Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Alcohol And Drug Abuse Prevention Sunday - Free Resources

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Sunday or Substance Abuse Prevention Sunday is observed by Southern Baptists on the 3rd Sunday of March.

While this is on the SBC Calendar, it is up to the local church or Sunday School whether or not they participate. I encourage you to do so. It gives you a great opportunity to teach, preach, and distribute literature on the danger of alcohol and substance abuse. Many have never heard a sermon on alcohol.

Baptists have been encouraged to get more involved in this issue. For example, the SBC passed a 2006 Resolution saying in part,

“RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of alcoholic beverages…” -SBC Resolution, On Alcohol Use In America.

There are many ways to observe Substance Abuse Prevention Sunday, such as any of the following:

Preaching an entire sermon on alcohol and drug abuse.

At least make a point or two in the sermon on this subject.

A simple announcement in church and Sunday School.

A Sunday School lesson, or an addition to the lesson.

A note in the Church Bulletin.

A bulletin insert, or passing out literature that informs on this issue.

A book study on this topic.

By the way, if you’ve been hesitant to speak out on this issue, the official Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention Sunday gives you a great excuse and opportunity to do so.

The book Ancient Wine and the Bible has a wealth of sermon illustrations in it and is a good sermon resource for this emphasis. It also lists many additional resources.

I’d also encourage non-SBC churches to speak out on substance abuse.

A free resource for this day is listed below.

This PDF on Ancient Wine Production and the Bible can be copied and reproduced for free, provided the entire pamphlet is copied. It is designed to be easily printed, front and back, and folded, in bulletin form.

This can be used for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Sunday, or any other occasion. It can be used as a handout, study guide, or bulletin insert. Your church name & address can be included on the back. It can also be used as a sermon resource. If it is of help, I’d love to hear back from you.

[PDF - ANCIENT WINE PRODUCTION AND THE BIBLE]


[PDF - SBC RESOLUTION ON ALCOHOL]


God willing, other free PDF resources will follow. You might want to use a different one each year.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, February 26, AD 2013.

Articles:
Biblical Principles Condemn Alcohol

Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
About the Church Covenant
Dr. R. L. Sumner on "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
Other Articles in lower right margin.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Roy Fish on Calvinism; part 1 of 2

Evangelism Professor Roy Fish served Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) for almost 50 years. He occupied the L. R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism, also called the Chair of Fire. He changed the lives of countless students. He led “Revive This Nation,” that sent out hundreds of SWBTS students to preach Revivals in local churches around the country. I had the opportunity on several occasions to hear him preach and lecture; you were always inspired to be a better Christian and evangelist. 

Dr. Fish was a graduate of the University of Arkansas and SWBTS. He had a degree in Church History. He authored several books and numerous articles and essays on evangelism. He preached throughout the United States and the world.

Roy Fish served as interim president of the North American Mission Board, was awarded the W. A. Criswell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), and the Charles G. Finney Award for Evangelism in Theological Education. The SBTC has established the Roy Fish Evangelism Award.

SWBTS president Paige Patterson, said, “Dr. Roy Fish was at once a fabulous lecturer and the most consistent soul-winner I know…God help us all to love lost people like he did.”

Dr. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tennessee said, “Without hyperbole, I can truthfully say I never met a man greater than Roy Fish…He turned down job positions where he could make more money than he made as a seminary professor but the wealth he turned down is not worthy to be compared to the riches he poured into students decade after decade. Nor is it comparable to millions who've heard the Gospel because of him training thousands of preachers.”

Roy Fish’s son Steve recalled numerous times when his father would share the Gospel with neighbors, strangers, waitresses and people they met on family vacations.

On August 11, 1997 Dr. Roy Fish preached a famous sermon at Cottage Hills Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama. The host pastor was Fred Wolfe. Fish’s sermon was on “The ‘C’ Word” or Calvinism. He did not leave anyone wondering where he stood.

Following are excerpts from that well-known sermon.

*******

Many Shades of Calvinism
There are many shades of Calvinism. There are degrees to which people accept the basic tenets of this system, as I call it, of Calvinism. There are the “old school” Calvinists, the “hyper-Calvinists,” the “classic” Calvinists, the “moderate” Calvinists. And the modern thrust, as I understand it, is encouraging us to embrace all 5 of the major points of classical Calvinism.”

Assurance of Salvation
Asahel Nettleton was a great evangelist in the first 25 years of the 19th century. In fact you might call him the “Billy Graham” of that period of time…And thousands of people were converted under the ministry of this great evangelist. But Nettleton had this to say about his own salvation, being a very committed Calvinist, as almost all Christians in New England were at that time…Nettleton had this to say about his own salvation: “The most that I have ever ventured to say respecting myself is that I think it possible that I may get to heaven.”

It’s not that he was afraid of losing salvation. He knew that he couldn’t do that. He believed in the perseverance of the saints. He knew his salvation could never be lost. His fear was, this great evangelist, his fear was that he might never have had salvation in the first place. I ask you to compare this with the statement of the apostle Paul: “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him against that day.”

