Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2017.02.26

February 26 – March 4 


Scripture Passage:  Then he began to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not.  “Woe unto you, Chorazin! Woe unto you Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgement, than for you.  And you, Capernaum, which are exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell:  for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgement, than for you.”   Matthew 11:20-24 


Dear Friends,  

     With great blessings come great responsibilities.  In the land surrounding the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee stand the ruins of three major cities that were thriving during the days of Christ.  Chorazin was in the northwest region, Bethsaida in the northeast region, and Capernaum was in the center region on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  When Jesus was rejected by his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus traveled the mountain pass through Magdala to the thriving city of Capernaum.  Here he established his headquarters, called his disciples and performed most of his miracles.  Each of these cities had their own synagogue, so Jesus undoubtedly taught there and revealed who he was and the purpose he had come for.  A Roman Centurion’s paralyzed servant was healed, a paralytic carried by four friends was made well, Peter’s mother-in-law was restored and the nobleman’s son was revived.  With all the miracles these people experienced you would think they would recognize and follow Jesus as the Messiah.  They enjoyed his bread and fish (the feeding of the five-thousand) the miraculous healing of their sick, and the powerful teaching in their synagogues, but would not accept his identity as the Son of God.  They saw and experienced more than any other area of Jesus’ ministry but developed calloused hearts toward Him.  Jesus pronounced woes or curses against them because of their unbelief.  They were sinful, worldly, and very carnal, but it was their unbelief that drew the judgement of Jesus.  They had everything but appreciated nothing.  It is interesting to note that all three of these cities today are nothing but ancient ruins.  It should also sound an alarm to our nation that if we continue to ignore the blessings God has sent us and deny His Son we are destined for the same fate as Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. 


     As we traveled the land of Israel with its mountains, valleys, and deserts, we were reminded that this was the “Promised Land” which was guaranteed to the Patriarchs of old.  The comment was made that if this rocky, dry, desert land was the Promised Land, what must the fertile land of the United States be described as.  If the rocky hills of northern Galilee and the barren wasteland of En-gedi  and Masada in the south are the land of milk and honey, what have I been given in the fertile valleys of East Tennessee?  We have been blessed beyond measure.  Also, we have been raised in the Bible Belt of the south where Jesus has been taught, preached and believed in for nearly five hundred years.  In recent times this belief and adherence to the teachings of Jesus have come under fierce attack by an unbelieving public.  They enjoy the milk and honey, but take credit for its abundance.  They want the miracles that only God can perform but fail to recognize His authority.  They want the freedom that comes with our independence but not the responsibility that goes along with it.  They want to worship a God they can see and for most that God is themselves.  How long will God tolerate our obstinacy?  How long shall we flaunt our freedom in the face of His authority and it not go unpunished?  How long shall we eat the good of the land while never giving anything back to our Creator who sustains us?  I am afraid we are on the verge of God’s righteous judgement against our nation and our churches.  We cannot continue to do wrong and get by for eventually God will say “That’s enough” and the blessings we have enjoyed will turn to the woes of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  That something is to preach the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to remind carnal, worldly Christians to repent.  If we do not, we should not be surprised when the hand of God turns from one of blessings to one of discipline.


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny