Hog Pen Christianity

Colossians 1:12-14

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins…” 

One contemporary song says, “I have felt Him loose the chains of sin and set my spirit free, For I know what Jesus did for me” {Squire Parsons}

But we live in a day when many Christians have no idea what it means to be free from the chains of sin. People behave like the world even though they claim to be saved by Gods grace. If it wasn’t for their Christian tattoo {sic} you would never know that they were “saved”.

They talk, and live, just like the unsaved world around them. They love exactly what the world loves and if you mention holiness to them, you are undoubtedly a Pharisee. Many modern-day preachers tell people {in so many words} if you came forward or you raised your hand or repeated a prayer, you are saved. No matter how you live. No matter how sinful you are. No matter that you have no desire for holiness whatever. You have repeated the “magic” words, so you are okay. I warn every preacher, every Christian and every parent, you are not doing anyone any favors by giving people assurance while they are living in sin. By the way, it is not our job to give people assurance. If God hasn’t changed the “bent” or the direction of your life you have no reason to believe you are a Christian. It is true that Christians will sin but the true child of God is not content to stay in sin. If God delivers you out of the hog-pen, you’ll have no desire to live there again.

I am afraid that we have produced a lot of “hog-pen Christians” in our day. The late A.W. Tozer said, “then they build a little tabernacle and call it the First Tabernacle of the Converted Swineherds.”.

Tozer went on to say; Somebody suggested that the cross of Christ should not inconvenience people. Well, it is the most inconvenient thing in the world, this cross of Christ! It took a man by the name of Jesus in the height of his healthy human life and took Him out on a hillside and killed Him there – now, that’s an inconvenient thing for Him! And any cross is inconvenient; it’s a most inconvenient thing, this accepting Christ, if we know what we mean by it. BUT THE ACCEPTING CHRIST OF POPULAR THEOLOGY HAS NO INCONVENIENCE ATTACHED TO IT.

I spoke with a man not long ago who had spent most of his adult life in prison. He was a drug dealer and user. I had known him when he was a little boy. His parents and sister went to the same church as I did as a teenager. He told me he was saved when he was a child. While we were conversing on the phone he was cursing and drinking alcohol. He had served time in prison for committing several violent crimes and was still addicted to drugs. There was nothing in his life that indicated he was a Christian. Yet he said he had been “saved” as a child. He went on tell me that several Baptist preachers in my area had assured him that he was saved. I told him that by the authority of Gods Word and every evidence in his life, he assuredly had no reason whatever to think he was saved. We spoke for over an hour. I gave him scripture and implored him to turn from his sin and turn to Christ. As far as I know he did not. But before he hung up he thanked me. He said to me. “You are the only preacher that I have talked to who was honest enough to tell me the truth.”

If Christ didn’t change your life, you are not saved!

If our religion does not make us moral, it is a millstone about our necks to destroy us! …The best morality in the world will not prove a man to be a Christian! But if a man has not morality, it proves that he is not a child of God.C.H. Spurgeon

The question IS NOT…

Did you raise your hand? or

Did you come to the altar? or

Did you repeat this prayer? Or

Did you get baptized?

THE question is…DID JESUS CHRIST CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

If not, you have absolutely no reason to think you are a Christian.

NONE.

Are you still in the hog pen?

Only Jesus Christ can loose the chains of sin.

I unapologetically stake everything I believe, teach and preach on these facts.

Brother Shawn

 

 

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God Bless Us Everyone!

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

The older I get the more I enjoy the tradition of Christmas. Up until a few years ago I thought every Christian celebrated Christmas. But as of late, I have learned of all kinds of new Christian “hang ups”, Christmas included. I doubt at this stage in life I will bother to learn all these new {to me} shibboleths. Anyhow, here is some good advice from the “Prince of Preachers” concerning the Christmas Holiday. And… “God bless us everyone.” Merry Christmas – Brother Shawn

C.H. Spurgeon said these words December 2oth, 1857.

