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The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, thatís the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.

 

Print/PDF14 April, 1996

 

Dear Children,

 

Looks like weíve got another athlete in the family. Yamel has joined the track team and was first place winner in the shot-put and discus this week. Even in the running events she placed fourth in the mile. Not bad! Iím glad some people have been gifted with the talent of physical strength and coordination because, speaking for myself, Iím not.

 

This weekís message is going to be rough but necessary; one Iíve been putting off for entirely too long. A recent phone conversation has prompted me into finally doing whatís required in order to follow the example that has been shown to us by the great men of God. Hold on because here we go. Turning in the Bible to I Corinthians we can read Paulís letter to the church in the city of Corinth; one which he established himself. Paulís ministry was very special in that God had chosen him to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile (other than Jewish) People. Thatís the way God works; He chooses people specifically for particular missions.

 

With all that in mind letís start our reading with verse 1. "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God...Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord...I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ. That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge...Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you."

 

The word "contention" means argument or controversy. Paul had established the church through his preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is only one true gospel message, the one Paul gave to the people of Corinth, but for some reason there was now disagreements in the church. What was the cause?

 

Reading on into verse 12, "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" What had happened in the church of Corinth still happens today. Satan doesnít come up with new tricks and deceptions; he continues to use the same ones over and over again. The squabble that had broken out was over which preacher was the greatest. The church was in turmoil over which preacher they should follow. Sounds a lot like the world today; doesnít it? Read I Corinthians 1:1-31.

 

Continuing on in chapter 5, verses 5-7, "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministered by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." This goes right along with what Paul has to say about preaching (I Corinthians 1:21); "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to saved them that believe."

 

God gave poor old imperfect man the job of telling others about the perfect Son of God. It is our responsibility to tell others about the sinless Christ even though we ourselves have not been without sin. The point is that it isnít whoís doing the preaching but what is being preached. Every man, woman and child born into the world is done so under the curse of Adamís original sin. This is all God has to work with but "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching." Paul goes on to say in chapter 5, verses 20-21, "And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men..." The bottom line is: itís not the man but the message. Read I Corithians 3:1-23.

 

OK, so we have established the fact that Paul was called by God to deliver the gospel to the Gentiles. It wasnít the man (Paul) that was of any great importance but the news that he proclaimed about Jesus Christ. Now letís turn to the book of II Timothy; another of Paulís letters but this time to his understudy Timothy. Reading from chapter 1 and starting with verse 1, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son...I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee...When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee...Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee...Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace..."

 

Paul was writing from a prison cell. He was accused of a crime which he did not commit. There were many of his fellow Christians who were considering him now unworthy. Some of the same people who had received the gospel message through him were now totally rejecting him because of these false charges. They were reacting as though Paul had the plague. Paulís concern in all this was of what effect these negative people might have on Timothy.

 

Paul goes on to say in verse 11, "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith, and love which is in Christ Jesus."

 

Paul was strong in his belief, regardless of what others were saying, that he had been called by God and must continue to follow Him. No matter what his circumstances he must not turn back. Likewise Timothy, also being called to perform his special service for the Lord, must not allow these confused people to distract or alter Godís plan for him. He goes on to tell Timothy that no matter how many there were who had turned against him there were still some remaining faithful. Reading from verses 15-16, "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me...The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus..." There was still those few who continued to support the ministries of Paul. Read II Timothy 1:1-18.

 

Paul goes on with his encouragement to Timothy in chapter 2. Starting with verse 1, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus...Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ...Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound...It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: If we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

 

Paul went on to say in chapter 4, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." This is an undeniable truth that all Christians should accept. Satan hates dedicated followers of Christ. He knows very well what can happen to their salvation if he can only cause them to denounce Christ. Paul had suffered greatly, being blamed for evil he did not do, but he continued to keep his faith in Jesus Christ. There were no harassmentís by Satan, not the loss of his supporters nor the threat of death, that could make him turn from the Lord. This was Paulís warning to Timothy, and likewise, this was what Timothy had to be prepared to face. Nothing has changed. As Christians we must all be prepared to deal with the possibilities of hard times and persecutions. Read II Timothy 2:1-26.

 

This message, from the life of Paul and Timothy, is so very true to the world today. I know of one man of God in particular, who, just as Paul, has suffered severe persecution and rejection because of his dedication to the word of God. Today is the day that I want all to know of my support for him. This man is Jimmy Swaggart. You see there are many people spreading false accusations about Brother Swaggart in the same manner as they did with Paul. As I said earlier, Satan doesnít change his tricks, he uses the same ones over and over again.

 

I cannot be so easily deceived though because I have followed the teachings of this man since the early eighties. In fact it was because of the ministries of this dedicated servant of God that I received my salvation. Throughout the years I have not only listened to what he has had to say about God but I have also verified itís correctness through the Scriptures. This man teaches and preaches the truth. I have learned much and am very grateful to him for all he has taught me. Our family belongs to the Jimmy Swaggart Home Church and likewise we support this ministry with our tithes and gifts. We are all blessed beyond words through these weekly video tapes of his worship service. Furthermore, I continue to increase my knowledge of the Bible through his teaching tapes every day as I drive back and forth to work. I also have his commentaries on the Bible and use them as references during my Bible studies. I am committed to this man but not because his name is Jimmy Swaggart. I am committed to this man because he preaches the word of God. Iím committed to this man because he preaches the truth.

 

I fully realize this statement I have just made wonít help me make friends or for that matter wonít help me keep many that I have. Iím tired of Satan intimidating me with his threats. The truth is now out for the world to know. I will no longer be fearful of the consequences but let me remind all of you, in parting, these words of Paul when he said: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

 

Those of you who criticize and speak evil of this man of God, please beware. This message is for you. Jimmy Swaggart has suffered because of his commitment to preach the unaltered word of God. He is doing the will of God! How about you?

 

Please pray for our strength in overcoming Satan. Keep the faith and donít turn back.

 

Love,

 

Dad (Bruce Hallman)

 

ďALL FOR THE LOVE OF JESUSĒ

 

Bar

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