Sunday, October 30, 2011

Obituary - Harold Sellers

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

Harold Lamar Sellers, born May 25, 1937, died September 23, 2011 at the age of 74. At the time of his death he was the Director of Missions (DOM) for Madison Baptist Association in Alabama. He had previously served pastorates in Alabama and Texas, and as DOM of the Coastal Plains Baptist Area (Colorado Baptist Association & San Felipe Baptist Association), Texas from1987-2004. He was a graduate of Houston Baptist University.

The Moultrie Observer, Huntsville, Alabama noted in Sellers’ obituary, “He had a ‘heart’ for others in ministry and first responders, dedicating much of his life to supporting police officers as chaplain with the Rosenberg Police Department in Texas and Huntsville Police Department in Alabama.”

Sellers was preceded in death by his parents, E.M. and Evie Lee Sellers, and by his brother, Larry Sellers. He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Margaret; his daughter, Londa Hladky and husband John of Huntsville, Alabama; a son, Daryl Scott Sellers and wife Stephanie of Huntsville; two brothers, Kenneth Sellers of Valdosta and Ferrell Sellers of Ray City; a sister, Ernestine Dismuke of Moultrie; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Interment was at Valhalla Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.

Harold Sellers gave me, as a teenage preacher, one of my first opportunities to preach. As I remember, he had me preach for a Youth Day on a Sunday morning at his church in Missouri City, TX. My older brother, Steve Brumbelow, preached for him in Revival. Brother Sellers was a great example of what a pastor and a Director of Missions should be.

Harold Sellers’ obituary can be found in The Alabama Baptist, The Moultrie Observer, Colorado Baptist Association, and the Southern Baptist Texan.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 30, AD 2011.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book

“Addresses the subject with keen logic, a grasp of history, and thorough exegesis of biblical literature.”
-Foreword by Dr. Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

* Numerous quotes from ancient and modern authorities
* Examines ancient wine recipes, practices, and preservation.
* Study of controversial Bible passages.
* Chapter of quotes, stories, illustrations.

Need the answer to the tough questions about drinking, alcohol, and the Bible? Find those answers here.

What people are saying about Ancient Wine and the Bible:

“Hip Christianity may make the appeal for the use of alcohol as a witnessing tool, but David Brumbelow’s exhaustive research presents a powerful case for abstinence. I commend him for taking an unpopular stand against a popular practice.”
-Dr. Jim Richards, Executive Director, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Destroys “myth that the ancients had no way of preserving grape juice…I happily, enthusiastically, earnestly, wholeheartedly recommend Ancient Wine and the Bible to every pastor, teacher, evangelist, deacon and humble Christian in America. It will be a good investment paying rich dividends in the days ahead.”
-Dr. R. L. Sumner, Editor, The Biblical Evangelist.

“David R. Brumbelow's passionate plea for abstinence from alcoholic drink needs to be heard attentively in our day.”
- Dr. Daniel R. Sanchez, Professor of Missions, SWBTS

“David Brumbelow has done the Church of Jesus Christ a great service by penning Ancient Wine and the Bible…This book couldn’t have come at a more opportune time…I urge all who take up this book to read it prayerfully and with a desire to understand what the Bible teaches on this serious matter.”
-Pastor Gary Small, Liberty Fundamental Baptist Church, Lynden, Washington 98264.

“A masterful job explaining the times and customs of Bible days and the scriptural use of the word ‘wine.’”
-Pastor Jeff Schreve, First Baptist Church, Texarkana, TX.

“Left no stone unturned…Comprehensive and thoroughly researched, Ancient Wine and the Bible deserves to be read, considered and heeded.”
-Mrs. John (Alice) Hatch, pastor’s wife and mother of three girls.

"With the clarity, logic, and thoroughness, an outstanding attorney uses to prepare a brief in a major lawsuit, David Brumbelow approaches the question of drinking alcoholic beverages from a Biblical point of view. This work is outstanding. I recommend it strongly. The upcoming generations need to know the havoc brought on our society and upon individuals by the use of alcohol. If we use it ourselves, we recommend its use to others. A Christian should not exercise his freedom to put himself and others at such a risk.” 
-Judge H. Paul Pressler, Justice for the 14th Court of Appeals, Houston, TX.

“I know of no definitive work offered today that does what Brumbelow does in his book. It is scholarly, sound and makes for an irrefutable argument in favor of abstaining from alcoholic beverages. I believe every pastor ought to have a copy.”
-Mark Creech, president, American Council on Alcohol Problems (ACAP).


Author David R. Brumbelow is a pastor and graduate of ETBU and SWBTS. He has previously authored a book about his dad, The Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow.

How to Order
Ancient Wine and the Bible: The Case for Abstinence

Order from your local bookstore
Order from Free Church Press
Order from
Order from Barnes & Noble
Order from Cokesbury
Order from LifeWay

Or order a signed copy of Ancient Wine and the Bible directly from:
David R. Brumbelow, P.O. Box 300, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566 USA. $21 postpaid.

Ancient Wine and the Bible is 304 pages, contains over 400 reference notes (endnotes), and is published by Free Church Press.

Makes a great gift for your pastor, youth minister, student, Sunday School teacher, professor, anyone interested in this subject.
Makes a great gift to a Church or School Library.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 10, AD 2011.

Other Articles:
Dr. R. L. Sumner on "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
Biblical Principles Condemn Alcohol
Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Deuteronomy 14:26 - Does it Commend Alcohol?

Common Wine in the Bible
Ancient Wine Production and the Bible
SCRIPTURE INDEX for Ancient Wine and the Bible 

Other articles in lower right hand margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Adoniram Judson's Gospel Tract, Still Used Today

“There is one Being who exists eternally; who is exempt from sickness, old age, and death; who was, and is, and will be, without beginning and without end. Besides this, the true God, there is no other God…May the reader obtain light. Amen.” -Baptist Missionary Adoniram Judson

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- In 1816, Adoniram Judson, a legendary Baptist missionary to Burmese Buddhists, completed a tract that still brings Christ's light to a dark world and challenges 21st century missionaries to rethink their methods.

This summer, Judson's tract once again made it into the hands of Buddhists when professors and students from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary proclaimed the Gospel in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

"The tract was directly linked to Judson's first Burmese convert," Keith Eitel, dean of the seminary's Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, said. Eitel came across the tract during research for an essay on Judson and had it translated into the Thai language. Eitel had been studying Judson's missions practices for a book to be published by B&H next year celebrating the bicentennial of Judson's departure from America.

Judson, who became a Baptist soon after entering the mission field, wrote the tract in order to share the Gospel with Theravada Buddhists in Burma (modern-day Myanmar). After reading the tract, Eitel thought it would have a great impact on the Theravada Buddhists in Chiang Mai as well. Responses from native Thai Christians have confirmed his theory.

"They are intrigued by how well it is written and especially its clear description of God in relation to the Trinity," Eitel said. "They found this theologically informed tract useful both for discipleship and evangelism, and they have requested more copies of the tract to help them explain the Gospel to Buddhist family members.

"It articulates the Gospel better than they can," Eitel said, adding that a new Buddhist believer who is growing in the Lord, when bombarded by family members with questions about what he now believes, may find it hard to explain because he is just learning the Christian vocabulary and concepts. But the tract can help him communicate.

"This is probably the most valuable way this tool can be used," Eitel said.

The tract also displays an evangelistic method that flies in the face of many 21st century theories about how to communicate the Gospel across cultures.

"In order to soften the apparent idea of Christ's exclusivity, some missiologists have borrowed cultural anthropology's techniques and employ a comparative model to communicate the biblical message cross-culturally," Eitel said. "The intent is to build from points of apparent similarity to apparent points of contrast in order to communicate the Gospel."

Such a method concerns Eitel, since it threatens the missionary's ability to share the Gospel with biblical integrity and clarity, he says. In contrast to this method, Eitel suggests that missionaries should begin where religions differ, although always in a spirit of kindness and respect. Judson's tract does exactly this. Even in the first sentence, he undercuts Buddhist teaching:

"There is one Being who exists eternally; who is exempt from sickness, old age, and death; who was, and is, and will be, without beginning and without end. Besides this, the true God, there is no other God."

On the other hand, Eitel said, Judson shows sensitivity to Buddhist culture and concerns. In the last paragraph of the tract, for example, Judson dates the tract, in Burmese style, as being written on day 967 "of the lord of the Saddan elephant and master of the Sakyah weapon, ... the 12th day of the wane of the moon Wahgoung, after the double beat."

Judson's prayer at the end of the tract also appeals to the Buddhist desire for enlightenment. With Judson's prayer on their lips, Eitel and the Southwestern Seminary missions team took this newly translated tract to the Buddhists of Thailand: "May the reader obtain light. Amen."

By Benjamin Hawkins. Hawkins writes for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 10, AD 2011.

Sources of Gospel Tracts; Tract Racks
L. R. Scarborough on Tracts
The Roman Road of Salvation
Other articles in lower right hand margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Revelation 3:20 - Can We Use It In Evangelism?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me. -Jesus Christ; Revelation 3:20

Some say this verse should never be used to lead someone to the Lord because it was written to a church, not to lost people. Some go so far as to ridicule the ignorance of anyone who would use it in evangelism.

In contrast, many, many Baptist and Christian preachers of the Gospel have preached this verse to not only the saved, but also to the lost. Many a lost soul has been won to the Lord through this passage of Scripture.

It is granted that the verse is primarily written to the church at Laodicea. It is also granted that this verse alone does not present the gospel or the plan of salvation in its totality. (You could even argue that about John 3:16; after all it says nothing about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.)

The plan of salvation includes our sin and separation from God, God’s holiness, His love, Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, His blood being shed for us, and his literal resurrection from the dead. We are to ask forgiveness for our sins. We are to believe and accept Jesus as our Lord (Boss, Master) and Savior. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13; John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24)

But when the full plan of salvation is presented, Revelation 3:20 is valid to use in explaining the biblical concept of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

I and many before me believe Revelation 3:20 is valid to use in evangelism because:

1. We can go too far in saying this verse is not for you. All of the Bible is written as God’s love letter to mankind.

I know you can also go too far the other way; but here I do not think that is the case. For example, Romans is addressed to the saints (Romans 1:7-8). Does anyone argue that because of this the Roman Road verses cannot be used for evangelism? If they so argue, they are wrong.

2. Jesus’ words in Revelation 3:20 are valid for a saved person. They are also valid for a lost person.

3. Jesus’ words in Revelation 3:20 illustrate Jesus’ attitude toward a lost person and what the person must do to be saved. This can be shown from many Bible passages.

Does a lost person have to do something to be saved? Yes. Jesus wholly accomplished the work of salvation. But a man must respond, must believe, must call on the name of the Lord, must reach out and receive the gift of God. (John 1:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31; etc.) In other words, a man must open the door of his heart and invite Jesus in.

A number of verses reveal that when we are saved Jesus comes to live in our hearts. Other verses refer to the Holy Spirit living within us.
Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Galatians 4:6; 2 Peter 1:19; John 7:38; etc. (also, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit).

4. Revelation 3:20 is given to whoever will take it. Notice Jesus’ use of the word, “anyone.” That includes the saved and the lost, all the world.

5. Just as today, the church at Laodicea would have included unsaved visitors and unsaved members (Jesus even had an unsaved disciple!)*; especially a lukewarm church like Laodicea. Jesus would certainly have known this and included them in His invitation. Just as pastors today include the saved and the lost in the public invitation they give in their church.

If Revelation 3:20 cannot be used for the lost because it was given to a church, then it would be invalid for pastors today to give a salvation invitation in church. After all, if they are in church, they surely must all be saved!

6. It could even be argued that Jesus knocking at the door and us inviting Him in is more valid for a lost person that for a saved person.

A person is welcome to disagree and use their own verses in evangelism. But those who use this verse in evangelism are not doing so out of ignorance.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 4, AD 2011.

*  Of course, every member of a Baptist church should be a believer.  The requirements to be a member of a Baptist church are usually two:  You have personally received Christ as your Savior, and you have subsequently been Scripturally baptized (Beleiver's Baptism by Immersion).  But we all know there are those who have made an outward profession of faith without meaning it in their hearts.

Saved By The Sinner's Prayer
The Roman Road of Salvation
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Many more articles in lower right margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).