The Ambassador Baptist College Choir @ SCBC on Sunday night, April 30

In August, 1989, Ambassador Baptist College opened its doors to thirty-six students from across America – students who came to prepare for full-time Christian service. Today, the focus and thrust of the college remains constant and the student body continues to grow.

Dr. Ron Comfort, the founder and Chancellor of Ambassador Baptist College, is a veteran of more than fifty years in full-time evangelism. Through his years of ministry, God burdened him to establish a Bible college whose sole focus was training men and women for Christian service. In 2009, Dr. Alton Beal became the president of ABC, and continues with the same burden and joy of preparing the next generation of Christian servants.

Students at Ambassador Baptist College major in Bible and will have earned more than sixty credit hours in Bible upon receiving a four-year degree. Along with this solid Bible training, the students also choose a second major in the field of ministry to which God has called them. Add to this sound Bible training a strong local church emphasis, daily chapel messages,  Christ-honoring music, and a warm friendly atmosphere, and the result is Ambassador Baptist College.

The Ambassador Baptist College Ensemble and quartets travel to churches on alternating weekends throughout the school year and several weeks in the summer months providing special music and preaching.

On Sunday night, April 30, at 6:00 PM at South Charlotte Baptist Church, Ambassador Baptist College will present a time of excellent music and preaching.

Loose Change Sunday

Every Sunday evening, during our service, we have the children go around and gather up all the loose change. We then use that loose change for ministries and projects at South Charlotte Baptist Church. (Example: We have given those loose change offerings to our college students in the past.)

This coming Sunday morning, April 2, we will have a “Loose Change Sunday.” Before they go to Children’s Church, we will have all of the children gather up the loose change. So, come to church prepared with loose change.

We will then highlight one of the ministries that we consistently use the loose change offering for.

Is Master Clubs Worth It?

Master Clubs is our youth Bible clubs which meet on Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM during the school year. Click here for more information.
Take a good look at the photo to the right. It is a picture of an 11 year old boy many years ago who just happened to preach one of his first sermons during a Master Clubs Regionals. At that time in Master Clubs history, the idea of holding a Saturday competition for clubbers in different parts of the country was still quite new. Leaders that were getting involved on the ground level of training boys and girls for ministry began finding out that preparation takes work. Yet, someone took the time to show this young boy what it meant to study the Bible, prepare a sermon, and trust God for delivery. Someone invested in his life and taught him to be faithful to the Lord in all things. Someone in Master Clubs was an example to him week in and week out. Someone looked past his birth defect and said, “God can use this young man.” Someone dreamed for this little boy that which he could not even envision for himself.
Fast forward to 2017 and look at the picture below of the same individual holding the same Bible. Today that young boy has grown, fully matured as a believer, has been blessed of God with a wonderful wife and daughter, and just a couple of years ago took the pastorate of a Baptist church in the Northeast corridor of the country.
Back to our question, “Is all this really worth it?” To that question we give a resounding, “Yes!” Psalm 78:7 reminds us that for the next generation we are to lead in such a way “that they might set their hope in God.” O that we may stay faithful in serving the Lord in this capacity! O that our leaders would not falter or fail to spend time to train boys and girls to be servants prepared for ministry! What is it our founder, Abb Thomas, once said? “Never underestimate the potential of a child.” Stay faithful – that boy you are training may lead his church to host a Regionals one day. That girl may answer the call to the mission field. That clubber must be prepared for any level of ministry – let us work together to provide those opportunities through Regionals!
The above was reprinted from a recent newsletter received from Master Club Ministries. The entire newsletter can be seen here…
If your children don’t attend Master Clubs at South Charlotte Baptist Church, we want to encourage you to begin making that investment in the life of your child by bringing them to Master Clubs!

Facts & Faith

In Genesis 1:1 we are given the entire act of Creation within that one verse. Then, in the verses to follow, we are given the full “play by play” account of the six, literal, 24 hour days of Creation.

