Sermons from Sunday (May 10th, 2020)

Deep South Reformation would like these sermons to benefit and be an aid to help you understand the Scripture for God’s Glory. If you are a pastor and would like your sermons on DSR, let us know. If you have any other questions, please contact us!

1. North Hills Church (West Monroe, LA)

2. New Testament Baptist Church (Biloxi, MS)

3. Springs of Grace Baptist Church (Shreveport, LA)

4. Highland Park Baptist Church (Monroe, LA)

5. Christ the Redeemer Church (Pine Bluff, AR)

6. Bullitt Lick Baptist Church (Shepherdsville, KY)

 

Song: Jesus Your Mercy

On Family Worship by John Newton

A letter from John Newton on Family Worship. Banner of Truth, The Works of John Newton, Volume 1, pgs. 100-104.

Works of John Newton are available at Banner of Truth

 

On Family Worship

Sir,

A neglect of family prayer is, I am afraid, too common amongst professors in this day. I am glad that you consider it both as a duty and a privilege, and are by grace determined, that, when you shall commence master of a family, you will worship God with all your house. It was Abraham’s commendation, that he not only served the Lord himself, but was solicitous that his children and household might serve him likewise. I trust that he who inclines your heart to walk in the footsteps of faithful Abraham, will bless you in the attempt, and give you peace in your dwelling; a mercy which is seldom enjoyed, which indeed can hardly be expected, by those families which call not upon the Lord.

Though I readily comply with your request, and would be glad if I can offer anything that may assist or animate you in your good purpose, I am afraid I shall not answer your expectations with regard to the particulars of your inquiry, concerning the most proper method of conducting family worship. The circumstances of families are so various, that no determinate rules can be laid down: nor has the word of God prescribed any; because, being of universal obligation, it is wisely and graciously accommodated to suit the different situations of his people. You must, therefore, as to circumstantials, judge for yourself. You will do well to pursue such a method as you shall find most convenient to yourself and family, without scrupulously binding yourself, when the Scripture has left you free.

We have no positive precept enjoining us any set time for prayer, nor even how often we should pray, either in public or private; though the expressions of “continuing instant in prayer,” “praying without ceasing,” and the like, plainly intimate that prayer should be frequent. Daniel prayed three times a day; which the Psalmist speaks of as his practice likewise; and in one place declares his purpose of praising God seven times a day. This last expression is perhaps indefinite, not precisely seven times—but very often. Indeed, a person who lives in the exercise of faith and love, and who finds by experience that it is good for him to draw nigh to God, will not want to be told how often he must pray, any more than how often he must converse with an earthly friend. Those whom we love, we love to be much with. Love is the best casuist, and either resolves or prevents a thousand scruples and questions, which may perplex those who only serve God from principles of constraint and fear. A believer will account those his happiest days, when he has most leisure and most liberty of spirit for the exercise of prayer.

However, I think family prayer cannot be said to be stated, unless it be performed at least daily, and, when unavoidable hindrances do not prevent, twice a day. Though all times and seasons are alike to the Lord, and his ear is always open whenever we have a heart to call upon him; yet to us there is a peculiar suitableness in beginning and closing the day with prayer: in the morning, to acknowledge his goodness in our preservation through the night, and entreat his presence and blessing on our persons and callings in the course of the day; and at night, to praise him for the mercies of the day past, to humble ourselves before him for what has been amiss, to wait on him for a renewed manifestation of his pardoning love, and to commit ourselves and our concerns to his care and protection while we sleep.

You will, of course, choose those hours when you are least liable to be incommoded by the calls of business, and when the family can assemble with the most convenience: only I would observe, that it greatly preserves regularity and good order in a house, to keep constantly to the same hours when it is practicable; and likewise, that it is best not to defer evening prayer until late, if it can be well avoided; lest some who join in the exercise, and perhaps the person himself who leads in it, should be too weary or sleepy to give a due attention. On this account, I should advise to have family prayer before supper, where people have the choice and disposal of their own hours.

I think, with you, that it is very expedient and proper that reading a portion of the word of God should be ordinarily a part of our family worship; so likewise to sing a hymn or psalm, or part of one, at discretion; provided there are some persons in the family who have enough of a musical ear and voice to conduct the singing in a tolerable manner: otherwise, perhaps, it may be better omitted. If you read and sing, as well as pray, care should be taken that the combined services do not run into an inconvenient length.

The chief thing to be attended to is, that it may be a spiritual service; and the great evil to be dreaded and guarded against in the exercise of every duty that returns frequently upon us, is formality. If a stated course of family prayer is kept up as constantly in its season as the striking of the clock, in time it may come to be almost as mechanically performed, unless we are continually looking to the Lord to keep our hearts alive.

