For the four Wednesday nights of October we’ll spend time together viewing this new and important documentary on the Reformation. You’ll enjoy it very much!
We continue our discussion “What Baptists Believe”. Join us at 7.
“When the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose… ” (Acts 6:1). Always somebody that’s not happy when things are going well. – Jerry Ireland
Please remember Macy, Priscilla, and Ed. Thank you.
Will be available for those who wish a copy on Wednesday night. Join us at 7.
Jesus explained a lot of things to his disciples, including, interestingly, an explanation as to why so many (more than a majority) experienced no lasting effect from the preaching of the Gospel. Here’s what he said:
“That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore, and he told them many things in parables. He said, ‘Listen, a sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Anyone who has ears should listen!'”
His disciples weren’t sure of his meaning, so he explained it to them:
“‘So pay attention to the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the seed sown on the edge of the path. The seed sown on patches of rock is someone who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But such a person has no root deep down and does not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once he falls away. The seed sown in thorns is someone who hears the word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so it produces nothing. And the seed sown in rich soil is someone who hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.'” (Matt. 13:1-9,18-23)
25% of those who hear are robbed by the Evil one and nothing ever comes of it. 25% of those who hear are unwilling to endure any difficulties or persecutions and they abandon what they’ve heard. 25% are more concerned with the flesh and the world than they are with the Gospel and they turn away. And a mere 25% become productive members of the community of faith.
In simpler terms, 75% don’t really ever become dedicated disciples. Not because they can’t, but because they wish not to be. Those who do though, they are instruments of God in a lost world.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his soul? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life? ‘For the Son of man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behaviour. (Matt. 16:24-27)
As we continue our study, What Baptists Believe. We meet at 7 in the sanctuary. Join us.
Like many of you, I’ve been enjoying the Olympics very much. I’m constantly amazed at the dedication of athletes who willingly sacrifice themselves for their sport and devote countless hours to serious training. But I always wonder, at the same time, what it would be like if Christians were as devoted to their faith as athletes are to their sport. I think if they were they would take Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians seriously:
“Do you not realise that, though all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, only one of them gets the prize? Run like that — to win. Every athlete concentrates completely on training, and this is to win a wreath that will wither, whereas ours will never wither. So that is how I run, not without a clear goal; and how I box, not wasting blows on air. I punish my body and bring it under control, to avoid any risk that, having acted as herald for others, I myself may be disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:24-27)”
What does Paul mean? He means live like someone dedicated to their cause, like someone utterly committed, like someone who dare not risk being disqualified, like someone who fears failure more than death. That’s the challenge Paul issues the Corinthians and the challenge we too are summoned to accept.
Live like faith matters more than anything and like God matters most of all. That, after all, is the sort of person God can use to change the world. Not by giving them a little medal that over time fades into forgetful forgotteness but by using them as his very own instruments of eternal redemption.
Imagine if the United States were filled with Christians as devoted to Christ as athletes are to their sport. Imagine…
“The business of the truth is not to be deserted, even to the sacrifice of our lives. For we live not for this age of ours, nor for the princes, but for the Lord. … To have held fast to the purpose of the Lord is to conquer all adversaries.”— Huldrych Zwingli
When we begin a new series titled ‘What Baptists Believe’ in the adult Bible study. The young people will be meeting in their groups too for WBS.
Remember Logan A. He was injured last night in an accident and is in the hospital at UT.
It’s the Lord’s Day- so we want to invite you to come worship Him with us. At 11 this morning and 7 this Evening. ;-)