  • Day One – Light (vs. 3-5)

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

  • Day Two – Firmament/Atmosphere (vs. 6-8)

“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Genesis 1:6

  • Day Three – Land/Seas/Vegetation (vs. 9-13)

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.” Genesis 1:9

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” Genesis 1:13

  • Day Four – Sun, Moon, Stars (vs. 14-19)

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Genesis 1:14

  • Day Five – Fish and Fowl (vs. 20-23)

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” Genesis 1:20

Those, they say, are the facts. Some may say, “No, those are the facts according to the Bible.” Yes, but…

We could spend weeks, discussing every aspect of Creation & Evolution, debating the various aspects of each. However, I don’t believe that it is necessary for us to do that. Both Creation & Evolution deal with two things – Facts & Faith. Those are the two things which I want to consider this morning.

The Facts – Both Creationists and Evolutionists start with the same facts.

Fact # 1 The universe had a beginning.

Fact #2 No human being was there to physically observe the beginning of the universe.

Fact #3 The universe in which we live is without limits.

In October, 2016, a group of international astronomers compiled 20 years of images from the Hubble Space Telescope and determined that there were at least two trillion galaxies – 10 times more than scientists thought. And we can’t even see most of them! http://nypost.com/2016/10/14/far-out-universe-is-way-bigger-than-we-thought/

Fact #4 The universe in which we live is magnificent and awe-inspiring.

Many of us had the opportunity to experience different aspects of this world in which live, such as the Grand Canyon, which have left us simply being able to say, “WOW!

Facts #5 The universe in which we live is complex.

In an article entitled, “The Human Brain Is the Most Complex Structure in the Universe,” we read, “It is no exaggeration to say that the human brain is an impressive organ. No other brain in the animal kingdom is capable of generating the kind of higher consciousness associated with human ingenuity, with our ability to make plans and write poetry. Yet the most complex structure in the known universe – as it is often described – is more mysterious than the least- explored regions of the deepest ocean.” http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/the-human-brain-is-the-most-complex-structure-in-the-universe-let-s-do-all-we-can-to-unravel-its-9233125.html

Fact #6 The universe in which we live is powerful

Tornadoes generate the most powerful winds on Earth, sometimes in excess of 300 miles per hour. And all of us have seen pictures of the devastation that tornadoes can cause!

Fact #7 The universe in which we live is diverse and varied.

Fact #8 The universe in which we live is beautiful.

Fact #9 The beauty within the universe has been marred. What we sometimes see just is not that pretty!

Faith – Both Creationists and Evolutionists utilize faith.

The Evolutionists faith – As an evolutionist observes the facts, they will form their conclusions based upon some assumptions that they have accepted by faith.

  • There is no need for a Creator or an Intelligent Designer.
  • There are no definite beginning and end points on the time axis. You can go back in time as far as you need to accommodate evolution. And, it is assumed, that evolution will continue, into the future, without an ending.
  • There is no plan in evolution, neither is there any purpose. It just happened.
  • The present is the key to the past. In other words, the scientific processes that are observable today can be extrapolated backwards as far as needed. For example, the present annual rate of erosion of the Grand Canyon is 0.15 mm. This leads to an age of 10 million years.

The Creationists faith – As a creationist observes the facts, they will form their conclusions based upon some assumptions that they have accepted by faith.

  • There is a God. He is the Creator.
  • Our universe had a definite beginning and will have a definite end.
  • God had a plan in His creation. He placed within each aspect of His creation a definite purpose.
  • The past is the key to the present. A creationist’s understanding of the present is based upon events in the past. Because of the events in Genesis chapter 3 – the fall of man – and the world-wide flood – described for us in the pages of Genesis – we can understand things which we see around us today.

So where does that leave us? While both an Evolutionist and a Creationist will begin with the same facts and will filter those facts through faith, they will come to drastically different conclusions:

The Evolutionists Conclusion: Read Romans 1:20-32.

  • The evolutionist, by faith, reject the truth which can be clearly seen in the facts.
  • The consequence of this rejection is that they suffer mental and moral perversion.

The Creationist Conclusion: Read Psalm 19:1-14.

  • The truth of God is seen in His creation. (vs. 1-6) Even as is stated in Romans 1:20, God is revealed in His creation. We call that “General Revelation.”
  • Acceptance of general revelation leads us to the next step.
  • Do you remember a couple of weeks ago I asked the question, “Why did God give mankind the Bible?” The Bible reveals God to mankind. We call that “Special Revelation.”
  • Acceptance of general revelation leads to special revelation – God’s Word. (vs. 7-11)

Notice the very first phrase of vs. 7, “The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul…” General revelation gives an incomplete view of God. Why? Because creation has been marred by sin. However, God’s word is perfect – it is complete. It completes the picture that is given to us in creation. God’s Word converts – saves – the soul.

  • Notice how Psalm 19 ends in vs. 14, “…O Lord my Strength and my Redeemer.”

Read Romans 10:13-17. It is all about facts and faith. You see the facts all around you. Will you simply respond to those facts with faith that says, “There is a God. I must receive Him as my Savior?”

Click here to watch a brief video entitled “Where Will You Spend Eternity?”

Where Do You Live?

Suppose I drove into town – the little town of Proverbs – looking for your home.

Suppose that the only directions I had been given was the name of the street that you lived on – 19th Avenue. As I drive through the streets of Proverbs, I come to 19th Avenue. As I turn onto 19th Avenue, I find that there are only two homes on the street. One is located at #13 19th Avenue and the other is located just across the street at #14 19th Avenue. On the exterior, both homes look identical. They both have the same vinyl siding, the same front door, the same shutters, the same mailbox; even the front lawn is landscaped the same. I stop in the middle of the street just a little bit perplexed; not knowing which home is yours. How will I determine which home is yours?

I remind you that, in Proverbs chapter 9 we are introduced to both Wisdom and Folly. Both are personified as women, seated at the threshold of their homes, offering the same invitation to those who pass by:

“Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,” Proverbs 9:4, 16

In Proverbs chapter 9, the way that we can discern the dramatic difference between the home of Wisdom and the home of Folly is to look inside:

But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18

The same is true as I am parked in the middle of 19th Avenue in the town of Proverbs. #13 is on one side and #14 is on the other; both, on the outside are identical. The only way that I will be able to determine which home is yours is by looking on the inside.

“A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.” Proverbs 19:13-14

Have you ever driven through a part of town where there were beautiful homes and said, “I’d love to go inside and look around?” Well, let’s go inside these two homes and look around a little bit.

Remembering who the writer is – King Solomon – I kind of imagine that he is penning these words to his son, Rehoboam. As he pens verse 13 I believe that Solomon has in his mind’s eye, his own home. Read 1 Kings 11:1-8. He had 1,000 wives and concubine. Can you imagine how contentious it was in his home?!?! Then, as he penned, verse 14, I believe that Solomon is writing about the home that he wished he had and the home which he hoped his son would have!

#13 is led by the father; #14 I led by the Lord

In both verses we the father and the wife. However, in verse 13 we see no mention of the Lord. In verse 14 we see the words, “from the Lord.” Read Psalm 127. Often, a father and husband may take pride in the fact that he is leading his home. But more importantly is this – Who is leading the father and husband?

Is the husband humble?

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10

It has been said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less!” Fathers and Husbands, we need to humble ourselves and have our minds fixed upon the Lord! Our focus, as we lead our wives and children, needs to be on the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2

Is the husband loving his wife the way that the Lord loves the church?

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Ephesians 5:25

One of the ways in which this love will be shown is by serving our wives.

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Being a husband and father has little to do with having your wife and children serve you but it has everything to do with you serving them!

Is the father leading his children to the Lord?

In Proverbs 19:13 it is very apparent that this father has allowed his children to be foolish. Instead, we must lead – not simply point – our children to the Lord.

Solomon, with his life and the choices that he made, led his children away from the Lord while, at the same time, trying to point them to the Lord. Which do you think they followed? Read 1 Kings 14:21-24 to find out!

Should it be any surprise that the younger generation thinks little of God and the house of God when they have been led by fathers who think little of God and the house of God?

#13 it is the husband versus the wife; #14 it is the husband with the wife

This comparison should be obvious as you look at these two verses. In your home, is it you against your spouse? Or, is it you and your spouse “two-gether?”

