Sermons by Brandon Baggett
Brother Brandon Baggett teaches on some very important issues that need to be heard by both Christians, and the lost. We are greatful for his work in the Lord’s Church.
Administrator: The Truth Matters
Brandon Baggett is a New Testament Christian. Brandon is originally from Montgomery, AL. In the year 2013, he graduated from the Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies in Pensacola, Florida.
Brandon holds fast to the Gospel of Christ – At All Costs
Brandon preaches for the Eastern Meadows church of Christ Congregation in Montgomery, AL.
Brandon and his wife labored with the Lord’s church in Glencoe, AL, Leakesville, MS and Valdosta, GA. Brandon holds several Gospel Meetings each year and speaks at several lectureships.
Brandon has been happily married to his wife Caitlin since January of 2012, and they are the proud parents of their son, Morgan.
“Below, are some of Brandon Baggett’s Sermons you will greatly benefit from listening to”.
What a Preacher is, and What a Preacher is not
The Final Judgement of God
Is God Pleased With Your Baptism?
The Value Of True Worship (Psalm 84)
Building Godly Homes Through The Psalms
Tough Questions-What Do I Say When?
What If Someone Does Fall Away?
The Resurrection From Three Viewpoints
The Top Qualities of Effective Soul-Winners Part 1
The Top Qualities of Effective Soul-Winners Part 2
The Offensive Gospel
When Jesus Talked About Heaven
“Below, are some of Brandon Baggett’s Articles you will greatly benefit from reading”.
How To Improve
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The Bible refers to the church of Christ as the very “house of God” (I Tim.3:15). In Galatians 6:10, Paul described the church as the “household of faith.” As Paul penned the book of Ephesians, he called the church “the whole family” of God (Eph.3:15). In light of these passages, God’s people ought to be greatly concerned about the condition of the church. Our physical houses are important, but the spiritual house of God is far more important. Therefore, each Christian should be willing to exert time and energy to help improve the church. This does not mean we have the license to change, alter, or add to God’s plan. The divine aspect of the church is perfect. This include the organization, worship, doctrine, means of entrance into the church, etc. However, the human side of the church has imperfections and stands in need of improvements. The human side of the church includes each individual Christian who makes up the church, because after all, the church is not the building. Therefore, when we speak of improving the church, we are encouraging every member of the body of Christ to look in the mirror of their soul and put forth effort to improve their self. When we improve ourselves, we will be improving the church. Here are a few ways we can do this:
First, we can improve the church by realizing there is no such thing as a perfect congregation. It does great harm to the church when individuals refuse to stay put in a certain congregation and work through difficulties. There certainly are situations which would make it needful for a person to leave a congregation, and in those circumstances, finding a new congregation is understandable. If a congregation is not worshipping properly, teaching error, or supporting public sin, an individual puts themself at risk spiritually by staying if the problem is not trying to be corrected. God’s word says “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (I Cor.5:6), and this point was brought up by Paul with regards to the entire congregation being affected by the problem which plagued the Corinthian church.
However, there are members of the body of Christ who are never satisfied with any congregation. Some find fault with the preacher. Others clash with the elders. They may not get along with some of the members. A person may not like the singing. They may even want something the church there is not offering. Each of these are reasons why individuals leave a congregation in search of another. In some cases, there are Christians who drive for many miles to worship, and in so doing, they pass several faithful congregations of the Lord’s church. However, they refuse to worship in their own community or with these closer congregations, and it is all because of their silly and selfish reasoning. The reality is, if a person is looking for a congregation without flaws, they will never stop looking. A perfect congregation does not exist, and if you find one, the moment you become a member it will cease to be perfect. When an individual changes congregations, they are simply swapping problems. To improve the church, stop looking for a perfect congregation, and do your part to help this congregation to be stronger.
Second, we can improve the church by refusing to allow negative thinking to control our minds. Satan desires our mind. If our adversary can gain control of our mind, he can gain control of the very control center of our body. God’s word reminds us as a person “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov.23:7). One of the ways Satan can work against the cause of God is through negative thinking. If the devil can get us to only see the negative, constantly complain, and never see the positive, he has gained control of the body’s control center. The church is filled with individuals who are counterproductive to the work of the church. They think they are doing the church a favor by constantly criticizing, fault finding, and complaining. However, they are actually doing the church harm, because negativism is destructive to God’s cause.
