Friday, October 6, 2017

KJVRVG App for iPhone & Android



I really like the new KJVRVG app for iPhone and Android. First of all, it has the entire New Testament read by Brother Domonique Davis who is a member of our church. It has very high sound quality as it was recorded in a studio. Sometimes when Brother Domonique is reading the scriptures, he yells and really gets into it, which is great.

I’m personally a strong believer in listening to the audio Bible. Obviously, we should also pick up a physical Bible and read it, but personally, I learn a lot more through listening. Some people are visual learners and other people are more auditory learners, and that’s me. I grew up listening to Alexander Scourby reading the Bible on cassette, so those recordings will always have a special place in my heart. Honestly though, listening to Domonique’s rendition is even better.

Just to have the audio New Testament read by Domonique Davis at your fingertips would be reason enough to love this app, but there are a lot of other cool features. The entire New Testament in Spanish is also included. Hundreds of hours went into making these recordings, and we get to enjoy the app for free. I especially enjoy listening to the Greek New Testament. It is the Textus Receptus read by a native Greek speaker. French, Hindi, and Portuguese are other languages you can hear the N.T. being read in on the app.

One of the best things about the app is that it includes the plan of salvation in many different languages. After you win someone to the Lord, you can help them download the KJVRVG app, so that they can start listening to the New Testament right away and growing in the Lord. If the person is a Navajo speaker, they are likely to appreciate the fact that the app features music in their native language.

Our Navajo hymn collection along with all of the other hymn recordings put out by our church are all right there in the app. Verity Baptist Church recently recorded a Spanish hymn CD, which is also included.

A lot of work has been put into this project, and from what I hear, they are going to add even more resources. I am looking forward to future updates, but the app is already awesome. Collin Schneide and company did a great job creating this new app.

Download it now and take advantage of this quality resource. Don’t forget to help them out by giving the app a 5 star review.

Here is the website for the application

Thursday, October 5, 2017

One Big Mistake Churches are Making



Unfortunately, most churches today aren’t on the soul-winning program Jesus and the Apostle Paul were on, which involved taking the Gospel to every town and village. Soul-winning efforts are often limited to a church’s own city or zip code. Churches send missionaries overseas to the uttermost parts of the earth, but what about reaching their Judea and Samaria?

The typical Baptist church is supporting foreign missionaries and maybe even a church plant in a distant city, but who is going to reach the people who live within a few hours of the church? There are tiny towns all across America where there isn’t one Baptist church in the entire town, or if there is, it’s a dead-as-a-doornail church that doesn’t knock doors.

FWBC’s Small Town Soul-Winning Program

People in big cities are more likely to have had their door knocked by a soul winner at some point than someone who is living in a one-horse town. Here at Faithful Word Baptist Church, we are taking responsibility for every small town and Indian reservation in the state of Arizona. It would be great if other churches in our area did the same thing, but I just don’t think it is happening. An elderly man living on a remote Indian reservation recently told me that it has been 15-20 years since a Christian has knocked on his door, but that the JWs and Mormons come by on a regular basis.

Of course, we concentrate on our own local area, which is our first responsibility. Local soul-winning is important for church growth, but we also need to reach people in places that aren’t getting their doors knocked at all by anyone other than false prophets. When we go soul-winning here in Tempe, Arizona, there is a much better chance that those people will show up to our church, but soul-winning is about getting people saved, even if they will never come to church.

Do You Live in a Small Town?

If you live in a small town that doesn’t have a soul winning church you probably have a decent church within driving distance, and I hope you have the character to make the drive. It's even better if you show up to one of your church’s soul winning times, but most likely that church you are commuting to will never reach your neighborhood. Just because people in your town may not understand why you drive so far to church doesn’t mean you should let them all die and go to Hell. Do some soul winning of in your own area, perhaps with a friend who lives near you.

When you knock doors in an area that is kind of far from the church you are representing, go ahead and hand them the church invitation as an icebreaker, but maybe don’t focus so much on inviting them to church. Most of the time they won’t fixate on the location if you just name the church and don’t mention the city. If they do notice and balk at the location, you can say something like, “I know it’s far, but to us, it’s worth the drive..." "Hey listen, more important than church, do you know for sure if you died today that you would go to Heaven?”

Does your Church Reach Small Towns?

I challenge Christians everywhere to get a burden for small towns. When you reach out to people who will probably never do anything for you, you are demonstrating true biblical charity. Perhaps you can show up to one of our soul-winning marathons, or maybe you can help your church organize its own small town soul-winning event.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Peyote Religion Exposed



When we knock doors on the Navajo reservation and ask people if they are Christians, some of them will tell us they believe in “peyote religion” or “Native American Church.” Many Native Americans have been deceived into thinking that the so-called Native American Church is their ancient tradition, when it is really a modern invention.

The Native American religion of today is not a traditional religion but a brand new religion from just over a hundred years ago. It is nothing more than a mixture of Christianity and paganism, with a drug thrown in. A guy by the name of John Wilson, who was part Indian and part white, was one of the main founders of peyote religion back in the 1890’s.

The Native American Church does not predate Christianity but is a copycat and perversion of it. They believe in one God even though their pagan ancestors were probably polytheistic, they call peyote a “sacrament,” and they have a “communion” breakfast, which includes modern foods like hash browns and individually wrapped candies. Not only does the Native American church use Christian and Catholic terminology, but do you really think they had any of these things hundreds of years ago? Christian holidays and school graduations are cited as some of the reasons they might hold one of their all-night church services. Ceremonies require a priest, pastor, or elder. A participant takes peyote and sits up all night in these services as part of a sacrifice to the Great Spirit AND HIS SON. They ask the Great Spirit or Great Grandfather to come into their heart, and they talk about being reborn (i.e. born again).

The Native American religion is embraced by various tribes, but the tribe with the most practitioners is the Navajo tribe. The Devil has deceived the Navajo people into rejecting true Christianity and calling it the white man’s religion. Horses and sheep are just a couple of examples of “traditions” the Indians are known for but did not have before the Spaniards arrived. A lot of Native American traditions are relatively new, including the peyote religion.

The truth is that Navajo people don’t even know what their traditional religion was because they had no written language until the 1930’s when Christian missionaries gave them their written language. If Indians were so good at preserving their religion orally, then why do they give such diverse answers when asked what they believe? And why were they so quick to dramatically change their traditions and embrace the goofball peyote religion in the late 1800s? If their pagan religion was so great, why did their modern peyote religion choose to adopt “Christian morality?”

Even if peyote really were the traditional religion, the Devil uses the concept of tradition in order to blind people to the truth of the Gospel. He is transformed into a minister of light, and he deceives different people in different ways. No matter what your nationality, if you come from a heathen family, you will have to choose between the traditions of your fathers and the God of the Bible.

Any religion that does not confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the only way to Heaven is of the Devil, but some still might question whether or not the Native American religion is demonic. The “ghost dance” was a big movement back in the 1880s where Indians were trying to communicate with and get help from the great chiefs of the past. John Wilson and others involved in founding the Native American church participated heavily in this ghost dance. The Bible condemns communicating with the dead, calling it "necromancy," and puts it in the same category with witchcraft and sorcery.

The so-called traditional Native American religion involves a plant (peyote) that people in Arizona had never even seen until about a hundred years ago. People who take peyote are no more entering the spirit world than some hippie taking LSD. We all have dreams, and when you use certain drugs, you’re just tapping into that same imagination while you’re awake. It’s a chemical called mescaline that’s inside the cactus that’s making people see things that aren’t there. That said, it is possible that some of them are inviting in evil spirits while under the influence of drugs.

People have a tendency to take pride in their nationality, and the Devil uses that pride to keep them from getting saved. He also uses counterfeit experiences to satisfy mankind’s desire for spiritual things. We need to shine the glorious light of the Gospel on Native Americans and make it clear to them that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

Here is a sermon on reaching the Navajo Nation.

Here is a sermon against the so-called Native American Church

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Personal Relationship with God?



Nowhere in the Bible does it say we are saved through a personal relationship with God. In fact, the word relationship is not even found in the Bible. Obviously, the concept of a relationship between God and man is there because the Bible teaches that we should love God and have fellowship with him, but there is a difference between being saved and having a relationship with God. Using the word “relationship” when referring to salvation is problematic because it implies that being saved is an ongoing process.

Whenever people come at me with this “personal relationship” thing, I talk about the fact that I have a relationship with my wife and that it takes work. If either of us stops putting forth an effort, we won’t have a proper relationship, but that doesn’t mean we are no longer married. In fact, we could be legally married and have no relationship at all. Another example I use is the relationship between a parent and child. If one of my children grows up and wants nothing to do with me, I might no longer have a relationship with that child, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are still my son or daughter.

We are born into God’s family by faith, not works, and because we have a free will, a relationship is optional. God created us to have fellowship with him, and if we don’t have that fellowship, we will be punished, but we can't lose our salvation.

Salvation is a free gift, but our walk with the Lord takes work. It’s a daily thing. There will be times when you are out of fellowship with him because of unconfessed sin, and you’ll need to take care of that in order to restore the relationship.

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:6-9

People have a hard enough time grasping the simplicity of salvation, and using unbiblical terms will further confuse the issue. When we knock on doors and ask people if they know for sure they are on their way to Heaven, they’ll often say, “Yeah, I pray every day.” The reason they think that will get them to Heaven is that they sit in a liberal church and constantly hear that "you need to have a personal relationship with Christ to be saved.”

A lot of people feel like they already have a relationship with God, but we need to make it clear that they need to put all their faith in Jesus Christ to be saved. Using Bible words like “saved” and “born again” makes it easier to explain to people that salvation is a one-time event and that it’s all by faith.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

Here is a sermon to go with this article.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Delegating Responsibility



And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. – Exodus 18:14-18

Moses was spending the whole day trying to solve everyone’s problems, and his father-in-law, Jethro had to point out to him that it just wasn’t sustainable in the long term. Leaders need to delegate--not so we can sit around and do nothing--but so we can be freed up to do other work. We will get burned out if we try to do everything, so the easier, simpler things should be delegated to someone else.

As a pastor of a growing church, I don’t have time to handle every e-mail and every phone call, so I let other people handle some of those things, and it frees me up to work on other projects. It’s like that with other jobs too. People who own businesses or are in management positions have to delegate the more menial tasks to their employees in order to make time to do what only they can do.

Letting go of control is difficult for a lot of us. We think that if we want something done right, we have to do it ourselves. I’m sure Moses was better at judgment than most of the people he appointed as judges, but it just didn’t make any sense for him to do it all himself. We all need to know our limitations and prioritize accordingly.

This concept was also addressed in the New Testament in Acts Chapter 6. The apostles didn’t have time to take care of some of the daily ministrations, so they appointed deacons to take care of those other responsibilities. The result of the church getting more organized was that the Word of God increased. Just like in the book of Acts, our church can grow and accomplish more if we are able to keep up with everything we need to do at our current size.

There are always going to be critics. Absalom stole the people’s hearts by pointing out the fact that David didn’t have time for them, but one man couldn’t possibly be expected to personally deal with that many people. Martha criticized Mary for listening to Jesus instead of helping her serve food. We don’t have time to do everything in life, so we have to prioritize.

If you aren’t in a leadership position, you can be a blessing to someone who is by taking on some of the workload. Whether you are a child, an employee, or a laymen in the church, don’t always invoke the higher authority to take care of every little thing that you can do yourself. If you are in some kind of leadership position, don’t be afraid to delegate. When we delegate responsibility we aren’t just helping ourselves. We are teaching others learn how to do the work, so that they can move up the ranks and continue the work after we pass on.

"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." - 2 Timothy 2:2

Here is a sermon on delegating responsibility.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Teaching Children to Work



Raising children and keeping house is a lot of work, and a lot of ladies are getting burned out because they are doing too much. They are struggling with the demands of running a household when they could be delegating a lot of it, and I don’t mean they should be delegating it to their husbands. If my wife asks me to do something like take out the trash, I tell her to have one of the kids do it. I didn’t sire nine children, so I could take out the trash or pick up after the family dog. I did my time shoveling dung and mowing the lawn. It’s not that I’m lazy. I just want to do other more important work. Not only that, but children need to get used to working.

A lot of people today look down on the idea of giving children household chores. They act like it is some terrible thing when older kids are expected to help care for their younger siblings. People think children should have a childhood of just playing, but what they don’t realize is that doing work actually makes people happy. Kids think that they would rather play all day while their parents wait on them hand and foot, but in the long run, learning to be productive will lead to a more satisfying life.

At first, we have to do everything for our children, but as they get older, they should be given some responsibilities. Even a toddler can be taught to start helping out with small tasks around the house. Yes, it’s easier to do things ourselves sometimes, but it is important that kids are learning how to work. In the beginning it’s harder, but in the long run, it will make your life easier. If your children are 10 and 12 years old, and you are still doing all of the laundry, dishes, and yardwork, I say to you what Jethro said to Moses in Exodus 18:

“The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.”

A household runs more smoothly when everyone does their part. Dad works a job to support the family, but Mom shouldn’t be wearing herself out by doing all of the housework herself. An older child with a younger sibling should be taught to get his little brother a drink of water or tie his shoes when needed instead of always expecting the parent to do every little thing.

It’s not that parents should sit around and do nothing, but we need to prioritize. There are certain things that only we as adults can do, and we ought to do those things and delegate the rest. Like Moses, a lot of us have a tendency to take too much on when we really could use a little help.

Here is a sermon on “Delegating Responsibility.”