worthy is the Lamb from the desk of Pastor Russ Grigsby

August 19, 2018

Fighting Fire with Fire

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Wrestling with the devil is nothing new, just ask Martin Luther.  But I have a check in my spirit regarding David Crowder’s new song, Run Devil Run, which appears to be mocking the devil.  We should resist the devil, that he may flee (James 4:7), and we should even put on the full armor of God so that we can stand firm against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11).  But the tone of this song seems to go a step further into the realm of mocking.  Mocking is the devil’s territory — think chief priests at the cross (Mark 15:31), or Peter’s warning about the last days, “mockers will come, mocking and following their own evil desires” (2 Peter 3:3).  Perhaps the strongest and clearest warning comes from Jude 1:9-10, “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”  Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals — these are the very things that destroy them.”  As believers, we will have our day as the scripture says we will judge angels (1 Cor 6:3).  This will happen in a good and pure and right way, all in submission to God’s prophetic timetable.  Crowder’s song provides the saints with – at best – a premature (not to mention immature) understanding of our role.  At worst, this song could bring destruction.  Stay away!

By His Wounds,

Pr. Russ

August 12, 2017

Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker…

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Watching the University of Virginia campus filled with white nationalists…hell on earth is the only term that comes to mind.  May God open their eyes before it is too late.

Racism of all sorts will never find a friend in Scripture.

“…to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.  Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’  Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?  Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’  This is what the LORD says –  the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?  It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it.  My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.” -Isaiah 45:9-12

Every color shape and size, they are precious in his eyes, Jesus loves the little children of the world.

By His Wounds,

Pr. Russ

 

July 15, 2017

False Teachers

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Best-selling author Eugene Peterson changes his mind on gay marriage

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).

As a fellow Pastor this is grievous to me because hell is real and people will go there if they have not turned to Christ from their sins.  Through Peterson’s endorsement of sexual immorality, he is causing people to be comfortable with a lifestyle that Jesus Himself declared as sinful (Mark 7:21).  As Pastors we should walk with everyone, but we always hold scripture as the light out of the darkness.  And Jesus is the light of the world, able and willing to save us from our sin.  Jesus said, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love…” (John 15:10a).  His very first command in the Gospel of Matthew was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17).

Ultimately, Peterson’s comments have less to do with sexuality and more to do with rejecting the Father’s authority over the world He created, as revealed through scripture.  Either repentance (from EVERYTHING unholy) is needed, or it is not.  If Peterson is saying it is not needed then he is preaching a different gospel.

Even though I would not consider The Message to be a trustworthy translation, these are ironically Peterson’s own words, “Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven!—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed. I said it once; I’ll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed.” (Galatians 1:8,9 The Message)

And what did Pastor Peterson originally receive in order to preach?  The plain good news of the gospel, that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).  To everyone reading this, hear and receive the unchanging truth that Jesus freely offers to us all, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7). I am eternally grateful that years ago the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to my need for repentance.  How could I now – as a Christian (let alone a Pastor) – offer others anything less?

By His Wounds,

Pastor Russ

March 6, 2016

Risen

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I am writing to encourage everyone (especially Christians!) to see the movie Risen, and here is why: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -Jesus (John 13:35)

I experienced Risen last night with a dear brother-in-Christ. This film brought out of me the core of our faith, which is radical love for one another as a result of Christ’s radical love for us.  Such love that was on radiant display in the disciples was unlike any Biblical screen adaption I had ever witnessed.

What Risen accomplished, in my estimation, is the merging of 1st Century historical events (or at least, semi-historical) with the emotion and joy of one of the most radical spiritual awakenings in recent memory, the Jesus People Movement of the 1970’s.  The reckless abandon with which that generation shared Jesus: walking up and down Hollywood boulevard telling people, “Hey man, Jesus loves you” is the spirit alive in this movie, only it is extra intriguing because it is coming from 1st century disciples…you know, the guys who are supposed to be wooden and somber at best. And yet, when you read Acts, it is hard to imagine that they would not have had the “Jesus People” zeal.  [disclaimer: showing the disciples with this much joy and zeal is perhaps premature as Pentecost had not yet occurred, but nonetheless, they were still very much ‘changed’ by their encounters with Christ…and that is the point, that we should be changed too…and we are…we just have to live into this new reality.  So it helps to see it lived out.]

I believe Risen is a gift from heaven in a very difficult season for the American church when there are just so many factors overwhelming us and stifling even the love between us. This film will excite and awaken that love.

By His Wounds,

Pastor Russ

Note: The film itself is far from perfect…but the scenes with the disciples alone make it well worth your investment.  See it with a friend, or ten!

 

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