35 Burst results for "Messiah"
A highlight from Jacqueline Fritschi-Cornaz
"Support for this podcast and the following message come from Coriant Coriant provides wealth management services centered around you. They focus on exceeding expectations, simplifying lives and establishing legacies that last for generations leverage their exclusive network of experts to help achieve your personal and professional financial goals as one of the largest integrated fee only registered investment advisors in the US Coriant has experienced teams who can craft custom solutions designed to help you reach your financial goals. No matter how complex real wealth requires real solutions. Connect to a wealth advisor today at Coriant calm, folks, welcome to the Eric Metaxas show sponsored by legacy precious metals. There's never been a better time to invest in precious metals visit legacy pm investments .com that's legacy pm investments .com Welcome to the Eric Metaxas show. It's a nutritious smoothie of creamy fresh yogurt, vanilla protein powder and a mushy banana for your mind. Drink it all down. It's not me I want vanilla. Here comes Eric Metaxas. Welcome to the program. We have the privilege of a friend Rabbi Jason Sobol, who is the author of many books. The new one is called signs and secrets of the Messiah. What is a rabbi doing writing about the Messiah? Rabbi Jason? Well, hey, Jesus was a nice Jewish boy. So you know, obviously all Jesus was a rabbi, the disciples are Jewish. And so we want people to see the Bible in high definition in the context in which was written because we believe it makes it come to life. Well, I agree very heartily with that. I was just with my friend, Pastor Greg Denham, who's in San Marcos, California recently, and he's always talking about the context, the Jewishness of the New Testament, the Jewishness of the Jesus movement, and how, what a crime it is more than a crime, what a horror it is, that we have really torn the good news of Jesus away from its Jewish roots that is fundamentally wrong fundamentally on biblical scandalous. And so anytime I have an opportunity to talk about that I want to so tell us about your new book, which is a sequel to the previous book that we discussed on this program. Yeah, absolutely. We wrote signs and secrets of the Messiah, a fresh look at the miracles of Jesus, because we want people to see the life and the ministry of Jesus in a way that makes these things come to life, like never before. I also think there's something for everyone significant in the book in the sense that each one of these miracles has a promise attached to it. And we live in a world where people have lost hope and they wonder if anything can ever actually change. It seems like it's when impossible you look at everything that's going on. And I think by looking at the miracles, we see that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. In fact, the word for the miracles or the signs are testimony. And the word for testimony in Hebrew shares the same Hebrew root as the word again, he's the God of the again, what he did in these miracles he wants to do again today in our lives. There are many people who are pretty serious about their Christian faith, but they don't seem to be open to the miraculous. And I always think that's sad, because God is alive. He wants to do miraculous things. Today of every kind. I wrote a whole book called miracles, where I talked about the variety of ways God speaks to us and moves in our lives. But there are many people who they have a very kind of pinched view of what it means to be a Christian to follow Jesus. And they somehow don't they act like miracles happen in the past, but they can happen now. That is unbiblical. It's wrong. But a lot of people seem to fall into that it's it's it's almost like a secular version of the Christian faith, which is contradiction in terms.
A highlight from The Wonderful and Wretched Response to The Gospel
"And open your Bibles to Acts chapter 13. I'll read for us verses 42 through 52. We will get a few verses into this tonight. Again, let's listen now to the Lord's Word. Remember this is all coming right after the sermon has been preached and so the sermon which began in verse 16 and concludes in verse 41 and now we come to verse 42. As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them the next Sabbath. Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God -fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God. The next Sabbath, nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said it was necessary that the Word of God be spoken to you first. Since you repudiated and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we are turning to the Gentiles for so the Lord has commanded us. I have placed you as a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth. When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing in glorifying the word of the Lord and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region, but the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium and the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. This is the Lord's word. Would you bow with me and let's pray. Again our Lord we thank you for this day and thank you for this word and pray now that your blessing will be upon it and upon your servant and upon these your people who sit here in this building and for those upon those who may be joining from afar. Lord would you grant us understanding and would you please Oh Father edify us now in these weak efforts we ask in Jesus name. Amen. So we have spent a couple of Sunday evenings going over the sermon that the Apostle Paul preached in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch. This is his first missionary journey and I want you to recall that the gospel my friends is not about you. I think that's one of the most freeing and wonderful things to realize. Charlie was talking about that as we before the service tonight. It is not about you. It's not about your decision -making skills or your moral choices or even your intellect. The gospel is all about the Lord. That's why it's good news. It affects you but it's about the Lord. It's about his promise to Jesus Christ whom he raised from the dead. The prophets of old foretold the truth concerning Jesus Christ. He is the descendant of David who sits and is sitting currently on the throne of Israel never again to die. He is the promised Messiah the only Savior of the world and Paul would conclude his his sermon with these words. Therefore let it be known to you brethren that through him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you and through him everyone who believes is freed from all things from which you could not be freed through the law of Moses. Therefore take heed so that the things spoken of in the prophets may not come upon you. Now is the time of salvation in essence is what Paul is saying. Believe upon the Lord and be saved or else be judged in your sin and condemned to an eternity in hell. He does not give. I want you to notice an altar call. I thought that was it was really missing in this passage.
A highlight from A Disciple's Call To Evangelism
"Anyway, so it's good to be here And once again as always to be in the house of the lord together special time That we get to honor the lord with the way that we listen to his word sung Sing about and listen to his word preached. We'll be in matthew chapter four tonight as we continue our study Through this great gospel. It's been a good journey So far, we're getting ready to just talking to russell before the service get into the sermon of the mount And I am looking forward to that. I can't promise you how long that that will take But uh, we'll get through it one verse at a time as always and try to give a good Exegesis of each passage we come for it too. So matthew chapter four And we will begin reading tonight in verse 18 matthew four In verse 18 God's word says in jesus walking by the sea of galilee Saw two brethren simon called peter and andrew his brother casting a net into the sea For they were fishers And he saith unto them Follow me and I will make you fishers. Amen And they straightway left their nets and followed him And going on from thence He saw two other brethren james the son of zebedee and john his brother in a ship with zebedee Their father mending their nets and he called them And they immediately left the ship and their father and followed him I think it's a familiar passage the title of the message tonight is a disciples call to evangelism a disciples call To evangelism it's it's interesting to note If you comb through the new testament alone, there's a over 50 times That different forms of the word evangelized Is used as you study through each Book 50 times in total time and time again here in the gospel gospels christ calls On his people to evangelize and he caps it off with the great commission well -known couple Verses here matthew 28 19 and 20 go ye therefore and teach all nations Baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and the holy ghost Teach them to observe all things whatsoever. I've commanded you And lo i'm with you always even to the end of the earth That is a couple verses of evangelism. It's a call for all of us to go everywhere and to evangelize The world evangelism is what people god's people Do we win others to christ? We rescue others from the flames of hell we lead others From the grip of satan into the hands of god. We carry with us the seemingly uncurable disease called sin If this is the case Why? Do we not witness more? Why? Is the church not full? of those Who we have led to christ? one of the night's message We will see What evangelism? Looks like we will look at this passage and we will uncover the truths of evangelism One by one in my prayer is that it would stir up within each and every one of us a desire To do more a desire to evangelize More a disciples call To evangelism. So the first thing I want to consider In our text tonight Is the call? The call and before we get to this specific call that we see here in this passage I want to show Show you how that this call Fits into a bigger progressive call Of the disciples as we look at what we call a synoptic view of the four gospels We see that there are several different calls on the disciples in their lives Because that is how god presented it to us. It's sort of like us we receive different calls from the lord Progressive calls we were called to salvation We were called to come here to liberty we were called to evangelize some of us are called to preach Some are called to teach some are called to serve It's just a progressive call for the totality of our lives and the disciples were no Different as we grow in faith. God calls us to different levels of service according to his sovereign will So in the four gospels we see five distinct calls from christ to the disciples and this is not listed in the outline I gave you this is a free of charge Okay, so the first call we see as we look at all four of the gospels is first of all a call to salvation We see this call of the disciples in john chapter one beginning verse 35 through 51 This call came this particular passage around february the year 27 A .d and in this passage andrew peter philip and nathaniel they follow christ Submitting to him as messiah the son of god and the king of israel The disciples would occasionally accompany christ on trips after this call But they did not completely abandon their application. This was a call Their occupation this was a call to salvation the second call we see Is the call that we have here tonight the call to evangelism We see this in matthew chapter 4 the passage. We just read verses 18 through 21 and we also see this same passage in mark chapter 1 verses 16 Through 20 this call happened right at a year later from the disciples call to e salvation So tonight we will see this call played out before our eyes peter andrew james and john they will be called to more than just Fishermen as they were they will be called to be fishers of men but still yet this call Leads to a partial commitment the disciples do not made farewell to their occupation Of fishermen that's the second call we call the salvation The call to evangelism and then the third call is the call to total commitment total commitment We see this call in luke chapter 5 beginning in verse 1 through verse 11 now this call is similar to the previous call To be fishers of men, but it's different in several ways First of all in the previous call matthew and mark that they emphasize the effort But luke in luke chapter 5 emphasizes the success in the previous call a call to evangelism Jesus mentioned simon andrew james and john by name but in this call in luke chapter 5 jesus directs his words Towards peter in the previous call jesus is walking on the shore when he calls out to his disciples in this column luke chapter 5 Jesus is standing in the previous call simon and andrew They are fishing and james and john as we will see in this passage tonight They are mending their nets but in the call in luke They are all washing their nets or washing Their nets in the previous call peter and andrew leave their nets and follow jesus With james and john leaving their boats and their father and their hired servants But in this call all Leave all in a total Commitment to christ in luke chapter 5.
A highlight from Guided Into Truth
"Well, as you heard announced this morning, today is a special day for our church. The air is getting a little bit cooler, a little more crisp. The rain is starting to come and fall kickoff is happening. This means many of our ministries and programs are getting kicked off, ending their summer hiatus and getting rolling for the coming year. Now in conversations I was having with the guys on our pastoral staff earlier in the summer about the different ideas for fall kickoff, themes to go with, emphases to put out there. We had a bunch of different ideas and I won't share with you the ideas that ended up on the cutting room floor, but I will restate our theme for fall kickoff this year is guided into truth, which I think is a theme that really encapsulates what we are to be all about as followers of Jesus Christ, right? I mean, when you think about it, for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ in the room this morning, we have been guided into truth in the ultimate sense in that someone somewhere at some point in time shared the gospel with us. They shared the good news message of Jesus Christ dying and Jesus Christ rising and Jesus Christ saving sinners like you and me so that our sins could be forgiven and our hope of eternal life secured. And then we responded to that gospel with repentance and faith turning from the sin that once had its claws in us to put our trust now in Christ finished work on the cross. So we we have been guided into truth in that sense. Now. We're also called to guide others into truth. And if we're faithful to Christ and obedient to his Great Commission for his followers, we guide others into truth. That's what we do. That's what we're marked by we do so around our dinner tables as we teach our children about Christ and we do so at our family gatherings as we openly recognize that all that we have the roofs over our heads the air in our lungs the food in our tables the experiences that we get to share together. They are all because of Christ we do so at church whether we hold a formal teaching post or not. We give instruction and encouragement and exhortation from God's Word pointing other people people around us to Christ and then for a select few we guide others into truth by sharing the gospel message with the lost for some that means doing so through door -to -door evangelism for some that means at the Holmes Lake prayer tower for others. This happens more organically and the day -to -day evangelism that you've heard spoken of more recently where people are more adept at moving their conversations from more of mundane topics, you know, the weather and Husker football and the like to the gospel and getting to the hope that's found in Jesus Christ. Well today's message is going to have one aim and the bull's eye that I've been praying that this message would hit is to press in on this notion that evangelism is the territory or the realm of only that select few in the church. I'm going to throw the flag on the thought process that goes John Kerry is the deacon of evangelism and therefore John Kerry and his team. Those are the evangelists of the church. I'm going to challenge those of you who whether through fear or or laziness let's just get real here a lack of concern and love for those who are truly lost or abandoning your responsibility to do what Christ has commanded you and I both to do which is to share the gospel with the lost. I'm going to exhort you this morning to stop warming the bench and to get in the game. So last week we looked at prayer you might recall from Colossians this morning. We're looking at evangelism. I figured I could complete the trio of all topics that people like to hear about giving maybe next Sunday. No, but I'm going to say what needs to be said about being more evangelistically minded individually and as members of this body of believers to be more faithful in sharing the gospel not from a place of personal preference or desire because that really doesn't matter here. I'm going to speak to you through a text of scripture one that is very familiar to many of us and a text that is so rich in terms of the description it provides and the picture it paints of what it means to be guided into truth and what it looks like to guide another into truth turn with me if you would in your Bibles to Acts chapter 8 Acts chapter 8 Matthew Mark Luke John Acts book number five of the New Testament. We're going to hit pause on our series and Colossians this week so that we as a church body in keeping with our fall kickoff theme this week can zero in on this text where we encounter someone who was guided into truth and also see someone who is guiding another into truth. We're going to look at Acts 8 25 through 40 this morning. I'm going to try to take the whole bite. We'll see how I do this morning sermon has five points. They're all alliterated. We're going to see the context first in verse 25 in leading up to verse 25. We're going to see the command in verse 26. We'll see the contact in verses 27 through 30 the conversion in verses 31 through 35 and then the consequences in verses 36 through 40 now since today's passage or today's sermon is one of these one -off sermons before we just drop ourselves into this passage. It would be important and good if we establish some of the context. So as we look at the context here first point number one, let's look at some of the background here. The Book of Acts was humanly speaking written by Luke the same Luke who gave us the Gospel of Luke and what both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts revealed to us very clearly is that Luke was a very detailed and meticulous historian. We see that over in the Gospel of Luke the very beginning verses of Luke Luke 1 3 where he says this to Theophilus who is the immediate recipient of the gospel. He says it seemed fitting for me as well having investigated everything carefully from the beginning to write it out for you in consecutive order. So we see how meticulous already Luke was and then here in the Book of Acts, which is really part 2 of Luke's writing the sequel as it were to the Gospel of Luke. He continues on and giving this very precise and detailed historical account of the early church. In fact, let's go ahead and take a few moments to do a real high -level flyover of the first seven chapters of Acts leading up to our text for today. In fact, go with me over to Acts 1 and you can do the flyover with me. In Acts 1 we see that the resurrected Christ appeared to his apostles and according to Acts 1 3 he did this over a period of 40 days and spoke of the things concerning the kingdom of God and then over the course of those 40 days and at the conclusion of those 40 days the Lord said to his apostles over in Acts 1 8 that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth file that statement away in your minds, by the way, we're going to come back to it a couple of times this morning then in Acts 1 9 we see Luke recording the Ascension of our Lord to the right hand of the Father where he is seated today says after he had said these things he was lifted up while they were looking on and a cloud received him out of their sight then in Acts 2 Luke gives an account of the day of Pentecost one of the traditional Jewish feast days what was Pentecost and this is the day on which the Holy Spirit as Christ had earlier promised would happen descended and fell on that assembly there in Jerusalem. This is the day on which the Apostle Peter gave one of the most powerful sermons ever preached and according to Acts 241 about 3 ,000 souls came to Christ were converted through that preaching of Peter Acts 3 were told more about the ministry now of both Peter and John still in Jerusalem. We see that Peter heals a lame beggar in this chapter and then Peter also delivers a second sermon from the portico of Solomon and in this sermon the second sermon Peter gives in Acts 3 15 he calls out the Jews of the day as it says here in verse 3 15 for having put to death the Prince of life the one whom God raised from the dead a fact to which we are witnesses that in Acts 4 we see the arrest of Peter and John recorded and then we see their interactions with Annas and Caiaphas and other Jewish high priests and it's in front of those high priests that Peter filled with the Holy Spirit Acts 4 12 says this and there is salvation and no one else for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved then over in Acts 5 Luke gives the account of the second arrest of Peter and John and the other apostles we see that they were flawed and eventually released and after they were flawed and after they were released Acts 5 41 says they went on their way from the presence of the council rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for his name in the very next verse Acts 5 42 says while they were still there in Jerusalem every day in the temple they go from house to house and they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ in Acts 6 Luke tells us verse 7 that the Word of God kept on spreading in the number of disciples continue to increase greatly in Jerusalem and then the very next verse Acts 6 8 we are introduced to Stephen who full of grace and power was performing great wonders and signs among the people and then the remainder of Acts 6 we see that Stephen was then brought up for trial essentially before the Jewish leaders on charges of blasphemy then in Acts 7 Luke gives us this very detailed account of the the bold testimony and defense that Stephen gave which included him turning the tables and indicting the very people who were trying to indict him for having murdered their Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ and that doesn't go very well for Stephen because we see in Acts 7 54 says when they had heard this meaning Stevens testimony and indictment of them they were cut to the quick and they began gnashing their teeth at him and then the rest of Acts 7 records Stevens ultimate death by stoning Acts 8 now begins with these words in verse 1 Saul the one who would later become known as Paul was in hardy agreements with putting him meaning Stephen to death and then look at the very next words and on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria and what does that remind you of what we saw back in Acts 1 8 where Christ himself said to his followers that you shall be my witnesses from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and then to the remotest part of the earth now take a look at Acts 8 4 we're going to work our way closer and closer to our text because Acts 8 4 here really sets up the immediate context where we'll be today says therefore those who had been scattered out of Jerusalem it means went about preaching the word Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them the crowds with one Accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing from the case of many who had unclean spirits they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.
A highlight from 383// Resisting Temptation: Unlocking the Meaning of Jesus Wilderness Experience in Matthew 4
"Do you sometimes doubt if you're truly hearing God's voice or if it's really your own? Or have you been in a season where it feels like He's completely silent? Have you been praying for a way to learn how to hear His voice more clearly? Hey friends, I'm Rachel, host of the Hearing Jesus Podcast. If you are ready to grow in your faith and to constantly step into your identity in Christ, then join me as we dig deep into God's Word so you can learn to live out your faith in your everyday life. Hi friends, welcome back to the Hearing Jesus Podcast. I'm your host, Rachel Brohl. Today we're continuing our discussion through the book of Matthew, and we're on Matthew chapter 4. If you're brand new to the show, or if you haven't joined us before, I would encourage you to go back and listen to the last couple of episodes, because what we're doing is an introduction to the Gospels. We're going through one passage at a time and breaking it down to make sure that you don't miss some of the things that are often missed when we read quickly through the Gospels. I'm reading from the New American Standard Version today, and I'm starting at verse 1. It says, 40 days and 40 nights, he then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, If you were the son of God, command that these stones become bread. But he answered and said, it is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God. Then the devil took him along into the holy city and had him stand on the pinnacle of the temple. And he said to him, if you are the son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, he will give his angels orders concerning you. And on their hands, they will lift you up so that you do not strike your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, on the other hand, it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test. Again, the devil took him along to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, all these things I will give you if you fall down to worship me. Then Jesus said to him, go away, Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Then the devil left him and behold, angels came and began to serve him. There's a couple of things in this passage, these short 11 verses that I want to make sure you understand as we read this together. The first is it's kind of interesting that the ministry of Jesus is essentially starting in the desert, just like John's did. Yesterday, we read about John the Baptist and how he had baptized Jesus and the beginning of his ministry was in the wilderness. If you want to learn more about why that's significant, you can listen to yesterday's episode. But it's also a way that Matthew is using to contrast Jesus to Israel. Remember, when Israel was in the wilderness, they were disobedient to God. But what we see today is when Jesus is in the wilderness, he's obedient to God. And that leads us to this undercurrent that we see throughout the book of Matthew, where Matthew is contrasting the Messiah, Jesus, to Israel. And he's showing the differences in the way that this Messiah is upholding God's will and plan. Also, it's the first time in Matthew's gospel that we see the devil and later he's called Satan. But this temptation by the devil is something that we're going to see throughout Matthew's gospel and actually throughout all the gospels. It's not the only time that this happens. It's just the first time that it happens. Temptation by the devil. That word, that word temptation can actually mean test or tempt. Either way, it's clearly an attempt by the enemy to get Jesus to go against God. Temptation tries to get someone's behavior to go against God. But don't forget what it said at the beginning of this passage, that Jesus was led by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, into the wilderness. So at least on some levels, this was also a test. A test tries to get someone to prove their faithfulness to God with the intention that the person is going to pass the test. And we see testing throughout the Old Testament where God has tested his servants. The testing of Jesus in the wilderness tells us a couple of things. We learn that the true battle is in the heart, or I guess you could say the mind. For Jesus, the battle is not against Rome, as many of the Jews would have thought, or it's not even against the religious leaders like what we saw yesterday. The battle is with this unseen enemy, the devil. And quite honestly, it's not that much different for you and me. Who was the devil? Well, in the Old Testament, his name was Satan, which means the accuser. In the New Testament, we see him as this evil presence that's always coming against the kingdom of God. And he's called a couple of things. Matthew calls him the devil. In John, he's called the evil one. In Ephesians, he's called the ruler of the kingdom of the air. Acts, he's called Satan. In Revelation, he's even called the dragon or the serpent. And there's a lot of allusion to the serpent throughout the gospels. And in today's context, I would say that the devil is that voice or that presence that is in opposition to God's voice or God's presence, and that can look a lot of different ways. Often people will ask, how can I know the difference between God's voice, the devil's voice and my own voice? Well, the enemy's voice is always going to be in opposition to what God wants or God's voice. And the primary way that God speaks to us is through his word. And so if you are struggling to understand if it's God speaking or the enemy speaking, I would encourage you to hold up that message to the word of God, because God is not going to speak contrary to his word. In fact, it's impossible for him to do that. God never changes. And so if you are struggling to understand something, the primary lens you need to look at that through is through the scriptures.
