Archive for the ‘Sunday Morning Sermons’ Category

Revival By The Book

Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Revival By The Book

Pastor Don Carpenter

Revival Stronger Than Ever / 2 Chronicles 34–35; 2 Chronicles 34:1–8; 2 Chronicles 34:14–19

Revival — If?

If all the sleeping folk will wake up,

If all the lukewarm folk will fire up,

If all the dishonest folk will confess up,

If all the disgruntled folk will cheer up,

If all the depressed folk will cheer up,

If all the estranged folk will make up,

If all the gossipers will shut up,

If all true soldiers will stand up,

If all the dry bones will shake up,

If all the church members will pray up…

Then we can have a revival!

— R.G. Lee

The book of 2 Chronicles has been called The book of Revivals. Because from chapter 15 to chapter 35, Ezra records five revivals that each transformed the people and brought them back to God.

We’ve already walked through a couple of them together but here is a full list before we get to today’s teaching. 

REVIEW

The first revival took place under King Asa. God let Asa know that the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth to strongly support those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 

Revival requires commitment.

The second revival took place under Jehoshaphat, who humbly admitted, “We do not know what to do, but we look to you.” 

Revival requires prayer.

The third revival took place under King Joash who reinstituted passionate giving and rebuilt the Temple with it. 

Revival requires a place.

The fourth revival took place under Hezekiah, who when he discovered that God required the Jews to hold a feast called Passover every April.

So, the people gathered for the Feast and revival broke out.

Revival requires God’s people to gather for worship. 

As the people gathered, they realized they hadn’t been serving the Lord faithfully. So they confessed and repented.

Revival requires repentance.

REVIEW

– Commitment

– Prayer

– A place

– Corporate worship

– And Repentance.

CONTEXT

People sometimes ask why God was so harsh in the Old Testament. Why did He punish people by allowing foreign armies to overtake them?

Let me read you a little bit about Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah from 2 Chronicles 33:2-6 says…

2 Chronicles 33:2–6 KJV

But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 

For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 

Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. 

And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 

And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Passing your children through the fire was a way of worshiping the god of the underworld. The child was passed through the fire as a sacrifice to the god Molech. If the child died, it meant your sacrifice was accepted. No wonder God was angry with them.

King Manasseh reigned for 55 years. His son Amon succeeded him for 2 years. Amon was so wicked, the people assassinated him.

Amon was succeeded by his son Josiah. 

I told you that Israel experienced 5 revivals. The 5th revival comes during Josiah’s reign. It’s his story we want to learn from today.

At the time Josiah comes to power, the kingdom is at an all-time low. 

– God is forsaken. 

– Baal is worshiped. 

– Witchcraft is practiced. 

– Mediums are consulted. 

All that is right is forsaken, and all that is wrong is exalted. 

Today we also face a culture that is at war with God. We also desperately need to see God raise up a revival to sweep through our churches, our towns, our states and our nation. Ezra wrote about this revival to encourage folks who have reaped the bitter fruit of consequences and judgement. He wrote to folks who needed to see that God can turn things around when we quit trying to follow our own formula for success. We can see the mighty Hand of God when we like Josiah seek Revival By the Book.

Do Right

2 Chronicles 34:1–2 KJV

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.

 • Start be getting right – righteous or justified

Romans 5:1 KJV

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 • Once you are justified by faith, follow righteousness.

1 Timothy 6:10–11 KJV

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

 • Stick with God’s word, don’t deviate into legalism or license.

Proverbs 4:27 KJV

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil.

Seek After God

2 Chronicles 34:3 KJV

For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.

 • Josiah was 16 when he started his passionate pursuit.

 • Seek His presence in prayer

 • Seek His wisdom in Counsel

 • Seek His power and protection in fellowship

2 Corinthians 6:17–18 KJV

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

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Clean Your Household

2 Chronicles 34:4–7 KJV

And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them. 

And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 

And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about. 

And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.

Matthew 6:24 KJV

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 • Do a fearless moral inventory.

 • Confess sinful actions or attitudes 

 • Confess idolatry

 • Get rid of anything that would help you hang on to these sinful habits and choices.

 • Make your commitment public.

Acts 19:18–20 KJV

And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 

Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 

So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

Care For God’s House

2 Chronicles 34:8 KJV

Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.

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.

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.

Get Back to the Book

 • Sometimes the Bible can get lost in the rubble of sin and idolatry

2 Chronicles 34:14–15 KJV

And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. 

And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.

 • Read it and weep

2 Chronicles 34:18–19 KJV

Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 

And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.

2 Chronicles 34:27 KJV

Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.

1 John 1:9 KJV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Make a Public Commitment to God.

2 Chronicles 34:30–31 KJV

And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD. 

And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.

 • Make the commitment to the Book

 • Make the commitment public

 • Take the lead.

2 Chronicles 34:32–33 KJV

And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 

And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.

As we finish a very turbulent year remember, God has designed every event to draw us closer to Him. He wants to lead us to and through personal and church wide revival. This will not happen by following our own clever formula. The steps are the same for us as they were for Josiah.

 • Get right and stay right

 • Seek after God

 • Clean your household.

 • Care for and get back to God’s House

 • Get Back to reading and living the Book

 • Make your commitment public

This is the final Sunday morning message of 2020. It is your chance to start the move toward revival. It is your chance, with God’s help to see personal restoration and to enter into 2021 Stronger Than Ever!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:12 AM December 26, 2020.

In Your Darkest Moment

Saturday, December 5th, 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Revival: Stronger Than Ever / Deliverance / 2 Chronicles 20:1–12

A preacher tells his personal story: One of my most vivid childhood memories is of an afternoon in sixth grade, when a friend and I decided to swing on a newly-installed bar hanging over the walkway on our way out of school. The bar was about 8 feet off the ground, just low enough for the two of us to reach if we jumped. 

So on the count of three we jumped. And a second later discovered that this bar wasn’t just a bar, it was actually a sprinkler pipe, under tremendous pressure. The pipe burst, we fell to the ground, and water began gushing everywhere… and it was unstoppable.

We did not know what to do, so we both ran home as fast as we could.

Today I want to introduce you to a man who did not know what to do, but his situation was a lot more serious than ours. 

He’s a man I’d like to meet some day.

He’s the son of Asa. His name is Jehoshaphat and he was the 6th king in the line of David. 

Ezra, our teacher, introduces him to us this way:

2 Chronicles 17:3–6 KJV

And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 

But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 

Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 

And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.

If you’ve ever been in a tight spot, if you’ve ever been in a place where you didn’t know what to do, if you’ve ever felt like you’re facing an enemy who is bigger than you and could destroy you and all you hold dear, Jehoshaphat will be your hero. Because Jehoshaphat faced all of that and humbly confessed, “I don’t know what to do.” In front of God and everybody. 

And yet, he did exactly the right thing, eight times in a row. 

Let me show you his story. It’s in 2 Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king. And he reigned over Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, for 25 years. Jehoshaphat’s story spans two wars and a bad marriage. I’ll tell you about the bad marriage next week. It almost wrecked the kingdom, and almost scuttled God’s plans to send a Messiah through the line of David. – Don’t miss next week!

2 Chronicles 20:1–2 KJV

It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 

Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi.

The Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites all lived on the east side of the Dead Sea. Their nations had been conquered under King David, and now were rebelling. 

How would you feel if you got word that a huge army, much bigger than your own, was coming to get you? What would you do? Well…

2 Chronicles 20:3–4 KJV

And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 

And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

Set Yourself To Seek The Lord

 p?n?h (??????, 6437), “to turn towards, turn back, turn around, attach to, pass away, make clear.” This verb also appears in Syriac and post-biblical Hebrew and post-biblical Aramaic. Related verbs which have the same radicals with a somewhat different meaning occur in Arabic and Ethiopic. The Bible attests p?n?h about 155 times and in all periods.

W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 271.

The King’s dad was taught this lesson:

2 Chronicles 16:9 KJV

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Fast

Matthew 17:19–21 KJV

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Come Together With God’s People

2 Chronicles 20:4 KJV

And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

  • Look To God As Your Only Hope 
  • Declare His Power

2 Chronicles 20:5–6 KJV

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 

And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

  • Declare His Relationship With His People

2 Chronicles 20:7–8 KJV

Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? 

And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,

  • Declare His Past Deliverance

2 Chronicles 20:9 KJV

If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

  • Declare The Present Need

2 Chronicles 20:10–11 KJV

And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 

Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.

  • Declare Total Dependence Upon God.

2 Chronicles 20:12 KJV

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

  • God’s Answer – When You Look To God, God Looks Back To You!

2 Chronicles 20:13–15 KJV

And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 

Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

APPLICATION

How many times have you faced something terrible and felt like you were all alone in it?

Friend, if you are committed to the Lord, if you are wholeheartedly devoted to Him, 

if you have said, “Lord, live your life through me, and I will live for you for the rest of my life,” then the eyes of the Lord are on you, to strengthen you. The battle you are facing is not yours, but God’s.”

2 Chronicles 20:16 KJV

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

Join In Congregational Worship

Tekoa is about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. It’s a fairly easy hike, since it’s all downhill. Just before they started the hike, the text says…

2 Chronicles 20:19–20 KJV

And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 

And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

Sing!

2 Chronicles 20:21 KJV

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Who would have thought that a major move to defeat an enemy would involve music and voices?

Now, bear in mind, Jehoshaphat and all the people don’t know what’s happened on the battlefield. They haven’t arrived yet. They’re just marching along singing. 

2 Chronicles 20:24 KJV

And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.

RECAP

Here’s the story. And it’s a true story: once upon a time, there was a big bad army coming against the people of God. The people did not know what to do, but they resolved to seek the Lord. They gathered together; they fasted; they prayed; they heard a word from God from one of His spokesmen; and they worshiped. They began to sing, and God performed a miracle: He ambushed their enemies… and the people lived happily ever after!

But wait! There’s more:

2 Chronicles 20:25 KJV

And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

“Beracah” means, “blessing.” The place became the Valley of Blessing.

Jehoshaphat’s seventh strategic move was…

Bless The Lord

2 Chronicles 20:27–29 KJV

Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. 

And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD. 

And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.

This is the revival under King Jehoshaphat: A terrible disaster looks like it’s going to ruin the nation. Nobody knows what to do. But one man, the king, stands up and says, “I’m going to seek the Lord.”

He asks the nation to join him, in fasting, in gathering together to pray and ask God to deliver them. God answers through Jahaziel. “I’ve got this.” He says. “The battle is mine. I invite you to come and watch.”

The people believe. They bow down to thank God in faith for what He’s going to do, and they rise up and praise Him with singing. Early the next morning, they sing their way to the battlefield, where, instead of having to engage the enemy, they find out that the enemy has engaged themselves.

So the people help themselves to the spoils, return home and hold another worship service, and then they enjoy the eighth and final strategic move which is…

Rest!

2 Chronicles 20:30 KJV

So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

So, when we are facing our darkest moment, what should we do?

 • Seek the Lord

 • Fast

 • Fellowship

 • Pray Boldly – look God in the eyes

 • Worship with the Congregation

 • Sing!

 • Praise God

 • Rest

We learned last week that God is waiting to show Himself strong on behalf of the heart who is perfect toward Him… this is the path to having that perfect, focused heart. This is what to do in your darkest moment.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:03 PM December 5, 2020.

Salt of the Earth

Friday, November 6th, 2020

Salt of the Earth

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Influence; A Witness / Matthew 5:13

In 1871 the New York Herald sent Henry Stanley to Africa in search of the missionary, David Livingstone, who was long overdue. After unbelievable hardships, the journalist found the explorer in central Africa, where he spent four months with him. Stanley went to Africa a conceited and confirmed atheist, but Livingstone’s influence, gentleness, genuineness, goodness, and zeal won Stanley. Stanley became a Christian, saying, “I was converted by him, although he had not tried to do it.”

David Livingston made a difference everywhere he went, not because he was an effective Jesus salesman, but because he knew what it was like to be salt and light. 2020 has been a year like no other. In America, we face division, deception, and depression both as a society and as individuals. We cannot trust the election process, the information and recommendations about COVID, or even the ability to transmit uncensored truth to our friends and family on social media. Tensions are running high, there is talk of violence and patriots rising up to shed the blood of tyrants. What is a believer to do?

Today we are going to look at a two part message on how Jesus wants us to respond to a lost world around us. With talk of distrust and unrest, we do not need to add to the agitation, we need to heed the words of our Savior. This morning we are going to discover that we, as born again believers, can make a difference in a corrupt and tasteless society by being the Salt of the Earth.

Believers are the Salt of the Earth.

Matthew 5:13 KJV

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 Salt is one of the most common substances on the earth and cannot be destroyed by fire or time. Also known as “white gold,” it is one of the most significant substances in history, along with iron, gold, and wheat. In ancient societies it was a valuable social and economic commodity… In ancient Egypt it was a symbol of luxury, and Egyptians used it in the mummification of their dead and to preserve olives and fish. At one point in the history of the early Roman Empire, salt from the sea was brought inland and sold for slaves.

  Salt has also served as a significant figurative symbol. Sharing salt was a symbol of friendship and hospitality, and ancient conflicts concluded with a meal consisting of bread and salt as a symbol of friendship (Aristotle, Eudemian Ethics 7.2.46; Cicero, Treatise of Friendship 19.67). One who violated the eating of salt was a traitor (Demosthenes, On the Embassy 191). Salt was also viewed as a divine gift (Plutarch, Symposium 5.10.2; Homer, Iliad 9.214).1

1 Robert G. Rayburn II, “Salt,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Salt as a Symbol of Life

 In the biblical world, salt was associated with life due to its uses as a preservative, a purifying agent, and a seasoning. Many of the symbols attached to salt reflect its practical uses. For example, because salt can delay the rotting or decaying process when rubbed into meat, it is a symbol of incorruptibility. Salt was also a symbol of provision, and eating someone’s “bread and salt” left the eater obligated to the giver (Ezra 4:14). Other practical uses of salt attested in the ancient world include:1

1 Robert G. Rayburn II, “Salt,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Years ago when William Burt, a Methodist bishop, retired, he received a bound book of autographed tributes from those who had served with him on a certain board of the denomination. The following letter is a tribute concerning his Christian influence:

Dear Bishop Burt:

Your years have passed like sunlight. They were beautiful, and filled with service in the old world and in the new. God has been with you, and you have been with God.

Would you might live a hundred years to bless mankind, but wherever you are, in earth or heaven, you will like the place. You make it good to live where you are around.

You have blessed my life, and I want to live with you forever in the skies.

Your brother everywhere,

William A. Quayle

1 G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 182.

Stay Salty My Friend

Matt 5:13

…Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?

Prevent Rot

Leviticus 2:13 KJV

And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Purify What is Corrupted

2 Kings 2:19–22 KJV

And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. 

And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. 

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. 

So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

Protect Newborns

Ezekiel 16:4 KJV

And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

However, the Bible doesn’t say that salt protects an infant from spiritual harm or that God requires babies to be dedicated to Him through salt ceremonies.

Historians cite some traditionally accepted beliefs for washing babies in salted water, or rubbing them with salt powder, or massaging them with salted oil. The earliest documentation they mention is a treatise written in 100 AD by Soranus of Ephesus, a Greek obstetrician, pediatrician and gynecologist who practiced medicine in first century Alexandria and Rome. Soranus’ work set the standards for medical treatment of women and children for 1500 years.[1] In his document, “On Midwifery and the Diseases of Women,” Soranus recommends sprinkling babies with powdery salt to cut through any placental remains and birth residue on the infant’s skin. He believed salt mixed with honey, olive oil, barley juice, fenugreek or mallow should be massaged into a baby’s skin then washed away with warm water.[2] The only other old reference I found was a comment attributed to Rabbi Isaac ben Judah Arabanel that salting the infant strengthened its skin.[3]

The few commentators (Clarke, Gill) who expound the salt element of Ezekiel 16:4 state that it was believed by some to be healthful, as it purportedly:

 • promoted greater firmness to the skin by constricting the pores

 • cleansed from blood

 • prevented putrefaction,hardened the flesh,

 • dried up moisture,purged the skin,

 • softened the skin,

 • disinfected,

 • strengthened immunity,

 • improved wound healing,

 • prevented rashes, and

 • created an environment inhospitable to bacteria.

Make Spiritual Food Taste Better.

Job 6:6–7 KJV

Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? 

The things that my soul refused to touch Are as my sorrowful meat.

Colossians 4:6 KJV

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Make People Thirsty for Living Water

Matthew 5:6 KJV

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

John 4:13–14 KJV

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Don’t Become Tasteless and Useless Salt

Matthew 5:13 KJV

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 Unsalty salt is a contradiction in terms (“like water losing its wetness,” Betz); if it is not salty, it is not salt. But salt as used in the ancient world was seldom pure sodium chloride. The “salt” collected around the Dead Sea contained a mixture of other minerals,14 and it is possible to imagine the true salt content being washed out, leaving a useless residue. In any case, Jesus is not teaching chemistry, and the ludicrous imagery of trying to “salt” that which should itself be the source of saltiness is a powerful indictment of disciples who have lost their distinctiveness and so no longer have anything to contribute to society. The verb which I have translated “becomes tasteless” more literally means “becomes foolish.” The apparently inappropriate verb points to the metaphorical role of the salt here, to symbolize the wholesome flavor of wisdom which disciples are to contribute. We use “taste” to speak of an aesthetic rather than an intellectual quality, but “tasteless” perhaps goes some way towards catching what may have been a more obvious double-entendre in Hebrew and Aramaic, where the verb t?p?l can mean both to be tasteless and to be foolish. The trampling of the tasteless “salt” does not have to imply that it then finds a useful role as surfacing for a path; it is simply thrown out into the street as refuse.171

1 R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 174–175.

It is understandable to be upset about the things happening in our nation. The hard sad truth is that we can’t do anything about that stuff, nor should we. The election is over. There are checks and balances in place if something funky is happening.  And if those folks miss it, God will not. We need to trust Him.

We can and must however, make a difference in our own circles of influence. As believers we have made to be salt. We need to stay salty. We need to:

 • Prevent Rot

 • Purify what has been corrupted

 • Protect Newborn Believers

 • Help Spiritual Truth Taste Better when seasoning it with our lives and personalities

 • And create a thirst for Jesus Christ, the Living water who is the only one that will ultimately make a difference.

When Robert Burns, the eighteenth-century Scottish poet, was at the height of his literary popularity, he observed the admiration of a small boy who followed him around. One day he turned and said to the lad, “Walter, what do you want?” The boy answered that some day he, too, wanted to be a writer. Whereupon Burns laid His hand on the lad’s head and said, “You can be a great writer some day, Walter, and you will be.” The boy became the enviable and prolific novelist, Sir Walter Scott.1

1 G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 182.

Do not become apathetic and complacent. You are the Salt of the Earth.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:20 PM November 6, 2020.

Ordained of God

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Ordained of God

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Election; Government, Politics and National Identity; Stewardship / Romans 6:1–6

A Biblical overview of what government was originally designed to do.

A parishioner had dozed off to sleep during the morning service.

“Will all who want to go to heaven, please stand?” the pastor asked.” – All stood, except the sleeping parishioner.

After they sat, the pastor continued, “Well, will all who want to go to the other place please stand? At that moment, somebody suddenly dropped a hymnal, and the sleeping man jumped to his feet and stood sheepishly facing the pastor.

The sleeper mumbled confused as to what was going on. “Well, pastor I don’t know what we’re voting for, but it looks like you and I are the only ones for it!”

(Dan Thompkins. (2008). Sermons of Dan Thompkins.)

On Tuesday November 3 many of us will have the solemn privilege and responsibility to vote. When you think of all the believers who have ever existed through out history, few have had the right to vote. While the Bible does not tell us which party or candidate to vote for or against, it is important that we do not act like that sleeping parishioner. We should not only vote, but we should know Biblically why we did what we did.

Having said that I believe that it is an individual decision. Each one of us should do the research and then reflect upon what we have learned from the Bible about God’s design for government. We may come up with different conclusions, but we will all answer to God, not each other, for our ultimate decision. Let us step back from the mud slinging and rhetoric, and prayerfully consider what a government and a citizen looks like that has been ordained by God.

A Government Ordained By God.

Protect From Evil Doers

Romans 13:3–4 KJV

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Ordained of God – appointed

?????b: to cause someone to be in a state involving an order or arrangement—‘to cause to be, to be placed.’ ??? ??? ??? ???????? ???? ??? ???????? ?????????? ‘for I am a person who is under authority’ Lk 7:8.1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 150.

The use of kakos may be broadly divided as follows: (a) of what is morally or ethically “evil,” whether of persons, e.g., Matt. 21:41; 24:48; Phil. 3:2; Rev. 2:2, or qualities, emotions, passions, deeds, e.g., Mark 7:21; John 18:23, 30; Rom. 1:30; 3:8; 7:19, 21; 13:4; 14:20; 16:19; 1 Cor. 13:5; 2 Cor. 13:7; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Tim. 6:10; 2 Tim. 4:14; 1 Pet. 3:9, 12; (b) of what is injurious, destructive, baneful, pernicious, e.g., Luke 16:25; Acts 16:28; 28:5; Titus 1:12; Jas. 3:8; Rev. 16:21

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 211.

Acts 16:28 KJV

But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Acts 28:5 KJV

And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.

 • This is not a broad legislation of morality

 • This is targeting those folks and organizations that cause others intentional harm.

 • Abortion

 • Robbing/ looting/ rioting

 • Policemen or soldiers who cause intentional hurt outside the scope of law enforcement.

 • Corporations that harm others as they shortcut safety and ethical protocols.

• Terrorist nations and individuals.

 • The government has been given lethal authority to deal with evil doers both foreign and domestic.

Praise Those That Do Good.

1 Peter 2:13–14 KJV

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 

Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Isaiah 5:20 KJV

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; That put darkness for light, and light for darkness; That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

 • Law abiding citizens commended

 • Law breaking citizens corrected

 • Never should the roles be reversed.

Protect the Freedom of the Individual

1 Timothy 2:1–2 KJV

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

 • The God ordained government is designed to deal with those who intentionally hurt others in order to then let the others just live their lives.

 • The government may do other things, but that was not their original design.

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public offices let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose as rulers men who rule in the fear of God…. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect this duty and place unprincipled men in office the government will soon be corrupted….” – Noah Webster

A Citizen Ordained By God.

Subject to obey laws.

Romans 13:1–2 KJV

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Subject to pay taxes

Romans 13:5–6 KJV

Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 

For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Stewards of the Environment

Genesis 1:28 KJV

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Stewards of Wages – earned and paid

Matthew 20:12–15 KJV

Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 

But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 

Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

 • Personal ownership

 • That is Thine

 • What is mine

Stewards of Personal Property and Assets

Acts 5:1–4 KJV

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 

And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 

Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

 • The government did not compel benevolence

 • The church had a voluntary giving program.

 • This was not forced wealth redistribution.

 • The property was his own

 • The $ received was his own.

 • The problem was misrepresenting how much was given.

Acts 5:7–10 KJV

And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 

And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 

Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 

Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

Tuesday is election day. God has ordained a government with a focused purpose. The God ordained government protects us from evil doers, those that cause intentional hurt. The government is to praise ( not harass) those that do good. The government is to protect individual rights so we can be left alone to live our lives as accountable to God.  Individuals citizens are to be subject to laws. Voting actually gives us a voice as to who makes those laws. Individuals are to pay taxes. Voting gives us a voice as to if those taxes are being used to deal with evil doers or being wasted on things that the government was never designed to be a part of. Voting helps us be free to act individually as stewards of our environment, our wages, our income, our property and our choice of charity.

You are wrong if you do not vote.

You are to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Our Caesar [in the United States] is a government of the people by the people for the people. One vote may make the difference.

ONE VOTE made Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector of the Commonwealth and gave him control of England. (1645)

ONE VOTE caused Charles I to be executed. (1649)

ONE VOTE kept Aaron Burr – later charged with treason – from becoming President. (1800)

ONE VOTE elected Marcus Morton governor of Massachusetts. (1839)

ONE VOTE made Texas part of the United States. (1845)

ONE VOTE saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment. (1868)

ONE VOTE changed France from a monarchy to a republic. (1875)

ONE VOTE admitted California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho into the Union. (1850, 1850, 1889, 1890)

ONE VOTE elected Rutherford B. Hayes to the Presidency, and the man in the Electoral College who cast that vote was an Indiana Representative also elected by ONE VOTE. (1876)

ONE VOTE made Adolf Hitler head of the Nazi Party. (1923)

ONE VOTE maintained the Selective Service System only 12 weeks before Pearl Harbor. (1941)

ONE VOTE per precinct would have elected Richard Nixon, rather than John Kennedy, President. (1960)

I’m only one but I am one. I can’t do everything but I can do something and what I can do I ought to do and that by the grace of God I will do.

Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999. Illustrations for October 20, 2002. www.e-sermons.com

Day of Reckoning

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Day of Reckoning

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Stewardship; Accountability; Reckon / Matthew 25:14–30

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, is recorded as having said the following:

“Never say about anything, ‘I have lost it,’ but only ‘I have given it back.’ Is your child dead? It has been given back. Is your wife dead? She has been given back. ‘I have had my farm taken away., Very well, this too has been given back. Yet it was a rascal who took it away. But what concern is it of yours by whose instrumentality the Giver called for its return? So long as He gives it to you, take care of it as of a thing that is not your own, as travelers treat their inn” (The Encheiridion, 11).

If this non-Christian could see all of life as a stewardship, how much more should we believers?1322

Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 358.

Today we are going to study the parable of the stewards. We are going to learn about trust, stewardship, responsibility, faithfulness and accountability. This message is so full of truth, we will be taking both this morning and this evening to explore it.

The main truth we will discover is that we own nothing we have been given by God. We are only servants, intrusted with our Master’s possessions. One day we will have to answer for what we did with these things. Sometime, whether soon, or in the future, there will come an ultimate day of Reckoning.

The Master Gives

Matthew 25:14 KJV

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

 • He is going away for a while – he will not be watching their every move.

 • These are his servants

 • These are his goods

Matthew 25:15 KJV

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

 • Not everyone is intrusted with the same stuff

 • Not everyone is intrusted with the same amount of stuff.

 • The master knew his servants.

 • The master gave according to raw abilities.

 • There is no requirement of equal distribution in order to expect equal faithfulness.

 • Everything you have, you do not possess.  

 • God has intrusted with with:

  • Your job

  • Your car

  • Your house

  • Your Parents

  • Your spouse

  • Your children

  • Your relationships

  • Your possessions

  • Your Position

  • Your influence

  • Your Facebook friends

  • Your ministries

  • Your church

  • Your talents

  • Your passions and abilities

  • Your intellect

  • Your opportunities

The Servants Act.

Matthew 25:16–17 KJV

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 

And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

 • Faithful servants invested

 • Faithful servants took the risk (knowing they will owe the principle one way or another)

 • Faithful servants sought to multiply the talents given.

 • Faithful servants knew that the gain was the master’s not theirs.

 • Faithful servants knew their Lord’s return was imminent, even though it was not immediate.

 • What have you done with what you have been given to multiply it for the sake of the kingdom? 

 • Have you demonstrated that you understand that what you have been given is not yours to possess, but to use for the Master’s gain?

Matthew 25:18 KJV

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

 • The wicked servant hid the money.

 • He did not simply put it in the bank… then it would be on record that it was his Lord’s money… he hid it in the ground with the hope that if his Lord did not return, he could take full possession of it.

 • Though the servant did not outright steal the money, his sin was not using it wisely for his master’s prophet.

At 12:55 pm the mayday call crackled through the speakers at the Flight Service Station on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The desperate pilot of a Piper A22, a small single-engine plane, was reporting that he had run out of fuel and was preparing to ditch the aircraft in the waters of Cook Inlet.

On board were four people, two adults and two young girls, ages 11 and 12. They had departed two hours earlier from Port Alsworth, a small community on the south shore of Lake Clark, bound for Soldotna, a distance of about 150 miles. Under normal conditions it would been a routine flight; however, the combination of fierce headwinds and a failure to top off the fuel tank had created a lethal situation.

Upon hearing the plane’s tail number, the air traffic controller realized that his own daughter was one of the young passengers aboard the plane. In desperation himself, he did everything possible to assist the pilot; but suddenly the transmission was cut off. The plane had crashed into the icy waters. Four helicopters operating nearby began searching the area within minutes of the emergency call, but they found no evidence of the plane and no survivors. The aircraft had been traveling without water survival gear, leaving its four passengers with even less of a chance to make it through the ordeal. Fiercely cold Cook Inlet, with its unpredictable glacial currents, is considered among the most dangerous waters in the world. It can claim a life in minutes, and that day it claimed four.

Kirk adds these thoughts to the story: For reasons we will never know, the pilot of that doomed aircraft chose not to use the resources that were at his disposal. He did not have enough fuel. He did not have the proper survival equipment. Perhaps he had not taken the time to get the day’s weather report. Whatever the case, he did not use the resources that were available; and in this instance the consequences were fatal.

I wonder how many other people have died needlessly like these four people did? Why, because someone did not manage and or use the resources they had at their disposal. – I also wonder how many have died without Jesus — spiritually speaking from others being poor stewards of the resources God has placed them in charge of.

Nowery states, “The stewardship of resources is a serious business; and God’s will is that we give it serious attention. This demands that we have the right perspective on our resources, and that is possible only if we have the right focus on our source.”

(Story from Kirk Nowery: “The Stewardship of Life,” Page 118. From a sermon by Michael McCartney, 12 dollars a changed life, 6/20/2012)

The Master Returns

When Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, there were many people buried in the ruins. Some were found in cellars, as if they had gone there for security. Some were found in the upper rooms of buildings. But where was the Roman sentinel found? Standing at the city gate where he had been placed by the captain, with his hands still grasping his weapon. There, while the earth shook beneath him—there, while the floods of ashes and cinders covered him—he had stood at his post. And there, after a thousand years, was this faithful man still to be found.4821

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 143.

Matthew 25:19 KJV

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

 • After a long time

 • Day of reckoning

 • Someday you will have to account for all you have been intrusted with.

1 Corinthians 4:1 KJV

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

The Faithful Servants to the Master

Matthew 25:20 KJV

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

Matthew 25:22 KJV

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

 • Lord you gave me ___________

 • Realized that this was his master’s 

 • Knew exactly what he was trusted with.

 • I have gained ___________

 • But still knew that the gain was his master’s

 • If today was the day of reckoning, what could you tell the master he gave you and you used to get gain for the kingdom?

  • You gave me my children – I raised them for you.

  • You gave me a spouse – I made that spouse better for you.

  • You gave me a church – I made that church better for you.

  • You gave me a job – I shined the light using that job for you.

  • You gave me a home, car, money, food, possessions, I used them to do more for you.

The Master to His Faithful Servants

Matthew 25:21 KJV

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 25:23 KJV

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

 • Well done – The righteous judge approves

 • Good and Faithful Servant – you proved you could be trusted.

 A little boy walked down the beach, and as he did, he spied a matronly woman sitting under a beach umbrella on the sand. He walked up to her and asked, “Are you a Christian?”

“Yes.”

“Do you read your Bible every day?”

She nodded her head, “Yes.”

“Do you pray often?” the boy asked next, and again she answered, “Yes.”

With that he asked his final question, “Will you hold my quarter while I go swimming?1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 389.

 • You were faithful over a few

 • I will now make you ruler (not steward) over many.

The Wicked Servant to the Master

Matthew 25:24–25 KJV

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 

And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

 • I know you are a hard man (implying that the master is basically unfair)

 • You take what you did not work for ( implying that any gain should have been the steward’s gain)

 • I was afraid – no personal relationship with the Master.

 • His thy talent in the earth ( not completely upfront with his motives)

 • Take what is yours – not even willing to dig it up for him.

 • Often people do religious things out of fear of punishment rather than love for the redeemer.  

 • This wicked servant is the picture of someone who has never had a saving relationship with the master.

LITTLE THINGS

This leads us to a simple but important principle: Our faithfulness in the little things will determine how faithful we will be with bigger things.

There is a story about a huge bank where one of the employees was up for a significant promotion. He lost that promotion one day in the bank’s cafeteria when the President of the bank saw the man hide two pats of butter under his bread so he wouldn’t have to pay for them. The President of the bank concluded that any man who was dishonest about butter could not be trusted with bigger things.

Little things are important. It was Benjamin Franklin who wrote:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost;

for want of a shoe the horse was lost;

and for want of a horse the rider was lost;

being overtaken and slain by the enemy,

all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail.

(From a sermon by Bruce Goettsche, “Little Things” 1/12/2009)

The Master to the Wicked Servant

Matthew 25:26–30 KJV

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 • Wicked – still in sin.. deceptive trying to take his Lord’s money

 • Slothful

 • You knew what was expected and did nothing

 • Take what he has and give it to the most faithful

 • Cast out the unprofitable servant.

When a flock of crows invades a field of corn, the birds customarily station two sentries in a nearby tree to keep watch and warn the rest of any danger. In Character Sketches, Bill Gothard relates the story of two people who succeeded in sneaking up on the flock and scaring them before the sentries had given warning. The birds burst into flight, immediately attacked and killed the two sentries, and only then flew off.1

1 Michael P. Green, ed., Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 Sermon Illustrations Arranged by Topic and Indexed Exhaustively, Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:05 PM October 24, 2020.

Not Dead Yet!

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Matthew 12:20

He’s washed up! He is a has-been, no longer necessary, useless! – These are all statements made in our cruel world when someone does not benefit another like he used to. Human beings can be written off and forgotten about quickly. Now, To be sure this seems harsh, but it is the way of business. If you cannot do the job, you are replaced. If you have made a stupid remark, or decision, you are forced into early retirement. If you listen to a pitcher who should be replaced, you will no longer manage the Red Socks. – This is simply the way things are.

It is a wonderful thing to be a blood-bought, born again Christian. There is nothing that the devil can do that will erase salvation! Butt… there are many Christians who feel that they are no longer useful to our Savior. We have been led to believe that God has sees our failure and has put us on the shelf, never to be used for his glory. It is a horrible feeling to believe that God has discarded you!

Our passage this morning is a quotation from Isaiah 42:1-4. The prophet is explaining how the messiah will be recognized. One distinct characteristic is that he will not get rid of the weak and broken. This morning let us meditate on this truth: Where there is life, there is hope… and we are not dead yet!

Jesus will not break a bruised reed

Matthew 12:20 KJV
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

A. Small stick with a crack or weak spot- not a mighty oak tree.

  1. Not much good for building
  2. Still had life in it

B. Bruised= an outward sigh of an inward hurt

  1. Personal failure
  2. The failure and hurt of others toward you

C. This bruise captivates the soul- Jesus sets you free!

Luke 4:18 KJV
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

D. David’s soul was bruised after his sin

  1. Guilt

Psalm 51:5 KJV
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 51:7 KJV
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

  1. Lost joy

Psalm 51:12 KJV
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with thy free spirit.

  1. Broken heart

Psalm 51:17 KJV
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

E. God heals the bruised heart

  1. God is greater than your heart

1 John 3:20 KJV
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

  1. God heals the broken heart

Psalm 147:3 KJV
He healeth the broken in heart, And bindeth up their wounds.

   Hearts are flowers; they remain open to the softly falling dew, but shut up in the violent downpour of rain.—Jean Paul Richter

Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 338.

Jesus will not quench the smoking flax

Matthew 12:20 KJV
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

A. The picture

  1. A little light
  2. A little heat
  3. A lot of irritating smoke.

B. Peter

  1. Proclaimed his loyalty to Christ Matthew 26:33–35 KJV
    Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

  1. Peter denied Christ and wept bitterly

Matthew 26:73–75 KJV
And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.

Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

  1. Peter was greatly used after he was filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:41 KJV
    Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Jesus will bring judgment to victory

Matthew 12:20 KJV
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

A. Victory over emotions

1 John 3:20 KJV
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

2 Corinthians 10:4–5 KJV
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

B. Victory over the flesh

Romans 6:6–11 KJV
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Victory over guilt

Romans 8:1 KJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:31 KJV
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:33 KJV
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

D. Victory over death

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 KJV
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I recently read a peculiar story about a family in Lander, Wyoming that had gone to their local refuse dump to dispose of some unwanted family items that were either busted or greatly abused. As they were emptying there junk into a large dumpster, the man of the home saw something that caught his eye. It was apparently an ornate, antique four-poster bed that had been left there by some other family.

The man called to his wife to have her to look at it as well. After a few moments of discussion they both agreed that it most likely could be stored to its original condition. So, even though it was a bit worn and tattered, they began to inquire about that possibility with the management staff of the refuse center. They found that they there was no problem with taking the grand piece of junk home if they would just pay a small fee of a few dollars.

They proceeded to load the headboard, footboard and the wooden rails into the back of their pickup and pull-along trailer. As they were loading the post, which were separate pieces, they began to question the weight of each one. The husband felt they were quite a bit heavier than he had imagined they would be. But they finally got all the pieces loaded and drove home.

When they got home, the husband backed the truck and trailer into his driveway with the assistance of his wife and eldest son. They then proceeded to unload the bed one piece at a time. To their amazement, as their son picked up one end of the first bed-post, the finial at the top worked loose and slipped out of its socket. Thankfully they were standing in the front yard and a nearby hedge broke the fall, catching the post. But suddenly they heard the weirdest noise.

As they turned to look toward the area of the noise, something caught the glimpse of the father’s eye. A few silver coin tumbled to the ground near the base of the bush. After picking up the loose coins he looked in the opened end of the bed-post and to his surprise there were more silver coins inside. With the help of his son, he picked up the opposing end and hundreds of silver, brass and gold coins came rolling out onto the lawn. Many of the gold ones dated back into the 1800’s and almost all of the coins were near mint condition. After close inspection of the other three posts, they, too, were completely hollow and contained equal amounts of coinage.

What was cast away because of external circumstances had great value inside. Jesus not only sees our warn exterior, but also sees who we are and who we can become in Him. There is still life, there is still hope. We are not dead yet!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:54 AM October 7, 2020.

Welcome Home

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Welcome Home

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Heaven / 2 Corinthians 5:6–8

A preacher and a song leader were both avid baseball fans. These guys didn’t just like baseball; they lived, breathed and ate baseball. What time they weren’t about church duties, they were attending a game, watching a game on the tube, or coaching a little league game in the park.

One day, one of them mused about whether there would be baseball in heaven and quite a conversation ensued. “Everything is perfect in heaven, isn’t it? We will want for nothing in heaven, will we? Surely there will be baseball in heaven!” They finally made a pact that whichever one got to heaven first would somehow try to contact the other and let him know for a fact whether they had baseball.

As it turned out, the preacher died first. A week later he appeared to the song leader in a dream and said, “Well, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, there is indeed baseball in heaven. The bad news is, you are scheduled to pitch this Saturday.”

What will heaven be like? I have been asked that quite a few times in my ministry. When I think of the typical streets of gold passages, I realize they are mostly talking about the New Heaven and New Earth… or the Kingdom where the Lion and the Lamb are lying down together.  

So what of Heaven right now? Some imagine heaven as a personalized fulfillment of your deepest longing or desires. Perpetual Baseball. A land of perfect food and no Hawaiian Pizza…. but what of Heaven for real what do we know?

As I considered this question in prayer, God the Holy Spirit took me on a tour. I would like to take you on the same one. This message is for people who have already put their faith and trust in Jesus as Savior. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that be it by the undertaker or the uppertaker in the Rapture, you are heaven bound.  

Let us, with the guidance of scripture and the Holy Spirit, though the eyes of faith, take a virtual tour of our next stop in eternity. Let our faith carry us across the river Jordan to the Promised Land as we hear the Father say “Welcome Home”.

Breathe In The Sweet Smell of Heaven.

The Smell of Sacrifice

Ephesians 5:2 KJV

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Philippians 4:18 KJV

But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:15 KJV

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

The Smell of Prayers

Psalm 141:2 KJV

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; And the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Revelation 5:8 KJV

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Revelation 8:3 KJV

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

Listen to the Soul Stirring Sounds of Heaven.

Shouts of Praise

Isaiah 6:1–4 KJV

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. 

And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Revelation 4:8–11 KJV

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 

And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

The Song of the Redeemed

Revelation 5:9–14 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. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 

And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 14:3 KJV

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Behold The Wonders of Heaven.

The Blood Stained Mercy Seat.

Hebrews 9:13–14 KJV

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The Mansion Prepared for You.

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.

The Saints Who Have Been Cheering You On.

Hebrews 12:1 KJV

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Our Sweet Savior – Finally Face to Face!

1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV

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.

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:

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.

Colossians 3:4 KJV

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

1 Thessalonians 4:14 KJV

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

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.

Dwight Moody was traveling by boat on one of the Great Lakes when a really bad storm developed. The other passengers on the boat cowered in fear. They even started an impromptu prayer meeting asking God to deliver them from the storm. Moody didn’t join in this prayer meeting. When asked why not, he answered with these words, “I have a sister in Chicago and one in heaven and I don’t care which I see tonight.”

No matter what trial you are facing or will face, if you are born again, it will fade to nothing the closer you draw to eternity. Through faith look forward to the sweet smell of Heavens prayers, the sweet sound of heavenly music and the sweet sight of Jesus’ face as he whispers… “Welcome Home”.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:18 PM September 30, 2020.

Wisdom Protocol

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Wisdom Protocol

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

James 1:5–8

The story is told of an old man whose grandson rode a donkey while they were traveling from one city to another. The old man heard some people mumbling, “Would you look at that old man walking, suffering on his feet, while that strong young boy is totally capable of walking?”

The criticism cut deeply, so he changed positions. The old man started riding the donkey while the boy walked. Sure enough others started grumbling. “Would you look at that—a healthy man riding the donkey and making that poor little boy suffer! Can you believe that?”

To avoid further criticism, the old man changed again. This time, he and the boy both hopped up on the donkey. They both started riding. You guessed it, people still criticized him. He could hear people saying, “Would you look at those heavy brutes making that poor donkey suffer.”

So he and his grandson jumped down and they both started walking. He thought, No one will criticize us for this. But people are fickle. He soon heard some people say, “Would you look at that waste-—a perfectly good donkey not being used.” The old man was at his wits’ end. What should he do? The old man decided to carry both the donkey and boy.

Do you ever at your wits’ end not know what to do? This old man tried to make wise decisions but ended up carrying a monstrous burden. Why? He looked to his own knowledge to resolve his problem of receiving criticism. He needed more insight than he had.

Life is complicated. Often we are given confusing information or conflicting input. COVID has served as a mighty illustration of that point. Wear a mask… don’t wear a mask… and the statistics slung by folks from all sides make me dizzy.  

So we go to the Bible. We can get absolute truth from the Bible! But what if there is a subject we need to address that is not specifically addressed by the Bible? COVID protocol is not a scriptural topic. Sure, you could read things into passages, but you know and I know that you cannot honestly say the Bible gives clear direction about masks, vaccines, or social distancing. What about non COVID stuff? Should you take that job? Should you date? Should you marry? Should you buy a car or wait?

James tells us in chapter 1 and verse 4 that it is possible to be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. But wait! I don’t know what to do here! James, through the Holy Spirit, tells us that it is possible to get specific Wisdom from God fashioned specifically for you in your specific situation. In order to know from God what is the best choice to make you need to follow Wisdom Protocol.

Ask For Wisdom From God.

James 1:5 KJV

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

  • Ask The Giving God

• Acknowledge your lack of wisdom

 • Ask and search the scriptures.

 • If your “answer” conflicts with Scriptures then it is not God’s Answer.

 • If your “answer” conflicts with someone else’s choices, recognize that God can lead different folks differently.

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.

Ask The Gracious God.

 God gives his wisdom to men not only just for the asking but also without chiding a man for his previous sins, many of which the man may not even know he has committed.

 – James B. Adamson

Proverbs 10:22 KJV

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, And he addeth no sorrow with it.

Ask For Wisdom In Confidence.

James 1:6–7 KJV

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 • Ask in faith – confidence in prayer

 • Ask without wavering

Doubting (?????????????). Compare Matt. 21:21. Not equivalent to unbelief, but expressing the hesitation which balances between faith and unbelief, and inclines toward the latter. This idea is brought out in the next sentence.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 725.

 The doubter is like “a sea of waves,” now wind-driven toward the southeast, and now toward the northwest, with nothing that could sensibly be called progress. Though we know there could be a storm on the Lake, we are here assuming no more than normal winds and their effects on the waters.  – James B, Adamson

The most famous doubter of all time is Thomas. Through history Judas has been the only disciple criticized more than Thomas. Tradition has given him a new name: “Doubting Thomas.” He wanted proof that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.

But can you blame him? When the resurrected Christ appeared to some of his disciples, Thomas was not there. Can you imagine seeing someone die, knowing he was buried, and then hearing from friends that they had seen him alive? You might feel sympathetic toward them, expecting them to get over it in time. If they keep telling you on and on and on, you might feel a need to confront them. That was the situation for Thomas.

In recent years, many Christians have been more sympathetic to Thomas. They have recognized that if they had been in the same position they may have had the same doubts. In his position, I have almost no doubt that I would have been a doubter. My nickname might have become, “Doubting Mark.”

 Devotional writer Selwyn Hughes wrote “Those who doubt most, and yet strive to overcome their doubts, turn out to be some of Christ’s strongest disciples.” Thomas was transformed, saying, “My lord and my God!” That does not hit us as powerfully as it would hit the original disciples. Before that day, they called Jesus rabbi, meaning teacher. They called him Christ, meaning the anointed one. The called him the son of the living God. No one, before Thomas, had called Jesus, “God.” Jewish leaders would not have hesitated to pass the death sentence on Thomas for blasphemy. It was an incredible and dangerous thing to say.

 The Bible says that the one who had been most honest about his doubts was the first to call Jesus, “God.” There are traditions that say he was the disciple who traveled furthest to tell others about Christ. Tradition teaches that he proclaimed the gospel in Babylon, Persia, and all the way to India. There are Christian churches in southern India claiming to trace their heritage to Thomas.

Ask In Stability

James 1:8 KJV

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Double-minded (???????). Peculiar to James, here and ch. 4:8. Not deceitful, but dubious and undecided.

Unstable (???????????). Only here in New Testament. The kindred ???????????, confusion, is found ch. 3:16, and elsewhere.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 727.

God is not pleased with a double-minded (lit., “two-souled,” dipsychos; cf. 4:8) man who is unstable in all he does, like an unsteady, staggering drunk. The answer from God depends on assurance in God.1

1 J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 821.

When the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1519 he was intent on conquest. To assure the devotion of his men, Cortez set fire to his fleet of eleven ships! With no means of retreat, Cortez’s army had only one direction to move, into the Mexican interior.

Cortez understood the price of commitment—and he paid it. He did not want his soldiers to possess a divided loyalty (a double minded man!, Lk 16:13, Mt 6:24, James 1:8).

Have you settled the issue of who is Lord of your heart?

Have you “burned down the ships” and left the old ways of the world behind you?

Can you say, “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS……NO TURNING BACK!”

God really does answer prayer! God really does give wisdom! God really does lead individually. I know we would rather have someone just tell us every little detail of the Christian life, but that is not God’s design. He wants you to come to Him, the Giving God. He wants you to come to Him in confidence. He wants you to get rid of the instability of hesitation, but come to Him in the rock solid stable expectancy that He will give you the wisdom you are asking for. This is Wisdom Protocol.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:10 PM September 24, 2020.

Christians in the Midst of Crisis

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

Christians in the Midst of Crisis

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Mission; Mercy and Compassion; Comfort / 1 Thessalonians 5:14

As calls to crisis hotlines spike amid the coronavirus, those who respond feel the strain

Suzanne Hirt

USA TODAY NETWORK

June 15, 2020

Thousands of anxious, stressed, isolated and uncertain callers are flooding helplines nationwide. They are teenagers and senior citizens. They have lost jobs, homes and relatives. Some express suicidal thoughts or fears that their positive COVID-19 test is a death sentence. Others reach out in the throes of a panic attack.

“Our phones are ringing off the hook,” said Honberg. “We stay busy. You hang up and it rings again.”

The dramatic increase is straining the licensed social workers and volunteers who strive to support callers’ mental and emotional health even as the pandemic takes a toll on their own lives and families.

In an April survey of crisis providers nationwide, nearly half of the 93 call centers that responded reported an increase in call volume, and almost as many said their workforce was overwhelmed. Many cited burnout, fatigue and mental or physical health concerns. 

The Alliance, known as NAMI, reported a 65% jump in HelpLine calls, callbacks and emails for the period of March 1 to April 30 from last year’s numbers in the same time span. Callers in the past typically wanted information or resources for a loved one, but now, four times as many people are reaching out about their own needs.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, a sub-network of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that offers emotional support to people in need after natural and human-caused disasters, saw an 890% spike in call volume in April compared with April 2019.

The Crisis Text Line, which provides round-the-clock support via text messages with a trained crisis counselor, had 9,854 counselors active during a 28-day period ending May 29 – more than double the number that were active in the 28 days before the pandemic, CEO Nancy Lublin said. 

“It’s stressful to think that there are people calling us and we can’t take their call immediately because we’re already on the phone with somebody,” said Rose Andre, a staff member at the Colorado Crisis Hotline, which also answers National Suicide Prevention Lifeline calls that originate from a Colorado area code. “We’re all feeling that chaos.”

COVID is not the only stress we are facing, our nation is plagued with racial tensions, police abuse of power, hatred for the military, disdain for law and order, a mistrust of the electoral system, and a general feeling of anxiety and hopelessness.

Beside all this people are carrying personal issues, like health threats, relationship problems, financial pressures, and other things. Everywhere you go people are hurting. I think based upon the article we just shared, the nation is in crisis.

Right in this room there are folks who are hanging on to sanity by a thread. Now more than ever we Christians need to serve as selfless Crisis workers. We must give warning, comfort, support, and patience to folks all around us.  

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonian believers gave them a similar exhortation.  When everything seems to be falling apart, we need to get our eyes off of ourselves and look on the needs of others. We need to be ready with a word that will comfort and rescue the person next to us. We need to be ready willing, and prepared to be used as Christians in Crisis.

Warn The Unruly

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

 • Warn those who are idle.

In this context, warn implies a strong admonition not to behave in a particular way. A satisfactory translation may be simply “tell those who are idle that they must not be so,” “tell those lazy people that this is not right,” or “speak strongly to the lazy persons.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

 • Warn the disorderly

Admonish the disorderly (?????????? ???? ???????? [noutheteite tous ataktous]). Put sense into the unruly mob who break ranks (? [a] privative and ?????? [taktos], verbal adjective of ????? [tass?], to keep military order). Recall the idlers from the market-place used against Paul (Acts 17:5). This is a challenging task for any leader

Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (1 Th 5:14). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

 • Warn the unruly

Them that are unruly (???? ????????). N. T.o. The A. V. is more vigorous and less stilted than Rev. disorderly. From ? not and ??????? draw up or arrange. Those who are out of line. Comp. the adverb ??????? disorderly, 2 Th. 3:6, 11. Probably referring to the idlers and busybodies described there.

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 4, pp. 48–49). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

2 Thessalonians 3:11 KJV

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

A group of 49 students and staff from Royd’s Comprehensive Middle School in England went on a week-long outdoor trip. One morning, a teacher took a small group on a river walk. She had never seen the water higher, so she led the kids through the dangerous river, instead of walking behind as usual. One of the boys slipped while trying to cross the swollen river, and needed help to get out.

Later that day another group and another teacher go on the same walk. This time, Rochelle and Hannah, two 13 year old girls, are swept away to their deaths in the flooded stream. One of the girls laughed as she slipped in the water. She thought she looked silly–her friends laughed with her. She had no idea of the danger she was really in.

Ms. Nicholson was asked why she had not warned the later groups. Her answer: She didn’t think anyone would answer the phone at the youth hostel where they were staying. She didn’t think anyone would listen.

SOURCE: SermonCentral staff. Citation: Stokes, Paul. River Fear Not Passed on by Walk Teacher. UK Telegraph, Feb 21,2002. 

Comfort the Feebleminded

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Fainthearted

oligopsuchos (??????????, 3642), lit., “small-souled” (oligos, “small,” psuche, “the soul”), denotes “despondent”; then, “fainthearted

the timid (oligopsychous, lit., “short of soul”) need encouragement. These fainthearted people tend to become discouraged and despondent more easily than most. They need cheering up, stimulation to press on, and extra help to live the Christian life. (Interestingly the verbs in these two commands [parakaloumen and paramytheisthe] are in the same order as the first two participles in 2:12.)

Constable, T. L. (1985). 1 Thessalonians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 708). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

A literal translation of encourage the timid could result in precisely the wrong meaning, namely, “encourage the timid to be more timid.” A more satisfactory equivalent may be found in a rendering such as “give courage to those who are fearful,” “take away the fear from those who are afraid,” or “give confidence to those who are afraid.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

A little girl lost a playmate in death and one day reported to her family that she had gone to comfort the sorrowing mother. “What did you say?” asked her parents. “Nothing,” she replied. “I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 70.

Support The Weak

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Word Studies in the New Testament Chapter 5

Support (?????????). Comp. Matt. 6:24; Tit. 1:9. ???? against and ??????? to hold one’s self. The primary sense is, keeping one’s self directly opposite to another so as to sustain him.

“Weakness,” it should be noted, has very often been held in disdain by others, who think of themselves as the “strong”; however, Paul has here captured one of the marks of truly Christian faith, as it has been exhibited in full by our Lord himself in his earthly life.

Fee, G. D. (2009). The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 210–211). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

In any case, it is clear that Paul’s use of the word weak, here as in Romans 14:1–2, does not imply any condemnation. Like the timid, the weak are people who need help, no doubt because they are immature or inexperienced. Since it is impossible to know precisely the meaning of weak in this context, it may be best to use a descriptive phrase which will fit with the meaning of “help,” for example, “help those who need help,” or “help those who are lacking in some way.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

The Joe Bayly family, in the course of several years, lost three of their children. In his book View from A Hearse, (Elgin, Ill.: Cook, 1973) Joe Bayly shared his honest feelings when one of his children died:

“I was sitting there torn by grief. Someone came and talked of God’s dealings, of why it happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly. He said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he’d go away. He finally did.

“Another came and sat beside me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask me leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour and more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, and left. I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.”

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 70.

Be Patient With Everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Be patient with everyone may be expressed idiomatically, for example, “speak softly to everyone,” “move slowly with everyone,” or negatively, “do not speak sharply to anyone,” or “do not shout at anyone.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 119–120). New York: United Bible Societies.

That is, in human relationships more is needed than simply “being patient” with others, and Paul’s word here implies that “something more,” namely that they are to be “forbearing” toward, and thus “suffering long” with regard to, others in the believing community. Furthermore, this distinction between the two words regularly rendered as “patient/patience” in English is consistent in Paul’s own usage. “Patience” (hypomon?) is needed in trying situations; “forbearance [long suffering]” is what is required in interpersonal relationships—“with everyone.”

Fee, G. D. (2009). The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 211–212). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

F.B. Meyer once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are three things we do not know:

First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin.

Second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her.

Thirdly, we also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.

Conviction and compassion – it’s not a binary concept of one or the other. It is both strength of conviction and depth of compassion that will enable us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world that God has called us to be.

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You are needed! Unruly folks need to hear your warnings. Feebleminded, timid, small -souled, despondent people need your comfort. Weak, immature, vulnerable people need to lean on you as you support them. Everyone needs you to be long tempered giving grace to folks who need it most. This is to be the behavior of Christians in the Midst of Crisis.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:25 PM September 17, 2020.

The Power of Prophecy

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Bible; Preaching; Reasoning; Witness of the Spirit / 1 Corinthians 14:23–25

Ron Freeman and several other preaching students were permitted to visit Brother G. E. Steward, a masterful preacher of the gospel, who was holding a gospel meeting in Houston, TX, in the summer of 1972. We were permitted to bring lessons at that meeting.

He was following Brother Keeble’s manner of training preacher, in many of his gospel meetings. Keeble would come up behind the younger preachers, and deliver the lesson for that evening; building on what they had presented.

Brother G. E. Steward, did the same thing, the night we visited and preached in Houston. After the meeting was over, he talked to all of us young preachers. His main comment on our presentations was: “Not enough scriptures.”

He stressed, “I heard a lot of your words; but, not enough words from the Scripture.” He continued: “Fill your sermons and preaching with the word of God. The power of our preaching is in the Word.”

Peter wrote: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever,” Amen, 1 Peter 4:10-11; Hebrews 4:12.

The early church at Corinth struggled with noise level in church. They did not so much contend with volume as they did with a muddled and confused message. Many believers wanted to speaking tongues so badly, they misunderstood that the purpose of tongues was to communicate the gospel in a language the preacher did not understand but that the hearer did understand so that they could get saved. 1 Corinthians 14 was a treatise on the misunderstanding and misuse of this Pentecostal miracle.

While most of us do not struggle with the misunderstanding of Biblical tongues, we too become noisy and muddled in our message. Often preference, politics, and personal prejudice make up a cacophonous background din so loud, the pure word of the gospel cannot be clearly heard or understood by those who so desperately need to hear it. 

The Apostle creates a clear distinction between the noise of our puffed up proclamations and the power of the word of prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:24–25 KJV

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 

And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

All Believers Can Prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:24

But if all prophesy…

Prophesy is the bold declaration of God’s revealed word.

Ezekiel 33:7–9 KJV

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

“Thus Saith The Lord” 415 times in scriptures.

Direct Revelation has ended.

1 Corinthians 13:8–10 KJV

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

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.

Revelation 22:18–19 KJV

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We have all the direct revelation we need in scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Prophecy in this dispensation is the bold declaration and application of God’s perfect Word. In Church, not just the preacher, or the prophet, but all can prophesy.

Unbelievers and Unlearned Will Be Convicted.

…he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest;

Convinced – convicted/ called to account

First, the unbeliever is “convicted by all, is called to account by all.” These two verbs together imply the deep probing work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives, exposing their sins and thus calling them to account before the living God. Lying behind the word “convicted” is the OT view that one is exposed before God through the prophetic word; inherent in such “exposure” is the call to repentance,631 the summons to have one’s exposed sins confessed and forgiven by a merciful God.1

1 Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, ed. Ned B. Stonehouse et al., Revised Edition., The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), 760.

The word here rendered convinced (?????????) is rendered reprove in John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin,” &c. Its proper meaning is to convict, to show one to be wrong; and then to rebuke, reprove, admonish, &c. Here it means, evidently, that the man would be convicted, or convinced of his error and of his sin; he would see that his former opinions and practice had been wrong; he would see and acknowledge the force and truth of the Christian sentiments which should be uttered, and would acknowledge the error of his former opinions and life. The following verse shows that the apostle means something more than a mere convincing of the understanding, or a mere conviction that his opinions had been erroneous. He evidently refers to what is now known also as conviction for sin; that is, a deep sense of the depravity of the heart, of the errors and follies of the past life, accompanied with mental anxiety, distress, and alarm. The force of truth, and the appeals which should be made, and the observation of the happy effects of religion, would convince him that he was a sinner, and show him also his need of a Saviour.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 270.

Judged / examined – producing deep self condemnation.

The second word appeared previously in this letter to describe the Corinthians’ “examination” of Paul and his apostleship (4:3–4; 9:3); it is also used in an earlier argument (2:14–15) to describe the proper sphere of activity of the “Spiritual person,” meaning something like “discern.” Perhaps there is an intended deflection by the use of this word here. Instead of “examining” Paul on their grounds/understanding of Spirit activity, they should seek to prophesy in the assembly so that the proper “examining” might take place, that of the Spirit in the heart of the unbeliever, bringing such a person to a place of repentance.1

1 Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, ed. Ned B. Stonehouse et al., Revised Edition., The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), 760.

1 Corinthians 2:14–15 KJV

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Exposed – hidden things of the heart revealed, producing conviction.

And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest. Made manifest to himself in a surprising and remarkable manner. He shall be led to see the real designs and motives of his heart. His conscience would be awakened; he would recall his former course of life; he would see that it was evil; and the present state of his heart would be made known to himself. It is possible that he would suppose that the speaker was aiming directly at him, and revealing his feelings to others; for such an effect is often produced. The convicted sinner often supposes that the preacher particularly intends him, and wonders that he has such an acquaintance with his feelings and his life; and often supposes that he is designing to disclose his feelings to the congregation. It is possible that Paul here may mean that the prophets, by inspiration, would be able to reveal some secret facts in regard to the stranger; or to state the ill design which he might have had in coming into the assembly; or to state some things in regard to him which could be known only to himself; as was the case with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1, seq.); but perhaps it is better to understand this in a more general sense, as describing the proper and more common effect of truth, when it is applied by a man’s own conscience. Such effects are often witnessed now; and such effects show the truth of religion; its adaptedness to men; the omniscience and the power of God; the design of the conscience, and its use in the conversion of sinners.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 270–271.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Unbelievers and Unlearned Will Be Converted.

…and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Fall down/ humble himself.

James 4:7 KJV

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:10 KJV

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

And so falling down on his face. The usual posture of worship or reverence in eastern countries. It was performed by sinking on the knees and hands, and then placing the face on the ground. This might be done publicly; or the apostle may mean to say that it would lead him to do it in private.

He will worship God. He will be converted, and become a Christian.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 271.

Worship God – a Transfer of Trust.

Hebrews 6:1 KJV

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Converted persons drop all their prejudices against the people of God, and speak honourably of them. “He will report that God is in you of a truth.” Profane people treat them with contempt and scorn. But no sooner does a man come to himself, and see things as they are, than he forms a very different opinion of godly persons. He sees that they are the excellent of the earth, the children of God, and heirs of eternal glory. (G. Burder.)1

1 Joseph S. Exell, The Biblical Illustrator: I. Corinthians, vol. 2 (New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, n.d.), 363.

And report that God, &c. Will become your friend, and an advocate for the Christian religion. An enemy will be turned to a friend. Doubtless this was often done. It is now often done. Paul’s argument is, that they should so conduct their public devotions as that they should be adapted to produce this result.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 271.

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The preacher stood on the street corner preaching to anyone who would listen. A man approached him who looked like he had lived on the street forever. “Can I help you” asked the preacher. “I think you can” said the bum. “Would you like me to tell you about Jesus?” “No.” “Would you like me to pray for you?” “No.” “If you don’t want me to tell you about Jesus, and you don’t want me to pray with you, how can I help you?” “You can give me your Bible.” “Why would you want my Bible if you have no interest in knowing more about Jesus?” “I noticed that the pages of your Bible are very thin; I can use the pages to wrap a cigarette (or a joint).” Wisdom came suddenly to the preacher, who said, “I’ll give you the Bible, if you will agree to read a page (of the Bible) before you smoke it.” The bum agreed, took his new Bible, and left. The preacher thought he had seen the last of the bum, but he could get another Bible. Several months passed, and the preacher was on the street corner once again. A man came up to him dressed in a three piece suit. “You don’t know me, do you?” said the man. “No. I’ve never seen you in my life.” “Yes you have. I’m the man you gave a Bible to (about four months ago).” The preacher couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. “What happened? Tell me what happened.” “Well, I smoked Matthew, and then I smoked Mark, and then I smoked Luke–and then John smoked me.”

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To Prophesy in this dispensation is to boldly declare God’s Word, and we all can and should do it. When someone comes within our sphere of influence, they all should hear the word of God.

Lives will be reached and changed not by slick advertising but by God’s Word. Conviction and conversion comes as all, not just the preachers and teachers, proclaim boldly and clearly the truth of God’s Word. This is the Power of Prophecy.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 3:36 PM September 5, 2020.