Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why Does God Delay?

Good Monday Morning To You!

Did you have a Merry Christmas? I hope your’s was good and that Santa was good to you. Someone asked me if I got a lump of coal this year. I wish I had! It is cold here in Florida. The winds were fierce this 47 degree morning, and it felt like 35. To some of you who are experiencing single digit temps, that might not sound too bad, but to us cracker boys, we’re freezing! I do, however love the smell of coal burning; it brings back memories of being at my Mamaw and Papaw Emery’s in my pre-school years. I also love the smell of bacon frying in the pan. It too brings back cherished memories.

The service at Friendship Harmony was tremendous. We were able to tape it, and hopefully it will be on youtube by Friday afternoon. I will send out a special blog to let you know if that indeed does happen. I will also make an announcement on our facebook page.

Yesterday I spoke on the topic, “When God Waits.” Has He ever made you a promise then seemed to delay? Why does He do that? In the message we looked at an experience in the life of Noah, and discovered when God waits, He is preparing you for service, and preparing the circumstances for you. Below are the notes. I hope they help in your personal Bible study. As always, preachers and Bible teachers are also allowed to use them. I hope they help.

When God Waits ©
Psalm 93:3,4
By Victor Cooper

Intro: Does it sometime seem like God wait’s a long time between what He tells you He is going to do, then doing it? God has His reasons and they are always right. We see from the experiences of Noah some of His reasons.

I. He prepared Noah for service. Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
A. It was a learning experience.
B. It was a testing experience
1. He was mocked and ridiculed.
2. No doubt he wondered about it all.
3. Wondering is not a lack of faith, but quitting is.
C. It was a faith building experience.
1. As his fellowship with God continued, His faith grew.

II. He prepared circumstances for Noah.
A. God directed the building of the Ark. (Read Gen. 6:14-22)
B. God rules over circumstances.
Genesis 8:20-22 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. [21] And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every ` thing living, as I have done. [22] While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
1. He promised no more would the earth be destroyed by water.
2. He promised the seasons would continue.
3. He promised there would always be day and night.

III. He prepared a covenant for Noah. (Read Gen. 9:12-17)
A. God gave His sign: The bow in the clouds.
B. Has God given a sign to us? Definitely: the entire Godhead has!
1. God the Father gave us a sign: Jesus.
2. Jesus gave us a sign: The Holy Spirit.
3. The Spirit gave us a sign: power.

Hopefully you will be able to see this message on Friday as it was delivered at the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church yesterday December 30, 2013 in the ten o’clock service. Have a good and safe week, and if you are to be on the roads tonight, New Year’s Eve, please be careful. Happy New Year from Pastor Vic, Bess, and the entire Cooper family. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Memories

Good Monday Morning To You!

On behalf of the entire Cooper family, let me wish you a Merry Christmas. As I was preparing to write this blog, I was thinking about memorable Christmases I have enjoyed. Every Christmas from my childhood was great. Mom and Dad always saw to it that we had a good Christmas. My Dad really enjoyed Christmas. Since his passing, Christmas just hasn’t been the same. Two stand out in my mind. The first happened about 1962. I decided one night we were going to catch Santa Clause in the act. We lived in Elmwood Place (Cincinnati) at that time. I was eight years old. My bedroom was right off the living room, so I decided to turn off the lights and peek through the cracked door. I had mom and dad hide in my room with me. I was not wanting to confront Santa, I just wanted to see him. We quietly hung out in my room for nearly two hours, mom and dad patiently going along with me. After a while mom said that Santa knew better. She said we would have to go to bed and go to sleep in order for him to come. I do not remember too much more about that Christmas, but as I think back, I fondly remember loving parents who were willing to indulge a little boys fantasy.

