The Church Awakening

On Wednesday evening, Dave Schroeder led a Bible study group in reviewing the book, “The Church Awakening” by noted Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll.  I was able to “Skype” in one week to catch the conversation, and to say the least, it was very informative and enlightening.  The central message of Pastor Swindoll’s offering is an urgent call for the renewal of the Christian Church.  According to Swindoll, the Church has seen and experienced a continually increasing slide of erosion in Biblical standards and faithful passion for a vibrant relationship with the one and only living Savior, Jesus Christ.

Both disciples, Peter and Paul gave stark warnings of the devil’s desire to destroy the Church.  In 1st Peter 5, the Apostle tells us to be sober and be vigilant because the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  In Acts 20:28-29, Paul writes before his final departure, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the Church of God, which He bought with His own blood.  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.”  Pastor Swindoll outlines very real dangers, in which the devil (with the help of savage “wolves”) has been doing just that.  It is amazing how relevant the author’s insights are and how they match up with the struggles Central Christian and the Church universal have been experiencing today.

We are continuing our study on this most important topic as we go page by page, gleaning vital information that can lead one in the path of Spiritual renewal.  We meet every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm in the Topnotcher’s room here at Central Christian Church.  All are invited, so come and be blessed in fellowship and the Word, and discover what we, as a Christian body, need to be prepared for in a society that continues to stray from the moral and Spiritual moorings found in God’s Word.

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris Hayden

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Spiritual Discernment


In the scriptures, 1 John 4:1, John the apostle tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is discernment.  One definition given for spiritual discernment is the ability to see things as God sees them.  In a world that continues to be at odds with the Word of and will of God, along with ever increasingly loud voices drawing people away, seeing things as God sees them becomes more and more tenuous.

In 2 Timothy we read, “But KNOW this, that in the last days perilous times will come . . .Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse,deceiving (lying) and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13).  We live in a world that is deceiving and being deceived and we, as the Body of Christ, need to always be on guard discerning God’s will as we reach out to reconcile people back to the Savior, knowing that His arms are open to all who turn to him and away from embracing sin.  When we embrace sin as a church, it only emboldens the world, that hates the Word of God, to approve of more unrighteousness.

James, the Lord’s half brother, declared this, “…don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” What James is saying is that we need to discern what is of the world and what is of God, then by doing so, we always choose God.  This is not an easy message to give.  The Pharisees and ungodly rejected Jesus for giving this very message.  The 8th chapter of John illustrates Jesus’ condemnation of those who rejected him when He discerned where the non-believing religious were coming from.  How can we learn to discern the truth?  Jesus said these words, “He that is of God, hears God’s words…” (John 8:47a).

Be blessed,

Pastor Chris

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Not Just Auditing the Class

In Matthew, the seventh chapter, we see the words of Jesus expose individuals who claim the title of being a believer, but fail to follow Biblical instruction.  In this passage, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”

Claiming to be a Christian does not always translate to truly being one of His disciples.  The difference is that a disciple of Christ will not only seek to know what God’s will is according to the Word, being a mere hearer only, but they work to do the will of the Father as well.

In James 1:21-22, we find this scripture…”Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” The word “hearers” comes from a Greek word that gives us the picture of a student who takes a class at college but never completes any of the lessons given to them.  It is like a person who audits a class, they hear the lectures, but they never complete any of the assignments therefore never receive any credit at the end of the semester.

Verse 23 continues by informing us that those who hear the Word but do not do it, are only “deluding themselves,” Those who listen to the Word but never order their life accordingly are satisfied with religious activity but rejects a true relationship with Christ.  They become satisfied with providing God tiny sacrifices in order to appease God, which never works, rejecting the grace of God freely given to those who humble themselves by receiving the gift of a true relationship with Christ.

Be blessed

Pastor Chris

P.S.  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to comment or share opinions regarding this offering, feel free to email me at

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