Published by Andy Neckar
P.O. Box J  Hico, TX 76457
Vol. 8, Number 6. Nov -Dec, 2003
Editor: Andy Neckar


INSIDE THIS NEWSLETTER - 

1-MY SINS ARE EVER BEFORE ME
2-THE POWER OF THE LIVING GOSPEL OF CHRIST
3-CHRISTIAN OR DISCIPLE?

**********************************  

  MY SINS ARE EVER BEFORE ME
(Psalms 51:3)

Maybe some of you folks have heard the saying,” When the Devil reminds you of your past; remind him of his future.”

I think it is good for the child of God to remember their sins of the past, ever so often.

King David, the man after God’s Own Heart did.
Ps 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

The word, “ever” in this verse is tamiyd (taw-meed'); Translated in the KJ V as “continual, daily, perpetual, always.”

It does me good to recall my past.  It makes me very humble, and grateful to God for His longsuffering and His mercy. I came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ sometime before my 54th birthday. Do you know how many people die before their 54th birthday?

I sobered up in my 44th year of life here on this earth. (Oct. 21st, 1981)  Do you know how many drunks don’t live that long?  Do you know how many times I could have been killed in a drunken state?  I thank God for His longsuffering in keeping me alive until 1991. (my salvation date).  Here it is 2003, and I’m still kicking and praising His Holy Name.

I Thank God for His mercy and His longsuffering.

Here I am, living in America, a free country. I am a free man.  I still have the freedom to worship and speak openly about my God and His Son Jesus the Christ.  I have the freedom to have the CNV web site on the Internet for all the world to see. The Lord God not only saved me from the pits of hell, but He put me to work for Him in a small way.

He now only saved me from the pits of hell and put me to work for Him in a small way, but He made life much more livable and enjoyable for the wife of my youth.  He saved me, my wife Nita, and my three children.

I Thank God for His mercy and His longsuffering.

Yes, I want to remember my past.  I KNOW what I was.  I KNOW where I came from.  I KNOW what I did. None of it was worth a dung.  My sins are EVER before me.  They are the thorns in my side that keep me grateful and humble.

Folks, I KNOW where I was going, and I didn’t do NOTHING to get where I am today. I read the Bible.  I believed what I read.  I came to repentance and faith towards God and His Son Jesus Christ.

BUT--I read the Bible before.  Many times I have.  I had a reputation of a man who “knows his Bible”.  I read the Bible drunk and sober, but it never got me anywhere. It never changed me. What did I do different in 1991?  NOTHING.  I was reading the same Bible, the New American Roman Catholic Bible, and something happened.  WHY?  I don’t know, but I’m grateful it did.

GOOD GOD; that’s all I can say.

I get letters all the time about boycotting various businesses for selling products made by countries that persecute Christians and/or hold to slave labor. By buying these products, we are, in a way, having “fellowship” with infidels, they say. I say HOLD ON THERE.

Look who I fellowship with. How ‘bout this ole BODY of mine?  It ain’t saved, you know.  That’s right.  This ole body of mine ain’t going nowhere.  This old body of mine isn’t ever gonna get to heaven.  But look at me.  I LIVE in it. Sickening isn’t it.  It’s still the same old body that used to be a disgusting drunk, doing all the things disgusting drunks do.  Yeah, I sobered up 10 years before I got saved, but I still was a no-good sinner.  Things got somewhat better for the family, but I was still a selfish, self-centered man.

I Thank God for His mercy and His longsuffering.

I was eating some Hershey chocolate drops the other day, made in Hershey PA, the good ole USA.  Okay?  But the chocolate beans weren’t grown in the USA. Chocolate beans come from South and Central America. At one time the cacao tree (coca bean) was worshipped by the Mayans, who believed it was of divine origin (cacao is a Mayan word meaning "God Food"). The coca beans are grown and harvested in heathen nations and sold to manufactures here in the United States.

U.S. manufactures are sourcing out more and more of their work to foreign countries as time goes on. What can I do about this? NOTHING.

I believe if I can tolerate living in this sinful body, and feeding this body, and sleeping with this body, I can put up with eating those chocolate chips a bit longer.

 I am CHAINED to this old worldly body. What can I do about this?  SOMETHING.

I work to restrict the lusts of this body.  I work to constrain it. I, like the apostle Paul, put this ole body in subjection to the Spirit. (1 Cor 9:27)  I work to put it in subjection to my regenerated, justified spirit that lives in this body, and to the Spirit of God that lives there too.

This is personal discipline. Walking with God demands personal sacrifice, sacrifice of things not necessarily evil, but that which hinders a proper walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:16; 5:25)

If “my” spirit hates this ole body so much, think of how the Holy Spirit of God must feel. Come to think about it, the same as my spirit feels, I guess. I am made the “righteousness of God” through Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 5:21) THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.  ME?  Yeah me. Now THAT awes me.

Yeah, I remember back pretty often. I remember WHO and WHAT I was back then, and I am grateful for WHO and WHAT I am today, and HOW and THROUGH WHOM I got where I am today.

Humble? Yes. Meek?  I could use a lot more of meekness. You see, I can tolerate sinners, but the Pharisees of today I cannot.  I HATE hypocrites. Don’t fellowship with Balaam (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11) and call me brother.

Andy-
A messenger of Christ
Earnestly Contending For The Faith-Jude 1:3

*************************************************************

THE POWER OF THE LIVING GOSPEL OF CHRIST
[an excerpt  from “Play Safe With God”, a sermon by R. Paul Miller as published in the “Sword of the Lord” Oct 24, 2003 edition. http://www.swordofthelord.com/ ]

The Excerpt;
Whether it is sin in the form of evil companions, unholy ambi­tions, greed for money or the chain of a vicious habit, Jesus Christ is able to break the power of any chain.

In a meeting in Pennsylvania, a hardened sinner accepted Christ one night. He was a mill hand and worked with a tough crowd. He drank heavily, gambled, swore and lived a sad life. His home was a shambles. His children seldom had shoes. His wife was thin and frail.

The morning after he was saved, he went to the plant and was sub­jected to severe testings to drink and swear. The other fellows did all they could to break him down, but without success.

Finally one of them, who posed as a very smart chap, said, “Jim, you are too good a man to go crazy on religion. Don’t you know that the Bible is full of impossibil­ities? Why, the Bible says that at a wedding one time Jesus turned a lot of clear water into fine wine in just one second. Can you be­lieve that? Why, Jim, you know that it is scientifically impossible. It takes a year for nature to grow grapes. It takes years to make wine. How can you stand for such stuff?”

Jim scratched his head and replied, “I don’t know much about the Bible or about Jesus’ turning water into wine, but “He turned beer into bread in my home”. He turned “hate into love”, “fighting into affection”, and made a” par­adise out of the hell I have been living in”. This I know, for He did it for me.

*********************************************
Christian or Disciple?
[The following is excerpted from a sermon entitled "What Does It Cost?" by J.B. Buffington. It was preached in 1984 at Calvary Baptist Church, in Lakeland, Florida

The command of Jesus Christ in the Great Commission is to make disciples. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Mat. 28:19-20).

There is a vast difference between a convert and a disciple. Jesus said, "Follow me." He passed by Andrew and Peter and by James and Matthew and said, "Follow me." If we do not make disciples, we will never evangelize the world.

When we open the Scriptures, the word "disciple" occurs 269 times in the New Testament, but only three times do we find the word Christian." I think we should stop asking people, "Are you a Christian?" and ask them instead, "Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ?"

I sat on an airplane yesterday and witnessed to a young man. He had always been a Christian, he said, had always believed in the teachings of Jesus. I said, "Religion is one thing but religion will only take you to hell. You have to know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour." He said, "I don't feel bad at people who need church to get along, but I don't need it." The man doesn't know what salvation is.

If you follow Jesus Christ, it is going to cost you something, and if it doesn't cost you anything you are not following Jesus Christ! We have used the term "Christian" so much that I suppose that the devil wouldn't mind being called a Christian. Oh, that term "Christian" meant something in the beginning. It meant suffering; it meant separation.

We are more concerned today about converts, but converts to what? If a man is converted to Christ, he is converted to following Christ, and following Christ is following His Word. We need to tell people that it is going to cost something. We are afraid we will lost somebody. Tell them! Jesus told them! We deal with them and when they make a profession of faith we ask them, "Do you want to be baptized?" You didn't find that in the Bible. We put it in their minds that you don't have to be baptized. No sir, you don't have to be baptized to get saved, but if you get saved and don't have a desire to get baptized I am afraid for you. If you really got saved, you just got through turning your life over to the LORD Jesus Christ. That means He is Lord; He runs your life; He rules your life; what He says is an order. But we are afraid to tell them. Well, tell them! Tell them when they get saved. Tell them! I am tired of people making a profession of faith and they don't want to be baptized. Personal workers, tell them! What are you converting them to? You are telling them that they don't have to get involved, but the Great Commission is involvement. If you get saved, something happens in your heart and life!

Micky Cohen was a notable gangster. Somebody dealt with him about the plan of salvation and he finally got Micky to bow his head and pray a sinner's prayer. He told him, "If you will repeat this prayer after me, you can know right here and now that you will be reborn as a son of God and will live in heaven forever. You have seen the high life, Micky, but none of us have seen anything like heaven. Will you pray with me" To his surprise, Micky repeated the prayer. After that Micky went to a gospel meeting, and the preacher said, "You think you are good enough and that you have done nothing worthy of damnation. The fact is that you deserve the damnation of hell. There is no middle ground between heaven and hell. You are either on the road to one or the other. Tonight you have to make your choice, every man, every woman, every boy, every girl. You must make your choice between pleasure and Christ, between popularity and Christ, between money and Christ, between amusements and Christ, whatever is keeping you from the kingdom of God. You have to make a choice tonight, and if you refuse to make the choice, that very act means that you have already made the choice." That night, Mickey got angry and said to the man who had dealt with him, "You never told me that I had to give up my career or my friends. There are Christian movie stars, Christian athletes, so what is wrong with being a Christian gangster? If I have to give up all of that; if that's Christianity; count me out!"