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Read Acts 18:1-3.

In these verses, we are introduced to a husband and wife who exemplify a godly marriage – Aquila and Priscilla. Every time we see this couple in Scripture, they are mentioned together – never separately.

While we don’t have time to fully consider their lives and the marriage which they shared, I can mention, just quickly, several things about them…

  • They centered their lives on the Lord and His Church.
  • They physically worked together.
  • Together, they spiritually invested in others.

Do those things describe your home and your marriage? I believe we can honestly say that, in Aquila and Priscilla’s home, it was not husband versus the wife but instead they were “two-gether” in all things!

#13 is chaotic; #14 is productive

They say that the proof is in the pudding!

There is no peace in Proverbs 19:13. A foolish son brings grief to the home. This home is full of arguing between the husband and wife.

However, in Proverbs 19:14 we see a much different scene! In Proverbs 19:14 we see the hand of God’s blessing upon this home and this marriage.

  • House – I don’t believe that this is speaking as much about the physical dwelling place as it is the home life that is experienced within. One of the greatest treasures that you can pass along to your children is that of a godly heritage!
  • Riches – This is the same word that is used in Proverbs 18:11, “The rich man’s wealth…” It still refers to sufficiency. But in this context – Proverbs 19:14 – it’s a good sufficiency. This godly home is going to provide everything that a young person will ever need. The young person will find their needs met – not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

I believe that if we are going to experience a home that is productive and not chaotic, that it is going to begin with a home that is being led by the Lord and a home in which the husband and wife/father and mother are “striving together” and not striving against one another.

During the summer of 1994, before getting married, I traveled with a men’s quartet. Each night, we typically stayed in the homes of the members of the churches we sang in. I distinctly remember one of the homes that we stayed in while in Sioux City, Iowa. It was the home of a chiropractic doctor. They had several children, some who had been adopted. This was a magnificent home. One bedroom had a basketball goal and basketball flooring. One bedroom had a fire pole. The family room was two stories and contained an indoor trampoline. They also had an indoor racquetball court. Needless to say, our group did not get much sleep that night! While that was a physically magnificent home the home that you can find in the little town of Proverbs at #14 on 19th Avenue is eternally magnificent in the eyes of God!

Can They Count On You!

Can They Count On You

I recently came into possession of a book entitled, “Leadership.” It is a compilation of articles, covering the many aspects of leadership, that were originally published in various journals by the United States Cavalry.

In July, 1888, Major E.V. Sumner, 5th Cavalry, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, wrote an article entitled, “The Individual Soldier.” In that article he stated…

“We are sometimes led to doubt the loyalty of our most intimate friends and are distrustful of all. This should not be the case with soldiers, for in all our undertakings we are so entirely dependent upon each other that, to insure success, we should know an trust. Wilkison, in his ‘Life of a Private Soldier,’ says: ‘No matter how brave a veteran soldier may be, he relies on the men on either side of him to stand there until they fall. He relies on them to accompany him in the advances and to be by his side when slowly falling back before a superior force. It is essential that a soldier hears the voices of his comrades when he is charging. He must know that his comrades are as staunch fighters as he.'” [emphasis added]

Wow! That is just as applicable to each of us now, in 2017, as it when when it was originally written.

We are soldiers

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 2 Timothy 2:3

We are in a battle

“Fight the good fight of faith…” 1 Timothy 6:12

Can we be counted upon

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” Philippians 1:27

Because we are all soldiers who are actively engaged in a battle that has eternal consequences, we must determine that those who are standing shoulder to shoulder with us in the battle are going to be able to count on us until we fall!

  • Can your Savior count upon you?

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38

  • Can your family count upon you?

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4

  • Can your employer count upon you?

“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, iin singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:” Ephesians 6:5-7

  • Can your church family count upon you?

“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.” Hebrews 10:24-25

  • Can those missionaries that we support count upon you?

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.” Philippians 4:10

Let’s determine that we, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, are going to endure hardness and continue to stand and continue to strive together with those around us so that we might together further the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

What’s In a Name?