Another memorable Christmas occurred while we were living here in Florida. We had a cut tree which was decorated and looking as fine as any tree ever could. Every year someone is appointed to distribute the gifts, and that year it was my daughter Michele. She was sitting on the floor beside the tree handing out the gifts and we were beginning to open them. Suddenly the tree leaned over, stood suspended like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, then fell right into Michele’s lap. I have never seen such a bewildered look on anybody’s face like hers was that night. We all fell out in the floor laughing while all poor Michele could do was sit there with a lap full of Christmas tree. Anyone who knows me, knows my sense of humor, but I promise you I had nothing to do with that tree falling. Even I couldn’t have planned it any better.

If you are in the area, we are having our Christmas Eve service tonight at 6:00 pm. I sure hope you can come.

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony, I finished the four part series called “The Advent Contrast.” We looked at Christ’s first coming where we learned that He came for the lost, while at the rapture he will come for the found; ie the saved, the redeemed, the delivered. The notes are below. Please feel free to use them for your own personal Bible study.

The Advent Contrast ©
Various Scripture
Advent Series 4 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: Occasionally you will hear the word “advent” used as a synonym of the birth of Christ. This is known as Christ’s first advent. Likewise, His second coming is sometime called the second advent. During each, Christ’s coming is for a specific group. Christ’s first advent was for the least, the last, the lowest, and the lost. By contrast, at His second advent He is coming for the greatest, the first, the highest, and the found,

I. At His first coming Christ came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel. In Matthew 10:6 and n15:24, Jesus said He had come for the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
A. Remember, He is their prophesied Messiah.
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; [3] To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

1. “Spirit of the Lord“… Holy Spirit
2. …”the Lord”… God the Father
3. …”anointed”… Messiah Jesus
a. The Hebrew word for Messiah means the anointed one.
b. The Greek word for Messiah is Christ and means anointed.
B. At His second coming, the entire passage in Isaiah will be fulfilled.
Bible Knowledge Commentary When Jesus read from this passage He stopped in the middle of the sentence, after the word “favor” (Luke 4:18-19). By doing this He was showing that His work would be divided into two advents. In His First Advent He did the things mentioned in Isaiah 61:1-2a; in His Second Advent He will do the things in verses 2b-3. When He returns He will bring judgment on unbelievers (Micah 5:15; Rev. 19:15-20); this will be the day of God’s “vengeance” (cf. Isa. 34:8; 35:4; 63:4). But the Messiah will also “comfort” Israel, for she will have undergone great persecution, the Great Tribulation, in the preceding years (cf. Dan. 7:21, 24-25; Rev. 12:13-17).

II. At His first coming Jesus came for the lost. Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Lost --- fully destroyed
A. Sinners are the lost, as well as the least, the last, and the lowest..
B. All were born sinners. David said in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
C. Sinners sin! Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
D. Jesus came to save sinners. 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

II. At the second advent, the rapture, Christ is coming not for the lost, but for the found; the redeemed, the delivered, the forgiven, the saved!
A. The rapture is exclusive --- the saved only. 1 Thes. 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [17] Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. [18] Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1. Key phrase --- in Christ
B. Jesus also taught exclusivity. Matthew 24:36-44 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. [37] But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, [39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [40] Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. [41] Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
[42] Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. [43] But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. [44] Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
C. The timing of the first coming was given, the second was not.
1. This lays to rest the words of some who say they would be ready if they knew when He was coming. v.36
a. They weren’t ready at His first coming when it was announced, what makes them think they will be ready when His next coming is sudden and unannounced.
2. Right before His second advent, it will be life as usual. vv. 37-29
3. At the rapture He is not coming for all.vv 40,41
4. Not knowing the time means you need to be ready now. v42, “watch: ie be prepared

Conclusion: If you are lost, take comfort: Christmas is for you. Christ came for you. If you die lost, or are lost when He comes for His believers, you will remain lost throughout all eternity in that lake of fire. The first Christmas gift was given to you by God Himself. Will you accept His gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ?

The Video Ministry is progressing fine. Last week we were able to get a good recording, and I believe we did yesterday as well. Soon we will be uploading them into the computer, and then onto the internet. As we progress toward completion, we will keep you informed. Again have a Merry Christmas and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic.


Monday, December 17, 2012

My Promise To God

Good Monday Morning To You! I told you last week that we failed at our dry run video test, but that we would try again. Yesterday, I believe we had a success. My colleague and good friend, Rabbi Jim Pickens, came and helped us with the camera. Rabbi Pickens, who accepts Jesus as the Messiah, had a successful career with Technicolor, the maker of motion pictures. He was able to teach us about lighting, and proper camera angles. He also had understanding about how the camera actually operated. Rabbi Pickens, along with Jim Cook, a member of our church who has been working with and learning our camera, worked the camera yesterday. Bro. Cook has not yet called me to let me know what our end result was, but as soon as I know, I’ll let you know. If we are able to get it onto “Youtube,” I’ll send out a special edition of this blog to inform you.

Last week I told you about my call to the ministry, so today I’ll take it one step further by telling you why I preach like I do. When I first started preaching, I was a “hell fire and brimstone, pulpit banging, spit slinging, stomping, snorting fireball” who was all over the place. I was like a pistol firing blanks -- plenty of noise with nothing being shot. I was preaching in Midland, Ohio one Sunday night and I hit the pulpit so hard I split it. I preached that way for a few years and boy could I ever stir up a crowd. The problem was I stirred the crowd, not the Holy Spirit. It was all emotionalism; all noise and no substance.

One weekend I was visiting family in Louisville, Kentucky, and two Mormon Missionaries stopped by for a visit. We had a lively discussion for about an hour. The Mormons finally concluded that the young preacher they were trying to convert was not going to join them. As they were preparing to leave, one of them turned to me and said, “We get most of our converts from the Baptist Church. Most Baptists know just enough about their own religion to be confused.” I made God a promise that night. I told Him that maybe they did get their converts from the Baptist Church, but they weren’t going to get them from mine, at least not from a lack of teaching. I have endeavored to keep that promise over the years, and I have learned that the power is in the message, not the messenger. I have settled down so that the attention is on Christ, not on me. I use many Scriptures when I preach because I want the people to know what God said, not Vic Cooper. Whether you hear a live message from me, hear it over the internet, (hopefully soon) or read the sermon notes, I want you to learn something so that you can grow in your Christian faith. I believe this is what I was put on this earth to do. Please don’t think me arrogant or pompous, but I believe that not only was I called to preach, but I was born to preach. This is certainly Biblical. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5) I also believe pastors should be teachers. Ephesians 4:11 says, “And He gave some… pastors and teachers. This is not two distinct offices, but two aspects of the same office.

Yesterday was a great day at Friendship Harmony. We had several families out of town for Christmas, but the attendance was still good and we had visitors. As good as that is, of even greater news, one of our members was able to lead a husband and wife in the community to a saving faith in Christ. Reports like this always make a preacher’s day! Below are the sermon notes from the third in a four part series called “The Advent Contrast.” Yesterday we learned that at Christ’s first coming, Christmas, He came for the lowest. At His second coming, the rapture, He will come for the highest. Who are these people? Read and study the sermon notes; the answers are there. Hopefully, by mid week, you will be able to open our page in Youtube and hear the message as it was delivered yesterday, December 16, 2012.

The Advent Contrast ©
Various Scripture
Advent Series 3 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: Occasionally you will hear the word “advent” used as a synonym of the birth of Christ. This is known as Christ’s first advent. Likewise, His second coming is sometime called the second advent. During each, Christ’s coming is for a specific group. Christ’s first advent was for the least, the last, the lowest, and the lost. By contrast, at His second advent He is coming for the greatest, the first, the highest, and the found,

I. Man was created in an exalted state.
Genesis 2:7-9 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. [8] And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [9] And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
A. Adam’s sin caused him to plunge mankind into the lowest state possible Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

