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Monday 16th of October 2017

March to Zion - Latest Content
Is a formal Bible study an ‘addition’ to the church? If it is wrong, what makes it so?
Written by Josh Winslett   
Saturday, 29 December 2012 00:00

Revised 5-23-13

 

The term “bible study” can be very nebulous. Like any term or phrase in the English language, there can be many definitions associated with the phrase. By “formal Bible study” I take that to mean a question and answer session during a typical organized worship service.

In many places in scripture we can find people asking questions to ministers. In Acts 8:29-39 we see that the Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized after a dialog with Phillip. In Acts 10 the entire household of Cornelius was converted to the knowledge of the truth through an in dept biblical discussion.

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Recommended Reading: Look Upon Zion by Harold Hunt
Written by Ben Winslett   
Friday, 23 November 2012 10:45

 

Elder Harold Hunt operates an Old Baptist publishing endeavor in Maryville Tennessee and frequently publishes both books and essays in paperback form. I am very thankful that he sends these to me free of charge as they are published.

Last week, I received 28 page paperback entitled Look Upon Zion. The booklet is an essay on Zion, the Church of the Lord, from both Old and New Testament scriptures.

He first compares popular movements such as Messianic Judaism with Dispensationalism and notes how both groups erroneously downplay the church as a "stop gap" measure of the Lord when His initial goal of setting up a worldly kingdom failed (again, erroneously so). He then shares verses pertaining to the Lord's Church as a place of worship, a place of solemnities, a place of safety, a quiet habitation, and a tabernacle that shall not be taken down. Christ came to establish His Church, a Kingdom not of this world, and according to John chapter 17 He finished this work.

It was a very encouraging read and also could assist in clarifying truth from popular, contemporary notions. If you would like a copy of this or any other of the works he currently has available, you can write Elder Hunt at the following address:

Elder Harold Hunt
PO Box 5352
Maryville, TN 37802

Again, the booklet is entitled Look Upon Zion.

 

 
Discretion Shall Preserve Thee
Written by Ben Winslett   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 09:37

 

"Discretion shall preserve* thee, understanding shall keep thee..." - Proverbs 2:11

To be discrete or to have discretion is to know when to speak. Knowing when to speak is possibly one of the hardest parts of the Christian life. Some of us are very talkative (myself included). When I was young, a dear friend shared this verse during a time of adversity in my own personal life and it has been an invaluable proverb to continually keep in mind as I interact with folks. Sometimes I forget this wisdom, but I do try to live by it.

Solomon reminds us often in the Proverbs of the dangers of being the proverbial "loose cannon."

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Salvation: A Summary Of The Usage Of The Word "Save" In Scripture
Written by Ben Winslett   
Thursday, 09 August 2012 15:37

 

The concept of Salvation is one often over simplified and therefore misunderstood in our present day. Generally, when one reads scripture and comes across a derivative of the word "save," the concept of spending eternity in Heaven comes to mind. While there are many occasions in the Bible where this word does indicate salvation from sin, the word was more general in its original usage. Sometimes this word has reference to being delivered from an enemy while other times it refers to being delivered from the influence of the wicked. Thus, it has been the practice of Baptists for hundreds of years to differentiate between eternal salvation (salvation from the penalty of sin) and temporal salvation (a deliverance we experience in our lives on earth which does not have eternal ramifications).

It is the intended purpose of this article to give examples of each type of salvation as found in scripture.

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Rain!
Written by Ben Winslett   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 08:45

Thank the Good Lord for rain!

 

Locally, we have been in a drought for a month. This affects us all in different ways. Unless you have a sprinkler system in your yard, your grass is probably brown. We have all been asked to conserve water. My garden is sickly and will not produce this year as it did last year. Many of the corn fields I pass driving through town have turned brown. This impacts the food supply resulting in either shortages or higher prices for consumers. It also impacts the income of farmers, hurting many in our community financially. While many things have changed over the 6000 years of Human history, the dangers of a drought have remained the same.

 

Yesterday afternoon I was at a friend's home and it happened. Water began falling from the sky. Yet, instead of a passing shower or two as we received last week, this rain "set in" and has been falling since. There is still a bit of drizzle and more clouds on the radar. God has blessed us! Our land will be nourished again.

 

This has prompted a couple of "morning coffee" thoughts I will share with you.

 

First, this shows our dependence on the Lord for His providence. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was instructing His disciples to bless even their enemies and thereby emulate the behavior of their Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:44-45). As Jesus said, "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." God is gracious to His creation, despite their own sinfulness!

 

In the days of King Ahab, a wicked king who married a pagan woman named Jezebel who would ultimately lead the children of Israel into idolatry and judgement, Elijah the prophet prayed that it would not rain by the space of three years. This drought caused a great dearth in the whole land and the nation of Israel suffered (1 Kings 17:1). Elijah prayed again and rain came, reviving the land and ending the drought, God's judgement on Israel. Without rain, we suffer.

 

The point? As powerful and advanced as we *think* we are as Americans, we are still just as dependent on God's blessings as mankind throughout history.

 

Second, consider this as a picture of gospel preaching. Preaching nourishes the child of Grace as rain nourishes the ground. Paul said of his gospel labors in Corinth, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase" (1 Corinthians 3:6). While Paul "planted" the church at Corinth, Apollos "watered" it. Paul left Corinth in the pastoral care of Apollos, whose preaching worked to nourish and grow the believers in that location.

 

So what am I getting at? Simple - preaching is important. Just as crops wilt under the sun's heat without rain, so do we without preaching. It is salvation to the believer! Preaching saves us again and again as we live in this sinful world. Thinking of skipping Church Sunday for the lake or perhaps sleeping in? That would be tantamount to a corn field shielding itself from the rain, eventually to it's own destruction.

 

"For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof..." Job 36:27

 
Baptist Skepticism of the Revolutionary War
Written by Admin   
Friday, 29 June 2012 09:42

 

 

I want to share a few thoughts in the aftermath of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on "Obamacare."

 

Baptists have always believed in a firm separation of Church and State. It is hard for us, who lack the historic Baptist's experience, to understand their conviction on this matter. Anabaptists (the forefathers of Baptists) went as far as to forbid their members from holding public office, which I feel to be a bit extreme but understandable given their harsh persecution from religious governments. In the Colonial days, Baptists still very much believed in a separation of Church and State, as demonstrated by John Leland's petition to James Madison for religious liberty.

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Obamacare Stands - A Pastor's Admonition
Written by Ben Winslett   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 09:07

 

Today is a huge day in American politics.

The US Supreme Court has ruled and allowed Obamacare to stand and only parts of it were struck down (which was what I expected).

Lesson to learn: There is a throng of people in a live feed I am watching at present in an absolute panic. All of that emotion is doing nothing but hurting those angry. If you are a believer in Christ, you have more important things to do than fume and stew over it. I can speak this from personal experience, when the bill originally passed I was absolutely infuriated. I stayed up late that night and woke up early the next day genuinely believing the world as we know it was coming to an end. What did that change? Not a thing. Not one single thing.

Here's another thought: WORSE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED. Do I like this bill? No. Is it going to be a good thing for our country in the long run? I don't think so (but I could be wrong). But to be honest, dear Christians, worse things have happened.

As bad as we sometimes think our President is, Nero was worse. No where in scripture were First Century Believers encouraged to overthrow Nero. Again, we have more important things to be doing, so don't let Satan capture you in a snare and entangle you in the affairs of this world.

Vote, share your views in peaceful discourse, pray for the country and our leaders, but beyond that focus on personal repentance, discipleship, and evangelism.

Christians change the world from the inside out, not the outside in. Politics hasn't fixed the problem. Protesting didn't fix the problem. And, to be quite honest, God sent us into the world not to conform government, but to honor Christ as individuals, families, and churches.

May your day be filled with Christ.

Ben Winslett

 

 
First Things First...
Written by Ben Winslett   
Monday, 25 June 2012 10:04

We live in a society of distractions. There are technical terms for these distractions like "marketing" and "advertising." Realize it or not, millions of people are competing for your attention, the thoughts of your mind, at any given moment. Every where you turn, something is designed to specifically grab and keep your attention. Think about it...every few minutes of television or radio time there are commercials (TV and Radio doesn't exist simply to inform or entertain you, shows exist to sell advertising. The programming is the bait), on most websites there are advertisements, newspapers and magazines have ads on every page. You can't even drive down the road without seeing billboard advertisements. Suffice it to say, your attention is a desired commodity (can anyone say Facebook??).

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