Judging and Dividing

Judging and Dividingby: Dr. Bruce Goddard

There is much criticism today about judging. These lies are especially pushed by the Devil into the minds of young preachers. The young are trying to determine who they are, what direction they will go, and who they will choose as mentors. Satan tries to get them alienated from a strong stand for righteousness and the truth by using the lie that these men are critical, judgmental and divisive.

The fact is, these men who are “judgmental and divisive” are simply logical.

Think with me of the familiar Psalm 1. There is a blessed man and one who is not blessed. Simple, right? Not so simple, unless someone is willing to decide who is a scorner, a sinner and the ungodly. The very basis of blessings is judgment. You must determine who the ungodly are so you don’t walk in their counsel. That is simple Bible. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…” So some critical, judgmental, divisive man will need to say, “that guy is ungodly.” Say it to yourself, say it to a teenager under your influence, or teach it in a Bible college, but someone has to say, “That person is ungodly, or a sinner, or a scorner.” There is nothing complicated about this.

We do not want our children to randomly develop friendships with the neighborhood kids. No! As parents we are judges, maybe not always correct in our judgment, but we must guide our innocent children.

A dad has to say a young man is not the kind of guy he wants his daughter in a relationship with; any discerning father would want to have a say on that choice. A coach has to pick this player and cut that player. (What a shameful, critical, judgmental and divisive man.)

When Proverbs 3:20 says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise but a companion of fools shall be destroyed,” the Scriptures are instructing believers to point out who is wise and who is a fool. If you cannot pick out the fools, you cannot avoid them. What of Solomon? He was such a critic and judge when he said the gal in Proverbs 7 had on the attire of a harlot. What kind of Christianity is that?

Paul-Arcand-ADPaul was so unbiblical in instructing the people to use judgment and to avoid certain religious leaders. He says in Romans 16:17, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”

How about that! Paul told the believers to MARK certain men, point them out, and avoid those who taught things contrary to what they had learned from him. I could go on pointing out passages we all know that demand we label people, that we make judgment calls on the actions of others – physically, spiritually, and morally.

Notice, Paul’s strict demands to the Corinthian church:

1 Corinthians 5:11, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”

This verse contains a great deal of instruction to label, to judge and to remove yourself from certain people. The amazing part is that Paul said to separate from the covetous – a sin of heart and motive; an internal sin that is much more difficult to identify than a drunkard.  We are now being instructed to judge a man’s motives. Wow! We all know that is not Christian…or do we? Is this not the Bible? Are we not clearly commanded to remove fellowship from a guy attending church who is covetous? That is exactly what Paul is saying – judge what is in this man’s heart.

So much for the contemporary, peace-loving pastor telling a young man that his old-fashioned leaders were divisive, critical and judgmental. God’s Word is telling you that this new teacher is leading you astray.

Taking a stand is logical! If there is such a thing as immodest dress, then someone has to draw a line and be the judge. If there is such a thing as covetousness, then you need to become a judge and avoid those people. Paul often teaches these truths. Notice the instruction to the church of Ephesus: “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5) He continues in verse 7 by saying, “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” So, in these verses, we see certain people being pointed out. Paul then urges the believer to act upon what he sees.

Ephesians 5:7, “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

Paul said we should notice these people and their bad actions, then not hang around them – judge, critic, and divisive! (Wait, it gets worse.)

Ephesians 5:11 says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Now Paul says to reprove these men or at least these actions. Just what business is it of his, the preacher (or some church member), to point out things or to publicly correct certain kinds of behavior? This correction is actually a command of God. Someone must follow these instructions to protect the church.

These soft manipulators who seek to turn our young preachers away from clear teaching are so incredibly unbiblical that it is amazing anyone follows them. But as Paul said, some of the wrong crowd appear as angels of light. Wow, there I go being a critic, divisive and judgmental. Sorry, but the Bible has somehow messed me up and directed me to point out foolish thinking. By the way, it tells you to do the same thing!!!

Not only is it right to judge, to divide and to point out wrong, but it is also a Bible command.

Dr. Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar, CA

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We Need Your HelpDear Friend,

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Are You a Fan or a Fanatic

Are You a Fanaticby: Keith Phemister

Acts 26:24-25, “And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.”

I love sports. I cannot play it as I once could, but I love sports. I may even be called a fanatic when it comes to baseball. I was raised on St. Louis Cardinal baseball. My dad listened to the ball games on the radio station, KMOX, St. Louis. Many times in those days, static would interfere with the play-by-play, but make no mistake about it; we were able to distinguish carefully the words that echoed from that little radio. If you were to walk into my office today, you would see evidence of what I am talking about. Now, you have to understand; I currently reside in Red Sox territory. I have endured the snickers and sneers as well as two losses in World Series play this millennium. I must say, that those who know me well know I love Cardinal baseball. I may be even be called a fanatic.

There is a difference between a fan and a fanatic.

– Fan – one who is enthusiastic about a sport, pastime or performer

– Fanatic – unreasonably enthusiastic or overly zealous giving beyond what is reasonable.

I heard about a Steeler fan who died years ago. He loved his Steelers. They buried him in a Pittsburgh Steeler jersey, sitting in a recliner while watching football with a beer in one hand and a remote control in the other. Sports fanatics are not shy about representing their teams; so, why are Christians shy about witnessing for Christ?

I went to the same church where Dr. Carl Hatch attended. I have heard some of the most amazing soul-winning stories ever, and many of them were centered on him. He was fearless and bold as a lion. What was the difference in his life that propelled him to become a fanatic for Christ instead of a fan of Christ? I heard him tell the story of how he went into a public bathroom and tossed gospel tracts underneath the stalls while shouting, “Here is some good reading material for you.” Why, that must register as fanatical, don’t you agree? He was a fanatic for Christ.

In Acts 26, reading verses 24-25, Paul is speaking to Festus, and Festus declared to Paul that he is “mad.” Paul downplays the accusation, but the word mad is an interesting word. The word actually comes from the Greek word, “mania” and means exclusive excitability, a persistent, obsessive enthusiasm. It is interesting that a fanatic will not testify to his behavior as excessive, but to those around him, it is very evident that one has crossed the threshold, going from fan to fanatic. Wouldn’t it be a great testimony if the outside world thought of each of us in a fanatical way regarding our walk with the Lord? Wouldn’t it just be the height of compliments to you or me if someone would make a comment to another that we are a fanatic.

What would the criteria be for a Christian fanatic? May I attempt to parlay evidence of a sports fanatic and correspond it to a Christian fanatic? Bear with me as I make a few attempts to do just that.

1. Sports fanatics are very faithful, and they like to identify. 

National Center for Life and LibertyThey will buy hats, shirts, socks and even undergarments to identify with their team. They will enter into enemy territory wearing their team’s logo. (Caution: you may be entering the danger zone here.) A real fanatic will not be shy about representing their team. So, question – Are we shy about letting others know about who we represent? Do we hide our Bibles at lunch hour, or do we sit alone reading it knowing that such action will alienate us from the others who are assembled? Do we indeed look forward to each service of the week with anticipation, having prayed for the preacher to speak God’s Word with power and conviction? Could our pastor declare us to be faithful even fanatical in our attendance?

2. Sports fanatics are big spenders. 

They are not chintzy; no, not in the least. A real fanatic will spend $5000 at the drop of a hat to attend the Super Bowl where their team is represented. Money seems to be no object for a real fanatic. They spend money to go and get autographs to line their basement or den with rich artifacts demonstrating their fanaticism. Hey, maybe I am only a fan and not a fanatic! However, you ask the average Christian to not only tithe, but give, and you have now crossed the line. I see why the Lord loves a cheerful giver. The giver is the one who gives above the tithe and sees no problem in doing so. In fact, he does it cheerfully because of Who he is giving it to and for. He is a fanatic for Christ! He will tithe, give offerings, and give alms. He realizes that you cannot out-give God. It isn’t how much he gives, but how much he has left after he gives. He, like the little widow woman whom our Lord watched, gives till it hurts. Are you a fanatic for Christ?

3. Sports fanatics are tireless.

They do not rest. Many of them travel hours to see their team play. You will often hear stories how some of them go to every stadium their team travels to in order to have a part in their victories. Parents of children involved in sports will help little junior to sell candy in order to raise funds for jerseys, and they have no problem with the time or work involved. Many of them will even take time off work to better their child’s cause. They do not care who gets the credit as long as the funds are raised.

Wouldn’t it be great if folks like you and I would not care who gets the credit for what is done. Remember, it is God who gives the increase anyway, and everything we do for Him is done because of Him. So why should we even think of doing something for human recognition? We should not think of what position we are given in the church, simply because we are on the same team. A fanatic gives testimony of things accomplished because of what God has done through them, and not because of what they have done. We often complain and moan about how we just have so much time. However, a fanatic does not complain about the time he/she spends for the Lord. He must have balance in his life and home, but time spent for the Lord is time well spent.

4. Sports fanatics are very loyal and will not switch.

A real Cardinal fan roots for the team, win or lose. If the team moves to another city, a team fanatic will still root for the team, right? I have had teams that I was a fan of, pack up and move to another city, but I was still a fan of that team. The team may have switched locations, but it did not mean I was going to switch teams.

Our allegiance is to Christ, and because of the loyalty to Him, we should not drop out of church because of what others do or say. That is not being a fanatic, but a fan. Paul himself said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) My allegiance is to the King of kings, and because of that, I will not blame Him for things that I make difficult in my life. God is always good and at all times.

5. Sports fanatics are very passionate, and they do not give up.

A true fan never gives up on their team. When I go to a game, I stay to the very last out if I am a fanatic. A fan will head out to the car way before the end. A Christian fanatic will not quit on their Lord. He may have feelings of quitting that overcome him, but there is something ingrained in his Christian DNA that will not allow him to quit. The Word says, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…”

In conclusion, I don’t know if I would be called a Christian fanatic or not, but I do know that my testimony is not what it should be unless someone from the world would look at my life and declare me a fanatic. Paul’s speech was condemned by Festus, declaring that he was “mad.” Paul was a Christian fanatic, and it is high time we as Christians were called fanatics as well. Lord help us!

