Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tips on the Next Solar Eclipse

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  -Genesis 1:1

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  -John 1:3

Yesterday the great Solar Eclipse of August 21, AD 2017 took place across America.  If you were unprepared, here are some tips for the next Solar Eclipse. 

1.  Whether or not you are in the path of totality (total eclipse of the sun by the moon), any partial eclipse can be interesting.  So, be prepared.  In the Houston, Texas area we had 67% totality.  It was pretty dramatic if you knew what to look for.  The bright sunlight dimmed and if you had proper lens, you could clearly see the eclipse cut out a large portion of the sun. 

2.  Never look at the sun without proper protection for your eyes.  Proper protection does not include squinting, holding your hand above your eyes, looking between your fingers, or wearing a cap.  Neither does it include a pair of sunglasses, or even two or three pairs of sunglasses.  You can do serious damage to your eyes by looking at the sun. 

3.  Proper eye protection to look at the eclipse include those one-dollar eyeglasses especially made for the purpose.  But, get them early; they invariably run out. 

4.  An alternative most do not know is to use a welding lens or filter plate.  You can get them at a welding supply store, and sometimes at a hardware store.  A man at a welding supply said to look at the sun you need a shade 12 or 13.  It was reported by local news that NASA recommends a shade 13 or 14. 
If they do not have the right shade, you can put two together to equal the right level.  For example, a shade 8 and a shade 5. 
A welding lens only costs about four dollars.
Even these welding lenses should be purchased early; they very likely will be sold out before an eclipse.   
Do not use welding lenses that are scratched or cracked.  

5.  Make you own solar eclipse viewer. 
Get a welding lens, shade 13. 
Get a piece of cardboard about the size of a sheet of paper. 
Lay the lens in the middle of the cardboard and trace around it. 
Cut out a rectangle slightly smaller than the lens. 
Place lens over the cut out, and tape it to the cardboard with electrical tape. 
Before covering the print on the lens edge, you might want to copy that information on the cardboard, especially the shade number. 
Also include the date of the eclipse. 
You now have a viewer for the solar eclipse. 

6.  You can also make a box with aluminum foil, a pin hole, and white sheet of paper.  The sun shines through the pin hole and you can see the eclipse on the sheet of paper.  You can find more detailed directions on the internet.
These (#5 and #6) could also make good projects for Sunday School, school, or home school kids.  

7.  A solar eclipse reminds us of our Heavenly Father who created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1).  Christians should never worship the creation, but we do worship the Creator.  The eclipse shows us the precision in which God hung the stars, planets, sun, moon, in space.  It should also remind us of how God created and placed us in the perfect environment to live, thrive, and serve Him. 

8.  Churches can prepare and advertise a Solar Eclipse Party. 
Place it in the paper and on your church sign. 
Print a handout with fast facts about the Solar Eclipse and our Creator.  Include your church name, address, service times.  
It gives you the opportunity for a community event, to help some who would not be able to see the eclipse, and gives a chance for witness. 
Provide snacks and drinks.  

9.  Professionals can take pictures of the eclipse.  But anyone can take pictures of those viewing the eclipse. They make interesting photos.  

“Eclipses are demonstrations of God's glory” and serve as “yet another example of creation pointing back to our Creator.”  
-California Baptist University astronomer Kyle Stewart; bpnews.net.  

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 22, AD 2017.  


Other articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Confederate Statues, History, and Racism

Some of my thoughts on Confederate Statues, history, and racism. 

Racism is wrong and sinful.  Period. 

Racism on any side or from any racial group is wrong and sinful. 

Falsely charging someone with racism is also a serious wrong. 

The violence, injuries, and murder in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend is unjustified, wrong, and should be punished. 
The Confederate Statues and Memorials should stay and be protected.  They are part of our history and heritage.  They teach multiple lessons.  We should not cleanse and whitewash our own history.  

Those who are offended by Confederate Memorials - maybe that is part of the price you need pay for multi-culturalism.  Allowing these Statues helped in bringing a divided country together again.  Tolerance should work both ways.  

Confederate Statues should even be allowed to be established today. 

Get rid of other people’s Statues and Memorials, and you should not be surprised when one day others get rid of your Statues and Memorials.  How about being respectful and tolerant to both sides? 

On the other hand, Union Statues (Civil War era), Black Leaders Statues (liberal and conservative Black Leaders), other Ethnic Statues and Memorials should also be freely allowed (and are).  After all, we are a diverse, free society. 

