Finding a Church

FeaturedFinding a Church

Today I am writing about Finding a Church.
Before I begin let me provide this snippet: Finding a good church involves a great many things but I am including only those I’m interested in.

  • Perhaps you just moved into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you plan on moving into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you just received Christ as your Savior (born again) and need a good church.
  • Perhaps you’re leaving your current church and need a good church.

There are myriads of reasons for leaving a church, but I am only looking at a few.
How Should I Look for a New Church?
Let’s look at the last item: leaving your church. There are a number of reasons for leaving a church, but the Biblical reason would be doctrine. And that requires soul searching. Why did you leave? What doctrinal issue was involved? If not a doctrinal issue then maybe you should reevaluate.
For the purposes of this blog I am making some assumptions. Namely, that you are a born again believer, that you either are or want to be a fundamentalist, that you want to grow.
What is a Fundamentalist?
A fundamentalist is a person who believes in the fundamentals or basics of Scripture. The following list covers most, if not all, of the fundamentals.
With those in mind here are some ideas: The Church should:

  • Believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God.
  • Believe the Scriptures to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God, as found within the 66 books from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Believe God not only inspired every word, but also preserved them through the ages.
  • Believe the King James Version is the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people (Psalm 12:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
  • Believe in one God, who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable.
  • Believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance, yet manifests Himself to man in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 1:17; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4).
  • Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be the one and only Saviour of mankind.
  • Believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purposes of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s Kingdom.
  • Believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection.
  • Believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time of receiving His church at the Rapture, and returning seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25, 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:19, 2:2; 1 John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).Believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam.
  • Believe that because of this nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power.
  • Believe the only hope of deliverance for man is turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour.
  • Believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered from his sin.
  • Believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19, 16:31; Romans 3:10-23, 5:6-12, 6:23, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14).
  • Believe the local church is composed of members who have been saved and baptized according to the command of Christ, and have voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, service, and the Lord’s Table.
  • Believe all true believers will be taken up at the Rapture, just prior to the Tribulation (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:15, 2:41-43, 11:15, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Ephesians 1:12-14, 5:25-30; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 3:4-15).
  • Believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context.
  • Believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture of the church saints, followed by the seven-year Tribulation.
  • Believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule for one thousand years. Following this one thousand years is a Great White Throne judgment and then the New Heaven and new earth (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22).

This is by no means considered to be an exhaustive list, but it does cover the fundamentals. You may disagree with some of these, which is your right. I have included Scripture references to support the items.
You mention the KJV Bible. Why?
Contrary to a lot of intellectual nonsense the King James Version is the only Bible today that is based on the Texus Receptus. The argument against the KJV is that there are “older” versions that are better. Since there are no originals in existence anymore it is impossible to tell which is older. That said, the King James Version is based on copies that can be traced right back to New Testament times. This is not true of many modern versions which can only be traced back to when they were found (at least one in a trash can).
How do I find out what a church believes?
Here are some ideas for that:

  • Church website – many, if not most, churches have a website where you can see their Statement of Faith
  • Tract Rack – When I visit a church I look at their tract rack, it is very revealing
  • Mission Board – another revealing source I check on when visiting a church
  • Friends – if your friends have visited the church they might be able to help
  • Sunday School teaching – you’ll learn a lot about the church’s beliefs and practices
  • Sermons – the preaching of God’s Word will always be revealing.

How often should I attend a church before making a decision?

  • I recommend at least three times. Sometimes it may take weeks to get a true picture.
  • A safe answer would be to attend as long as necessary to form a correct opinion.

What about Music?
Music can make or break a church. There are different views on the subject. One rule I would follow would be to stay away from churches which try to please everyone. These usually have Traditional and Contemporary music or services. A good question to ask is does the music honor God and lift up the name of Jesus. Does the music prepare the heart for the preaching?
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 to the Stars 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.

Advertisements

Writing as a Christian Service

FeaturedWriting as a Christian Service

The following blog is taken from an earlier blog entitled, Is Writing a Service to God? I am still a writer and I write Christian themed novels. So examining the subject of writing is as natural as breathing. There may be small alterations, but basically it is the same.

Is writing fiction really serving God?

That’s a reasonable question since some people believe that it is not true service. I once was upbraided for writing novels based on the Bible because:

  • People will mistake it for the truth
  • Thereby getting wrong doctrine

There are a few things wrong with that view:

  1. The Bible is found in the Bible or Religion section of bookstores not fiction
  2. Novels are found in the Fiction section not in the Religion section
  3. My books state they are novels
  4. My novels are purposely based on Biblical fact and doctrine
  5. My novels flesh out the stories rather than disagree

In other words, no person who has read my books can seriously claim they teach false doctrine. If there is any doctrine in the book it always agrees with the Bible. In fact, I have been told my books “bring the Bible alive!”

Actually one of the reasons for writing Bible based novels is to encourage people to read the Bible; to discover what is Bible fact and what is a product of my imagination? It is always a thrill when someone reads my books and their faith is either renewed or they become more interested in reading the Bible.

And that is a service!

The true test of service, any kind of service, is as follows: Does it

  • Agree with Biblical facts
  • Honor God
  • Inspire people to read the Bible
  • Inspire people to worship God
  • Inspire others to serve
  • Inspire people to live godly lives

It needn’t do all the above but it should have at least one of the elements. Christian authors, whether fiction or non-fiction writers, have an awesome opportunity to influence people for Christ. You don’t have to be preachy. You don’t even have to write about Bible events or people. But our writings should reflect a Christian approach to or view of life.

My books generally take place before the birth of Christ yet I strive to present a Christian view. So while I don’t mention Jesus, I do mention the Redeemer. In addition, I emphasize the Scriptures (aka the Writings).

So if you’re a Christian author don’t be shy about being one. You have a job, perhaps a calling. Trust His leading and do things His way. And when people challenge you respond in pride, “I write because God gave me the talent and because He wants me to use it for Him.”

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 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.

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

Pre, Mid, or Post Rapture?

In my last blog (Christian Numerology?) I wrote about the ‘end of the world’ on Saturday September 23rd. We are now past that date and we are still here. But my post raised a question pertaining to the Rapture. It was pointed out that there are three Rapture theories: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib. So let’s explore these a little in reverse order:

Post Tribulation

This view holds that the church will go through the entire seven year Tribulation and then will come the Rapture. While some Christians still believe in this theory it has largely been dismissed. There are many promises in Scripture concerning the Rapture that Post Tribulation either ignores or spins. These are:

  • 3:10
  • Luke 12:10
  • Matthew 24:42, 44
  • I Thess. 4:13-18
  • 1Thess 1:10,5:9
  • Romans 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6

Does belief in the Post Tribulation Rapture mean one is not saved? No! Rather, I believe, it means that they have been taught amiss. A literal reading of the Word of God does not lead to a belief in the Post Trib Rapture.

Mid-Tribulation

This view means the church will go through the first half of the Tribulation, but escape the second half sometimes called the Great Tribulation. But again believers in this theory ignore or neglect important verses. This theory is based on 1 Corinthians 15:52 and in particular “the last trumpet.” They teach that this is the last trumpet of the trumpets found in Revelation. But the problem is that to do that they must ignore the fact that all the other trumpets of Revelation deal with God’s wrath.

The simple fact is that the Rapture is a New Testament subject meant only for the Church. Yet the church is never mentioned again after Revelation 4:1. From then on it is Israel which was, is and will be God’s beloved and chosen people. One of the purposes of the Tribulation, other than to punish unbelievers, is to bring the Jewish people back to Him! (Mt. 23:39; Luke 13:35.)

Pre-Tribulation

This view takes a literal view of the Bible including all the promises. Some of these are:

  • Revelation 3:10
  • I Thessalonians 1:10
  • I Thessalonians 5:9
  • Ephesians 5:6
  • Colossians 3:4

According to this view there is no event that must take place before the Rapture occurs. It could happen at any time. This view is also the view of the early church fathers, such as Barnabas (ca.100-105), Papias (ca. 60-130), Justin Martyr (110-195), Irenaeus (120-202), Tertullian (145-220), Hippolytus (ca. 185-236), Cyprian (200-250), and Lactantius (260-330).

I am not concerned whether you agree with me or not. What is important is that if you have received Christ as your Savior (been born again through the blood of Jesus) then you will be Raptured (Caught Up). It is a promise of God to us!

So there you have it. I hope I haven’t offended anyone, but now you know my position and the position of this blog. I am a fundamentalist; I take the Bible literally except where it indicates otherwise.

– – – – – – –

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.

Did You Know #1 Selling Book?

Did You Know #1 Selling Book?

The Bible is listed as the world’s best selling book. I recently looked at an atheist website claiming it is not, but their arguments ranged from silly to just plain untrue.

So what are the facts?

For starters, the Guinness World Records estimate that over 5 billion copies of the Bible have been sold. That puts the Bible head and shoulders above any other book printed!

In a list compiled in Russell Ash’s The Top 10 of Everything 2002 it was estimated that the Bible has sold over 6 billion copies. Second place was Mao Tse-Tung’s “Quotations from Chairman Mao” at 900 million. Quite a difference!

Both the CBA (Association for Christian Retail) and ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) agree that the top three Bible versions are: 1) New International Version, 2) King James Version, and 3) New King James Version.

One dealer in Bibles makes this statement: “The King James Bible remains the greatest book in the English language, and the best-selling book of all time.

What I find interesting in all of this is the fact that the KJV Bible is no longer pushed by major publishing houses. They may print and sell them, but their marketing is aimed at their own version. For example, Zondervan publishes and sells KJV Bibles, but their marketing efforts are aimed primarily at the New International Version, which they own.

So in spite of the publishing houses moving away from the KJV it still is one of the top selling Bibles today. It seems to come in regularly at second place. That’s pretty good considering the lack of real marketing.

But since 1611 A.D., when it was first printed, the KJV has dominated the market and is the number one all time sales leader. How do we explain this?

In a Christianity Today article back in 2014 it said this, “When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll.

“The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible.”

55 percent to 19 percent. That is crushing! But, again, I ask why?

Why is it that the NIV, which has dominated sales for decades, is a poor second to KJV Bibles being read? Or why is it that the ABS’s State of the Bible report points out that 52 percent of Americans read the King James Version while only 11 percent read the New International Version?

Among several reasons given, one study noted that 56 percent of women, 39 percent of men, and 70 percent of African Americans are more likely to read the Bible. But still no answer regarding the KJV.

In my search for an answer I found many pros and cons relating to the King James Version, but never an explanation of its power. But if you think about it, we don’t need experts.

I think that most Christians who have and read their KJV do so because it speaks to their hearts. Forget the so-called  difficulty of the language. Children learn to read and memorize it from all over the English speaking world.

The true power of the King James Version is not its accuracy (often dismissed but never really disproved), nor its poetic form (which enables easy memorization), nor its strong supporters. It is powerful because of all of that, but more so because historically God has used it in countless thousands, hundreds of thousands, yes, millions of lives!

No other version can make that claim, although they try to do so.

Buy A Good Bible

Buy A Good Bible

You may find this blog to be controversial. You may even disagree, but that is alright.

On the other hand your appetite for more information may be whetted. I have written a book that covers this and actually the early Baptist history. At the conclusion I will tell you how to get a FREE copy.

In today’s world there are many versions of the Bible. So before buying a Bible, you must first learn what is the best Bible.

You walk into a Christian Bookstore and you will see all sorts of Bible versions. Do you know the history behind them? Do you know why most you cannot trust?

Let’s take a closer look.

Argument #1: Easier to Read

Many of these new versions are written in today’s language, while the KJV still reflects the Old English. Publishing houses promote their versions as easier to read.

While it is true the new ones use modern English, that doesn’t make them any easier. Here are a few observable facts:

  1. Children can be taught to read and understand the King James English.
  2. Adults regularly learn new languages, new terminologies, and new words without blinking.
  3. The KJV ranks first in all-time sales and 2nd in current sales.
  4. And it ranks #1 in being read.

Why is the KJV Better Than Other Versions?

To my knowledge there are only two Bibles (currently printed) that are written in the King James Language: The Geneva Bible and the King James Bible, with the KJV dominating. All other Bibles are based on what is known as the Corrupted Text.

During the early years after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ there arose two schools that produced copies of the New Testament. These were Antioch and Alexandria. Unfortunately Alexandria was the home of a host of pagan beliefs that infiltrated the texts being copied there.

