Pastor’s Blog

 
 

The Return

The Return

1. Hayden 8-25-20
 

On September 26, 2020, Christian believers from all walks of life and many denominations will be descending on the Washington D.C. Mall in a historic gathering of Church leaders and followers of Christ.  This gathering will take place in our nation’s capital approximately 40 days before one of the most important elections our country has ever faced.  This election will decide the direction of our Union and could very well be a pivot point for an entirely different form of government.  Much is at stake.  So what is this gathering in D.C. all about?  Well the event is called, “The Return.”  The Return is not a reference of Christ returning, but of His people and the world returning back to Him. It is anticipated that thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands will gather to pray for our nation and the Church to “Return” back to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and our Lord Jesus Christ.  We will pray for repentance and God’s blessings on our land as we humble ourselves before Him, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14). 

The Return is a movement, an appointed time, and a specific day set apart for one purpose – the return to God by coming before His presence in humility, in sincerity in prayer, and repentance.  The movement begins now and will continue through the entire year of 2020 leading up to 10 Days of Vigilant Prayer – Starting with the Biblical Feast of Trumpets and ending with the Day of Atonement (September 18-September 28). The central day of The Return will be Saturday, September 26, 2020 on the National Mall and throughout the nation and world.  Here at Central Christian Church, we will be hosting a simulcast of the event live in our facility on that day.  The day will begin at 9am with speakers and prayers throughout and closing with a prayer service starting at 6pm and lasting til around 9pm.  We are inviting members of Central Christian Church along with any in our community that wish to attend.  Please join us on that day, even if only for part of the day, as we join our fellow believers and neighbors in returning to God with a renewed commitment and zeal for the salvation of the lost and unity of the Body of Christ.

 
 

Pastor Chris


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The Creature Walks Among Us!

8-13-2020
C. Hayden
 
This past weekend I had the opportunity to catch one of my favorite 1950s monster movie characters on the television. It was “The Creature”! You know, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, to be exact. It was a particularly hokey flick being the 3rd installment of that monster movie franchise titled, “The Creature Walks Among Us” (1956). That generation just could not get enough of this terrifying xenomorph in the previous two films including the original “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) and its sequel, “Revenge of the Creature” (1955).
 
In “The Creature Walks Among Us,” the Creature or “Gill Man”, is taken from his natural habitat and imprisoned in the world of human beings. A scientist (there is always a scientist involved), experiments on the Gill Man and removes said gills, giving him lungs so that the monster is transformed into an air breather and no longer a water breather. This gives him the ability to, as the title of the movie suggests, walk among us. Does this remind us of anything? I think you know where I am going with this. The only difference in this film from its, obvious to me, coming of the Lord Jesus’ first advent, is the Creature is inundated with human faults and failings. The monster begins to experience and act on people’s fear, anger, hate, jealousy, pride, greed, and all manner of sinful emotional displays. The plot is then revealed as the Creature becomes violent over and over again as result of being exposed to these human failings.
 
The Bible reveals a somewhat different scenario. The Word of God reveals to us that the Son of God, Jesus, humbled Himself willingly, took on human form and, for the purpose of saving us from these human failings (SIN), walked among us that we might become like Him; not vice versa. John 1:10-12 says this, “10 He was in the world, and through the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. 12 Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, the Creature from his home against his will to become like us and live with us, Jesus willing left His home to walk among us. And Jesus still walks among us in order to make us like Him and to take us back to His home in glory. Oh what a great day that will be. 
 
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris

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An Eroding Culture (Still Eroding)

An Eroding Culture (Still Eroding)

  1. Hayden 4-24-16, revised 7-28-20

 

Last night, in a fit of prayer, I felt led to crack open an old favorite book of mine, Chuck Swindoll’s text “The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call For Renewal.” In a nation that continues to drift further and further away from the moral moorings that were considered at one time common sense, the Church is in desperate need for spiritual renewal. On the back cover of Swindoll’s book, we read this quote, “Postmodernism (there is no absolute truth or reality) began in the academic community, oozed into leadership, then morphed into Congress, public schools, and our homes. Sadly, the slumbering evangelical church has also now slid into the murky waters of a post-Christian swamp.” This is often the result of a church that, rather than seek to draw closer in a holy relationship with God, settles for a shallow, religious form having no power. A church that is more interested in being accepted, and better yet, liked by our politically correct world, escaping the persecution that Jesus said all who live Godly in Christ Jesus would suffer (2 Timothy 3:12).

