Author Archives: Jeremy Weaver

About Jeremy Weaver

Director of Missions for Franklin Baptist Association, Frankfort KY.

Bible Reading Marathon

I’m helping to organize a Bible Reading Marathon at the Kentucky State Capitol. If you would like more information about this and how you can volunteer to be a reader just respond to this post.

I received this email from Mark Harrell, the pastor who is organizing this marathon state-wide, yesterday.

Dear County Leader for the Bible Reading Marathon,
I have some exciting news.  State Representative Tom Riner has drafted a meticulous “Proclamation” in regards to the Bible Reading Marathon that Governor Bevin will be signing tomorrow.  This just adds even more validity to the purpose of bringing us into “one accord” over God’s Word as final authority.  Open the link and feel free to copy this or use it in your communication.  Thank you for your part.  Some are having to do an abbreviated version which still accomplishes much.
Praying for you as you get “The Word” out in your county,
Mark Harrell

To read the proclamation drafted by Representative Tom Riner and signed by Governor Matt Bevin click here.

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An Open Letter To You About Your Racism

Dear you,

You are a racist.

You may be thinking, “Oh I’ve got to share this with this person or that person”, but no. This letter is meant for you. You are a racist.

You say, “But I have _____________ friends.” Still for you. You are a racist.

You say, “But I am working towards racial reconciliation.” Good. But you are a racist.

You say, “You tell all those red/yellow/black/white -skinned people!” No, this is for you, you red/yellow/black/white -skinned racist. And listen, I understand. I am a racist too. It’s just the way it is. So, before you write another word on social media about race, remember, you are a racist. You need to repent and believe the Gospel. Now write whatever you want.

Yours In Christ,

Jeremy

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New Audio

Just finished uploading some new audio of my sermon series through the book of James.

 

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New Content

Added new sermons to the audio page.

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Two Issues Facing Christians

“What issues do you see on the national and international scene that will require decisive action by Christians?”

An Essay by Jeremy Weaver for

Introduction To World Religions/Philosophy 201 submitted on March 4, 2014

“For Many in Western Europe, the Reformation in the sixteenth century was not only a rediscovery of the heart of the Gospel…, but a recovery of a fully biblical view of marriage” (Haykin 2009, xvi). These two issues that faced the church in the sixteenth century are the same issues that face the church today. It is evident that even as a form of Christianity is growing in the United States and in Africa, it is often unclear to many that what is growing is not really Christianity at all. It is a distortion of the Gospel and in our own nation I believe that it is a distortion that is resulting in current “attacks” on marriage. Just as the reformers of the sixteenth century fought to recover a biblical Gospel and view of marriage, modern Christians will need to address these two issues in order to remain faithful to Christ.

The first issue facing Christianity that will have to be dealt with decisively is that of a diminished Gospel. A diminished Gospel is a distortion of the biblical Gospel. It is diminished because whether it has been added to or taken away from its fullness has been lessened in some way.

The Gospel is this; as sinners we are deserving of God’s wrath. But God has not left to our own devices. He has done something to save us from His wrath. He sent his Son into the world to live a sinless life of perfect righteousness, die as a sacrifice for our sin, and rise from the dead as a sign of the completion of our salvation. That’s the gospel. But what are the conditions of the gospel? God says that he will apply all of his Son’s accomplishments to us if we will repent of our sin and believe the gospel. Those are the terms. We must repent of our sin, our rebellion toward God, and turn in faith toward his Son as we believe and trust in his accomplishments for our salvation.

However, in our time this Gospel has been diminished by many. For some the terms are changed from, “Repent and believe”, to, “Ask Jesus into your heart.” Some change the benefits of the gospel from eternal life in Heaven and an escape from Hell, to, wealth and health in this life. For others the message is changed from, “Christ accomplished salvation for all who believe in him”, to, “Jesus did all he can do; now it’s time to do your part.” Still others have changed the good news from, “God saves us by sending his son to accomplish our salvation”, to, “God saves us by giving us an example in Jesus.” All changes diminish the Gospel. Changing the Gospel lessens the sufficiency of Christ’s redemptive work, the demand for righteous living, the reward of the believer, the power of Christ, and our responsibility and guilt for sin.

Diminishing the gospel in any way changes the heart and cornerstone of Christianity. If the trend continues we will soon have no Gospel at all. We have already seen the fruit of no Gospel as some who call themselves Christian are seeking not only an ecumenical unity within the ranks of “Christianity” regardless of belief in the Gospel, but also a kind of religious syncretism where all beliefs of all religions are valid and no one is wrong. As Pi’s father told him in the movie, Life of Pi, “Believing in everything at the same time is the same as not believing in anything at all” (Hussein 2012). If Christianity is to survive we must recover a biblical gospel.

