First Baptist Church of New Carlisle, Ohio has a rich and unique history in our community. Since 1955 we've been establishing ourselves as a lighthouse for Jesus Christ in our hometown of New Carlisle, Ohio.

We have Bible Study at 9:15 am and Worship Service at 10:30 am every Sunday. Childcare/nursery provided for all services. Wednesdays we have Prayer Meeting at 7:00 pm and Revive Student Ministries for youth at 7:00 pm

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Least in the Kingdom - by Ken Lawler

An article I read in the booklet Days of Praise, published by The Institute for Creation Research, prompted me to write an article about the degrees of reward in the future kingdom.  As I've mentioned in previous articles, my mom's family grew up Methodists and my dad's Baptist.  I don't know much about the 21st Century Methodist Church, but back in the early years of the 20th Century they were very evangelistic, with the only major difference between them and the Baptists being baptism and security of the believer.  Those early 1900's Methodists in Vera, Illinois sprinkled for baptism and taught that you could lose your salvation.

I've heard it said of us in the "once saved, always saved" crowd that we don't pay enough attention to how we live, since we can't lose our salvation.  In a lot of cases I suspect that criticism is valid.  Anyone who has spent much time reading the Bible knows it says plenty about how we are to live (Paul says "walk") and about the consequences of not living/walking properly.  In The Sermon on the Mount/The Beatitudes, Jesus said in Matt. 5:19 that anyone who breaks a commandment and teaches others that it is OK to do so "shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:  but whosever shall do and teach (the commandments), the same shall be called great in the kingdom."  He's not talking about the difference between saved and unsaved people, but about the degrees of reward in the kingdom.  When Paul spoke about the Christian living a carnal life in I Cor. 3 he likened that person to someone building something out of wood, hay, and stubble versus building out of gold, silver, and precious stones.  In I Cor. 3:13 he says, "all works will be revealed by fire," and in I Cor. 3:15 he says some Christian's works "shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

The Bible plainly teaches there will be degrees of punishment in hell.  Matt. 10:15, Mark 6:11 & Luke 10:12 all say it will be more tolerable (the Greek word means more endurable) for Sodom and Gomorrha in the Day of Judgment than it will be for the cities of Israel that didn't receive Jesus' message of redemption.  Likewise the Bible plainly teaches there will be degrees of reward in heaven.  2 Cor. 5:10 says all believers will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; and every one will receive gain or loss, depending on their Christian life, based on whether they did good or bad.

There are two coming judgments after we live this life.  The unbelievers will stand before the Great White Throne.  Rev. 20:11-12 says they will be judged according to their works.  All of those at that judgment will be cast into the lake of fire, where Jesus said it would be more endurable for some than for others.  The believers will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.  When we appear there everything we have done since we accepted Christ as our savior is going to be in a pile, represented in I Cor. 3:12 as either gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble.  Fire is going to fall on that pile, and our status or position or responsibility in heaven will be determined by what is left after the fire goes out.  Everyone at the Judgment Seat of Christ is already in heaven, but my Grandpa Lawler used to say, "some of them will really smell smokey."

Grandpa once pastored the Vera Baptist Church in the little village where I was born, and he had a couple humorous stories about the Baptists and the Methodists in town.  There was no air conditioning back then so the windows were open in summer.  He said the Baptists would be singing the hymn, Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown, and the Methodists would be singing the hymn, No Not One.  About the doctrine of salvation he told about the hypothetical guy in both churches that made a profession of faith then fell by the wayside.  He said the Methodists believed the guy fell from grace (lost his salvation) and the Baptists said he probably never got saved in the first place.  Grandpa said, "we both got him lost again!"

How do we get saved? by Pastor Curt Sharbaugh

That’s a very important question, and throughout history those who have called themselves Christians have answered it differently. Let me begin with a contrast. There is a group who would say that we will be saved in the end only by God’s grace, but God has chosen to extend that grace by a number of different means. In other words, if you want to receive God’s grace, which is able to make you right with God, you have to do certain things. You need to be baptized; you need to attend services where you can observe communion; you need to confess your sins and say certain prayers in order to be forgiven; and there’s more. They believe that it’s only through these avenues of grace that you can finally be made right with God.

