RSS Robot

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RSS Robot last won the day on July 14 2016

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  1. Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing! View the full article
  2. By Roger Oakland While I believe Rome leads the way with the bold claim that God chose Peter and the succeeding popes to take the title of “Vicar of Christ” and determine what the sheep should or should not believe, other groups believe they have been called to usher in or even prepare and set […] View the full article
  3. The Slippery Slope of Spiritual Decline A large number of the fundamental Baptist churches that existed in the 1970s and 1980s have either ceased to exist, have capitulated to the contemporary philosophy. or they are well on the way to capitulation. Consider the following testimony that describes what is happening in multitudes of Independent Baptist churches: “Recently, there was a large photo in the newspaper of one of the NFL football team cheerleaders dressed in her cheerleading uniform which was equivalent to a bikini. Since watching NFL football is talked about so positively from the IFB pulpit, the Sunday School teacher’s lectern, and amongst the deacons and other men of the church, I decided to take a closer look. An internet search provided endless links--and just visiting... Read More View the full article
  4. “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14) In this parable, the nobleman who had gone into a far country to receive his kingdom is a picture of Christ in the interim between His first and second comings. The “citizens” of His Kingdom, however, refuse His Kingship. Neverth... More... View the full article
  5. A True Believer Is a Disciple of Christ The church we see in the New Testament is a church of disciples. It is a disciplined, discipling environment. A New Testament church is not something to attend. It is a spiritual entity where disciples of Christ are trained, encouraged, and protected. New Testament discipleship is not merely a course in Christian fundamentals; it is the essence of the true Christian life. The entire church should be geared to producing and training disciples of Jesus Christ. A pastor friend said that at a youth camp some years ago, he asked the youth to list words that God uses to describe those who are saved. He said, “We came up with something like fifty in total, and then I pointed out to them that they had forgotten the most used word, which is ‘disciple.’” Indeed, the most common name... Read More View the full article
  6. “I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.” (Psalm 77:5) The Bible provides for us a fascinating perspective on the passage of time. Three thousand years ago, the psalmist was reflecting on God’s ways in even earlier times and was seeking to understand God’s ways in his time. Each new generation seems to think that it is the &ldquo... More... View the full article
  7. LTRP Note: The following article written by veteran journalist Jim Fletcher is highlighting Lighthouse Trails. While we are so encouraged by such an article, we hesitated in posting it on our own site because we don’t want to be guilty of taking glory for ourselves when God is the one who should receive glory for anything good […] View the full article
  8. Beware of Hypnosis Another occult practice that has invaded the health care field is hypnosis. This is “an induced altered state of consciousness in which the subject becomes passive and is responsive to suggestion” ( Harper’s Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience ). The term hypnosis comes from hypnos , the Greek god of sleep, and was coined by James Braid, a 19th-century British mesmerist. Hypnosis is used widely in medicine and psychology. Donald Connery, in Exploring Hypnosis , says, “There is greater interest in and employment of medical hypnosis than ever before in history.” The American Medical Association... Read More View the full article
  9. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9) As we see in our text, the Holy Spirit indwells every one who is a true believer, a child of God. Each believer is born again through “the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul... More... View the full article
  10. Today, it is the 2017 Holocaust Memorial/Remembrance Day, and around the world people will be stopping to remember the atrocities committed against six million Jews and around five million others, murdered because of the madness of one man – Adolph Hitler. For those of you who follow the writings of Lighthouse Trails, you know we hold […] View the full article
  11. I recently came across a powerful quote from an 18th century English pastor named Job Orton. Ironically, he wrote to the ministers of his day about doctrinal compromise. The struggles of churches nearly 300 years ago are the struggles of churches today. Read what he says: “I have long since found (and every year that I live increases my conviction of it), that when ministers entertain their people with lively and pretty things, confine themselves to general harangues, insist principally on moral duties, without enforcing them warmly and affectionately by evangelical motives; while they neglect the peculiars of the gospel, never or seldom display the grace of God, and the love of Christ in our redemption; the necessity of regeneration and sanctification by a constant dependence on the Holy Spirit of God for assistance and strength in the duties of the Christian life, their congregations are in a wretched state; some are dwindling to nothing, as is the case with several in this neighbourhood, where there are now not as many scores as there were hundreds in their meeting-places, fifty years ago. . . . There is a fatal deadness spread over the congregation. They run in ‘the course of this world,’ follow every fashionable folly, and family and personal godliness seems in general to be lost among them. There is scarcely any appearance of life and zeal.” It seems that Satan was neutralizing local churches three hundred years ago in the same way he is today. Notice the ways churches decline, according to Orton: 1. Create an Entertainment-Driven Ministry—Orton writes, “…when ministers entertain their people with lively and pretty things….” I’ve seen two extremes in entertainment-driven ministry. Both are simply different manifestations of the same false assumptions and bad values. The first bad model I saw was a contest-driven, circus-style, promotion-based ministry model. It was a model that bribed people to attend church, entertained them once they came, and attempted to “sneak up” on them with the gospel. It worked to get people to church, but it was weak in producing devoted disciples and rooted believers. The second bad model I’ve seen is a entertainment-style, party-atmosphere ministry complete with loud rock music, smoke machines, laser lights, and a lot of entertainment. Again, it works to get people to attend, but it lulls them into non-participation, non-worship, and lethargic, carnal Christianity. Both models fail because of two false assumptions. The first false assumption is that Jesus and His Word are boring and unattractive. The second false assumption is that people won’t respond to simple, biblical love and grace. These methods attempt to DISGUISE the gospel to “make it attractive.” The false assumption being, it’s not attractive unless we disguise it! This is really bad theology! Entertainment-driven ministry is a broken road. 2. Focus on “General Harangues”—Orton mentions leaders who “confine themselves to general harangues.” This is a church-family focused on issue debate (doubtful disputation as Romans 14 calls them) and theological inspection over Spirit-led obedience and unified practice. The Word of God is like a window, and some people prefer to spend more time looking at the window rather than looking through the window. Paul wrote to Titus, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” (Titus 3:9) An honest Bible student is comfortable accepting God’s Word where it is clear, and where it is unclear. An unhealthy church is content to “look at the window”—to inspect and debate foolish questions that generate strife and contention. A healthy church is content to practice what is clear in God’s Word. Unbelievers rarely come to these churches, and when they do, they rarely come back. Focusing on pointless debates, personal disputes, petty divisive issues, and biblical conjecture is a broken road. 3. Teach Behaviorism Absent Love and Worship—Orton writes, “…insist principally on moral duties, without enforcing them warmly and affectionately by evangelical motives…”—external duty without internal love as a motive. External conformity or performance-based acceptance generates a church family that looks good, but that is not motivated by true love and worship of Jesus. Enough badgering from the pulpit will manipulate many Christians into a manmade mold. But eventually those same Christians become disillusioned and hurt by man-centered leadership tactics. The only biblical, viable, sustainable motivation for doing anything as a Christian is the pure love of Jesus Christ. Being pushed into a set of standards, a weekly structure, or an outward appearance always leads to resentment of those who pushed or manipulated me. That Christianity eventually falls apart. Being led by the Spirit and motivated by love will produce a pure hearted, sustainable, joyful, non-oppressive Christian walk. 4. Neglect the Pure Gospel—Orton writes, “…while they neglect the peculiars of the gospel….” The gospel of Jesus Christ is not only how we are saved, it is also how we grow, how we live, how we endure, and how we enjoy our walk with Jesus. The more you study and examine the gospel, the bigger it becomes. It’s inexhaustible. Healthy churches always keep the gospel front and center. Their message is hopeful. They magnify Jesus. They preach Christ crucified. They reveal Jesus to be more than a free ticket to Heaven, but in truth a Saviour in every aspect of life. If a church family KNOWS their unsaved guest will hear the gospel, and not just a “general harangue” on Sunday morning—they are EAGER, EXCITED, and HAPPY to invite their lost friends and family. Something tells me, that’s exactly what happened in the books of Acts! 5. Neglect the Display of Love and Grace—Again Orton says, “…never or seldom display the grace of God, and the love of Christ in our redemption….” How do we miss this? How do churches become so “ungracious” and “unloving”? How do churches melt down into factious, divisive communities of self-focus? How do they become so inward and unwelcoming? They lost sight of the massive volume of New Testament teaching on love, unity, forgiveness, forbearance, and grace toward others. If you’re gospel message is clear, but your dispositional display of the gospel is carnal, you are doing the gospel a grave disservice. Churches die because love and grace died in their midst. Ever more, in a darkened, hopeless secular America, a loving church stands in huge contrast to anything else in culture. 6. Neglect a Strong Emphasis on Dependence upon the Holy Spirit—Orton goes on, “…the necessity of regeneration and sanctification by a constant dependence on the Holy Spirit of God for assistance and strength in the duties of the Christian life….” Dying churches, somewhere along the way, began to subtly and perhaps imperceptibly quench, grieve, or usurp the Holy Spirit of God. They took matters into their own hands. How often a pastor is tempted to usurp the work of God’s Spirit—we all want our church family to manifest spiritual maturity, so we attempt to manufacture a quick conformity to outward appearances, rather than patiently allowing God’s Spirit to cultivate an internal, organic growth. It’s easy to set up outward, measurable standards of appearance and performance. We like to do this because it validates us, makes us feel successful as Christians and leaders. Yet the outward conformity could be merely a cover for the absence of inward dependence. Healthy churches emphasize the gradual, growing work of God’s Spirit within the believer, over the work of quick, manmade, external conformity. Orton describes these six things as a “fatal deadness” that spreads over the entire congregation. I think he was hitting the target—for the 1700s and for today! The local church of Jesus Christ is designed to flourish with life, health, and joy. While dying or dead churches are a dime a dozen, may God stir up a new generation of churches that defy death and embrace the life and health that only His grace and His Spirit can produce! View the full article
  12. “Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” (Psalm 111:1) The first phrase of this majestic psalm of praise, “praise ye the LORD,” translates the compound Hebrew word hallelujah. The psalm in its entirety boasts about the works of the Lo... More... View the full article
  13. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9) The term “Godhead” occurs three times in the King James translation. Each time it translates a slightly different Greek noun, all being slight modifications of the Greek word for “God” (theos, from which we derive such English words as “theology... More... View the full article
  14. “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11) The word “fun” is never mentioned in the Bible, and “entertain” is used only in reference to being hospitable. Such activities as “reveling” and “playing” receive nothing except condemnation in the Sc... More... View the full article
  15. By Lois Putnam On a recent Sunday morning a vivacious older lady stood in front of a congregation, of what can only be termed a solid gospel preaching, mission minded church, and announced to the women that all should sign up for its newest Bible study program that would begin shortly. Touting both Set Apart, and Living a […] View the full article