Sermon: Beyond Comparison.

I am pleased to present a sermon by Matt McCullough entitled Beyond Comparison on a Christian’s temporary light affliction in comparison to the coming glory.

This was a truly timely message for me (from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18) and, I trust, for many of you as well.

The sermon is from Trinity Church in Nashville and is described as:

Paul says the problems we face now can’t compare to the eternal glory we’re promised in Christ. He says we get this truth when we focus not on what we can see but on what we can’t see. But how do we compare what we can see to what we can’t see?

Listen to the sermon, Beyond Comparison here.

Who is This Man Who says he is God?

Luke 4:31-44  the-gospel-of-luke

And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region. And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Click here for a sermon from the 4th chapter, examining the question – Who is this Man Who says He is God?

Do You Follow a Celebrity Pastor?

20130111-145456.jpgIn most cases, when you hear the phrase “celebrity pastor,” you tend to think of individuals like Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Steven Furtick or Ed Young, Jr. In each one of these cases, if you are one who believes that preachers should actually preach the Word of God, you probably get a very bad taste in your mouth. You immediately want to scream, “False teachers! Away with them!!” And quite honestly, that’s how I feel too. But there is another kind of celebrity preacher, one that many of us don’t realize is a celebrity. But yet, they are celebrities because folks like you and me have made them into celebrities. Yes, that’s right, I said we made them that way. Those of us who appreciate sound, biblical preaching, who detest the seeker friendly, rockstar image of those “other” pastors, we have celebrities of our own. And that can be a problem.

Many of us greatly appreciate the preaching of godly men like R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, James White, David Platt and Voddie Baucham. We are blessed to hear these men rightly exposit the Word of God. We love how they take great time and care to preach the Word in context so that God is magnified and we rightly understand our need for His forgiveness through Jesus Christ. So much do we appreciate their godly work that we listen to countless sermons online (or on our iPods), we read the books they have written, we share copious quotes from them via Facebook and Twitter. We even will go to conferences, sometimes at great expense to our finances and time, so that we can hear them magnificently handle the Word of God. And, without even realizing it, we have created them in our minds as the “ideal” preacher, the kind that these rockstar pastors should really model themselves after. In other words, they have become a celebrity in our mind.

This is not to say that good godly preachers like these should not be esteemed. It is a rare treasure these days, it seems, to find a pastor who is willing to be in the public view that will unashamedly stand on the Word of God. We should give them due respect for their duty and devotion to Jesus Christ, for their unflinching stance for the preaching of the true gospel. What I am talking about is that we actually may create an unhealthy, or at least unbalanced, image of these men when compared to the local church. Think through this with me for a moment, how many times have you shared or tweeted quotes from your pastor? You know, the man who has faithfully preached in the same pulpit for five, ten, or even twenty years. Do you follow him on Facebook or Twitter? Do you wish he would at least get with the times to get on Facebook or Twitter like the other guys do? Have you ever stopped and told your pastor about the great sermon that R. C. Sproul preached, or recommended that he read the latest book by David Platt? Have you spent an inordinate amount of time talking to people in your congregation about the conference you just came back from where John MacArthur was the keynote speaker, or complained that you couldn’t go to it at all?

Imagine yourself in the place of your pastor. He’s not famous. Maybe he only has a congregation of a couple hundred people, maybe it’s only fifty. He spends all week preparing a sermon meant for you and those you attend church with. He loses several hours of sleep each week when he is called out to the hospital to minister to a dying parishioner, to counsel a loved one who is severely depressed, to comfort family who lost a child in an accident. He’s never written a book, he doesn’t have a podcast, his budget barely even allows for a computer to keep records on, much less the high tech equipment and talent to set up a nice website. Yet, each week, he dutifully climbs up to that podium and faithfully preaches the word of God to a body of believers. He is just as important as the big names mentioned above, yet he’ll never see the notoriety they do.

Now see yourself through his eyes. You love your pastor dearly and you listen and grow form his devotion to the Word each week. Yet, during the rest of the week, you are downloading sermons from Sproul, MacArthur or Platt. You pour over their books and study notes. When you have a theological question, you pull out their study bibles. You go to their conferences and you come back far more excited than you ever do at the home bible study he heads up. All of this creates an enormous amount of pressure for your pastor. He cannot hope to ever hold the position these godly men do, yet he somehow has to keep the attention of his congregation so he can keep preaching the Word to them. Does he then sacrifice his time to minister to his flock so he can begin writing that book? Should he mimic their teaching styles, or preach the things they preach about? What about those conferences? He could never host one himself, so should he join with other churches to put one on? If so, how selective should he be about who to partner with? You see the dilemma he is faced with? In the eyes of the local pastor, his congregation is enamored with the “big time” preachers. There is a lot of pressure to measure up.

Now please understand, I am not saying that Christians should only ever listen to just the teachings of their local pastor. We can benefit greatly from the godly teachings of pastors, great and small. It is certainly worth our time to read and learn from many great learned scholars, for it will help in our growth and understanding of scripture. We have the liberty to even attend the conferences where these men preach, and can be greatly edified by it. But there must be a proper balance. God put us in a certain place, at a certain local church, for a reason. Scripture teaches us that all Christians are bestowed gifts by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the body of Christ. And where you are planted is where you are to employ those gifts! If you spend most of your time following the “big guys” then your local body is being starved of the gifts you were given for their benefit. When you take time and money to attend that big conference while your local church struggles with its annual budget, you may well be misappropriating the finances God gave you for that body’s benefit. When you share the podcasts and videos of the other pastors, folks may flock to their godly teaching and benefit from it. However, if you took your internet savvy, could you not create a site for your church? You could then share those weekly sermons so that other may benefit from the teaching you have grown under.

The point of this article is not to decry our love for great and godly preachers, but to draw our attention back to our local churches. Let us spend maybe less time, effort and money building up the big names, for God will maintain their ministries with or without us. But let us take just a bit more time, a bit more care and certainly more effort to build up our local congregations. As we build up and edify the local body, we can send out more laborers for the harvest into our local communities. And as more laborers go out, the gospel reaches more people and the local church grows. The more the church grows, the more great and godly preachers can go out into the world and accomplish the work that we are expecting the big name preachers to do. Let us be about the business of supporting our local churches brethren and let the “celebrity” preachers be an added benefit to where we are already being blessed

Quotes: Charles Spurgeon on Humility in the Pulpit

From the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, in his work “The Soulwinner”:

“In the matter of soul-winning, humility makes you feel that you are nothing and nobody, and that, if God gives you success in the work, you will be driven to ascribe to Him all the glory, for none of the credit of it could properly belong to you. If you do not have success, humility will lead you to blame your own folly and weakness, not God’s sovereignty. Why should God give the blessing, and then let you run away with the glory of it? The glory of the salvation of souls belongs to Him, and to Him alone. Then why should you try to steal it? You know how many attempt this theft. ‘When I was preaching at such-and-such a place, fifteen persons came into the vestry at the close of service, and thanked me for the sermon I had preached.’ You and your blessed sermon be hanged, – I might have used a stronger word if I had liked, for really you are worthy of condemnation whenever you take to yourself the honour which belongeth unto God only. You remember the story of the young prince, who came into the room where he thought his dying father was sleeping, and put the king’s crown on his head to see how it would fit him. The king, who was watching him, said, ‘Wait a little while, my son, wait till I am dead.’ So, when you feel any inclination to put the crown of glory on your head, just fancy that you hear God saying to you, ‘Wait till I am dead, before you try on My crown.’ As that will never be, you had better leave the crown alone, and let Him wear it to who it rightly belongs. Our song must ever be, ‘Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.'”

Sermon of the Week: “Why Every Pastor Should Be a Biblical Theologian” by Michael Lawrence

https://i1.wp.com/t4g.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Michael_Lawrence.jpg

This week’s sermon comes from Pastor Michael Lawrence who is formerly of Capital Hill Baptist (Mark Dever’s Washington DC church) and now pastor at Hinson Baptist Church in Portland, OR. This sermon comes from the 2012 Together For the Gospel Conference and is a direct plea to pastors, elders, Sunday school teachers and all Christians to not be professionals in the area of ministry; not to be about numbers, seating, programs, and the like, but to be BIBLICAL THEOLOGIANS. Biblical Theology is different from systematic theology in that if we compare theology to a tree, Systematic Theology would be the study of the full grown tree and its fruit while Biblical Theology is the study of the tree from a seed and watching it grow progressively over time and how its growth progresses from one stage to another. Biblical Theology, therefore, requires the Christian, pastor, teacher, or elder to be a person of the Word of God…to be fully drenched and saturated in the Word of God, and not systems or frameworks or theology books. Enjoy Michael’s interesting message here:

Why Every Pastor Should Be a Biblical Theologian

T4G Website with Link

Hinson Baptist Church Website for more information.

Sermon of the Week: “The Sovereignty of God”

The clarion call of the mush-mouthed preachers of lies that please the flesh is “God is love!” – as if almighty God was a one-dimensional character who is simpering in inability masquerading as “love”. The Creator and sustainer of all things is complex beyond our ability to comprehend. He is holy and His love is not captive by the creature. His love is primarily directed to and for Himself. We who are redeemed are loved with an everlasting love that God has set upon His elect – that we would shine the light of His Truth for the glory of His name.

God is sovereign, not trapped by a Greco-Roman perspective of human love that we may project upon our image of God. We must submit our mind to the Word of God and embrace what He has revealed – about Himself and us.

I don’t know the man preaching this sermon, but it will be good for your soul; and the glory of God.

Sermon of the week: “Jesus Christ Teaches Limited Atonement” by James McClarty.

The battle continues to rage within the evangelical community – for whom did Christ die? Did He die for all who ever lived or did He die for the elect? Read the lyrics below and listen to the sermon from James McClarty and humbly see if what these men represent is true. Not, do you like it; not, does it line up with your thinking. Is it in line with the clear teaching and intent of God’s Word, for the glory of His name?

You can download the sermon here.

Mission Accomplished, Shai Linne:

Here’s a controversial subject that tends to divide
For years it’s had Christians lining up on both sides
By God’s grace, I’ll address this without pride
The question concerns those for whom Christ died
Was He trying to save everybody worldwide?
Was He trying to make the entire world His Bride?
Does man’s unbelief keep the Savior’s hands tied?
Biblically, each of these must be denied
It’s true, Jesus gave up His life for His Bride
But His Bride is the elect, to whom His death is applied
If on judgment day, you see that you can’t hide
And because of your sin, God’s wrath on you abides
And hell is the place you eternally reside
That means your wrath from God hasn’t been satisfied
But we believe His mission was accomplished when He died
But how the cross relates to those in hell?
Well, they be saying:

Lord knows He tried

Father, Son and Spirit: three and yet one
Working as a unit to get things done
Our salvation began in eternity past
God certainly has to bring all His purpose to pass
A triune, eternal bond no one could ever sever
When it comes to the church, peep how they work together
The Father foreknew first, the Son came to earth
To die- the Holy Spirit gives the new birth
The Father elects them, the Son pays their debt and protects them
The Spirit is the One who resurrects them
The Father chooses them, the Son gets bruised for them
The Spirit renews them and produces fruit in them
Everybody’s not elect, the Father decides
And it’s only the elect in whom the Spirit resides
The Father and the Spirit- completely unified
But when it comes to Christ and those in hell?
Well, they be saying:

