Pastor Chad's Itinarary

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"So You Want To Be A Pastor?" (pt.1)

2 Timothy 2:24-26) And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (ESV)

I vaguely remember an older saint speaking to me one Sunday evening after the worship service and saying, " I believe the Lord is going to call you to preach." My response (unknowing what I was saying) was, "well I hope He does." As I look back, I really did not know what I was saying nor what the Lord has in store for me. Being called by God to serve Him who wouldn't want to do that?
Now after 6 years in pastoral ministry, I look back and really did not know what in the world I had said. I only saw the ministry as a job in which everyone liked you, you wore a nice suit, and got to teach the Word of God. What better way to earn a living, yeah right. Boy, was I fooled. I thought the ministry was a glorious way to live, no one ever warned me of what I was in store for after God called me to preach.
The Apostle Paul reminds the young preacher boy (Timothy) what was expected of him. He tells Timothy, he was not to "quarrel but rather kind to everyone." This is not an easy thing to do. Often times you have to "bite" your tongue even when you know something is to be true. No matter what, the man of God must "must not be quarrelsome." Reminds me of a saying from one of my favorite preachers, "if you believe in grace, you ought to have some grace (David Miller)." I do not mean we ought to back down from the truth of God's Word but it must be done in a gracious way. Paul said, "speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)."
Please do hear what I am saying, serving the Lord as a pastor is such a privilege. But, it can also be very demanding, emotionally draining, and also a spiritual roller coaster. If a young man were to be called under my ministry I would discourage him all I could from going into the ministry. I would tell him if he could do anything else, go and do it. If not, preach the Word and don't please man but rather God. Galatians 1:10) For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
So after reading this, "so do you want to be a pastor?" Let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Church Discipline"

1 Corinthians 5:12-13) "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves."

"Who are you to judge? Do not judge so that you will not be judged. We are only accontable to God." These words ring with familiarity when the subject of church discipline is brought up. We have fallen into the lie of independency in the church today. The trap, "I can do what I want to do and live how I want to live and no one had better say anything to me." The only problem is, when a person professes faith in Christ they are no longer their own person but rather a (dulos), a slave to Christ. Christ gave His church a system to hold each other accountable and that it church discipline.
We live in a world of what I call, "long ranger" Christianity. That is, you make a profession of faith in Christ and join the church only to live the rest of your life without any accountability to the local church. This is very contrary to the New Testament. There are numerous passages where the Lord Jesus Christ speaks of, "love one another, pray for one another, and minister to one another." There is no way a Christian can live in this fallen world successfully without accountability from a local congregation. I tell our people, "you need me and I need you."
That is why the Apostle Paul urges the church at Corinth to remove the man from the church who had fallen into such a greivous sin. Sin corrupts the church. It distorts the truth, weakens the witness of the church in the community, and pollutes the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul said it like this in Ephesians 5:27, "that he might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she (the church) would be holy and blameless." This is the desire of our Lord, that His church, His bride would be pure and holy. This involves people who are known for repenting. We as believers of Jesus Christ must be "daily repenters."
The church where I serve as pastor, historically, and now presently practices church discipline. The church was organized in 1849, and from the beginning the church practiced discipline up until about 1930's. We have went through one case of church discipline and still pray it would bring the person back to Christ, if they are truly His. Church discipline is never easy nor fun, but rather it is very time consuming and hard work. It breaks the hearts of God's people to see Satan take control of people who once professed to be believers.
Church discipline is for the purpose of restoring one back into fellowship with Christ and His church. Often people who have a limited understanding thinks you are being cruel or mean. Rather, it is the loving thing to do when one falls into sin, which they will not repent of.
Church discipline is not an option but a command for a church striving to be the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The early church practiced church discipline but somewhere along the way we have lost this vital teaching in the N.T. church. I agree with Dr. J.L. Dagg (early Baptist theologian) when he said, "when discipline leaves the church so does Christ."

Let me know what you think. Agree or disagree?

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Why A Writing Ministry?"

Mercy, grace, and peace from our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. I am grateful to be allowed the privilege to be writing these words to you this evening. For sometime now I have been considering some type of writing ministry. Although I am still unsure where this will go, I want it to be a ministry to our shut-ins, church members, extended family, and most of all an evangelistic tool to the lost world. The church in the past has done newsletters to send to different people throughout the community and church members who wanted to keep up with things here at Pleasant Hill. I am wanting this to be more than a newsletter, it is my desire for it to be a paper full of God’s Word and His eternal truths.
After reading the biography of A.W. Pink the Lord impressed upon my heart the desire to write. It would seem odd God would place upon my heart to have a writing ministry for several reasons. First of all, I am not very educated. Many of you might not know but I never finished high school although I did receive my G.E.D. Second of all, I have never enjoyed writing at least up until about two years ago. I began writing a journal of thoughts, prayers, and praises which God had done in my life and the churches life. Third of all, I do not know what I am doing at all. Fourth of all, I am not very good at writing either. I think upon the scripture the Apostle Paul writes to the church at Corinth (1 Cor.1:27) “But God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”
This is exactly what God has done in my calling as a pastor and surely as a writer, as well. God has chosen the weakest vessel to try to serve Him and I am fully aware of this. Of course this is how God gets all the glory by choosing an uneducated, not too smart, and not very good person to try and write about Him. My chief aim in this endeavor is to bring God glory. Romans 11:36, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
There will be other pastors who I will call upon to help with this endeavor in producing a God honoring paper which will edify the saints and prayerfully convict the lost sinner. I have been blessed to have men I call “friends” which God has gifted, who will serve as a blessing to this ministry as well. As for now this will be a ministry under the local church at Pleasant Hill Baptist in Orlinda, TN. My prayer is the Lord would open the door to produce not only papers, cd’s but also dvd’s in the near future. I am praying this would become one our missions outreach from the church at Pleasant Hill.
We will be looking to mail out some where of 200 copies all over the United States and other parts of the world. If you know of others who might benefit from this ministry please feel free to send us their address. I feel as though we will be able to send these through e-mail’s as well. I ask of you only to pray for me and the Lord’s church at Pleasant Hill as we continue to seek the Lord in this ministry.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Life Is Short and Death Is Real"

James 4:14, "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

The word "cancer" is a word which has touch the lives of many people in our society today. Both of my grandfathers died with cancer. I have ministered to hospice patients who has had cancer. I have had church members die from this dreaded disease. Cancer is a word when spoken causes us to cringe with fear and uncertainty. As believers in Christ we are reminded even when God allows cancer for our lot, we know He is working "all things together for good ( Rom.8:28)" As believers we know God is working for the good, but we also are reminded it is our sin which has placed us in our lot. Our sin has brought sickness, diseases, and death.
God's Word teaches us in Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Because man has choose to sin against God, He has separated Himself from sinful man. God is holy, He is transcendent, "He's thoughts are above our thoughts and His ways are above our ways (Isa.55:9)." Because man has sinned, God's Word teaches us also we have earned a wage for our sin, Romans 6:23, "for the wages of sin is death..." Every man, woman, boy, and girl has earned a wage for their sin against God. It is DEATH.
We live in a society today which wants us to believe death is not real and death will not come. But I am here to tell you and promise you death is REAL. One preacher has said, "1 out of 1 will die." Every body will die physically because of their sin. When you trace back sin and evil in the world today, it has one source...SIN! Man has choose to freely sin against God and man will not (Rom.3:10-12)choose to do other wise unless God works in his heart to bring Him to repentance and faith. The only way for "fallen man" to be brought back to a Holy God is through a mediator, the Man Christ Jesus.
I am reminded as a pastor I too will face death soon because of the "wage" I have earned. But, I am also reminded through God's Word the is hope. Although I have earned the "wage of death" because of sin, I am reminded, "...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom.6:23b)." What a blessed assurance, my physical body might die and be placed back into the earth but my soul will live for eternity because of the free gift of eternal life which is found only in Christ Jesus.
So, I ask you do you have eternal life? Do you believe you too will face death? I want to speak the truth in love, "you will die?" It is sooner today than yesterday! Do you know what your wage is? It is death. Have you received the "free gift of God?" I pray for you today who will read this that God would use this blog post to bring you to place where you have no rest or comfort in your soul until you come to know His Son Christ Jesus. "Life is short and death is real."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Seeing Christ In the O.T."

Exodus 3:13-14) "Then Moses said to God, "Behold I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The god of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ' I AM has sent me to you.'

Some time ago the Lord placed in my heart a desire to write maybe a book or a treatise on seeing Christ in the O.T. After a semester of Old Testament survey in seminary I become very intrigued by the O.T. As I read and studied the books of the O.T. the Lord began to show me that Jesus was in and throughout the entire O.T. One person has said, "the O.T. was a thumbprint of Christ." It was not until about four years ago I began to see the significance of the O.T. and seeing the print of Christ throughout.
I believe you can not understand the New Testament apart from the Old Testament. I have made it my endeavor to study and digest as much of the O.T. as possible, all the while looking for Christ in the texts. I know some theologians who say Christ can be found in all the passages of the O.T., it is hard for me to press Him (Jesus) into every verse of scripture. Nonetheless, it is important for God's people to read and study the O.T. with their "eye" looking for Christ.
Just for example, in the book of Genesis you have the first claim to the gospel of Jesus Christ when God tells the serpent, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed (Jesus); He (Jesus) shall bruise you on the head, And you (Satan) shall bruise Him on the heel." A picture of the overcoming of Satan by the Lord Jesus Christ. I think of Noah and the Ark when God spared Noah and his family as they where found in the Ark. The Ark representing the Lord Jesus Christ. For all who are found in Christ will be spared, just as they were in Noah's day.
Well, that is just a couple of examples. I believe it allows us the blessing of seeing Christ in the O.T. There are several more in which I plan on sharing in the future. I know several of my theologian friends who may find this elementary but I believe it could help some of God's people in reading the O.T. So, my plan is to go completely through the O.T. and pull out clear pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ, through theophanies and typologies. I pray it would be a benefit to someone. If nothing else it would encourage God's people to read their Bibles, in particularly the O.T. I encourage you as you read the O.T. have Jesus Christ in your lens for that is what it points to! Happy reading...