Jesus Beheld the City By Byron Foxx
And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it. esus BEHELD the city. Do we see our city? I mean really see it? What would we see if we really looked at our city? We would see the poor widow straining to pay her rent each month. We would see the poor family with children whose stomachs are gnawing with hunger. We would see those who live in misery and in squalor. Some are in these situations because of their own laziness and iniquities; others are in poverty, but not due to their own transgressions and sins, but due to the wrong-doing of others. We can see them in the city. If we opened our eyes to really look at the city, we would see the orphans, the lonely, the sick, the abused, and those
caught in grip of wickedness. We can see them in the city. Then there is the socialite, the elite, the wealthy, the politician, and the businessman. Some of them live in homes that look like palaces. We see them in the city, too. Most folks are so busy in the city that they don’t stop to behold it. . .to REALLY behold it. Not many take a deep, long look. I know a few high-sounding theological terms: omniscient, omnipotent, invincible and immutable. I have read philosophical dissertations, metaphysical discussions, and theological diatribes. There have been debates, arguments and discussions.
However, I know of no one who has debated about the weeping of Jesus. He came near and BEHELD THE CITY and wept over it. Amazing isn’t it? The Creator of the universe, Who has all power at His disposal, took time to look at a city. . .and weep over it! As you look at the Scriptures, don’t miss seeing our weeping Lord Jesus! Look to Him, and you will see amazing pity, sympathy, and understanding! Glory, glory, glory to our blessed Lord Jesus!
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BYRON FOXX is an evangelist, music publisher, songwriter, and the founder and president of Bible Truth Music.
October 2016 | Vol. 2 | No. 4 Editor: Byron Foxx Assistant Editor: T. Kevan Bartlett Managing Editor: Tim Cruse Production Assistant: Caleb Cruse
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John Reynolds Resigns! A FAITHFUL SERVANT WITH A FERVENT SPIRIT Interview by T. Kevan Bartlett
TKB: Please share your story of youth and coming to Christ. Dr. John Reynolds is the founding pastor of the Volusia County Baptist Church in Orange City, Florida. This month the church celebrates its 20th Anniversary. At the same time they will give a loving send-off to their pastor. Brother Reynolds will be stepping down from the pastorate on Sunday, October 16. “Dr. John” is well known within the Independent Baptist movement having served in a wide variety of positions with several influential ministries. At age 74 he is still vibrant and visionary. His wisdom and creative thinking continues to influence and inspire pastors and Christian leaders in addition to his own congregation at Volusia County. Upon hearing of the planning for the very first God Bless America Crusade (Charleston, WV, 2011) Pastor Reynolds engaged his church in financial and promotional support. He became part of the leadership team for GBA efforts with Dr. Byron Foxx and Pastor T. Kevan Bartlett. He remains in that capacity currently and plans to continue on in that role. We asked Brother John to share some personal thoughts and reflections as he approaches this new phase of his life and ministry.
JR: I was raised in a pastor’s home in
Spencer WV, joined the church and was baptized. I was trying to be an obedient and pleasing youngster but I was not truly saved. Although at the time, I answered all the questions correctly. But at a youth rally, when I was 11 years old, I trusted Christ as my Savior. I began following the Lord’s will for my life and surrendered my life to the Lord on July 1st, 1955 at 13 years of age.
TKB: You have been married to your wife, Becky for 52 years! How did you meet? JR: I went to Tennessee Temple after
graduation from high school in 1959. At the very first on-campus get acquainted meeting I met another freshman, her name was Becky Brock. We spent five
January 3-5, 2017 hosted by Beacon Baptist Church Raleigh, NC For more information, visit core2017.com
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years going through Tennessee Temple together and the day after we graduated, we got married. TKB: Many folks got to know of you through your association with Dr. Curtis Hutson. What happened in between college and that relationship? JR: Immediately after college I went back
to WV to serve with my Dad (Dr. Orland Reynolds, Spencer Baptist Temple) as his associate pastor. The general expectation was that I would become the pastor upon my dad’s retirement. But, after being there a while, my dad and I both realized that there was a different path for me than being there. And so with his advice and counsel I accepted job with a pastor in the Akron, Ohio area. I spent a year there in a difficult situation. I resigned and went back to Tennessee Temple to attend Seminary. While I was at seminary the Lord crossed my path with that of Dr. Hutson’s. He was in Atlanta, GA at Forrest Hills Baptist. At the time the church was running about 250. The Lord put the two of us together and we stayed together, basically, for 27 years.
