Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jesus greater than Atlas

John MacDuff, “Memories of Olivet” –

The wrath of God; the terrible manifestation of His displeasure at iniquity; was upon Jesus. He was the true spiritual Atlas, bearing on His shoulders the sins of a guilty world!

Jesus’ sufferings were not calamities; they were punishment judicially inflicted. There was an eternity of woe was condensed into them! Christ was the Sin Bearer, bearing not merely the punishment of sin, but sin itself.
As we see drop by drop crimsoning the sods of Gethsemane, we may well exclaim, “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Is. 53.5

(Irish Calvinist)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ike Ditzenberger is like a lot of other 17-year-old American football players. He dreams of playing college football. He attends daily practices. Most of the time he toils away in offensive drills. Then, on rare occasions, Ditzenberger runs into the limelight with aplomb. The description could fit thousands of American teenagers, except for one crucial detail: Ike Ditzenberger has Down Syndrome.

(Vitamin Z)

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Law

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. Romans 7

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Breakthrough Technology That Changes Everything! Get one today!

Friday, September 24, 2010


In Detroit, year ago, Street Sweeper Joseph Figlock was furbishing up an alley when a baby plopped down from a fourth-story window, struck him on the head and shoulders, injured Joseph Figlock and itself but was not killed. Last fortnight, as Joseph Figlock was sweeping out another alley, two-year-old David Thomas fell from a fourth-story window, landed on ubiquitous Mr. Figlock with the same results.

– Time, Oct. 17, 1938


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Revelation 3:20 = Inviting Jesus into your Heart?

Inviting Jesus into your Heart

Dan Wallace

In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he [will dine] with me.” The crucial phrase for our purposes is “I shall come in to him.” This text has often been taken as a text offering salvation to a lost sinner. Such a view is based on two assumptions: (1) that the Laodiceans, or at least some of them, were indeed lost, and (2) that the Greek εισελεύσομαι πρό means “come into.”

Both of these assumptions, however, are based on little evidence. Further, the resultant notion is anything but clear. To invite Christ into one’s heart is hardly a clear picture of the gospel.

Regarding the idea that those in the Laodicean church were not believers, note that in the preceding verse, the resurrected Lord declares, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline.” Here φιλέω is used for “love”—a term that is never used of God/Jesus loving unbelievers in the NT.

This φιλέω is applied to the Laodiceans here, for the verse concludes, “Be zealous, therefore, and repent.” The inferential ‘therefore’ connects the two parts of the verse, indicating that the Laodiceans are to repent because Christ loves (φιλέω) them!

The second assumption is that εισελεύσομαι πρό means ‘come into.’ Such an assumption is based on a less than careful reading of the English text. The ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, for example, all correctly render it ‘come in to.’ (Note the space between the prepositions.) The idea of ‘come into’ would be expressed with είς as the independent preposition and would suggest a penetration into the person (thus, spawning the idea of entering into one’s heart).

However, spatially πρό means toward, not into. In all eight instances of εισοέρχομαι πρό in the NT, the meaning is ‘come in toward/before a person’ (i.e., enter a building, house, room, etc., so as to be in the presence of someone), never penetration into the person himself/herself. In some instances, such a view would not only be absurd, but inappropriate (cf. Mark 6:25; 15:43; Luke 1:28; Acts 10:3; 11:3; 16:40; 17:2; 28:8).

What, then, is this verse is affirming? First, it is not an offering of salvation. The implications of this are manifold. Among other things, to use this text as a salvation verse is a perversion of the simplicity of the gospel. Many people have allegedly “received Christ into their hearts” without understanding what that means or what the gospel means. Although this verse is picturesque, it actually muddies the waters of the truth of salvation. Reception of Christ is a consequence, not a condition, of salvation.

Second, as far as the positive meaning of this verse, it may refer to Christ having supremacy in the assembly or even to an invitation (and, consequently, a reminder) to believers to share with him in the coming kingdom. Either way, it is not a verse about salvation at all, for the Laodiceans were already saved.

Does this mean that those who have come to faith in Christ via Rev 3:20 are not saved? This answer needs some nuancing. First, if they have truly put their faith in Christ, and they understand that he alone can save them from their sins, then of course they are saved. The problem is that many people cling to the symbol but never understand the reality it is intended to represent.

Hundreds of thousands of people have “invited Christ into [their] hearts,” thinking that a mystical experience is what saves them. Then, they go on their merry way, living their lives as they did before. If you were to ask them, “How do you know that you are going to heaven?” they would respond, “Because I invited Christ into my heart.” But if you probe, there is nothing beneath the shallowness of that reply. They did what someone told them to do, but never really embraced the Savior.

What then should we say when we are trying to lead someone to Christ? I think a better picture is simply what the New Testament uses as its normative word– πίστι/πιστεύω. The noun form (πίστι) can be translated ‘faith,’ ‘belief,’ or ‘trust.’ The verb can be translated ‘I believe,’ ‘I have faith,’ ‘I trust.’

In some contexts the object of belief is emphasized (namely, Christ); in other contexts, the kind of belief is emphasized (namely, a genuine trust, an embracing). Thus, πίστι has this twofold force of content and conviction. To be saved, one must have the right object of faith (content); and one must truly put his trust entirely in that object (conviction).

If it causes us some measure of panic to have to use other than Revelation 3:20 when we share the gospel, keep in mind that the earliest Christians did not have this verse. Revelation is the last book of the Bible to be written. How was it possible for Peter and Paul and James to ever see anyone get saved without this verse? They never had it! But if I read the book of Acts correctly, they had a measure of success in sharing the gospel even in spite of this handicap.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Think About it..

The shortest horror story ever written

The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Word. Your Church Needs It!

“…Without this transcendent Word in its life, the church has no rudder, no compass, no provisions. Without the Word, it has no capacity to stand outside its culture, to detect and wretch itself free from the seductions of modernity. Without the Word, the church has no meaning. It may seek substitutes for meaning in committee work, relief work, and various other church activities, but such things cannot fill the role for very long. Cut off from the meaning that God has given, faith cannot offer anything more by way of light in our dark world than what is offered by philosophy, psychology, or sociology. Cut off from God’s meaning, the church is cut off from God; it loses its identity as the people of God in belief, in practice, in hope. Cut off from God’s Word, the church is on its own, left to live for itself, by itself, upon itself.”

—David F. Wells,


Monday, September 20, 2010

After you preach by Ortlund

“Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” 1 Chronicles 19:13

My brother pastor, now that you have preached and led in worship, you are tired. Good. You laid it all down. You stood strong in God’s grace, you used your strength for the people of your God. You have done your part. Way to go.

Now give it all to the Lord. He will do with it what seems good to him. And go take a nap. Next Sunday will be here soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chandler @ 9Marks

This is a clip of Matt Chandler preaching at a recent 9Marks event. He talks about the sons of Sceva trying to cast out a demon.
I love the UFC by the way!

If you lose your pants you lose!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thankful for what the "Lord" is Doing!

So far this year the "Lord" has really blessed us at ETBC.

Some of the things "God" is doing:

1. Giving
Our church body has given over 1 million dollars for the 3rd straight year!
-thru our budget we give over $200,000 to missions. We support local and international ministries.

2. Going
Members of our Church have been literally "Across the Street and Around the World".
Some of the places we have been this year alone: Montana, Honduras, Peru, China and Haiti. Not to mention local ministries in Alexander County and in North America.

3. Growing-We have had the privilege of welcoming 61 new members to ETBC this year. This is great considering you can't "walk the isle" and join ETBC. You "must" first attend a New Members Class before you can join. In the New Members Class we explain our beliefs and expectations of New Members, then we ask those wishing to join to take time and seek the Lord to see if this is the place for their family to minister and be ministered to. We don't beg, plead or proselytize. We already have 1,700 members we don't need more people "on the roll".. everybody said AMEN!

We have also baptized 41 people this year with 4 more to be baptized Sunday. The average Baptist church in North Carolina baptizes 6 or less in any given year! I say praise the Lord. This may change next year higher or lower depending on the "Spirit and will of God".

4. Glorifying

God has been glorified at ETBCthru: Worship, Witness and the Word.

Jesus said this about the Word:
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27

Tim Keller states:
Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible’s really not about you—it’s about him.
Preach the Word and Jesus will be glorified and your Church will grow, one way or the other!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Redneck Preacher Alert!

I bet Muslims throughout the world will be wanting Jesus now!
God help us we are in a mess!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Greatness of God in our Salvation

by Jon Mac.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1

Peter is celebrating salvation. And sometimes for Christians through the history of the church there has been little else to celebrate. And Peter is reminding them no matter how bad it gets, no matter how deprived you are, you always have the hope of your eternal salvation. And in that you can be comforted. Salvation...what a word. Is there any word in the English language as blessed as that one? Is there any word in the English language as hopeful as that one? Is there any word in the English language as comforting as that one, as securing, as assuring? I think not. Salvation...spiritual salvation, the rescue of the human soul from sin and death and hell and Satan-- the greatest theme of Scripture.

You know what the Bible says. Man is guilty of sin. Because he is guilty of sin he is headed for eternal judgment to spend eternity in the torment of hell. He desperately needs to be rescued from that. He needs to be saved, to be delivered. And he can't save himself. The Bible makes it very clear that by his own works and his own deeds and his own effort he cannot save himself, he cannot rescue himself, he cannot deliver himself. But the message of the Bible is that while man cannot save himself from eternal torment as a punishment for his sin, God can and will save him. The Bible tells us that God loves the sinner. God commended His love toward us and that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, Romans 5:8. God not only loves the sinner but God is able to rescue sinners. Psalm 3:8, wonderful statement, "Salvation belongs to the Lord." He has the power to do that. Not only does God love the sinner and not only is God able to rescue the sinner but God is willing to rescue the sinner. "God, our Savior, who will have all men to be saved."

Furthermore, God has planned to rescue the sinner. Second Timothy 1:9, "He saved us according to His own purpose." God loves the sinner. God is willing to rescue the sinner. He is able to rescue the sinner. He has planned to rescue the sinner. And God has made Christ the means of rescuing the sinner. Paul says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation." Christ is the means of salvation.

And then God has also ordained preachers to announce that Christ is the means of salvation. God has the rescue plan in motion. He loves the sinner. He is able to rescue the sinner. He is willing to rescue the sinner. He has planned to rescue the sinner. He has made Christ the means of rescuing the sinner. And He has ordained preachers to announce the rescue plan and to call sinners to call sinners to repentance.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Cor. 16