 

Some feel that we are in the process of the great “falling away” in the church, spoken of in the Scriptures, as we see denomination after denomination buckle to the pressures of the world to accept more and more behaviors, lifestyles, and faiths as acceptable alternatives to Biblical truths held by the church for the last 20 centuries. Could this be the great falling away linked to the revealing of the anti-Christ spoken of in the Bible? In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 we read, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” There has always been societies filled with eroded morality (maybe every society). But now many sectors of the church, after holding to standards of Biblical holiness and truth, are voting (and have voted) to not only affirm alternative faiths and lifestyles as acceptable to God but actually plotting to weave these changes into the church. We need to continue to pray that the church will be renewed in the Holy Spirit, be salt and light for the world, leading people to repentance and forgiveness in Christ rather than allow the world to lead the church into a politically correct social club based on good feelings rather than God’s Word. It is time for the Church to rise up, be bold in Christ, speak truth to counter the deception out to destroy our world, call the church to revival and preach repentance and faith in Jesus to a lost world.

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris         


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Faith, Family, Freedom!

 
C. Hayden 7-8-20
 
I love the messages that we have been putting up on the Central Christian Church marquis the past several years.  They have displayed messages that have been meaningful, relevant to our time and community, and brief enough to be seen by passing vehicles as they glance at our sign while driving to and fro each day.  The current offering has been not only one of our briefest sermon, but oh so relevant and meaningful.  It reads, “Faith, Family, Freedom”, and that is it.   This communication is so simple, yet saying so much.

In these three words, we are able to capture the most important institutions and values of our day.  And it is these institutions and values that have come under heavy attack in our country.  The first word, FAITH, representing everything we know to be true about God and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faith also represents our connection with our God as the scripture tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6).

The second word, “Family”, has also been under attack.  Forces in our nation and world have been attempting to redefine the family for years, trying to erode the Biblical view of the nuclear family.  Now we know that sometimes tragedy and death, sin and selfishness, can cause the creation of non-traditional families.  God still loves them and God can still cause those families to thrive.  But the ideal, God’s model has always been this: “For this cause a man will leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and the two will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5).  When we try to downplay God’s model, when end up with a society that is forever redefining God’s Word.

Finally, the word freedom closes our marquis message.  One of the most important of values cherished by Americans who often left their country of origin to come to a new land whereby they could freely worship God in “Spirit and Truth” as revealed to their own conscience. And freedom is so important to God, and coincidently, is also under attack!  Galatians 5:1 says this, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  We have been set free by Christ so that we might be free in Christ!   So as you are driving around Huntington over the next couple months and catch a glimpse of the Church marquis this summer.  Don’t let any politician, or anyone else, try to take these things away from you.  Remember those three words representing those gifts that God wants all to have, “Faith, Family, Freedom!”

Be blessed even more,

Pastor Chris


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Small Group Greetings!

The “Small Group” gathering that took place Friday, the 12th & the 19th of this June was a great time of food, friends, fellowship, frivolity, and faith! We took time to get to know each other better and forge some ongoing relationships in the Body of Christ. Now this was just the beginning, but a good beginning at that. The participation of CCC members was overwhelming and wonderful! We were able to get to know others from our small Church in a more intimate way while enjoying food and fun in a relaxed, non-regimented atmosphere. Our time together was very refreshing!
This type of gathering is very much the way the early Christians would meet. In Acts 2:46 we read, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart…” Believers would meet in the temple courts but also in each other’s homes, sharing the gospel and fellowshipping together, ministering to each other as they had need. Gathering together in fellowship is an important part of exercising our faith. Coming together includes supporting each other in an experience that helps us to grow, gain strength, and learn exactly who God is and how He loves us.
As we fellowship with other Christians in small groups, we also have fellowship with God Himself. In 1 John 1:3, Scripture tells us, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” And in Matthew 18:20, we read, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When we gather together in small groups, sharing in food, sharing in conversation, and sharing our faith with each other, God is right there with us, sharing in the ministry of His Holy Spirit.
The next small group gathering will be held July 10th at the Jones’ home and we are looking forward to it. Feel free to join us in this ministry as we once again take time to relax, enjoy the company of believers, and allow the Spirit to move, as only He is able to do.
 
