First Baptist Church of Siler City, NC
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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From the Pastor

Thoughts on Nehemiah Week 2

 

Siler City First Baptist Church Is? 

How would you answer the above question? As the sentence is comprised of six words keep your answer to no more than six words. Play with this question like a game. Describe it in one word, then two etc. to your sixth word. Play the game with another or a group. It is considered an ice breaker question to start a conversation generating ideas about the topic. There are no right or wrong answers, just your answer. It is a fluid kind of question based on the moment and one’s personal mood at that moment. Your answer will change routinely because life is never the same at each moment. Heraclitus a Greek philosopher said, "You cannot step into the same river twice.” The reason being,” it is not the same river and he's not the same man.”

 

This past Sunday I preached on Nehemiah chapter two entitled, “There is a time to stop weeping and a time to work.” Short version: Nehemiah traveled to Jerusalem, inspected the wall, was laughed at by Sanballat, told the people why he was there and that he wanted to build the wall, the people agreed, and the work began. Oftentimes we enter places and notice a sign that says, “Sorry for the inconvenience, under construction.” This is what Nehemiah was sent to do in Jerusalem, and this is what we are attempting to do at Siler City First Baptist Church.

 

People normally describe change based on which end they are standing. Either the implementing or receiving end. In terms of polarity, implementing is negative and receiving is positive. Implementing change involves work, seen as an interruption and discomfort, followed by complaining, finger pointing, and finding fault with the change and the people who are making it. Implementing is all about OTHERS! Positive change however is totally a different life experience. If the change benefits us, we are usually celebratory, braggadocios, it makes my life so much easier and I cannot wait to tell others how wonderful and nice it makes things for ME. Positive change is all about ME!

 

Below is another quote to ponder. Every sentence is part and partial of what we are up against in our quest for change and restoring, renewing, and reclaiming our mission and ministry.  Accept it! With every cause, there is an effect. With every act, there is a reaction. Resistance will come from only one source and it will be spiritual. You will never see it with the carnal eye. At times you will see it in yourself, friends, family, and the church. You will see it in nature, in storms, and destruction. This spirit is diabolically evil and is called Satan. He has a Modus operandi. He seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. (Jn 10:10.) He is motivated by his hatred of God and God’s children. He hates Siler City First Baptist Church’s success and ministry as much as his hatred for God. His actions and attitude towards us are the same as his toward Jesus. As we study the book of Nehemiah let us do so with a few mental changes. Let the story of Nehemiah be the story of First Baptist. As goes Jerusalem, so goes First Baptist. God has a lot to teach us from the life of Nehemiah about doing the will of God in a world that is hostile to the will of God.

 

“And as soon as such a man says, let us arise and build, the enemy says, let us arise and stop him.

There is no battle anywhere in the spiritual sense until the Christian pitches in. There is no concern in the mind of Satan about the church at all until he sees a selfless Christian seeking only the glory of God, determined to challenge the Satanic grip upon men’s hearts and lives in the name of the Lord. Does your service for God cause Satan any worry at all? How much overtime has the devil to do in hell because of your church? I can answer that question by asking you some others: Are you interested in anything save the welfare of the people? Have you any ambition except to please

God? Have you concern for any reputation but the Master’s?”

Redpath, Alan. Victorious Christian Service: Studies in the book of Nehemiah (p. 36). Kindle Edition.

 

In Christ, Pastor Allen



Nehemiah Insights  Week1

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn.8:31

            Often, we hear the adage “God is Good.” Those who know the comeback will say, “All the Time.”   The above scripture could be adapted to say the same. “Truth is Good,…All the Time.”  And Jesus’ comeback would be, “the truth will set you free.”

            Sunday, I kicked off a series I want to share from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. The book of Nehemiah is a transformational book frequently used for churches in transition. Often the mistake is made to bring the book out, dust it off, and present it to churches without a pastor. From my personal experience to do so is a mistake. If it is God’s word it is truth and always relevant. To withhold these teachings from the church family on a regular basis causes great internal and external damage. I would go so far as to say it is the most probable cause for churches to stop growing and causes pastor burnout, then bailout.

               On a regular basis I want to share some insights from my reading and studying that I believe will provide truths for First Baptist. I do so in hopes that you will find it informative, helpful, and practical. I will always be adding a quote from my readings which is what I want us to focus on that reveals truth in a different light as we take this journey together. I am not asking for a cursory reading but a slow methodical, meditative, and reflective reading. Ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to know, understand, and do. Whoever came up with the idea of information, application, and transformation is the idea I have in mind.

 In chapter one Nehemiah has laid the foundation for repairing the wall with four months of weeping, mourning, fasting, and praying. Now he is ready to begin the work of rebuilding. God is the footing, foundation, and cornerstone on which Nehemiah builds. I would say a few seconds prayer will accomplish a few seconds answer. Remember Nehemiah prayed for four months. Did he pray without ceasing? Probably not. If what we pray about today is not worth praying about tomorrow, then I rather doubt it is worth praying about at all. Four months is a commitment. Four months is a conviction. Four months is a constant reminder. Four months is a Joseph wrestling with a man, (God) which turned out to be an all or none wrestling match.   

Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break.  When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Gen. 32:24

Below I have added a quote from A. Redpath. To know the truth is one thing, to experience that truth is another. Redpath speaks of honesty. I believe only when we experience honesty about First Baptist Church, are we qualified to discuss our church. “When we look honestly,” then we are qualified to speak honesty. Is there a difference between truth and honesty? Truth is of God and it never changes. Honesty is a mixture of truth and error applicable to man. It can be anything we want it to be and is always situational or contextual. It is often referred to as situational ethics.  Situational ethics is defined as “In situation ethics, right and wrong depend upon the situation. There are no universal moral rules or rights - each case is unique and deserves a unique solution.”

Below is Redpath’s quote. Enjoy  it ,is just that good.

When we look at the church, we love the church and are thankful for what God does here. But when we look honestly, we are probably not satisfied with the impact we have made on this community. We cannot say that it is enough or that there should not be far more. We think of the financial support and the outreach and the spread of the Word of God through the church, and yet know that it could be more, and that the ministry could go out further and broader. Nehemiah: Enduring the Word Commentary. Ch. 2. A Redpath.

A time to be silent and a time to speak”   Ecc. 3:7

 Pastor Allen


FRESH ENCOUNTER    (August Newsletter)

THE SALVATION OF A WORLD IS AT STAKE!

A carnal church can do everything the world does, but it cannot provide new birth or new life for the sinner.  It cannot because it does not have the power nor the desire to do so. After physical death, the carnal member will be eternally lost and live in hell created for the devil, his angels and those who reject Jesus Christ as their personal savior. 

A church filled with and operating under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can provide new birth and eternal life because it has the power and desire to do so.  After physical death, the spiritual member will be eternally saved to live in heaven to be with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and all those who accept Jesus as their personal savior.  Jesus teaches that you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears. The same truth can be applied to churches. A church that is not birthing and making disciples for Jesus has forsaken its purpose. Something is amiss. Either the church is carnal and trying to live spiritual, or the church is spiritual and trying to live carnal. Jesus cursed a fig tree because it did not bear fruit.  Why? Because as a fig tree it was created to bear fruit.   Elsewhere Jesus says, Jn. 15: 2  “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” Everything God created He infused with purpose.  The church is the body and bride of Christ, it has an infused purpose.

Why do I say all of this?  Because First Baptist is seeking a Pastor. It has had a stellar beginning. As of late, a sterile past in its purpose of saving the lost and making disciples of those Jesus saved.  I and a few others see all this as a cause for alarm. Words such as revival, renewal, restoration, and repentance have recently been voiced. As words they have merit. If these words do not transform the object by their definitions, then they are mere words. The causes for sterility are legion. As a church we are called to return to God for it is He who created us.  God has a purpose for First Baptist Church. It is imperative that we know that purpose. Below is a quote by Henry Blackaby that says one course of action God will take is to discipline or rebuke the wayward person, church, or both to help them find out His purpose.

“God disciplines his children because of His love. God knows that the best life possible for you is found only in an intimate love relationship with Him. God’s rebuke or discipline is His invitation for you to return to Him. The salvation of a world is at stake. Are you experiencing the discipline of the Lord?  Is your church experiencing the rebuke or punishment of God? God disciplines those He loves. The discipline is God’s invitation for you to return to Him so a world can be brought to reconciliation with God through you.

Many Christians and churches have grown so familiar with sin and with living apart from intimacy with God that they do not realize how far away from Him they are living. Because they do not know the Scriptures, they do not see how their lives and actions fail to measure up to God’s standards. They may even be experiencing God’s discipline and shrug it off as spiritual warfare. FRESH ENCOUNTER, Blackaby p. 12.” 

The days ahead will be busy, stressful, frustrating, and full of hard work for all of us. Let us keep our eyes and heart on the Lord for the Psalmist says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” The King James Version of Prov. 29:18 says, “where there is no vision the people perish.”  It can be said, where there is no repentance the people perish.  Then again, it never hurts to heed the wisdom of Proverbs 16:18. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Need an example?  Look at the devil.

 

Shalom

Allen


 

About Dr. Admire:
 
At the conclusion of morning worship on 11-24 the church went into conference and voted to call Rev. Allen Admire as Interim Pastor of First Baptist. 
 
Reverend Admire received his Bachelor of Religion from Campbell University, his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as his Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Theological Seminary.  He has also received certifications from the American Association of Christian Counselors,  Interim Ministry Training and Intentional Interim Ministry Training through the Center for Congressional Health at Baptist Hospital.
 
Reverend Admire will be available two days each week and will preach on Sunday mornings.  The days that he is available will be dependent upon staff meetings, programs and meetings at the church, as well as needs of the congregation - such as hospital visits, etc.