A highlight from Acts 025 - The Spirit's Power
"Okay, well come on in. The water's fine. Good to see you all this evening. And welcome back to our Wednesday night Bible study. We took a summer break. And in the last quarter, we started a study on the book of Acts. Made it all the way through chapter 3. And this morning, not this morning, this evening, if you could locate Acts chapter 4 and verse 1. Sort of to get the cobwebs out. The book of Acts is about the birth and the growth of the church. So in Acts chapter 1, Jesus ascended. In Acts chapter 2, the church is born. Day of Pentecost. In Acts chapter 3, Peter and John heal a lame man. I think he was born lame. He was about 38 years old. And his legs were miraculously restored in Acts 3. Which gave Peter a chance to preach to a crowd. And Peter there condemns 1st century Israel for their rejection of the Messiah. And chapter 3, as you surely could imagine, flows right into chapter 4. Where Peter and John get arrested. So here's an outline of Acts 4. Even going into Acts 5, the Ananias and Sapphira incident. But you have the apostles arrested, verses 1 through 4. The apostles examined by the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin is the existing Jewish legal authority, religious authority in 1st century Israel. That's in verses 5 through 12. Then the Sanhedrin makes a decision, verses 13 through 22. And then the apostles go to prayer. And this is a very powerful prayer that they pray in verses 23 through 31. And then the chapter kind of ends with them, the church that is living in their communal arrangement. Which we saw develop in Acts at the end of Acts 2. And that sets the stage very nicely for the first 11 chapters in chapter 5. Because in that communal arrangement, it involved selling your property and giving the proceeds to the church. And there was a couple there, Ananias and Sapphira, who publicly misrepresented their generosity. And they were slain in the Holy Spirit. And when I say slain in the Holy Spirit, that's not a good thing. Okay. And God brought upon them maximum divine discipline. And that had, as we're going to see, a purifying effect on the early church. So anyway, that's kind of the lay of the land that we're moving into this evening. I don't think we'll be able to cover all of this this evening, but we can make a healthy start. First of all, the apostles are arrested. We have an interruption. The reasons for the arrest. The arrest and the results of the arrest. So notice, if you will, Acts chapter 4, verse 1. It says, as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them. So when it says they were speaking to the people, this is in reference to the sermon that Peter primarily was giving in Acts 3. Where they healed a man who was lame, born lame. He knew nothing but the lack of use of his legs for, I think it says, 38 years. And he's miraculously healed, not by Peter and John, but by Jesus through Peter and John. It's just Jesus is exercising his ministry now from the Father's right hand. Through the church, through the apostles. And a big crowd gathers and Peter uses the opportunity to condemn first century Israel. Their decision nationally to reject their own Messiah. So that's what it means there when it says as they were speaking to the people. So as they were speaking to the people, they're now interrupted by the religious authorities. Who are the religious authorities? It says it right there in verse 1 of chapter 4. The priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees. So these are religious officials or workers. We have priests, the captain of the temple guard, and another group here called the Sadducees. And easy to remember the Sadducees is the Sadducees were always sad, you see. Sadducees. Basically, the Sadducees were people that if we were to try to parallel them today with somebody, we would call them theological liberals. A theological liberal denies what the Bible says. You know, it denies prophecy, denies miracles, and that kind of thing. And that's who these Sadducees were. The Sadducees only believed in the first five books of Moses. That's all they believed in. They didn't accept the rest of the Old Testament. So that's why when Jesus is talking to them about resurrection, the Sadducees, and the Gospels, he does not quote from Daniel chapter 12, verse 2 to prove resurrection to them. I mean, why didn't he quote Daniel 12, verse 2? Daniel 12, verse 2 is a great verse on future resurrection. It says, many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but others to everlasting disgrace, to disgrace and everlasting contempt. So why didn't Jesus, when he is arguing with the Sadducees and the Gospels about resurrection, why doesn't he quote that passage? That's a beautiful passage to quote from. Well, the answer is the Sadducees did not accept Daniel as authoritatively coming from God. They only accepted the first five books of the Bible. So it wouldn't do any good to prove resurrection from the Book of Daniel to the Sadducees. So instead, Jesus quotes the Book of Exodus. And I'm getting this from Matthew 22, 32 and 31. Here he's speaking to the Sadducees and it says, but regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God? And now he's quoting Exodus. the I am God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead, but the living. In other words, he points out that based on the Book of Exodus, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive right now. And he uses that to prove future resurrection. So why would he quote that passage? Because that's one of the books they would accept. He doesn't quote the more obvious passage because the Sadducees did not accept anything other than the Pentateuch, the Torah, the first five books of Hebrew Bible. The Sadducees were also sad, you see, not only because they denied all other scripture outside of Moses, but they denied resurrection. That's why Jesus is debating them about resurrection. They did not believe in angels. Acts 23 and verse 8 says, for the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, nor an angel. Matthew 22 and verse 30 indicates that the Sadducees didn't believe in resurrection. So you're dealing with people that only believed in the first five books of Moses. They didn't believe in angels. They didn't believe in resurrection. So Sadducee is a pretty good name for these people, right? I mean, I would be sad too if I had a limited acceptance of the authority of the totality of what God has revealed. The Sadducees are a little bit different than the Pharisees. In fact, they're a lot different. In the Sadducees, we can analogize them to modern day theological liberals. Pharisees were conservatives, but they were hyper legalists. They brought in, and this goes back to the Babylonian captivity, the Jewish rejection of the Sabbath sent the nation of Israel into the Babylonian captivity for 70 years. And when the nation of Israel came out of that captivity and came back into their homeland, they said to themselves, we're never going to let that happen again. And so they built what we call a fence around the law. Meaning we're going to pass so many laws against breaking the Sabbath that no one will ever think about breaking the Sabbath. So they had all these rules about how you couldn't eat on the Sabbath. You know, you couldn't rescue a man on the Sabbath. All of these things come into the life of Israel through something called Mishnah, and then Talmud, and there were two Talmuds. There was one in the land of Israel. There was a later one developed in what's called the Babylonian Talmud. And this is why Jesus said of the Pharisees, you make null the word of God through your traditions. Because what happened is the tale started to wag the dog. They started to read the law superimposed over the law were a bunch of man -made regulations and restrictions. So when Jesus is dealing with the Pharisees, he's always dealing with this issue. You know, he's feeding his disciples on the Sabbath. Pharisees are upset about that. He's healing people on the Sabbath. Pharisees are upset about that. And what are they upset about? They're upset about the fact that he's not respecting their rules. Where Jesus' point is the tale's wagging the dog. Your rules are being superimposed over God's actual law to the point where you're burying the original intent of the law under layer after layer after layer of man -made regulation. So Jesus, as the Lord of the Sabbath, was always trying to get back to what the Sabbath meant. It was supposed to be a blessing for man. Pharisees are saying, nope, you can't do anything on the Sabbath. You can't heal someone on the Sabbath, even though that's a blessing for man. You can't feed your disciples on the Sabbath, you know, pick crops and that kind of thing on the Sabbath. Even though that's a blessing for man, you're ruining our rules. So that's a little bit of who the Pharisees were. Pharisees are conservative, but they're beyond conservative. They're hyper legalists. Sadducees are just deniers of what the totality of God's word says. The Pharisees are going to be dominant in the synagogue. They had a higher sphere of influence in the synagogue. What was the synagogue? The synagogue were these places that Jews would gather, you know, all over the Greco -Roman world. And they gathered there during a time when there was no temple to go to. Remember the temple, the first temple that Solomon built was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and wasn't rebuilt until the days of Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah. So what did the Jews do? They would gather in the Greco -Roman world in these places called the synagogue. And the Pharisees were dominant in the synagogue. The Sadducees, as I'm trying to describe it, were dominant in the temple area. So that's why the people that are harassing the apostles in early Acts, really all the way up through Acts chapter 12, are the Sadducees and not the Pharisees. Because the Sadducees had ascendancy in the temple area. In Acts 1 through 12, the early church hadn't spread out yet. And it had a very strong sphere of influence in Jerusalem. So that's why the early church is dealing with the Sadducees, the Sadducees, the Sadducees, the Sadducees, until the Apostle Paul in Acts 13 and 14 goes out on missionary journey number one into southern Galatia. And then you'll start seeing him going to the various synagogues outside the land of Israel. And now the people coming against Paul are not the Sadducees, but now they're the Pharisees. So Sadducees, liberals, Pharisees, legalists. Sadducees dominant in the temple area, Pharisees dominant in the synagogue. Sadducees will be dominant as long as the church has a place of influence in Jerusalem. But the Pharisees as opponents of the church will become dominant as the church spreads out and moves outside the land of Israel. So verse one says, as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them. That's a little bit about who the Sadducees are and why they are the primary detractors of the church at this particular point. So Peter and John, Peter's conversation that he was having in Acts three, a very effective conversation is interrupted. The reasons for the interruption are given in verse two. It says being, now notice this, not just disturbed, but greatly disturbed. Being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and in proclaiming Jesus the resurrection from the dead. So here are these apostles and if you drop over to verse 13 for a minute, you see the way that the religious authorities looked at the apostles. It says, now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. So what is upsetting to the Sadducees is number one, these apostles are teaching the people and they never went to our Sadducee school. I mean, they don't have a Sadducee degree. In other words, they don't think like we do. I mean, if these apostles thought the way we thought, then they would only accept Moses. They would reject angels. They would reject resurrection. And here are these men who are untrained fishermen teaching the masses there in Acts chapter three. In other words, they don't have the authority to be teaching anybody is how the Sadducees were thinking about the apostles. And what really upset them is they kept talking about Christ's, but starts it with an R, resurrection, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Now that was really upsetting to the Sadducees because the Sadducees didn't believe in resurrection. And here they're claiming that the man that the nation of Israel just turned over to Rome for execution has risen from the dead and his tomb is empty. That doesn't fit our doctrine. The Sadducees would say to themselves. And this puts the apostles on a collision course with the Sadducees. The moment Peter in Acts 2 24, which is a wonderful sermon, said these words, he became, I think at that point, a marked man by the Sadducees. Peter said, but God, speaking of Jesus, raised him up again, putting an end to the agony of defeat, since it was impossible for him to be held by its power. Peter continues the subject matter in Acts chapter three and that sermon there in verse 15. And it says, but put to death, speaking of Israel, the prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead. And he says a fact to which we are witnesses. Remember what Paul would say to the Corinthians. Now there's 500 eyewitnesses, 1 Corinthians 15. Check it out for yourself. They've all seen the resurrected Christ. So what they were saying is Israel rejected her own Messiah. That made the Sadducees angry enough. So then they said this Messiah rose from the dead and the Sadducees were upset even more because they didn't believe in future resurrection or any kind of resurrection. That's why when you look at verse two, it says they were being greatly disturbed, not just disturbed, but greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people. Here are these unqualified fishermen teaching doctrines that we, the religious authorities, oppose. Now you put all of this in motion and you can see why they're arrested. And their arrest is described in verse three. So they laid hands on them, that would be Peter and John, put them in jail until the next day for it was already evening. Now, why didn't they put them on trial right then and there? It's part of Jewish law. Jewish law says no trial in the evening hours. The only one that they violated that rule for was who? Jesus, because they couldn't wait to rush him through the judicial system to get him dead as quickly as they could. So they violated everything in their rule book. But here at least they're respecting the rule book and they're not having a trial in the evening hours because that is forbidden by the Mosaic law. And what is the results of all of this thing, all of this? Because we're kind of in the mindset that, oh no, if the mandates come back, which they could, they're talking about it, you know. And Sugar Land Bible Church stays open, which is at least my intention. I mean, I would like to stay open. I don't think a pastor or an elder board has a right to shut down a church because whose church is it? It's God's church. If God wants to shut down a church, it's his church, he's more than capable of doing it. A pastor doesn't have an authority to close down a church. So if all these mandates come back and hypothetically, let's say we stay open, my goodness, what if they come in here and they fine us? What if they come in here and they arrest us? What if they do like they did to that pastor of that Baptist church in Northern California where they actually chained the doors and keep assessing fine after fine after fine against him with an attempt to completely drive the church that he was pastoring, you know, under? You know, what do we do then? Well, this is where Acts chapter four is so instructive.
A highlight from Christ-Centered Evangelism - John 4:27-42
"Alright John chapter 4 Turn to John chapter 4 tonight and We are we're bringing an end to the story of the woman at the well tonight, and we've been a John since January and We're gonna get to the nobleman's son and finish up chapter 4 and then take a break in the gospel of John We are going to preach verse by verse through the whole book, but I don't want to wear you out on it So we're gonna we're gonna take a break from there, and then we'll come back to it later on in the year but John chapter 4 we've been working through this gospel and so let's let's read our text tonight, and then we'll do a little bit of catching up to where we are and Jump into the message tonight John chapter 4 we'll start reading in verse number 1 and then read through the text We're gonna cover tonight when therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John Though Jesus himself baptized not but his disciples He left Judea and departed again in the Galilee and he must needs go through Samaria Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar Near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph Now Jacob's well was there Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey sat thus on the well, and it was about the sixth hour There comeeth a woman of Samaria to draw water Jesus saith unto her give me to drink For his disciples were gone away to buy it to under the city to buy me And sayeth the woman of Samaria unto him How is it that thou being a Jew asked me of a drink? Which him a woman of Samaria for the Jews have no dealings with Samaritans Jesus answered and said unto her if thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee Give me to drink thou wouldest asked of him and he would have given thee living water The woman saith to him sir thou hast nothing to draw with and the well is deep From whence then has thou that living water are thou greater than our father Jacob which gave us the well and Drank thereof himself and his children and his cattle Jesus answered and said unto her Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give them Shall never thirst but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up in the everlasting life The woman saith unto him sir. Give me this water that I thirst not neither come hither to draw Jesus saith unto her go Call thy husband and come hither The woman answered and said I have no husband Jesus said unto her Thou hast well said I have no husband For thou hast had five husbands and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband and that just thou truly The woman saith unto him, sir I perceive that thou art a prophet our father's worshiped in this mountain and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship Jesus saith unto her woman believe me the hour cometh when you shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father You worship, you know, not what we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews but the hour cometh and now is When the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeketh such to worship him God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth the woman saith unto him I Know that messiahs cometh, which is called Christ when he is come. He'll tell us all things Jesus saith unto her I That speak unto thee am he? All right And here's our text tonight verse 27 and upon this came the disciples and marveled that he talked with the woman Yet no man said what seekest thou or why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her water pot and went on went her way into the city and saith to the men Come see a man, which told me all things I ever ever I did is Not this the Christ Then they went out of the city and came in him in the meanwhile his disciples prayed him saying master eat But he said unto them. I have meat to eat that you know not of Therefore said the disciples one to another have they even brought him ought to eat Jesus saith to them my meat is to do the will of him that sent me to finish his work Say not ye there are yet four months and then cometh the harvest Behold I say unto you lift up your eyes and look on the fields for they are white already to harvest He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathers fruit into life eternal But are that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together and Herein is that saying true one soweth and another reapeth. I Sent you to reap that whereon you bestowed no labor Other men labored that you are entered into their labors And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman which testified He told me of all that ever I did So when the Samaritans were coming to him they besought him that he would tarry with them, and he abode there two days and many more believed because of his own word and Said unto the woman now we believe not because of thy saying for we have heard him ourselves and know that This is indeed the Christ the Savior of the world We've worked through the Gospel of John we spent some time in the first 18 verses I think five messages starting off on the prologue of John which is sort of the introduction of the book where John basically says Hey, this is what the book's gonna be about it's about Jesus Christ, and he's the Son of God and by the way He is God and so he says it's sort of you look back at the 18 verses if you ever want to just Look back and read those 18 verses as we go through the book you see how he's proving Everything that he stated in the first 18 verses Chapter one ends with a sort of a thing with John the Baptist and his followers and they're saying hey, who are you? why are you baptizing he tells him Messiah's coming and Then talks about him baptizing Jesus, and then Jesus comes through at the end of chapter one John says look behold the Lamb of God and two of his followers Which we have identified as John and Andrew left and followed Jesus, and then he picks up Peter he picks up Philip and Nathaniel Then you move into chapter 2 chapter 2 they go to Cana and they go to a wedding and Jesus does the first Recorded miracle where he turns the water into wine which is an illustration of the new birth The changing from the old which is only an act of God the end of chapter 2 We have the scene of the temple where Jesus goes During the Passover and he comes along the temple and all the commerce going on in the temple and there's supposed to be the place of worship and sacrifice and they turn it into a bargaining horse race type of atmosphere where there's loud noises and people getting cheated and people haggling and all these things and so Jesus runs out the money changers in the temple then they question him about it and Then he ends the chat in chapter 2 ends with how he did many signs and people believed on him But he did not believe with what their faith was and then we broke that down and sort of basically said yeah They tried to believe in him They they believed in what they saw But they weren't Jesus did not have any faith in what they believe and I equated that to what we see around today I was talking to my wife about this we had a long we were talking I had a discussion about this last night And I said, you know, I did a study in Sunday school once last year two years ago on the church, I think And I remember when I brought in that list of all of those the 30 largest churches in the country That's just the country not the world and the number 30 had like 17 ,000 members the mode the highest the largest church in the country had like 65 ,000 people and We talked about how these are the largest churches the world has ever seen I mean going back before this big church growth movement in the 80s the largest Congregations And churches to history was like Charles Spurgeon who had like 5 ,000 members And so now you have all of these people going to these churches and I asked her I said you have more people going to church Now than ever before since the church started I said is the country better off and She said she sat there and thought a minute and she said no and I said so what does that tell you a? Lot of people going around thinking they're saved that really aren't Was that old Negro spiritual that says a lot of people talk about heaven ain't going there And so that was sort of what verse 25 was was discussing Then you transition in chapter 3 and we have the discussion where Nicodemus Approaches Jesus at night and they have a discourse and he says that in order to see the kingdom of God the kingdom of heaven In order to see heaven you must be born again So Jesus and Nicodemus have this discourse up to verse 21 and then the story sort of transitions to John the Baptist and somebody comes with their little finger and tries to stir up a little dispute between John the Baptist and Jesus and John has the famous statement.
A highlight from Matthew: The Baptism Of Jesus Christ
"The very last book in the Old Testament, the very last book, the book of Malachi, literally the last four or five verses, it says this. It says, Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Behold, this is the last verses in the whole Old Testament. Behold, Elijah is coming, or at least his spiritual successor. I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the day of the Lord, the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children of the fathers, lest they come to strike the earth with a curse. The last verses in the Old Testament said keep on the lookout, keep on the lookout. There's one coming, and when he comes, he's going to prepare the way, which is what Isaiah said, too. I'm going to send one, one from the wilderness is going to come to prepare the way for the Lord, to prepare the way for the king, which is something they had to do back in the days. Literally, if the king was going to visit, they had to clear the street and the paths and the like so that the carts or the chairs or whatnot could get down without any issues. Whatever the case is, Elijah was anticipated from centuries past to return, and he returns in the form of John the Baptist as the spiritual successor. Now, what was John doing before we look at verses 13 and 14, before we move into the text, really? What is he doing? Well, we know he's baptizing. He's baptizing individuals here. So what kind of baptism is this? Did they have baptism in the Old Testament? Did they have it? Well, yes, but it was different. They had something called proselyte baptism. Let's say that you're a Moabite, and you say, you know, I really like Israel. I like the food and the culture, and I love their God. Their God seems so much better than the gods we got over here. I think I would like to become Jewish. I'd like to convert. So what was the process for that? Well, the process was baptism. It was called proselyte baptism. If someone from another culture wanted to convert into Judaism, and God was pleased to pull from the nations. If you're a Gentile here this morning, you're an example of this. God was pleased to pull from the nations, and when they pulled from the nations, when people converted, so to speak, to Judaism, the principal action that they undertook was to be baptized or washed as a sign, as a type, of washing away their pagan beliefs and their wicked ways and the like. So they did have something called baptism, but it wasn't baptism in the sense that we might understand it. It was for new converts. Well, this is not what's going on here. John is baptizing Jews. See, this is different. Now, some people say, well, what's going on is ceremonial washings. If you look in the Old Testament, they were washing all the time, which I guess if I lived in the desert, I'd probably want to do that, too. They were trying to wash, and some of it was probably just for the obvious reasons of getting clean, and then other reasons were ceremonial. If you were a priest, and, you know, before you put on your tall, pointy hat, and you did your priestly duties, you might consecrate yourself and wash yourself. So they had ceremonial washings throughout the Old Testament, but that's not what this is either. It's not a baptism of converts, and it's not ceremonial washings. It's something different, and it's something new. So what is it? Let's look. Let's look at verses 13 and 14 now, and I'll work our way through that smaller balance of verses, and we'll try to come away with a better understanding of what baptism is and why Jesus, of all people, underwent it. Verse 13, that Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him, and John tried to prevent him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me? All right. As verse 13 begins, there's a reference to two very distinct geographical locations. Now, when we read these terms, we just lump them all in together. He went from Galilee to the Jordan. When I first used to read that text, I don't know if that was like four blocks away. I didn't know how to picture this. Having actually been there, I have some understanding, and it couldn't be more stark where Jesus came from to where he was going. He went from Galilee, the Sea of Galilee, and everything around the sea is lush and green and there's rolling hillsides, and it's just beautiful. Whatever you picture to be the land of milk and honey, that's what Galilee is. However, that's not where John was. John was way down to the south. John was to the southeast -ish of Jerusalem out towards the Dead Sea, and it has earned its name. This area is not an area that is attractive. It is not lush. It is not green. There's no milk. There's no honey. This is not the area that you would take vacations to. It's not an area you would otherwise go, and yet all these people were going there because that's where John was. The spiritual successor of Elijah came out of the wilderness, Elijah the Tishbite. Here we have John the Baptist, and God has evidently laid a prophetic mantle upon him. Everyone's coming to where he's at, even though otherwise it wouldn't be in a big hurry to go there. Well, Jesus goes there too. He goes from Galilee from where it's lush, and he travels, what was a number of days at the least, down to Jordan, down towards near Jericho. Now, why? Why did he do this? Well, we see the answer in verse 13. He comes to be baptized. Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized. Now, as we said before, we have to stop and we have to camp out here for a moment. Jesus. Who is Jesus? It starts with a G. He's God. So Jesus is God in the flesh, God incarnate, Son of God, one of the members of the Trinity. If you look at Jesus, you're looking at God, right? So here we see that God wants to come down and be baptized by a fallen man, that God wants to be baptized. What's going on here? Now, if you looked around the rest of the crowd, if you looked at everyone else all milling around, they all needed to be baptized. They needed to be washed clean, and not only be washed clean, but they needed to act accordingly in the days yet to come because their past was filthy and sin -ridden. Everyone there had sins. Even John the Baptist had sinned. And so Jesus comes to him, and to John, it's like, it does not compute. This doesn't make sense why you are doing this. And so he responds and tells Jesus, we're not doing it. I must have misheard you. We're not doing that. You don't need to be baptized by me, but clearly I need to be baptized by you. Now, did John know who Jesus was? I think there's plenty of reason to suspect that. He at least knew him as a cousin. Did he know him as the Messiah? I think the answer to that is clear. I think if you look at Luke, Mary and Elizabeth, they were cousins. Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant at the same time, and Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, and Elizabeth is pregnant. The child's a little more advanced in months, but they're both pregnant. And what does the child in Elizabeth's womb, what does John the Baptist in the womb do just at the proximity to Jesus? He leaps, jumps for joy. I can't imagine that's a lot of fun for the mother, but whatever the case is, there's movement, there's jumping, there's leaping, there's joy. Somehow, in some way, just by the mere proximity to the Messiah, John the Baptist understood, or at least by his nature, reacted to the proximity to this one. Beyond that, he identifies even in this text that one is coming, that I'm not even worthy to tie his sandals. Later, when he sees on the river, he says, Behold, the Lamb of God comes to take away the sin of the world. There's every reason to believe. He knows exactly who this Jesus was. So Jesus approaches him here, and the one who he identifies as the Messiah says, I need you to baptize me. So John, of course, tries to decline that. Jesus will have none of it. Let's look at verse 15. But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it to be so. In other words, let's do it. Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.