TKB: You went with him when he left Forrest Hills to become Editor of the Sword of Lord. During that time you also were on staff at Franklin Road Baptist (Murfreesboro, TN). How did that unfold? JR: I was full-time at the Sword but that
didn’t pay a salary that I needed. So I ran a paper route and worked at another church for a couple of years. Then Pastor Bob Kelley asked me to come work as a music director on a part time basis at Franklin Road. With Dr. Hudson’s advice and counsel I did that until he (Kelley) became sick. I left the Sword and Franklin Road to go on staff at Highland Park and Tennessee Temple but after six months, Dr. Hutson was diagnosed with cancer. He asked me to come back, which I did. Then after his death I went t back to TTU to serve as Vice President of Development.
TKB: That is where some people, wanting to start a church in Florida, found you, right?
JR: Yes, the last three months of that time
I started the church here while working part time in Chattanooga – traveling down here on the weekends.
TKB: You served alongside two legends in our movement, reflect on your relationship with Dr. Curtis Hudson and Dr. Bob Kelly. JR: Well, I watched how Bob Kelley
interacted with his people and the seriousness with which he approached ministry. He was a puppy dog one-onone and yet a bull dog in the pulpit. Both of those men were consistent in their personal lives, in all the years, on the golf course, in casual situations and very informal situations, I never heard either of them ever tell an off-colored joke. I never heard either of them complain about God’s dealing in their life. They never complained about God not being fair in any area. They had a great love of the Lord, a love of souls, a love for their family. I just was very privileged to be around them.
TKB: Stepping out of the pastorate, how would you describe the change that is coming to your ministry? And what do you hope to be doing in the years to come? JR: It’s a retirement from the pastorate
and a reassignment to a more diverse ministry of preaching, conferences, seminars and so forth. I still have a good measure of health – I’m not under doctor’s care, I take no medication. I am a little tired, but, there is still some energy left in the battery!
TKB: Share some things that you see, in spite of many discouraging things, that are encouraging in the independent movement. What do you see that gives you hope and gets you excited? JR: I think there is a greater spirit of
cooperation and helpfulness among brethren now than I’ve seen in a long, long time. We’ve always been independent, and that’s what we are. We are independent, and that implies certain things we know and appreciate. But I see a greater concern for one another, a great attitude of desire to fellowship
with one another than I’ve seen in a long time. There is a greater force right now compelling us to get together than at any other times in our lives. Thankfully, the voices against cooperation with good brethren are becoming fewer and fewer and their impact is less and less. TKB: Would you also note a more broad appreciation and a more broad enthusiasm toward church planting. JR: I think there is more of that being
done now that I’ve ever seen. The entire time I was at Forest Hills we started 3 churches. And now I see churches starting all the time. I see a compelling interest in church planting. Of course we didn’t call it planting back then. We just called it starting churches. But I like the term “church planting.”
TKB: The Southwide Independent Baptist Fellowship – you put yourself out there to re-birth it. Why did you do that? JR: Because in the past it had a great and
positive impact to encourage preachers and churches. I wanted to leave something like that for the younger men.
TKB: What do you see in the future, not only for God Bless America events but for cooperative efforts in general. JR: When I was with Curtis Hudson,
before he went to the Sword, we began city-wide campaigns. During that time I became burdened for cooperative evangelism, cooperative crusades and area revival meetings among good brethren. I believe that still has a valid place and I think it’s becoming more and more do-able right now. Because of the situation in our country, I think more people are seeing the need for that. Our country is in a desperate situation. We’re gasping for breath. America needs the gospel!
