The Christian’s Boldness and Confidence

Jesus Christ is the Christian’s foundation for having bold access to God. It is not our performance that allows us to come boldly before God, but the merits of Christ. Christians do not need to be full of fear and anxiety to come to God. Because of Christ, God welcomes them to come, even on their worst day.

Is it Right to Alert Pastors When You See Problems and Divisions Arising?

Do members of a church have responsibility to alert the pastors when they see divisions arising in the church? How important is communication of the sheep with the shepherds in order to maintain unity in the church? Clint: Well, when there’s a report given to a pastor, it’s very much different than one person reporting to another person in the congregation. And I’m thinking along the lines of gossip or slander – things like that that are not good. But nonetheless, there are times when a pastor may be oblivious to something that’s going on in the church and it could be very helpful in heading it off at the pass or dealing with it before it becomes a major issue, for him to know that. I think of the Apostle Paul. – we’ve been informed by Chloe’s people that divisions exist he said there. I think that’s how he worded it. So here was a case where someone – Chloe’s people – came to the apostle and alerted him something was going on. In another place, “it’s been reported that there’s immorality among you,” he said in 1 Corinthians 5. In another place, 1 Corinthians 11, he speaks about another report of division. So there are occasions when that’s helpful and I think maybe a duty. Someone might be duty-bound to say something to the pastor. But there’s a fine line between tattle-telling or being a gossip there. So we have to definitely be on guard against that.

Why Are Millennials Leaving the Church?

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Why are so many millennials leaving the church? It seems fewer people are attending a church in this generation than in previous generations.

Married With a Lost Spouse: What to Do?

What should a newly saved Christian husband and father do who has a lost and contentious wife? Tim first considers how the believer must think correctly about how God views their situation, only then will they be able to respond correctly.

This Ask Pastor Tim is from 2016.

Why is This World the Way That It Is?

There are two very important questions we all should be asking: 1. Why are things the way they are in this world? 2. How do we fix it? The world is wearing themselves out trying to figure out the second question, but they don’t care too much to ask themselves the first question. But we’ll never know the answer to the second question until we can find the answer to the first question.

Don’t Pray Like a Modalist

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The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is God, but do not mistake that to mean that Jesus Christ is the Father. We should not attribute things to the Father that are exclusively attributed to the Son, and vice versa.

Sin Did Not Kill Jesus Christ

In all of Scripture, one little word. God so loved. It’s like we’re just kind of kept honestly on the outside. What is that? You need to remember this when you think about the Father’s love. Sin did not kill Jesus Christ. Your Father killed Jesus Christ. He, Scripture says, who did not spare His own Son. Why? One God and Father of all. Why didn’t He spare Him? He gave Him up – what does it say? For us all. It’s the same for us all. Or think of even what Isaiah said in the Old Testament: “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” The Father Himself loves you. He says, “I will strike the Shepherd.” “I will crush Him.” It was the predetermined council of God. God did this. God gave His Son for our sake. He made Him to be sin for our sake. Us all. The Father Himself loves you. This excerpt is taken from the full sermon: One God and Father

D.E. Hoste: Soldier and Humble Prayer Warrior for Christ

In 1902 D.E. Hoste succeded Hudson Taylor in overseeing the China Inland Mission. He served as the director for 30 years.

Shortly after taking over leadership from Hudson Taylor the Boxer Rebellion took place. By the end of it, 58 members of the Mission team had been brutally murdered, along with 21 of their children.

As a new leader, facing such a massive test, how did Hoste lead the mission at this crucial moment?

At the end of the rebellion, upon the Chinese Government regaining stabilization, they sought to compensate the Mission for their losses and casualties. But for the sake of the Gospel advancing Hoste led the mission to not take the money the government offered. This incredible act of turning other cheek, when all these missionaries had been murdered, led the government to publish a notice locally that in part declared:

“The mission, in rebuilding these churches with its own funds, aims in so doing to fulfill the command of the Saviour of the world, that all men should love their neighbors as themselves…. Contrasting the way in which we have been treated by the missionaries with our treatment of them…” “From this time forward I charge you all…. to bear in mind the example of Pastor Hoste, who is able to forbear and to forgive, as taught by Jesus to do.” (pg. 99)

Through Hoste’s leadership, the Chinese recognized that the missionaries not only taught about Christ but sought to actually live as Christ lived. And bearing with the Chinese was what Hoste and the other missionaries strove to do for the sake of Christ. Hoste said “It will not avail much to preach to the Chinese of access to God through the blood of Jesus, if they find that there is not access to the missionary himself and his home.” Hoste strove to be hospitable towards the Chinese and not be some far off foreigner. And like those before him, he even dressed like the majority of the Chinese culture did.

So who was the man, D.E. Hoste, and how did the Lord mold him to this point in his life to lead the mission in this way?

Before he was 9 years old he could read Greek. He was a military officer at 18, and lived a lost man’s life. The Lord saved him upon when hearing evangelist D.L. Moody preach. Hoste was known for being one of the Cambridge Seven who went to China, this group include the famous athlete of his day, C.T. Studd. Hoste was a man who was gripped with eternity and said, “If this Gospel is true,” “and I know it is, as it has changed my life, I want to make it known where Christ is not known. There are many people in other lands who have never heard it, and the Lord wants them to hear it, for He says so. I want to give my life to this.” (pg. 20-21)

As a believer, he lived as a devoted soldier of Christ. Here is one example: While in China mail days were few and far between, but one day mail arrived and his first impulse was to sit down and read the letters, but “he was arrested by the thought, however, that had he been still in the Army he would not thus have allowed the personal to take first place.” And he thought, “Why should he be more lax in serving as a missionary? Resolutely putting away his letters until lunch-time, he resumed his study.” – pg 44-45 Hoste was a self-disciplined man living as a soldier of Christ.

As you read his biography his humility shines forth.

Consider some examples of his humility:

When Hoste first arrived in China he was serving with Pastor Hsi and Stanley Smith. Smith put himself forward as the leader, Hoste was “ruffled in his spirit” and thought “Why should I serve under him? We were about the same age.” But later “the Spirit of God probed” Hoste, and he was “forced to admit that I did not relish the thought of being under my friend…. The difficulty was in my own heart. It was impressed upon me that unwillingness persisted in would mean my having to part company with the Lord Jesus Christ, who dwells with the humble ones, those who willingly go down. I, therefore, accepted my friend’s suggestion, and we worked happily together.” pg 53 With Stanley Smith leading and not Hoste. Notice what his motivation was? He did not want to part company with Christ and due to pride have distance in his relationship with the Lord.

Hoste said, “When we are tempted to exalt self and resent being put down or overlooked, we need to be aware. Satan said, ‘I will be like the most High.’ Pride and ambition are essentially Satanic characteristics.”

The second example of humility that shone forth from his life is from the content of his letters. They reveal a sincere joy as he recounts the spiritual triumphs of others. This is in contrast to the jealous man who envies the triumphs of others. The person who reads about what the Lord is doing through the lives of others and envies them.

A third example of his humility is how in his leadership he did not want to force people to go against their consciences in the decisions they made. Hoste said, “What is the essential difference between spurious and true Christian leadership? When a man, in virtue of an official position in the Church, demands the obedience of another, irrespective of latter’s reason and conscience, this is the spirit of tyranny. When, on the other hand, by the exercise of tact and sympathy, by prayer, spiritual power and sound wisdom, one Christian worker is able to influence and enlighten another, so that the latter, through the medium of his own reason and conscience, is led to alter one course and adopt another, this true spiritual leadership?” What refreshing examples of humility. This life of sensitivity to the Lord will not be there if ones life is not full of secret prayer.

Now we know that this humility only truly happens when a deep intimate prayer life with the Lord Jesus shines forth as well.

Consider his prayer life.

1. In the biography Thompson records, pg 115, “His knowledge of the personnel of the Mission was extraordinary. When there were over 1,200 members and associates, he knew each one by name, where each one was working, the difficulties of the work in which each was engaged…. And he knew the names of all the children of the Missionaries!” This was not just Thompson’s glamorized perspective on Hoste. As I read other biographies, people who knew Hoste made similar comments.

2. Dan Smith served with China Inland Mission, and in his autobiography he records, “Pilgrim of the Heavenly Way” , pg 44-45, “Another day D.E. Hoste invited me to pray with him… Mr. Hoste prayed — and prayed for four and a half hours. Sometimes he would kneel, then stand, then walk, while he prayed. There were eight hundred missionaries in the Mission. He knew them all by name without looking at a book and all their needs, and the three hundred children of them. As for me, my knees were riveted to the floor. I couldn’t move. I was filled with awe and reverential fear. In this secret place of prayer. Mr. Hoste was at home with God. It was his chiefest pleasure…” Dan smith goes on to say “He would yet pray more. He prayed for many in many countries – for men of every race and for all classes of people. The whole world was on his heart. And this prayer session was no special thing. It was his daily exercise, and I was only in on part of it, albeit a four-and-half-hour part. What a lesson! What a way of teaching it!”

3. The well-known Missionary to the Lisu, J.O. Fraser, was also serving with China Inland Mission. He required a medical operation and thus spent time at the headquarters and his biographer Geraldine Taylor said that for Fraser praying with Hoste was, “among the most cherished privileges of his life to join in those intercessions, and to learn through hours at a time spent on their knees what actual praying may mean in the life of one bearing great responsibility.” (pg 173 Beyond the Ranges)

4. So was prayer and easy task? This man of prayer acknowledges that prayer was no easy task. Hoste said, “It is far more difficult to continue steadfastly in intercession on behalf of those amongst whom we are called to minister than to engage in outward activities for their good. And yet, if the powers of darkness, which are blinding the minds of men and hindering the work of God, are not overcome through sacrificial prayer, little, if anything, is really accomplished.” (pg. 117)

So D.E. Hoste. This man of God was a man of prayer who walked near to the Lord. which showed forth itself in his Christ-like humility that you see in his life. On how we need more men like this today who are living for eternity.

Get the book D. E. Hoste: A Prince with God by Phyllis Thompson

Obeying God by Disobeying My Husband?

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The Bible clearly commands wives to submit to their husbands. But is there a time when wives should disobey? Is it possible to disobey their husbands graciously and respectfully?

God Is Not On Trial, You Are

Man has a wicked inclination to find fault with God and to demand that God give him an answer to all his questions. But when God begins to speak to someone, one thing that becomes a reality is that man suddenly realizes that God is not the one that is on trial, he is.

Excerpt is taken from the full sermon, “Where is Adam?“.

You see what happened to Adam? He and Eve are no longer viewing God as though God is the One to be studied and examined by them. Suddenly, something’s happened. Adam – he’s the one. And you show me a man or woman who’s moving toward becoming a Christian, I’ll show you a man or woman in whom a reversal like this takes place. Something happens. Suddenly, there’s an awareness. Suddenly, there’s a consciousness that we are being looked at. God is looking at us. God sees through us. God knows us. God is calling us out. “Come out! Come out!” Into the open. Expose yourself. You’re hiding back there in the trees. Come on out. And we’re the ones being called out. Where are we? “Where are you, Adam?” Where are you? This comes home.

See, this isn’t just some relic from Genesis 3 – musty and dry and dusty. This is God speaking to every one of us. And it happens today. And God talks. Where are you? Where are you? Adam, come out into the open. Have you realized? Have you realized this? Among all the opinions and all the banter in all the theories and all the talk, have you ever come to the point where you recognize that in this life you are the one on trial? God is not on trial.

When people make those kinds of flippant statements about God, they’re speaking far more about themselves than they’re ever saying about God. We are the ones on trial. And I’ll guarantee you, on judgment day, there’s no longer a bantering about opinions, what you believed about election. It’s “Adam, where are you?” Where are you at? What have you done? Man rises up and says: “My great brain is going to figure God out.” “God, You’re on trial here and I’m going to figure You out, and You better answer to me.” Man, oh, man talks like that all the time. “Well, there’s genocide in the Bible. God, You better explain Yourself.” Have you ever heard people talk like that? “There’s election in the Bible. We don’t like that. God, You better answer for that. You choosing who You want. Who do You think You are?” That’s the way man talks. You know that. Sin. How did sin come into the world if God is sovereign, but God is not the author of it? You see, people want to put God on trial. “Well, God, You better answer for that because I can’t figure it out. And I’ve applied my brain to it and it seems like it’s an inconsistency and if my brain thinks it’s an inconsistency, then it is, and so You better explain Yourself.” And that’s how man is. “God, I want an answer as to why children get terrible diseases.” “You need to answer for that tsumani (or that earthquake or that hurricane or that tornado). But you know what happens when God comes to a soul and He speaks? Adam, Eve, where are you? Suddenly… we thought God was the one being dissected and analyzed. We thought with our great brains we were going to examine the Scriptures and we were going to examine God and we were going to figure it all out, but then God’s voice comes to us and we recognize – I just had this picture in my mind. Sometimes we think we’re spectators in the stands. We’re kind of lost in the crowd. We’re watching the game. We applaud or we boo. We’re the judges. But it’s almost like the referee just spins around and he throws his finger up into the crowd and he says, “You.” You’re no longer a spectator. You are the one on trial. And you can’t just sit there in the crowd like a spectator because you have to do with God. Where are you? God’s not asking us about our opinions. He’s interested in us. Adam, where are you? I’m speaking to you. Adam, where are you? This excerpt is from the full sermon: Where is Adam?

