Wednesday, September 29, 2010

President Obama: "I'm a Christian by Choice"

Click below:

I would love feedback/comments from anyone on this. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Destructive Dangers of 'Open Theism'

Sunday morning, I briefly mentioned (note warning #1 in the message as I contemplated the 'danger' of misinterpreting Luke 20:13) a belief among some evangelicals that God does not know the future and is as ignorant as humans about the future. This doctrine (heretical as it is!) is called 'Open Theism.'

As part of my devotion this morning, I was reading a chapter out of John Piper's Life is a Vapor. The chapter dealt with Open Theism and its dangers. Desiring God has this chapter on-line for free and I commend it to you. Go there directly by clicking here.

Below is a very insightful paragraph from his meditation:

"Therefore, we may be so angry with Satan and with evil people (which is legitimate up to a point), that we fail to ask whether our anger reflects an excessive attachment to what we just lost. But if, contrary to Open Theism, we must reckon with the fact that God's wisdom is the ultimate reason we lost our treasure, then we will be forced to do the very valuable act of testing our hearts to see if we loved something on earth more than the wisdom of God."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Check out these amazing pictures of the Fall season around the world.

Jonathan Edwards on God's Glory in Nature

"[T]he Son of God created the world for his very end, to communicate himself in an image of his own excellency. . . .

So that when we are delighted with flowery meadows and gentle breezes of wind, we may consider that we only see the emanations of the sweet benevolence of Jesus Christ; when we behold the fragrant rose and lily, we see his love and purity.

So the green trees and fields, and singing of birds, are the emanations of his infinite joy and benignity; the easiness and naturalness of trees and vines [are] shadows of his infinite beauty and loveliness; the crystal rivers and murmuring streams have the footsteps of his sweet grace and bounty.

When we behold the light and brightness of the sun, the golden edges of an evening cloud, or the beauteous bow, we behold the adumbrations of his glory and goodness; and the blue skies, of his mildness and gentleness.

There are also many things wherein we may behold his awful majesty: in the sun in his strength, in comets, in thunder, in the towering thunder clouds, in ragged rocks and the brows of mountains. That beauteous light with which the world is filled in a clear day is a lively 1shadow of his spotless holiness and happiness, and delight in communicating himself."

Theodoret of Cyrus on the Divine Providence of Varying Seasons of the Year

"The Creator did not just divide the circle of the year into two, giving us winter and summer simply. We do not go from one extreme to another without any intermediate stage. Instead, spring and autumn afford us a mean temperature between the icy cold and burning heat...

"An excessively wet, cold winter does not succeed a very dry, warm summer, but spring, which participates in the heat of one and the cold of the other, effects the best mixture of the extremes and taking in hand, so to speak, these contrary elements-the cold of winter and the heat of summer-brings complete enemies into friendly agreement. As a result, our transition from winter to summer is made without difficulty. In a short time we get away from the cold of winter and approach the heat of summer without experiencing any injury from the rapid transition...

"Likewise in changing from summer to winter, autumn intervenes to prevent us from reaching the extreme of winter all at once and also to temper the extremes of heat and cold, providing another mean temperature and conducting us to this extreme by easy stages. Such is the care of the Creator for us. And thus He makes the changes of the seasons pleasant as well as endurable for us."

Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus from On Divine Providence

Discussion Questions from 09/26/2010 Sermon at WBC

Yesterday morning I preached out of Luke 20:9-18 - "Is the LORD's Doing Marvelous in Your Eyes?" Later today, you will be able to watch or listen to the message here.

Here some questions to help you better understand and apply the truth(s) of the passage:

1. Who was the parable spoken to (see Luke 20:9; and also Luke 19:48, 20:1))? Why is this important?

2. Who was the parable about (see Luke 20:19)? Why is this significant?

3. Having listened to the message, now take a few minutes to read Acts 7:1-53. Rewrite Jesus' parable in Luke 20:9-18 in your own words (see See Acts 2:22-36; 3:11-26; 4:8-12; 5:29-32; 10:34-48; 13:26-43 for more help).