There is probably not one issue in our nation, other than the diminishing Gospel, that is more significant for our times than the current debate about marriage. Dr. Haykin rightly concludes, “With the significant increase of divorce in Western societies during the past fifty years and the call for the legal recognition of gay and lesbian unions, there is little doubt that marriage in general is under heavy attack in our day” (Haykin 2009, xix). Since Christians believe that marriage is the bedrock of society, it is important that we act upon our beliefs and meet the current “attack” on marriage head-on. To do so we must understand the basics of the Christian notion of marriage. The Christian view of marriage is at once simple and profound.  Its simplicity is evident in the formula; one man, one woman, one lifetime. Its profundity is found in the twin truths that God ordained it and presided over the very first wedding, and that marriage is picture of Christ’s love for His people, the Church. The ideal Christian marriage will be based upon these two truths.

The ideal Christian marriage finds its basis in the first and second chapters of Genesis. In Genesis 1:27-28 the first intimation about marriage is made. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them…And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…’” (Gen. 1:27-28a ESV). After God created Adam, He brought all of the animals to Adam to be named. The text tells us that among those animals there was not a helper found that was “fit” (Gen. 2:20 ESV) for him. God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and removed one of his ribs and from that rib created the first woman, Eve. Then God brought Eve and presented her to Adam. Upon seeing Eve, Adam said “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” (Gen. 2:23 ESV). The next verse explains, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24 ESV).

The ideal Christian marriage finds its significance in the picture of the marriage that exists between Jesus Christ and His Church. In Ephesians 5:22-33 we have the clearest teaching in the Bible about the beauty and significance of marriage. The Apostle Paul teaches in these verses that marriage represents the union and bond of love that exists between Christ and his church. The explanation in Genesis 2:24 that “they shall become one flesh” is repeated by Paul in reference to Christ and his church. Marriage, then, is not primarily about us but about Jesus. That is why conservative Christians are so adamant about the definition and the proper subjects of marriage.

In addition to the teaching in this passage about union of Christ with his church we have the truth that marriage also pictures the Gospel. “Husbands love [their] wives” (Eph. 5:25 ESV) because this models the kind of love that Christ has for His Church. “Wives submit to [their] …husbands (Eph. 5:22 ESV) because the Church submits itself to the headship of Christ.

Now that we have explored the basics of marriage we can look to the current challenge against the Christian view of marriage. The big issue of the day is same-sex marriage. Once we understand that God ordained marriage and that He purposed marriage to be a reflection of Christ’s love for the Church, then we begin to see that same-sex marriage is a contradiction in terms. God created man and woman and said that this woman was a fit helper for man. God ordained marriage and so that through pleasure of man and woman the world would be filled with humanity. God purposed marriage to reflect the difference in roles and relationship between Christ and His Church. A same-sex marriage cannot be what it calls itself, that is, a marriage, because it cannot fulfill any of these definitions that have been given to it by God.

For the Christians to be faithful to her Christ, we will have to take a decided stand for biblical marriage against all of the challenges that we face. This means teaching the origin and purpose of marriage. It means we will have to offend many.  It means that we will have to hold Christians accountable in their own marriages. Then the world will see that marriage really means something more than benefits granted by society. Then the world will see Christ crucified for the salvation of His Bride.

Bibliography

Haykin, Michael A. G. “Introduction.” In The Christian Lover; The sweetness of love and marriage in the letters of believers, by Michael A. G. Haykin and Victoria J. Haykin, xvi. Orlando: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2009.

Life of Pi. Directed by Ang Lee. Performed by Adil Hussein. 2012.

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Not ‘Just’ A Prayer Meeting

Some thoughts on why you should attend prayer meetings at your church from 2 Corinthians 1:3-11.

First, God uses prayer to accomplish His work. 1:11

Second, Praying together is a reflection of our sharing together both in Christ’s sufferings and comfort. The context of the verse is the sharing of Christ’s comfort through his death and resurrection. 1:5, 8-11

Third, Praying together is a way that we can share in the sufferings and joy of our brothers and sisters in Christ. 1:6-11

Fourth, Praying for one another is a practical way that we can comfort one another.  Paul had been helped by the prayers of Christians and received comfort from God through their intercessions for him. 1:8-11

Fifth, Praying together produces more praise to God for answered prayer.  Imagine that I make a request in our prayer meeting.  God answers that request and I bring the report back to those who were with me in the prayer meeting.  If three people were present to help me pray and receive the report of answered prayer, then God gets three times the praise than if I alone were praying and praising.  If ten people helped me pray and received the report of answered prayer, then God gets ten times the praise for answering my request. The more Christians that are gathered to pray, the more praise that God gets for answered prayer. 1:11

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Why I Did Not Attend The Courthouse Prayer Rally On Thursday Night

There has been a dust up in the County where I live in East Tn.  I guess some atheists are upset that the School board opens it’s meetings with a prayer.  Then there is a badge that the Police Officers wear that has three words on it…Industry, Education, Religion.  So the atheists wanted the Police Officers to get rid of the badge.  Then the well-meaning citizens of Loudon County got together and organized a ‘Prayer Rally’ at the County Courthouse last Thursday night.  You’ve probably seen this same story a thousand times on Fox News.  Atheists come to town, Christians get stirred up, Prayer Rally, Courts, etc.  Same story, different county.

I did not attend the ‘Prayer Rally’.  Here’s why…

  1. Prayers are not to the Government or Politicians.  Matthew 22:21.  Caesar can have my material possessions,but he cannot have my spiritual inheritance.
  2. Prayers are not to be seen by others.  Matthew 6:1-6.  Not that I am against praying in public, but what is the purpose when praying in public?  When I bow my head with my family in a restaurant before we eat the purpose is to give thanks to God, whether others notice or not.  The purpose of this gathering at the Courthouse was to be seen by men and have our voices heard before men.  I cannot participate in that.  If you want to organize a protest against the erosion of religious freedoms, I’m for that.  But let’s not cast the spiritual pearl of prayer before the pigpen of politics.
  3. Prayers are not to be used to make a political point.  Ephesians 6:10-20.  Prayer is a weapon wielded by the Christian to fight against spiritual forces.  It is our line of communication with God in the midst of our spiritual war with the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers over this present darkness.  It is our ‘wartime walkie-talkie’ as we fight against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
  4. It demeans the Triune God.  It is demeaning to the Father to use our method of communication to make a political point.  It is demeaning to the Son to use our access to the Father granted through His life, death, resurrection and ascension in order to play politics.  It is demeaning to the Holy Spirit who indwells us, helps us to pray and makes our deepest, unknowable groanings known to the Father, when we use prayer as a political chess piece.
  5. It was too ecumenical.  I cannot unite in prayer with others who do not affirm an orthodox view of God as Trinity.  If Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons or Oneness Pentecostals were present, then we are not praying to the same God.
  6. It wasn’t ecumenical enough.  If the goal of the gathering was to be a protest against the erosion of religious freedom, would Hindus, Jews, Muslims, etc. be welcome to help in the protest?  I seriously doubt it.  Besides, since this was billed as a ‘Prayer Rally’, I would expect that only those that conform with the ‘cultural christianity’ of the South would be welcome.  But, if JW’s Mormons or Oneness Pentecostals were present, then why exclude other faiths?
  7. It is a distraction from the true fight.  There is an onslaught of atheism, false religion and cultural christianity that we must fight against.  Instead, the enemy has tricked us into wasting our time fighting for our rights as Americans.  Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world.  If His Kingdom were of this world then His servants would fight.  Jesus’ Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom that is at war with spiritual (not flesh and blood) enemies.  True, this war is played out in some sense in the physical realm, but as Christians let’s not get hung up on our civil rights and the enemies of those rights.  That is the place where you work as a citizen of the United States.  As Christians, we have another citizenship, and a whole other set of rules to live by that are not embodied in the Declaration Of Independence, the Constitution or the Bill Of Rights.  As Christians, we have the right to be mistreated.  We have the right to suffer as Christ suffered.  We have the right to be persecuted.  We have the right to be marginalized.  But we also have the right to bring our requests, burdens, cares and trials to the throne of grace through the vehicle of prayer.  Let’s take advantage of those rights and fight the battle that God has called us to fight.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison– that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
(Colossians 4:2-6)

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Why We Need Steady Bible Intake

A snippet from the introduction to my sermon this past Sunday morning:

Let me go on a little rant here and tell you that this is why Bible reading, Bible study, and church attendance is so important for the Christian.  If you are not reading your Bible every day, then I can say with complete confidence that you are not repenting every day.  You are not changing your mind about Christ, about sin, or about your life because you are not being confronted with the facts of our life in Christ as God knows them and has told us.  If your mind is not being changed then your passions are not being changed.  If your passions are not being changed then your conduct is not being changed.  Instead, you are repenting backwards.  All that you see and hear in this world is going into your mind unchallenged by God’s truth and changing your mind about Christ, about sin, and about your life.  Instead of being conformed to the image of Christ through the Gospel you are becoming conformed to the mindset of the world through music, movies, media, and the mouths of friends, co-workers, acquaintances.  The same goes for church attendance.  If you do not regularly attend a church where the Bible is preached according to what it says, then even your personal Bible reading can be corrupted by the onslaught of information that is coming from the world.  We need Pastors who will tell us, “This is what the Bible says and this is what the Bible means when it says this.”  We need that.  We need it because our enemy controls most of what we see and hear in this world.  And Pastors need Pastors too.  That’s one reason we have more than one Pastor here.  I need to hear the Bible preached to me just as much as you do, because if I don’t have that, then just like with you, the world will influence the way I read the Bible and understand the Gospel.

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Encouragement For Perseverers

It’s been a while, so I’m going to try to ease back into the blog with something that I hope isn’t too controversial.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Over the past four weeks at church, I have been teaching on the three ‘omni’s’ of God.  Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotence.  For those who may not know, the prefix ‘omni-‘ means ‘all’.  So when we say that God is Omnipresent we mean that God is everywhere.  When we say that God is Omniscient we mean that God knows everything.  And when we say that God is Omnipotent we mean that God has all power.

Studying these three attributes of God have been a great comfort to me in my own petty afflictions and so I hope these thoughts will give greater comfort to His children who are suffering under more intense afflictions and even in the weight of those afflictions are persevering in the hope of eternal life.

First, God is ‘Omnipresent’.  He is fully and completely in all places, all the time, and in all times.  He is past, present, and future are all present to Him equally (Psalm 139).  He exists outside of time and space as well as within time and space and He is actively working to sustain the whole of His Creation.  So no matter what you are suffering, God is there with you.  More than that, God is working in your situation and He has promised to be with you.  Before Jesus ascended into Heaven He gave His followers a promise: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)  What this means for us is that not only is God with us simply because He is everywhere, He is especially with His followers in a special way.  Jesus, who endured all the same kinds of struggles that we face is always present with you as a faithful High Priest ready to comfort you, strengthen you, sustain you, and plead for you before the Father.  God’s Omnipresence is a source of comfort for believers.

Second, God is ‘Omniscient’.  God fully knows all things, past, present, and future.  Far from being a Rolodex of information, God does not need to recall anything.  He knows all things perfectly at once.  God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  He knows you and I, when we sit down, when we rise up, our thoughts, our paths, when we lie down, and our words before we speak them (Psalm 139:1-6).  God knows everything about us because He created us and also created the days allotted for us to live (Psalm 139:16).  The word ‘days’ here does not only mean the number of days that we will live, but also the contents of those days.  God knows all of these things because He ordained them to be so!  This would be a scary thought if we were speaking of an evil being ordaining our days, but with God we know that whatever He ordains is right.  The reason we know this is because God is infinitely Good, Loving, and Righteous.  But also because He is All-Wise.  The definition of wisdom is knowing the best goals and knowing the best means to accomplish those goals.  In the case of God, we know that whatever He ordains is in accordance with His infinite Wisdom.  He who knows all perfectly must perfectly know the best goals.  And the One who knows all perfectly must also know the best way to accomplish those goals.  God goal for those of us who trust in Him is to bring us to glory (1 Corinthians 2:7).  So, what ever situation you find yourself in, whether persecution, wealth, sickness, health, traffic, green lights, marital problems, marital bliss, life, or death, we know that God as an infinitely wise God has the best goal in mind for us and He is using this to bring us to glory.  Affliction is our friend, sent from God, to accompany us in this life so that we may be presented faultless before His throne with great joy (Romans 8:28-39, Jude 24-25).

Finally, God is ‘Omnipotent’.  God has all power and He’s not afraid to use it.  He has the authority and the freedom to use His power and He is willing to use it to accomplish His  wise goals (Isaiah 46:8-13).  The God who created the Heavens, the Earth, stars, planets, galaxies, and you and I is the same God with the same power to strengthen us when we suffer.  He can put our enemies in the dust, exalt us above our circumstances, bring life out of death, and whatever else you can imagine.  This is the God who loves us and cares for us.  Nothing will ever thwart His plan to bring us to glory, because He is the first cause behind all that happens and all that happens is designed for His plan for His people.

So whatever circumstance you find yourself in, be comforted in these three truths concerning your God.  He is Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent.  He is always near, He hasn’t been taken by surprise in your situation, He has a plan, and He is using His power for your good (Romans 8:28).

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Maybe I will start blogging again…

…but I doubt it.

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