Friday, September 3, 2010


These shall make war with the Lamb, and
the Lamb shall overcome them:
and they that are with him are
Called, and Chosen, and Faithful.
R E V E L A T I O N 1 7 : 1 4
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good Morning Friends of FCC!

What a joy it has been to join hands with you on our way to the City of God.

I can only imagine what it will be when we grasp the nail-scarred hand of the Lord Jesus and He leads us into that place He has gone to prepare for us! (John 14:1-6)

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
When I look upon His face, the one who saves me by His grace!
When He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day! Glorious day that will be!

Until then, what an encouragement it is to join hands with you while we journey through the City of Man. We really do need to encourage and support one another. There have been many times when your kind words, your faithful prayers, or even just your presence, has encouraged us forward!

We read of a great end time battle that will rage between Satan (the Beast) and his allies, and the LAMB OF GOD, WHO IS LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS and His people. Those identified with the LAMB OF GOD are “CALLED, AND CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL!”

It seems to us that evil men are waxing worse and worse. Satan’s allies are aligning themselves against righteousness and holiness, against men of virtue and truth, and against nations who fear the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There are some who are saying “Peace and Safety.” But God’s Word is warning us, “the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night, for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail on a woman with child, and they shall not escape.” (1st Thessalonians 5:11ff)

Last Sunday we preached on THE CALL OF GOD! How wonderful it was to sense God’s Spirit and to see an entire family hear and heed that call. God has called men and women throughout history. He calls Churches to enlist in the crusade for righteousness and true holiness. He calls us to embrace His truth, to defend His truth, and to advance His truth! And God is calling us individually. He speaks, and we listen! We are called.

The Lord willing we will preach this Sunday on THE CHOSEN OF GOD! Who is it that God is chosing to be a part of His great Cause? The Scriptures are clear: God is chooses those who choose Him! I like that chorus: “When they number the ones who believe in HIM, Count me IN!” AMEN!

Have you heard the Lord calling you? Listen to His voice. Heed His good and perfect will for your life! GOD WILL COUNT YOU AMONG HIS CHOSEN

It is so exciting to see how the Lord is working this Community of Faith. I’m amazed as I see God’s grace at work in the lives of so many. Some are coming to the Lord for the first time. Others are coming home, after years of wandering. But God is calling! And God is choosing! And we will be faithful.

If you have a friend or family member who needs God, I hope you’ll bring them this weekend!

If you have a special prayer request that we should bring to the Lord, I hope you’ll write it down on your FCC CONNECTION card and bring it along with you. We will pray for each and every one.


14TH ANNIVERSARY REVIVAL SERVICES will open on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 at 7:00 P.M. You will be blessed to hear GREAT PREACHING and SOUL STIRRING SINGING and VICTORIOUS PRAYING! Plan now to attend every night, Wednesday through Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Hear P. L. Liddell, Ben Crawford, Andrew Durst, & Bishop Marsh Jones

10:30 A Sunday School Rally with GIANT CUPCAKE CAKE in the shape of our BUS!

11:00 A Morning Worship Celebration
Carry-In Dinner on the Grounds Under the Great Tent
6:30 P Evening Service Celebration

Saturday, June 5, 2010


The Church of Jesus Christ celebrated Ascension Day this past Thursday, May 13, 2010 (That was also the day 15 years ago that Vickie and I walked along Lake Michigan near Lincoln Park in Chicago, and I gave her a white Bride’s Bible and asked her to be my wife.)

So what were Peter and John and James doing on this day, 1,980 years ago? What were Andrew, Philip, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Bartholomew, Simon, and the other disciples doing on this day, the first Resurrection Day without the Savior on Earth.

In Acts 1:14 we read:
These with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus and with his brothers.

But where do we find the disciples?

Back in the Ancient city of Jerusalem, the disciples were in an upper room praying.

There would be time taken out to select a replacement for Judas, but then again they would be back on their knees in prayer.

Jesus had given them strict instructions: Acts 1:4
And while staying with them he charged them, not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said ‘you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit/Ghost.

Yes they were to be witnesses. Right before ascending to heaven Jesus gathered his disciples and said, “All authority (power) is heaven has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father an dof the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19,20

And only minutes before Ascending, Jesus said,
Acts 1:7,8
It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has in his own power. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. And ye shall be witnesses unto me, in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And then he was gone…Angels beside him saying, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven, this same Jesus which is taken up from you shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go.”


If prayer was the Lord’s command, and the first and foremost duty of the First Christians, why would we suppose ourselves exempt from the call to persistent, insistent, consistent prayer?

The Churches of our nation are more and more worldly, as nearly half of those who profess to be born again do not believe that the 10 Commandments are absolutely true—and that Jesus Christ is the only way to God.

The culture is more violent, promiscuous, and hateful by the day.
Only a move of God in Holy Ghost, Sin-Killing, Devil-Defeating Revival Power can stem the tide and turn our nation back to God.


Until we pray we will never see God for who He is, and us for who we are.
--THE HOLINESS AND POWER OF GOD…our own sin and powerlessness and profound dependency

Until we pray, surrendering our lives to His absolute authority, we will have no authority against sin.


There will be no revival without prayer. And revival begets more prayer.

Only the effectual fervent prayer of God’s righteous men will avail much against the strongholds of the enemy.

Jesus said, My House shall be called an House of Prayer! Not a crass commercial business.

Jim Cymbala observes, “God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and prayer meetings today are almost extinct.”

Until we pray we will not have what we need most—we rush around, we run around after this and that, when God is saying, “everything you need I have.”

Only a praying Church can be a soul-winning church

Only a praying Church can be a place where lives are changed, and the power of God is released in miracles.

Only a praying Church can be a bold witness against the Spirit of the Age.

No church should be measured by attendance, rather we must measure ourselves with the Word of God and our faithfulness to it.
Daily in the Temple and in every house…

Only a praying Church will be concerned about the never-dying souls of its community, of its neighbors, of its family.

Oh yes they prayed and turned the world right-side up.

Will we?

Thursday, June 3, 2010


What God Has Joined Together…

JESUS said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:9). The disciples had asked the Lord about marriage. Christ was clear. It is not possible for a man to divide what God has joined together.

I have been thinking about other things that God has joined together that carnal men are trying to “put asunder” and divide.

Before turning to the Scriptures, we would observe that our great nation was founded on the principles of the Judeo-Christian ethic, with a firm reliance upon the God of Scripture and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Declaration of Independence reads, “All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Our first President, George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern without God and the Bible.”

John Adams wrote, “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity…I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

In his plan for education, Benjamin Franklin insisted that schools should teach, “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”

Patrick Henry declared, “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

The United States Supreme Court ruled, “America is a Christian nation,” at the end of the 19th century.

Yet at the dawn of the twentieth century, voices began to be heard, seeking to divide that which “God had joined together.” Now liberty has been uncoupled from morality. Rights have been separated from Right. And Privilege is no longer dependent upon Responsibility.
What God has joined together we put asunder at our own risk. Unless there is a great awakening, our liberty, our property, even our very existence is at risk.

THE SCRIPTURES teach us that God has joined together these great truths:

Until there is sincere repentance there can be no saving faith. It is impossible to believe that God has truly forgiven us until we have fully repented—literally changed our minds about sin.

After his baptism, Jesus preached, “Repent and believe the Gospel.” (John 1:15).

In Acts 20, the Apostle Paul tell the Ephesian Elders, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying to the Jews and Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:20,21). See also Hebrews 6:1.

It is our conviction that the reason so few possess the full assurance of faith, is that so few have failed to thoroughly repent of sin—wilful disobedience against the known law of God. Consequently many “profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16).

In his second letter to the Church at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul declares, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

While we contend that sanctifying grace is able to cleanse away our natural inclination to sin and renew our heart in love, the Scriptures clearly teach that saved men are initially sanctified. In nearly every case that sanctification is not entire, but it is begun in the heart of the regenerated. God can only call a man righteous He has made righteous. He cannot lie.

There are some who have confused the effect of holiness (separation from the world, the flesh, and the devil) with the cause of holiness, and in so doing they have entirely missed the heart of holiness (i.e. righteousness, joy, peace, and love). Their bitter, censorious, and harsh critique of those who do not live “by the book” (that book usually being the Church Manual) has turned many away from the highway of holiness.In reaction against those who have accented separation from the world (especially in entertainments, adornments, and lifestyle), there has risen a large contingent of “Anti-Pharisees” who believe themselves to be “Super Saints.”

Like the Gnostics of the First Century they suppose that they know the real truth, and so how they live their lives is not important. They criticize their critics and unwittingly fall into the same bitter attitude as those they despise.Indeed “legalism has slain its thousands, while liberalism has slain its tens of thousands.” Sadly, both make shipwreck of their faith.If God’s Word is inspired (and it is!), and if God’s Word reveals God’s will (and it does!), then God’s People will take seriously the spirit and the letter of God’s will as it is revealed in God’s Word and by God's Spirit.To neglect separation from the world is folly, but to reject separation from the world is rebellion.

God has joined Holiness of Heart and Holiness of Life together. The Bible says that those who are “made free from sin,” [holy in heart] are “become servants to God.” [holy in life], and they have “fruit unto holiness.” (Romans 6:22).

There are many who suppose that they can divide the doctrines of Christianity from the disciplines of Christian living. It is an error as old as the Gnostics of the First Century. The Apostle John confronted this heresy directly, “If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1 John 2:29). The Bible nowhere teaches us that those who believe correctly will be saved. But it does say, “He that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” (1 John 2:17).

Right doctrine (orthodoxy) and right practice (orthopraxy) are in God’s word, inseparable. But some are attempting to divide what God has joined together.

Jesus instructed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the “promise of the Father.” He told them that when the Holy Ghost was given they would “receive power.” On the day of Pentecost, as the disciples were in one accord in one place, they were filled with the Holy Ghost.

Peter would later described Pentecost as the day the disciples were “purified by faith.” (Acts 15:8,9).

Was it Power that they were given at Pentecost? Or was it Purity of heart that came with the Spirit? It was both. Christ came to “purify the people with his own blood.” And, He came to empower his people to victory over the world, the flesh, and devil. Where there is no purity, God’s power will be absent. And wherever you discover God’s power working, you will see God purifying His people from all sin.

The writer to the Hebrews urges, “Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14). In Romans we read, “to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6). “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17). Indeed without holiness there can be no peace.

Finally, we know that Holiness and Heaven are inseparable. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). In writing of Heaven, the exiled Apostle John declares, “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27).

We are fooling ourselves if we suppose that we can divide without consequence that which God has joined together. Every attempt to do so will be met with certain judgment. Lay it to heart my dear reader. Let us not resist the law of God, but rest in the comfort of doing God’s will. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:21).

Saturday, May 29, 2010


In cemeteries all across our nation grieving families have bid farewell to their soldiers, soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Who can ever forget the loud report of the soldiers firing the 21 gun salute, and then the bugler playing the mournful tune "Taps." Though there are no official words to the tune, there are some popular lyrics that are rich with meaning:

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills,
From the sky.All is well,
safely rest,God is nigh.Fades the light;

And afarGoeth day,
And the starsShineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,Night is on.Thanks and praise, For our days,'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,'Neath the sky,As we go, This we know,God is nigh.

Though the President of the United States can't make it to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown soldier, (he's on vacation in Chicago), let us each one pause to thank the Lord for not only the soldiers who have died defending freedom, but all of our loved ones who've now made the crossing and are safe in the arms of Jesus.

May the devotion of those who have gone before inspire us all to greater faith and deeper commitment to the Cause of Christ, and His Kingdom.

The United States military requires every soldier to uphold this code of conduct:
1. I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.
3. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole or special favors from the enemy.
4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
6. I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

Here is a CODE OF CONDUCT for SOLDIERS SERVING THE BODY OF CHRIST that my Father wrote and delivered:

I am a Christian. I serve in the defense of Christ and His way of life. I am prepared to die for Him.

I will never surrender to the enemy of my own free will. If I am a pastor I will never surrender one of the flock.

If I fall captive to temptation, I will turn to Christ, the sure way of escape. I will aid others to escape. I will never accept compromise to ease the pressure exerted against me.

I will keep faith with my fellow Christians. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am a pastor, I will take, responsibility to shepherd the flock. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

When questioned, I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to Christ or the Church or harmful to their cause. I will freely and fully profess my faith, and make every effort to bring my questioners to salvation.

I will never forget that I am a Christian, responsible for my actions before God, and dedicated to the principles of the Word of God. I will trust God and be true, whatever it costs.


Would you not agree that most modern day holiness preachers sell this grace short?

Again: we give the name of “Christian perfection” to that maturity of grace and holiness which established adult believers attain to under the Christian dispensation: and thus we distinguish that maturity of grace, both from the ripeness of grace, which belongs to the dispensation of the Jews below us; and from the ripeness of glory, which belongs to departed saints above us. Hence it appears, that by “Christian perfection” we mean nothing but the cluster and maturity of the graces which compose the Christian character in the Church militant.

In other words, Christian perfection is a spiritual constellation made up of these gracious stars, perfect repentance, perfect faith, perfect humility, perfect meekness, perfect self denial, perfect resignation, perfect hope, perfect charity for our visible enemies, as well as for our earthly relations; and, above all, perfect love for our invisible God, through the explicit knowledge of our Mediator Jesus Christ.

And as this last star is always accompanied by all the others, as Jupiter is by his satellites, we frequently use, as St. John, the phrase “perfect love,” instead of the word perfection; understanding by it the pure love of God shed abroad in the hearts of established believers by the Holy Ghost, which is abundantly given them under the fulness of the Christian dispensation.

22. By what "fruit of the Spirit" may we "know that we are of God," even in the highest sense?

By love, joy, peace, always abiding; by invariable long-suffering, patience, resignation; by gentleness, triumphing over all provocation; by goodness, mildness,sweetness, tenderness of spirit; by fidelity, simplicity, godly sincerity; by meekness, calmness, evenness of spirit; by temperance, not only in food and sleep, but in all things natural and spiritual.

23. But what great matter is there is this? Have we not all this when we are justified?
What! Total resignation to the will of God, without any mixture of self-will? Gentleness, without any touch of anger, even the moment we are provoked? Love to God, without the least love to the creature, but in and for God, excluding all pride? Love to man, excluding all envy, all jealousy, and rash judging? Meekness, keeping the whole soul inviolably calm? And temperance in all things? Deny that any ever came up to this, if you please; but do not say all who are justified do.


In telling us what this enlargement is, Bishop Foster gives the following definition ordescription of this "higher experience," which, in advance of more elaborate definitions, we adoptas our own:
"What is this higher grace? Some call it holiness; some, purity; some, sanctification; some,perfection; some, maturity. There has been much unseemly disputation over the name as well asmuch fanatical profession concerning the experience, and much crude and unsound teaching as towhat it includes and how it is to be attained, and much ill-tempered criticism.
"It answers all the ends of description to say, it is the perfecting of the soul in love. Love isnot simply the queen of the graces, but the mother of them all -- the all-embracing.

Love is thefulfilling of the law; love made perfect excludes envy, jealousy, pride, and all violent and hurtful tempers and acts; love is reverent, meek, humble, docile, patient, obedient, worketh no ill,fulfilleth all righteousness. Perfect love inspires perfect faith, courage, heroism, self-denial,casteth out all fear ... God fills the soul with his love to overflowing. It thrills with gladness; itexpels impurity. While it reigns, there is no place for evil thoughts, evil desires, evil feelings.Heaven has already come. Can it be permanent at its highest pitch? We think we are safe in saying no, as an emotion. The thrill of love and joy must be intermittent in a life like ours on earth. Otherfeelings must come, and for the time obscure and replace these. But as a principle governing thelife, we are bold to say love may and should abide moment by moment and without alloy."


Why are we so happy?

It’s not because we have solved all our problems and met every challenge we’ve faced. It’s not because we never face illness and tragedy. It can’t be because we’re thrilled with our government. It certainly can’t be because the world’s economy is so good.

So let me give you five—five reasons why Christians are happy, or what the Bible calls, “Blessed.”

The doubters say that Christians are happy because they are deceived and confused. They say that if Christians understood their situation, they’d be as unhappy as the rest of the world. And certainly, if I was a doubter, skeptical of Christ and critical of God’s Word, that’s what I’d say too. It sure beats admitting one is wrong. Read these survey results and you will see Bible-believing Christians are indeed happier!

The God of the Holy Bible is not limited (He is all-powerful), mean-spirited (He is full of compassion), or inconsistent (He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!). He is good, and He is good all the time. Here’s proof:

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who
trust in Him! Nahum 1:7 Good and upright is the Lord… Psalm 25:8

O Taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. Psalm 34:8
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:8,9.

There is none good but one, that is God… Matthew 19:17
Despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. Romans 2:4

For “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved!” (John 3:17). “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “There is therefore now, no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1).

Psychologists and counselors tell us that that what people need more than anything else is a fresh start. Christ has given that to us! By paying the penalty for our sins, He has set us free.
“I’m free from the fear of tomorrow.
I’m free from the guilt of the past.
For I’ve traded my shackles, for a glorious song!
I’m free, praise the Lord, free at last!”

Not only are we free from the guilt of sin, but in Christ there is victory over sin! “Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory .” “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Romans 6:14) “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ...” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

THIRD WE KNOW THAT GOD WILL DIRECT OUR LIVES, SUPPLY OUR NEEDS, AND NEVER LEAVE US. Our security is not found in uncertain riches. But our Heavenly Father is watching over us.

Here’s what Jesus said:
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:25-34).

Indeed the Prophet Jeremiah was so right, “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23. Isaiah said it this way, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

FOURTH WE KNOW THAT GOD HAS A GOOD AND PERFECT PLAN FOR OUR LIVES. When we surrender our lives to His control, we find perfect peace and contentment.
Our happiness does not rest in relationships with people. Nor do we depend on uncertain riches to make us happy.

Our strength comes from the Lord. Our direction comes from His Word and His Spirit. And His will does not lead us where His grace cannot keep us. He has never failed us!
“For I know the thoughts [the plans that I have for you] that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14.)

No matter how deep the trial, no matter how long the journey, no matter how difficult the circumstance, no matter how grievous the pain, one of these days the children of God will be Safe in the Arms of Jesus! And “It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus!”
Heaven is real, and it is really wonderful! I haven’t located heaven’s exact address in the universe, but I have located heaven’s description in God’s Word. It is a place where there will be no more tears, no more death, neither sorrow, no crying, and no pain! (Revelation 21:4)

Heaven is cheap at any price. It is forever at home with the Lord. It is peace and security. It is everlasting life. It is the blessed home of the sanctified.

It is worth more than money (ask poor Lazarus and the multitudes of earth’s poor who now are rich in heaven treasure—a treasure that moth and rust cannot corrupt).

It is worth more than pleasure (ask the rich man who had everything in life and is now suffering the loss of everything and is being tormented in hell’s flame).

It is worth more than the opinions of the world (ask those who were mocked, and scorned, and ridiculed by this world, because they were different, looked different, acted different, and lived different. Today they are reigning with Christ in glory).

It is worth more than life itself (ask the millions who have been martyred for their faith.)



I would first like to say…

“Congratulations” to CHARLIE--CHARLES STEVEN DURST! Your hours of study and hard work have paid off.

“Commendations” to CHARLIE’S teachers! Your devoted teaching—pouring not only information but inspiration—into this life have brought us to this good hour.

“You Made It!” to CHARLIE’S parents!
Hours of driving – driving between Decatur and Urbana, and driving your son to do his best—represented a tremendous sacrifice for you, but will bring life-long blessings to your son.

As you leave Kingswood School and enter the University of Illinois, you will face the greatest challenges, and greatest opportunities of your life. Unlike Kingswood—a school that is Christian, Biblical, and Classical—the University will be Hostile to Christian Orthdoxy, Critical of Scriptural Authority, and dismissive of the great thoughts and thinkers of Western Civilization.

Your fellow university students will not have experienced the New Birth, they will not believe that Biblical Morality is inspired and inerrant, and they will be driven by the desires for pleasure and acceptance, more than discipleship and principled leadership.

They will have imbibed the spirit of this age. They will live as though morality is a myth, judgment is fiction, and eternity in heaven or hell is a fairy tale. In this they are not unlike their parents and professors. We are living in decadent days.

And yet, it is with great confidence that we face our times. With Winston Churchill we will “Never give in. Never, Never, Never, Never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in... Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

With FAITH IN THE FUTURE we face the challenge of this day.
Faith in the God who made heaven and earth!
Faith in the Savior who suffered, bled, died, and rose again!
Faith in the Spirit of Holiness who indwells, empowers, and directs God’s people!
Faith in the Word of God that is inerrant, inspired, and our sole authority!
Faith in the Church of Jesus Christ that will assault and prevail against the gates of hell!
Faith in the Cause of Right and Righteousness!

The Enemy has come in like a flood! In these last days he has unleashed every weapon in his arsenal to defeat Christ and Christ’s Church.

…He is still saying as he said to Eve, “Hath God said…” injecting doubt into the minds of men.
But my Grandmother Jones was right when she wrote to Dad, “Sin is just as black as it ever was, and must be declared as such. It takes the same remedy to cure this awful malady as it always did. When God says what is right and what is wrong, that is how it is! It has already been settled in heaven, centuries ago. (Psalm 119:89).

…He is still distracting God’s people from the place of prayer, from the study of God’s Word, and from Worship! Even innocent entertainments are numbing the minds and dulling the spiritual sensitivity of good people. And what’s worse, the Church herself has imbibed the spirit of the age, so that feasting has replaced fasting, playing has replaced praying, gaming has replaced going (to the lost), and happiness has replaced holiness as our first concern.

…He is placing into the media, the government, and the leadership of our nation, people who are anti-Christ. They are “enemies of the Cross” and they are determined to undermine Christian faith, the Christian Church, and the Christian nation that has secured liberty and done more good than any other nation in the history of mankind.

…And He still seeks to sabotage our faith, by strategically placing into our lives, compromising friends who will erode your determination to act right and be holy. Worldly friends are dangerous, but worldly professing Christian friends may pose the greatest threat to your soul.

Graduate, these are not dark days, but these are great days!
Never seek the favor or approval of men. Never thirst for the approval of this world. Never fear the loneliness of standing alone for the Savior—He stood alone for you one day!

Charlie, God knew you would come to the kingdom for such a time as this. God knew exactly what the world would be like when he gifted you with life. God knew what trials and temptations you would face. God knew what abilities He would give you!

There is only One whose approval you must seek. Let the Apostle Paul’s testimony be yours,
“2 Corinthians 5:9 …we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ”

On May 6, of 1985 my Father wrote to his fellow pastors. Remember:

“We are foundation men. It may be that in some future time others will be able to assemble the superstructure more rapidly, but we are truly unique in the marketplace of churches to be offering costly grace when cheap grace is the “in” thing. Yet it is for this very reason that we find our own efforts closely paralleling the New Testament example. Except for those disciples of John, and the Jews who converted, the work was not easy. "

"Progress was bought with life-shortening labor and persecution, and the loneliness of the whipping post and desertion of fellow “Christians” in Caesar’s Court."

"This is the precipice of glory! This is life with meaning! This is counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. Let us storm the gates of hell with with the confidence of men who have heard the Divine affirmation that those gates will not prevail.
Now go make a difference for Christ and for eternity!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance.
Galatians 5:22,23

The circumstances you are facing today come as no surprise to God. God is still in control!

He loves you. He gave His only begotten Son to save you.

He has a purpose and plan for your life.

He desires that you would desire Him, so that you could experience His love, His joy, and His peace. All who have made Him the center of their existence discover life with meaning, victory over vice, the knowledge of God’s favor, and an unshakable hope and confidence.

Wow I am so glad I’ve decided to follow the Lord!

I’ve made my share of messes, but our wonderful Savior has never failed!

He revealed himself to me!
He redeemed me!
He restored me!
He reconciled me!
He renewed my strength!
He remodeled me!
He revolutionized me!
He is my reason for living! (Now if that’s too many exclamation points I’m sorry!)

The Scriptures tell us that the fruit of the Spirit is Joy! The tragedy of our day is that so few experience this Joy in their lives.

Unbelief does not bring joy. Voltaire, one of the most ardent opponents of Christ wrote, “I wish I had never been born. Pleasure does not bring joy. The poet Lord Byron lived a life of unbridled pleasure, and concluded, “the worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.” Money cannot buy joy. Jay Gould, one of the richest Americans said on his death-bed, “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”

By nature we are not just physical beings we are spiritual. When sin and rebellion are in our hearts the Holy Spirit of God is driven out. People try to fill the void that remains in their hearts with physical pleasure or positive thinking, but only God's Spirit will suffice.

While God’s Spirit brings us joy, it first brings us deep conviction and sorrow for our sins. If you feel guilty for running from God, that’s God’s Spirit speaking to you. If you feel sorry for living life outside God’s will, that’s God’s Spirit convicting you. If you’re beginning to think you need to get right with God, that’s God’s Spirit drawing you. Thank God He loves you enough to come after you!

When you repent (change your mind about sin), and believe in Christ (a change of heart), then you will be “born of the Spirit!” You will experience what Jesus called “the new birth.” (See John 3:1-16). And with the Spirit of God comes Joy!

Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my JOY might remain in you, and that your JOY might be full.” (John 15:11). Preachers, poets, and songwriters, have not yet found words to express the wonderful joy that comes to those who are saved. But that has not kept them from trying! We sing:

“Life now is sweet, and my JOY is complete for I’m Saved! Saved! Saved!”

“It is JOY unspeakable and full of glory…and the half has never yet been told!”

“Joyful, joyful we adore thee, God of Glory, Lord of Love!”

“I’ve got the Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy! Down in my heart!”


When the Gospel came to Samaria the Bible tells us, "There was great joy in that city!" (Acts 8:8). In Acts 13 we read that even when the disciples met opposition they were "filled with Joy and the Holy Ghost." (Acts 13:51,52). Indeed, living life as God intended for us to live is "joy unspeakable and full of glory!" (1st Peter 1:8,9).


The Apostle Paul was warned that the Jews were out to silence him. Even so, the Apostle testified to the Christians at Ephesus, "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy." (Acts 20:24).

Because the world is not the source of our joy, the world can never take away our joy. Our confidence rests in God, the Maker of heaven and earth.

If we "regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us." (Psalm 66:18), but Jesus urged His disciples, "You have asked nothing in my name, ask, and ye shall receive, that your JOY may be full!" (John 14:24). "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!"

