Good Friday Or Good Wednesday?


April 9th, 2014

 
The Gospel Is The: Death Burial And Resurrection
Of Jesus Christ

Good Friday is a traditional religious holiday observed primarily by Catholics and protestant Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross of Calvary. Let’s be very clear about something – This is Traditional but it is not Scriptural. In the 28 year history of Grace Baptist Church we have never observed Good Friday. Jesus was not crucified on Friday. The day of his crucifixion was Wednesday. Unfortunately the papist tradition of a Friday crucifixion is not mathematically or scripturally possible. A Wednesday crucifixion coincides with the Jewish sacrifice of the Passover Lamb (Which Is An Old Testament Picture Of Jesus Christ). A Wednesday Crucifixion of Jesus Christ allows for Christ to be in the tomb for three days and three nights as he told the Pharisees (Matthew 12:40), rather than two night and a day if he had died on a Friday.

There ought not to be anything that you and I believe unless it's in the Bible. What does the Bible teach? Now, I know that all over the country on the Friday before Easter, people have their Good Friday services, and many start at noon, because people say our Lord was crucified over 2000 years ago on Friday and at that time of the day.

It makes a very pretty picture, except it's not true. Our Lord was crucified on Wednesday. He gave up the Ghost at three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon. He was laid in the grave somewhere about six o'clock on Wednesday evening. He was in the grave Wednesday evening, all day Thursday, Thursday evening, all day Friday, Friday evening, and all day Saturday, and He rose from the grave on Saturday after sundown, which was the beginning of Sunday and the end of the third day in the grave. It is important for you to bear in mind that a Bible day started at 6:00 PM in the evening, not at 12:00 Midnight.

No doubt someone who is reading this is thinking, "Well, my church doesn't believe this." I am not wanting to be the least bit controversial or critical but can I ask you a question, “Do you attend a Bible believing and preaching church?” What matters is what the Bible says on any matter. What does the Bible say? In the Bible, it doesn't say the morning and the evening were the first day; it says the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).

The Hebrew day began at six o'clock in the evening, not as our day does with the morning. So, our Lord was in the grave three days and three nights. What days? Thursday, Friday, Saturday. What nights? Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, don't you see. He came out of the grave, about evening time on Saturday. Luke 24:1–3 says, “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus." When Mary and the other women came to the garden tomb it would have been Sunday morning, which began on Saturday night at 6:00 PM.

Someone might ask, “Pastor did not the Bible say that he had to be taken off the cross before the Sabbath?” This seems to mean, the Sabbath was the day after the crucifixion. You see, now that throws a monkey wrench into this Wednesday talk. Now, what day is the Sabbath? Saturday. And if the Sabbath is the day after the crucifixion, then what day would it normally seem that our Lord was crucified? Friday. And that's where we have the problem. All right, if you turn to (Mark 15:42) you will see the Bible says, “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath.” This is where we get Good Friday from, but we need to look a little deeper. There is no way in the world you can get seventy-two hours between Friday afternoon at three o'clock and Sunday morning.

Doesn’t (Mark 15:42) prove however that Jesus was crucified on Friday? Is there a contradiction? The answer is no, there is not a contradiction. There are two kinds of Sabbaths. There is the seventh day Sabbath and the High Day Sabbath. Two different kinds of Sabbaths. (Leviticus 23:23) mentions a Sabbath that was celebrated on the first day of the seventh month of the year. This was an annual Sabbath and it coincided with the annual “Jewish Passover”. Is this the Sabbath that coincided with the crucifixion of Jesus? Listen to (John 19:31) “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” A "High Day" Sabbath was not the seventh day Sabbath or what we know as Saturday.

Let me ask you a question. Was our Lord crucified, the day before the weekly Sabbath, or the day before a High Sabbath? John says it was a High Sabbath. Does it have to be on Friday? What does the Bible say? (John 19:14) “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! All right, now what Sabbath was it, then? The Passover Sabbath. All right, which means our Lord was crucified the day before the Passover Sabbath, and not the weekly Sabbath. So our Lord was crucified on Wednesday, and on Thursday was the Passover Sabbath. Does this have any further significance? Oh yes, the Passover is nailed to the cross. Man no longer comes to God through the Old Testament ceremonial law, but through Christ.

