Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Good but not baptized?

The following is an article written by Hugo McCord, which expresses truth. We must never allow our feelings to re-write what God proclaims.

What Will Happen
To Good But Unbaptized People?[1]

A person of unquestioned sincerity, convinced she should be baptized, hesitated because she knew of many fine people who were not baptized. “What will happen to good unbaptized people?” she asked. Certainly it is easy to understand her reasoning.
That there are excellent moral people, fair to all men, merciful to the unfortunate, who have not been baptized into the Lord is a well-known fact. But if a good man touches a highly charged electric wire, God’s law about electricity is not changed.
That good people have not been immersed does not change God’s law about immersion (Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12).
That many millions of people were baptized as infants does not change God’s law that baptism is for believers (Mark 16:15,16; Acts 8:36).
That millions of people have been baptized into various sects and denominations does not change God’s law that baptism is into one body, one church (1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18).
That many sincere Jews and upright Mohammedans have not confessed Jesus does not change God’s law about the deity of His Son (John 3:18; Mark 16:6; Acts 4:12).
That some are moral and yet deny the existence of God does not change God’s law about faith in him (Heb. 11:6).
But the laws of God also reveal that some people are better off in God’s sight unbaptized than some who have been immersed (2 Pet. 2:20-22). God’s laws also reveal that some heathen people, not being as stubborn as some who have heard the message of Jesus are going to have it easier in the day of judgment (Matt. 11:20-24). God’s word also reveals that some without a Bible have lived better before God than some knowing the Bible (Rom. 2:14-24).
Certainly one should conclude that no matter what mercy some may have in the day of judgment, that mercy will not be extended to one who knows God’s law on baptism and who refuses to obey (James 4:17; 1 John 2:4).
[1] Hugo McCord, “What Will Happen to Good Unbaptized People,” in Fifty Years of Lectures, Vol. 2, pp. 252,253.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Great Gift and Opportunity

Last year, Mack Lyon of "In Search of the Lord's Way" offered me a wonderful opportunity to be a guest speaker on his television program, which airs to 25-50 million viewers (this is the actual audience not the potential). I will be speaking on the subject of the "Love of God." Craig Dodgen, Jackie's brother and a employee of Search, informs me that the program will air on February 4. You will have to check your local listings for the station and time or go to to find where and when the program airs in your area. Search is one of the three most watched religious television programs in America; it is the only program produced by churches of Christ to reach that distinction.

Mack is a marvelous preacher and one of most longest and dearest friends. He has been a mentor to me and much like a father. I can hardly express enough my deep appreciation for what he has done in the cause of Christ.

This is certainly the most exciting opportunity of my life. I am deeply grateful to Mack and to Search for inviting me. God is so very good.

In the meantime, go to our website to visit what we are doing with God's Answers to Life's Questions, the television production of Concord Rd. Church of Christ.

May the Lord bless,

Monday, January 22, 2007

I love this song

Iz, though no longer with us, has touched so many with this encouraging song. I wish I had met him to thank him for this song.

The Lord's Supper and Saturday night? Let's Think

Lord’s Supper on Saturday night?
Acts 20:7
Acts 20:6-7
6 And we sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days.
7 And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
8 And there were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together.
9 And there was a certain young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead.
10 But Paul went down and fell upon him and after embracing him, he said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him."
And when he had gone back up, and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.
12 And they took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.

