Tag Archive | Don Fortner

THE GOSPEL DEFINED

The Gospel Defined

Text:            Romans 1:1-7, 16-17

Subject:       Paul’s Definition of the Gospel

Date:            Sunday Morning – April 23 , 2000 (The Audio is dated 2/2/2014 ) 

Tape #         V-79a

Reading:      Romans 1:1-17

Introduction:

 

Should you go to the street corner of any city in this country and ask those who passed by, or stand upon the doorsteps of almost any church building and ask folks as they left the church house this morning, “What is the gospel?” you would get a different answer from almost every person. Almost all people define the gospel by their own experiences, thoughts, and emotions, by their church creed, or by an opinion handed down to them by someone else. The vast majority of men and women are not terribly dogmatic about what the gospel is, and acknowledge that one person’s opinion, or one churches teaching is really as good as another.

 

However, if you open the Word of God, you will very quickly discover that this blessed Book everywhere asserts that there is only one gospel, and that every rival gospel is a false gospel. Granted, the gospel is called by many different names in the New Testament.

 

  • The Gospel of God
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom
  • The Gospel of Christ
  • The Gospel of the Grace of God
  • The Gospel of Peace
  • The Glorious Gospel of Christ
  • The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God

 

Still, there is but one gospel, one gospel which we must believe, if we would be saved. All other gospels are false gospels and, therefore, no gospel at all. The Apostle Paul tells us plainly that all who preach a false gospel are false prophets, and all who believe a false gospel are damned by the gospel they believe. Continue reading

Servants of the Most High God

Tulips

“These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation (Acts 16:17).”

 

The natural man is a terribly proud creature—selfish, self-confident, self-important, and self-sufficient. He lives in bondage to sin, Satan, and self; worships and serves the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). He cringes at the very thought of serving any master other than himself and finds the thought of serving God especially distasteful; however, there are some people in this world whom God delivers from the bondage of self-service. They, and they alone, have been, are being, and will be, delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Speaking of the deliverance of God’s elect, the apostle Paul says, Continue reading

“If The Foundations Be Destroyed…?”

Castle

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalms 11:3 KJV)

 

If the roof is blown off of your house in a tornado, it will cause you trouble, grief, and expense. But there is no cause for despair. If one of the walls of this building were to be torn off in a storm, it would require our time, labor, and money to replace it. But it could be replaced soon enough. Indeed, we once saw building collapse, like a pile of toothpicks, during a winter storm. It was a frustrating and costly ordeal. But soon the walls were again raised. However, if by some terrible earthquake, the foundations of the building were broken up and destroyed, then all would be hopelessly lost and ruined.

The Immovable Foundations of Our Faith Continue reading

Christmas and the Christian

christmas tree 40

Grant Swart

As the years have passed, the “festive” or holiday season, which includes Christmas day, has become a commercialized farce, along with other similar secular celebrations such as Mothers Day and Valentines Day. The original meaning and “reason for the season” has been replaced with lavish parties, extreme festivities, entertainment and expensive gifts. While there is nothing wrong with any of those things, they certainly do not represent Christmas. No longer is it “the thought that counts”, rather the value of the gift which apparently demonstrates the level of affection one has for the recipient. Rarely is the birth of our Saviour brought into the picture on Christmas.

There is a war being waged on the traditional Christmas by the secular world, atheists, legalists and followers of false religions. “Merry Christmas” is being replaced with “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays”. This, of course, is being done in an attempt to promote a religiously tolerant society with the will, values and rights of man as the central focus. All the while, the battle for your bucks in the countdown of shopping days to Christmas rages on.

christmas dog 20

It was Santa Claus did it!

Back to the controversial issue among many Christians, which is the partaking or avoidance of Christmas celebrations. Continue reading

Living Trees In the Death of Winter

Oak Tree .jpg

But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
(Isaiah 6:13 KJV)

Title:       Living Trees In the Death of Winter

 Text:       Isaiah 6:13

SubjectBeliever’s Compared to Leafless Trees

Date:      Sunday Evening – September 3, 1989

Introduction:

Have you ever noticed how frequently the Word of God refers to believers as trees?

Numbers 24:6 – We are described “As gardens by the riverside, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as the cedar trees beside the waters.”

Psalm 1:3 – The believer is compared to “a tree that is planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season,” whose leaf shall not wither.

Psalm 52:8 – David sings, “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.”

Psalm 92:12 – “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age: they shall be fat and flourishing.”

Isaiah 61:3 – Believers are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”

All of these passages of scripture tell us five things about every child of God in this world.  Find a believer anywhere in the world, and you will find one of whom these five things are true.  Continue reading

The Religion of the Pharisees

pharisees

“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash theirhands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Mark 7:1-13

 

As our Lord Jesus warns us elsewhere to “beware of false prophets,” he warns us here to beware of false religion. Nothing is more dangerous to the souls of men, and nothing more deadly than false prophets and false religion.

 

The Apostle Paul warns us that those who eat and drink the bread and wine of the Lord’s Table without faith in Christ eat and drink damnation to themselves. What he says about the Lord’s Table is true of and applicable to all other religious practices without faith in Christ. To profess faith without faith, to claim an interest in Christ without an interest in Christ, to be baptized without being born of God, to pretend to be a child of God while you are yet a child of the devil, all these things are eating and drinking damnation to yourself.

 

Our Lord Jesus warns us again and again to, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” The warning is repeated often because it is needed often. Here he explains exactly what he meant by the leaven of the Pharisees. When our Lord warns us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, he is talking about the doctrine, or the religion of the Pharisees.

 

What a humbling picture we have before us of apostate, human religion. Continue reading

Never Distinguish Tares From Wheat

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Mercy and love, kindness and encouragement, forgiveness and patience are things we all constantly want and need from others. Shall we not constantly bestow them upon others? Continue reading