Does the Bible say anywhere that Jesus was crucified on Friday? In fact, it doesn’t. For centuries, many have just assumed that to be the case. In summary, if Jesus was indeed dead for a full three days before He was resurrected before dawn on Sunday morning; and if He indeed was taken off the cross the day before the Sabbath, then for all the various passages regarding the death of Jesus and His resurrection to be simultaneously true, the Sabbath following the crucifixion of Jesus must have been a special Sabbath, a high day, and not the regular Saturday Sabbath.

The only “crucifixion day” that works, therefore, and allows a full three days and three nights to pass before the two Marys found the open tomb at dawn on Sunday morning is Wednesday. So, it is good Wednesday that we should be observing, not Good Friday.

You might ask: Why is this issue worth raising? Does it really matter? Here is why I believe this is at least an issue worth raising. The fact that Jesus spent three days and three nights in the belly of the earth before being resurrected is the only sign He offers to the world that His claim to be the only begotten Son of God is true. It is the sign of the prophet Jonah, and it evidences the single most important event in the history of the world, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead

Christians disagree on a lot of doctrines, but there are two fundamental things that one must believe to be counted as a believer. A Christian must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God raised Him from the dead. That is the crux of the matter. Whether He was crucified on Wednesday or on Friday, to be a Christian one must believe that God raised His Son from the dead.

Sure, Christmas is fun and like most believers I enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus, when God became a man and walked among us. But Jesus joined the human race for two primary reasons: First, to show the world what God was like by living a perfectly sinless life; a life in which Jesus perfectly expressed both God’s anger toward sin and God’s mercy toward those who recognize their sin and acknowledge their need; and second, after living a perfect and sinless life, He came to die for the sins of the world as the spotless Passover Lamb, the one Lamb to which all those other Passover lambs only pointed.

The resurrection of Jesus is the very heart of Christianity. It is the one sign that tells us with perfect certainty that the sacrifice of Jesus was acceptable to God and that a way had been made for our sins to be forgiven, if we but believe His message.

After being dead for three days, Jesus arose, triumphant over death and hell. That’s powerful news; life changing news. And it makes me cry like Job of old, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” I hope you can say that, too.
 
 
 

Building A Church One Life At A Time

March 24th, 2014

Dr. Derek Hagland, Dr. Jon Jenkins,
US Senator Debbie Stabenow
I just got back from Washington D. C. with my friend   Dr. Hagland, our college Vice-President. Dr. Hagland was a teenager, in some trouble, when I first met him over two decades ago. He grew up in Gaylord, where God had called me 28 years ago to go and start the Grace Baptist Church. I had the personal joy of leading Bro. Hagland to Christ, when he was 15, shortly after I met him. He eventually surrendered to preach and went to Bible College. After college graduation he came back and joined our staff. He has been on my staff since 1998. He and his precious wife, Amanda have 5 great kids that have all been in Grace Baptist Church their entire lives.

Many churches, sadly, have grown largely by gaining members from other churches. This may increase a churches attendance but in my humble opinion it is not the Biblical method of building a church. The Biblical method of church building is winning people to Christ, maturing them through discipleship and then training them to reach others just like they were reached. When you look across your church auditorium I challenging you to take an honest inventory of how many faces you see that were actually reached and won to Christ by your ministry. Thank God for good folks who are already saved that God may lead to your church, but the Biblical method is still winning people to Christ, maturing them through discipleship and then training them to reach others just like they were reached.

I get asked often about the miraculous story of Grace Baptist Church, of Gaylord, Michigan. God has raised up here in a town of 3,500 people one of America’s largest rural churches. This much I can assure you of – The Blessings of God upon our church honesty have very little to do with me. But this is also true – For almost 3 decades we have been investing our energies in people like Bro. Hagland. The way a church is built is – One Life At A Time.

