Friday, August 31, 2012

Baptism Means To Apply Water – Any Way You Choose!

Getting Right to the Point!

Baptism Means To Apply Water – Any Way You Choose!

Some Christian churches boldly proclaim and insist, “Baptism must be by complete immersion only!” The only thing is, the Bible doesn’t actually say that anywhere.

Jesus commands Baptism, to be sure. However, the word used in the original Greek New Testament is “baptizo,” and every Greek dictionary says that the first and most natural meaning is simply, “apply water.” That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.

True, there are Bible passages about being “buried with Christ” (Romans 6:4), and the church often speaks of “drowning the Old Adam” (Luther’s Catechism), but there also verses about, “being sprinkled” by the saving blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:22), and God grace being “poured out” on us (Titus 3:6). The fact is, it is absolutely and totally impossible to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, either from Scripture or history, that one method of baptism is commanded by God, or was used exclusively by Jesus and His Apostles

So, all those who adamantly insist and demand only one way to baptize, are, in fact, "all wet!" – and causing unnecessary doubt and confusion in the Church. In other words, they’re just plain wrong! And that's the point!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Marriage Is Defined By God!

Getting Right to the Point!

Marriage Is Defined By God!

The Bible gives only one definition for marriage: A man and a woman freely and mutually agree to look upon one another as husband and wife, with all the rights and all the responsibilities of such an arrangement, for as long as they continue their earthly existence. That’s it; no more, no less.

What any government anywhere at any time may seek to add to the requirements for marriage is irrelevant to this basic definition. Neither can human laws change this definition. The truth is, God created the estate of marriage (see Genesis 2:18-25). Thus, only the authority of God, and the consent of the man and woman involved, establish any marriage, period.

This agreement is done in public only so everyone will know that this man and woman are no longer available for marriage to someone else, and as a witness to their permanent commitment.

Marriage is rightfully ended only by physical death. God hates divorce. And since marriage is strictly an earthly estate, it does NOT continue in heaven.

These are God's descriptions and boundaries of marriage, and they cannot be essentially changed by any mere mortals or human institution, be it the state or the church, no matter what they may claim. And that's the point!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The One and Only True God Is the Holy Trinity!

Getting Right to the Point!

The One and Only True God Is the Holy Trinity!

Was the Trinity “invented” by the early Christian Church? Was this perplexing doctrine added to the teachings of Jesus, but actually unknown to Him and His followers? This is what far too many so-called Christian theologians believe and teach to those who are studying to fill pulpits and classrooms in most major denominations today, and is claimed by a number of non-Christian cults. Yet, why would a new religion, already fighting for survival two thousand years ago, insist its converts believe that three equals one and one equals three, if this wasn't absolutely necessary for salvation?!

While it is true that the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible, the teaching certainly is. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah records, “Behold, My Servant (the Son), Whom I (the Father) uphold; . . . I have put My Spirit (the Holy Spirit) upon Him.” (42:1). And Jesus (the Son) spoke of “. . . the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name” (John 14:26). And, of course, Jesus also commanded that people be baptized ". . . in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19)

So, if you want to be saved, you must believe in the one and only real God – the Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons, yet one God. Is this hard to believe? Yes. Is this essential to believe? Absolutely! And that's the point!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

“Born Again” = Believer in Jesus – PERIOD!

Getting Right to the Point!

“Born Again” = Believer in Jesus – PERIOD!

What does it mean to be “born again?” As seen in John, chapter 3, even some pretty wise theologians like Nicodemus have a hard time with this concept. There, Jesus says it’s a spiritual condition. And it can’t be something people chose to do. (John 15:16)

Neither is it some state of super spirituality, nor possession of miraculous abilities like healing with just a touch, or instantly speaking perfect Japanese without a single lesson. Those kinds of things are a whole different subject (First Corinthians, chapter 12). No, it’s much simpler than that. 

Born Again means that you believe that the historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Messiah, the Son of God, Who is also a real human being, lived a perfect life, willingly died as full and complete payment for all your sins, and thus you are on your way to eternal life in heaven. If you believe that you’re “Born Again,” period! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Get it? Got it. Good! And that's the point!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Prayer Is Worship, and That's a Fact!

Getting Right to the Point!

Prayer Is Worship, and That's a Fact!

Once and for all let's all please understand that prayer is a form of worship. There really can’t be any argument about this fact. The very first words in Webster’s dictionary for worship is “a prayer . . . showing reverence or devotion for a deity.”

Now, the Lord said that those who worship Him must do so in truth. (John 4:24). And God teaches us very clearly that truth and false teaching are never to be combined in His church (Romans 16:17). Thus, it is obviously not pleasing to God for people who accept the full truth of His Word to join in worship or prayer with those who hold to any false teachings. How much clearer could anything possibly be!?

So, please be aware that if anyone should ask this congregation to participate in some non-denominational, inter-denominational, multi-religion prayer-fest, we’ll have to say “No way!” We just can’t offend and insult our Savior Jesus Christ like that! And that's the point!  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Christ Is In Control!

Getting Right to the Point!

 Christ Is In Control!

Sometimes we’re tempted to wonder just who is running this world! It does seem at times, indeed much of the time, that no one is in charge, or if so, not doing a very good job.

But that’s not at all true. The fact is, Jesus Christ is in absolute and complete control of everything that happens in the entire universe all the time. St. Paul reminds us, “He [God] put all things in subjection under His [Jesus’] feet.” (Ephesians 1:22)

So, why does the world so often look out of anyone’s control? Simply put, it looks that way because we can’t see the whole picture. We don’t know all things. We are limited by time and space. Jesus knows all and sees all. Past, present, and future are all “now” to Him. Thus, He is working out all things for the eternal good of believers, regardless of whether or not we realize it. So, fear not; be at peace. Christ is indeed in control. And that's the point!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Resurrection of Jesus is a Fact – of Faith!

Getting Right to the Point!

The Resurrection of Jesus is a Fact – of Faith!

The very existence of the true Christian religion depends upon the bodily resurrection of Christ. This miracle, more that all others, proves that Christ was and is God, and that His Father accepted His Passion and death as full payment for the sins of all people. Without the physical coming back to life of the once-dead corpse of the historical person known as Jesus of Nazareth, all the rest of the claims of the Christian Church are useless, foolish, and even cruel.

But the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact. No other event of ancient times is so well attested. The actual eyewitnesses, pagan and Jewish, as well as Christian, are more numerous and more well regarded than for any other happening since Creation!

Still, something so amazing and world-changing cannot be believed except by faith, given through the Bible by the grace of God. Those with this faith will rise again to eternal bliss. Those who reject this miracle will rise also – to hell forever. Believe it! And that's the point!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It’s The Lord’s Supper, Not Ours!

Getting Right to the Point!

 It’s The Lord’s Supper, Not Ours!

 Many Christians, while sincere and well-meaning, seem to think they can do whatever they please with Holy Communion, also known as the Sacrament of the Altar or The Lord’s Supper. Yet it is Christ’s own Supper – His Real Body and Blood together with the earthly elements which He commanded us to receive often for the actual forgiveness of our sins.

 And Jesus left very simple, clear instructions for this supper. Believers are to use what He used, say what He said, and do what He did. Thus, faithful followers of Christ use bread and wine, repeat and believe Jesus own words, and distribute this only to other faithful followers.

 Churches that use water, refuse to accept what Jesus said, or invite anyone to partake; do not have the true Lord’s Supper, but a “table of demons.” (First Corinthians 10:21) It would be better for them not to observe the Lord’s Supper at all, rather than to do so in opposition to their Lord! After all, it is Christ’s Supper, not ours! And that's the point!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Paying For Our Sins Was Expensive!

Getting Right to the Point!

Paying For Our Sins Was Expensive!

Just what is "sin" anyway? Sin is any thought word or deed that goes against God's will; doing what God forbids, or not doing what He commands.

Think of how many times every day we just don't do what we know God wants us to do, or do things we know He forbids. Then add our wrong thoughts and words. Now multiply that times every human being ever to exist. That's a lot of sin! And the Bible says that the payment for sin is death (Ezekiel 18:4) – not just physical death, but eternal death; that is, complete separation from God in hell forever. Certainly, no one wants this, including God Himself!

People wonder why the Passion of Christ was so bloody and terrible. But consider all the sin that needed to be paid for! This is why Jesus came – to make this payment on behalf of all mankind. And that is exactly what He did with His life, suffering, and death! That's why His life was so short and hard, His suffering so harsh, and His death so horrific. But now the price is paid, totally and completely. We don't have to pay it. All we have to do is believe it! And that's the point!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Surprise – Lent Is Not All About Us!

Getting Right to the Point!

Surprise – Lent Is Not All About Us!

Lent is NOT about going on a diet, doing without TV or chocolate, or giving up beer. In fact, Lent isn’t about anything we do. It IS all about what Jesus Christ has already done!

The word “lent” is simply the Anglo-Saxon word for “Spring.” It’s used to label the six weeks prior to the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection from His death on the Cross for the sins of the whole world.

The entire point of Lent is to contemplate what Jesus did to satisfy the penalty for our many rebellious acts against God. That focus on Christ’s sacrifice will then cause true believers to thank and praise God for their eternal salvation, with words in thought, prayers, and hymns, and with actions by putting the needs of others ahead of their own.

This could include skipping a meal or not buying candy in order to help others, or to turn off that mindless sitcom in order to meditate on God’s love. Now, that’s the way to “do” Lent! And that's the point!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Church Isn't Group Therapy or Mere Entertainment!

Getting Right to the Point!

Church Isn't Group Therapy or Mere Entertainment!

Real Biblical worship must be centered on the one true Triune God. If the congregation makes itself and its wants a higher priority than God; if it is more important for them to please themselves than to please God, then their priorities are skewed and their worship is not God pleasing.

That's the problem with so many churches today – Is it a church, or group therapy for narcissists? Now, group therapy can be good, but it's deceptive to pass it off as worship! In addition, Christians are not just secular people with secular values attending a weekly talent show and sing-a-long. If worship is entirely driven by the congregation’s taste and demands, then it has very little to do with praising God and serving Him.

A church’s role is to give people what they need, and teach them how to want what they truly need. What people need is to hear is law and Gospel, sin and grace. Even believers must be constantly guided and taught how to worship properly and live according to God's will. Church is for worship, first and foremost. And that's the point!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Every Human Life Is Sacred!

Getting Right to the Point!

Every Human Life Is Sacred!

Since its beginning the Christian Church has declared and taught that God is the almighty Creator and Maker of all things, including mankind. In fact, human beings are a very special creation of God, with an immortal soul, that will live on after they die, and be reunited with their resurrected bodies on the Last Day. 

Our time of life here on earth is the only time we can come to saving faith – our "time of grace." There is no mystery about when this time occurs in the Bible. It begins at the moment of our conception, and does not end until we die. For this reason every human life is very precious to God. No one but God Himself has the right to end it, except those God grants this right, and then ONLY to protect the lives of others.

Ending any human life at any point for any other reason is against God's holy and perfect will. Whatever other names we may use for this, God calls it murder, plain and simple. There should be no controversy about any of this among those who call themselves Christians and claim to follow the Bible. We must protect all human life. And that's the point!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jesus Is The Only Way To Heaven!

Hello again Readers,

Allow me to fill in just a touch more explanation about these outreach ads before I continue. They are intended to be used throughout a calendar year, January to December, running anywhere from one to three per month. I'll put the full schedule and the complete list of topics at the end of this next piece. Enjoy!

Getting Right to the Point!

 Jesus Is The Only Way To Heaven!

 Sounds like an exclusive club, doesn’t it? That’s just the point. It’s hard to get into heaven! In fact, for normal people it’s impossible!

We all have a problem. We don’t always do what God wants us to do. Quite often, we do the exact opposite. In short, we’re not perfect. But, God is, and He insists that all those around Him be perfect too. That’s His right! So, we have to at least be seen as perfect in order for God to let us into His heaven.

Here’s where Jesus comes in. He was and is the only human who has ever been perfect. He freely gives us His perfection, which, since He is also God, is enough for everyone. He also takes the blame for all our wrongs, and, being God, that covers everybody, without exception. All God asks is that we believe this. He even gives us the ability to believe.

Thus, faith in Jesus becomes our membership card for heaven. It’s as simple as that! So, heaven is really the easiest club to get into! Don’t be left out! And that's the point!


Getting Right to the Point!

Calendar Correlation & Topic List

At the beginning of the year – early January:
There Is Such a Thing As Objective Truth!