“Upon the first day of the week”
En de th mia twn sabbatwn

“On the first day of the week” (KJV, ASV, RSV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, NIV, McCord, CEV, NKJV, ISV, NCV, NLT, Weymouth, )
“On Sunday” (GWT, IE, Living Bible)
“Saturday night” (NEB, TEV)

Why did the church meet on the first day of the week?
Jesus was resurrected (Mark 16:1,2; Luke 24:1,7,13,20-22; John 20:1,19)
Pentecost always came then (Lev. 23:15,16).
(a) the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles;
(b) the first preaching of the gospel in fulfillment of Isa. 2:2-4
(c) the beginning of the church (Acts 11:15).
The church gave its contribution (1 Cor. 16:1-2)

The Jewish day was from sunset to sunset.
The Way Nations Reckoned Time
n Babylonians: sunrise to sunrise
n Umbrians: noon to noon
n Romans: midnight to midnight
n Athenians: sunset to sunset
n Jews: sunset to sunset

The statement that at Troas the travelers and their fellow-Christians dwelling in that port met together for the breaking of the bread "upon the first day of the week" is the earliest unambiguous evidence we have for the Christian practice of gathering for worship on that day. The breaking of the bread probably denotes a fellowship meal in the course of which the Eucharist was celebrated (cf. 2:42).[1]
[1] F.F. Bruce, The Book of Acts in the New International Commentary on the New Testament Series, p. 408.

Acts 20:7-11 describes a meeting on the evening of the first day of the week, but whether this was Saturday night or Sunday night is uncertain, because it is disputed whether the method of time reckoning was Jewish (Saturday night) or Greek or Roman (Sunday night). Thereafter, Christian sources give uniform testimony to meetings on Sunday (Did. 14; Justin 1 Apol. 67; Bardesanes, On Fate). Apart from Acts 2:46, which is ambiguous, there is no evidence in early Christian literature for a daily Lord's supper, or indeed for its observance on any day other than Sunday.[2]
[2] Everett Ferguson, "Sunday," in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, p. 874).

A.T. Robertson on Acts 20:7
“They probably met on our Saturday evening, the beginning of the first day at sunset. So these Christians began the day (Sunday) with worship. But, since this is a Gentile community, it is quite possible that Luke means our Sunday evening as the time when this meeting occurs, and the language in John 20:19 “it being evening on that day the first day of the week” naturally means the evening following the day, not the evening preceding the day.”
Word Pictures in the New Testament, III:339.

This is the clearest verse in the New Testament which indicates that Sunday was the normal meeting day of the apostolic church. Paul stayed in Troas for seven days (v. 6) and the church met on the first day of the week. Luke’s method of counting days here was not Jewish, which measures from sundown to sundown, but Roman, which counted from midnight to midnight. This can be stated dogmatically because “daylight” (v. 11) was the next day (v. 7).
Probably the church met at night because most people had to work during the day. Because Paul was leaving them, possibly for the final time, he prolonged his discourse until midnight.[1] [1]Walvoord, J. F., R. B. Zuck, & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985. Ac 20:7.

On Sunday evening, not Saturday evening; Luke is not using the Jewish reckoning from sunset to sunset but the Roman reckoning from midnight to midnight; although it was apparently after sunset that they met, "break of day" (vs. 11) was "on the morrow" (vs. 7).[1]
[1]F. F. Bruce, The Book of Acts, p. 408, fn 25.

“since Troas was a Gentile community, it is quite probable that Sunday evening is meant. This becomes almost certain when the expression used here is compared with its use in John 20:19, where the “first day of the week” cannot possibly refer to Saturday evening, but must refer to Sunday evening”
Henry Waterman, Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3, p. 965.

Thus this passage [Acts 20:7] provides a connecting link between the first meeting of Jesus with his disciples on the evening of the resurrection day (John 20:19-23; Luke 24:36-43) and the established custom of the church of the 2nd and 3rd centuries of assembling together for worship on the first day of the week.”
Henry Waterman, Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3, p. 965.

“It is significant that the meeting of Jesus with the disciples on the first Lord’s day, the meeting of Paul with the disciples at Troas, and the meeting of the disciples in succeeding generations, each took place on Sunday evening; each was observed by the breaking of bread; and each was characterized by a discourse on the holy Scripture.”
Henry Waterman, Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3, p. 965.

