First Thoughts

This Isn’t Going Away: Homosexuality, Counseling, and God’s Enduring Word

| Heath Lambert |
The Sexual Revolution Almost everyone I knew thought homosexuality was wrong when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s. Of course, we all knew some who identified as homosexual, but I knew no one who either boasted about it or was mistreated because of it. The majority who thought it was wrong had an unspoken agreement to live and let live with those who disagreed. Today, my kids are growing up in a culture with the opposite mindset. Homosexuality, as well as the other expressions of LGBTQ+, a…

Seven Good Reasons to Save Sex for Marriage

| Sean Perron |
It is common practice for dating couples to sleep together long before they even mention the possibility of a wedding. To many people, sex before marriage is a normal part of life and is as common as exchanging phone numbers. I would like to convince you of what you already know to be true in your heart–sex is only meant for marriage. Having sex with someone is a big deal and should not be common. It should not be the appetizer before marriage. Rather, it should be the culmination of romance …

Recovering Purity Culture

| Spencer Harmon |
We need to recover purity culture. We read I Kissed Dating Goodbye in high school. As many will remember, Joshua Harris sought to dismantle what he identified as a culture of casual dating in the church. Many were helped by this book (including us!). A movement began, marked by purity banquets, purity rings, and commitments made by thousands of teenagers to save sexual intimacy for marriage. Purity culture was born. But for many, that culture crushed them. Many have recently reported that as …

Is It Time to Leave the Southern Baptist Convention?

| Heath Lambert |
Today I want to return to talking about the Southern Baptist Convention. First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida is easily one of the most significant churches in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention. Since I have not been at First Baptist long enough to take any credit whatsoever for that greatness, there is no personal boast in that observation. It is just the expression of a simple fact. First Baptist was once one of the largest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, …

Light in Dark Places

| Heath Lambert |
I am sure you have noticed by now that it seems like nobody knows how to talk to each other anymore. Everyone is angry all the time about everything. The way we all talk to one another has sunk so low that it is hard to imagine how terrible it could be to hit rock bottom. Social media highlights this ugly mess. Social media gives everyone a microphone—no group hires you, no committees exert oversight, and no editor can push back. Social media also gives everyone an immediate microphone—you do…

My Endorsement for SBC President

| Heath Lambert |
The Way Leadership Works When God does a great work, he raises up a great leader. This is an obvious fact of Scripture. When God delivered his people from Egypt, he raised up Moses. When God wanted to rebuild his temple and Jerusalem, he raised up Ezra and Nehemiah. When God wanted to preach salvation to the Gentiles, he raised up Paul. Examples could be multiplied with David, Gideon, Elijah, Peter, John, and Jesus himself. What is true in Scripture is also true in Church history. Whenever Go…

Three Initiatives from First Baptist in 2022

| Sean Perron |
The mission of First Baptist is to reach all of Jacksonville with all of Jesus for all of life. This vision is big and bold. It is a wide vision that includes everything in life – all of life. Whether it is washing dishes, selling property, sharing the gospel, voting, or approaching death, we want to bring every part of our lives under submission to the Lordship of Jesus. All of life includes doing everything in life to the praise of God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:12). Each wee…

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