Service Times

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

Sunday School
Sun. 10:45am - 11:20am

Prayer Meeting & Bible Study
Wed. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Crusaders Club (Seasonal)
Thurs. 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Crusaders Teens (Seasonal)
Thurs. 6:00pm - 8:00pm

A Warning Against Heresy

1 Timothy 1:3-7

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. In Matt. 16:read 13-20, there are two truths for every NT local church, that must be learned, remembered, and held fast if the church is to continue to be a true NT local church that is in truth and practice, conservative, fundamental, Bible-believing. As important as it is to be all those things; it is even more important to be a Bible practicing NT local church.  One can say they believe the Bible all day long, but until a person’s daily life shows the truths and principles of Scripture, belief is inconsequential!  The 1st truth that must be seen and understood from this passage is in v. 16. Jesus is The Christ! If any local assembly does not center their theology in the truth that Jesus is the Christ, they are not a Bible-believing church. They are heretics! When Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through me” He was telling them what Peter would later tell the leadership at the Church at Jerusalem when he told them, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved.” And that is the only gospel! The 2nd truth is found in v. 18, Jesus Christ builds His church! The emphasis cannot be place on the word “MY” to heavily! Jesus is the only One Who died for His Church, and He is the only One Who is the head. No pastor, elder, deacon, person with money, position, title or any other human title owns, runs, or has any claim to a real NT local church! See that part, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?” Jesus was not unaware of what Satan had in mind in trying to destroy the Church. He was warning the Apostles, and every Christian until the last Christian, that to choose to war with His church is to go to war with Christ Himself! Think about that! Paul’s main theme in his first letter to Timothy is, “sound Biblical doctrine always leads to godliness in the lives of those who accept and practice it.” Anyone can say “I believe/accept what the Bible says!” But just accepting or believing doesn’t make one a Christian, nor does it make one Christ-like in character and behavior! For that to happen a person must actually put the truths of Scripture into use in their daily lives. Watch as Paul teaches us how important it is to know what you believe, and then to put that belief into practice every day in your daily life.

Notice 1st THE DANGER OF DIFFERENT DOCTRINES! (1-11). Here he comes right to the point telling Timothy to charge or warn those in Ephesus who were teaching “a different doctrine” to stop such ungodliness. Simply stated different doctrines or heresy is any teaching or information that is different than or contrary to Scripture. The concern here is not so much what was being said or taught, the concern was the effect or result!  Look at 2 serious consequences of listening to heresy.

DEPARTURE FROM THE TRUTH. V. 3, 4 are the results of the false teachings or misinformation being given. What is misinformation? It is me telling you what I want you to hear and think about a particular teaching or information. Anyone who says or teaches any kind of information that is contrary to anything taught anywhere in Scripture is guilty of heresy and has departed from the truth. What causes the departure? 1. Deviation from inspiration (v.5, 6). Paul says such heretics swerve, or deviate from Biblical doctrine. They are the people who add their own ideas or desires to Scripture, proving they neither love God nor others. Departure is also caused by a desire to instruct. These false teachers were just that, false! A true Biblical teacher has the “John the Baptist philosophy – I must decrease, He must increase.” Notice a 3rd cause of departure from the truth in v. 7. These heretics have a darkened interpretation. We would say today, one without understanding is one who ignores the truth in favor of error. Why is all this so dangerous? There is never a time when departure from the truth does not lead to a:

DECLINE IN TESTIMONY! One of satan’s greatest victories and causes of rejoicing throughout the halls of hell is when a Christian, and especially a local Church loses its reputation as a true Bible believing, Bible teaching, fundamental, local church! Here is the message! The law, to the man and woman of God is a blessing because it leads them in living a life in harmony with Scripture. Following or obeying all God’s Word is the heart’s desire for all true Christians. The goal is agape! The only way to reach agape is through the Cross – salvation. Regeneration and sanctification are the only channels to a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Keeping that sincere faith, and good conscience happens only through good warfare that is deeply rooted, and permanently grounded in sound biblical doctrine. Departure from the truth and the inevitable decline is testimony is so serious because it ends in “shipwreck of one’s faith, which is to fail, to be put to shame. The result of a life void of such commitment to Christ can be declared only as failure, shameful. Whether attacks come from within or without, recognize them and squelch them immediately. Don’t let Satan get a foothold! This charge is not just for now, but until Christ returns to gather His Church to be with Him forever in heaven. Stand fast!

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

New Beginnings

Deuteronomy 4:1-8

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.