A highlight from Jesus, John, & the Kingdom of Heaven
"Summer's pretty much over, but at some point in the summer, I bet you boys and girls were playing outside and you began to feel that familiar dryness in your throat, that parched feeling in your mouth, you know, maybe you get a little bit of white foam at the corners of your mouth. And what do you need? You need some water. You get thirsty. Have you ever been really, really thirsty in the heat, maybe while playing a soccer game or playing out on a playground, there's not a water fountain nearby, or you're just outside in your backyard or in the woods behind your house and you think, man, I really need some nice, ice cold water, three, maybe four big ice cubes in a glass, that filtered water from the fridge, which is already cold and then gets really chilled. You know what I'm talking about? You begin feeling that desire in you, you begin feeling that thirst. Well, I want you to consider you're in the middle of a desert and you've experienced a thirst that you've never experienced before, where you know that you're going to die if you don't get a glass of water. What would you do for a glass of water in that situation? Would you do whatever it takes to get relief? Yes. You would do whatever it takes to make it to the oasis or to find some kind of bottle or canteen full of something to bring relief to your thirst. Oh, what you wouldn't give for a glass of ice cold, refreshing and satisfying water in that sense. What if you had to fight for it? Do you think you'd get a bit forceful, perhaps even a bit violent, get your hands on that water to get it to relieve your throat? That's what we're talking about today. A desire, a thirst, a need, which Christ alone can address. And he's coming to a crowd of people who have this thirst, not for physical water, no, but for salvation, for revival, for the reconstitution of the kingdom of God in Israel, for the overthrow of oppressors, for great spiritual good, which they don't even realize yet that they need, but they feel something. They're feeling the urgency, urgency which to those who have ears to hear will give birth to earnestness in pursuing the kingdom of heaven. Having just proven to John's disciples, having proven himself and his own identity, I should say, to John's disciples in the first six verses of Matthew chapter 11, Christ now proceeds to elaborate on the identity of this John the Baptist, the one who sent his disciples to pose a question to Jesus at this incident in his ministry. And as he does so, he also clarifies some things about the nature of the kingdom of heaven and most profoundly, he clarifies things about his own identity as Messiah Lord, as wisdom incarnate, as the heaven -born King of Israel. And as he does so in this passage, what he presses upon his hearers is a profound truth, namely that spiritual wisdom, if you are going to be spiritually wise, spiritual wisdom demands an earnest pursuit of the prophesied Christ and his kingdom now without delay or hesitation. Again, Christ teaches his hearers that spiritual wisdom demands an earnest pursuit of the prophesied Christ and his kingdom right now without delay or hesitation. It's as if you're dying of thirst and someone tells you how to get water. Would you wait? No. You would earnestly and urgently pursue that course of action. So, we'll consider this truth under three headings as we work through the text tonight and there's a lot here and we're not going to be able to get into everything, mind you. But what I want to show you is what Christ focuses on here, namely the quality of the prophet, the kingdom of heaven, and the Christ of wisdom. The quality of the prophet in verses seven through the first half of 11, the kingdom of heaven in the second half of verse 11 through 15, and then finally the Christ of wisdom in verses 16 to 19. You've got three words, quality, kingdom, Christ. Let's get into it. Starting at verses seven through the first half of verse 11, the quality of the prophet Jesus talks a bit about his cousin, John the baptizing prophet, and he does so in two different aspects or he really tackles two different features of John. He speaks first about his character as a man in verses seven and eight, and then he talks about his calling as a prophet in verses nine through the first half of verse 11. Look at verse seven with me, as these men were going away, that is John's disciples were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.
A highlight from The Necessity of God's Word (Part 2)
"Do you understand the magnitude and significance of the effort that we are part of when we engage in taking the Gospel to unbelievers? Find out much more on today's edition of Encounter God's Truth. We go back to Appalachian Bible College in Mount Hope, West Virginia to hear the closing portion of a lesson on The Necessity of God's Word and our series on biblical apologetics. I'm Wayne Shepard and our Bible teacher is Dr. John Whitcomb. We've been learning together from this classic series on apologetics and today's program brings us to the finish. As fall approaches and so many head back to school, how appropriate it is that we focus on the energy that scripture has to impact our hearts and minds with God's eternal truth. As Dr. Whitcomb demonstrates, it's more formidable than the greatest human intellect and even more powerful than seeing a miracle. Let's go back to Appalachian Bible College now and hear the conclusion of this message, The Necessity of God's Word. We begin by reviewing 2 Corinthians chapter 2. Who is sufficient for these things? My friends, we're in an infinite operation here that determines the eternal destiny of human beings in heaven or hell. Who's sufficient for these things? For we are not as many which corrupt the Word of God of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Now friends, we can just begin to realize the magnitude of God's plan here in form of a little chart. I hope this will be of some help to you as it has to me from time to time. Over here we have symbolized the unbeliever with a darkened heart that doesn't have cleansing and purifying and forgiveness and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, the unbeliever. And notice that he is surrounded by an impenetrable barrier to any outside finite pressure. It's called his sinful nature. And over here we've tried to depict the believer whose heart has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit based on the merits of Jesus Christ. And the believer may fall into the serious temptation of trying to win the unbeliever on a horizontal basis, namely just provide Christian evidences to penetrate that heart through logic and philosophy and history and science. And by the way, all these arguments that we've talked about through archaeology and history and logic, I mean there are hundreds and hundreds of evidences that show that the Bible has got to be supernatural in origin. But the amazing thing we discover is that no matter how powerful the arguments are in the realm of creation and prophecy and so forth, they cannot penetrate that heart. They cannot get through to that heart. Well then what's the answer? What's the approach? God says you have... Now this is very illogical from a human standpoint. God says you have to approach the unbeliever through the third heaven. You have to go this way, through prayer, faith and obedience in relation to God on the basis of Hebrews 4 -12, the word of God, not my word or your word. The word of God is living, powerful, sharper than a two -edged sword, piercing even to the dividing center of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart and neither is any creature that is not naked and open before the eyes of him with whom he have to... God knows that person infinitely. He knows what can reach that person, namely his precious word alone. That's one of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn. Well all the things, Lord, that I've learned about how we know the Bible is true, why can't I use those arguments, those evidences? Well friends, let's stop and think for a moment. As the word of God penetrates into that unbeliever, something of infinite power has reached his heart. Now just think of the evidences Jesus If provided. you think our evidences can be effective, and they can be, and that's a whole subject of its own, think of the evidences Jesus himself gave. Stupendous sign miracles, hundreds of them. In fact, someone has suggested that every sick, crippled, leprous person in Israel, by the time Jesus' ministry was finished, was healed. Thousands of people, it says that over and over, year after year, thousands of people can heal them all, heal them all. And I say, well Lord, I should think that the whole nation then would have turned to him. Why, on one occasion, friends with a boy's lunch, he fed 5 ,000 men plus their families with food left over. And they said, they all agreed, this is John 6, let's make him king. I mean, anyone who can feed everybody for nothing supernaturally is our candidate for king. Then he began telling them about himself and who he was and that they had to believe in him on the basis of his substitutionary atoning death. And guess what happened at the end of chapter 6? They all left him. You say, that's absurd. Haven't they seen sign miracles? Yes. Miracles like the like of which had never been seen before in the history of the world? Yes. And Jesus turned to the twelve and said, are you going to believe me too? And one of them finally spoke up, of course, Peter, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. Right. That's the difference. But even one of them was a doubter, Thomas, and another one was demon possessed, namely Judas. That helps me to understand what the miracles were for. Why Jesus, friends, said, an evil, adulterous nation demands signs and no sign will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah, namely, as he was three days and nights in the belly of the great fish, so the son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. In other words, his bodily resurrection is his final proof to the whole human race of who he is. The sign miracles, may I say it this way, were almost totally ineffective and worthless to convert anybody ever in Israel. That wasn't their function. It was simply to do what? To attract attention to himself as the God appointed Messiah and King of Israel so that they could then hear his message and then their response to the message would determine their eternal destiny. This is an awesome thing to think about. Now, I almost hate to read this chapter. With fear and trembling, I ask you to turn to Luke 16. This is absolutely awesome. The rich man in Hades. Luke 16, beginning with verse 19. There was a certain rich man which was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus which was laid at his gate full of sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. Would you kindly agree with me he was in desperate condition. He had nothing of this world's goods. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. That means the place of blessing, the place of the faithful in what at that time was called paradise, the upper Sheol Hades where believers went when they died. And the rich man also died and was buried and in hell or Hades, the lower Sheol Hades, he lifted up his eyes being in torment and seeth Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom in close fellowship with him. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame. That is the situation now of every unbeliever who's ever died. I just, I'm staggered by this. And Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receiveth thy good things and likewise Lazarus evil things but now he is comforted and thou art tormented and besides all this between us and you there's a great gulf fixed so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot, Lazarus can't get to you, sorry, neither can they pass to us that would come from thence and other you can't come here either. And then he said, I pray thee therefore, Father, that rich man in Hades and torment said to Abraham, Father, that thou would ascend into my brother's house. I have a plan. I want you to reach my living brothers by sign miracles. Now this would impress some people today because we are harassed in every direction by people who are committed to sign miracle ministries to change the hearts of people by spectacular things that they can see. Now watch the response of God through Abraham. I have five brethren that he may testify to them lest they also come into this place of torment. In other words, would you please send Lazarus, the beggar, back to the realm of the living because my five brothers often came to my mansion and saw this beggar by the door and they'd recognize him when they see him. Please send him back to the realm of the living. And I mean, think of this as an evangelistic program. He could go from house to house, knock on the doors of my brothers and say, I am back from the dead. I saw your dead brother in Hades in torment. Do you think that would get their attention? How do you like that for a sign miracle Look ministry? at God's response through Abraham. Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them. They have the Bible. They have the Old Testament scripture. They have the infallible and errant self -authenticating word of God. In other words, that's what they need is Now, this is why he was where he was. Listen to how he despises God's word. Do you catch this? He said, nay, Father Abraham. In other words, who cares about the Bible? Old wives fabled stories for children maybe, but not for my brothers. You don't understand, sir, they're intellectuals. They're scientists. They don't accept stories supposedly from God. They want to see something that's empirical, tangible, self -evident and thus convincing. Nay, Father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. That's what they need, a sign miracle. Hmm. And here's how it ends, folks. And he said unto him, Abraham said to the rich man, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Really? Well, that's what happened when Jesus arose from the dead. The whole story of the book of Acts is that in spite of the fact that Jesus Christ fulfilled his promise, he said, you destroy this temple and in three days I'll raise it again. And he did and rose from the dead. And the apostles preached the resurrection of Jesus and the scribes and the Pharisees hated the message and threatened and tormented God's servants for mentioning resurrection, even of Jesus. Oh yes, friends, even if one rises from the dead, they will not repent. You know what Jesus did for his friend Lazarus one day in Bethany? He raised him from the dead. Lazarus, come forth. I'm very impressed by what happened, aren't you? Immediately, the corpse stood at the entrance of the tomb and he said, loose him and let him go. He's fine. He's alive. Probably felt better than he had in his previous life. He didn't have to be dragged out half dead for recuperation. Don't you think all the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees would have just swamped the whole, I mean, that settles it. We believe. Read what happened next. The enemies of Jesus got together and made a decision. Just for that, we're going to kill Lazarus and Jesus. Hmm, that doesn't sound intelligent. Well, that's the problem because the mind of man, which is an aspect of the soul, heart, spirit of man in his sinfulness, his darkness cannot function intelligently. Only the spirit of God can bring us reason to see God's realities as they really are. And I say, well, Lord, I just didn't know it was this bad. I just desperately need your help then to accomplish what is otherwise impossible. Help me to preach the word faithfully, clearly, completely, without compromise, graciously, patiently, in season, out of season, love people, whether they receive me, accept me, appreciate me or not, because the word of God has infinite power. I don't. He has it. He alone has it. Now, friends, there is a way in which Christian evidences can be used. I just want to be very careful here not to disparage the things that God has given us in the way of evidences. Let's take a look. The low value of Christian evidences, among other methods, shall by this all men, unsaved men who lack spiritual discernment to understand scripture, by this, Jesus said, shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another, John 13, 35. So the ultimate models for mutual Christian love in a godless world must be the Christian home and the local church. Now, think carefully of that statement, Jesus, that's the greatest of Christian evidences. When you go forth to a mission field, whether it's New Zealand or wherever, something you can do under God is undeniable and irresistible. And here it is. Demonstrate to the people to whom God sends you that you know what Christian love is in your relationship, husband and wife and parents and children and children to parents and hopefully other Christians and a little tiny microcosm of the Holy Spirit called a local church that God will plant there and the godless surrounding population sooner or later will have to see something they have never seen before and can't explain and can't duplicate. Christian love. Why, there are all kinds of evidences, friends, that are helpful, like maybe, you know, medical missions, helping people physically, that'll get their attention. Maybe hospitality, maybe English language courses in China or wherever, people almost do anything to learn English and you get them there and you demonstrate, you know, the things that they're interested in and show friendship. But you see, Jesus said, the greatest evidence we have that will really get people's attention is Christian love, one for another in the home and in a local church that God will plant here and there around the world. You see, friends, Jesus never said miracles will do the trick. He said to the apostles, you remember in John 14, the miracles that I've done you'll do also. And they did, they raised the dead, I mean Peter and Paul, I mean amazing sign miracles they did in the early church, book of Acts. But do you know what else he said, friends? Greater works than these shall you do because I go to my Father. And what are the greater works? Preaching the gospel, which when believed brings eternal life instantly. But the sign miracles Jesus performed never saved anybody. Did you know that? They were spectacular, they were undeniable. But every person Jesus healed got sick again anyway and died, every one of them. He didn't permanently solve anybody's problem physically. He fed 5 ,000 the next day they were all hungry again. Didn't solve their hunger problem. But Jesus said, because I'm going to my Father in heaven and send the Holy Spirit and create the church and grant unto you the scriptures, you will have the capacity under God to mastermind this book and make it known to people and you'll see greater works. I mean Peter the apostle, folks, preached one sermon and 3 ,000 men were saved in one day and saved forever. Vastly greater miracle than healing the sick and walking on water, which Peter also did. Don't try that, by the way, unless Jesus does to you what he did to him, namely says come. Don't try that. I have been fascinated, obsessed I guess is the word, with the mentality today that you have to have intellectual brilliance and you have to have spectacular miracles to attract anybody and to have any credibility as a member, as a representative of God. I've done a little booklet in fact that's out there and maybe have helped you. Does God want Christians to perform miracles today? No. In fact, you know what would happen? It'd be a regression. It'd be a step, giant step backwards because we'd be going back to the lower foundation of the church in the apostolic era before the superstructure was built on a completed scripture. In those days it was a unique way for God to give the apostles opportunity to attract attention, but now friends we have something they didn't have, the completed Bible. God says you master this book and sooner or later one way or another you follow my guidelines and instruction and you mastermind the basics of evangelism and church planning and missions and witness and you will have infinite power from above through this book that pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. And I say Lord, I desperately need your help. This book friend is so powerful that even when you preach it without love it'll change people forever. Did you know that? Paul tells us in Philippians 1 there are other people here in Rome that are offended by my being here and they don't like me and they don't appreciate me but they are preaching the truth and I will rejoice in it and I will continue to rejoice because even without love which is often the way we preach like on a radio station you never even see the people or hand out a tract and you see the people disappear you never see them again. Even under those situations the word of God has infinite power. Let me tell you a man who preached the word without love, Jonah. He hated every minute of his ministry. He said God why didn't you destroy these people? That wasn't a loving approach to missions. But you know what he did? He preached the word and the whole city repented and Jesus said it wasn't fakie either. He said Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah and will rise up in the last generation and condemn this generation. I mean he must have preached more than just judgment. He must have said something about God. It's my opinion. The whole city repented even though he hated every one of them in Nineveh. But that's why God says preach the truth as we were reminded this morning. Preach the truth in love and you'll have even more effect. Yes, but whatever you do folks, hold on, preach the truth. That's the point. That's the power, the truth and hopefully it's done in love and graciously and prayerfully and patiently but whatever you do and whatever your motive and whatever the circumstances, preach the word. And I say thank you Lord, that settles it. I think I'll be a Bible believing Christian and a Bible believing teacher and I want to honor Jesus Christ and the blessed Holy Spirit who presented this book to us because that's an irresistible force. Even in a world dominated by what? Satan, millions of demons, billions of depraved people and even mice in nature. God says watch me. I have a special weapon, an instrument I'm putting into your hand and your mind and heart. Watch what I can do almost in spite of you for my glory through my word. Father in heaven, I just stand amazed at how you operate. Everything sooner or later will be for your glory or it will disappear. Help me to examine there for my own ministry. The church could be raptured to heaven and I and all of us will be confronted by the Lord Jesus with eyes like a flame of fire searching us, examining us to see whether we really have done the work of God in a godly way, in obedience, in faithfulness for his glory. Help me to be ready at any moment to give an account to you dear Father because that's why you sent me not to gain glory for myself or any of us as teachers and proclaimers of the truth but to glorify the Savior apart from whom we're lost forever and the blessed Holy Spirit who gave us this precious book. May ABC father stand brightly in a darkening world as a true reflector of the light of Jesus Christ until he comes I pray in his glorious name for his sake. Amen. If God's word has made an impact on you today we'd love to hear about it. Just leave us a comment at facebook .com slash Whitcomb Ministries where there's always something to encourage you. You can also find lots more on the subject of apologetics at sermonaudio .com slash Whitcomb. Find that page from our website WhitcombMinistries .org. You're listening to Encounter God's Truth from Whitcomb Ministries and we're grateful for the opportunity to emphasize week after week that God's word is true from the beginning to the end offering timeless truths for changing times. I'd like to close with a reading from Psalm 103. Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name. Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your iniquity who heals all your diseases who redeems your life from the pit who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. For everyone here at Encounter God's Truth I'm Wayne Shepherd praying for the Lord to fill this week ahead with much meaning and many blessings. Thanks for listening.