4. The religious leaders would have believed and claimed to worship and love and know the God of the Bible - the God of Abraham, Moses, David, etc. Do you think they really did? Why or why not?

5. Bro. Matt gave two clues indicating what he believed the religious leaders really worshipped. After you read Luke 20:14 and Luke 19:45-47, what do you think it was that was their god?

6. We also believe and claim to worship and love and know the God of the Bible. But is it possible that we allow money to prevent us from obeying the leadings and demands of Jesus?

7. If Jesus were to lead us to sell everything and give to the poor, what would we do? What about adopt internationally? What about spend less at Christmas so more could be given for the Gospel? What about taking our family on an international mission trip next year? What about setting a cap on our salary and give everything else away? What do we do when Jesus makes demands of our money and comfort and resources? Do we obey, or do we want Him out of our life - which is actually rejecting the very God we say we love and worship???

8. How can you know if you really are worshipping the God of the Bible and not just a 'god' of your own making?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Books Referenced Last Night

Last night, during the evening worship service at WBC, I referenced 4 different resources. Below I have linked them all to for anyone interested.

[Dever's New Testament Series is also a very good resource - The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept]

The ESV Study Bible by Crossway Books

The MacArthur Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Books

Discussion Questions from 09/19/2010 Sermons at WBC

Yesterday morning I was back in Luke's Gospel - Luke 19:45-48; 20:1-8. The title of the message was, "When Jesus Has Had Enough." You can watch or listen to it here.

The message had two main points and two application questions. The applications questions asked during the service yesterday will be the discussion questions for today.

They were/are:

1. What would Jesus see about you and your life regarding your being a blessing to the nations of the world? In other words, is your life being used to bless the nations, or to bless yourself?

2. What do you know to be true about Jesus and His Authority that you refuse to humbly submit to? In other words, is there any area of your life that you know you are refusing to obey? What is it? What are you going to do about it?

A final point that I made to conclude the message was that Jesus NEVER has enough with those eager to hear and embrace Him as their only hope. Which leads me to a final discussion question related to this message:

"How open are you to receiving the things of Christ?" Would Jesus' answer about your receptivity be the same as yours?

Last night, I began a 7-part series through Isaiah 52:13-15; Isaiah 53:1-12; and Isaiah 54:1-8. These are the verses I am challenging WBC to memorize for 2010.

The title of the series is called "By His Stripes, We are Healed."

Last night I preached through Isaiah 52:13-15 in a sermon entitled "Was Isaiah Out of His Mind?" Go here to watch or listen to the message.

Here are a few discussion questions to further your understanding and application of the text.

1. Who is the servant Isaiah speaks about in 52:13? How do you know this? Why is it important?

2. Can you find some other references to Jesus throughout Isaiah? Where?

3. Restate/Rewrite verses 13, 14, and 15 of Isaiah 52 in your own words.

4. Of the three verses, which surprises you the most? Why?

5. Of the three verses, which is most encouraging to you? Why?

6. Why does verse 14 have to happen before the exaltation?

7. How has God ordained that this message of slaughter and exaltation get around the world?

8. What are you presently, proactively, and intentionally doing to communicate this message?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lunch with Luke

Today I had the wonderful joy of going to Luke's kindergarten and having lunch with him. It was definitely one of the major joys I have had in a long while. Below are a couple of thoughts regarding my time with him...

First, I am thankful to God for a public school that (1) allows me to go any day to eat lunch with my son at his school, and (2) allows me to 'say the blessing' (pray!) with him before he ate his lunch (so I waited until I got home to eat!). That is a blessing that I don't ever want to take lightly. Thank You, Lord!

Second, I am so thankful to God that Luke actually WANTS me to come to school to eat lunch with him. When parents come, they get to sit off by themselves with their child. Luke WANTED me to come to his school and eat AND he wanted us to sit together, away from his class. In other words, he wanted to be with ME! Oh how grateful to God I am for that. There were several times during lunch where he actually reached over with one or both arms and hugged me! What a gift!

