a denial that Pedobaptist societies are Scriptural churches, that Pedobaptist ordinations are valid, and that immersions administered by Pedobaptist ministers can be consistently accepted by any Baptist church. All these things are denied, and the intelligent reader will see why.

Posted in Baptist Echoes | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »