Bethel Baptist Church ~ El Sobrante, CA

Church Talks

by admin ~ June 14th, 2019

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conferences is a media organization that posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan “ideas worth spreading.” TED was conceived by Richard Saul Wurman in February 1984 as a conference and has been held annually since 1990. TED’s early emphasis was on technology and design, consistent with its Silicon Valley origins. It has since broadened its perspective to include talks on many scientific, cultural, political, and academic topics. Many now have heard of TED talks, which is what they’re now known as. 2,600 of these are now posted on youtube. The most popular has been viewed 17,239,371 times, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” by Sir Ken Robinson. Four times a week Bethel Baptist Church has a “talk.” Scripture calls it teaching or preaching. What is crucial at the church is that the talk is the truth and most specifically, the Word of God, which is the truth (John 17:17). As a result, the talk is eternal, not just temporal, approved by God, and of benefit for all eternity. Do they work? If they are believed and practiced. I heard someone say years ago that the Bible is “God’s mind about everything.” If there is anything to hear, it is God’s mind on whatever subject.

The Goodness of God Motivates

by admin ~ June 8th, 2019

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 27:13, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Then in Psalm 33:5, “the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.” The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” God is good. The earth is full of His goodness. I can’t underestimate the importance of noticing, acknowledging, and responding then to the goodness of God. For an unsaved person, the goodness of God leads him to repentance. For a saved person, the goodness of God keeps him strong and away from the distractions or allurements of the world. In the hierarchy of God’s authority, it’s also good for children to see the goodness of their parents. It’s a kind of corollary to the goodness of the Lord, because God uses Christian parents in the lives of their children. When children want to do what they want, I’ve noticed they must diminish the goodness of their parents. Either with God or with parents, it is unthankful, and thankfulness fuels obedience. People should want the will of God because it is true and it is right. It’s also good.

Remedy for Apostasy

by admin ~ June 1st, 2019

As you consider how hard it is to remain consistent and strong in your faith in Christ, you should remember the state of the faith at certain points in history. Everyone in the world, except for eight souls, rejected the truth in the day of Noah. A vast majority of Israel turned away at various points of the history of Israel: in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt, during the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, and then during the time of the preaching of Jeremiah. Just because most people aren’t believing doesn’t mean that either the faith isn’t credible or that you have reached a unique time of faithlessness. The apostasy itself begets more apostasy as people reject the idea that something believed by so few could be true or that God wouldn’t expect faithfulness during such times of great unbelief. The faith should not be stressed by such experiences but instead send you to the Word of God, which strengthens your faith. Turn toward more obedience to the Lord as a means of building you up and then edifying others. Let’s not think about some kind of stalemate, but instead about an advance or taking of new ground. In 2 Peter as a remedy for apostasy, Peter commands both ‘add to your faith’ and ‘bring yourself into remembrance.’

What Rather than Why

by admin ~ May 25th, 2019

As a parent, sometimes I found myself asking, “Why?” I’ve taught that “why” is not the most important question. Ask, “What?” “Why” is important to God. He wants us to serve Him with gladness, but scripture puts a priority on the what and let me give you two arguments for that. Philippians 1:15-18, “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” In these verses, Paul was thankful the gospel was preached, even though it was with the wrong motive. Something related to that is in Galatians 1:6-9, which I’m not going to quote, but Paul said someone who preached another gospel was accursed. It didn’t matter why the person was preaching a false gospel – he was preaching it. Let him be accursed. We start by asking if something is right or wrong, good or evil, the will of God or not the will of God. For each of personally, the motive matters and can motivate to do the right thing, but doing it is most important.

Scriptural or Non-Scriptural

by admin ~ May 18th, 2019

The list of possible non-scriptural issues is much, much bigger than the list of scriptural ones. In other words, we’ve got a lot of liberty. A lot. I could make up a list past the moon of non-scriptural actions. What kind of furniture polish do you use? Do you hang landscape art instead of portrait? What fruit variety do you add to your oatmeal? What is the thread count of your sheets? What type of allergy medication do you use? Where do you take a walk? What variety of pet do you own? What brand of car do you drive? Is your yard grass or turf? Do you like Target or Walmart more? You get what I’m talking about. However, when we either on purpose or incidentally veer into a scriptural issue, it must be what and how God says. We don’t have options there. We’ve got to do it. What has happened today is that scriptural issues have been shoved over into the non-scriptural category to give liberty to do what people want in scriptural issues. This is actually sinning. People are sinning, but they aren’t calling it sinning because they have shifted scriptural issues into non-scriptural ones. Sometimes people are ignorant. Other times they are rebellious. Some are vexed. They know it’s wrong, but they don’t want to change. Know and obey scripture.

Continuing

by admin ~ May 11th, 2019

John 8:31 says, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” Believers will continue. However, believers must continue. You know you’ll continue, but you also must continue, so let’s continue. Let’s do what it takes to continue. 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” God uses the means that believers are commanded to depend on. We pray. We look for encouragement from fellow believers. We add to our faith. We endure hardness as a good soldier. We live by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. God, of course, is the One Who brings us through, but we do the continuing. Like Paul said, I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me. We can help each other. Bear one another’s burden’s and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Salvation Is Of the Lord

by admin ~ May 4th, 2019

Jonah 2:9 says that salvation is of the Lord. God is the start, middle, and end of salvation. How is He the start? All of the following will be gleaned directly from scripture. First, God ordained salvation before the foundation of the world. He planned it, predetermined it, through the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. Those God foreknew, He chose in Christ through belief in the truth. He prepared the means by which it would occur, even as the Word of God was already settled in Heaven. Then, God revealed Himself to mankind. According to Romans 1, everyone already knows God, because God has revealed Himself to everyone through creation, conscience, and history or providence. Man doesn’t by nature seek God, but through this revelation, God enables men to seek and find Him. We love Him, because He first loved us. Those who keep responding by faith in what God revealed will finally hear God’s Word, the gospel, through preachers He has sent. By seeing Jesus Christ through His Word, He draws men to Himself. My point in writing this is to glorify God in salvation. The means through which people are saved are supernatural means. God has chosen to use the gospel, because through this means He also will be glorified.

Bodily Resurrection in the Old Testament

by admin ~ April 27th, 2019

Many passages in scripture talk about existence beyond death. Some passages though talk about resurrection, a bodily existence beyond death. This is even more common in the Old Testament than maybe people think. In Genesis 22, which is not very far into the Bible, Abraham almost sacrifices his son and then God himself provides the sacrifice in a ram. From Hebrews 11:17-19 we see that
the only way that Abraham could have believed that this instruction came from God to kill his own son, his firstborn son, the son in whom God himself had promised that the line would continue, is that he believed that God had the ability to raise his son Isaac from the dead. That has to be a bodily existence. It is not some sort of mystical or ethereal or non-corporeal new life. It has to be life from the dead, because Isaac would then have to pass on his genes to the next generation and the next generation and so on, or the promise would have been invalid. In other words, there was already some sort of notion of resurrection and its possibility under the mighty hand of God that was grasped by Abraham right at the beginning of the covenant promises to the Messianic people.

The Cross

by admin ~ April 20th, 2019

People wear crosses. They are a piece of decoration in the way of earrings and necklaces and pins. Sometimes they are featured on letterhead and logos. A cross was a mode of execution, an extreme, painful invention of the Romans. They meant both to torture and kill someone using this means. Why would anyone want to wear something that was used for killing? We know. Jesus died on the cross. People wear the cross, not to celebrate a Roman way of killing people. They wear the cross because of its place in the plan of salvation or the gospel. The English word “cross” occurs 28 times in the King James Version. Paul called the gospel, “the preaching of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18). In Galatians 6:14, Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Jesus did everything that needed to be done for salvation at the cross. Man deserves a penalty. The penalty is death. Jesus died for us on the cross. I sometimes use it as a conversation piece. People wear and see crosses. What do you think they mean? A lot of people died by Roman crucifixion, but the cross is talking about one of them. Jesus. Let’s talk about that.

The Faith of God’s Chosen People

by admin ~ April 12th, 2019

Why are so many Jewish people, who we agree from scripture are God’s chosen people, so very often secular, atheist, socialist, or leftists? Furthermore, Jewish people are very often the most antagonistic toward those who love them the most in the United States and probably the world, evangelical Christians, who take the Bible literally. There is a lot of history behind this, and I see two primary reasons, not in this order. First, Jews are and have been a persecuted minority with a desire to emancipate themselves from the hatred of society. If everyone is treated as equal, then they would be treated as equal. Fairness to everyone would be fairness to them, even if it requires redistribution of wealth, taking from them to give it to others. This is combined with a messianic tradition promising an ideal future that translates into utopian society. So, that’s one. Second, the state churches of Roman Catholicism and then Protestant Germany were virulently antisemitic because of their eschatology, seeing the state church as a replacement for Israel as the fulfillment of God’s kingdom. Jews have reacted to both of those, the first one to them as a positive and the second as a negative. Both are seriously wrong. The answer still, of course, is the gospel.