If anyone doubts the destructive power of negativity, they should read Numbers 13-14, because the negative report of the 10 spies led to mass doubt, inactivity among God’s people, and sin. If a person is looking for something to complain about, they will always find it. If a person is only looking at the group in the church who is not working, growing, and serving, they will only be ignoring those faithful Christians who are doing great things in the congregation. When a person constantly complains about what is not happing in the congregation, they will likely be failing to see all that is happening within the congregation. One thing is certain, if we want to improve the church, we need to start having a more optimistic attitude. This does not mean we will never see negative things, but these things will not dominate our mindset and control our thinking. If we want to improve the church, we need to kick a negative attitude to the curb, because it is sinful and counterproductive to the church.
Third, we can improve the church by helping instead of criticizing. In the realm of sports, there are many diehard fans I like to call “lazy boy coaches.” These are individuals who sit at home in their lazy boy recliners, and from their vantage point, they can criticize every call the coaches decide and disapprove of every action the players make. They are not on the field playing. They are also not on the sideline with the difficult pressures of decision making. They are not involved, but they can criticize everyone who is involved. Sadly, the church is filled with many people who are “spiritual lazy boy coaches”, and many of these people are professionals of the trade. They will not get involved. They will not volunteer for a task. They are not serving as an elder or as a deacon. They are not preaching, teaching, or at work in any way. However, they can criticize everyone who is working. In their eyes, the elders never make the right decision, the deacons are not doing their jobs, the preacher is always doing something wrong, the Bible class teachers are not doing enough, and things are not going the way they think they should be handled. This is not only sad, but it is sinful. Individuals who choose to criticize instead of help are actually damaging the church.
However, uninvolved people with a critical disposition are not new among God’s people. In the days of Nehemiah, God’s great leader endured the criticism of a group of people who only criticized and were not willing to work. In Nehemiah 2:17-18, the Bible describes Nehemiah and a small group of Jews seeking to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Yet, the text continues by describing a man named Sanballat and his friends mocking Nehemiah and the work which needed to be done. In Nehemiah 2:19, the servant of the Lord describes how “they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, what is this thing that ye do? Will ye rebel against the king?” Thankfully, as Bible readers know, the work of God was completed despite the opposition and criticism from this group. However, it seems like every congregation is still plagued with a Sanballat and his mocking friends. Look into the mirror and ask yourself who are you more like in the work of the church. Are you like Nehemiah who was willing to work? Or, are you like Sanballat who was only willing to criticize? It is a fact, if we want to help the church and improve ourselves, we need to stop criticizing and start kicking up the dust in the service of the Lord.
Fourth, we can improve the church if we never allow someone to work for us, and if never allow ourselves to work for someone else. Most congregations are blessed to have very talented members. However, there are at least two great temptations within this. For some people, they may be tempted to sit back while others do the work for them. They may even justify their inactivity by believing they are doing the church a favor by allowing the more talented person to take their place and do a certain task for them. Yet, at the other end of the spectrum, the other temptation is for a person to do everything and never give anyone else a chance to get involved. This person may feel they can do a better job than anyone else, and because of this, they refuse to share the load of responsibility. The reality is, both attitudes are not helping the church.
The Bible clearly teaches how it is not God’s desire for one talented or willing member of the congregation to do the work for half of the congregation. The church does not revolve around one member. Paul clarified this in I Corinthians 12 when he raised an important question. “And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body” (I Cor.12:19-20). Paul is emphasizing how the church is like a physical body. It is not made up of one very talented member, but it consists of many members each having worth, a purpose, and a place. If we are willing to sit back while someone else works for us, we are hurting the church. On the other hand, if we as a member of a local congregation are unwilling to share the work, we are also equally harming the church. Both attitudes refuse to allow the local congregation to operate like the body of Christ. In order to improve the church, every member needs to have a part and do their part for the Lord.
May God help us to improve the church!
5 Reasons Why Church
Attendance Is Declining:
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There was a time in America’s rich history when church buildings were bursting at the seams because of the vast number of devoted members in attendance. On any given Sunday, churches of all sorts would, without question, be filled with attendees. Now, statistically speaking, if a congregation has an average weekend attendance of 51-300, they are considered to be a “large church.” Recent statistics further show that in a population of 110,000, only around 8,000 attend a “church” on a given Sunday; that is less than 10%. There has been major decline in church attendance in the past few decades. While there are many contributing factors in this epidemic, consider five major reasons why church attendance is declining.
First, many Christians are distracted. There are simply too many Christian’s who are preoccupied with the things of the world. God’s children can attend ball-games, go fishing and hunting, but they cannot assemble with the saints. Most stores are open on Sundays, and many Christians will work or shop instead of worship God. There are also many city events, concerts, and other events held on Sundays and at other worship times. On top of all this, television programs air popular shows during many of the times God’s people would gather for worship. Therefore, when it is time for the church to assemble together, many of God’s people are too cumbered by the world, and their place in the pew is left vacant. However, Jesus clearly warned about the dangers of being consumed by the cares of this world (Mark 4:18-19).
Second, we have lowered the standard. In yesteryear, a person was considered an active church member if they attended three services a week. Now, an individual is measured to be an active member if they attend three services a month. God’s people have lowered the standard somewhere along the line, and many have convinced themselves they can be faithful even though they give God very little. However, God has not lowered His standard. He still demands full devotion, and He still expects faithful attendance as a display of genuine commitment to Him (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Third, many congregations are inward focused. When a congregation becomes consumed with themselves, and they forget their overall purpose, the attendance will decline. The mission of the church is saving souls (Matthew 28:18-20), not satisfying the flesh. Thus, when a congregation becomes enamored with meeting everyone’s physical needs, their attendance will decline. Attendance may momentarily spike, but people will eventually have their entertainment and social needs met elsewhere. When this happens, consumer-minded members, created by the inward focus congregation, will no longer need “church.”
Fourth, there is no vision. A congregation cannot survive if they spend a decade remembering the past and have no vision for the future. However, this is the very state of many congregations. They have been reflecting upon their “glory days” for decades with no plans, goals, and objectives for the future. Over the years, death has slowly reduced their membership. The congregation is now older, and the pews are nearly totally occupied by grey heads. Now, their membership is much lower, involvement is far less, and their attendance is a mere fraction of what it used to be. If we want to combat the loss of membership and great decline in attendance, great men of vision need to fill our elderships. They need to know where they are going, decide what it takes to get there, and put forth the effort to reach their objectives. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
Fifth, there has been a lack of accountability. When unfaithfulness goes unchecked, people fall between the cracks, and there is no accountability for sin, attendance will continue to drop in the local congregation. Imagine the number of sermons which have been preached on the importance of attendance, the sin of forsaking the assembly, and the dangers of not gathering with God’s people over the past few decades. However, we are witnessing a major decline in attendance all throughout our land. What good are sermons preached on this issue without accountability? How can elderships expect these sermons to be heeded by the flock when the flock is not held accountable? Far too many Christians come and go as they wish, and very little is done to correct the problem in the lives of these individuals. More times than not, these Christians “fall between the cracks” while elderships worry over planning the next potluck, heating and cooling the meetinghouse, and making sure the church lawn is mowed. If we want to change the decline in attendance, it will take elders who truly “shepherd the flock of God” (1 Peter 5:2). There has to be accountability between the shepherds and the sheep.
Getting The Most
Out Of Worship:
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Upon occasion, church members will make the statement, “I just didn’t get much out of worship today.” When such shallow remarks are made, this writer often wonders, “how much did you personally put into worshipping God today?” God’s children should greatly benefit from worshipping Him. When the psalmist contemplated the privilege of worshipping God, he said, “a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10). Just a few verses prior, the penman declared, “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee” (Psalm 84:4). Worshipping God is a blessing, and it is a practice which can enrich our lives as we journey towards our heavenly home.
Unfortunately, some have grown bored with worship. Singing songs of praise, bowing in prayer, listening intently to a message from God’s word, giving monetarily to the cause of God, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper has become inconsequential, mundane, and uninteresting to them. Thus, many churches have added special singing groups, special music, and even instruments to replace or compliment congregational singing. Others have ousted Gospel preaching for dramatic readings, inspirational stories, and testimonials. Anything boring or “traditional” has been replaced for something to help create a “wonderful worship experience.” Consequently, much of the modern day worship appeases the flesh, but it does not appease the Father. It may provide a cheap, momentary, and “spiritual” thrill, but it does not extol the God of this Universe, and it cannot provide the inherent benefits of “in spirit and in truth” worship God desires (John 4:24).
