Thursday, September 27, 2012


Make no mistake about it – Jesus is coming again! The One who died, rose again and ascended to heaven will come in the same way He went up in to heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Millions accept this truth intellectually . However, relatively few people allow this truth to change their lives. This may well be the strangest fact in history
How would you adjust your life if you knew Jesus was coming back today?

What will happen when Jesus comes back? This is a good question and one worth exploring. To say the least, things are going to happen! Exciting things. Things the world has never seen before. Things that should excite every believer.

If Jesus should come today, the Christian dead would be raised from the grave. The Bible speaks of the sound of the trumpet – the voice of the archangel! Those who died in Jesus will be the first to rise – What a wonderful hope!

You see, for the Christian, the grave is not a place of despair! Death is not the end of the story! Death is merely a comma as we transition to the next phase.
Christians go to heaven when we die (2 Cor 5:8 - absent from the body – present with the Lord)

Jesus will return bringing Christians with Him to resurrect their bodies. This resurrection will bring spirit and body together again – a glorified body! The glorified body will be like the body of Jesus. 1 John 3:2 “...but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”
There will be no more sickness, pain or suffering. There will be no more death or dieing . There will be no more bodily limitations. We will be like Jesus – we will have a glorified body!!! Now that's enough to make a baptist shout!

If Jesus would come today, living believers would escape death. Death has taken it's toll through the centuries. Adam died and Abel died. Methuselah died and Moses died. Jacob died and Joseph died. Samson was not strong enough to escape death. Solomon was not wise enough to escape death. Men still die (Heb 9:27). But not all Christians will die. Those living when Jesus comes will be caught up and changed! 1 Cor 15:50-53 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of any eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality”
Like Enoch and Elijah, all believers living when Jesus returns will be changed without death. What a blessed hope!

Also, if Jesus would come today, some would be ashamed. 1 John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” We are to abide in Him that we may have confidence. Are you confident when you think about His return? Think about the suddenness of His coming (In the twinkling of an eye!) When you were in that fit of anger. When you were reading that borderline book.
When you were passing on that bit of gossip.

Make no mistake about it – JESUS IS GOING TO RETURN FOR HIS CHURCH! No man knows the day or the hour (Matt 24:36). It may well be the next event on God's prophetic calender.

What do you want to be found doing when Jesus returns? We must be ready for His coming

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I'm troubled by the spirit of condemnation that is so prevalent among churches and Christians all over this country.  

No matter where we go, it seems that there is always someone looking down his or her nose at someone else.   There are always people who in their own minds, at least, are more righteous than the individuals around them. In most cases, however, this turns out to be self-righteousness as opposed to true righteousness

The mentality of these individuals is that if you don't agree with their way of thinking all the way down the line, then you are wrong all the way down the line.  The intolerance level of these self-righteous people is extremely high.  They are quick to be judgmental if you don't look the way they think you ought to look or behave in a manner that is acceptable to them.  It matters not to them, what the Word of God may say about a particular issue or situation.  What matters to them is what they think.

I'm not referring to issues that Scriptures specifically address.  I'm talking about things that the Scriptures do not specifically mention.  In most cases, these are relatively unimportant issues that people become indignant about.  They tend to emphasize the less important things.  How sad the church has come to this!

Oftentimes we become hypocritical about the whole situation.  We tend to see the faults and problems of others, but somehow we manage to never see our own shortcomings.  Jesus makes mention of this in Matthew 7:1-5.  In verse five Jesus said, "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote in thy brother's eye."  Pretty strong words, huh?

Is seems the problem with the spirit of condemnation is nothing new.  Jesus encountered it when He walked upon this land.  Upon reading the Scriptures I find that the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and hypocrites were the self-righteous people of Jesus' day.  Perhaps we have more in common with the religious people of Jesus' day than we care to admit. What "good" company we are in.

If were're not careful, we'll become like the self-righteous Pharisee who proclaimed to God in prayer, "I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are...even as this publican (Luke 18:9-14).  The publican, on the other hand, expressing grief and remorse concerning his condition cried "God be merciful to me a sinner."

If there's one thing I've discovered over the years, it's that the Body of Christ is large enough for many diverse opinions and people.  I believe all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior fit into the Body and have a vital function.

It's easy for us to peer down our nose at people who look or behave a bit differently than we do.  You know, just because they are a bit different in appearance or behavior than we are doesn't' make them right or wrong.  If they're covered by the blood of Jesus that makes them our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  After all, isn't that what really matters?

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Thursday, September 20, 2012


The gospel makes salvation available to all (Rom 10:9-13).  The Great Commission sends believers with the gospel to all (Matt 28:18-20).  The gospel preached by the early church turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).  We need to return to those thrilling days of old!  We need a move of God that restores our first love as well as a passion for the lost.  We need a move of God just as they did in Hosea's day.  The people needed to break up their fallow ground.  What did Hosea mean when he called for this to happen among his people?

Fallow ground was once productive but now lies in waste.  Once there were abundant harvests from this soil.  Now here are but weeds and thorns and thistles.

Hosea could identify with the need to break up the fallow ground.  Remember Israel's glorious past in regards to God's blessings: The Red Sea miracle, manna, water from a rock, cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, to name but a few.  Consider the nation's sad condition that prompted Hosea's prophetic call:  Idolatry (mixing Baal worship with the worship of God), relationships with ungodly nations for the purpose of military strength and turning their back on the God who delivered them.    

We, too, can identify with the need for this call to break up fallow ground in our lives today.  Churches have grown cold and indifferent to the things of God.  Pastors and churches have compromised the message of the gospel in order to grow their church.  Some churches seem more like social clubs the churches preaching the gospel.  Christians sit back and soak while sinners die and go to hell.

Fallow ground produces thorns and thistles.  The cares of this world choke out the Word of God.  The deceitfulness of riches causes wrong priorities.  Idolatry replaces total dedication to God.  Fallow ground produces the root of bitternes.

We sing of a sweet, sweet spirit in this place.  But bitterness often lurks beneath the surface of singing saints.  Bitter believers are easily offended and are quick to cause divisions in the church.  Fallow ground is often the result of apathy and laziness.  Lazy Christians are slow to do what God has commanded.  Lazy Christians hold back from service to the God.  Lazy Christians find excuses for not getting involved.  Lazy Christians find that their lives are unproductive.

Fallow ground can be broken up by the plow of God's Word.  The Bible is a mirror that enables us to see ourselves as we are.  The Bible also enables us to see ourselves as God sees us Fallow ground can be broken up by repentance.
Fallow ground can be broken up by humility and prayer (2 Chron 7:14).

Is your life ready for God to work in it?  What will it take to break up your fallow ground?  Are you willing to pay the price to see a move of God

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Have you ever felt like your contribution to God doesn't really matter?  Have you ever felt like you don't make a difference?  Have you ever felt like God doesn't need you?  After all, there are so many others who are greatly gifted.  He has so many gifted preachers and so many "big" ministries that He doesn't really need you or me. 

A number of years ago, I began to wonder if our ministry was really making a difference.  It seemed that we were always on the go, but not seeing anything tangible accomplished.  I almost felt that God didn't need me or this ministry.  He has so many other wonderful ministries that are eminently more qualified and, in fact, do a far better job than we do.  Does God really need us?

Then I realized that each and every one of us has a nucleus of individuals that we touch and influence on a day-by-day basis.  It may be family members, friends, co-workers or mere acquaintances.  We have an opportunity to make a difference on a on-to-one basis in the lives of these individuals.

In many cases we are the only Jesus these people will ever see.  Many of these people seldom, if ever, grace the door of a church.  Many times they will lump all Christians in the same category.  If they have ever been wronged by someone professing to be a Christian they have the attitude that all Christians are like that.  If they see the lifestyle of a professing Christian to be that of the world then they reason in their own minds, "Why should I become a Christian. What's the difference?"  

God doesn't have any "big"or "small" ministries.  God doesn't have any "big" or "small" children.  My point is those who are involved in what most would consider a "small" ministry are just as important in the eyes of God and in the plan of God as those involved with a multimillion-dollar ministry.

You see, folks, if you are called of God to do a particular task, no matter what it may be, then there is no greater ministry that you could be involved in.  I don't care if you feel called to clean the church, preach the gospel or to do anything in between, there is no greater ministry than the one God has called you do.

I'd like to encourage you to keep on serving God in the capacity He has called you into.  Remember there are no big "I's" or little "you's" in God's work.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Thursday, September 13, 2012


It is not my labor nor burden that tires me.  It cannot be many miles on the streets visiting; nor is it the tracts offered the many inhabitants for my city.

It is not the number of services at the church, nor the time spent in prayer that tires me.  "Then what tires you?"  I'm glad you asked!

I'm tired of arriving at church twenty to thirty minutes early to pray and find that others are only interested in personal conversation which disturbs all others with dissimilar desires.

I'm tired of sifting through three songs, prayer requests, testimony service, preaching, dismissal and leaving church without anyone being moved to salvation.

I'm tired of hearing professional-type singers  singing so-called gospel music to the beat of the dance floors. I'm tired of those same singers and musicians smugly going through their paces asd if they were giving a concert at Carnegie Hall.

I'm tired of preachers preaching to new visitors as if they had just turned God down for the twentieth time. I'm tired of those same sinners leaving church thinking that "If that is what church consists of, then I don't want any part of it."

I'm tired of narrow minded people "setting holiness standards" for themselves and expecting the whole world to beat a path to their door to emulate that narrow-mindedness.  

I'm tired of church cliques among saints as well as preachers.

I'm tired of priorities of God bieng altered to meet teh egos of individuals.

I'm tired of shepherds who drive instead of lead.  I'm tired of sheep who bleat when led.

I'm tired of evangelists being treated like outsiders when they are giving their very lives to help revive the church they are visiting. 

I'm tired of the pulpit being used to strike out at anyone who does not beleive every idea that is handed out.

I'm tired of laziness during songs of praise and worship.

I'm tired of Satan  manifesting himself openly and Christians having little power to do anything about it.

I'm tired of my inspiration being dragged down by despairing, faithless Christians.

I'm tired of people giving and later wishing they had their offering back to buy a hamburger.

I'm tired of the concept, "I am always right and that makes you always wrong."

I'm tired of sin creeping subtly in to the church.  

I'm tired of the church creeping subtly into the world.

I'm tired of sinners walking the streets without every hearing a sermon, listening to the gospel or being offered a tract.

I realize I will never be able to change all that nees to be changed, but I will not rest until some effort is made.  I expect to be "tired" a long time, but some things are worth being tired over.

I am Pastor B.D Bates, and I'm a tired Christian!  (REPRINTED)

I thought you would like to read this information.  I received it years ago.  It has a great message.  If you see yourself in any of these situations, remember that you are not alone. But we must not stay "tired" of doing God's work.  There is a job to be completed by each one of us.  

Read these over carefully and see where you fit in.  If you see yourself being part of the problem, I have a God that is big enough and great enough to meet every need and to turn you around.  If you see yourself as part of the solution, then we must all come together in unity.  Continue to pray, read God's Word and seek His face (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, September 11, 2012


We hear a good deal of talk, today, about maximizing your potential.  No matter if it's business, sports, educational opportunities or any other area of life, we are being encouraged to be the best we can be.

If these other areas of life are important, how much more then are we compelled to maximize our potential in our service to the Lord Jesus Christ?  I would like to lay before you several helpful points, which if followed, will enable us to do this.

First of all, we must serve God with all our heart (Matthew 22:37-38).  You know, we put all we have into things that do not pertain to God.  For example, if we are sports enthusiasts we let others know which team we are fans of.  I've even see people get in to arguments and walk off angry because of what someone said about "their" team.  Today, people have a difficult time even mentioning the name of Jesus and confessing that they are a child of God to others.  They'll yell themselves hoarse rooting for their favorite team, yet they fail miserable in their responsibility to share their faith.  We should be Jesus fans!  We should get as radical about Jesus as we do other things in life.