Dictators and tyrants--those who persecute, know nothing of this joy! It's hard to imagine that Nero and Caligula were men with a song in their hearts. But Paul and Silas, after they were brutally beaten, roughly thrown into a Macedonian prison, placed in an unspeakably rancid cell, prayed and sang praises to God while their feet were bound in stocks and their wrists were wrapped in chains!

I can hear them singing now,

"Glorious freedom! Wonderful Freedom!
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus the glorious emancipator!
Now and forever He shall be mine!"

Then after a shout of praise, God's men sang,

"Through many dangers, toils and snares,
We have already come,
'tis grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home!"

Ah, "anyone can sing when the sun is shining bright, but you need a song in your heart at night!"

Though persecuted God's people rejoice in the God of their salvation. Our worship has always been punctuated with joy. The great British preacher Spurgeon said it this way:

"High joys were common when the Bridegroom comforted His bride in the dens and caves of the earth. Those pioneers of our holy faith were destitute, afflicted, tormented--yet were they men of whom the world was not worthy--and men who counted it all joy to suffer for Christ's sake!"

One of these days we will be face to face with Christ our Savior. One day the faith shall be sight. And friends, "It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus! One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase!"

The anticipation of that grand reunion draws us forward, for "we look not at the things which are seen, for the things that are seen are temporary, but the thing that are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18).

As a third century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend:

"It's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians--and I am one of them."

May God so fill us with His Spirit that His Joy would be our possession, now and forever! Amen!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Charles Darwin (1809-1882), author of "Origin of the Species" credited with the modern theory of evolution,

Karl Marx (1818-1883), the founder of modern communism and dialectic materialism;

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher who announced, "God is dead," and

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the father of modern psychology; have profoundly influenced the way our world thinks.

Common to each, and to those who subscribed to their theories, is a refutation of God's Word as authoritative and accurate, a refusal of God's Will as right and good, and a rejection of God Son as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Of concern today is the degree to which the thought of these men has filtered into the life of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Many leading Christian universities have today endorsed variants of Darwinism to explain the origin of man.

Several Christian organizations have adapted Marx’s worldview and under the guise of “social justice” pressed against the New Testament principles of individual responsibility. (i.e. If a man will not work neither should he eat...2 Thessalonians 3:10; Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you...1 Thessalonians 4:11)

There are even professing Christians who, in the spirit of Nietzsche, are setting out to diminish and deny the God of the Old and New Testaments. Neitzsche wrote, “God is dead, and we have killed him.” Indeed many are trying.

But it is Freud and modern psychology,that I find is most pervasive and pernicious in the life of Christians and the Church.

Psychology is a lot about the pain we have. Christianity is about the cure Christ offers.
Insight into why we think the way we think, or why we act the way we act, may prove interesting, but it cannot and will not change anything. So I am anxious because my father was anxious. Now what?

Or I am lazy because my mother was lazy. And? Or how about, I am angry because my grandfather was angry. Now what?

Christianity explains that the nature of man was marred when sin entered into the world. That depraved nature affects our thinking and our behavior. But the Cross of Christ is greater than the depravity of man. “He was wounded for our transgressions [they are all forgiven!]; he was bruised for our iniquities [they are all forgotten], the chastisement of our peace was upon him [we now have peace with God and man], and by his stripes we are healed [cured from the curse of sin].” (Isaiah 53:5).

We believe and we know, that God’s grace is sufficient to remediate sin and it’s baneful effect.
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;Grace, grace, God’s grace,Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Psychology is about man's description. Christianity is about God's prescription.
Modern science is all about accurately describing the state of nature. Scientists pride themselves on their ability to see and explain the parts and the interworking of those parts in our universe. But the revelation of God’s Word not only accurately describes our condition, it prescribes the course of action we should follow.
Change your mind about sin and self—Repent. Trust in Christ and Christ alone for salvation—Believe. Act right, regardless of your environment or external influences—Obey.

Psychology is about what you are. Christianity is about what you can and ought to be.
It’s no wonder that so many of those seeing psychologists are depressed. All the secular psychologist can offer are chemicals that may or may not help, and advice that may or may not be right.

We do believe that some depression is the consequence of hormonal or chemical imbalances in the brain, and that medical intervention in those situations is as appropriate as taking blood pressure medicine or aspirin.

But in the vast majority of cases, the crux of the matter is not chemical or environmental, it is self-centeredness (what the Bible calls carnality) and self-gratification (what the Bible calls living after the flesh). We want our way, not God’s.

And yet, the farther we travel down the highway of “My Way” the more bound and defeated we are.

“Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?” the Apostle despaired. Then Jesus came! And Paul exclaims “I thank God through Jesus Christ” “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Let all who name the name of Christ, look to Him and to Him alone for the answers to the questions we have. Let us never lose confidence or faith in His Word as the Truth! And let us never be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation!



2969 N. Lindbergh Blvd, St Louis, MO 63074Telephone (314) 607-1424; E-Mail:

Monday, April 5, 2010



We trust that your Resurrection Weekend was as filled with blessing as ours. What a thrill it was to welcome 216 souls to our services, to pray with seekers at our altars, to have so many visitors, and to have 59 riding our Sunday School Bus! We are excited about the possibilities for Team FCC in the weeks to come.

It has been our growing conviction that to restore our homes, strengthen our churches, and reform our culture, we must have men who will "take up the cross and follow Jesus!" Our Men's Fellowship will meet this Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m. Join us for an interesting conversation and then Steak n Shake. We thank the men who led this year's LIVING LAST SUPPER PRESENTATION along with Phil Alexander at the Steinway Piano and the FCC Ensemble.

On our first Sunday in St. Louis, the 3rd Sunday of September in 1994 a little 11 year old girl named Christy Matlock was the very first child to board our Sunday School Bus. Yesterday she did the honors of creaming
PR with a pie. There were 69 on the bus, including 9 parents & adults! Vickie Jones and the team of FCC teachers: Tammy Abbott (Nursery), Edie Batye (Primary), Katherine Bissey (Intermediate) led the children with Heather Young at the piano. (FYI: Tressa, our precious daughter, is the girl on the right with the white sweater and floral dress). Jesus loves the little children, and we do too!

This afternoon I visited a man in the hospital who said he was a Buddhist. When I asked him what he liked about Buddhism he said there were two things that attracted him. The First was that his salvation didn't depend on anyone but himself. And the second was that Nirvana, being absorbed into the consciousness of God and losing personal identity was very appealing. As our conversation progressed I asked him what he thought of Jesus. He rambled off the usual "Jesus was a very great teacher" concept, and then I asked him if he thought that Jesus rose again from the dead. After a bit he confessed that he did not believe in the resurrection.

I followed up, "The fact of the resurrection authenticates the life, the teaching, and the example of Jesus." And just as I was about to address that issue with him he was interrupted by a visitor. Alas! I shall return again. And pray with me that this man will soon have an encounter with the Risen Savior.

