Preach the Gospel

This may be hard to swallow. According to the Bible, anyone preaching a different gospel than what Paul preached will be cursed. Furthermore, false teachers and prophets are included in this final judgment, which means that people we know will be lost because they have changed the salvation message.

By the time John wrote his first letter, false preachers had already appeared. He called them out: 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Jesus said: Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Paul preached Baptism in Jesus’ name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Paul himself was baptized in the name of Jesus. He thought it was so necessary that he even re-baptized believers in Jesus’ name. Acts 19:1-7. Peter preached on the day of Pentecost saying that everyone should repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name. He said that they would receive the Promise of the Father, which was the infilling of the Holy Ghost. They all spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance.

The controversy of salvation is not a Bible problem. There are ample scriptures declaring His death, burial, and resurrection. The issue is that the modern-day church does not really believe baptism to be a Heaven or Hell issue. I say, if there was ever a Heaven or Hell issue, this is it!

Many equate being a “good person” with salvation. However, the Bible does not hold to this philosophy. Nice people with pleasant dispositions will not enter Heaven if they are not Born Again of the Water and the Spirit. Jesus said so! John 3:1-8. Shall we argue with the Savior? Shall we dilute His written Word?

There is an urgency as the Last Day approaches. This is the not time to be timid. The early believers thought it was essential that everyone was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. Ours is not a “private faith” which in itself is an oxymoron. My burden is for lost souls to be saved. My concern is that too many believers are satisfied just attending church, but will not spread the Gospel. Whatever the cost, it is time for us to reach the lost!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

The Day Approaching

Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
Mark 13:15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:
Mark 13:16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

There will come a day when nothing else will matter, but escaping the wrath of the antichrist. Jesus repeated the vision of the prophet Daniel who described the final wickedness. Jesus warned them not to return “into the house” and not to turn back for a garment, meaning that no material possession or comfort will have any use.

The Lord’s prophecy was exampled in the house of Mary and Martha. While Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, Martha was busy doing necessary chores, but not the one thing of consequence. Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the one needful thing which will not be taken from her.” The scene displays the vast, but often cloaked difference between what is necessary and what is needful. They look similar, but they are far removed in substance. Necessary things are the cares of the this life, but the one needful thing is our time with Jesus.

If your first instinct is to protect possessions or comfort, or to do the necessary things, you must reevaluate the One Needful thing. The scripture calls the final moment of time as “that great and terrible day of the Lord.” Jesus addressed the matter when He spoke of people who work for the temporal things. The “Barn Builder” is anyone who lays treasures up on this earth. Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

I write with a sober spirit as I see the day approaching. Put away from you all trivial conversations, complaints, petty pursuits and minimal ambitions. Seek the Kingdom of God. Ask what you can do for the Lord and then reach for the lost. Give yourself completely toward worship and make your investment in the church. Finally, make a personal declaration that there is no turning back now! Jesus is coming and we must be about the Father’s business.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

One Body

John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
John 17:22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:

The prayer of John 17 has been used many times to argue the disparity of the Father and Son; debating an obscure separation. However, Jesus stated that (John 14) when you see him, you see the Father. Hebrews 1:3 states that Jesus is the “express image of his person.” Therefore, the prayer of John 17 is a view of flesh and spirit, or humanity seeking divinity. Jesus was in fact fully God and fully man.

The main point of the above text is the Oneness of the church. Just as Jesus is the Mighty God in Christ, the Church is the living, acting, moving Body of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote the “body is fitly formed together.” He said, there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free. All were part of the same body.

The idea that skin color or ethnicities can separate us is against the design of the Church. There is only One God; One Blood; One Heaven, and One Church. The world has a difficult time with this concept because so much time and effort is given to expound on the external differences of people. This magnification of appearances is contrary to the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He longed for a day when content and character took precedent over color or appearance. He asked to be judged on internal things; not by the external.

The Church must represent a Oneness of people to the world! Government and secular education has failed and will continue to fail. Media, entertainment, and all forms of secular influences have not and will not bring people together. The spirit of this age is designed to separate. The prayer of Jesus was this: “make them one.” Not divided. Not estranged or indifferent, but united in spirit and purpose. We are the Church! One, inseparable body of Jesus!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Does Sin Exist?

After much debate the question of right and wrong has come to a standstill. Educational scholars, professors with PhD’s, are working again to determine how morals are founded and whether the idea of “right and wrong” is fluid or fixed. Some argue that what was “right” or permissible 200 years ago is clearly immoral by today’s standards. While many of their points have significance, the end of the conversation focuses on Biblical significance. Thus the question is asked, “Is there such a thing as sin?”

Paul wrote that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory. David said that he was born into sin and was shapen in iniquity. The prophets called the nation to abandon sinful practices. John, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, began a ministry centered around the baptism of repentance, which implies the need to be free from a life of sin. Thus the scripture itself is a book which declares the death of the Lamb of God, Who came to take away the sins of the world. Yes, sin exists!

However, subjectivism and good intentions have almost eradicated the idea that people sin. If the definitions are fluid, meaning shifting, then perhaps no one is wrong. If God’s Word is true, then a person enters this world with a sinful nature. This battleground is not new. Philosophers have been debating this subject for thousands of years. What has changed is the mindset of the Christian.

The world is filled with desperate people looking for an answer. They want something that is real, not a watered down version of salvation by intention. People are bound and the only way out is to die to the flesh. Jesus said, Unless you repent, you shall die. Acts 3:19 tells us to repent and be converted. Conversion occurs when we repent of our sins. The great commission is clear that Repentance and Remission of Sins should be preached in Jesus’ name!

The philosophers will never stop debating. To them, there is no settled truth. However to the Church, His Word is forever settled and we are all sinners saved by Grace through Faith, it is the gift of God! Paul said of himself that he was the chief sinner. He also said that he died daily and offered his body as a living sacrifice. There is no debate in this house. Jesus has cleansed us by His Blood and we are striving for the Kingdom.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole