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Worship Service
Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

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Sun. 10:45am - 11:20am

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Wed. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

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Thurs. 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Lessons for Men from Jonah

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Proverbs 4:1-9

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am. As conservative and fundamental Biblicists we believe that the Bible clearly teaches throughout, that the husband is the God-ordained head of the home. As such, he is God’s primary ambassador to his wife, following 1 Pet. 3:7 as his pattern for living with her; and his children, always training them up in the way they should go as Solomon directed in Prov. 22:6, in the home; and is also God’s ambassador outside the home. Another way to say it is a man who calls himself a Christian is always representing God to someone! So men, the first question is are you representing the God of the Bible, and His perfections of His nature and character, His saving grace, and His compassion – or are you presenting a false god that lets you remain comfortable in your own self image? Let’s consider first:

  1. JONAH’S REBELLION! 1:1-3. Before we scold Jonah too severely, we should remember God comes to all men while they are in rebellion to Him. Immediately upon understanding exactly what God wanted him to do he ran the other way! Why? Why does any man run from the word of the Lord? Because they are keenly aware of their sin and sinfulness before Him! Psalm 139: 1 – 12 and Hebrews 4:13 are just two passages of Scripture that tell us getting away from the Lord is impossible!  It was in the midst of his rebellion God made provision for:
  2. JONAH’S RESCUE! 1:17. Another one of the hardest lessons for a man to learn is that he can do absolutely nothing to rescue himself from his sinful condition. It makes no difference how long, or deep into your heart your rebellion is – you can do nothing on your own to change your position and attitude before the Lord. The song is right when it says “just as I am without one plea.” Men, God delights in rescuing us – especially when we think there is no hope for us! Have you ever thought that the belly of the great fish God sent to swallow Jonah was a place of rescue? There is a point to this: when God comes to rescue us, He may choose to make our rescue a process rather than an event! One writer says “the belly of the fish is not a happy place to live, but it’s a good place to learn.” The point is this: God rescued Jonah from drowning in the sea, but He did not deliver Jonah to a vacation resort so Jonah could continue to live in his sin and rebellion and running from God! Don’t miss this point: it is in the midst of all Jonah’s darkness, loneliness, misery and filth that we see:
  3. JONAH’S REPENTANCE! 2:1-9. For any man to repent of his sin and become a true man of God he must understand that repentance begins with prayer! It was only after Jonah’s sincere and urgent cry to God in prayer that he was delivered! Let’s consider:
  4. JONAH’S RESPONSE! 3:1-3. This time when the Lord spoke to Jonah, Jonah did what the Lord told him to do. True repentance is demonstrated by total obedience! When any person, man or woman, sincerely repents – or turn from their sin to God – it is an event that occurs in the heart, and manifests itself in daily living.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

Christ Suffered for Me

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1 Peter 3:18-22

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am. One of the foundational doctrines of Scripture upon which we build our faith is the substitutionary atonement of Christ. It is not only proper for us to remember the awful price that our Lord paid to redeem us; it is also proper for us to remember that He suffered beyond anything we can possibly imagine. No matter how horrible we may consider it, we suffer only what we can bear! Even the suffering of a stone cold heart in rebellion and disobedience suffers only enough to break it for the purpose of it making it pliable in the hands of the Master Designer! Here Peter is making it very clear that suffering encountered by those true Christians who walk daily with the Lord is not punishment! In fact he is teaching us the exact opposite. Notice first:

THE REASON OF HIS SUFFERING! V. 18. The reason Christ suffered is clearly stated in verse 18 when Peter says, “that He might bring us to God.” Pay particular attention to the 4-pronged truth being taught here. The 1st truth is that it is Christ and Christ alone that makes salvation possible! Here is another crystal clear teaching that man has absolutely no part in obtaining his salvation – other than believing in the work Christ did to make salvation possible. The 2nd truth is all suffering is only temporary. The 3rd truth is that our way to heaven, which is our salvation, is guaranteed because Christ was victorious over sin. The 4th truth is that Christ suffered only once! Now let’s look at:

THE RESURRECTION FROM HIS SUFFERING! Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit God is guiding Peter to help us understand how the resurrection of Christ is important to us in two ways: 1st, the resurrection guarantees that our suffering ends when we leave this world; and 2nd, it makes it possible for us to grow spiritually. Finally,