It most frequently happens, that one or more members of a family are unconverted persons. When there are such present, a great regard should be had to them, and everything conducted with a view to their edification, that they may not be disgusted or wearied, or tempted to think that it is little more than the fashion or custom of the house; which will probably be the case, unless the master of the family is lively and earnest in performance of the duty, and likewise circumspect and consistent in every part of his behavior at other times. By leading in the worship of God before children, servants, or strangers, a man gives bond (as it were) for his behavior, and adds strength to every other motive which should engage him to abstain from all appearance of evil. It should be a constant check upon our language and tempers in the presence of our families, to consider that we began the day, and propose to end it, with them in prayer. The Apostle Peter uses this argument to influence the conduct of husbands and wives towards each other; and it is equally applicable to all the members of a family; “That your prayers be not hindered,” that is, either prevented and put off, or despoiled of all life and efficacy, by the ferment of sinful passions.

On the other hand, the proper exercise of family prayer, when recommended by a suitable deportment, is a happy means of instructing children and servants in the great truths of religion, of softening their prejudices, and inspiring them with a temper of respect and affection, which will dispose them to cheerful obedience, and make them unwilling to grieve or offend.

In this instance, as in every other, we may observe, that the Lord’s commands to his people are not arbitrary appointments; but that, so far as they are conscientiously complied with, they have an evident tendency and suitableness to promote our own advantage. He requires us to acknowledge him in our families, for our own sakes; not because he has need of our poor services, but because we have need of his blessing, and without the influence of his grace (which is promised to all who seek it) are sure to be unhappy in ourselves and in all our connections.

When husband and wife are happily partakers of the same faith, it seems expedient, and for their mutual good, that, besides their private devotions, and joining in family prayer, they should pray together. They have many wants, mercies, and concerns, in common with each other, and distinct from the rest of the family. The manner in which they should improve a little time in this joint exercise cannot well be prescribed by a third person: yet I will venture to suggest one thing; and the rather, as I do not remember to have met with it in print. I conceive that it may prove much to their comfort to pray alternately, not only the husband with and for the wife, but the wife with and for the husband. The Spirit of God, by the Apostle, has expressly restrained women from the exercise of spiritual gifts in public; but I apprehend the practice I am speaking of can no way interfere with that restriction. I suppose them in private together, and then I judge it to be equally right and proper for either of them to pray with the other. Nor do I meet anything in Paul’s writings to prevent my thinking, that if he had been a married man, he would, though an Apostle, have been glad for the prayers of his wife. If you ask, how often they should pray together? I think the oftener the better, provided it does not break in upon their duties; once a day at least; and if there is a choice of hours, it might be as well at some distance from their other seasons of worship. But I would observe, as before, that in matters not expressly commanded, prudence and experience must direct.

I have written upon a supposition that you use extempore prayer; but as there are many heads of families who fear the Lord, and have not yet attained liberty to pray extempore before others, I would add, that their inability in this respect, whether real, or whether only proceeding from fear, and an undue regard to self, will not justify them in the omission of family prayer. Helps may be procured. Mr. Jenks’s Devotions are in many hands; and I doubt not but there are other excellent books of the same kind, with which I am not acquainted. If they begin with a form, not with a design to confine themselves always to one, but make it a part of their secret pleading at the Throne of Grace, that they may be favored with the gift and spirit of prayer; and accustom themselves, while they use a form, to intersperse some petitions of their own; there is little doubt but they will in time find a growth in liberty and ability, and at length lay their book entirely aside. For it being every believer’s duty to worship God in his family, his promise may be depended upon, to give them a sufficiency in all things, for those services which he requires of them.

Happy is that family where the worship of God is constantly and conscientiously maintained. Such houses are temples in which the Lord dwells, and castles garrisoned by a Divine power. I do not say, that, by honoring God in your house, you will wholly escape a share in the trials incident to the present uncertain state of things. A measure of such trials will be necessary for the exercise and manifestation of your graces; to give you a more convincing proof of the truth and sweetness of the promises made to a time of affliction; to mortify the body of sin; and to wean you more effectually from the world. But this I will confidently say, that the Lord will both honor and comfort those who thus honor him. Seasons will occur in which you shall know, and probably your neighbors shall be constrained to take notice, that He has not bid you seek him in vain. If you meet with troubles, they shall be accompanied by supports, and followed by deliverance; and you shall upon many occasions experience, that He is your protector, preserving you and yours from the evils by which you will see others suffering around you.

I have rather exceeded the limits I proposed; and therefore shall only add a request, that in your addresses at the Throne of Grace you will remember, &c (Newton’s Signature).

Sermons from Sunday (May 3rd, 2020)

Deep South Reformation would like these sermons to benefit and be an aid to help you understand the Scripture for God’s Glory. If you are a pastor and would like your sermons on DSR, let us know. If you have any other questions, please contact us!

