Um, Now What Do We Do?

Well, that is the $64,000 question now isn’t it. The further our nation retreats from the Biblical moorings given to us by God, the more pressure is placed on the Church to respond. The fact of the matter is, this really isn’t new to the Church worldwide or historically. Historically and in other parts of the globe, true Christians (not institutional religious Christianity) have often been the target of persecution and isolation from a larger world that has rejected Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is just new to us here in America where for decades prayer and the Scriptures were incorporated into so many of our institutions including school settings (but now removed). America is changing at light speed and a heavy anti-Bible believing atmosphere is emerging to challenge traditional understandings of Scripture. It is being replaced with a culture more inclined to tout the virtues of diversity (regardless of unity) and doing what makes one happy at all cost. The world (and many in the Christian world) is certainly engaging in “Happiness Quest” over “Holiness Quest.”
So what do we do now? Just as we look to the Word to know what we shouldn’t do, we need to go there to learn what we should do as well. First of all, we need to realize that persecution is a part of all who will live Godly in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:10-12). Our faith will be challenged by the unbelieving on a consistent basis until the Lord returns so we need not be amazed when we see it happen.
Secondly, continue to follow Jesus and His Word. In verse 10, Paul reminds Timothy how he carefully followed his doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love and perseverance, etc. We need to do the same. They definitely lived in an anti-christian world. Thirdly, in verses 14 and 15, instruction is given to continue in what we have learned, namely the Holy Scriptures which is able to make us wise for salvation through our faith in Christ. We must not be deceived or diverted to the left or the right, but continue to study God’s Word and order our lives in accordance with Biblical tenets. In verse 16, Paul confirms the Scriptures value declaring that it is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.
Finally, let us follow the example Christ laid out for us. He was kind and gentle, loving and forgiving, full of truth and grace to all who would listen to Him, yet wasted no time on those looking to pick a fight. He gave the truth to the proud and grace to the humble. He was stalwart when proclaiming what people did not wish to hear, yet He did not come to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. We need to keep speaking God’s grace and truth (with grace and truth) to all who will listen so that the “whosoever will” may come to their spiritual senses and be saved through faith in Christ.
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris


Read more...

Uh, I Think We Knew This Was Coming

I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it, and if you have any doubt at all, I really don’t want to do it. What? I do not want to get into another political or ideological debate. But people, events and other political and ideological parties keep dragging me into it. And as long as this political tennis ball keeps landing on the Church’s “Biblical and moral” side of the court, I am compelled to address it and send it back across the net. It is not my fault! So here goes.
In light of the past Supreme Court rulings, and the pursuing discussions which followed, I think most would agree that we are seeing some significant change in the wind regarding the theological and moral compass surrounding the issues concerning marriage, family, the Bible, the Church and our national identity. The very fabric of our society is undergoing (and has been undergoing) a seismic shift away from what was held to be true for both millennia in the body of Christ, as well as the majority of mankind’s existence. And, although encapsulated in “good intentions,” it is revealing the ever increasing separation of our national and global culture, and Biblical understanding held by most men and women of God throughout world history. Having said all of that, we kind of knew this would happen.
This past month we spoke about what it would be like living in what many believe to be the “End Times.” As we read Biblical texts, we are clothed with the knowledge that “The World’s” understanding of rightness and wrongness would take a significant left turn (or right turn depending on your political station) from God’s Word. In 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul writes to a young pastor named Timothy and sets out to prepare him, and us, for an upcoming apostasy. He starts out with these words from 2 Timothy 3, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves…” STOP. I don’t want to hear any more!! (Hands on ears).
Following those first few words of Paul comes a laundry list of characteristics describing the condition we find ourselves in today. One thing interesting in verses 7 and 8, we are told that humankind would not only be unable to come to the truth found in God’s Word, but would indeed be resistant to the same (2 Timothy 3:7-8). We are living in a generation where many seek to remove Biblical instruction from all spheres of public life and consistently exalts humankind as their own savior and moral arbiter. Surely, we knew this was coming?! More on this subject in 2 weeks.
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris


Read more...

Talking Points

Do you believe in Conspiracies? Society is fascinated with them! Did George Bush order the 911 attacks? Did we really land on the moon? What is in Area 51? Or is it Area 54? Are the Bilderberger’s & Rothschild’s getting ready to take over the world thru the Illuminati? Who is the Anti-Christ, really? And, who drank my Sunkist that was in the fridge?

From Watergate to the IRS scandal and beyond, many people live from one conspiracy to another, latching on to the latest cloak and dagger theory. Some conspiracies have merit and some do not. But because we see silly conspiratorial theories come forth, some have taken the pendulum the other way and think there is no merit to any conspiratorial tales (unless it goes against something they happen to dislike). One thing that we certainly need to be careful of is becoming like “Paranoid Rob Lowe”, thinking that the government is putting microphones in our cheese!

