PCC-Making An Eternal Difference

  


Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. NLT

 

There is an unseen battle that takes place everyday in the lives of those who are truly striving to live their lives in accordance with the Bible, God’s Word. We will either succumb to the pressures that this world hurls against us and conform to ungodliness or we will be transformed in our minds, that our behavior might be pleasing to God. This battle can be especially intense for young people who are in their formative years and are making choices and decisions that will determine who they are and ultimately, where they will spend eternity.

I am so thankful for Pacific Coast Camp, which I was privileged to be able to attend last week with my family and other members andoung people from our church. I can’t remember the exact number of campers (ages 7-25) that were there, but I know it was over 300. Most of the young people that attended have already received their initial salvation experience of repenting of sin, being baptized in the name of Jesus and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. However, there is a whole lot more to living for God than obeying Acts 2:38. We still have a sinful nature to contend with and a devil that does all he can to hinder our salvation experience from becoming a growing and wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. At Pacific Coast Camp, young people were given an opportunity to disconnect from the hindrances of technology(cell phones, ipads, ipods, MP3 players, etc.) and connect with God through the preaching of the Word, prayer, praise and good fellowship.

The teaching of Bro. Lackey each morning and the preaching of the good elders in the evening services was outstanding. It was so uplifting to see the response to each message as young people would flood to the altars to rededicate themselves to God. How helpful it is for young people as well, to see other youth from different churches who are endeavoring to live for God too. It is encouraging to know that you are not alone in choosing to walk in a way that is contray to the practices of this world.

I am grateful to the men that had the burden and vision to bring this camp into existence. This was the camp’s 10 year anniversary, and I believe it was our 6th year of being in camp with a group of young people from our church. There is much time, work and sacrifice involved in putting together such a powerful meeting, and I know God does reward and will reward those who played a part in it.

I believe the greatest reward will be seeing those that make it to heaven, because something they received at camp got embedded deep in their spirits, and they remained faithful. Thank God for Pacific Coast Camp!

A New Testament Memorial Day

Have you ever prayed for something for a long time and have just grown weary of praying?  Have you ever prayed and asked the question, “God, when are you going to bring it to pass?”   I wonder if Cornelius ever felt this way.  The Bible describes the character of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 and verse 2.

 

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

  I looked up the word “prayed” in this verse in Strong’s Concordance and the meaning was to beg, beseech or petition.  It appears there was something that Cornelius was desperately seeking God for, and he did it on a continual basis.  The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what Cornelius was praying for, but it does tell us there came a day when an angel of God appeared to him and told him that God remembered all the times that he had prayed.

Acts 10:3  He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. Acts 10:4  And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 

 

 Although we may not know exactly what Cornelius prayed for, we do have the record of how God chose to answer his prayers.

 

Act 10:5  And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: Act 10:6  He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. 

 

 Cornelius was told to send for Peter and that Peter would tell him what he needed to do.  Cornelius was about to have his Memorial Day!  In the meantime, God was preparing Peter to be the answer to Cornelius’ prayer as he showed him a vision and then sent 3 men to Peter who would escort Peter to the house of Cornelius.  (See Acts 10:7-24)

 

After a brief discourse between Peter and Cornelius, Cornelius begins to preach Jesus unto him.  While Peter was preaching to Cornelius and his household, the Bible records something wonderful that happened. Act 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Act 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  God’s spirit was poured out on Cornelius and those in his household that had heard the word of God preached.  They of the circumcision(in other words, the Jews)which were there with Peter were astonished because this was the first time that a non-Jew(Gentile)received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  How did these other Jewish men that were with Peter know that Cornelius and the others who were with them had received the Holy Ghost?  Verse 46 gives us the answer.

 

Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

 

Notice though, that this is not the end, for this verse concludes with “Then answered Peter,”.    God still had more for Cornelius. Act 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Act 10:48  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 

What a glorious Memorial Day for Cornelius and his family!  If it was anything like the day that I was baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost, I know it was an awesome, unforgettable day.  I believe Cornelius’ prayers were answered in a far greater way than he ever expected.  God certainly honored the faithfulness of this man.

 

Is there something that you have been praying about for a long time?  Perhaps there is a loved one that you long to see come to God.  Maybe you are in need of a physical or emotional healing.  You may already have a relationship with God, but you are just desirous and so hungry for  more of Him.  May you be encouraged to keep asking, seeking and knocking.  God still answers prayer and He would love for there to be a  Memorial Day for you too!

Memorial Day 

 

It’s coming – Memorial Day

Cornelius, do not cease to pray

Prayers sent up to God have been heard

Every cry of your heart, each word.

 

 

Though answers may seem far away

It’s coming – Memorial Day

In faith keep on lifting your voice

And soon you’ll have cause to rejoice.

 

 

In our flesh we may groan, grow tired

Let this grand thought keep you inspired

It’s coming – Memorial Day

In spite of the seeming delay.

 

 

Now brought to life, to fruition

You have received your petition

No longer do you have to say

It’s coming – Memorial Day!

 

 

Written 5-27-07

Fruit That Will Remain

Some have started and departed.

