Category Archives: Sunday Morning Sermons

Faith Promise Giving Is Biblical

Faith Promise Giving is Biblical

Pastor Don Carpenter

Giving 101 / 2 Corinthians 9:1–8

Matthew 9:28–29 KJV

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 

Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 KJV

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

When we let go of money, we are letting go of part of ourselves and part of our security. But this is precisely why it is important to do it. It is one way to obey Jesus’ command to deny ourselves.… When we give money, we are releasing a little more of our egocentric selves and a little more of our false security.… Giving frees us to care. It produces an air of expectancy as we anticipate what God will lead us to give. It makes life with God an adventure in the world, and that is worth living for and giving for.

Richard J. Foster, quoted in “Reflections,” Christianity Today (6-12-00)

You have heard the term “Faith Promise Missions” from time to time. This evening we are going to explain exactly what we mean by that, where we get it in the Bible, and why giving sacrificially to Faith Promise will help to protect and increase your financial ability to serve God. The blind came to Jesus and He told them that the blessings that they would receive would be in direct proportion to their faith in Him. I believe that this same principle applies to our finances. God blesses us according to our faith, this is the premise of faith promise giving.

Faith Promise Giving is not Tithing

A. Tithing was done before the Law and commanded by Jesus, therefore it was not done away with after Calvary.

Genesis 14:20

Genesis 28:21-22

Matthew 23:23

B. Specific directions and promises correspond with tithing.

Malachi 3:8–11 KJV

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation. 

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, And he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; Neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

1. A Tithe is 10%

2. To withhold a tithe is to rob God.

3. To withhold a tithe is to bring a curse on your finances.

4. To obey God and give tithes brings God’s blessings.

5. Tithes Go into God’s house.

6. Offerings are something given that is different than tithes.

7. The Church is God’s house this side of Calvary.

1 Timothy 3:15 KJV

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Faith Promise Giving Supports works Outside the Local Church.

The Church of Macedonia gave in spite of their poverty to support Paul and the other missionaries with him.

2 Corinthians 8:1–4 KJV

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 

How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 

For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

1. They were very poor

2. They were sacrificially giving to mission support.

3. Their gift was a way to join in fellowship with the missionaries.

Paul uses the Church of Macedonia to encourage the Corinthian church to continue the same practice.

2 Corinthians 9:1–5 KJV

For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 

For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. 

Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: 

Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

1. Paul is encouraged by the openness to missionary giving.

2. Compliance by the Corinthian Church had a direct effect on their testimony in the region.

Faith Promise Giving taps directly into the Promises of God.

You reap as you sow

2 Corinthians 9:6 KJV

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Philippians 4:15–17 KJV

Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 

For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 

Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

Matthew 9:29 KJV

Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

This giving is not tithing because the individual determines the amount that you give.

 2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV)

 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

*** This is the very act of faith promise giving***

***Have you purposed to give above the tithe?***

***Should you adjust that faith promise now?***

God will increase His grace toward those that need it.

2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Eternal souls are impacted by your faith or lack of it.

Romans 10:13–17 KJV

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1. To call upon the Lord, one must believe.

2. To believe, one must hear.

3. To hear, there must be a preacher.

4. To have a preacher, he must be sent.

5. Some missionaries will be hindered if we fail to meet our financial commitments.

6. There are many more mission fields that are waiting for preachers.

7. We need to send more missionaries, not just maintain the ones we have.

8. What are you willing to do regarding this need?

9. God will directly bless you according to your faith.

Leadership Magazine carried a story about four young men, Bible College students, who were renting a house together. One Saturday morning someone knocked on their door. And when they opened it, there stood this bedraggled-looking old man. His eyes were kind of marble-ized, and he had a silvery stub of whiskers on his face. His clothes were ragged and torn. His shoes didn’t match. In fact, they were both for the same foot. And he carried a wicker basket full of unappealing vegetables that he was trying to sell.

The boys felt sorry for him and bought some of his vegetables just to help him out. Then he went on his way. But from that time on, every Saturday he appeared at their door with his basket of vegetables. As the boys got to know him a little bit better, they began inviting him in to visit a while before continuing on his rounds.

They soon discovered that his eyes looked marble-ized not because of drugs or alcohol, but because of cataracts. They learned that he lived just down the street in an old shack. They also found out that he could play the harmonica, that he loved to play Christian hymns, and that he really loved God. So every Saturday they would invite him in, and he would play his harmonica and they would sing Christian hymns together.

They became good friends, and the boys began trying to figure out ways to help him. They finally collected a bunch of clothes and secretly left it all on his doorstep, no note attached or anything. The following Saturday morning, the story says, right in the middle of all their singing and praising, he suddenly said to them, “God is so good!” And they all agreed, “Yes, God is so good.”

He went on, “You know why he is so good?” They said, “Why?”

He said, “Because yesterday, when I got up and opened my door, there were boxes full of clothes and shoes and coats and gloves. Yes, God is so good!” And the boys smiled at each other and chimed in, “Yes, God is so good.”

He went on, “You know why He is so good?” They answered, “You already told us why. What more?” He said, “Because I found a family who could use those things and I gave them all away.”

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 KJV

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

By faith, what are you willing to promise to give above the tithe to meet the tremendous needs on the mission field?  

 Matthew 9:29 (KJV)

 …According to your faith be it unto you.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:43 AM July 27, 2022.

It Is Appointed

It Is Appointed

Pastor Don Carpenter

Isaiah 24:2

A little girl crawled up in the lap of her Grandpa and cuddled close. Then she looked into Grandpa’s face with those big blue eyes of hers and said, “Grandpa, can you please make a sound like a frog?”

Grandpa thought for a moment, then smiled and said, “Ribbit. Ribbit.”

Suddenly, the little girl leaped from his lap and ran into the kitchen yelling as loud as she could, “Mommy, we are going to Disney World…we are going to Disney World…we are going to Disney World!!!”

The young mom hushed her child and said, “Honey, why do you think we are going to Disney World?” The little girl, gleaming with joy, blurted out, “You said we can go to Disney World when Grandpa croaks!”

In 2020 the world turned upside down. The COVID pandemic forever changed the way people in this generation think about a lot of things. Thank God that we have come a long way from lock downs and hoarding toilet paper. We can take a few minutes and consider what caused world wide hysteria on this level? I believe it was the universal confrontation with the inevitable, the fact of death. Our society is not as equipped to handle the sense of imminent threat of death. A Pew Research Study conducted in November 2021 found that one in six Americans did not believe in life after death at all. The Bible gives us haunting truth that we often try to suppress, but in the dark, in the quiet hours when all you hear in the screaming of your own conscience and the moaning of regret deep within your soul… this verse rings out and cannot be silenced.

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Today we are going to quit running. We are going to rationally and Biblically look at this issue. It Is Appointed.

It Is Appointed To All Men

Isaiah 24:2 KJV

And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; As with the servant, so with his master; As with the maid, so with her mistress; As with the buyer, so with the seller; As with the lender, so with the borrower; As with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

Religious Status Will Make No Difference

 Isaiah 24:2 (KJV)

 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest…

Social Status Will Make No Difference

 Isaiah 24:2 (KJV)

 … As with the servant, so with his master; As with the maid, so with her mistress…

Financial Status Will Make No Difference

 Isaiah 24:2 (KJV)

 … As with the buyer, so with the seller; As with the lender, so with the borrower; As with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

Christian Song Writer Steve Tayler wrote an interesting allegory comparing the promise of Hebrews 9:27 to what it would be like if a meltdown were to occur at London’s famous wax museum:

 • Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, the queen is losing face

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, a national disgrace

 • It’s the middle of the night at the London shrine

Could have been the janitor, could have been divine

Someone said the thermostat never did work

Now we’ve got the temperature going berserk

 • Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, the queen is losing face

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, a national disgrace

 • Celebrities, statesmen, history’s elite

They’re dripping in the hallways, they’re starting to secrete

They’re pouring out the pores, they’re shrinking on the spot

Someone take a photograph, get ’em while they’re hot

 • Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, the president looks alarmed

Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s, a general’s been disarmed

There is more to that silly song, but you get the point. It is appointed unto men once to die… no exceptions.

Once To Die

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

There will be no do overs

Romans 5:12 KJV

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Christ Offers Eternal Life after death.

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

You Know Its Coming, Get Your House In Order.

2 Kings 20:1 KJV

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.

Once To Be Judged

Those Without Christ Will Be Judged Only On Actions.

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Revelation 20:11–15 KJV

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Those In Christ Will Face A Rewards Based Judgement.

1 Corinthians 3:12–15 KJV

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 

If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 

If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

So there it is, the news we all know is true, but no one whats to think about it. Ignoring it does not make it go away. We are all going to die. It is appointed. We are all going to be judged. It is appointed. God in His love and mercy has provided so we need not face the second death, Hell, but can be assured of eternal life in Heaven. Jesus paid the price for our sin! Once you embrace that, get your house in order… and banish fear forever. Jesus has conquered sin and death. There is no reason to fear the fact of death… it is appointed.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:18 PM May 17, 2022.

Hope Walks The Streets Of Gold

Hope Walks The Streets (of Gold)

Pastor Don Carpenter

Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World / Hebrews 12:1; Revelation 5:8–14

A millionaire Christian is sleeping in his bedroom when an angel comes to him and wakes him up.

“It’s time for you to go to heaven”, says the angel.

“Oh, i’m not ready, what should I bring ?”, says the millionaire.

“Nothing, just yourself”, replies the angel.

But the millionaire pulls a large suitcase from under his bed and opens it up. It is full of gold bars. “Can I just bring this along ?”, he pleads with the angel.

The angels thinks for a while, gets on his hand phone to God and speaks some divine language. Then he turn to the man and says , “OK, but only the suitcase”.

So the millionaire is taken up to the pearly gates where St.Peter is waiting to welcome him. Looking at the suitcase St.Peter says, “I’m sorry but we don’t allow any earthly possessions here, you’ll have to leave the suitcase behind.”

The angel whispers the situation into St.Peter’s ears and St.Peter seems to understand. “But what could be so important that God would allow you to take it through ?”, muses St.Peter, “Let me take a look”.

St.Peter opens the suitcase to see all the gold bars inside and immediately falls to the floor rolling around with ecstatic laughter!

The millionaire is amazed at St.Peter’s antics. Why is he laughing ?

After a while St.Peter is able to stop laughing and manages to let out a solitary question, “Why do you want to bring PAVEMENT into heaven ?”

For the last 6 weeks we have been looking at the theme “Anchored To Hope In A Stormy World.” We have seen that there is hope in the midst of heartache. There is hope for the backslider. There is hope for the sinner facing natural consequences of his sin. There is hope of life in death valley. Last week we started to meditate about heaven. We discovered that when a believer draws his last breath here on earth, his next breath will be in heaven as his spirit is immediately before the Lord!

Today let us focus on our believing loved ones who have made that journey already. What are they doing right now in Heaven? What do we have to look forward to? Let us see what God’s Word has to say on this subject and drop our anchors and believe what God says.

They Are Worshiping The Redeemer.

Revelation 5:9–10 KJV

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation 7:9–10 KJV

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 

And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Revelation 15:2–3 KJV

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Revelation 19:5–7 KJV

And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

They Are Resting

Hebrews 4:9 KJV

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

From The Weight of this Sin Cursed Flesh

Romans 7:24–25 KJV

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

From Suffering the Curse of Sin

Romans 8:18 KJV

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

1 John 3:1–2 KJV

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

2 Thessalonians 1:5–7 KJV

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

From The Sting of Sin – Death

John 11:26 KJV

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Revelation 21:3–4 KJV

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

An advertisement based on Revelation chapter 21 reads: “Free, beautiful homes to be given away in a perfect city! With: 100% pure water, no electric bills, perpetual lighting, permanent pavement, nothing undesirable, everything new, perfect health, immunity from accidents, best of society, beautiful music, free transportation.

They Are Reuniting

With Loved Ones

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 KJV

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

With God

Psalm 17:15 KJV

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Matthew 5:8 KJV

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

With Christ

John 14:3 KJV

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Revelation 22:4 KJV

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

They Are Rejoicing

Psalm 16:11 KJV

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: In thy presence is fulness of joy; At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Isaiah 51:11 KJV

Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, And come with singing unto Zion; And everlasting joy shall be upon their head: They shall obtain gladness and joy; And sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Luke 15:7 KJV

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Luke 15:10 KJV

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

They Are Serving

Revelation 22:3 KJV

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

They Will Be Reigning

2 Timothy 2:12 KJV

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Hebrews 12:28 KJV

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

Revelation 3:21 KJV

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Revelation 20:6 KJV

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

was shocked, confused, bewildered as I entered Heaven’s door,

Not by the beauty of it all, by the lights or its décor.

But it was the folks in heaven who made me sputter and gasp;

the thieves, the liars, the sinners, the alcoholics, the trash.

There stood the kid from 7th grade, who swiped my lunch money twice. Next to him was my old neighbor, who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought was rotting away in hell,

was sitting pretty on cloud nine, looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, “What the deal? I would love to hear your take.

How’d all these sinners get up here? God must’ve made a mistake.

And why’s everyone so quiet, so somber? Give me a clue.”

“Hush, child,” said He. “They’re all in shock. No one thought they’d see you.”

When we get to Heaven it will not be because of our great virtue but because of Christ’s Great Grace! He has promised that those who have gone on before are enjoying Heaven’s bliss and are waiting to see us. You can drop your anchor on that truth!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:49 PM April 27, 2022.

Looking Hope In The Face

Looking Hope In The Face

Pastor Don Carpenter

Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World / Eternal Life / Philippians 1:21–23; 2 Corinthians 5:6–8

What will it be like to wake up in Glory?

Billy Graham tells the story of the death of his grandmother in his book, Death and the Life After (pg. 169). He writes, “When my grandmother was dying she sat up in bed, smiled, and said, “I see Jesus, and he has his hand outstretched to me. And there’s Ben and he has both of his eyes and both of his legs!” My Grandfather,” Graham writes, “had lost a leg and an eye at Gettysburg.”

Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

As we continue our series “Anchored to Hope In a Stormy World” we turn our attention to the question of life after death. By faith we can see what is hidden to the natural man. If you are a Born Again believer, you have Bible assurance as to what will be happening and where you will be after you draw your last breath here on earth. Get ready to be blessed as you take God at His word affirm the following statements as your own and Look Hope In The Face.

I Know I Will See God

 Job 19:23–27 (KJV)

 Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! 

 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead In the rock for ever! 

 For I know that my redeemer liveth, And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 

 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, Yet in my flesh shall I see God: 

 Whom I shall see for myself, And mine eyes shall behold, and not another; Though my reins be consumed within me.

Because I Have A Redeemer – One Who Paid My Price.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Isaiah 53:10–11 KJV

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; For he shall bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53:6 KJV

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way; And the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

In Spite Of My Dying Body

1 John 3:2 KJV

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Revelation 21:3–4 KJV

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

I Will See Him Personally – not in some metaphorical sense – as a Father and Friend

Job 19:27 KJV

Whom I shall see for myself, And mine eyes shall behold, and not another; Though my reins be consumed within me.

Exodus 33:11 KJV

And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

I Know I Will See Things Clearly

 1 Corinthians 13:9–12 (KJV)

 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 

 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 

 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 • We know in part.

 • We continue to grow and learn both in scriptures and experience

Romans 5:3–4 KJV

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

 • No matter how much we learn and experience, out perception is limited, like peering through dark glass.

 • We will see truth face to face.

 • We will know Jesus then and He knows Us now!

The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. XVII Now, and Then (No. 1,002)

 There are some grand doctrines, brethren and sisters, we dearly love, but though we love them, our understanding is too feeble to grasp them fully. We account them to be mysteries; we reverently acknowledge them, yet we dare not attempt to explain them. They are matters of faith to us. It may be that in heaven there shall be counsels of eternal wisdom into which no saints or angels can peer. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. Surely, no creature will ever be able, even when exalted to heaven, to comprehend all the thoughts of the Creator. We shall never be omniscient—we cannot be. God alone knoweth everything, and understandeth everything. But how much more of authentic truth shall we discern when the mists and shadows have dissolved; and how much more shall we understand when raised to that higher sphere and endowed with brighter faculties, none of us can tell. Probably, things that puzzle us here will be as plain as possible there. We shall perhaps smile at our own ignorance. I have fancied sometimes that the elucidations of learned doctors of divinity, if they could be submitted to the very least in the kingdom of heaven, would only cause them to smile at the learned ignorance of the sons of earth. Oh! how little we do know, but how much we shall know! I am sure we shall know, for it is written, “Then shall I know even as also I have known.” We now see things in a mist—“men as trees, walking”—a doctrine here, and a doctrine there. And we are often at a loss to conjecture how one part harmonizes with another part of the same system, or to make out how all these doctrines are consistent. This knot cannot be untied, that gnarl cannot be unravelled, but—

   “Then shall I see, and hear, and know

   All I desired or wish’d below;

   And every power find sweet employ

   In that eternal world of joy.”

I Know I Will See Christ

The Moment My Spirit Leaves My Body!

2 Corinthians 5:6–8 KJV

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Philippians 1:21–23 KJV

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 

But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

He Will Have A Place For Me 

John 14:1–3 KJV

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I Will Be With Him Forever

1 Thessalonians 4:17–18 KJV

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I Will See Him Face To Face!

 1 Thessalonians 4:17–18 (KJV)

 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

*The Story of Basil Rasmussen*

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:52 PM April 21, 2022.

Hope In The Midst of Condemnation

Hope In The Midst of Condemnation

Pastor Don Carpenter

Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World / Repentant Robber / Luke 23:39–43

If you are alive, its not too late to repent.

 Pastor Adrian Rogers shared the following illustration:

I don’t know about you, but I’m a connoisseur of the comic strips. I read the comic strips. And I have a few that I especially read, and I have some that I never read. One of those that is one of the better comic strips, I think, is Peanuts. And, you know, that’s written by Charles Schultz, who professes faith in Christ. And in one particular incident, it was raining and raining and raining and raining, and Lucy and Linus are looking out the window. And it was a thunderstorm, and Lucy says, “I hope it doesn’t rain so much that the entire world is flooded.” And Linus says to Lucy, “Now, Lucy, don’t worry. In Genesis chapter 9, verses 13 and 14, God promised that He would never send a flood to destroy the world again, and as proof of that, He put a rainbow in the sky.” Well, Lucy sighed and said, “That sure makes me feel a lot better.” And Linus said, “Well, sound theology has a way of doing that.”

1 Rogers, A. (2017). Sound Theology. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Lk 23:33–43). Rogers Family Trust.

Today is Palm Sunday. We are one week away from celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! There may be some hearing this message today who have not been in church for a while, if ever. There is no mistake or random chance. God has brought you here for what is about to happen right here and right now.

Perhaps there is someone here who has thought “Its too late for me”. I have sinned so deeply and have lost so much, there is no hope for me now.

__

Three crosses there that day and Jesus, who was dying for the sin of the world. On one side was a thief, a malefactor. On the other side was a thief, a malefactor. One turned to the Lord Jesus Christ and asked for forgiveness and received it and was saved. The other looked at the Lord Jesus, railed upon Him, ridiculed Him, perhaps cursed Him, and died in his sin. Three were dying that day. One, therefore, was a dying Savior. The other was a dying sinner. And the third was a dying saint. I want us to think about that dying saint, that one who turned to the Lord Jesus and he prayed this prayer, this wonderful prayer, when he said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)1

Use a little imagination. Crucifixion was indescribably horrible, gruesome. What it was meant to do was to put so much fear in the hearts of the populace when they saw someone crucified that they would swear to themselves that this would never happen to them. This was the way of keeping the people in line. It was the most excruciating form of execution that a twisted, tormented mind could devise. And so here are these men there. Jesus, we picture Him in the middle. We picture the thief who rejected Him on one side, the one who ridiculed Him and cast slander at Him. We picture the other thief over here on the right-hand side of the Lord Jesus. And I want you to see him there with his gaping wounds. I want you to feel as you can the throbbing pain, where every nerve in his body is a highway for the footprints of pain. Perhaps he’s nauseous. He is almost in shock. There are flies in his gaping wounds. His body is dehydrated. His tongue is swollen. He can hardly turn his head. But he looks to Jesus and he says, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42) And Jesus, in agony and blood, takes time from dying to turn to this man, and Jesus said, “Verily”—that means “you can bank on it”—“I say unto thee, Today shalt thous be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)1

1 Rogers, A. (2017). Sound Theology. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Lk 23:33–43). Rogers Family Trust.

Oh friend think of that! Jesus looked at the thief next to Him with love in His eyes and made a promise… TODAY shalt thou be with me in paradise! Even when you are eyeball deep in condemnation, Jesus can save you! Drop your anchor on that unchanging immutable truth!

Hope Acknowledges The Sin That Condemns.

Luke 23:39–41 KJV

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

Ezekiel 18:4 KJV

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:12 KJV

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Ephesians 2:1–2 KJV

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Pastor Adrian Rogers told another story:

I read somewhere of a woman who was in the jail witnessing from cell to cell, and many people were saying how they should not have been there, and how they were framed, or how they were there by unfortunate circumstances, or how what they did was only a mistake, a misjudgment. One man said to this lady, “I am such a wicked sinner.” She said, “Thank God.” He said, “No, lady. I said, ‘I’m such a wicked sinner.’ ” She said, “Thank God.” He said, “Lady, are you mocking me? Are you making fun of me?” She said, “No, indeed.” She said, “Now you’re ready to be saved. That’s why I’m thanking God.”•

1 Rogers, A. (2017). Sound Theology. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Lk 23:33–43). Rogers Family Trust.

Hope Embraces The Fear that Convicts

Luke 23:40 KJV

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

Romans 3:18 KJV

There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Matthew 10:28 KJV

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Psalm 147:11 KJV

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, In those that hope in his mercy.

Revelation 21:8 KJV

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

An electrician has a fear of electricity. Now it doesn’t mean that he dreads electricity. But he knows that when he’s handling those wires, he must be careful or he can kill himself. A pilot has a respect for the power of gravity. Jim Glover, an erstwhile pilot in our church, told me, “Pastor, there are two kinds of pilots: there are old pilots and there are bold pilots; but there are no old, bold pilots.” Now, what did he mean by that? He meant that you have a healthy respect of gravity. No pilot that I know of fears gravity. But he knows that it can destroy him. I have a respect for the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Now when I’m going down the road, I see that car. I do what you do: I look at the speedometer, you know, to check and see if I have somehow transgressed. Now when I see a policeman, I don’t quake and tremble, because I have a pure conscience in that arena. But I can tell you one thing: I have a healthy respect for the law.

1 Rogers, A. (2017). Sound Theology. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Lk 23:33–43). Rogers Family Trust.

Hope Because of the Faith that Converts

Jesus Is The Sinless Christ

Luke 23:41 KJV

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

1 Peter 2:22 KJV

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

Hebrews 4:15 KJV

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Only God Is Sinless

Matthew 19:17 KJV

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Mark 10:18 KJV

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

John 1:1 KJV

IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 KJV

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus Was The Sovereign Christ – the King of Kings!

 Luke 23:42 (KJV)

 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

1 Timothy 6:15 KJV

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Romans 10:9–10 KJV

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Jesus Was The Saving Christ

 Luke 23:42 (KJV)

 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 10:13 KJV

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 16:30–31 KJV

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 5:8 KJV

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Hope Because of the Future that Comforts

Luke 23:43 KJV

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Surely this story tells us above all that it is never too late to turn to Christ. There are other things of which we must say, ‘The time for that is past. I am grown too old now.’ But we can never say that of turning to Jesus Christ. So long as our hearts continue to beat, the invitation of Christ still stands. As the poet wrote of the man who was killed as he was thrown from his galloping horse,

Betwixt the stirrup and the ground,

Mercy I asked, mercy I found.

It is literally true that while there is life there is hope.1

1 Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of Luke (p. 340). Westminster John Knox Press

Conclusion:

The eyes of the Lord looks down into the dark corners of your soul. You are exposed. God has promised that the soul that sins will die… every one of us have sinned and every one of us will die. Perhaps your death is more immanent than some in your life know. You feel the darkness of your deeds smothering you like the dirt that envelops a coffin 6 feet under ground. There is no concealing your sin or guilt… like that thief you stand naked, condemned and guilty before God.

Yet Jesus has already been where you are. He already became your sin. He already offered Himself as a sinless replacement for you. All you need to do is by faith accept His free gift. Repent of trusting in your works and turn to Christ alone. Christ came to save the chiefest of sinners and He came to save you! Drop your anchor on that truth and find Hope in the Midst of Condemnation! 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:49 PM April 7, 2022.

Hope In The Midst of Failure

Hope In The Midst of Failure

Pastor Don Carpenter

Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World / Backsliding / 2 Peter 2:7; Philippians 1:6

Even though we deserve to lose everything, Salvation cannot be lost because it was never merited in the first place.

Has there ever been a time in your life where you were closer to God than you are now? If so,my dear friend, then you are backslidden! Perhaps you have tried to confess, to forsake your sins, to start doing right, only to fall short once again. You have trusted Jesus to save you once upon a time, but it seems as though God is done with you. You have reaped the bitter consequences of your mistakes and it seems as though you have been put on the shelf by God, consigned to a life of misery and defeat. THERE IS HOPE! The very same Jesus that pulled you up out of the miry clay, saved you, and set your feet upon The Rock, is the Same One that holds you firmly in His nail – scarred hand! You have God’s word in that! Drop your anchor!

This morning’s message is for the poor tired soul who has trusted Jesus, but has drifted far from the Savior. As we continue our series “Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World”, let us linger on this truth.

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The word translated “confident,” speaks of the fact that Paul had come to a settled persuasion concerning the fact that the God who had begun in the Philippians the good work of giving to missions, would bring it to a successful conclusion right up to the day of Christ Jesus. The word translated “until,” assumes the nearness of the Rapture in Paul’s mind and outlook.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 1:6). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Based on God’s immutable, unchangeable word we can drop an anchor of hope in the midst of failure.

Jesus Christ Began The Work In You When You Got Saved.

You did not start the work of Salvation

Ephesians 2:1–3 KJV

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Galatians 2:21 KJV

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Ephesians 2:8–10 KJV

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

Not of works, lest any man should boast. 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Since Jesus Started the Work, He Has Promised to Finish the Work

Romans 8:28–30 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Galatians 3:1–3 KJV

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Jesus Continues The Work Through Correction.

This Demonstrated His Relationship to You As Adopted Father.

John 8:44 KJV

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Hebrews 12:5 KJV

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:7–8 KJV

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

He Demonstrated His Love Through Correction.

Hebrews 12:6 KJV

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

This is Correction not Justice… that was cared for on the Cross

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Correction Leads to Change for our Good.

Hebrews 12:11–12 KJV

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

Jesus’ Love Leads to Second Chances

For Samson

Judges 16:22 KJV

Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.

For David

Psalm 51:1–5 KJV

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 

For I acknowledge my transgressions: And my sin is ever before me. 

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, And done this evil in thy sight: That thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, And be clear when thou judgest. 

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 51:10–12 KJV

Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from thy presence; And take not thy holy spirit from me. 

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalm 40:1–3 KJV

I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

For Peter

Luke 22:31–32 KJV

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Acts 2:4 KJV

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 Acts 2:13–14 (KJV)

 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 

 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice…

Acts 2:40–41 KJV

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Jesus Holds His Own in His Nail Pierced Hands!

John 10:27–30 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 

I and my Father are one.

C. H. Spurgeon is quoted as saying that he was so sure of his salvation that he could grab on to a cornstalk and swing out over the fires of hell, look into the face of the devil, and sing, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!”

When the storms of life, the winds of trouble, and the sea of discomfort and emotional agony seem to overwhelm, we have to say with the songwriter, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.… We dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.1

1 Michael P. Green. (2000). 1500 illustrations for biblical preaching (p. 312). Baker Books.

Jesus Christ Began the work and He has promised He will finish the work in you! There is Hope in the Midst of Failure! Drop your anchor!

Hymn # 296 Lord, I’m Coming Home

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:35 PM March 31, 2022.

Hope In The Midst of Heartbreak

Hope In The Midst of Heartbreak

Pastor Don Carpenter

Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World / Infant; Death and Dying; Suicide

In John Bunyan’s great allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress, the incident is related of how Christian decides to leave the Main Highway and follow another Path which seemed easier. But this Path leads him into the territory of Giant Despair who owns Doubting Castle.

Eventually he is captured by Giant Despair and kept in a dungeon. He is advised to kill himself. The Giant said there was no use trying to keep on with his journey. For the time, it seemed as if Despair had really conquered Christian. But then, Hope, Christian’s companion, reminds him of previous victories. So it came about that on Saturday about midnight they began to pray, and continued in prayer until almost morning.

Now a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half-amazed, broke out in passionate speech, “What a fool am I thus to lie in a stinking Dungeon, when I may as well be at liberty. I have a Key in my bosom called Promise that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle.” Then said Hopeful, “That’s good news. Good Brother, pluck it out of thy bosom and try.” And the prison gates flew open.

(Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, The Attack on Hope, 8/27/2011)

Has Giant Despair trapped you in the dark dungeon deep in the bowels of doubting castle? Does sadness, fear, doubt and depression gather like ominous storm clouds in the sky of your mind and heart? We live in a sin cursed world. Death and decay are all around us. What are we to do?

This morning we are launching a 7 week series entitled “Anchored to Hope in a Stormy World”. The Bible for term is not simply positive thoughts but rather a rock solid assurance of truth.

This morning’s simple text verse serves as a testimony and a promise.

Psalm 147:3 KJV

He healeth the broken in heart, And bindeth up their wounds.

But how can God possible do that when life is so messed up? Buckle up my friend! We are off on a spiritual journey to find promises to which we can anchor our very souls. Today I am hear to tell you without a doubt that there is Hope in the Midst of Heartbreak!

Because We Have A Savior!

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We need one because we are sinners.

Romans 3:10 KJV

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Proverbs 16:25 KJV

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.

We need one because that sin deserves punishment.

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Revelation 21:8 KJV

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

We need one because we cannot save ourselves.

Galatians 2:21 KJV

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We need to accept the Salvation offered by Faith.

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Acts 16:30–31 KJV

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 10:13–14 KJV

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Because We Have An Anchor

Hebrews 6:17–19 KJV

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

God’s Counsel Does Not Change

God Even Swore An Oath On Top of His Reputation

God Cannot Lie! 

Therefore you can drop anchor on His promises!

As in human affairs an oath puts an end to all arguments, so too there can be no argument about this expectation since God confirmed it with an oath. If anyone, such as a sectarian, denied this eschatological anticipation, he was flying in the face of the strongest possible divine guarantee. Not only was it impossible for God to lie, but His ever truthful Word was supported in this case by His oath. These are the two unchangeable things, which encourage those who take hold of the hope1

1 Hodges, Z. C. (1985). Hebrews. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 797). Victor Books.

The phrase “fled for refuge” (Heb. 6:18) suggests the Old Testament “cities of refuge” described in Numbers 35:9ff and Joshua 20. God appointed six cities, three on each side of the Jordan, into which a man could flee if he had accidentally killed someone. The elders of the city would investigate the case. If they determined that it was indeed manslaughter and not murder, they would permit the man to live in the city until the death of the high priest. Then he could return to his home. The members of the slain man’s family could not avenge themselves so long as the man remained in the city.

We have fled to Jesus Christ, and He is our eternal refuge. As our High Priest, He will never die (Heb. 7:23–25); and we have eternal salvation. No avenger can touch us, because He has already died and arisen from the dead

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 298). Victor Books.

Because We Have Witnesses

David Is Witness That We Can See Our Babies Again!

2 Samuel 12:18–23 KJV

And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? 

But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 

Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 

Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 

And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 

But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

 • David was a prophet, so he did receive new revelation from God.

Acts 2:29–31 KJV

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 

Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

 • David knew the child died.

 • David expected to SEE him – recognize him again.

 • David expected to live after the grave.

Psalm 17:15 KJV

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Psalm 23:6 KJV

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

 • David comforted his wife with these truths.

2 Samuel 12:24 KJV

And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

Samuel is Witness That Suicide is not Greater Than Salvation!

1 Samuel 28:15–19 KJV

And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. 

Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 

And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: 

Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day. 

Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

 • Samuel was dead, yet he was animate.

 • Samuel used the same wording David did about his child.

 • Samuel used the same wording Christ used to the Thief on the Cross.

1 Samuel 31:3–6 KJV

And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. 

Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. 

And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. 

So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

Paul is Witness That There Is No Sinner So Bad That Jesus Cannot Save Them!

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Romans 8:31–39 KJV

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 

For I am persuaded, that 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.

 • Have you had an abortion? Jesus can save you!

 • Are you an addict? Jesus can save you!

 • Are you an adulterer, a homosexual, or prostitute? God can save you!

 • There is no sinner who comes to Jesus in faith that will be rejected!  

 • We have this hope!

 • We are anchored not only to God’s word, but He swore an oath that we can trust Him!

 • He cannot lie!

 • We can believe the Witnesses! David said he would be with his baby again. Samuel said that even Suicide cannot separate us from the love of God! Have you lost a believing loved one to suicide? You can see them again!

 • Are you a sinner? ( we all start out like that) Christ can save you!

We have these truths to anchor our souls in the midst of heartbreak!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:29 PM March 23, 2022.

Two Offices

Two Offices

Pastor Don Carpenter

Baptist Basics

Two offices within the church. Scripture only mentions two church offices—pastor (also referred to as elder or bishop) and deacon. These two offices are to be filled by godly men of integrity in each local church. (See Philippians 1:1; Acts 6:1–7; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1:6–9; 1 Peter 5:1–4.)

Let us take one final look at the illustration we introduced at the beginning of this series. Picture this scenario if you will. You wake up at three in the morning with a splitting headache. You must get relief right now. You stumble out of bead and struggle to get to the medicine cabinet. Every pulse of your heart brings an audible wave of pain radiating from the base of your skull, through your temples and settling behind your eye sockets. You must get relief and must get it now! You do not dare turn on the light for fear of more pain. Once you open the cabinet, you see shadows of perhaps a dozen different bottles and containers. It is a medicine cabinet… it has medicine… surely any bottle would be better than no medicine at all right? Wait a minute… It may be wise to know the difference between pain reliever, laxative, or a Beta Blocker for your heart. Yes it is all medicine, but you need the right one for you and for your symptoms. Even more important than taking the time to read and understand the label is that the label and the product match. If I have a bottle that says Aspirin, it would be dangerous if someone switched the aspirin with an antidepressant. Labels mean something.

This is the last of a seven week a dive into the meaning of the sign in front of our building: Evangelical Baptist Church. We have discovered that it is important to know not only that there is spiritual medicine in this church, but what kind it is. We used an acrostic to remember some basic doctrines and teachings that make up Baptist Distinctives.

B -Biblical Authority

A- Autonomy of the Local Church

P -Priesthood of all Believers

T – Two Ordinances

I – Individual Soul Liberty

S – Saved Church Membership

T – Two Offices

As we have seen through out this study, labels are important. We need to not only know what spiritual medicine we are taking, but we also must be careful to make sure that the medicine is properly labeled. Such is especially the case with this last distinctive. There is an alarming trend among Baptists to abandon their Biblical and traditional stance on church polity in favor of a Presbyterian, elder rule style. As we have discovered, we all have individual soul liberty and are to follow our conscience as we follow the word… but drop the Baptist label if you are dropping the Baptist distinctives. Some day, hopefully many many years from now, some in this congregation will have to choose the next pastor. You will need to decide if you wish to remain a Baptist church. You will need to guard against slick speaking folks who want to come in and undermine the historical and Biblical Baptist distinctives. There will be a time where you will need to go back into the archives, and blow the dust off of this sermon series to remind yourself why we stood for what we did. With that in mind, let us see what is unique about holding the Two Offices, Pastor and Deacon, position.

There Are Three Terms For The New Testament Church Leader.

Elder – Position of Rank and Responsibility

Acts 14:23 KJV

And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Titus 1:5 KJV

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Bishop – Overseer

Philippians 1:1 KJV

PAUL and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

1 Timothy 3:1–2 KJV

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Pastor – Shepherd

Ephesians 4:11 KJV

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

These Three Terms are Interchangeable

 Titus 1:5–9 (KJV)

 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 

 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 

 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 

 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 

 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

 Acts 20:17 (KJV)

 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

 Acts 20:28–30 (KJV)

 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. 

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

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

 1 Peter 5:1–4 (KJV)

 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 

 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 

 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 

 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Some Churches Had Multiple Pastors/Elders/ Bishops – But They All Served In a Pastoral Capacity.

Acts 20:17 KJV

And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Titus 1:5 KJV

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

James 5:14 KJV

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

These Were Elders, not Deacons.

The Deacon Is A Servant Not a Ruler

Acts 6:1–6 KJV

And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 

Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

 • Practical needs were not being met.

 • This was not the role of the Pastor/Elder/ Bishop

 • Men were chosen to meed needs and diffuse conflict, freeing the pastors to do pastoral stuff.

 • These were not a board over the pastor, they served at the will of the pastor(s)

Labels mean something. Obviously, to be Baptist is not a requirement of Salvation. There are Christians with different interpretations of scriptures, and that is fine… that is between them and God. We here at Evangelical Baptist Church have embraced what we believe to be the Biblical Baptist distinctives. Hopefully you have gained a deeper appreciation and understanding for what it means to be a Baptist.

B -Biblical Authority

A- Autonomy of the Local Church

P -Priesthood of all Believers

T – Two Ordinances

I – Individual Soul Liberty

S – Saved Church Membership

T – Two Offices

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:42 PM March 16, 2022.

Saved Church Membership

Saved Church Membership

Pastor Don Carpenter

Baptist Basics

Let us revisit the illustration we introduced at the beginning of this series. Picture this scenario if you will. You wake up at three in the morning with a splitting headache. You must get relief right now. You stumble out of bead and struggle to get to the medicine cabinet. Every pulse of your heart brings an audible wave of pain radiating from the base of your skull, through your temples and settling behind your eye sockets. You must get relief and must get it now! You do not dare turn on the light for fear of more pain. Once you open the cabinet, you see shadows of perhaps a dozen different bottles and containers. It is a medicine cabinet… it has medicine… surely any bottle would be better than no medicine at all right? Wait a minute… It may be wise to know the difference between pain reliever, laxative, or a Beta Blocker for your heart. Yes it is all medicine, but you need the right one for you and for your symptoms. Even more important than taking the time to read and understand the label is that the label and the product match. If I have a bottle that says Aspirin, it would be dangerous if someone switched the aspirin with an antidepressant. Labels mean something.

Six weeks we started a seven week a dive into the meaning of the sign in front of our building: Evangelical Baptist Church. We have discovered that it is important to know not only that there is spiritual medicine in this church, but what kind it is. We used an acrostic to remember some basic doctrines and teachings that make up Baptist Distinctives.

B -Biblical Authority

A- Autonomy of the Local Church

P -Priesthood of all Believers

T – Two Ordinances

I – Individual Soul Liberty

S – Saved Church Membership

T

Larry Crabb wrote in his book Connecting, “We have made a terrible mistake! For most of this century we have wrongly defined soul wounds as psychological disorders and delegated their treatment to trained specialists. Damaged psyches aren’t the problem. The problem is disconnected souls. What we need is connection. What we need is a healing community.”

The local church is much more than a group of folks united for the purpose of self help. According to the Scriptures, the Local church is the physical manifestation of the Body of Christ. 

This morning we are going to see what is required and expected from folks who join a local church.

Church Membership is only for Believers.

2 Corinthians 6:14–17 KJV

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Believers Join a Church After Salvation

Acts 2:41–42 KJV

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 • Salvation

 • Then Baptism

 • Then Membership all in short order

Continued (???? ????????????????). Participle and finite verb, as above. The verb is from ????????, strong, stanch, and means originally to persist obstinately in. In this sense here, and in Rom. 12:12; 13:6. Hence to adhere firmly to. So in Mark 3:9, “that a small ship should wait on him;” i.e., keep near at hand. The idea of steady persistence is supplied by the Rev., steadfastly.1

1 Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 1, pp. 444–445). Charles Scribner’s Sons.

 • Continue in doctrine

 • Continue in fellowship

 • Continue in breaking of bread (communion)

 • Continue in prayer.

A car traveling on a super highway needs to have proper and balanced inflation in all four tires to travel safely. No one would venture to drive any distance with the left front tire inflated at 32 PSI, the right front at 28 PSI, the left rear at 36PSI, and the right rear at 10 PSI. That would be dangerous and unthinkable. As a Christian travels life’s road there are four things that he or she needs to help in safe travel – Prayer, Bible Reading and Mediation, Church Attendance, and Fellowship. If we deflate any of these we are in danger of crashing. Yet how often we will give attention to two or thee of these and neglect the others. (Acts 2:41-42)

Believers Join A Church for Accountability and Encouragement

Hebrews 10:24–25 KJV

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Matthew 18:15–17 KJV

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

1 Corinthians 5:11 KJV

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Believers Join A Local Church To Be Under Its Authority.

Under Pastoral Leadership

Hebrews 13:17 KJV

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Commissioned as Deacons and Officers

Acts 6:3 KJV

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Commissioned as Missionaries

Acts 13:1–3 KJV

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Believers Join a Local Church As Part of God’s Design for Christ’s Body.

1 Corinthians 12:12–14 KJV

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 

For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Corinthians 12:25–27 KJV

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Ephesians 4:16 KJV

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Baptists have historically held to the purity of church membership by insisting that anyone brought into the fellowship have a credible profession of faith. This is not to create an exclusive country club but to protect the reputation and mission of the local church. This distinctive ties into other ones like the Autonomy of the Local Church. We are not linking up with some larger organization run by unsaved folks who make decisions.  

1 Corinthians 5:7 KJV

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Once members of a local church ( as every born again believer should be) we are to function within the Body of Christ steadfastly, with accountability, and under authority because this is God’s perfect plan for every born again believer. Are you part of a Saved Church membership?

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:45 PM March 10, 2022.

Individual Soul Liberty

Individual Soul Liberty

Pastor Don Carpenter

Baptist Basics

Individual soul liberty. We believe that each person must make a personal decision of repentance and faith in Christ. (See Romans 10:9–17, 14:1–23.)

A young couple moved into a new house. The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the washing outside.

“That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better soap powder. Her husband looked on, remaining silent.

Every time her neighbor hung her washing out to dry, the young woman made the same comments.

A month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband, “Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?”

The husband replied, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life… What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.

So don’t be too quick to judge others, especially if your perspective of life is clouded by anger, jealousy, negativity or unfulfilled desires.

“Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.”

______ 

Welcome to week 5 of our 7 week study of the Baptist Basics. We have been learning the implications of the sign in the front of our church. We have learned that anyone who names the name of Jesus can call themselves “Christian”… but since that includes everyone from the Catholic to the Mormon, JW, Baptist Congregationalist and Pentecostal, we need a little more specifics in order to see what kind of spiritual medicine is in the bottle. A simple way to identify the Biblical doctrines that combine to become Baptist Distinctives, is to break it down to an acrostic.

B -Biblical Authority

A- Autonomy of the Local Church

P -Priesthood of all Believers

T – Two Ordinances

I – Individual Soul Liberty

T

Definition: Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the freedom to choose what his conscience or soul dictates is right in the religious realm. Soul liberty asks the believer to accept responsibility for his own actions and not try to force anyone else to do or believe anything contrary to his own conscience. However, this liberty is not a justification for disobeying God. The believer must still act according to the principles of Scripture and honor the doctrinal position of the Bible-believing Baptist church to which he belongs.

Individual soul liberty is a particularly Baptist principle. Most denominations attempt to exercise control over their members to some extent, but Baptists limit such control by demanding that every believer is ultimately responsible to God. Individuals have the right to disagree with others, follow their own conscience, and not feel compelled to adopt any views they disagree with. This does not suggest that every believer is a “lone wolf” or that believers need not submit to the leadership of their church. Soul liberty simply asserts that every believer has the right to act in accordance with his own conscience, and that no one can force anyone to believe or act against his theological viewpoint.

When studying the individual priesthood of the believer, we found that no believer has the right to impose views, practices, etc., on any other believer. The priesthood of the believer and individual soul liberty overlap a bit as they both deal with the issue of freedom within the confines of the will of God.

There appears to be widespread ignorance of this Baptist distinctive, at least in practice if not in belief. Since it is a biblical issue, it is certainly worthy of serious study and consideration. Let us dig deeper into the implications of this truth together.

Individual Responsibility to Stand Before God

Romans 14:10–12 KJV

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

We Will Answer for OUR OWN Actions

Matthew 12:36 KJV

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Galatians 6:5 KJV

For every man shall bear his own burden.

1 Corinthians 3:13 KJV

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

We Are To Allow Individuals to Have Personal Relationships with God Even if They Make Different Choices.

John 21:22 KJV

Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Romans 14:4 KJV

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Acts 15:39 KJV

And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

Individual Responsibility to Obey the Bible.

Psalm 119:105 KJV

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.

James 1:22–25 KJV

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 

For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 • The Bible is the Authority

 • The Individual is Responsible to learn follow, and obey.

Individual Responsibility to Follow Their Own Conscience.

Romans 14:5–9 KJV

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 

For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

 • The Bible is the Authority

 • Often the Bible is not specific on specific applications.

 • The individual in responsible to take what they know before God in prayer and come up with a plan of action.

 • One’s plan may look different than another… that is not your concern. Each individual is free to develop that part of their relationship privately before God.

Individual Responsibility to Teach and not Fight.

2 Timothy 2:24–26 KJV

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 • Gentle

 • Teaching

 • Meek

 • Instructing… commending them to their own conscience before God.

 • Then back off and let God work.

James 1:20 KJV

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

So one of the doctrines that serves to separate Baptists from other Bible Believing Christians is the doctrine of Individual Soul Liberty. As mentioned above, soul liberty is often misunderstood and more often not allowed in many conservative churches. Strong leaders tend to portray a “my way or the highway” style that will not put up with dissenting opinions. Some even exalt their own personal standards to the level of biblical principle, and anyone who disagrees is seen as “liberal.” Soul liberty comes into play in areas the Bible does not address either directly or in principle. Christians have freedom to come to their own conclusions on such matters. Church leaders may teach and advise on such issues, but they should not force members to subscribe to convictions without biblical warrant. Baptists have historically allowed members to exercise their liberty of conscience.

May God help us to be true to scriptures and true to our label and embrace the Biblical doctrine of individual soul liberty.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:36 AM March 3, 2022.