Shakespeare, in his play, “Romeo and Juliet,” asked the question, “What’s in a name? that
which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

“Your name can influence the assumptions that other people make about your character and background, and thus the chances you are given in life,” says Richard Wiseman — a case in point, he’s a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire.

“It can also be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. If your name sounds intelligent, successful and attractive, you are more likely to act those things.”

“Names make impressions, just as the way you clothe your (child) or, the you way you groom them makes an impression,” insisted University of California emeritus psychology professor Albert Mehrabian, who authored a book on “Beneficial and Harmful Baby Names”. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/10/what-in-name-more-than-think-experts-say.html

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
“The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.
“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” Proverbs 18:10-12

There is safety in the name of the Lord. But what does that mean?

Biblically, a name speaks to a person’s character; to their reputation.

“And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:28

“And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” John 1:42

In Exodus 3:13-16, Moses pleaded with God, “The children of Israel are going to want to know who you are.” God said, “I am the eternal God. I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.

Great emphasis and importance is placed upon the name of the Lord.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7

“Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.” Psalm 118:26

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:19

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Acts 3:6

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” Philippians 3:10

To know God is to know His names

Turn to and read John 17:1-3, 6, 26.  How did Christ accomplish His desire that the disciples would know God?

  • Jesus revealed the name of God. God desires to reveal Himself to us!
  • Jesus declared the name of God.

In Jesus, the disciples became acquainted with the power and character of God. They knew Him! You see, this is the real issue here, knowing God!

“That I may know him…” Philippians 3:10

How well do you know Him? Now, let’s go back to Proverbs 18:10…

The name of the Lord is a strong tower

It’s not a question of whether the name of the Lord is a strong tower; this is a statement of truth.

  • A strong tower provides safety.
  • A strong tower provides peace.
  • A strong tower provides rest.
  • A strong tower provides restoration.

The righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Just because the name of the Lord is a strong tower doesn’t mean that you have availed yourself of all that it provides. You must make a conscious choice to run into it. During the battle you are not going to walk or stroll to safety; you’re not going to saunter or meander. No, you had better run to safety!

In the context of the book of Proverbs, the righteous is another reference to the wise. We need to daily; hourly; moment by moment be wise and run to the safety provided by the Lord. While you may spend time reading the Bible in the morning, is that the only time throughout the day in which we give God any thought whatsoever? Could it be that the reason we aren’t running to the strong tower provided to us by the Lord is because we really don’t believe it is a strong tower? We really don’t believe that it can provide us with safety, with peace, with rest, with restoration. If we really don’t believe that the name of the Lord is a strong tower it is because we really don’t know Him!
Maybe you’ve been fooled into thinking that all of those things – safety, peace, rest, restoration – can be found elsewhere, as is the testimony of the rich man in Proverbs 18:11.

The rich man’s wealth is his strong city.

The rich man – In contrast to the righteous man this rich man, while he is rich, if foolish. I believe that King Solomon here was sharing a personal testimony. King Solomon had everything. Yet, later in life, after his many wives had turned his heart away from the Lord, Solomon began to see the foolishness of his ways.

Wealth – This is not just speaking about having material goods although that is included. It is also speaking of sufficiency; I have need of nothing. You may not have a lot compared to the world’s standards but, are you self-sufficient? We, in America have been blessed beyond measure and yet often that has led us to be sufficient in and of ourselves. We don’t need the Lord’s strong tower. We have everything under control.

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty.

The kind of thinking we see in vs. 11 stems from pride. The next step is destruction. Are you near to destruction? Will the next step you take lead you into destruction?

While Solomon maybe did not fully realize and experience the destruction in his lifetime, it was definitely experienced by his son, as the kingdom broke into civil war and was split into the Northern and Southern kingdoms.

You may not be experiencing this destruction just yet but are you, by not running to the strong tower of the Lord setting your children up – and those who are following you – to experience the full force of that destruction?

So, what must we do? Start running into the name of the Lord? How do we do that?

God’s Word must take on greater significance in our lives than merely 5 or 10 minutes in the morning before we rush out of the door.