How can we benefit from worship without making our worship sensational? What must the child of God do to get the most out of worship? The answer to these questions is not found in changing worship, but it comes when we change our attitude, approach, and appreciation for worship. The problem is not with what we are doing, but it often lies with how we are doing it. Therefore, the following are three things every child of God must do to get the most out of every worship service.
First, we must be present. If we expect to be enriched by an occasional visit to the church building for worship, we are going to miss out on the real joy of worshipping God. Sadly, the thimble sized spiritual tank of some church members can be filled with one hour of worship a week. However, every time God’s people assemble for worship, we ought to make it a priority to be present. This is the exact thought of Hebrews 10:25. There, the Hebrew writer exhorted his recipients to not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together.” Notice how the writer did not reference one specific assembly (as in just the Sunday morning assembly), but he was speaking of the act of God’s people assembling for worship. Whenever God’s people assemble for worship, we ought to be present if we are going to benefit from the real joys of worshipping Him.
Second, we must participate. Worship is not a spectator sport. The real joy of worshipping God will not come if we wish to sit in the pew and watch others worship. We will gain the very most out of worship if we engage ourselves in each act. Instead of sitting silently while others sing, we ought to whole heartedly engage ourselves in the song service. Instead of looking at others while they give, we ought to have purposed in our heart to contribute too. Instead of daydreaming, sleeping, talking, passing notes, or walking around the church building during the sermon, we ought to open our Bible, engage our mind, and attempt to extract as much as we can from the message. We must participate! May we adopt the personal and passionate attitude of the Psalmist: “I will praise thee with my whole heart” (Psalm 138:1).
Third, we must do a personal examination. Worship is not only a time for praising God, but it is a time for personal examination. When Paul wrote about the Lord’s Supper, he said, “let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28). Instead of contemplating Sunday lunch, remembering last night’s football game, thinking about fishing, or considering anything temporal, we ought to be scrutinizing our heart. Imagine how much we would gain out of worship if we applied this to every act of worship! Just envision meditating upon these thoughts during worship: What does this song teach or remind me? How could I be a better giver and steward of my blessings? How does this sermon apply to me? How could I do better in light of the sacrifice Christ made for me? How am I doing in my prayer life? Make it personal! “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
4 Ways To Destroy Your Influence
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Over the past few years, the world of social media has skyrocketed. From grandmas to preteens, the cyber world of social media is occupied daily. One of the most widely used social media sites is Facebook. According to their own statistics, Facebook boasts of 1.35 billion users worldwide, and 1.12 billion of those users do so with the ease of a mobile device. An average of five new Facebook profiles are created every second. Every 60 seconds, 510 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. The average user has 130 Facebook friends, and they spend more than 55 minutes a day perusing this site. Facebook and its influence is too big to ignore. It is literally growing by the second.
Thankfully, the rapid growth of the world of social media has positively impacted the cause of Christ. One of the greatest evidences of this is seen in social media and Facebook opening up broader doors to spread the Gospel message. It is encouraging to witness Christians using their time on Facebook to post sermons, Biblical articles, announce church events, and post spiritual statuses. This is a wonderful opportunity to display the message of the Gospel. In addition to opening the door to teach the Gospel, Facebook has helped to unite old friends, and it helps to keep families connected despite many miles of physical distance. The positive benefits of Facebook for the cause of Christ are undeniable.
Conversely, the negative effects of Facebook regarding the cause of Christ are just as undeniable. When a child of God displays themselves properly on social media, they can radiate the glorious light of Christ (Matt.5:13-16). Yet, when professed Christians do not behave themselves properly on Facebook, they do great damage to the cause of Christ. Misconduct, hypocrisy, and immoral behavior, even in the realm of social media, causes the Word of God to be blasphemed (cf. Titus 2:1-5; I Timothy 6:1-2; Romans 2:22-24). It paints an inaccurate portrait of what it means to be a Christian, and such behavior turns people away from Christianity. It is sad, but it is true, many Christians have destroyed their influence because of Facebook. Here are 4 ways we can destroy our influence through social media.
