Fear of God Devotional: How Church Leaders Can Promote a Culture of Transparency and Accountability



How should church leaders promote a culture of transparency and accountability?

Dennis Gunderson explains in this video that leaders in the church should be real and let others know that they are fellow brothers in the faith. They shouldn’t be distant from their congregation. 

It is important to share that they as pastors are not invulnerable from sin and that they need close friends who will hold them accountable. That is why multiple elders is important. Having only one pastor sometimes prevents him from having relationships with others with whom he can receive accountability. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NKJV) – “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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Fear of God Devotional: “Lord, Stamp Eternity on My Eyeballs”



How important is it to keep in the mind the reality of eternity and Hell?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that it is important to remember the eternal reality of Hell. When you think of the millions of people who will be spending eternity in a place of eternal torment, how can you keep going on as normal? 

One Puritan explained it that 5 million years from now, a soul in Hell will be no closer to being released than the first day that they entered. Jonathan Edwards once stated, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” We ought to have a similar urgency in the church for holiness and for the souls of men. 

2 Thessalonians 1:9 (NKJV) – “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Is My Church a Repentant Church?



Is your church a repentant church? How can you tell?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that a repentant church that lives out true repentance in the 21st century is the same church that lived it out in the 1st century. It is the church that understands the Beatitudes. It is a church that understands that it needs to be reforming.

There has to be a mourning over sin and repentance for sin in the church before there is a comforting. There has to be a distraugtness. The same Holy Spirit that brings the convicting force also brings great joy. If there is a church that has no conviction for sin, there is no mourning. That is not a true church.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV) – “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

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Church Leaders Luncheon, Pensacola, FL

On November 10, we will be gathering church leaders for teaching, fellowship, and prayer at Mt. Zion Bible Church in Pensacola Florida.

The meeting will begin at 12:00 pm and will conclude at 4:00 pm.

Several church leaders including Scott Brown, Jeff Pollard, Malamulo Chindongo, Jason Dohm, Clarence Simmons will be delivering messages.

Also note Mt. Zion Bible Church's family conference on Awakening will be taking place Thursday night, Friday night, and all day Saturday.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Distinction Between Wordly and Godly Sorrow



What is the distinction between worldly and godly sorrow?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video that worldly sorrow is primarily concerned about the consequences of sin, getting caught, or the loss that results. Worldly sorrow is selfish in that it is only concerned about how sin makes you feel. Worldly sorrow is deceiving. We can easily think that another person is demonstrating godly repentance when in fact, they are only putting on a show.

We can look at the Parable of the Sower and see how worldly sorrow led to a falling away but how godly sorrow and repentance led to bearing much fruit. Holy sorrow is focused on God and causes a person to grieve that they have offended a holy God.

James 3:16 (NKJV) – “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What Leads to True Repentance?



What leads to true repentance in the life of an individual?

David Eddy explains in this video that real repentance requires the work of the Holy Spirit. The Reformers taught that man is wrong, in sin, and is spiritually dead. This contradicted the belief that man was basically good or neutral. 

God uses different ways to bring about repentance. Sometimes, He uses a friend to come alongside you, open up Scripture, and rebuke you. Ultimately, it takes a work of God to change the heart for the heart indeed is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). 

Jeremiah 13:23 (NKJV) – “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Who Is Qualified to be a Reformer?



Who is qualified to be a reformer?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that any believer can be a reformer. A Christian, whether young or old, who has been changed as a result of regeneration and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God has a role to play in the reformation that is ongoing even today. All Christians ought to be prayerfully seeking to reform their own families, churches, and lives. 

Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Does a Heart for Repentance in a Church Look Like?



How should a church be working to reform itself according to Scripture?

Gary Powers explains in this video that when a church begins the process of reformation, they begin to examine different aspects of the church service. They ask questions such as: “Does this align with Scripture?” “Why are we doing this?” Sometimes, the things we do within the church are done merely because of tradition without contemplating whether they are in accord with Scripture.

There are basically two positions that we can take in regards to reformation. One position would put your preferences and desires first and demand that Scripture follow suit. The other position involves humbling yourself and submitting to the will of God found in Scripture.  

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV) – “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”

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Pictures from the 2017 National Conference

Repentance: The Reformation Continues (Day 2)

               The second day of our National Conference consisted of many speakers boldly declaring what the Word of God has to say about the doctrine of repentance. Many of the messages focused on various accounts of God working mightily in the hearts of wicked sinners, bringing about true repentance and changing their lives.

               Kevin Swanson started off the morning by giving a short sermon on Daniel 4, which outlines the humbling and repentance of King Nebuchadnezzar, a wicked king in the Bible.