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12

In actual practice which is more valuable and necessary to you – God’s Word or Fox News and Rush Limbaugh? By your life what are you teaching your children is valuable?

God’s people and God’s house needs to take on greater heart significance in our lives.

“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.” Hebrews 10:24-25

How many you have ever said, “I need to go to work” or “I need to go to the doctor” or “I need to go to the store?” We all recognize the significance that these places play in our lives.

However, how many of you have said, “I need to go to church?”

While we may understand the significance of assembling with God’s people in God’s house, are we doing what we should to “…consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works?

Also, while you may physically be in church, is your heart there? That’s what your children are going to see and it will be your heart that they will follow.

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”

In the Beginning

The Bible begins with 10 words…

“IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

  • These are 10 of the most powerful words in all of Scripture. In these 10 words all of the universe comes into being.
  • These are 10 of the most profound words in all of Scripture. All of the questions of mankind can be answered in these 10 words.
  • These are 10 of the simplest words in all of Scripture. These 10 words are quite simple to understand. In fact, even the youngest of children can understand these 10 word.
  • These are 10 of the most concise words in all of Scripture. What has taken countless authors to do in thousands of volumes of written material; God sums up in 10 words!
  • These are 10 of the most provocative words in all of Scripture. Volumes of literature have been written seeking to disprove and discredit these 10 words. These 10 words have been fiercely debated for years going all the way back to May, 1925 in the now famous, “Scopes Monkey Trials,” and continuing into the present day with the debate between Creationist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the “Science Guy,” Bill Nye.

And yet, these 10 words form a foundation upon which the faith of countless thousands of Bible-believing Christians rests. It is these 10 words that we want to consider this morning.

In the Beginning…

Genesis is a book of beginnings. The word, “Genesis,” literally means, “Beginning.”

Within the pages of Genesis you will find the beginning of many things:

  • The Universe (1:1) and all that it contains and all that you see around you each day.
  • Marriage (2:22-24) and the Family (4:1-2)
  • Sin (3:1-7), Pain (3:16), Death (3:10) and the promise of a Savior (3:15)
  • Civil Government (9:1-6), Cities (4:16-17), Nations (11:8-9), Many Languages (11:7)

Moses wrote the book of Genesis – he was the human penman – but it’s authorship is Divine. It is the Word of God. It is as much the Word of God as is John 3:16!

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

The Authorship of the book of Genesis is a point that you must be rock solid upon. Otherwise, you are going to have difficulty with everything that I preach upon and present to you in the coming weeks!

God

Within these 10 words, one word stands out above all others – God!

  • Genesis 1:1 does not make an argument for God’s existence.
  • Genesis 1:1 does not seek to reason God’s existence.
  • Genesis 1:1 does not debate God’s existence.
  • Genesis 1:1 does not seek to prove God’s existence.
  • Genesis 1:1 simply makes a declarative statement, “In the beginning God…”

Although the book of Genesis is a book of beginnings, God had no beginning; He has always been. He is eternal!

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Romans 1:20

Created

Although God has no beginning, His creative works did have a beginning. We have those creative works recorded for us in the book of Genesis.

Genesis 1:1 answers for us the question, “How did we all get here?” We were created.

The most “popular” alternative to Genesis 1:1 is what is known as “Evolution.”

“Approximately 375 million years ago, a large and vaguely salamander-like creature plodded from its aquatic home and began the vertebrate invasion of land, setting forth the chain of evolutionary events that led to the birds that fill our skies, the beasts that walk our soil, me writing this chapter, and you reading it…We could go back much earlier, 4 billion years or so, to that fateful day when the first molecule replicated itself, an important milestone in the origin of life and the beginning of the evolutionary pageant.” From the Princeton Guide to Evolution http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i10100.pdf

However, I have questions?

  • How do they know it was 375 million years ago?
  • How do they know that it was a “large and vaguely salamander-like creature?”
  • How do they know that this creature went from water to land? Could it have gone from land to water instead?
  • How do they know that the first molecule replicated itself 4 billion years ago?

The problem is, they don’t know the answers to those questions. No one was there to observe the process of evolution. Even so, the evolutionists will tell you that they can prove evolution by science.

“…The scientific data for evolution is overwhelming. Just like the composition and structure of genomes, many other biological phenomena are explicable only in an evolutionary context. Why, if evolution had not occurred, would whales have tiny vestiges of a pelvis buried deep within their blubber? Why would cave fish and crickets have eyes that are missing some parts and could not function even if there were light? Why do human fetuses develop, and then lose, fur and a tail? All these, and many other phenomena, are easily understood as a result of the evolutionary heritage of species but are inexplicable in the absence of evolution.” From the Princeton Guide to Evolution http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i10100.pdf

In other words, if you are not willing to accept the first 10 words of the book of Genesis than you need to somehow be able to answer the question, “How did we get here,” and their answer is, “We evolved!”

I am going to make a bold statement: Evolution cannot be proven scientifically. However, Creation as well cannot be proven scientifically.

“Pastor Campbell, How can you dare to make such a statement?”

What is science? Well, look the word up in a dictionary!

Science: “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.”

In school most of us took science – observational science. There are two aspects of observational science which must be true for it to actually be science. It must…

  • Be observable – You must be able to witness it or watch it happen.
  • Be repeatable – You must be able to replicate it over and over again.

Neither Evolution or Creation is…

  • Observable – None of us were there to actually view creation taking place. Regarding evolution, there’s not a single scientist who was there 375 million years ago who was actually able to view that “large and vaguely salamander-like creature” crawl from the water onto land!
  • Repeatable – We cannot, in a scientific lab or anywhere else for that matter, repeat Genesis 1:1. The act of creation, by God, was a one-time event! Regarding evolution, it too is not repeatable. No one has been able to replicate the process of evolution – one species evolving into a new species.

So, if you cannot prove either evolution or Creation with “science,” how do you prove them? (Or disprove them?) You’ll have to come back in two weeks for my next message!

The Heaven and the Earth

Read Colossians 1:12-18.

God is the Creator of “the Heaven and the Earth.” God is the sustainer of “the Heaven and the Earth.” (He holds it all together!) Because of this, God should be preeminent in all of His Creation. In fact, Revelation 4:11 tells us that all things were created by Him and they were created for His pleasure – not ours.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

Instead, mankind has sought to remove God from every aspect of society and from mankind’s collective consciousness. In so doing, they reason, there is no need for the Gospel message and they are free to live as they choose.

“If all the animals and man had been evolved in this ascendant manner, then there had been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement … collapsed like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells

Unfortunate for those who believe that there is no God, however, is Philippians 2:10-11…

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

“And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

As Christians, we can stand confidently upon the first 10 words of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth.” We do not need to be ashamed of those words. Instead, we must boldly proclaim that the God Who created our universe is the same God who loved us – wicked, rotten sinners – so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die upon the cruel cross to pay the penalty for our sins!

Thank You for Making a Difference!

Thank you for making a difference!

Have you ever wondered if what you are doing is making a difference? I know that we can often feel that way particularly in our service to the Lord. We often wonder if passing out tracts; or teaching Sunday school; or serving on a bus route; or simply offering a word of prayer on behalf of another is really making a difference. We sometimes think that way because we many times are available to see the results of our efforts.

I often remind our church family that we are not responsible for the fruit. We are only responsible to be faithful!

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-2

We should remain faithful even though we often can’t see that we are making a difference.

I just received the following email from an individual that I do not know. It should serve as a reminder that, even when we cannot see it, we are making a difference as we faithfully serve the Lord!

“I just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you.  You don’t know me personally, but I wanted to thank you and your staff for your service, commitment and love for this community.  It is making an impact.  Your work is bearing fruit.  So thank you!  Be encouraged 🙂 You are making a difference.  Keep it up :)”

So, stay faithful! One day God will give us our reward:

“…Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

Thank You!

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” Philippians 1:3

I am very thankful for a giving church family.

Below, you will find links to two “Thank You” cards that I received from individuals who have been the recipients of our giving church family. Please take the time to read them!

Thank you for being a blessing to others!