Category Archives: Pastoral Ministry

Matt Chandler’s T4G 2014 Message: Christ Is All

My notes of Matt Chandler’s message at T4G 2014.

After coming out of the locker room in high school I had a friend say to me, “I need to tell you about Jesus, when do you want to do that.” In my home growing up I saw really messed up Christianity and so this friend named Jeff was the first real Christian I ever met. He brought me to church and I thought it was goofy the way youth group was, but I kept wanting to come back. I don’t know why I wanted to keep coming, but God was wooing me.

I am here because someone was unashamed.

One of my fears is that when we hear that there is growing hostility toward Christians in our culture, that we do not shrink back from being bold and unashamed.

Acts 19:18-20

Can you get your head around that there were no dollars to be made out of sinful gain? Can you imagine this? Imagine this riot that breaks out because of preaching the gospel. Have you heard of any recent church plants that were started and a riot breaks out because they closed down all the strip clubs and businesses of ill repute?

Then we see later on that the weather changes.

2 Timothy 1:8

His first bit of encouragement is that Timothy should step in to suffering and know that it is coming. Continue reading

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Filed under Evangelism, Pastoral Ministry, T4G 2014

Kevin Deyoung’s T4G Message: Never Spoke a Man Like This Before: Inerrancy, Evangelism and Christ’s Unbreakable Bible

If we are to share the gospel with confidence and preach with authority, then we must know that the gospel we are proclaiming and the book we are expounding are true. If you think you can magnify grace by shrinking truth, you will find you make people blind to both.

When you teach your children about the creation, the flood, Moses, Jesus walking on water, etc… When you stand behind the pulpit to preach and share the gospel with your friends there is one question that towers above all others… Are you you telling the truth?

Our two boys came in from the snow and my wife said that I needed to talk with the boys and that she was so frustrated. Our older son hit our younger son with a snowball and when we confronted him he said that he rubbed the snow into his own face. So we gathered for family devotions and opened up 1 John 1. We needed a little law that night! So we went around the room and everyone shared some sins. When we got to my older son he said that he needed to confess he did not respond well to his mom when confronted. We asked if there was ANYTHING else he needed to confess and he said no. Then we asked our younger son and he started crying and confessed that he in fact did rub snow in his face. We did not know whether we should cry or laugh.

We don’t have anything if we do not have the truth! Many might say, “here you go again! You Christians think you have a monopoly on the truth.”

We have no monopoly on the truth, the truth is on free parking and it is for everyone. We do not have the truth, God has the truth and he has given it for us all. Continue reading

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Filed under Evangelism, Pastoral Ministry, Revelation, Scripture, T4G 2014

Al Mohler’s T4G 2014 Message: The Open Door Is The Only Door

The following are my notes from Al Mohler’s message at T4G 2014.

We need to be reminded of what brought T4G together. In 2006, we said:

“We are brothers in Christ to stand together for the gospel. We believe the gospel is misunderstood and compromised. We need to recover the gospel and stand together for it.”

We came together in 2006 to set forth a set of affirmations and denials. If you look at articles 9 & 10 you can see what we believe about evangelism. We have come together to be unashamed for the gospel.

The open door of the gospel is the only door for salvation in the gospel. Why is it necessary to say these things? It has been necessary in Acts and necessary now.

Reasons Why These Things Are Necessary

1. Shift to a cultural condition to post-Christianity.

The people with whom we are in contact in our community are post-Christian. It has taken one generation and exclusive claims are seen as naive. The Christian worldview is out of step in our society. It is bad theology and bad etiquette in our world. Continue reading

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Thabiti’s Anyabwile T4G 2014 Message: The Happiness of Heaven In the Repentance of Sinners

The following are my notes of Thabiti’s sermon at T4G 2014.

Unashamed is our theme. Stop for a moment and ask if we feel unashamed about our personal evangelism. Is that how we would describe ourselves? Many of us would, but many more would not.

I want to begin by confessing that I am not the greatest evangelist in the world, in this conference, in my church and if I were in a room by myself I would fear I still would not be the greatest evangelist in the room.

I have two evils in my life. First, I do not love the lost like I should. I do not care about them like I should. Second, I came to faith in my late 20s and have a doctrinally light approach to evangelism that our Christian world has taught me to preach.

I wince and shy away from the hard parts of evangelism. The hard parts like repentance. We act like repentance is a footnote to our evanglism. We at times will become ashamed. We downplay sin and hell.

If we get the motive and method and evangelism wrong we will find ourselves betraying the motive and method of heaven. If we see why heaven rejoices at the sinner’s repentance.

Repentance brings happiness to heaven. We see this in Luke 15 and that these three parables of Jesus all make this one point. Continue reading

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Mark Dever T4G 2014 Message: The Certain Victory of Christ’s Church an Encouragement to Evangelism

The following are my notes of Mark Dever’s message at T4G 2014.

Introduction

Things look bad right now. Evil presses in on every side and there is our own sin. There are issues in our churches. Biblical teaching is held up for mockery in the media. We are seen as silly. The speed of the changes are breathtaking. Christians are facing terrible persecution around the world. In Egypt, the worst persecution of Christians is being seen now then in the last 700 years.

So to be having a conference on evangelism, doesn’t this seem like a strange idea during these times? However, our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Satan likes to distract us and take away our hopes. Yet, God likes to take away our small hopes to put our bigger hope in him.

I want to begin this conference with encouraging you pastors in evangelism. Especially if many of you are coming to this conference thinking about it like going to the dentist where you pay someone to scold you about not flossing more.

I want us to turn to Isaiah 36-37 of the great public event in the lifetime of Isaiah. Do you know what I mean about the great public event? It would be like the civil war if you were living in the United States during that time. The civil war was the great public event.

Scene 1: The Assyrian Invasion

Isaiah 36:1

In 724 B.C. Assyria invaded the Northern Kingdom and destroyed them in 722 B.C. They deported the majority of society to other places and then brought Babylonians into the nation to take them over. Continue reading

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Divorce & Remarriage, Pt. 1

This is the first in a series of posts on some of the more common biblical views of divorce and remarriage. The content of these posts come mostly from some lectures David Jones gave at SEBTS.

Introduction

Same-sex marriage is getting a lot of attention right now and for good reason. However, I believe there is a more fundamental and pervasive problem with our views of marriage and the family. As Dr. David Jones once said in an ethics class at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, divorce and remarriage are hands down the greatest moral problems facing the church today. What do you think about that statement?

Do you think divorce and remarriage are the greatest moral problems facing the church? Even though there is no way to REALLY know what is the greatest moral problem anywhere, I think Dr. Jones might be right.

Today we hear people complaining that we need to stop our government from redefining marriage, but haven’t we already redefined marriage back in the 1970s and 1980s when almost every state adopted some form of no-fault divorce law? Part of me thinks we should not be so surprised that so many young people today have a low view of marriage and are happy to approve same-sex marriage. Anyone born after 1983 has grown up seeing their parents treat marriage just like a contract. They have not observed the perpetual and life-long covenantal vows “for better or for worse, till death do us part.” Instead when things go bad and someone is not happy, then they get a divorce. The very essence of marriage as a covenant has already been redefined by both our government and an entire generation of “failed marriages.” Continue reading

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, Bible Studies, Christian Living, Counseling, Discipleship, Family Ministry, Lectures, Marriage, Matthew, Pastoral Ministry, SEBTS

Sharing Our Faith With Catholics

The following post is my notes of Chris Castaldo’s talk at an event sponsored by Acts 29, Chicago Partnership for Church Planting, and Converge Mid-America. The event was held at Edgewater Baptist Church on February 20, 2013.

Let me read to you a passage from Isaiah 55:10-11:

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

I think this passage would remind us that this is precisely where God puts his servant. God puts us in the darkness. God will use you brothers to be lights for his glory.

Introduction – The Sixty Day Challenge

I was a new convert living in Florida and was at a church that had just begun a 60 day challenge. Everyone in the church was encouraged to share their faith once a day for 60 days. On day one I was so busy helping with a fundraiser that the day was almost over and was driving in the car with a Catholic Bishop. Then I realized that I had to share the gospel with this bishop or I would have begun the challenge as a failure. I was really nervous and did not know what to do. My knuckles holding the steering wheel were not turning white. So I started to share my testimony and after I was done all I heard was silence. I had thought I was really going to hear it from the Bishop, but as I looked over and heard his loud breathing I realized that I had put the Bishop to sleep.

These white knuckles are a description of how many of us feel when we share the gospel and especially with Catholics who think they are already saved. Which brings us to the topic we have come to think through together today.

How Can We Share Our Faith WIth Catholic Friends

A few assumptions that I have about this issue that would be good to say from the beginning:

Continue reading

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Filed under Chicago, Church Planting, Evangelism, Pastoral Ministry, Sermons