Provoking Thoughts

“Consider thy ways . . .”-Hag. 1:7  

Vol. 3   No. 4 Saturday, December 13, 1997

Midway Bible Baptist Church
Fishersville, Virginia  

In this issue:

Not Guilty

Go ahead and sin ....

Imagine a World Without a Television

More on Suicide  

Not Guilty

There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. — Proverbs 30:12

The writer of Proverbs is describing for us a generation that actually will exist at some point, or points, in time. We can go to the book of Revelation and read about a church that is called the church of the Laodecians. This is commonly accepted as a picture of the final state of the church before Jesus comes. This church says of itself, “we are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” They have attained to all they feel that is necessary, and feel no need to be corrected, or grow any more. They have need of NOTHING — no need of preaching, no need of wisdom and understanding, and surely no need of forgiveness, because they are not guilty of anything.  Now we don’t have to study history or do an intensive search for that generation — it is all around us now.

We are living in a day when it is practically impossible to make anyone guilty of anything. We have a president who has the reputation of being coated with Teflon because they can’t get any charges to stick. He has had more accusations, and there has been more evidence of wrong-doing on his part than any president in history, but somehow it is impossible to convict him of anything. He is simply a representative of what our society is like, including the church. No one is guilty of anything, and you can’t make them guilty. They refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions and always have an excuse or a scapegoat to blame it on. People have discovered ways to release themselves from guilt without repentance and confession. They have figured out how to feel good about themselves without facing the responsibility for their actions.

In order to reach such a state there are some things that a person has to do to their conscience and their mind. There are different ways that people accomplish this. One is role playing. They may convince themselves that they are really a multiple personality and say to themselves that it wasn’t the real ME that did THAT, it was my “old man.”  They may play the role of a victim and say it was only because of the influence of so-and-so that they did what they did. They will comfort themselves by believing that they would NEVER do such a thing if left to themselves. They may go back to their childhood and figure out that their mother and father are to blame for the actions THEY are committing now, and therefore it is not THEIR fault, but they are simply a victim of their raising. Another way is to find an excuse by searching out someone, especially a preacher, who will agree with them that what they did was not wrong. We all know how easy that is to do. So they have justified themselves while they continue to live in sin and ignore the commandments of God. This is a generation that is pure IN THEIR OWN EYES, and yet is NOT WASHED FROM THEIR FILTHINESS.

Parents are guilty of instilling this into their children. In their love and desires for their children, parents will, many times, not allow them to face the responsibility for their actions. If someone tries to correct their children at school or at church, they will immediately jump to the defense of the child. They will say things like, “Well, if he hadn’t been with that crowd,” or “if it weren’t for influence of those OTHER kids, he wouldn’t have done it.” Everyone should understand that a child will NEVER be converted to Christ unless he learns to accept the responsibility for his own sin. They think they are helping their child, but they are DESTROYING their child. Every child will one day stand before God ALONE and be judged for what he has done. It used to be that mothers would march their children back into the store and make them tell the clerk that they had stolen something and apologize and give it back. Now they say, “Well, he wouldn’t have done it if they hadn’t made it so easy, … and if he hadn’t seen it on television …. and if he hadn’t been hanging around those other kids on the block, he wouldn’t have done it.” A parent that does this is not helping the child, but it is destroying him. They are helping him to justify his NEXT crime. They are setting him up for destruction in his life because he will never be able to solve any problem he has until he realizes and accepts the fact that it is HIS problem. As long as he is in the habit of looking for someone or something else to blame it on, so he can justify himself, he will always have the problem. He may be a drunkard and blame it on the state for making it so easy to buy the booze. He may smoke and get lung cancer and then blame the tobacco companies because they sold him the cigarettes.

The teaching of the Adamic nature has really helped man to release himself from the guilt of his sin.  If it is stressed to a person that he has Adam in him, and he has a sinful nature that he was born with, and that is what makes him sin, guess what he is going to realize sooner or later? He is going to say to himself, “It isn’t my fault, why, if Adam wasn’t IN me, I wouldn’t sin myself. It is this OTHER personality that was put in me that makes me sin, it isn’t ME. I’m not really responsible for my actions because Adam made me do it.” Surely, if Adam is in heaven and can get to God, he has come before Him thousands of times and said, “Lord, I didn’t make him do that. He is blaming me, but I didn’t have a thing to do with it.”

Some try to act like Flip Wilson and say, “the devil made me do it.” But that isn’t the truth either. The devil cannot make you sin, your flesh cannot make you sin, no Adamic nature can make you sin. You sin because you chose to do so of your own free will. You chose to satisfy your lusts regardless of the commands of God, or the consequences to other people. That makes YOU the sole responsible party in the matter.

When a person goes down this road of role-playing, excuse-making, or buck-passing it will eventually sear their conscience until they actually feel good about what they are doing, even though it is against the Word of God. You can preach to people now and deal with any certain sin, and they will sit there in the pew and nod their head and agree with you, but never acknowledge that they are guilty themselves. You can’t hardly bring people to the place any more where they will blush, be ashamed, and repent of their sin. People will sit in the pew and listen to the preacher rebuke a sin which they are committing in their life right now and you will not see any guilt or remorse come over them. They will not confess or acknowledge their sin in any way. People will sit in the church cold and apathetic in their hearts and the preacher will rebuke them from the Word of God about it, but they will not even acknowledge that they are cold and indifferent, let alone get right about it. People in the church drift away into worldliness and open friendship with the world, which is enmity with God, and yet they never stand and confess that they have strayed and are worldly and wrong.

Why aren’t people repenting in our day? Why don’t they blush? Why aren’t they ashamed? Why don’t we see revival anywhere? It is because people are saying in their hearts, “I am pure, I am clean.”  “I’m NOT GUILTY, I’m not wrong.” “It’s not wrong for me to live this lifestyle.” Our heads are held high, but they should be in the dust. How sensitive are YOU about your sin? How clear is God’s voice to your heart in these matters? Do you get rebuked by the Holy Ghost for the slightest thought you think or word you speak out of order? Can God just touch you and melt your heart over your waywardness and sin? Or are you right in your own eyes? Do you have need of nothing? If you have reached such a state it might be too late for you. You might have seared your conscience until you can’t hear the voice of the Holy Ghost. Today, IF you hear his voice, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS. There is no hope of revival until we are willing to confess and forsake our sins and accept the responsibility for our wrongs. That is the only way to forgiveness and cleansing. 


GO AHEAD ...You can sin and get away with it

That was really the message Satan gave to Eve in the garden. “Ye shall NOT surely die ...” God doesn’t REALLY mean what He said — you CAN sin and get away with it. God isn’t going to do anything about it. You would think after 6,000 years of experience and seeing what sin really does to people, men would finally wise up to this lie of the devil, but we see that such is not the case at all. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth DEATH — EVERY time, no exceptions. But the gospel the people still want to hear the most is the one that will give them this same message. The preacher they seek after the most is the one who will echo Satan’s words in their ears:  “Ye shall not surely die.” While they profess to know God, but in works deny Him; while they claim to be redeemed, but continue in their sin; while they comfort themselves with the idea that they “are going to heaven when they die” yet remain as much in and of the world as any child of the devil, it sure is a comfort to them to hear “ye shall not surely die.” The devil doesn’t have to come to them with these words himself because he has plenty of mouthpieces in the pulpits of the churches.

“Once saved, always saved!” has brought forth so much rotten fruit that even those who truly believe in the doctrine of eternal security are ashamed and blush to hear these words. The very basis of “once saved, always saved” is “ye shall NOT surely die” even though you live in continual, habitual sin for years after your “conversion.” You CAN sin and get away with it — God isn’t going to do anything about it. Whether you like it or not; whether you believe it or not, THAT IS the message that is understood by most people when this doctrine is taught in this distorted manner. Look at how the young people have turned out that have grown up in the fundamental Baptist churches. By far the majority of them live as if they believe they can sin and get away with it — you know they do! They really don’t believe that God is going to do anything about it either.

There is eternal security for the BELIEVER, and for no one else. There is no way you can take the Bible and give security to an unbeliever, yet that is what most try to do using the doctrine of “once saved, always saved.” A believer is clearly taught in the Bible as one who is believing in Christ RIGHT NOW. A believer is not someone who made a start and believed one time at some point in the past, but now doesn't care a thing about God or his church. That person is an unbeliever.
(1 John 2:19)  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Woe to the preacher, or any person, who tries to twist and wrest the Scriptures to give such a person “security!” What an ungodly, wicked, and stupid thing to do! Here is a person who is deceived and deceiving themselves and then someone who claims to have understanding about the things of God and the way of salvation echoes to them the very words of the devil that brought sin into the world in the first place. Get mad, holler and scream, disagree with what is being said here if you want, but whether you like it or not, “THE SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL SURELY DIE,” GOD says so. God also says, “SIN, WHEN IT IS FINISHED BRINGETH FORTH DEATH” — EVERY TIME, NO EXCEPTIONS, AND NOBODY IS EXEMPTED!

Surely there is someone reading this now who says to themselves, “this ignorant hillbilly doesn’t understand the gospel at all.” Let me say that if you understand the gospel to be an exemption from the penalty of sin, and therefore, a license to continue in sin, you are the one who is deceived. You are deceived by your corrupt education that you received at the feet of false teachers, and you are deceived by the pride of your heart because you think you have such a higher understanding than some of us poor dummies who still think sin is 100% deadly. You are as deceived by the devil as Eve was!

Eternal security is a true doctrine that has been distorted, added to, and used to destroy the foundations of the gospel message. The distorted teaching of this doctrine has changed salvation from a life-changing deliverance from the bondage of sin to nothing more than a little ritual, basically no different than the Catholics. Say a little prayer, acknowledge a list of facts, and you are in, and on your way to heaven, no matter what happens from now on. You may not set foot inside a church the rest of your life, but you made a profession of faith, and no one can say you aren’t saved now. You are going to heaven, “whether you want to or not.” “You may go kicking and screaming, but you are going.” “You may go early, but you ARE going to heaven.” HOGWASH! You better not be so foolish as to believe the devil on that one! It is the same thing he told Eve 6,000 years ago!

Hey, if you don’t believe this, then why do you tell saved people to ask forgiveness from God when they sin? Didn’t He forgive them their past, present, and future sins when they got “saved?” That is what you told them. Maybe you better go back and think that one over, too, ...huh? Preachers preach a distorted view of eternal security and then try to put a little fear back into people about sin by threatening them with “chastisement,” saying, “God will chasten you if you live in sin.” But at the same time they refer all the time to people as “saved” who are living in continual, open, habitual sin, and prospering well in the world. The young people, and multitudes of others who have passed through our ranks, have watched for a while now and listened to this phony baloney and they have rejected it’s powerless message. If it is true that God chastens only HIS children, (and it IS true) then that means there aren’t many of HIS children in the modern church, because there aren’t many who are being chastened, and everybody knows it. God chastens us to straighten us out and He knows what will work. What I hear described as chastisement these days doesn’t usually work this way.

The only hope is to get some reality back in our Christianity. When Ananias and Saphira lied to the Holy Ghost they dropped dead on the spot, and it put fear in everybody. There is no fear of God in our churches today. He is a great big, cuddly, kind and gentle old man upstairs who doesn’t do anything about sin but forgive it. So search your message REALLY well and see if the people are hearing, “Go ahead and sin, you can get away with it — God isn’t going to do anything about it.” We can’t MAKE people live right, but we sure can try to make them realize there WILL be fearful consequences if they don’t. Make sure your message is pure and FROM GOD. God will not give people this message. There was a vast difference in what God told Adam and Eve and what the serpent told Eve. The words were similar, but the message on the receiving end was completely different. That is what has happening in our churches for years and we are beginning to reap the harvest now.   Make straight the way of the Lord, — John 1:23


Imagine a World Without a Television

I was looking at a photograph of my great-great grandpa and I began to think about how different his world was from the world I live in now. One of the first things I thought of was he never saw or heard of a television. He never spent one evening, or one minute of his life staring at a screen with his mind in neutral while someone else pumped their philosophy and foolishness into it. Imagine what a different world it would be if there were not a single television on the face of the earth. If you came into any town, anywhere, you would find the people passing their time in other things, the way they used to before this wonderful invention arrived to plague mankind and corrupt the entire human race in the space of one generation. If the weather were warm they would be sitting on their front porch doing things like reading, crocheting, singing, whittling, or actually talking with the rest of their own family! The non-stop noise and music of commercials and beginnings and endings of programs would be missing and in it’s place would be the sound of birds singing and frogs crocking, or crickets singing. You might hear the little children playing their make-believe games that kids do when they aren’t mesmerized by a television.

If you struck up a conversation with someone you would find out right away that they are actually able to think and carry on an intelligent conversation that isn’t full of some filth or far-out nonsense they heard from some pervert on the Oprah Winfrey show. Not only that, but they would have time to talk to you and would actually look at you while you talked instead of at the TV that is blasting across the room. You would find that most people would agree on right and wrong and many other things besides. There would not be nearly the level of profanity and blasphemy in the mouths of the people anywhere. There would not be the confusion that we see in our world now, because without a television people would have to read to find out things, and not everyone will read. But any moron will sit in front of a TV like a statue and let their mind be controlled, programmed and influenced by whoever is on the thing.

It is the Devil’s pulpit and he uses it very effectively. It has the power to persuade someone to accept, as normal, something as abominable and disgusting as the sin of sodomy. It has the power to replace the good morals of someone who was raised and taught to be a lady with lower morals than those of a barnyard animal. It has the power to influence children to take knives and guns and stab and kill each other and their parents. It can convince a man to pierce his ear and wear an earring. It is able to convince people of all ages to punch and cut holes in their bodies like savages in a jungle and hang rings and pins all over themselves. No one can argue against the fact that television always glorifies stealing, lying, adultery, fornication, drinking, doping, smoking, cursing, blasphemy, and any other sin that can be imagined. At the same time, no one can argue against the fact that television always belittles and mocks at any kind of virtue or righteousness. Yet to find a television in a home that professes to be “Christian” is very much the norm — not unusual at all. It is the very center of the activities in these homes as well. It is much more poisonous than a deadly viper, yet it is more welcome in the home than the Word of God, the pastor of the church, or the Lord himself. It is the teacher of the children and the instructor of Mom and Dad. It is what tells them how to dress, what to do for fun, what to buy, where to go on vacation, what to eat, and how stupid that preacher at the church is. The television tells them which public figures to like and which ones to hate. Invariably, any public figure who makes any kind of stand for righteousness and against the wickedness of our day is one who is to be despised and hated, and he or she is attacked unmercifully until they are destroyed. One the other hand, those who are held in high esteem, envied by everyone, and looked up to as role models for the children, are always immoral, filthy mouthed, disease-riddled perverts, with earrings in their ears and noses, and a lifestyle that would make an animal ashamed to identify with them.

Is it any wonder that our world is in the awful mess it is in? Where is the salt of the earth? Why, they are sitting in front of their televisions, just like the rest of the world. If they’re not in front of the TV you will probably find them in the video section at the supermarket or drive by the video rental store you will see them there elbowing their way through the crowd fighting for the same husks that the devil feeds his children with. What an influence they are! What a testimony! They have lost their savour and are good for NOTHING. The world would be better off with NO witness than a witness like that.

Imagine how much more effective the church would be if there were no televisions. We could announce a meeting and people would actually come. They wouldn’t be sitting in their houses hypnotized by the devil’s eyeball from the moment they walk in the door until they go to bed. They would actually enjoy getting out and socializing with other people and listening to someone who would challenge their mind and encourage them to do right instead of wrong. But those days are gone. This world seems to be under the total control of the devil now, and the church is going right along with him, and offering very little resistance. Missionaries are coming home by the droves and churches are closing all over. The arms of the church that used to reach out to the world are being drawn in like the legs of a spider that has just been swatted and is dying. For those who refuse to drink of the devil’s cup and eat at his table, it is going to be rough from here on out. Sometimes I wish I could have been born a hundred years earlier and lived in the world the way it always was until 40 - 50 years ago, but then it occurs to me that mine eyes will surely see the coming of the Lord. “Lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” 


More on Suicide

Suicide is the modern word for MURDERING one’s self. It is a nicer sounding word than murder, just as “gay” is a nicer sounding word than sodomite. Just as many try to smooth over the murder of millions of innocent babies each year by calling it abortion, many in our day are sympathetic and even justify murder in the form of suicide. How can a person be against abortion and FOR suicide? They are both MURDER!

We are now even hearing from some of the “brethren” sympathetic statements and excuses for someone who murders themselves. Somehow things have been twisted around so that now we all feel that our bodies are OURS to do with what we will. That is the logic of the feminists who rabidly fight for their “right” to an abortion. Our Bible tells us that our bodies belong to God, and we are not our own, but we’ve been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your bodies… and you don’t do that by murdering yourself.

The one who is a follower of Jesus Christ is to deny himself and take up his cross. The first step in the Christian life is to begin to overcome selfishness, which is the root of all sin. Murdering oneself is the ultimate act of selfishness. It is what people do when they don’t want to face what lies before them. It shows that they don’t believe God’s grace is sufficient, and therefore they don’t have a God that is bigger than their problems. That doesn’t speak well of their faith at all. Yet we are hearing all the time about pastors and other “Christians” murdering themselves, and it is spoken of as if they were good Christians — just had problems. Where is anybody with any sense?! Would you say the same thing of an abortion doctor? Would you feel the same way about a wild-eyed Arab terrorist with a machine gun? Of course not! Then how could anyone with a sound mind, and knowing the Scriptures, identify with and feel sympathy with those who murder themselves?

Just as our “Christian” liars try to justify themselves with Rahab (a harlot) Rachel (who was lying to hide the gods she wanted to worship), those who would justify suicide look to Samson. Like all those who “oppose themselves” they have to twist the Scriptures and ignore the facts in order to come to such a conclusion. First of all, Samson’s motive in what he did was not to kill himself, rather to do in the enemies of God, and he was commended by God for that. Samson’s death cannot be compared in any way to our modern suicide which has become an epidemic. These people are murdering themselves because of their own selfishness and rebellion against God, but Samson died as a soldier. He would have been given the Congressional Medal of Honor for what he done, but you could hardly give honor to someone who locks themselves in a garage with their car running until they die. These people leave behind wives and children, mothers and fathers who have to live with the shame, the pain, and the loss cast upon them by the selfish, cowardly murderer who takes his own life. He doesn’t deserve to be thought of any differently than any other murderer, because that is what he IS.

God’s preachers better wake up and start telling people the truth about this matter. They better quit giving the impression that God is of the same opinion as Dr. Kevorkian, because He is NOT. Suicide is NOT an option, any more than adultery is an option, or stealing is an option. It is SIN and God does not take it lightly. Life belongs to God who gave it, and it is up to HIM when it is time for it to end. No one chose the time they came into this world and no one should chose when to leave. The person who takes his own life is slapping at the face of God and making HIMSELF God in the matter. He is committing the ultimate act of rebellion against his Maker. It is the last testimony. It tells the world that he doesn’t trust God or have any hope in Him. It tells us all that he doesn’t believe the Bible, because if he did, he would certainly find what he needs there to pick up and go on. It tells us that he loves himself more than he loves his family, because in his mind he is putting his own desires and comforts above their feelings and suffering the rest of their lives. The person who commits suicide is a MURDERER, and a very cold-blooded one.

Provoking Thoughts  is a publication of Midway Bible Baptist Church,  P.O. Box 419,  Fishersville, VA  22939.

Midway Bible Baptist Church

Pastor: 540-943-3064
Church: 540-943-1678

Pastor Owen
OR Bro. Mike Miller


Midway Bible Baptist Church
P.O. Box 419
Fishersville, Virginia 22939

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