IFB Sermon (Introduction)

As I have been thinking about different things that came across the pulpits of my IFB churches, I came across some old VHS tapes of IFB church services. My dad and I used to videotape every church service that was held, every time the doors were open, at one of the IFB churches I was a part of. This was done so that the shut-ins would be able to watch the church services, since they were not able to attend them. Unfortunately, we did not make copies of every church service. We gave each video to the church each week and then would not see it again. During the last few weeks of our time there, we stopped giving the videos to the church. Because of that, I have a few sermons in my possession that were preached at this IFB church.

I watched one of these videos and was appalled at the type of thing we listened to on a regular basis. I began thinking about actually breaking down one of these sermons and transcribing it for this website. During this process, I realized that there are some things I missed when I first watched this again. The pastor talks very quickly, so it was easy to miss some of what he said, until I slowed things down considerably. I want to say up front that I am not trying to be critical just for the sake of being critical. There are some definite problems with this sermon. There were some definite problems with every one of the sermons that I watched/listened to.

I will not give the name or the location of the church. I am also not going to give the name of the pastor. Where he used specific names of people or places, I will not provide those names. This sermon was preached on Sunday morning, September 24, 2000. So here it is, word-for-word, bad grammar and all. I have provided commentary throughout.  My commentary will be in placed withing brackets {} and in italics.

Acts 2:36-47{From the King James Bible}

36. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for…

Let me stop right there.  Circle that word “for” and put out in the margin of your Bible, “because of.” Probably 90% of Christianity quote unquote today, say that you have to be baptized to be saved and this is one of their proof texts. That’s one of the verses they’ll turn you to and they’ll say, “Look, here it is.  Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you can get your sins remitted. ” Let me help you understand the English language. The word “for” does not mean “in order to,” but it means “because of.” You go to the electric chair for murder not in order to commit murder, but because you have committed murder. You get baptized for the remission of sins. Not in order to have your sins remitted, but Praise the Lord, they’ve been remitted. Baptism is an act that follows that. Well, that has nothing to do with the sermon, but you looked like you needed that. {How did he know that we needed that little mini-sermon? If it has nothing to do with the sermon for the day, then why bring it up at all?}


38…for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44. And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
47. Praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.


Would you look back at verse 37 for our text and for our title this morning? The last four words of the verse simply say this, “What shall we do?” What shall we do? And I want to speak to you on that for just a moment this morning. What shall we do?


Heavenly Father,
Speak to our hearts this morning, and give us some vital direction. May the Holy Spirit meet with us. May he confirm what’s going to be said this morning. And we’ll thank you for it.
In Jesus Name,


Acts Chapter 2. Listen to this question again: What shall we do? I probably hear that question just about every day of my life. Probably just about every day of my life, somebody, about some subject, about some matter in their life, about some event in their life, about some uh, some uh problem, crisis, heartache or whatever. Almost every day of my life, somebody will say, “What shall we do?” I gotta be honest with you. More often than not, I feel inadequate to answer that question. More often than not, I’d like to ah, I’d like to be able to lay out a plan and say, “Here it is and here’s how to resolve the particular problem in your life,” but I’ll be honest with you. Alot of times, I don’t really know exactly what to say. But there are some things that I know to always be consistent when that question is asked. And that’s what I’m going to share with you this morning.


This has been one of the most unusual weeks of my ministry and of my life. It started last Sunday night after services. My door and my telephone started ringing. Well, my door didn’t ring. It started swinging. Swingin’ and ringin’ is what we had going on. It went on all day Monday. It went on all day Tuesday. It was positive, I’ll tell you what. I thank each of you for the cards and notes and the calls and what have you…and the blessings. But over and over for two days, for forty-eight hours, I heard different folks say, “What shall we do?” What shall we do? And finally Tuesday about 1:30, I went home for lunch and I told my wife, caught her a little bit off guard, I said, “Pack your bags. We’re leaving town. I tell you what. I’ve got more questions than I can answer now.” So we left town. Got out of town for a few hours. Went up to __________ and spent the night. Saw my daughter…and the son-in-law too. Ah, but anyway, I take the good with the bad and saw them. {Is any IFB sermon complete without some sort of in-law joke?} And then we came back on Wednesday morning. And God spoke to my heart about this matter here. I do have some answers. I do have some answers to give you this morning. You got a problem in your life? You got a heartache in your life? Now these folks were facing what I believe to be the greatest question or the greatest problem in life. {He’s now referring to the passage of Scripture he just read.}


Peter had just preached the gospel to them. Peter had just looked them eyeball to eyeball and said, “It’s your sin that nailed Christ to the Cross of Calvary.” And he preached Jesus to them. And they were confronted with the gospel of Jesus Christ. And they were confronted with this matter of Heaven and Hell. That’s the greatest question you’ll be confronted with in your life. I know marriage problems bring difficulties in your life. But they’re not as important. Now don’t lose me here. Follow me for a minute. Those marriage problems you have, they’re not as important as this problem or this matter of where you’re going to spend eternity. Those problems with your children or those problems with your job, that’s not as important as this matter of where you’re going to spend eternity. {That’s true.Where a person will spend  their eternity is the most important issue in all of life.}


So they come to Peter and the other apostles here and they ask them they said, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” What shall we do?  Now, I want to take some things that they were given here and I want to apply it to our every day life. I want to apply it to problems that you face on the job, in your home, or wherever it might be. I want you to get a hold of some things here this morning, and let God speak to your heart. Whatever comes into your life. Whatever comes into your life. I’ll talk about salvation at the end of the sermon in a moment. But right now, I want to talk to you who are saved for a few minutes. {They were asking “What shall we do?” in reference to salvation. He even read that at the beginning of the sermon. They did not ask it in order to apply the question to every day situations that people face in their lives. He just said a few seconds ago that every day life situations were not  as important as where one would spend eternity. It’s almost as if he had to get a bit of a “Jesus nugget” in there at the beginning so he could go on to “more important” things.} Whatever comes into your life, if you’ll apply what I’m going to give you in the next four or five statements, then God will see you through. {That’s quite a promise.}


I told the Sunday School class this morning, I’ve learned something over the last twenty plus years of ministry. I’ve learned something over all these years of pastoring. It’s not the trouble. It’s not the heartache. It’s not the problem. It’s not the grief. It’s not the burden or whatever it might be, that’s going to make me or break me in my Christian life. It’s not the trouble that comes into my home that’s gonna make or break my marriage. It’s not the difficulties, the challenges I face raising children that make or break my children. What makes or breaks me is my response to those things. Are you awake? {He didn’t get enough “Amen’s”.} I feel kind of like I’m on an island here this morning, alright? I said, what makes or breaks me in my marriage, in my home, in my church, in my job is not the trouble or the problem, but it’s my response to it. A couple of you woke up. {He got a few more “Amen’s” that time.} Alright now, you gotta help me out here this morning.

You see, you didn’t say “Amen” because you’re not so sure that’s right. You’re so busy blaming the problem and you’re so busy blaming the heartache, and you’re so busy blaming the disease that attacked your loved one. You’re so busy blaming all of that, that you fail to realize that you have a responsibility to respond properly to whatever it is that God brings into your life. And it’s not the difficulty that comes into your life that’s gonna make or break you, it’s how you respond to it that’s gonna make you or break you. I’m gonna give you about five things.

{So, he’s getting ready to give us a step-by-step guide (or lecture) on our responsibility to respond “properly” to whatever problems come into our lives. But, it’s only what is proper according to his views. Let’s see what he says and if it can be backed up by Scripture. Already, it doesn’t look very promising.} 


  1. Steve, Thank you SO VERY MUCH for this informative and helpful website. Even though I became a Christian at 6 years of age I am STILL having a some trouble with distinguishing in some cases between the liberties we have as Christians (1 Cor. 8) and the commandments God expects us to obey. In the complicated biotech world we live in today that line is sometimes hard to make. BTW In your critique of the IFB pastor’s sermon at https://baptistdeception.com/ifb-sermon/ You apparently missed a very important additional problem with this message. In this pastor’s opening prayer he said this short sentence: “May he [the Holy Spirit] confirm what’s going to be said this morning”. Isn’t that a bit backwards – does the Holy Spirit confirm what we say or doe we confirm what He has said through the Word?????????

    1. That is an excellent point! The Holy Spirit does not confirm what we say. We do (or we are supposed to) confirm what He has said through the Word!!! Thanks for noticing that and bringing it to our attention. 🙂

    2. Thanks Emory, Yes that’s an interesting insight. I’m glad you pointed it out. Interesting. Jamey wrote that post so thanks to her for such a thorough evaluation of that sermon. Glad to have extra eyes on it to point out even more problems. Well done!

  2. Jamey, I started reading your entry but just had to quit at reading a former IFB pastor’s sermon as it was something I did not want to do. I’m really bummed out on ALL IFB churches, because of just one. I would much rather read an extremely positive sermon and so can anyone else at this link: http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=1&contentID=6879&commInfo=25&topic=Hosea I read this because the first chapter of Hosea was today’s sermon at my church today. I prefer reading sermons as I can know ever word that way. If I listen to an audio sermon, my mind wanders at times and I miss parts. I also feel quite sure that a lot of people don’t truly listen to sermons because if they did and if they would be like the Berean Christians and search the Bible daily to be certain that what is being taught them, is factual, there would be a lot more people leaving the Baptist Taliban churches otherwise known as IFB.

    1. Ral,

      I completely understand. I couldn’t listen to an IFB sermon right after I left either. I also would much rather read a positive sermon. I will tell you that the experience of interacting with this sermon has taught me whole lot about the Bible and exactly how IFB pastors can manipulate the Bible to get people to do what they want. I don’t ever want to be sucked in again, and this has definitely opened my eyes.

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