The Tale of Two State Governors

Last week, August 16, 2017 Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, signed HB 3391 giving all residents in Oregon the burden of paying for all abortions.

Today, August 25, 2017 South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster, signed executive order removing the burden from all tax payers of paying for abortions and defunded Planned Parenthood and all abortion providers of all public funds. (Official Executive Order)

I expect several things will begin to happen:

  • Gov. Kate Brown will be declared a hero and Gov. Henry McMaster will be villainized.
  • The state of Oregon’s new law will likely stand because it came through the House. South Carolina’s executive order will be overturned soon because it was an executive order.
  • The state of Oregon will win bids from ESPN, the NBA, the NFL, to host major sporting events guaranteed to bring millions of dollars to the state economy and South Carolina will begin to see the same entities and other businesses “black ball” the state.
  • Christians/Churches in both states will be called upon to endure with grace while given the pleasure of suffering for the sake of the Gospel.
  • Most of the nation will forget about both within a short amount of time and other unprecedented “progressive” actions will become “normal” and historic defenders of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will continue to be labeled “narrow minded bigots”.

May God raise up a prepared people to speak into this day with gospel clarity. May the church repent of her laziness. May communities hear a faithful preaching people and repent.

Reformation – An Ongoing Work

Is there a difference in revival and reformation?

Fundamentally, yes.

Where they feel similar, the work of revival is what God brings and the work of reformation is what God empowers men to do.

500 years ago Martin Luther ignited a movement that we now call the great reformation, but he was not the first, only or even (hopefully not) the last reformer. As I’m preaching through the books of the Kings the historian lays out seasons of both revival and reformation in the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

  • Revival means there is an awakening of people to their spiritual concerns, a return or recovery of a state of neglect. Restoration of life.
  • To reform means to change from worse to better; to amend; to correct; to restore to a former good state. To remove what is bad or corrupt. To abandon that which is evil or corrupt, and return to a good state. To be corrected

One can see there is similarity and even could be misinterpreted for each other. Maybe even fair to do so. But reform is more the activity done by those who have been revived.

Anyone with settled habits or vice will seldom reform. When there are many who don’t want to reform the reformers will be faced with great opposition. If a reformer is not aware of this he may likely give up too early on the reforming work while waiting for the profound work of the Holy Spirit in reviving those who have settled into their habits and vice.

Reforming work is very slow work. Many times the reformers are silenced, removed, ridiculed, mocked, slandered, hunted, etc. It is a blessed sight to seeĀ the Holy Spirit move in the hearts of men and women today in many places who are aiming at the same reforming work in the Lord’s church. There is a revival of sorts of expository, biblical preaching in our day. It will require more revived preachers to sustain the reforming work.

Church, we must call out from among our churches more reformers. Reformers equipped and informed of the hardship that is before them.

LORD’s Day Sermon, September 18, 2016

Repent

While preaching through the Kings at Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, I’ve come to 2 Kings 18. In this chapter there is the sweet sound of revival. It is clear from the very first few verses that true revival will require an active work; hard work of removing, destroying and breaking. But if the actions of removing, destroying and breaking the idols we so love is done without repenting of the sin that drives us to love idols we are only dealing with behavior modification and not dealing with the motivation or the cause that drives us to disobey God.

Here is a three minute clip from the sermon from LORD’s Day, July 24, 2016:

Here is the full sermon:

Judgement Begins Here

Is there anyone here that can say, “I’m as good as I wish to be.”?

The longing for revival comes while on that narrow and difficult path. Like many, I hear people talk about revival but I wonder if we know what revival even implies.

If the church really wants revival, then church, pursue it biblically. I don’t know of a place in the land where revival is not needed.

I live in a land where rain is rare. It has been raining for the past several days, but it won’t be long and everyone in southern Idaho will be talking about how long it has been since it last rained.

There may have been a day in the past when the church enjoyed the ‘raining’ of the Holy Spirit, but perhaps you are in a region where it has been a long season since the refreshing rain of the Holy Spirit has touched the hearts of man.

The following is not an exact quote of Richard Owen Roberts, but close.

Not so many years ago, in Wales, there were enough seats in church houses for every inhabitant in the land and not so many years ago every seat was occupied. But now, you go into a typical community of 8,000 residents. Of the fifteen church houses in the city and the farming community and you’ll find eleven of those churches with roofs caved in, the windows broken out, turned into bingo halls, or converted into auto garages.

Of the other four church buildings that remain open: One is the Anglican church, there are five elderly women over the age of 80 who attend services there once a month. One is the Presbyterian church that lost all track to the gospel over forty years ago. Another is the Evangelical Church, maybe the largest church, but is being split by Pentecostals. And the last church is the Baptist Church, and it’s being controlled, not by God, but by the Masonic Lodge.

taken from “Revival Theology” Richard Owen Roberts 45min mark

Obviously this is not true of every community, but his observation is of the overall spiritual landscape of a land where once anĀ outpouring of the Holy Spirit was far reaching.

Oh for the rain from heaven once again!

—————

the full message from Richard Owen Roberts

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