Make people the number one priority of your church. Jesus must be preeminent in a New Testament Church. When He is lifted up the Scriptures promise that He will draw men to Himself. Slow down and invest your time, energies and resources into people. Sometimes we get so focused on drawing a crowd that we forget the individuals. Last night our service was absolutely packed to our auditoriums capacity. The service ended at about 7:30 PM. I spent nearly 45 minutes talking and fellowshipping with folks in the lobby. Then I went to my office for 3 appointments. My wife and I pulled out of the parking lot at about 9:15 PM. I was tired, but had to go home and get packed to head out of town for two days of preaching in Jennings, Louisiana. My ride came early this morning at about 4:30 AM. My youth Pastor Jeremiah Young ran me to the airport as we had an hour long ride and meeting, making plans for our young people and the upcoming few weeks as we try to reach more people.

No matter how busy each of us may think we are, we must make time for individual people. The Biblical way to Build A Church Is One Person At A Time.

TeenSpec 2014!


February 21st, 2014


In February 1989 the very first Winter Teenage Spectacular Youth Conference was hosted in the brand new auditorium of the Grace Baptist Church of Gaylord. We were absolutely blown away when almost 400 teenagers and youth workers showed up to fill our little building to capacity. It was the humble beginnings of a miracle conference that has continued now for over a quarter of a century.

 
TeenSpec has attracted teenagers, churches and youth groups from 35 different states and 7 foreign countries since 1989. What began as a Saturday youth conference, evolved into a three day, 11 sermon mega conference, attracting youth groups large and small from many parts of the nation. Conference attendances have swelled to over 1,500.


TeenSpec has become the granddaddy of all winter youth conferences with literally tens of thousands of life changing decisions having been made over the years. There are several other tremendous youth conferences that have either grown out of TeenSpec or that have begun to be hosted during the same time of the year. Yet somehow, and to God be the Glory, TeenSpec has remained the favorite of hundreds of churches across the county.

 
The 26th annual addition of TeenSpec is about to begin. This year’s conference, February 27th-March 1st should be a Miracle Meeting. The crowd looks again to be tremendous and the lineup of speakers is as good as it gets. Several of our staff men, Dr. Derek Hagland and Brother Jeremiah Young will be joined by four nationally known powerhouse preachers, Bro. Randy Dignan, Bro. Tony Shirley, Bro. Abdel Judah and Bro. Chris Dallas. Old fashioned, Holy Ghost filled preaching is what it’s all about.


It’s not too late to make plans to attend. This year’s theme is sure the needed message for this troubling hour in which we live. The next generation needs to “Keep Calm And Carry On.” Truth has not changed, nor has the need for a new generation of believers to embrace and advance the cause of Jesus Christ! Go to teenspec.com for more information. See you in GAYLORD!

The Treasures Of Peace!


January 20th, 2014


Romans 5:1–2 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have Peace With God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:9–10 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

These great verses from the King James Bible illustrate for us the Significance and the Source of the Christian’s Peace. Few Treasures in all of life can surpass the Treasure Of Peace:

I recently came across this article about a study conducted by the Duke University Department Psychology & Neuroscience This is one of the most respected such programs in the nation. They have 38 Primary Faculty and over 50 Allied & Secondary Faculty members. The Duke University Department of PN reportedly did a study on "Peace Of Mind." The study discovered the primary factors found that contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability. They are as follows: (1) The Absence Of Suspicion And Resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness. (2) Not Living In The Past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression. (3) Not Wasting Time And Energy Fighting Conditions You Cannot Change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it. (4) Force Yourself To Stay Involved With The Living World. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress. (5) Refuse To Indulge In Self-Pity When Life Hands You A Raw Deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune. (6) Cultivate The Old-Fashioned Virtues - love, humor, compassion and loyalty. (7) Do Not Expect Too Much Of Yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable. (8) Find Something Bigger Than Yourself To Believe In. Self-Centered Egotistical People Score Lowest In Any Test For Measuring Happiness. This study really reveals the Treasure Of Peace!

The Treasures Of Peace are such a Priceless and such a Powerful reality. If there was ever a day in the history of humanity when mankind needed to get ahold of these great Treasures, it is today. Do you have these great Treasures in your life today, my dear friend?

