Thursday, October 3, 2013

Exalt the Lord! 9/28/2013

The CBC Evangelism team was blessed to be prayed for by the entire congregation at Saturday night's Exalt celebration. While the Team was out bringing the gospel to Downtown Burbank, the CBC Choir, under the direction of worship leader Tim A., lifted up their voices in praise and prayer to our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Regular team members included Mark, Dean C., Sai, Jeremy, Dean S., Dr. Jack, and Steven V.

Later, we were blessed to be joined by our friend Richard, who has been preaching with Dean's Team in North Hollywood on Thursday nights.

Every week we are blessed to witness a remarkable display of the Holy Spirit at work. Almost 40 bibles were given out to those who came up and requested them.

News Front

Our newest team member, Jeremy, has been keeping us updated on the progress of the legal actions being taken against his Father's bakery business in Colorado. Here is a recent Wall Street Journal article on the topic.

Here are some other recent news stories:

It is interesting to note that the homosexual movement is often represented by the rainbow, which, intentionally or not, is a mocking reference to God's promise not to judge the world again, by water (Genesis 9:13-16). How long will the Lord hold back His judgement upon sinful mankind by other means? (See Romans 1:27)

For the benefit of any reader who is unfamiliar with the Bible, the apostle Paul specifically includes the sin of homosexuality in a list of sins which God will judge and punish with eternal separation in hell.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

The Lord is cautioning all of us here. Who among us is not guilty of at least one of the sins in this list? The text continues:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

John MacArthur observes: "Though not all Christians have been guilty of all those particular sins, every Christian is equally an ex-sinner, since Christ came to save sinners. Sanctification results in new behavior, which a transformed life always produces. Sin's total domination is broken and replaced by a new pattern of obedience and holiness. Though not perfection, this is a new direction. Justification refers to a new standing before God, in which the Christian is clothed in Christ's righteousness. In Christ's death, the believer's sins were put to Christ's account and He suffered for them, so that His righteousness might be put to our account, so that we might be blessed for it."

So then, why is it important to take a moral stand over something as seemingly insignificant as a cake? In doing so we witness to the truth of Jesus Christ and the wages of sin in all our lives. We are witnesses to the preeminence of Christ over His creation, and the need for all to come to repentance. Not to do so would be to elevate some other thing, e.g. prosperity, man's approval, or simple self-preservation, above the sacrifice and Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Imagine a slightly different scenario: A neo-Nazi group seeks to commission a cake celebrating Hitler's birthday, from a small Jewish bakery in New York. Should the baker be coerced by law into providing a service for a cause he finds abhorrent and which compromises his deepest beliefs? Conversely, if a bakery was run by a homosexual couple and they were approached by the Westboro Baptist Church to provide a cake with anti-gay slogans emblazoned upon it, should they not be allowed to refuse to provide service to that customer?

The question for believers really becomes: At what point do we, as true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, refuse to obey the law of man, and instead obey the Law of God? Our Lord, speaking to his disciples, within the context of describing the time of His return, said this:

You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. (Luke 21:12-15)

James, the oldest half-brother of Christ said:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1:2-3)

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 NKJV)

Of course, an underlying assumption to these encouragements is the necessity of close familiarity with God's Word through study, with His Son through prayer, and with the ability to articulate the saving Gospel through the regular practice of evangelism.

Our Latest Innovation

On a lighter note, we offer a tip of the 180 hat to Dr. Jack for asking the question that resulted in this new idea. The main amp was aimed very effectively toward San Fernando Blvd. to be heard by all those who were entering the mall area, and even those across the street. By aiming it that direction we avoided blasting the alfresco diners at the restaurant opposite. Jack pointed out that those who were further down the mall toward the theaters couldn't hear us at all. Next thing you know, the backup Fender amp was set up as illustrated above. The mic is picking up the output of the amp, and so those down-mall were blessed to hear the preaching and heckling clearly.

Please join us! Saturday, October 5, 6pm @ Burbank Police Dept. parking lot for prayer and then witnessing in beautiful Downtown Burbank. See you there!

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