logo

Wednesday 13th of December 2017

March to Zion - Latest Content
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."

Read more...
 
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.

Read more...
 
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.

Read more...
 
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??).

Read more...
 
Is Hyperactivity Real Discipleship?
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 25 May 2012 20:26

 

 

Recently I have noticed a disturbing trend among Christianity. I have been guilty of the trend many times in my life and did not necessarily even know I was guilty. The trend will be detrimental to Christianity in America. The trend is replacing personal discipleship with hyperactivity. You may ask what the last statement means. Replacing personal discipleship with hyperactivity means that although a person may be very active in many church activities, they have almost completely ignored personal discipline and self control. We can easily be active in every church event on the calendar and not walking close to our Savior. People can seek their self fulfillment from religious hyperactivity and not through repentance towards God. A person can be involved in evangelism, feeding the poor and widows, bible studies, and other church events; yet not be pleasing God with their words, actions, ethics, and intentions of their heart. Always remember, we are not just disciples when we are at formal worship or other church functions. We are the Church all the time. When we cuss, steal, fornicate, make sinful jokes, we are displeasing to God even if we are hyperactive in different church activities.


American Christianity is stepped in non-biblical auxiliaries that can often distract the believer from the primary goal of penitent service towards God. I fear that these auxiliaries are more mind numbing distractions then growth mechanisms. Nevertheless, that is a topic for another day. Continuing on, we often equate hyperactivity with true discipleship by quoting many passages from James 1 and 2. Whereas repentance and conversion should always lead to action (faith without works is dead), actions must always first come from a penitent person. Works only come from a person that is self aware and actively trying to conform their lives to emulate that of Christ’s. Yes we often fail but that should not be a crutch for apathy to sin. Notice Christ’s admonitions to two of the seven Churches at Asia; Ephesus and Laodicea.


To Ephesus: Revelation 2:2-4, I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Ephesus seemed to be a very hyperactive church. I dare say that any church would wish to have the description given in verses 2 and 3. Yet Jesus tells the church at Ephesus that they were doing all the right things without the proper motivation. They had left their first love. Instead of serving God from deep love for him, every action was done out of necessity and repetitious tradition. If they would not take heed to Jesus’ words they would have their candle stick taken from them. Hyperactivity without the proper motivation seems to be very serious.


To Laodicea, Revelation 3:14-17, And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

Laodicea was a church that I believe best describes general Christianity in America. This church was complacent and didn’t even know it. They were not self aware or self disciplined. The church at Laodicea felt, well, comfortable. God relays to them through John that if they fell to repent, he would vomit them from his mouth. God considers complacent Christians the same as vomit; quite sobering.


You may say, "I am not complacent, I attend all the church functions." As I stated early, actions without proper motivation and/or situational ethics are not true service. This is not passing judgement on anyone. We are our answerable with are own conscience to God. Yet, there is a continually theme of God’s disapproval of sacrificial action without a penitent heart. Study the following verses; Ezekiel 33:31, Isaiah 23:19, Matthew 15:8, Mark 7:6-7.


Take note of these verses for what God truly desires from his children.

Psalms 51:16-17, "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


Dear reader, repentance and discipleship are more than just hyperactivity. Christianity is more than just a show. True service starts from the heart and is self aware, penitent, and ever seeking to glorify the Lord in EVERY action; not just the ones “at” church. God desires more than just lip service. He commands more than an outward show of Christianity. He deserves more than mediocrity. Whether at work, in your family, with your friends, at school; He deserves our ALL. This subject is of a serious nature. It is serious enough that God has taken away the identity of churches and nations over this issue. So, what is the cure? I will step off my soap box, stop rambling, and leave you with Joel 2:12-13.


Joel 2:12-13, "Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil."

 

 
Are You Saved?
Written by Ben Winslett   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 22:12

 

I attempted to speak tonight at Union PBC near Woodville that there are two types of salvation, or deliverance, found in the Bible. One is the unconditional, eternal, everlasting salvation wrought by Christ on the Cross. The other is conditional, occurring in time, and is based upon our obeying Christ.

However (here is my point), while we know this and believe it to be true, merely understanding temporal salvation on a cognitive level is not the point. Actually saving yourself from the "untoward generation" is the point. There are two roads in this world - one broad and destructive and one narrow which leads to life.

Points to consider about the strait gate:

1. Devote yourself to Christ. Proverbs 3:5 (This is of chief importance, without Christ even Bible based religion is vain - see the Pharisees.)

2. Devote yourself to His Word. Psalms 119:9-12

3. Devote yourself to His Church/Kingdom. Matthew 6:33

 

 
« StartPrev31323334353637383940NextEnd »

Page 33 of 41


 


Copyright 2003-2015 - Marchtozion.com | Sitemap