With the Christmas season fast approaching, Christians in the Greater Moncton Area and beyond should be aware that there are some wonderful gift ideas available in our great city. Whether they are in search of a new bible, Christian books, DVDs, cards for any occasion, Faithful Servant Books has something for you. Purchasing from Faithful Servant Books also helps a ministry devoted to the Greater Moncton Area to provide resources and opportunities to evangelize the lost and equip the saints in their growth of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please consider visiting Faithful Servant Books and supporting this great work this Christmas season.
I have a real appreciation for hearing how people in history have overcome obstacles and lived in faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ even in the midst of some of the greatest persecutions. They saw a vision of Christ that some of us simply cannot grasp. Whenever I read anything that these men and women have written, there is a real sense of maturity and reality to their writings. Their testimony is not one that we question in comparison to many in churches today who live a nominal Christian life.
Monergism posted a link to this testimony about the first Chinese Evangelical Protestant by the name of Cai Gao who lived in 18th century China. His story of how God brought him to His Son is moving and powerful. Please take a few moments to look at this testimony and share especially with any folks who are of Chinese descent.
I saw this add for a conference put on by the Association of Certified Biblical Counsellors on the topic of mental health. There are many individuals in the churches that are struggling with these types of illnesses. I’m very happy that there are some out there who are taking the lead in educating others on how to help people who must live with this type of illness. I pray that people within the church will look at this situation more closely and educate themselves on how to help. Here is a little thoughts from the website on the conference:
We live in a broken world, beset with overwhelming problems: disease, pain, death, sorrow, sin and mental illness–clinical depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and panic attacks. Our culture assumes people diagnosed with mental illness are stuck, doomed to struggle for the rest of their lives against a problem without ever experiencing real and lasting change. As Christians we know better. The world is broken, but God has invaded that world with the power, light, and hope of his Son Jesus Christ. Whether you’re tormented with panic attacks or thinking of committing suicide, Jesus can help. We want to show the church how Jesus brings healing to those experiencing the most extreme problems of mental illness.
“If Christ and therefore salvation in its fullness and perfection- is offered, the only doctrine of the atonement that will ground and warrant this overture is that of salvation wrought and redemption accomplished. And the only atonement that measures up to such conditions is a definite atonement. In other words, an atonement construed as providing the possibility of salvation or the opportunity of salvation does not supply the basis required for what constitutes the gospel offer. It is not the opportunity of salvation that is offered; it is salvation. And it is salvation because Christ is offered and Christ does not invite us to mere opportunity but to Himself.”
– John Murray
While I know that I have personally been spending much time reflecting on the nature and necessity of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ here in the Greater Moncton area, I pray that there will be others who will see the need to think through their purpose in the witness of the church to the world and how they will participate in it.
Recently, Voddie Baucham and Conrad Mbewe held a conference focusing on these very issues. The videos are now available of the entire conference and I welcome you to watch these important talks. Please take the time to reflect upon these things and ask yourself what you will be doing to further the Church’s calling and purpose in your community.
I have been a bit less fluent in my posting especially in the last couple of weeks. The reason that I have regrettably been almost non-existent on the blogosphere is due to a couple of other projects that I have been working on. I thought it worthy of mentioning these and perhaps asking for your prayers that the Lord may make both these endeavours fruitful.
The first project that I undertook was to create a website mainly for resources purposes for Christians who are francophone in the Greater Moncton Area. What brought this about was a discussion I had with a very dear brother on the life of Henri Lanctin. Mr. Lanctin had created a sort of evangelistic movement here in the Maritimes (and elsewhere) with the establishment of La Bonne Nouvelle which was a bookstore in the area as well as a French Baptist Church. Unfortunately the bookstore has closed and it seems the French Baptist church is struggling with only about a dozen members left. My vision was to help encourage those francophone believers in the area by providing online resources and teaching. Also, I hope to perhaps bring interest in this small church so as to see it flourish once again. While the website is still being worked on and we are only in the first phases of its creation, I thought I’d post a link here anyways to get your thoughts and prayers.
The other project that has been on my plate over the last week or so has been that I was asked to create a website for the church I attend mainly Mount Zion Presbyterian Church. While I’m not a Presbyterian per say (probably more Reformed Baptist) I still attend this church due to its more “conservative” form of worship. The website has many wonderful elements to it. I began posting some of the messages from a series in the evening service on the book of Acts as well as I created a blog for the Pastor. The Pastor has been posting some good articles on the Westminster Confession of Faith which might be of interest to some. There is still much more to come but it is a fantastic resource and it certainly has much potential to help evangelize and teach the community. To view the website, please feel free to go here.
How often have we heard preachers proclaim the message of the gospel by stating to their audience that they “need to get saved to go to heaven“. I have heard many messages with this catch phrase and people literally telling me after their conversion that they were “going to heaven”. I think we have also all heard the gospel messages preached throughout the years with some preachers being very Christ-centered and others being unfortunately very man-centered. There are preachers who begin with God while others seem to spend their time focused upon man. God loves you and sent His Son into the world to die for you or Just come to Him as you are have resonated from pulpits on many occasions. Obviously different people have different ideas of preaching the gospel and what content to include.
Now, before I continue, I want to emphasize that there is nothing necessarily “untrue” about some of these phrase. I think it is perfectly legitimate to say that if a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ that they are saved and they are going to heaven. Christ is central to the gospel and there are many things we can say about Christ, His work and the need of sinful men during a gospel presentation. We could also mention such things as God’s Holiness, the fall, man’s deadness in sin, repentance, faith, grace, the new birth and especially the death of the Lord Jesus. The death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely central to the whole Christian message and is so interrelated in His person that the two cannot ever be separated. To speak of the gospel without speaking of Christ and His death is not to be speaking of the gospel at all. The proclamation of the gospel is expressed only through Jesus Christ alone.
One element that the bible is saturated with and that is often neglected during the proclamation of the gospel is the resurrection. You will hear it mentioned once a year during the “Easter” season when people flock to church on that particular Sunday but during the rest of the year many churches are left without any mention of it. There are two main dynamics to the “resurrection” that are generally ignored; the first is to withhold speaking about the glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the other is not speaking about the resurrection of the saints at the end of the age. Both these elements are so significant that I am often left wondering why they are so infrequent during ministry and the gospel message. Let’ take a look at both of these.
Continue reading “Ignoring the Resurrection in the Gospel”