“Let each one of us go from this place determined, that if we are angry all the year round, this next week shall be an exception; that if we have snarled at everybody last year, this Christmas time we will strive to be kindly affectionate to others; and if we have lived all this year at enmity with God, I pray that by his Spirit he may this week give us peace with him; and then, indeed, my brother, it will be the merriest Christmas we ever had in all our lives. You are going home to your father and mother, young men; many of you are going from your shops to your homes. You remember what I preached on last Christmas time. Go home to thy friends, and tell them what the Lord hath done for thy soul, and that will make a blessed round of stories at the Christmas fire. If you will each of you tell your parents how the Lord met with you in the house of prayer; how, when you left home, you were a gay, wild blade, but have now come back to love your mother’s God, and read your father’s Bible. Oh, what a happy Christmas that will make! What more shall I say? May God give you peace with yourselves; may he give you good will towards all your friends, your enemies, and your neighbors; and may he give you grace to give glory to God in the highest. I will say no more, except at the close of this sermon to wish every one of you, when the day shall come, the happiest Christmas you ever had in your lives.”

A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, December 20, 1857, By Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, At The Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

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The “No Rules” Church

I recently read the statistic that 59% of millennials that were raised in church have dropped out.

I would imagine that to be an accurate statistic.

We have, for the most part, lost a generation or two of young people in many of our churches.

It has been reported that the average human attention span has fallen to about eight seconds. {I think it would be hard to preach an 8 second sermon!}

This calls for more and more unorthodox ways to try to keep the younger peoples attention

Also, in order to try to gain some of the millennials “back into the fold” there is a new type of “church” emerging.

A church that is “amoral” or as the Bible says, lascivious.

A lot of folks are looking for a church with “no rules”

I am of the opinion that many if not most of those millennials dropped out because they have never been born again.

Many of these young people have raised their hand, come to an altar or repeated a prayer but they have never experienced the life changing power of the gospel. Some have no testimony of salvation whatever.

They do not have an appetite for spiritual things.

One modern pastor liked to say his church is “theologically conservative and culturally liberal”.

In other words “our theology is conservative but we live like the rest of the world”.

I personally believe no matter how you label your theology if it doesn’t change your life, it’s not Biblical.

By the way, this is not some “new idea”

“there is no new thing under the sun.”

This “no rule” heresy has cropped up time and again in Christianity.

It even has a theological name, antinomianism.

“Theologically, antinomianism is the belief that there are no moral laws God expects Christians to obey.”

Today, we have Christians who cuss like sailors.

Christians who drink alcohol.

Christians who watch nudity {pornography} on television and on the internet.

Christians who gamble.

Christians who use drugs.

There are some folks who say they are Christians, who believe they can live almost any way they want except for being intolerant or judgmental.

The Bible describes these people as; “wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 

The Apostle Peter goes on to compare them to a dog that returns to his vomit or a hog that had been washed returning to its filth and mire. {see also the Epistle of Jude}

All of this really boils down to the philosophy of moral relativism. {The belief that concepts such as right and wrong, goodness and badness, or truth and falsehood are not absolute but change from culture to culture and situation to situation. – Encarta Dictionary}

In other words, knowing the difference  between right or wrong is a matter of personal experience or opinion.

Or “my way to God is as good as your way”

The Word of God has been thrown overboard by over half the population.

This calls for the pragmatists to come up with some new methods…some new techniques.

This new type of church and pastor will no doubt attract people who are tired of acting one way on Saturday night and another way on Sunday morning.

I think it will be “a breath of fresh air” for a lot of people. Away with the “pharisees”!

No more pretending.

Now they will be able to behave in church like they behave the rest of the week.

And they will find a pastor who lives just like they do.

I am of the opinion that a true blue, Heaven sent awakening is our only hope. – Brother Shawn

 

 

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Church-daters

Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Someone has said that a lot of people are “dating a church” but they are not married to it.

That shouldn’t surprise us in a society in which many “shack up” or live together without marrying.

Many attend churches but will not commit to a church.

These are what one man labeled, “church daters”

These people are often selfish, in other words, they want to know “what is in it for me?”  

This type of person is me-centered, he chooses where to go church just like he would choose Wal-Mart over Target.

Who has the best deal and the stuff I want?

