Prayer Letter (April-June 2020)

21 08 2020

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. We are still on lock down. The prisons are still closed so I have been finding other ways to minister the Gospel. The good news is that people are out and moving around more so that creates more opportunity to get them the Gospel. Our family is doing well and the kids are growing. Dale starts Kindergarten this year which is an exciting new step in his life. Sky is working on some preschool materials to help her prepare for next year when she starts Kindergarten.

Street Ministry:
We don’t want to waste this time of societal change. We want to redeem the time and keep busy in Kingdom work. We have continued our ministry at the bus station. It seems to be business as usual there. The Courthouse has been put on hold due to less in-person court hearings. We have moved to include some neighborhood outreach. We are giving away tracts and Scripture house to house. With more people staying home we figure it’s time to take the Gospel to them.

We preached 5 open air sermons, gave away 427 tracts and 520 copies of John/Romans booklets.

Prison Ministry:
Not being able to go into the prison hasn’t stopped me from ministering in other ways. I have been ministering by letters to 4 men and I sent 2 Christian books to an inmate requesting them as well. Pray for the men as their ability to attend services has been greatly hampered. I was blessed to hear that on one yard the men were using their 2 hour yard time each day to gather in worship.

Please pray with me that the prisons will reopen and that God is using this time to prepare hearts for a great revival in there. I believe that this is all within God’s plan and that we need only trust Him.

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers. You can give a tax deductible donation.

Giving Instructions:

Give online by clicking above
To give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





Put Sexual Sin to Death

10 06 2020

McKee Road Baptist – June 3, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 3:5-7 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry: (6) For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience: 7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

In the book of Colossians, Paul is teaching that as a child of God you are no longer to
live in the way you used to. Since you have been united to Christ, you are to live like it!
Sunday, we used these same verses as our text but really only dealt with the first half of
verse five. Keep in mind as we go through the last part of verse five through verse
seven that we are to Mortify (kill, put to death) our members. Refer to the message from
Sunday about what our members are. That will help to understand our message today.
Consider what Paul says we are to put to death.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

Paul lists five sins here. God created the human race in two sexes, and He intended it
that way. Sex is a tremendously important part of life. It is designed by God to add flavor
and excitement to our marriage relationships. Someone said, “Sex in the Bible is like a
great river flowing through life which, kept within its banks, is a source of pleasure and
power. When it overflows its proper banks, it becomes destructive and, ultimately,
disastrous.”

Paul is concerned that God’s churches be kept free of such corruptions:

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once
named among you, as becometh saints.

Porneia is the Greek word translated: “fornication.” It is immorality. This was a sin that
tempted the early believers. It was one of the most widely accepted sins in the ancient
world which went uncondemned by many cultures. Sounds like our world today.
What can be defined as Porneia. We will consider a few examples.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for
fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which
is put away doth commit adultery.

Porneia is a biblical ground for divorce, so we must understand exactly what it means.
We have the example of a porneia of Sodom. In Genesis 18 we read of the
homosexuality and perverse sexual relations, (any sexual act not defined as ‘normal’
relations) found in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

That said, it is apparent that in Jesus’ day sexual activity with a person one is not
married to would meet the definition of porneia. A man and woman who are physically intimate with one another and are having or simulating sexual relations would easily fit
the definition and standard use of porneia in Jesus’ time. To be physically intimate with
someone not your mate, making physical contact with another person in a sexual way,
is porneia.

Do not be guilty of attempting to separate adultery from fornication. I would argue that
fornication is a larger set which describes adultery as one of the activities within it. By
the way, porneia is the root that we get our word “porno” from.

What does the Scripture say about fornication? The New Testament uses porneia,
translated: “fornication,” in at least four ways:

Voluntary sexual intercourse of an unmarried person with someone of the
opposite sex (1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).

A synonym for adultery (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), which is sexual relations with
someone other than one’s spouse.

Harlotry and prostitution (Revelation 2:14,20).

Various forms of sexual sin such as homosexuality and bestiality.

Porneia is a broad term used to cover any form of sexual sin. Listed below are some
Biblical exhortations against this sexual sin:

Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor
covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of
God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should
abstain from fornication:

Clearly, God’s will for believers is sexual purity. He says in:

1 Thessalonians 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter:
because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and
testified.

The word “avenger” is the Greek word ekdikos which means: “one who carries out a
legal sentence.” This word is used one other time in Romans 13:4, “revenger,” where it
refers to the magistrate as the bearer of the sword of justice. God warns that He is the
one who carries out a legal sentence against those who commit porneia.

To help us understand the severity of this sin, let’s look at some passages in
Corinthians that deal with this sexual sin:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of
God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate,
nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul list fornicators first in the list of the unrighteous, who will not inherit the kingdom of
God. For a deeper study consider the following verses.

1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy
both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for
the body.

Paul is pointing out the simple fact that the stomach finds its fulfillment, its satisfaction in
taking in food. But the body finds its fulfillment, not in sex, but in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I
then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

Your body is the member of Christ. Your body is a member of His body, it is a part of
His body, the church. It is because of our position as members of the body of Christ that
Paul appeals to them for moral purity. This is the same appeal that he uses in
Colossians.

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife,
and let every woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise
also the wife unto the husband.

The words “due benevolence” means: “kindness; conjugal duty: good will.” Paul is
saying, when you get married, you become obligated to meet the physical needs of your
spouse. Marriage is no place for celibacy. The general obligation is that I am to pay to
my spouse what I owe him/her. I am to fulfill my duty as a spouse.

Before we move on to look at the other words that Paul uses in our text, we should
consider 1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul says, “There is fornication among you.” I believe these
words could be said of every church in America. That statement may seem strong, but I
am convinced that it is sadly true. Porneia has become rampant in the church in our
day. We must understand that God hates and judges this sin. We must understand the
destructive nature of this sin, and we must put it to death. And we must do all that we
can to protect our children from it.

Consider the other words that Paul lists.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

The second word is “uncleanness.” This comes from the Greek word akatharsia, from
which the word catharsis or “cleansing” comes; it means, “filthiness,” or “uncleanness.”
It is a more general term than immorality. It goes beyond the act to the evil thoughts and
intentions of the mind. It could refer to what we would call perverted forms of sex,
homosexuality, child abuse, and various strange and unnatural sexual practices. They
would all be covered by this one word “uncleanness.”

The third in our list is “inordinate affection.” This is from the Greek word pathos. This
refers to erotic passions which are aroused (especially with men), by visual things. If
men are aroused visually, are women responsible for how they dress?

Pornography clearly falls under this classification. Anything that is sexually arousing: literature, movies, whatever, is to be denied. It belongs to the old life. It goes beyond the
boundaries of God’s approval and becomes a very destructive thing.

“Evil concupiscence” is closely associated with lust, it is mental uncleanness. It is
exactly what Jesus had in mind when he said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever
looketh, on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his
heart.”

Lastly, we are to put off “covetousness, which is idolatry.” When this word
“covetousness” appears in Scripture without being linked with idolatry, it is referring to
lusting after money and the things that money can buy. But in this particular context,
linked with this word, “idolatry,” it is greed to possess another person’s body. Paul, is
saying that this is a powerful longing to lay hands on some other person and possess
his or her body. It is what the world calls “having an affair,” in which you allow another
person to become so dominant in your thinking that he or she takes the place of God to
you.

These sins are as common today, as they were in the first century. Today, many
believers tend to accept these practices and overlook the error of those who fall into
them. The apostle says there are two things wrong with acceptance.

First, he says: Colossians 3:6-7 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

“Cometh” means it keeps coming. What picture does your mind paint when you
contemplate, “the wrath of God”? Some think that it is God getting very angry and
vindictively striking you down in some way or other. Scripture declares that the “wrath of
God” is simply his judicial reaction to evil; it is the way a Holy God reacts to a civilization
or individual who turns his back on moral absolutes and tries to ignore moral laws. The
first chapter of Romans gives a vivid description of what God does in such a case. He
removes the restraints within society against evil, and lets it have its way, allowing it to
produce what evil always produces, death in the midst of life.

Consider what we are witnessing going on all around us today. The restraints that once
kept evil under bonds and within bounds have been lifted. Daily, we are witness to evil
practices. Laws are laughed at, morality is cast aside, evil is praised and defended on
every side. Ultimately, we have reached a stage in our society where almost anything
goes. This is where we are today in America.

It must be noted that historically, this path is always a prelude to the break-up of
government and the overthrow of the forces for law and order within society. This is how
many empires in history, fell apart. That is what Paul is pointing out. You may think that
nothing happens when you allow yourself to fall into immoral practices, but something is
happening. God has not lost His power. He is quite able to react to evil, and He does
react. He allows it to have its way. He removes restraints of evil upon society, and there
is nothing that man can do can prevent it.

Sin brings wrath, not blessing. Paul is not warning us that if we sin, we will feel the
furious wrath of God. Rather he is saying that those who are Christ’s, who have been
made one with Him, who love Him and serve Him, would certainly not wish to participate in those kinds of behaviors and thoughts that are characteristic of those who will feel His
eternal wrath. The children of God would certainly not want to act like the children of
wrath.

Although believers have been delivered from God’s wrath (consider Romans 5:9), they
are subject to His chastening.

Hebrews 12:5-6 But ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto
children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art
rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son
whom he receiveth.

God will react against sin. The unbeliever will experience His eternal wrath, and the
believer His loving chastening. Either way, all who pursue sin will suffer the
consequences.

Sexual sin is a very serious sin. It is a very damaging sin. The question we must now
ask is how do we avoid falling into this sin?

Guard Your Heart
The problem of sexual perversion impacts us all. The fundamental problem is my mind,
not my body. Radical steps must be taken to purify my mind. Sexual sin always begins
in the mind, though it does not always end there.

Sexual sin never comes out of the blue. Sexual sin is a result of a long natural process
in which a mind susceptible to sin is granted unguarded exposure to immoral input. We
are what we think. Our thoughts of today become our actions of tomorrow. Temptation
may come suddenly, but sin does not. The best way to guard against tomorrow’s
sexual temptation is to cultivate a pure mind today. We must saturate our mind with
God’s input, rather than the world’s input. The battle is in our minds. Proverbs puts it this
way:

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Guard your heart! If we are going to avoid sexual sin, we must guard our hearts. If the
battle for sexual purity is in the mind, then we had better start guarding our minds,
because we live in a world whose media is consumed with sexual sin. All forms of
media touch the mind. Media stirs our mind; it moves our mind and it molds our mind.
Beware of what media you allow into your mind. Know this that it is fashioning your
thoughts. We must guard our thinking and protect our minds.

If you are viewing things that cause you to sin, then stop looking at them. If you are
engaged in activities that make sin more enticing, then stop those activities. It should go
without saying that a Christian man or woman should have nothing to do with
pornography. Pornography is defined as any visual, written, or recorded stimulus
designed to cultivate or heighten a person’s desire toward immoral sexual behavior. If
that definition of pornography is true, then today’s media is a major source of
pornography, because it is often a visual stimulus designed to cultivate or heighten a
person’s desire toward immoral sexual behavior.

Living the Christian life in our society takes tremendous self-control. Proverbs gives us a
vivid picture of the importance of self-control:

Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken
down, and without walls.

In ancient times, the walls of a city were its main defense; without them, the city was
easy prey to its enemies. Self-control is the believer’s wall of defense against the sinful
desires that wage war against his soul. Self-control can be defined this way; it is the
governing of one’s desires. Self-control is necessary because we are at war with our
own sinful desires. Self-control of our minds means entertaining only those thoughts
that are acceptable to God. Every believer has the ability to control his thought life.
Believers, guard your heart and the hearts of your children. One of the best ways to do
this is to put the word of God in your heart. David said:

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Believers, we must guard our hearts. A good practice is to make yourself accountable.
We all need someone to check up on us and ask how we are doing spiritually. We can
all use someone that tells us when they see weakness or seeds of sin in our life.
God has made us a “new creature.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We are not the old person made over; we have the life of God, through His Holy Spirit
living within us now. God expects us to put away the old life. God does not want us to
go on living as if nothing miraculous happened to our sin. Everything we say and do is
either an asset or a liability to the cause of Christ. We are either a credit to Christ or a
disgrace. Each of us has a responsibility to put sin to death.

Pastor Don Thomason





To Whom Do You Yield

8 06 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 31, 2020 Sunday Worship – Coronavirus Emailed

Introduction: We have seen who Christ is, and what He has done. We have seen
that as believers we share in all that Christ is and has done. Since this is true, Paul
declares that you are no longer to live in the way you used to. The command to the
believer is that we are to “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the
earth.” Our union with Christ is the heart and soul of Paul’s gospel. Believer, since
you have been united to Christ, live like it! Or to put it simply: Be who you are in
Christ!

Colossians 3:5-7 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry: (6) For which thing’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience: (7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

“Therefore” on the basis of your position in Christ (1:1-3:4), “Mortify therefore your
members which are up the earth.” Paul is saying to kill the members of your earthly
body (not just to consider them as dead). Did you know that life of the believer involves
putting sin to death?

Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world,
why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ,” or since we have died with Christ. At the moment
we believed, God finally and forever forgave our sins by the death of Christ. Our
position before God is perfect forever. The death Christ died He died to sin.

Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth
unto God.

You died with Christ; therefore, you died to sin as well. Sin has no more power over you
than it has over Christ! So why, then, does Paul tell believers to put sin to death?
Because our positional reality must be worked out in our practical living.

Paul has just spent two chapters telling believers who they are in Christ, talking about
the permanent, perfect position they possess in Christ. Now he tells those same
believers to “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.” As believers,
we are responsible to deal with sin. We are responsible to put it to death.

We are to kill the members of this body. The word “members” is the Greek word melos,
which means: “a limb or part of the body.” It is used of the literal parts of a body:

Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for
it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole
body should be cast into hell. (30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it
from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that
thy whole body should be cast into hell.

We see here that melos is used of the eyes and hands; parts of the body.
People have often misinterpreted Jesus’ words here in much the same way as they do
Paul’s words in Colossians 3:5. Taking those passages literally, many have physically
injured themselves.

When Paul speaks of killing bodily parts or members, Paul is actually referring to the
sins associated with those members. We are not to put to death our hands and eyes
and tongue. Notice what he says:

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

The members they are to put to death are fornication and other sins.
“Mortify” means: “to cease completely from activity, to stop completely.” The phrase
suggests decisive and urgent action. Kill them, as you would weeds or rodents that
carry disease which spread and destroy, or as you would kill an enemy who fights
against you seeking to destroy you. This is a call for practical holiness. God’s purpose
for our lives is that we live holy:

1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
conversation; (16) As it is written, Be ye holy: for I am holy.

We are to be holy in our daily conduct:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye
should abstain from fornication: (4) That every one of you should know how to possess
his vessel in sanctification and honour: (5) Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the
Gentiles which know not God: (6) That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in
any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have
forewarned you and testified. (7) For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto
holiness.

This is God’s will for our lives: practical sanctification, holiness.
Note, in that day, other religions said little or nothing about personal holiness. (Much like
other religions of our day.) A person could bring sacrifices, say prayers, and go away
from the altar to commit terrible sins, and nobody would think he or she was
inconsistent. Not so with Christianity! The new life within demands a new life without.
Since we have died with Christ, we should put sin to death.

Paul’s call for believers to “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” is
a call for practical sanctification, practical holiness. Your practical holiness will become a reality through three basic steps. Those steps are laid out for us in a parallel passage in Romans 6.

They are: knowing, considering, and yielding. We looked at Romans 6 when we were studying Colossians 2. Just as we got insight into Paul’s meaning of Colossians 2:11-12 from Romans 6:1-10, we get insight into what Paul means by “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body” by looking at Romans 6:1-13. In this text we see three steps to dealing with sin:

1. Knowing – This is the theme of the first 10 verses in Romans 6. The thing we are to
know is the doctrine of our union with Christ. We are identified with Christ. We share all
He is and has.

Romans 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7) For he that is dead is
freed from sin.

“Knowing this” The question is, how do we know this? We only know it because the
Scripture teaches it. The “old man” is the man that I used to be in Adam. The word
“crucified” is a compound verb meaning: was crucified with, Christ. That man that was
joined to Adam was crucified together with Christ. Because of our union with Christ in
his crucifixion, we are dead to sin; we have been set free from sin. We are no longer
slaves of sin. We must know this!

2. Consider – Consider means: “to regard something as true.” We must keep on
counting as true that we are dead to sin and alive to God. We are “in Christ,” and
because of this, we share his righteousness.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive
unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let me illustrate this truth. In 1982 an unusual thing happened on the island of Guam.
A Japanese soldier came out of the jungle. He had been living in the jungle for 37 years
after the end of world war II. Why? Because when the news came at the end of the war,
he could not believe that Japan had surrendered, and the war was over. For 37 years,
he lived in the jungle.

Let me ask you a question. During those 37 years, was he free? Absolutely.

At any time, from 1945 until 1982, he was completely free to come out of the jungle. He was
completely free, on a theoretical basis. But because he did not believe it, he lived in
self-imposed bondage in the jungle for 37 years.

Was he free? Yes. Did he experience his freedom? No, because he chose to stay in bondage, in hiding, in fear in the jungle.

Many Christians are still living in the jungle of sin. The war is over, Christ has won, but
they refuse to believe it. They live in self-imposed bondage to sin. They are still in the
jungle spiritually, because they refuse to believe that Christ has set them free.

3. Yielding – This is the third principle in putting sin to death. Know deals with
understanding the truth, consider deals with believing it, and yield deals with the will,
acting on what we know and believe.

Verse 12 of Romans 6 brings us to the practical application of the doctrine Paul has
been expounding in the first 11 verses of chapter 6, just like verse 5 of Colossians 3
does.

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in
the lusts thereof.

The word “reign” is from the Greek verb basileuo, which means: “to exercise kingly
power, or to exercise uncontrolled authority.” The word “reign” is simply the word for
“king” in a verbal form. Paul is saying, stop allowing sin to reign as king in your mortal
body.

When Paul writes, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,” He is addressing
believers. It would be pointless to tell this to unbelievers. What does this tell us? It tells
us that sin can reign in the life of a believer if permitted to. Sin wants to reign in your
mortal body. As long as we live in the physical realm, we will battle with sin.

Paul goes on to say, “that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” It is through the desires
of the body that sin wants to take control. The desires of the body are conceived as
demanding obedience.

Practical sanctification is a process, we will never be rid of sin, while we are in these
physical bodies. The life of the believer is a constant battle, while we are in the physical
body. We, as believers, are not to permit sin to reign in our bodies through its desires.

Why are we not to let sin reign? The word “therefore” at the beginning of verse 12
answers that question. The prohibition (the action of forbidding something, especially by
law.) in verse 12 is based upon all that Paul has been saying from Romans 5:12 – 6:11
that deals with our position in Christ. Paul is saying, “Because of your position in Christ,
do not let sin reign as king in your body.”

Our position in Christ is that we are dead to sin and alive to God. We are to consider
this as true, because it is true. Contrary to our experience, we are dead to sin. Now on
the basis of our position, we are not to allow sin to reign in our body.
How do we stop sin from reigning? Verse 13 gives us some help in answering that
question.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

The word “yield” is the Greek word paristemi, which means:” to put at one’s disposal.”
We are not to place ourselves at the disposal of sin or unrighteousness. We are to place
ourselves at the disposal of God.

Practical holiness becomes a reality through the three steps of: knowing, considering,
and yielding. We must know the truth about ourselves, then we must believe it. Once we
know it and believe it, we are to act upon it. This command to yield deals with our will.

The Nature of the Human Will. The will is the basis of choice, it is the immediate cause of all action. You think about something, and then you do it.

In every act of the will there is a preference; the desiring of one thing rather than another. To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between two or more alternatives. But there is something else which influences the choice. The will does not decide the choice, something causes it to choose. What is it that determines the will? What is it that causes you to make a choice?

Let me illustrate. Say that your boss comes to you and says, “You are going to
California. You do not have a choice.” But he says, “Would you like to drive or fly?” He
is giving you a choice.

What determines which option you choose? What determines your choice is the strongest motive power which is brought to bear upon it. For one person, it may be the logic of reason, If I drive, they say, it will take me five days, and if I fly, it will only take me about five hours so, I choose to fly.

With another person, it may be the impulse of emotion. You think there are a lot of plane crashes and I am not ready to die, so choose to drive. What you think, causes you to will.

Whichever of these presents the strongest motive power and exerts the greatest influence upon us is that which impels (the driving force) the will to act. On a normal Sunday morning, you have to make a choice: will I sleep in or will I get up and go to church? Your choice was made by what exerted the greatest influence upon you, your desire to worship or sleep.

In other words, the action of the will is determined by the mind. The will is not free but is
in bondage to the heart. The Word of God teaches that the heart is the dominating
center of our being:

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Our choices are determined by our desires. When we have conflicting desires,
whichever desire is greater at the time of decision is the desire I will choose.
Question. What causes a teenager to take drugs? Remember, your thinking will
determine your choice. The Bible tells us that Daniel “purposed” in his heart not to defile
himself with the King’s meat. Daniel had made a conscientious decision beforehand not
to eat the king’s meat.

If a teenager desires to honor and obey God and his parents, and if he believes that
drugs are wrong, he will say, “No” to drugs. But if he is really undecided if drugs are
wrong, and he wants to please his friends, he will say, “Yes.” This is why we are to train
up our children, and this is why we are to guard our thinking. The condition of our
hearts will determine our choices. Jonathan Edwards defined the will as: “The mind
choosing.”

This is why practical sanctification starts in the mind, know who you are. If you believe
that it is normal for a believer to sin all the time, how are you ever going to stop sin from
reigning in your life? We must know and believe that we are dead to sin.
How do we stop sin from reigning in our bodies?

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

We are told in this verse to “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of
unrighteousness unto sin.” The “members” are part of your mortal body. They are the
various parts of the body; the eyes, ears, hands, feet, tongue, mind, and emotions. This
is the same Greek word melos that Paul used in Colossians 3:5. These members
become instruments of unrighteousness when we put them at the disposal of sin.
The word “instruments” is the Greek word hoplon. This word is only used six times in
the New Testament; twice in this verse and four other times. In the other four uses it is
translated “armour” or “weapons.”

John 18:3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief
priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

Believers, your bodily members are weapons. Are you putting them at the disposal of
righteousness or sin? Your tongue can be used to speak the truth of God, or sing
praises to Him, or to build up another believer. But it can also be used to back-bite,
gossip, slander, and cause division and strife. The tongue is a weapon that is often
used to beat our spouses or children and attack others. Look at how Peter used his
tongue:

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou are the Christ, the Son of
the living God.

Here Peter is using his tongue to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then a
few moments later, when Jesus begins to talk about his death, Peter uses his tongue to
rebuke the Lord:

Matthew 16:21-23 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how
that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests
and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (22) The Peter took him,
and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
(23) But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me Satan: thou art an offence
unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

When we put our members at the disposal of sin, they become weapons of
unrighteousness; and as they become weapons of unrighteousness, sin moves in to
rule and reign as king in our body.

Paul is telling the Roman Christians and us, to stop presenting your members to be
used for unrighteousness. The basis for me not presenting my members to sin is my
position in Christ, my identity, who I am.

It is not that we do not like sin, because we do. But we understand and believe our
position in Christ, and on the basis of who I am, I do not present my members to sin.

By way of illustration: Suppose someone from China immigrates to the United States,
and he becomes an American citizen. He is a scientist, and in a few years, he works his
way to a high position in the U.S. government’s field of science.

Then suppose an undercover agent of the Chinese government approaches him and asks him to function as a spy for China. This man must make a choice. Suppose he decides not to let his former government rule over him, and he will not put his talents and abilities at the disposal of China. Why should he not allow the Chinese government to rule over him?

Some might say because he loves America, but the fact may be that he loves China
more than America. He was raised there, his family is there, and he has many fond
memories of China. If his love determines his decision, he might become a spy. But his
basis for not letting China rule over him is his position.

He is a citizen of the United States of America, and he will not put his talents and abilities at the disposal of China. This is a similar situation of the believer. We once lived in the kingdom of darkness, and sin ruled over us, it was our master. But we were translated into the kingdom of God.

Now sin still wants to rule in your body, you know that. But we are not to permit it to
reign or to let it use our members. Why not? It is not because we do not like sin. The
basis for our opposition to sin is our position in Christ, our identity. As we understand
our position in Christ, we will by God’s grace say, “NO” to sin.

In verse 13, he first gives us the negative and then the positive:

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

“But” here is the positive side: we are to present ourselves and our members as
instruments of righteousness. The word “yield,” is the Greek word paristemi, is a once and for all action; a completed action. A one-time presentation. Therefore, verse 13a it says, “Neither yield.” And 13b is saying, “But yield yourselves unto God.” This would be as a husband and a wife does when they take their marriage vows.

The believer is to put himself and all that he is at the disposal of God. Why? Again, it is
because of our position. This is emphasized in the phrase, “as those that are alive from
the dead.” This is our position, and based upon our position, we are to yield ourselves to
God. Before you can follow the exhortation of verses 12 and 13, you must understand
verses 1-11. You must understand your identity before you can yield.

The word “yield” means, to put at the disposal of God your members are to be used for
righteousness sake. This includes your tongue, eyes, ears, mind, hands, and feet. We
do not do this in our own strength but in dependence upon God, as Paul put it in:
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do
mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

It is “through the Spirit” that we are to put to death the deeds of the body. This means
that we do it in dependence upon the Lord. In Daniel chapter 3, we have the story of how king Nebuchadnezzar tried to get the Hebrew children to present their bodies in the worship of an idol. When they refused, he threatens their lives. Look how they responded:

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O
Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. (17) If it be so, our
God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning firey furnace, and he will
deliver us out of thine hand, O king. (18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that
we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Notice that they call God, “our God.” That is identity, they knew who they belonged to,
and they knew that their purpose in life was to worship Him, so they were willing to be
burned alive rather than dishonor their God. Nebuchadnezzar responded to this by
throwing them into the furnace, but the fire did not hurt them. Notice Nebuchadnezzar’s
response:

Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that
trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they
might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Notice carefully what he says, “his servants that trusted in Him,” and because of that,
they “yielded their bodies.” They would not allow their bodies to be used as weapons of unrighteousness. They presented their bodies to be used of God even if it meant their
death.

David yielded his body to be used as a weapon of righteousness when he went out to
fight Goliath. Then later in his life, he yielded his body as a weapon of unrighteousness
when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband, Uriah. We do this
same thing. At times, we are using our members as weapons of righteousness, and at
others, we are using them as weapons of unrighteousness.

Let me illustrate. A ship with a very rich cargo sets sail. While the ship is at sea, the
owners of that ship discover that the captain is a crook, and he has plans of stealing the
cargo. The owners get a message to the ship saying that the captain is to be removed,
and the first mate is to be put in charge.

As a crew member, you have two options; you can submit to the captain or the first
mate. What will influence your decision? Will it be your like or dislike of the captain or
first mate? Or their position?

The crew is employed by the owners of the ship, they are paid by the owners. Their position is that they are employees of the owners. As the crew reflects upon their position, they must refuse the captain any right of rule over them, and they will do that by refusing to put at his disposal their strengths and abilities.

On the other hand, they shall acknowledge the right of the first mate, and put at
his disposal all of their time and talents and abilities. They will do that on the basis of
their position. They will make a negative and positive decision.

When God makes your position in Christ clear to you and gives you the faith to believe
it, you will present yourself to God and not present your members to sin. Believer, do you know who you are? You are; a saint; a son of God. All Christ is and has, you are and have. You are dead to sin and alive to God.

Practical sanctification comes as we stop yielding to sin and start yielding to God. As we
do this, we put to death our earthly members. How about your eyes: Have you been
looking at things this week that you should not be looking at?

What about your ears: Have you been listening to gossip, slander, filthy talk and coarse humor? How about your lips: Have you used your lips this week for swearing, for anger, slander for bitterness? Are your lips yielded to God? What about your hands? Are your hands yielded to God, or do you use your hands to grasp more of the goods of this world?
What about your feet? Are your feet yielded to God, or are they constantly taking you
where you should not go? Are all your members yielded to God, or are you using them
for sin?

The only way we will be able to put to death our members is to:
1. Know your position in Christ.
2. Believe what God says about you.
3. Do not yield your members to be used for unrighteousness, but yield them to be used
for righteousness.

Pastor Don Thomason





Forgiven You All Trespasses

8 05 2020

McKee Road Baptist – May 6, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Pastor Don Thomason

Colossians 2:13-15 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your
flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14)
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities
and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Review

In 2:8 Paul warned the Colossians believers about the dangers of false teaching. He
tells them to, “Beware.” It is a command for a constant circumspect watchfulness,
because of the dangers of the Colossian heresy.

Now notice how he prepares them to be able to deal with the false teaching. He does
not say, “Here’s what they are teaching.” What he does is he tells them who Christ is,
and who they are in Christ.

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And
ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

We do not need to study error in order to avoid it, we simply need to know the
truth. If we know the truth, we’ll be able to spot error when we hear it.

He is saying that Jesus Christ is God in a bodily form. He is the God-Man. And believers
are complete in Him. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are in Christ. And
because you are in Christ, and because He is complete, you have been made
complete. Because Christ is who He is, we have been made complete in Him. His
fullness is imparted to us. As all the fullness of the eternal God is Christ’s, all the
fullness of Christ is yours and mine.

Paul then explains how this happened to them. In these next statements he tells how
believers share in the fullness of God in Christ. Paul declares, they were circumcised
& baptized with Him:

Colossians 2:11-12 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of
Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the
faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Paul says believers have been given a circumcision, not of the flesh by the hands of
men, but with the circumcision done by Christ. By this spiritual circumcision, the old
sinful nature (flesh) has been cut away or put off. He is speaking of our death to sin and
union with Christ. Your sinful nature has been killed, crucified with Christ on the cross.
You have been crucified with Christ and your old sinful nature has been washed away.

Paul does not mention “water baptism” in this verse! This verse has NOTHING to do
with water baptism, it speaks of identification. Water baptism is no more in view in 2:12
than physical circumcision was in 2:11. Both verses speak of spiritual realities. We must
not confuse rituals with realities.

Now to our text.

Forgiven You All Trespasses

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Notice Paul says, “And you being, dead in your sins”. He says the same thing in:
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with
Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

There are two questions that we need to answer here. How did the Colossians get
dead? And what does he mean by dead?

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

“Wherefore, as….” “as” is a comparison, but verse 12 does not complete the
comparison, there is no “even so.” Verse 12 gives us half of the comparison, Adam.
Verses 13-17 are set off by parentheses for clarification. Verses 18b and 19 complete
the comparison started in verse 12.

One man did one thing resulting in sin and death; the other man did something else,
resulting in justification and life. “As” the one act of Adam affected every member of the
human race, “even so” the one act of Jesus Christ affects every member of the new
covenant community.

Notice the Results of Adam’s sin, “sin entered into the world”. The Greek word for “sin”
is hamartia, it means: “to miss the mark.” The mark is what God commands of us to do
or not do.

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

Sin is disobeying God. It is violating his Holy law. God is the Creator and law giver, and
any violation of his moral will is sin.