1. There Is The Peace Of A Quiet Conscience (NO GUILT)  

2. There Is The Peace Of A Restful Mind (NO ANXIETY)                   

3. There Is The Peace Of A Surrendered Will (NO RESISTANCE)  

4. There Is The Peace Of A Hopeful Heart (NO FEAR)  

5. There Is The Peace Of Loving Fellowship (NO DIVISION)

This peace is not found in mere religion or in the resolve to reform oneself into a better and a kinder person. The Bible speaks about the Peace that can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ:

1. There Is Peace With God (Romans 5:1)                           

2. There Is Peace From God (Philemon 4; II John 3)  

3. There Is The Peace Of God (Philippians 4:7)   

I love the words of the great hymn written by Warren D. Cor­nell, in 1889:

Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.


Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!


What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul,
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll!


Refrain

I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul!


Refrain

And I think when I rise to that city of peace,
Where the Anchor of peace I shall see,
That one strain of the song which the ransomed will sing
In that heavenly kingdom will be:


Refrain

Ah, soul! are you here without comfort and rest,
Marching down the rough pathway of time?
Make Jesus your Friend ere the shadows grow dark;
O accept of this peace so sublime!


Refrain

As great of a Treasure that it is to have Peace I remind you that:

1. The Source Of Our Peace Originates In Justification 

Romans 5:1–2 “Therefore being justified (JUST AS IF WE HAVE NEVER SINNED) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”  

I love the words of the song: "I'm justified! I'm happy in Jesus today.  The sins I've committed, they're all in the Past; They’ll never condemn me, for He holds me Fast!  I'm justified! I'm justified!  I'm happy in Jesus today!" This song can only sung and it's Treasure realized by one who has personally accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. If you have never trusted Jesus as your Saviour, I urge you to do so this very day friend.

2. The Force Of Our Peace Overcomes Tribulation

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake (DURING THE BLOODY REIGN OF BRITAIN’S CATHOLIC MONARCH MARY I – OR OTHERWISE KNOWN AS BLOODY MARY) because of his witness for Christ. On the night before Bishop Ridley's execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort. Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life. Because he knew the Peace Of God, he could rest in the strength of the everlasting arms of his Lord to meet his need.
 

 

Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats?

January 9th, 2014


Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Metropolitan Tabernacle
London, England
How far has today’s church drifted from the pattern of the book of Acts. I contend that we all need a fresh encounter with what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what we have heard. Many 21st century believers need to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. We must honestly call into question the host of comfortable notions that are common among Christ's followers today. Under the false banner of Cheap Grace many believers and churches today Legitimized and Rationalized selfish and sinful attitudes and actions.

I recently came across an old article written by the Prince of Preachers Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Spurgeon, of course, was one of the greatest preachers of his generation (1834-1892). Spurgeon saw the direction the church was taking with entertaining the congregation and a marketing ideology creeping into the Bride of Christ. If Spurgeon thought his generation was becoming more entertainment focused rather than edifying in its approach to ministry can you even imagine what he would think of today’s contemporary services, CCM worship and watered down preaching and drama focused services? It is not with an ounce of a critical spirit but rather with a broken heart that I share with you the great Victorian preacher’s words.

Spurgeon’s article was titled “Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats.” An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That is clear enough. So it would have been if He had added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him.

Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear him say, "Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow." Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.

In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement! Their message is, "Come out, keep out, keep clean out!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, "Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference! Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of the conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

Join me in praying that the church of today, the ones filled with spirit filled and dedicated Christ followers, would clear itself of all the rot and rubbish the Satan has imposed on her, and bring ourselves back to the message and methods of the ancient, apostolic church!

Grow In Grace!

December 27th, 2013

Grace Baptist Church 2014 Spiritual Life Journals
The Universal Law Of Stupidity says, “Do The Same Thing Over And Over Again Hoping For A Different Result.” Are you tired of trying harder, and feeling guilty with very little honest to goodness change in your life? The solution is not difficult or even complicated. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The Faith that it takes to please God is found in only one place according to Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Nothing spiritually will really change in any of our lives unless we get more committed to a deeper and more consistent relationship with our Bibles.

For over a decade now our church has furnished our members and friends with a very valuable tool to help in developing a deeper walk with God. Next Sunday, January 5th, on the first Sunday of the New-Year once again this tool will be made available free of charge to all in attendance here at Grace. Our 2014 spiritual life journal will be given out next Sunday evening for our annual Vision Night Service. Let’s Grow In Grace together in 2014.