Keith Phemister
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Hudson, NH

Why I Love My Church

Why I Love My Churchby: Dr. Bruce Goddard

I want to share a few reasons why I love the church.

Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Praying for friends, preachers, and missionaries, I found they all have one thing in common.  They need the church to survive.  For that reason, and many more, I love the church.

In Acts we read, “The Lord added to the CHURCH daily such as should be saved…” There it is, right at the beginning, God placing people into a church.

Here are a few reasons I love the church:
The church is where the lost are saved and baptized.
The church is where we train our children to make it in life.
The church is where young people are called to the ministry.
The church is where money is given to send the Gospel to the world.
The church is where the poor come for help.
The church is where God looks to see if He will spare a nation …if my people… 2 Chronicles 7:14.
The church is where we come for comfort in troubled times.
The church is where soul winners are sent out
The church is where my own children learned to:

…win the lost.
…visit the needy.
…preach the Gospel.
…work on buses.
…and now, it is the church where my children work full-time serving God’s people.

The church is where the widow comes to find a little light in a dark and lonely world.
The church is where buses are sent to love and care for the unloved of our community.
The church is where men and women are sent to jails and rest homes.
The church is where we bury our dead.
The church is where we marry our young.
The church is what Jesus bought with His own blood…Acts 20:28
The church is called, “the Pillar and ground of the truth…” 1 Timothy 3:15

Paul-Arcand-ADSupport it? Without a doubt! Finance it? Of course. It is the one place on Earth God promised perpetuity…the very gates of Hell will not prevail against it. So, I’ll give sacrificially towards its needs.

The church is where my wife and I had our first date, where we were engaged, where I surrendered to preach and was married. The church is where I learned to memorize Scripture. The church is where I was trained. The church is where we bring our tithes. The church is where we receive protection…for Paul said to break fellowship with the adulterer and “turn him over the Satan for the destruction of the flesh.” We are safer in church and in fellowship than we are out of church.  As Americans value the church less and less, so our nation loses its values and morals.

Some would say there is no need for the land, buildings, and growth of the church. Some would say we have enough buildings and buses. But no! I differ greatly. When the church is gone, all hope for this world will be gone.

The church needs to prosper, thrive, and achieve great things for God. Who ever felt their team had won enough games? Who ever felt their business prospered enough? No one! Every soul in Heaven will rejoice over the church.

Without the church there will be no Bible printing, no distribution of tracts, no missionaries, no money for the needy, no baptizing of converts, no training of disciples, no place that establishes right and wrong, that holds truth and resists error.

Whoever gets into the Sweet 16 will not matter a lick in eternity. Whoever wins the Super Bowl will not even be remembered 100 years from now. If your child is the best soccer player in their Sunday league, it will not make a difference.

But, whoever wins a soul will “…shine…as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3) Whoever finances the Gospel ministry will forever be grateful.

Yes, we need another building. Yes, we need more land. Yes, we need more missions money. Yes, we need to pay off our debt. Yes, we need more preachers. Yes, we need to start more churches. Yes, we need to pray for our nation to come back to God. Without the church, there will be no one to show our nation the way.

It is not religion the world needs, but the church, Bible-preaching, Bible-believing soul winning and a Baptist church.

Were it not for the church, none of us would be saved. Were it not for the church, our children would be on their way to Hell. Were it not for the church, there would be no hope for the brokenhearted, for the church is where they learn of Christ and Heaven, and the Blessed hope…and glorious appearing…

The church is where broken people learn of forgiveness, mercy, and the everlasting arms of the eternal God and refuge.

It is the church that holds the doors shut against the shame and evil of this world. The light forces the darkness into the corners and shadows, but without the church darkness would reign.

God said not to forsake the assembling of the believers. Christian, lets not forsake it financially, lets not forsake it in our use of time, lets not forsake it in our prayers, lets not forsake it in attendance. The church has given so much to our families. How much we will receive at the Judgment Seat, all because of the church?

It is through the ministries of the church that we have opportunity to serve God and lay up treasure in Heaven, and one day reap our eternal rewards. Nothing like that would happen without the church.

The church ought to be in every trust, every will, every estate. From every paycheck, I give to missions, building fund, tithe and support the Christian school, because nothing else I do with my money is eternal, but God’s work is eternal. That’s why we need to help start more churches and train more in Bible college.

As you  prayerfully chose your path of life, your use of time, your investment of finances, your love and support of things on Earth, remember, the church is the only thing on Earth Jesus ever purchased.

Ask yourself, “How much do I want to meet when I get to Heaven?” “How much do I value the church?”

Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar CA

What is Their DNA

by: Dr. Bruce Goddard

What is Their DNAThroughout my ministry, I have seen much evil and good accomplished through influences.