Where is Adam?

All of us, like Adam after he sinned, are trying to hide and get away from God. But for some people, there is a time when God comes to them and speaks to them personally, telling them to come out to their hiding. There is a shame in coming out in being exposed, but it is the only way any of us will ever be saved.

Final Sermon: Trust Jesus

“There’s a lot of people who believe Jesus died for the world … who have never fully trusted him as their savior.”

“There is a time when your heart quits trying to get to God and rests on the finished work of Jesus Christ.”

Note: This was brother Mike’s last sermon before he died of sickness and went to be with Christ which is far better.

Dying You Shall Die

One of the biggest questions that many people are asking is how to fix the problems in this world? But what many don’t realize is that they are not asking a very important question that they should ask first: How did our world become the way that it is? Man wants the cure but does not want to know the real cause. But until we find out the real cause, in vain will we seek to find a real cure.

I Had Never Truly Rested in Christ’s Work

A person can grow up hearing the gospel a million times and yet never believe in it. They have ears and hear the truth and yet they do not truly hear the truth. This is the testimony of the son of a pastor (Michael Morrow) who was converted after his father died.

Listen to the funeral service of Michael Morrow.

Hear Michael Morrow’s sermons on SermonAudio.

I could start my story in several different places. I could start when I was 8 years old and thought I had become a Christian. I could start when I was in high school or college and had to continuously persuade myself that I was a Christian, but I think the best way to start my story is in a small hospital room in Lexington, Kentucky where we didn’t know if my dad was going to make it or not. Things didn’t look good. He had been sick so much prior to that moment. There were days where we thought that was the end. There were days that we thought he was going to be better and everything would be fine… until he finally passed away. When you stay for a long time in a hospital room and you’re not the one that’s sick, there’s a lot of waiting. There’s a lot of wondering what’s going to happen next. There’s a lot of conversation that happens between you and the people that are with you. One of the topics that came up when I was talking with my mom was about dad’s last sermon. At the time, we didn’t know it was going to be his last sermon, but mom talked about how powerful it was. And she actually even said it was one of the best sermons she’s ever heard. Dad had been sick a lot before that day and I think at the time, he was even having to sit when he was preaching. And he just didn’t have much strength left in him. But the way my mom put it, it was like… it was a miracle just how much power he had when he began to preach. In his voice you can hear strength. You can hear the passion flowing through him. And this was a man who was just weak from sickness and was hours I think from going to the hospital because he was so sick. Dad always uploaded his sermons onto Sermon Audio where people around the world could listen to his sermons and learn from them. And we learned that obviously the last sermon hadn’t been uploaded to Sermon Audio. I was going to do that. I was in the hospital room. I had an Internet connection and everything. I got the file for it. I listened to a couple of seconds of it and realized that the recording was off. There was some kind of setting on the recording that just made it sound kind of strange like there were no breaths in between. And so, I kind of got frustrated with it. Thought about uploading it, then decided no, I’m just going to save it and not worry about it. So, I just put it on my desktop somewhere and didn’t even think about it for several weeks after that. Something that will stick with me forever is seeing how my father handled himself in the hospital in the worst of times. My brother put it best when he was speaking at his funeral. I think he said that dad finished his race sprinting. And there’s no better way to describe that. I remember the nurses were putting in IV’s, central lines, things like that, and dad would barely wince. But one time, he looked up at one of the nurses who was trying to do a procedure that he couldn’t be asleep for, and he just looked at him and said, “You know, I was about your age when God saved me.” And he’s going through this painful, traumatic situation, and one person after another, after another, after another, he’s telling them how God saved him. I had seen my dad witness to people all the time, but not to this ferocity; not to this degree. He knew I needed to hear that too. And he was witnessing to me as much as he was witnessing to those people in the hospital. On April 29th, 2016, my dad passed away. Over the next few days just pounded with grief mixed with conviction, mixed with desperate