TKB: Upon your retirement, what do you think you are going to miss most from your twenty years of experience as a pastor. JR: The answer may surprise you, but the
thing I’m going to miss most, is having
the Lord’s Supper with this church family. TKB: Wow! I did not expect that answer. Please amplify that. JR: In our church it is a very special
family time that we have once a quarter. We give the entire service to it. It’s a very informal service, yet at the same time very structured. It is a time of refocusing on the Lord and His sacrifice. In these services, over the years, we spent much time in the book of Hebrews particularly chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10. We have studied the Passover and temple worship. We have explored the temple layout – the Holy of Holies and our approach to the throne. We dwell on the sacrifice of Christ and the reason for the symbols and what they represent, and what they do not represent
Almost without fail, I call attention to the fact that He gave thanks. And whenever He gave thanks He understood what He was thanking for. He was thanking that He was going to give His life and that it was for the joy that was set before Him, that He endured the Cross – how could He give thanks for that? And, I say that if He had intended for that to be His literal body (as many of our people here have been taught through the catholic church) He could have done that. But He did NOT cut out a piece of His hand and give it to them and say this is my body. They understood the symbolism. He didn’t cut his wrist and bleed into a cup and then say, “this is My body, this cup is My blood.” He didn’t do that. They understood that; I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to understand sometimes. But they understood that.
And so it’s just a very, very special time. We sing during the passing of the elements. We sing It’s Still the Blood That Saves from Sin” and we sing “Oh the Blood of Jesus.” Sometimes we’ll circle the auditorium and hold hands and sing Blest be the Tide That Binds at the end of the meal. And we remember the Lord’s death until He comes. The fact is, our staff and others from our church family have said, “after your resignation, the last 5th Sunday is already passed. They said we’ve got to have the Lord’s supper one more time before you leave!” So, we will.
T. KEVAN BARTLETT is the senior pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Charleston, West Virginia.
Increasing the Harvesters By Tom Farrell
fter twenty centuries of church missionaries. Nationals have taken me to harvest that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” Many times pastors bemoan the history, the words of Jesus in cities of half a million to a million people that had no Gospel witness at all. When fact that so few are surrendering for fullMatthew 9:37 are still applicable, “The laborers are few.” Only a few pastors, I visited the multi-million soul city of time Christian service. May I suggest evangelists and churches are that you have a Matthew 9:38 really soul conscious. How many prayer meeting? Call the church congregations do you know that “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that to an all night or half night of prayer and plead with God for are really on fire for evangelism? he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” laborers for the harvest. Pray The very term soulwinning that the congregation will get a is now scorned among some. Evangelistic campaigns, special Soweto, outside of Johannesburg, South harvest vision. evangelistic days, public invitations and Africa, I was informed that no Gospel preaching church existed. I have been in most anything that smells aggressively evangelistic is labeled, by some, villages and towns across this globe that TOM FARRELL is the president of “decisionism”. had no church of any kind. Tom Farrell Evangelistic Ministries In all my travels, I have never been Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 9:38 are to a mission field that had too many for us to, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the
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Being a Faithful Steward By Tim Rabon
ne of the responsibilities that each and every one of us as Christians has is that of personal stewardship. The word “steward” in the New Testament speaks of one who is given the administration and management of a master’s household. A steward oversees the property and affairs of another person. Concerning our personal stewardship as believers, it is imperative that we understand that God is the Owner and we are the managers of all He puts in our care. The importance of obedient stewardship cannot be overemphasized. Stewardship over all that God has entrusted to our care is foundational to the matter of our giving. All we have and enjoy are because of God’s grace and goodness in giving them to us. As our Master and Lord, He holds each one of us accountable for how well we manage all He has entrusted to us (Matthew 25:1430; Romans 14:12). Our personal assets fall into two categories: monetary and material. Monetary assets include our income and
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any funds which we have saved or come into our hands. Material assets include all the things that have value, such as our homes, vehicles and other items. All of our assets are a result of God’s blessings and not just our personal achievements. We should dedicate them all to the Lord as He is the Owner and we are only the stewards or managers. Proper stewardship of our assets begin with the returning of the Lord’s tithe to His work and the giving of offerings as well. We should give generously to our local church as it seeks to fulfill the Great Commission. We should also spend our money reasonably to meet the needs we have. We must save it strategically as well in order to be able to give and meet needs in the future. It is imperative that we maintain the right attitude toward our things. If we love things, it will hinder and impede our spiritual growth. We can enjoy the things that we have, but we must not love them. We should share our things joyfully and not reluctantly. Never forget that they are only given to our care temporarily.