They are very independent {in a bad sense of the word} they do not want to get too involved or make a commitment.

Perhaps they were hurt or got burned in a previous church.

These folks are often critical.

They are looking for the perfect church where everyone believes just like they believe.

Often they are looking for perfection…

{I have never met anyone that believes exactly how I believe but I have met some fine Christian brothers and sisters over the years.}

Like a bargain hunter these folks just jump around, looking for the best deal, instead of settling down somewhere.

They lack commitment, they avoid commitment.

Do you understand that…Commitment is what makes a marriage work and commitment is also what makes a church work.

The Bible speaks of local churches, visible churches, with visible leadership and visible giving.

Choose a church for Biblical reasons.

Choose a church with commitment in mind.

Choose a church realizing that you also, “have not arrived”.

Commit yourself.

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Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death…Are You Kidding?

Declaration_of_Independence_(1819),_by_John_TrumbullBut Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. Deuteronomy 32:15

proclaim liberty throughout all the land  {inscription on the Liberty Bell from Leviticus 25:10}

As we are about to celebrate the Fourth of July I think we who are Christians would do well to think about where we are as a nation. As we celebrate freedom we, as a people, are daily forfeiting those freedoms.

I know this is a downer for some people. It is hard to enjoy the cookout or your favorite TV show if you have to think about things like this. But is it wrong of me to ask people to consider the future of their children and grandchildren, who in all likelihood will never know the freedoms that we have enjoyed?

Those men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor would be very disappointed with what we have done with our freedom.

America, like Israel of old, has become fat and have forsaken God.

We have slighted God.

Founding father John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should be a religious holiday, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

That was the type of men who founded this nation.

We are now living in a country that can demand that you be “reeducated” if you do not agree with same-sex marriage.

But as a Bible believing Christian I must stand against homosexuality and all sexual sin. I must speak out against false religion. I must tell people that there is only one Way to God, and that’s through His Son Jesus Christ. I must warn against the false religion of Islam. All of these things may soon be considered “hate speech”. And if I live long enough one day I will probably be arrested for “hate speech”.

I have often said we will probably be singing God Bless America and waving little US flags when our government loads us up into rail cars to be reeducated.

The 4th of July is a good time to think of those who have sacrificed everything so that we can be a free people.

And what about that man who said;“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Give me liberty or give me death? …Are you kidding?

I know we are constantly told how “free” we are but according to the Human Freedom Index the United States of America barely makes the top 20 for freedom. We are #12 for economic freedom but rank only #31 for personal freedom.

I am thankful for the freedoms we still have…

But we need to remember, we didn’t gain all of these things by luck or coincidence.

Fortunately for us, there were some people in our past who were willing to fight and die for what they believed in.

I think there may be a shortage of those kind of people these days. – Brother Shawn

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You Cant Take It With You

And he {Jesus} said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke 12:15

If you had never read another verse in the Bible this verse should demonstrate to you that Gods ways are not our ways. {Isaiah 55:8} .

Jesus tells us that our lives are not measured by how wealthy we are or how successful we are.

The things that men often think are important are not all that important to God.

We are indoctrinated from an early age that “getting things” is what really matters.

We are instructed that acquiring wealth is what life is all about.

Being successful is the goal.

But God seems to say exactly the opposite.

The Bible says, Jesus “lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 

Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”  {Luke 6}

Of course it is not wrong to be successful, nor is it wrong to be wealthy.

The Bible tells of many of Gods people who were wealthy.

But the Bible also gives us many warnings concerning riches.

A lot of folks have destroyed themselves trying to become wealthy. And a lot of folks have destroyed themselves once they got there.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” I Timothy 6:6-11

No, God doesn’t look at things like we do.

What impresses us, doesn’t seem to impress God.

What we think would make us happy could bring us trouble.

We shouldn’t look for “our best life now”.

Jesus said “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

“A sovereign Providence breaks men’s measures, and blasts their hopes, and teaches them that the way of man is not in himself, but subject to the divine will. We must use means, but not trust to them; if we succeed, we must give God the praise; if we be crossed, we must acquiesce in His will and take our lot.”Matthew Henry

What we want and what God wants for us may be and probably is two different things.

“…Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” 

Jesus tells us to seek Him and His kingdom…In the long run nothing else is going to matter. – Brother Shawn

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Drunkenness, the Devils Backdoor to Hell.

1046-SouthDoorofStoneChurch-357x500Proverbs 20:1  “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” 

Proverbs 23:29-32  “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 

They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 

At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” 

Recently one of the staff of a well known ministry and Bible college was arrested for driving drunk with two of his underage children in the vehicle. He drove off roadway and struck a curb. According to a recent article , he had a blood alcohol content of 0.175 {more than twice the legal limit} and was driving dangerously with two of his children in the vehicle.

I am sure he thought he could handle it.

When I was saved in 1989 it was common knowledge that alcohol and Christianity did not mix.

It was not unusual, 30 years ago to hear several sermons a year against drinking alcohol.

I attended a Independent Fundamental Baptist church as a teenager and I also attended an IFB school.

It was a well known fact and stated in a church covenant on the wall that IFB folks were not to drink alcohol.

Preachers didn’t preach against “drunkenness”…they preached against drinking.

But that was the “old days.”

We now have…

Christians who drink alcohol.

Christians who gamble.

Christians who cuss.

Christians who look at pornography.

Christians who shack up.

50 years of moral relativism through the worlds education system and media has seeped into the churches.

There is not much today that is not “ok”, even amongst Christians.

A preacher who preaches against drinking alcohol today will often be labeled a legalist.

The Bible plainly states that Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Many have been deceived by booze.

The minister who was caught driving under the influence with his kids in the car had been deceived.

He made an unwise decision.

Now the booze, the unsaved world and the devil mock the poor man.

People make all kinds of silly arguments defending the drinking of alcohol.

They bring up gluttony, smoking and eating unhealthy.

I have never heard of anyone wrecking a car or losing their job because they had eaten too much.

I have never heard of anyone leaving their spouse because they would not stop eating unhealthy food.

Having preached in missions and jails, I have never met a man or woman whose life was in ruins because they consumed too much processed food.

I have never met someone who had lost their drivers license for driving while smoking cigarettes.

Those who defend drinking alcohol often mention risky behavior, like skydiving or white-water rafting… “we all make decisions to take certain risks.”

While that is true, unlike skydiving or drag racing or whitewater rafting there are far greater risk involved with drinking alcohol and it impacts a far greater number of people.

For example:

*Every day in America, 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.

*In 2015, 10,265 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 51 minutes

*Over 50% of automobile accidents are caused by alcohol impaired drivers.

*Over 50% of all fatal highway crashes involving two or more cars are alcohol related.

*Over 65% of all fatal single car crashes are alcohol related.

*50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.

*Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.

*On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.

*In 2013, 28.7 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol – that’s more than the population of Texas.

*An average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before first arrest.

*Adults drank too much and drove about 121 million times per year – over 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving a day.

The carnage caused from drinking alcohol is enormous and the damage to peoples health is far greater than most people realize.

“Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation.

Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption.”

In the end drinking alcohol will cause a person to…

lose his property

lose his reputation.

lose his health.

lose his family.

lose his immortal soul.

Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. {I Corinthians 6:9-11}

“At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”

spurgeon middle ageCharles Haddon Spurgeon, when a younger man, believed it was okay to drink alcohol socially.

When an older man, he stated; “Next to the preaching of the Gospel, the most necessary thing to be done in England is to induce our people to become abstainers.”

I believe the “old time” Christians were right…Christians shouldn’t drink.

My advice is never touch the stuff. Don’t even look at it. – Brother Shawn

maclaren“It is very clear that if a man is a total abstainer, he can never be a drunkard. As much cannot be said of the moderate man.” – Alexander Maclaren

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

“The sight of a drunkard is a better sermon against that vice than the best that was ever preached upon the subject.” – George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633–1695)

“Drunkenness is the devil’s back door to hell and everything that is hellish. For he that once gives away his brains to drink is ready to be caught by Satan for anything.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/about/drunk-driving-statistics.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol/facts-about-alcohol

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