Sunday, October 20, 2013

In loving memory...

Virgil Keith Patterson - SaulBecomesPaul
August 31, 1975 - October 8, 2013

Our dear brother Virgil has gone home to The Lord.  Virgil has received his eternal reward and fulfilled his life verse:

Philippians 1:21 - to me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

Monday, March 4, 2013

2nd Annual ME4JC Transition Challenge

Here are some transitions from the 2nd annual ME4JC news article transition challenge.

From all indications, Dennis Rodman is clearly not a good judge of character. Every interaction and news story I've ever seen regarding the North Korean dictator is far from any standard of good that I know. There's another person that people misjudge frequently. They say that He is simply a good person. A teacher. Some say that He is merely a prophet. Unlike the fact that it matters not what a washed up NBA "star" thinks about Kim Jong UN, it completely matters who you believe Jesus to be. While many have their aforementioned notions regarding who Jesus Christ is, who He says He is is all that matters. In John 10:30 Christ tells us that, "I and the Father are one." In John Chapter 8 and verse 24, He says, "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” Basically you don't want to get it wrong when it comes to who Jesus is. We need to believe that He is fully God and fully man and that He came in the flesh to live a perfect life and that He lovingly take our place on the cross as God's wrath that we deserve was poured out on Him. We need to believe that He rose from the grave three days later completely defeating sin and death forever. We need to believe these truths and accept God's free gift of grace by repenting and trusting in Christ alone for salvation. Now what sins is Christ referring to in John 8:24? Look no further than the 10 commandments to see which ones are condemning you. Lying. Stealing or wanting things that don't belong to you. Adultery(including lust). Murder(including hate). Blasphemy. Idolatry. If you have ever done any of these things please realize your need for Christ's love, forgiveness, and salvation today. Don't put this off and don't stick with a wrong pre-conceived notion of who you think He is. Repent and trust in the Christ that the Bible speaks about for salvation.

It's always nice to know when something you are looking forward to is coming soon. Whether it be games, movies, a CD, or even a new TV series, anticipation is a big part of the excitement of the upcoming release. For the Christian we await something so amazing that there are scarcely words to describe the excitement we have for it. The return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 tells us, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." Now we don't get a time or a date, we just have to be ready when that day comes. The only way to be ready on that day is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. I would love to be able to tell sinners that hey, Jesus is coming back on this date or that. To give them a "release date" of sorts so that they can know when to be ready. Sadly I can not do that. All I can do is let them know that the Bible promises that, "Just as it is appointed for man to die once and after that comes judgment(Hebrews 9:27)" and that, "he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.(Acts 17:31)” The standard of Judgment that will be used will be the 10 commandments. Every lie, theft, lustful look, hateful thought, blasphemous utterance, every dishonoring of your parents, every idolatrous idea, and every time you wanted something some that didn't belong to you will come into account on that day. Now you can walk into eternity and try to pay for your own sins but the only payment you can make by yourself is eternal conscious punishment in Hell. God doesn't want that so He made payment for you in His only Son, Jesus Christ. Christ, fully God and fully man, paid for those sins on the cross. He rose from the dead three days later, defeating sin and death forever. The wrath that you and I deserve was unleashed on Jesus so that if we repent and trust in Him alone we can go to Heaven and escape the punishment we deserve. Be ready on that day so that you don't have to take God's wrath upon yourself. Christ already did this for you. Humble yourself and accept God's gift of grace and mercy today.

Recently a lady in Nashville got herself into a bit of trouble by ignoring signs inside a local restaurant, Flood Zone, and using the restroom even though she didn't buy anything. Even though the sign told her that the facilities were for customers only, she said that ,"I didn't feel it was a crime. I'd been in to plenty of restaurants here in this town, and other towns, and, you know, other states." This offense seems like a small thing to us and perhaps it is. The person being sinned against is really what makes all the difference. This story reminds me of how people look at the sin of lying. They always downplay it by calling it a fib, or a white lie, or an exaggeration. No matter who I speak to when street witnessing, they almost always see lying as the least offensive of God's 10 commandments to break. They don't understand that the Bible says in Revelation 21:8 that, "All liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire." Now, you might be saying, "this is way too harsh of a punishment for a lie", or "I've only told a few little lies here and there". First of all, like on murder makes you a murderer, one lie makes you a liar. But like I mentioned earlier, It's who you've committed this "little" sin against that matters and is what determines the punishment. If you lied to your kids there's not much repercussion. Lie to your spouse, and it's the couch for a night or possible separation. Lie to your boss and you could get fired. If you lie to the Government, it could be jail time for you. Finally as we looked at early on, when you lie you sin against God and His punishment is the Lake of Fire. You can clearly see that the sin never changes but who you sin against determines the punishment. Now clearly we have all broken this commandment and all deserve the punishment of Eternal fire. This is not God's will however. He sent His Son Jesus, fully God and fully man, to be born of a virgin(as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14), live a perfect life, and to die on a cross for our sins(lying, stealing, lust, hatred, blasphemies, covetousness). This is where God shows His infinite love for us. At the cross and the cross alone. Jesus got off that cross and three days later rose from the dead, defeating sin and death forever. God accepted this sacrifice and raised Christ to His right hand. If we would repent, or turn from sin, and trust in Christ's sacrifice alone for our salvation we can be saved from our sin and an eternity in Hell. Don't put this off. Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. Don't ignore this sign today like this woman ignored the sign in the restaurant. Lying might look like a small, ignorable offense but to God it is serious business. He won't track you down with a $5 dollar fine. On Judgment Day, He will simply look and see if you are in Christ or if tried to do it all your own way. Only in Christ does this end well. Repent and trust in Christ today. Be sure that He has paid your fine. Trust me, you don't want to pay this one on your own.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

DiG Recommended Reading-February 2013

With the world such as it is with issues like mass shootings, economic collapse, and the murdering of babies in the womb, people of a conservative nature try to come together and fight against the world's system.  In this fight against moral atrocities Evangelicals,  Mormons,  Roman Catholics, and in some cases even Islam try to put their differences aside to get political and social travesties abolished.  The question is can we ever completely come together on what is ultimately the most important issue.  Salvation.  Mormons hold that Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan and not God incarnate. Since we believe that Christ was fully God and fully man and is the same yesterday, today, and forever we can safely put the label of "other" gospel on their message.  Islam too, believes in Jesus but as a prophet and that Muhammad is of more importance in the hierarchy of Moses, Jesus, and their own beloved icon. Roman Catholics are probably the closest in respect to beliefs of who Christ is.  The question is, is that close enough in regards to the Gospel. While we can join in certain social arenas and fight in the abortion ring together with Rome, R.C. Sproul tells us why we just can't get together with them on the issue of salvation, more specifically justification, in his awesome analysis, Are We Together.

A lot of Protestants can pinpoint certain theological differences between Roman Catholics and themselves.  Roman Catholics can do the same but a lot of them that I encounter go about believing that we are all on the same team because of our faith in Christ, unaware that the Council of Trent has pretty much damned Protestants for their beliefs on justification.  R.C. Sproul gets to the heart of the matter, that justification is by faith alone and that truth is why we can't align ourselves fully with the gospel of the Roman Catholic system. In it's simplest form, as seen in the book, for Protestants faith=justification + works.  Rome however views salvation as faith+works=justification.  This may look small on paper but the difference is an insurmountable gap for Christians who stand on the authority of Sacred Scripture alone. Now I have to say before we lose some here.  This is NOT an entire book of slams against Roman Catholics.  R.C. Sproul has presented here one of the most fair, loving, side by side comparisons of the two faiths. He simply takes a topic such as the infallibility of the papacy, Mary, scripture, justification, etc and compares the two belief systems in regards to the topic. Included in these comparisons are Roman Catholic and Protestant affirmations of their beliefs such as The Council of Trent, Vatican I & II, and for the Protestants the Westminster Confession of Faith.

If you have ever wondered what truly separates Protestant and Roman Catholics, no matter which side you fall on,  you owe it to yourself to pick up this gem.  Even if you think you know all there is to know, you will be surprised by something in the book.  Mary's fiat for me for instance....mind blown.  All that being said,  Sproul is of course aligned with the Protestant beliefs but believe it or not there is very little bias here.  At the end of the chapters he affirms his own personal views but this is after pages of fair analysis and comparisons from Scripture and various creeds. I don't think he's trying to fix the world here, he's just simply looking at two institutions side by side.  After all, this is a some 2000 year old disagreement and it's not going to be fixed in 122 pages.  However, I commend this book to you guys and look forward to seeing some comments from you all.  In Christ, SaulBecomesPaul.

