Fear of God Devotional: Church Leaders Who Embrace Worldliness

How does a pastor’s embracing of worldliness hurt both believers and unbelievers within the church?

Paul Washer explains in this video that when pastors do not preach the true Gospel and use worldly means to attract people, churches become filled with carnal people. A pastor who embraces such a methodology hurts both the believers and unbelievers within the church. The unbelievers hear a watered-down or a non-existent Gospel and the true believers do not receive the “meat” which they so desperately need.

Frequently, within the church, there are many unconverted people. Though there is a group of true believers who want to hear the truth and to hear the Gospel, the pastor oftentimes tries to appease the unconverted in order to keep them within the church. When he does this, he is also starving the true believers. They long to hear sound, biblical doctrine but the pastor sadly prefers to hold onto the unbelievers within his congregation.

Hebrews 5:12 (NKJV) – “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Scripture’s Silence Concerning Age-Segregation

Why is youth ministry, something not found in Scripture, wrong when there are many things within the church today that are also not found in Scripture?

Scott Brown explains in this video that we see that positive commands and examples regarding the youth and worship in Scripture each call for age-integrated discipleship and worship in the church. We also see throughout Scripture how it is the responsibility of parents to disciple their own children.

Age-segregation goes against Scripture in two ways. First, to engage the church in systematic youth ministry adds to Scripture regarding how youth are to be taught. Second, such a practice takes away from God’s commands for parents to teach their own children.

In addition, age-integration is plainly taught in Scripture. The Bible is clear about this matter. When you split youth up according to age, it goes against Scripture. These methods of discipleship are clearly laid out in Scripture. We ought not to employ our own methods instead of what God has commanded.

Deuteronomy 12:32 (NKJV) – “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

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Fear of God Devotional: The Church’s Duty to Equip the Saints

How is a church to equip the saints for evangelism?

Don Hart explains in this video that the modern church needs to realize and understand that as pastors preach and exposit the Scripture, they are preparing the members of the church to go out and evangelize throughout the week.

Many modern churches have become misguided in their application of evangelism. They have become seeker-oriented churches. However, worship is not about man, but about God. It is about doing what is pleasing to the Lord. It comports with the regulative principle.

In the meeting of the church, we worship a perfect God. We prepare saints to go out and do the work of God. We don’t tailor the meetings of the church to show greater concern for unbelievers instead of teaching and strengthening believers who are to evangelize to the lost. We are to worship the One who came to seek and save the lost.

Acts 4:11-12 (NKJV) – “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

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You Must Know This

It is popular for the millennial generation and many others to say that you can't know the answer to important questions regarding your soul. The spirit of the age is uncertainty and tentativeness. To have a firm opinion on a matter of morality or spirituality is not considered socially acceptable. For some, having a firm opinion is unwise because of the trouble it can get you in. It's more popular to have questions and to have problems with different things, rather than to embrace a fixed truth. John the apostle does not think that way at all. Nor does he want his children to be that way.

In 1 John 5:18-21 we learn that you can have certainty. God desires that His people are not tossed about like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Minister as Leader of Evangelism in the Local Church

How ought a pastor or elder train others to evangelize?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that the Puritans believed that the believers should learn how to evangelize from the pastor in the church. The pastor would evangelize the various families in the pulpit and in the home. He would teach them how to do family worship and how to evangelize their children.

Pastors and elders today ought to be concerned for the salvation of their congregation. Ensuring that the Gospel is preached should be their first priority. There are many other minor concerns that a pastor is faced with, but he must always faithfully deliver the Gospel to his congregation.

Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV) – “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Do Family-Integrated Churches Ignore the Lost?

How should family-integrated churches address unsaved individuals?

Kevin Swanson explains that a lack of evangelism stems from a lack of faith and courage to communicate the Gospel. Some individuals say that one way to evangelize the world is to send their young children to public schools. But this is not wise and goes against Scriptural commands, principles, and patterns.

Rather, God wants men to preach the Word of God in the public forum and to call people to repentance. This is what Paul and Peter did. They went wherever they could to get the Word of God preached and we ought to strive to do the same. We are not called to hide the Gospel under a bushel. Instead, we are to desire to share the Gospel to a people that desperately need to hear it.

Mark 16:15 (NKJV) – “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Important Is the Issue of Age Segregation?

How does our view of Scripture affect our beliefs regarding age segregation?

Scott Brown explains in this video that the most devastating problem that the Church faces is the distortion of the Gospel. The church must always strive to present the Gospel clearly. Accordingly, perversions of the Gospel should be met with the most aggressive stance and persuasive arguments as modeled by Paul in Galatians.

The issue of age-segregation is a serious matter. While it may not be the only or primary issue in selecting a church, we see that is something that is modeled throughout Scripture. Age integration should not be just an option that may be considered among other ideas for disciplining the next generation. When patterns in Scripture are ignored, it demonstrates a wrong view of Scripture.

Galatians 1:8-9 (NKJV) – “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Evangelism is First and Foremost a Family Event

Should fathers evangelize with their families present?

Don Hart explains in this video that evangelism ought to be a family event.

Some individuals prefer to divide their children when it comes to evangelism, but there is not a command in Scripture to divide the family or examples of a family being divided during evangelism. Rather, there can be great benefits that result from evangelizing alongside your family.

For instance, your children and wife are able to witness you sharing the Gospel with unbelievers. They get to see and hear the Gospel being shared within the home or in everyday interactions. Family evangelism can help to facilitate dialogue with unbelievers and present even more opportunities for sharing the Gospel.

Psalm 128:3 (NKJV) – “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Growing in Godliness

Why is private prayer and the reading of Scripture so critical to building a relationship with God?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that private prayer and the reading of Scripture is incredibly important in the life of a Christian. If we are going to have a relationship with God, He is going to have to speak to us through His Word. We correspondingly speak to Him through prayer.

Without prayer and the faithful reading of Scripture, there cannot be a relationship with God. Every Christian ought to strive to have communion with God through prayer and reading His Word. But prayer and reading Scripture alone is not enough. There has to be a desire for God and a desire to hear from Him.

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV) – “[P]raying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Training for Evangelism

How can we instruct young men in the church to effectively communicate the Gospel?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that it is important to teach young men to be leaders in the area of evangelism. Young men need to be equipped to courageously proclaim the Word of God within the church and in their neighborhoods.

Open-air preaching is one way that young men can learn to effectively communicate the Word of God. Though bystanders sometimes jeer or throw things that those who are preaching, it is important for young men to see older men willing to stand up for Christ. Young men need to be encouraged to overcome their fears and bring the truths of Scripture to those around them They also need to be able to engage other individuals in individual conversations.

Acts 4:29 (NKJV) – “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Should We Stop Evangelizing if Our Home is Out of Order?

Should we stop evangelizing if our home is out of order?

Don Hart explains in this video that it is a scriptural command that a man’s home is in order. We see it described as a qualification of a leader within the church who preaches the Word to the congregation. In short, there is not a disconnect between an elder’s home being in order and evangelism.

On the other hand, we should not neglect to evangelize simply because our home is not “perfectly” in order. If that was the case, we would never evangelize. Instead, we are looking for a normal condition of order. That testimony is so critical to our credibility as we seek to evangelize. Our credibility is often closely tied to the order of our families. Ultimately, there is a strong connection between evangelism and order in the home.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Your Family Too Busy for Godliness?

Is your family too busy to pursue the things of God?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that there is a tendency for families to be busy — so busy that they don’t have time for a godly family life. There is no time for family worship or to spend time together as a family in prayer. They are so focused on various activities that they lose sight of what is most important.

In modern society, both children and parents are so busy with so many different activities that families often overcommit themselves. If you are going to have a godly family, you are going to have to prioritize and be selective as to what you as a family choose to invest your time into. You must control what activities your family participates in and not let those activities control your family.

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Holiness – God’s Master Attribute

What can we learn from the holiness of God?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that out of all the attributes of God, holiness is God’s “master attribute.” God is holy. His holiness speaks to all His other attributes. He is holy in His love and mercy. He is separate and no one can compare themselves to God. No one can love as God can or be just as He can.

Paul says in Ephesians 5:1 that we are to be “imitators of God as dear children.” As Christians, we are to learn to imitate and act like God. As children of God, we should strive to be like our heavenly Father. This is the duty of the Christian – to learn how to imitate or act as God commands. To be set apart from the world, as He is.

1 Peter 1:16 (NKJV) – “Be holy, for I am holy.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Does Evangelism Work in Your Own Life?

How can we become better at evangelizing to unbelievers?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that as a pastor, he evangelizes from the pulpit. He does it in every single sermon, particularly in his applications of the text. He also attempts to pray for his congregation, taking one page of the directory at a time.

But, when it comes to evangelizing to people outside of the church, he makes a personal commitment to share the Gospel with any unconverted person that he comes into contact with. For him, opportunities for evangelism frequently occur when he travels. He begins the conversation by asking them about their family, their work, and then if they’re a Christian. After showing them truths from Scripture, he then tries to get their name and email and send them a name of a nearby church before they conclude the conversation.

He explains that his goal is to always to get people’s address and email and then use that information in an attempt to dialogue with them afterward. Follow-up is important – the Puritans excelled in this. Mass evangelism is good, but there ought to be a following-up with that individual after the Gospel is shared. Richard Baxter said that he saw 600 conversions in his village and didn’t know of a single one that fell back. He believes this was largely because God blessed his follow-up visitations.

1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV) – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Sins of the Church in Evangelism

What are common misunderstandings of evangelism?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that the idea that evangelism is a set group of four statements followed by a prayer is a harmful aspect of modern day evangelism.

Instead, we need to see evangelism as the entire Gospel of Christ, where a man sees his sin, he comes to repentance, and seeks forgiveness in Christ. That is the Gospel of Christ. It involves all 66 books of the Bible.

Another problem is that people act differently when they’re among unbelievers. What they say and do changes the moment when they’re not surrounded by Christians. Christians must faithfully and consistently live out the Gospel at all times. You cannot act one way while you’re at church and then in a completely different manner when you are at home or at the local grocery store. As a Christian, you take your worldview wherever you go.

2 Timothy 1:8 (NKJV) – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God”

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