Bethel Baptist Church

"For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen." Romans 11:36

The Beacon

During a question and answer session at a recent speaking engagement, a university student asked me, "Why do you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God?" Now this is a very interesting question; and probably one of the most important questions any Christian could ask themselves. What is so special, so unique about the Bible that Christians believe it is literally the inspired word of God?

In the near future, I will make a change in the Bible I preach from.  For many years I have preached from the New American Standard Bible (NASB), first published in 1971.  I considered it to be the best word-for-word translation we have in English.  The main criticism of the NASB has always been that, in an effort to maintain a literal word-for-word translation, the result has been a text that lacks fluidity and is sometimes difficult to read.  This is probably the main reason why the NASB never gained more popularity.  In addition to that, the King James Version was always more beautiful than the NASB and the New International Version, first published in 1978, was more readable.  I have always liked the NASB because the translation was more contemporary than the King James and more literal than the NIV.

In Sunday School with the Youth  Group we have been studying the Book of Revelation and the events of the End  Times, lately the first of the judgments, the Seal judgments, against a sinful  world by a Holy God. One of the aspects that have caught my attention is the  persecution the world heaps upon Believers and the utter hatred the world has  against Believers in Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:1-40

1-7:As you walk through, "Portraits of the Saints in the Hall of faith," with Bible dictionary in hand, think of what the Lord is writing about you in His record book. "Faith," found 24 times in 40 verses, is the complete assurance that the unseen and invisible God in Christ exists, that He is the Rewarder of all who seek Him, that things of the Lord and God fulfilling all promises, are the only true realities. Our faith is the title to ownership "of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." By faith we believe that the world was created by the spoken command, "Let there be," and that God is the origin of all Creation.

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It seemed strange to write 2012 on the top of this letter. I am just getting used to writing 2011!

On the first Sunday of Advent, we talked about Mary's pondering. She certainly had much to ponder that year of her life: a visit from an angel, a relative's miracle baby, Joseph's
acceptance, her own miracle baby, a visit from a bunch of shepherds, and, later, a visit from some wisemen. As I ponder the past year, even the past two months, it is exciting to see
the things God is busy doing.