Lord knows He tried

My third and final verse- here’s the situation
Just a couple more things for your consideration
If saving everybody was why Christ came in history
With so many in hell, we’d have to say He failed miserably
So many think He only came to make it possible
Let’s follow this solution to a conclusion that’s logical
What about those who were already in the grave?
The Old Testament wicked- condemned as depraved
Did He die for them? C’mon, behave
But worst of all, you’re saying the cross by itself doesn’t save
That we must do something to give the cross its power
That means, at the end of the day, the glory’s ours
That man-centered thinking is not recommended
The cross will save all for whom it was intended
Because for the elect, God’s wrath was satisfied
But still, when it comes to those in hell
Well, they be saying:

Lord knows He tried

Sermon of the Week: “The Flood” by Voddie Baucham

We’ve seen Veggie Tales versions of the great flood, talking about the love of God on Noah and his family, everyone having a fun time with the animals and the water. The Scripture is very clear – the flood came upon the Earth (the whole planet) because the Lord (Creator, Judge, and sustainer of ALL things) judged mankind for his sin.

Far from being a nice, fun story for children, the tale of Noah’s ark is a sober reminder of the consequences of sin – no less so than Sodom and Gomorrah. What awaits all whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is foreshadowed by the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the flood that destroyed all life on the surface of the Earth, save eight persons and animals on the ark.

But for those who are loved and saved by the grace of God, we have this promise which cannot be broken: “There is, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Do not sweep away the lesson of God’s wrath on sinners (not their sin – their persons) because it is so difficult for our human souls to accept. Do not lose heart because God is righteous and His judgment is sure – as are His promises to His chosen ones. Rejoice if your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and worship God because of His mercy on the redeemed and for His judgment on the wicked, as do the angels in Heaven.

Listen here to The Flood.

Sermon of the week: “Election” by Russ Sukhia.

Russ SukhiaYour Sermon of the Week is Russ Sukhia’s message simply entitled, Election. I spent the majority of my (false conversion) Christian life never hearing about the doctrine of Election in spite of having attended many different churches.

Eventually, however, as my study of the Bible continued, I couldn’t avoid those pesky words that testified of God’s sovereignty; words like “predestination,” “chosen,” and of course, “election.”

In this 40-minute sermon Pastor Sukhia explains this doctrine (and the oppositions and challenges to it) very clearly. I highly recommend it for anyone who is wanting to know more about Election or anyone who is struggling to come to terms with it.

If you enjoy this sermon I also recommend listening to another message by Russ Sukhia’s (featured here) called Recovering the Lost Doctrine of Repentance. Russ Sukhia is uncompromising in his messages and he’s a strong preacher who conveys the Word with clarity and conviction.


Sermon of the Week: “The Lordship of Christ” by Dr. Adrian Rogers.

This last week I was blessed to hear a sermon once preached by the late Pastor Adrian Rogers on the lordship of Jesus Christ. I found this sermon to be a very powerful reminder that every aspect of my life must be surrendered to Christ, that He is to be Lord over it all. So often I can get prideful because of what I think I am capable of. Yet, God must constantly remind me there is not one thing in my life that is my own. He consistently humbles me and brings me back to the place where I remember I am merely the clay pot He has created and used for his glory. It is my sincere hope that this sermon serves to remind you of that as well.

Please follow the link provided and click on the “play” button to hear this sermon:

The Lordship of Christ

Sermon of the week: “The Sin of Sodom on Display in America” by Voddie Baucham.

We deviate from our current sermon series on missions (which will resume next week) to bring you Voddie Baucham’s sermon The Sin of Sodom on Display in America, from Genesis 19. (It can also be downloaded from Sermon Index here.)

Baucham completely obliterates the outlandish claims by the Bible-doesn’t-say-anything-about-homosexuality crowd who spin the lie that God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with sexual immorality, and specifically, the sin of homosexuality.

Here is the description of this message from Sermon Audio:

“Genesis 19:1-11 is a clear statement on the sin of sodomy. Unfortunately, there are many in the “Christian” community who have come to doubt, or even refute this fact. The homo-sexual movement has succeeded at clouding the issue through creative exegesis, ad hominem attacks, and genetic fallacies. Nevertheless, the Bible is clear. As our church worked through The Life of Abraham, we eventually came to this seminal passage. In God’s providential timing, we reached this passage the day before the inauguration of President Barack Obama. On the morning of this message, Bishop Gene Robinson (first openly homosexual bishop in the Episcopal church) opened the festivities with his celebrated invocation.”

Sermon of the week: “Sovereign Election, Israel & Eschatology (a.k.a. Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Premillennialist)” by John MacArthur.

John MacArthur Your sermon of the week is Sovereign Election, Israel & Eschatology (a.k.a. Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Premillennialist) by John MacArthur. This is the message that caused a stir a few years ago when MacArthur delivered it at the Shepherd’s Conference.

Not all the contributors on this blog agree with MacArthur on this subject, but I wanted to make it available here for those who have not listened to it yet.

You may also want to hear the opposition’s position to the Premil view posted last week by ATG.

For a more in-depth examination of this subject, I highly recommend MacArthur’s six -part series found on this previous post. (I actually prefer MacArthur’s six-part series as he has more time to unpack his points, and makes a more convincing argument for the Premil position, than he does in today’s single message.)

You can download this week’s message by MacArthur by going to the page found on this link, or just right-click and save this link.

Sermon of the week: “Audacious Grace” by Akash Sant Singh.

Does God’s lavish, unexplainable grace offend you? Does it bother you that His grace can be extended to a wretch such as a serial killer, or is it only good for you?

I am happy to present another powerful and convicting message by Akash Sant Singh as your sermon of the week: God’s Audacious Grace.

Sermon of the week: “Payday Someday” by R.G. Lee.

Your sermon of the week is an old-fashioned, southern-style preaching experience by R.G. Lee (1886-1978) entitled, Payday Someday.

I can’t think of a better way to begin 2012 than with this powerful sermon given many years ago, the likes of which are hard to find nowadays coming from pulpits across America.

Sermon of the week: “How to Recognize True Repentance” by Don Green.

It has been awhile (too long) since DefCon last featured Don Green, but now we break that drought with today’s sermon of the week, How to Recognize True Repentance.

Here is an excerpt from this sermon:

“I fear that the strong opposition that you see in the Christian church sometimes to the opposition of society’s sins comes at the expense of real personal concern about our own sins, and that needs to be said. Jesus isn’t calling you to mourn over someone else’s sin, He’s calling you to mourn over your sin.”

I have really benefited from Don Green’s teaching over the years and am happy to feature him again.


Sermon of the week: “Christmas Traditions” by Jim McClarty

Your sermon of the week delves into the origins of the Christ-Mass.

In this casual lecture entitled Christmas Traditions, Jim McClarty peels back the veil of our annual Christmas traditions to reveal the genesis of many of the practices of this holiday, which makes for a very interesting history lesson that you won’t want to miss.

If you’re looking for more information on this subject, you may be interested in the History Channel’s video on the origins of Christmas entitled Christmas Unwrapped.

You may also be interested in A radical approach to December 25th: Why we won’t be celebrating Christmas this year, (and its follow-up post found here), as well as A.W. Pink’s views on Christmas in the post Dreaming of a Pink Christmas.

HT: AiroCross

Sermon of the week: “God’s view on Marriage and Divorce” by Akash Sant Singh.

If last week’s sermon on marriage by Albert Martin (found here) was a left hook, today’s message is an uppercut.

God’s view on marriage and divorce is a message that I strongly encourage DefCon readers to listen to whether you are married, divorced, widowed, or single (yes, that’s intended to be all-inclusive).

What a wonderfully convicting and encouraging message Akash brings from the book of Malachi. You won’t want to miss this one.