II. The lowest are called “afflicted.” Psalm 18:27a For thou wilt save the afflicted people……
A. “Afflicted --- from a Hebrew word meaning depressed in mind or circumstances; lowly, needy, poor.
B. Afflicted by whom?
1. The tempter
2. Man’s own self will
3. The curse

III. It was God who stripped man of his high estate, and made him low. Psalm 55:23a But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction…
A. Low is good, because in his lowest state, man can be helped. Psalm 116:6 The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
1. Remember, at His first coming, Christ came for those in a low state.
B. God is a good and merciful God.
Psalm 136:1;23 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. [23] Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

IV. Christ’s first coming was for the “low.”
1 Cor. 1:28a And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen…:

V. At His second coming, Christ is coming for those of high estate.
Psalm 18:33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
A. Psalm 69:29 says God’s salvation sets us on high.
B. Psalm 91 teaches that God’s love was placed upon us to deliver us, and set us on high.

As always, I hope the notes are a blessing to you as you study God’s word. Have a good and a safe week, and contrary to what the Mayan calendar says, I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, December 9, 2012


Good Monday Morning To You!

Lately, I have been reflecting on my forty years in the ministry. It was April of 1972 when I accepted God’s call to preach. I remember it like it was yesterday. For quite a while, though I do not remember how long, I had felt like God was calling me. One evening before revival services were to begin, I asked my pastor, Brother David Miller, “How does a man know if he’s being called to preach?” I thought he would take me into his office, sit me down, and open his Bible and show me appropriate passages. He didn’t! He simply turned to me and said, “Son, if God’s calling, you’ll know it.”

Soon the service started. When the evangelist, John Turner began to preach, he and I might as well have been in that auditorium by ourselves. He was preaching to me! When the invitation was given, Bro. Miller stood at the altar to receive anyone who came forward. Before the first verse ended, I walked the aisle and my very words to our pastor was, “Brother Miller, I know.” I don’t recall what happened next, but Bro. Miller had me to stand down front. He told the congregation after the dismissal prayer, to come by and tell me they would be praying for me. Then Bro. Miller caught me completely off guard. He said, “Cooper, you’d might as well get used to speaking before people. You dismiss us in prayer.” I was scared to death, but what else could I do? I privately breathed my first "Jesus help me" prayer. Then I dismissed in prayer.

I still get a bit nervous when I stand before a group. It happens when I am making the announcements and greetings. However, when I take my Bible into the pulpit to preach, I am empowered, and absolutely at peace. I have no fear. I know the Holy Spirit is with me, and that angels are encamped around me. Next week, the LORD willing, I’ll tell you about my early days of ministry. I had more fun than Pete Rose on a head first slide!

Services today were absolutely fantastic at Friendship Harmony. The singing was great, and the attendance was good. After the service was over, we had our annual soup, salad, and dessert fellowship. Good service! Good fellowship! Good food! There was nowhere I would rather have been than Friendship Harmony yesterday.

Before I share the sermon notes with you, I’d like to give you an update on the video ministry. We met with a gentleman last week who has his own computer business. He taught us much, but said we’d need to meet again. He explained that the first meeting was instructional. When we meet him again in about two weeks, our learning will be hands on. Yesterday we videotaped the message, but it did not record. We’ll try again next week. We definitely have some learning to do.

I preached part two in a four part series titled, “The Advent Contrast.” The contrast concerns who Christ came for at His first coming, and who He will come for at His second coming - specifically, the Rapture. In this week’s message, we learned that at His first coming, Christmas, Christ came for those who were “the last.” We contrasted that with who He will come for when He appears again; “the first.” Three examples were cited where the last became the first. The notes are below. I hope they are a blessing to you.

The Advent Contrast ©
Mark 10:31
11/29/12; 12/8/12
Advent Series 2 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: Occasionally you will hear the word “advent” used as a synonym of the birth of Christ. This is known as Christ’s first advent. Likewise, His second coming is sometime called the second advent. During each, Christ’s coming is for a specific group. Christ’s first advent was for the least, the last, the lowest, and the lost. By contrast, at His second advent He is coming for the greatest, the first, the highest, and the found,

Today we look at some of the last which were made first.

I. Isaac
A. He was the last son of Abraham.
B. His half brother, Ishmael, was already a teen.
C. Ishmael had been circumcised.
1. This is significant in that Ishmael received the sign of the covenant, making him covenant related.
D. God’s promised child was to Abraham and Sarah, not Abraham and Hagar. Why?
1. Isaac’s birth was supernatural; Ishmael’s was not.
2. The beginnings of the Children of Israel was of God, not man.
3. This paints a picture of the coming birth of the Messiah.

II. Jacob
A. He was the second born of twins.
B. He and his brother’s birth (Esau) was supernatural.
1. This is significant in that both boys could be in line to bring about the Messiah.
C. God tells Jacob the lineage would continue through him.
cf. Genesis 28
1. The last became first!

III. The Church at Smyrna --- Revelation 2:8-11
A. In a city of great wealth, this church was in poverty.
Picture two beggars living in a back alley. Both have to beg for the food they eat. One has a cardboard box to sleep in at night, while the other sleeps on the bare ground. The latter would picture the church at Smyrna.
B. Jesus told them they were rich where it counted --- with Him.
C. Their birth, too, was supernatural as is every believer’s.
Ephes. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Conclusion: As we saw last week, all sinners are the least in the eyes of God. They are also last. However, last is not bad, last is good, because Christ came for the last to make them the first.

Have a good and a safe week. If you should happen to be here on Pine Island on December 24, join us for our annual Christmas eve service. It will be at 6:00 pm at the church. If you need directions, call or write and I’d be happy to give you that information. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Coming For The Least Of Humanity

Good Monday Morning To You!!!

Yesterday was a tremendous day at Friendship Harmony. We entered the spirit of Christmas by singing Christmas carols. My favorite is Hark, The Herald Angels Sing. I love it because as a student of theology, this song contains many and varied theological teachings. Read the words to it sometime. It will bless your soul. What carol is your favorite? Why? Send me a e-mail and let me know.

I began a four part series called “The Advent Contrast.” We contrasted who Christ came for at His first coming; Christmas, with who He will come for at His second coming; the rapture. The notes are posted below. I hope they bless you and aid you in your personal Bible study.

The Advent Contrast
Advent Series 1 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: Occasionally you will hear the word “advent” used as a synonym of the birth of Christ. This is known as Christ’s first advent. Likewise, His second coming is sometime called the second advent. During each, Christ’s coming is for a specific group.

I. Contrast - Least and Greatest
A. At His birth, Jesus came for the least.
1 The least would be those of no fame or fortune, spiritually.
2. Even the very rich or the most well known can be spiritually bankrupt.
3. God chose Israel not because they were a great nation, but because they were the least of nations. 1 Cor. 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
4. Sinners are the least of huminity - rich or poor.
5. Christ came for the sinner.
Mark 2:16-17 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? [17] When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

II. At the Rapture, Christ will come for the greatest.
A. No believer counts him/herself as “greatest,” but it is true in God’s eyes.
B. A believer is a child of God. 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
C. The greatest ---Matthew 18:1,4; 23:11 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? [4] Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. [23:11] But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
D. Evidence of greatness:
1. The humble. Greatness tends toward arrogance, but Christians are called to be different. Christians remember where they were. Rev. 2:5a Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen…
2. A life of service. [23:11 above]

Conclusion:. The comparison: The prophets said Christ would come the first time - and He did. They also said He would come again - and He will! Rejecting Christ means you will be the least at His second coming, and that is not who He will be coming for.

In part two next week, we will contrast Christ coming for the “last” at His first advent (coming) with His coming for the “first” at His second advent. I hope you have a good and healthy week. Take care of yourself, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!