Dead Faith

6 06 2017

This is a sermon I preached in Downtown Bakersfield on 6-2-17 from James 2:14-26


Gerry Preaching

5 06 2017

This is a clip of Gerry Collins preaching the Gospel in Downtown Bakersfield on 6-2-17


Gerry Street Preaching

26 05 2017

This is my good friend and ministry partner Gerry Collins of Crossway Baptist Church in Bakersfield preaching at the Downtown Bakersfield bus station on May 26th, 2017.


To My Jewish Friends

7 12 2016

Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.

Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.

And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.

In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday?

Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.

I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:  To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house.

Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

(Sermon to the Jewish Sanhedrin by Stephen as recorded in Acts 7:2-53)

Why Witnesses Don’t Witness

6 12 2016

Shouldn’t Jehovah’s Witnesses witness? I mean it is in their name isn’t it? I have always pondered this question and I have yet to find an answer. The lackof witness does answer other questions about this organization.

To be honest most followers of the Watchtower aren’t too interested in witnessing when not “on the clock.” They don’t seem too concerned about the souls of those around them nor do I sense any urgency in them to share their message. This puzzles me for the mere fact that their claim to fame is that they are the sole and true witnesses of God.

I do a lot of door to door evangelism and I often encounter Watchtower followers in their homes. What I find is that time after time the majority and I mean 9 out of 10 encounters leads to them simply turning me away saying they are Jehovah’s Witnesses. This has always puzzled me.

The first reason is that they usually tell me how good it is that I’m out doing what I’m doing. I’m sure the Watchtower teaches lying is a sin and yet they lie to me on a regular basis. If they are right and my doctrine is wrong then the individual follower of the Watchtower cannot believe in their heart of hearts that what I’m doing is good.

I’m a false teacher to them. I have a false idea of God and a corrupted Bible. There is no way that what I’m doing is good. The reason I believe that they tell this lie is to avoid talking to me which brings me to the second reason I’m puzzled.

Are they not concerned for me? Why don’t they try to win me? Why don’t they show me my errors rather than cheer on my false beliefs? Are they not witnesses of the one true God? If they are then why shun some lost soul headed for nothingness after death with no hope of resurrection in Jehovah’s kingdom?

When they come to my door I’m quick to try and share the Gospel with them. I am quick to try and reason with them on the nature of God and Jesus Christ. I see them as sinners headed for eternal destruction and it moves me to want to see them saved. Why do they lack this moving?

When I am out in public I try and pass out Gospel tracts or witness to people when the opportunity arises. I have dealt with and encountered people I knew were Watchtower followers and never did they hand me a magazine or talk to me about the coming kingdom. There seems to be no concern for it.

The answer is very simple. They are not saved people. The moving that I feel is the compelling of the Holy Spirit and one evidence of being filled with the Spirit is the boldness to witness.

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)

Watchtower followers witness in large part not because they love the lost, or because they are concerned for the souls of mankind. Their motivation is their works based religion. They are taught that in order to be saved they must be witnesses and go out a certain amount of time and talk to people.

They serve out of obligation which is why we see them walking slowly or stopping between houses. They are killing time. I have seen them stand at a door and ring a door bell for upwards of 5 or 10 minutes. The reason is that once they realize no one is home they can kill time and say they were at a door.

When I come to their door they are not getting credit for witnessing so they just don’t. They are also told not to talk to people who know their Bible and can answer their doctrines. The Watchtower as an organization sees the dangers of allowing their people to hear the truth. My pastor has no concern with me talking to a witness because I know the Bible.

Their lack of concern for witnessing and their witnessing out of necessity are further proofs that something is wrong. We see in the Bible and in church history men and women concerned for the souls of men sharing the Gospel with people at all times and under all circumstances. They were not required to but they were obedient to the Lord and concerned for the souls of mankind.

Why Missions

21 11 2016

This message was preached by Dwight Tomlinson of This ministry focuses on helping national Pastors working in the 1040 window as they establish churches in their home countries. This message was preached at First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana in March of 2016.


The Suffering Servant

14 07 2016

In the book of Isaiah the prophet tells of a man who will come and will suffer, be rejected and ultimately die for the sins of others. Hear the Word of the Lord.

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53)

This prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth. He was the suffering servant who came to this world, lived a perfect, sinless life and gave His life as a payment for sin. Won’t you turn to Him today confessing your sin and accepting His offering of eternal salvation?

Problems with Purgatory: Part 1

11 05 2016

I would like to address the doctrine of purgatory. Millions of souls over the centuries have perished because they gave offerings hoping to buy less time in purgatory. Ornate cathedrals and churches were built with the money given by poor, often uneducated and trusting souls.

Purgatory is where people go who die in what Rome calls a “state of grace.” This is a state in which people are purged completely from sin and made ready for Heaven. This concept has no Biblical basis but relies heavily upon tradition and ancient pagan roots.

The concept of purgatory is seen in ancient Buddhist practices of making prayers and sacrifices for the dead. The term purgatory does not appear on the scene until around 1160 but the concept is applied long before that. Purgatory has been defined by several councils including the Council of Trent in 1545, the Council of Florence in 1438, and the first and Second Council of Lyon in 1245 and 1274.

Prior to these declarations the doctrine was developed and underwent changes over time. This happens when we try to hold firmly to doctrines not clearly stated in the Word of God. When we build our doctrine upon the sinking sand of human tradition and philosophy we will have to make changes to avoid contradiction and ensure compliance. When a doctrine is founded upon the solid rock of the oracles of God then we can be sure they can stand the test of time.

Catholics accept the Scriptural life after death destinations of mankind. In Heaven the souls of the righteous spend eternal bliss in the presence of God, and on the opposite end of the spectrum those who go on in sin rejecting salvation spend eternity in the fires of hell (although some Romanists make the Biblical description of fire as only symbolic). The Romanists have inserted a third state to which all must go in order to be ready to go to Heaven. They call this place purgatory.

Rome teaches that some souls are not yet purified enough to enter Heaven and must be purified in purgatory in order to prepare for being granted admission into Heaven. Peter opposes this idea.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)

Peter is not saying that purification comes in some limbo state after death. He is saying our souls are purified by obeying the truth. This means that when we are saved our souls are purified not at some later time and place.

Romanism teaches that holiness is achieved in purgatory and that without purgatory we would still bear the stain of sin and not be holy enough to enter the presence of God. Scripture in several places disagrees with this idea.

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love…And (we) are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 1:4, 2:20-21)

“I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.” (1 Thessalonians 5:27)

To follow this teaching to its conclusion would make it impossible to explain the plight of the thief on the cross. Here is a criminal who has lived his whole life in sin and degradation. While being executed he comes to believe that Jesus is who He claims to be.

In a repentant heart he asks Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. What was the response of Jesus to this man’s faith?

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

I must say if anyone needed purification or was not holy enough to enter Heaven it would be a criminal who just repented. Surely with no good works, no baptism, nothing to show for his faith he would need further cleansing and yet we have a statement from Jesus that by his faith he is counted worthy to be with Him in Paradise. No limbo, no waiting, just an immediate pardon for sin and access to God.

To better understand this view we must understand the Romanist view of sin. They categorize sin in two ways, mortal sins, and venial sins. Mortal sins would be grave violations of God’s law and venial sins are forgivable sins that don’t necessarily separate us from God.

I guess you could call them minor infractions. The Scriptures give us no evidence of God viewing sin this way. Some sins are greater than others in terms of the punishment for sin which is why those at the Great White Throne are judged according to their works when their fate is already determined (Revelation 20:11-15).

We also see examples of some sins being called abominations and others are not. We receive no hint as to whether that means non abominations are more or less forgivable. According to Scripture all sin brings spiritual death and separation from God.

Ezekiel 18:4b says the “soul that sinneth it shall die.” What is sin?

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

Who has sinned?

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

What is the penalty for sin?

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

How is sin forgiven?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

While Rome teaches mortal vs. venial sins the Scriptures tell us that sin is the breaking of God’s law. It goes on to tell us that all have sinned. The Bible also teaches that our sin can be forgiven by the grace of God through faith. Let me ask faith in what? Faith in the finished work of Christ.

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21)

This is where most Romanists miss salvation because they feel their works add to salvation and that the work of Christ must be repeated through the mass. Jesus said:

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:4)

The Roman Church teaches her followers that Christ’s righteousness is not imputed to us. Rome teaches that we are infused with grace and each grace that we act upon makes us more righteous before God. They teach that our sin stains are still with us after salvation and that these must be purged in purgatory.

They can teach this because they do not see salvation as a possession but a state of being. In other words you cannot possess salvation as a gift and have it and hold onto it but rather you can be in a “state of grace” where you have done enough good to merit God’s favor. The bad news is that you can do enough bad to fall out of that favor.