A highlight from Matthew: Emmanuel (Which Means God With Us)
"You know, there is a world of difference between saying to someone that I am for you and telling them that I am with you. These two things do not mean the same thing. There's a world of difference between telling someone, I'm for you, I'm in your corner, I'm rooting you on, you've got this. There's a world of difference between telling someone that and telling them, I'm with you. In World War I, there was a lieutenant. His troops were getting ready to go over the edge. They were ready to take on the enemy. They were ready to cross the trenches. And this lieutenant, he's anxious. He's nervous about what might happen, and he sees a commander coming down through the trenches. The commander looks at this man, and he can see the anxiety. He can see the nerves there, and so he comes alongside him, puts his arm on him, and he points out. He points out to where they're going. He points out to no man's land. And he tells them, when we go out there, I'm going to be with you. We're going to do this together. And that gave the younger man a sense of confidence. It wasn't the old grizzled veteran just saying, you got this, from a distance, and go do it. Rather, he was saying, I'm going to be with you as you do it. I'm with you in the trenches, and I'm going to be with you in the battle yet to come. As we said, it's one thing to tell someone I'm for you. That's easy. You can do that to anyone. It's another thing to say, I'm going to invest myself in the outcome of what you're going through. I'm going to enter into the crucible of your pain with you, at your side. There's a comfort when a commander or a general does it, but how much more so when a god does that. When god not only gives us a word and says, hey, you got this. I'm for you. I'm in your corner. But rather when he says, I am with you as you face this. There's something encouraging about that. In today's text, it's exactly what we see. In today's reading, the birth of this child, the one who had come from a throne down to a manger. In this text, we see that this one was to be named Immanuel. That this one was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. And that his name literally means God with us. God with us. Not just God for us, but God with us. Verse 23 of our text will say, behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son. They shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us. This is one of the primary attributes, one of the primary things that makes our god cool, that makes our god awesome. One of the primary things is because he didn't just create the cosmos, spin it like a top, and then go off and watch us from a distance to see how things would turn out. Rather, from the get -go, from Jump Street, from the garden, that which he created, he dwells with. He creates Adam, he creates Eve, and then he walks and talks with them in the cool of the afternoon. The pagan gods didn't do this sort of thing. They didn't pay attention necessarily to everything that was going on. The god of the deists, the people who think that God is just this aloof god out in the cosmos somewhere that has nothing to do with us, who wants that kind of god? Thank God that's not the god we have. Rather, we have a god who is with us in the midst of everything we're going through. This was true in the garden. It was true at Sinai. It was true in the tabernacle. It was true in the temple. That's true for even us as New Testament believers because where does God reside now? God is with us. Do you know how the book of Matthew closes? Do you know what the very last verse is? Here we see as Jesus is introduced, his name means, I'm with you, God with us, the very last verse in the book of Matthew, the very last block of text in the book of Matthew says the same thing. In the Great Commission, we see this. Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to serve all the things I've commanded you, and lo, I am with you even to the end of the age. You see that? There's a bookend. The moment Jesus is introduced in chapter 1, the message is that God has come down from the throne to be with his people. And then prior to his ultimate ascension, he says the same thing because I'm going to leave my helper. Oh, and by the way, I am with you even to the end of the age. That's a God we can love. That's a God we can worship. A God who is not just for us but a God who is with us. All right, if you would, let's look at verses 18 and 19. We're going to talk about the God who is with us as we see of his birth. In verses 18 and 19, we're going to see what was going on with Mary Joseph, and then we're going to work our way through the text as time will allow. Okay, verses 18 and 19. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. All right, at the start of this passage, we see something just very ordinary, something as natural as natural can be. There's a woman, an individual who's pregnant, a pregnancy that will lead to childbirth. Very natural, happens all the time. However, in these verses, we see that there's something unnatural or at least unusual that's going to take place. Verse 18 adds an unordinary qualifier. It says that there's going to be a pregnancy, normal, but in this case it will occur without physical union. Now I'm not a physician, but I have studied anatomy and the like, and I know that's just not the way that this works. Well, verse 18, we're seeing the seeds for something that we call the virgin birth, and this is one of the most important things to understand with regards to Christ's birth, with regards to the incarnation, because this is not an average everyday event. Rather, this is a miracle, and it's not just a miracle, but it's a fulfillment of prophecy, because Isaiah said this is the way it was going to go down. Behold, there be a virgin who would give birth to a child. Now verse 18 clarifies it. It's not Joseph's child, and for these verses, we know this much. They're betrothed, but there's been no physical union then. Now if you've seen Fiddler on the Roof, you remember the matchmaker? Remember the matchmaker? Well, they had similar things throughout Jewish history. They would have a season in which people were brought together. This was tradition. They were brought together by matchmakers and parents and others. They were put into a union, and yet there was a year. I know you want to sing it. There was a year of time after they were brought together in which they were sort of betrothed. We might consider it engaged. It's not really a point -for -point analogy, but they were betrothed. They spent a year in this estate prior to physical union. That's what's going on here. It's actually much stronger than an engagement. This is a strong relationship that they have, and yet it has not been consummated physically at this point. And so, all of a sudden, out of the blue, Mary is with child. Uh -oh. Now, we have lost touch with the word scandal. We really have. I mean, dear heavens, everything is a scandal. It doesn't matter what news. Whatever you pick up, there's a scandal on every page from every direction. It seems like every aspect of celebrity or politics or athletics or what have you, scandal, scandal, scandal. We've lost touch with it. In fairness, it didn't always used to be this way. If you're watching a TV show, if Barney Fife stole part of Andy Griffith's sandwich, they can make a whole scandalous episode out of that. There was things in the past that seemed scandalous at the time that now it's absolutely nothing. We've lost touch with scandal to the point we look at this text, and we don't understand what Joseph's going through. And his culture and his time, what he and Mary were just experiencing. She's pregnant, and there's no father. There's been no physical union. He is betrothed to someone who's pregnant, doesn't know what's going on. This was a scandal of scandals. And in his day, based on an understanding of Deuteronomy, this could even have led to her death. This was not a small thing. This is a huge, huge event that's taking place. And so, in verses 18 and 19, we see Joseph in the middle of a conundrum. He's betrothed to this individual who has this situation going on. He doesn't know how it happened. He doesn't know exactly what's going on, but he has concern. Now, he cares for Mary enough that he doesn't want to see this become the public spectacle that it otherwise very well could be. And so he attempts to find some way to accommodate her well -being, but apart from being able to marry her, because he's a just man, and there's obviously been in his mind an infidelity that's taken place that would disqualify that union. Now, before he could act on that impulse, an angel intervenes. Let's look at verses 20 and 21 to see what happens in this intervention. Verse 20, but while he thought about these things, while Joseph thought about all this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she'll bring forth a son, you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All right. As we said in verses 18 and 19, Joseph and Mary, Mary is now pregnant. Joseph is trying to figure out what to do. And in verse 20, we see that while he's contemplating, which I'm sure this took some time for him to work this through, but while he's thinking about these things, he goes to sleep. He's worried, he's anxious, he falls asleep, and in the midst of his sleep, an angel of the Lord comes to him in a vision, in a dream. And this happens at other intervals as scripture as well. And when the angel comes to Joseph, it's a simple message. It says, Joseph, what you think has happened is not accurate. But let me tell you, you're worried you should take Mary as your wife. You shouldn't be. Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Now, I don't know what kind of theologian Joseph was at this point. We believe him to be older than Mary, but we don't know what kind of theologian he was. But whatever his theology was, he probably didn't fully understand that last statement. That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Joseph didn't have John Calvin around to explain all the Trinitarian implications of this. And I imagine Joseph had more questions than answers, even when he hears this news. And yet he knew this much, even if he didn't have all the Trinity figured out at this time, even if he doesn't know what it means for the Spirit to overshadow her, even if he's still going, what does that mean? He at least knew this much, that Mary's pregnancy was not a function of her sin. He knew that there was not some other father in some tent down the street. He knew that the child that she was pregnant with was from God. And some way that he probably couldn't fully articulate, but he knew it was from God. And then God, through the angel, tells Joseph what to name him. Now naming rites in Jewish culture or any culture come from seats of authority. If you think about it in the garden, in the garden, Adam and Eve, you know, they're given the garden and all the animals are frolicking about as animals do. And Adam and Eve had a job, they actually had a couple of jobs. One was to take dominion over that which God had given them, and another thing was to do what for the animals? To name them, right? The greater names, the lesser, right? That's why parents named children are not children naming parents. Kind of glad it doesn't work that way. In this case, we see that God himself, through the angel, takes ownership over the name of his own son. It's not up to Joseph to name. He says his name will be Jesus. His name will be Jesus. We'll see that a little bit more in the verses yet to come. Whatever the case here is, the idea is that as this child is born of the Holy Spirit, this child comes with a purpose. His name will be Jesus because Jesus means what? It means the Lord is salvation. His person is yoked to his work. The angel identifies his person and his origins from God, the Holy Spirit, but he also identifies here's what he's come to do, and we're going to see that a little bit more in the verses yet to come. What we're also going to notice here, just a minute, is that when the angel talks about who will come to save his people from their sins, remember last week we talked about this. The people didn't necessarily have a problem with their sins. You know what the great irony is? You give someone a cure for a disease they don't think they have. If you come running up to someone on the streets of Gulfport with a vial of some cure, some medicine, or what have you, for a disease they don't understand they got, they'll just say, you crossed the other side of the street. They won't care because they don't recognize what you're holding is the cure for a problem that they have. The same is true with sin. The culture around us doesn't really think they have a problem with sin, and if they do think sin is a problem, they do this thing that's convenient. They redefine sin to be something that is external to them, a problem other people have. Whatever the case, when people had no understanding that they need to be saved from sin, if anything that they need to be saved from, it was going to be from Rome, which is what we talked about last week. Their fear, their concern, Joseph's concern, Mary's concern, the people down the street's concern was not so much that, oh, my sin is going to get me. And yet, that was the spiritual guillotine that was over their necks and ours apart from this child that was born. Every man, woman, and child has stood condemned under sin. You read the Book of Romans, the first five, six chapters, as Paul is condemning the human race and saying, well, this is our problem. Then, of course, he introduces the solution. Well, the angel introduced the solution too and says, this one has come not just to make your life better, not just to pour a little Jesus seasoning on things to give you your best life now. This one came to this end, to this object, to save you from your sins, to save you from a problem that you might not even understand that you have and that our culture certainly doesn't understand it has. That's why he came, and here's the thing. That's what the whole Old Testament said he would do. The Old Testament said when he shows up, when the Messiah we've been waiting from since Genesis 3 .15, when the seed shows up, he will come to save people from their sins, not what they were looking for in the first century, not what they were looking for in the 21st century. And yet the Old Testament prophecy said that's the guy to look out for, one who is not what you expect, one who will come to save you from your sins, one who is not going to come down on a red carpet from God, but will be born in a place like a manger. Isaiah 53, one of the most famous chapters that speaks to these issues, says this. This one would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace would be upon him. By his stripes we'll be healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to our own way, and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all. The angel got it, and he says in the manger, Joseph, and in the womb of Mary right now is the one that has come to do just that. And the cruel irony is the people won't be looking for that. As he gets older, they'll reject him. They'll reject what he came to do, and yet this is the one. This is the child. All right, let's take a look now at verses 22 through 25 and just kind of build on this case. Okay, verse 22. So all this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Lord through the prophets, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son. They shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us. Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took to him his wife, and did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus. All right, as we just said a moment ago, Christ's person is yoked to his work. The great problem in our age is that our culture doesn't do the same thing. At Christmastime in December, you just watch, people don't have a real problem with the person of Jesus so much. They like cute Jesus, even divine Jesus. That's not really the problem. The problem is his work. He came to convict us of our sins, to turn our hearts to God, to cause us to repent, and to rescue us from sins that most of us don't acknowledge that we have. But in this text, the angel spells it all out. He says this is the reason he's coming. This is the reason he's coming, in order to save them from their sins. And as he saves them from their sins, he will be the fulfillment of prophecies that said he would do just that, which is why even the angel quotes the Old Testament here. End of verse 23. Behold, the virgin shall be with child, shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us. There's a continuity you're supposed to see with that which is written down recorded in the Old Testament and that which comes on the scene here in Matthew chapter 1. God wants us to see that, and Matthew was desperate that his contemporaries saw it. Remember, their problem when they killed Jesus was they didn't recognize him for who he was. I mean, they had other issues too, but that was chief among them. They just didn't know what they were doing. Isn't that what Jesus said? Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing. Same idea. They had a Messiah on their radar that they wanted, and it wasn't this one, this guy. So at Matthew, when he's writing chapter 1, when he's writing to the Jews, he started with the genealogies we talked about last week, and he said, all right, this Jesus is going to be a son of Abraham, which makes him a Jew, and it's going to be a son of David, which makes him a king, or in the line of kings. His objective was to tell the Jewish audience who this Jesus was. Well, here, as chapter 1 continues, he gives the biography even more so, and he says that this one, this Jesus, which means God is salvation, is also named Immanuel, which is an Old Testament prophecy that means God with us. Matthew's making the case, even here in chapter 1, clearly in chapter 1, to a Jewish audience, that this is the Jewish Messiah. Now, would that be compelling? Well, to some, yes. To others, not so much. Now, the past 15 minutes or so, we've quoted Isaiah a few times. I think I referenced Malachi as well, but there in verses 22 through 25, we see the reference again to Isaiah more acutely, more specifically, and this is a reference that to the Jewish audience should have resonated with him, but again, as we just said a moment ago, the irony is that it didn't. The reason that's ironic is this. Matthew knew that many of his fellow Jews had rejected Jesus while simultaneously longing for a Messiah, and his objective here in chapter 1 is to say, hey, guys, they're the one and the saint. The one you rejected is the one you were looking for, and that's what Peter does in Acts 2. He tells the Pharisees, you know the one you killed, the one you nailed to a tree, the one you hung on the cross? That was him, and when they finally get it in the book of Acts, when they finally get that, what happens to them? Scripture says they're just broken to the heart because then they understand what they did. They understand that the light of life had come to them. They didn't recognize it, and then they killed them. As we look to wrap up, we're going to build on all these things as we head towards baptism, as we go towards the temptation, and the things that are going to follow in the book of Matthew, but as we wrap up, I want to return briefly to the word Emmanuel, which we've already established means God with us. Now, earlier I used the term, the term deus. Let me explain briefly. I know many of us know it, but let me explain briefly for those who don't. Every culture, when it comes to religion, there's two camps that they fall in. One, assuming that they believe in God at all, one is the camp of the deist. That camp believes God exists, but we can't know him. He formed the world around us, but then he went off and he does his thing and we do ours. That's deism. As Christians, we're not deists. The alternate is what we call theism. Theism posits that God exists, but you can know him, and what's more, he wants you to know him. You and I are theists, and if you drill into that term even more, we're monotheists. We believe in one God. We're not polytheists that believe in a lot of them. We believe that there is a God. You can have a relationship with him. There is a God and there is just one. Now, that's highly desirable because the alternative is you have a God you can't know that doesn't care about you, and that's what a lot of agnostics in our day do. They go, I think there might be a God somewhere, but they really don't think you can have a relationship with him. Who wants that? Who desires that? Well, the picture in Matthew 1 and throughout the book of Matthew, the picture that's painted here is completely different. It's not about a God who formed the cosmos and went away. Rather, it's a God who is ever -present with creation and undergoes the life experiences, the human experiences that we do up to and including birth. You have a God that can relate to you. You know, one of the greatest hardships or plagues on our age is the plague of loneliness. It's this idea that no one can relate to what I'm going through. The life circumstances have conspired in such a way that I'm going through something that no one can really understand, no one can really relate to, and then there's an isolation that comes with that, even a withdrawal. Maybe some people withdraw from us, and then we're left in this estate. Some of us, maybe many of us, are left in a state of loneliness, maybe for a season, maybe for a lifetime, and it's the hardest thing if you've experienced it. If that's you or someone you know, this message of God with us, and this word of manual should hold a special meaning. Others leave might us, others might forsake us, others might let us down, and yet the God who walked with Adam and Eve, when there was just two of them in the cool of the afternoon, walks with us still. Even we're just one of us. God is with us no matter what we're going through. He's not just munching popcorn, watching what you're going through this week. Some of us have a picture of God that He's up there in the clouds somewhere with a long beard, a long robe, and He's just kind of doing this to see what we do, and He's ready to punish us and the like, and He's there and we're here, and there's this distance. That's not the God of Scripture. The God of Scripture is a God who is intimate and close and wants to be close to you and wants your hand to fit in His. He doesn't call you a peon in the kingdom of heaven. He calls you a son or daughter, and that has meaning. What father or mother among us has not held the hand of our child and felt that proximity, felt that closeness, felt that bond, felt that unity that comes with holding your own? Well, that's what God wants with you. And even now, even if we've been fleeing from Him, His arms are open to this. He came as a babe and a manger, the most defenseless thing that you can possibly come. He came from a state of great glory into a state of great hardship, great difficulty. It would ultimately lead to His death, and yet He did it because He loves His people. He's not indifferent to us. He's not indifferent to us. The other problem that we can sometimes verge into is we can think that He's indifferent to me, but He's cool with other Christians, but I've done something that is so egregious or He knows my past or He knows the things I did yesterday because of that there's this gap. If there's any gap in your walk with God, it's not because He's drifted away from you. It's because you're pushing Him away. The God of this book does not withdraw from children, from sons and daughters, but He's like the parable of the prodigal son. His arms are open wide. Matthew 1, God with us. Matthew 28, God with us. Behold, I am with you even to the end of the age. Whatever you face this week, this book is not an abstract thing that just applies to other religious people or you on occasion. It applies to you today. God's with you as you face whatever you're facing, whatever hardship you're walking down, whatever valley you're traversing, God is with you, and that's a great encouragement of Scripture, and no other faith can present it except this alone. God is with us. We see it in Matthew 1. We're going to see it in Matthew 2 and the balance of the book. Let's pray. Join Dr. Toby Holt and Dr. Dominic Aquila for a tour of Israel in February of 2024. For more information, visit fpcgulfport .org.
A highlight from Christ's Charge to the Church
"I am excited to be here again this morning. It is a blessing to be able to come and study the Word together. If you would find Matthew 28 verses 16 through 20 in your Bibles, that will be our text this morning. Matthew 28, starting at verse 16 through the end of the book. Then the 11 disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Y 'all, what are we doing here? Why does this church even exist? Why does any church exist? If you asked a random selection of evangelical Christians in our society, what is the purpose of the church? The answers you received would probably be some good answers, but mostly miss the main point. Some would argue, well, the church is about relationships. The church exists to give Christians a means to fulfill the one -otherness that we've talked about in recent weeks. The loving fellowship of church members is good, but it is not our primary purpose. Some would have a loftier view and say that the church exists as a means to worship. We have a church so that we can assemble together and praise and worship of our God and Savior Jesus Christ in a corporate setting. Y 'all, humble worship is good, but it is not our primary purpose. Some would say maybe the church exists for the purpose of learning. After all, the point of Sunday school lessons and of biblical messages is that we join together around scripture in order to learn the word of God. This is our source of faith and practice. Learning is good. But learning is not our primary purpose. In fact, we are not learning just for the sake of learning. In fact, everything we learn, everything we believe is to be put into practice, into active service of the Lord Jesus. Some view the church as a social service agency, right? The church is an organization that, well, it reaches out into the community showing the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus by expressions of kindness and expressions of charity. Y 'all, community activism is good, but a church has failed when it thinks that giving charitably fulfills its purpose because you can give someone groceries and pay their utility bill without ever giving them what it is that they need the most. All of these things are good, and in fact, all of those should be characteristics of the Lord's churches as they follow the Bible's commands for the Christian community, right? Loving fellowship, humble worship, purposeful learning, charitable kindness, those things should be marks of the Lord's church. They are all good, but none of them are primary. The primary calling of the Lord's church is to fulfill the Great Commission, which is given in our text this morning. Our goal this morning will be to see the final words in Matthew's gospel record the Great Commission, the command in which the Lord Jesus requires his church to submit to his authority to declare his gospel and rejoice in his presence. These final words of Matthew's gospel are in fact the climactic point of the entire book that he has written. He's been building up to this point since the beginning of his gospel. John MacArthur refers to this text as, quote, the climax and major focal point not only of this gospel but of the entire New Testament. It's not an exaggeration to say that in the broadest sense, it's the focal point of all scripture. The entire point of Matthew's gospel up to this text has been to prove that the Lord Jesus is king. He began with a genealogy proving that Jesus has right to be king. He continued through the ministry of Jesus showing how he's the complete fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises about a Messiah king. In Matthew chapter 10, the Lord Jesus gathers his disciples and he sends them out. Actually Matthew 10 is what I like to call a pre -existing commission because he sends out his disciples and specifically tells them in Matthew 10, you only go to the household of Israel and declare the kingdom of heaven under the authority of Messiah king Jesus. And now in our text, having secured salvation through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus expands that commission to his church by telling them to now take that message out nations, to all reaching them with the gospel. This is the great commission. When we ask, what are we doing here? Why does this church exist? This has to be our answer. There's a lot else that we're called to do, right? Fellowship and worship and learning and serving but we'll even see in this text that all of those things are subservient to this because all of them are explicitly contained in this great commission as a portion of it. This commission is the church's highest calling. So again, the great commission is the command in which the Lord Jesus requires his church to submit to his authority, declare his gospel, and rejoice in his presence. This has to be, even though it is the final command, it is our highest priority. And so we'll examine it this morning in those three areas. First, I want you to see the church is called to submit to the authority of king Jesus. Submit to the authority of king Jesus. Now, to sort of set the scene for a moment, Matthew is very brief in presenting his post -resurrection commentary in his gospel, right? The resurrections just occurred at the beginning of this chapter. The Lord Jesus has already been betrayed and arrested and condemned and crucified. Two disciples named Joseph and Nicodemus had appealed to be allowed to take his body and bury him in Joseph's family tomb. After three days, the tomb was miraculously opened, it was found empty, confirming that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is a historical fact. And when that happens at the beginning of this chapter, beautiful chaos erupts among the disciples in Jerusalem. The risen from the dead Jesus appeared to many of them. Now, each of the four gospels tells some different portions of that story. Matthew only focuses on the experience of the women who found the tomb empty. Up in verses 5 through 7, you can see an angel invites them into the empty tomb, orders them to go back and tell the other disciples what they've seen, and on their way back to tell the other disciples what they've seen, in verses 9 and 10, the Lord Jesus himself appears to them along the way as they went. As a matter of fact, in verse 10, look at that. Chapter 28, verse 10, Jesus said to them, do not be afraid, go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee and there they shall see me. There is this confirmed plan that the disciples of Jesus are to meet him in Galilee, in the northern region of Israel. And while verse 10 doesn't tell us the specific place in Galilee that they're to meet him, our text does show us that there was a specific place. Look at verse 16. Then the 11 disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. They knew where it was exactly that they were supposed to go. Verse 17 says, when they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted.
A highlight from A New Testament Biblical Theology of Evangelism | John Miller
"This resource combines expositional sermons and lectures from the classroom of Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary to help equip listeners for the work of the ministry. All right, we're coming back to our study of a biblical theology of evangelism and missions in the Bible. We've been working our way through the Old Testament, and we're going to come to some of the New Testament as well. Before we come to the New Testament, we're going to end by looking at some of the prophets, and particularly in Isaiah. I could spend some time, we could go through many other areas in Zechariah or in Jonah especially. You can see God's heart for the nations there in Jonah. But I just want us to look particularly at one of the major books that's often called the Gospel of the Old Testament, and that is Isaiah, and it has much to say about the good news of the Messiah and the Messiah's work, not only for the nation of Israel, but for the entire world. Just to note a couple of things before we come to some of the servant songs, you may recall for example in Isaiah chapter 2, it talks about the mountain of the Lord. Just read a few verses from there, it says, the word that Isaiah the son of Amos saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains and shall be lifted up above the hills and all the nations shall flow to it and many people shall come and say, come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways, that we may walk in his path. For out of Zion shall go the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations and shall decide disputes for many peoples and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. How it speaks of the wars ending, nations coming to the mountain of God, coming to worship him, it's a picture, one sense of what happens to some degree now in the new covenant as people from various nations come to worship at Mount Zion, which is not a physical location in Jerusalem or in Israel today, but it is spiritually welcome, as Hebrews 12 speaks of, you're not coming to Mount Zion, but you've come to Mount Zion. So that's happening today and it's also in one sense a picture of what will be at the end when all will come. So nations will come to worship the God of Israel and you find that in several passages in Isaiah. You can also see it in Isaiah 55 verses 3 to 5, Isaiah 66, 18 to 24, again don't have time to look at those passages, but I commend them to you. But one of the main things that you see in the book of Isaiah is the servant songs, how the suffering servant will accomplish his mission. And there are four main servant songs in the book of Isaiah, Isaiah 42, Isaiah 49, Isaiah 50, and then Isaiah 52, 13 to the end of Isaiah 53. And God is in so much of the book of Isaiah, he's indicting Israel for trusting in idols for their deliverance, and God is calling them to trust in him and his servant for deliverance. Going back to Psalm 2, right, it's the Lord and his anointed, take refuge in the Lord's anointed.
A highlight from Spirit-Empowered Evangelism (Part 2)
"I haven't finished the message or done it in two parts. This is one I'm just like, all of these parts feel essential to this and we need to be able to deal with this. Acts 1 and verse 8, because this really is the rest of the book of Acts is expressing this, we'll read this verse, we'll have a brief word of prayer, then we'll dive back into where we left off this morning. This is Jesus speaking to the apostles before he ascended to heaven, and they've asked about when's the, you know, when's the kingdom be restored? He's going to say, that's not for you to know, the Father's put those times in his hand. But verse 8, in contrast to that, you shall receive power, this ability, this divine power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. So that happens at Pentecost, that the Holy Spirit comes upon them, empowers them, and ye shall be witnesses unto me. Okay, you're going to go tell everyone what you have seen and heard, particularly the resurrection. Witnesses tell what they have seen, both in Jerusalem, that's where it starts with Peter's sermon on Pentecost we looked at a few weeks ago, and in all Judea, their witness spills over from that city into the surrounding countryside. And in Samaria, we looked at that a little bit briefly this morning in Acts chapter 8, and under the uttermost part of the earth, and that is still going on today. One of the things we touched on when we looked at this text a few weeks ago is that the task is unfinished. Jesus is very much implying that I'm ascending to heaven and this task begins and it continues until I return. In fact, the angel says, you know, they're standing there gazing up into heaven, the same Jesus who you've seen ascend is going to come back that same way. He's going to return visibly and physically. And the implication is, until that happens, you've got a job to do, which is to be a witness to Christ, it is to evangelize. Now, so this morning, we talked about the fact that God has defined the task for us. What is evangelism? It's very simply telling people the good news of Jesus and calling them to accept it. It's not just information, but it's information and persuasion. It's not just here's the facts, but it's facts that demand a response. It's both of those two things together. We also noted that God has defined the message and we spent a significant amount of time today just carefully laying out what is the gospel, what is the evangel, what is the message that we as Christians are to declare. If we get the message wrong, we might be very, very passionate. We might be very bold, but we're not giving the message of life. Both boldness and accuracy are essential when it comes to giving the gospel. And so you might have a beautiful scene, but no light. You might be very accurate, but it's not visible. That's a message that's correct, but not declared. Or you might have a message that is declared, but not accurate. We want to have a message that's both accurate and made known to the world around us. So where I want to go this evening is how do we go about doing that? And we're going to look at the book of Acts and just look at some examples of the different ways to do that. But before we do, let's just go to the Lord in a word of prayer before we dive in. Father, you have called us to make disciples of the nations. You have called us to preach the gospel to every creature. And Father, we recognize that we are not capable of doing this on our own. We desperately need your spirit. And Father, we also confess this evening that we are often silent when we should speak. We are often fearful when we ought to be bold. We are often hesitant when we need to be direct. So God, I pray that you would fill us with courage. You would fill us with confidence that comes from your spirit's indwelling presence. Would you help us as a church to be a church that is marked by personal passionate evangelism? And Father, not just speaking to the issues of the day, but pointing people to Christ. We ask these things for your glory in Jesus' name. Amen. According to various studies that have been done, there are approximately 7 ,500 news anchors in the United States. That number was actually surprisingly low to me. I thought that like every town had a bunch of them. But 7 ,500. And the job of a news anchor is to simply get the news out. These are the people on the evening news that are like, this evening there was another traffic jam in the bank head tunnel, or the weather tomorrow is going to be insanely hot once again. They're the familiar faces on local TV who give us these updates. They might be the less familiar faces on sort of the national stage. And frankly, as much as many people dislike and distrust the media, and sometimes for good reason, I think we would all admit that people who give us the news are filling a vital and important role to let us know what is going on in the world. They're supposed to get the news out. And sure, sometimes they get the news wrong, and sometimes they leave out important aspects, but the basic description is to get the news out. That in a sense is our job as Christians is to get the news out without changing the facts, without tweaking things. Our job is to get the good news of the gospel out to a needy world, and we've got to get the message right. We saw that this morning. We've also got to embrace that calling. Our job is not to editorialize, but to announce. We're not to be opinion journalists, but more news anchors of here's the message and we're going to declare it and call people to respond to it. That is what it means to be an evangelist, is to declare the good news, to declare the gospel to the world around us. So I want to just pick up with these final two building blocks for a biblical vision of evangelism. Not only the fact that God has defined the task, not only the fact that God has determined the message, but I want to pick up thirdly this evening with the fact that God uses Christians to evangelize. I know this is a really obvious point, but God doesn't send angels to come and proclaim the gospel to the world around us. He doesn't strike people with lightning while they're walking down the street and all of a sudden they're saved. But as Romans 10 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ and that it is absolutely necessary for preachers to be sent out to make the gospel known. The book of Acts, it's called at the title at the top of my page the Acts of the Apostles. And we've noted the fact it could be the Acts of the Risen Christ through the spirit empowered apostles. It's really Jesus who's working. But we get example after example in this book of the first generation of Christians doing precisely that, telling people about Christ. And here's what is striking is the variety of ways, the variety of methods that God uses. There is not just here's the one approved method for giving the gospel. You know, God calls all Christians everywhere to only knock on doors and use the Romans road or only to have conversations at work. There's kind of an above all, all of the above kind of strategy when it comes to getting the gospel out. So one of the first ways we see the gospel going out is in Acts chapter two. So just turn over there with me. We looked at this in some detail a few weeks back. So we're not going to rehash this, but it's the day of Pentecost and the spirit comes upon the Christians and they begin to speak in other languages and a big crowd gathers. And Peter verse 14, Acts two verse 14, Peter standing up with the 11 lifted up his voice and said unto them, ye men of Judea and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you and hearken to my words. And from there, he begins to give them a recounting of the fact, hey, what you're seeing is not drunkenness, but the spirit of God has fallen in fulfillment of prophecy. He then adds to that, that Jesus is the promised Messiah who's risen from the dead and David predicted him. And this can't be about David because David is dead, but Jesus has risen from the dead. So verse 36, therefore, here's sort of the summary, the call to action, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, and by the way, this is imperative in the Greek. It's not just, hey, allow this to be, but that all the house of Israel must know this, must know assuredly, must accept this by faith, that God hath made the same Jesus whom ye crucified both Lord and Christ. So he declares the gospel to them through preaching. 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? Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission or the forgiveness of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. So he preaches and we find out in verse 41, 3 ,000 people respond in faith and signify that by stepping into the waters of baptism. We could give example after example, we have a number of examples in the book of Acts of public preaching. God uses Christians to evangelize and one of the ways he does that is through public preaching, maybe in a church gathering or out on a street or you think of through church history, men like George Whitfield and John Wesley who did open air preaching and thousands came to hear them. Preaching, this authoritative heralding to large groups of people. It might be a specially organized crusade like what Billy Graham did back in the day. It might be preaching that goes out over the airwaves or over the internet to bring sinners to faith in Christ. And Peter is preaching, he is expounding scripture. He is keeping scripture central. Now, what is interesting when you look at the apostles proclamation of the gospel, we do not see elaborate schemes. We don't see slick methods being cooked up to try to pad their numbers or to manipulate people. We don't see high pressure sales techniques to guilt people into making a decision. Rather, we see the simple and powerful declaration of the word of God laid onto the consciences of their hearers. It's the honest declaration of the good news of Jesus. Turn over with me to 2 Corinthians 4 to hear what Paul has to say about gospel ministry. 2 Corinthians 4, verses one and two. So seeing therefore, we have this ministry, the gospel ministry, this responsibility to make the gospel of Jesus known. As we have received mercy, we faint not. Okay, we've got such an awesome ministry. We don't give up, we don't quit. But we have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. I love this. He's saying, we're not resorting to trickery. We're not taking the scriptures and twisting them to make them say what we want, but we are plainly exposing to view what the Bible says and what Christ has done and making an appeal to people's consciences to respond. He's likely describing the individuals in his day who would go around from town to town and would sort of do philosophical lectures for money and some would do the same thing, would basically try to monetize the gospel. One way we could render this is we don't peddle the word of God. We don't go around sort of preaching the word of God in order to get rich for ourselves. But rather just the plain declaration of the truth. Now, to be sure, we do see the early church loving and serving their neighbors. We do see Peter performing miracles and that becoming an avenue for the gospel going out. There is biblical precedent for saying we're gonna perform mercy ministries. We're gonna do good to our community in order to gain a hearing. We have to be careful less we slip into crass manipulation where you're trying to play on people's emotions and arms twist when the spirit of God has not touched their conscience. So how do we go about, how does God use Christians to proclaim the gospel one way is by preaching. Here's another way that's totally different. So if Peter's preaching in Acts two and Acts three to crowns of thousands, we go to the other end of the spectrum, which is simply a one -on -one conversation. Go over to Acts chapter eight with me. Here we have a guy who's by the name of Philip. In Acts chapter six, there had been some division in the early church between the Greek speakers and the Hebrew speakers and the apostles called the church together. They appoint the first deacons and there's seven of them. One of them is Stephen. He preaches a powerful sermon before the Sanhedrin in Acts chapter seven and they kill him because they loved his sermon so much. He faces stoning because of the reaction to it. Same message, completely different response. Then we get in Acts chapter eight, Philip, we noted him briefly this morning. He goes to Samaria and he preaches. Later on in the book of Acts, this guy is so passionate for the gospel, he gets the name Philip, the evangelist. An evangelist is not some guy who has a fifth -wheel trailer who goes from church to church and does special meetings. An evangelist is somebody who preaches the gospel. By the way, nothing wrong with people going from church to church doing special meetings. I've got friends who do that. But the term evangelist refers to those who evangelize. And so Philip gets that label. But look in verse 26, Acts chapter eight. So he's preached the gospel to all the villages of the Samaritans and the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip. This is one of the rare instances in Acts where we see special divine guidance regarding ministry. Arise and go toward the south under the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. So down to the Gaza Strip, going down towards Egypt. And he arose and went and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning and sitting in his chariot and read Isaiah the prophet. Then the spirit said unto Philip, go near and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him and heard him read the prophet Isaiah and said, understandest thou what thou readest? He said, how can I accept some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he should come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture, which he read was this. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth. In his humiliation, his judgment was taken away and who shall declare his generation for his life is taken from the earth. It's from Isaiah 53, which Brian read this morning. And the eunuch answered Philip and said, I pray thee of whom speaketh the prophet this, of himself or some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same scripture and preached unto him, Jesus. Here we get this other end of the spectrum. This is not preaching to a crowd of thousands, but this is a one -on -one conversation. You see, you may say I'm not comfortable doing public speaking. I'll never stand up before a crowd of people and declare the gospel. Great, well, we have this example of a one -on -one conversation, a divine appointment. God orchestrates this encounter as you read the text. It's very obvious that God is making sure that Philip crosses the path of the eunuch so that he can get the gospel and he meets him just when he happens to be reading Isaiah 53. And occasionally at various points in your life, God will bring those kinds of situations across your path where you bump into a complete stranger. The spirit of God's been working on them. Other people have been witnessing to them. They've been under conviction and you get to witness to them. I remember a time when I was a kid, my dad was cleaning the church where we were at and a Sri Lankan guy just came and knocked on the door. He'd kind of grown up in Sri Lanka. I think he had grown up as a Hindu and was like, I'm looking for a priest. I want to figure out how to become a Christian. Like never met the guy before, never had encountered the guy before and dad brought him home, sat down with him, explained the gospel, the guy got saved. Like, praise God. I'll be honest, those situations are pretty rare that you get someone and you just cross their paths and boom, there they are, they're ready to be converted. Philip is in the right place at the right time with the right message. And notice what his message is, it's Jesus. He starts at the same scripture and gets to Jesus. Beloved, we need to be so fluent with the gospel that we can sort of jump into any place in the storyline of the Bible and be able to get to Jesus. I was talking to Clay this morning on the way out. He was letting me know he was going to preach about David at Ahepa and I just gave him the encouragement. I said, as you preach about David, don't forget to talk about the son of David, right? Anywhere in the Bible we want to get to Christ because he is the heart of the gospel. So the Ethiopian is ripe for the picking. The soil is ready for the planting. And these encounters are not encounters that you and I can manufacture. We can't sort of, you know, we try to strategize and make sure I'm at the right place at the right time. This is the working of God. Indeed, I would say that trying to plant the seed when God has not yet plowed the soil can actually be unhelpful because it's going to push people away when they're not ready. But think about the things that God could use to awaken someone's heart to where they're in a place like this guy who's just ready for this. Maybe someone has gotten to the end of their rope and realized, man, this religion I've grown up in does not give me answers. Or some personal tragedy has happened where all of a sudden they didn't think about eternity yesterday, but now they are thinking about eternity. A loved one passes away, and all of a sudden they're realizing, one day I'm going to die. And they're beginning to think about these things. Sometimes tragedy will be the megaphone that God will use to awaken a lost world to their need for him. Sometimes a divorce has thrown someone back on a faith they long ago rejected. You see, in every tragedy in the midst of all brokenness, when questions arise, that is where the Gospel can slip in. So God uses Christians. Sometimes it's the preaching to the huge crowds, Peter on Pentecost. Other times it's the divine appointment, Philip in the Ethiopian eunuch. Another way we see God using Christians are just individuals who are scattered. We looked at Acts 8 this morning how the church is scattered and everybody went everywhere giving the Gospel. Let me give you another example of this happening in Acts because it seems to suggest this is a way that God works. Acts 11, picking up in verse 19. Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen. All right, so same persecution. We would look at persecution and be like it's a real negative, it's a real downer. People are getting killed, hauled into prison. God's using it to scatter Christians. Those who were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phoenice and Cyprus and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. That's all they knew is this is for Israel. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene. Cyrene is in North Africa, Cyprus is an island out in the Mediterranean, which when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. Same message, right? That Jesus and he's the Lord, he's the resurrected king. And the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number believed and turned unto the Lord. So here's these people who are scattered. They weren't planning to go to Cyprus or to Cyrene. They were planning to stay in Jerusalem and hang out with the Christians there. But circumstances have happened and all of a sudden they're in a place where there's a bunch of people who don't know about Jesus. And so what do they do? They open their mouths and give the gospel. Now here's the interesting thing. It says, you know, preaching the words, none of the Jews, but the Jews only, but notice the verb that's used in verse 20. Some of them, they come, they were come to Antioch, they spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. The word preaching here is not the word keruso standing up and heralding, but simply the word for speaking. One -on -one conversations. I think you can envision them moving into town and having one -on -one conversations over meals, having in -home discussions with their new neighbors, robust back and forth with their coworkers. You see, every week we scatter dozens of different ways, interacting with hundreds of people every week. Other times through circumstances there is a, you know, a downsizing at work and you lose your job and all of a sudden you have to move to take a job out in Seattle. You're like, I didn't want to go live in Seattle. I liked living in Alabama. We got better football down here. Well, the weather's probably better up there. But then all of a sudden you're off moving to Seattle. You can look at that as, man, what a rotten circumstance or it could be God has moved me here. What is the strategic gospel purpose that he might have in making me change jobs or move houses or go to a new location? I often think this when I taught at PCC, have these students who are in the classroom who are nursing and engineering and all of these other majors. Man, what if people deployed their careers in a way that is strategic for the cause of the gospel? You say, okay, I can go be a nurse anywhere, right? Everywhere needs nurses. How about I go be a nurse where there's a church plant that's happening so I can come in and be part of that on the front lines as opposed to just going wherever and not thinking strategically. What if we thought strategically about our moves, about our job changes? What if we thought that all these changes that come our way that we don't expect could be the providential hand of God, putting us into contact with people that we would not have been in contact with otherwise? Now, one of the things that I think is really beautiful in the book of Acts is that we don't get the sense that there are these organized structured programs for evangelism. Rather, we get the sense that Christians just went around telling people about Jesus. It wasn't like, hey, this is on Saturday at 10 o 'clock, we're meeting at the church, but this was just a, I'm going around and of course I would tell people about what is important to me. You see, my goal, my desire, my prayer for our church is not that we have a bunch of evangelistic programs, but rather that we have a culture of evangelism. Like, think about how awesome this would be if we had a church full of people who in the normal course of their daily lives were just telling people about Jesus. We're just like, hey, I'm going to start a Bible study in my apartment complex. Hey, I'm just going to figure out a way to reach my neighbors with the gospel.
A highlight from The Necessity of God's Word (Part 1)
"Welcome Encounter to God's Truth, a weekly half hour of Bible teaching from Whitcomb Ministries and Dr. John Whitcomb. I'm Wayne Shepard and we'll be going back to Appalachian Bible College in Mount Hope, West Virginia today to hear more from our series on biblical apologetics. We're going to begin the final lesson in our study. It's called The Necessity of God's Word. In this program we'll see that we have a power source that's readily available, which allows us, as mere finite human beings, to have victory and influence in the spiritual realm, even though we're opposed by all the enemies of God and His gospel, both human and demonic, as well as our own sin natures. What is the power source that can give us this victory? It's nothing hidden or mysterious, but something that's readily available to each one of us. It's God's Word, which is infinitely sufficient to meet our need, and as we teach every week here and encounter God's truth, it's true from the beginning to the end. If you've missed any of the earlier messages in this series, remember, you can always review them again in our library at sermonaudio .com slash Whitcomb. But right now, we join the students and faculty assembled at Appalachian Bible College with this important message on The Necessity of God's Word. Dr. Anderson and friends, it has been a joyful privilege to be back again at ABC and to share from God's precious, infallible, and errant Word, His perspectives on our personal life, testimony, and witness in ministry. I trust you've already begun to grasp just a little bit in our previous three messages that God's infallible Word is absolutely essential for effective witness to Him, no matter what the opposition may be. In fact, God tells us very clearly that the opposition to His Word, as far as we're concerned, from our perspective, is infinite. To Him, Satan, demons, depraved people are infinitesimal in contrast to His sovereignty and His glory in heaven. But as far as you and I are concerned, it is a hopeless obstacle to effective witness for Christ the Lord. If we depend upon ourselves. Now, we have already seen something of the amazing opposition, haven't we? The problems that make our ministry and our testimony hopeless in terms of converting anybody, of seeing anybody saved, namely, the fact of human depravity in 1 Corinthians and Romans and Psalms, all through the Scriptures, in fact, from Genesis to Revelation. And we understand what human depravity means, not that everyone is as bad as they can be, or that some people don't do some good things. Jesus talked about those and Paul, too, who are relatively good people. For a good man, some would even dare to die, we read. But as far as attaining God's standards, minimal standards of acceptance into His presence, we're sinful. hopelessly Now, friends, on top of all that and because of that, we have God's revelation concerning the function of Satan to help sinful people do their sinning more effectively. Isn't that an amazing comprehension that God has given us of His function? Yes, if people want to be helped by Satan to be more effective to oppose God, He's available. But the situation isn't hopeless for believers. If we humble ourselves beneath the mighty hand of God, we can then rebuke the devil and he will what? Flee from us, just as Michael the Archangel discovered, remember, in contending over the body of Moses. Satan is awesome in his power as far as you and I are concerned. In his vast army of hundreds of millions of demons, how can a mere finite human being possibly cope with such opposition? And, of course, in addition to our sin nature and the sin nature of the unbeliever and Satan and his armies of demons, we realize, friends, that only God's precious Word can help us see victory. The Word of God, Hebrews 4 -12, the Word of God is quick, that's alive, living and powerful, sharper than a two -edged sword, piercing even the dividing center of soul and spirit, is a discern of the thoughts and intents of the heart, neither is there any creature that is not naked and open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do. However awesome the opposition may be according to God's plan. God's Word is infinitely sufficient to accomplish what you and I and all our brilliance or experience or maturity or self -esteem could never, ever achieve in turning people from sin to righteousness, from Satan to God. Well, think of 2 Timothy 4 -2, in the light of this, preach the Word, Paul says. How often? In season and out of season. In other words, whether people appreciate it or whether they don't appreciate it is totally irrelevant. Continue preaching the Word. And sometimes it may take years to see an effect. I remember vividly the awesome choice I had when I first came to know Christ as my Savior at Princeton University in that dormitory room in February of 1943. I was an only child, my mother and dad were not believers. How could I help them? It took 30 long years, dear friends, of prayer and hopefully a careful, patient witness of the grace of God and the sufficiency of Jesus to see my Father finally, when he came to live with us after my mother died, to respond to the Gospel. Years and years and years, but God is in no hurry. You don't rush things and compromise the message in order to have immediate results. No, no. God, as for God, his ways are perfect and he wants his Word honored. Now, let's consider 2 Timothy 2, 23. I'm always fascinated by this statement. How does a true servant of the Lord function in the light of this situation we have just outlined? The servant of the Lord must not strive. Don't pressure people. Don't manipulate people. We often wonder, don't we, sometimes in great evangelistic campaigns we hear about and have seen and perhaps even attended occasionally. It's almost as if it's impossible not to go forward when the invitation is given. In fact, some evangelists sadly pressure people, manipulate people and embarrass people who don't stand up and come forward to make a public decision. And of course, we are not criticizing making public decisions. We're so thrilled at what we saw God do last night here. And I say, thank you, Lord, for that. But the tendency, the temptation is to pressure people into making a decision which later they regret and it's even harder than ever then to win these people to the Lord if they have a sense that they have been pressured or manipulated. Watch these words. The servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle unto all men after capable of teaching, patient. Don't be pushy. Don't pressure people because it's not finite pressure, it's infinite pressure from the Holy Spirit that's going to bring the transformation. And by the way, when God does it, it lasts forever. When I do it, it never lasts. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, who is their worst enemy themselves? Not you. If God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, God has to change the heart. God has to change the mind. The heart and mind is God's special realm of operation, see, to the acknowledging of the truth, the truth about God, Christ, sin, salvation, that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil. Here's his function, you see, his snare, his trap, who are taken captive by him at his will. Now, the whole scenario is presented in this brief passage that I've just read. And I say, Lord, that's an amazing outline for Christian ministry and the dynamics of how people are going to be convicted of sin and born again. God will do the work as we patiently, humbly, graciously, but clearly present his plan of salvation to lost people around us. Now, let's consider then 2 Corinthians 2 .16. A born again Christian has an enormous influence if he walks with God in a godless world. How do you like this statement? Let's begin with verse 14. Now thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ. Some of the things we've had to look at in the Bible have maybe created a sense of depression and defeat. Lord, if people are that bad and I'm that bad, and Satan is that powerful and demons are that plentiful, then how can we ever do anything for you? Well, thanks be unto God, said Paul, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ. We're on the victory side, dear friends, there's a battle going on. And maketh manifest the savor or the fragrance of his knowledge by us in every place. As we were reminded by our Dr. Herbster, may your face attract attention and create a question, why are you so joyful? Why are you, you're different. Do you attract attention that way to the fact that God has changed your life and your heart and your mind and your direction and goal? Listen, listen. And maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. As you give out a gospel tract, do it with a smile. Maybe gain attention by saying something gracious or something encouraging that may open up an opportunity to build step by step into someone's heart by the Holy Spirit. For we are unto God a sweet savor or a fragrance of Christ in them that are saved and in them that perish. To the one we are the savor or fragrance of death unto death, and to the other the savor of life unto life. And I like this question, don't you, even from the Apostle Paul. Who is sufficient for these things? My friends, we're in an infinite operation here that determines the eternal destiny of human beings in heaven or hell. Who's sufficient for these things? For we are not as many which corrupt the word of God of sincerity, but as of God in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Now friends, we can just begin to realize the magnitude of God's plan here in form of a little chart. I hope this will be of some help to you as it has to me from time to time. Over here we have symbolized the unbeliever with a darkened heart that doesn't have cleansing and purifying and forgiveness and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, the unbeliever. And notice that he is surrounded by an impenetrable barrier to any outside finite pressure. It's called his sinful nature. And over here we've tried to depict the believer whose heart has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit based on the merits of Jesus Christ. And the believer may fall into the serious temptation of trying to win the unbeliever on a horizontal basis. Namely, just provide Christian evidences to penetrate that heart through logic and philosophy and history and science. And by the way, all these arguments that we've talked about through archaeology and history and logic, I mean there are hundreds and hundreds of evidences that show that the Bible has got to be supernatural in origin. But the amazing thing we discover is that no matter how powerful the arguments are in the realm of creation and prophecy and so forth, they cannot penetrate that heart. They cannot get through to that heart. Well then, what's the answer? What's the approach? God says you have... Now this is very illogical from a human standpoint. God says you have to approach the unbeliever through the third heaven. You have to go this way. Through prayer, faith and obedience in relation to God on the basis of Hebrews 4 -12. The word of God, not my word or your word. The word of God is living, powerful, sharper than a two -edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart and neither is any creature that is not naked and open before the eyes of him with whom he have to... God knows that person infinitely. He knows what can reach that person, namely his precious word alone. That's one of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn. Well all the things, Lord, that I've learned about how we know the Bible is true, why can't I use those arguments, those evidences? Well friends, let's stop and think for a moment. As the word of God penetrates into that unbeliever, something of infinite power has reached his heart. Now just think of the evidences Jesus provided. If you think our evidences can be effective, and they can be, and that's a whole subject of its own, think of the evidences Jesus himself gave. Stupendous sign miracles, hundreds of them. In fact, someone has suggested that every sick, crippled, leprous person in Israel by the time Jesus' ministry was finished was healed. Thousands of people, it says that over and over, year after year, thousands of people can heal them all, heal them all, heal them all. And I say, well Lord, I should think that the whole nation then would have turned to him. Why, on one occasion, friends with a boy's lunch, he fed 5 ,000 men plus their families with food left over. And they said, they all agreed, this is John 6, let's make him king. I mean, anyone who can feed everybody for nothing supernaturally is our candidate for king. Then he began telling them about himself and who he was and that they had to believe in him on the basis of his substitutionary atoning death. And guess what happened at the end of chapter 6? They all left him. You say, that's ridiculous, that's absurd. Hadn't they seen sign miracles? Yes. Miracles like the like of which had never been seen before in the history of the world? Yes. And Jesus turned to the twelve and said, are you going to leave me too? And one of them finally spoke up, of course, Peter. Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. Right. That's the difference. But even one of them was a doubter, Thomas, and another one was demon possessed, namely Judas. That left ten out of thousands by the end of that day. And I say, Lord, that helps me to understand what the miracles were for. Why, Jesus, friends, said, an evil adulterous nation demands signs and no sign will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah, namely, as he was three days and nights in the belly of the great fish, so the son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. In other words, his bodily resurrection is his final proof to the whole human race of who he is. The sign miracles, may I say it this way, were almost totally ineffective and worthless to convert anybody ever in Israel. That wasn't their function. It was simply to do what? To attract attention to himself as the God appointed Messiah and King of Israel so that they could then hear his message and then their response to the message would determine their eternal destiny. This is an awesome thing to think about. Now, I almost hate to read this chapter. With fear and trembling, I ask you to turn to Luke 16. This is absolutely awesome. The rich man in Hades. Luke 16, beginning with verse 19. There was a certain rich man which was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus which was laid at his gate full of sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. Would you kindly agree with me? He was in desperate condition. He had nothing of this world's goods. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. That means the place of blessing, the place of the faithful in what at that time was called paradise. The upper Sheol Hades where believers went when they died. And the rich man also died and was buried and in hell or Hades, the lower Sheol Hades, he lifted up his eyes being in torments and seeth Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom in close fellowship with him. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame. That is the situation now of every unbeliever who's ever died. I just, I'm staggered by this. And Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receiveth thy good things and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted and thou art tormented and besides all this between us and you there's a great gulf fixed so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot, Lazarus can't get to you, sorry, neither can they pass to us that they that would come from thence, and other you can't come here either. And then he said, I pray thee therefore, Father, that rich man in Hades and torments said to Abraham, Father, that thou would ascend into my brother's house. I have a plan. I want you to reach my living brothers by sign miracles. Now this would impress some people today because we are harassed in every direction by people who are committed to sign miracle ministries. To the change hearts of people by spectacular things that they can see. Now watch the response of God through Abraham. I have five brethren that he may testify to them lest they also come into this place of torment. In other words, would you please send Lazarus, the beggar, back to the realm of the living because my five brothers often came to my mansion and saw this beggar by the door and they would recognize him when they see him. Please send him back to the realm of the living. And I mean, think of this as an evangelistic program. He could go from house to house, knock on the doors of my brothers and say, I am back from the dead. I saw your dead brother in Hades in torment. Do you think that would get their attention? How do you like that for a sign miracle ministry? Look at God's response through Abraham. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them. They have the Bible. They have the Old Testament scripture. They have the infallible, inerrant, self -authenticating word of God. In other words, that's what they need is the Bible. The truth inscripturated by the Holy Spirit. But he said, now this is why he was where he was. Listen to how he despises God's word. Do you catch this? He said, Nay, Father Abraham. In other words, who cares about the Bible? Old wives' fables, stories for children maybe, but not for my brothers. You don't understand, sir, they're intellectuals. They're scientists. They don't accept stories supposedly from God. They want to see something that's empirical, tangible, self -evident and thus convincing. Nay, Father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. That's what they need, a sign miracle. And here's how it ends, folks. And he said unto him, Abraham said to the rich man, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Really? Well, that's what happened when Jesus arose from the dead. The whole story of the book of Acts is that in spite of the fact that Jesus Christ fulfilled his promise, he said, You destroy this temple and in three days I'll raise it again. And he did and rose from the dead. And the apostles preached the resurrection of Jesus and the scribes and the Pharisees hated the message and threatened and tormented God's servants for mentioning resurrection even of Jesus. Oh yes, friends, even if one rises from the dead, they will not repent. You know what Jesus did for his friend Lazarus one day in Bethany? He raised him from the dead. Lazarus, come forth. I'm very impressed by what happened, aren't you? Immediately the corpse stood at the entrance of the tomb and he said, Loose him and let him go. He's fine. He's alive. Probably felt better than he had in his previous life. He didn't have to be dragged out half dead for recuperation. Don't you think all the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees would have just swamped the whole? I mean, that settles it. We believe. Read what happened next. The enemies of Jesus got together and made a decision. Just for that, we're going to kill Lazarus and Jesus. That doesn't sound intelligent. Well, that's the problem because the mind of man, which is an aspect of the soul, heart, spirit of man in his sinfulness, his darkness, cannot function intelligently. Only the Spirit of God can bring us reason to see God's realities as they really are. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing to one, a fragrance from death to death, to the other, a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not like so many peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God in the sight of God, we speak Christ. On the basis of these words from the Apostle Paul, Dr. John Whitcomb has been teaching us about biblical apologetics on this edition of Encounter God's Truth. Please keep in touch with us at Facebook .com slash Whitcomb Ministries, and you can find that link easily at WhitcombMinistries .org. I'm Wayne Shepard, praying for God to use His word in your life today. Thank you for joining us.
A highlight from The Essentials for Evangelism
"If you would find a copy of God's word and turn to Acts chapter 8, would you turn there? I want to thank you for hosting the seminar this weekend, for all the financial outlay that it takes, all of the work that's been involved. You've done something where your kindness is going to end up being a benefit to congregations other than your own. The only thing I can do is ask the Lord to bless you as you've been a blessing to others and to thank you for what you've done. Also I am always thankful for the opportunity to be here and worship with you. I love worshiping with you in psalm, worshiping with you in prayer, and I want us to remember that the declaration of God's word is also an act of worship. And so I'd like to ask Brother Lewis Kiger if he would to ask the blessing on the proclamation of the word. Yes, Lord. Before Amen. getting into this story, Luke is about to tell us. I want to remind some of y 'all, y 'all who have been here for the seminar, that one of the things we've noted is some of what Luke has already recorded. It's Luke's purpose in the book of Acts to show the continuation of the ministry and message of Jesus. He says in chapter 1 verse 1 to his friend Theophilus to whom he writes this, I wrote to you the former treatise, the Gospel of Luke, of all that Jesus began to do and teach. And so now this book of Acts is the continuation of what Jesus will do and teach. To prove this, Luke frequently brings in accounts from Jesus in the Gospels and shows essentially a mirror image of those accounts in the book of Acts. So for example, Peter and John healing a lame man at the gate of the temple by simply telling him rise up and walk exactly the way that Jesus healed a man. Or if you remember, it's Luke's Gospel that records for us Christ's prayer as he was nailed to the cross. And he said, Father, forgive them. And then we see that mirrored in the martyr Stephen's death who prays loudly, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. Well, Luke is about to do that again here in chapter 8. Back in Luke's Gospel in chapter 24 after the death of Jesus and his resurrection, Luke tells the story of two disciples walking down the road away from Jerusalem toward a place called Emmaus. And as they're walking and they're talking, they are confused, right, about what has just happened to Jesus. And a stranger to them appears, walks closer with them, asks them about their conversation. You look sad and confused. What are you talking about? And we know that stranger is Jesus, but they didn't know that at the moment. And when they tell the story about the death of Jesus, that stranger asks them, well, shouldn't the Messiah have suffered these things? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them the scriptures, in the scriptures, the things concerning himself. And so, traveling down this road with them, he explains the scriptures. He gives them understanding and peace and joy. And then finally, at the end of that account, Luke says, he vanished out of their sight. Now in Acts, we're going to see a mirror image in many ways of that story. This is what I want to talk about tonight. Acts chapter 8, starting at verse 26, and we'll read through verse 40. The angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip, saying, arise and go toward the south unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went, and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem for to worship, and was returning, and sitting in his chariot in red, Isaiah the prophet. Then the spirit said unto Philip, go near, join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, how can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place in the scripture which he read was this. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and like a, or as a sheep to the slaughter, like a lamb dumb before his shearers, so opened he not his mouth. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away, and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaks the prophet this, of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came into a certain water, and the eunuch said, see, here is water, what does hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still. And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus, and passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. As we walk through this sacred text tonight, I want to draw our attention to three essentials for evangelism. successful Three essentials for successful evangelism. Although, let me say up front, I don't want the title to confuse you. All evangelism is successful. Telling a lost person about the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ is never a failed effort. But if we're looking for some case and some significance where we see a sinner be saved, that kind of success in evangelism, we see in this text three essential elements for evangelism. Basically, the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch shows us basic biblical patterns for evangelism. So let's see three things. First, successful evangelism requires the sovereign initiative of God. The very first words of verse 26 show us that initiating the work of salvation is part of the work of God himself. It is the will of God himself who initiates this saving evangelism. Verse 26 says, the angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip saying, arise and go toward the south unto the way that goes from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And everything that follows this command from the angel of the Lord happens because God did it. It's not Philip's design. It's not the Ethiopian's desire. God did it. God puts the ball into play. He starts the wheels in motion. He gives the message to Philip to go down that road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza. Now so that you can picture this, Gaza is the southernmost city in Palestine, just on the edge of the desert, leading towards Egypt and then from Egypt on into inner Africa. So Philip is commanded by the messenger of God to go to the south to the road that's leading from Jerusalem toward the African continent, toward Gaza. And Luke adds, he says that this road is desert, or that it is deserted. There are actually two ways at this point in time to get from Jerusalem to Gaza. One road is through villages and cities, and the other is more of a bypass route. You may have experienced something like this before. The government decides to build a new road that's quicker and more direct, and the old road gets abandoned, right? So in the U .S. for many years, Route 66 was the most famous highway in the country. There were songs about it, there were TV shows about it. Route 66 ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, but when the government started building interstate highways, most of Route 66 ended up being decommissioned, and once thriving communities turned into ghost towns, but even today there are some secluded sections that you can still drive down. This is what God's calling Philip to do. Go down the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, but not the big highway that everybody uses, not the one that's got the Bucky's gas station and a nice rest area at every exit. You go down that old dilapidated road that hardly anybody uses anymore because I've got something planned for you along the way.
A highlight from The Violent Bear It Away
"Welcome to Gospel in Life. Jesus was a great teacher, but he had a lot of things to say that were challenging or difficult to understand. In the Bible we see a number of places where his disciples say, Jesus, this is a hard saying. Today Tim Keller is preaching through one of the hard sayings of Jesus and how we can rest in the fact that while Jesus' teachings aren't always comfortable, he is always good. As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John. What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in king's palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet, this is the one about whom it is written, I will send my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way before you. I tell you the truth, among those born of women, there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist, yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear. To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to others, we played the flute for you and you did not dance. We sang a dirge and you did not mourn. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, he has a demon. The son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners, but wisdom is proved right by her actions. This is the word of the Lord. We're looking at the hard sayings of Jesus this month and the new international translation from which Scott just read gives us as nice a translation of verse 12 as you could possibly get. In verse 12, Jesus says, the kingdom of heaven from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing and the forceful take it, the forceful receive it, the forceful lay hold of it. In the older translation, in the authorized version, the older translation, it brings out the harshness and the strangeness of the verse. In the authorized version, Jesus is translated as saying, from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent bear it away. Flannery O 'Connor's only novel, I think it was her only novel, was called The Violent Bear It Away. It's taken from this verse. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven advances through violence. That's what the Greek word means. That's what it means. There's no way around it. The kingdom of heaven has always moved forward since the days of John the Baptist through violence and the violent are the ones who lay hold of it. What does that mean? What does that mean? Let's think about it. The context is Jesus telling us about John the Baptist. See in the beginning, John the Baptist came preaching a message and the message was this, the Messiah is coming to bring in the kingdom of heaven. Now that's not as esoteric as you might think. Bottom line, the kingdom of heaven means someone is coming to put everything straight, to make the world right again, to right all wrongs. Our fiction is full of talking about some golden age of the past or some future age of the future in which all problems are put straight, all the psychological and social and physical problems are put straight and everyone is happy. And of course, our fiction is full of talking about an age like that. What John the Baptist's message was this, the kingdom of heaven is not fiction. It is real and it's coming and there is one coming to bring it and he is not fiction, he is real, it's Jesus of Nazareth. That was the message of John the Baptist. Now, Jesus turns around, that's what John said about Jesus. What does Jesus say about John? Jesus, in this passage, is talking to the people about John the Baptist. He says, John the Baptist understood that the kingdom of heaven, this power coming to set the world straight again, is not a fiction, it's real. And once John the Baptist got a hold of it, what did it do to him? It radicalized him. It turned him into someone crying out in the wilderness, wearing a hairy shirt. It turned him into someone who became, you see, it meant everything to him, it radicalized him, it also put him outside of the power structures of the day. Jesus says, you do not go out when you see him, you don't see a person who's a nobleman, he's not someone from the king's palaces, he's been marginalized, he's been radicalized, he's spiritually intense. Once he realized the kingdom of heaven was real and it was coming, it meant everything to him. It dominated his life. Then Jesus says, look at yourselves, look at how you listen to the message of the kingdom. Some of you say, hey, that's very interesting, thought -provoking. Some of you find it inspirational, and yet the status quo in your life has not been challenged. Basically, you want to hear about the kingdom of God and go on with business as usual, that's impossible. And then he turns around and says, from John the Baptist until now, anyone who understands the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of heaven comes in to your life with a spiritual force, it comes into your life with a kind of violence, and only violent people lay hold of it. And this bothers a lot of folks. It's one of the reasons probably why the translation that we read from takes away the word violent. It bothers us. Isn't this Jesus? Isn't this the one that said, blessed are the peacemakers? Isn't this the one that said, turn the other cheek? Yes. And that's the reason why Jesus uses this term. Jesus is a communicator, he's a preacher, and he knows by saying this, you're going to start the puzzle. You're going to be startled. You're going to say, what does that mean? And that's just exactly what he wants. Let's cooperate with him. He wants to surprise you. He wants to startle you. He wants you to ask, what in the world does that mean? Because he wants you to understand what he's getting across. My purpose this morning is to explain this spiritual violence to you, and by God's grace, to arouse it in those of you who do not have it. And by God's grace, to stimulate it in those of you in whom it's burned low. What is this violence that only is the only way to receive the kingdom of God? The only way to enter the kingdom of God and advance in the kingdom of God, he says, is through forcefulness, is through violence. What is it? Well, it's always helpful if you're defining something to go by way of negation. So let's, right off the bat, say what we can eliminate, what we can say it is not. First of all, he's not talking about physical violence. He's not talking about physical violence. The Bible is so against physical violence. You know the place in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says, you've heard it said, thou shalt not kill, but I say unto you, don't even resent somebody. Why does Jesus forbid you even holding a grudge? Why does he forbid you even resenting somebody? You know why? Because it can lead to violence. Human life is so sacred. Human life is so valuable that anything that even could lead to the abuse, to the weakening, or to the destruction of human life is not permitted. Even resentment is rolled out. And the reason why is because every human being is built in the image of God. God sees an assault on a human being as an assault on himself. If for some strange reason somebody built a statue of you somewhere in New York and you saw people pulling it down and stamping on it, and shooting it, wouldn't you take that personally? I mean, if Lennon was around, shouldn't he have taken it personally? What people did to his statues? Yeah. And the Bible tells us that because we are built in the image of God, God takes it as a personal assault on his own being when you assault someone else. No, the Bible is completely against physical violence. That's not what he's talking about. And not only that, it's not even talking about the formerly violent. There are people who hear Ted Bundy about to be executed. Before he's executed, he says, I found Christ. I'm born again. The guy who was just hanged in Washington last week. Did anybody hear that? Before he was hanged, he said, I found peace in Christ. And a lot of people say, well, that makes sense. These guys were so violent, and their crimes were so heinous, and their guilt is so great, I guess they need that kind of Hallelujah born again stuff just to deal with their own consciences. That's fine for them, not for us, not for average decent people. No way. If there's one thing that the Bible and history and personal experience proves, is the Christian conversion is not for one type of personality. Yes, of course. History proves that people of every conceivable class of psychological and social class, every conceivable type of personality have claimed to be born again. You must not say the kingdom of heaven and all that born again stuff is really just for the people who used to be violent, desperate sinners. Not at all. Yes, people from the dregs of society have found Christ and said, I'm born again, but people from the cream, people who are simple, people with towering intellects, every region, every race. You can't say that Jesus is talking about the formerly violent or the physically violent, but here's what he's saying. Jesus is saying that Christians are not passive people, that Christianity cannot be received passively. Christianity is a proactive stance toward the universe. Christianity makes you someone who is characterized by a holy violence, by a spiritual aggressiveness, listen carefully, by a sweet, humble spiritual ferocity, by a vehement spiritual sincerity. Now, I know, see modern people stare at such terminology the way a cow stares at a new gate. We've got no framework for it. A spiritual ferocity, a radical spiritual aggressiveness and intensity, and here's why, because the world believes the only people who are radical and intense and zealous and spiritually aggressive about faith and beliefs are arrogant people. The world believes the...and I'll show you in a minute why. The world in its prejudice believes the only people that can be spiritually intense and aggressive, spiritually ferocious, are arrogant people. But you see, when Jesus was preaching, one thing that he must have seen in my guess is that this is where he got his idea, his metaphor. He would attract tremendous crowds, and there was only a certain kind of person that actually got in to hear him. The kind of people that got in to hear him were the people who came early, the people who stood in line, the people who scrambled, the people who were relentless, who were aggressive, who were creative, who climbed and scrambled and ran and tore through the roof, remember that one, to get in. And the people who showed up on time, the people who expected normal conditions in order to hear Jesus Christ, the people who thought that a normal effort was all it was going to take, the people who were casual, couldn't even hear him. My family and I went to the Paul Simon concert last summer, 750 ,000 people, and one of the things we discovered, if you try to get into the Great Lawn, you know, around the Great Lawn were the pathways, the paved pathways. So you get onto the Great Lawn, on the pathway, and you start to follow the crowd, so you realized that the crowd was going away from the Great Lawn, that the crowds were being diverted away, and if you wanted to get into the center to get any kind of decent seat, you had to buck the crowd. You had to dart. You had to think for yourself. You had to pin your ears back and not care where everybody else was going and not care what everybody else said either. And you had to go. And Jesus says there's a certain kind of relentlessness, a certain kind of hard pursuit, a kind of striving, a spiritual intensity that must characterize anyone who will lay hold of the kingdom of heaven. For many in our culture today, biblical Christianity is a dangerous idea challenging some of their deepest beliefs. In her book, Confronting Christianity, 12 hard questions for the world's largest religion, Dr. Rebecca McLaughlin explores the hard questions that keep many people from considering faith in Christ, tackling issues including gender and sexuality, science and faith, and the problem of suffering. McLaughlin shows that what seems like roadblocks to faith in Jesus can become signposts to a relationship with him. Confronting Christianity is our thank you for your gift to help Gospel and Life share the love of Christ with people all over the world. So request your copy today at GospelAndLife .com slash give. That's GospelAndLife .com slash give.
A highlight from The Necessity of God's Power (Part 2)
"How do you respond when unbelievers aren't enthusiastic about your witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ? How should we handle such opposition? Can a common Christian be expected to explain the gospel to someone who is more knowledgeable in worldly things? Dr. John Whitcomb has been teaching the Bible and apologetics for many decades, and he utilizes that experience to answer those questions today on Encounter God's Truth. I'm your host, Wayne Shepard, and we're in the middle of a sermon entitled The Necessity of God's Power as we continue a series on biblical apologetics. It was recorded live at Appalachian Bible College in Mount Hope, West Virginia, and Whitcomb Ministries thanks them for allowing us to bring you these messages. Today's lesson is vitally important in helping us learn how to share our faith with those who disagree and resist the message of God's grace. It goes into detail regarding the power source that influences unbelievers, namely Satan and his demons, and how they relate to history and prophecy. Please stay with us now and track with us in your own Bible if you can as Dr. Whitcomb deals with these significant issues. We open with a short review from last time looking at Isaiah chapter 64. And we all fade as a leaf and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away and there is none that calleth upon thy name that stirs up himself to take hold of thee for thou has hid thy face from us and has consumed us because of our iniquities. Now this is Isaiah, probably the greatest Old Testament writing prophet, you see, whose sin nature was judicially purged away in that confrontation with God in chapter 6, one of the most amazing encounters with the living God ever recorded. And it's Isaiah who says, we, our iniquities, not somebody else's. You all know Jeremiah 17 9, the heart of man is what? Deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Like God said of the human race before the flood, and by the way, God makes it clear, he didn't wipe out the human race except for one family for no real legitimate reason. God looked down upon the human race and saw that the iniquity of man was great and that every thought of the intent of his heart was only evil continually. I'll give you my opinion on that. No human being, even with a fallen, sinful, depraved nature, can be that bad, that consistently without demonic help. I think the whole pre -flood world was not only depraved but demonized. That every thought of the intent of their heart was always evil. Always. Hmm. And so God, of course, I mean, my problem with the Genesis flood is not that God wiped out the human race, but that he waited hundreds of years for people to repent through the preaching of Noah because God is long suffering, not what? Willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. And Noah preached and proclaimed and warned and appealed, pled with people, come into the ark, there's a flood coming. And people laughed and laughed. And Jesus said, in those days, men were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage, all of which is fine, except that's all they live for. Just feeding and multiplying and animals can do that too. And God did not do what? He didn't create human beings in his image and likeness do nothing more than animals do. They had no thought for him, no response to his word, no interest whatever. And therefore, it said they understood not until Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. You say, isn't that a little bit extreme? Did you know that many Christians are offended by the Genesis flood account? Maybe one billion people. You mean only one family was saved. Isn't that an overkill? You know what's really amazing? I mean, I'm trying to be biblical. Would you pray for me? The amazing thing that anybody was saved. You say, well, Noah and his family were perfect. Oh, you know better. There were eight sin natures in the ark, which after the flood what proliferated and became what total blasphemers in the Tower of Babel project and later, of course, crucified Jesus and someday the Antichrist will be also a descendant of that family. And we say, Lord, help me to see things from your perspective. The fact that you even put up with the human race at all is an astounding thing in scripture in the light of what we are. And by the way, that's why God will never send another flood because Genesis 8 21 says that God said, never again will I destroy the earth as I have done because man is what? Is wicked from his youth up. You say, well, that sounds like a good reason to have a global flood every 100 years. No, a thousand floods, a million, would never modify our sin nature. And so God said that was once and enough to demonstrate who's in the next flood till the fire comes at the end of the world. The fire flood. Well, friends, here we are. This is our problem. And I say, Lord, we have a sin problem. Even the natural man, however nice, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. They're foolishness him neither can you know them. They're spiritually discerned or praised. Romans 8 7, even while we were sinners or enemies, Christ died for us. Psalm 14, the fool says in his heart, what? There's no God. Romans 5 8 and so forth. I mean, these passages, friends, totally destroy any little thought we may have had that we can be persuasive in changing people's minds about God and his word. Okay. Oh, but we have another problem. Not only sin, but who? Satan. Oh my. Whenever you talk to an unsaved person, the Bible tells you this for you're talking to at least two persons, one of whom's invisible and maybe more. And that invisible one is Satan, who's the God of this world. And, you know, the Bible makes it so clear that Satan has, you know, enormous power. Turn to Ephesians six. Would you please listen to this? We learned in Ephesians chapter two that people walk according to the prince of the power of the air, who is the spirit that now worketh and the children of disobedience. Look at Ephesians six, verse 11. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. By the way, he has all kinds of names. Satan, devil, the prince, the God of this world, the prince of the power of the air. Listen to this. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, against mere human beings. Oh, you see, that's rationalistic apologetics. I have better arguments than you have about God and the Bible. I, when you lose, you're now converted. I have heard of, I have attended a couple creation evolution debates. And my friend Henry Morris and now the recently retired Duane Gish, I mean, these men are fantastic debaters. And they have won every debate. There have been hundreds of them in great major universities around the world, hundreds of them. I feel sorry for an evolutionist who is going to debate Henry Morris or Duane Gish or these other men in the creation science movement who have memorized hundreds and hundreds of arguments. They know better than the evolutionist does what his argument is going to be and how to answer them. They've never lost a man outwitted them. He did, he talked and talked and talked and never let them have a chance to answer. So he won. See, and most of them know they're going to be defeated and end up doing what? Using ad hominem arguments insulting the creationist, you see, because they can't answer his arguments, his evidences. They're overwhelming. They're undeniable. But let me ask a question. How many of the evolutionists who are defeated say, look, that's it. I unconditionally surrender now to Jesus. Where's the nearest church? No. In fact, it's almost like they're hardened even more in their hatred against the God of the Bible, the God of creation. That's very mysterious. Okay. I'm not saying that a creation argument can't be used of God, as we shall see, God willing tonight, to help people at least pay attention to some of the things you might have to say. And the best creation science debate scenario, in my opinion, is when you walk out the door of the auditorium after the debate's over with and somebody gives you a gospel of John or a Bible tract or an invitation to a Bible study and you say, well, let me hear more. And you might use some of that wisely, you see, as a serpent, harmlessly like a dove, to get people within the sound of the what? Of the gospel. But the debate won't convert people. You sort of knew that, didn't you? It's hard for me to realize it, but dear friends, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, against mere debaters, against mere evolutionists, against mere atheists, but against what? Principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand an evil day, and having done all to stand, stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the what? The fiery darts of the wicked or the evil one. 2 Corinthians 4 -3, if our gospel behead, if people can't see it, appreciate it, love the Savior you're telling about, is because what? The God of this world has blinded them. They may not see the Christ who's the light of the world. They can't see. I mean, Jesus talked, you know, in Matthew 13 about going forth sowing the seed. And you say, well, now wait a minute here. There's something unfair about this statement Jesus made because he said after the seed is sown, Satan comes and takes the seed away. My, it falls on hardened soil, irresponsible, irresponsive soil, and he takes it away. He blinds people. You say, well, that's not fair. That's a serious problem in the Bible. But men are responsible. It's like Pharaoh. Did God harden his heart? Did he harden his own heart? You see, there's a mysterious interaction. If you don't want the truth, you'll be further blinded. If you resist the word of God, Satan comes in and makes it even harder for you, and even harder, and even harder. And in rare cases in the lifetime of Jesus, and I think in the coming tribulation, people will be so hardened, they'll actually say of antichrist miracles, they are from God, and they will take his mark on forehand and right hand, and they're doomed before they die. They've committed the unpardonable sin. Some could do that when Jesus was here. When they saw his miracles, they said what? They're from Satan. They blaspheme the Holy Spirit, who confirmed the identity of their Messiah with sign miracles. This is awesome, friends. Now, I think the only unpardonable sin in the church age is you just keep rejecting the gospel. Until, and it's never too late, until when? Until you're dead. Then it's over. You're done forever. God says don't underestimate your enemy. Don't think you can manipulate him. You handle him. Outsmart him. No, no. Why, the greatest angel in the righteous angelic universe is Michael. He's the archangel. That means, number one, he's tops of righteous angels. And he was appointed by God on one occasion to protect the body of Moses in a distant remote region of the Dead Sea. Nobody ever saw him die. God buried him. And Satan came along to desecrate that body. Now, can you imagine the scenario here, friends? This is the night of the book of Jude, chapter 9, verse 9. Let me imagine the interchange, okay? Satan comes and says to Michael, step aside. I'm taking that body. I hated Moses for 40 years, and I'm going to destroy and desecrate the body. In the Old Testament times and in many parts of the world today, the way you're buried tells a lot about who you are. Did you know that? The body is precious to God. I mean, it's not essential. He can raise you from the dead without your body being visible. That's another issue. But Michael said, in effect, no, you can't. I mean, I was appointed by God just because he knew you would show up. You can't touch this body. And Satan says, well, you don't know who I am, do you? Did you know Satan is higher than Michael? Satan is the greatest creature in the universe. Read about him in Ezekiel 28. Oh, friends, Michael finally gave up arguing with a superior being. And he used presuppositional apologetics. Listen to this one. The Lord rebuke you, and that ended it. In other words, I can't handle you, but I know somebody who can. And I'm going to turn you over to my God. Goodbye. That's you. That is I. Lord, I can't handle this person. I need your divine help. I'm facing something vastly superior to any of my intellectual capacities to manipulate people. Help me to depend on you. You know what that is? That's an apologetic with power and passion. If you're going to have any effect on people, if you're going to be dynamic, irresistible, if you're going to win people to Jesus Christ forever and ever, you better be locked into a power system that is greater than yourself. Thank you, Lord. Now, friends, let's just take a little interlude here and look at the history of Satan, shall we? Satan's stages of downfall. You know, he had a great start. He was the anointing cherub that covered the presence of God. He was perfect in beauty. But then he had an evil thought, just one thought. I want to be like the Most High. And instantly, out he went. It didn't drag on with courts of appeal for months and years, trust me. And Jesus saw it happen. He said, I beheld Satan like lightning fall from heaven. It was instantaneous. Now, that's perfect justice. Human governments can't handle that. Watch how Jesus does it. Out he went, folks. That was his moral and spiritual fall, and perhaps 200 million demons fell with him. Jesus calls fallen angels demons. And then what happened? He experienced a second fall at the Genesis flood. Now, this is not well known, and this is based on some inferences. Okay. We read in 2 Peter and Jude that the angels that kept not their first estate, but went after strange flesh, those specially wicked ones, are now confined in chains and pits of darkness until the judgment of the great day. Who were they? Those are the ones at the time of the flood who, according to Genesis 6, you remember, took women and the sons of God, are who angels went after women, and God confined them at the Genesis flood forever to the place of judgment. I mean, they have no further access to human beings. And when Jesus the Lord showed up 2 ,000 years ago, do you know what the other demons said to him who had not been cast down into the Tartarus pit? They said, we know who you are, you son of the abbess, the pit. They still have access, I mean, millions of demons, but others are gone. They're gone. Now, friends, here was the final blow. Jesus said, now is the prince of this world cast out, and here's Genesis 3 15, and he will crush the serpent's head. And that was Calvary's cross. Maybe Satan was suspicious with suspicion that something bad would happen to himself, and he told Peter to tell Jesus what, don't go to Jerusalem and die. And Jesus said to Peter, get thee behind me, Satan. You say, well, if he was crushed at Calvary, then how come he's a roaring lion roaming around the world seeking whom he may devour? This is a deep mystery. I mean, did you know the Bible's full of difficult topics? He was judicially destroyed, but not actually. He is doomed legally, see, but God gave him an extension of activity during the church age to test the saints. See, that's very hard. I mean, just like Job chapter one, where Satan came to God and said, and God said, have you seen my servant Job? And Satan, I mean, this is so awful, I hate to quote it. And Satan said to God, oh, look, you've hedged him about, look at all the things you've done for him. You just take away those things and he'll curse you to your face. Ouch. You know what I would do if I were writing the book of Job? I'd say, God would say to him, look, I don't like you anymore. Kindly vanish forever. Now, why is Satan still here? Okay, the mystery of iniquity. Now, folks, Michael himself will have revenge on Satan someday in the middle of the seventh week of Daniel. He and his armies of righteous angels will be allowed by God to defeat Satan and his armies and cast them out of the third heaven where he has access. See, right now, Revelation 12 says Satan has access to the third heaven to do what? To accuse the brethren night and day. And he's right there now accusing you and me of all kinds of things for which we deserve an eternal hell. And the only answer Jesus can give him or needs to give him is what? Well, you're right, sir, he is really not a perfect person. And we only take perfect persons up here. But I died for him and I took his sin on myself and transferred my righteous to him goodbye. Now, you know, that's Zechariah chapter three, Joshua the high priest was filthy and Satan was there accusing him. And God said to him, the Lord rebuke you, Satan. Out of here. And clothed him, you see, in fresh clean garments representing what you and I wear in the sight of a holy God by virtue of his merits through his blood. Well, that's not the end for Satan. He's cast down knowing his time is short and he has three and a half more years on this planet to empower the antichrist, his human masterpiece, number two and who's the person in the Trinity of evil? And who's the second person? The antichrist, the beast. And the third person is who? The false prophet who performs miracles and transforms the statue of the antichrist into a living being that will kill people who won't bow before it. Talk about satanic miracles like the ones you know that Pharaoh's henchmen did in the court of Egypt to oppose Moses and Aaron. And what were their names? Janus and Jambres. Hmm. Wow. Satan will have enormous power for the final three and a half years. That's why it is called the great tribulation, the great and dreadful day of the Lord, those three and a half final years. And Satan will almost take over the world. Jesus said, unless those days are shortened, no flesh will survive. Say, thank you, Lord. I am a part of your bride and your body and you're not going to allow me to suffer the wrath of man or the wrath of Satan or the wrath of God in that awful period of time. Thank you for the pre -tribulation rapture. I heard three saying amen. Think of it, friends. We're going to be gone before this happens. Then comes what? The second coming of Christ, the Armageddon encounter and Satan and all his demons and the antichrist and the false prophet are cast down into the pit, the obeses. And there they will remain for a thousand years. But the amazing, amazing thing is that after a thousand years, Satan is going to be released again for a little time to test the nations who have been basking under the blessing of a perfect government, perfect economy, perfect environment for a thousand years. But many children are born, billions of people are born into the kingdom who've never really made a personal choice. And just like God had to do for Adam and Eve, he'll say, I'm going to give you a very, very credible choice alternative to me. And back comes Satan and enormous masses of people follow him like sand of the sea from multitude. And finally what? Fire comes from heaven and devours them all and consumes planet earth and the moon, the other eight planets, their moons, the sun, all the other stars and galaxies and the heavens and earth flee away from him who sits upon the throne. There'll be no place found for them. And Satan and the demons and those who never believed Jesus are consigned forever and ever to the lake of fire. And those who love Jesus and made a choice for him. Yes, even in the presence of satanic alternatives will be in God's heaven forever and ever. And I say, Lord, I just need help here. These are enormous things that are going on that I can't even see with my unaided eye. But through your precious word, these things come to light and you give me understanding that I need to be effective for you and patient and gracious and loving and prayerful, knowing that apart from you, I can do a thing. Help me, I pray in Jesus name. Amen. Do you have questions about what you're hearing in this series of biblical apologetics? Please share your thoughts with us at facebook .com slash Whitcomb ministries, and we'll try to respond and make use of your questions and comments. You can pass this message along to anyone at sermonaudio .com slash Whitcomb and point them to many additional resources at Whitcombministries .org. I want to read a portion of Psalm 107 to you before we depart. Until next time, I'm Wayne Shepard. Thanks for listening to encounter God's truth, where we teach every week that God's word is true from the beginning to the end.
"messiah" Discussed on The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)
"God's plan of your goodness for us revealed in scripture and passed down through the tradition of the Catholic faith. The categories many years brought to you by Ascension. In 365 days, we'll read through the catechism of the Catholic Church discovering our identity in God's family as we journey together toward a heavenly home. It is a one O one, you know what yesterday was, day 100 were eating paragraphs at 7 11 to 7 20, just remind you because, you know, you accomplish that. It's amazing. As always, I'm using the Ascension edition of the catechism, which includes the foundations of faith approach, but you can follow along with any recent version of the catechism of the Catholic Church. You can also download your own catechism in your reading plan, by visiting Ascension press dot com slash CI and you can click follow or subscribe in your podcast app for daily updates and daily notifications, as I said, it is day one O one. Congratulations once again. Yesterday we talked about how God's spirit and the word of God. So the Jesus Christ in the second person in the Trinity and the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, how they worked from the beginning of time all through creation and in the promises of God in that the offense that remember God's manifestations of himself and also through the law through the scriptures in the kingdom and the exile. Now today we're going to talk about this. We're going to talk about, we're taking the next steps. And so keep this in mind as we go through these next days, we have today in 7 11 through 16, those paragraphs, the expectation of the messiah and his spirit. So we have like, say, the prophet Isaiah, who talks about the suffering servant, where he talks about the coming messiah that will be there, that shall sprout from the stump of Jesse that here is the Holy Spirit, who is moving the prophets, particularly the prophet Isaiah, to announce the mes coming, and then also how the Holy Spirit kind of highlights and reveals to whom the messiah will come.
"messiah" Discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"So let's do this. We've got a bunch of people that are out on spring break. We have two school districts that are out this week. That's why there aren't as many people here as we usually have. And so you know what that means, we got double work to do. They're somewhere often Florida having a good time. And that's a good thing, by the way. I was just there, so it's a good place to go. And I'm happy for them. But we're here. And we've got 5 days, 6 days to invite someone to be here next Sunday. Let's do this. Let's ask God who we would have is to invite let's invite them and let's ask Scott to move in their hearts and their lives so that God will change them. And offer them new life and save them. And we get to play a part in that. So would you stand with me now? If you really want to do that and you want to do it according to God's will, do you understand that you have to be his? You have to place your faith and trust in him to do this. And maybe you've never done that during this time during this next song, I'm going to ask you to ask Jesus Christ a to forgive you for your sense. Thank you for dying on the cross, forgive you for your sense number two, come in and take over. I want you not only as my savior, I want you as my lord. I want to follow you. If you've never done that, please do that today. Your efforts will not be empowered by the Holy Spirit without that happening first. For those of you who have done that, listen to me, you have the holy spirit. The power that brings death to life, death leading to resurrection. You have that at work within you. And we've got one week to tell people you really need to come and visit while with this week. It's Easter. Lots of people go to church that don't go regularly on Easter, come to wildwood. The gospel would be presented. God will move in their hearts, their lives could be seen. How important is that to you? I pray that you will respond according to God's plan and purpose for your life. And that God will be honored and glorified by your actions. Let's pray, father, move in our hearts now. We desperately need you to tell us who it is that you would have us to invite. And then do it. And then ask you to move in their hearts. And if it's your will, God, they'll come. You have the authority of all created beings. And then they'll hear the message. And if they're receptive, if the soil is good, they will believe in their lives will be saved. And you give us an opportunity to play a part in that. What a privilege. For anyone who is here now, lord, who has not yet believed who has not yet surrendered their life to you. Would you speak to them right now as I speak these words, Jesus came to save you. He died on a cross so that you are no longer having to live under the consequences of your sin. He desires for you to have new life, trust in him, believe in him, confess him as lord. And he will save you, and I pray lord many will do that if they do not yet know him. Online as well as in person. May your will be done as we close out with this last song may you be honored and glorified by our response. Deacons are available lord to pray with people the altar is available for them to bow, which you allow your spirit to lead us to respond in a way that honors and glorifies you best. We ask that in Jesus name. Amen. You've been listening to the teaching ministry of wildwood baptist church. We hope that today's message was an encouragement to you. For more information, you can find us at wildwood baptist dot org, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Just search for wildwood ackworth on the web and on social media. Thank you for joining us, and we look forward to hearing from you.
"messiah" Discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"Every tree, therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Do you notice this? Not only the fig tree was cursed and withered and died so will people be cursed and wither and die. Again, we think as Christians, well, you know, as long as I'm saved, God's pleased with me. We'll listen to what he says in Matthew 7 versus 16 through 20. You will recognize them by what by their fruits are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles. So every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the disease tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree can not bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire, thus you will recognize them by our fruits. Can I change that a little bit and say, we will be recognized by our fruit. The fruit that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit that's at work within us as we seek the lord for the plan and purpose that he has for each one of our lives. You've got the parable of the soils that Matthew 13 and you've got four soils, but three of them have no long-lasting residual effect. Why? Because they weren't fruit bearing soil. They weren't growth soil. They weren't good soil, but there is one that's long-lasting. In fact, we read about it in Matthew 13 verse 8. It says other seeds fell on good soil and produced good fruit. I add that in some text, it says grain here, some a hundred fold some 60, some 30. God is not as interested in how much fruit as he is some fruit. He wants some fruit from his children's lives. So what do we learn from this peculiar scene with him cursing a fig tree to the point that it dies before their very eyes? Well, it's this, producing good fruit, pleases God, and faking it greatly displeases him. Now, it's hard to tell which surprises the disciples more that Jesus is actually cursing something after being known as one that's healing things and fixing things or that it happens so quickly because Jesus speaks to that tree in it withers and dies immediately. So they want to know what just happened. That's what we read in versus 20 through 22. When the disciples saw it, they marveled saying, how did the fig tree wither at once? And Jesus answered them truly. I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain be taken up and thrown into the sea, it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith. So when the disciples asked Jesus, what just happened with that fig tree. He says, did you see what I just did? Do you know that you'll be able to do the same thing through the power of prayer? If you seek me and ask me for the things that I desire for you to have, it will happen and you will have the same power that you saw me exude in destroying that fig tree. And he's not talking about destruction. He's talking about doing the things that are God's will in our everyday lives. Now let me ask you this question real quick before we go any further. Is anyone here that's here in person or watching us online? Is anybody here really fervently desiring the will of God for their lives? You're at an impasse now and you know that you're not where you're supposed to be, there's a little bit of uncertainty and maybe a little bit of uncomfortability. And you're thinking to yourself, what is my next step, lord? Who have you made me to be? How do you want to use Monday for your honor and glory? My eyes have been open to the possibility of you wanting to use me each and every day, but that hasn't happened in a long time. So how do I find out what you want to do in and through my life? The answer to that question is by prayer. You say to him, I am yours. And I desire for your will to happen in my life. And I'm no longer going to take control. I'm surrendering my life to you. I'm submitting my life on Monday, as well as Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday. To do your will. Use me for your honor and for your glory. And the thing is, it's funny because we kind of go through the motions and imagine ourselves to be fig trees, we have leaves, you know, we go to church, we pray, we give, we serve, but is that false advertising? Are we doing the things that God would have us to do on a regular basis or are we checking the boxes? Churches do the exact same thing, by the way. All of a sudden we think we're successful in doing the will of God because we've got a bunch of people. Or we've got a clever pastor who's got a clever message or we've got wonderful music that sounds phenomenal or we've got great lights and great sound and all of a sudden we're like, yeah, we must be in the will of God because things are going so well, are we? Are we doing the things that God would have us to do? Because the measuring stick is not necessarily what is produced, as I said earlier, the measuring stick is that what is produces God's will. And plan and purpose for this church and for our lives. So here's the thing. Let's add this point to what is necessary for us to truly be the people of God that he's calling us to be, that he blesses and that he guides in that he uses for his glory. Faith that is followed by action pleases God. You're not here for knowledge only. In fact, if I tell you things that line up with what God would have you to know and do and you do nothing with that, you are just as disobedient as you would have been had you not come. I know that's harsh. But if you hear what God has for you to hear and you do nothing with it, are you better off than anybody who just chose not to come or listen to God today. In fact, that's what Jesus says next, he's confronted by the pharisees and he says, all right, I got a question for you. What do you think of John the Baptist? Now they're in a tough spot because if they say we don't believe what John the Baptist says, then they lose the crowd, and they need the crowd because the crowd love John the Baptist they need to not oppose him. But if they agree with what Jade of the bee told them, then the problem with that is then he'll tell them, well, he's the one that was telling you that I'm the messiah. Why are you not believing in me? So they decide not to answer. Well, Jesus decides to tell them what they already know and what I'm alluding to as well in versus 28 through 32. Listen to what he says. What do you think? A man had two sons, and he went to the first son and said, son, go and work in the vineyard today. And he answered, I will not. But afterward, he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, I go, sir, but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said the first. Jesus said to them truly, I say to you, the tax collectors. And the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you, for John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your mind and believe him. Now they would say that they believed him, but the evidence of belief was their actions. And they didn't act upon it. So this is our 6 bullet point. You can not claim to believe in something and then turn from it. You can't say that Jesus is lord, Jesus is savior, Jesus messiah, and not seek him and surrender your life to him. And here's the key to that happening, repentance, repentance is more than saying you're sorry for your sin. Repentance is turning from your former way of life to follow Christ. That's repentance. And we are all centers, therefore we all must repent, repent of our sin and follow Christ. And Jesus tells them the truth is right before them. And all they have to do is believe that he truly is the messiah and they will follow him. And he will be lord in savior and God will do great things through them. So he goes on and listen to this next parable versus 33 through 43, I'm going to read this quickly. He says, here are another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug it, dug a wine press in it and built a tower and leased it to its tenants. And went to another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first and they did the same to them. Finally, he sent the son to them saying they will at least respect my son, but when the tenants saw the sun, they said to themselves, this is the air come let us kill him and have his inheritance. And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? They said to him, he will put those wretches to a mirror miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits and their seasons. Jesus said to them, have you never read scriptures? The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing fruit. This is not a hard parable to understand. God is the landowner. Israel is the vineyard. The wine press represents the production of fruit or good wine. The tower represents the eyes of God watching to see what his people do with the information that he's given them. And with the gifts and talents that he's given them. And God sends servants to tell people what they're supposed to do and they reject the message. They do nothing with. In fact, they turn on the messengers and people die in lieu of that. So what does God do? He sends his son. And they crucify his son. And he says, so how do you think I'm going to respond when you continue going your way and yet say that you believe in me and that you're seeking the messiah? No. It's not going to end well for you. Listen to what he says again in Matthew 21 44. The next verse. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him. He's talking about two advents to visits of Jesus. The first time he comes, he comes for Salvation. And in order to avoid Jesus, you'll almost have to trip over him. You'll have to stumble over him to avoid him. Why? Because people like you and I were inviting them to church, were showing them what a fruitful life looks like in lieu of the power of Christ, it's at work within us. We're going to church, but we're going to serve and to be bearers of light and truth and love with one another. And people are like, yeah, how do I avoid that? I just got to get around it. And as they do it, they stumble over Christ. But when he comes to the second time, guess what he's doing. He will crush their heads. It's a very graphic picture of eternal separation from him forever and ever. So if God is deserving of our prayer, if God is deserving of our faith to be followed by action, if God is deserving of good fruit coming from our lives and God is telling us that this is a time for his people to move, I have one final question to ask you. Do you know what happens to a person who does not believe in Jesus as savior and who doesn't follow him as lord. Let's go to the scriptures to find out revelation chapter 2015 says, if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the Lake of fire. Matthew 13 versus 43 42, just as weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age, the son of man will send his angels and they will gather out his king of his kingdom, all causes of sin in all lawbreakers and throw them into the fiery furnace in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Well, my goodness, how long is that gonna go on? The answer to that question is found in revelation 2010 and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Begs one last question for us as a church, while would, how important are the lives of others to you? They're incredibly important to your savior. The messiah. They're incredibly important to father God. In heaven who sent his son to die so that people could be saved. But how important are the lives of others to you? I'm going to invite pastor Steve to join me on stage and there'll be a price team that comes with them. And we're going to sing one last song of praise about surrender to him. And I'm going to ask you this question as we prepare to do that. Would you would you pay very, very close attention to this? And you tell me if I'm mistaken. And some of you will. Next week's Easter. It's probably the most fruit bearing time of the year, potentially, potentially. More people will say yes to an invitation than any other time. And some of us will leave today and we'll do one of three things. We'll either forget to invite someone next week. Or we'll just ignore inviting someone to next week. Or we'll invite someone to next week. We'll forget totally and go, I forgot. Or we just won't do it. Or we'll do it. And I'm going to ask you to pray and ask God who he would have you to invite. And if that's the person that he would have you to invite, God's going to work in that person's life to get them to come, if it's his will. And they're going to hear a gospel presentation, and their lives could be changed from forever, and they will avoid the description that we just read about that they are destined for if they do not have faith in Jesus Christ. You have an opportunity to save someone's life. So how important is that to you? I'll tell you this. It'll be incredibly important to that person.
