Why is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

FeaturedWhy is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Why is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

The Florida Gospel Crusade is HERE!

Well almost. It kicks off this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. and runs through next Wednesday (February 20). This exciting event has been looked forward to since the completion of the Crusade last year. And that one was a success!

It was a time of commitment, seeking answers, even getting to ask Jesus into their hearts. I am so glad that there is yet another one. Hopefully this will be an annual event.

Here’s a quick look at the festivities:

Saturday (2/16) is the kickoff. The featured speaker is Evangelist Tom Ferrell. A well known evangelist he will be bringing powerful messages every night (plus Sunday Morning). This powerful and dynamic speaker will be backed up with the merged choirs of Calvary Baptist Church of Englewood, First Baptist Church of North Port, and Tri-City Baptist Church of Punta Gorda led by Evangelist Randy Merrill. And the children will have activities aimed right at their age level and led by Evangelist Kevin Walker.

Sunday (2/17) This will be the morning service (11:00 a.m.). Called Friend Day it will be the opportunity to bring a friend. If you live in the area and read this blog then you can come as my friend. It will be worth it! Or bring a friend.

Sunday (2/17) All Educators are to be honored on this night. It doesn’t matter if you teach in the Public School system, you Home School, you teach in a church school or in Sunday School, come to the crusade! This is your day!

Monday (2/18) All Veterans will be honored. I’m a veteran so I certainly don’t want to miss this. Again I don’t know the how we’ll be honored but I’m looking forward to it. I’m a veteran of the Vietnam War, but there’s a good chance that there will be veterans from wars dating back to Korea or maybe World War II.

Tuesday (2/19) First Responders will be honored. The men and women of our Fire Departments, Police, and whoever is considered a First Responder. This is your day!

These are the people who protect us, rescue us, and stand ready to help every day. It will be our opportunity to meet them.

Wednesday (2/20) Prophecy night. This promises to be very informative as we live in a day when many prophecies have already been fulfilled yet a few remain. This is always interesting and chances are we’ll learn something new.

But I asked about an astonishing opportunity. So let’s delve into this.

Opportunity to hear great preaching.

As mentioned above Evangelist Tom Ferrell is a powerful and dynamic preacher. Last year I was only able to hear him once because my wife was sick and I needed to be with her. But I’ve heard him in the past and this is an opportunity that both of us won’t be missing!

Opportunity to meet and learn.

We’ll have the opportunity to meet educators, veterans, and First Responders. That in itself will be a privilege. As a veteran myself I will have the opportunity to meet other veterans and perhaps share remembrances. And then to meet the men and women who risk their lives daily on our behalf. Or perhaps you’d like to meet educators and hear their stories. There is something for everyone!

Opportunity to get right with God.

Face it, we all have needs. We were all born sinners, but God has a message for our hearts, our souls. Sometimes it is difficult to go forward in your own church and let God deal with you, yet it is also difficult to get with God at home because of a multitude of activities and responsibilities. A tent crusade is less structured and surprisingly less threatening. Perhaps you have never asked Jesus into your life. You’ll have an opportunity to do that.

Opportunity to commit yourself.

If you’ve been a Christian for awhile then you probably have heard God’s call upon your life. Maybe you’ve been fighting it or maybe you just need clarity. Something in the messages may touch your heart strings and the answer will present itself.

Opportunity to see a friend or loved one get saved.

Has the Lord burdened your heart for someone? Invite them to come. God has promised His Word won’t come back void. It just may be that the answer to your prayers will be met right here at the Florida Gospel Crusade.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four) I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade

FeaturedWhy You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Why You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade.
Today I’m writing on what I consider one of the most important issues of the day, namely our eternal destiny. Below are five basic questions that can turn your life around?
What is the Florida Gospel Crusade?
The Florida Gospel Crusade is the result of God burdening three churches for their respective communities. These are First Baptist Church of North Port, Tri-City Baptist Church of Port Charlotte, and Englewood Baptist Church of Englewood.
The burden of these churches is for the evangelization of their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first such crusade occurred in February 2018 and it was a tremendous time. That was right when my wife was diagnosed with cancer, so I only made it to two services. But I was really impressed!
Do You Live In SW Florida?
If you live in Sarasota or Charlotte counties then you are automatically invited. But just because you live elsewhere is no reason for not going. Perhaps you live in Lehigh Acres, Ft. Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, or any other county not far from Charlotte. Then come!
Perhaps you live even further away. Come anyway!
Are You Searching for Life’s Answers?
In this day and age we find ourselves facing questions. Things we once accepted as truth are today being challenged. What is the truth? Who can you rely on? How does that truth affect you?
These and many other questions are addressed right from the Bible.
When Will it be Held?
The dates for this event are February 16-20, 2019.
Where will it be Held?
The crusade will be held at Port Charlotte Fairgrounds on 776 (across from the Charlotte Sports Park).
Why Should I Go?
As mentioned above you will learn the answers to where you’ll spend eternity, what is salvation, and how do you get saved. You’ll learn what God says as opposed to what man says.
Even if you don’t have any questions but just enjoy good preaching, then come!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

FeaturedHow to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons.
The Establishment of Deacons
Over the years I’ve seen great deacons, mediocre deacons, and lousy deacons. Sometimes this disparity stems from a misunderstanding of what a deacon is and is not. The first mention of deacons appears in Acts 6:1-7:
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
While you don’t see the word deacon in the English, the word serve stems from the Greek word diaconos which means servant among other things. We see from this passage that the Grecian widows were being neglected. The underlying reason was that the Apostles were so busy proclaiming the Word that they didn’t have time to take care of these matters. So they created the office of deacon to take care of the daily needs of the people, in this case the Grecian widows.
The impact upon the Ministry
Then and now the deacons provide a very strong presence in the church. Not necessarily as rulers but as men who, under the authority of the pastor, serve the congregation. The pastor benefits from their ministry so that the ministry of the gospel would go forward in power. It benefits the people in that their needs are constantly looked after.
Do Deacons Run the Church?
Somewhere during the ensuing generations there arose the belief that deacons were there to protect the congregation from the pastors. While there isn’t any Scripture to support such a belief it is believed and practiced in some otherwise Biblical churches. Aside from its unbiblical source it also creates a division between the pastor and the people.
When you study it out in the Bible the deacon represents the pastor. While it is expected that the pastor would visit those who are sick sometimes he is unable to visit all of them or even any of them (he’s sick, etc.). In those cases it is not uncommon for a deacon to make the visit on behalf of the pastor. To use that occasion to undermine the pastor is to become an Absalom who stole the hearts of the people from King David.
How are Deacons selected?
Most churches use a method that is similar to what is seen in Acts 6. This procedure consists of Nominated by the people, Approved by the Pastor, and Elected (chosen) by the people. So the people have a hand in the process, whereas the Pastor examines the worthiness of the nominee and uses Scripture to determine if the nominee should be approved. The actual selection is by the people.
But the first thing that needs to be done is: , look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Also Deacons should be held to the same standard as the pastors!
Different churches have different criteria pertaining to term of office. For example, some churches elect their deacons for a term of six years and every year they re-elect a certain number of deacons or elect new ones to replace the existing deacons. Another thing that churches differ on is that in some churches if a man is elected a deacon the title is his for the rest of his life whether or not he is serving as a deacon.
In effect the Bible allows a great deal of flexibility on the part of the churches in the selection of deacons.
What are the Duties of Deacons?
This is another area where churches may differ. So I am not trying to cover all the duties. Here are some:

  • Benevolence:

This involves the care of church members who are in need. It may also involve meeting needs of non-members. The deacon handling this may desire to interview the person in need.

  • Hospital visits as requested by the Pastor
  • Advising Pastor if requested.

Sometimes the Pastor wants the feedback of his deacons to help him determine the future direction of the church. They are a powerful tool to be used in this manner.

  • Serving within the Church’s various departments as directed by the Pastor:

For example, a deacon may be placed over the office work. Sort of an Office Manager. Since this is often the area an Associate Pastor may be involved in the two would work together with the Associate being in charge.
Your church may have additional duties but these give you some insight. There is another duty that I think all churches should consider.
Are Deacons Trustees?
The office of Trustee is not a Biblical office. It is an office demanded by states. I am not a lawyer so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this but here are some thoughts:

  • The Deacons should automatically be Trustees (and perhaps the Associates should be also).
  • This should be in the church’s constitution.

Conclusion:
To better understand your deacons study the Bible. It is there that you learn that only men can be deacons (the Bible allows no room for deaconesses), what kind of men should be selected, and how they are selected. And when you vote, don’t just vote for the “nicest” person. Vote for the godliest man that you think can do the job. And don’t forget it is a Biblical office and therefore an important office.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Church Splits

FeaturedChurch Splits

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Church Splits.
One of the tragedies in Christianity is church splits. I’ve heard of churches splitting over where the organ sits, the color of the carpet, personal reasons, and more. But there is only one Biblical reason for a church split: doctrine.
We are to be true to the Bible. It is the Word of God. The Bible is the authority upon which a church exists and ministers. When a church departs from doctrine it loses its authenticity.
What Should We Do When Our Church Leaves Biblical Doctrine?
The first thing to do is to try to stop the church from going that way. If you wait until after the church has already moved, then you’ve probably waited too long. The time to correct a church’s slide from the Bible is before it slides.
If the church has already moved then it is time for you to look for a church that still upholds the Bible as the Word of God.
How Do I Know If The Church is Leaving Bible Doctrine?
First of all you need to learn Bible doctrine. Your pastor should be teaching and preaching doctrine. But there are reliable resources outside your church. Then you compare what the preacher is preaching to what the Bible says.
What Reliable Resources Are There?
One is the Sword of the Lord which is a reliable resource. This is a publication founded by the late Dr. John R. Rice and it still upholds the Bible after decades of existing. There are others but this is one of the best. Solid, fundamental doctrine is important. So be sure of your resource. There are outfits that claim that they teach correct doctrine but when you examine them you discover that they don’t.
Here are some critical doctrines:

  • Divinity of Jesus Christ
  • Christ the foundation of the church
  • Salvation by Grace alone
  • Baptism by immersion
  • Church government
  • Rapture before Tribulation
  • Security of the Believer
  • and more

Another Sign of Leaving Good Doctrine
One of the interesting things I’ve seen over the years is a pastor leaves the KJV Bible yet continues to preach the doctrines he learned from the KJV. Now everyone has the right to use the “Bible” of their choice. But Bibles that are not translated from the Texus Receptus are corrupted right from the start. You could call them commentaries rather than Bibles because they only contain portions of the Word of God. The KJV Bible can trace its heritage all the way back to the 1st Century, while the other versions that claim to be older don’t have a continuous record for their text. Instead they compare copies to copies (there are no originals today) to prove their claims and ignore history.
While the history of the Bible can be an exhausting study there are books that detail both the history of the Textus Receptus and the other texts (such as the Alexandrian and the Westcott and Hort). But the primary point I’m making here is that doctrine is based on the Word of God. When you start substituting inaccurate versions, which omit portions of Scripture, for the true version you end up with error. We see this play out frequently.
So if your church moves to a modern version of the Bible you should be alarmed.
Does That Mean They’ve Left Good Doctrine Already?
In one sense, yes they have. Because these newer versions leave out key words and verses they are considered in “Error.” The Bible used in the pulpit is itself a doctrinal issue. That said, other doctrines may remain true for some time. I know of one church (unnamed) where the pastor no longer uses the KJV and uses a different version, yet he still preaches the same solid doctrines that he learned from the KJV. The problem there is that it is a step in the wrong direction. It may take a short time or a long time before the next step is taken, but the way has been paved. And when that pastor leaves he will leave a church that no longer has the whole Word of God and is therefore vulnerable to error.
What if All My Friends Remain?
That is their choice. Each of us is responsible for our own lives. I was in a church that departed from the tenets of the Bible. In their case they were getting rid of a pastor who preached the Word of God faithfully and led a strong moral, Christian life. They had no Biblical basis for this (although they claimed to have Biblical backing, yet never revealed it). I fought it and lost. I not only had friends in the church but I had positions within the church. Some of my friends stayed though they agreed with me. But I left it all and God gave it all, and more, back to me!
It Will Hurt
Yes it will. When the church split first began I didn’t know what to do. It bothered me so much it affected me at work. I finally broke and told God that if He wanted me to leave I would do so. The moment I told Him that I felt the Peace of God upon me! That lessened the hurt and enabled me to leave, but it still hurt. Especially when they called me names. By the way, that church is no longer an independent Baptist church.
Church splits are harmful not only to our testimony to the world but to the individuals involved. In the end you must choose what you believe is the right thing for you to do. That is between you and God. So pray hard about it.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Me and My Pastor

FeaturedMe and My Pastor

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Me and My Pastor.
What is a Pastor?
There are several names for Pastor in the Bible. They are:

  1. Pastor
    • The word pastor only occurs once in Bible (Jer:17:16)
    • This is considered the equivalent to under shepherd
    • Depending on church government can be elected or appointed
    • Elected in Baptist churches
    • Runs the church
    • Most churches have Deacons who serve as his extension
  2. Bishop (I Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:7; I Peter 2:25)
    • In the Bible this is same as Pastor or Under Shepherd
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Husband of one wife (rules out women)
  3. Elder (Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-2; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1)
    • Same as Pastor
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Elder and Bishop mentioned in same passage (Titus 1:5-9)
  4. Priest (Book of Hebrews)
    • Generally Old Testament
    • Equivalent to Pastor
    • Jesus is the Great High Priest
  5. Under Shepherd (I Peter 2:25, 5:4)
    • Term Under Shepherd not in Bible; references  Great or Chief Shepherd
    • Same as Pastor
    • Jesus is the Shepherd, the pastor is the under shepherd

Different denominations treat these names in different ways. Bible believing Baptist churches identify Pastor, Bishop, Elder, and Under Shepherd as the same office.  The primary reason for this is that the Scriptural definitions of the office and the requirements for the office are very similar or the same.
You’d have to do an in-depth study of the subject to truly understand the differing titles, but the above is how I understand it. In general, the titles depict differing aspects of the same office.
But How Do I Interact with the Pastor?
Your view of the office will affect your interactions with the Pastor. The following is with pastor viewed as the Under Shepherd.

  • Highest officer of the local church
  • Called by God
  • Voted in by congregation
  • Equivalent to CEO

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
As a member of a local church I serve under the pastor at his direction. There may be others between him and me but he is the boss. There is one more aspect that we Christians have a problem with: namely that his rule appears to extend to our personal lives. Considering that each of us are also subject to God’s will and direction for our lives, our subjection to the pastor must be tempered by the knowledge that both he and I are subject to God.
I am not a theologian, but I think this means that as regarding our personal lives we must at the very least listen to the man of God. Does his advice, warning, etc. align with God’s Word? Is his advice, warnings, etc. Biblical or based simply on experience?
I say this because the pastor doesn’t always know all the circumstances of your life. I had one pastor advise me on secular work. I followed it and later regretted it.
I think the key is the phrase: “they must give account” for our souls. This implies moral and spiritual responsibility.
You may differ with me on this, but I conclude with this final statement:
A Christian is subject to the moral and spiritual leadership of his pastor. As such a Christian should submit to that leadership. Outside the church the personal lives are still to be governed by the moral and spiritual leadership of the pastor. It is also advisable to listen to the pastor’s advice about secular work or plans, but does not require submission. Sometimes the pastor’s advice is based on countless dealings with people and seeing wrong decisions and the results. His advice can at least provide you guidance in your decision making.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Gates of Hell

The Gates of Hell

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at The Gates of Hell.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mt. 16:18
The usual application that one hears about this church is as follows: Satan goes about the world like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He is attacking the church, which consists of believers. But praise God his attack will fail!
But that, I believe, is an incorrect reading. The verse talks about the church being founded upon the rock (gospel of Christ) and the gates of hell not prevailing against it. Let’s take a look.
Upon this Rock
I could spend an entire blog upon the Rock, but suffice it to say the Rock is not Peter, a good man but still a man. It is “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt. 16:16). The church is founded upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Gates of Hell
But the real solution to the wrong application is the term gates of Hell. What are gates? They are barred entrances into a city, building, etc. The only person to ever use a gate as a weapon was Samson (Judges 16:3). Gates are defensive, not aggressive.
So the implication is that the “gates of Hell” is a defensive term. Now consider the following:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” Ephesians 6:11-18. Emphasis added.
This describes a soldier going to war. And what kind of armor is he wearing? For the most part offensive weapons! Notice there is no protection for the back, it is all forward looking and, dare I say it, aggressive!
Satan controls this world, we Christians belong to the army of God which is attacking the stronghold of the Devil. Taken in this light, Matthew 16:18 is saying that we, the attacking force, will prevail over Satan’s forces. The very gates of Hell cannot stop us.
So What Are Our Weapons?
Well, Ephesians 6:17 gives us a good idea: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Elsewhere we are called ambassadors, ministers of light. God has given to us the Word of God (Sword of the Spirit) and a Salvation message. In fact in Ephesians 6:15 we are to be shod with the gospel of peace, which is the gospel of salvation by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
How Do I Do That?
There are differing ways of communicating the gospel. Writing is one way. As an author I often include the gospel in my novels. I also write my blogs from a Christian perspective. There is also door to door witnessing that fundamental Baptist churches are known for. You simply visit people and if they are open to the gospel present it to them verbally or at least a written tract.
I Can’t Go Door to Door or Write Well Enough
That’s fine. You can carry a tract in your suit pocket or shirt pocket (men) or in your purse (women). Hand them out. My wife is a good example of this. She will engage people in the store and hand them a tract at the very least. She also will talk to them. I often leave a tract on the restaurant table after eating. I leave it with a tip.
I’m Housebound and Can’t Get Out?
Sorry to hear that, but you can still be a witness. You can witness to visitors by simply telling your story. Most people like to hear about somebody else’s conversion. It gives you an opportunity to share the gospel. And you can also give visitors tracts.
What Else?
The ‘what else’ is simply prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 prayer is right next to the armor. Why? Well look at the modern soldier. Along with all their armor they have the ability to communicate to their leaders directly. In the not so distant past military units had a radioman who could communicate with their commanders. Going all the way back to Paul’s day soldiers had a means of communicating (archaic by our standards), but the point is that they could get directions from their commanding officers. And, as Christian soldiers, so can we! Our means of communicating is prayer.
So you can always pray. Pray for your family, pray for your friends, pray for your neighbors, and don’t stop praying! Prayer, when based on the Word of God, works!
The church is not fort to protect us from the evil outside, but an attacking force that the gates of Hell cannot withstand. In Ephesians 6:13 we read, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Satan is not going to sit back and just allow you to attack at will. He will counterattack and when that happens God will give you the strength to stand immovable. Then you move forward.
Conclusion
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mt. 16:18
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57.
We are on the winning side. In Christ we already have the victory. Yes there are many battles to be fought and we may lose some of them, but the war is already won!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Church and the Family of God

The Church and the Family of God

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at The Church and the Family of God.
Is the Church and the Family of God the same?
There are some differences depending on your view of the church. The Family of God consists only of born-again Christians, whereas the church is an assembly of like-minded worshippers.
The Spiritual Church
The Spiritual Church refers to all believers down through the ages. It definitely is the same as the Family of God. When you receive Christ as your Savior, you immediately become a part of the family of God and are part of the church of God.
The Local Church
This is an organized church made up of professing Christians. Only God knows if they are all saved. It is possible that some are not saved and therefore not a part of the family of God.
What’s the Bride of Christ?
Actually this is another name for the Church and for the Family of God. The Bible speaks of us (all born-again believers) as the Bride of Christ.
What about the Body of Christ?
That’s another descriptive phrase pertaining to the Church.
Look at it this way, All born-again believers, despite denomination, are members of the Family of God which is called the Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ. The Local Church is the visible manifestation of the Church, but it often has both the tares (unbelievers) and the wheat (believers) within it which won’t necessarily be revealed until the Rapture.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.