Friday, May 29, 2009


The improvements to our church building arising out of the December 2007 storm are still ongoing. I never thought I'd see the day when our parking lots would be paved, but the pavers just finished with the East parking lot yesterday. I never thought I'd see the day when we had anything better than metal folding chairs in the Fellowship Hall, but we picked up some used ones from the Seaside Convention Center last week. I never thought I'd see the day when the front landscaping would be anything more than a big yard and a little sidewalk entrance to the church. But it has been redone and is very nice and makes the front entrance much more accessible. Harvey Packard just finished with a major remodel of the library--it looks great. For the first time since the building was built in the 70s we can almost say that it is finished.

Praise God! This has all been exceeding abundantly beyond anything that anyone would have thought. Its safe to say that the December 2007 storm was the best thing that ever happened to our church building. Church Mutual was great in caring for us. Helligso Construction did a great job on the remodel. The people of the church have worked really hard on these recent yard projects. Numerous workers have put in countless hours for which we are most thankful. But, above all else, thank you Lord Jesus for your provision!

Pastor Jerry

Friday, May 22, 2009


There is no denying the fact that we live in a needy day. Just read the news. But the need is not just for a better economy, it is for a better spiritual economy. This depressed spiritual economy has left our world spiritually bankrupt. Jesus ministered in such a day. He looked out at the multitudes and saw that they were "distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:37). And so it goes--things haven't changed much.

The people need a shepherd. They need a shepherd who can provide for them, who can lead them, who can offer them genuine hope--that shepherd is Jesus Christ. He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep, that they might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10-11). He is the Great Shepherd who sits at the right hand of God and intercedes on our behalf (Hebrews 13:20; 10:19-22). He is the Chief Shepherd who guides and directs the undershepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4).

Seeing the multitudes, Jesus said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the harvest" (Matt. 9:37-38). God answered Jesus' prayer in sending forth the Apostles to share the good news--and the church was born. The church exists to this day commissioned to proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ.

What is needful today is "God sent" missionaries (Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 28:19; Acts 13:4). "God sent" missionaries are filled with God's compassion for souls (Matthew 9:36). "God sent" missionaries are empowered and emboldened by the Spirit of God to proclaim the gospel (Ephesians 6:19). "God sent" missionaries witness both with their lives and their lips (Colossians 4:5-6). "God sent" missionaries carefully endeavor to make the gospel clear (Colossians 4:4).

There is a great need for "God sent" missionaries in Clatsop County. Let's pray for workers to be sent out. Let's prepare our hearts that we might be sent out (Isaiah 6:8). Let's go (Acts 13:4)!

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, May 14, 2009


"God, Government, and the Gospel" is the title of the 11th chapter in John MacArthur's book "Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong." The chapter argues for a Biblical response to the oftentimes overzealous response of evangelicals with regards to political activism. MacArthur presents five Biblical principles that Christians should consider in thinking rightly about government and political activism:

1. Our commission is the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20). "True Christianity is more concerned with saving souls than it is with gaining votes...Only the gospel, through the power of the Spirit, can affect real change in society--since it transforms sinners from the inside out."

2. Our confidence is in God. God is sovereign over all. He has already revealed to us how this world will end. "In its discussion of the last days, the Bible is clear that society will continue to get worse until the return of Christ (2 Thess. 2:7-12; 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Pet. 3:3). Yet many evangelicals approach politics as if the degradation of society is something they can stop with legislation. The truth is that no society will ever be truly made right until Christ comes..."

3. Our charge is to submit (Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1). "The sum of our civil duty then, is to submit and to pay taxes.

4. Our commitment is to pray (1 Tim. 2:1-2). "An immediate byproduct of praying for our leaders is that it removes feelings of anger and resistance towards them. It prompts us to seek peace rather than to rebel or overreact--to lead lives that are tranquil, quiet, godly, and dignified." "Second, Christians should pray for the salvation of their leaders (1 Tim. 2:3-6,8).

5. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20-21)."Our ultimate allegiance is to the Lord. We follow His directions, commandments, and standards as revealed to us in His word and energized by His Holy Spirit. We live for eternal matters, operating with a wholly different set of priorities than those in the world around us. Though we now reside in an earthly kingdom, our resources and efforts are primarily focused on advancing the work of an eternal kingdom (Matt. 6:3).

MacArthur concludes the chapter with these thoughts: "One day Jesus Christ will return. When He does, He will establish His Kingdom, the perfect government in which He will rule with absolute equity and justice. As His servants, we will have the joy of participating in His flawless and incorruptible administration. In fact, we will reign with Him as we worship Him in His resplendent glory. In the meantime, we would do well to remember that our primary mission is to preach the gospel and not to instigate political change."

The chapter is a needful reminder to us of where our priorities lie. Countries come and go, but "the gates of Hades shall not overpower" the church. Leaders are but for a while, but "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever." Political causes ebb and flow, but the gospel remains the "power of God for salvation to every one who believes."

Pastor Jerry

Saturday, May 2, 2009


According to the World Health Organization a Phase 6 pandemic virus exists when a community level outbreak exists in at least one other country in a different WHO region than where it began. Phase 6 designates a global pandemic. Phase 6 is the highest level and demands the most drastic measures and most immediate concern.

Though you will never hear it from worldy sources a phase 6 global pandemic scale--much worse than the swine flue--has infected us all. It has been around for centuries and there is no cure. Its called sin.

Every man, woman and child is infected with it. Romans 5:12, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

There is no escaping it. It was recently suggested by the Vice President that we avoid confined spaces lest we be exposed to the swine flu. People are rushing to buy medical masks to protect themselves, but there is no escaping sin. Even if we were to enclose ourself in a "bubble house" on a deserted island we could not escape sin, for wherever we go, sin goes with us (Mark 7:20-23).

We fear the consequences of catching the swine flu, the consequences of the sin disease are far worse. T. DeWitt Talmage described its affect on us, "Sin is a leprosy, sin is a consumption, sin is pollution, sin is death. Give it a fair chance and it will swamp you, body, mind and soul for ever. In this world it only gives a faint intimation of its virulence; but after for a thousand quadrillion years it has ransacked your soul--what then? You see a patient in the first stages of typhoid fever. The cheek is somewhat flushed, the hands somewhat hot, preceded by a slight chill. "Why," you say, "typhoid does not seem to be much of a disease." But wait until the patient has been six weeks under it, and all his energies have been wrung out, and he is too weak to life his little finger, and his intellect is gone, then you see the full havoc of the disease. Now sin in this world is an ailment, which is only in its first stages; but after the grave, it is a rending, blasting, all-devouring, all-consuming, eternal typhoid." Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death." 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die."

Man’s been trying for a long time to find a cure for the sin disease. He has supposed that it could be cured by religious self-effort, better education, humanistic psychology, or a better society. His efforts have proven to be futile. A tragic misdiagnosis is a part of the problem. Instead of recognizing sin for what it is, he has blamed his failures on a myriad of other things. Humanistic cures are like giving a band-aid to a cancer patient. The church growth movement is partly responsible for our present state. One of its chief spokeman has said, "Its a sin to call people sinners." In its misdiagnosis it has supposed that we need only improve ourselves. But there is absolutely nothing that we can do to resolve the sin problem.

The bad news is that there is a pandemic and that every one of us in infected and that our condition is terminal. The good news is that God has provided an answer for the sin disease and His answer is Jesus Christ. He alone walked the earth untouched by the disease. "He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). "Unblemished and spotless" (1 Pet. 1:19) He offered Himself up as "the lamb of God to take aways the sin of the world" (John 1:29). His victory over sin, and death, and judgment is applied to all who trust in Him and His finished work on the cross (Rom. 6:3-7). In Him we have forgiveness of sin (Eph. 1:7), victory over sin (7:24-25), and the promise of future and ultimate deliverance from every hint of the disease (Phil. 3:20-21).

While the swine flu epidemic is a serious concern, the sin disease is far more destructive. Let us be mindful of its virulence and look to the sole means of deliverance--the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor Jerry