Second, we should minimize our problems (Acts 5:40-42).  the truth is, if you're going to serve God, you're going to have problems.  Many folks become discouraged and quit when they encounter problems.  1 John 4:4 tells us "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."  While we are moping around feeling sorry for ourselves worrying about our problems, people are dying and going to hell!  People are hurting and need to know our Jesus.  The work of God goes on with or without us.

Third, we must have the proper attitude.  We must stop criticizing others.  The bottom line is that the ones we are criticizing are out d-o-i-n-g things for God and getting things done.  If we would put the same effort into serving God as we do in criticizing others we, too, would see a difference in our world.

Fourth, we must not allow our discouragement to show.  We can fake the devil out by not showing our discouragement.  God knows what is on the inside, but Satan only knows the outside.  God cannot use a discouraged person - He uses those who are victorious!

Three things cause discouragement: 1) Taking your eyes off Jesus and putting them on the circumstances, 2)  Being  misunderstood by those Christians round us (most of the time time we punch the dagger too quickly) and 3) Brooding and moping over the past.  We must attempt o avoid these three things.

Fifth, we must be unselfish.  We must give ourselves, our time and our talents to God as well as to others.  We must be available when someone is in need.  We must be available for God to use us.  

As Paul said (2 Corinthians 6:20) we, too, are ambassadors of Christ here on earth.  We should seek to maximize our potential as an ambassador of heaven.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Saturday, September 8, 2012


"Real."  What is "real?"  Webster's Dictionary defines "real", in part, as "not artificial, fraudulent, illusory, or apparent; genuine."

I believe, today, people are looking for something that is real.  They're fed up with the artificial.  They're incensed by the fraudulent.  They're tired of the images that so many put forth to appear real.  

What is a real Christian?  Some would have you believe it involves wearing certain types of clothing or perhaps not wearing certain types of clothing.  Some say to be "real" you must wear your hair a specific way, or your shirt sleeves must be a particular length.  Some even believe that unless you attend their church you cannot be a real Christian.

Is "real" something you wear?  Is "real" something yo put on and take off?  Is it something you acquire or are born with?  Is it being what someone in your family thinks you should be?  Is "real" being what some preacher says you should be?  Is it doing your own thing?  Is it bestowed on some and not on others?  Is it inherited?  Is it distinguishable?  If so, how?

Being a real Christian entails putting off labels and stigmas that we sometimes attach to certain groups of believers.  Scripture tells us "...The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26).  It doesn't matter whether or not you call yourself a Baptist, a Pentecostal, a Methodist, a Presbyterian or any other label.  What matters is this - Are you a real Christian?

To become a real Christian  means to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  It includes repenting, believing and forsaking your sins (Luke 13:3,5).  Receiving Jesus means being in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Old friends, habits and sinful appetites drop off.  They no longer hold the allure they once did.  In Christ all things become new.  We receive a new life, new faith, new hope, new love, new joy and  new peace.

As a child of God we should emulate Him in our thinking, our seeing, our hearing, our speaking, our doing and our going.  We should look for the positive and good.  We should be kind, compassionate and understanding (Colossians 3:12-13) - traits, I might add, we find too often missing in our churches today.

As real Christians, we are to represent the Lord Jesus Christ at home, at school, at work and at play - everywhere!  We should seek to exemplify Him in deed and conversation.  We can do this by offering words of encouragement, doing good deeds, and being a witness to the unsaved individuals all around us. 

Being a real Christian, then, means that we are in Christ, like Christ, for Christ and with Christ for now and throughout eternity.  Folks, it's time we examine our hearts and perhaps ask ourselves this question:  Am I a fake or am I  the real thing?"

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Thursday, September 6, 2012


Through the years I've had the opportunity to visit with various preachers and ministry leaders.  One concern rises time and time again as we talk - Christians are no longer dedicated to God and His work!  

It seems many Christians are only involved in the work of God when there is money to be had or when they can receive some sort of self glorification. It appears the work of God has been reduced to self serving motives by far too many who lack dedication and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and His plan.