Some of us have been entrusted with a lot while some of us are entrusted with a little. Whichever it may be, it all comes with the responsibility and accountability to be a faithful steward (I Corinthians 4:2). The temptation is for us to think that the blessing is in possessing while the true blessing is in managing the possessions. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus in Luke 12:15, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Remember that each day and every possession and gift is an opportunity for stewardship. Decide that you will steward all of your time, talents, treasures and tools for God’s glory. All that He gives you is not an end, but a means to the end that He will be exalted, magnified and proclaimed to all the earth as the one true and living God.
TIM RABON is the senior pastor of Beacon Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Prayer INTERCEDING FOR A NATION By Tom Alvis
a problem: Israel has already digressed non-stop, or living in daily frustration he only hope for America is . . . because of the changing news cycle, let — how would you complete that into idolatry and immorality; God is sentence? Some would argue ready to wipe them out and start all over me suggest that we, as God’s servants, with Moses (vs. 9-10). fall on our face before Him and appeal that we need better politicians, more What happens next is one of the most to our Great God on behalf of our sinful programs, tolerance, or education, more amazing stories in Scripture: Moses nation. One Pastor taught me long ago money, etc. For the believer, however, the that the amount of time we spend in answer must begin with prayer. Scripture prays and God repents (vvs. 11-14). No, is filled with examples: Samuel, prayer is a reflection of how much we think we need God. My David, Daniel, Paul and Peter The amount of time we spend in prayer is a dear friend, we need Him now, prayed for their nation and government leaders. The Biblical reflection of how much we think we need God. more than ever! May God grant us a Revival of Prayer Warriors record of Moses interceding who will intercede daily for our nation! for the children of Israel, as recorded in God did not repent of evil or sin; He did, Exodus 32, spoke to my heart this week. however, change His mind in response to the faithful prayer of His servant. You, no doubt, remember the Why? Because of Moses’ Commitment incident—God and Moses have been to Prayer. He appealed to God’s together on the Mount; God has given TOM ALVIS is the senior pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church His instruction on tables of stone; now Responsibility (11), God’s Reputation in Powhatan, Virginia. Moses is ready to return and share God’s (12), and God’s Reliability (13). message with the people. But God sees Instead of ringing our hands, worrying
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ARE YOU PREPARED TO DIE? Fall is an eventful time. Some events are required; some are optional. Some events are important; others, not so much. In Ecclesiastes, God tells us about one event in which everyone will participate. All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. —Ecclesiastes 9:2 Regardless of your substance, status, or skin color, we all have a ticket to an event called death. Hebrews 9:27 declares, “it is appointed unto men once to die…” All events require preparation. Are you prepared for your event? Are you prepared to die? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) The only way to be adequately prepared for death is through faith in Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins and trust Him to save you. Will do that today?
If you just now asked Jesus to save you, we would love to hear from you. Please write to Editor@GodBlessAmericaCrusade.com
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Raising kids and building families is tough these days. We live in a broken society that celebrates sin and minimizes family relationships. In these pages, discover what it means to invest in your children and how you can bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Retail: $19.95 | Format: Hardback | Pages: 320