I remember being warned by my pastor about who we read, to whom we listened and what conferences we attended. Watching more than three decades of preachers come and go, I am more in agreement with those exhortations than ever.

Recently I was forwarded an email on technology and youth. Nothing special, things any dozen tech-savvy men in my church could have written. But the bad thing is that it was from a church leadership website. There were all kinds of links and catchy titles to everything from, “Why our churches can’t get over 200” to, “Things that hinder church growth.” Now the big issue here is that we become readers of information without knowing from whence that information came. We SHOP for truth. Truth is not a golf club you pick up, swing a few times to see how it feels, then put it down and grab another one. Remember “he that walketh  with wise men…” Or “walk not in the counsel of the ungodly.”

The apostle wrote, ”We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” As we browse theological and church leadership information, we fail to search out the garden from which it was picked. “WE CAN NOT BUT SPEAK THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD!” What we read will influence us! “Mine eye affecteth mine heart.” We read doctrine and church philosophy like we walk through the hardware store, randomly shopping for something that catches our eye. Now that kind of shopping is not the most prudent at Lowe’s, but it is deadly when it comes to doctrine.

I looked at this article long enough to find the website sponsor, and it was amazing. Folks writing and linked to this website are a diverse group. They come from Wheaton, Trinity, a Wesleyan seminary, and one is an Anglican priest. Honestly, are you going to sit at the feet of an Anglican and let him teach you Bible philosophy and church ministry? One is the pastor of, Conexus Church, another, New Springs Church. Now every man will give an account of himself to God. I’m no man’s judge, but I do believe you ought to know who you read, who they are, what they are and where they will lead you. I think it is good to know very clearly where they are going. These guys don’t know where they are going. They drift with culture, change with society, modify their belief system with the changing times of society. I STAND FOR THE UNCHANGING TRUTH OF GOD, and culture is not about to change my ministry. Titles on the website were things like: “Things you need to change to reach people”, “Churches that are really reaching the next generation”, and how about this one, “Getting connected with your emotions” obviously written by a lady teaching you about connecting with your emotions and those of your audience. (Are you as tired as I am of the word “connect?”)

I’m sure I’d love these folks as neighbors. I probably would enjoy car pooling with them to my secular job, but BAPTIST PREACHER… We don’t believe the same as these folks on anything! They don’t believe the Bible to be literally true, they do not believe in soul winning, they do not believe in eternal security, they do not believe in separation from the world, they probably do not even believe the Gospel as we do. Several writers on this website hold psychology degrees from secular universities! What are we doing? What are we doing reading this junk! Anglican priests? Do you research who you read?

Golden State Baptist CollegeI ordered a new book this week on the doctrine of the church written by Harold Sightler. He was a 42-year veteran independent Baptist preacher. He’s so independent; I recently heard him say in a sermon that he was “independent, not Southern Baptist, not BBF, but truly independent.” Now I can safely read that book on the church. I know his spiritual genealogy. His spiritual DNA is clearly seen.

Who in the world are you reading as you wander through the spiritual marketplace reading everything that catches your eye. Remember, “…Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

I’m not sure who sent me this article, so don’t take this personally if it was you, but as for me and my house, we are Baptists. If I’m not mistaken, it was a Baptist church that reached you. So, why read Anglicans, rock and rollers, contemporary or community church folks, and that Wesleyan trained writer who I’m sure you would not even let teach a child’s Sunday school class in your church. So, perhaps the pastor should not read him either.

If you want something on internet safety and tech training, ask a few of your Baptist men to write up their ideas, shop through them and send it to all of us. At least that way we will know the genealogy of the information we are getting. The church (your church) has everything we need to be perfected, effective and productive.

Smarten up men! Don’t find your spiritual meals in the garbage cans behind the restaurant. (Oh, brother, I bet I was not connecting with the emotional needs of my audience there was I?)

Dr. Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar, CA

Testimony Time

by: Keith Phemister

Testimony TimeActs 15:1-4 says, “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

Shortly after being saved, I went to the Wednesday Night Bible Study and Prayer Meeting at our church in Simi Valley, California. It was all new to me, but the first thing someone said to me after being saved was, “Now, make sure you go to all the services at the church. They are all important and needful for you to grow as a Christian.” I didn’t know much, so I listened to those who I thought wanted the best for my life, and those were the Christians God had placed in my life.

There I was on the first Wednesday service, and the pastor asked for testimonies. “Testimony Time – who would like to be first?” I heard numbers of people stand up and give testimony of what God had done or was doing in their lives. I wanted to give testimony of being saved, but I was just not the extrovert some think I am. So, I sat – and listened. Though I do not remember the content of their testimony, I have often been amazed at some of the testimonies given by those of us who have been touched by God’s amazing grace.

