"Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered, according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, indeed a church of God.”
- John Calvin
This episode of Bringing the Word focuses onto today's political landscape. Here Pastor Starks engages in open discussion while we talk about the current candidates and how the Christian voter is to respond. This brings up the question: is the Christian to select between the lesser of two evils? Are we to vote from the heart? Are we to follow a 4000 plus year old document on how to select leaders that may be antiquated? How does the Christian vote this election season? Listen in and get a bigger perspective on what the bible says vs what you may be thinking.
QUESTION: Does your viewpoint agree with scripture? If it does not, what should you do?
Be sure to contact us with questions... we'd love to answer you!
According to CARM Universalism is the teaching that all people will be saved. Some say that it is through the atonement of Jesus that all will ultimately be reconciled to God. Others just say that all will go to Heaven sooner or later whether or not they have trusted in or rejected Jesus as Savior during their lifetime. This universal redemption will be realized in the future where God will bring all people to repentance. This repentance can happen while a person lives or after he has died and lived again in the millennium (as some "Christian universalists" claim) or some future state. Additionally, a few universalists even maintain that Satan and all demons will likewise be reconciled to God. However this is a serious error because scripture says no such thing. In fact the bible plainly states in Jesus own words: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" ( John 14:6). Since Christ claims exclusivity by default He eliminates all other contenders. He even says dogmatically: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). Now either the Pontiff is right or Jesus ...I think I'll go with the later.
--Attracting "new members" seems to be the mission of so many churches. Of course the church needs members and that is a noble in itself, but bringing in people at the cost of the "preaching of the cross" isn't the best approach. The lifting up of Christ "draws all men.." not movie tickets. And if that is the case it seems that the goal of the church should be reconciling human beings to God -signing up people up for membership is the goal of business. Star Wars tickets might get more names on the rolls but only the gospel brings men into the kingdom of God.
In this video above, television personality Oprah Winfrey, highlights that all beliefs and doctrines have truth that lead to God. However the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:14-"That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive;..." Being grounded in God's word helps the believer decipher false teaching and "every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,(2 Corinthians 10:5). This new series on belief is filled with "every wind of doctrine" along with views that are "against the knowledge of God" so how will we know truth? Jesus has the answer "....Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). Sorry Oprah.
The downfall of basketball player Lamar Odom is a heart-wrenching saga of the rise and fall of a sports figure. In fact anyone being found lying unconscious in a Las Vegas brothel is indeed unfortunate. Odom however, even with his fame and fortune, is not immune from sin's disbursement. Because the worse part of a man's life is not how one dies or lives but the final paycheck one receives if that individual dies and is not in Christ. In fact, to this day, sin has never changed it's payment- it's wages are always paid in the unchanging currency of death. (Romans 6:23) The focus of the Christian however is not on the sick bodies that lie in hospital beds but the soul of a person who is bound for eternal darkness.(Matthew 8:12). The tragedy of a pro ball player, is no different than the tragedy of a housewife, a wall street banker, an auto mechanic or any individual who has not dealt with sin. The sin of someone living as a celebrity, athlete or high roller in a world of sex, drugs and rock and roll, is no different than the local plumber in suburbia or a shop keeper in the inner city of urban America that is trapped in a cycle of lying, coveting and idolatry. Whenever the horrors of vice happens to someone of stature, we focus on the vice or activity that led to the calamity but the root problem of sin is bypassed. Let us pray that "we enter not into temptation but are delivered from evil". For Jesus Himself said: "...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34). So the first priority for anyone who is sick is the soul first the body second. " for what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul"( Mark 8:36). Because hell is the worse place you can go -not Vegas.
If one is to represent Christ on earth, you would think that this individual would present the only message on earth that will rescue human beings from the wrath of God: and that would be the gospel. However the pontiff spoke on many things- but the gospel message was M.I.A. Helpful hints about helping humanity with it's struggles, and people being nice to one another, are okay at times- but it ain't the good news of Jesus Christ.
---One of the huge problems of the modern church are disqualified men pastoring churches. In the video above, this 103 year old woman knew the difference between Pentecostal ministers and Baptist ministers. When she complains the pastor is not baptist and in fact is pentecostal, this so called pastor kicks her out the church and turns out the lights on her during the service, cancels worship and leaves her in the dark. Let's examine this for a moment. Her church is Baptist and it's leaders installed a Pentecostal minister to pastor the church. This lady knows enough of her word to conclude that this minister is not of the baptist faith. Nothing wrong with each denomination using ministers that share characteristics of the values of their particular church. An Anglican church would not hire a Nazarene minster to pastor it's church or a Catholic church would not hire a Methodist minister. So any church has the right to choose according to the values of it's denomination. However there is a bigger problem in the church today than denominational squabbles- and that is: bringing in men who do not meet biblical qualifications for the office of pastoral ministry. The truth is many churches when choosing leadership, have just ignored scripture: 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5 and have put in men who look good, sound good and feel good but completely fall short of God's standards for leading the flock of God.
Kentucky Clerk of Court Kim Davis was jailed by a federal gangster, judge yesterday because she refused to put her name on marriage certificates for same-sex couples. We are now witnessing the inevitable from the Supreme Court's dangerous ruling in June. As Americans, our constitution guarantees religious liberty which means we should be able to live out our faith in our everyday lives. Mike Huckabee called this “The Criminalization of Christianity.” This is just the beginning of persecution for believers in the United States. As more and more Christians stand up for their faith a price will ultimately be paid for practicing Christianity in America. Public displays or announcements of your faith will eventually be very costly for anyone who takes a stand for Jesus Christ in a public forum. We are closer than ever til the return of Christ.
---Houston we have a problem---What is happening in Houston is coming to a city near you. As we approach the end of the church age- in post-Christian America-more and more harassment will be happening to believers as time goes on. This is just the tip of the iceberg of a movement that is gaining momentum day by day. There is a rising backlash against anything that resembles orthodox Christianity. And soon an overt hatred of Christians will be actively practiced and tolerated by the masses. But isn't this what Jesus said over 2000 years ago?"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. - (John 15:18,19)