To Grow In Grace requires that you and I allow God to change us from the inside out as we meditate upon and absorb God’s Holy Word in our daily lives. To ignore personal Bible study, weekly attendance in Sunday School, Sunday morning church, Sunday evening church and Wednesday evening Bible study is purposefully planning spiritual failure or at the very least continued mediocrity. With God’s help, 2014 can be the greatest year in the spiritual life of any believer who wants to become a Joshua 1:8 kind of Christian.

Resolve to get into God’s Word every day in 2014. Make it a priority to faithfully attend and get involved in the weekly services of your church. If your church does not have Sunday evening and a midweek service, challenge your pastor and the leadership team of your church to get out of their comfort zone and seriously consider becoming a 3 service a week church. Maybe you should even consider finding a new church that does not just cater to a Sunday morning only approach to the Christian life. Don’t forget that “What You Do With The Bible Determines What God Does With You.” My personal challenge to you is make 2014 the greatest year yet in your spiritual life by taking your relationship with the Bible to another level.

For the next 12 months here at Grace Baptist Church we are in fact Ready, Roused and Resolved to discover the personal potential in all of us as we Grow In Grace. For the first quarter of 2014 our monthly church themes are:

January 2014 – Discovering The Power Of Grace

February 2014 – Developing The Passion With Grace

March 2014 – Displaying The Praise For Grace

 

Faithfulness In Unfaithful Times!

December 17th, 2013


Grace Baptist Church - Sunday Morning, December 15th, 2013
Last Sunday it snowed nearly 12 inches here in Gaylord. Most churches would have canceled their services. We were not trying to be tough, it just seemed like enough folks could get to church safely so we decided to have church. We ran all 10 of our bus routes in spite of the snowy weather. God gave us a good solid Sunday with well over 800 in church and a packed house again on Sunday night. I am so thankful for the incredible faithfulness of our people. Some of the finest Christians I know serve in the ministries of this great church.

Faithfulness is important. The scriptures admonishes us in Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Verse 23 lets us know that Jesus is faithful. Since he is our example, we must also be faithful.  The Scriptures indicate that Jesus, who is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28) was faithful to the Sabbath and, according to Luke 4:16, He was regularly found in the House of God. “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” If Jesus is our example, then faithfulness to God’s house is following His example.

After we have professed our faith we must hold on to our brand new salvation without wavering.  To waver means to reel or totter back and forth as though one would give up or quit.  We are helped to hold on to our profession of faith by gaining from the strength and encouragement of others, as well as being strong and encouraging to others. Hearing the testimonies of how God is moving in the lives of others is so encouraging.  Seeing the love that is demonstrated among the Saints provokes and inspires each of us to do likewise.  The best way to see this godly behavior in action is by coming together on a regular basis. That is called CHURCH!

Some carnal believers (those who claim to know God but feel that they do not need the church experience) insist that they do not need to go to church because they can read and study the Bible on their own, their own way.  The Bible, however, tells us that we are to do several things for each other as a body of believers.  We are to encourage and comfort each other, and to bear one another’s burdens.  (I Thess. 4:17-18; II Cor. 1:3-4; Gal. 6: 2) This is called CHURCH!

Building caring relationships with other Saints is not only good for our emotional health, but it is the basis of our Christian commitment. We do not attend church to be saved. We do so because we are saved.  Some of the hardest trials of our Christian life often come when we are initially saved.  Family members or friends often challenge us and try to change our minds about our new found commitment to Christ.  You can be certain the Devil will come after us with a furry.  Any number of things may come against us.  Our commitment must be, “I will be faithful to the House of God”. When we realize that all of the negative circumstances are simply staged by the enemy, it should be even easier for us to refuse to back down.

Dear friend, you must remember that being faithful to the House of God is an important commitment.  It is at church that we learn what pleases the Lord, how we are to live, act and be as Saints of God.  We need the Word of God that is Preached In Church, the worship of God that is Encouraged In Church, the presence of God that is Experienced In Church and the modeling of good behavior of the established and strong Saints that is Demonstrated In Church.  Our own lives, no matter how new we are in Christ, can motivate, inspire and validate others.  Let us all be faithful to the House of God! I’ll see you next time the doors are opened!