THE RESULT OF HIS SUFFERING! V. 22 Peter, and many other authors of Scripture, tell us that Christ is now at the right hand of God interceding for us. More than that the results of Christ’s suffering offer us some practical truths in daily living. 1st His suffering is an example to us. 2nd, He is *now exalted in heaven-v. 22. So the question becomes one of choice: are you choosing to exalt your self here now in this life; because in in your own mind your own way is better than God’s – and you deserve more recognition than you think He want you to have. My counsel to you is enjoy it, wallow in it, and enjoy it to the fullest – because on the day you draw your last breath your exultation is over forever. On the other hand you can choose to wait to be exalted by God. That means in this life you have to set yourself aside and focus on exalting Christ. Then when you draw your last breath your exultation begins and goes on forever! The catch is you cannot choose all of the above – you must choose now or later.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

Suffering as Service to God

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1 Peter 3:13-17

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am.  There are those who believe Paul suffered so much as a Christian because of the way he so ruthlessly persecuted Christians before his salvation. The truth be known, that idea is stuck in the craw of many Christians. They often times think that because of the way they thought and acted, the way they talked it treated other people before their salvation – that God is doing to them like they think he did to Paul “showing them how much they must suffer as Christians.” If you adopt that position it presents a wrong image and characterization of God! It makes God to appear to have an “I’ll get even with you” attitude toward people who get saved. That whole line of thought cannot be true, and you should never be tormented or intimidated by such heresy. Let’s consider 1st how Peter is telling us to

  1. SANCTIFY THE LORD! V. 15. The word “sanctify” can be translated “*dedicate-to service and loyalty to God.” The personal decision to establish, and maintain, Christ the Lord as holy, in your heart is the only proper way to live a sanctified, or proper life before God The Father and all other people. The most righteous and godly Christian who walks daily with the Lord and enjoys the blessing upon blessing and grace upon grace he brings to them in their daily life understands that such a fear of the Lord is what causes them to walk in humility and submission and obedience! Now let’s consider how to
  2. PREPARE A DEFENSE! V. 15. This verse often brings to mind 2 serious misconceptions that cause most Christians to hesitate in preparing a defense. The 1st mistake is assuming that the word defense means you’re being attacked by an unsaved or ungodly person who is trying to challenge you concerning your Christianity. The 2nd mistake is assuming that in order to prepare a defense one must have all the answers to all the questions that could be asked. Notice Peter says, “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks (who?) you for a reason for the hope that is in (who?) you.” Does that help? Peter is simply saying when somebody asks you a question about anything concerning your salvation, walk with the Lord, worship, doctrine, or anything else concerning your faith – you answer them from your own personal experience.  Finally, we are told to
  3. PRESENT OUR DEFENSE! V. 15-17 Peter uses the word prautes which is translated gentleness and meekness. Our answer is to be in a proper humble attitude and not a smug or arrogant and canned answer. Someone once defined meekness as power under control. Gentleness or meekness you will recall is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5:18. Peter also tells us our answer should be given with respect. It comes from the root word phobos meaning fear. The form of the word Peter used in this context is rightly translated respect, or one could say reverence. Someone might say we’re to show respect or reverence for the unsaved in the ungodly? Yes we are! Why would that be? Because they like us are created in the image and likeness of God.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

Prerequisites for Suffering

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1 Peter 3:8-12

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am. One of the hardest paradoxes in Christianity is stated by the Lord Jesus at the beginning of his public ministry. You can read it in Matt. 5:10-12. Peter closes this section of his 1st letter reminding all Christians that their bond in Christ is also their bond to Christ to be proper ambassadors to other believers and to unbelievers as well. Peter first addresses

  1. THE PETITION TO BE PROCLAIMED in verse 8. He uses five adjectives to describe the character qualities that true Christians are to present to all others around them. God tells us we must “have” or own/possess these character traits. Even though God tells us we are to have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind, no where does the NT ever teach that God just hands these virtues to us on a silver platter. We must make deliberate choices and put much energy into developing them with the Lord’s help. Now let’s consider
  2. THE PROBLEM TO BE PREVENTED in v. 9. Peter tells us as believers how we are to respond to those who inflict evil upon us whether they are unbelievers, or the ungodly among us pretending to be Christians. Christians are told do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling. Peter here is repeating the principle he heard Jesus teach during the sermon on the Mount. Read Matthew 5:39; Prov. 20:22; Lu. 6:27; Rom.12:17; 1 Thess. 5:15. Listen beloved, to the unsaved or carnal mind none of this makes any sense. Even to a true Christian this is kind of mindset and lifestyle is not a walk in the park! One writer says concerning the concept of not repay evil for evil – “a Christian calling, as it invests him with glorious privileges, so it obligates him to difficult duties.” There are at least 3 reasons ungodly people act this way. These are in no particular order. First, they are ungodly in their nature and character; meaning they are either unsaved or hypocrites who want you to think their saved. Second, often such people are envious. Envy is a wrong or sinful attitude about what someone else has. Third, ungodliness and unrighteousness is also strongly influenced by jealousy, which is a fear of being displaced or replaced. Now let’s consider
  3. THE PRINCIPLE TO BE PRACTICED in verses 9-12. You often hear me say God will not ask us to do anything He knows we can’t do. However, He will often ask us to do things He knows will be difficult, even extremely difficult, for us to do. In fact He helps us understand that sometimes things are so difficult for us that unless we allow Him to help us, we cannot succeed by ourselves. It’s Philippians 4:13 in real life. Isn’t it interesting that when Peter comes to the point where he talks to us about proper Christian living it begins with the fear of the Lord! Here, Peter in v. 10 – whoever desires to love life and see good days must: 1 = must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech; 2 = he must turn from evil and do good; 3 = he must seek peace and pursue it! It is to you the summons is given to come to the Lord and give Him your heart and He will give you blessed relief.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

Significant Choices

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Proverbs 9:1 – 6

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am. The term’s choices and consequences are often used today to explain the relationship between what a person desires and the outcome of those desires. Here is a truth you must learn: all choices are significant! Here is another truth to remember: all  significant choices have significant consequences. Like so many other things in life, some of those consequences have immediate but short lived effects. And some of your choices will result in consequences that will affect you for the rest of your life. In Proverbs 9 Solomon shares with us the consequences of significant choices. I want to share with you how one significant choice determines all other choices and consequences.

In any situation there can be only one most significant choice. All other choices do you arrive from that one most significant choice! Let’s look first significant choice which is the invitation to choose= 9:4, 16. So the FIRST significant choice must be salvation! Another way to consider that choice is by asking this question: what will you do with Jesus Christ? That is the most significant decision in any person’s life. All other decisions – all other decisions become minor subsequent choices that will have major impacts on your life. Watch! Here’s how that works! The SECOND significant choice must be *to leave your simple ways. See v. 6. so how does one leave? Notice v. 10, now see 1:7. How does one come to fear the Lord, and gain wisdom, insight, knowledge, and understanding? Look at 2:1-15. Right now you can choose to begin a life of purity by leaving all that is unrighteous and ungodly in your life. Solomon says that in addition to leaving your simple ways you must live and walk in the way of insight which becomes your THIRD significant  choice! When used choose to leave your simple ways, you must at the same time live and walk in the way of insight. Another way to say that is for every ungodly/unrighteous thing God leads you to quit, you must at the same time replace whatever you quit with something from Scripture. The point being: you can’t just take something out of your life because that leaves a whole and if you don’t fill it with something righteous and Godly Satan will always fill it, and he generally fills it with something worse. It is important for you to see that throughout the entirety of Scripture that wisdom – with the invitation – provides instruction in what is right and at the same time forbids sin. Learn and remember this truth: Scripture provides all the wisdom, information, and knowledge you will ever need to make all your significant choices the right choices! Want to know something interesting? Everything I just said applies to every person in this room – and to every person in the listening audience the matter where in the world you are!

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

Three Godly Mothers

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We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am. Scripture blesses us with many examples of Godly mothers. I’d like to focus on three well-known mothers; one was a planning mother – one was a praying mother – and one was a proclaiming mother.

 Let’s start with our planning mother who was Jochebed, Moses’ mother. You can read the account in Exodus 2:1 – 10. Let’s notice first how Jochebed planned for Moses’ salvation. We are not told whether it was before or during Jochebed’s pregnancy the death sentence for all male babies was issued. What we do know is that both Amram and Jochebed took extraordinary measures to be sure that Moses had a chance to grow up and serve an Almighty God. Let’s consider Moses’ preparation. From a viewpoint of being prepared for life Moses’ childhood was no different than that of children today. Both Amram and Jochebed knew they had only a few years to influence Moses in establishing principles upon which he would build his entire life. Mom, you have the power of influence to teach your children to be so prepared with such an unwavering faith in God, that not even the fleeting pleasures of sin will draw them from the Savior. Now let’s consider Moses education. When Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter he was privy to an education that would serve him well when God would lead him back to Egypt as a missionary. Mom, God knows the plans he has for your children and if you are sensitive to God’s leading He will help you plan for their salvation, their preparation, and education for ministry to the Lord.

Now let’s look at our praying mother who was Hannah, Samuels mother in 1 Samuel 1:9 – 11 is Hannah’s request that God give to her a son to fulfill her womanhood, and would remove this sadness from her heart. In verse 11 we find Hannah’s resolve. She dedicated Samuel to the Lord before he was even born. And finally in verse 21 – 23 we see Hannah’s responsibility which was to care for Samuel as any good mother would care for her son. And in verses 24 to 28 was Hannah’s response where she took Samuel to Shiloh at the appointed time and presented him to the Lord. Mom, you will do well to be thought of and remembered by your children as a praying mother.

Our third godly mother was a proclaiming mother, and that was Eunice, Timothy’s mother. Her name or title means “good victory.” No mom succeeds like the one who teaches her child the Word and way of the Lord. In 2 Timothy 3:14 and 15 we find the greatest anthology of bedtimes reading ever compiled for a godly mom to share with her children. 1 Timothy 1:5 teaches us Timothy inherited his faith from his mother. Mom, if you’re going to give your child an inheritance, use your power of influence to instill in them unwavering faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

Moses’s First Missionary Journey to Egypt (Part 3)

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Exodus 3:7-12

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am. We’ve been studying the account in Exodus 3 where God sends Moses back to Egypt as a “missionary” to lead Israel out of slavery and into the land of Canaan. God demonstrated His concern for His people by telling Moses he would come down to deliver them up to a rich and plentiful land. Then we learned God’s concern for His people leads Him to demonstrate His compassion towards them. The connection between us and Moses is that all true Christians are missionaries, at least, to the people in the community where they live. As such God expects us to show our concern for them by extending God’s compassion to them. So let’s consider for a few moments

III.  GOD’S CULTIVATION OF HIS PEOPLE! Let’s consider first: NECESSITIES GOD REQUIRES!

1. A Need To Draw Near To God –V. 3. Because we are created in the image and likeness of God, there is within all people an inherent instinct to draw near to God. Sin removes that desire. Listen! Watch! Salvation goes way beyond just restoring the desire to be near to God! Our salvation puts us in Christ and Christ in us! One of the most authenticating proofs that an individual is a truly born again Christian is their desire for all things God!

2. A proper response to God’s gracious call. V.4 God extends an invitation for everyone to draw near. However, the indwelling Holy Spirit knowing exactly how the perfect will of God The Father is to be applied to us specifically – then works in our heart to make us understand the call has changed from universal to individual. The Holy Spirit also helps us understand– the in our heart – that God is calling us by name to Himself.

3.  Must express a reverence and readiness to obey. God told Moses to remove his shoes because he was on holy ground. Here is another warning that a casual or flippant attitude toward God and all that he requires is considered rude and unbecoming. The warning to repent of such is better heeded now than at the judgment seat! God also requires:

4. We approach God in purity and reverence! Even though God had drawn Moses to Himself by calling Moses’ name, God told Moses to keep his distance. Moses is invited close enough to hear what God has to say – but not so close to become comfortable—lest familiarity breed contempt! God also teaches Moses by telling him to remove his sandals that anywhere God is – is holy ground. The current heresy of easy believism that presents God as nothing more than a Grantor and Giver of all things wonderful has caused us to forget that God is above all things—holy! Here’s the point: as missionaries to the lost around us we are responsible for presenting God to them not just a Savior but as the Holy One! Part of the cultivation or preparation phase of the missionary’s life is to allow God to help them see Him in their own heart as holy. Some where this chain of arrogant casualness before a thrice holy God must be broken. That can only happen in a heart that comes near enough to God to know and understand who He is – and as a result humble itself in fear of the Almighty God who has summoned it to Himself.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.