Pastor Jeff Carter

Pastor's Blog
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September 24, 2019, 11:00 AM

What Is Your Testimony?


In preaching on select passages in the book of Genesis recently, I’ve come across a theme that I believe is vitally important for the child of God. When you see something repeated multiple times in the Bible you better pay attention to it.

 

In Genesis chapter 5 you read about the life of Enoch. He is the man that never died but walked with God and “he was not; for God took him.” In other words, he was so close to the Lord that God just took him home to be with Him. But in Hebrews 11:5 the Bibles says more about Enoch. It says, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

 

The Bible says that he had a testimony among the people of his time, and that testimony was that he pleased God. When people looked at his life, they had to acknowledge that Enoch walked with God and did his best to please the Lord. They knew that Enoch loved God.

 

A little later in Genesis, the Bible introduces us to Enoch’s great grandson, Noah. In Genesis 6:9 the Bible says of Noah, “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” When it says that he was perfect in his generations it is saying that he was blameless among his contemporaries. He was a man of integrity. He had character. He loved the Lord and others knew it. That was his testimony.

 

Every Christian has a testimony. By that I mean you have a reputation or a name. Or more specifically, you have a life that tells a story about whether you love the Lord and are truly committed to Him or not. Your life either points people to Jesus or pushes them away from Jesus. But as Christians we must be mindful of our testimony.

 

People are looking at us. Some are seeking to know more about Jesus and others want to discredit the Lord but either way they are looking at the life of the child of God. By God’s grace, we must do whatever it takes to make sure that we don’t bring reproach against the name of God but bring glory and honor to Him in every area of life.

 

Do you have a good testimony? Are you faithful to the Lord? Are you consistent in serving the Lord? Do your words edify or tear down? Do you talk the talk and walk the walk? Does your life show that you’ve been changed by Jesus Christ? What does your life say about Jesus? That is your testimony.

 

The Christian must be careful about how they act and where they go and who they associate with. We must make sure that we are light in this dark world and salt in this unsavory world. That is the only way we can please God and draw others to Him. So, what is your testimony on the job, in your home, with your family and friends, in your community? May each one of us have a testimony among our contemporaries that says, “he or she walked with God.”

 

 




May 24, 2019, 10:04 PM

The Gospel Of John


5/24/19

For over a year now we’ve been going through the gospel of John during our Wednesday evening Bible study. As I studied through this wonderful book, one verse caught my eye and it captured my imagination and thrilled my soul. Joh 20:30 says “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.” The gospel of John records seven miracles that Jesus performed. The other gospels also tell us about even more miracles that Jesus performed. But John says that Jesus did many other signs that aren’t recorded. And to back that up Joh 21:25 says “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” There are many miracles and wonders that Jesus performed that we do are not told about. Think about that. What more did Jesus do? Did he make something out of nothing in front of his disciples? Where there more instances of Jesus raising the dead? What other infirmities did he heal? What other lives did He change? What other sermons did He preach? What other lessons did He teach? We do not know, but what a thought to think about and even speculate about what other mighty works Jesus might have done while He walked on this earth.

But with all that being said, John says, in chapter 20 and verse 31 that everything that he’s recorded about Jesus for us in his gospel is enough to believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. God’s Word is enough. In the gospel of John and in the entirety of the Bible, you’ve been given enough to believe in Jesus as your personal Savior and to walk by faith day by day. But John 20:30 is just a reminder to us about how great our Lord really is. And I will add that He is still performing miracles and doing the unimaginable and indescribable today. The greatest miracle of all is that Jesus saved me and changed me. I was there when He did it. And perhaps He’s done the same for you. If you’ve never believed in the gospel and put your faith in Jesus, then you should do that today (2 Corinthians 6:2) and He will give you a new life; eternal life. And if you’re saved, He’s proven Himself to you, so you should trust Him and live for Him each and every day.

He is Lord and Savior. But He just wants you to believe in Him and then live each day by faith in Him! And what you’ll see Him do in you and for you may not be recorded in the pages of the Bible for all the world to see, but you’ll know that He is the Christ the Son of God.

(See John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8-10, Hebrews 11:6, Romans 1:17)

 

 




March 31, 2019, 8:12 PM

Love


Around this time of year, in February, we like to think about love. But love didn’t start at Valentine’s Day. Love originated with God. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. No matter where you are at in life, and no matter who loves you and who doesn’t love you, one thing is true: God loves you.

Think about God’s love in 3 ways and it should encourage you today.

First of all, God’s love is unconditional. That means that it is a love without any limitations or conditions. This can be seen from the fact that God loved us when we didn’t love Him. The Bible says in 1 John 4:9 that “We love him, because he first loved us.”

Romans 5:6-8 says “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He didn’t wait for us to be good but He loved us in our sins.

And after salvation 1 John 1:9 says that even when we sin if we confess it to Jesus He will always forgive us and continue loving us. That is unconditional love. His love is not like our human love. He doesn’t change or waver in His love for us no matter what.

But secondly his love is a sacrificial love. John 15:13 tells us “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus died for us! His love involved self-sacrifice. Again Romans 5:8 says “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

1John 2:2 tells us that “…he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. The word propitiation means that he was the atoning sacrifice for the sin of all men. He gave His life for you. That is how much that He loves you. And we know that He rose again on the third day so that by His life we shall be saved. He didn’t have to die for us but because He loved us He did and He is the ultimate sacrifice and the only sacrifice that can truly forgive all sin and save all men.

His love is an unconditional love, it is a sacrificial love but thirdly His love is an eternal love.

Romans 8:35 asks the questions “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” And then Romans 8:38-39 answers the question and says “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

In Jeremiah 31:3 God says “…Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love…” He will always love you. Nothing can separate you from His love. His love is eternal. He loved us in eternity past, he loves us today, and He will love us for all eternity. The only way you can truly experience this love of God is to turn from your sin and self and turn to Jesus in faith.

Then Joh 3:16 can truly be applied to your life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

His love Gives to those that put their faith in Him, eternal life. His love will keep you on this earth and it will take you all the way to heaven for all eternity.

Think about His love. Think about His goodness. Think about His grace that’s brought us through. For as high as the heavens above so great is the measure of our Father’s love. Great is the measure of our Father’s love.

 

 




March 31, 2019, 7:00 PM

The Importance of Church Attendance


It always amazes me when I hear people who call themselves Christians minimize or put down the importance of being a part of the local church. Or by their unfaithfulness to be found in church every Sunday shrug off the importance of the local church. Church attendance is essential in the lives of God’s Children.  The Bible teaches that the Christian needs to attend church so that we can worship God corporately as a church body, so that we can fellowship in the Lord with one another and so that we can be taught the Word of God and grow spiritually.

The pattern for church attendance is set by the early church. Acts 2:42 says “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Again, in Acts 2:46 the Bible says, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.”

Heb 10:25 says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” For the Christian, church attendance isn’t a suggestion, but God tells us don’t forsake it!

Yes, if you are saved you are a part of the invisible or universal church. It is true that the church is not a building, but the church is made up of individual people that are in Christ. Yet the Bible clearly tells us to physically meet together as a local church, in a building or any meeting place for that matter. Whether that be in a home, a hotel, a store front, a gym, or an auditorium, you ought to be faithful to the house of God.

Again, the Bible emphasizes the importance of the local church in the lives of believers. God is talking to local churches in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation. The local church is crucial. If you still have any doubts about it read Ephesians 4:11-13 where Paul is writing to a local church and giving them further instruction on the operation and importance of the local church.

With that being said, there are no perfect churches, and no perfect pastors or church members, but the head of the church, the cornerstone of the church, Jesus Christ, is perfect and if we want to live in obedience to Him we must be faithful to the house of God. If you do not attend church faithfully, find a Bible believing, gospel preaching, Christ centered, local church and assemble together with the people of God! The Lord will bless your obedience and your faithfulness, and you will grow stronger in Christ!




February 12, 2019, 12:00 PM

One Year


It is hard to believe that I have been the pastor at Grace Baptist Tabernacle for an entire year now. It is amazing how quickly time has gone by. But one thing I know for certain is that God is good. God has been good to Grace Baptist Tabernacle. He has blessed us in so many ways. We have seen him add several to the church over the past year and we’ve seen him save several people as well.

 This past year has reminded me that the Lord is still in the saving business. But this past year has also been a reminder to me that without Him we can do nothing. I am fully aware that I cannot preach without the help of the Lord. We cannot sing without Him. We cannot teach without Him. We cannot give without Him. We cannot serve without Him. We cannot live without Him. We need Him! 

 As my wife and I enter into our second year at Grace, we would like to thank the church for all of the kindness shown and gifts given at the pastoral anniversary on August 6th. But we would also like to remind the church that when there is a victory, the devil will fight back. And we know that there will be battles this year because Satan doesn’t want to see the Lord use our church to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and he wants to make every person that is saved miserable. So with that being said, we are mindful that we need the Lord in every area of our personal lives and in every area of our ministry lives. We need him to stand and to withstand in this evil day. May the prayer for each member of GBT be “I Need Thee Every Hour.” Because if we take our eyes off Him, we will fall flat on our face in the next 365 days.

  

John 15:5

 

 

 


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