Dr. Willy Rordorf of Neuchatel University in Switzerland:
After years of study, Rordorf concluded that for early Christians, there was no “day of the Lord” without the Lord’s Supper, nor was there ever the observance of the Lord’s Supper on any other day except on the day of the Lord. He said, “We have no right to call Sunday the ‘Lord’s Day,’ if the Lord’s Supper is lacking.”
Willy Rordorf, Sunday, (Westminster Press, 1968), 306.

“There is nothing more certain than that the division of time which made the day begin at six pm was not continued in New Testament times, and especially among the Gentile nations.
Matt. 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene
Mark 16:1-2 And when the Sabbath was over…2 And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Christians had their regular meeting, particularly to partake of the Eucharist, on the first day of the week. The likely origin of this practice was the meeting of Jesus with his disciples on the day of the resurrection and the following Sunday, as noted in John 20:1, 19, 26). The Greek adjective "the Lord's" (kuriakos) occurs in the New Testament for the Lord's day (Rev. 1:10) and the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:20) and had its principal usage in Christianity in reference to Sunday.
Everett Ferguson

The phrase “the Lord’s Day” occurs only once in the New Testament, in Revelation 1:10 , where John declared, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” In Asia Minor, where the churches to which John wrote were situated, the pagans celebrated the first day of each month as the Emperor’s Day. Some scholars also believe that a day of the week was also called by this name.
When the early Christians called the first day of the week the Lord’s Day, this was a direct challenge to the emperor worship to which John refers so often in the Book of Revelation. Such a bold and fearless testimony by the early Christians proclaimed that the Lord’s Day belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ and not the emperor Caesar.[1]
[1]Youngblood, R. F., F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, & Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995.

A designation for Sunday, the first day of the week, used only once in the New Testament (Rev. 1:10). The Greek word for “Lord’s,” however, is precisely the same as that used in the term for “Lord’s Supper” (1 Cor. 11:20). In fact, the Didache, an early Christian manual for worship and instruction, links the two terms together, indicating that the Lord’s Supper was observed each Lord’s Day (14:1). Herein may lie the origin of the term. Because the first day of the week was the day on which the early Christians celebrated Lord’s Supper, it became known as Lord’s Day, the distinctively Christian day of worship.
Holman Bible Dictionary, “Lord’s Day.”

The earliest account of a first-day worship experience is found in Acts 20:7-12. Here Paul joined the Christians of Troas on the evening of the first day of the week for the breaking of bread (probably a reference to the Lord’s Supper). The actual day is somewhat uncertain. Evening of the first day could refer to Saturday evening (by Jewish reckoning) or to Sunday evening (by Roman reckoning). Since the incident involved Gentiles on Gentile soil, however, the probable reference is to Sunday night.
Holman Bible Dictionary, “The Lord’s Day”

My thoughts:
The observance of the Lord's Supper at Troas was on the first day of the week. Whether this was determined by Jewish time (Saturday night) or by Roman time (Sunday night) is at question here. While we do not seek to be dogmatic, there is not enough evidence to convince this student that Acts 20:7 could only be speaking of Saturday night.

The fact that John 20:19 (written by John and likely from Ephesus) speaks of the evening of the first day of the week as "that day" that Jesus arose, shows to me that as time passed the apostles reckoned and wrote of time in the way the Romans did rather than the way Jews did. Would the church at Troas (a Gentile port not far from Ephesus) have operated on Jewish time?

The suggestion that we may partake of the Lord's Supper on Saturday evening actually lies on a very shaky foundation--perhaps sand, not rock.

Let's think this one through before we launch an effort to make Saturday night into Sunday--at least based on Acts 20:7.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Doctrinal Desensitizing

Desensitize: to make emotionally insensitive or callous specif : to extinguish an emotional response (as of fear, anxiety, or guilt) to stimuli that formerly induced it — (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.)

Paul said, "Bad company ruins good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33, ESV).

Television has displayed so much profanity, fornication, adultery, violence, deception, crime, addiction, and abuse that many people believe that it is the norm. As a nation, America is slowly desensitizing to moral sin.

The courtrooms, the media, and the schools have so silenced Christianity that many believe God should never have a voice in anything. When Christians are portrayed they should be seen as hypocrites, idiots or extremists. America is slowly desensitizing to commitment to Christ as Lord.

God still opposes those who turn morality and truth upside down (Isa. 5:20ff.) Desensitizing is one of the devil's methods of bringing about corruption. If the devil can get you over feeling guilty about sin, he can get you to do anything.

Bad people who want moral change find ways to mock and disparage what they oppose. Their witty blasphemy of what is good desensitizes the naive. This is true of moral desensitization, but it is also true of doctrinal desensitization. Doctrinal desensitization is a process that takes place when people who once believed the truth feel no guilt about abandoning it.

Doctrinal desensitization comes from these things: (1) making fun of the godly and right views; (2) quietly introducing the corrupting practice to the young who have not yet come to understand fully the truth; (3) making it fashionable to despise what is right by labeling and stereotyping; (4) creating doubt in the word of God and its teaching; (5) making heroes out of doctrinal dissidents; and (6) disseminating inaccurate information (or teaching error).

Here are some examples of desensitization and misinformation with an answer in the parenthesis:
  • Baptism can mean wash, so it's wrong to say that one has to be immersed to be baptized. "Legalists" demand immersion. (When you can't answer an argument, just call your opponent a name. Immersion was the uniform practice of the early church in Christian baptism.)
  • Psallo and psalmos can only refer to instrumental songs, since David played the harp. (It doesn't seem to matter that for hundreds of years the regular worship of synagogue included psalloing psalmoi with the use of any instrument.)
  • The reason for baptism doesn't matter as long as a person is obeying the Lord. (Of course, one has to wonder if obedience to the Lord includes denying what the Lord says. Does a person who denies baptism is for the forgiveness of sins obey the Lord in baptism, or does he obey a false teaching?)
  • We can worship any way we want to as long as we are not in the assembly. Jesus didn't die over the instrument issue. (So that makes using a piano in the classroom and a guitar in your youth gatherings okay? That makes calling Christian musical worship a concert okay? It seems to me that if people are not willing to obey the Lord everyday and everywhere, they are still disobedient. Being outside the assembly doesn't turn disobedience into obedience. Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 refer to our musical worship not only on Sunday but everyday and in every group setting.)
  • Acts 20:7 is talking about Saturday night. (Is it? Did the people of Troas operate on Jewish time? Did the Gentile Luke far away from Israel obeserve Jewish or Roman time? Could this not have been Sunday night instead? See John 20:19.)
  • If we don't loosen up and do things people expect out of church, we won't ever grow. Don't you love the souls of people? (The church doesn't belong to people; the church belongs only to the Lord. Jesus is the only King and the only one who has a right to rule the church. It is not loving or obedient to give in to popular demand rather than to listen to the words of the Lord--1 Samuel 15; Matthew 7:21-27. We love souls by telling them the truth, not by allowing them to believe error.)

Callous people are past feeling guilt. They not only willfully ignore (deliberately overlook, ESV) the truth (2 Pet. 3:5) but also like the devil keep the truth from reaching the ears of those who are young and naive in the faith (Luke 8:11-13). It is manifestly true that many young people among us have never heard the debates over the distintive nature of the church, baptism, or instrumental music. It is no wonder they are so easily persuaded to follow error!

The answer to this process of desensitization is a sincere study of the truth and a heart given to God's will rather than to popular desires. Preachers must be willing to speak the truth in love. We must not fear the rude name-calling of progressives; they are speaking out of their own nature. Callous people don't care whom they call names or whom they run off from their churches. The best thing they can do is show how callous they are to the truth; then we will know them for what they are.

Let us fill our hearts with commitment to the Lord and beware of wolves.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Great News

John and Laura have announced that they will be having a baby in May. found out today what the gender is.. It is not up on their blog yet, but I am sure they will reveal the news (I know but won't tell till they do).

go to


Joe Blue--a preacher of commitment and character

My dear friend Hugh Fulford tells of this marvelous preacher who began preaching more than 100 years ago. Brother Fulford told about this brother in Arkansa at the FHU lectures last year.


Born Sept. 18, 1875 in Izard Co., Ark. Obeyed the gospel when he was 16. Preached his first sermon on Nov. 1, 1896 near Poughkeepsie, Ark. (21 yrs. old). Preached all of 1897…Baptized 75 people…Established one cong…Paid $19 for his entire year's work!
Preached once a month for a cong. and held their meeting. Paid $4 for all his efforts. Preached monthly for another cong. 20 miles from his home…held their meeting…was paid $1 and given a bushel of seed corn.
Jan. 1904 – he and Bro. O. L. Hays (song leader) were called to Cotter, Ark. to hold a meeting. Each was paid $2 and given a handkerchief "apiece" for their efforts. When the meeting closed, a 3 in. snow on the ground. They walked home – a distance of 46 miles!

"I have gotten off the train at Hardy, Ark. in the night and taken my suitcase and walked home that night, a distance of 25 miles. Many times I have set (sic) up in a cold depot all night because I did not have the price of a bed and enough to take me on to my meeting. I have done without something to eat in my travels just because I did not have money to buy it and get on to my meeting." (Arkansas Angels, Boyd Morgan, 81).

"I made four crops after we were married (he married on Nov. 9, 1897), and the rest of the time I have been doing evangelistic work. We have remained on the farm all the time. We have our orchard, garden, cows, hens, hogs, horses, and goats. We have been married 46 years, and Mary has made two trips with me for meetings. She has been busy on the farm caring for the children, stock, garden, and chickens. We have bought 25 pounds of meat in 46 years. We have never bought any butter, laundry soap, or vegetables of any kind. We never did buy any wood. We have raised three children, two of our own and an orphan girl. I have conducted 107 debates. I have one of the best collections of religious books in the state. I have never been the man to complain about what the brethren paid me for my work." (Morgan, 80-81).

"When we were married we had six members of the church of Christ in the neighborhood. In the same neighborhood we had a Baptist Church, Methodist Church, Holiness, and Pres-byterians, but today we have only the church in the neighborhood, and there has not been a sectarian sermon preached in the neighborhood in 35 years." (Morgan, 80).

Fulford: "When I read these words (and those describing the work and sacrifices of many others like Bro. Blue), tears come to my eyes. I am reminded of the words of Heb. 11:37-38a-- They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, and tormented – of whom the world was not worthy!
We who preach today stand on the shoulders of such men. I bristle when I hear them put down as ignorant and unlearned men. Few, if any, of us would be willing to suffer as they suffered – and without complaint!"

Thank you, brother Hugh, for reminding us of what others have done so that we might have a church to love and serve today.


The Nobility of Preaching

God had only one son, and He was a preacher! Where would the church be without faithful gospel preachers who sacrificed much to proclaim the gospel. I would not be a Christian were it not for a gospel preacher who reached my family in 1918 and another gospel preacher who reached me in 1961. Philemon owed himself to Paul (Philemon 19); perhaps we too owe ourselves to men who fathered us in the gospel.

Unfortunately, many people hold the work of preaching in low esteem. Parents often steer their children into other professions than full-time preaching. Many faithful Christians prefer their daughters marry someone other than a preacher. Among some of our colleges, large numbers of our students train to be youth ministers but have little desire to enter into full-time preaching.

Those who preach frequently hear they are to “cut the sermon short” because of some other event at the worship services. Hearing a preacher is just not that important. One might wonder if anyone ever tells prayer leaders, song leaders, or those who preside at the Lord’s table to keep their parts short. Such attitudes reflect a heart too busy to listen to God. Those who enter preaching do so, knowing they will often be the subject of many discussions at the noon meal. Sometimes the discussion is positive, but sometimes it is not. I wonder if in some of those discussions some talented, young man’s heart is turned from the pulpit.
The work of preaching the whole counsel of God lends itself to the necessity at times of saying things people despise hearing. Jesus said the world hated Him, because “I testify of it, that its deeds are evil” (John 7:7). Gospel preachers must decide in their hearts whether they are willing to speak the truth at the cost of people’s admiration or speak things which tickle ears.

