About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio


Worship at Bible Tech Church Goes Big-Screen and Hi-Fi, With Direct-Deposit Tithing in 2009
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Technology director Bob Vender has a state-of-the-art audio studio and a video production room that use the same equipment that major television stations use. Six volunteer producers, directors and electricians operate the equipment for the church and reproduce its worship services on CDs and DVDs.
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Further, reports came in to this reporter that worshipers in the 3,000 membership Bible Tech Church, in Neodesha sent text messages to the cellphone of the lead pastor, DeWayne Simmons, the substance of which he then integrated into his sermon
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"Prayer is supposed to be a conversation," Simmons said. "We did this to help people engage in the conversation live during the service."
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Scholars and religious leaders say churches are ramping up their use of technology for a variety of reasons. Often, the leaders say, churches purchase sophisticated sound systems to accommodate elderly congregants. Projection devices are popular, too, for older people and those who find it easier to read lyrics and Scriptures on a screen rather than from a hymnal or Bible. So reports C.E. Charles, of the First Hi Tech Church of Portsmouth.
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Web sites, podcasts and an e-mail newsletter, and the church grows," said Scott Thumma, a sociology professor at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research in Connecticut, which studies trends in American churches. "This is not church like your grandparents did it. This has something to say about life today."
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Simmons, the pastor, at Bible Tech said he is not worried about losing worshipers. His concern, he said, is staying relevant in an age when Americans are constantly being stimulated by BlackBerrys, video games and high-definition television. "In the mind-set of the congregation, they may not think we are being current," he said.
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"Those who find the projection screens, elaborate lighting and booming audio too much can always stay home and go online, where they will find a growing number of religious sites, many of them operated by churches. " said Pastor Eric of the 925 member church in Lexington. His associates Chad and Kyle agree that they like BlackBerrys's and video games and high-definiton television for their ministry with the youth and young adults.
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"How can we break bread? We're not going to have dinner over the computer" says Rick W. Moon of the 125 member New Beginnings Community Ministry Center in Lucasville.
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"If technology is used as a crutch to create entertainment, that turns the congregation into consumers, and that's deadly from a spiritual standpoint." "If churches are not careful, Moon added, they could drive away worshipers.
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I understand that some people are protecting the churches that have started using CD's. and Podcast rather than recording the sermons and music on the cassette tapes. Oh, sorry, that was me. (
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Charity had to go into work at 4 a.m. Had a lot of time on my hand. Technology is needed in the church today, after all this is 2007 and not 1856.
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For the record this is a real story, but I have changed the names and places and some attendance figures. Scott Thumma is a real person.
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A little humor satire.
DID MY GRANDCHILD, MY CHILD GO TO H EAVEN
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LIFE BEGAN IN THE WOMB AT THE TIME THAT GOD BREATHED LIFE INTO ME.
Part Three
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Job 33:4 "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gave me life."
Cf Psalms 22:9 Psalm 100:3

You might say "We made a baby." No, really you didn’t really make a baby, you were the human instrumentation through which God made a baby. You can issue forth the physical features, but you can’t make a soul. You cannot through sexual relationship create an immortal , eternal soul. Cf Psalms 104:30 Cf Isaiah 44:1, 45:9,11 and we know Jeremiah 1:5

Then we come to the New Testament, and the birth of Jesus Christ.


Can I say this, the life in the womb of Mary was no impersonal blob, it was no fetal material. It was the Son of God. That life began at conception. Christ came into the world when? At conception.

  • Cf John the Baptist is another example: Luke 1:41,



CONCEPTION: Is the act of God whereby a person is created by God’s sovereign will. A soul is breathed into the living tissue by the Holy Spirit. That soul’s destiny is already known to God and determined by Him from before the foundation of the world. John MacArthur, Jr


Now you might say, and I have, "What about the deformed people that are born?" OR those who developed "cystic hygroma?" Exodus 4:11 will answer this:


"Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?" I make them that way. It is for His purposes sometimes to make men dumb, and deaf, and seeing and blind.

  • CONCEPTION: An act in which 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 from a mother comes together in a strip of DNA that makes a life. And at the moment of that physical coming together God then, by the agency of His Holy Spirit, breathes a soul, an immortal, eternal soul, that transcends the body (for it will live forever even when the body dies) AND AT CONCEPTION THEN YOU HAVE LIFE.

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The person then created at the moment of conception God puts the reality of life. God infuses personhood and that eternal soul that will never die is created by God: that real being that is not just the collection of genetics, but is something eternal. Exactly at the split-second in the process that happens we do not know, but nevertheless whenever God does it– that creation is made in the likeness of God, or in the image of God.

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Thus, that child in the womb at conception and until the child in born into this world ( or even if that child dies in the womb) is not just a biological sequence. It is not just a collection of cells. It is not fetal matter. (I hate when they say it’s a fetes while in the womb) It is not just human tissue.

It is created by God in His image, and everything that is there for acting, and thinking, and feeling, and knowing, and trusting, and hoping everything that is rational, and emotional is there in that baby. Goodness, there is life.

  • Cf. Genesis "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him male and female, He created them." Genesis one.


Here is what is good. We are not mere mortals: we are not merely flesh - we are immortal, eternal. The framework of skin and bones and muscle is only a vessel; it’s only a storehouse in which something of the very image of God lives. Cf. Genesis 9:6.

part four: next

Our thoughts are with those who have lost a child, or a grandchild today. Its been eighteen years since we lost our child, and two weeks since we lost our granddaughter and our son and daughter in law lost their little girl.

DID MY CHILD GO TO HEAVEN
Part Two

Fetal Development
From conception to birth

Day 1: fertilization: all human chromosomes are present; unique human life begins.
Day 6: embryo begins implantation in the uterus.
Day 22: heart begins to beat with the child's own blood, often a different type than the mothers'.

Week 3: By the end of third week the child's backbone spinal column and nervous system are forming. The liver, kidneys and intestines begin to take shape.
Week 4: By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times larger than the fertilized egg.
Week 5: Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.
Week 6: Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present; fingernails are forming.
Week 7: Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking and swimming.
Week 8: Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby can begin to hear.
Weeks 9 and 10: Teeth begin to form, fingernails develop. The baby can turn his head, and frown. The baby can hiccup.
Weeks 10 and 11: The baby can "breathe" amniotic fluid and urinate. Week 11 the baby can grasp objects placed in its hand; all organ systems are functioning. The baby has a skeletal structure, nerves, and circulation

Week 12: The baby has all of the parts necessary to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus. Vocal cords are complete. The baby can suck its thumb.
Week 14: At this age, the heart pumps several quarts of blood through the body every day
Week 15: The baby has an adult's taste buds.

Month 4: Bone Marrow is now beginning to form. The heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day. By the end of month 4 the baby will be 8-10 inches in length and will weigh up to half a pound.
Week 17: The baby can have dream (REM) sleep.
Week 19: Babies can routinely be saved at 21 to 22 weeks after fertilization, and sometimes they can be saved even younger.

Months 5 and 6: The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into its developing lungs. The baby will grasp at the umbilical cord when it feels it. Most mothers feel an increase in movement, kicking, and hiccups from the baby. Oil and sweat glands are now functioning. The baby is now twelve inches long or more, and weighs up to one and a half pounds.

Months 7 through 9: Eyeteeth are present. The baby opens and closes his eyes. The baby is using four of the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, and touch.) He knows the difference between waking and sleeping, and can relate to the moods of the mother. The baby's skin begins to thicken, and a layer of fat is produced and stored beneath the skin. Antibodies are built up, and the baby's heart begins to pump 300 gallons of blood per day. Approximately one week before the birth the baby stops growing, and "drops" usually head down into the pelvic cavity.


1A CONCEPTION IS A FUNCTION OF GOD.

From a medically scientific viewpoint, conception yields a new person, and so life begins at conception. Psalms 127:3 says "Behold, children are a gift from the Lord." God created personally every life - Therefore Scripture makes that fact clear.

Note Genesis 20:13 "For the Lord had completely closed all the wombs of the House of Abimilech." Here is what happened: they couldn’t have babies because God didn’t allow it. God closed the womb.

Genesis 16:2 "And Sarah said to Abraham, "The Lord has restrained me from bearing."
I Samuel 1:5-6, "The Lord had shut up her (Hannah) womb." It says that twice. So here from a negative perspective you see that God shut up the womb. God says no child will be born in the womb. He has control over that.

Then look: Genesis 17:16 God said to Abraham, "I will bless her (Sarah) and give you a son from her, and she shall be the mother of nations. I will open her womb."

In I Samuel 1:19-20 Talking about Hannah "The Lord remembered her." "The Lord
opened her womb and gave her a son."

Boaz, in Ruth 4:13, took Ruth, "And when he went in unto here, the Lord gave her conception, and gave her a son." The Lord gave her conception.

No conception occurs ever, anywhere on the face of the earth, in human history, that is NOT a result of God’s creative purpose.
  • (Cf. Judges 13:3, God gave Manoah’s wife a son, named Samuel.)

The point, God has made it happen for you to be barren or the reason for your conception.

Then there is Job. Chapter 10 verse eight "Thy hands fashioned and made me altogether." The word "altogether" in the Hebrew means "together all around," that is comprehensively, in every sense. Then as you read the verses following you see that Job believed God made him completely, from his skin and flesh, from bones to muscles.
I also like Job 31:15
  • "Did not He that made me in the womb make him, and the same one fashion us in the womb?"


That creative process began in the womb at conception.


LIFE BEGAN IN THE WOMB AT THE TIME THAT GOD BREATHED LIFE INTO ME.
continue next part three
Proof Read by Charity F. Whisnant

DID MY CHILD GO TO HEAVEN?
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BABY WHEN THE BABY DIES IN THE WOMB?
Charles E. Whisnant
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We believe that life begins in the womb of the mother. I want to explore the subject "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE BABY DIES BEFORE BIRTH?

We believe that the baby is alive and is living in the womb from the moment God breaths life into the baby. Thus, one of the reasons why we don’t believe in taking life in the womb.

What I want to address in this article: Is life in the womb and what happens after the baby dies even after one month, or at birth?

I have always said the child would be in the presence of God at the moment of death. What makes me believe this?

WHERE DOES LIFE STARTDo babies go to Heaven?
75 million babies will be murdered or die around the world this year it is said.

Life was created by God.

Medical science has clearly established that conception brings about a unique individual life. Life begins at conception; that is absolutely a medical fact.

Dr. Jerome LaJunge professor of Fundamental Genetics at the U of Rene’De Cart in Paris this is a quote:

Life has a very long history but each individual has a very neat beginning - - the moment of its conception. The material link is the molecular thread of DNA. In each reproductive cell this ribbon is cut into 23 pieces or chromosomes. As soon as the 23 paternally derived chromosomes are united through fertilization to the 23 maternal ones the full genetic meeting necessary to express all the inborn qualities of the new individual is gathered
  • AT two months of age, the human being is less than one thumb lenth from the head to the rump. He would fit at ease in a nutshell, but everything is there; hands, feet, head, organs and brains; in the fourth week, his consciousness. All are in place. His heart has been beating for a month already and fingerprints can be detected. His heart is beating at two months at 150 to 170 beats a minute. To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion.
Continue next time.
This article because of its length will be posted in several post this week.
QUOTES AND THE PERSON WHO QUOTES QUOTES
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I was on ExpositoryThought site with Paul Lamey, he quotes Zinsser who said

  • "If anyone asked me how I learned to write, I’d say I learned by reading the men and women who were doing the kind of writing I wanted to do and trying to figure out how they did it."

Then I made a comment:

I first heard years ago, Charles “T” Jones say, “You are what you are reading in the last five years.” And he is right. Paul said “How many ideas he has read or how he has been shaped by a few of those ideas?” Is a great statement. I read the books that I believe will shape by theology and thinking.

I constantly listen to sermons or read the sermons to try to discover how they came up with that point or position, or even how they are framing their ideas.

We are not an island unto our self in this matter of preaching or even the art of writing a message.

Then a comment by David McCrory ost was:

  • I’m reminded of a quote by Spurgeon,

"The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own."


HAVE YOU BEEN SAVED? HE IS SAVED? WHAT DO WE MEAN?

What is the process whereby one becomes "Saved?"

You are talking to a child and you want the child (under 12) to understand what it means to be saved what are you going to say to him?
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Next I am going to deal with how do we "evangelize children." Too often our children think they are "saved" because they said something, or believed something but indeed they are not saved. How do we share the "gospel" of Jesus Christ in the matter of salvation to children? How do we know they have been "saved?"
"How do I kill sin in my life? How do I do it?"
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We continue withthe article by John MacArthur Jr on this issue of "How do I kill sin in my life? We all have to deal with this issue.

1. Recognize the Presence of Sin in Your Flesh.

2. A Heart Fixed on God.
3. Meditate on the Word.

4. Commune with God in Prayer.

5. Cultivate Obedience.

Fifth, a life that puts the flesh to death must set itself on a course of obedience. Paul said, "I haven’t attained," I love this, "but," he said, "I press towards the mark" (cf. Php. 3:14). He had not yet reached the goal but he was on the path. What path was he on? The path of obedience.

Likewise, Peter said that our lives should be characterized by obedience to the truth (1 Pet. 1:22). We must walk a path of obedience. If we want to engage in a real battle with sin, we must set our course, day-by-day, moment-by-moment, one step at a time, on a path of obedience.

At first it seems hard and the progress seems slow, but stay with it and eventually you will become habitually obedient. If you stay on the path that God has laid out in His Word, that path will lead you to grow in grace, to renew the inward man day-by-day, and you’’ll train yourself towards godliness.

In the meantime, how can we evaluate our progress? What inventory can we take to examine our lives, to see if these things are true of us? Just ask yourself some simple questions.

How’s my zeal toward God? Is my heart cold towards God? Has sin made me indifferent to times of communion with Him? Do I have little or no interest in His presence? In the glory of His name? Do I earnestly contend for the faith? Do I live to uphold truth? To live it? To proclaim it? What level is my zeal at?

Do I love His Word? Do I find myself drawn to the Word? Do I find myself indulging in the deep things of the Word? Do you love the time of prayer? Do you love the place of confession? Do you eagerly rush into the place where you can confess your sin and ask God to do the self-examining process by the light of the Holy Spirit, so that every dirty thing can be brought to light? Do you seek that? Do you delight in worship? Is it precious to you to spend the Lord’s Day in the church? Is it your soul’s highest delight to sing His praise and know Him better, that you might offer Him honor?" Or do you say with the Jews of Malachi’s day, "What a weariness worship is!"
Ask yourself this, "Are you sensitive to sin in the church? Are you sensitive to sin in the world? Does it tear your heart up when you see sin around you any where? In your own life?"

You see those are just the basic principles I gave you earlier, simply turned into self-examining questions. Spiritual victory is there if you recognize that you are not under any obligation to sin. If you recognize that the Spirit of God has already bent you towards life, and so He’s already killing sin in your life, and the power to kill all of it is there.

I don’t know about you but I want to have a life of virtue. I want to have a life of joy. I want to have a life of peace, and I want to have a life of usefulness to God, and this is the path to that life. May God give you the strength to walk it; and through your walk, may God bring glory to His own name. After all, that’s the purpose of everything.

SELECTING ONE AS A LEADER

Most churches make the mistake of selecting as leaders the confident, the competent, and the successful. But what you most need in a leader is someone who has been broken by the knowledge of his or her sin, and even greater knowledge of Jesus’’ costly grace. The number one leaders in every church ought to be the people who repent the most fully without excuses, because you don’t need any now; the most easily without bitterness; the most publicly and the most joyfully. They know their standing isn’t based on their performance.

(Tim Keller, "What are the risks for evangelicals?" speaking at the Evangelical Ministry Assembly 2007)
THE EXPERIENCE OF OUR FIRST GRANDDAUGHTER


The events of the last week have left Charity and I drained emotionally. We were expecting our first granddaughter this February. But unexpectedly, the Lord had other plans for her. Eric and Leslie were expecting their first child and so was all our family! After four months of pregnancy, tests showed the baby had developed Cystic Hygroma. They gave them no hope. You can only imagine the depths of agony and grief they suffered -- while hoping against hope. This week the doctors could find no heartbeat.



This puts a perspective on the subject of life in the mother's womb. While we have always believed that life is formed in the mother's womb. We believe God is the giver of life. The moment God breathes life into a body is the moment there is life for eternity.



We believe God controls life and death of every single person that is ever born. God doesn't give us His reasons for His decisions to give life. We just have to accept what God's decisions are.



Those of us who have an inquiring mind would like to delve into the mind of God in these matters. Every life from time has been planned by God. I know there are many who have plummeted into this matter of life and death.



What I want to say, our first granddaughter today is in the care of God. All I know, now today, she is no longer a child and she is perfect. Since I haven't been to Heaven, we are only left to explore the idea of what heaven is going to be like in eternity.



Eric and Leslie had to make some decisions about this matter, and they did just fine. Choices are not easy in these situations of course, and many of us have our idea about what we would do, but no one knows until you are in the crisis of faith yourself. I have learned Eric and Leslie did just wonderful. Eric said, "why do the things that grow your faith have to hurt so bad?"



I want to thank many friends and our family who have entered into this experience with us. Thank you for crying with us and praying for Katie, Eric and Leslie, and the rest of the families who love them. Thank you for your continued prayers for Leslie's recovery.



First, Eric tells me his church family have been just wonderful in their support and care and prayer. They have been there for them in prayer and physically. What a blessing of Christian fellowship.



Secondly, I want to thank our church family who were in our church in Altoona for their support and prayers. It's been eleven years since we were the pastor, but they are still considered our church family. Hardly a day goes by that we don't give thanks for all those wonderful folks. Personal friends I might say. They are not only our friends but our children's as well.


Thank you all for your love to Eric and Leslie.

Drafted by Charles Whisnant, proof read by Charity Whisnant
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How to Kill Sin in Your Life

Today we continue John MacArthur's article on How to Kill Sin in Your Life. Each day we face this problem of sin. Sin is not only in us, but all around us. And Satan and the Flesh is busy getting our attention away from Christ and His glory. Thus we need to focus on Christ as a source for our strength against sin.

2. A Heart Fixed on God.

Second, in order to gain victory over sin, you must have a heart fixed on God. You must love Him more than you love your sin.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 57:7, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed." What did he mean by that? He was speaking of undivided devotion to God! He was referring to a wholeness in spiritual life where he was given wholly to God. This attitude must be true in your heart if you are to conquer sin. You must be wholly devoted to God in every area of life.
You cannot tolerate sin in any one area, even if it seems like a relatively small area. You must eradicate sin everywhere.

You can’t starve it out and kill it in one spot, but then allow it to remain somewhere else. If sin lives anywhere it will crawl all over everywhere. It is the most noxious, fastest growing weed in existence. It will not confine itself to one flower bed. Left unchecked, even for a short time, it will soon take over everywhere.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:6, "Then shall I not be ashamed." When? When will you not be ashamed? "When I have respect unto all thy commandments." In other words, our lives are not going to be right or without shame until we give proper respect to every command of God. And that is to deal with every issue of sin in our lives. The only unashamed life is the life of one who is totally fixed on God; everything has been dealt with.

3. Meditate on the Word.

Third, the victorious Christian life is a life that dwells on the Word of God (cf. Psalm 1:2).

The way to kill sin in your life is to feed it Scripture. Scripture is a spiritual weed-killer. It will poison sin.

Whatever really controls your mind, controls your behavior; so keep out the garbage (of worldly thinking) and saturate the soil of your mind with a steady diet of God’s glorious truth.
Sin can’t grow in a Spirit-controlled life. And the Spirit controls our thinking through the Word of Christ (Col. 3:16-17; cf. Eph. 5:18; Rom. 12:2). If you want to kill sin, you must give yourself to the Word. That means you have to read it, listen to it, learn it, study it, and think about it.

4. Commune with God in Prayer.

These are so very basic, but fourth, you must commune with God in prayer.

This circles back around to the first point that I gave you. True prayer gives the heart a sense of its own vile character and renews the hatred of sin. It agrees with God about what sin is, recognizing that any violation of God’’s law is a direct affront to Him. John Owen said, "He who pleads with God for the remission of sin also pleads with his own heart to detest it."

Somewhere along the line in your own prayer life you need to get honest. You need to begin to say to God, "I want You to reveal my sin, I want You to stir it up in me. I want You to show it to me. I want You to blow away the dust that is covering it. I want You to peel off the things that have been hiding it away in my life, so that it becomes manifest and visible to me. I want to see the reality of my sin. I want You to show it to me just the way it is." That is a vital part of your communion with God.

When you pray to God it must be an honest confession. The true prayers of repentance go something like this, "God show me all the sins of my life, reveal all of them, uncover every little corner of my life. Bring it up and may it become as detestable to me as it is to You. May I never do that again, and may You give me the strength to see it go away."

Prayer exposes secret sins. Prayer weakens prevailing sins. Prayer finds strength in fellowship with the Holy God to kill sin in our lives.
continue next
"How to Kill Sin in Your Life"
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Footnote: I have read John MacArthur for over thirty years now, to me he is like Charles Spurgeon. Thus I read and listen to John the way I would Spurgeon. If you can hear John teach on radio that would be good. I have often said, that my preaching and teaching has been influenced by John for thirty years. If you want to know what I believe about the Christian life, about becoming a Christian and about the local church and the end times, I follow his thinking. I have studied the Bible now for over fifty years, just getting started I might say. I do not think that I have the ability unto my self alone to know the word of God, but I can study from those who have a better ability. Then the Holy Spirit can direct your spirit to believe its from God's word.

Often people will say, "I don't understand the Word?" And they are correct. Thus you need to read first the Bible, and then there are helps which will guide you into a better understanding of the Bible. But choose your helps carefully. And I would say if you follow John's understanding of the Word you would be much wiser. After a while you catch the idea of how to understand the Word yourself.

Listen to preaching and teaching that teach the meaning of the text in its context, that is in the verses they are reading from. You should be able to understand and see what he is teaching is in the verses. If he is saying things that are not directly in the text, then listen careful to see what he is say. If the preacher says, "I use only the KJV and use no other helps" I would check out what he is saying. No preacher or person can unto himself know the Word with out helps.

Charles


John MacArthur provides the following help to the question "How do I kill sin in my life? How do I do it?" Let me give you some little principles — very basic and straightforward.


If you live by the Spirit and are headed towards eternal life because of your salvation, the Spirit in you gives the power to be killing the deeds of the flesh.


The question is, "All right, how do I do that? I agree that the power is there, that’s the bent of my life, that’s the way I am going. I want to see the Spirit do more and more of it. How do I get to that point? How do I gain that victory? How do I establish that habitual pattern? What do I do?"


1. Recognize the Presence of Sin in Your Flesh.


Do you know why most Christians are most commonly defeated by sin? I believe it is because their sin has so totally deceived them, that they never really get to the point where they honestly evaluate its reality. They are not dealing with the issue.


They spend so much of their lives justifying their sin as a personality quirk or a product of their environment. They sugar-coat their habitual sins as simply idiosyncrasies (traits) of individuality, or some prenatal attraction that their mother had, or whatever. People can become so good at denying the reality of sin that they don’t see it. As a result, they don’t deal with it because they don’t even recognize it for what it is.


Any kind of spiritual victory begins by identifying the enemy. It is the same old story, "If you don’t know what you are shooting at, how are you going to hit it?" How am I going to eliminate from my life what I don’t even identify as needing to be eliminated?


Sin is not only wicked, it is deceitful. And it’s there inside each of us. Believe me it is there. John Owen was right, he says of sin:

  • It has no doors to open. It needs no engine by which to work. It lies in the mind and in the understanding. It is found in the will. It is in the inclinations of the affections. It has such intimacy in the soul.


It’s there! But inevitably it’s covered up. As the Psalmist prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me" (Psalm 139:22). We must ask God to help us see our sinfulness, if we want to recognize it for what it is.


Don’t be deceived about how good you are. Believe me, your sin is there, and it is wretched and it spurts forth between the cracks of your supposed righteousness. It comes out in anger and bitter words, unkind thoughts, criticisms, self-conceit, lack of understanding, impatience, weak prayers, immoral thoughts, and even overt sins. You need to know your weaknesses.


Haggai the prophet, in chapter one of his prophecy, repeats the command, "Consider your ways! Consider your ways!" (vv. 5, 7). In other words, take a good deep look at yourself. First Kings 8:38 says, "Know the plague in your own heart.""And Paul in Ephesians 4:22 talks about deceitful lusts. From these and many other passages, the Bible makes the point: If you want to kill sin in your life, you must begin by examining your own heart to see the reality of what is there.

Continue next time

DR. JAMES KENNEDY AN INFLUENCE IN MY LIFE

Let me take an opportunity to express our profound sadness at the news that D. James Kennedy died on Wednesay Our mourning is mingled with gladness and gratitude for the continuing influence of Dr. Kennedy’s life and teaching, for the privilege of having known him and learned from him, and for the assurance that he is in the presence of Christ even now, worshiping his Savior and enjoying the glories of heaven. The church of Christ worldwide will feel the loss of his leadership. So we stand in quiet sorrow alongside Dr. Kennedy’s family and the people of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, and we pray for God’s comforting grace.

We remember Dr. Kennedy with deep gratitude for his clear voice, for his courage in the defense of truth, and for his relentless energy. But we remember him most fondly for his work in the ministry of evangelism. Dr. Kennedy was remarkably effective in training people how to present the gospel clearly and persuasively. He was therefore uniquely blessed as the human instrument though which countless souls have heard the gospel and multitudes of Christians have been trained to share it with others. The rippling effects of that ministry will surely extend beyond anything Dr. Kennedy himself could ever have imagined. Christ taught us that all heaven rejoices whenever one soul repents. Jim Kennedy’s earthly work must have contributed immeasurably to heaven’s joy, and I have every confidence that as he entered into that joy this morning, he heard the Master’s words: “Well Done.”
We never personally meet Dr. Kennedy, but we listen to him on TV for many years.
God gives us seventy years and then we might be called home. Dr. Kennedy used his years faithfully for the Lord.
We losted Dr. Falwell in May, who also used his life for the Lord. Two great servents used by Christ to bring many to Himself.
We need to learn we are the clay, and to be used as the Lord directs our life.
Al Mohler had a good article about Dr. Kennedy on his blog.
Direct TV 378 NRB had a good program about Dr. Kennedy
David Wells's Vision: For the Church to Be the Church
In his book God in the Wasteland (pp. 214-215) David Wells writes:
  • I want the evangelical church to be the church. I want it to embody a vibrant spirituality. I want the church to be an alternative to post-modern culture, not a mere echo of it. I want a church that is bold to be different and unafraid to be faithful . . a church that reflects an integral and undiminished confidence in the power of God’s Word, a church that can find in the midst of our present cultural breakdown the opportunity to be God’’s people in a world that has abandoned God. To be the church in this way, it is also going to have to find in the coming generation, leaders who exemplify this hope for its future and who will devote themselves to seeing it realized. To lead the church in the way that it needs to be led, they will have to rise above the internal politics of the evangelical world and refuse to accept the status quo where that no longer serves the vital interest of the kingdom of God. They will have to decline to spend themselves in the building of their own private kingdoms and refuse to be intimidated into giving the church less and other than what it needs. Instead, they will have to begin to build afresh, in cogently biblical ways, among the decaying structures that now clutter the evangelical landscape. To succeed, they will have to be people of large vision, people of courage, people who have learned again what it means to live by the Word of God, and, most importantly, what it means to live before the Holy God of that Word.


An Appeal for Biblical Accuracy in Child Evangelism

  • My son Eric was visiting us Sunday with his wife Leslie and their little dog. We had a talk about this very subject about salvation and inviting Christ in to your heart at such an early age. Eric said, "Dad that is what I did." And I said, "I did the same thing as well." Well were we saved? My answer to both of us was "yes." Salvation is a process in which Christ continues to produce in us unto perfection in us.



Let me finish this article today with this point:

Becoming a Christian is much like joining an army. It costs nothing to join but the good soldier is willing to obey and even lay down his life for the general. When somebody does join the army, their life is no longer their own. When somebody joins the army, they surrender their rights to their leader. That's what God expects of us. Look at what Jesus said about becoming a Christian (follower of Christ):

Matthew 16:24-25, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

In order to become a Christian your will must be broken because it is naturally at war with God! In fact, the Bible says that our condition is pretty miserable, for we are born into this world:

1. An enemy of God —— our will is against His will (Rom. 5:10)2. Dead in sins (unable to anything that pleases God —— Eph. 2:1)3. Held captive by a foreign power greater than ourselves (Eph. 2:2)4. A child of wrath (someone destined for eternal judgment —— Eph. 2:3)

Have you ever seen a football game? There are two teams, each with different wills. One team desperately wants to run one way, and the other team wants to go the other way. They have opposing wills. We are born with a will that wants to do anything except turn from our sin and trust Christ for forgiveness! That's why becoming a Christian is primarily a surrender of your will!

This is an excellent example of communicating to children the truth about salvation. I truly believe that if we are more careful and clear in communicating these truths to the minds of children, we will be able to avoid long periods of time in people’s lives when they aren’t sure of their salvation or have to keep making professions of faith to be sure. Now, I do think it’’s important that if a child wants to express faith in Christ, we should encourage it—each and every time that desire occurs. At some point along the way, true faith will likely be expressed and assurance will come. We cannot see their hearts and must not put any stumbling blocks in their spiritual journey.

Ironically, four years before penning Into My Heart, Harry Clarke had written the music to another song entitled "What Must I Do?" I like the message of this song much better:

"What must I do?" the trembling jailer cried,When dazed by fear and wonder;"Believe in Christ!" was all that Paul replied,"And you shall be saved from sin."

  • REFRAIN:Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,And you shall be saved!
  • What must I do! O weary, trembling, soul,Just turn today to Jesus;He will receive, forgive and make you whole;Christ alone can set you free.
  • His blood is all your plea for saving grace,The precious fount of cleansing!O come, accept His love, behold His face,And be saved forevermore.


"Ask Jesus into your heart."

On the August 8, 2007 edition of The Albert Mohler Program, a called asked Dr. Mohler: "Could you inform me where the term ‘ask Jesus into your heart’ came from and is it the proper way to be converted?"

The following is an edited transcript of Dr. Mohler’ helpful response:

The phrase "Ask jesus into your heart" comes out of the emotionalism of Revivalism. Revivalism is a very important movement. I came out of churches very much affected by revivalism. There is much to be thankful for there; there is also much to be concerned about there in terms of their understanding of conversion as something that is more emotionally driven than is described in the Scripture in terms of the faith that justifies. The faith that justifies, the faith that saves is a faith that means trusting Christ and his promises and receiving the promises of salvation.

