Another Appeal

Our text this morning is Mark 11:27 – 12:12. The parable in this text, and the reaction to it, teaches us that to hear the gospel routinely preached is simultaneously a blessed and a dangerous thing. Dangerous because there is no neutrality with the gospel, and regular exposure to it will either soften or harden your heart. Blessed because only the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation!

The original hearers of this parable had hearts as hard as stone. These hard-hearted religious rulers rejected their Messiah and would have arrested Him but for their fear of the fickle crowd’s reaction (Mark 11:18). Instead, they left Him and went their way.

By now, their hatred for the Lord Jesus was palpable. Their contempt was no longer concealed. While some men were drawn to Jesus, these men were repulsed at Him. They heard the same marvelous words. They witnessed the same miraculous works, but there was no broken-hearted, joyful acceptance of the Lord for them. Instead there was only anger fueled by arrogance. He had not sought their approval. He did not toe their line. He did not behave according to their code. He ignored their traditions. He disrupted their domination of all things cultural and religious. He had interrupted their lucrative business enterprises in the Temple. Follow this Man? Not hardly. They wanted Him destroyed. They would not honestly compare His words and actions with the scriptures. Instead, they would present an accusation that masqueraded as a question.
 
Be tuned in on facebook.com/BBCMountVernon at 11am this morning to follow along.

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One Sick Prophet

Except for Jesus Himself, there are no better examples of commitment despite difficult circumstances that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Their story of  faithfulness in a faithless age is told in Daniel one through six. That is where we find those famous passages of the fiery furnace, the writing on the wall, and the lion’s den.

Daniel 7-12 is mostly prophecy, and nearly all of it was future prophecy when Daniel first received his visions. While much of what he saw has been fulfilled, some is still on front of us. God gave Daniel a glimpse of where history is headed. All things are headed to an appointed end, and everything is on schedule. The history that unfolded before Daniel’s eyes while in the spirit, on the banks of the Ulai River in the city of Shushan, made him physically ill. By the end of chapter eight, Daniel is one sick prophet.

That’s because he saw three men, represented by three horns: a large horn, followed by a little horn, and then the last horn. The first two dictators were historical previews of the final false messiah, a man whose evil behavior is greater even than any before him. Now this is a good spot to be reminded that many prophecies in Scripture have dual characteristics to them. That is an immediate and an ultimate fulfillment. That is the case in Daniel eight. While all three of these men were in the future when Daniel received his vision. As far as we are concerned, the first two have come and gone long ago. The last one is yet to be revealed.

One Sick Prophet

Why would God give Daniel a vision so terrible that it made him physically sick? I think there are at least three reasons:

  1. Prepare them for persecution. Things will get worse before they get better.
  2. Warning not to panic. Don’t be confused by historical trends. History is happening according to God’s design.
  3. The Kingdom is coming! The Ancient of Days will deliver the Kingdom to the real Messiah, and all false messiahs will be finally and utterly put down and out forever.

Tonight we finish our study of Daniel 8. There is much to learn from the vision that made Daniel sick. Be tuned in tonight at 7pm on Facebook Live to follow along. Remember, a Facebook account is not required to view a live-streamed video on the church’s Facebook page. Click this link to be directed there.


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Jesus in Jerusalem

This morning at 11am we will be in Mark 11:11-26. The King had entered Jerusalem. Without doubt, His procession was the lowliest and meekest of any monarch in history, but the timing and the manner of His coming were according to the Divine plan. We must not confuse the meekness of Christ with weakness. Jesus was the master, not only of Himself but of every situation. Today’s text reveals His awesome authority and His burning zeal for the things of God.
 
Christ’s cursing the fig tree and cleansing the Temple are well known events. They also may seem confusing or even contradictory. We will allow the text to teach us important truths from a cursed tree and a cleansed Temple. Be tuned in at 11am on Facebook or through this website. 
 
We will not be have in-person services again until Wednesday, August 12.

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In Person Services Postponed

From Wednesday, July 29 through Sunday, August, 9 the Bible Baptist Church will not hold in-person services. Our online presentations will be Sunday mornings at 11am and Wednesday evenings at 7pm during those two weeks. 
 
Several folks from the church have recently tested positive for COVID-19. This has prompted the schedule change. Our desire is to minimize the virus’ spread within our congregation and community. These cases have come at once instead of spread out over time. That increases my concern, and prompts this action.
 
For over two months we have gathered on Sunday mornings. We have slowly and systematically re-engaged our other services and ministries over that time. Suspending our in-person gatherings is taking two-steps backwards. That rarely feels right, but this decision has not been made based on a feeling. Sometimes we have to step back so that we may move forward better. That is what we are doing. 
 
These are unusual days. While pandemics are not new to humanity, this is the first time we have been forced to walk this path. Let’s go forward with a united voice and spirit, trusting our good, wise, and sovereign God all the way. Let’s pray and sing as King David did: “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.” Psalm 86:11-12

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Here Comes the King!

Jerusalem was jumping. Always was at Passover. Those from the region and from far away, journeyed to the city on a hill. It was time to observe the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This year, however, was unordinary. That was due to Jesus of Nazareth. This man spoke like no one else. He did things no one else could do. And He was on His way.
 
Recently, Jesus had been nearby in Bethany. There He called Lazarus, a man who had been dead for four days, back to life. More recently, in Jericho, He had given sight to blind Bartimaeus. But the people of Jericho did not know what was more amazing: blind Bartimaeus seeing or tax collector Zacchaeus repaying four-fold all the people whom he had cheated, and also giving half his goods to the poor. The air in Jerusalem was also electric because people were aware that the chief priests and Pharisees wanted to arrest Jesus. All of this conspired together to create a sensation as people watched the road, wondered to themselves and asked one another: “Do you think He will show?” (John 11:55-57).
 

Prophetically. Publicly. But NOT Pompously.

The Lord Jesus did show, and His public arrival not only frustrated the chief priests and Pharisees who wanted to stealthily swipe Jesus off the street so as to destroy Him after the feast, but it also fulfilled Messianic prophecies (Jeremiah 9:9; Psalm 113-118). While nothing was transpiring according to their plan, all of it was according to God’s plan. Everything about Jesus, from His birth to His death to His resurrection and all points in between, all happened according to the divine timetable. Obviously, that includes everything from His coming on the colt, to His cursing the fig tree, and to His cleansing the temple.
 
Mark 11:1-11 is this morning’s text. Come be with us!

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Missionary to Suriname Michael Kelley

Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
 
We are blessed to have Michael Kelley with us for this morning’s service. Bro. Kelley has been called by God to take the gospel to Suriname out of the Calvary Road Baptist Church of New Albany, IN. He and his wife Danielle were married in 2015, and have been blessed with a son, Donovan, and a little baby girl, Lael.
 
Bro. Kelley will preach and present his work this morning. He will also take your questions. Following this morning’s service we will receive a love offering for the Kelley’s.

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The King is Coming!

Daniel 7:13-14, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
 
On Wednesday evenings we have steadily walked through the book of Daniel. The first six chapters of that Old Testament prophecy have either taught or reminded us to cooperate with the culture without compromising on God’s Word. Daniel and his friends demonstrate the need to stand
  • out from the world.
  • up for God.
  • still for the solution He will provide.

A Prophetic Voice

In chapter seven the prophetic visions of Daniel begin, and they continue through the end of the book. Like last week, we will be in chapter seven again tonight. This chapter is pure prophecy. We learn that history will culminate with Christ receiving His kingdom. The Ancient of Days will grant to the Son of Man the Kingdom.
 
Daniel seven presents the history of man from Daniel’s time (in our past) to the time when Christ Jesus the Lord will receive and establish His Kingdom (in our future). This is a monumental sweep of prophetic history from Daniel’s day forward. So, we’ve been taking our time. Here is our outline for this evening.
  • The King is Crowned
  • The Kingdom’s Character
  • When is the Kingdom?

Join Us!

We hope that you will be with us at 7pm this evening. Our G.O.E. Teens (6th-12th) and SHinE Kids (K-5th) will be meeting in our Family Life Center at 7pm also. There is plenty of room for them to be responsibly distanced. We will meet in our sanctuary. If you have not felt comfortable returning to our in-person Sunday morning services, Wednesday night is a great option for you. There will be enough space to spread out. We hope you will be with us tonight as we sing, pray, and open God’s Word together.

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Back to Sunday School!

We hope that today is a 🇺🇸  Happy Independence Day! 🇺🇸 Our nation has been truly blessed, and ALL those who are citizens of and residents in this land are privileged.
 
This by no means suggests that the USA is now, ever has, or could possibly be perfect. The high ideals which undergird our nation and are codified in our founding documents have never been perfectly fulfilled.
Despite our many shortcomings, we have been a nation that provides freedom and opportunity for all like no other. Compare this nation with other nations instead of utopian notions. Actively and consistently treat all people with dignity and respect. I cannot undue my past, let alone my nation’s. I can act now and lay a precedent for the future that is one of honor and respect for others, including the rule of law.
 