What does the Bible say about this? The Bible does say that salvation is on the basis of grace but also that it’s only through faith in what Christ has done for us (Ephesians 2:8-9). We cannot save ourselves. There is nothing we can do in order to deserve salvation. Salvation is based on grace, meaning that it’s a kindness that we do not deserve. It’s freely given to us by God. He doesn’t owe it to us; he is free to give it or withhold it. And God has chosen to save us through faith rather than by works.

In Romans 3, Paul explains that we are all under the power and condemnation of sin (vs. 9). He goes on to say that one of the purposes of the Law (which includes God’s instruction on right and wrong) is to demonstrate that we are all guilty before God (vs. 19-20; see also 1:18, 20, 2:1-2). There is no way to be right with God by obeying his instructions because what his instructions reveal is that we are not obeying him and need his forgiveness and grace. But God has revealed a different way to be made right with him, and Paul says that it’s by faith (vs. 22). All have sinned and stand condemned before God, so everyone must be made right with God by faith (vv. 23-24). While dying on the cross, Jesus was put on display as the payment for the punishment sinners deserve. He paid the punishment for all who believe that he paid that punishment for them (vs. 25). In chapter 4, Paul explains that sinners are declared right with God not on the basis of what they do but on the basis of their faith in what Christ has done for them.

So how is one saved? They are saved from God’s punishment for sin and from sin’s power over them by putting their faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. But we should be clear that true faith is never without genuine repentance. You cannot really believe Jesus died for your sins if you don’t think your sins are a big deal. True faith involves recognizing how sinful you are and how great your need is for forgiveness through Christ.

Coming back to the group I described at the beginning, salvation is not acquired by what we do, even if we say we're acting on the basis of God’s grace. We are saved by putting our trust in Christ to save us. When we set up rituals as a means of salvation, we are putting obstacles in the way of genuine faith because people place their faith in the ritual rather than in Christ. In other words, they are trusting in what they are doing rather than in what Christ has done. Salvation does not require a special ritual or a special place. Salvation is by grace through faith, and faith can be expressed wherever you are.

Kitchen Korner - PRETZEL SALAD - by Dolly Lawler

You'll have to try this to believe it.  This is a recipe I received from Geneva Christmas many moons ago.  When I ate it the first time, it simply struck my taste buds high and clear; then when she told me what the little crunchies in it were, well, I couldn't believe it. Pretzels of all things!  Who would have thought?


8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sugar
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
8 oz. cool whip

Mix cream cheese and sugar together; add pineapple.  Fold in cool whip.  Place in refrigerator to cool.
Mix together the following:

1 cup crushed pretzels
½ cup sugar
1 stick melted margarine or butter

Place in oven at 400° for 7 minutes.  Stir while it cools.  When cooled, mix with the cream cheese, sugar, pineapple, and cool whip mixture.  Place in refrigerator until ready to serve (or ready to take to a church potluck).

Enjoy, Dolly Lawler

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A Hug to Comfort You - by Wanda Hess  

Aren’t hugs the greatest thing to receive?  They can be a hug of love, a hug of support or a hug of greeting.  There can be no words to describe the feeling when a small child puts their arms around your neck, presses their little body against yours.  They don’t know what a hug is so you squeeze lightly on their little bodies to hug them.   Now there might  be some of you that don’t like any hugs because someone is getting in your space….And that is okay…surely you have another way to feel those special feelings.

Think about this “What about when GOD puts a burden upon you, He puts his own arm underneath you.  There have been times in my life that I hurt so bad I could not pray.  And I could not get through those times without knowing GOD was my strength.  Sometimes the hurts and pain are so great that only God’s presence will help.  GOD is our strength for us.  We hurt, struggle, and hardly know what to say or do.  At the point of our deepest despair, we feel His strength….His GOD hug!  He takes his arms and holds us, reminding us that we are his.  Within the comforting circle of his arms we are safe.

Sometimes God permits a burden to be placed on us.  He is trying to get our attention so that we will rely on his comfort and protection.

Moses wrote that the Lord “goes ahead of you.  He will not fail you nor forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed” Deuteronomy 31:8

Think about the burden you are carrying.  Is it an illness? The unceasing hurt and pain of a broken heart or relationship? Helpless concern for someone who is rejecting you and your Lord? Remember that He is well aware of every facet of your need.  He extends his presence and his “GOD Hug" of comfort to you.

Life is tough, and we can’t always straighten it out.  We just need a reminder of how close God is for us.

                                       So go ahead feel God’s hug and know you are safe……..