feeling and need to be saved, a need for redemption, all mixed in together, I was in prayer more then than I think I ever had been previously. Just asking God to show me a way. Show me something. Show me how. I understood what it meant to be saved. I understood what it meant to be a Christian. I understood the “process,” if you will, but I didn’t understand how to get there. I didn’t understand what did it mean to truly have faith. Yeah, I believe in Jesus. I believe in all the things that He’s done. I get it. I don’t understand at what point do I have faith and I’m saved? At what point does that happen to me? When does that transformation happen? I have the belief, right? I’m saved. But I knew I wasn’t, so what was I missing? So what I prayed for, I prayed for an answer. I prayed: God, I need an answer. I need You to show me what am I missing? What am I not seeing that my father saw? That other people I know have seen? They believed. They have faith. They’re confident in their salvation. Where is my confidence? Where is my salvation? My father for his funeral wanted the Gospel to be preached. That’s what he had always said I think to my mom. My brother spoke. Michael Durham spoke. Rob Pelkey spoke. And then Paul Washer spoke. I kind of thought in my head, well, okay, there is this group of men who know God, who are about to preach. As the lineup went, it would be Paul Washer who would simply preach the Gospel to the crowd that was there for dad’s funeral. Many people have been saved under his teaching. This whole funeral – I need to listen up. I need to really pay attention because God, I’m asking You to show me how to have faith. If I don’t get it from this, then I’m not going to get it. The preachers spoke. They sat down, spoke, sat down. Spoke. We dismissed. And the Gospel was preached and it was preached well. What was said needed to be said, but I still didn’t get it. I still didn’t understand what I needed. For the next week, my wife and I stayed at my mom’s house. One afternoon, I was alone in my dad’s office. And I was just going through some of his stuff, some of his pictures from mission trips, his journals. Then I remembered I had the file of that sermon and I thought, well, you know, the recording was kind of messed up. I don’t know what setting it was on. I don’t know why it was messed up. But I never really did listen to the sermon. And mom said it was his greatest. It was his last one. I should just give it a listen and see if it’s worth putting up on Sermon Audio. So I played it. She was right. There were several things in the sermon that jumped out at me immediately. Things I had heard before, but never heard. I heard. My ears heard it, but I didn’t truly hear it until that moment. Michael Morrow: There’s a lot of people that believe Jesus was the Son of God. There are a lot of people who believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. There’s a lot of people who believe that Jesus came into the world to save sinners who have never personally trusted Him as their Savior. Jason: And then, the one thing he said that really just tipped me over the edge that was exactly what I needed to hear to finally realize what I needed for my salvation. Michael Morrow: There is a time when your heart quits trying to get to God and rests on the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jason: I had never rested. I had never just given myself to Him, never given my full trust. That’s what trust is. It’s resting in His finished work. And I prayed. I said, “Jesus, I rest in You. I rest in Your finished work in dying on the cross for my sins, in raising from the dead. I rest in that. You have given me life.” What’s crazy is I’ve heard this a million times. Dad has preached this a million times. I’ve heard people’s testimonies a million times that it’s not anything that I do. I know it’s not a prayer that I pray. I know that it’s not anything that I can do. That Christ does it for me. Resting is letting Christ take over, letting Him take control. Because if you’re trying to control it, you’re not resting. And that is the moment when my heart changed. I’m thankful that God used my dad to preach to me. Not only did he preach to me in the hospital room; not only did he preach to me throughout my whole life, but he preached to me in his final sermon maybe before he even knew I would ever hear it. And God used that to help open my eyes to what I needed. Michael Morrow: I’ll tell you what the blessing of God is: being in the will of God walking with Him, hearing His voice, staying in fellowship with Him, knowing His Word, loving Him, seeing miracles wrought because He’s doing it through your life and in your life for His own glory, where only He can get glory out of your life. That is the life of faith. And it might mean that you don’t have anything. Guys, this world is not what it’s about. This is not where your fulfillment is. Here we live by faith, not by sight. Then, we’ll see Him as He is and we’ll be like Him. And then it will be by sight.