Adam introduced sin into the human realm. Sin is violating the commands of God.
When Adam sinned, “sin entered into the world.” Adam did not bring sin into the world
by setting a bad example. Adam’s sin brought about a change of unholiness within the
heart, which he passed on to his descendants. Men became sinners, as Paul said in:
Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the
obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

This corruption of man’s nature is what is called in theology “Original Sin.” It’s not that you sin, and that’s what makes you a sinner. You’re a sinner, you were born that way, and that is why you sin. Every human being born is born with original sin. Paul tell us that death came as a result of sin, “and death by sin.” As a result of Adam’s sin, he died.

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Adam did not die physically that day, but he did die spiritually. He died spiritually the
moment he disobeyed. Spiritual death is separation from God who is life. The text in
Genesis is dealing with “spiritual” death, so is the text in Romans 5, and so is our text in
Colossians 2:13.

The comparison in this passage is between Adam and Christ. What we lost in Adam is
restored in Jesus Christ. If the death referred to is physical, then having gained in Christ
what we lost in Adam, Christians should never die physically.

Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born dead, separated from God. But through Jesus
Christ we receive eternal life. We see this same comparison in:

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

The life that is a gift is spiritual life, so the death must also be spiritual.
The death referred to here and in our text in Colossians is spiritual death, which is
separation from God. If a man dies physically while in a state of spiritual death, he will
spend eternity in the lake of fire, which the Bible calls the “second death”.

Paul goes on in Romans 5:12 to say, “and so death passed upon all men.” Spiritual
death spread to all men. Every human being born is born separated from God, dead in
sin.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

All men are born spiritually dead, “for that all have sinned.” We are all born spiritually
dead. Why? Did we personally sin before we were born? No! We sinned in Adam. He
represented us, and what he did, we did.

Paul says all men were dead in sin, “and the uncircumcision of your flesh”. Our nature
was “uncircumcised,” that is, separated from God. This describes our state of being
before we came to know Christ. We were dead in our state to God. We were without
any spiritual life at all.

The Bible teaches that dead men cannot receive the things of God:

1 Corinthians 2:14-15 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are
spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is
judged of no man.

The word “natural” describes the person without the Spirit. Jude uses this same word in
verse 19. The “natural” or “sensual” person is the person without the Spirit. This is the
unregenerate man who has no ability to understand spiritual things. Natural man is dead
and totally unreceptive to the gospel.

The bottom line is this: our hope does not lie in our own will. If not for the grace of God
we would all suffer condemnation.

Paul continues in Colossians 2:13 to say, “And you, being dead in your sins and the
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with Him…” The word
“quickened” means “to make alive” and “with”. Paul again emphasizes the believer’s
union with Christ (see 2:10, “in Him”; 2:11, “in Christ”; 2:12, “with Him”). Those who
were hopelessly dead in sin received new life through that union. Please get this, we
were dead, and God gave us life. Why did God give us life? It’s a one-word answer;
grace:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye save through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Notice what else God does, “…having forgiven you all trespasses…”. The word
“forgiven” means: “forgiveness as the result of grace or an act of love.” It means to
bestow a favor unconditionally. The favor bestowed unconditionally here is the
remission of debt against God.

Not just the past sins, not just the present sins, not just the big sins, not just the little
sins, but ALL of them. It means those times in your past that plague you with guilt, He
forgave those sins. And those times when you let others down and hurt them, He
forgave those sins too. And all those times you promised you did something for the last
time, and then you fell again; God forgave those in Christ too. He forgives the hidden
sins and the public sins.

God’s forgiveness is a prominent theme in the New Testament. Our Lord told His
disciples at the Last Supper:

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for
the remission of sins.

Peter told those assembled in Cornelius’s house that:

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever
believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

In Acts 13 Paul said:

Acts 13:38-39 Be it know unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man
is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: (39) And by him all that believe are
justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

To the Ephesians, Paul wrote:

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace;

Our debts were paid in full by Jesus Christ. The believer’s debt has been paid in full,
there is no possibility of going into debt again. Jesus paid the debt of all our sins:
past, present, and future. This is GRACE!

Paul now illustrates God’s forgiveness.

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which
was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

The word “handwriting” literally means: “something written with the hand,” or “an
autograph.” Paul describes this as “ordinances that was against us.” The word
“ordinances” means: “decree, ordinance, decision, command, a formalized rule (or set
of rules) prescribing what people must do.” This refers to the Mosaic law as an
ordinance of requirements that puts us in debt to God.

Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of
commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man,
so making peace.

All peoples (including Gentiles, read Romans 2:14-15) owe God a debt, because they
have violated His law. The certificate was “contrary to us,” that is, it was enough to
condemn us to judgment and wrath, because:

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written, in the
book of the law to do them.

The written code stood as a constant reminder to the Israelite that there was a debt
which needed to be paid that the people of God might stand perfect before God.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every on that
believeth.

“Blotting out” means: “to wipe off,” like erasing a blackboard. History lesson: Ancient
documents were commonly written either on papyrus, a paper-like material made from
the bulrush plant, or vellum, which was made from an animal’s hide. The ink used then
had no acid in it and did not soak into the writing material. Since the ink remained on the
surface, it could be wiped off if the scribe wanted to reuse the material.

In Christ, under the New Covenant, we have been set free from the condemnation of
the Law. Our text says, “and took it out of the way, having nailed it to his cross.” The
word “took” means: “to lift up, to bear, to take away.” The word is used by John the
Baptist when he said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of
the world.” His statement emphasizes the permanence of the removal of our sin, which
has been paid and canceled and cannot be presented again.

Paul was telling the Colossians that fleshly circumcision has now been canceled and
nailed to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of
them openly, triumphing over them in it.

The word “spoiled” means: “to disarm” observing that it’s a compound word from the
verb “to arm oneself” and a prefix denoting that what’s conveyed is the opposite. He disarmed “principalities and powers” this speaks of those spiritual forces which have
set themselves as opposed to God.

Our text says, “He made a show of them openly” The picture Paul is painting here is
one of Roman conquest. Those he was writing to were familiar with this image. History
lesson: When the Roman army would return from a victorious campaign, they would
enter the city in a triumphal procession.

Into the city they would parade, displaying the treasures of their conquered foe. Those who had been captured in battle and who would become slaves would march in chains before the cheering crowd. The dignitaries that had been captured would-be put-on display.

The Roman army itself would parade down the street. And the triumphant Roman general would ride in on his chariot to the adulation of the crowd. The defeated foe would-be put-on display. They would be made a public spectacle. This is the image Paul uses here for Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness.

Paul goes on to say, “triumphing over them in it.” The words “triumphing over” mean to
lead prisoners of war in a victory procession. The picture is of a military procession
leading captives of war. It means to demonstrate one’s successful conquest of the
opposition.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principals and powers, he made a show of them
openly, triumphing over them in it.

This passage is explaining that we were all dead in our sins, and Christ has given us life
in union with Himself. We share Christ’s life. Not only that but He has forgiven us all our
sins.

He removed the Old Covenant that was contrary to us. And He disarmed principalities and powers. This is true of every believer no matter how they feel or live. When you truly understand these truths, the natural response will be one of gratitude.

If we understand what has been given to us, we will be grateful to God for the rest of our
lives. No matter what life brings, we will not complain, we will only give thanks that we
did not get what we deserved. We will be grateful that we have God’s strength, power
and provision in our lives. Praise God!





Gerry Preaching at FPA

1 05 2020

This is Gerry Collins preaching the Gospel at an FPA abortion clinic in Bakersfield, California.





Jesus Came to Bring Violence — but What Does That Mean for Us?

29 04 2020

A good episode of Ask Pastor John with John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church and Desiring God. If you don’t listen to this podcast I wholeheartedly recommend it.

 





Prayer Letter: January-March 2020

22 04 2020

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. We are on lock down as you are I’m sure.The prisons are closed for now and there has been little opportunity for street ministry with so few people out and about. I was able to get some ministry work done in January and February. I pray this ends soon so that church and ministry can continue.

Street Ministry:
I was able to attend the Super Bowl Outreach in Miami, Florida. This was my 8th year attending and it was a blessing. We preached in Downtown Miami as well as South Beach. The crowds were amazing and we had many good one-to-one conversations. I know of a few who made professions of faith and many others who took tracts or Bibles.

In town we had good outreaches at the Courthouse and bus station. It seems like a lot of tracts were accepted and we had good responses to the preaching. I was hoping to preach at the NFL draft in Las Vegas but the virus panic cancelled the event. I am hoping to make a few trips to Los Angeles this summer to preach but it depends on the circumstances of course.

I gave away 15 John/Romans as well as 188 tracts. I was able to join Arks of Bulrushes ministry at the abortion clinic. We preach the Gospel and offer help to the women. We talked to 10 or so women and saw 1 turn away and keep her baby. We are in an ongoing effort to help her during her pregnancy.

Prison Ministry:
The prison ministry started off really good until services were cancelled. I was supposed to preach the Easter revival but that was cancelled as well. Before they closed the facility I was able to give away 19 Bibles, 1 Gospel of John and 2 John/Romans. I gave away 11 Christian books, 26 tracts, and preached to 195 men. I also received 126 prayer requests and corresponded with 4 men.

Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers. You can give a tax deductible donation.

Giving Instructions:
Give online by clicking the “Donate” tab at the top of the page. All gifts are tax deductible.

To give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





2019 Year End Update

21 04 2020

I guess I forgot to post my last ministry update for 2019 so here it is. Sorry it’s so late and thank your for your prayers.

Greetings:
We greet you in the name of the Lord and hope this letter finds you well. We were blessed to finalize our adoption in November. We welcomed Dale Michael Garland and Skyeisha Grace Garland to our family. The Lord’s hand was evident both in how quickly we got them as well as in how fast the process took. Many families struggle for years to adopt and we were blessed to be able to complete the process in just over a year.

Street Ministry:
We have had good crowds on the streets and many people showing an interest in the Word of God. I was able to preach at the PAC 12 Championship game in Santa Clara for third straight year. I gave out 100 tracts and got to preach to hundreds more.

Prison Ministry:
The Lord allowed me to preach the Christmas banquets in Lancaster which was a blessing. The sermons led to two or three divine appointments with men struggling with the truth of the Gospel. I gave out a Bible and New Testament, 111 tracts and 9 Christian books to the men. I was able to preach to 149 men over the last two months.

2019 Year in Review:
I almost hate to make summaries since ministry is far more than mere numbers but I do think it’s helpful to look at what has been accomplished while giving thanks to the Lord.

Bibles: 147
New Testaments: 7
John/Romans: 112
Gospel of Johns: 1
Tracts: 1,813
Books to inmates: 31
Professions of faith: 13
Prayer requests received: 938
Men attended preaching: 969
Letter ministry: 8
Food ministry: 111
Clothing given out: 100

Praise the Lord for a fruitful 2019 and may He increase the field of labor in 2020!
Please consider supporting us financially as well as with your prayers. You can give a tax deductible donation.

Giving Instructions:
Give online by clicking “Donate” at the top of the page. All gifts are tax deductible.

To give by check simply make the check out to Revival USA with Lighthouse Gospel Ministries in the memo section. You can mail it to us at:

Lighthouse Gospel Ministries
400 McKee Road
Bakersfield, Ca. 93307

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” C.H. Spurgeon





Peace- Things to Remember and to Consider

18 04 2020

Be certain to pray as a family, sing praises to God and read all the scripture noted in this attachment. Discuss the scripture. Grow in Christ together.

1 Peter 5:14 “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are
in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Introduction:  We live in a troubled world. Consider the turmoil that we are experiencing
with the Coronavirus Pandemic. This pandemic is virtually at the heart of almost every
conversation you hear or are a part of today. If the child of God is not aware, before too
long they will find their heart to be troubled as well, but God has promised peace to His
children.

There are some things we should remember.

First, remember God promised to give us peace. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my
peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid.” God provided us His Holy Spirit, the Comforter. He has
made provision of peace for us in this troubled world.

Second, remember to surround yourself with other children of God. Isaiah 48:22 “There
is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” When we have conversations with those
that do not know God as their Savior, we sometimes allow the premise of their thoughts
to fashion our thoughts.

Third, remember we are at peace with God because of the blood of Jesus. Colossians
1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all
things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
As hard as we may try, we can not produce lasting peace in our life. Only Jesus can do
that.

Fourth, remember the peace of God depends upon you. Colossians 3:15 “And let the
peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye
thankful.” Make note of that little word “let”. We have an all-powerful God that has
provided peace to us if we just access it. But many times, we are guilty of carrying a
burden or trouble that God intends to carry for us. Let the peace of God rule in your
heart.

Consider: Could it be we do not experience peace because we do not believe God? –

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye
may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

As you discuss this virus with others, the underlying theme is a hope that it will soon be over. But this hope is based in a hope of mankind. Child of God, either we believe Him or we do not. He has promised to fill us with all joy and peace, in believing. This believing will cause us to be full of His hope. Not the hope of the world.

We are quick to believe His hope of salvation. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call
upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It was a wonderful thing to learn that God
would save us. Many were quick to grab hold of this truth. It takes others longer to
receive Him but most hope against hope that it was true.

Consider: We will have the peace of God once we realize that He is in control.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the
world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

As humans we naturally are aware of the troubles of this world. The storms of this life, if you will. But remember, the same God that calmed the sea wants to calm your soul. He is in control. This virus did not catch God by surprise.

Consider: The peace of God comes through keeping our mind stayed upon Him.

Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he
trusteth in thee.”  

(Stayed – to lean upon or to rest in – not in self; not in circumstances.)
What do you think about all day long? How much time do you spend thinking of Him and
meditating on His Word?

Consider: That the peace Of God comes through spiritual mindedness – 

Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

And this is what you should have your mind set on, Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report; if there be any virtue, and if[there be any praise, think on these things.”

Consider: That the peace of God comes through making peace –

2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

How are things with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Is there any division between you? That ought not be for the Child of God. Make peace with one another.

Consider: That the peace Of God comes through prayer –

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

How much time do you spend in prayer? Every thought and every concern, all of our requests should be made known unto God. How is this done? It is done by prayer. The result is we shall possess the peace of God that goes beyond all human comprehension.

Finally, consider: That the peace of God comes through obedience to Scripture –

Philippians 4:9 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and
seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Romans 15:4, ready begin…quote it. How in the world do we expect to experience the peace of God that He promises us if we do not read and hide His Word in our hearts?

Conclusion:

Isaiah 32:17 “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect
of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”

Have peace! Be at peace in God!

A Sermon by Don Thomason, Pastor of McKee Road Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California.





Do What I Can-Pray

10 04 2020

My Pastor’s sermon for Wednesday April 8, 202 during the lockdown.

Be certain to pray as a family, sing praises to God and read all the scripture noted
in this attachment. Discuss the scripture. Grow in Christ together.

Coronavirus Numbers Update
Last week’s numbers are in red. This week’s numbers are in blue. At the time of my
writing this to you last week more than 400,000 (932,760) (1,495,051 today’s total)
people worldwide have been infected with the Coronavirus. At least 18,000 (46,840)
87,469 today’s total) people have died. The death rate per persons infected varies from
3.5% to 4.5%, depending upon your source. Italy has the highest number of deaths at
6,077 (13,155) (17,669). In the United States there have been 43,214 (212,980)
(425,107) reported cases with 533 (4,759) (14,262) deaths. This means that 1.23%
(2.23%) (3.35%) of all those infected in our country die.

Above is the updated Coronavirus update as of today. Please forgive me as I am one of
those number people. Like many of you I am constantly running calculations in my mind.
Now, I have only listed this information to keep you informed. Do not allow them to
frighten you. Remember, whether you what to know what the numbers are or not, they
are what they are. I just happen to be one of those people that thinks in numbers.

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1)

Introduction:

From the beginning of time, men have prayed,

“And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26)

In all types of places, at all times and in every conceivable situation, men have prayed. All people,
saved and lost have spent massive amounts of time in the pursuit of prayer. However,
only a small percentage of people have made prayer their priority. It is easy to recognize
that have as they stand out as bright lights in a dark world.
Many have chosen to pray when it was convenient, or when they were undergoing a time
of great stress and trial. Yet, it is clear from this verse that Jesus wants prayer to hold a
preeminent place in our lives. God expects us to be in constant contact with Him.

What is prayer?

1. Prayer Is an Invitation to God – Not coercion, not coaxing, but simply inviting God to
take over. It is me admitting my weakness and His power. Read about Jairus, Mark 5:
22-23.

And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”

2. Prayer is Work – True prayer may require you to get up early, or stay up late, 1
Thessalonians 5:17.

“Pray without ceasing.”

3. Prayer Is A Battle – Satan does not fear nor withstand our prayerlessness, but he will
bitterly oppose our prayer efforts. Prayer is our greatest weapon in the battle between
good and evil, Ephesians 6:12.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

4. Prayer Is Power – Consider as examples, Moses, Daniel, The Three Hebrew Children,
Elijah, Paul and Silas. Prayer is the greatest power we have upon this earth.

I. PRAYER MUST BE A PRIORITY

A. This theme is repeated throughout the Bible, Luke 18:1 and Romans 12:12. We are to
remain in a constant spirit of prayer.

B. There are many examples of those that made prayer a priority.
1. Job – Job 1:5; 42:10.
2. Abraham – Genesis 12:7-8; 13:4-18; 22:9
3. Moses – Psalm 90:1-17
4. David – The Psalms are filled with many references to David’s prayer life. One
example is Psalm 86:1-17. Consider how David spoke to God.
5. Elijah – 1 Kings 17:1; 18:36-38
6. Daniel – Daniel 6:10
7. Jesus – Matthew 26:36-39; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12, 9:18, 29. Jesus relied on prayer.

Consider, if the Son of God had need to pray, how much more do we?

C. Jesus takes it for granted that His people are going to pray – Matthew 6:5

D. Is prayer a priority in your life? It should be, for it is your lifeline to the Father.
Matthew 11:25-26.

II. PRAYER MUST BE A PREREQUISITE

A. We should do nothing in any area of life without first taking the time to saturate the
matter in prayer.

B. Even Jesus preceded His activity with prayer.

1. Before feeding the 5,000 – John 6:11
2. Before raising Lazarus from the dead – John 11:41
3. Before His trial and crucifixion – Luke 22:41-45
4. Before becoming sin on the cross for us – Luke 23:34

III. PRAYER MUST BE PRACTICED

A. To make prayer truly effective, we must practice prayer. We must get ourselves busy
in the business of prayer! There are too may needs and too little time!

B. Pray at every decision. The time will come when you will find yourself in desperation
and must hear from God.

C. Remember, weak praying begets weak living! We must be diligent in our praying if we
want to be effective for the Lord.

Romans 15:4 (Quote it.) Tonight, I wanted to remind you all that our greatest power
source is through prayer. Do not allow the comforts we experience living in this great
country dull you to the fact that God provides our very heart beat.

As we continue this strange walk and strive to do what we can to keep our selves and
our loved ones safe, remember do not be afraid, 2 Timothy 1:7. Remember, He has
given us power, love and a sound mind.

Do what you can, pray!








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