Three things have hurt gospel preaching. First, it has become fashionable for some of those who want change to mock and bash preachers, especially older ones. People say one should not be “preachy,” showing little understanding of how it may hurt a young person’s attitude toward “preachers.” We should use caution with our words, so that we may encourage the young to consider gospel preaching as a life vocation. To hear some talk this would be the last consideration. Such thinking shows how the devil wins through intimidation and mockery.

Second, with little hesitation some show they have little respect for the sacrifices of gospel preachers in former years. They slander their work, charge them with never understanding grace, and paint them as ignorant and unfeeling. It never occurs to some that these graceless, ignorant, brush-arbor preachers baptized more people in a year than some of today’s ministers baptize in a decade. If they lack so much grace, why did people eagerly listen to them and respond? How could these “mean-spirited legalists” have built so many churches? Their message of the cross was pure and true to the Book. Did they know of grace? How can any man preach the cross and not know of the grace of God?

Third, some have adopted a style of preaching which reminds me of a potato chip. It looks good, tastes good, but has little nutritional substance. Everyone enjoys the message, but no one is changed by it. It tickles ears and sounds so good. When a gospel preacher comes along with a different style, he may find rejection because he dares to challenge, to condemn, and to convict. listeners who would rather hear only pleasant things.

What Makes Preaching Noble?

Preaching is noble because it is God’s work. God is the One who commissioned men to preach the gospel (Matt. 28:19,20; Mark 16:15). Paul said, "How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom. 10:14,15)

Paul held in high esteem those who took the good news to others who needed it. He knew their value, the blessing they brought those who listened. The ugliest part of them, their feet, was indeed beautiful for having brought a life-saving message to people lost in sin.
Preaching is noble because its message is most important. The world is in desperate need of the gospel of grace. When Paul entered Athens his spirit was provoked with him as he saw the city full of idols (Acts 17:16). Paul was greatly distressed, irritated and grieving, because they didn’t know the living God. They needed what he had been commissioned to deliver, but they did not know it. He yearned to tell them, to save them from ignorance.
Preaching is noble because its results are far-reaching. Mack Lyon said, “Preaching is the one single work or calling that deals with man’s eternal destiny, man’s soul.” Though doctors are called to heal bodies and teachers to educate minds, preachers touch men’s eternal souls. Preaching affects both this life and the life to come. The preaching of God’s Word comforts, converts, convicts and encourages. It lifts, motivates, shapes and stretches. Through preaching a listening man becomes better, nobler, richer and purer. When one is touched with the gospel, who knows how many others will be touched? Preachers do not merely teach their immediate listeners; they reach beyond to those their listeners teach as well. Who knows in the future what some bright young man will do with his life to serve the Lord?
Preaching is noble because its activity is essential to salvation. It is in obedience to the preached truth that a man is born again (1 Pet. 1:22-25). God chose the foolishness of the message “preached” to save those who believe (1 Cor. 1:21); He realized man by his own wisdom could never reach heaven without His help. God chose preaching as the means to lead men to Himself and to salvation.
Preaching is noble because its motivation is honorable. Those who preach do so, for the most part, out of love for God and people. While some may preach out of envy and strife (Phil. 1:15,16), others do it from good will and out of love. Many preachers have a deep burden for the lost and great compassion for the brethren. Paul admonished the Ephesians with tears for three years (Acts 20:31). He made himself a slave to all that he might win the more to Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 9:19-23).
Preaching is noble because it takes character to do it. Effective gospel preaching requires a high price from those who do it. They must be honest, courageous, compassionate and virtuous. As men of integrity, preachers must faithfully deliver God’s message to people who don’t always want to hear what they have to say. The weeping Jeremiah often grew discouraged with impenitent Judah, but the fire in his bones would not allow him to remain silent about sin (Jer. 20:7-10). Gospel preaching demands godly men who will not compromise and will not discredit the Name they wear.

