January 19, 2015 by Paul Chappell
If we can learn anything from the first-century churches of Asia Minor, it is the propensity of Christians and churches toward decline.
As you read Revelation 2–3, you see churches that were started in the days of the apostles already seeing sharp spiritual decline in that first generation.
But if there is one other thing we can learn from these churches, it is that Christ cares about the condition of the church and that He desires to revive His church.
Notice these instructions the Lord gave to the church at Sardis through the Apostle John:
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.—Revelation 3:2–3
These are words of hope. They speak to God’s willingness to revive Christians and local churches that were once vibrant in their faith but are now faltering in their love and loyalty for Christ.
To the church at Sardis, Christ laid out for them the path to spiritual restoration in five specific commands that would bring revival: (more…)
Category: Christian Life
Tags: Christian Walk, Church, revival | Comments (0)
December 31, 2014 by Paul Chappell
I’m not much of a slow-down-and-look-back person. Ask me right now about God’s greatest blessings, and I’m likely to tell you about what happened last Sunday or what I’m looking forward to in the coming days.
But I did something this December that I don’t normally do: I listed specific highlights of God’s blessings from the past twelve months.
To be honest, 2014 had its challenges. But it also had its blessings. And as I, with the help of my calendar, looked back over the past twelve months, I was amazed at some of the great blessings God gave our family and ministry in 2014.
Here are fourteen of the highlights—in the order they came: (more…)
Category: Christian Life, Ministry Leadership
Tags: Christian Walk, Christmas, Church, graduation, ministry, Ministry Moments, new year, pastors, revival, Thankfulness | Comments (0)
July 4, 2014 by Paul Chappell
In 1776, American patriots pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” to sign the Declaration of Independence. And then they gave of themselves in unspeakable sacrifice to birth this great nation.
These men understood that patriotism meant so much more than grabbing the family rifle and charging the red coats. It involved giving whatever was necessary to uphold the God-given values of freedom and equality which they had come to embrace. For many, patriotism meant giving their lives, their families, and their fortunes. They purchased freedom at a heavy personal expense.
I’m thankful for the heritage of these patriots, statesmen, and soldiers who embraced and upheld freedom—even at the expense of themselves.
I’m thankful for men and women around the world today (some from our church family) who are sacrificing for continued freedom.
But more than the patriotism of a soldier, we need another kind of patriotism today. America is in a state of spiritual and moral decline that, frankly, is frightening. We seem to have lost our moral compass and our willingness to sacrifice for the biblical values of truth and righteousness. (more…)
Category: Christian Life, Current Events
Tags: Christian Walk, Current Events, patriotic, Prayer, revival | Comments (0)
October 12, 2013 by Paul Chappell
I am thankful for godly evangelists who labor for souls and for revival.
The Bible mentions evangelism three different times:
And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.—Acts 21:8
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;—Ephesians 4:11
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.—2 Timothy 4:5
A man with the calling of evangelist whom I highly respect is Dr. John Goetsch. In my first year as a pastor, the Lord led me to call Dr. Goetsch to preach for our winter revival. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. The Lord has blessed our friendship over the years, and when we started West Coast Baptist College, Dr. Goetsch came to help in the work.
Dr. Goetsch has the calling of evangelist, and he also serves as the executive vice president of West Coast Baptist College. I have the calling of pastor, and I also serve as the president of WCBC. We enjoy working together in the ministry.
The following reasons have compelled me to ask Dr. Goetsch to preach for our winter revival at Lancaster Baptist Church for twenty-eight consecutive years: (more…)
Category: Ministry Leadership
Tags: leadership, ministry, pastors, revival, sermon | Comments (0)
October 5, 2013 by Paul Chappell
The iconic focal point of the partial government shutdown on Tuesday has become the World War II Memorial in Washington. As you are probably aware, the National Park Service was instructed to erect barricades and keep armed guards around the memorial’s perimeter.
Groups of WWII veterans, however, were not impressed with the barricades. These heroes of the greatest generation insisted on access, sweeping past the barricades two days in a row.
Politics and budget issues aside, what got me on reading the news stories was the statement made by the National Park Service concerning why the veterans were allowed to push past the barricades: “The Honor Flights are being granted access to the WWII memorial to conduct First Amendment activities in accordance with National Park Service regulations applicable to the National Mall and Memorial Parks.”
Did you catch that? First Amendment rights. (more…)
Category: Christian Life, Current Events
Tags: Christian Walk, Current Events, faithfulness, leadership, ministry, revival, soulwinning | Comments (0)