I hope I am wrong, but I don't think it will always be this way. I better enjoy it while it lasts.

Third, I praise God with how confident he is around his friends and in the lunch room. He didn't seem scared. He didn't seem timid. He knew right where to go, right where to get his milk (chocolate!), right where to get his silverware, right where to get his napkin, right where to pick up his tray, right where to show daddy where we would sit, right where to go and throw away his trash, and right where to put his tray. When I walked away, he confidently walked to where his class was sitting and was greeted by friends. Thank You, Lord!

Fourth, I am so glad that he likes to wear his 'Hammer Tattoo' on his left cheek. Yes, I mean that. He loves it. He loves 'Hammer the YellowJacket.' He loves getting the tattoos on Fridays. He loves wearing them on his hand and he isn't ashamed to wear one on his cheek. I am glad he isn't embarrassed to wear one, even on his cheek. He loves it. He enjoys it. He couldn't wait for me to take a picture with my phone so I could show Seth when I picked him up from Wee-School. The tattoo brought him joy today. It made him smile. God has blessed him with a wonderful smile. I am glad he wears his 'Hammer Tattoo' on his left cheek.

Fifth, I was reminded today of the importance of enjoying the life God has given me. He has blessed me with two remarkable boys and an absolutely 'drop dead' gorgeous wife. Do I deserve that? No way. Is it all of grace from God? Totally. Did God send Jesus to die in my place and bear the punishment I deserve and raise Him from the dead for me to live in fear that I am going to get what I deserve? Not at all. Rather, Jesus came that I might have life and have it to the full....part of that means to enjoy my family while praising God for His glorious grace. I think that is probably an act of worship when that happens, is it not?

Sixth, I was reminded today of my need to bring Luke up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. He is now and, if the Lord wills that he stay in public school, will always be surrounded by those who do not know Christ. This has at least two implications. One, bad company corrupts good morals. The temptation and the pulling him away from 'what his parents taught him' will always be dangerously present. But two, he will always have ample opportunity to make Christ known. Being able to share the Gospel will be constant. My chief job as a parent is to bring him in the ways of the Lord God.

My, oh my, how I need the grace and mercy and strength and the Spirit of the Lord! Thank You, Lord, for my sons and for the chance to eat lunch with Luke today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Overwhelmed (In a Thankful Sense!) Pastor...

To any WBC member who reads my blog:

My heart is filled to overflowing in what you all did for Katie and me Sunday night. You had my mom play the offertory on the piano. You had my dad ‘roast’ me with both embarrassing and kind words. You had the staff guys encourage me. You had the search committee share words of affirmation. You gave us a portrait of our family. You had Kelly Dallas fix his famous BBQ nachos (and me a whole rack of ribs to myself!). You had Lisa work her magic with videos. You had Bro. Al Jackson encourage and affirm me in the ministry. You all wrote card after card blessing us with kind words of affirmation. On top of all of this, you all took up around $20,000.00 to help us pay for our adoption from Ethiopia!!! Absolutely incredible. I had no words Sunday night, and I still have no words to express my heart-filled gratitude to each of you. All I know to say again and again and again is, “Thank you.” Matt Pearson is not worthy to be your pastor. To God be all the glory…and I mean all.

A couple of additional thoughts…

(1) Considering all that was said Sunday night, absolutely nothing would be possible or true were it not for the staff team I am blessed to work with each and every day. Because of their tireless work and their passionate love for each of you, the Gospel, and the nations, they allow me to be able prepare and preach and cast the vision. The staff of WBC are the real heroes that deserve all of the credit for anything good said about me last night.

(2) You were ‘radically intentional’ with your gift to Katie and me. Wow! This is, perhaps, what blows me away the most (along with the HUGE amount given!). You all could have given us anything. But you were led to give so that we could go and do what God has called us to do in bringing a child (or two!) from Ethiopia. That is what I call being ‘radically intentional’ about making disciples of all nations to the glory of Jesus Christ! Yes!