Pooyan Mehrshahi then examined the repentance of Manasseh, another wicked king whom God had graciously gifted the gift of repentance to. The account speaks to the change in his life after he repented.

Justin Huffman gave a sermon on sin, preaching from Genesis 38. This chapter describes the amazing sovereignty of God. God took a wicked sinner, Judah, committing a scandalous sin, and used it as part of the unfolding of His eternal plan for the redemption of His people. We each need to be watchful of the sin within our hearts, repent, and mortify it early on so that it does not become scandalous sin.

               Jason Dohm then preached a sermon based in Luke 19, discussing the connection between repentance and restitution. It isn’t ever enough to just simply apologize to God and your neighbor. A heart of true repentance seeks to make things right when their sin has caused injury or loss to a neighbor.

               Scott Aniol then brought us to Psalm 130, where the Psalmist shows us what true repentance feels like. It’s different than a didactic passage, where a concept or lesson are explained to us. The author uses various poetic elements to help us understand what true repentance is like.

               Jeff Pollard explored Matthew 27 and delivered a powerful message that illustrated the false repentance of Judas. Outwardly, Judas appeared to have all the signs of a genuine, repentant sinner. But, as Paul makes clear in 2 Corinthians 7:10, there is a sorrow “of the world” that “produces death.” This is the type of sorrow that Judas had. It did not lead to a changed life and a love for the Lord. It was a worldly sorrow that was a result of the guilt that he felt for betraying an innocent man for money. Judas’ repentance was not a true repentance and he is now in Hell.

To finish off the evening, John Snyder discussed how David’s repentance ought to be a guide as we continue to daily repent of sins. David committed wicked sins, but when we read Psalm 51, we read the heart of a repentant sinner.

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance Is Distinct from Good Works



What is the distinction between repentance and good works?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that repentance is distinct and separate from the idea of good works. Though repentance will generally bring about good works because of a changed life, it is not repentance itself. Rather, they are merely fruits of repentance and a changed life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  

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Repentance: The Reformation Continues (Day 1)

In the first message of the conference, Scott Brown made it clear that repentance is a wonderful gift from God and is a gateway to joy. It manifests itself as a result of conversion and brings about a lifetime of increasing joy as the poisons of sin are drawn out through repentance. I believe this is why the early church father, Tertullian, said, “I was born for nothing but repentance.” [1] 

He said that on a personal level, it has been a hard year – and helpful at the same time. Most men who preach find that what they are preaching about also falls hard on their souls. The Lord makes them walk through what they are preaching. Someone once called it, the sweet torture of preaching. It is sweet because it has a sweetening effect on your soul, but it can also be hard. Similarly, he found that spending the past year preparing for a Repentance Conference has been hard and sweet at the same time. It brought him unexpected opportunities to search his heart, see his sins and repent.

There will be messages on twenty-five Biblical texts on repentance.

These texts will unpack treasures from the Word of God. Scott said that he designed this conference to give a broad picture of repentance through various passages of scripture. He took those passages and assigned them to the speakers.

Almost all of the speakers are from churches which are part of the NCFIC Church network.

He prayed that we would all hear of the depth and the breath of God’s love found in His gift of repentance expressed in these texts from the Bible. Because He loves us so, He gives us a means of refreshment.

 

[1] Calvary Life Fellowship. Accessed October 12, 2017. http://ift.tt/2y8ij03.

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Can’t Make it to This Year’s Conference?



Join us live online for free by visiting the Repentance Live Stream Page! Each of our main sessions will be broadcast live and recorded for future playback. By registering for the live feed, you will also gain access to the saved videos which will be made available for 30 days following the conference.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Distinction Between Worldly and Godly Sorrow



What is the distinction between worldly and godly sorrow?

Both worldly and godly sorrow could look the same on the outside. One could even shed tears and appear to be sorrowful but never truly repent. This sorrow would be rooted in the fact that they were found out or they feel guilty for what they have done. Worldly sorrow could bring about the shedding of tears but without a hunger for righteousness.

In the life of an individual who demonstrates worldly repentance, there is not a radical change that takes place. There is no stopping of what we’ve been doing and turning and going to Christ. 

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV) – “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Makes a Person Repent?



What are the first movings of repentance in the heart of an unbeliever?

Mike Davenport explains in this video that a sinner doesn’t see the idolatry of their heart and the severity of their own sins. A person who is dead doesn’t know he is dead. The Spirit must come and breathe upon us and give them life so that they can see their sin and the offense that it is against a holy God.

Unbelievers begin to see God for who He is. The Spirit gives them a heart to see and Christ becomes precious to them. They see that they have offended God. These mark the first signs of repentance upon an unbeliever.

Ephesians 2:1-2 (NKJV) – “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”

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