1. North Hills Baptist Church (West Monroe, LA)

2. Springs of Grace Baptist Church (Shreveport, LA)

3. Highland Park Baptist Church (Monroe, LA)

4. New Testament Baptist Church (Biloxi, MS)

5. Bullitt Lick Baptist Church (Shepherdsville, KY)

6. Christ the Redeemer Church (Pine Bluff, AR)

Song: Christ Our Hope in Life and Death

Death as Vocation

By W. E. Travis 

Introduction: I have entitled this morning’s message as Death as Vocation. Which on its face may seem odd because we typically associate vocation with job, profession, or career. The providence of God has allotted to me the vocations of Teacher and Pastor, to Darrell Carpenter and Pastor, to Christian Physical Therapist, to Leslie Accountant, to Destiny stay at home mother. 

As we will see, however, we limit the word vocation to our own peril. Vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, meaning “to call.” Used in the Christian sense, vocation refers to a divine calling, a summons that comes from God Himself. He calls people the world over to an entire catalog of employments. There are as many vocations as there are facets to human life (Sproul).

We have different vocations with respect to the jobs and tasks God gives us in this life. But we all share in the vocation of death. Every one of us is called to die. That vocation is as much a calling from God as is a “call” to the ministry of Christ. Sometimes the call comes suddenly and without warning. Sometimes it comes with advanced notification.

    • But, it comes to all of us.
    • And, all to whom it comes – it comes from God. 

In light of the hysteria that currently grips not only our state, country, and the world but also perhaps even some of our homes I want us to understand two things in regards to death: First, that death is by Divine purpose & Second, death is according to Divine appointment.

  • Our texts for this morning show forth both of these truths: 
    • Ecclesiastes 3:1-2: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven – A time to give birth and a time to die”
    • Hebrews 9:27: “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment…”

What is being stated here (and very clearly mind you) is that our death lies in the One who gave us this life. God is not only in control of our death (in whatever form it comes to us), but He is the One who has appointed our death – we should both believe and say that God is Sovereign over our death.

To embrace the Sovereignty of God is to affirm more than mere truth, however, this is where it must begin. Before we wrap our days up in the sovereignty of God we must first come to terms with it as it is presented on the pages of Scripture. We lack the time to cover this inexhaustible matter: However, I think I can show you the Sovereignty of God in a satisfactory manner and in short order as well. 

  • [The LORD’s] “dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven. And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” Daniel 4:34-35
  • “[I am] The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.” Isaiah 45:7
  • “Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.” Isaiah 46:8-11

The Sovereignty of God is an expression that once was generally understood. It was a phrase commonly used in Christian literature. It was a theme frequently expounded in the pulpit. It was a truth which brought comfort to many hearts, and gave virility and stability to Christian character. But, today, to make mention of God’s Sovereignty is, in many quarters, to speak in an unknown tongue. 

Were we to announce from the average pulpit that the subject of our discourse would be the Sovereignty of God, it would sound very much as though we had borrowed a phrase from one of the dead languages. Alas! that it should be so. Alas! that the doctrine which is the key to history, the interpreter of Providence, the warp and woof of Scripture, and the foundation of Christian theology should be so [eagerly and] sadly neglected and so little understood.

The Sovereignty of God. What do we mean by this expression? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the godhood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is “The Governor among the nations” (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible. – A.W. Pink

  • Such is your God dear Christian. All things bow in submission to His will whether Nations, Kings, people, or plagues. If there is one rogue particle of the Coronavirus roaming this planet then God is not God. But He is God – He is the only Sovereign of the Cosmos. 
    • And no matter the trial (even if it be a global pandemic that threatens your very life) the sovereignty of God ought to be the pillow on which you lay your head. 
    • The acknowledgment that God is in control of all things, the conviction that there is not one nanometer of this creation over which God does not shout “Mine!” must steady your hand and sure your feet to live or die at God’s appointed time & for God’s appointed purpose. 

Charles Spurgeon took his pastorate in London during the midst of an outbreak of cholera in 1854, and he remarked the following: “If there ever be a time when the mind is sensitive, it is when death is abroad. I recollect, when first I came to London, how anxiously people listened to the gospel, for the cholera was raging terribly. There was little scoffing then.”

Twelve years later when London was ravaged again by Cholera the Bishop of Liverpool J.C. Ryle responded: “Vestries may fail to do their duty, and Governments may be slow to act. Hospitals may be overcrowded, and doctors may fail. But the Lord reigns and we [The Christian] have no cause to despair.” 

  • In the midst of panic, in the presence of sickness, and even in the face of death – Mt. Eden will you lay your head down on the pillow of unerring providence? Will you take all your solace in this reality: “In Your book were all written/ The days that were ordained for me/ When as yet there was not one of them.” Psalm 139:16

The day of your death is an appointment. The day of your death is a Divine Calling – it is a vocation:  This is the point of Ecclesiastes 3:1-2: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven – A time to give birth and a time to die”

The time / this time (this very chaotic, irrational, dysfunctional, deadly time) has been appointed by God. And the purpose of this time is twofold – a purpose for those who are in Christ and a purpose for those who are not.

  • For you Christian this Godly affliction is profitable: 
    • It teaches you (rather presses upon you) to shake off your earthly prospects and sets your longing for glory. 
    • It forces you to contemplate and deal with the vanity of this life and leave off unprofitable pursuits. 
    • These momentary afflictions and contemplations of the end of your life only magnify the sufficiency of Christ. 
    • The prospect of death confirms your faith by experience, and so sanctifies you and prepares you for heaven. 
  • For the ungodly this Godly affliction is not necessarily useful: 
    • For those who know God not, the panic of death (ironically) distracts them from the giver of life. 
    • The experience provides only a temporary expression of fear 

      And secularism is strengthened as man in the foolishness of his heart looks to the external factors of Government, doctors, and medicines (as his ultimate hope).  

If we are getting to the root here – the root of our panic, the root of our hysteria, the root of our fear – it is the fear of dying. That is what makes all of this scary (the News coverage, the reports, the breaking news, the governmental debriefings, the scale of infections and the toll of deaths and on and on ad infinitum it goes)  we are scared to die. 

And yet, we have these words: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven – A time to give birth and a time to die”

    • There is an appointed time to die. Death is a Divine appointment. And it is an appointment that will not come prematurely nor will it come with delay. But rather it will come the precise moment Divine Sovereignty has decreed.

Listen to how the death of Jesus was spoken of: 

      • “So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.” Jn.7:20
        • “So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.” Jn.8:19-20
        • “Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” Jn.13:1

“The time of a man’s coming into the world and going out of it, both being fixed by the Lord: this is true of all men in general, of all men that come into the world, for whom it is appointed that they shall die; and particularly of Christ, whose birth was at the time appointed by the Father, in the fullness of time; and whose death was in due time, nor could his life be taken away before his hour was come, and this holds good of every individual man; his birth is at the time God has fixed it; that any man is born into the world, is of God; no man comes into it at his own pleasure or another’s, but at the will of God, and when he pleases, not sooner nor later; and the time of his going out of the world is settled by him, beyond which time he cannot live, and sooner he cannot die.” – John Gill

When your time comes to die – what you must be resolved to understand now is that it will be an appointed time – a time appointed by God before ever the worlds were formed. There will not be anything that violates this time and His determined means to end your time in this world and to begin it in the next. 

Your hour of death, beloved of God, serves a glorious and Christ-exalting purpose to get you to Him. 

    • Therefore, fear not for your Christ has overcome this world – therefore, do not be so in love with it that you are scared to leave it. “O believer! What is there in this earth to tempt you to hang back, when God calls you to depart? 
    • While you are here, you may lay your account with many losses, crosses, disappointments, griefs, calamities, of all sorts. 
    • Friends will fail you, enemies will hate you, lusts will molest you, Satan will tempt you, diseases will ravage your body. Death is the way (the appointed way) that the dearest of God’s saints, and all the cloud of witnesses, have gone before you; yea, the Lord Jesus your Head hath trod this path, and hath taken the sting out of death, and have paved a way through its dark valley, that His people may follow Him.
      • Hath the Captain of your salvation gone before you? And will any of His soldiers shrink to follow Him? Are you content to remain always at the same distance from Him, and to enjoy no more of His presence than now you have? Are you satisfied to live forever with no more knowledge of God, no more love to Christ, no more holiness of heavenly-mindedness, that at the present you have? Are you not desirous to go to the place where you will be eternally free from all your remaining ignorance, deadness, wanderings, pride, passions, unbelief, selfishness, worldliness, fears, and many other sins and lusts which beset you here and now? (Spurgeon)
      • Why would we above all people on the face of the earth fear the very thing intended to unite us in glory and for eternity with our Redeemer? Your death is a Divine Appointment, an appointment with the Divine. To finally after all your many years, of toils, dangers, and snares to meet with Him face-to-face, to stand in His presence, and to worship Him without the hindrance of sin throughout the ages of ages. 

This time that we are now living in is a gift. 

  • A gift to think about life and to live it for the greatest and most glorious purpose possible – the living God.
  • It is a gift in that we are forced more now perhaps than in days past to concern ourselves with the state both of the lost and ourselves.
  • It is a gift in that we may now look at time for what it is a limited resource provided in order that we may live for the God of glory. 
  • It is a gift that we may contemplate the wonders that await us who have been tucked away into Christ for eternity. 

Close with Bunyan’s description of the Celestial City [Feel free to access here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/131/131-h/131-h.htm


This message was preached by Pastor W.E. Travis II on March 15, 2020, to the Saints at Mt. Eden Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, KY.