Galatians 1:6-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Genius the Movie

Memory Verses for Evangelism

Memory Verses 

 Romans 2:15-16 English Standard Version (ESV) 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

John 3:3 English Standard Version (ESV) 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 Acts 4:12 English Standard Version (ESV) 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1 Peter 3:18 English Standard Version (ESV) 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

 2 Timothy 4:2 English Standard Version (ESV) 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Romans 1:19 English Standard Version (ESV) 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 

1 John 5:7-8 English Standard Version (ESV) 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

Romans 3:23 English Standard Version (ESV) 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 

Romans 6:23 English Standard Version (ESV) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 Isaiah 53:6 English Standard Version (ESV) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one-to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 English Standard Version (ESV) 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

 1 Peter 2:24 English Standard Version (ESV) 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 

Hebrews 9:27 English Standard Version (ESV) 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

 Romans 5:1 English Standard Version (ESV) 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Galatians 3:24-25 King James Version (KJV) 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

 2 Corinthians 5:21 English Standard Version (ESV) 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 Ephesians 2:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 Mark 8:36 English Standard Version (ESV) 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 

Acts 17:31 English Standard Version (ESV) 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

2 Corinthians 11:14 English Standard Version (ESV) 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 

Galatians 2:20 English Standard Version (ESV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Romans 10:14-15 English Standard Version (ESV) 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 

Luke 9:23 English Standard Version (ESV) 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Romans 3:10 English Standard Version (ESV) 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

 James 2:19 English Standard Version (ESV) 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

 Hebrews 9:22 English Standard Version (ESV) 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Matthew 9:37-38 English Standard Version (ESV) 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” 

2 Corinthians 6:2 English Standard Version (ESV) 2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

John 8:58 English Standard Version (ESV) 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 

Exodus 3:14 English Standard Version (ESV) 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hell Doesn't Have a Post Office

But if it did these are the types of things that would be sent.  Before we listen to the song and read the letter that I am about to post, I want to remind you of the Scripture that speaks of a man who wished the warning of a terrible place called Hell could be sent to his family after he died and went there.

The Rich Man and Lazarus: Luke 16:19-31

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Shai Linne: Letter from the Grave 

My Friend:  My friend i stand in judgment,and feel that you're to blame somehow.
On earth we walked day, by day but never did you point the way.
you new the Lord in truth and glory, but never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim, you could have led me safe to Him.

Although we lived together on earth, you never told me of the second birth.
And now i stand this day condemned, because you failed to mention him.
You taught me things that's true, I called you 'Friend' and trusted you.
But i learn now and its to late, you could have kept me from this fate.

We walked by day and talked by night, and yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live and live and die, you knew I'd never live on high.
Yes i called you 'friend' in life and trusted you through joy and strife.
But yet on coming to the end, i cannot now call you 'My Friend'. 

Everyone who goes to Hell knows that it is a real place.  They want desperately for their friends and family who are headed down the same path to not meet them, ever.  As Christians, we know Hell to be a real place because God has revealed it as such in His Word.  This should motivate us to share the good news with lost sinners every day.  Perhaps this is overused now but Penn Jillette (atheist) has an amazing quote.  "How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?" Please share the good news with someone.  Today, this week, just "do something" as Spurgeon would say. The flames of Hell should drive us in love to share with people how to be saved from their sin and eternal punishment.  There are cults on the streets right now who don't believe in Hell that are telling people about a savior.  But from what? We actually know from what.  We believe that Christ was fully God and fully man and lived a perfect life, died an atoning death, and was the only propitiation God would accept as the perfect sacrifice for sinners.  Indeed if Christ is perfect, He is God.  Who is good but God alone.  How much more is this true of perfection.  Hebrews 4:15 says that, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." God's only acceptable sacrifice was Himself.   Repenting and trusting in Christ is the only way.  Don't hold onto this information.  Give it away freely and often! Soli Deo Gloria!

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Judgment at Christ's Coming

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.