I am overwhelmed to be called the pastor of Wynne Baptist Church. Thank you for allowing my family to serve King Jesus with you!

Discussion Questions from 09/12/2010 Sermon at WBC

Sunday morning, the Lord led me to preach through Psalm 40. As I shared with the congregation, my heart has gone back to this Psalm numerous times over the past weeks due to the fact that the Lord is allowing me to endure a season of fear, anxiety, and worry. Since this sermon was preached, many of you have expressed your appreciation of this Psalm and of your identification with me of your own struggle(s). May the Lord prompt us to pray for each other diligently and may we praise Him together for His remarkable deliverance in the days ahead!

Below is my outline for Sunday morning. After the outline, I have included a couple of questions to help you further apply and think through this text of Scripture…

I. Why the Psalmist Experienced Heart Failure

1. In a pit and miry bog of destruction (2a)
2. Encompassed by countless evils (12a)
3. Overwhelmed by innumerable iniquities (12b)
4. Surrounded by those desiring injury (14-15)

II. Evidence that God Rescued His Heart

1. The LORD inclined and heard his cry (1)
2. Rock-solid Feet and a Renewed Singing Mouth (2b-3a)

III. What the Psalmist Did While Patiently Waiting on God

1. Trusted in God, not in self or circumstances (4)
2. Devoured God’s Word, not religious acts (6-8)
3. Rehearsed the great attributes of God (11)
Romans 8:37-39
Philippians 4:4-9

4. Begged God for quick and delightful deliverance (13)
5. Resolved to believe that God was the best thing for his soul and his only hope (16-17)

IV. Reasons God Allows Circumstances to Overwhelm Us

1. To allow others to see the power of God (3b)
2. To grow our understanding, knowledge, and love of God (5)
3. To enhance and encourage the worship of God among the people of God (9-10)
2 Corinthians 1:3-7

V. How a Holy God Can Rescue an ‘Evil Encompassed’ Man

1. Understand the reality and God-centeredness of verse 16.
2. Believe that God loves you regardless and has demonstrated it in Jesus – Romans 5:8.
3. Trust that Jesus, not yourself or your works makes you righteous – 2 Corinthians 5:21.
4. Hope in the reality that in Jesus, God ordains everything that happens to you for your Christ-like character – Romans 8:28-30.


(1) What truth(s) from this Psalm ministers to you the most? Why?
(2) Have you ever experienced spiritual heart failure (see end of verse 12)? What has been your normal practice when you do? What would David suggest we do?
(3) Is there a contradiction between claiming to ‘patiently’ wait on God in verse 1 and begging God to hurry for deliverance in verse 13? Why or why not?
(4) Do you know of anyone who might need you to encourage them with the truths from this Psalm? Pray for them using the truths from this Psalm?
(5) Read James 1:2-4 and Hebrews 12:3-11. According to these passages, why are believers allowed to endure struggles?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Discussion Questions from 09/5/2010 Sermon at WBC

Sunday morning, I broke out of Luke's Gospel and preached one of my favorite passages of Scripture ever: Matthew 11:28-30. You can watch or listen to the message here.

Here are a few questions for you to discuss with yourself, with others, or simply to aid with further application/understanding:

1. What's the significance of the context of these verses? In other words, what do verses 25-27 of Matthew 11 have to do with verses 28-30?

2. What is the main issue here? Is Jesus talking about Physical rest? Emotional rest? Mental rest? Or Spiritual rest? (See end of verse 29)

Why is that good news? (See Proverbs 4:23)

3. Count the personal pronouns in verses 28-30. What do you think Jesus is getting at? What is the significance of His calling people to be 'yoked' with Him?

4. Considering the fact that Jesus is calling those who have gone about religion the wrong way to 'come to Him,' why is it important that we see Him as 'gentle' and 'lowly in heart'?

5. What is it that makes His yoke easy and His burden light? What has He done to ensure this?

6. Do you have rest in your soul? If so, how? If not, why not?