June 24, 2010

Update on my Dad

Hello, everyone.  Here is an update on my Dad, for those who need encouragement about the lost.  He is not a Christian yet, but has done a total 180 in his opinions.  I gave my Dad a Bible a little over a year ago.  He hates to read, but has suddenly become so interested in knowing more about God, that he has been forcing himself to read the Bible just about every day.  Two months ago he approached me and expressed a real frustration about not being able to understand anything he was reading.  (We know that the Word says that a natural man cannot understand the things of God, because they are spiritually appraised, but my Dad does not know that, and is still trying to read, and I'm not standing in his way!)  He asked me for a "movie" or an audio Bible instead, because he hates to read.  But I knew he really wanted an audio or video explaining the Bible.  I had no idea where to find such a thing, especially from a reputable source.

Well the Ligonier Conference was this week, and I won 2 free tickets to the conference on the radio.  The topic was "Tough Questions Christians Face."  I asked my father if he would like to go, and he said yes!  My Dad attended only on Friday.  It was a bit "heady" for him but I did catch him smiling here and there as he listened to the messages.  He really seems to have latched onto R.C. Sproul's ministry.  During a break he wandered around the conference center a bit and took one of the free messages they were giving out to listen to later on.

While at the conference, I stumbled upon the exact item my Dad was asking for. 

June 21, 2010

Even so, come, Lord Jesus

ταχύ - tachu (takh-oo'); quickly, speedily (without delay)

Revelation 22:20 – He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

11:59:59. That is the hour in which we live, Christian. We are not living in the last days, not by any means; we are living in the last seconds of the last days. So swiftly approaching is the midnight hour, the beginning of the end, and I am concerned that many Christians will be caught off guard not watching, not waiting, and not working. This is all-too-often the story of the modern church, and this text reflects Christ’s warning to churches that are asleep.

June 16, 2010

Planting the Seed of the Gospel

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-2, KJV.

In chapter 8 of Luke’s gospel, Jesus had taught a parable to the disciples concerning the four different types of people that would hear the Gospel, followed by an explanation of the parable (Luke 8:4-15).

This passage should be studied thoroughly and carefully, to understand that the success of the Great Commission is not based on the numbers of people that are won to Christ, because our Lord stated that numbers were not the primary focus of the Gospel, but rather our obedience to Christ’s command to be a witness for Him.

June 14, 2010

Yonkers Firefighter, Bill Kanych's Testimony, God is Faithful

On May 30th, First Assembly of God in Brookfield, CT held a special service to honor members of the military that have served our country as well as those that serve the community civil service, police, fire, EMS.

I had the privilige to introduce to the congregation, Bill Kanych, a firefighter with the Yonkers fire department, in Yonkers, New York.

Bill suffered a terrible injury during a fire call back in October 2009.  A link to the news story and video about the arson fire can be found here.

In these few minutes of this brief message from Bill, I hope you may find some encouragement that will strengthen your faith in God, as Bill learned to depend on Him through this time of his life.

June 12, 2010

The Essence of Christian Doctrine - Book Review

Well, this is my very first book review and I'm grateful for the opportunity to provide a brief review of this book.

When the author, Martin Murphy, contacted me via Twitter, he asked me to review the book from a seminary perspective.

One of the courses any seminarian will take will be a course on Systematic Theology, which is an excellent subject to learn more about all of the doctrines found in Scripture.

This past year in seminary, I read Millard Erickson's book, Christian Theology and it was good, a long and thick book and one that I'll use as a reference in the future.

This book, The Essence of Christian Doctrine, A brief study of the apostles' creed and basic Christian doctrine is an excellent read and one that should accompany any other book a seminarian has in their library.

The contents of the book are not exclusively for the benefit of seminary students either, but an excellent opportunity, for anyone to be refreshed in understanding Christian doctrine through the Apostle's Creed.

June 11, 2010

How Shall They Know Without You?

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:14-15, NKJV.

The Apostle Paul describes four very important questions that point to those that stand in judgment against God and their opposition to God’s work of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Two questions that concern those that have yet to be saved by grace, through faith in Christ and two questions that concern whom will go and preach concerning salvation by grace, through faith in Christ.

June 7, 2010

The Power of the Gospel Preached

Today's devotion is from Pastor Joshua Van Geersdaele, which is part of series of weekly devotions, for the month of June and our Way of the Master evangelism training at First Assembly of God, in Brookfield.

Acts 8:4-8

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.”

They were Scattered Abroad
As we look at this passage in context, we see that this leg of Philip’s ministry came as a direct result of intense persecution by Saul. This was not your “He called me names,” or, “He cursed at me,” type of persecution. No, this was an antagonistic, angry, vehement persecution of Christians, the kind that would render them prisoners or, worse yet, dead men. And yet, as they fled, they did not fear men enough to stop preaching the gospel. They took their lumps in stride and bloomed where they were planted. My brothers and sisters do not be discouraged when persecution leads you into difficult situations. Remember that Jesus told us it would be so. If you are serious about sharing your faith, your witnessing will take you into places that you might not want to go, into situations that you otherwise would not be in, and to people whom you would otherwise avoid. We must accept and embrace this, for this is the call of Christ.

June 4, 2010

Fair Warning

Today's devotion is from Pastor Al Van Geersdaele, which is part of series of weekly devotions, for the month of June and our Way of the Master evangelism training at First Assembly of God, in Brookfield.

(Ezekiel 3:16-21 KJV) And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, {17} Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. {18} When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. {19} Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. {20} Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. {21} Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

When an individual completes the course of study at one of the Military Academies, he or she receives a Commission upon graduation. The commission is an assignment of responsibility, and an agreement to serve. We have here in this text, the commission of the Prophet Ezekiel as a “watchman” over the house of Israel.

June 1, 2010

Is God pleading to others through you?

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20.

The Apostle Paul was evangelizing the people of Corinth, “as though God were pleading through us.” Not just Paul alone, but the many other Christians that were also proclaiming that Christ was the only way to be reconciled with God concerning their sins.

When we speak to people about Christ and explain that Christ died for their sins, are we merely repeating verses of Scripture that we have memorized or are we speaking as though God were pleading for their repentance and for the salvation of their souls?

Are we burdened in our hearts, mourning the terror of God’s judgment that awaits their souls because they want to reconcile themselves to God on their terms and not God’s?

Are we pleading enough with people to turn from their ignorance of God’s eternal judgment upon those that stand defiantly against Him and plead even more for them to turn to God, who in Christ reconciled the world to Himself? (2 Corinthians 5:18)

Have you betrayed Jesus?

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray ...