Tag Archives: God

EVANGELISM AND THE GREAT COMMISSION: THINK AGAIN!


EVANGELISM AND THE GREAT COMMISSION: THINK AGAIN!

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Ask any person who has been an active member of a Baptist Church for any extended period of time to define the Great Commission. He/she will tell you right away that it is the marching orders of the New Testament Church to preach the gospel in all the world: to make disciples, to baptize them, and to teach them the commandments of Christ Jesus, citing Matthew 28:18-20 as a proof text. That answer, accepted as correct by most all Baptists, and a lot of non-Baptists, too, begs amplification.
First, consideration must be given to the realities of the religious scene of these latter days. Modern times are filled with religion whose worth is based not on origin, doctrine, and dedication to the Bible, but on numbers of participants, and dollars in the church coffers. It is a criteria of worth spelling disaster. The ingredients so necessary to bring both to a state evoking carnal swooning, succeeds in producing a religious country club out of what once was a church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its purpose is shifted mainly to providing an exclusive comfort zone for its members; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
One of the ways this comes about is in redefining biblical terms to fit a more modern, humanistic mindset. Take the terms “evangelism,” and “disciples” as examples.
“Evangelism,” is a Greek word transliterated into English. It literally translates to “Good News” in English. It is the word that gives us “gospel” which is a term that has evolved in English from “Good news,” or “Good story.”
The term “Disciple” comes from the Old English and Old French languages, and it designates a learner. The term in the New Testament is a translation of the Greek work “Mathetes,” designating one who is increasing in knowledge, being informed; to learn by use and practice. (common Greek lexicons).
It should be obvious by now that the burden of this article is to underscore a vast difference in the term “Disciple” as in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, et, al. to the way it is commonly employed in modern religion.
The terms “Evangelism,” and “Soul-winning,” are accepted as the home run of disciple making rather than first base.
To be sure, one may be born from above in a moment of time, being bathed in repentance from sin, and faith in Christ Jesus, but that alone does not a disciple make, even though being a disciple of Jesus is predicated upon it.
It takes time, patience, and a lot of good, sound teaching to make a disciple. Such are the ones who continue in the Word, and will perpetuate to the next generation the faith once delivered to the saints.
Blessed indeed is the church that is heavily involved in making eternal disciples rather than in erecting temples that decay.

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THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE

Some of the most beautiful word pictures fraught with deep meaning are found in the common denominator of term usage. Are you ready to think with me a minute for a blessing?
Please consider that the spokes of a wheel are essential to its existence and usefulness. Also, the fillets of a building are essential to its standing and usefulness. Similarly, the desire (attachment) of one’s heart as in a man for a woman as a potential mate is what makes marriage happen, and work. Truly, the love that one cultivates for a person, place or thing is what gives that person, place, or thing prominence and importance in the heart and mind.
Okay, okay, I am a little impatient. Where are you going with this? Well, hang on!
The spokes of a wheel are mentioned in I Kings 7:33. The ancient Hebrew word designating “spokes” is “Chashaq.”
Furthermore, the fillets of a building, especially a portable building such as the Old Testament Tabernacle, are referred to by the word, “Chashaq.”
Moreover, the strong desire for a life mate is expressed by the same word, “Chashaq.”
Then, there is that strongest of bindings referred to as “love,” and it is also referenced as “Chashaq.”
I know, I know, you are getting the picture, but it isn’t finished just yet. So, the climax of the picture drives home a reality that lives on shouting ground. It is Isaiah 38:17, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Folks, the phrase “love to my soul,” is a translation of the Hebrew term “Chashaq.”
How important are spokes to a wheel; fillets to a building; desire to a life-mate? None of these work without them. That is just what exists in the love of God to the soul of a believer, and how important it is. An attachment has been made. God has reached out and united Himself with the soul of every believer in Christ Jesus, and one may be sure He will never let go, nor His arm be broken.
No wonder then that Jesus declared that the Father had given His people to Him, and no man could pluck them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:29. In Paul’s words, “. . . neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God ,which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
Governmental officials have their secret service agents; Brinks has armored trucks, cities have police, but there is no security in all the universe close to equaling that of the believer in Christ Jesus, whom He has attached to Himself!

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April 27 – Sacrifice of Fools


April 27 – Sacrifice of Fools

Ecclesiastes 5:1  Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 

Keep thy foot while going to worship God. This is the thought of Moses and Holy ground. This is the idea of reverence and respect for the idea of meeting God here. Fruitful and acceptable worship is what is under consideration here. Would this mean that God does not accept any way we desire to worship God? Absolutely, a serious study of worship in the Old Testament and the New Testament is needed to find God’s way of worship. To keep your foot means to be careful of your conduct when coming into the presence of God. A place of worship is a sanctified place because of the presence of God. If we were meeting outside under a tree, the very presence of God demands a reverence because His presence sanctifies that ground just as much as the ground at the burning bush.