You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!

Thank you to all who attended, to all who supported, and to all who helped us have a wonderful Resurrection Weekend. We love and appreciate you all. Looking forward to seeing you this coming weekend!

Pastor Rick JonesFAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH - CRUSADERS CHURCH of ST. LOUIS2969 N. Lindbergh Blvd, St Louis, MO 63074Telephone (314) 607-1424; E-Mail: PastorRick@FCCToday.org

Thursday, March 11, 2010


He has attended our church on and off for several months and this morning he called to offer some friendly advice:

“Pastor, you need to get up with the times and preach a more positive message…You need to lighten up…you should just pray and help people to think good thoughts…most people are going to heaven they just need encouragement…you’d be more popular.”

His call was not well timed. I had just been reading A. W. Tozer’s warning to the Church. “Modern preaching does not deal with a genuine call to repentance from sin and a separation from the world to the cross of Christ.”

Literally minutes before he called I had re-read the words of Catherine Booth, “Popular Christianity is a misnomer. Neither Christ nor his work has ever been popular. When it becomes popular it ceases to be Christian.”

So, on the one hand I was being encouraged by a friend to “get up with the times” so that the church would be more popular. On the other hand I was being reminded that popularity is anti-thetical to Christianity.

+ + + +

Observers of Evangelicalism are reporting that mega-churches are growing. They also are alarmed that American church attendance is falling. For the first time in our nation’s history, those attending services on an average weekend will number less than 20% of the population. (See Christianity Today, “Christianity in Crisis.”)

The mega-churches have learned how to market the church, how to manage the church, and how to make their messages “relevant.” But they are not producing mega-spiritual results. The more they have chased after relevance to the culture, the less relevant they have become to Christ. They have unwittingly embraced a humanistic gospel that seeks to make men happy to the neglect of making men holy.

One pastor recently admitted that after spending millions of dollars in programming and marketing their message to “seekers,” they have failed in their mission to produce fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

What is our goal? Is it popularity or is it Pentecost? Is it influence with men, or power from God? Is it affluence, or is it the riches of Grace?

+ + + +

In reflecting on the state of contemporary Christianity, I have found myself asking God to reveal the Truth about our worship.

1. Is our worship spirit-ed or spiritual? Spiritual worship is ordered by the Holy Spirit and inspires holy love that results in holy lives.

2. Is our philosophy of ministry geared to “fit in” or to “stand out?” Are we trying to look, sound, and act as worldly as possible to attract a crowd, or are we trying to separate ourselves from the love of the world in honor of our coming groom—the Lord Jesus Christ?

3. Does our music call attention to the musician or to the Master? Is our music geared to entertain, or does it inspire virtuous living and Scriptural thinking? Does our music, and our presentation of it, appeal to the carnal nature or to the spiritual man?

4. Do we depend more on our technology to “wow,” than we do on the majesty of God’s presence to “Woe!” Remember Isaiah’s reaction when he stood in the presence of God? “Woe is me for I am undone.” (Isaiah 6)

5. Does our preaching bring comfort more than conviction? Are our messages burning in our souls and bathed in fervent prayer and fasting, or are they simply adaptations of the latest greatest evangelical book hot off the press? Are we more likely to say, “Thus saith Rick Warren, or Max Lucado or Joel Osteen, or some other popular author” than we are to say, “Thus saith the Lord?”

6. Are we producing Christian spectators or Christ-like participants? If the ministry is fulfilling its God-given assignment, it will “perfect the saints for the work of the ministry.” Ephesians 4:12.

7. Is our Christianity self-absorbed or does it move converts to “turn the world upside down?” Are we producing pray-ers or play-ers? Are we “me” oriented or mission minded? Are we, like our Lord, “moved with compassion” when we see the multitudes scattered abroad like sheep having no shepherd?

8. Are we giving to get from God or are we giving to Glorify God? Do we give incidentally or do we give sacrificially? Do we tip or do we tithe? Do we give to be loved or do we love to give? Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

9. Do we seek to justify our sins or are we seeking to be justified (made righteous) from all sin?
Do we love sin or do we hate even the garment spotted by the flesh? (Jude 23). Do we desire to sin, or do we desire to be sanctified wholly?

10. Is the accent of our ministry on this world, or is it on the world which is to come? C. S. Lewis says that those who are the most heavenly minded are the most earthly good.

+ + + +

On the day that Jesus announced there would be no more free fish suppers so many of his followers left, that Jesus turned to the disciples and asked, “Will ye also go away?” (John 6:66)

As it was in the first century, so it is in the twenty-first century. Jesus is still asking his followers, “Will ye also go away?” Sadly many have.

But we agree with Peter, “Lord to whom shall we go, thou hast the words of eternal life!”

With the song-writer we have decided to follow Jesus! “Though none go with us, still we will follow! No turning back. No turning back!”

Friday, March 5, 2010


We come now to the holiest season of the Church year--remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

While baptizing converts along the Jordan River, John the Baptist introduced Jesus--"Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29).

He recognized Jesus for who He was, who He is, and who He will always be.

The instant sin entered the world, God's great plan to redeem us was set into motion. Sacrifices, the shedding of blood for sins, would impress upon all--"without the shedding of blood there is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22).

Time and time again God's people found their way to the altar of sacrifice. Noah offered sacrifices. Abraham offered sacrifices. Moses offered sacrifices. Aaron offered sacrifices. David offered sacrifices. Elijah offered sacrifices.

Every time the Jewish High Priest sacrificed a perfect Lamb then entered into the Holy of Holies it was symbolic of the day when Christ would shed his His blood, and offer Himself as a sacrificial Lamb for sin.

Every time a guilty man brought a pure and spotless lamb to the laid on the altar of sacrifice, it pointed to a day when Jesus would sacrifice His life on an old rugged cross.

Every time the sacrificial blood overflowed the altar, it reminded sinners of the horrid price of sin, and that there was a great day coming when the Lamb of God would sacrifice His blood.

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains...

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose it's power,
Till all the Ransomed Church of God be saved to sin no more.

Yet God's men knew that animal sacrifices could not take away sin.
Animal sacrifices could appease the wrath of God, but they could not purify the hearts of men.
They could atone for sin, but not cleanse from sin.
They could suffice for sin, but could not sanctify sin.
Only the blood of Christ could purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:14).

The weakness of the Old Covenant sometimes called "The Old Testament" or "The Law" was that it could only reveal our profound need for God's grace and His truth. (Read Romans 6-8 and see how the inspired Apostle Paul so eloquently expresses the difference between salvation under the Law and salvation through Christ.)

But to the glory of God, God sent to us THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD! He sent a Savior... rescue us from the curse of sin. relieve us from the guilt of sin. release us from the power of sin. re-make us into children of God. restore in us the image of God. refine and perfect in us the Love of God. And finally, receive us into the Kingdom of God, the Heavenly City!

Praise the Lamb for sinners slain. Give Him glory all ye people!

This is no fairy tale. This is not fiction. This not make-believe. "This is my story, this is my song!" Recognize the Lamb of God! He is Worthy of our Praise.

But it is not enough to recognize Jesus Christ as the Lord of the Universe and Savior of all mankind. It is not enough to believe facts about Jesus. The devil knows the facts yet he is destined to hell.

OUR SALVATION RESTS ON OUR RECEIVING THE LAMB OF GOD AS OUR LORD (literally our Sovereign King--without any rival) AND SAVIOR (The one and only sacrifice sufficient to save us). Pray now that God will forgive you, for Christ's sake. Then determine to serve the Lord until the day you die. This is the way into the Kingdom of Heaven.

And join us as we revere the Lamb of God this and every Sunday throughout this Holy Season.
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive Power, and Riches, and Wisdom, and Strength, and Honour, and Glory, and Blessing!" Revelation 5:12


Thursday, February 18, 2010


How essential is separation from the world to the cause of Scriptural holiness?

Here is what we know:

There are some who have confused the effect of holiness (separation from the world, the flesh, and the devil) with the cause of holiness, and in so doing they have entirely missed the heart of holiness (i.e. righteousness, joy, peace, and love). Their bitter, censorious, and harsh critique of those who do not live “by the book” (that book usually being the Church Manual) has turned many away from the highway of holiness.

In reaction against those who have accented separation from the world (especially in entertainments, adornments, and lifestyle), there has risen a large contingent of “Anti-Pharisees” who believe themselves to be “Super Saints.” Like the Gnostics of the First Century they suppose that they know the real truth, and so how they live their lives is not important. They criticize their critics and unwittingly fall into the same bitter attitude as those they despise.

Indeed “legalism has slain its thousands, while liberalism has slain its tens of thousands.” Sadly, both make shipwreck of their faith.

But God has brought us to the Kingdom for such a time as this! He is raising up a people who love heart holiness and who desire to live holy lives.

If God’s Word is inspired (and it is!), and if God’s Word reveals God’s will (and it does!), then God’s People will take seriously the spirit and the letter of God’s will as it is revealed in God’s Word and by God's Spirit.

To neglect separation from the world is folly, but to reject separation from the world is rebellion.

It is time for God’s people to stand for His standard and to march forward up the highway of holiness until we hear Him say, “well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

My father used to say, “All that is necessary to have a worldly church is nothing.” Let’s do something! And let’s say something!

Martin Luther was right! “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.
Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”


It is the mission of the Church of Jesus to accurately and fervently speak the Gospel--the whole Gospel. For centuries the Gospel story has been the narrative upon which our Western Civilization rested. But the corrosive influence of modernism--with its viral skepticism, and the subsequent demise of modernism and rise of post-modernism, have left the West without any narrative or story upon which to build.

The story of Christ propelled the West forward because it is a true story that is filled with truth that transforms. Other cultures have had their own myths and narratives upon which they have built their civilizations. Those civilizations fell because their faulty foundations were not grounded in truth. The tragedy of our day is not that the Christian narrative, or truth cannot stand the strain of examination or the stress of experience, but that we have exchanged the rock solid foundation built on Christ our chief cornerstone, for sands of our own making.

Nearly 20 years ago Robert Jensen observed, "as the Church once lived and conducted her mission in the precisely post-Hellenistic and post-Roman-imperial world, remembering what had vanished but not knowing what if anything could come next, so the Church must now live and conduct her mission in the precisely 'post'-modern world."

If there was ever a moment when the Church of Jesus Christ needed to proclaim the old old story--of the blood that cleanses from all sin and of the Spirit that indwells and empowers and sanctifies believers--it is now! As all around our souls gives way--Christ is all our hope and stay! His Spirit answers to the blood!

But an intellectual affirmation of that old old story will only go so far. We must also have the Song in our hearts. The joyful melody rising from hearts "strangely warmed" and "purified by faith!"

Songs of "Victory in Jesus!" Songs of "Glorious Freedom!" Songs of "Holiness Unto The Lord...Now and forever!"

In seeking to win the teens and twenties of this generation, I have been struck with the stark contrast of their song, with my song. I listen to "He Touched Me!" "Because He Lives!" "The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference" "I'm Free!" and "The King is Coming!" and my heart is stirred and memories of great Gospel services freighted with God's presence fill my mind. They are not stirred. They have no such memories. They have no song.

Only the mighty outpouring of Pentecost can produce that song in our souls! Without the Spirit, the dirge and the minor chords of defeat will characterize the nominal Christian. But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, there is truth, there is joy, and there is holy love.

Our Story and our Song is not reserved for a time specific, it erupts in a life of praise, "all the day long!" It is no wonder that those who believe the Story, and who sing the Song, are so mightily used by God. The Holiness people have been at the forefront of moral revolution (i.e. Wesley's England), social justice (i.e. anti-slavery movement), and ecclesiastical reformation (i.e. the Salvation Army and Campmeeting movement).

So the blind poet Fanny Crosby saw what many of us are failing to see. Until we grasp that which she so passionately expressed, "This is my Story!" "This is my Song!" "Praising my Savior all the day long!"we will never possess that BLESSED ASSURANCE!

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Greetings Friends of Faith,

The election of Scott Brown to fill the U. S. Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy is another evidence that truth is often stranger than fiction! At the very moment when the United States Government was poised to take over the American Healthcare System, a socialistic plan that would have increased our national debt by trillions (one trillion dollars = $1,000,000,000,000.00), and would have applied taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, one of the plan's most liberal proponents is stricken with brain cancer and dies.

Into the political fray enters Scott Brown, a strict constitutionalist, a fiscal conservative, who is strong on national defense (He believes that American tax dollars should be used to capture terrorists, not defend them), and opposed to the President's Healthcare plan. He was written off with little or no chance of success. But on Tuesday of this week he won with more than 50% of the vote, a margin of 5% over his opponent. This was nothing less than a Massachusetts miracle in a state that is noted for its liberal legislators. (i.e. Barney Frank, the overtly homosexual Massachusetts congressman).

Across the United States of America there is a rising tide of voters demanding that their representatives return to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, (That all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable, liberty, and the pursuit of holiness) and the U. S. Constitution. If pollsters are correct these voters will profoundly change the composition of Congress in November.

To the extent that our country is true to our national DNA (The genetic code found in the nucleus of every cell), as expressed in our founding documents, we will be strong and prosperous. Enacting laws and engaging in practices that are unconstitutional will prove a malignant force that robs us of our freedom and our secure future. Unless malignancies are quickly identified and removed, our very existence is threatened.

There is a lesson here for the Church as well. To the extent that our church is true to our spiritual DNA as expressed in the inspired, inerrant Word of God, we will be found faithful in the sight of God. False doctrine and disobedience are malignancies that will ultimately destroy us. We, who have been called by the Lord to proclaim holiness, must not dilute or deny the faith. This is not the time for compromise. This IS the time for truth.


Dear Friends of the Cross,

In a shocking new survey, George Barna is reporting that less than 1% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 23 have a Biblical worldview.(1) I’m hoping that something is really wrong with the methodology of his survey, but even if his margin of error is +/- 10% (an extremely unlikely possibility for such a reputable pollster), it is alarming evidence that the youngest adults in America are rejecting Biblical Christianity.

Furthermore, 61% of today’s young adults who were churched as teens are now disengaged from the Church (they do not actively attend Church, read the Bible, or pray). Only 20% of the twenty-somethings have maintained a level of spiritual activity that is consistent with their high school experiences.

We who contend for Scriptural holiness may be quick to criticize Churches that are failing to win their young people, but we too have witnessed our own “falling away.”

During the 19th Century, Methodist circuit-riders, Camp meeting Evangelists, and holiness writers were the predominant religious force in our nation. Today, many of our congregations iare struggling, several of our schools are finding it increasingly difficult to attract students, and the message of holiness has been relegated to a historical footnote.

Why? One thoughtful observer concludes:

We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.2

Michael Spencer’s diagnosis of our plight is right, but it is incomplete.

We believe with John Wesley that, “A man may be orthodox in every point, he may not only espouse right opinions, but zealously defend them…and yet it is possible that he may have no religion at all. He may be almost as orthodox as the devil, and may be a great stranger to the religion of the heart!” (52 Standard Sermons, Number 7:The Way to the Kingdom).

We need more than enlightened minds. Our greatest need is for the heart-purifying, life-changing, mighty baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. (Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16). We need flaming hearts.

The inspired Apostle Paul tells us, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind [or self-discipline].” (2nd Timothy 1:7). Indeed it is this power, this love, and this self-discipline, that is our most pressing need.

Without a personal Pentecost and the frequent fresh outpourings of God’s Holy Spirit into our lives—our Christ will not be exalted, the cause of Holiness will not be advanced, and our Churches will never be that winsome force God intended for us to be.

We need apologists who will defend our faith against the onslaught of heresy
…but we need more.

We need leaders who will strategize and organize God’s people …but we need more.

We need pastors and teachers who will minister and teach …but we need more.

We need writers, composers, and musicians who will communicate the Gospel to the masses…but we need more.

We need workers and supporters who will man their posts and finance the work
…but we need more.

More than anything else, we need Christians who are so “filled with all the fullness of God,” (Ephesians 3:19) that the fruit of the Spirit, (“love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance” Galatians 5:22ff) is existent in their hearts and evident in their lives.

We need Christians who “are Christ’s.” We need Christians who “have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” and who are “quickened by the Spirit,” (1st Peter 3:18) “filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18), “sanctified by the Spirit,” (1st Corinthians 6:11), “walk in the Spirit,” (Galatians 5:25), and are “led by the Spirit.” (Romans 8:14).

It is our conviction that Spirit-filled men of God are the only ones who will “earnestly contend for the faith” with the kind of power that can triumph over the onslaught of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Enlightened minds and inflamed hearts will not dilute, nor deny the faith. They will deliver the faith!

We invite you, and all of like heart and mind, to join with us for next month’s St. Louis Holiness Convention. Our speakers are men of God. Our singers are anointed by God. Our services will be ordered by God. And it is our fervent prayer and anxious expectation that everyone attending will be blessed by God. Without Him we can do nothing. But “with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). This year our speakers and singers include:

WILLIAM CAWMAN (Emmanuel Church, Colorado) comes to us from New Jersey. Brother Cawman is a devout and thoughtful man of God.

BOB & ROWENA CLOUSE (Church of God Holiness, Missouri) pastor the Church of God Holiness in Mexico, Missouri. They are wonderful singers with a passion for the cause of Scriptural holiness.

BENJAMIN CRAWFORD (Bible Methodist, Alabama) is a young man with a passion for evangelism and the cause of Scriptural Holiness. He is currently a candidate for the Alabama legislature.

ANDREW DURST (Crusaders USA, Illinois) is Associate Pastor at Faith Crusaders, Urbana, IL, and the Field Director of GREAT COMMISSION CAMP. This year Pastor Durst will be leading teams in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.

DR. STEVE GIBSON (Midwest Pilgrim Holiness), Pastors Victory Chapel in Indianapolis. He is the author of five books including “The Essential Wesley, I Believe,” and “Practical Christianity,” and director of KEYSTONE URBAN INSTITUTE.

ERIC HIMELICK (International Conservative Holiness Association, Indiana) leads Victory Inner City Ministries. He is a church planter, a professor at Union Bible College, and author.

DR. MARSH W. JONES (Crusaders Church USA, Illinois) is serving his 3rd year as Bishop of the Crusaders, and Pastor of Faith Crusaders Church in Urbana, IL. He has written “The Pulpit, The Periodical, and The Pen: The Life of Joseph Benson.”

TOM KISER (New York Pilgrim Holiness) is launching a new ministry to the streets of New York City. “” is reaching thousands through prayer stations and discipleship groups.

P L LIDDELL (Church of the Nazarene, Michigan) has been an evangelist for holiness over 50 years. He has composed and written a number of great Gospel songs including, “When I Said Yes To Jesus.”

KENNY THOMPSON (Church of God Holiness, Missouri) has been used of God around the world in the advancement of holiness missions. His zeal for God and his love for people have endeared him to thousands.

WALLACE THORNTON (Church of the Nazarene, Missouri), Pastors in Moberly, Missouri, and serves as an adjunct professor and scholar to a number of Bible Colleges. He is the author of “Radical Righteousness.”

Meals will be provided on a free-will offering basis. We will do what we can to help you secure lodging. If you’re looking for rooms on Priceline, select the St. Louis Airport and Westport areas as they are closest to the convention site. If you need transportation to and from the Lambert International Airport, we will meet you.

Invite your family and friends to join us next month, Thursday, February 25 and Friday, February 26, 2010. If you have need of more information you may call my cell phone (314) 607-1424, or e-mail


1The survey defined having a Biblical worldview as holding the following six beliefs:
1) Believing that absolute moral truth exists.
2) Believing that the Bible is completely accurate in all the principles it teaches.
3) Believing that Satan is a real being or force, not merely symbolic.
4) Believing that a person cannot earn their way into heaven by trying to be good or by doing good works.
5) Believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth.
6) Believing that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

2 Michael Spencer, “The Coming Evangelical Collapse,” in The Christian Science Monitor,
March 10, 2009