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May 012017
 

May 2017

Dear Friends,

Each year the first of May, I try to preach on marriage because my wedding anniversary is in May. After looking over the letter I sent you last year, I reached the decision to send it again this year. If you don’t save these monthly letters, here it is again for your consideration and thought.

Our country has gone “downhill” over the past year. It seems that we are sinking to lower and lower levels of practice and morality. I call on you who read this letter to determine by God’s grace and strength (see Psalm 46:1) that you will stand by the Bible’s teaching (see Ephesians 6:13) about morality.

Since it is Marion’s and my 54th anniversary and some other folks in our church also have been married over 50 years, the world in which we live has gone “crazy” with what it says about marriage and homosexuality and transgender beliefs; thus, I write to you on what the Bible has to say about marriage.

My object is not to be critical of those who don’t have perfect marital relationships. None of us have achieved that. This is about God’s ideal. Nor is my intention to alienate those who are not married. The Scriptures are very clear (see 1 Corinthians 7:1-9), there is a season for singleness, and in some cases God has gifted individuals for singleness.

My objective is simply to encourage fellow believers about God’s purpose and design for marriage, and that we must strive to uphold His ideal for this foundational and divine institution.

Marriage is in decline in our nation, unwed cohabitation and unwed births have grown enormously, and so has the number of children who grow up in fragile families.

The numbers are virtually the same for Christians and non-Christians when it comes to divorce. A study by Rutgers a few years ago stated: “As an institution, marriage has lost much of its legal, religious and social meaning and authority. It has dwindled to a couple’s relationship, mainly designed for the sexual and emotional gratification of each adult.” Marriage is no longer viewed as sacred or even special. The Supreme Court ruling saying it can be between any people – man and man, woman and woman definitely goes contrary to the teaching of the Bible (see Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7-8; Ephesians 5:31). No men and women sitting on their high chairs at the court can change the Bible’s clear teaching.

The question before us today is why should we hang on to and protect the institution of marriage? (see Genesis 2:18-25). God’s purpose for marriage is for male/female companionship. Adam was alone in the Garden of Eden. He had no one that was suitable for him so God made a female (Genesis 2:20b-23). Folks, marriage between a man and woman is God’s ideal. It is not something that evolved over time.

God designed marriage between a man and a woman to be the first system of interdependent human relations; as the primary relationship of the family.

Married individuals are not carbon copies of each other, but two people who are both being transformed into the image of Christ.

Let me share with you a brief outline from an article in the “Parsonage” by Focus on the Family some years ago:

God’s purpose in “two” becoming “one.”

1. Genesis 1:26-27 To Mirror God’s Image
2. Genesis 2:18; 1 Corinthians 11:11 To Mutually Complete One Another (mutual interdependence)
3. Ephesians 5:25-33 To Illustrate the Relationship Between Christ and the Church
4. Genesis 1:28a To Multiply Godly Legacy

It is critical that we as the church honor this Divine Institution for what it is: God’s purpose for His created order. This order is being challenged today, but please remember this—we can learn to live in civil harmony even with those who disagree with us on these important issues, and that it is our responsibility to love our neighbors (see Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39; Romans 13:9; and Galatians 5:14) and perhaps even more so when disagreements arise, remembering that the goal is to win your neighbor with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The coming days ahead appear to be troubled ones for Bible believers. However, the Scripture promises us in Psalm 46:1 “God is
our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” and in Psalm 62:7 “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”

Let me encourage you with the last words in Ephesians 6:13, “…and having done all to stand.” You can always stand in the strength the Lord will give to you daily if you just ask Him.

Standing for our Lord

 

 

Dr. Frederick W. Carroll
Pastor

Apr 042017
 

April, 2017

Dear Friends,

Countless people over the centuries have dreamed of immortality. Many have invested their entire lives trying to leave a legacy they hoped would span the eons of time. The truth is we will all live forever. But only those who have entrusted their lives to God and experienced His forgiveness have the hope of eternal life with Christ Jesus (John 1:12; 3:16-18). His followers can look beyond the pain, suffering and hardship of earthly life because these things will all pass away with their physical bodies (I Cor. 15:35-58). Those who do not know God do not have this assurance, because when they pass from this life their troubles will linger forever (Luke 16:19-31).

But when Jesus’ followers are taken from this life, they are transformed by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, so that they can enjoy eternity and immortality with Jesus.

A pastor in a Methodist church asked during the children’s sermon, “What happened to Jesus on Good Friday?” A little girl raised her hand and replied, “He died on the cross.” The pastor asked, “then what happened?” A little boy raised his hand and replied, “God recycled Him.”

Resurrection is really here…and now…because Christ has risen, indeed! One of the many joys of Easter is to find hope in our everyday living, even in the midst of our worries, woes, wars and weaknesses.

When we forgive others, feed the hungry, speak out about injustices, comfort the hurting, we are living the Resurrection, indeed!