1. What you “post” can destroy your influence. The things which we post on Facebook are very telling about who we are, what we believe, and what we accept or reject. Our “posts” include things such as status updates, things we share, little quizzes we take, and even what games we play. Sometimes things people post are funny. Occasionally they are uplifting. Sometimes, they are heartbreaking because with the post, they damage their credibility, influence and the cause of Christ.
Words cannot fully explain how distressing it is to witness professed Christians engaging in sinful, ungodly, and worldly behavior. The cyber walls of Facebook have been stamped with the destructive images of members of the body of Christ raising up the sparkling glass, using the Lord’s money gambling, clothed in immodest apparel, and even forsaking the assembly of the saints. In addition to these, Christians have been guilty of sharing things which should not be associated with a child of God. Sometimes these things include profanity and ungodly images. How can a Christian with a Facebook page like that invite their friends to abandon the world and come aboard the Old Ship of Zion? They cannot! Instead, they destroy their influence. That post, which only takes a second to create, can do years of undefinable and immeasurable damage to your influence.
2. What you “like” can destroy your influence. It is deeply unsettling when church members have so little shame that they can post their immoral, sinful, and profane behavior for all the world to see. However, it is tremendously disturbing to see elders, preachers, deacons, Bible class teachers, and church members “liking” these posts. What message is an elder in the Lord’s church sending when he “likes” a picture of one of his sheep consuming alcohol, forsaking the assembly, going to the prom, or dressing immodestly? What is a preacher of the Gospel conveying when they “like” a status which contains profanity or false doctrine? What are Christians really saying when they hit the “like” button?
By “liking” something, we are saying a host of things. For example, we are expressing that we are happy to see whatever we are liking, we approve of this, we are ok with this, and we go along with this. Are elders really happy to see their flock committing sin? Are preachers really ok with false doctrine and profanity? Can Christians really approve of some of the things they like on Facebook? The Bible warns against giving hasty approval of someone, because in so doing, we might be the partaker of their sins (cf. I Timothy 5:22; II John 9-11). It only takes a second to like something and give approval to a sinful action or idea. Let’s be careful what we “like.”
3. What you “comment” can destroy your influence. Have you ever wanted to comment something and really give someone a piece of your mind? Sure you have. Have you ever gone through with that? Have you ever posted a comment or sent a private message via Facebook you later regretted? Perhaps you were angry, and because it was so quick and easy, you really let loose on someone. However, after the message said “sent”, you began to swell with regret. “I wish I had not said that!” “I sure wish that I would have taken the time to word that better!” “I really would like to take that comment back!” Those are not good feelings to have, but that is a temptation in the world of social media. We can sit in our recliner and with a few touches of a finger send a message or post a comment which will destroy relationships, divide the church, and assault our influence.
To keep from posting a comment or sending a message that will destroy, ask yourself some questions. Is what I am about to say true? Is it honest or decent? Is it just or right to say? Is it in love? Is it useful and charitable? Is it praiseworthy? (See Philippians 4:8)
4. Your “friends” can destroy your influence. The Scriptures contain instruction on the type of friends we should have. Simply put, there are some people with whom we should not be friends (cf. I Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 22:24; II Corinthians 6:14-17). Our close friends in this life should be people who will enrich us spiritually and help us to make heaven our home. Every Christian needs a Jonathan. However, there are many Christians who are more friends with the children of the world than the children of light. Facebook friends are no different. Some Christians have many “friends” with whom they simply should not be associated. Instead of filling their newsfeed with honorable and edifying things, these “friends” contaminate their newsfeeds with vulgarity, worldliness, and ungodliness. It is heartbreaking to view a brother or sister in Christ’s Facebook page and behold a post from one of their “friends” containing such ungodly things. Friends like that destroy a person’s influence.
Israel of old was told to purge the leaven from their house as they celebrated the Passover (Exodus 12). This was God’s way of saying that sin and ungodliness needs to be purged from our lives. Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb, and as such, we are told to “purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened” (I Corinthians 5:7). We, as Christians, need to purge the sin, impurities, and shortcomings from our lives to be more like Jesus Christ. Let me challenge you to take that purge even into the cyber world of Facebook. Let’s purge the ungodliness from our lives, and dear readers, let’s purge the ungodliness from our newsfeeds, and even our friend lists. Let’s strive to shine as glorious lights in this world of darkness (Matthew 5:13-16), and use Facebook and the growing world of social media for God’s supreme glory.