Let me tell you the danger in the phrase "ask Jesus into your heart." Is it heresy? Absolutely not. It’s not heresy. It’s not a false way of describing the gospel. It does, for instance, on the positive side get to the fact that the heart must be involved. In other words, saving faith is demonstrated in the individual’s life coming to Christ when they do believe, and there is a decision made within the heart to believe. There is a yielding to Christ, a trusting that is a decision of the heart.

Of course, the big question is where does that decision come from? How does the heart become ready for that positive response, that trusting response to Christ? "Ask Jesus into your heart" is wrapped up in evangelical sentimentality. It’s not wrong. But it is not the best way of describing salvation.

The phrase comes back to a misuse of a biblical text in Revelation. "Behold I stand at the door and knock.""Is Jesus standing ready for all those who respond to him in faith? Absolutely. But he’s not just waiting and watching. The New Testament picture of Jesus, the biblical portrait of God is not just of a god who waits and watches but rather of a God who saves.

Is the heart involved? Absolutely. It’s emotional language. And we’re an emotional people. Especially in a movement like revivalism that became very adept at reaching people on an emotional level, it’s not wrong; it’s just not as right as it could be. It’s not wrong when someone says, "I became a Christian when I asked Jesus into my heart." It’s not wrong. But you need to make sure they really understand what they’re doing there.

[Salvation is] not just saying yes to a relationship. That is the sad and minimal part of this that people don’t understand. It’s trusting Christ and his promises. You know in the New Testament, there is this whole idea of fiducia, faith –– I love the way the Puritans put it when they said: "it is finally resting in Christ." So it’s more that we are in Him than that He is in us. Of course, he does dwell within us. But it’s not as if we are the host and he is our guest. He is the Lord and we acknowledge him as our Savior.

An Appeal for Biblical Accuracy in Child Evangelism
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
part 2

CONCERN #3: IT EASILY CONFUSES CHILDREN.

Easy-believism angers me. Careless Bible study frustrates me. But taking the most important message in the entire world and making it confusing for little ones both angers and frustrates me.

Bob Wilkin in his book Don’t Ask testifies of the confusion this inaccuracy has wrought among children when he writes,

I had my students write out their testimonies after I had explained what I have recounted above. I found that quite a few of the students went through years of confusion because someone told them as children that if they asked Jesus into their hearts they would be saved.
They wondered if they had done it right. They wondered if they had been sincere enough. So they asked Him in over and over again for years. They couldn’t gain assurance. Finally someone shared with them that to be saved they had to trust in Christ alone. Only then, by their own testimony, did they come to faith in Christ. Years of inviting Him into their lives had only confused and frustrated them.

Consider as well this personal testimony from Dr. John MacArthur:
  • And every time, as a little kid, that somebody said, "Ask Jesus in your heart," I can remember saying, "Jesus, please come in my heart." I can remember that over and over: "In case you’re not there, please come in today." You know? I mean, I did that as a kid. I’d go to camp, the guy would give a message, and just to be sure, you know, I’d say, "Lord, if you’re not in my life, please……"

Then, of course, there is the problem that children are not generally able to think in the abstract until about age seven. So, we should not be surprised when children take "asking Jesus into their heart" in a literal way. We must be absolutely clear when dealing with children about their eternal souls. Remember, the Bible tells us that child-like faith is essential, but it does not say the same about child-like intellect. While many children are saved at a young age, they must understand the essential truths of salvation in order to properly direct that precious faith in trusting Christ.

CONCLUDING COMMENTS

Making sure children learn the doctrine of God’s Word. Allow me to condense his article to just the main points.
1. God wants you to honor and serve Him.
2. Your sin (breaking God's rules) keeps you from pleasing God.
3. Sin is paid for by death and separation from God.
4. You cannot get to heaven by being good or doing lots of good works.
5. Here's the best part. Christ paid for your sins.
6. Accept Christ's payment for your sin.
7. Turn from your sin. Want something completely different than your sin.
8. God has made you a promise––eternal life.

Becoming a Christian is much like joining an army. It costs nothing to join but the good soldier is willing to obey and even lay down his life for the general. When somebody does join the army, their life is no longer their own. When somebody joins the army, they surrender their rights to their leader. That's what God expects of us. Look at what Jesus said about becoming a Christian (follower of Christ):

will finish on Sunday