When we share the joy-filled Word of hope to a friend in need, we are living the Resurrection, indeed!

When we take good care of our bodies, so that we are better able to serve others, we are living the Resurrection, indeed!

Daniel Akin, Dean of Theology at a Baptist seminary said, “When Easter is reduced to nothing more than a bunny, Easter eggs, and chocolate, we have reached a tragic day; because that is not what Easter was about to begin with and it is not what it should be about today.”

As we celebrate Easter and loudly proclaim, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed,” remember the many resurrections in our everyday living. Live it! Celebrate it! Indeed!

Wishing you a joyful and Resurrection-centered Easter season,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll
John 11:25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

Mar 012017
 

March 2017

Dear Friends.

There are a lot of changes taking place in our country since the presidential election. There are changes taking place in your families and in your personal lives. Change. The world is full of it. Someone said, “Perhaps it’s the only thing we can count on.” However, you can be sure of one thing: Our God is Unchanging. Consider God’s words in Malachi 3:6a, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” Think of where we would be if God were subject to change. It would mean that His promises were unreliable. He could decide that He no longer loves the world and reverses His promise of John 3:16. He could change His mind about our eternal security (see John 10:28).

Think with me about some of God’s attributes – and the fact that He says “I change not.” Then rejoice in the fact that we have a reliable and consistent Heavenly Father in Whom we can rest and trust.

God is a God of love, I John 4:8, 16. As a believer in Christ’s work on the cross for your sin, you are the special object of God’s love – and that will never change; praise the Lord!

God is a longsuffering Heavenly Father, Exodus 34:6, 7. Look up verse 6 and see what other characteristics are God’s. How about Psalm 86:15 “But thou, O LORD, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” How merciful and gracious and longsuffering the Lord has been with me over the years.

God is also merciful. What does Lamentations 3:22, 23 state? “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” So, in our churches we sing the wonderful hymn by Thomas O. Chisholm, “Great is Thy faithfulness.” Are you thankful for His mercies to you?

I mentioned John 3:16 earlier, now look at Psalm 86:5, where it states: “For thou LORD, art good, and ready to forgive.” Our Heavenly Father forgives our sin because of Christ’s work on the cross, and forgets them. In Jeremiah 31:34 the Lord says, “…for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember them no more.”

Remember: change is always for better or for worse; therefore, it is impossible for our God to change. He cannot improve or deteriorate in His deity – “…with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17b). Since God does not change, His “…faithfulness is unto all generations…” (to you and to me) (Psalm 119:90a). How wonderful! One writer stated, “Each morning you can rely on the patience, grace, and love of God. No matter how you feel, God does not change. His faithfulness endures forever!”

Resting in my unchanging Lord,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

Feb 022017
 

February 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

February is the month for Valentines – chocolates, a nice card, and dinner out for our loved one, because in our hearts we love them. February is also “heart month” when the medical profession reminds us to take care of that vital organ in our body.

These things remind me of a hymn by Eliza E. Hewitt, that was in our old hymnal – “Give Me Thy Heart”. The first stanza goes like this:

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Father above, No gift so precious to Him as our love;
Softly He whispers, wherever thou art, “Gratefully trust Me, and give Me thy heart.”
“Give Me thy heart, Give Me thy heart, hear the soft whisper wherever thou art:
From this dark world He would draw thee apart; speaking so tenderly, Give Me thy heart.”

Have you given your heart to God? Not the physical organ that pumps blood, but rather, the totality of your being to the Lord; (your desires and your personality) as the Old Testament, Deut. 6:5 and the New, Matt. 22:37 tells us to do; “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”. The Psalmist prayed to the Lord in 26:2, the, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins (mind) and my heart.” And in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” Just as you go to your doctor, and I go to my cardiologist, to see how my heart is doing, may I suggest that you ask God to check you out this month. He does this as you read the Bible and the Holy Spirit ministers to your spirit, by applying God’s Word to your life.

The prophet Samuel exhorts us to: “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you.” Take some time to “consider” all the wonderful things the Lord has done in your life – then “serve Him…with all your heart.”
The Psalmist said in 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; (is He yours today?”) my heart trusteth in Him, (exactly what are you trusting in today – your job, the government, the new president?) and I am helped (are you?) therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; (is yours?”) and with my song will I praise Him.”

Joshua reminded the people in 23:11: “Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.” The Psalmist said in 18:1, “I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength.” Is The Lord God Almighty your strength today?” He can be if you will love Him. Consider the words of God in Exodus 20:6, “…showing mercy unto thousands (that means you) of them that love Me, and keep my commandments.” How are you doing, following the teachings of God’s word? (See also John 14:15)

Jesus said in Matt. 6:21, “…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Do you treasure your salvation in Jesus Christ, sent from the loving Father? (see John 3:16). Where is your heart this day in February – heart month” Always remember the words of 1 John 4:19, “we love Him, because He first loved us.”

Rejoicing and basking in God’s love,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll