Teaching and Preaching with Fire and Fear of the Lord

Isaiah 66:14 And when you see this, your hearts shall rejoice and your bones shall flourish like an herb; and the hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants and His indignation to His enemies.

Isaiah 66:16 For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord will be many.

We must teach and preach some fire if the fear of the Lord is to be instilled into our children. We live in a “politically correct” world. A world in which an off-colored word will get you fired and dismissed from your livelihood. Yet we tolerate mass-media productions (television series, movies, and news) that promotes sorcery, demeans God and are in-your-face to those that love the Lord. A movie can be cancelled because there is a scene where a dog is tossed into raging water, but we openly tolerate, even invite, promotion of violence, war, mass murder through abortion, and life styles that are an abomination to God. Mass hypocrisy! We will not tolerate animal cruelty but have no problem with mass-media programs that destroy the souls of our children? Where are the watchmen?

From the pulpit we preach the blessings of the Lord, the mercy and grace of God; all of which are true for the repentant believer. But, we do not preach with fire the wrath of God that should and will strike fear and respect in our children and even ourselves. They need to hear “For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh and the slain of the Lord will be many (Isaiah 66:16) and they (the believers) shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against Me; for their worm shall not die neither shall their fire be quenched and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh (Isaiah 66:24). The Truth is, there is an eternal Heaven but there is an eternal Hell as well. Hear O children and fear the Lord.

Phil Dougherty
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Our Authority

What is our authority in issues of doctrine, morals, and daily living? We live in unstable and contentious time. Should we believe what our parents or pastors taught us? How do we respond to contemporary debates over moral issues with political forces pressing us on all sides? What do we do with doctrines that are unpopular? God has provided an answer. His revelation in the Bible is His resource on deciding these issues (Acts 17:11). It is the only inspired and infallible authority for all matters of doctrine and practice. It is the only source that is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16-17) and inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20-21). Everything that a person must believe in order to be a genuine Christian is found in the Bible. Tradition in the form of confessions and creeds, teaching from family and pastors, etc. is useful, but it is always subordinate to Scripture (Mark 7:9). In all matters of faith and practice, God’s revelation in the Bible is the final arbiter. Human opinions, societies, and governments come and go, but God’s words will always remain (Is. 40:8).

For a more detailed explanation read these blog posts.

Henry Middleton

 

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A Worthy Resolve

What can you resolve to do in 2017 that will make it a great year? What would impact your life so much that on December 31, 2017 you would look back and say, “Wow! 2017 was truly an amazing year?  You could resolve to exercise, and actually do it, dropping weight and building some muscle mass.  You could commit to doing what it takes to get the next promotion at work, and actually do it, and get it.  You could resolve to be a better husband and father, and then actually show up and encourage your wife and support, encourage, and discipline your children.  The list of meaningful and impactful things is really not that long, nor a huge mystery, but it does require two things: 1) identifying the high priority needs, and 2) actually doing what it takes to make a difference.  How about your Christian walk or ministry? You could make goals of reaching out to more people, doing more hands on service, praying more, reading your bible all the way through, and so on.

All good things.  But here, greatness is really simplified.  Here, identifying the true need gets so much simpler. In fact, getting one focus right literally solves everything.  In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”  Can’t be that simple?  Think of it as a natural law, but spiritual.  Like gravity. You drop an object on this earth and it falls, literally, every time.  Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and He will care for you, literally, every time.  He made you. He knows you. He knows what is best for you. He cares for you.  He desires a first-priority relationship with you personally.  Literally.

The second part of the action, the seeking, the part where we actually have to do something and stick to it, is a little tougher.  Thank God that he actually pursues us!  Want your ministry or the ministry of your collective group of men to be impactful in 2017?  Pursue God first, with excellence, this year.   Don’t chase good goals of service where we build our ego and look at the things we have done with pride; rather humbly pursue Jehovah God first, the truly excellent One, and give Him the glory for the things he has done.

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