The Church is Sick, and Doesn’t Know It

The Church is Sick, and Doesn’t Know It

“The church is sick, and doesn’t know it” – Joseph A. Pipa Jr., president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

From the trailer video: “When we think about worshipping God, we ask all the wrong questions. What do I like? Or what would non-Christians like? Or what does my Church like? Spirit & Truth seeks to answer the central question that we’re so often missing: How does God want to be worshiped?”

We live in a day and age when the churchgoers dictate and determine how God is to be worshiped. That is not biblical. I remain convinced that one of the reasons for the spiritual lethargy of our day is due to this incessant consumer-driven idea of worship. God is the only one who determines how we are to worship Him. The idea of an entertainment-driven, narcissistic concept of worship is idolatry. Worship is not about the creature, it is about the Creator. It is about God alone.

View the trailer:

Learn Biblical Greek

Learn Biblical Greek

Newport TN and Cocke County Residents (and anyone else who may be interested):

The starting date is TBD (based on interest).
The class meeting time is TBD (based on interest and input, but it will be either Tues, Thurs, or Fri evening).
The textbook is required (student must purchase).
Cost – FREE

Open to anyone age 12-99.

The class will only be held if there are a minimum of five people interested.

More information and to express interest and choices please visit: https://www.fellowship-pca.org/greek-class

#newporttn #cosbytn #cockcountytn #greek

A Prudent Minister

A Prudent Minister

John Flavel:

A prudent minister will study the souls of his people more than the best human books in his library, and not chose what is easiest for him, but what is most necessary for them. Ministers that are acquainted with the state of their flocks, as they ought to be, will be seldom at a loss in the choice of the next subject. Their people’s needs will choose their text for them…This will direct us to the great doctrines of convictions, regenerations, and faith, and will make us sit thoughtfully in our studies, asking “Lord, what course shall we take, and what words shall we use that we may best convey the sense of their sin and danger, with the fullness and necessity of Christ, to their hearts?”

The Character of a True Evangelical Pastor, Drawn by Christ, in The Works of John Flavel, 6 vols. 6:571 as quoted in The Preacher’s Catechism, p. 63

Pastoring and Preaching

Pastoring and Preaching

I am enjoying the book The Preacher’s Catechism, written by Lewis Allen. If you are pastor, you should get this book and devour it first and then go back and reread it slowly and prayerfully. It is full of wonderful encouragement and penetrating statements that will help you as a minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I came across one of those items in my reading today, and I share it with you to provoke thought and, maybe, discussion. 

“Preaching looks, to all the world and sometimes to the church, like an easy ticket. Those who feel the weight of God’s call know that in fact it is hard work.In the last sermon he ever prepared for a pastors’ gathering (he actually died before he delivered it), John Flavel warned his fellow laborers of this”:

“The labors of the ministry will exhaust the very marrow from your bones, hasten old age and death” (Luther). They are fittingly compared to the toil of men in harvest, to the labours of a woman in travail, and to the agonies of soldiers in the dangers of battle. We must watch while others sleep.
It is not so much the expense of our labours, as the loss of them, that kills us. It is not with us, as with other labourers. They find their work as they leave it, not so with us. Sin and Satan unravel almost all we do, the impressions we make on our people’s souls in one sermon, vanish before the next. How many truths have we to study! How many strategies of Satan, and mysteries of corruption to detect! How many cases of conscience to resolve! We must fight in defence of the truths we preach, as well as study them to paleness, and preach them unto faintness. But well-spent head, heart, lungs, and all; welcome pained breasts, aching backs, and trembling legs; if we can by all but approve ourselves Christ’s faithful servants, and hear that joyful voice from his mouth, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants.'”

Source: John Flavel, The Character of a True Evangelical Pastor, Drawn by Christ, in the works of John Flavel, 6:569 as quoted in “The Preacher’s Catechism” by Lewis Allen, p. 52

Contentment

Contentment

For some, the lesson of contentment is a lesson that is often learned through bitter experience and dark providences. Some may be experiencing them right now. I am reminded of the apostle Paul’s words in that he learned contentment through his circumstances (Phil. 4:10-13).

There is a “quiet sense” about contentment. It is not flashy. It is not going to be offered by most as one of the top five of Christian virtues, usually. It is, however, invaluable as you pilgrim through this fallen world.

How can you know you are learning contentment? When you find your hope in Christ often and not on fallible people. When you rest on His promises to you in His good time and way, and when you are pleased to say, “this is not my plan for me, but I want what you want, Lord.” When you find that you’re complaining less and less about the circumstances of your life that you will know that you are learning contentment.

Contentment is not about trying harder. It is about submitting to the will of a Father who loves you. It is about praying His promises to you and pleading for more grace through the difficult times. It comes as you ask the Holy Spirit to help you. It comes by faith, believing that your Father in heaven is for you.

I know it is hard. I do. However, it is in the face of dark providences that we see the brilliance of our loving Father more clearly. Look to him, dear friend and fellow sufferer. He alone is your only hope.

Radio Ministry

Radio Ministry

I have the opportunity to host a radio program on a local radio station beginning July 23, 2019, at 10 AM. The details are in the graphic below.