Category Archives: Bible Study

What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?

The following is a near word-for-word transcript of sermon I delivered this morning, June 12, 2022, at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, Georgia.


I am sure by now most of you have heard that I was going to preach on something controversial this morning. This week I asked for prayer on Facebook live, because the subject matter is so sensitive. And do you want to know why I did that? It’s because we live in a world that is full of darkness and deceit and there’s an enemy who is fighting tooth and nail, fang and claw, to keep the truth of God’s Word hidden, and he has plenty of willing accomplices. These are they who “hold (or suppress) the truth in unrighteousness,” as spoken of in Romans 1:18.

  • Romans 1:18 KJV – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [suppress] the truth in unrighteousness;

Over the years there have been multiple cases of companies, everything from auto makers to drug makers, who have been sued and even prosecuted for withholding critical information such as defects or dangers. Anyone remember the Ford Pinto? What about Fen Phen? A lot of people died, and a lot of people were permanently hurt because somebody didn’t want to tell the truth. Billions of dollars were paid out. Worse, thousands of lives were either lost or changed forever.

So, what does the Bible say about the Christian, the man of God, the preacher, who knows the Truth, yet, for whatever reason, suppresses it, hides it, or simply never talks about it? To what court will he or she have to answer? Let me tell you, he will stand before the Judge of the universe and give an account!

  • Jeremiah 48:10 KJV – Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why the truth is being withheld today; why what I’m going to preach about today is rarely addressed in public, much less from the pulpit.

  1. A lack of understanding – we are not confident in our knowledge of the subject, so we stay quiet or avoid discussion.
  2. Fear and intimidation. The threats are real.
  3. A faulty understanding of Scripture – bad theology – that attributes sainthood to the sinner without repentance and seeks unity through compromise.
  4. Sin is in the camp.

Well, let me tell you about my thoughts on those 4 points…

  1. I’ve done my homework. But that didn’t take much. I mean, one really doesn’t have to look far for evidence that men are men and women are women and that each was made for a purpose the other one was not designed for. But I’ve also gone to the Bible for answers to the lunacy running rampant in this world. And guess what, the answers are in there, so I’m ready to talk about it any time you want to drop the hat.
  2. Fear and intimidation? As President Biden so eloquently puts it, “Come on!” Who are we to fear when we are doing the will of God? Who are we to fear when we are speaking the truth? Those people we read of in the Bible were not included for our entertainment, you know; they are there for our instruction. How can we, with a good conscience, tell our children and grandchildren to be like young David, Daniel, or Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego?
    • How can we tell them to stand up to giants when we cower before lawyers and people who can’t decide which bathroom to use?
    • How can we tell them to be a Daniel and pray, even when the King says not to, even if it means the lions’ den?
    • How can we in good conscience praise Daniel’s three Hebrew friends for not bowing before Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue if we cower to every demand to affirm idolatry?
  3. As to the third reason why Truth is withheld – a faulty view of Scripture/bad theology and a desire to affirm every delusional definition of humanity, folks, all it takes is reading more than one verse, reading them in context, and avoiding the apologetic nonsense written by former Christians who’ve now found that the forbidden fruit isn’t that bad, after all. Most bad theology can be corrected by simply reading the Bible.
  4. And then, when it comes to sin in the camp, well, I have no idea if anyone here or watching from somewhere else is guilty.

    You may be like Achan in the Old Testament who took the forbidden treasure from Jericho and hid it under his tent. If so, that’s between you and God.

    What’s more likely, however, is that you know somebody with the bad theology and the hidden sin, and you’re more invested in it than you’d like to admit. As a matter of fact, you’ve even been wondering if God condemned that sin, or not? I mean, Achan was probably a great guy and loved his family, right? What was a little disobedience? Isn’t all sin the same? What would be wrong with simply letting him be who he is? Heck, think about all the church could do if he donated a little of that forbidden gold to the church!

Church, I do not want to be guilty of withholding the truth in order to keep the government happy, the activists happy, or even the church member happy. There may be a den of lions or a fiery furnace in our future, but I’d like to be remembered like Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednigo who said, “Even if our God does not deliver us from your hand, we will not bow.”

Now, before I say anything else, I want to remind you that we are to speak the truth in love. It is not my job to condemn anyone, only to love them as Christ loves them and gave His life for them. Therefore, when I say what I’m going to say, please understand that I don’t hate anyone. All I want to do is tell you the truth, even if it hurts, even if offends, even if it makes you mad. Because, when it’s all said and done, my job is to warn you the building is about to collapse – you have to decide get out before it’s too late.

Church, we are living in a day when the very creation of Holy God is under attack. We have so many people worrying about the climate and climate change, and maybe that’s a good thing, but God didn’t just create the world – he created man, “male and female created He them.”

In Genesis 1:26 we read that God said, “Let us make man in our own image…” Man, both male and female, was made in the image of God, yet today the very definition of Man is under attack. Let me tell you, when we think we are smarter than our Creator to the point of redefining and redesigning what was made in His image, we show that what we really hate is not ourselves, but God.

Folks, this is the month of June, the month that for so long was associated with beautiful brides. Now it’s a month dedicated to Pride. And sadly, too many church people have ditched the Bride of Christ at the altar and run of with the bride of Frankenstein. Churches and whole denominations that were once known for their piety and Bible study are now ordaining practicing homosexuals, lesbians, transgenders, and even those who can’t decide. The truth is no longer being taught and preached as the image of God becomes more distorted every day.

So, then, what does the Bible say about homosexuality? I’m not asking you what CNN says. I’m not asking you what a government agency says. I am not asking you what you read on the internet or saw on TV. What does the Bible say?

Well, because this is such a complicated topic and one that deserves a lot more discussion than what I’m able to cover today, I want to tell you what the Bible says based on 4 questions.

I. Is Homosexuality a Sin?

The first thing we need to do is clarify the question. As a matter of fact, it would be best if we break this single question down into two. The first one should be Is being tempted with same-sex attraction a sin? The second should be, “Is homosexual activity a sin?” This is a very important distinction, for being tempted to sin is not the same as committing the sin. If it was, we’d be in trouble.

  • Matthew 4:1 – Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (Jesus was tempted, but he didn’t sin.)

Satan has been tempting us since the beginning of time. And as it was in the beginning, temptation is not the sin; acting upon the temptation is. All of us are different in many ways, and what tempts you may not be a temptation to me. We are not all the same when it comes to what our flesh desires – some people like cottage cheese while I gag at the thought of it.

For whatever reason, though (sometimes biological, other times because of something traumatic that has happened, for reasons that are different from one person to the next), men and women, even boys and girls, sometimes find themselves attracted to others of the same sex. Frankly, this is how our culture is preying upon our youth – by capitalizing on their immaturity. But the fact is that the temptation is not the sin – acting upon it is.

So, the second part of that question should be “Is homosexual activity a sin?” If we are talking about two people of the same gender having sex, then yes, it is a sin.

Again, we are not talking about being tempted to do something; we’re talking about actually doing the thing. Some people may be born with a tendency toward violent behavior, but we don’t encourage them to go ahead and act upon those feelings because they were born that way, do we? No, the truth is pretty simple and not hard to find, IF WE ARE HONEST AND AREN’T TRYING TO HIDE THE TRUTH.

Let’s look at what Scripture says.

  • To begin with, there’s the story found in Genesis 19, the story of Sodom and the men of Sodom who wanted to rape the angels sent there to remove Lot and his family.
  • Leviticus 18:22 KJV – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
  • Leviticus 20:13 KJV – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (in other words, it’s nobody’s fault but theirs).

So, as you can see in just these few verses, having sex with someone of the same sex is wrong in God’s eyes.

But that leads me to another question people ask a lot. . .

II. “If homosexual activity is a sin, then why didn’t Jesus talk about it?”

All I can say it that those who use Jesus Christ as an excuse to sin are either simply ignorant, or they know a lot of Christians are. Often, when debating a practicing homosexual, the Christian will find himself backed into a corner with “gotcha” questions. In actuality the answers to these questions are not that difficult, but the Enemy knows how to twist the truth, AMEN?

The homosexual (or ally) will set up the Christian by asking, “Do you believe the Bible?” The answer, of course, will be “Yes.”

Then the homosexual activist will go back to Gen. 19 and Leviticus 20 and ask, “So, do you believe homosexuals should be put to death?” Many times, this is where they get tripped up. Most believers will say “No,” but then that will set them up for not believing the Bible. IF they say “yes,” then, besides other reactions, the activist can ask, “OK, well then why didn’t Jesus ever talk about homosexuality? Jesus taught us to love one another, not kill each other, right?

What is the answer? How would YOU respond? DID Jesus say homosexual activity was a sin, or not? He didn’t have to!

Look, Jesus never said it was a sin to drive 100 mph in a school zone, but He did tell us to obey the laws of the land (not to mention loving our neighbor, which it’s hard to love your neighbor and drive 100 through a school zone).

And Jesus never specifically mentioned homosexuality, either. But what He DID say had wide implications for all types of sexual activity outside of God’s design. And what is that design? God created male and female, nothing in between, nothing flexible or fluid, as complimentary to each other, as examples for theological truths yet to be revealed. Look at the following verses…

  • Matthew 19:4-6 KJV – And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
  • Matthew 5:27-28 KJV – Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Even though our culture wants to shame and intimidate, even scare us into “affirming” same-sex relationships, Jesus never did. All He ever affirmed was the example set in creation. All other sexual activity, whether gay or not, if outside the bond of marriage between a male and a female is either fornication or adultery, both of which are clearly sin.

Now, let’s ask another question…

III. Is it a sin to be PROUD of who I am?

Like I mentioned at the beginning, June is Gay Pride month. If you didn’t know, first “gay pride” parade was held in 1970, 52 years ago. The parade was a follow-up to the Stonewall riots that occurred a year earlier in Greenwich, New York, at the Stonewall Inn (which, incidentally, was declared a National Monument in 2016 by Barak Obama).

Essentially, the police raided a gay nightclub to arrest some drag queens (men who dress like women), because at that time in New York it was illegal. While the police had people locked up in the paddy wagon, somebody whipped up the watching crowd and started throwing stuff at the police. The riot lasted 5 days.

Every year since 1970 there have been parades and celebrations in the month of June. The purpose this these celebrations is to not only draw attention to the abuse of homosexuals (which, by the way, is wrong, too), but also to affirm every aspect of sexual perversion. What used to be shameful, people are proud of and want us to know it.

But, again, is it a sin to be proud of who I am? I’m proud to be an American, aren’t you? I will be attending a 4th of July celebration somewhere this year. But the difference between being proud of who you are and “Pride” month is as simple as the reason for celebrating: sexual perversion.

Besides sacrilegiously adopting the symbol of God’s mercy (the rainbow) as their emblem, people who celebrate unrepentant sin and demand the respect of others is a dangerous sign. As a matter of fact, when a culture has gone as far as ours has to celebrate a sin…one that Jesus died so that we might be forgiven, not affirmed…is evidence that God is already in the process of pouring out judgement upon a nation. Turn to Romans chapter 1 and read with me beginning at verse 26.

  • Romans 1:26-27 KJV – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

When we see a culture so full of sin, this particular sin, and not just the act of homosexuality, but the promotion of its acceptance as normal, we should mourn, not celebrate! Such things are only evidence that we’ve already been turned over, that this is just the beginning of judgement to come.

And in case you’ve ever been told that the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was being inhospitable, nothing sexual, I submit to you Jude 1:7…

  • Jude 1:7 KJV – Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Sodom and Gomorrah are an example to us.

This leads me to one last question, even though there are many, many more that could be asked…

IV. Can a homosexual be saved and go to heaven?

First off, I don’t want to go any further without reminding each and every one of us that if it wasn’t for the grace and mercy of God, every one of us would be in hell right now.

  • Romans 3:23 KJV – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Sexual sin is no different than any other sin in this way – it takes the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But if you want to know (because you asked, right?), let’s turn to a few passages of scripture and read what they say.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 KJV – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
  • 1 Timothy 1:10 KJV – For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

What these verses are saying is that those who live in unrepentant sin are, in fact, likely unsaved and in danger of hell. Notice that the tense of the verses is continual, active, on-going. But this doesn’t have to stay that way. And, more importantly, it is NOT saying that those who regularly practice and affirm homosexuality can NEVER be saved!

  • 1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV – And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

So, what does the Bible say about homosexuality? It’s a sin, for sure, and one that is an affront to the very plan and nature of God. However, there is no sin that the blood of Jesus Christ, accepted by faith with a repentant heart, can’t cleanse and wash as white as snow!

Homosexual sin is like any other sin; it’s a heart issue

  • Matthew 15:19 – For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…

And let me go one step further…homosexual sin is like any other sin in that if you walk in the world, even as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, without the armor of God you are just as vulnerable to temptations of the culture and the lies of Satan as any lost person.

  • Galatians 5:16 KJV – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
  • Ephesians 6:13 KJV – Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

INVITATION

Maybe you are struggling with sin in your life. Maybe it’s something other than sexual sin. Jesus offers forgiveness.

Maybe you or a friend or loved one is struggling with the grips of homosexual sin. And maybe, after all you’ve heard, you can’t see how God could understand what you’re going through.

Well, Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Thankfully, Jesus does understand how difficult temptations can be, but he is also the answer to those temptations.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

And even if you stumble after you’ve given your heart and life to Jesus Christ, does he cast you out? NO!

  • 1 John 2:1 KJV – My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Whatever your need, would you give it to God today?

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6 Arguments that Support the Doctrine of Eternal Security

My Outline

bibleThe following is an outline for a sermon I have preached a few times. It starts off with some arguments against the “once-saved-always-saved” position. The next part lists six basic arguments in favor of the eternal security of the believer.

Please keep something in mind as you consider the outline: evidence is cumulative. In the legal world it is called the “preponderance of evidence.” In other words, one bit of evidence might not convict, but the collection of evidence pointing in that direction, when overwhelming, leaves little other choice.

Of course, this is only an outline, not the sermon. However, take what I am giving you and print it off, do your own study, and then let me know your thoughts.

“Eternal Security” 

Arguments Against “Once Saved, Always Saved”

  1. Observational – How people live that believe it.
  2. Free Will – We are created with a will; we’re not slaves.
  3. Scriptural* (Hebrews 6; 1 John 3:9; 5:18) *These passages, when used against the doctrine of eternal security, are most often themselves misunderstood or taken out of context.

Arguments FOR “Eternal Security”

  1. Creational Argument: We are New Creations (2 Cor. 5:17)
    1. It took a supernatural act to change us
    2. We can’t act supernaturally to change us back
  2. New Birth Argument: We are Born Again (John 3:7,16)
    1. By the Spirit – Jn 3:6
    2. By the Word of God – 1 Peter 1:23
    3. We are not God, so we must remain “born again”
  3. Children of God Argument
    1. Born that way – 1 John 5:1; 1 Peter 1:23
    2. Adopted – Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5
    3. Abba – Gal. 4:1-7
  4. The Possession Argument – We belong to Christ
    1. Purchased – 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 7:23 (Bought with a Price)
    2. Given by the Father – Jn. 6:37-40; 10:28-30
    3. Will never be separated – Rom. 8:35-39
    4. Romans 14:8 – For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
    5. He can keep what is His – 2 Tim. 1:12 “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” See also: 2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  5. The Marriage Argument
    1. Ephesians 5:25-28, 31-32 – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    2. He is faithful, even when we are not.
      1. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 “…if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful…”
      2. He is God, not man! – Hosea 11:7-9
  6. It’s a Gift
    1. 2:8-9 Gift of God, by grace
    2. Romans 11:29 KJV – For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance (irrevocable)

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Is It Still?

There are some things in my possession that are more valuable than gold … or platinum, diamonds, etc. None of them are valuable enough in the eyes of others, however, for should I want to trade them I would be none the richer in earthly things.

One of those things is my dad’s Bible, the one he marked up so much during his days of preaching that it’s hardly possible to find a single page without additional ink.

Some other items are the watches my wife gave me as gifts over the years. One might be worth a couple of hundred dollars on today’s market, but it’s priceless to me.

Then there are those little items left over from the precious years of my children’s youth, like drawings, soft ball helmets, and Father’s Day cards.

But this morning I read something in 1 Samuel 3:1 that caught the attention of my heart.

“[T]he word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.”

1 Samuel 3:1b

In those days God spoke through the prophets. The canon of Scripture had not been completed. Therefore, because God had been silent for a while, a “word” from Him would have been so valuable.

It would have been “precious.”

But as I looked at that verse, I was immediately convicted. We have no open visions anymore. All we have is the revealed Word of God, the Bible. He HAS spoken and what has been said is in our hands.

But how precious is it?

The word of the Lord was precious in those days, but is it still?

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How We Know Jesus Was a Gift from God

A Christmas Sermon Outline

Have you ever been given a gift, or seen one under the Christmas tree, that needed no card or tag informing you who sent it? Maybe the meticulous wrapping was a clue to who the wrapper was.

I know Christmas is still a few days away, but some of you might need something to preach or teach between now and then. Therefore, please accept as my gift of an outline I prepared, “How We Know Jesus Was a Gift from God.”

Please, feel free to use it 🙂

“How We Know Jesus Was a Gift from God”

I.  Because of When THIS Gift Was Given

·   Galatians 4:4 “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son…”

II.  Because of How THIS Gift Was Wrapped

·   Luke 2:12 “And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

·   Philippians 2:7 “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

·   Hebrews 4:15 KJV – “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.”

III.  Because THIS Gift Was Truly Free

·   John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He GAVE…”

·   Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace…it is a GIFT of God, NOT of works…”

·   Romans 3:24 “Being justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

IV.  Because THIS Gift Was Exactly What We Needed

A.  To Bring Us Life – Luke 2:11 “Unto you is born, in the city of David, a SAVIOR…”

B.  To Bring Us Joy – Lamentations 3:22-23 “His mercies are new every morning”

V.  Because of the Love that Went Into It.

·   1 John 4:9 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”

VI.  Conclusion:

A.  Accept the Gift of Jesus

B.  Give Thanks! – 2 Cor. 9:15 “Thanks be to God for this unspeakable Gift!”

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The Joy of Christmas (an outline)

This past Sunday morning, the third Sunday in the Advent week, I preached a sermon that taught about the joy that was experienced in the Christmas story.

This morning I am uploading my outline from the sermon so that you may have it. But it is also the same outline I’m going to use this morning on our Discord server, FaithChatt.

The Joy of Christmas

Opening Text: Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

1. Joy Defined: What is Joy?

Examples: “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” “Joy to the world, all the boys and girls…” “Happy Happy, Joy Joy Song” (from Ren and Stempy)

            A. How many words translated as “joy”? 10 in Greek, 25 in Hebrew! If the word LOVE could have multiple meanings (4-5 different words in Greek), then JOY might be much more difficult to define, correct?

            B. Merriam-Webster: The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires DELIGHT; the expression or exhibition of such emotion; a state of happiness or fidelity (bliss); a source or cause of delight.

2. Joy Delivered: Who Were the Recipients? Who Delivered?

            A. Zacharias and the “many” – Luke 1:14 (Gabriel)

            B. Mary (Gabriel, Elisabeth, God) Luke 1

            C. Elisabeth and John the Baptist (Mary, the Holy Ghost) Luke 1

            D. The Shepherds (the angel of the Lord: Gabriel?) Luke 2

            E. The Wise men (Testimony, the star) Matthew 2

            F. To All People Luke 2

3. Joy Described: How they Responded

            A. Khar-ah: cheerfulness, i.e., calm delight

                        1. Matt. 1:14: Zacharias and people

                        2. Matt. 2:10: Wise men (great (megas) – joy)  REJOICED χαίρω chaírō, khah’-ee-ro; a primary verb; to be “cheer”ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well.

            Luke 2:10-17: to The Shepherds – they shared the news!

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
― Mark Twain

            3. All people – we’ll get to that in a second…

            B. ἀγαλλίασις agallíasis, ag-al-lee’-as-is; from G21; exultation (a feeling of triumphant elation or jubilation; rejoicing) ; specially, welcome:—gladness, (exceeding) joy.

  1. Elisabeth For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. – Luke 1:44 KJV

            C. σκιρτάω skirtáō, skeer-tah’-o; akin to σκαίρω skaírō (to skip); to jump, i.e. sympathetically move (as the quickening of a fetus):—leap (for joy).

1. Luke 1:41, 44 KJV – And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: … For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luke 6:23 KJV – Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

            D.  ἀγαλλιάω agalliáō, ag-al-lee-ah’-o; from agan (much) and G242; properly, to jump for joy, i.e. exult:—be (exceeding) glad, with exceeding joy, rejoice (greatly).

1. Luke 1:47 KJV – Mary – And my spirit hath rejoiced (jumped for joy) in God my Saviour. (In reply to Elizabeth’s statement about John)

2. Matthew 5:12 KJV – Rejoice (jump for joy), and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven… (Jesus)

E.  χαίρω chaírō, khah’-ee-ro; a primary verb; to be “cheer”ful, i.e., calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well.

  1. Matthew 2:10 KJV – Wise men – When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

4. Joy to be Determined

Luke 2:10-17: to The Shepherds – they shared the news! “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
― Mark Twain

A. We’ve heard the news

B. We’ve seen the “star”

C. “Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is Lord!”

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Psalm 100 for Thanksgiving

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, I believe it would be very helpful to look at what God’s Word says. People can debate the story of the Pilgrims, their survival, and the relationship they had with the native people after that first deadly winter, but there should be no debate that God deserves ALL our praise, obedience, worship, and thanksgiving.

Therefore, I would ask you to take a few minutes to walk with me through a short Psalm of thanksgiving: Psalm 100.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name. For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations. – Psalm 100:1-5 KJV

The Divisions

When I break down Psalm 100, I see it divided into two distinct sets of 3, a middle, and a prelude consisting of three reasons for our thanksgiving, worship, and praise.

The prelude to which I refer is not at the beginning of the chapter, but at the end. It is verse 5 that gives us the reasons for why we should be thankful. However, when delivering this outline in sermon form, moving verse 5 to the beginning keeps us focused on God’s goodness, His mercy, and His immutability throughout the discourse.

Therefore, observe below how the entirety of Psalm 100 could be (and was) preached.

  • Because (“for”) the LORD is good
  • Because … His mercy is everlasting
  • Because … His truth endureth to all generations

            The Christian’s Invitation

            1.  Praise! “Make a joyful noise…”

            2.  Obey! “…serve the LORD with gladness…”

            3.  Worship! “…com before his presence with singing…”

                        A) Know the LORD he is God

                        B) [Know] it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves

                        C) [Know] we are His people and the sheep of His pasture

            The Stranger’s Invitation

            1.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving

            2.  Enter His courts with praise

            3.  Be thankful and bless His name

The Citizen’s Invitation

The reason I think we can divide the psalm into the described divisions is based on the context in which David wrote Psalm 100. The imagery is that of a king and his kingdom. In this case we are talking about the King of Kings who is Sovereign over all the Earth.

Therefore, when we look at verses 1 and 2, we can see actions implored of citizens, while verse 4 can be seen as an invitation to those “on the outside looking in.”

Because the LORD is good…because His mercy is everlasting…because His truth endureth to all generations, the citizens of His kingdom can and should praise, obey, and worship with a joy that only comes with the realization and wonder developed in relationship with the King.

The Middle

Like I mentioned at the first, there is a middle part. This is the part that separates the citizen’s invitation and the stranger’s invitation. It is found in verse 3.

  • Know the LORD he is God
  • [Know] it is he that hath made us, not we ourselves
  • [Know] we are his people, the sheep of his pasture

Proper theology, the biblical kind, is essential to not only knowing who God is, but knowing Him personally. The word translated “know” is the same word used in Genesis 3:7 which described how Adam and Eve felt upon realizing their nakedness – their eyes were opened, and they knew they were naked. Until we open our eyes and see who God is, not a man-made version, then our worship will not only be incomplete, but it will be powerless.

(See Elohiym in Genesis 1:1. See also how Jesus describes the Triune God in Matthew 28:19.)

The Stranger’s Invitation

By “stranger” I mean the one on the outside looking in, the non-citizen. The invitation in verse 4 can be seen as calling out to the ones who long to be part of such a nation of people as the children of God. It is an invitation to “enter the gates.”

When you think of an old, biblical-type city, don’t you think of walled cities with gates? Well, when one was outside the gate, locked outside, entering in without an invitation would be called an invasion, right? That is why Jesus said that “no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Jesus IS the Door, the Gate. But, the invitation is there. “Enter with thanksgiving!”

Why enter with thanksgiving? Because you have heard the great noise of the shouts of praise! The joyful roo-ah’ that was the war cry of praise shouted out by the Israelites in Joshua 6:16 and 20 has been ringing in your ears. YOUR king isn’t good. Your king isn’t merciful. Your king is always changing his mind, always unpredictable. Enter? Why YES! Joyfully and thankfully!

Why enter His courts with praise? The stranger no longer has to worry about being brought into the throne room to be judged. The poor and needy, mourning over sin, needs not worry about his countenance when stepping into the presence of Majesty! No, the invitation is to “enter his courts with praise,” because this King is merciful beyond compare and “willing that none should perish!”

The invitation is there, so “be thankful and bless his name.”

And it can ONLY be done, both citizen and stranger, because the LORD is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Filed under Bible Study, Thanksgiving, worship

Are Ghosts Real? What Does the Bible Say?

The following are notes that I used for the sermon I preached at Bethlehem Baptist and taught on Discord.


Question: Do Ghosts Exist? (preached 10/24/2021 @ Bethlehem Bapt., Warthen, GA)

It depends on your definition.

  • an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.  – Bing.com
  • the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons. – dictionary.com

Are there SPIRIT beings?  Yes.

Are there disembodied spirits of the dead roaming the earth, haunting houses, abandoned mental institutions, and cemeteries?   NO.

So, what about the souls of the dead wandering about in limbo? What about the Civil War soldiers on the battlefield? Ol’ Green Eyes? The Lady in White?

If the Bible is true, the spirits of the deceased cannot remain on earth to “haunt” the living.

  • Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
    • (Believer) 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 – Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
    • (Believer) Philippians 1:21-23 – For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
    • (Unbeliever) Luke 16:22-24 – And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
  • However, there are two examples recorded in Scripture where the dead DID come back, but in each were specific situations that fulfilled God’s plan.
    • Samuel (1 Samuel 28:15)
    • Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-8)

If the dead don’t come back, if ghosts don’t exist, then what are people witnessing?
            (Don’t allow experience to be the sole determiner for what is real or not)

Answer: Angelic beings, either angels or demons

  • Angels are “ministering spirits”
    • Psalm 103:20-21 KJV – Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all [ye] his hosts; [ye] ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
    • Psalm 104:4 KJV – Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
    • Daniel 9:21-23 KJV – Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed [me], and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
  • Demons (fallen angels) do the will of the Devil
    • 1 Peter 5:8 KJV – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
    • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV – For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

What about “hauntings”?

Aside from the endless movies about ghosts and monsters of all types, especially around this time of year, did you know that since 1991 there have been 42 “reality shows” on television that focus on the paranormal?

  1. Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories (1991-95) with Leonard Nemoy
  2. Sightings (91-97)
  3. Haunted History (2013- ): Are voices, spirits and apparitions trying to tell us something about past events? 
  4. My Ghost Story (2010) – a documentary – “Frightening insight, through firsthand experiences, with the paranormal. These stories prove that ghosts are omnipresent.”
  5. Ghost Hunters – “Meet Jason and Grant, plumbers by day – ghost hunters by night! Ghost Hunters follows a group of real-life ghostbusters as they investigate haunted houses throughout the country.”

The funny thing about all the “ghost hunting” videos is that there’s always a “Did you hear that?” moment. There’s always a chill, a smell, a noise, a shadow, etc.

However, there are things that have been caught on film, noises that have been recorded, and things that have moved. It’s not ALL a joke or in people’s imagination.

  • I believe that most of what people see or experience is nothing more than their imagination, something easily explainable in the light, or nothing more than a hoax.
  • On the other hand, plenty of sane, logical people have witnessed things that do not have a natural explanation and were not fake.

KEY POINT: There are EVIL SPIRITUAL forces at work in the world.

  • Ephesians 6:12 KJV – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
  • Daniel 10:10-14 CSB – [10] Suddenly, a hand touched me and set me shaking on my hands and knees. [11] He said to me, “Daniel, you are a man treasured by God. Understand the words that I’m saying to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” After he said this to me, I stood trembling.  [12] “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. [13] “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia. [14] “Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days.”

A verse to remember: Ephesians 4:27Neither give place to the devil.

Unfortunately, around this time of year a whole lot of people are giving place to the devil. There is NO QUESTION that much of what our culture now has to offer is giving Satan a foothold in the lives of so many, starting with our children.

That’s why we need to discuss these things – like ghosts, Halloween, horror movies, dark music, and even the “Squid Games” – in the light of Scripture.

CONCLUSION… What we believe about ghosts and the paranormal says a lot about what we believe about God and his Word.

1. If you believe in ghosts, but you don’t believe in demons, then you don’t believe the Bible.

2. If you believe the disembodied spirits or souls of the dead can still roam the earth looking for closure or peace, then you don’t believe the Bible.

3. If you believe mediums can truly talk to the deceased, whether by crystal balls, séances, dreams, or signs, then you don’t believe the Bible.

4. IF you are a Christian, and you say you believe God and his Word, then you – and ONLY you – can repeat a line from the greatest documentary ever made on the paranormal – “Ghost Busters.” It’s the line that goes, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!

Why? Because the Bible says in 1 John 4:4, “Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world.”

But if you think THAT is great news, then let me conclude with something else Jesus said!

Luke 10:17-20 – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. [18] And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. [19] Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. [20] Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

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Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, cults

Heaven is a Personal, Permanent Place!

I preached on Heaven this morning. Want to watch the sermon (and me singing a song beforehand)? Well, to borrow from a funny guy, here’s your video.

(Oh, btw, please pardon the choppy internet service)

Click on the picture to watch the video. Thanks!

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Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, Church, Life/Death, Preaching

Are You a “Nerd”?

In an effort to get a better understanding of the the word, I did what any self-respecting scholar would do: I “googled” it. Well, actually, that’s not correct, I “binged” it.

Anyway, I found several different definitions for nerd. Some of them, quite frankly, seemed a little harsh.

  • (Noun) a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.
  • (Verb) engage in or discuss a technical field obsessively or with great attention to detail.
  • A person, especially a man, who is not attractive and is awkward or socially embarrassing.
  • A person who is extremely interested in one subject, especially computers, and knows a lot of facts about it.

So, to sum it up, a “nerd” is not a good thing until you need one . . . or until one becomes a billionaire and his looks and social skills no longer matter.

On the other hand, being called a “nerd” could be sort of a compliment.

Called Black by the Pot

There’s an old saying about an iron pot and an iron kettle. If you have seen them you know what they look like – they’re both jet black. Well, when a black pot looks at a black kettle and with smug indignation points out said kettle’s blackness, what you have is either hypocrisy or irony.

I R O N y …. see what I did there? 😉

So, when just the other day I was told by gamers and Discord server owners that I was a nerd, well … this kettle had to laugh at the pots.

I’m on Discord!

By the way – and this is important – I am taking part in a brand new mission field!

If you are a gamer, then you are familiar with Discord. Believe it or not, this is one of the greatest mission fields we have seen in our lifetimes. No joke.

If you would like to check out what I’m doing, along with a list of growing content on our server, FaithChatt, then click the link below and join in! Currently I am doing a Bible study through the book of Ephesians every Friday morning at 9 a.m. (Eastern).

discord.gg/faithchatt

Back to the NERD Stuff

Anyway, last Friday morning while teaching in Ephesians on Discord, I began talking about my love for watches. The purpose was illustrate how that when we are really into something, we talk about it. We talk about what we know.

Photo by Matilda Wormwood on Pexels.com

It wasn’t long after I started with the analogy that I heard muffled laughter . . . snickers (not the candy kind) . . . and the hint of a conversation going on in the chat room. That’s when these guys, the ones who know all about “bots” and “bumps” and “boosts,” said, “You’re a nerd.”

Riiiiiight.

That’s when I really got to thinking …. am I a “nerd” about Jesus? Are you?

You see, when it comes to so many things we get excited about, we are quick to tell people all about it. Just a tiny opportunity is all we need.

Are we that way about Jesus?

Can we go on and on about who He is? Can we boast about His stats? Are we so familiar with Him that we can talk for hours about all the quests we’ve been on and the battles we’ve won?

And for all the watch lovers out there like me, you get so excited about those man-made jeweled movements that tell time, but what about the One who created time?

Are we nerds about Jesus?

Why not?

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Filed under Apologetics, Bible Study, Christianity, Jesus

Sunday’s Sermons from the Back Porch

Good Monday morning! I pray you are doing well and are excited for what God has in store for us, today!

I know, it’s a Monday.

I know, there are a lot of sad things going on in the world.

But, you know what? We can still find encouragement in God’s Word! That is why I want to share with you the Facebook videos from yesterdays messages I preached from my back porch.

Why the back porch? Because we had cancelled in-person services last week because of COVID-19 cases. Hopefully we will be back together as a congregation this Sunday.

In the morning sermon I preached from Ephesians 1:3-7 and outlined 5 benefits that come with being “in Christ.”

In the evening video I continued our study into the the book of Romans. Good stuff. Really good stuff 😉

Please pray for those who are sick.

Please pray for the poor souls in Afghanistan.

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Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, Preaching, worship