First Thoughts

Questions and Answers Regarding the Sexuality Statement

| Sean Perron |
Since First Baptist approved the statement on biblical sexuality, we have received many questions about what the Bible teaches concerning sexuality and marriage. In response to this, we have put together numerous videos and a resource webpage. On this page, you will find resources on LGBTQ+ issues, the Sexuality Statement, and biblical wisdom for living in a world confused about gender and sexuality. Below are several video clips for you to watch and share with family and friends who have que…

Four Kinds of LGBTQ+ Churches

| Heath Lambert |
Mitigating the Shock Since the media began publicizing the First Baptist Statement on Biblical Sexuality, one of the most common reactions we have received is shock. Some have expressed shock that a Christian church would describe any biblical limits on sexual expression. Others are shocked that, believing such limits exist, we would say so. A response of shock comes to someone caught off guard. Likewise, shock at our statement comes from people who do not really understand what is going on r…

First Baptist Church Hosts Open Mic Event to Address Community Concerns

| Heath Lambert |
First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida will host an open mic event on Sunday evening, January 29, at 6:00 PM. This event will provide an opportunity for members of the community to come and publicly voice their concerns and questions to Pastor Heath regarding a recent action of the church to require their membership to sign a statement on biblical sexuality. “First Baptist Church of Jacksonville recently approved a statement on biblical sexuality that is required of all their members. Ch…

Books on Revival

| Heath Lambert |
I am desperate to see a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God in our day. I am desperate for revival. A mighty and great work of God is the only thing that can solve the overwhelming problems Christians are currently facing. It is the only reality that can stem the tide of cultural decline currently pulling our world into full-scale collapse. The Spirit of God alone can do what all our programs, politics, and striving have failed to accomplish. On Sunday mornings in 2023 at First Baptist, we…

Connecting Scripture with Students

| RJ Lago |
I am old, at least that is what the local teenager tells me. In my earliest days of youth ministry, I could easily skip my way past the generation gap. I was married, but I did not have kids, so I was seemingly closer in age and more relatable to a teenager. But now I am just plain old compared to these youngsters. I will not lie to you; it hurt the first time a teenager in my youth ministry made fun of me for my age. I was a newly married twenty-five-year-old, and one of my students said I l…

When Your Loved One is Consumed by Drugs, Alcohol, and Life-Dominating Sins

| Steve Clifton |
One of the most devastating things a parent can learn is that your child is addicted to drugs, alcohol, or any other life-dominating sin! We question many times, “what did I do wrong as a parent?” The same can be true when it is not our child but a close family member or even a friend. From studying Scripture, we know that Psalm 1:1 teaches us the progression of mankind toward sin. God tells us in this verse, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the wa…

Why You Should Read the Bible in 2023

| Heath Lambert |
For years, I have had a commitment to read the Bible through each year. As I look over my adult life, I see that as one of the most spiritually significant commitments I have ever made. The Blessings of Bible Reading That is why I experienced such a struggle when I was asked to write about why you should read the Bible this year. The truth is that I feel so many benefits of Bible reading that I feel overwhelmed at where to start. But I must say something. I opened the Bible to the longest cha…

O Come All Ye Faithful

| Scott Connell |
“O Come All Ye Faithful” is one of the oldest hymns we sing at Christmas. It was initially a Latin Hymn bearing the title “Adeste Fideles” and appears to have been written by John Francis Wade (c. 1711–1786). The first existing manuscript of this hymn is dated 1743. The Latin title literally means “Come, faithful ones.” This Catholic hymn was translated into English in 1841 for use in the Church of England by Frederick Oakeley (1802–1890). The Oxford Movement was an effort in the mid-19th cen…

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

| Scott Connell |
Many of the most profound hymns of the faith were birthed from life’s most challenging circumstances. “It is Well with My Soul” was written in the throes of the sudden and tragic death of all the author’s children. “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” was written upon the death of a spouse. “Just as I Am” was written by a bedridden invalid, and “To God Be the Glory” by a blind poet. Trials are the wellspring of profound proclamations of hope. Christmas of 1849 saw the nation stumbling out of the rec…

Away in a Manger

| Scott Connell |
The story of this delightful children’s carol is a tangled web of attributions and additions. This is, unfortunately, common for hymn stories. They can become larger than life. This story even includes a couple of magnificent lies in its history, seemingly intended to build notoriety for the song. Despite the folklore associated with this song, it has become one of the most recognizable Christmas carols for more than a century. While no fewer than four names have become associated with its co…

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