Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tomorrow we will celebrate Easter together at Berean Baptist Church. I want to wish all of you a wonderful Lord's Day as we gather together. The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be stated too much. The following quote is from my sermon notes that I will be using tomorrow.

The resurrection is the crowning proof of the deity of Christ. It is this great doctrine that separates everything else from Christianity. We have often stated that if the resurrection had not taken place there would be no gospel. The importance of the resurrection can be stated by the following points:

1. The resurrection proves the deity of Christ
2. The resurrection assures us of acceptance with God
3. The resurrection is at the heart of the gospel
4. The resurrection is the very foundation that the gospel
stands upon

The Arrogance Of Unbelief

When we attempt to share our faith in the Deity of Christ and in His resurrection, we find that many people have a deep-seated bias and hatred towards the gospel. They often oppose the Christian faith without really considering the evidence for it. For example, if we asked some of these people questions such as, “Do you know why we believe the Bible to be true?” or “Do you know why the Bible alone is the Word God?” or “Do you know what the evidence is for the resurrection of Christ?”-- these people would, for the most part, have to answer “No.” And many times they display a rudeness, arrogance, and contempt for the Christian faith that is hard to explain, except that there is this deep-seated bias and prejudice against it. This reminds me of a story I once read about a lion in Africa who went around to all the other animals asking, “Who is the king of the jungle?” The story goes like this: A lion in Africa went up to the big, fat hippo and said, “Who is the king of the jungle?” and the big fat hippo replied, “You are of course!” And the lion went over to the giraffe and said, “Who is the king of the jungle?” and the giraffe replied and said, “You are, O mighty lion.” Then the lion went over to the baboons and said, “Do you know who the king of the jungle is?” and the baboons all stood still trembling in their tracks and said, “You are, O great one of the jungle.” And the lion went over to the big rhino and said, “Who is the king of the jungle?” and the rhino replied, “We all know that you are, O mighty lion!” And finally, the lion went over to a big elephant that was walking along the river where the trees and water meet, and the lion said to the elephant, “Who is the king of the jungle?” And the elephant reached down with his long trunk and wrapped it around the lion and picked him up and slammed the lion against one tree and then another. Then the elephant slammed the lion to the ground and dragged him all around in the dirt, and then picked him up again and slammed him back into the trees again. Then he threw the lion back down on the ground and slammed the lion up and down in the dirt. Finally, the elephant picked the lion up and threw him into the river. The lion came out of the river all wet, humbled, and very subdued. He shook off the water, got his bearings. and then said to the elephant, “Just because you don’t know the answer to the question doesn’t give you the right to act so immature!” I understand that for many people who are not Christians, there is arrogance in their unbelief. This arrogance is very hard to understand since they have not considered the evidence for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This arrogance is just biased unbelief.In our text this morning, we have the statement from the angel, “Why seek you the living among the dead?” In this account by Luke, the women came to the tomb of Jesus very early in the morning with spices that they had hoped to use to pour on the Lord’s body. When they arrived, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. As the women stood near the tomb very perplexed, two angels appeared to them and asked this great question, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” This is a very relevant question for everyone to ask themselves, as well. This is the question with two options. These two choices or options are open for all of us to choose.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I want to wish all the Berean family and friends a wonderful Easter holiday. This Friday we will meet at the church for our Good Friday Service. On Sunday morning we will have our 26th annual Sunrise Service at 7:30 AM at Crestwood Cemetery. Our Easter Services will be at our normal times. A special breakfast will be served at church at 8:15 AM. God bless all of you and never forget that the blessings we enjoy in life are because He lives!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Importance of Worship

As the Pastor of Berean Baptist Church I have the responsibility to watch over the flock who worship every week together with us. Along with Pastor Stewart and our other elders and deacons we pray that our church will be a spiritual haven on earth for those who walk with God. I am painfully aware, as your pastor, that there is a cultural war raging in our land. That war has many battle fields. One of these battlefields is within the local church. On the battle field of the church there is being fought a war over how we should worship our God. I have written a book entitled, “What The Bible Teaches About Worship.” This book was not written over night. It reflected years of study, prayer, contemplation, observation, and concern over the trends that I had seen develop within the Church of Jesus Christ. I pray that everyone at Berean will read this book and will try to follow the suggestions that I set forth there.

Today, I am putting an article by Elizabeth Eliot on our blog that describes the need to sing the great old hymns of our faith in our worship. Elizabeth Eliot was the wife of Jim Eliot who was martyred by the Auca Indians in Peru many years ago. Anything that you can read by Elizabeth Eliot is worth its weight in gold. I trust this article will be of encouragement to you.


Many of the churches my husband Lars and I visit on our travels seem to know nothing of the great old hymns that have instructed, comforted, and enriched the church for centuries. Hymns constitute a crucial part of worship, but not by any means the whole. In churches which use almost exclusively what are called "praise songs," that part of the service is usually referred to as "Worship," as though prayer, preaching, offering, and listening were something else. May I lodge a plea to those who use overhead projectors to make sure that some great hymns are displayed in addition to the praise songs? Hymns will get you through the night.
In January of 1956, when five women were waiting with bated breath to find out whether our husbands were dead or alive, I lay in bed in Nate Saint's home, my little daughter Valerie sick in a crib beside me. The hymn "How Firm a Foundation," with those magnificent words taken from Isaiah 43:1-2, sustained me, especially stanzas 2, 3, and 6, memorized when I was a child in our daily family prayer time:

"Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake!"

Everywhere I go I try to point out what a tragic loss is the disappearance of these powerful aids to spiritual stamina. A true hymn has rhyme and meter, a logical progression from the first verse to the last, and I feel like jumping up and down and "hollering" to get my message across, but I try to keep it to merely begging and imploring folks to get their hands on a good hymnbook. Where to find them? they ask. Perhaps they are moldering in the church basement. More than likely they've long since been dumped - "Young folks don't like hymns," we're told. But of course they don't like them - they don't know them. Alas!

But help is on the way. In the USA Try 'Trinity Hymnal,' Great Commission Publications, 3640 Windsor Park Drive, Suite 100, Suwanee, GA 30174 (800-695-3387). May I suggest that you keep it with your Bible wherever you've arranged your quiet time?

Elisabeth Elliot

(I would simply say that every Christian should keep their hymnbook handy and use it every day in their personal devotion and worship to God. God bless you my dear Bereans!)