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris
 

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What’s the Answer?

 

What’s the Answer?

 

C. Hayden 6-10-20

 

               

 

Text Box: “…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Zechariah 4:6
                Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Well country singer Lynn Anderson recorded a song most of us probably remember entitled “Rose Garden.”  While you may not remember it at first, I bet you will recall it the moment I state the first line of the song’s chorus.  The tune echo’s the sentiment that things will not always be fun and games. The chorus of the song goes like this:  “I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden.  Along with the sunshine there’s gotta be a little rain some time…”

 

Well I think most of us would agree, that even though we have had a few years of sunshine, we are in a rainy season now as our country has been facing one difficult situation after another.  With struggling through the pandemic and now protests crossing our nation, the question has surface, what’s next? Well I am still waiting for the killer hornets to make an appearance? 

 

                So what can we do?  First let me just say, we will never be able to stop problems from happening.  Tribulation will come.  We are not going to be able to solve all our problems by:

 

  1. Money – Throwing more money at things never seems to work

  2. Education – The more we know the more we realize we don’t know

  3. Uniting – Unity is great but without God it is folly (remember the tower of Babel?)

  4. Politics – I think we all realize that no matter who is in office, no one is ever satisfied

  5. Begging – Appealing to everyone’s good nature?! Good luck with that

 

So what is the answer?  Two things I know. We will always have problems, and secondly, we will never be able to solve all of our problems in our own flesh.  We need Jesus and we need the power of the Holy Spirit!  We live in a broken world with broken people living in it.  No amount of community organizing will ever fix that.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the community working together to make a broken world continue to run, but only God Himself will be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together every time he falls.  Zechariah 4:6 says that it is not by our might or our power, but it is by His Spirit. Only through Him the world can ever hope to be fixed.  We must turn back to God as a nation.  Only then can true progress take place.  We will have more on this subject in two weeks.

 

Be blessed even more,

 

 

 

Pastor Chris

 


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Angels Watching Over Me!

Angels Watching Over Me! PART 2
C. Hayden 4-27-20
This Thursday, May 14th, we continued our Bible study of angels as described and portrayed in the Holy Scriptures.  With David Jeremiah as our audio teacher and Tina Inman leading the group, we restart one of the more interesting studies of these benevolent servants of God.  I, for one, have been learning so much regarding the celestial nature of and the terrestrial works regarding these mysterious beings.  Last months blog gave Old Testament and New Testament examples of the angelic presence in the affairs of mankind.  This presence of heavenly creatures are all under the direction of our Father who created them and uses them as ministering spirits for all those who are to be heirs of the salvation of God (Hebrews 1:14). 
As Scripture assures us of their mission to minister on behalf of God’s people, we can be confident knowing that the army that fights for us is far greater than any army that fights against us (2 Kings 6:16).  Not only are there more for us, but each one packs a far stronger punch.
In 2 Kings 19, The Assyrian King Sennacherib threatened Hezekiah, the King of Judah, demanding his surrender to the nation of Assyria.  But the Prophet Isaiah reassured the Judean King, informing him of Sennacherib’s demise.  The 35th verse of this chapter reveals that just one angel destroyed Sennacherib’s Assyrian military numbering 185,000 men in just one night.  Let me say that again.  An army of 185,000 Assyrian fighting men perished at the hands of only one of God’s angels in just one night!  When we couple the strength of just one angelic being with the fact that there are twice as many angels as there are demons, not to mention the great love of God for us, our faith increases knowing that we have nothing to fear from men or devils.  As the Apostle Paul poses the rhetorical question in Romans 8:31, “…If God be for us, who can be against?”
Be blessed and be encouraged even more!!
Pastor Chris

 


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Interesting Times

Interesting Times

  1. Hayden 2-10-20

 

We sure do live in interesting times. With news of the impeachment acquittal behind us, the upheaval in the relationship change among European nations (Brexit), the rising angst surrounding our next election, proposals for peace in the Middle East on the table, and now with a 10-week extension of professional football through the newly formed XFL, we are left to wonder what is next around the corner. Well what is next around the corner? It is not always clear what may be lurking just beyond eyesight and earshot, but we certainly are experiencing an increasing interest in apocalyptic knowledge. Many people are asking, what in the world is going on?

David Jeremiah, one of the foremost and well respected teacher of end-time events released a book in 1992 entitled, “The Handwriting on the Wall: Secrets From the Prophecies of Daniel.” In this offering Dr. Jeremiah reveals the Prophet Daniel and his cry to the children of Israel about what God is revealing to His people, just around the next corner. However, Daniel’s apocalyptic vision was not released only for the benefit of his generation. The Book of Daniel translates to our generation as well and begs a very important question. Do we see the handwriting on the wall? As Dr. Jeremiah puts it, “This is a time when all of God’s people need to keep their eyes and their Bibles wide open. We must ask God for discernment as never before.”

Well this is why end-time prophecy and Biblical revelation of future events are so important. Biblical prophecy helps us foster a sense of urgency in regards to taking our faith to those who do not know Christ. Quoting the good Dr. Jeremiah one more time, “My study of prophecy convinces me that God intends knowledge of future events to help us ‘occupy’ with a sense of urgency until the Lord returns.” Throughout Scripture we are told to “keep watch for you do not know the day or hour of your Master’s return” (Mark 13:35). The fact that we do not know when Christ is coming back should never give us a feeling that we have plenty of time to share our faith with others (or to receive Christ for ourselves), but that we may not have enough time for the Lord may be on the cusp of His return! Do you have that sense of urgency that time is slipping away and Christ may be returning just around the next corner? Interesting times indeed!

Be blessed even more!!

Pastor Chris       


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The Law of the Lord is Perfect

 

The Law of the Lord is Perfect

 

C. Hayden 1-12-20

 

 

 

I love the Scripture passage in Psalm 19, verses 7 through 8.  This passage declares, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” If anyone wants to know what converts the soul, it is spelled out right here.  It is not our great charisma, or programs, or talent. It is God’s Word that brings an individual to the point of salvation.  As we preach God’s Word and teach His statutes, the Holy Spirit opens the heart of a receptive unbeliever, enlightening them to their sinful condition and revealing the way to everlasting life through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

The New Testament confirms the importance of God’s Word in a person’s conversion.  In Hebrews 4:12 we read, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This verse reminds us that it is the Word of God that gives us the ability to decipher what is our own thinking from that which God is revealing to us.  It discerns human soul thoughts from God infused spiritual insight.  Through God’s Word we are able to separate and recognize the truth of God from the lies of the devil.  And doing so, are free to believe in Christ’s sacrifice, setting people free from the penalty of transgressing against God’s law. 

 

The law is good! Through the Word of God we are able to see our need for a Savior.  After the Holy Spirit convicts the non-believer of their transgression of the law, faith in Christ leads us to receive God’s grace through the Blood of Jesus Christ! While hearing God’s Word at first may taste bitter, being condemned by the Truth, through repentance the Word of God turns sweet as we humble ourselves before the Lord and become beneficiaries of the God’s grace through faith in the Savior: For it is by grace through faith that we are saved!  It is a beautiful thing! 

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

 

 

Pastor Chris         

 


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The Christmas Presence

 

The Christmas Presence

 

C. Hayden 12-10-19

 

 

 

Brother Lawrence (Nicholas Herman), a 17th century Friar, wrote one of the all time great Christian classic books on the subject of God’s presence in the life of the believer.  Titled “The Practice of the Presence of God,” Brother Lawrence’s work is a collection of letters and teachings examining what it means and ways we may achieve an awareness of God’s tangible presence in everyday life.  The Scriptures are clear that having an awareness of God’s abiding presence should be the norm for Christians and not the exception.

 

 In Mathew 1:21-23 we read about Joseph’s conversation with an Angel, “’She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means God with us).”

 

That’s right, Immanuel, God is with us.   Jesus confirmed this understanding that we may enjoy his presence when He said this, “’He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.’ 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, ‘Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?’ 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him’” (John 14:21-23 KJV).

 

This Christmas holiday, may we celebrate Christ our Lord with the understanding that He is with us in the midst of all of the activity and busyness we find ourselves in.  He is Immanuel and we can always recognize His presence if we choose to do so.  Not just in theory, but in the tangible real presence that the Holy Spirit provides.

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

 

 

Pastor Chris         

 


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