Refining Fire #4, Danger in the Shortcut

The Refining Fire #4 – 10/27/13

Danger in the Shortcut – Acts 8:14-24

“Outside the city are the dogs ~ the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murders,
the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.” ~ Revelation 22:15
(Judgement’s last comment)
Our premise: We are in the last of the Last Days. Be ready!

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Refining Fire #3 – Refining Fire in God’s House

The Refining Fire #3 – 10/20/13

Refining Fire in God’s House – Acts 6:1-7;  “And then many will be offended and shall betray one another and shall hate one another.  False prophets shall rise and deceive many.  Lawlessness shall abound and the love of many shall wax cold.  But he who endures shall be saved.”  Matthew24:10-13 KJV

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Refining Fire #2 – Taking the Initiative

10/13/13 The Refining Fire – Series, Sermon #2

Taking the Initiative – Acts 4:8-12

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Tribute to Chuck Smith

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A Tribute To Chuck Smith
October 11th
2013
 
 
 
 
 
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From the Desk of
Pastor Frank
A Tribute to Chuck Smith

Last Sunday I learned that Chuck Smith died on October 3rd at the age of 86 after a long battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed ~ He was without question, a major hero of the faith in our time (a five talent servant). He is definitely on the way to becoming a historic figure in the annals of the expansion of modern Christianity. I have always said, that the proof of a revival is the “movements” it leaves behind. Calvary Chapel is now calling itself an “Association” which is just a more benign synonym for “Denomination.” If the Lord tarries, Calvary Chapels will be around for a long time

I attribute my personal exposure to the Gospel at age 20; Thelma’s too, to Chuck’s leadership that launched a “conversion wave” on the West Coast in the early 70s. We happened to be strategically positioned by God’s providence to “catch the wave” In Northern California in 1973. For this I am eternally grateful. I am fairly convinced that my “resistible nature” would have dominated my soul in any other 70s gospel context. God knew what Thelma and I needed to receive salvation; just the right conditions. Our church was not a Calvary; but it operated in their style and was deeply influenced by what was going on in Orange County at the time. So when our Navy Chaplain pastor (Chaplain James Robinson) preached that sermon from Mark 9 on a hot August Sunday in 1973, I was all ears, then glory!

 

 

Pastor Chuck is at the root of so much we see in the Evangelical Church today. He probably inspired more “church planting” than any other Christian of our time. The proof is in the pudding: Calvary Chapels are everywhere in the USA, Europe and many other places in the world. 1,000s of young church planters were sent from Southern California and by God’s hand established churches in very improbable places, ex. Vladivostok, Russia.

 

Calvary Chapel invented the American Worship Team with Chuck’s approval. The church organ was replaced by electric guitar driven praise music accompanied by drums, bass and keys. He also established the first Contemporary Christian music label: Maranatha! Music. “Seek Ye First” was one of their first hits. The most conservative and even liberal churches in the world use “worship music” from this genre and it all began in Costa Mesa, CA.

 

Chuck also brought “expository” preaching back into vogue. He just plowed through the Bible cover to cover. I actually have on cassettes (about 150 cassettes of CS’s sermons OT and NT, the entire Bible) somewhere. His eschatology is pretty much the standard view of most Evangelicals. His standard issue sermon was 40 minutes long. I am not saying that 40 minute sermons are the norm in the USA, but before the Jesus Movement, sermons were shorter and not so central to the worship.

 

I met Chuck on a couple of occasions. The first time was in South Phoenix. He was opening a new Calvary on Baseline Ave (late 70s). We got our chance to talk to him because he was out in the playground playing with a dozen kids and we just walked up and start talking. Later, at two different locations ~ Sacramento and San Diego, I talked with him backstage while being involved with Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades. He also hire my friend Ray Snook (Steve Snook’s dad) because he was “old school”. Chuck did Ray’s funeral, we attended, and we chatted again. It is not often that a “groundling” gets to talk to somebody that is going to have a page in future Church History books. I’m thinking there was probably someone like me in the mid 1500s, who ran into Martin Luther on a couple of occasions, and wrote about it in his diary. I relate to that guy!

 

I take great comfort in the fact that Chuck had very moderate success as a Foursquare pastor before he was 40. He was traditional and competent, a good evangelist, but nothing really distinguished his ministry. All of his churches were under 100 in average attendance. In 1967, he took the job of pastor at a nearly defunct church in Costa Mesa called Calvary Chapel.

 

The Elders were hard shell traditional Pentecostals who had distanced themselves from their Four Square roots (by the way, the Foursquare Church was founded by a women, Amy Semple McPherson. Today Calvarys’ are adamantly opposed to women in ministry).

Chuck’s wife Kay, suggested that Chuck begin to reach out to the “hippies” down at the beach. He made an instant connection with them and they began to see many of the young street people attend the church. One of the Elders put up a sign “NO bare feet in the Sanctuary.” Chuck tore down the sign during a service and that was the beginning of the Jesus Movement. A year later, over 1,000 were in attendance and it grew exponentially from there.

I noticed that the National Media did not cover the passing of Chuck Smith; that was mistake on their part. His influence on modern Christianity is only paralleled by Billy Graham. He was one of the greats and for me, will remain an inspiration! 

 

Sincerely,

 

Pastor Frank
Christ Center Wesleyan Church

Series: Refining Fire

Series Description: Refining Fire

New Series “The Refining Fire” ~ II Thessalonians 2: 1-12 ~ The Bible says in the Last Days “Cultural Pressure” will increase on the Church and the Believers who comprise the Body of Christ. The heat is on! II Tim 3: 2 says ~ “they will consider nothing sacred” ~ So those that are on the other side; that hold to and honor these “sacred things” will be under pressure to compromise their values and capitulate their faith to an ever demanding semi-secular culture. This prophecy is happening before our very eyes. The heat is being turned up on Christianity in America a bit more every day. Will we be able to stand the heat or will we be compelled to get out of the kitchen? If you are “feeling it” this series is for you. Bring your friends who are “feeling it” too. This series is about “firmly standing our Ground as Christ Followers.”

-Pastor Frank, Lead Pastor at Christ Center

Read below for sermon descriptions and sermon notes.

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Series Notes:

11/10/13 The Refining Fire Sermon #6 – Beyond YOUR Fiery Ordeal,  Acts 18:9-17 Click Here for Sermon Notes

11/03/13 The Refining Fire – Series, Sermon #5, The Sifting:  Bad Things Happen.  Acts 16:24-34  Click Here for Sermon Notes

10/27/13 The Refining Fire – Series, Sermon #4, Danger in the Shortcut, Acts 8:14-24 Click Here for Sermon Notes

10/20/13 The Refining Fire – Series, Sermon #3, Refining Fire in God’s House – Acts 6:1-7  Click Here for Sermon Notes

10/13/13 The Refining Fire – Series, Sermon #2   Taking the Initiative – Acts 4:8-12  Click Here for Sermon Notes

10/06/2013 “You Are Here!” – The Refining Fire #1  Are we in the Last Days, and if so, what do we need to do to prepare for the pressures the Bible predicts will come?        Click Here for Sermon Notes