What Can We Do?

Preachers can do several things to boost their image, but they need the help of all who love the Lord’s cause. Preachers need first and foremost to preach with visible love. People who love the Lord will listen to godly men, if they know their preacher loves them. Good preaching starts with loving ministry and care day to day. Hospital and home visits help preachers to get their messages across. People will tolerate rebuke from men they respect, when they feel he has their best interest at heart. We must preach the truth with love (Eph. 4:15), if we are ever to recover an esteem for the pulpit.

Preachers need to hear themselves. Some preachers have adopted a style which appears unloving. Should they preach on hell, some conclude by his attitude he wishes they would go there. Preachers would do well to listen to the sound of their voices. What does their tone of voice communicate? One preacher I admire seems always to be angry. One woman remarked she was tired of church, because she got a spanking every Sunday from the preacher. His attitude or tone of voice could have spoken things to her he never meant. Most preachers love their congregations and mean well, but some are not good at showing it. Many preachers would do well to evaluate themselves for more than content.

Preachers, further, need to rediscover joy. The gospel is glad tidings not sad tidings, and many preachers wear depressing and discouraging faces. We cannot impart what we do not possess, and it could be that our churches reflect a joyless gospel. Preacher, show the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:10), the unspeakable joy of your inheritance (1 Pet. 1:6-8), the joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:22), and your joy in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). Infectious smiles radiate who you are and Whose you are. Many preachers need to learn to laugh again.
Finally, live lives free of reproach. Paul encouraged Timothy, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:12). He urged Titus, “These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you” (Tit. 2:15). Preachers must speak with authority at times, but they forget that their best ally is moral authority. Such authority comes from blameless lives, filled with love and purity.

Every preacher faces a discouraging day now and then. He should remember what he does is vital to the Lord’s work. God needs faithful men who will be able to teach others, men of courage who will stand in the gap, watchmen who will warn of danger, and evangelists who will take the great news to a lost and dying world. Preaching is noble because the gospel is a Divine message. How privileged a clay jar is to carry such a precious and needed message! Preacher, you have such a privilege.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Wow! Great news!

December was a banner month for Concord Rd. Our special, year-end contribution on Dec. 31 set a new record: $143,024.55! The elders will use this money for much and everlasting good.

The website for our television program also set some records.
Our stats show that during 2006 we had over 33,600 hits, downloading more than 19,000 files. December was our all-time best month with more than 4,200 hits, downloading more than 2,200 files. We thank God for the growth.

In coming days we will begin broadcasting on iWRN Radio Network. This is an internet radio station broadcasting in Nashville, Pigeon Forge, Branson, Atlanta, Youngstown (OH) and Aurora (IL). They also have the internet affiliate and the Military Affiliate
Upcoming cities include: Houston, Biloxi, Birmingham, Destin (FL), Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Southbend, Louisville (KY), and some other cities.

We will send mp3 files to the network and you can listen at your own convenience. You will not be able to see the broadcast but you can hear the message.

This will represent a huge boost in our outreach. Please keep this in your prayers.

With great rejoicing!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I cannot help but be a little sad that my Sooners lost the Fiesta Bowl this year. I wished they had won. Can you imagine scoring 42 points and still losing?

Forget Ohio and Florida, the Fiesta Bowl was/is the most exciting game in college football this year! It is the game of the year. Our congratulations to the Boise State team. The last five minutes and overtime were riveting!

In spite of all, the Oklahoma Sooners still have won more games than any team since WWII and since the AP started keeping records. They also have scored more points than any college football team. They have had more 10+ and 11+ seasons than any college team in the country. So I will remain loyal always to my favorite football team.

Oh well, college football starts again in 8 months.