Monday, June 23, 2008

World Population, and we have a lot of work to do!

The world population is growing at an incredibly fast rate, and the demographics of that change have many things to say to Christians. As of today 6/23/08, the world population stands at 6,705,373,654 (8:10 am CDT). The US Census Bureau estimates world population will increase to 7 billion people in 2012 and 8 billion in 2020. US Census estimates of world population say that the earth's population is growing at a rate of 6.5 million people per month. The world's population has doubled since 1970. Here is an estimate of world population through history.
  • 1 AD 150 million
  • 1350 AD 300 million
  • 1700 AD 600 million
  • 1800 AD 900 million
  • 1900 AD 1.6 billion
  • 1950 AD 2.4 billion
  • 1985 AD 5 billion
  • 2012 AD 7 billion
  • 2020 AD 8 billion
World population has more than doubled in my lifetime and has nearly quadrupled in the lifetime of my mother (who is now 89 years of age). Amazing!

We have much to do in preaching the gospel to the whole world. We cannot sit silent and let a world remain lost in error and sin. We must use every tool, make every effort to speak until we can no longer speak until every soul has come to know the Lord Jesus. We must use television, the internet, radio, and print media to do all we can as long as we can wherever we can.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Who's the Wife? Confused Living.

By now you've heard the news. Men can marry men and women can marry women in California. Their liberal court went against the vote of the people and said so.

I've conducted more than a few marriage ceremonies over the last 36 years. My first couple was married in June 1972. I could legally perform the marriage ceremony; but since I was still 20 at the time, I could not marry on my own without my parent's signature. It's true. I had to wait a couple of years before I got Jackie.

Well, back to California.
If a couple of gays marry, which one is the wife? If a couple of lesbians marry, which one is the husband?
On the tax form, which one is the head of the household, while the other is a spouse?
We'll have to throw away our jokes about hen-pecked husbands. Now we have hen-pecked hens. I wonder who is doing the pecking.
I wonder which of the guys is the protector and which is the respecter? If both are husbands, here are two married guys without wives.

The sad thing is there'll be some confused, little guys who are fatherless or motherless; instead they'll have two confused moms who have no husband or two confused dads who have no wife.

How do you explain parents who by choice of lifestyle cannot parent? How do explain to innocent children how biological mommy committed adultery with some male outside the family, so that biological mommy and the other mommy could have a child? How do you explain that this was not because the sexual functions of both mommies didn't work but because they don't work together to produce a child and cannot ever produce one, so they had to bring in a third party?
What confusion!

The whole thought that marriage needs redefinition into a perverted confusion is itself offensive to common sense. Homosexual behavior is not married, godly love; it's selfish sex. Those confused, liberal judges didn't redefine marriage; they approved legal lust. Homosexual unions may be legalized by justices, but God regards such as the unfortunate result of a person who fails to acknowledge Him and so given over to perverted lusts (Romans 1:24ff.).

Now some will regard this as mean-spirited and think I'm unChristian for saying what God said. But let's think about who is mean-spirited. Is it kind to rob children of mothers or fathers in order to satisfy selfish sex? Is it kind to rear a child in confusion? Is it kind to so press your agenda (to demand acceptance for what is immoral) that you influence other people's children with your immoral example? Is it kind for one justice to tell the whole state their morality is not as important as some supposed right to pervert marriage and nature? Is it kind to tear the fabric of society apart by confusion and perversion?

Christian kindness does not sit silent in the presence of sin. To do so would be to let the sinner go to hell unwarned. That is the really unkind thing to do. Kindness is to speak out lovingly against the error, even in the face of opposition. Kindness is the calling to repentance, not in the tolerating of gross sin.

The really unChristian person is the one who so hates the light that he must strike out at anyone who calls sin evil. Herodias called for John's head out of hatred. All he did was tell the truth. Who was unChristian?

Well, who's the wife in that gay marriage, and who's the husband in that lesbian union? And you call that a marriage?


Friday, June 06, 2008

Growing Churches

Growing churches are usually characterized by a number of vital qualities:

First, healthy and growing churches are unconditionally committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His Word. They are not distracted by the fads of the day, nor are they given to self-centered pursuits. They realize that gimmicks and cosmetics don't build sound churches. The world will not beat a path to their door simply because they have a better gimmick. Growing churches are built upon the rock, which does not move and is not shifting like sand. They are committed to the one true gospel and hold firm to the teaching of the Scripture, realizing that without God there can be no real growth. They realize that only the gospel can save, and they see no reason to dilute it. They see no value in turning the church into a country club. They know that God gives the increase.

Second, growing churches are healthy and active. They are not lazy, nor do they pass the time from week to week keeping house. They grow by training and by intention and by hard work. They take the Great Commission seriously. They are not waiting for some other congregation to come and help them. Their beauty arises not from pretentious marketing but from the wholesomeness of their souls. They live what they believe.

Third, healthy and growing churches are devoted to praying. They pray for the lost to open their hearts. They pray for open doors for the word (Col. 4:2-4). They pray for their preachers. They pray for opportunities to speak the truth. They pray in victory and in sorrow.

Fourth, healthy and growing churches are outward focused but uncompromising. They are not caught up in the quagmire of fickle religious experience. They do not wake up each Monday wondering what they have to do to outdo the day before. They realize that long-term, loving relationships may have special times but cannot survive on mountaintop experiences alone. They live on daily kindness and blessing. They live on grace and peace and love.

Fifth, healthy and growing churches know how to love and forgive; but they realize that true spiritual healing cannot take place without the correction of repentance. They know it is vain to give medicine to kill pain but leave the leg broken. They also realize that talking grace apart from repentance accomplishes nothing.

Sixth, healthy and growing churches are committed to teaching and preaching the gospel message wherever and whenever there is an opportunity. They have not hidden the gospel in the church building, hoping some lost seeker will someday come to his senses and wander in. They have gone out to the hedges and roads, persuading those in need to come to Jesus.

Seventh, healthy and growing churches have committed leaders. They have elders and preachers who believe in loving and working to bring in the lost. They are men who know how to feed others spiritually and give them the divine help they need. They are men who follow-up with the new converts and with the weak. They have counted the sheep again and again. They have bandaged the injured and cleaned the wounds. They have labored into the night to keep the wolves away.

May God be with those laborers, who having known the love and grace of God, are willing to work in the field in good times and bad. And may the Lord help us see the urgency of our calling.


Monday, June 02, 2008


People who have strong faith in Jesus Christ speak their conviction in positive and strong terms. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:1-3, NASB).

Faith assures us that what we hope for is true; we are convicted that what God says is utterly trustworthy. Some other examples of speaking faith:

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good…” (Rom. 8:28).

“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands…” (2 Cor. 5:1).

“for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Tim. 1:12).

“let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).

“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (2 Peter 1:8).

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

Such speech encourages my heart to have greater confidence and trust in whatever God says in His Word, the Bible.

Speak faith, not doubt. Speak confidence, not fear. Speak hope, not despair. Speak to eternity, not simply the here and now. Speak with conviction, and do not be afraid of “absolutes.” God is, after all, absolutely good, true, and loving. Speak faith.

Then there is doubtspeak. Doubtspeak is full of maybes, possibilties, could be's, and uncertainties. No one can know for sure about anything. Respect for others (especially the scholars) means that no one should assert anything with any judgmentalism.

The devil would love nothing more than to create doubt in the hearts of believers about every essential Christian teaching. Read Genesis 3:1-7 once again. The devil frequently uses this formula:

1. Ask a question that creates doubt.

2. Contradict what God says

3. Produce and alternate truth.

A fourth thing the devil loves to do is to punish and persecute anyone who disagrees with his perverted plan. He is not content to disagree with God; the devil hates God and the light and the people who follow God. His tool of doubt works quite well on the uninformed and the misinformed. Many people fall prey to doubting the truth.

I want faithspeak in my life, but not doubtspeak.