Far too many Christians appear to be satisfied with the status quo.  Listen folks, we need more - much more - than status quo religion if we are to see anything accomplished for the cause of Christ!  We need more than "church as usual!"

People are getting fed up with the dead, dull, boring churches that provide little or no spiritual vitality to them.  We've replaced the genuine move of God from the early church with our own man-made programs.  We've gotten so advanced in our program planning that we know as much as a year in advance who is gong to do what in each service even to the exclusion of the Holy Spirit.   We leave no room for God to move in our services because our programs don't allow for it.  In fact, if God were to move He would be a disruption in many of our churches today. 

I realize that Paul, the apostle, wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:40 "Let all things be done decently and in order."  Does this mean to the exclusion of God's will?  Must our churches be "dead" in order to be decent?  I believe the answer to both of these questions is a resounding "NO!"

What would happen if we would turn our services totally over to the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit?  What would happen if we did not restrict God by putting a time limit on Him?  What would happen if we would commit ourselves completely and wholly to the Lord?  What would happen if we would dedicate - or in many cases rededicate - our lives to the will of God?

Consider the possibilities!  We could see a move of God like we've never seen!  We could see the gospel preached to a lost and dying world in need of a Savior.  We would see God's people awake from their slumber and do the work of the church!  Oh, what God would do with a dedicated and sold-out group of people reaching out and actually becoming all that God intended for them to be - becoming a genuine New Testament church working until Jesus returns for His people.  

What we need today is some dedicated people willing to serve a mighty God in order to see great things accomplished for the Kingdom of heaven!  Let's be that people!

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Monday, September 3, 2012


Writing from Ephesus, Paul tells the Corinthians that his intended visit with them would be delayed due to great opportunities for witnessing to many of the oppressors of the church who were coming to Ephesus for the purpose of celebrating Pentecost (1 Corinthians 16:5-9).  Once again, Paul's faith would be tried in the fires of adversity.

I think sometimes we, as Christians, expect God to give us the world on a silver platter.  We feel "entitled".  We don't believe we ought to suffer or have any difficulties while in this world.  

Paul, in the above passage of Scripture, found great opportunity amidst much opposition.  If we sit around and wait for "favorable" conditions for witnessing or serving God, we will never leave our homes!  When has the world been favorable for witnessing?  Jesus was opposed on every hand.  Isaiah 53:5 tells us, "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him..."  The Lord Jesus didn't have an easy time while on this earth.  Why should we expect to?  He told His disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  The church was born in adversity and has endured difficulties throughout it's existence.  Going through the fires of adversity has purified the church.  The fires of adversity has made the church stronger and more reaffirming.

Adversity is not a hindrance if we are truly committed to God.  Antagonism didn't stop Nehemiah's wall from being rebuilt (Nehemiah 6:1-15).  Hate didn't stop a woman from witnessing (Luke 7:37).  There has always been and will always be those who desire to hinder the work of God.  The work of the Lord will go on!  The work will go on with or without us.  God won't wait forever on us.  

I've had people tell me in the past that they were going to "wait on the Lord" regarding particular situations in their lives.  My response to those who tell me this has always been, "It's okay to "wait on the Lord", but don't wait too long.  He's liable to pass you by while you're still waiting!"

What prompts the child of God to go out and endure some of the hardships we encounter in this world?  Paul sums it up very well in 1 Corinthians 5:14 "The love of Christ constraineth us."  Because of our love for Jesus and what He means to us in our lives, we step on out in His Spirit and do that which He not only commanded, but expects us to do.  Love for Jesus is a powerful motivator.  No matter what we face in this life, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:35-39).

Like Paul's, our faith must past the many tests it will be put through.  Our faith must pass the test of time as well as the test of opposition - even from loved ones.  Our faith must pass the test of love as well as the test of choice.  The tests of repentance and physical afflictions must be successfully passed, as well.

The church is not an asylum for moral cowards.  It's not a place for wimps.  It's not somewhere to hide.  The church is for those who are laying up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20).  The church is for those who are laying hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12).  The church is for finding righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

Only the "lukewarm" seek favorable circumstances. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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