Thursday, January 29, 2015

6 The Herald of the King (Part 2)

What is the fate of any person who refuses to bow the knee in total surrender to King Jesus?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Todd Friel to a Modern "Christian"

This lady's response is exactly why so much of Christianity in America is, well, sad. So many American "Christians" are spiritually naive, theologically starved and unable to form biblical lines of reasoning. We haven't taught them the Bible: the unvarnished and unadulterated Bible. I suppose if you showed her where those "hard" Scriptures were in her Bible she would be surprised.
This is one reason I am preaching straight through the Gospel According to St. Matthew. I want people to accept or reject King Jesus based on his own words and actions and not based on some caricature of what people want him to be or believe he is.
Will no-holds-barred preaching win everyone? No. As Paul said, 
"What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened," (Romans 11:7 ESV). 
I am preaching for the sake of the elect/chosen, the ones who will believe. 
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:10 ESV)

Monday, January 26, 2015

5 The Herald of the King (Part 1)

John the Baptist came preaching in the Judean desert to Israel, encouraging them to confess their sins and repent before the King (Messiah) arrived. He also warned those who would not.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Official Installation Service at First Church of God

On January 11, 2015 I officially was installed as senior pastor of the First Church of God in Princeton, WV. It was a special day of great blessing to me. Mayor Tim Ealy graciously gave me the Key to the City. Several ministers participated, among them Jack A. C. Lawrence of Abney Street Church of God who preached the sermon and my father, Larry McCallister, Sr.  of Browns Creek Church of God who read the pastoral and congregational charge. (Regrettably we had to exclude the music from the service due to copyright restrictions.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Martyn Lloyd-Jones Interviewed by Joan Bakewell

Brilliant. Simply brilliant. My favorite preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899—1981) explains why a true Christian will look out-of-step with the world around him. Even though this interview occurred in 1970 it is just as fresh and prophetic in 2015. He speaks on tolerance/intolerance and the sorry state of the world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

'Pray in the 391."

Outside of the sanctuary of my pastorate at First Church of God in Princeton, WV is a sign:

In other words, the fire marshal wouldn't even break a sweat with us unless we hit 391 in attendance.  However, we Americans have a substantial comfort zone of personal space and we are told that if a congregation is 70-80% filled to capacity it is full.  So, we at First Church would have to add another Sunday morning worship service long before we hit 391 in attendance.  I'm ready to preach twice on Sunday morning.

Tonight I shared a Scripture with the saints.  It comes in the form of King Jesus reassuring the Apostle Paul that he would be safe during his time as a church planter in Corinth:
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people." And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (Acts 18:9-11 ESV)
What is so fascinating about this vision is that Christ tells Paul of "many" in Corinth who were the Lord's but didn't know it yet.  In other words, Jesus assures Paul that many will get saved because of Paul's ministry.

Every Bible-believing and Christ-exalting church can take courage in this passage because of "Remnant Theology."  In short, God always has a people.  In the midst of a sinful world God will always have a group unto himself who will be a faithful witness of Christ.  
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life." But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (Romans 11:1-6 ESV)
How does this help the modern church?  In different ways:

1. No church is in competition with another congregation because there will always be plenty of sinners to go around.
2. No church needs worry about God's will to save.  God will save his Remnant through any Bible-believing and Christ-exalting church if she will remain faithful to Christ and his Word.

"Pray in the 391."

"Pray in the 391," is code for, "Church, let's pray and get to work.  God has chosen people who don't know it yet who are ready to be saved.  Let's introduce them to Christ and we will grow."

Do I believe a local church can grow?  Absolutely.  The Old Testament/New Testament theology is clear.  The question is, "Will we be the ones to participate in God's Remnant?"  

Let's pray and get to work.  Let's grow.  Pray in the 391.

4 The Exile & Exodus of the King

Herod the Great tried to assassinate God's Messiah because he saw him as a rival to the throne. Do you consider God your rival to the throne of your life?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

3 Wise Men Seek the King

The birth of the King of the Jews evoked mixed emotions in different people: respect, apathy and hostility.  How do you react to Jesus Christ?

Monday, January 12, 2015

2 The Birth of the King

When Mary told her engaged husband-to-be Joseph she was pregnant by the power of God he didn't believe her.  Who would?  But God intervened and Joseph took her as his wife.  The will of God isn't always easy.