Pastor's Blog

Saturday
Jan052013

What about Wicca?

Pastor Hammond

Wicca is a religion that involves a variety of ancient practices.  While there's considerable variation in how wicca is practiced,  we should understand a few common themes:

(1) Wicca teaches the veneration of nature. This is based on a profoundly unbiblical PANTHEISM, i.e. the idea that a (typically feminine) "divine" is present in all things. This is much more than teaching respect for nature; it's teaching that nature is God. This is entirely contrary to the Bible;

(2) Wicca's so-called "Charge of the Goddess" teaches a POLYTHEISTIC worship of various goddesses. Again, this is profoundly contrary to the Bible, e.g. Exodus 20:3 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me);

(3) The so-called Wiccan Rede teaches people to do whatever they like (so long as it hurts no one) - representing a rejection of the full cannon of Scripture - and it's numerous imperatives;

(4) Not uncommonly, Wiccans teach the use of magick -- a practice that is wholly reliant upon a very real demonic realm for it's very real results. I have known people who have been converted to Christianity after having spent considerable time practicing Wicca. They generally conclude that Wicca is ultimately about Satan - even if that is not taught overtly.  Importantly, I have personal experience with people who testify that THE VENERATION OF SATAN IS SOMETIMES TAUGHT OVERTLY (albeit not to new adherents!).

The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross at calvary for all sinners - including the practicing wiccan.  A person who is caught-up in wicca may repent of their sin just like any other sinner.  

How may a wiccan know that his or her sins are forgiven?

1.  Understand and acknowledge that we are all sinners.  In Romans 3:23, the Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."  God's perfect holiness and justice requires that a penalty be paid for sin.  In fact, in Romans 6:23, the Bibles teaches that "the wages of sin is death."

2.  Acknowledge that Jesus Christ - the son of God - died on the cross and paid for all our sins.  The good news is that the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, paid that penalty for us by shedding His blood and dying upon the cross in our place.  Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice that satisfied God’s demand for justice against our sins. Because Jesus did that for us, eternal life is offered to us as a free gift.  God paid the price for our sin Himself! 

3.  Understand that simply choosing to be a better person will not save you.
 The bible states, " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast," (Ephesians 2:8-9).  No one can be saved through their own good works!

3.  Understand that repentance and faith are required for salvation.  According to the Bible, it is only through repentance and faith in Christ that our sins are forgiven.  Romans 6:23 says, "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  If you will repent and receive Christ as your savior, the Bible says that you can know for certain that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

To repent is simply to make a conscious decision to turn away from sin and to turn toward Christ.   Repentence involves a change of mind that produces a change in action.   Repentance normally involves sorrow over our past sins - especially when we realize that Christ died on the cross in our place.   The Bible say, "...there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."  (Luke 15:10)

4. Understand that Bible says that "...Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). The word believe in John 3:16 means to place your trust in Christ. If you will place your trust in Jesus Christ as the one who paid for your sins on the cross of Calvary, and in nothing else, God promises you both forgiveness of sin and eternal life. 

In 1 John 1:9, the Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  "All unrighteousness" includes the sin of practicing wicca!

In 1 John 5:13, John writes, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life..."  If you will repent - confessing your sinfulnes - and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness, you can KNOW that you have eternal life!

Learn more.  If you'd like to know about the forgiveness of sin that is possible in Jesus Christ, please contact Pastor Robert Hammond at Long Hill Baptist Church, 100 Middlebrooks Ave., Trumbull, CT (203) 268-5104.

Saturday
Dec152012

Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

December 15, 2012


Please join me in much prayer for the families and friends of the many students and adults who lost their lives.