All things future are beyond your control, but not beyond God’s! (Exodus 15:18; Job 9; Proverbs 21:1)

Deuteronomy is a rehearsal of the Law, not introducing new Law! (Psalms 119)

  1. A New Dedication – v.1 = “Listen and do”
    Listen = give one’s attention to a sound for the purpose of, or with the intention of responding to the advice or request. (Soanes, C., & Stevenson, A. (Eds.). (2004). Concise Oxford English dictionary (11th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.)
    Listening to all God’s Law results in life and possession of what God has prepared for us. (1 Peter 1:1-3)
  2. A New Defense – v.2-5 “Do not add or take away“. (Revelation 22:16-19)
    The warning of Revelation 22:16-19 is to you and me! (1 Kings 16; 1 Samuel 11)
  3. A New Determination – v.6-8 = Obey! (Matthew 5:10-12)
    The results of our choices we make multiple times each day, listen, come from our determination to persevere! (Joshua 24:15; Job 17:9; John 15:9; Hebrews 12:1; 1 Peter 1:13)
  4. A New Diligence – v.9-10 = Remember and teach
    Conscientious hard work and perseverance, particularly with regard to a relationship with God. (Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.)
    Diligence becomes most important in the visible demonstration of our redemption relationship with God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

 

God’s Perfect Timing

Gal. 4:1-7

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. When Christmas is on Sunday how does that affect your whole approach to the day? Is it bad timing, and an inconvenience because you “have” to hurry up and get to church? When you get to church, are you really “here” to worship, or is your mind at home thinking about all you have to do today? Are you secretly thinking how much easier it would have been to skip worship today like so many have, because there just isn’t enough time! Besides, God will understand, after all Christmas was His idea! I wonder how those who think worship on Christmas morning isn’t important or necessary come to the conclusion God understands there is ever at time it’s okay not to worship, let alone Christmas! Or, are you one who considers it extraordinary when Christmas is on Sunday because every 6 or 7 years you get to worship and celebrate the birth of the Savior on His day? Is this time special and precious because you know you are the recipient of the most valuable gift any person could ever receive? Does this day remind you just how much God really cherishes you, and planned from eternity past to adopt you as one of His children? As you know the actual date of Christ’s birth is unknown. According to the Caesarean calendar Christ was born in 4 BC. Dec. 25 is just a traditional date set long ago by Christians to celebrate His birth. One important truth to remember is the date is not important, the event is the focus! Let’s consider this Christmas morning:

THE GOD WHO IS SOVEREIGN Read Gal. 4:4, 5. God operates all events of history and of the future according to the strictest timetable. Every event happens at exactly the right second. The incarnation or The Christ event as it is sometimes called, is no exception. From Eden to Bethlehem God had given the world both proof and time to see its total depravity and helplessness. That same proof and time continues 2K years later to us today. So “in the fullness of time…” at exactly the right time in human history God became Man! Is that how it is with you this Christmas morning? Is your heart secure and content in God’s sovereignty knowing that “in the fullness of time” He will minister perfectly to you?

THE GOD WHO SENDS, Gal. 4:4. The simple phrase “God sent forth…” reveals to us another aspect of God’s heart toward rescuing Mankind from eternal hell! It is simply God sending is God redeeming. “But God,” turns despair into desire, and condemnation into comfort. On his own, man is lost and without direction or any hope of survival; but God… brings salvation, purpose, harmony, and unity to life! So if God does not send His Christ, we are always slaves to sin, and can never slaves to the Savior!

GOD WHO SAVES! 4:5. We must always remember – it is God Who comes for us! God not only sent His Son into the world at exactly the right time, God comes to us at exactly the right time for us to be saved. On this Christmas morning, have you stopped to thank God that He sought you out and gave you the greatest gift a person can have? Many of you have, because you live your entire life in gratefulness because you are saved. No person is ever saved, without receiving at least one spiritual gift immediately! Every spiritual gift God gives is alive and powerful and is to be applied in our daily lives in 2 specific ways: 1st to glorify, or, to show God’s honor an excellent reputation, through our daily life. We must remember salvation is designed to permeate our entire life. The 2nd specific way our spiritual gifts are to be used is for our own spiritual development, and our ministry to others. Probably one of the hardest truths to learn about being a Christian is “it is not about me!” True salvation changes a person’s entire outlook from it’s all about me – to, it’s all about God 1st, then you!” This sovereign God Who sends and saves is also:

THE GOD WHO SECURES. V.5 Beloved, anyone who has given any study to Scripture and learning about our Great God knows there is no greater security than being one of God’s adopted children. The security of knowing you belong to God as one of His adopted children is the ultimate security. What a comfort to our hearts to know that no matter what this fallen, sin-filled world hurls at us, we cannot be snatched out of our Father’s hand because He is greater than all!

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

God’s Glory in Us (Part 2)

John 17:20-26

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 are studying God’s glory in association with the Incarnation, or God becoming Man and coming to earth the 1st time as the Sacrificial Lamb of God that takes away the sins of all those who come to God for salvation. For this part of our study we are defining God’s glory as His Honor and excellent reputation. Last time learned how God reveals His glory to us by inviting us to become His adopted children; then how we in turn, reveal His glory to others as a result of our salvation. I believe one of the most amazing actions God takes with those who are saved, is to accept them into His family by adopting them as His children. John teaches this in his gospel when he says, “to as many as received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become sons of God.” To be adopted by God as one of His children is a high and holy privilege only those of us who live in this “age of grace” experience. Read Gal. 3:23-29. Because all the requirements for salvation have now been met in Christ, we are now given the privilege of membership in God’s family. That is the honor part of God’s glory. However, there is the 2nd part which is His excellent reputation. To call yourself a Christian is to advertise with your life, mouth, actions, and even the intents and motives of your heart, you are revealing God’s honor and excellent reputation. Is that how others, and especially God, interpret your life and lifestyle? God’s glory is also shown to us, and in turn through us in the doctrine of sanctification! It is the doctrines of sanctification and perseverance that reveal to all, whether or not a person is really saved! Scripture makes it abundantly clear that anyone who has genuinely come to Christ asking for salvation, and has truly opened their heart to Christ, shows that they have been redeemed by radically changing their entire life and lifestyle. Make all the excuses you want, but Scripture remains pure and clear in teaching all who have truly come to Christ for salvation and received forgiveness, live an entirely different life that they lived before. When a person is saved, God sanctifies them by seeing them in the righteousness of Christ as we learned when we studied the doctrine of justification. That is the part God does for us, that is part of His amazing grace extended to us in salvation. That radically different life doesn’t just happen! It is a result of the other part of sanctification which is called progressive sanctification. A redeemed heart looks forward with anticipation and even excitement to how God will change it every day! For those who walk in harmony with God and His Word every day, there are many benefits and blessings of progressively becoming more like Christ. I want to share just 2 now. 1st is the continual assurance that you are being obedient to all God’s Word. Beloved, when we make every effort to allow The Holy Spirit to show and teach us how to become like Christ, He also makes it clear to us that our actions and thoughts are correct! The 2nd benefit/blessing of sanctification is the continual hunger and thirst for righteousness. Another way to say that is a continual desire to persevere! Just as God is always good, gracious, merciful, loving, compassionate, and all His other attributes He demonstrates toward His creation and especially His adopted children, He implants with our hearts that same desire. Think of it this way: Sanctification is the oats, perseverance is the salt in the oats! To a truly redeemed heart, the more like Christ we allow God to make us, the more like Him we want to be! As a result, it becomes the overwhelming desire of a Paul tells the Romans, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” I would suggest to you that all God has revealed to us in His inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word does not begin to reveal to us all the glory that God will reveal to us, and share with us when we get to heaven! In the light of what God has shared with us, and with what He teaches us, and what He bestows freely upon us out of His lavish riches, wisdom and grace, how can we who are truly His adopted children do anything other than bow in humble adoration and live every day before Him making every second of our daily life all we can make it in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to show others God’s excellent reputation? How can we but live in harmony with all God says because of all God has done? To Him alone be glory forever and ever!

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

God’s Glory in Us (Part 1)

2 Cor. 3:12-18

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 Christmas season is called the most wonderful time of the year. It is also the time of year when many people seem to suffer more with depression, loneliness, anxiety, and emptiness. Perhaps one major contributing factor is that, for the most part in our current culture and society, Christ has been taken out of Christmas. However, to the true believer in Christ, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, because we celebrate the birth of the Savior. Scripture makes it crystal clear that God was, is, and will eternally be glorified in the birth of Christ. The glory of the Lord was shown to so many people in so many ways that it is impossible to talk about the Incarnation without focusing on the glory of the Lord! Glorification is defined by one theologian as the final step in the application of redemption. You understand that God’s salvation affects your entire being, right? We are given spiritual life at the instant of our salvation and God comes to reside in us in the Person of His Holy Spirit. John records that truth in chapters 13-17 of his Gospel, as Jesus taught the 11 in the upper room just before He went to Gethsemane for the last time. Our soul – our mind, will, and emotions, or what we think, desire, and feel, is redeemed/changed/transformed throughout our life through progressive sanctification. Jesus is teaching the doctrine of progressive sanctification in His sermon on the mount in Matt. 5-7. The final step in redemption has to do with our bodies. Christians will receive their glorified bodies at the Rapture. When that happens, God’s entire redemption plan and process will be finished. According to one author, in its simplest form “glory” means “honor” or “excellent reputation.” It is important to remember God always takes the initiative in seeking and choosing people to call to Himself. Sin will not allow anyone to even consider looking for God and redemption. If God doesn’t initiate the call to salvation, people won’t be saved. That is exactly what God does in the doctrines of election and calling, according to Eph. 1:4 and a host of other passages. The only part a person plays in these two doctrines is responding to the call to be saved. God then takes another step in revealing His glory when He regenerates every person who is saved. New spiritual life brings to a person’s very essence, their heart, their conscience, a desire to honor (glorify) God. Regeneration makes it possible for us to honor God out of desire to thank Him for what He has done just in saving us. We also desire to uphold God’s excellent reputation because we understand more of God’s excellence or perfection in all He is. Conversion is the part of our salvation where we become actively involved in our new life in Christ. The indwelling Holy Spirit begins to influence a true Christian’s behavior in such a way that they not only want, but put whatever effort is required into turning from their sin in genuine repentance to Christ in genuine faith! When that happens God’s excellent reputation is shown to others in a radically changed life and lifestyle that draws others to Christ. God continues to “glorify” Himself and us in our salvation when He justifies us before Himself! You remember as defined by one theologian, justification has 2 parts to it: 1st justification is an instantaneous act of God where He thinks of our sins as forgiven, and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us. When God justifies us He also declares us to be righteous in His sight. The focus here is God “declaring” us to be righteous in His sight. That means He now and forever views our sin as paid for in full. The Scales of justice have been balanced in that a punishment equal to the crime has been served, and fulfilled. All that is the suffering, death, burial, and resurrection, or the finished work, of Christ. As we focus on the birth of Christ, we are also drawn into God’s nature and character because the Incarnation cannot be separated from the revelation of God’s own glory! I trust that in these next days, and then for the rest of your life you will equate, and never separate the truth that God has revealed His own glory, or His honor and excellent reputation not only to you, but through you in saving you. Now do you see a little clearer why using the title, Christian, redeemed, saved must be used so carefully?

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

Producing Our Priorities

1 John 1

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. Last time we looked at our philosophy of giving to God in the light of those things that motivate our giving, direction, and our life. We also asked the question “what are you willing to die for?” It is much more difficult to know what is worth living for until you know what is worth dying for! As we go about our daily lives, we make many decisions every day that are grounded in the priorities of our lives. As Christians, all our decisions should be based on the Biblical principles of righteousness, and holiness. Every part of our lives as Christians ought to be saturated with Scripture as the only standard for determining the motives and intents of our hearts. With all that in mind we now turn our attention to producing those priorities in our daily life. Our focal question this week might be phrased: what can or must I do to make my priorities become realities? Let’s consider 3 questions to ask when thinking about producing our priorities.

WHAT WILL ENDURE? Read Matt. 6:19-21. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: the most significant decision that has eternal consequences is your decision concerning Jesus Christ as Your Savior! Perhaps the 2nd most important eternal truth you have to consider is whether or not as a Christian you have allowed Christ to establish Himself as the unchallenged Sovereign Lord of your life! When you consider what will endure, remember that nothing in this life is permanent except your soul! One more little tidbit for you to remember is your religion has nothing to do with your salvation. At the BEMA Christ isn’t going to look to see what title you stood under, He is going to see if you are under His blood! In addition to prioritizing what will endure, we must also prioritize:

WHAT WILL SHINE? Read Matt. 5:14-16. Beloved, this is one of the passages that teaches us that our lives are to be lived in such a way as to draw other to Christ, not from Him! The light that shines from us should be the glory of God in us! One way to think of what will shine is to think or ask, what, or how will my decisions and priorities help, or positively influence and/or impact others? Finally, as we consider our priorities in the light of eternity, and what will shine or help, we need to consider;

WHAT WILL STRENGTHEN MY FAITH? Read Matt. 14:28-33. Whenever Jesus challenged the disciples concerning their faith, it was usually because they were trying to manipulate the circumstances in such a way as to make the outcome a result of their own abilities, rather than depending on God. God did not put David in the battle with Goliath to strengthen David’s faith. David went to battle because his faith in God was already strong! David’s strong faith in God’s provision and deliverance was because David had many times before faced adversity, and found God to be faithful in delivering him. Peter’s faith was strong enough to cause him to get out of the boat and start toward Jesus. He faltered a little, but Jesus was there to rescue him. Is your faith strong enough to move you from where you are toward Jesus? FYI Peter’s faith was strengthened when he got out of the boat because if he had not gotten out, Jesus would never have rescued Him. That rescue took Peter’s faith to a whole new level! We live our lives working toward making our priorities become the motivators in our lives. Christians, the real kind, are motivated because they focus on being obedient to all God’s Word. Like Peter, when he got out of the boat, we sometimes take our eyes off Jesus, but our Savior is always there to rescue us, and show us to a whole new dimension in ministry. I leave you with these two questions; are your priorities a reflection of God’s priorities for you as you live your life in front of others?  And, do your priorities strengthen your faith as they shine for eternity? You know don’t you!

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

Planning Our Priorities

Matt. 6:25-34

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. If someone were to ask you, “What is your highest priority in life? How would you answer? Let me ask the question in a different way; what is your highest priority in life as a Christian? For all those who call themselves Christians, the answers should be the same! If your highest priority in life, and in your Christian life are not the same, you have divided loyalties! You are living in Matt. 6:24 trying to serve two masters! Jesus says that can’t be done, because you will love one master and hate the other, while being devoted to one master and despising the other. Here is a truth for you: All priorities can be listed under only two titles – God or self! If your highest priorities arise from a heart focused on you, no matter whether you call yourself a Christian or not, your life will be unstable because it will constantly be in a constant state of divided loyalties! One the other hand when a person’s highest priority in life is found in Eccl. 12:12, 13 = to “fear God and keep His commandments” their life is kept secure because the peace of God that passes understanding keeps that heart in Christ Jesus.

Scripture provides what could be considered two life-giving priorities that guarantee a person, not just financial success and security, but success and security in every area of life. The first is from Solomon. When he had lived his whole life as the wisest, richest man ever to walk the earth, he came to this conclusion concerning man’s highest priority: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Jesus gives the 2nd truth for planning your priorities in life. When He began His ministry, He said the highest priority in a person’s life must be to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”I’m using an outline from a godly pastor whose book I recently read on this subject.

WHAT MOTIVATES MY GIVING? The simple answer to that question is determined by my attitude concerning my relationship to God. A Christian has experienced God’s giving in salvation and gives to Him from a grateful heart. True stewardship begins in seeking God’s Kingdom 1st. Jesus points out 2 truths in His statement: 1st we must know what is important. The 2nd truth is: once we have determined what is important, we must seek it, or actually get up and do something to obtain what is important to us! Often we try to determine our spirituality by our prayer lives or Bible reading; but our check stubs are a more accurate barometer of what is really important to us.” So what is it that really motivates your giving?

WHAT MOTIVATES MY DIRECTION? I like the way one author makes the point here when he says, “just as a burglar never finds a police officer; and boys/girls cutting school never find a teacher, so those who refuse to submit the Lordship of Christ never “find” His blessings. Read Ps. 119:9-16. David was motivated with his whole heart to follow God and His commandments. So where are you headed, in your heart, today?

WHAT MOTIVATES MY LIFE? One writer says, “People can tell what we live for by who we serve.” When anything in this world, whether it is material possessions or self-aggrandizement, causes greater motivation to gain than a life pleasing to God, failure is not far away! Jesus tells us we just can’t serve 2 masters. So what is it that drives your life- you or God? Here is a question that will cause you some thought:

WHAT WILL I DIE FOR? Have you ever given serious thought to that question? Dwight L. Moody said, “People have not found something worth living for, until they have found something worth dying for!” Again, it is not someONE, it is someTHING! In Matt. 6:25-32 Jesus is not telling us we shouldn’t plan for the future in a prudent and wise manner as God tells us. Jesus is telling us not to get all worked up and stressed out over things in this world. He tells Christians not to be bothered by worldly things because the unsaved are encumbered by them, and we, as citizens of heaven are not to be focused on temporary things, but on heavenly and eternal things. What will you die for? The answer to that question is whatever you are living for? Is that worth your life?

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