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Articles by John Revell

Found 28 Articles by John Revell

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In the weeks leading up to Memorial Day, the pastor of a thriving Southern Baptist church announced for his members to bring their boat trailers with them to early church on the way to the lake later that afternoon. Another pastor urges his members not to accept secular employment on Sundays and routinely implores them not to engage in secular entertainments on the Lord’s Day, such as watching Sunday afternoon ball games on television. A church across town hosted a Memorial Day Sunday evening outreach event in the commons area next to its storefront facility—the first Sunday evening program since the church was launched two years ago. A neighboring church has services every Sunday evening, a practice that extends back as long as anyone can remember.

Though Southern Baptists have a wide array of practices they view as acceptable for Lord’s Day activities, certain commonalities are clearly embraced. Article VIII (“The Lord’s Day”) of Southern Baptists’ confession of faith, The Baptist Faith and Message...

Cultivating Relationships to Advance the Gospel


 

The massive Great Commission returns more than justify the investment of efforts and energies through the SBC’s Global Evangelical Relations (GER) initiative, according to Garry Eudy.

Eudy, a retired IMB missionary and pastor, believes the results from GER strategist Bobby Welch’s efforts in Guatemala over the last three years clearly demonstrate GER’s Great Commission value. He states Welch’s presence and his efforts in linking Southern Baptists to ministry in the country have strengthened relationships with the Guatemalan Baptist Convention and opened the door for more Southern Baptists to join and support their efforts to present the Gospel to every person in the Central American nation.

“When Dr. Welch moves on to other places, there are Southern Baptist pastors and leaders who will have an interest here, and they will continue to build and foster the relationships here—to extend and expand upon that relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention—all for the Gospel,” said Eudy....

It is no secret that, over the last thirty years, the presence and influence of Calvinism has grown within the Southern Baptist Convention. While there are those who are concerned over the theological stance and the trend of its growing presence and popularity, some enthusiastically welcome it.

Article V, "God's Purpose of Grace," in the Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) states:

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, wi...

The topics of "sin" and "sinners" are not particularly popular in most settings or seasons, but especially not at Christmas. My wife and I have the incredible privilege of leading a weekly, home discipling group of about thirty teenagers and college students. Two weeks before Christmas we considered the topic "Out of Place Ornaments." Using the illustration of how each family's Christmas tree may have ornaments that don't seem to fit, I referred to the family tree of Christ as presented in Matthew. I pointed out that the genealogy of Christ includes four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (Matthew 1:3-6). Then I explained that for Matthew to include women in the genealogy of royalty would have been unusual in itself, but even more bizarre was the fact that each of those women would have stood out in the genealogy because of negative connotations. Two of the four were linked to s...

The topics of "sin" and "sinners" are not particularly popular in most settings or seasons, but especially not at Christmas. My wife and I have the incredible privilege of leading a weekly, home discipling group of about thirty teenagers and college students. Two weeks before Christmas we considered the topic "Out of Place Ornaments." Using the illustration of how each family's Christmas tree may have ornaments that don't seem to fit, I referred to the family tree of Christ as presented in Matthew. I pointed out that the genealogy of Christ includes four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba (Matthew 1:3-6). Then I explained that for Matthew to include women in the genealogy of royalty would have been unusual in itself, but even more bizarre was the fact that each of those women would have stood out in the genealogy because of negative connotations. Two of the four were linked to specific accounts of sordid sinful activity, another came from a background of prostituti...

"At this defining moment, change has come to America." Upon hearing those words from President-elect Barak Obama the evening he was elected to serve as this nation's 44th president, it struck me that he was absolutely correct. November 4, 2008, was indeed a defining moment in our nation's history, and indeed change has come. I celebrate the joyful reality that our nation has finally reached the point where the color of a man's skin does not automatically disqualify him from the highest elected position in our great nation. Regardless of one's political persuasion, that is good. All of us who have longed for such a day have truly seen a dream come true.

However, not every defining moment — not every point of change — in our history has been good. Roe v. Wade and the legalization of same-sex "marriages" in some states were defining moments — they ushered in definitive change — but they have also contributed to our nation...

Protecting Our Children

Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow (Isaiah 1:17 NIV).

The tragedy of child abuse needs no magnification, but it is indeed magnified when God's people do not take appropriate action to prevent it, or worse, if they fail to take appropriate action when it is discovered in their midst. It seems that common sense, and a sense of common decency, would move us to address such things; but alas, we are not always sufficiently motivated by these. Consider, ...

The Things We Accept, But God Forbids; Part Two: Slander

We've all probably seen it, and most of us have been tempted to participate. One of our brethren holds a differing view and automatically becomes a target for criticism. Often there is a good-natured exchange of harmless bantering, but what about when it moves beyond being "good natured" and "harmless?" What about when the differences center on theology, or methodology, or interpretation of Scripture? What about when the focus shifts to the person's record or behavior, present or past? And what about when such comments question the character and impugn the reputation of a brother?

When we look at the pattern displayed by many of our own, it appears that we view harsh, personal criticism — expressed both publicly and privately — as perfectly acceptable. In fact, it seems to be the norm in many circles — when you listen to conversation at our denominational gatherings and when you read the blogs, it appears to have become a default react...

The Things We Accept, But God Forbids; Part One: Temper

You've probably seen it before — the pastor is bearing a heavy load; he's under a lot of pressure from a myriad of sources, and he has been for some time. A staff member catches him at a weak moment, rubbing him the wrong way, and bam! He explodes, yelling at the man, unleashing all that pent-up rage and frustration, and reducing the poor soul to a humiliated, quivering heap.

A few minutes later everything is fine, as if nothing ever happened. He might offer a token apology, but everyone knows "that's just his personality." It has happened before, and it will certainly happen again, so everyone just has to learn to get used to it.

When he gets home, the kids are running through the house like wild animals and it grates on him. At the supper table, seven-year-old Danny starts acting like a seven-year-old again, and he carelessly knocks his milk over. This shepherd blows up all over Danny and the rest of his kids, letting them know just how sick ...

Considering the Christian's Responsibility on Election Day

Much has been said in the last two years concerning the influence of religious faith upon the ballot box. Following the massive turnout of "values voters" in the last election, it is suddenly in vogue for candidates of both major parties to passionately affirm their own personal religious convictions and to declare their unflagging commitment to family values (even when private behavior might contradict such claims). It seems political candidates posing as loyal faith and family advocates have popped up everywhere. But this recent — and likely temporary — political obsession with such things should not surprise us; politicians have hitched a free ride on the train of popular trends for generations.

Such political opportunism should have no bearing on the Christian's perspective on civic responsibility. We are called to rise above such prattle, for our ultimate loyalties rest in our True King, and His Kingdom priorities supersede all earthly political agendas...