One of my favorite stories of history centers around the Titanic. Now, for most people, I think the story grabs our attention because of the sheer horror of being on a sinking ship and being confronted with death. I, however, am intrigued, because of a certain preacher who was onboard the Titanic that fateful night of April 15, 1912. His name was John Harper, a Baptist preacher, who was accompanied with his daughter and sister Jessie Leitch. Harper was a widower, said to have been traveling to Chicago ultimately, to take the pastorate of the famed Moody Church. His loving wife had died giving birth to his six-year-old daughter who was onboard with him.

It was Mr. Harper who was seen busily going about shouting to all he could gain attention, “All the women, children and unsaved – to the boats!” Once the preacher found himself in the chilling waters after making sure his sister and daughter found their way to the lifeboats, you could hear him hurriedly exclaiming, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

One such hearer, clinging to some debris from the ship, rejected the preacher’s message; however, Harper would not be denied. A few minutes later, here he was again, right at his side, issuing the same warning. He would take off his life jacket and throw it to another, exclaiming, “You need this more than I do!”

Four years later, in a meeting in Ontario, Canada, a meeting was held for survivors of the Titanic. A man testified that he was clinging to ship debris when a man swam to him and asked him to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” “I refused,” he said. “He came by the second time and said the same thing, and this time, I accepted. Just as soon as I did, the man slipped away beneath the chilly waters to his death. I was one of the few rescued by a returning lifeboat. I am the last convert of John Harper.”

What a testimony from the man of what God did for him, but even a greater testimony of what God did with John Harper. I love to hear testimonies from God’s people of what God does for them, but the greatest testimony for me is – what God did with them!

Certain men came from Judea and began teaching false doctrine to the brethren saying they must be circumcised to be saved. Paul and Barnabus disputed with them, and it was determined that they should go to Jerusalem about this question. When they arrived in the city, they gave testimony, the Bible says of “things that God had done with them.”

Spring-CreekBC_WatfordIn all my years, folks basically give testimonies about the Lord in regards to three separate thoughts:

  1. What God has done to them
  2. What God has done for them
  3. What God has done with them

First of all, everywhere you go, you meet people who talk of what God has done to them. Many times, it will be perhaps at the door of a residence, talking to someone about the Lord, only to learn of their bitterness towards God. “I’ll tell you what,” they say, “I will never set foot in another church again in my life. My boyfriend is in a hospital right now, fighting for his life. He never hurt anyone. We were going to get married. Now, I don’t even know if he is going to live another month.”

I have found that people generally get bitter towards God for two reasons:

  1. God did not prevent something negative or bad from happening (such as the previous real life illustration)
  2. God did not give them something they really wanted

I recently developed a formula. Here it is: Disappointment with God leads to Resentment towards God that ultimately leads to Running from God.

Jonah did that! How many people have asked the question, “How come bad things happen to good people?” Well, the truth of the matter is that there really is nothing good about people from God’s perspective. The Bible declares, “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” The real question to be asked is this: “How come good things happen to bad people?”

God put a marvelous garden and paradise as a playground for Adam and Eve, and they chose to disobey God – now death has indeed passed upon all men, for all have sinned. Thank you, Lord, for your marvelous grace to undeserving sinners! Amen?

Secondly, you hear of people giving testimony of what God has done for them. When we see the blessings in a fresh way, we stand up and give testimony. I surely am amazed at how many people never praise Him. At this writing, my mother has suffered a stroke and has lost her speech. I thank the Lord for the many years of conversation with a mom who cares for her son. I praise Him for what He is doing in her life. I stand with David here when he says, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”

Thirdly, and most importantly, you hear some of God’s people who give testimony of what God has done with them. Oh, how I love to hear the testimonies from the lips of dear servants of God as they exclaim God’s goodness in choosing to use them in a marvelous way. Don’t you? Isn’t there something that speaks to the cold, embittered and hardened heart about serving the King of kings, and Creator of all the Earth and Universe?

Remember Ananias – oh, how he could not understand the Lord desiring to use Saul. “Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me…” But, how the Lord did use him greatly! There never has been another Paul. Great men, yes! Paul was one of a kind. How he could give testimony of the great things God did with him.

I can’t wait to get to Heaven. I mean, Heaven is a place where we will clearly see as we should. I actually can’t wait to see the converts which the liberal crowd declares were never saved because of “Easy-Believism.” Let them carry on in their false doctrine. Let them continue on seeing few converts while those of us who just believe the Bible continue our door-knocking, confrontational soul-winning, and bold preaching.

I’ve got a feeling that John Harper was rejoicing as the angels rejoiced at the conversion of that Titanic survivor – John Harper’s last convert. Let’s hear more testimonies in our churches of what God has done with us – yes, great things he hath done!

Keith Phemister
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Hudson, NH

I Like You More Than You Do

by: Dr. Bruce Goddard

I Like You More Than You Do2 Timothy 3:14, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”

When I consider the young men pastoring around America, I realize how much we need them. I like them! I want more of them! I understand that the Gospel is in their trust, and so I covet their future. Easter weekend brought me wonderful news from many young men who were once in our youth department. How very proud I am of them and their work. But these from my youth department only represent a few of the many around America.

Considering these things, I realize that I probably like the young preachers of America more than they like themselves. I like them; let me prove it. I want to continue the type of church that produced them so we might have more just like them. I am passionately guarding the kind of church from which they came. I am preaching, teaching and encouraging the Old Time religion that brought these wonderful young men into the Lord’s work. I am protecting the purity of the recipe, not redefining it into some untested creation that has never put a generation of preachers into the pulpits of America.

They on the other hand, really must not like themselves much, for they are changing the kind of church that produced them, they are trying to redefine the Fundamentalism that produced them. I for one, love them and want to reproduce the exact thing that God used to call these wonderful men into the ministry. I want to protect the historic Fundamentalism that produced them, not redefine it.

Central Baptist Church & SchoolWhat was it that God used to train most of these awesome young men? Soul-winning, standards, hymn singing, King James Bible, holiness and a lot more are what made these young men. These things were typical in most of the churches/colleges that produced the young preachers of our nation. Go on, test the theory out, go to their blogs and then search their past and you will see they came from the old school fundamentalism. See if their blogs match their training, I dare you. The young men out there getting churches going are wonderful men, they married good ladies, most of whom came from… ready?… Fundamental Baptist, separated, soul winning, KJV, hymn singing churches. I like their wives, I like them, I like what produced them, and I, for one, will keep our church doing the kind of thing that God used to train and call these awesome young people.

I love you young couples getting started out there in the ministry. I want you to know that I love you enough to keep doing what we have always been doing in hopes of producing more just like you.

Just in case you don’t know, we were never the biggest church in town, but I believe without question that we had the best young people in town. Those young people have done so much over these thirty-three years, both in the ministry and secular work, but all were used in Sunday school, bus ministry, soul winning and loving people. Thank God for the old fashioned churches that produced the young preachers of America! Let’s guard the church and keep it exactly the same so we can have more of these tremendous young couples to lead our nation into the next generation.

You young preachers, we need you.  And we need more young people just like you, so I hope you will help produce more like you by mirroring the ministries that produced you, not redefining them.

Unless I like you more than you do.

Dr. Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar CA

David’s Uh-Oh Moment

by: Keith Phemister

David's Uh Oh Moment2 Samuel 12:13-20, “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.”

In every person’s life, sooner or maybe later, but definitely sometime – there will come what I like to call “An Uh-Oh Moment”! “What in the world is an uh-oh moment,” you ask? Well, that moment is when you come to a crossroads at an extremely difficult time in your life. Uh-oh defined means an expression of alarm, dismay or even to realize a difficulty. Let me illustrate some possible scenarios for you:

1. You leave the room for a few minutes while your 2 year old toddler is armed with an innocent paint brush. Why, he is having a blast painting by numbers (even though he has no idea what the numbers mean). You open the door, anxious to see his masterpiece while you have been away for a few… What are the words you form with your mouth as you gaze upon the newly decorated walls? Can you say, Uh-Oh!

2. A little six year old daughter wanders outside with you as you gaze upon the winter wonderland that has just been delivered from the skies above. Heavy snow has hit the area. The trees are glistening and a beautiful forest has been transformed. Your child wanders a bit, and then it happens! A branch from about 30 ft. up breaks and makes its way downward at an alarming, lightning speed. The child just happens to be in the direct path of the deadly missile. The child is ultimately killed from the impact of the branch. Can we see that this would necessitate an Uh-Oh moment?

David had committed some of the most horrible sins one could commit. Nathan, sent by God, confronted him, and as only God could do, He showed him his sins. Although David could have been the one to die, God spared him but promised that his child would die. His child was stricken and the Uh-Oh moment was before that great champion of God. What did he do? What would you do? That is the question for this moment in which David encountered.

The Bible says that David fasted and prayed for 7 days, not knowing if a gracious God would show forth grace to him in his moment of need.

Can I just say that these Uh-oh moments are defining moments in the life of us all. They, in some instances, bring the most hardened believers to their knees and quite possibly to their knees for the last time. It is at this time that the believer will come to a crossroads in their life. Why? Why, you ask? Quite simply, when God chooses to be silent during these critical times in our lives, these alarming times – and it is possible He will be silent – at these times we may walk away perceiving God doesn’t care or even (gulp!) that there is no God.

You look up to God as David did and pray. You get so wrapped up in the moment and the urgency–that minutes become hours, and hours become days and days turn into quite possibly weeks or months. “Where are you God?” “Where is the God of Elijah?” “God, I need you, please…”

And…. God… is… silent. Nothing, or so you perceive. It is at this moment that you and I learn to trust Him or we could quite possibly be in a mess spiritually for a long time. I have seen it as a pastor. Perhaps…

  • There is a death in the family
  • You are in the midst of a tragic financial reversal
  • A rebellious son/daughter goes their separate way
  • Divorce hits
  • A loss of job hits
  • A custody battle ensues

Reidsville Baptist ChurchIt was Job who understood the silence when he said, “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him…”

May I quickly share with you 4 areas of your life that should be in order when these Uh-oh moments come?

1. Make sure you are pure from sin. Psalm 66:8 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” I want to be able during my Uh-Oh moment to go to the Lord as Hezekiah did. I want my sin to be confessed, my life to be a good testimony and walking in obedience to His commandments. Remember what happened when Isaiah came to Hezekiah and told him to get his house in order – that he would die? 2 Kings 20:2-3 “Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.”

Let me tell you something, if I may do so in kindness. The pastor can pray and the church can pray, but when you come to that Uh-Oh moment, you are the one who needs to touch Heaven’s door. Do right! Live right!

2. Live a fruitful life! God wants us to take care of his business and he will take care of ours. Listen to our Lord in John 15:16 – “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Yes sirree, God has ordained all of us, not just the God-called pastor. We are to go and be fruitful Christians, meaning we are to go out and tell others about the amazing grace found in the Gospel. We are to make converts. We don’t want to be found wanting in this area of our life when the Uh-oh moment comes.

3. Hear the Word! Proverbs 28:9 says, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” I would not want to seem harsh, but why would God want to hear us if we disregard Bible reading, Bible Study or faithful Church attendance? We turn a deaf ear to his voice when He speaks and then marvel at our God when He turns deaf to our voice. Then, when He is silent, we become bitter and disillusioned. It would seem to me that many of our own Uh-oh moments are made because we do indeed turn a deaf ear to the Word of God.

4. We better have forgiven our fellow man! Matthew 6:15 tells us, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” We sure better be right with those around us if we want God during these crossroad moments.

Ted Turner, of cable television fame – owner of TNT and TBS – was given an award by the American Humanist Association. Mr. Turner told the story of how at one time he considered becoming a missionary. He even declared that he was saved 7 or 8 times. Then, it happened – the Uh-Oh moment that happened to David. His sister became gravely ill and after praying, she died. Sadly, Mr. Turner turned away from God and now wants nothing to do with him. “If that’s the type of God He is, I want nothing to do with Him,” he said.

When our Uh-oh moment comes, and it will or it has, let’s do what David did in 2 Samuel 12:20, “Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped….”

All over America, and yes, even the world – there are gathered individuals who will be defined by Uh-Oh moments. There are some who sit in our pews who have come out on top of these moments and are in the House of the Lord, still worshipping their Heavenly Father. Praise God for those precious and strong individuals. However, there are also some dear people who have had those defining moments as well, and the outcome is far different. They are missing from our churches! They are part of a much too large mass of embittered souls whom, when God has been silent, they decided to speak. They have spoken, allowing their lives to influence others to walk away from God. Everything was fine in their life (or was it?), until the Uh-Oh moment called.

Dear friend, I do pray that God would find you as David when the defining moment in your life comes. Remember, God is good all the time! My daughter’s favorite verse is applicable here – Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding…”

Keith Phemister
Lighthouse Baptist Church
Hudson, NH

God’s Plan for Your Life

by: Eric Porterfield

God's Plan for Your Life“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may PROVE what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

In life, people speculate about many things. Religion. Politics. Land. Stocks. Sometimes, they come up with the right answers. Sometimes they don’t.

We do not have to speculate about what God’s plan is for our life. God’s real plan for my life, your life, and the lives of all mankind is summed up in this statement: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) This statement was written by King Solomon after he lived a life of complete indulgence. This was his conclusion, and must become our conclusion too if we desire to live out God’s real plan for our life.

What we need to know about God’s will and God’s plan for our life can be summed up in one word: TODAY. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) If Jesus Christ is the true and living God, and He is, and you have made a choice to trust Him, then it will help you tremendously as a Christian to understand progressive sanctification, which simply means, daily becoming more like Christ. 1 John 1:9 is a verse for every Christian to hold on to, especially if their life has been fractured by sin and despair. It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If Jesus Christ is the same today as He was yesterday, and He is faithful to forgive us of our sin then TODAY is God’s plan for your life.

My life was once on the brink of wreckage and ruin due to personal choices I made in my youth. Even after trusting Christ as my Saviour, I played the role of a backslider largely due to bitterness in my heart. Ron Comfort said that immorality has slain its thousands, but bitterness its tens of thousands, and I can testify to this personally. However, because of God’s forgiveness and grace, He has chosen to piece my life back together and make it productive for Him.

God forgives our past sin, but the forgiveness of our sin does not remove the consequences of sin. I am totally blind today, and have been since 2006, due to the consequences of sin. God’s forgiveness of your sin does not eradicate the damage that has been done to your family, your finances, and even your future, but it does allow you to live victoriously and to be right with God TODAY. You can start making better decisions today by learning from your past sins and failures. When you make a choice to repent, God can help you in supernatural ways to live your life with joy and fruitfulness.

