What Is the Greatest Priority of the Church?

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My Sunday sermon from Matthew 9:27-38 shows us that the greatest priority of the church is the proclamation of the “Gospel of the Kingdom.”  This happens when God’s people are moved with compassion. These narratives in Matthew 8 and 9 take us into two of the greatest hallmarks of the gospel of Christ:  First, the bowels of the compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ toward those who are without a shepherd, and second, the necessity of spreading His fame by “preaching the gospel of the kingdom,” as Jesus did and as His true disciples ought to do.

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Father/Son Retreat: God Transforms Lives

Erik Weir presented his testimony at the Father/Son Retreat of a selfish life transformed to a life aiming for biblical conformity.

Erik Weir began as young entrepreneur. From the lemonade stand to Wall Street, Erik pursued riches, yet God arrested his life.

Through a series of circumstances and the Bible, God transformed Erik’s heart and transferred his love from worldly gain to biblical vision. Verses that God used to alter Erik’s heart included: 1 Kings 18:21, Malachi 4:6, Psalm 16:4, Proverbs 15:27, Luke 16:13. (more…)

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Richard Baxter on What Happens to Those Who Are First to Break a Destructive Custom

As everyone knows, we have been advocating breaking what we believe is a destructive custom – age segregation in the church. Most people also know that advocating this has come at a price. Here is how Richard Baxter explains what happens when you oppose a destructive custom:

Custom, as I said before, is the thing that sways much with the multitude; and they who first break a destructive custom must bear the brunt of their indignation.  Now, somebody must do this.  If we do it not, it will lie upon our successors; and how can we expect that they shall be more hardy, and resolute, and faithful, than we?…  But if they do prove better than we, the same odium and opposition must befal them which we avoid, and that with some increase, because of our neglect; for the people will tell them, that we, their predecessors, did no such things.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, Page 271, Benediction Books (January 13, 2010)

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He’s Not Just Trying to Patch You Up

Last Sunday, I preached on Matthew 9:14-26, which contains one of the great glories of the gospel in this passage: You get newness of life – new wine, new wineskins, and completely new clothing.

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People often want to put a patch of religion on their unshrunk cloth. They want to make themselves better. It seems easier than newness of life. This mindset is contradicted in Matthew 9:14-26, which presents us with a question from the disciples of John and the healings of two people, whose hopes were shattered. One was a girl who was well for 12 years and then died, and the other was a woman who had been sick for 12 years and had spent her livelihood on physicians.

Our text opens with a question from the disciples of John. They ask,  (more…)

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Tonight – One of the Most Controversial Subjects – The Law and the Gospel

Tonight during our Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine, we will be reviewing what the Baptist confession says about these two powder keg issues. Are the Law and the Gospel contradictory? Has the law become irrelevant? Tonight you will experience what this historic confession of faith says. Charles Spurgeon remarks on the law:

Regeneration is a work by which the law is fulfilled; for when a man is born again there is placed in him a new nature, which loves the law of God and is perfectly conformed thereto.

from The Perpetuity of the Law of God

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Just Promise Not to Tell – An Infographic on How it Really Works

How many times have you heard someone say, “This is confidential, you won’t tell anyone right? Well, here is how things normally go when people say, Just Promise Not To Tell Anyone. For more on the subject of the tongue, you can listen to the message by me or by Jason Dohm.

Church Killers by Scott Brown

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Gossip and the Right Use of the Tongue by Jason Dohm

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A Scary Statistic

Labor Department Data: There are only 1.75 full-time private sector workers per social security recipient. Welcome to the welfare state. This should terrify us.

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Another Blast from the Culture of Death

Albert Mohler speaks up for the unborn, as he has so many times, in this article, Thrown Over the Fence — Infanticide, Canadian Style. He ends the piece with these chilling words,

“Mark this well — the horrific logic of this judge’s decision will not remain in Canada. Indeed, it did not even start in Canada. Those arguments are already in place in the United States. If we will not defend life in the womb, eventually the dignity of every single human life is thrown over the fence.”

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I Bought Tickets for My Family to See Courageous on Friday

I encourage everyone to see this film. The Kendrick brothers have made a very wonderful and strategic film that I believe will be used of the Lord to rescue many.

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NCFIC in the Media

Over the past month, God has put the NCFIC in the news like never before. Major religious and secular news outlets are reporting on it. The Washington Post and USA Today ran stories about the NCFIC and age integration and of the many churches, who are reconsidering the practices of modern youth ministry—and jettisoning them. The Huffington Post and the Christian Post, as well as our friend Kevin Swanson over at Generations with Vision also spoke. We were profiled on OneNewsNowThe Baptist Press posted a long article quoting youth ministry experts who are responding to Divided. We have also been represented on blogs like Tim Challies and radio shows like Moody Radio (interviewed by Julie Roys), Knowing the Truth, Todd Friel, and Janet Mefferd. We were interviewed by Jerry Rose on Television at TLN. Amazingly, even AtheismTV posted the trailer to Divided on their website.

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Barna Study Gives Reasons Young People Leave The Church

We at the NCFIC have stated why we believe there is an exodus of youth from modern churches. The Barna Group has just released the results of a new study that states, "No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15." 

To me, it seems that most of the reasons Barna gives is because these youth have rejected critical elements of Christianity and its message. In short, they left because they hated God and His people.

Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective.

Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.

Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.

Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.

Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.

Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.

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Baptist Press: ‘Divided’ film spurs youth ministry discussion

Hope for a Demonized Man

Yesterday, our church considered Matthew 8:28-34. Download an outline of the message.

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Throughout Matthew 8, our Lord Jesus has been demonstrating His power and authority over everything. He heals the sick and rules the winds and the waves. Now we see Him reigning over the very powers of demons and hell itself. He holds the keys to everything – including something as small as a fever to monstrous unseen powers and principalities. The focus of Matthew’s testimony in the healing of the Gadarene demoniac is the exclusive power of God over darkness.

(more…)

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Father/Son Retreat: Instilling a Work Ethic in Your Children

We need to discern the times we live in and see societal weaknesses. We need to recognize our lazy society – “We’re busy all of the time.” However, our business is not that of productivity but of seeking our own pleasure. Man was created to take dominion, and that requires work.

Following are some elements of taking dominion:

  • Fruitfulness (Gen. 1:11-12)
  • Purposefulness (Rom. 8:28)
  • Imposing Order (1 Kgs. 10:4-9)

Yet, we must heed to cautions in taking dominion: (more…)

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Fathers/Son Retreat: Fathers Disciple Their Sons

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