A few ideas for statues of Black leaders:
Frederick Douglass
Booker T. Washington
Harriet Tubman
Ida B. Wells
George Washington Carver
John Jasper
Martin Luther King
S. M. Lockridge
Clarence Thomas
Thomas Sowell
Walter Williams 
Condoleezza Rice

The recent controversy at Charlottesville, Virginia was marred by hate and violence on both sides.  The murder by a White Supremacist should be punished to the full extent of the law. 
 The media needs to more fairly cover all sides.  

Vandalism of statues and memorials, no matter which side, should be condemned and prosecuted. 
Law Officers should vigorously uphold the law and arrest criminals, whether they be on the left or on the right; especially in riot situations.  

A couple of quotes I find interesting: 

“The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right.  I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalist being led out of the park.” 
-Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, on the demonstrations in Charlottesville, VA.  

 “What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn't the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started?”

“I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God.”
 -Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse, on Charlottesville, VA.  

Christians need to love, be an example to, and witness to racists and extremists on all sides. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 15, AD 2017.


Other articles in lower right margin.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Robert G. Lee; What He Was Made

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  -2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

This year the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution “On The Necessity Of Penal Substitutionary Atonement.”  It was passed in part because some of the more theologically liberal and progressive folks deny and denigrate this biblical doctrine. 

A discussion of Penal Substitutionary Atonement always includes 2 Corinthians 5:21.  It reminded me of Robert G. Lee’s famous sermon, “What He Was Made.”

R. G. Lee’s outline: 
What He Was Made
1.  Made Flesh  (John 1:14)
2.  Made a Curse  (Galatians 3:13)
3.  Made Sin  (2 Corinthians 5:21)
4.  Made Alive  (Acts 1:3)

A portion of Robert G. Lee’s message on 2 Corinthians 5:21 follows:

“Terrible the fact that He [Jesus, God the Son], the sinless One, was ‘made sin’ in view of God’s hatred of sin. 

Behold this picture:  It is night time.  A little child, wearied with much play, falls asleep.  The father and mother, the light of love beaming in their eyes, the tone of love in their whispering voices, the inexhaustible wonder of parental sacrifice burning in their hearts, put their darling into the trundle bed.  With deft and tender hands the mother smooths the pillow and spreads the coverlets, the father taking in every detail of the scene with admiring eyes.  Child of phenomenal beauty that, its voice sweeter to their ears than chiming bells, its eyes bluer than violets dew-wet, it luxuriant curls golden like sunshine, its face on the pillow dainty like a pink rose in a snow bank, its soft sleep-breathings like faint whispers of a harp touched by angel fingers.  What a mighty hold those baby hands, wee and dimpled, have upon human hearts!  They kneel, those parents, a minute beside the trundle bed, pure thoughts holding high and holy carnival in their minds.  Then, before they go to seek for themselves rest and sleep, they pray that God will give them wisdom to rear that child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 

And then, in the night, while they sleep, a rattlesnake with stupid audacity and vile intrusion, crawls in through an open window and into the bed of the child.  The hideous reptile coils itself into a circular pile and lies there apparently in a stupor until, at the movement of a dimpled hand or a turn of the curly head, the rattler, his buttons buzzing with diabolic effrontery, strikes out madly.  And the poisonous fangs are buried in the cheek of the child.  In awful agony it died – while the parents sleep.  The next morning they awake.  They go to the bed and find their approach challenged by the rattler whose head sways ominously while his buttons sing with raucous warning.  They see their child swollen, dead, its little face bearing the evidence of its frightful death agonies. 

Now – if you will magnify the attitude and the hatred for that vile rattler by that father and mother a million times you will have a faint conception of how God Almighty looks toward sins and upon sin.  You will know in some slight measure His perpetual attitude toward sin, His eternal hatred of sin.  Yet it is said that our holy God ‘made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him!” 

Made sin.  What does it mean?  What do they mean, these two words, ‘made sin,’ that stagger under a weight of agony? 
It means that God dealt with Him as He must deal with sin – in severe and unrelenting judgment! 