As believers in America, let’s be thankful for our freedoms, and, most importantly, take advantage of our liberty for the cause of the gospel locally, nationally, and globally. Only the gospel is able to truly make men and women free. Let’s hold true to that faith, and be courageously committed to that cause.

Sunday school, Children’s Church, and SHinE are back!

Don’t forget as you celebrate the USA’s birthday that tomorrow is the Lord’s Day. He is the One from whom all blessings flow, and He is worthy of our worship. Don’t miss out, using the holiday as an excuse!
 
Tomorrow, July 5, also marks the return of our Sunday school classes, Children’s Church (pre-school ages), and SHinE (K-5th) ministries. The teens and kids will have their classes at 10am in the Family Life Center, and that is where Children’s Church and SHinE will meet at 11am.
 
Since tomorrow is the first Sunday back to Sunday school since the middle of March, as well as the Sunday following Independence Day, Pastor Travis will teach all the adults combined in the Fellowship Hall. That class will begin at 10am. We hope to see you there!

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Sacrificial Service

Our text this morning will be Mark 10:32-45. That passage reminds me, in a slight way, of a childhood visit to Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, IN. As the Clifty Creek runs into the Ohio River there are several waterfalls along its stretch. The two I remember are not cleverly named – Big Clifty and Little Clifty. Both are basically the same size, being right around 60’, but their beauty compensated for their lack of cleverness. More than that natural beauty, I remember the creek’s velocity as it accelerated towards each falls.
 
Likewise, as the earthly ministry of Jesus nears its climatic conclusion (the Passion Week is just around the corner) there is a frightening resolution about Jesus. Unique to Mark’s account is the vividly detailed snapshot of this event. Mark 10:32 does not simply tell us that Jesus and the Twelve went up to Jerusalem. Instead we read that “Jesus went before them.”

Going on Before

This is no leisurely stroll up to the holy city. Jesus purposefully strides ahead of His followers with an unwavering determination. His resolve intimidated the disciples; not because Jesus normally vacillated. Not at all! His followers were “amazed” and “afraid.”  They were unnerved by His unswerving commitment. They did not fully understand what was happening. We normally fear what we cannot fully explain it. But they sensed His commitment, and they could grasp that it required their commitment.

Jesus came down from heaven to do the will of the Father that sent Him. The “hour” that had been appointed in eternity past was fast approaching, and Jesus had set His face like a flint towards Jerusalem so that He might accomplish His Father’s will. As Jesus marched towards Jerusalem “He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him.” Our Lord described for them, now for the third time, exactly what it meant for the Son of Man to be lifted up.

Join Us!

That will be the focus of our time together in worship. Join us at 11am. You may also follow along online.
 
Just a reminder that next week we will resume our Sunday school classes at 10am and SHinE schedule (10am-Noon on Sunday morning, 7pm on Wednesday night). The vans will return for runs on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, but for children only. No adults on the vans for a little while longer. We apologize for the inconvenience, but are being purposefully gradual as we re-establish our usual routine.

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Now, That’s a Good Question!

This question was put to Jesus by a man who was eager, humble, respectful, sincere, and, oh yeah, rich, young, and a ruler. He rushed up to Jesus, kneeled, and inquired: “Good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
 
Some might squabble with his question. But there is nothing wrong with it. Salvation cannot be earned, nor is it deserved. Equally true is this. You must do something to be saved. Repent and believe. Repentance and faith are necessary for one to gain eternal life. Jesus said this from the beginning of His public ministry (Mark 1:14-15). Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. To be rescued from your sins, you must receive God’s grace through repentance from sin and faith in Christ alone.
 
So, this fellow asked a good question, and he asked the right Person. Too many people chase the right things down the wrong paths. There are so many counterfeit religions and so many devout followers of the same. This is because all of humanity, as beings made in God’s image, are hard-wired with an innate longing for that which is beyond us; that which is transcendent. A vast variety of methods (religious, moral, professional, carnal, even criminal) are employed in an attempt to satisfy that intrinsic longing apart from God’s way.
 
In spite of his status, wealth, and youth this man was unfulfilled. His was an anxious, restless heart. He knew that something was missing, and he understood that something was eternal life. 

Service at 11am (Livestream also)

Join us this morning at 11am up on the hill as we see how Jesus answered this sincere man’s eternally important question. This will help you to answer the question for yourself, and help you provide an answer to any who ask.

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