Monday, December 24, 2007

Article - The Coming Savior

The Coming Savior

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. –Micah 5:2

During this time of year, many Christians try to reflect upon the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. However, in the materialism and revelry that accompanies the holiday season, thoughts of Christ are often lost in the shuffle. Although we do not know the exact time of year Christ was born into this world, we have an excellent opportunity to meditate upon the purpose for which Christ was born, and to share these truths with others.

In the above verse we witness the power and sovereignty of God in sending forth Christ to become our Savior. By the inspiration of God, Micah says, "Out of thee (Bethlehem) shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel." It should be comforting to us to know that Jesus was sent of God. He was sent to be the Savior of His people. There was perfect harmony in Heaven in the work of redemption. Jesus spoke of this truth in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

In observing the humble birthplace of our Savior, we are blessed with a glimpse of God's mercy and grace. He was born in Bethlehem, one of the most insignificant cities in Judah. Our Redeemer did not enter into this world with pomp and circumstance; instead He was born in a manger in a small town! The Bible says that there was nothing physically impressive about Christ that men would be attracted to him. Bethlehem--the name itself is quite humble, meaning 'house of bread.' What hope that gives to the least of us! Christ came for all of His children, not just the rich or the mighty or the powerful or the beautiful!

Prophecy was fulfilled when the Bread of Life was born of the Virgin Mary in the house of Bread. Bethlehem was also the birthplace of David, the second King of Israel, and one who also had meager beginnings. Jesus was often referred to as the Son of David. David was a type of Jesus, but unlike David, Christ's kingdom was to be an everlasting one. Ephratah means, "Fruitfulness" or "abundance." All Christians would readily affirm that these characteristics aptly describe our Redeemer. We have abundant, everlasting life through Jesus Christ!

Finally, we observe why Christ came. Micah prophesied that Jesus was to be ruler of Israel. Was the Bible speaking about Jesus ruling as a natural king, or something greater? His rule far surpassed earthly kingdoms. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus Christ is the head of spiritual Israel, His elect family. In John 18:36, Jesus explained that His kingdom was not of this world. His kingdom is an everlasting, spiritual one. He came into the world to save His people (spiritual Israel) from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He accomplished this work when He laid down His life on the cross. When He said, "It is finished" the work of salvation was complete! Speaking of God, the Apostle Paul wrote, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Christ suffered in our stead that we might have fellowship with Him in His kingdom.
Christ was born into this world to redeem His elect family. When we think of Jesus' birth, it ought to point us to His work on the cross. Child of God, Heaven is your home because of the full, complete, finished work of our Redeemer. We know that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and yet, though we be so undeserving, we have been given such astounding graces! In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season let us think upon the greatest gift that has ever been given; the free gift of eternal life. It is my prayer that we would share these truths with one another.

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.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Article - How Are We to Worship God? Pt. 1

Article - How Are We to Worship God? Pt. 1

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." -John 4:24

What does it mean to worship God? The Oxford English Dictionary defines worship as the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. It also describes it as a great admiration or devotion towards another. Both descriptions aptly describe the relationship that Christians should have towards God. While the worship of God should be woven into every aspect of our lives, I hope to explore the issue of public worship (attending church). I believe that the Bible gives us a clear guideline on why and how we are to worship God as a church body. It is my hope that we would all search the scriptures and serve the Lord to the best of our abilities.

First, we must understand that in public worship, the primary focus must be God, not man. When we assemble ourselves together as Christians, the goal is to praise and glorify the Lord. In Psalms 29:1-2 David writes that we are to, "Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Our God is due all of the glory. David had enjoyed many successes as the King of Israel, but he knew that the Lord deserved all glory in worship. As we study both the Old and New Testaments we will notice that God was the center of all proper worship. Any deviation from this pattern constituted idolatry. In Acts 17, the Apostle Paul observed many different types of worship in Athens. Some historians write that there were more altars than people in this city. Verse 16 states that Paul's spirit was stirred in him when he saw Athens wholly given to idolatry. They were a religious people, but they were not worshipping God in spirit and in truth.

Sadly, we are often guilty of not making the Lord the center of our public worship. We become like the Gentiles of Romans 1:25 and worship the creation more than the Creator. Is your public worship Christ-centered? Many today believe that the assembly of believers must be constantly changing to reflect the culture around it. Is this Biblical? There is a great movement in many churches to reinvent themselves to look more appealing to the world. When this becomes our focus, it behooves us to ask: "Are we fulfilling the scriptural mandate to be the light of the world and salt of the earth?" In John 15, Jesus says, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

The carnal world hated Jesus and it hates those who make Him the center of their worship. However, when the Spirit of God touches one of His children, they begin to love the things that they once hated. Though your public worship offers no appeal to the carnal world, it gives great hope and edification to the children of God. Is your worship centered around expressing reverence and adoration to God Almighty? Or is the focus on entertaining people so they will be drawn into your establishment? Are you focused on fostering a true admiration, love and devotion to your Savior, or are you focused on becoming the most popular and most populated church in town? It is my prayer that God would be the center of our worship when we assemble ourselves together as His visible church.

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, December 02, 2007

Article - Black Sunday

Black Sunday

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. –Matthew 6:33

I hope that everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. It is nice to fellowship with family members that you generally do not see except on special occasions. Thanksgiving is also a wonderful time to meditate upon all the blessings that God has given us as individuals, families, churches and as a nation. One of the weirder traditions that I have recently observed is the tradition of Black Friday.

This is supposedly the busiest shopping day of the year. I’ve never paid a lot of attention to this day, but observed an amazing phenomenon while watching the news on Thanksgiving morning. The reporter was interviewing several people out of about eighty that were lined up at a local electronics store in anticipation for Black Friday. These people were camping out in the cold and rain to save a couple hundred dollars on the latest electronic gadget. There are very few things that I would camp out for in the rain and cold, especially for a gizmo that will be obsolete when you leave the store. However, you must admire the individual’s zeal that will brave the elements to accomplish their goal. It is incredible to see the lengths people will go to obtain material possessions. We observe this behavior in people pursuing entertainment. Have you ever waited in line for hours at an amusement park? All of us have spent time in such vain pursuits. Wouldn’t it be a blessing to observe such zeal in our service to the Lord?

Sadly, most Christians place their service to God at the bottom of the priority list. We wait to pray at the end of the day. Financial offerings are given when everything else is cared for. God’s people rarely minister to others in need. Bible reading is done sporadically and family devotion time is virtually nonexistent in most homes. To say that we are complacent as Christians is an understatement. The Bible says, “Woe unto those that are at ease in Zion.” The Apostle Paul writes, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Our time would be much better spent on first seeking the kingdom of God. He will take care of the rest of our needs.

Maybe we should propose a date for Black Sunday. This will be a time when God’s people come to the place of worship the day before and camp outside waiting for the doors to open. Regardless of wind, rain or snow we excitedly brave the elements in anticipation for worship of the Lord. When the doors open we spend countless hours singing songs of praise and learning from the truth of God’s word. Those in attendance will be very interested in scripture and ask many detailed questions about the messages being preached. Young and old will assemble together for instruction and not entertainment. Praise will be freely expressed without fear of what others might think. Then when we finally leave, we will share our excitement with any and all who would listen.

Does this sound preposterous? It shouldn’t. The early church assembled together in a similar manner daily! While Christians need not camp out overnight to attend worship services it would be nice if they arrived at church in a timely manner. Pastors across America would be greatly encouraged if less time was spent looking at watches and more time was given attending to sermons and note-taking. Much more could be said about this. Jesus said that we are to first seek the kingdom of God. If we can exhibit so much excitement for material things, should we not be zealous for spiritual endeavors?

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.