The Gifts and Callings of God

Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” “Without repentance” means that God won’t change His mind about what He has called you to do. If God has called you, that calling is still there, whether or not you have obeyed. And if God gave you a gift—if He gifted you along a certain line—that gift is still there!Paul told Timothy to “stir up” the gift that was within him, saying, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God,…

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Can Christians Know the Date of Christ’s Return?

I thought after his book 1994?, wherein Harold Camping prophesied that Jesus was coming back in 1994, that we had heard the last of Camping.Well, I was wrong. He’s back and He’s got a new date. According to Harold Camping of Family Radio Worldwide, and thousands of his followers, the Rapture of the church is going to occur on May 21, 2011, followed by God’s judgment on the world and then the destruction of the planet on October 21, 2011.[1]Harold Camping of course is not the first to make predictions…

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Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility

It was eleven o’clock on a Sunday night, and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we had put our four children to bed, later than we had planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn’t be described as joy, I got in the car and did the late-night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home,…

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Jesus Christ and Salvation

God’s plan of salvation for sinful humanity is central to God’s eternal purpose and is fully revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ, chosen by God before creation to be the Savior. We affirm that Jesus Christ is truly divine and truly human.Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ:Jesus Christ, God the Son, is a distinct person of the Trinity, in perfect equality and unity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He is eternally existent and is fully God. He created all things and is the…

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The Three ‘Cs’ of Fatherhood

In First Chronicles chapter 28, David gave some final words of advice to his son, Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished” (v. 20).These were some of the last words David spoke to his son Solomon before David passed from the earth to receive his heavenly reward. In this one…

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‘Yes, church wedding is not biblical’

After reading comments from Pastor Solomon Male and Bishop Paul Luzinda, among others, I found it necessary to write this.The early Church split because of practices which became law/custom yet they were not stated/or acceptable in the Bible, for example, bowing to images, baptising children and praying for the dead. In Matthew 15:6-9, Jesus warned on adopting laws of men and imposing them on God’s people.This is emphasised in Titus 1:14.Pertaining marrying in church, I have not yet found it anywhere in the Bible that the Church shall conduct marriage.…

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The Spirit of Thankfulness

One of the things you do when you are full of the Holy Spirit is spill over with gratitude to God for everything (Ephesians 5:20). May I spill a little bit of my happiness here for you to share?I am thankful for the Word of God that feeds my heart day and night. I would shrivel up and die without the protein of God’s gracious promises (like Matthew 6:33).I am thankful for Glenn Ogren. What a great spirit he has. We have great times in prayer together (I hope you…

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Divorce and Remarriage at Bethlehem

After some three years of study and prayer and discussion concerning the biblical teachings about divorce and remarriage, the Council of Deacons, at their May 2 meeting, put the final touches on “A Statement on Divorce and Remarriage in the Life of Bethlehem Baptist Church” which is now the official leadership document for matters of membership and discipline when divorce and remarriage are at issue. This document will be available for you to pick up near the church office beginning Sunday, May 21.The Deacons are eager for you to read…

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Money, Markets, and Ministry

Preface This booklet is a window into the heart of Desiring God (DG). John Piper wrote the original draft for the Board of Directors and staff of DG as a clarifying and unifying vision for how we ought to approach the giving and selling of our resources. In this edition we’ve collaborated together to make it most helpful for you.We’re doing so because you partner with us in our mission or you may be considering it. And we want you to understand how we believe God is calling DG—especially in…

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Prayer and the Ministry of the Word

One of the many temptations confronting the minister of the gospel in this generation is to become involved in unnecessary administrative church work. Once involved, the demands tend to increase, often resulting in a degree of deterioration in the quality of his pulpit ministry. Books which encourage such involvement are pouring from the press, lauding the virtues of scientifically-proven rules, which if followed, are guaranteed to increase the numbers and expand the influence of any church. These usually require the application of the principle that the end justifies the means…

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AUTHORITY IN THE MINISTRY.

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel, and administer in the ordinances thereof. MEN CALLED OF GOD. 1. Scriptural Examples.—It is not less agreeable to the dictates of human reason, than it is conformable to the plan of perfect organization which characterizes the Church of Christ, that all who minister in the ordinances of the Gospel should be called and commissioned for their sacred duties by the authority…

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Samuel Rutherford for the 21st Century

If you have heard the name of Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) at all, you have probably heard it in connection with the Westminster Assembly or one of his two best known works, the Letters of Samuel Rutherford or Lex, Rex. You may know that Rutherford is arguably the most important of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly, that he stayed in London longer than any of his Scots brethren (from November 20, 1643, to November 9, 1647), that he was the only commissioner specifically commended by the Assembly for his…

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The Holy Spirit, His Ministry, and the Preacher of God

One final, yet crucial aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, which must be considered in relationship to the preacher of God, is that of power.  Lloyd-Jones in his book entitled, Preaching and Preachers defines this power or unction[1] as, that which God gives the preacher, ” . . . in order that he may do this work in a manner that lifts it up beyond the efforts and endeavors of man to a position in which the preacher is being used by the Spirit and becomes the channel through whom…

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The Life And Ministry Of The Apostle Paul

Paul had received a lot of bad press over the last 2000 years. But he is quite possibly one of the most authentic Christian leaders the world has ever seen. The Apostle Paul: 1) Paul was born a Roman Citizen (from Tarsus, present day Turkey). 2) As a Roman Citizen, Paul had the right to speak in public, the right to travel throughout the Roman world. 3) Paul has the right to not be imprisoned without a trial. 4) Paul was born in Tarsus as a Jew and was raised…

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TALKING WITH GOD

My lay ministry started when I was in the Air Force. Specifically while I was stationed on a Turkish air base in 1967. Many of our small contingent were younger than I was and had difficulty adjusting to our isolation and being subject to the authority of another country. I had no such problem, because as a believer I was never alone — I had God. That made me ultimately responsible only to the authority of my faith. Because others recognized that I was “different,” they gravitated to me for…

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