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Weekend musings

January 17th, 2009 Posted in family, Pastor's corner, religions, sermons

Get your doctrine straight!

Years ago, C.S.Lewis gave this warning: “If you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones.”

If this has ever been a problem in the church, it is certainly now. Paul warned such a day would eventually come, telling Timothy: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3 NLT).

Friends, the “time” that Scripture spoke of is here. I am shocked to see how people who describe themselves as evangelicals can be so ignorant of what the Bible clearly teaches.

For a vivid example, check this out.

That is what I have committed my life to.

People who believe in Jesus wouldn’t say such outlandish things if they studied their Bibles. That is why we need preaching and teaching from the Scripture.

Right before that verse are these words: “Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with Good teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 NLT).

That is what we are committed to each day at Harvest Ministries. This is what I have committed my very life to, preaching the gospel and teaching the Word.

Weekend teachings

If you would like to check out my newest weekend article at WorldNetDaily, click here. You can also read my long-form weekend devotion on the value of a soul here.

James MacDonald at Harvest

It has been our privilege to have Pastor James McDonald at Harvest while he is in town getting treatment for cancer. The treatments are going well, and James has been giving an amazing series of teachings on the topic of Turning Your Trials Into Gold.

His series continues this Sunday morning at Harvest, with the remaining messages coming at our Wednesday midweek studies.

Back at Harvest

I will be back in the pulpit at Harvest next Sunday, January 25. I have been on vacation with my family, and we have had a restful time. I will be wrapping up my series in the Book of Acts called Upside-Down Living.

11 Responses to “Weekend musings”

  1. Nikki says:

    This article makes me realize how close we are to the Rapture. More and more, we are seeing the signs.

    I look forward to the day when we are “caught up” in the clouds and see our Savior. In the Bible, it says that knowledge will increase. We are now able to prove the Bible. God is leading us to the proof.

    People only want to believe that which is tangible. Through today’s modern science, God is providing us with tangible evedince. People need to know what has been found.

    Then there will be no doubts that what God provided for us in the Bible is real, all of it. It seems that most people who make their own opinions are ignorant to the facts. That’s breaking the first Commandment, making their own God.

    Maybe we need to approach people with knowledge to get to faith. It is the approach I am using to get to everyone I know who doesn’t believe. You can’t contest scientific evidence. At least this will get people thinking.

  2. Paige says:

    Wow, if the article about Barna’s findings doesn’t make you shake in your boots, I don’t know what will! What a very sad commentary on our society. However, what a short step away for any one of us if we stop studying the Word like the Bereans, and lend ourselves to our own understanding. We truly are like shifting sand, but God has given us His Rock to stand firm on!

    Thank you, Pastor Greg, for being faithful to study the Word diligently to make sure that it’s accurately taught and for encouraging us to do the same. I shudder to think where I would be without your guidance and example.

    Blessings,
    Paige

  3. Bob says:

    Hello Greg,

    I would like to thank you, your family and all the Harvest staff for your ministry. God bless you all.

    I remember when you came to Springdale, Arkansas. It is through that visit that I have recently begun receiving daily devotionals from you. I start the day with Jesus Christ through your ministry and end the day with Him as well. It was not until recently that I learned of Christopher’s accident. I have no idea how you and your family feels, so I ask God every day to love you as only He can.

    My dad has been in your shoes. We lost my sister at 37 years of age to breast cancer. I remember us standing around her the last day of her life on this earth. My Dad looked to the sky with tears streaming down his face, and he cried out, “Oh God, I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest.”

    I know that if he, like you, had the power to lay down on that hospital bed and taken her place, he would have. I have reflected on that day many times. My sister was the most faithful, God-fearing woman I have ever known. I think often that God’s love for us is massively more and this has to be the way He feels when one lost person perishes. While you nor my dad had that power, God had it. He laid down on our death bed.

    My sister had nothing. She lost her husband at 33 and was about to leave her daughter an orphan but her heart was full. I have been seriously ill for the past 2 1/2 years and have become closer to Christ than ever.

    As a result of my sister’s faithfulness, my oldest son is an associate pastor at a church in Conway, Ark.

    I tell her story to many because it is remarkable. Her life, wholly committed to her Savior, is an example to me. I miss her every day. Do you think she will invite me into her mansion? It know it is a dandy.

    Thank you again, sir.

    Bob Atkinson

  4. Miranda Family says:

    Pastor Greg ~ Thank you for your insights and truth as they do minister to me. Loved the Value of a Soul devotion and the outcome for Roy, but saddened by the testing of faith segment.

    Blessings ~ Becky

  5. Jeff says:

    Thanks, Greg!

    I will stay strong and I definitely see some changes I need to make when it comes to the people I am around most.

    Thanks again for the response and God Bless you.

  6. Jeff says:

    I am around a lot of people who profess to be Christians, yet they have views that are contrary to the Bible, like saying there is more than one way to Heaven other than Jesus. And it is so difficult to have a conversation with them on anything from the Bible. I am always seen as rigid and extreme because I believe in what the Bible says cover to cover. I do my best to not offend, but it is so difficult. I don’t know how to handle situations like that. Is there a book on that? I would much rather be confronted by a professed nonbeliever.

    Greg Responds-

    Jeff,

    Well, for one thing, stand your ground. Secondly, I would suggest, if they claim to be Christians, that you show them in the Bible where certain things are. For instance, the Bible could not be more clear than it is on the teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven (John 14:6).

    Lastly, you might consider finding some new friends. Ones who share and will back you up on what you believe.

    The apostle Paul wrote these words to Timothy, and they apply to you too, Jeff: “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT).

    So try to find companions like that.

  7. Linda says:

    Pastor Greg,

    I am glad you are enjoying your well-deserved vacation with your family. We miss you! I decided to check out Pastor James at Harvest (even though no one can replace you). All I can say is wow! So glad I didn’t miss his teaching on trials. This was something I needed to hear. Thank you for letting him speak at Harvest. Hurry back!

    You have changed my life, bless you!
    Linda

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Pastor Greg,

    I too have been shocked about what people believe and how they are changing “Christianity” to fit their wants and needs. I actually have 2 Timothy 4:3 on my screensaver and, it being located in our family room, anyone who comes over has the opportunity to read it and hopefully think about it.

    I have a friend who I thought followed the Scriptures (in her own way by watching on TV; better than nothing, I thought) and evidently I was wrong. I learned this last year while having a discussion on Proposition 8 when she defended her side and told me that I was narrow minded and most people who voted for it were making up lies to defend their position. I was blown away, but I politely explained that I couldn’t compromise because the Bible is God’s infallible Word and either you believe all of it or none of it because the gospel doesn’t change to fit what the world thinks that it needs and we both just ended the conversation.

    A while after that, I took her to church with me and afterward was kind of hoping for some comment one way or another on how the service was, but got nothing. It was one of the most amazing services too (Pastor Jeff is great)! She hasn’t asked me to go again, and I think there is a lot more that she doesn’t agree with about the Bible, but won’t engage in any more conversations with me about it. It is a strain on our friendship since my life centers around Christ and hers seems to be changing to that of the world, so we don’t have much in common anymore.

    If there was ever anybody in this world who needed a Savior, it would be me. I am so thankful for God’s amazing love for me because I fall so short. I don’t want Him to change. I need Him just as He is. All that is true does not change. Thank You, Jesus!

    God bless you and your family. I pray for, and thank God for you. Your ministry is such a blessing to all of us out there who have the opportunity to hear and read what you teach, which is straight from the Bible and you back it up with Scripture references.

  9. Derek says:

    Amen, Greg. I’ve been thinking a lot about 2 Timothy 4:3 in regards to the emergent church.

  10. Jacob says:

    Wow, it’s hard to believe that even professing Christians would believe something like that! Thank you for your faithfulness to teach the Truth!

  11. mrs. sweet says:

    Pastor Greg,

    In your weekend devotion, you wrote, “After talking with Roy a while, it became apparent that he was not a Christian.” At our age(s) and knowledge of the Word, yes, we can most times tell when a person isn’t a believer.

    This is the case with my husband, who often tells me, “I don’t wanna hear about your Bible” and “I don’t agree about all that hellfire and damnation stuff” (don’t ever recall even using that term in my lifetime). He, his pastor, and many other figures at his church have told me before, “Who are you to judge?” I would call it discernment. Only God knows who is and who isn’t.

    My question is, how do I respond to this sort of “confrontation” (for lack of a better word)?

    P.S. I forward your devotions to my friend on the East Coast, and in front of it I write, “My little devotion to you” to help with his walk back to Christ once again. He is on his way back; I can tell :)

    Greg responds-

    Mrs Sweet,
    As I said to Jeff (in the blog comments), you hold your ground.
    No, neither you nor I can really say with absolute 100% certainty who is and who is not a Christian. Only God can see the heart.

    Then again, the Bible does say, “By their fruit you shall know them.” So we look for spiritual fruit in a person’s life to help us to discern if they are indeed a believer. So, think of us as “fruit inspectors!”
    :)

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