Religious But Lost

As I was sitting here this morning reading some comments on facebook, I began to think about the “religious” background of those talking about being saved. It is a very sad thing that there are so very many denominations out there today. But, the reality is that those denominations do not save a person. But, they can prevent a person from going to Heaven.

I am a Baptist preacher for over 40 yrs and make no bones about it. But, I have said for many many years that I do not preach and teach “Baptist” doctrine. I preach “Bible” doctrine. It just so happens that the two are one and the same. Now, you have a right to disagree with me on that point, but the fact is that there is only 1 way a person can be assured of a home in Heaven and that is to have is sins cleansed by the Blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on Calvary. A person cannot be saved until first they are lost. Too many denominations believe that you can be good enough and God will accept you, or that you have to perform some ritual or continue getting better and better so that you can reach a point of acceptance. I talk with some people and I doubt that they really on the right track. Not because they are a part of a denomination or religious organization, because what these actually teach concerning being saved.

Now, before you begin to judge me as be “holier than thou”, I just want everyone to consider what they are being taught and actually compare it to what God’s Word has to say. I have encouraged people for years to take what any preacher/teacher says and see for yourself if it coincides with what the Bible has to say. We are living in the last days! Jesus could come and any moment! When you get to Church, listen very closely to what you hear. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into the Truth.

Time Change

Well, once again it is time for a change. This we call “fall back” to remind us to set our clocks back 1 hr. The clock by my bed has already been changed.

But, it is also time to “fall back” in love with Jesus. Due to COVID last year and then the freedom to get out this year, so many people have gotten out of the “habit” of coming to Church. The reason being that it is a habit – something you do without thinking – instead of a heart”s desire.

You will be spending time setting your clocks back, so make sure you spend time praying to set your heart back. We can ALL use an adjustmet.

Pastor Appreciation – from the other side.

Last month, Oct, was Pastor Appreciation month and I wanted to share something from the other side of the coin, so to speak. Too often the appreciation comes from the pew with very little mentioned from the Pulpit. I want to express how much I appreciate the opportunity to be the Pastor of Wilson Ave Baptist Church in Aurora, Mo. God has used Anita and me to we have served in many facets and in many areas. Each one has had it’s own unique aspects to it. We have yet to Pastor or serve in a perfect Church, because our presence there prevents that from happening.

As we prepared to come here last January, I mentioned to our folks that when God brings a new Pastor there was going to be change, because the man coming in would be different. Just how different, they had no idea. So, I want to say, from the two of us, that we appreciate you all so much for welcoming us into the fold and making us feel at home. Our prayer is that we can grow “together” as we “grow” together – closer to one another as we get closer to God.

Bob Hoffman – A Cyberspace Missionary.

We were blessed to have Bro Bob Hoffman and his wife with us at Wilson Ave Baptist this past Sunday. Bro Bob is a missionary to cyberspace. I know that sounds unusual, but he works with many Churches to better reach the internet with the Gospel When we arrived here in January, we didn’t have much of a presence on the web. A friend introduced me to Bro Hoffman and he has blessed us with a simple to use and very effective website. It is wabcaurora.com. He has spent hours working with us to maintain the site and help us get our messages out around the world with audio and written. We actually began reaching out the first of Feb and as of today, 10-21-21, we have had 807 downloads of our messages and lessons with 829 hits to our site. We have had hits from 14 total countries. It is amazing what even small Churches like ours can do to share the Truth of God’s Word in todays technology. God has been good to allow us to be a part of this new way of reaching the uttermost parts of the world. Please continue to pray for Bro Bob Hoffman and his ministry and if you know of a Church that needs assistance with their website, you can go to cyber-missions.com. Thank you Bro Bob for a wonderful weekend.

Love I Wonderful

Anita and I have been married for 51 yrs. I must admit that I was first attracted by her beauty and then as we got to know each other I realized there was something very special about her. So, being the wise guy that I am, I asked her to marry me and to my great surprise she said yes. I must make a confession – the day we got married, I didn’t really love her. I didn’t know how to love her and during those first years of our lives together it was a struggle at times. The reason was very simple – I loved me more that I loved her. Then, I began to mature (I was a slow learner) and the more I got to know her, the real her and not just the beautiful lady that she is. the more I began to see just how much there is to love about her. I try to tell her often how much I love her and also how much I love loving her.

I have said all of that because it is true, but also because there is a point to it. As God begins to reveal Himself to us through His marvelous creation and we see the beauty and grandeur of it, we are drawn to Him. There comes a day when He has shown us who we are and Who He is that our hearts cry out to Him for salvation. We see just how much He loves us, but as before we don’t really know how to Love Him. It takes time and effort on our part. We must truly get to know Him and just how much He loves us. We spend time in His Word, we talk with Him in prayer, we fellowship with our fellow Christians and see the joy and peace that only God can bring. We understand that it is far better to love Him than to love ourselves.

Jesus made a simple statement that helps us to see just where our love is directed – If you love Me, keep My commandments. The more I knew about Anita, the more I wanted to please her. The more I know about God, the more I want to please Him.

Technology Today

I have grown up (better than advanced in years) during the great advancement in technology. I can remember when the first “mega-computor” came out. It took up rooms and rooms to operate in and the temperature and environment had to be kept just right. It was called the beast. Now, we have computers that farrrrr excede that beast and we carry them around in our pockets and call people on them from around the world. All I can say is WOW!!!

But here is something else I have learned over the years. This surger in terrabytes, megabytes and whatever else wants to byte us, has left us more ignorant that we were before. Young people today communicate with emogies rather than words. Most can’t read the hands on a clock because all they have to do is ask their phone who speaks it back to them. Today, we can ask our computers or tablets or phones about any subject and almost immediately get an answer. Yet, we have dumbed down our educationsal system so that some can make it through school.

We now have a generation of people who do not know how to think for themselves. They take the word of someone that they know nothing about. And it carries over into the Church as well. I would say that there are fewer Churches out there that actually preach the Gospel and tell people that they are lost and on there way to hell, than those remaining. Paul said on 3 different occasions “I would not have you to be ignorant…” and yet ignorant we are. Let me challenge you to take your Bible and spend time with the One Person – God – Who can answer any question and meet any need. You will the wiser for it.

We Need Prayer

As a teenager growing up and trying to figure out what I was going to do as an adult, the thought of being a Preacher/Pastor never entered my mind. But, God had a plan. Anita and I have been in ministry for over 40 years and we have experienced and learned a lot. As I look back at the beginning, I remember very distinctly a big mistake that I made at our first Church. I had the idea that as the Pastor, I was supposed to always be spiritual and right with God, so I can’t recall ever asking the Church to pray for me. Boy was I wrong! I am very sure that every Pastor will totally agree with me that we need family, friends, and our members to pray earnestly and daily for us.
In talking with many Churches through the years, while helping them seek a Pastor, I have made a point to say that when the new Pastor arrives, if you have and he have earnestly prayed, then he is the answer to your prayer as God’s man of the hour. But, he will be different that the last man. You cannot compare the past with the present.
I think I can speak for most Pastors today, regardless of how long they have been serving, when I say that we will make mistakes and we will offend people, but never on purpose. I hear so often of people leaving a Church because of something that the Pastor said or didn’t say. I have a friend with whom I spoke recently who was upset because there had been contact from the Pastor in the time of need. We are human and we often do things that people don’t understand or agree with. We NEED Prayer.
When you get to the point that you realize just how much your Pastor and his wife love you, you will see that they need you. Pastors, Preachers, Staff members, Missionaries, etc. are not perfect so let me encourage you to lift them up in prayer and if there is a problem, go to them and pray together. In these last days as Satan wants to pull us apart, we need the bond of love, grace and peace.

One More In The Kingdom

Sometimes we get the wrong idea about when, where, and how a person can be saved. A person can accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior anywhere and anytime that the Holy Spirit speaks truth to their heart about their need. Such is the case with a young lady that has been visiting our Church for a couple of months. She has had a real excitement about coming and learning, thinking that she was saved a long time ago. But, yesterday, God made it very clear she had a need and He alone could meet that need. This evening she gave testimony to the fact the was truly born again yesterday. God is sooooo good. Please keep her in prayer.

Heaven Bound

Years ago there was a movie titled “All Dogs Go To Heaven”. It was a kids movie that many adults enjoyed as well. Sadly, that is the mindset of people today when someone dies. Now, I will be the first to admit that we cannot tell whether a person is saved on not for sure. But we can see in God’s Word how a saved person should act to show to the world their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Here is my point – we have seen so many people that have passed on into eternity that have a lifestyle that is filled with worldliness and ungodliness and people say “they are better off now” or “God has taken them home”. Reality check! Not everyone goes to Heaven! If a person lives like the devil, how do others think he will spend eternity anywhere but hell? God is a loving God and a Gracious God and a Merciful God, but He is also a Righteous God. The Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son to die for man’s sin, but man must chose to accept that marvelous gift or your choice is to spend eternity in the darkness of fire and brimstone separated from God and all others.

If you are sure, without a doubt, that you are saved and on your way to Heaven then do all you can to reach those who are at deaths door. We never know when our time will come to leave this other with no option to be saved.

83 Years And Counting

Yesterday, we celebrated the 83rd Anniversary of Wilson Ave Baptist Church. It was a great day with Bro Tom Hanson and Bro Randall Moody coming in to preach for us and well as provide some special music.
I want to express my appreciation for all of those who were involved in the services as well as those who spent hours with the decorations and preparing the noon meal. As always, it was beautiful and delicious.
I also want to say that after 83 years in Aurora, MO there are some things that are still the same and some things that are very much different. Obviously, the membership has changed somewhat and the ways that we are able to reach people with the gospel has advanced. But, we still preach the same message of salvation by grace, through faith in Christ’s death on the cross. We still hold true to the KJV and we are still a welcoming and loving family of believers. Thank you to those who have been a part of this ministry for such a long time.
If you are seeking a Church home, pray and come visit with us. If you are born again, God has a place for you to grow and serve and you need to be there.