This caused our heart to pain.

We still believe God to give us

fruit that will remain.

 

Others partook and then forsook.

From truth they turned away.

But we’re trusting in the Lord

for souls to be planted and stay.

 

They will not cease, our prayers;

petitions, groanings and tears.

Lord, help us do what we can

to share your salvation plan.

To those that have not heard,

if they’ll listen, we’ll teach your Word.

 

Help us work while it is day.

The world is growing dark.

Give us the words to say

to ignite in hearts , a spark.

 

Let this be our decision;

to reach together for souls.

Help us to catch the vision.

Please use our church as a whole.

 

To help men turn from darkness

into Your marvelous light

and have their sin stained garments

by Your blood, washed white.

 

And that each new born Christian

whether old or just a youth,

would grow in grace and knowledge,

and continue to walk in truth.

 

Then when we reach that heavenly home

where Jesus will rule and reign,

we’ll stand together side by side

with the fruit that did remain.

 

4/25/16

 

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

 

Bruisin’ # 2 – The Angel’s Joy

 

  “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. ” Luke 15:10

Last Sunday morning, we had a first time lady visitor come to service with her 2 youngest daughters. They were there for kid’s church and also stayed for the worship service and preaching. They all seemed like they really enjoyed the service, and it seemed like everyone from our church did their best to welcome them. This past Thursday night, we were blessed to have Bro. & Sis. Baker with us. They have been with us many times and are a favorite among our church folks. This lady who had been with us on Sunday came to this service with her 2 daughters and also brought her oldest daughter who is 17. We had a wonderful worship service, and Brother Baker was under the anointing preaching the Word of God. At the close of the preaching when the altar call was given, the 17 year old girl was the first to leave the pew, followed by her mother. These ladies knelt down and seemed to really be pouring out their hearts to God. Brother Baker encouraged them to repent, and I felt like they did. Now some would stop here and ask, “Well, did they get the Holy Ghost?” No, they did not, but I feel like they got to square one, which is repentance. If the angels in heaven rejoice over this, then why shouldn’t we? Of course we want to see them filled with the Holy Ghost, but true repentance is so very important and something that really needs to be emphasized in our churches. I know God has more in store for these ladies, and I am rejoicing that they took a step closer to God. If the angels rejoice over this, then you know the demons of hell must not be too happy. Thank you, Lord, for bruisin #2!

According To The Bible, Am I Born Again?

A couple of years ago, a lady from our church wrote an excellent Bible study dealing with this topic. I have obtained her permission to post it here. I believe this is the most important question we can ever ask ourselves, for the answer will affect our eternal destiny. Many churches today preach and teach a plan of salvation that does not line up to what the apostles originally preached and taught in the book of Acts. It is my prayer that each person who reads here will carefully consider what is written, and that you will as the Bible says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. (Philippians 2:12)

 

How to be Scripturally Born Again

(By Believing & Obeying the Gospel)

 

Before we can obey the Gospel we must know what it is. According to

I Corinthians 15: 1-4 the Gospel is the Death, Burialand Resurrectionof Jesus Christ.  In the Bible believing the Gospel (that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again), led one to obey the Gospel by Repenting – (Death), being Baptized – (Burial) in the name of Jesus and receiving the Holy Ghost – (Resurrection).

 

Believing and obeying the Gospel are inseparable as exemplified in Scripture.  In the book of Acts we can see how people were saved by believing and obeying the Gospel, as commanded by Jesus in the following scriptures:

 

v Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the nameof the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”

 

v Mark 16: 15-18 “Go ye unto all the world, and preachthe Gospel to every creature. He thatbelievethand isbaptizedshall be saved.”

 

v Luke 24: 45-49 “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentanceand remission ofsins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem and ye are my witnesses of these things.  And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

(The Promise of the Father is the Holy Ghost see Acts 1: 4-5)

 

v John 3: 5 – 7 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of waterand of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God…Ye must be Born Again”.

 

The above commandments were obeyed by the Lord’s disciples (Apostles) and recorded within the book of Acts for our observation.  The book of Acts is the blue print of the original New Testament Church purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. You can see verbatim preaching of the Gospel by the Apostles to a lost world for the very first time in the book of Acts….take a look for yourself.

 

The Gospelwas preached by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost

(Act 2:22-24). Those whobelieved the Gospel of Jesus Christ asked a simple question, “What must we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent (Death) and be Baptized (Burial) every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Resurrection)”(Acts 2:37-38).

 

v In his reply, Peter was telling believers how to obey the Gospel and be Born Again, according to the commandments given by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

 

When someone believed and obeyed the Gospel, the Apostles did not elaborate on that conversion in the book of Acts, but simply stated, “they believed” (see Acts 4:4, 5:14, 9:42, 11:1-18…etc). To the Apostles believing in Jesus meant someone had obeyed the Gospel and been Born Again of water – baptized and of Spirit – Holy Ghost.

 

When any part of a believer’s experience did not contain a birth of water and/or a birth of Spirit, then the Apostles would expound on what they did to correct that situation.  Such was the case in the city of Samaria when the whole city believed the Gospel and was baptizedyet they had not received the Holy Ghost.  Therefore, Peter and John came all the way from Jerusalem to pray for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. (Acts 8)

 

The city of Samaria’s conversion shows us that the infilling of the Holy Ghost does not necessarily take place the moment someone believes the Gospel because; the whole city believed and was baptizedyet did not receive the Holy Ghost. Therefore, we can deduct from this passage of Scripture that receiving the Holy Ghost is not always automatic when one believes, but rather a separate, distinct and necessary experience in the life of a believer.

 

Ask yourself this question, how did the Apostles know their new converts had not received the Holy Ghost?  There had to be observable evidence that was missing for the Apostles to know that something was wrong (Acts 8:18). To see what evidence the Apostle Peter used to determine that the Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost read Acts chapters 10 & 11.

 

Another example of believers missing something in their conversion can be seen in Acts chapter 19.  The Apostle Paul found some disciples of John the Baptist, and asked them, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you have believed?”  They said, “No”, so Paul tells them to “believe in Jesus”. They respond by being baptizedin thenameof the Lord and receiving the Holy Ghost.  This is a very clear example of how believers were Born Again of water and Spirit when they believed and obeyed the Gospel. Do we need to believe and obey the Gospel today?  See Romans 1:16, and II Thessalonians 1:8, for the answer.

 

On the day of Pentecost three thousand people believed and obeyed the Gospel and were added to the Church (Act 2). The city of Samaria believed and obeyed the Gospel, by being baptizedand receiving the Holy Ghost (Acts 8). When God made a believer out of Saul -Apostle Paul, he was baptized and received the Holy Ghost (Acts 9).  Cornelius and his household believed and obeyed the Gospel, when they were filled with the Holy Ghost, then baptizedin the nameof the Lord (Acts 10).  When John the Baptist’s disciples believed the Gospel and obeyed it, they were baptizedagain, but this timein thename of the Lord Jesus; and received the Holy Ghost (Acts 19).

 

Can you see the Born Again experience consisting of water and of Spirit in the above examples?  Jesus said, “Ye must be Born Again” (John 3:5-7) and left us wonderful examples of how in His Word!

 

God delivered me (Theresa Halstead) from drugs and alcohol the moment I believed and repented. I felt brand new inside and was falsely taught that I had been born again. However, when I saw the Born Again experience in the Bible by obeying the Gospel, I was baptizedin JesusnameNovember 1983, and on February 6, 1984, I received the Holy Ghostjust like Cornelius did in the book of Acts! (Chapter 10, see also Acts 2:39, Acts 15:7-9, Ephesians 1:13, John 7:38-39)

 

You too can be Scripturally Born Again today by believing and obeying the Gospel. This New Testament Born Again experience works the same way two thousand years later if you can act in faith to God’s Word. The gates of hell did not prevail against the church that Jesus built and purchased with His Blood (Matthew 16:15-18).

 

The Bible is simply… sound doctrine (II Timothy 4: 2-3).  The Word of the Lord endureth for ever and this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you (I Peter 1:22 – 25).  We (Christians) are built upon the foundation of the Apostles…(Ephesians 2:20).

 

Scripturally Born Again by believing and obeying the Gospel is etched in perfect detail, rooted and grounded in Scripture, available to all, forever settled in heaven and recorded for us in God’s Eternal Word – the Bible (Matthew 24:35).

 

We are committed to restoring faith in the Bible and welcome the opportunity to share with you the Word of God and answer any pertinent questions you may have.  Please contact Cornerstone Pentecostal Church at www.cornerstonepentecostal.org.

Food, Glorious Food!

Recently the youth of our church, and whoever else wanted to join them, went on an extended fast.(coupled with prayer, of course) I just love fasting, don’t you? NOT!! Okay, my flesh does not love it, but spirtually speaking, I know it does a lot for me, and it has definitely helped our church. As we were nearing the end of the fast, I was anticipating the “light meal” (chicken tortilla soup, Caesar salad, bread and a few other goodies) that we would partake of at our house. My, my, my, food certainly tastes good after you go without it for a few days! Going to bed last night, I was excited that I would be able to have my oatmeal with dates, walnuts and almond milk for breakfast. That might sound gross to you, but it’s one of my favorite things to eat in the morning. Anyhow, as I was thinking about food this morning, this Scripture came to my mind.

 

  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.  Job 23:12

It’s natural and easy to get excited about food, but how excited do we get about the Word of God? There is nothing like the Holy Bible, which is food for our souls.

His Word

-can encourage us when we are down

-gives us direction

-shows us the error of our ways

-will give us a better life on this earth, if we live by it

-will take us to Heaven one day, if we obey it!

 

I do need to fast to keep this flesh under subjection, but I’m thankful that I don’t have to go without the Word of God. It is so vital to my Christian walk that my soul would wither up and die without it. I will take all that I can get, through reading it on my own and hearing God called, Holy Ghost filled men preach it and teach it! Nothing else will feed the inner man like the Word of God. So get you some “soul food” today, and every day!🙂