The Alexandria texts became corrupted even further under Origen in A.D. 250, which had a major impact on Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (A.D. 380). Later there was an even greater corruption by Westcott & Hort.

Westcott and Hort were members of the Anglican church, but there is no evidence they were ever saved. We know they did not believe in the Trinity and other Biblical doctrines. Yet their work became the basis for the modern translations of the Bible.

Argument #2: Newer Versions Are More Reliable

This is the most ridiculous argument around. There are only a few (50 or less) copies of the corrupted texts, while there are 5500 copies of the Textus Receptus!

Part of this argument is based on the assertion that the newer texts are actually the oldest copies in existence. While this might be argued, there is another more important fact: these are copies not originals. You cannot make any claims about age based on copies. You need the originals.

Why Should You Use The KJV?

Here are just a few facts:

  1. Scribes faithfully copied each manuscript. If they made an error, they would destroy the current work and start over.
  2. The Textus Receptus has been used of God as a blessing for centuries to bless His people.
  3. It is 100% accurate, while the other versions have major omissions and inaccuracies.

One thing that confuses the issue is there are many godly pastors who use the other versions and still preach solid doctrine. But it is wise to remember that these same men grew up memorizing the KJV. They know the true doctrines and can teach them with any version. But new Christians don’t have that foundation! So they are left with a Bible version that may not support the doctrine they believe, which leaves them vulnerable. Stick with the KJV.

Final note: Some people claim the NKJV is also based on the Textus Receptus. This may be partially true, but it still adheres to the modern texts in that there are omissions and errors.

As I said in the title, Buy A Good Bible. That is the KJV Bible.

If you would like a FREE copy of my Did You Know About The Bible? to be emailed to you, email me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. I am currently revising the book and upon completion will send you a copy (Microsoft Word).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him 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.

Why I Wrote, Did You Know About Bible History?

I recently published a new book entitled, Did You Know About Bible History? which delves into the history of the Bible. Not its doctrines, but its history from the very beginning.

Why did I write it?

First of all, I wrote the book because of the obvious ignorance that exists about the Bible. I have seen posts on Facebook from people I know, people who are intelligent, people who sincerely want to know the truth, yet they make claims about the Bible that just a little research would have shown to be false.

Another reason for writing the book is new Christians. Somebody visits a church, hears the gospel, and gets saved. Halleluiah! Now what do they do? Well if the church is solid they will begin disciplining the new Christian. And disciplining involves the Bible. Now they must trust something they have never trusted before. Can they trust the Bible?

The final reason is that I believe many, if not all, of this nation’s problems spring from ignorance or misunderstanding of the Bible. Our country was founded with biblical principles, as attested to by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but you can only understand those principles if you have an understanding of the Bible.

And you are hindered in understanding the Bible if you aren’t sure the book is trustworthy. The purpose of writing this book and the Bible Academy that hopefully will open soon is to enable men and women who sincerely want to know just what are the facts regarding the Bible..

I grew up in a world where the Bible was highly regarded by Christian and non-Christians. You didn’t hear such foolish comments that the Bible is only a bunch of myths. Nor did you hear the drivel that now pours from the lips of liberals undermining and denigrating the Bible.

The time and the need is now. I want to get this book into as many hands as possible. So I priced the book at $3.99, the so-called sweet spot for marketing. But to make it even easier to purchase, I created a coupon that lowers the price to $2.00 – virtually 50% off! The book is available at Smashwords and the coupon is JG39A. But the coupon expires on May 13, 2016.

I am passionate about getting this book out. Our country is on the brink of disaster! The dream that began over 200 years ago may soon evaporate. Case in point, the Bible tells us that the day will come when good will be called bad, and the bad will be called good. Large and famous companies are now threatening North Carolina for basically calling sin, sin. These companies now are calling transgenders “good” but the Bible clearly takes a different course. These companies have taken what they think is the moral high ground and have condemned North Carolina for taking the stance it has taken.

Such ignorance is not new, but is pervading every aspect of society.

As I said earlier, ignorance about the Bible makes all this possible. These executives should be required to study the Bible. That won’t happen. But if people learn the truths about the Bible, maybe they will change course. Some might call this a pipe dream, but I feel that I must try.

So if you want to know more about the history of the Bible and why it can be trusted, I suggest you click on the link to Smashwords and get this book in the format you prefer.