It means that God sentenced sin, ordered sin to execution in the person and death of His Son.  Jesus has made up before God for all we failed to do and be.  Jesus takes all our sin and sins upon Himself and bestows all His righteousness upon us.  Jesus took sin’s place on the Cross!  Took the guilty culprit’s place there!  Took my place there!  It means that He, the perfectly righteous One, was made sin that we, the unrighteous ones, might be made righteous.  For God meted out to Jesus the full measure of punishment sin deserves. 

It means – He stood before God with all our sin upon Him that we, through faith, might stand before God with none of our sin on us. 

He who was righteous was judged before God as unrighteous that we who are unrighteous should be judged before God as righteous! 

He was made for us all that God must judge and we are made in Him by faith all that God cannot judge. 

And this could not be through physical suffering alone!  By the bloody drops of sweat in Gethsemane, by the dirty sputum, contempt materialized in a liquid, by the rough hands that plucked off His beard, by the merciless steel fingers of Pilate’s  scourge, by the thorns that punctured His brown veins, by the nails that pinned Him to the tree, by His mouth hot like and oven, I know, you know, all of us know, He suffered physically on the Cross. 

But!  To speak of Jesus’ suffering as intense physical torture only is a species of spiritual stupidity and intellectual clownishness.  Because of the depths and vastness of sin’s malignant nature, which caused the feet of Deity to draw back with trembling, terms like bravery, courage, martyrdom, physical agony have no place because they contain no meaning big enough to fit His experience, when He ‘made His soul an offering for sin’ – when he died a spiritual death as well as a physical death.  He founded our joy in the deep bitterness of His own soul. 

The pangs of hell got hold upon Him!  God turned Him into the slime pits of hell!  The thirst of hell was upon Him!  The lightest of His sufferings were physical!  The tortures of the damned were upon Him.  The soul of His suffering was the suffering of His soul.  He bore the burdens of sin on His sinless soul.  And He did this for all – all!...

The death of Christ was for us.  Therefore Christ was condemned to death instead of us.  To condemn us now after we have put our faith in Christ and surrendered personally to Him, would be to say that the death of Christ was not sufficient and that there was no justice with God, for He would get two payments for one debt, two payments for one offense.  But, thank God, the death of Christ is sufficient and God is not possessed of the injustice that demands two payments for one debt – and we can truly say, ‘There is now therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.’ 

We can find no knowledge in the world better than this: that man hath sinned and God hath suffered; that God in Christ made Himself the sin of men; that men are made the righteousness of God! 

In view of this let us ask:  Is any distance too great to go – for Him – who went to the Cross for us?  Is any burden too heavy to bear – for Him – who bore the heavy weight of the world’s sins on His heart?  Is any sacrifice too severe to make – for Him – who was ‘made a curse’ for us?  Is any obligation too heavy to assume – for Him – who was ‘made sin’ in our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him?  Is any service too great to render – for Him – who was made for us all that God must judge and punish?  Is it not time that we say: ‘I count all things but loss…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering’?” 
-Robert G. Lee (AD 1886-1978), pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee, SBC president, author. 
Excerpt from his sermon, “What He Was Made,” in the book,
From Feet to Fathoms, Robert G. Lee, Broadman, Zondervan; 1926. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 3, AD 2017. 


 Other articles listed in lower right margin.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

More on the Curse of Ham

There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.  -Colossians 3:11 (NKJV) 

Some have recently brought up the fact that people of the past, and I suppose a few in the present, have used the Curse of Ham in Genesis 9 to justify slavery and racism.  It does not.  Some Southern Baptists used this argument years ago, but none I know of today.  Instead, for years Southern Baptists have spoken against this false idea. 

In a previous article it, was pointed out that Southern Baptist leader T. B. Maston spoke against this viewpoint back in 1959.  His book was published then and today by Southern Baptists. 

Southern Baptists have produced a commentary through LifeWay and Broadman & Holman (B&H); the New American Commentary.  It is presented here as just one of many more examples of Southern Baptists, and conservative Christians, repudiating racism in all its forms, and repudiating the false view that the Curse of Ham justifies racism. 

The New American Commentary on Genesis 9; the Curse of Ham. 

“There are no grounds in our passage for an ethnic reading of the ‘curse’ as some have done, supposing that some peoples are inferior to others.  Here Genesis looks only to the social and religious life of Israel’s ancient rival Canaan, whose immorality defiled their land and threatened Israel’s religious fidelity (cf. Leviticus 18:28; Joshua 23).  It was not an issue of ethnicity but of the wicked practices that characterized Canaanite culture. 

The biblical revelation made it clear that if Israel took up the customs of the Canaanites, they too would suffer expulsion.  It is transparent from Genesis 1-11, especially the Table of Nations (Genesis 10:1-32), that all peoples are of the same parentage (i.e., Noah) and thus are related by ancestry.  This we find at the outset by creation’s imago Dei [man is created in the Image of God], which is reaffirmed in God’s covenant with Noah and his sons, including Ham (Genesis 9:1,5-6). 

The blessing that befalls all peoples is carried forward by the Abrahamic promises, which counter the old curses by the blessing received by all peoples in any era who acknowledge the Lord.  ‘Any attempt to grade the branches of mankind by an appeal to Genesis 9:22-27 is therefore a re-erecting of what God has demolished’* (cf. Colossians 3:11; Galatians 2:18; 3:28).” 
-Kenneth A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:27, New American Commentary, B&H; 1996. 
*D. Kidner, Genesis, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove: IVP, 1967), 103. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 1, AD 2017. 


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Monday, May 29, 2017

T. B. Maston on the Curse of Ham

Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.”  -Genesis 9:25

Dr. Thomas Buford Maston (AD 1897-1988) was a longtime Ethics professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.  While a student, I had the opportunity to briefly visit with T. B. Maston on a walk around the SWBTS campus.  In 1959 Dr. Maston wrote “The Bible & Race,” published by Broadman Press.  It was a book ahead of its times.  In 2008 SWBTS reprinted this book as a part of its Centennial Classics

In the last chapter, Maston deals with the Curse of Ham, or the Curse of Canaan in Genesis 9.  This biblical passage has been wrongly used by some to justify slavery and racism.  I will not reprint the entire chapter, but Maston’s conclusion.    
Conclusions Concerning the Curse

“What can we conclude concerning the curse of Canaan and its relevance to the contemporary racial situation?  Some personal conclusions are as follows: 

1.  The curse was a pronouncement of a particular sentence on a particular sin. 

2.  The curse was a prophecy.  Its main purpose was to predict the subjugation of the Canaanites by the children of Israel. 

3.  The fulfilment of the terms of the curse and the time of the fulfilment were dependent on the decisions and the conduct of the ones mentioned in the curse. 

4.  The curse of Canaan has no direct relevance to the contemporary racial situation.  The Negro was not included in the original curse, since he was not and is not a descendant of Canaan.  Even if he were a descendant of Canaan, the curse itself is no longer in force. 

5.  Most men seek divine sanction for what they do or want to do. 

6.  In seeking divine sanction for enforced racial segregation, some have used the curse of Canaan, which they usually label ‘the curse of Ham,’ and the Bible in general to support their position. 

7.  Even Christians may defend racial segregation as the best method of temporarily and immediately handling a perplexing problem without doing great damage to the cause of Christ, so long as they will not use the curse of Canaan and other biblical incidents and teachings to support their position, and so long as they do not defend segregation as being the full and final expression of the divine will in human relations.  When the latter is done, irreparable harm is done to the Christian movement and to the Christian witness at home and abroad. 

Surely the God who created man in his own image, who made of one all men, who is no respecter of persons, who loved all men enough to give his Son for their salvation, and who taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves did not and does not intend that any man or any segment of mankind should be kept in permanent subserviency or should be treated as innately inferior, as second-class citizens in a first-class society.”
-T. B. Maston, The Bible & Race; 1959. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 29, AD 2017. 

 Many other articles in lower right margin.  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

13 Reasons Why Not to Commit Suicide

1.  You are created in the image of God.  Yes, you!  You have great worth.  Life is precious. 

2.  Don’t let anyone or anything ruin your life.  Hang in there, keep going.  Sometimes the best revenge is simply to live a good, happy life.  There are victims, and there are volunteers.  Don’t be a volunteer.  Refuse to be a victim. 

3.  Though times are tough, they almost always get better. 

4.  Suicide is devastating to family and friends.  I remember a man telling of the suicide of a close relative.  Though the suicide had taken place years before, I could still see the pain in his eyes. 

5.  Suicide may encourage someone else to do the same. 

6.  Suicide destroys the handiwork of God.  It is the murder of yourself. 

7.  Others care more than you know.  Some people especially like you, and you don’t even know it. 

8.  Help is available from church, school, family, friends.  Pastors, Youth Ministers, Teachers, Counselors, Relatives are ready to help, if you just ask.  Some of those old people may have just the answer you’re looking for.  Spend a little time with them. 

9.  The Bible is God’s letter to you.  In its pages you will find strength, hope, truth, love, joy.  Start reading in the Gospel of John or Luke.  Check out Psalms and Proverbs.  There’s stuff in there you never imagined.  My favorite translation is the New King James Version (NKJV). 

10.  God has a plan, great plans, for your life.  You’re just getting started. 

11.  Have you made a mess of things?  You’re not the first.  God forgives and is in the restoration business. 

12.  Jesus Christ, God the Son, loves you so much He gave His life for you.  Trust Him.  Together you can handle anything. 

13.  Don’t throw away your future.  Be patient.  You will never know what you can accomplish in your 20s, 40s, 60s, until you get there. 

Life gets messy and complicated, but you are loved. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, May 4, AD 2017. 

Need help with the issue of suicide? 
Find help at a good church.  Attend every Sunday.
Check out Focus on the Family, a Christian, Family oriented organization. 



 More articles in lower right margin. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

11 Reasons to Not Drink Alcohol

1.  God said to be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; 1 Peter 5:8; NKJV). The Greek word “nepho” literally means wineless; free from intoxicants.  

2.  We are to love God with all our minds (Mark 12:30).  Alcohol impairs that mind. 

3.  It is expensive (Proverbs 23:21). 

4.  It makes you do foolish things you would never do in your right mind (Proverbs 23:29-35).

5.  It is dangerous and addictive (Proverbs 20:1). 

6.  It hurts your testimony; you influence others to drink; you often harm others (Romans 14:21). 

7.  Drugs should not be used for recreation and pleasure. 

8.  Never take that first drink, and you will never become a problem drinker. 

9.  Drinking supports an industry that has destroyed untold thousands. 

10.  Not drinking is prudent and wise (Proverbs 20:1; 22:3). 

11.  You should rely on God, not drugs (Psalm 11:1). * 

-David R. Brumbelow, author of Ancient Wine and the Bible: The Case for Abstinence.  gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com


Got questions about the Bible and Alcohol?  
Find answers in Ancient Wine andthe Bible.”

(Permission granted to reprint.)   
* This is not intended to reject the legitimate use of drugs for strictly medicinal reasons.  

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 17, AD 2017. 

Articles: 


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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Baptists, Eastern Orthodox, and Hank Hanegraaff

It is reported that Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, has left Evangelicalism and joined the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

While not following Hanegraaff very closely, in past years I’ve heard him give some good, biblical answers on radio.  On the other hand, I am a Premillennialist, so I have disagreed with Hanegraaff’s views on the Second Coming. 

Hank Hanegraaff has apparently been evolving for some time.  I thought this might be a good time to point out some differences between Baptists, Evangelicals in general, and the Eastern Orthodox. 

By the way, some years ago I was teaching a Bible course at San Jacinto College, Pasadena, Texas.  I had an international student in class who was Orthodox and wrote a research paper.  In passing, he mentioned his belief in Baptismal Regeneration.  I gave him an A for the paper.  Though I disagreed with his doctrine, he did a very good job researching and writing. 

What are some of those differences in beliefs? 
Orthodox believe their authority comes from the Bible and tradition.  Baptists believe the 66 books of the Bible are our final authority for faith and practice (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 3:16). 
In addition, the Orthodox have added another 10 books to the Bible.  Along with the Bible, they also look to Church Fathers, church leaders after the Bible was written, as authoritative. 

The Orthodox believe baptism saves you.  They believe in baptizing infants, a practice not found in Scripture.  Baptists believe in Believer’s Baptism by Immersion, but do not believe it has a part in your salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Only faith in Christ saves you.  See the article below on Baptismal Regeneration

While Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a great, godly woman, Orthodox believe in her perpetual virginity and venerate her a little too much.  Baptists and most evangelicals believe after the virgin birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary had other children (Matthew 1:25; 12:46; 13:55-56; John 7:5). 
We also believe it is going a little too far to call Mary the mother of God.  Jesus is God the Son and came from Heaven to Earth to be born in human form.  Jesus is far older than His earthly mother (John 1:1, 14). 

For a summary of the Eastern Orthodox church, see the article by Bill Gordon and Paul Negru at the North American Mission Board:

Be praying for Hank Hanegraaff, and make sure you are lashed to the Word of God, the Bible, for your faith and practice. 

Note: The word “orthodox” has also been used by Baptists to simply refer to someone who is conservative and biblical in their doctrine.  The word “Orthodox” in this article, however, refers to the denominational groups by that name. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 12, AD 2017. 

Articles: 


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Monday, March 27, 2017

Saint David

Yes, you read that right.  I am a saint.  And I have the Bible, God’s Word, to back up my claim. 

Some believe “saint” means a really good person.  For example, a man says, “My wife is a saint.”  In that respect. I will have to leave it up to others whether they would consider me that kind of saint.  As a believer I can claim the righteousness of Jesus Christ, but I’ll deal with that another time. 

Some believe a saint is a person so named by a church denomination.  The candidate must be deceased.  Then they go through a process of investigation, veneration, beautification, until finally the Pope bestows the title of saint on the candidate. 

Baptists, and many other Christians, look to the Bible alone as their final source of faith and practice.  What does the Bible, and specifically the New Testament portion of the Bible, say about saints? 

According to Holy Scripture, there is basically one rule for becoming a saint.  That rule is that the candidate has personally trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  If a person believes Jesus, God the Son, died for his sins and rose again, and that person repents of his sin and turns to Jesus, he is saved.  And, he or she immediately becomes a saint.  You don’t even have to die; once you have trusted in Jesus, you are a saint. 

How many saints do we have?  Millions.  All those who have placed their faith in Christ. 

Where is the biblical evidence for this belief?  I’m glad you asked!  The Bible refers to common, everyday followers of Jesus Christ as saints.  A few examples: 

Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda.  -Acts 9:32

Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.  -Acts 9:41

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  -Romans 1:7

But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 
-Romans 15:25

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also.  -1 Corinthians 16:1

 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia.  -2 Corinthians 1:1

All the saints greet you.  -2 Corinthians 13:13

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.  -Ephesians 1:1

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints.  -Ephesians 5:3

Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.  -Philippians 1:1

All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.  -Philippians 4:22

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  -Jude 1:3 

Notice how the word “saint” is used of regular, living, believers in Christ Jesus. 

Saint – “Title for all God’s people but applied in some contexts to a small group seen as the most dedicated ones…Saints are people who name Jesus as Lord.”  -Holman Concise Bible Dictionary

Despite all the evidence above (and there are a number of other Bible verses about saints), I’ve never been able to convince my church members to call me Saint David!  I guess I’ll have to be content with Brother David, Pastor David, David, Brumbelow, or “Hey you.”

To all the believers out there, enjoy your sainthood. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 27, AD 2017. 

Articles:

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Proper Use of the Public Invitation

“A theology student from England was sent by a professor to hear a noted preacher on the weekend.  He came back with a kind of sophisticated disgust and said to his professor, ‘Why, that man didn’t do anything but say, ‘Come to Jesus.’ 
‘And did they come?’ his professor gently inquired. 
‘Well, yes they did,’ the student grudgingly replied.
The professor then said, ‘I want you to go back and listen to that man preach again and again until you can say, ‘Come to Jesus’ as he did and people respond.’”  
-Roy J. Fish, Coming to Jesus: Giving a Good Invitation; 2015. 

The Public Invitation, or the Altar Call, is under attack by many Young, Restless, Reformed preachers today.  Most of the criticism, however, seems to be of the improper, rather than proper use of the Invitation. 

I grew up thinking everyone used a Public Invitation.  I was saved during a Public Invitation, and have seen many others come to Christ in this part of the Worship Service.  I strongly favor the use of the Invitation in every Sunday morning Worship Service, and where appropriate, in other services, especially when lost folks are present. 

The Public Invitation is effective, biblical, even psychologically sound.  Pastor, do you want to be a more effective evangelist?  Do you want your church to be more evangelistic?  Do you want to reach more people for Christ?  One way to accomplish this is to learn the reasons for using the Invitation.  Also, learn the proper use of the Invitation. 

How do you learn how to give a good Public Invitation?  Go hear and read good pastors and evangelists and see how they do it. 

Also, read books that defend and explain the use of the Public Invitation. 

Below are some excellent books on the Invitation or the Altar Call.  Every young preacher should read at least one of these books.  They will also serve as a great refresher course for seasoned pastors and evangelists.  They will put a revival fire in your soul. 