Now, Nettleton was a very prominent man. He was a Calvinist. But he was an honest man. He was willing to admit that when tuned to its finest point, Calvinism eliminates the possibility of assurance of salvation.

Calvinism is extremely weak when it comes to giving assurance to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is very difficult to know for sure – if you are a committed Calvinist – it is very difficult to know for sure whether or not you have eternal life. Assurance in Calvinism is based on the quality of the life of the believer. It is a matter of obedience to the commands of God.

Now, I might say that it wouldn’t hurt most of us to do a little bit of introspection, not so much as to whether or not we are going to be in celestial mansions, as Ian Murray says, but just to see if my life is pleasing to Jesus Christ and if I am measuring up to Him.

If Christ didn’t die for all (and that is a part of the Calvinistic system, that He didn’t die for all), if Christ didn’t die for all, and if it is possible to have a sorrow for sin that is not true repentance (and Calvinism teaches that), and a faith which is not a true faith, and possessing of the Spirit which falls short of true regeneration, if despite any and every experience of the gospel there is a way to Hell almost from the gates of Heaven, if Paul himself, as they say, feared he would lose his own salvation, then what remains of assurance for a Calvinist?

Danger of Calvinism to Evangelism
There is the danger of what Calvinism can do to evangelism and missions. Now, I want to surprise you by saying that this is not always the case. A moderate kind of Calvinism has been the most vital and virile kind of evangelism this country has ever known. And yet Calvinism has undercut missionary and evangelistic efforts.

Calvinism has led many churches and even entire denominations away from a belief in instantaneous conversion. As I read my New Testament I cannot help but believe that conversion is an instantaneous experience. It is possible that you do not remember precisely when it happened, but whether you do or whether you don’t, conversion is instantaneous. And Calvinism had led churches to the point where they believed that you had to go through a series of stages, maybe 3 or 4, and these stages could take months. And then after 9 months or 12 months, only then were you a real candidate for conversion.

A kind of Calvinism has virtually brought to a standstill evangelism in certain Baptist groups. They believed that if God were going to save people, that He would not do it through human instruments. Like [John] Rylans said, “If He wants to convert somebody, He’ll do it without you or me.” And they believed this. So they ceased to try to win people to Jesus.

They were a large Baptist group in the 19th century. Today they are only a handful. We call them the “Primitive Baptists” or the “Hardshell Baptists,” who have just about gone out of existence because they rejected evangelism and the winning of people to Jesus Christ through sharing the message with them.

I listened to a tape yesterday of a contemporary preacher who addressed the issue of evangelism. He is a 5-point Calvinist. He has spoken at many of our Baptist meetings. And referring to people as either spiritually dead or spiritually alive, he made this statement, “It is impossible to evangelize the spiritually dead.” I couldn’t believe my ears! “It is impossible to evangelize the spiritually dead.” If we don’t evangelize the spiritually dead, that leaves us with one option, and that is to evangelize those who are spiritually alive! And if I understand what it means to be spiritually alive, those who are spiritually alive don’t need evangelism!

Dead in Sins and Regeneration Before Faith
Is mankind so depraved that he cannot respond to God in repentance and faith? The answer of the Calvinists at this point is “Yes. Man is so depraved that he cannot respond to God in repentance and faith in that depraved condition. We are dead in trespasses and sins,” the Calvinists would say, “and dead people cannot respond.”

I want to remind you that when Adam and Eve sinned against God, they spiritually died. But when God spoke to them in the Garden, they heard him. People who were dead in trespasses and sins, Adam and Eve, heard the voice of God. They not only heard the voice of God, they were convicted about what they had done, and they obeyed God. they put on themselves skins of animals. So to say that a person who is dead in trespasses and sins simply cannot hear God speaking does not have biblical basis.

Every time the scripture speaks about life, whether it’s John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” or whether it’s John 5:24, “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that hears My word and believes on Him that sent Me has everlasting life,” when you hear or read those terms “everlasting life,” friend, I want to tell you that life comes out of this new birth. It is a reference to the life that God gives to us, and the New Testament is transparently clear that one believes or trusts into eternal life! It’s not something that you already have! You believe into it! You don’t have it until you trust!

So don’t hear me saying that one comes to a grasp of saving faith apart from the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit – and this is the point – the Holy Spirit does not have to make us alive before we have this saving faith. Rather as passage after passage says, saving faith in Jesus and His redeeming work makes us alive in Him.

That regeneration precedes repentance and faith is nothing but sheer implication, faulty logic, and glaringly lacking in biblical basis.

-Dr. Roy Fish, Excerpts from “The C Word (Calvinism)” preached August 11, AD 1997 at Cottage Hills Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama. Part 1 of 2.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, February 25, AD 2013. 

Dr. Roy Fish on Calvinism, Predestination; part 2 of 2
Other Articles on this and many other subjects in lower right margin.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

John 3:16 Conference, 2013

The 2013 John 3:16 Conference will be March 21-22, 2013.

Presented by Jerry Vines Ministries
Hosted by North Metro Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Conference Topics: 
For Whose Sins Did Jesus Die?
What Did We Inherit From Adam?
Does Regeneration Precede Faith?
What Were The Early SBC Leaders’ Views On Salvation?
Who Are The Elect?
Is The Sinners’ Prayer Biblical?

Speakers:

Frank Cox -
Pastor of North Metro Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia

David Allen - Dean of the School of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

Emir Caner - President of Truett-McConnell College, Georgia

Steve Gaines - Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee

Eric Hankins - Pastor of First Baptist Church, Oxford, Mississippi

Adam Harwood - Professor of Christian Studies, Truett-McConnell College, Georgia

Jerry Vines - Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida; past president of the Southern Baptist Convention

Conference Registration:  $65
Student Registration:  $55

The last John 3:16 Conference resulted in the book,
Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism, Edited by David L. Allen and Steve W. Lemke, B&H; 2010.

For More Information:
John 3:16 Conference, 2013

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, February 21, AD 2013.

Other articles in lower right margin.
 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

R. G. Lee on Calvinism

R. G. Lee (AD 1886-1978) was pastor of Citadel Square Baptist Church, Charleston, South Carolina, First Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee (1927-1960). He served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention and authored numerous books. Lee was a conservative leader in the SBC. He was very evangelistic. Many of his sermons were published in the Sword of the Lord. I had the privilege of hearing and meeting Dr. Lee. Back in the day my preacher dad, Joe Brumbelow, called him, “The greatest living preacher.” Lee’s most famous sermon was, “Payday Someday.” 

Recently someone has referred to R. G. Lee numerous times as having been a 5-point Calvinist. I have no doubt Lee was a Calvinist, but what most would probably refer to as a Moderate Calvinist (or perhaps today a Traditionalist or a non-Calvinist, the descriptors vary). From the direct quotes below, it is obvious that Dr. R. G. Lee was not a 5-point or Strict Calvinist. Rather than Limited Atonement (Jesus died only for the elect), Dr. Lee believed Jesus died for all mankind. He could look any man in the eyes and say, Jesus died for you.

“Wonderful inclusiveness here, in the outstretched and encircling arms of the Christian Gospel - ‘to everyone.’ Nobody excluded. Everybody included.” -R. G. Lee, The Name Above Every Name, Christ for the World Publishers, Revell; 1938.

“There is no ground for boasting. The beggar who puts forth his hand and takes the gift can claim no credit. Believing is not in itself a virtuous act, a meritorious effort by which the sinner earns the favour of God. No, all boasting is excluded by the very freeness and simplicity of salvation which at the same time excludes all excuse from those who refuse or neglect it.” -R. G. Lee, The Name Above Every Name, Christ for the World Publishers, Revell; 1938.

“Just as there is universal guilt among men, so there is the universal offer of salvation from God…Repeatedly God declares that sin is universal, that no one escapes. Repeatedly, too, God declares the atonement to be universal. That does not mean that salvation is universal, for many will not be saved…God has done His part for man’s salvation, but man fails or refuses to do his part. That is the sum and substance of all excuses and objections. Man’s free and wicked will is the only barrier in the way of his salvation.” -R. G. Lee, God’s Answer to Man’s Question, Zondervan; 1962.

“Jesus died for all (2 Corinthians 5:15), gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6), tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9), and would have all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3,4). God put the iniquity of all on Jesus (Isaiah 53:6), wishes all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30), does not wish any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). God’s grace that bringeth salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). God teaches that whosoever believeth shall not perish (John 3:16).” -R. G. Lee, God’s Answer to Man’s Question, Zondervan; 1962.

On 2 Corinthians 5:21, “Meaning what? Meaning that on the cross Jesus became for you, for me, for every man, all that the holy and just God must judge that we, through faith in him, might become all that God cannot judge.” -R. G. Lee, Heart to Heart, Broadman; 1977.

“Jesus, by the sacrifice of Himself, could redeem as many fallen worlds as God has stars in His Heaven - because the infinite merit of the Son of God atones for the sins of the whole world.” -R. G. Lee, Great is the Lord, Christ for the World Publishers, Revell; 1960.

Some of my dad’s most prized possessions were his books by Dr. R. G. Lee. I would recommend any preacher, young or old, to get every book you can by Robert Greene Lee.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, February 17, AD 2013. 

Update Note:  Some have also claimed W. A. Criswell as a 5-point Calvinist. 
This is not the case, as seen in: 
Calvinists recruit W.A. Criswell to their cause by Peter Lumpkins

Articles:
Books on Calvinism, Predestination

Paige Patterson on Calvinism
Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism
Francis Wayland on Calvinism in 1856
Traditional Baptists (Non-Calvinists) Of 1840
More articles in lower right margin.