Friday, August 31, 2007

Article - Laboring in the Kingdom

Laboring in the Kingdom

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. –Ephesians 4:1-3

Monday is the day that we celebrate Labor Day. It has always been interesting to me that we celebrate work by taking a day off. However, it is beneficial to stop and think about the importance of hard work. I am thankful for the dedicated example provided by my parents and grandparents as they struggled to provide for their respective families. My grandparents were part of what is oftentimes referred to as the ‘greatest generation’ of people to be born in the United States. There is much that we learn from their work ethic and dedication to persevere through some of our nation’s greatest trials. This is an amazing accomplishment, but what made a greater impact than their physical labor was their dedication to the kingdom of God. They worked hard to feed their family physically, but the greater portion of their efforts was dedicated to laboring to serve God.

The Bible teaches us about labor/work. Some works in the Bible were accomplished for us approximately two thousand years ago. The work of salvation was wholly completed when Jesus laid down his life on the cross. Jesus came into the world to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He died for the elect family of God (Romans 8:28-33), and all for whom he died will be in Heaven some day (John 6:39). Is there any labor that you engage in that will assist you (or anyone else) in entering eternal glory? No! In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Apostle Paul writes, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The work necessary to save you from your sins was completed on the cross of Calvary. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished” the work of eternal salvation was complete.

In light of what Jesus did on the cross, Christians are instructed in scripture numerous times to labor. In our introductory verse, Paul instructs us to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called. The word vocation literally means an occupation. Paul is teaching us that Christian service is not merely a part-time job or a hobby, but an occupation that we are wholly dedicated. In light of the work that Christ accomplished on the cross, we need to be laboring in serving him. Paul’s prayer for the Colossian church was that they “might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10);”

Is your life pleasing to the Lord? Would an accurate appraisal of the decisions that you make reflect Christ-worthy thinking? If not, you need to repent and follow after the Lord. Paul teaches us that we are to labor in meekness. Pride is something that we all struggle with. We want to take care of our wants and needs first. If we are laboring in the Lord, then we are seeking him first. After that we are placing others above ourselves. This includes the needs of your spouse. This involves ministering to those in your church and neighborhood that are in need. Jesus teaches us to seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33). We are not to worry about our needs. He will see to them!

We are also called to labor in love; even in those times when we are confronted with those that are unlovable. We are also to labor to do that which is good. The Bible also teaches that we are to labor to increase in the knowledge of God. The Bible teaches us in the aforementioned verses (and hundreds more) that we are to labor while we are living in this present world. As you have already figured out, there is much to be busy about in serving the Lord. It is my prayer that we will get to work. While we enjoy periods of rest in our physical labors, let us never take a vacation from serving the God of Heaven and Earth! Whatever our burden in this life, it is light as a feather when compared to the work of eternal salvation that was accomplished on the cross.

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Article - A Message to Our Youth

A Message to Our Youth
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:1-2

This week marks the time that many of you have started your educational program for another year. Whether you are in public school, private school, college, or are homeschooled you face daily challenges. Some are facing pressure from peers that want you to do something that you know is immoral. Articulate instructors may be trying to cast shadows of doubt upon everything that you have been taught from the Bible. Perhaps you have a horrible home life and do not really know what is right or wrong. There are numerous people that feel like a ship being tossed about by the waves of life. Wherever you find yourself, know that God is in control and he is able to bless us through any trials that we encounter.

In the above passage, the Apostle Paul instructs us to live for one that is greater than anything or anyone in this world. We are commanded to present our bodies as a sacrifice to God. This should be our goal as Christians, both young and old. We are oftentimes willing to sacrifice our bodies for the most trifling things in this world. Have you sacrificed your body in an immoral manner? Is the majority of your time devoted to the vain things of this world? If this is the case, we should repent and present our bodies a living sacrifice to God. Proverbs 14:12 states that, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” We might think it right to compromise our values/morality in order to gain the attention of others, but this is wrong. Misery and heartache follow a compromise of God’s commandment.

Presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice is our reasonable responsibility as Christians. There are many things that you can find to occupy your time as a youngster. In high school and college people will encourage you to be involved with numerous organizations and causes. Well meaning parents and educators will try to occupy your time with sports and extracurricular activities. While many of these things not inherently sinful and some can even be beneficial, our primary concern ought to be our service unto God. Jesus teaches us to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33).”

When we first serve the Lord, he will bless us with those things we need in our lives. All of the other activities that we engage in are vanity at the best.
In Ecclesiastes 2:11, King Solomon wrote, “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” As you read this book in the Bible you will notice that Solomon did a little bit of everything! He said that all of this was void of any true substance. The wise king concludes in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” It is my prayer that you will not wait until you are old to come to this conclusion. Serve the Lord in your youth! Refuse to conform to the standards of this world. Study the Bible and stand up for Godly values. Seek a place to worship God in spirit and in truth. Our Heavenly Father will never lead us astray!

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Article - Do and Done Doctrine

‘Done’ Doctrine and ‘Do’ Doctrine

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

The epistles of the New Testament can oftentimes be separated into two categories. They contain those things which God has done for us and the things that we ought to be doing as Christians. It is our responsibility to diligently study the Bible and rightly divide the work that the Lord has done for his people from the works that we are to be engaged in.

The Book of Ephesians contains both ‘done’ and ‘do’ doctrine. The first 3 chapters address what the Lord has done for his people. Chapter 1 addresses the doctrine of predestination. Some will argue that election and predestination is the act of God looking down through time to see who would accept him and choose to serve him in this world. Thus, they try to place this doctrine in the ‘do’ category of Biblical teaching. However, we read in Ephesians 1:3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” The Apostle Paul clearly writes that we were predestinated according to the good pleasure of Christ’s will; not our own. Notice how many occasions God is referenced in this passage. He did all of the work necessary to make us (God’s children) accepted in the beloved. When rightly divided, the word of God unequivocally teaches that predestination is a ‘done’ doctrine.

The new birth, salvation and faith are some other works that were done for us by God through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:1 states, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” In the following verses Paul lists the ways of carnal man. Then, he highlights the source of our new life in verse 5. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).” The Bible teaches that all men are spiritually dead. They are not merely sick people in need of someone to bring them the medicine of the gospel. They are completely dead to the things of God. Therefore, they cannot do anything to save themselves. However, Paul teaches that as God’s elect we who love the Lord and his word have been quickened (made alive) by the work of God. It is his work that gives us the ability to glorify his name. It is his spirit that enlivens us to the things of God. We observe in Galatians 5:22 that the faith we manifest is a fruit of his spirit. We are saved by the grace of God Almighty (Ephesians 2:8). Ephesians chapter 3 continues expounding the wonderful works of God in our lives and his power to bless beyond all of our expectations.

As we begin reading Ephesians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul begins to admonish Christians about their responsibilities in the service of the Lord. In verse 1 Paul writes, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” Serving the Lord is not to be a trifling endeavor. Paul likens our work in the service of the Lord to a vocation or job. What are we to be laboring for in the Kingdom of God? In the following verses Paul states that we are to walk in lowliness, meekness, and longsuffering (v.2). We are to labor in forbearing one another and work towards peace (v.3). This is easy to say, but challenging to put in practice. Although this is hard work, these principles (and many more) are the things that we are to ‘do’ in our service to the Lord. We are to use the talents that God has given us to edify his people (v.12), and put off corruptible things in our lives (v.22). In the final chapters of Ephesians, Paul instructs us to be followers of Christ and elaborates on how we are to accomplish this task in our families and with those we come into contact with in our everyday lives.

God will not force his people to engage in the ‘do’ doctrines of the Bible. Our disobedience does not undermine those things that he has done for his people. Psalms 89:30-34 records, “If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” We are secure in those things that God has done for us, but when we are disobedient we will be chastened in this world. As Christians we ought to be empowered when we realize that God did the work necessary to save and quicken us. Then, we can go forward and do those things God requires of us. We serve God as a result of what he has done for us, not to obtain eternal life or the new birth.

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.


I found this in my 'keepers' archive. Enjoy!


Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said, "We can't keep Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from cultivating an intimate relationship with their Savior. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don't have time to cultivate a relationship / with Jesus Christ. "This is what I want you to do" said the devil: "Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" his demons shouted. "Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds" he answered. "Tempt them to spend, spend, and borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. Keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ. Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.

Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands. If they don't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly! Give them Santa Clause to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God's creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, 'and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences.

Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek the Lord. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!" It was quite a plan!
The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there, having little time for their God or their families, having no time to tell others about Jesus. I guess the question is has the devil been successful in his schemes? You be the judge!!!!!

Does "BUSY" mean: B-eing U-nder S -atan's Y-oke? Let us only be busy about the Master's business.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Article - Time Marches On

Time Marches On

Go to now, ye that say, to day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
- James 4:13-14

Several years ago there was a popular county music song that dealt with the inevitability of time moving forward. It seems that one day you are a child with no cares in the world, and the next you are employed, married, and raising children of your own. I recently turned 30 and am acutely aware of how time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was in my teenage years. Now, I have my own family (and even a few gray hairs). Some of my older friends have told me that time goes faster as you grow older. It certainly appears that way! There never seems to be enough time to do all that needs to be done. Days and weeks seem to fly by where they once seemed to crawl along at a snail’s pace. Time indeed marches on!
James addresses the celerity of time in his epistle to the churches scattered around Asia Minor. He states that our life is but a vapor. From birth to death our time is at best a wisp of air. It appears for a little time and then fades away. In spite of all our doctors and drugs and technology, the best we can really hope for is maybe 90-100 years on this earth. The reality is that we don’t really know what tomorrow has in store for us. It does not matter how grandiose our plans are for the future, they are framed within the vapor of our lives. The pertinent question for us is how are we going to use the wisp of air that comprises our lives?
I am afraid that many Christians have their priorities askew. Many of us are sacrificing our short lives for things that are not that significant. How do you spend your time? We oftentimes dedicate much of our time seeking financial gain and worldly notoriety. We must work and the Bible states that a man that does not provide for his own household has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel (2 Timothy 5:8). However, this should not be the focal point of our lives. Many have dedicated numerous hours beyond what is needed to provide for their families in order to amass material possessions. Families suffer because the father works 10-12 hour days and mothers are also away from the home to provide a second income. All of this results in a dereliction of our Christian duties and a neglect of our family responsibilities.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus instructs us to, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The “things” that shall be added includes food, drink, and clothing. The same God that feeds the birds and dresses the lilies will see to our needs as we seek to serve him. We must engage in secular work while we are in this world, but our first priority is to serve God. The blessings of Christian service far outweigh the worldly possessions and notoriety that result from pouring your all of your time into your career.
One aspect of first seeking the kingdom of God involves making your children a priority. How much time do you spend with them? Do you know what is going on in their lives? Who their friends are? What they are watching on the T.V./computer? Are you your child’s primary teacher? Are you teaching them biblical/spiritual principles? Scripture teaches that the parents have the responsibility to train up their children in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6). Deuteronomy 6 commands parents to diligently teach our children to love the Lord and keep his commandments. It is not a once-a-week responsibility, but a 24 hour-a-day duty. Parental responsibility is far more important than dual family incomes or working overtime to finance more carnal entertainment.
Time marches on and it passes quickly. How are you spending your days? Using your resources? I have been with several people who know that they were at the end of their lives. Never once have I met with anyone that wished they had worked more hours, built a bigger home, amassed more wealth. Their regrets have always focused upon the amount of time they spend in serving God. Some are sad that they did not spend more time in their youth worshipping the Lord and serving others. Others wish that they had spent more time with their children. God is gracious to bless us despite our shortcomings, but what will be your story at the end of life? Will you be regretful about how your spent your short life? It is my prayer that we would finish our lives like the Apostle Paul. Towards the end of his life he wrote, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (2 Timothy 4:7)” It is never too late to focus your life on what matters most.