Many will be searching for answers regarding this tragedy.  Let us all be reminded of the truth of Scripture:  "Evil men... shall wax worse and worse..." (2 Timothy 3:13).  
The world is indeed waxing worse and worse.  But, our LORD is still in control.  And His good purposes will be accomplished.  Importantly, I trust that each of us will allow this event to remind us of the critical need to urgently reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Christ's Love,

Pastor 

(203) 208-3450
Thursday
Sep062012

Helps for Spiritual Battle

Notes from a September 2012 conference regarding spiritual battle

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Truths About Spiritual Battle – (conference speaker:  Marvin Smith)

  • Understand that Satan has already been defeated; We need not give him any control in our lives!
    • Satan was defeated  in Heaven
    • Satan was defeated by Christ in the wilderness
    • Satan  was defeated by Christ  in hell
  • Understand that one of Satan's goal is to wear us out (Dan 7:25).
    • Satan is not trying to defeat God; he knows his future.  Satan isn't  targeting a lost men – he already has them. Rather, Satan is targeting saved people! (that he might distract us from living for Christ & serving our Savior)
      • Rev 13:7 -- Satan makes war with the saints
      • Rev 12:12- Satan has wrath - knowing that he cannot win 
  • Understand that Satan tells us LIES about God, others, self:
    • Lies Satan tells us about God:  God doesn't really LOVE  you, ACCEPT you or CARE ABOUT you. God isn't fair/ God ripped you off, GOD CANNOT USE ME;  cannot forgive me; God cannot  be trusted;
    • Lies Satan tells us about others: nobody cares; nobody loves me; the preacher is against me; the church does not accept me; no one understands me; everyone is a hypocrite; my parents do/don't love me; my spouse doesn't love me / care about me;
    •  Lies Satan tells me about myself:I'll never amount to anything; I'm stupid; I'm ugly (that's an offense to God!); I can't get victory; I'm worthless (we aren't worthy or worthless); I'm too filthy to be used of God; I am not accepted; I will never be loved; I cannot do anthing for God / my work isn't important.
  • Understand that we should combat Satan's lies with the truth of God’s word! 
    • Some great Biblical truths: 
      • We have been crucified with Christ (gal 2:20);  buried with him (to 6:4-5); raised up with him (Eph 2:6; ro 6:5); I am seated with Christ (Eph 2:6);  
      • The Spirit of God desires to renew us each day!
      • Truths about our Salvation:
        • Past:  We have been justified / positional sanctification
        • Present: We are growing in practical sanctification
        • Future: we will be glorified
      • Great truths about the results of my salvation in Christ: 
        • … I am accepted by the Father (Eph 1:6) 
        • … I am God's child (John 1:12)
        • … I am justified - ro 6:1
        • … I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
        • … I have direct access to God
        • … I have been forgiven - Col 1:14
        • … I am complete in Christ
        • ….I have been appointed to bare fruit - John 15:1
        • … I am a personal witness of Christ
        • … I  am a new creation in Christ
        • … I am God's workmanship
        • … I can do all things in Christ
        • … I am more than a conqueror in Christ

James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Tuesday
Aug212012

What Are You Trusting in to Get Into Heaven?

Most people are trusting in their good works.  However, you may be suprised to learn that the Bible clearly states that we cannot earn Heaven through any good works - including the work of baptism.

In Ephesians chapter 2, the apostle Paul writes, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, least any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

No good works - including Baptism - are good enough to get us into Heaven.  Why is that?  In Romans 3:23, the Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."  God's perfect holiness and justice requires that a penalty be paid for sin.  In fact, in Romans 6:23, the Bibles teaches that "the wages of sin is death."  The good news is that the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, paid that penalty for us by shedding His bood and dying upon the cross in our place. It is only through repentance and faith in Christ that our sins are forgiven.  Romans 6:23 says, "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  If you will repent and receive Christ as your savior, the Bible says that you can know for certain that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

How may I know that my sins are fogiven?

1.  Understand that Christ died on the cross and paid for all our sins. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice that satisfied God’s demand for justice against our sins. Because Jesus did that for us, eternal life is offered to us as a free gift. God paid the price for our sin Himself!

2.  Turn away from sin and receive Christ as your savior. The Bible teaches that, in order to receive forgiveness of sins, we must repent and place our faith in Christ.  To repent is simply to make a conscious decision to turn away from sin and to turn toward Christ.   Repentence involves a change of mind that produces a change in action.   Repentence normally involves sorrow over our past sins - especially when we realize that Christ died on the cross in our place.   The Bible say, "...there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."  (Luke 15:10)

The Bible says that "...Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). The word believe in John 3:16 means to place your trust in Christ. If you will place your trust in Jesus Christ as the one who paid for your sins on the cross of Calvary, and in nothing else, God promises you both forgiveness of sin and eternal life. 

Here’s a sample prayer you can pray: 

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I acknowledge I have sinned against a Holy God and my sins have separated me from Him. I believe that you Jesus, are the Son of God, and I believe you died and paid for my sins on the cross some 2000 years ago, and that you rose from the dead.  Today, I'm choosing to turn away from a life a sin and to turn toward you, Lord.  I trust you alone, Lord Jesus, for my eternal salvation. 

God bless you my friend! If you have made this decision, please contact us and let us know. And please be baptized by immersion in a Bible-believing church such as ours. Get involved, and learn what it is to live the Christian life.

Friday
Apr272012

Recognizing the 55th Anniversary of Our First Service

In April 2012, Long Hill Baptist Church is celebrating the 55th anniversary of our first worship service.  We praise God for the following notes of encouragement received from pastors, friends, and missionaries serving throughout the United States and around the world.

To the saints and faithful brethren at Long Hill Baptist Church: We give thanks to God for your work of faith and labor of love in our Lord Jesus Christ. That your assembly still contends for the faith once delivered unto the saints, after fifty-five years, is a testimony to the grace and mercy of God. New England is littered with churches that have softened, weakened, and died spiritually. May the living God enrich you in every good work and enable Long Hill Baptist to continue as one of the Lord's candlesticks, faithful until He comes.  - Pastor Ken Brooks and the saints in Christ Jesus at Calvary Independent Baptist Church, West Redding, Connecticut

 Dear Pastor Hammond & Long Hill Baptist Church, We appreciate your long heritage, your pastor, and the flock.  Continue to stand for the LORD, His word, and be used of the LORD as one of His Local Churches. - Your friends at Galilean Baptist Church, Stafford Springs, CT.  

Dear Pastor Hammond, Congratulations on 55 years of serving Christ and faithfully preaching the gospel in Trumbull, CT. I can't imagine how many lives have been gloriously transformed by Christ through your ministry...won't Heaven be spectacular when all of that is revealed. We rejoice with you and pray the Lord will continue to bless you with more fruit for His glory.  Rejoicing With You, Shawn, Leslie, and Anna Beliveau, Your missionaries in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 Dear Friends at Long Hill Baptist, Congratulations on your 55th anniversary. Through the years of ups and downs, you have had an impact on your community. Our prayer is that many of your best days are ahead.  Our prayers are with you and Pastor Bob as you continue to reach people for Christ and bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.  We miss you often, thank God for you and our good years there, and continue to remember you as you serve the Lord in Trumbull.  God bless you all! - Pastor Mark Aheron

Congratulations upon reaching 55 years of serving our Lord through your local church. We feel very privileged to have you as one of our supporting churches. I led two ladies to the Lord this week. This would not be possible if your church and others like you had no interest in missions. I pray your church will have a very long life. Love one another, love your pastor but above all continue a faithful love for our Lord and Savior as He is the reason we serve and survive…  The Shaw family in Mexico

 Pastor Hammond and the congregation of Long Hill Baptist Church, Congratulations on your 55th Anniversary as a church in Connecticut.  We hope that you are able to spend time today celebrating all the wonderful things that God has accomplished through your church over those 55 years. It is quite an accomplishment. As you count what God has done, please remember to include your missionary efforts over the years.  Since you started to support us ten years ago, we have been able to see five churches started here in Kenya …. all in Muslim areas.  Literally thousands of people have come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior because you enabled us to come here through your mission’s offerings.   May God bless you today and bring much joy into your hearts. We pray that He gives you many more years to serve Him.  Bobby Bechtel, Serving in Kenya.

Dear Long Hill Baptist Church, Congratulations on your 55th anniversary! It is so great to hear of congregations who have been faithfully serving the Lord for such a period of time. In these last days, we know that it is not easy to continue standing, and so many have fallen…. Connecticut needs your light, New England needs your light, and the world needs the light of churches like you. Thank you so much for your continued support of our family... It is our desire that the Lord will bless you richly in this new year of service, and also on this your anniversary celebration.  - Your servants for the sake of our Saviour, Matthew, Carrie, Ransom, Jacob and Melody Patenaude