This morning I preached at the GOSPEL LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH of Rio Rancho, NM. The buildings were packed out and the response was wonderful. I taught my Sunday school lesson on “GRACE.” I preached this morning my sermon “BUT THERE WAS FORGIVENESS.” The Lord gave us 16 saved, 12 professions, 2 baptized, and several joining the church. Wow what a great spirit.
This morning before the service the pastor opened up the doors to their new auditorium which is double their current auditorium. They will be in this new building this coming Sunday. They were hoping to be in this Sunday, but there were still some things that had to be finished. This church has grown significantly over the last year. The principles of a strong Sunday school system and aggressive personal soul winning is the reason.
|Missionary Chantha Chhim|
Today I met missionary Chantha Chhim and his family. He was led to Christ by our friend Dr. Joe Esposito who pastors in California. He has graduated from Bible College and is on deputation. He and his family will be going to Singapore to start churches in that region of the world. Please consider supporting this young family. You can reach him at 501-624-5288 or his email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. This is great young missionary. He is a personal soul winner and worthy of your support.
Tonight I preached my sermon “FENCE STRADDLERS.” For many years I admired Dr. Gamaliel of Acts chapter 5 for his statement concerning Peter and the other apostles when he said “…Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought.”
There was a time when I was impressed with him. I thought he made a great speech for it sounded sober, sane, and sound, but the truth is Gamaliel was an appeaser, compromiser, and a fence straddler.
He decided to be neither for nor against. He took to the fence and there he sits on the first of a long line of fence straddlers who have caused more trouble in local churches and among the brethren than any thing else. The worst enemies are not the opposers, but the appeasers.
1) He made a false comparison – You cannot compare the independent Baptist movement to other religious endeavors. He compared Jesus Christ to Judas and Theudas.
2) He suggested a false criteria – Big is not always better! He wanted to measure by the success of it or in his mind “time will tell.” Now, success may be the standard gauge of this world for “nothing succeeds like success” but earth’s yardstick does not apply to Heaven’s yardstick. According to this view Jesus was a failure for he died in disgrace, the death of a criminal, and his followers were scattered. It is not that “time will tell” but rather “eternity will tell.” Visible success has never been the proof of Jesus and his followers.
3) He arrived at a false conclusion – He said “refrain” but you cannot let them alone. You cannot play hands off with the cause of Christ. You cannot suspend judgment and do nothing. This polite business of waiting to see how it all turns out, adding up all the evidence and then making up ones mind later on when all the facts are in is preposterous.
This is the age of appeasement and fence straddling. This is the age of Gamaliel when in the name of tolerance, men halt between two opinions and answer not a word. In many churches it shows up in Laodicean lukewarmness, a little too hot to be cold and little too cold to be hot, a state that nauseates the Lord himself.
The Gospel usually makes men mad, sad, or glad, but today we walk out of our churches neither sad, mad, nor glad for we just walk out. The issue is too clear cut for middle of the roaders, fundamental modernists, modernistic fundamentalists, and neither fish nor fowl.
The devil never had a greater ally than this modern atmosphere of genial, amiable, pleasant tolerance, in which nothing is bad, everything is good, and black and white are smeared into an indefinite color of grey. Nothing matters as long as everyone is in a good humor.
Getting mixed up in an unpopular movement is not the worst thing one can do. I would rather have lost my head with James than have kept it with Gamaliel. This modern brand of tolerance has put our age into a stupor. I call it a Rodney King theology! “Why can’t we all just get along!” GOTTA LOVE OLD TIME RELIGION!