Monday, June 13, 2011

Clarification From Yesterday's Message on Encouragement

Yesterday morning I preached the second in a series of 8 messages on the 'one another's of the New Testament. "Encourage one another " was the focal command for yesterday. One of the four reasons I gave for obeying this command was this:

"3. Biblical encouragement is a primary means God uses to keep us saved."

I based this statement from what the author of Hebrews says in Hebrews 3:12-14 - "Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelievingly heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort/encourage one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end."

Let me assure everyone reading this blog: Matt Pearson believes in the doctrine of eternal security!!! The Bible is loud and clear about that from the beginning to the end. Denying that denies much of the Bible and the beautiful grace of God in salvation. My hope is that God will keep me saved today and tomorrow and forever; not in Matt Pearson's works.

But I also MUST let the Bible speak and let the Bible drive my convictions and theology and doctrine, not my preconceived ideas and notions. I believe in the doctrine of eternal security AND I believe Hebrews 3:12-14.

Now, according to Hebrews 3:12-14, if some things don't happen, believers might fall away from God. They are commanded to : (1) take care; (2) encourage one another; and (3) hold firm their original confidence to the end. If they don't, they might develop an evil, unbelievingly. heart and become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin - leading them to fall away from God and not share in Christ in the end.

Since I believe that I cannot lose my salvation, then when I read that text, I have a choice to make. I can:
(a). Ignore it because even if I do drift a bit, I am okay; or...
(b). Diligently heed the command/warning, seeing it as a gift of God's grace for me and the church to stay saved.

Which do you think is more biblical? Which defines a child of God more concretely? Of course, (b) is the correct response.

Now. If I do not obey, am I still a Christian? Maybe. If I ignore this/these command(s) I either demonstrate either (1) I never was saved in the first place; or, (2) miss God's best for me, get convicted by the Spirit of God, and by His grace press on to heed this grace for me in the
days ahead.

Jesus said in Matthew 24 that the one who endures to the end (by following Him in obedience) will be saved. Likewise, Paul said to work out your salvation with fear and trembling in Philippians 2.

So, do I believe that once a believer is authentically saved by the grace of Christ and the Spirit of God that he/she will ALWAYS be saved? You betcha. But I also believe (because of texts like Hebrews 3:12-14) that this includes the fact that God graciously uses means to keep us saved, one of them being that the church heed the command to encourage one another to the end.

Why else is the Bible here? Was not the majority of the NT written for churches??? Why is it all there unless it is to be used as a means to keep the church graciously and gloriously saved?

Why would we need each other if we could get by as believers all by ourselves? We can't!!! This is why God graciously gave us each other.
God graciously uses means to keep us saved, so diligently and intentionally encourage one another TODAY. By doing so, you reveal the Spirit's work in your own heart (bringing confirmation to your soul of God working in and through you); AND you just might be a means God has ordained to keep a brother or sister from falling away from the living God.

Clarification From Yesterday's Message on Encouragement

Monday, June 6, 2011

Discussion Questions for June 5th, 2011 Sermons

Due to the '242-Sharing Life Together' Series on the 'One Anothers' of the New Testament this summer, all discussion questions for the Sunday morning messages (June-July 2011) can be found at this link at the Wynne Baptist Church web-site.

As for the message on Haggai, I preached last night, I will simply encourage you to consider the implication questions I posed at the close of the sermon. You can watch or listen to the message here.

Here are the questions I left you with last night:

1. WBC, Consider Our Ways: A Superior Temple, and the Display of God’s Glory Remains Incomplete…What are We Doing about It?

2. WBC, Consider Our Ways: The Amount of God’s Spirit You Experience and Your Practice of Obedience…Is there a Connection?

3. WBC, Consider Our Ways: God Keeps His Promises…Do You Believe It?

Give them Grace - Parenting Book Referenced Last Night

Last night, I referenced/recommended Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson.

You can order the book directly from Amazon by clicking here.

I also mentioned a very helpful interview with Elyse Fitzpatrick about the book. You can listen and/or watch the interview here.