Friday, April 3, 2009

Takes More Than Just Baptizing and Believing

This is a subject that some may disagree on, but hopefully from the scripture you will see which is most important. In some religions, parents have their babies christened at birth, and this is the only form of baptism they receive. However this is not a baptism of Jesus, this is a baptism of that particular church, or religion. Let me explain.

When we read in scriptures about someone being baptized, it is after they believe in the Lord Jesus as the Son of God. In order for them to believe they must first be able to understand. A baby being christened can not understand at that age. A baby being christened is more like parents dedicating their baby to the service of the the LORD. In other words, the parents are saying that they will bring up their child in this church. Once the child is old enough to understand, then the child makes a decision as to whether or not they believe and want to follow the LORD.

Read in Acts 8, where an Angel of the LORD appeared to Philip and told him to go into the desert down this one path, and along the way he encountered an eunuch reading the prophet Isaiah, and when Philip appoached him, he asked him, who was this prophet speaking of, himself or another Man? Phillip began to preach Jesus to him, and then they came along side some water, and the eunuch asked what keeps him from being baptized, and Philip told him, you have only but to believe with all your heart. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. And Philip baptized him. Then the Holy Spirit caught Philip away, and the enuch went about his way rejoicing. So you see first you have to be told about the LORD, then you have to decide whether or not you believe. You have to have that capability of understanding.

Acts 8 v 35-39....Then Phillip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the enuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Phillip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, " I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing........

Jesus tells us of the new birth. In John 3, Jesus explains that unless you are born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. He explains using the wind as an example. You can not see the wind but you know it is there. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. You can not see it but you know it is there when you have been born again.

John 3 v 5-8.....Jesus answered, "Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.".........

You have to be able to believe to receive the Holy Spirit, to be born again. And then you follow in believer's baptism. You are saying yes, I believe in the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, and I would like to confess Him before men by being baptized in His name. I want to make Him Lord over my life. You see even Satan believes in Jesus as the Son of God, but he does not accept Him as his Lord.

You see baptism does not get us into heaven. Just believing does not get us into heaven. To go into the kingdom of God, we have to accept His Son as our Lord and Savior. First we have to believe, then we have to confess Him to be Lord, then we pray to receive Him into our hearts, then we follow with believer's baptism. And we don't stop there. Then we have to live for Him, and strive to be like Him in all things. This is not a one stop thing. No this is a life changing decision to be made with the right heart, and to follow through by studying His word, and working for His Kingdom.

In other words we die to ourselves, and are born again to live for Him. AMEN! Spring is the time for new birth. We see it everywhere. I pray that we will see it in more and more people being born again, and coming to know the LORD as their personal Savior and allowing Him to be LORD over their lives. We need to get ready for a Holy Ghost Revival of New Believers coming to the LORD. AMEN! The LORD says the harvest in plentiful but the laborers are few, how many will help grow the LORD's Kingdom today?

RTB....Acts 7-9
Sat. Acts. 10-12
Sun. Acts 13-15

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Whether It Is Right

Don't you find it strange that we live in a nation of freedom of speech, and people are always ready to use that to their advantage, when they have a voice about something or other. But yet, we as Christians are told, you can not talk about religion, or the bible or things like that at work. When in all actuality, we can. Why do we keep cowering down to those who live in darkness? Why do we just sit back and accept when people try to tell us what we can and can't do. There may be a rule that you can not discuss politics or religion at work maybe? I am not even sure that is true. As long as someone is talking with you and not at you, I can't see where you can be told what you can discuss on your lunch or your break times. I mean do we or do we not have freedom of speech? Who decides what is right and not right to talk about? People are bold about their obscene language at work, why can we not be bold about sharing our Lord and what He has done for us at work?

Acts 4 v 18-20.....So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to GOD, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."......

So whether it is right to discuss the wonderful things the LORD has done for you and to talk about the stories you read in the word of GOD, (which is still the number one best seller today and has always been) who is to say? When others are discussing their TV shows, or the movies they went to, or the books they are reading, why not chime in with the book you are reading, with one of the stories from there? What is stopping you from sharing the gospel with others? You have the same rights they have. I am not saying to go around preaching hell, and damnation to those you might think are heading that way, that is not your place. I am saying to share the good news, the love of Christ and what He has done for you with them. It is ok to talk with your co-workers about the LORD if they are willing to listen. The key word here being willing. Even the LORD says you have free will to decide. He never told us to force anything on anyone. He said to go out and teach and preach his good news to those who are willing to listen. He also said shake the dust from your feet when you go and they do not accept you. In other words don't just stop there, keep going. Keep spreading His word. Once you have planted a seed, don't keep pushing on that seed, all you are doing is pushing it further and further into unfertile soil, to where it may never be able to find its way to the surface to the light it needs to grow.

My whole point in this message today, is don't be so afraid to talk about what the LORD has done for you no matter where you are. If you have willing ears to hear, spread some good cheer for a change instead of grumblings about how bad your day has been. Share something exciting about what He has done for you. Don't go and get yourself fired from your job trying to preach at work, just go and share some of Christ's love with those you work with, and your workplace may become a more pleasant place to work in. AMEN!

RTB...Acts 4-6....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How Old Will You Be

God says man should live to be One Hundred Twenty years old. He did not say, you will feel like you are One Hundred Twenty, He did not say start claiming all these pains, and illnesses after you pass fifty. We see in Deut. when Moses died, he was One Hundred Twenty, and it says his eyes were not dim, nor his natural vigor diminished. In other words he still had stamina. He didn't act like one hundred twenty.

Deut. 34 v 7....Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.......

The word of God shows us in different places how to eat, and how to take care of ourselves. Today, we have so many choices before us, we can choose to eat at home, or at any one of many restaraunts or fast food drive thrus. We are a fast paced people. We want everything right now. We don't even want to wait for the microwave to finish cooking our instant oatmeal. We want it now. We want you to get our order right, but we want you to do it in a record amount of time. If we have to wait 5 minutes for our food at the drive thru, well, then we have waited too long, we want to talk to the manager, and we want a discount for having to wait. Sound too familiar to you? Be honest!

The only place you are going with this fast paced mentality is to your grave. We need to slow down, take time to chew our food. The same is true with the word of God, we need to slow down and take time to chew on that word we have been fed. We need to let it take root, so that we can obtain all of the beneficial elements we need from it. Like wisdom, love, compassion, understanding. In our work places we need to be less stressed over things, we need to learn to work at a pace, that gets the job done, gets it done right and in a timely manner, but not neccessarily record breaking time.

Then we need time to enjoy things in life. Take a minute to look at the buds blooming out on the trees this time of year, take the time to stop and listen to the birds singing. Take some time for ourselves. Give your body time to recoup from working. That is why God gave us the Sabbath. Even God rested. We need to do the same. He didn't tell us to keep the Sabbath holy and to do no work, just to make it a commandment, He is trying to tell us how to take care of ourselves. He made these bodies, He knows they need time to recoup.

Gen. 2 v 1-3....Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.....

If you are approaching an age you are not comfortable with, look through God's word and see how He tells you to live, and get your life on track with His word, and tell yourself that you will make it to one hundred twenty and your eyes will not grow dim, nor will your natural vigor diminish.

STOP, Take time to smell the roses!!!!

RTB......ACTS 1-3...