"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." II Timothy 4:1-2
In one of his parables, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to the owner of a vineyard inviting workers to go to work in his vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). This parable reveals that the Lord will reward each worker according to his grace and mercy; regardless at what stage of life we enter his kingdom. “So the last will be first, and first will be last” (Matthew 20:16). Continue reading “GO WORK IN MY VINEYARD”→
True morality originated from God, neither man nor government. The most pure standard of morality has been derived from Moses and Christ. Morality is the proper relationship between God and man and his fellow human beings. Continue reading “MORALITY AND AMERICA”→
Today, most young people between the ages of 18 and 25 are thinking about getting married and having a family. It is very important for the happiness and success of a young man or young woman to make the right decision in choosing their partner for life. Perhaps it would be good to observe a few principles by which God’s people made that choice in the Old Testament. Continue reading “SEEKING A MARRIAGE”→
The sweet Psalmist of Israel yearned to be in the presence of Almighty God:
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalms 84:1-2 NIV).
Where God is worshiped God is present. David longed to be present in the temple courts at Jerusalem to worship the Lord. Later in this same Psalm he said,
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked” (Psalms 84:10 NIV).
If assembling to worship God and to be in his presence was such a priority under the Old Testament, how much more should we desire to assemble with the church to worship on each Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10)? Jesus taught that God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
Let us exhort one another to love and good works by faithfully assembling with the church each first day of the week: “…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-26). Our number one desire should be in the presence of God: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalms 73:25 NKJV).
We live in a time when worldly pleasure is the chief pursuit of most people. But with God’s people our joy and pleasure above all else should be the presence of God: “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalms 16:11 NKJV).
Heartland members, let us be more faithful and work more diligently than we have.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God (Psalms 42:1-2 NKJV)?
Our goal is to consistently have a full house present each Sunday. If being in the presence of God is our priority, our friends will notice and want to be with us.
Jesus Promised to Build One Church Contrary to the popular notion that one may join the church of his choice, the Bible teaches that there is just one church. In fact, Jesus Christ never promised to build but one church. In the area of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rook I will build my church….” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus did not say, “I will build my churches,” but he said, “I will build my church,” singular. Jesus built but one church, and he called it “my church.” Continue reading “THE ONE BODY–THE ONE CHURCH”→
Note: I proclaimed this sermon forty four years ago when I was thirty nine years old. And today I affirm these bedrock truths as strongly as then! Wake up America before it is too late!
In view of the transformation of the American culture, it is proper to ask, “Will God continue to bless America?” Whatever has made America great in the past and the present will make America great in the future. We love to sing the prayer song, “God Bless America.” Truly that song expresses our fondest hopes and desires that God will continue to bless America in the future like he has in the past. I am quick to tell you that I am proud to be an American. I am grateful to God that I was born in this country and that I have citizenship in this great nation. I don’t think that it is contradictory to be proud to be an American and to be a Christian at the same time. I wouldn’t equate Christianity with Americanism. I believe that a person can be a Christian and live in another country and not be an American. But on the other hand, I don’t think it is wrong to be proud to be an American and also to be a Christian. I believe that you can be both. Continue reading “GOD BLESS AMERICA”→
A man asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life” (Mark 10:17)? Contrary to what we hear today from the popular religious teachers, there is something that man must do to have eternal life. If that question is asked today, most preachers would say, “You do not need to do anything but accept Jesus as your personal Savior.” Therefore, a subjective faith—a mental assent that Jesus is the Christ, is the only condition of salvation. But even a subjective faith is something that man does mentally. And Christ said that belief in Christ is “the work of God.” His words are explicit:
“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:28-29).
The word disciple derives from the word discipline. A true disciple is a disciplined disciple. Just wearing the name disciple does not really make us a disciple. Jesus made many disciples, but according to the book of John, later in his ministry “many of his disciples left and followed him no more.”
It takes self-discipline or self-control to accomplish anything that is worthwhile. A young person learns self-control when learning to drive an automobile and receive a driver’s license.
In like manner throughout life we all must learn to have self-control or self-discipline in order to be successful in our endeavors. The Wisdom of Solomon is useful at this point:
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32 ESV)
Philippians 4:10-13 10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me—NKJV 1982.
We can all tell that we are very happy to be back together again, to worship God and have fellowship one with another. It has been very difficult to stay in our homes, and sometimes not even able to visit with our children and grandchildren. This virus has created conditions throughout the world and throughout our country that none of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. It has been a great time of adjusting. And I am wondering how most of us have dealt with it. Have we learned to be content with the situation? Or have we become very discontented and unhappy with ourselves and everybody around us?
*Benjamin Franklin said, “Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.”
The critics of Jesus and his disciples watched him like a hawk to find something to condemn him. It did not take them long before they found the disciples eating their food without going through the ceremonial washing required by “the traditions of the elders” (Mark 7:1-5). They demanded an explanation why they would have the audacity to violate the “traditions of men.”
Jesus defended the actions of the disciples by referring them to the word of God. He had previously rebuked them for adding their man-made traditions to the Sabbath day and thereby making the law of God of no effect (Mark 2:23-3:6). Now on this occasion, He replied,
“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men” (Mark 7:6-8).
In making application of Isaiah’s teaching, Jesus explained that they held on to their traditions while letting go of the commands of God. The word of God taught them to honor and take care of their parents in their old age (Exodus 20:12). But by their “traditional trick,” they released themselves from this obligation—thus violating the word of God. This was just one example, because Jesus said, “And you do many things like that” (Mark 7:13).
The divine revelation of the gospel handed down to us by Christ and the apostles is also referred to by the term tradition: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle (2 Thessalonians 2:15). The traditions and commandments of men are not to be blindly followed, but the biblical traditions are to be faithfully followed (2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 11:2).