Well then Pastor, do YOU believe there are conspiracies? Absolutely…I know there are dark agents that make up conspiratorial elements in our world. In our political system, the very fact that groups put out TALKING POINTS (whether believed true or not) reveals people who conspire for the determined goal of putting themselves into power! Regardless, the idea that there is a sinister force behind what we see going on in our world today has become a bit of a joke in the minds of some. The Christian Church needs to accept some of the blame for that due to all of the “date setting” regarding the imminent return of Christ. However, that does not mean that we do not face forces behind the scenes conspiring against us. For the Bible is clear that we do.

In Ephesians 6:10-12, we read ”Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c]against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” [CONSPIRACY] The Devil conspires against God and God’s people daily, and Satan has his own “Talking Points” to do so. Later in that chapter, verse 16, we are told to take the shield of faith in order to quench the “fiery darts” [TALKING POINTS] of the enemy. In fact, to be a follower of Christ is to know we have an enemy that conspires against the Cross of Christ and those who believe in it. Be reminded what the Apostles tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We can fight back… More later.

Be blessed and be grateful,
Pastor Chris


Read more...

Jerusalem, A Heavy Stone

On March 20, 2015, (just last month), the United Nations, through their Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) made the most outrageous declaration concerning women’s rights violations. They condemned only one nation, and one nation only, for violating women’s rights out of the 193 United Nation member body. Well that nation must have been Iran or Iraq, the Sudan or Saudi Arabia, or possibly Syria. In all of these nations you will find women under oppression to the extreme.

Women are made to wear compulsory clothing, not allowed to drive or travel without permission and excluded from political life in Saudi Arabia. In Iran, women are not allowed to run for the presidency and executed if convicted of adultery or if they kill an attacking rapist. Women are denied any semblance of equal rights in Sudan, being subject to marriage at age 10 and genital mutilation, having no age minimum for consensual sex. In Syria, governmental authorities regularly use rape and torture as a tactic of war against women. But all of these nations received a pass. Time would not allow me to speak to rights violations in China or North Korea who are only beginning to make reforms with many obstacles to equality still in the way. Which nation received condemnation above all of these? If you know your Bible, you probably have already guessed. That’s right! It is little O’ Israel.

Why is this important to us? Because in Luke 12, religious leaders were rebuked for being able to discern when inclement weather was coming, but not knowing the signs showing the first arrival of the Messiah. In Matthew 24, Jesus gives signs before His second coming and in the 42nd thru 44th verses, tells us to keep watch and be ready for His return. Israel becoming the target of the United Nations is one such sign.

In Zechariah 12:2-3 we read, 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” WOW! Coincidence? Is our nation also joining the chorus against Israel? Interested in hearing more on this? If so, email me at: chrishayden60@sbcglobal.net

Be grateful and be blessed even more.

Pastor Chris Hayden
Central Christian Church


Read more...

Why Study End Times?

If you went to the movie theatre a couple of months ago to see the apocalyptic thriller “2012”, you were able to see a dynamic display of motion picture effects that probably dazzled your senses. The story was a bit weak, but technology in film production took us to new Steven Spielberg like heights. While this was only a movie, the Bible does talk about the future and some things that can clue us in to the eventual return of our Lord and the end of this age as we know it. While some may feel this is not a weighty matter, there are at least three reasons why I believe God made mention of this topic and why we should care.

One reason is found in Matthew 24, the 4th verse where Jesus replies to the disciples on the question of the end of the age. He says to them, “Take heed that no man deceives you.” Deception is a key component in why we should study this topic. Verse 5 says that many will come in the name of our Lord and will deceive many. Deception is rampant in our society in many forms, i.e. David Koresh-Waco cult assault, Heaven’s Gate suicides and, of course, the Jim Jones-Guyana incident (where do you think the term “drinking the Kool-aid” came from). While these events are high profile, there are subtle seductions as well. By searching the scriptures on this matter, we can begin to head off deception.

A second reason, so you will keep watching. Matt. 25:13 – “Watch therefore…” We need to be watching and reminders of the end assist believers in looking to eternal things rather than ignoring them. We can become very complacent with our own personal kingdoms, but often we need the Word to remind us he is coming back to reward the righteous and punish the wicked so you better get busy.

A third reason, to bring comfort to believers. First Thessalonians 4:13-18 describes the return of the Lord and why. Verse 18 tells us that this knowledge is to be used to “comfort one another.” It is comforting to know He will be back to set everything in order. Let’s be informed…let’s be ready…let’s be comforted. We’ll speak more on this Sunday, May 2nd as we address the topic of the end times and begin a last days Bible study starting Thursday, May 6 at 6:30pm.

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris


Read more...