Let me address each heresy with the Bible. Is Christ’s righteousness imputed?

“But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Romans 4:24)

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” (Romans 4:6)

Can doing good make us more righteous?

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

Do our sin stains stay with us after salvation?

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Revelation 1:5)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Is salvation a state of being or a free gift possession?

“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Can we lose the gift of salvation?

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37b)

These beliefs are at the heart of the doctrine of purgatory. The idea of fire in purgatory is common in Roman lore but separate from hell. Scripture speaks often, and definitely about hell but is silent on purgatory.

Some have agreed it’s a material fire, although some have used the term fire metaphorically. The Church has not condemned such use. It seems that even the Church in her supposed wisdom, and power cannot decide.


Not Just for the Lost

23 02 2016

In our minds we often head out to share the Gospel with the lost. Our tracts, conversations and preaching are typically aimed in that direction. The problem is that we neglect to see things from God’s perspective. Sometimes while He is using His Word in the hearts of the lost He may also be using it to bless the church itself. I’m trying to learn from this experience not to be so one dimensional in my street preaching because a nearby believer may need the word as much as the lost.

We were out today ministering at the bus station in Downtown Bakersfield. It was our first time expanding to a morning outreach there and it was a blessed time. We gave away two Bible’s and about 25 tracts. There were only a few people around when each of the preachers started but crowds formed during the preaching and many listened to the Gospel.

One man who was in a wheelchair listened to my friend Gerry preach and spoke to Gerry after that. He professed to be a believer and appeared very edified by hearing the Word of God preached. He was also encouraged by seeing people out sharing their faith publicly. Long story short he took a stack of tracts from Gerry and the two of them went into the bus station to pass them out.

He came back during my sermon and not only listened but encouraged us after the fact. I guess the point is that we should go out to preach not just to sow the seed among the lost but to perhaps edify and encourage other believers on whom the Word falls. Say a prayer for Michael who seemed not only sincere in his profession of faith but eager himself to help in the work of the Gospel.

Sovereignty and Street Evangelism

22 02 2016

Some days are dull and seemingly ineffective in the work of street evangelism. This is a perception but not a truth. The truth is that no ministry ever, anywhere is ineffective. Sometimes you plant, sometimes you water, sometimes you see increase, and other times you are just plowing the soil but all of it is Gospel work. Two passages have demonstrated to me the truth of God’s sovereignty in the work of evangelism.

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

The reason we feel evangelism is unproductive during those times when increase isn’t being given is because we can’t see the invisible work that God is doing in people. We can only see the results and I think we look too much for those and fail to realize that God is doing a work according to His own good pleasure unseen to our eyes. There are however times where the invisible work of God is made visible to our eyes.

These are times not only of encouragement to us personally but times that encourage our faith and help us trust a little bit more. Such a thing happened the week before we left for Super Bowl Outreach. Our attempts at sharing the Gospel seemed frustrating that week to say the least.

We were supposed to go out Thursday night but it seemed not to come together for any of us so we agreed to go Friday night. On Friday I was having a bad day and didn’t feel at all like going out but we did anyway. A good crowd formed while my friend Gerry was preaching and I noticed a lady (who I later found out was named Marci) walked up from inside the bus terminal and began watching seriously.

I noticed she began to cry and then I noticed she walked over to my wife Amy who was nearby passing out tracts. They spoke for probably a good 30 minutes. Gerry finished and I began preaching and they were still talking. About 15 minutes into my sermon Marci walked back over and began listening again, crying off and on.

After the preaching was done she walked up and introduced herself. She was a professing believer but admitted she had not been living her claim. She was in a troubled marriage with an unbeliever and was going through a difficult time. We answered several questions for her before praying for her but it was what she said after the prayer that really convicted my heart about how I view ministry.

She told u how glad she was that we were here on this particular night because of problems at home which drove her out of the house and to the bus station. I recalled how we were supposed to be out the night before but plans had fallen apart. She told us as well that she usually went to the other bus station on the Southwest side of town not the Downtown station. She wasn’t sure why she had gotten off when she did until he heard our preaching.

To me it was lesson learned. When things don’t come together as planned it may not be Satan working against you but God working for someone else in particular. In this case  us coming a day later and her getting off at the wrong station turned out to be the Lord’s doing and it truly was marvelous in our eyes.

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