The problem that you will find in most backsliders, as was the case in my own life, is that they are not repentant; rather, they are remorseful. They love their sin, but they hate themselves. We must learn to hate sin as God does if we are to experience victory as a Christian. Sin brings destruction, heartache, and death. From a biblical perspective, the godliest Christian you have ever known and the most wicked sinner you have known both deserve the same thing: eternal Hell with the worst torment ever. Why? Because of their sin. The first natural born man was a brutal murderer because of sin. But God has used flawed men all through the Bible, and He still does, because of His grace and forgiveness. The Bible says that the blood of His son Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL sin. We may lose our favor with men, our credibility or our financial stability, but we cannot lose God’s grace and forgiveness. Seeing ourselves for who we really are, sinful and deserving of Hell, and understanding Jesus Christ for who He is, holy and worthy of worship, changes everything. I’ve been a lost cause, an outcast, as well as a backslider, but trusting Christ as my Saviour took care of my payment for sin. His compassion and unchanging love helps me today to overcome the power of sin, and one day I will be saved from the presence of sin.

National Center for Life and LibertyBecause of the unchanging person of Jesus Christ, I can look forward to a future in Heaven with Christ where there is no sin. I can look back to the cross that has put away my past sin, and I may look now to the high priest, Jesus Christ, for constant cleansing of the old man who I wrestle with on a daily basis. God’s plan for your life is to be what He would have you to be TODAY and to do what He would have you do TODAY. Stick with the basics. Pray. Read and study His Word. Take care of your family. Reach others for Christ. Make stable, responsible decisions. What you are able to accomplish for Christ is not nearly as significant as letting Him accomplish what He wants to do in your life. Wrong decisions from the past may alter your course, but if you still have breath in you it hasn’t ended your course. It is your choice to decide TODAY whether or not you will let grace be appropriated to your life and live for Christ. Grace will never fail you, but you can fail to let grace be applied to your personal life. God’s true plan for your life is for you to live for Him TODAY, so make the choice to let His grace have its place in your life TODAY. You will never regret it.

Dr. Eric E. Porterfield
Blind Faith Ministries
Princeton, WV

Wisdom of the Aged

by: Dr. Bruce Goddard

Wisdom of the AgedWhen I was a child, I always had a great respect for older people, even for children who were older than me. The idea of crossing an older kid was unthinkable. Ignoring an adult or leader would have been considered suicide, not literally (for no one would have hurt us), but in heart and mind; we trusted and honored leaders, especially those who were older.

As a high school student, there was no question about trusting and honoring coaches and teachers. Respect was simply a part of my upbringing. When I got saved, I realized that these principles were biblical.

Leviticus 19:32, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.”

1 Timothy 5:1,“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;”

After I trusted Christ, I sat at the feet of men and listened to the Bible being taught; I soaked up every word of it. As months passed, I realized that some of what I heard did not line up with the Bible. I was told soul winning was a gift that only a few had received, that there was nothing wrong with social drinking, and on occasion, I heard things such as, “Now what this verse means in the original is…” or “The verse would have been more properly translated as…” I was respectful but went looking for older men who stood more closely to the Scriptures. I sought out older, wiser men — it just seemed natural. Seeking the older men was a subconscious action; this action was attributed to my childhood training, and to a great deal, the Bible. I had been living in the Bible for hours daily, and of course, Scripture moves us to lean on older, more godly leadership.

Jeremiah warned about the terrible days when elders would not be honored.
Lamentations 5:12, “Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honored.”

In this same time of national shame, Isaiah wrote of youth who would not look with respect and honor toward wiser men of report.
Isaiah 3:5, “And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor  the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.”

Peter reminds us to find godly, spiritual leaders to whom we should submit.
1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder…”

One of the satanic works of every generation is the disdain of wisdom, age and elders. A spirit of independence seeps into most young people. It was called a generation gap in the 60‘s, but the young people’s actions were the byproduct of their passion for self-will, self-trust, and independence. The wisest of young people will focus on the wisdom of the past and build upon it. My younger Christian life has always been centered on men 30-40 years older than me. Now, in my late 50’s, my attention focuses primarily on men who reside in Heaven. I have good friends who are near my age. I love the men of God around the nation. But, those to whom I look for wisdom and philosophies of life are all my senior by decades.

Longview Baptist TempleMost of us are familiar with the story of Rehoboam, who listened to the younger men and forsook the counsel of the older men who advised his father. Needless to say, incredible ruin followed. Each generation can attest to the spiritual decline of those who “forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him…” (1 Kings 12:13).

When I see a book written in recent years that makes statements such as, “I believe in standards but…” or “I have convictions about modest apparel but…,” then I know that NEW book is of little interest to me.  When young men who are 20-40 years of age gather to “share ideas,” I am just a little suspicious. At their same age, I sat in conferences listening to men in their 50’s-70’s. I did not participate but listened to those who had decades of wisdom to impart. When I pick up a new book that is filled with quotes of faithful, soul-winning, older men who reside on golden streets, I feel a little safer reading that book.

When someone mocks the song, “Give me that old-time religion,” I mark them as a companion of Rehoboam — unwise at best, but potentially a danger.

Dr. Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar, CA