Hear the word. Be ready to draw near with great desire to hear and obey the call of the Lord in salvation, surrender, and service. The Word is precious indeed and much needed today. The inward devotion of the spirit will direct our outward worship in a manner that is approved and loved by God. The Word should convict us as to the worship that is acceptable, not based upon our desire but based upon what the Word has revealed to us about the character of God and the desire of God for a proper and acceptable worship.

The sacrifice of fools would be a sacrifice that is unacceptable to God. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were not to be sick, lame or blind. What are we offering that comes under the heading of “the sacrifice of fools? Some offer out of ignorance, others out of convenience, and yet others offer out of emotion. Knowledge of God’s Word should guide our sacrifice of worship to God.

A reverent sincerity is always appropriate. Obedience is always acceptable.

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April 26 – Lack of Knowledge


April 26 – Lack of Knowledge

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 

The great tragedy today is a Lack of knowledge. We have simplified our knowledge of the Bible to a few simple slogans that express a small amount of knowledge about the Bible, God, Christ and the life we are to lead. We have not only dumbed down the secular education today but have also dumbed down Christian education. We have reduced the knowledge and discussion to a few favorite slogans leaving out the teachings that do not appeal to the masses. We are not teaching about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are not teaching the truths of the Church and what a Church is and the Churches responsibilities as the administrator of the kingdom of God.

This Biblical Knowledge has been rejected because it would convict. It has not only been rejected but also has been ridiculed as something that is not applicable to today’s lifestyle. This is a term that simply says, “I do not want to live a separated life from the world.” “I want to claim to be a Christian and yet do worldly things and have worldly attitudes.” There is a rejection today of a separated life that stands out and is outstanding.

God said, “I will also reject thee.” This was written to Israel, yet is just as applicable today as it was in Hosea’s day. The claim is that Israel has forgotten the law of God. That is true today also. We are not under the law of Moses but we are under God’s law of “study to show thy self approved.” We are under the law of “love thy neighbor as thyself.” We are under the law of “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” We are under the law of “put off concerning the former conversation the old man.” We have the law of holiness, “so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”

Here is a warning for this day as it was in the days of Israel. I will forget thy children. Certainly, we see that warning coming to fruition today. We are losing our children to the world. When the world is brought into the Church, we lose the children to the world. Church truths are no longer taught to our children. They are certainly involved in activities yet the shallowing teaching of the Word of God enables them to embrace some of the sinful practices of the word. Then they stray. What a mess we have created, trying to entertain to create interest instead of driving the teaching home for conviction.

May we get back to teaching the Word.

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April 25 – Men at Peace


April 25 – Men at Peace

Obadiah 1:7  All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him. 

Obadiah writes to Edom and they are descendants of Esau the brother of Jacob. Obadiah has a severe warning to the “wise men of the east,” Edom. Destruction is coming. This destruction will be by those that claim to be friends, like-minded, with the same goals. They have come as men of peace, proclaiming love and a common desire. They have formed a confederacy and shared meals together. Then we find the wound that has been planned by beguiling Edom. This will bring about the destruction of Edom.

Yet there is a similarity to this very situation today. Churches holding the truth of God’s Word have a desire to fellowship together. These churches form a union with other Churches proclaiming they believe the same core doctrines and set down to break bread together. They proclaim love and are at peace with the truths proclaimed by each other. They hold hands while some that have proclaimed to be like-minded are setting a snare and a trap. Some that know of the infiltration are afraid to say anything because of retaliation. Others know but stray to follow for acceptance sake. This is a progressive festering of a wound that has been by subterfuge and God’s work and Word has been undermined.

This brought about the destruction of Edom. What about the true Churches? How much destruction will God’s Churches experience before they stand up to the enemy among us?

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April 24 – The Whole Counsel of God.


April 24 – The Whole Counsel of God.

Acts 20:27  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 

28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 

29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 

30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 

We are faced with those that would alter or change the Word of God. There are those that take away from the Word and those that add to the Word. The idea of the term to “take heed” is to pay attention to what some have to say. We are to compare what they say, not to man’s reasoning or logic, but to what the Bible has to say.

Each minister has been given a charge to feed the Church of God. I have had the occasion to call a Church that was without a pastor and has asked them, “can you describe the Church that Jesus built?” The answer, “we don’t know what you are talking about.” This is a sad situation to be confronted with. Notice the term that He uses in reference to the Church, “he hath purchased with His own blood.” I believe that the whole counsel of God is important to our Lord. We should be teaching the people.

Grievous wolves will enter. We see that happening today. I compare them to leaches. They are trying to thrive from the work of others. Men that go astray from the truth or leave out or add to the Word and mislead the people of God. Men that set themselves in a place of trust to usurp the teachings of past faithful men that labored and sacrificed on behalf of that Church.

These are men from our midst that have gone astray after a Jezebel and destroy the work that God called faithful men have built. They come in the guise of greater knowledge and a better understanding or later findings. These are the coverings they use to take away the Lord’s Church from the paths of truth. They belittle the work of those that have gone before and built the work that they now pastor.

Preach the whole counsel of God.

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April 23 – The Sureness of God’s Word


April 23 The Sureness of God’s Word

Isaiah 55:10  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Another incomparable comparison that is made in God’s Word. This comparison is about God’s Word. The hydrological cycle always supplies the earth with water. This is God’s plan for the growth of plants. Notice the reference to seed to the sower. At this present time, many are preparing and planting gardens. Seed is needed to drop in furrows and then the prayer for rain goes up. This rain will cause the seed to bud and grow and produce a harvest because someone has invested in sowing seed.

God gives us many examples in the New Testament of sowing seed. This is our example to sow the seed of the Word. This is a continuous process because the field is always white unto harvest. We must be faithful even when we are discouraged. The emphasis is on God’s Word. It is not our words or our wisdom. God has promised that His Word will not return void. God will take the seed we deposit and send the rain from the Holy Spirit and cause the seed to grow in the heart. God said His Word would not return empty or void. God’s Word will always accomplish the work God intends for it.

He is simply waiting for us to sow the Word to all we meet and then allow Him to work within the hearts where the seed has been sown. Are we sowing the seed?

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April 22 – The Prayer to God Greater than Physical Power


April 22 – The Prayer to God Greater than Physical Power

What a prayer of faith and trust in God. The Army of Asa was 580 thousand. He faced an army of a thousand thousand. The Ethiopian army stood at one million men. The Ethiopian army was about twice as large. For the average man, there is no sense in fighting this battle. The odds were too large. It was sure destruction.

Have you ever considered a missionary that went into a new field not knowing anyone but simply has a calling from God to be in this place and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that would listen? The missionaries are outnumbered. They are one feeble light in a great mass of Darkness. The Lord’s Church is outnumbered by the ones that are preaching untruths and causing many at death to descend into the pits of hell. Look at those Church members engaging in telling others about Christ. The work of the true Church has many enemies that are fighting against the truth. Salvation does not come through good works, baptism or Church membership. It comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. That work He completed on the cross. Paul told the Ephesian brethren that salvation is a free gift.

Listen, when God is with us, who can be against us? Just as Asa triumphed through pray and the might and strength of God, we must rely on God to defeat the enemy. We must pray for the help of God because He has the power. He can defeat the enemy. He can overcome every obstacle Satan puts in our way.

We have the victory through Christ our Lord and God the Father.

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APRIL 20 – The Blessedness of Unity


APRIL 20 – The Blessedness of Unity

Psalm 133:1  A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 

2  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 

3  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. 

Unity, often discussed, difficult to attain. Unity is so important in the work of the Lord. There are times where dis-unity causes the work of God to be hindered. Unity promotes and encourages the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should be united in Sentiment. Sentiment is a tender feeling or emotion for others that are engaged in the work of the Lord. It is that part of mankind where joy is shared by all and death is mourned together and those that leave our union brings great sadness. This sentiment is coupled with a union of feeling. This feeling brings a confidence among those that are in union. When we are in union with sentiment and feeling, we will be united in effort. When we are united in effort, the Lord’s work will be accomplished.

Church union is very important. The Church must be united in the teachings of the Scriptures. We must agree on core doctrines that relate to God, Jesus, and the Church. Without this union on Scripture, there is division which hinders the work. Unity is strength. Where there is unity there is strength to do the work. Unity brings happiness. When all are pulling the yoke together we have a unity of purpose that brings us together to pursue a goal. Where there is unity, there is love. A love that overshadows the work that is done for the Lord. Through all of the discussions on God, Church, and Doctrine, we should have unity even in our disagreements.

May we unite for the sake of the work of the Lord.

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APRIL 19 – Listen, Pay Attention


APRIL 19 – Listen, Pay Attention

II Chronicles 20:15  And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 

What would we hear if we would listen to God? I mean that in reading His inspired Word that He has given us we would really see the message that God has for us. We often fight our battles without the help of the Lord. We are alone and on our own battling others and situations in a weak manner because we have made this battle, this altercation, this misunderstanding a battle that we personally take on.

Judah, Jerusalem and the king were in dire straits. Enemies had come up against them. Several enemies were aligned against God’s people. Because of fear, Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and proclaimed a fast in Judah. This brought Judah to the altar to seek the Lord. Here are the people admitting to God that they did not have the might to defeat their enemies. We need to learn to admit that we are powerless against the enemies that face us. We do not need to face them alone. We need to call upon God for help. We need to turn our eyes, our hearts, and our minds upon the Lord from whom we have salvation.

This is where the Lord said, “…the battle is not yours, but God’s. What peace we will have if we turn these things over to God. There are times I have worried and paced over a problem or situation and did not find an answer or peace and simply turned it over to the Lord. Then peace came because God always has the answer.

What God did is such an amazing thing. God won the battle without involving Israel. He turned the enemies against each other. They destroyed themselves. Israel sang praises to God during the self-destruction of their enemies. They among the dead and gathered the spoil and the riches of the fallen.

Here is what God said: You don’t need to fight, stand still, see the salvation of the Lord. Jehoshaphat said to the people, “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”

We need to learn the battle is the Lord’s. Give it to Him. We need to learn to witness and allow God to convict. The Battle is the Lord’s.

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