We have given people the idea that you can get saved and it won't cost you anything, you can simply continue on your way. No sir, salvation is repentance. I'm going one way, and repentance is a 100% change of direction. Anything that doesn't turn you around is not repentance. All people are going the wrong way; they are going to hell; and repentance is a change of mind. It is saying, "I'm tired of going in that direction; I want to go in a new direction." If you say that you have gotten saved but you keep going in the same old direction, you have never repented! You have never changed your mind about sin, about self, and about God. Salvation is an about face. It turns you around in your life. Christ Jesus came to save us from our sins, not to save us in our sins.

  We are so mixed up that we are afraid we are going to lose somebody.

Then lose them! You can't lose them until you get them, and you don't get them by compromising.

***********************************************
[Editor]  My spirit has been grieved for many years now because of all those people that call themselves Christians, are giving “lip service” to the Lord Jesus when their heart is far from Him. (Isa 29:13; Matt 15:8; Mark 7:6)

All those people that call themselves Christian and claim that they love God, but do not make “an effort” to obey Him or to understand Him.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Ps 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

How can we have knowledge and understanding of Him unless we do the following?

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

How can we keep His Word if we don’t know His Word?

I offer a hint.
2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Don’t “read”. STUDY. Mediate on His Word.

Do you “do” His commandments or just “read” them.  Do you REALLY love God?

I Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Get the picture?  Loving God is not a human emotional love.  Loving God is KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS. And guess what?  It ain’t hard.  Why?  Because His commandments are not grievous.

They are not weighty, heavy, cumbersome, tiring, severe, cruel, brutal are even difficult.

I KNOW THIS because God told me so. Do YOU wanna hear God talk to you as He does to me?  You can, you know.

OPEN THE BOOK. (KJV Bible)  READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. STUDY. Okay? Okay!

Are your women modestly dressed or half naked?  Are you a cheerful giver or do you even give?  I speak of “giving” here. Tithing is not a New Testament principle of practice.  

Men, how much do you love your wife?  Enough to “dictate” to her? Is that it? Read Eph 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7 and Col 3:19

Women, what respect do you render to your husband? Read Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18 and 1 Tim 2:9.

Husbands and wives, these verses should get you started

Are you out of God’s Will?  If you are, are you being afflicted?

Ps 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

Are you being chastened of the Lord? Are you being punished, corrected, reprimanded and “hauled over the coals”? (Heb 12:1-16)

Is your “pastor” beyond reproach? 

A Baptist church in Granbury Texas has a pastor that loves having the preeminence.

3 Jn 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

I spoke unto this pastor when I baptized my longtime (45 years) friend  in Lake Granbury about 3-4 years ago.  I took my friend to church there a few times as it is close to his home and introduced him to this pastor.  I asked this pastor to disciple him and he never did.  He NEVER ONCE called on my friend.  I found out why.

It was because I was not a “duly ordained Baptist pastor”, and therefore I was not qualified to give him a scriptural baptism.  So he was not considered a “baptized convert” and was left to the wolves as far as this pastor was concerned.

It was in this church that my granddaughter was scheduled to be baptized in November 1993, and so me and mom (wife) went.  Before the baptism, the youth minister and another guy came running in dressed in overalls, one suspender loose and one breeches leg rolled up “hillbilly” style, and had a skit about “someone” to be baptized in “dangerous” waters.  There was much talk going on and one pulled a paper fish out of the baptismal tank behind the pulpit and spoke of man eating piranhas.  It was at this time that I walked out and my wife followed me.

My son put off the baptism.

They use the church van to go out and pick up the profane, who are scantly dressed, with spiked hairdos, and everything is “honky dory/a-okay.

Ezek 22:26 Her (pastors) priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Ezek 44:23 And they  (pastors) shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

Profane--  disrespectful  inappropriate  unbecoming,  impious, irreverent, misrepresent

Lev 22:9 They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them.

Baptist is a New Testament Ordinance.
Misrepresenting, defiling   the “solemn” “momentous”, “significant” ordinance of Baptism

This teaches us carefully to watch against all moral pollutions, because by them we are unfitted to receive the comfort of God's sanctuary. Though we labour not under habitual deformities, yet actual defilements deprive us of the pleasure of communion with God; and therefore he that is washed needeth to wash his feet <Jn. 13:10>, to wash his hands, and so to compass the altar, <Ps. 26:6>. Herein we have need to be jealous over ourselves, lest (as it is observably expressed here) we profane God's holy name in those things which we hallow unto him, v. 2. If we affront God in those very performances wherein we pretend to honour him, and provoke him instead of pleasing him, we shall make up but a bad account shortly; yet thus we do if we profane God's name, by doing that in our uncleanness which pretends to be hallowed to him.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary)

Still Earnestly Contending For the Faith –Jude 1:3-to all that will give ear.

Andy Neckar-A messenger of Christ

  We Must Earnestly Contend For The Faith - Jude 1:3

Distributed by CNV News Service, an outreach of Messengers of Christ Ministries.
These articles may be used in any manner to the glory of God, and as an aid in the discernment of the times.
News Item headings (if any) and Editor comments (if any) are mine. - Andy Neckar, CNV News Service