The EffectiveInvitation by R. Alan Streett


Drawing the Net by O. S. Hawkins

R. Alan Streett is professor of evangelism at Criswell College and editor of the Criswell Theological Review.  

Roy Fish was a long-time professor of evangelism at Southwestern BaptistTheological Seminary. 

O. S. Hawkins is the former pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas and First Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He is now the president of GuideStone Financial Resources. 

Come to think of it, why not get all three books on the Invitation?  They're worth every penney. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 6, AD 2017. 



Other Articles in lower right margin.  


Monday, February 13, 2017

A Time To Laugh

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.  -Ecclesiastes 3:4

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.  -Proverbs 17:22 (also Proverbs 15:13, 15; Romans 12:15; Philippians 4:8).  

“There is so much sorrow and heartache in the world, we should use every opportunity we have to laugh.”  -Paige Patterson, president, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (swbts.edu). 

Don’t always be negative; don’t throw cold water on everything. 
Don’t take yourself too seriously. 
Some people can brighten up a room just by leaving! 
Lighten up. 
Laughter is good for you. 
Be fun to be around.  (Dads should be Firm, Fair, and Fun.)
Be able to laugh at yourself. 
If you can, tell a good, decent joke every now and then. 
Enjoy and appreciate humor. 
Enjoy other people’s laughter, and their having a good time. 
Enjoy children and their play and laughter. 
Show others there is a deep joy in being a follower of Jesus Christ. 
Christians have great reasons to be happy, content, joyful. 

A Little Humor: 
Show me a man with both feet on the ground, and I’ll show you a man who can’t get his pants on. 
What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about? 
I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous. 
Knowledge tells you a tomato is a fruit; wisdom tells you not to put it in a fruit salad. 
If you have a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: Take two, and KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN.
I childproofed my house, but they still get in. 
I’m so glad you called.  I almost started to clean the house.  

Have you laughed today?  

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, February 13, AD 2017. 

 Articles: 
More Articles / Labels in lower right margin.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Obituary - Robert L. Sumner, Evangelist, Author, Editor

Evangelist Robert L. Sumner

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 
-1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

R. L. Sumner (AD 1922-2016) at the age of 94 stepped from this life onto the streets of gold December 5, AD 2016. 

Evangelist Robert L. Sumner was raised in New York state and graduated from Norwich High School and Clarks Summit University (previously Baptist Bible College & Seminary).  Dr. Sumner received honorary doctorates from Bob Jones University and Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary.  He was pastor of Baptist Churches in Graham, Texas; Illinois; California; Ohio.  He served as Associate Editor of the Sword of the Lord with its founding editor, Dr. John R. Rice.  Sumner was founding editor of the Biblical Evangelist (biblicalevangelist.org), begun in 1966.  He served as editor until his death.  It contains a wealth of sermons, Bible studies, teaching, book reviews, sermon illustrations. 

Sumner is survived by five children: Richard (a Texas Baptist pastor), Ralph, Ruth, Rita, Ron.  After the death of Orphina, Sumner married Dorothy (Tullar Holm) in 2004.

A memorial service was held at Timberlake Baptist Church, 21395 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, Virginia 24502, at 2 pm, Saturday, December 17. Dr. Paul Dixon, Chancellor of Cedarville University, officiated.  Burial was at Lady Lake Cemetery, Lady Lake, Florida, where his first wife is buried. 

Robert L. Sumner loved the lost and had a passion for lovingly pointing others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  I saw his concern over whether there were lost people in a worship service in which he as to preach.  I saw him graciously witness to a restaurant waitress.  He shared the advice that if you say a personal word or two to a person before leaving them a gospel tract, they will be much more likely to read it. 

The Biblical Evangelist and R. L. Sumner’s writings and ministry were well-known and influential in Independent Baptist and Southern Baptist circles, and elsewhere.  He was an interesting writer who excelled in defending the basics of the Christian Faith and Baptist beliefs.  Adrian Rogers was known to order hundreds of Sumner’s booklet on An Examination of Tulip: The Five Points of Calvinism

Robert L. Sumner was the author of numerous books including “The Honor Was All Mine,” and “Fights I Didn’t Start, And Some I Did (2 volumes).” He wrote commentaries on James, Hebrews, Ephesians.  His books were recommended by such men as Adrian Rogers, Paige Patterson, O. S. Hawkins, Bailey Smith, Jerry Vines, John R. Rawlings, Lee Roberson, Tom Malone, Hyman Appelman.

He was an independent Baptist who had no problem ministering with Southern Baptists and all who believed in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.  His book reviews were honest, helpful and told you if he disagreed.  He favorably reviewed many books by Southern Baptists. 

His books have invaluable apologetic material defending Christian doctrine.  They are also known for containing a wealth of good sermon and Bible teaching illustration material.  For these reasons his books are treasured by preachers, Sunday School teachers, and Bible students.  No one could defend a Bible doctrine like Sumner. 

Dr. Sumner fought against the “King James Version Only” view that swept many independent Baptists. He spoke against KJV Only with John R. Rice at the Sword of the Lord, as well as following years at the Biblical Evangelist

Joel W. Hemphill, the musician, claimed Jesus is not God and said he and others were going to bring down the Trinity.  Robert L. Sumner confronted him and demolished Hemphill’s arguments in Fights I Didn’t Start, and Some I Did, vol. 1, chapter 11. 

Sumner wrote about Fundamental Doctrine; Baptismal Regeneration, Eternal Security; KJV Only, Calvinism, Premillennialism, Alcohol, Evangelism, Inerrancy, the Trinity. 

Sumner boldly, though sadly, confronted the improper behavior of Jack Hyles and refused to back down when faced with great opposition. 

Sumner and the Biblical Evangelist were influential in the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. 

I did not agree with Sumner on every detail.  But I mostly agreed with him.  And I was always ready to give him a hearing.  He served as a balance to much of the contemporary doctrine and practices of today. 

Robert L. Sumner personally knew so many of the great Christian leaders of the early and mid 1900s.  He wrote about many of them in the book, The Honor Was All Mine

I’m honored to say R. L. Sumner preached in my church, Northside Baptist, Highlands, Texas.  He also preached in both my brother’s churches.  Whether your church was large or small, he was happy to preach God’s Word and tell the lost about Jesus. 

In 2005 I wrote a book about my dad, The Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow.  This was before I personally knew R. L. Sumner; but I mailed him a copy of the book for possible review.  A little nervous, I knew Sumner would give his honest opinion.  He ended up writing a very positive, gracious review. 

About a year later my mother, Bonnie Brumbelow, and I had the opportunity to meet R. L. and Dottie Sumner at a Baptist conference in North Carolina.  We spent some time together, and it seemed as though we had been close friends for years. 

Dottie Sumner endorsed my mother’s cookbook and commented to us how much she enjoyed cooking some of the recipes and how much her husband enjoyed eating them. 

Dr. Sumner would later give a strong, helpful endorsement to my book, Ancient Wine and the Bible: The Case for Abstinence.  Advertising these books in The Biblical Evangelist also proved helpful. 

In the interest of fairness I must add a negative.  I took R. L. Sumner out to eat at Sudie’s in Houston, TX and noticed he refused to eat his vegetables.  Sure enough, it killed him at age 94!  In spite of Sumner’s example, I still advise everyone else to eat their fruits and vegetables!   

On another occasion several years ago we walked by a brick area where water spouts were randomly shooting up and kids were playing in the water.  Sumner made a joking, disparaging comment about them.  I replied, “80 years ago you would have been right in the middle of those kids playing in the water.”  He laughed and admitted I was probably right. 

Not too long ago I mentioned to Dr. Sumner that I remembered him when he was a mere 84 years old! 

We have been blessed by Robert L. Sumner, his preaching, his books, and The Biblical Evangelist.  Preachers, Bible teachers and students – get every one of Sumner’s books you can find.  In addition, put them in libraries. 

Tribute by Dr. Paige Patterson, read at Sumner's funeral:

“Soldiers like Dr. Bob are no longer around.  This represents a substantial loss for all of us who fought by his side. You always knew that he would take care of his assignment and hold his line.  I never had to wonder or worry about a missile launched from his area of the battle field.  Yet, he was a gentle and compassionate soldier who would bind up the wounds of an opposing soldier who moments before had sought to take his life.
I never once had to guess where he would come down on any issue.  Where can we find such granite like strength so clothed in the softness of mercy? God bless you forever Robert Sumner, and may heaven bring you as much joy as you have brought to all of us.”
-Paige Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Memorial Gifts may be sent to the Biblical Evangelist.  

Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”  -Revelation 14:13

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 16, AD 2017.