During Epiphany – early to mid January:
Jesus Is The Only Way To Heaven!

Near “Life Sunday,” near the anniversary of "Roe v. Wade" – January 22nd:
Every Human Life Is Sacred!

Pre-Lent – late January to late February:
Church Isn't Group Therapy or Mere Entertainment!

The beginning of Lent – mid February to early March:
Surprise – Lent Is NOT All About Us!

During Lent – late February through March:
Paying For Our Sins Was Expensive!

Before Maundy Thursday – mid March to early April:
It’s The Lord’s Supper, Not Ours!

Near Resurrection Sunday – late March to mid April:
Jesus’ Resurrection Is A Fact – of Faith!

Near the time of Ascension – late April to mid May:
Christ Is In Control!

Near “World Day of Prayer” – May 3rd:
Prayer is Worship, and That's a Fact!

Around Pentecost – early May to early June:
“Born Again” = Believer in Jesus - Period!

Near Trinity Sunday – mid May to mid June:
The One And Only True God Is The Holy Trinity!

For the time of Weddings – early June:
Marriage Is Defined By God!

Before “John the Baptist” Day – June 24th:
Baptism Means To Apply Water – Any Way You Choose!

Near many “Gay Pride” days, usually around the anniversary of the so-called “Stonewall Riots” – June 30th:
Homosexuality Is Against God's Will – Like It or Not!

Around July 4th:
Are We Really “One Nation Under God?”

At the height of the vacation season- early July to early August:
Don’t Take A Vacation From The Lord!

Many people re-locating and “church-shopping” – mid to late August:
Yes, Our Church Is The Only “Right” Church!

As schools start up again – mid August to early September:
Too Much Education Can Be A Dangerous Thing!

Around Labor Day – first Monday in September:
God Put Us Here To Work – For Him and His Truth!

Near St. Michael & All Angels’ Day – September 29th:
Please Don’t Pray To Angels!

When many church are holding stewardship programs – early to mid October:
Believe It or Not – The Church Does Not Want Your Money!

Before Reformation Sunday – last Sunday in October:
Martin Luther's Reformation Was Not A Revolution!

During the last Sundays of the Church Year – mid to late November:
There Is No Such Thing As The Millennium!

Around Thanksgiving time – fourth Thursday in November:
Thank God for Who and What He Is!

During the Christmas season – early to late December:
Christmas Is NOT A Pagan Holiday!

During the last week of the year – end of December:  
This New Year May Be Your Last!

(Note: Of course, the order of the articles can be altered to fit the particular year in which they are used.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Can People Handle the Truth? We'll See.

Dear Readers,

During the doldrums of summer it is extra difficult to get guys to do some extra writing, whether for this blog or any other. Thus, you haven't been seeing much new content on IL of late. Our sincere apologies.

To endeavor to give you at least a tiny bit of new reading material from time to time, I will be sharing my up-coming outreach campaign with you. It is entitled "Getting Right to the Point!" These short pieces - 200 words or less - will be appearing in our local newspaper beginning in September. They are meant to be somewhat blunt and to-the-point, and therefore engender interest and perhaps even controversy, following the advertising mantra that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

They will appear on IL at the rate of about two a week until completed. Any and all of you are quite free to use any of them if you would like to do so for any purpose you see fit – bulletin inserts, outreach ads, web content, etc... No attribution or remuneration is necessary! I hope you find them at least somewhat interesting and maybe even useful.

Deo Vindice!

Pastor Spencer


Getting Right to the Point!

There Is Such a Thing As Objective Truth!

It’s called the Bible! Every word of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation is absolutely perfect and reliable. Your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself proclaimed, “Your Word is truth!” (John 17:17). Thus, every real Christian accepts, without question or reservation, everything recorded in the Bible: religious, historical, geographical, and scientific. No true believer in Jesus calls Him a liar by saying His Word contains errors of any kind.

If you claim to be a Christian and you don’t accept the Bible as totally true, you are putting your soul in grave danger and risk ending up in hell forever. And if your church or your pastor teaches that the Bible isn’t perfect, warn them, then get out of that church – quick! If you’re not sure, then walk right up to your pastor and ask him if every word of the Bible is true. Do it this Sunday! And that's the point!

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