"messiah" Discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"Prayer is pleasing to God. The Bible goes on to say that Jesus heals some blind people, the lame or healed. They come to him much to the dismay of the religious leaders, and then Jesus leaves the town after this and then he sleeps and will pick up again in Matthew 21 versus 18 through 19. Here's what it tells us. In the morning, as he was returning to the city he became hungry, and seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on
"messiah" Discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"The question, do we love the father? Do we love Jesus as the messiah, not that we want to make him be, but who he truly is. Because if we do, then your second bullet point is this. Our focus should not be on pleasing ourselves. And if I had another blank I'd add others. Our focus should not be on pleasing ourselves or pleasing others, but rather on pleasing God. That's the way that we should live. Now, you may have heard it said, I have, we could turn the TV on and hear someone say this today that it no longer matters how you live as long as you're saved. That God doesn't care about what you do or the way that you do it because as long as you're his, that's all that matters. And let me just tell you this, there is far too many passages in scripture that suggests otherwise for anyone to believe that. And the way that it's been labeled. And by the way, this does exist. It's been labeled as legalism, but it's not legalism. It is something that God says, determines whether or not someone really loves me or not, is they will do the thing they will seek to do the things that I'm leading them to do. So again, you'll hear people say, yeah, that's legalism. They're trying to earn their way in. No, once you're saved, you can't be re saved. You're saved. And the reason you do the things that God's leading you to do is because of your love for God. It's not to get into heaven. You are going to die and go to heaven. But the time between now and then is to be lived to honor and glorify God because he does have a plan and purpose for your life. And that plan and purpose is what is best for all of us, regardless of whether we agree with it or not or like it or not. That's not the point. It's that God has a plan for our life. And it is impossible to please him unless we're doing the things that he would lead us to do. Now again, that's a very unpopular thing to say and something that it will be very ferociously attacked by a lot of passers. Let me show you some passages of scripture that suggests that. Starting in hebrews, chapter 11 verse 6. It says and without faith, it is impossible to please him for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Did you see that? Who does he reward? Those who seek him. Doesn't say that those who just believe in him, you can't seek them unless you believe in him by faith. But once you believe in him by faith, what do you do? You seek him. And when you seek him, is he please? Absolutely. First thessalonians two four, but just as we've been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. So we speak not to please man, but what? To please God who tests our hearts. You're very familiar with Roman's 12. Let me recite versus one and two and remind us of this. Paul says I appeal to you therefore brothers and sisters by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed by this world. But be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern the will of God. What is good and acceptable and perfect in regards to the will of God. So the story that we just read known as the triumphal entry is a great time of celebration. And everyone is celebrating what? Well, according to John, everyone celebrating the Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He did something good that pleased them. And they're like, this is good stuff. This is an attraction. Let's go celebrate and see what Jesus is going to do next. But they are not there to serve him and to surrender their lives to him as messiah. And that results in a great dilemma and a problem. So let's turn our attention off of John, I use that so that you saw the emphasis of Lazarus and of course we've been studying John gospel account of the things leading to his crucifixion and resurrection, which we'll get into on Friday night next Sunday morning on our Easter services. But let me show you the things that follow after Jesus does that. Look at Matthew 21 versus 12 through 13. Here's what it says. And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he said to them, it is written. My house is to be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers. Now, is it fair for me to say that Jesus is displeased with these people? Man, he is very unhappy with them. In another account of another time, you know Jesus is wielding a whip and he's going after the merchants send the money changers that are at his house. At that time, it's the temple today. It's the church. What's his point? The point is, this is not a place of profit. This is to be known as a place of prayer. There's an emphasis that Jesus himself places upon prayer happening in this place. What is prayer? Prayer is communicating in communing with God. So what is he talking about? I want your full attention turn towards me. Not upon your income, not upon your concerns, not upon feeding your family or providing for people that you love, nothing wrong with those things, just not here. What are you supposed to do here? You are to praise me and pray to me and seek me for what I have for you, and then when you leave you're supposed to do it. Because that's my will for your life. That's what Jesus is saying. So these guys are profiting from a place that is supposed to be focused on prayer. This is why we spend a lot of time telling you how important prayer is. This is why we ask you to fill that card out and tell us how we can pray for you why, because this is what this place is supposed to be known for. We are supposed to be praying for one another. Well, pastor Rick, I tell my fusion class, I tell you guys, yeah, that's fine. Do you tell whoever you want to tell? I do not want to be the person who's accountable for this place not being a house of prayer. This is to be a place where prayer happens. This is why I tell you on a regular basis that we need to be praying for one another. This is why most meetings that we have here begin with prayer, they usually end with prayer and somewhere in the middle somebody praise as well, right? This is why it's very, very important that our deacons walk this property on Thursday and bathe it in prayer before Friday, Saturday and Sunday happens because we want to welcome invite and plead for the Holy Spirit to come and fall down on this place next week every week we want that, but especially next week when hopefully we'll have many guests that you'll be inviting. Our plan and purpose is for them to be introduced to Jesus, the messiah, and so they will cover this place in prayer on Thursday night before Friday night and Saturday morning and all of Sunday morning will happen. That's why we place an emphasis on prayer. Why do we place an emphasis on prayer because the word just told us why? Prayer, pleases, God.
"messiah" Discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"Them from their sins or do they cry out to Jesus as messiah that's going to save them from Roman rule in persecution. I think it's the latter. I think that they are recognizing Jesus as the messiah who's going to come and remove them from their oppression, remove them from their hardship. In fact, they were actually hot enough to believe as God's people that were going to be elevated and raised to a higher position because we deserve to be there because we're Jews. And that's a deserved place we are God's people. And I would even point to some of the things that we think about ourselves, right? Imagine this, you know, there are a lot of times when we think I'm doing everything that I think that I'm supposed to do that I know to do. Most, for the most part, aren't I supposed to be blessed, and so we ask God for the things that we want or that we think that we need. And we think if we're living a certain way, shouldn't God answer them. And when he doesn't answer them, he doesn't remove oppression. He doesn't remove hardship. He doesn't heal us every time, or remove us from harm's way. We wonder, why would he not do that? I mean, we're doing our part, why is God not doing his part? And we forget the fact that everything that unfolds in our lives comes with a purpose. And it all plays a part in the plan that God has for our lives. And yes, God is actively involved, and God is guiding and directing. And if something happens according to his will, it's really for our good. We saw that last week. And for his glory. And so I would just ask you this question because things aren't happening the way they necessarily want them to back then, nor do they today, your first bullet point is this. Are we willing to follow Jesus for who he is or only for who we want him to be. Because there is no promise that he will remove hardship or challenge or oppression. He can. He has the ability and the power and the authority to do all of those things, but when he chooses not to, are we still willing to believe and follow him. Now, one of the things that we see that points us to exactly who he is as messiah comes with the scripture that's quoted from the Old Testament. If they're quoting about Jesus writing into the city with the donkey, that's a fulfillment of prophecy, it comes from zachariah 9 9 where it says rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion shout aloud oh daughter of Jerusalem behold your king is coming to you righteous and having Salvation is he humble and mounted on a donkey on a cult, the folder donkey. So I want you to think about this. Everything that we just read in that verse came true. It happened. They're shouting. They're singing praises to Hosanna in the highest. And these Jewish people knew that verse. See, they didn't just study the Bible. They memorized the Bible. They wrote the Bible on their home doorways and they repeated and recited it on a regular basis from a very, very young age. They knew that verse. And so they should have known wait a minute. The fulfillment of prophecy is happening, people are crying out Hosanna, you know, save us this must be the messiah and yet they didn't all recognize them as that. And the reason that we know that is a short time after this, they not only abandoned him, they turn on him and cry out for him to be crucified. They should have known it because prophecy and even current words that were coming from the lord was stating what Jesus was coming to do. He wasn't coming to elevate the Jewish people. He was coming to save people from their sins. Do you remember when Joseph is struggling with Mary's pregnancy he knows the baby is not his and he's really having a hard time knowing exactly what to do and so the lord comes and he speaks to Joseph in a dream and this is what he says that Matthew one 21. She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus for what will he do? He will save his people from their sins. This is the messiah that Jesus truly was. He came to save the lost people from their sins. But we see in verse 16 the disciples didn't understand this, then they recognize it later when all of this unfolds are like, oh, how did we not put this puzzle together piece by piece? It was all prophesized. Now listen to me when I say this to you. We should not fall for the same trap here. We have everything we need to know from beginning to end in God's word. Here's what God said would happen. Here's what has happened. And when we put the two together, it obviously tells us Jesus is messiah. Jesus is savior. Jesus is lord. And how we respond to him really tells us what we believe about him. Because if we do nothing with him being savior and lord, then how can we possibly say that he is who he says he is and surrender our lives to him. And so there are steps that we are to take that are honoring and glorifying to God and obviously he showed us his power that was revealed by raising someone from the dead. I can just tell you this, if someone had said to me, hey, let's come up with a good idea of getting a bunch of people to follow Jesus. I've got an idea. What if you raise someone from the dead? That will work. Yeah, people will follow Jesus everywhere he goes. If someone who has died is raised from the dead because because he's not just an average ordinary guy, this is the messiah. This is the one that God has sent. He's doing amazing things. And we just read that in verse 18 of John 12th. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard that he had done this sign. Folks, raising people from the dead, miracles like that will draw a huge crowd of followers and the problem that the pharisees had with that as we just saw is that they're doing everything they can to thwart this and to no avail. I mean, people are flocking to follow Jesus and to see him do these things. And I'm going to tell you something that was true back then and it is equally true today. People love it when things that are good and pleasing to us happen. Don't you love that? I do. I love it when something good that's pleasing to me happens to me. And in all honesty, I often say thank you, God for that. I believe that he's the giver of that blessing. And the problem with that is sometimes we focus on pleasing people because of that. And here's why we do that because pleasing people is popular. And I want you to see in the study that we do together this morning that Jesus was not in the people pleasing business. There were plenty of things that he did that please people, but there were a lot of things that he did that displease them. In fact, you're going to see in a few moments that immediately following what we see happen with the triumphal entry, things turn to a negative context pretty quickly. And the thought behind all of this is that Jesus is not only not in the people pleasing business, he is positively in the father pleasing business. And the motivation behind Jesus pleasing the father was not because he had to, it's because he wanted to. And he wanted to because he loves the father. And so let me show you some verses that tell us that John 5 19, Jesus said to them truly, truly, I say to you, the sun can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the father doing for whatever the father does that the son does likewise. And I've heard people argue, well, of course, Jesus does what the father tells him to do. He has to. He's the son. No, you don't have to. He didn't have to. He chose to and his motivation from for seeking and obeying the father was his love for the father. And you ask, well, pastor Rick, how do you know that? Well, let me tell you how I know it. John 1431. It says, but I do is the father has commanded me so that the world you and I may know that I love the father. So that bears
"messiah" Discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"Welcome to the weekly podcast of wildwood baptist church in acworth, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. We are so glad that you're joining us today. If you'd like to know more about wildwood baptist church, you can find us on the web at wildwood baptist dot ORG.
"messiah" Discussed on Messiah Community Radio Talk Show
"Radio for a five percent discount on your total order okay. We're back the subject of stretching as we get older. We need to stretch more because You know we become not as flexible. Obviously goes to that. Saying and bob anderson is one of the experts in his book stretching. So you have a special section and your fortieth anniversary edition book about stretching force smartphone users. I mean here. We are In that age where you know people remotely especially on the chair all the time and tell me you know how. How does that work. And what do we do for stretches for smartphone users. Look at a lot of people that have these phones and stuff Basically they're just looking down at this point. They're this disregarding their bodies. That's okay for a little while. But if you continue to do things like that over the years you tend to look like what you've been doing and when you keep looking down at things if tends to put you into kind of the hunchback notre dame sort of look and when you start affecting your neck in your head as as far as the movement really does go throughout your whole body and it's an easy thing to remedy is just by number one. Don't use the phone but learn the look straight ahead and then to do complimentary Stretches for mainly your upper body. Because when i think of tension that comes from using these phones it tends to be all in your upper body. Your shoulders your back your neck you know if that is a part of your body is not feeling very well. Doesn't really make you wanna be real active from looking at the screen so often no. It's oh yeah for sure. Your eyes have a lot to do. You need to sit back and you need to look out. That's true and are there any don'ts would you say mean people might want to right into this and get your book stretching bob anderson our special guests and Any jones would you any precautions here. Yeah you don't get in shape in one day you'll get in shape over a period of time. As the time passes things will change a little bit. You'll give more fit. You be able to do more stuff you know. Hopefully you learn that if you miss a day or two of exercise after you get into it. That doesn't matter what matters is when you miss weeks. And months and years of exercise their any benefits to stretching that that we don't know about that you can tell us anything that we'd be surprised to find out that you stretch not just having more energy but anything else Any secret you know benefits. Well i think the one of the things about it is that you'd like yourself more you 'cause you know more about yourself when you're active and you stretch a lot you you seem to get a much better relationship with yourself in other words you. A lot of people have a body but they don't know much about it. I can't find my body anymore. I'm looking down on me and about that anymore. The more you can use it the more you get in touch with it and then you appreciate all the little things that go along with feeling better and not taking anything like that for granted when you're younger you know you you take it for granted a little bit but when you get older you wanna feel good as often as possible. Because that's when you're the happiest bob bob anderson or special guest. He's got stretches for everything and that's why this book is so popular for legs hips. You name it stretching routines everyday activities that you could think of. I mean gardening. You name it. Gardening is tough yet i. It's a lot of work and It's not easy. i. I think my bicycle mountain bike riding is a lot easier than a lot of the. Let's say work. I do around our yard. It's probably true. And you also have stretching in the age of computers and smartphones. We mentioned that as far as the phone. Health problems phone stretches stretching routine sports activities and again. I think you have like every sport imaginable from even table. Tennis to soccer golf football bowling and so forth. You remind me of a guest that we had in our program. Who was the author of the book. What color is your parachute book. Chur and he his whole life was about that book you know. He passed away recently but he had this incredible You have the same thing where you have a book. It has lasted through the test of time and helped. So many people How rewarding is that. You know that you've been been the guy. When it comes to bob anderson and stretching they go together. It's been like kind of like a ministry for me it speechless. I don't really know how to put it into words to me like people say you know. Don't give up because a lot of people are making fun of me at the beginning of all this because they say what. Are you going to be a stretch coach. Chris back in those days in the late sixties and early seventies. Nobody was doing anything like that. They say. what are you into. And i go stretching go. What is stretching and to me. It was basically my whole life. You've made a cottage industry out of it though. What i i'm grateful for is that i hopefully. It has lead people to being more active and they feel better about themselves and they feel more healthy and they feel you know better. Just you know i just feel good. You know instead of guy can really feel. I'm getting older. You know blah blah blah and sure. We're all going to get older but you don't have to fall off a cliff you know you can get older gradually and maybe not do exactly what you did when you were younger at you know. Twenty five and nine seventy six now. But i still go out and do quite a bit but i try not to think about what i used to be as much as what i am. Now and what. My capabilities are in in adjusting to that because everybody has to make that adjustment. I like to make more comfortable and just deal with what my potential is right now at seventy six and not what was at twenty five. That's any age and you could just be calm limber and feel better. Treat yourself go. Get bob's book bob. Anderson the book scratching you can go to his website stretching dot com. Go to amazon and get his book and swell. And you've been a great guest. We learned line. And i thank you to your wife jean for all. They're the wonderful illustrations. there's like ten thousand. Thank you very much. Mike ever really appreciate what you're doing. Our sponsors with over ninety years experience in developing audio electronics bayer dynamic stands for innovative audio products with the highest sound quality and pioneering technology to business divisions consumer and installation provide tailored solutions for professional and private users on products are developed in germany and primarily manufactured by hand from headphones to microphones in conference and interpretation systems. For more information. Please visit north dash. America dot bear dynamic dot com and by vocal booth to go a complete line of products and accessories specifically designed for voice over actors audio professionals podcasters producers in studio owners to help them get professional results for their clients. It's your go to place for sound treatment. 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"messiah" Discussed on Messiah Community Radio Talk Show
"Has been continuously setting trends in the audio industry. Wherever people care passionately about recording, transmitting, or playing sound, sennheiser will be there, artists, this jockeys, scientists, sound technicians, or demanding music lovers, the sennheiser name always stands for premium products, headphones, microphones, and all around audio solutions, the ultimate and sound quality. Sennheiser. Since 2015, autonomous is dedicated to building ergonomic office chairs and electric standing desks with the highest quality materials. The autonomous product lineup began with the original office standing desk, the smart desk, and now spans several categories of smart ergonomic office tools and accessories, as well as new software solutions for modern hybrid work offices. All of our products are not just great looking and durable, but simple to use in order to unleash their full potential, visit us at autonomous dot AI and use code messiah radio for a 5% discount on your total order. Okay, we're back with Jonathan Roush where the happiness curve. Why life gets better after 50, so people are tuned in and as far as in response to the book, what are some of the things that people learn, they were surprised to learn? You know, thinking about their life and they got a little bit more positive about being 50 or older. Our brains actually change. They rewire as we get older in ways that are hoping for. I was hoping we get to some good news there. Yeah, we experience again, all these other things being equal because there's many things going on at people's life satisfaction. But older people, as we get into our 50s and 60s and right up to death, they experience less stress in a given situation less depression, less emotional volatility. There are tend to be more directed to others and less directed to status. They actually register positive things more and negative things less than younger people do. You can actually put people in a brain scanner and show them different emotions. Faces and so forth. And watch what their brains are doing in older brains are actually different. They're actually responding more to the positive stimuli and less to the negative stimuli. It's called positivity effect. And it seems like what may be happening is we go through this transition. I just talked about where instead of investing so much in ourselves, we invest more in others and that helps called the grandmother hypothesis. We invest more in our grandchildren and our community, which can help perpetuate our own genes because it strengthens everybody. And so there's a payoff. You know, we are going to be young and ambitious and shortsighted and all those things. But we live in a society right now, which just adores youth. And the story we tell about the aging process is you kind of hit your physical peak at age 20 and then you hit your emotional and skill peak at age 40, 45. And then everything else is a process of just decline. You know, you decline, you get depressed, you get physical disabilities, and then you die. And what we're going to come back with Jonathan rauch, he is the senior fellow at the brookings institution in Washington. He's also the author of 8 books and many articles on public policy culture and government contributing writer for the Atlantic. You've heard of that and recipient of the 2005 national magazine award, the magazine industries equivalent of Pulitzer Prize. And so we're going to come back and talk about the happiness curve right after this. Tribe signs was designed in 2010, we started operations as home and office solutions specialists and have since established ourselves as a trusted brand all over the world. We have worked with some of the world's best designers and manufacturers to bring a curated selection of beautiful furniture to thousands of happy customers across America, visit us at tribe signs dot com ocaso builds high quality extremely affordable action cameras that enable our customers to capture dynamic moments in life and share their world of difference in less than 9 years a castle has become one of the leading action camera brands worldwide, with sales of over a half million units annually. There's a world out there to explore and enjoy while capturing every thrilling experience, a casos mission is to inspire and empower more people to join, enjoy, capture, and share the fun of exciting outdoor sports, visit a casso tech dot com. Okay, we're back with Jonathan Roush where the happiness curve and do you know, you know, when you're going to write about a certain topic, it has to kind of get into your crawl, it crawls into you have to think about it a lot. I mean, how does it happen where you just said, you know what? I'm going to write about being happy after 50. Well, this one was easy because I discovered this research and it applied so much to my own life. And I realized right away, how much less alarm, less panicky and anxious I would have felt. If I'd only known that what I was going through was totally normal, not pathological. I wasn't broken. In fact, I was moving on to a different and in many ways better stage of life. So I just immediately said, you know, I have to share this knowledge. This is life-changing knowledge. So this one was easy. Some of my books are what you just said , you know, they marinate for a long time. And I am not even sure there is a book. But this one just bit me. When you're in the bottom of the life satisfaction you curve, you can't see the upswing. You know, it's like that turn in the river that's hid behind the trees. But it's going to be there. You may be as surprised as I have been about about what starts to happen as you age. Yeah, and you know, just to talk also about recently, your most recent book, would you care to talk about that? That's in, of course, bookstores near us. And tell us about that. Well, this is one that did marinate for a while, but this one's about the attack on truth on objective knowledge, which is coming from a bunch of different directions right now. This is everything from stop the steel and the 2020 election to cancel culture and the efforts to intimidate and coerce people. And I started thinking, you know, I've got to wait into that and understand how these different forces are attacking our shared reality and what we can do about it. I mean, that's happening now. As you know, but so is the aging process, which is happening with ma and other people as well as far as being happy after 50. And Jonathan, you know what's funny is that everyone seems to think that some weird thing is happening to them. Then when you talk about it, openly, just the way you are right now, people find that they're in that boat. You know that somehow, whatever bubble or social norm you're supposed to be in where everything's supposed to work a certain way is not really for most people..
"messiah" Discussed on Messiah Community Radio Talk Show
"Different times in our children's lives and we have different things to offer them a different ages. So i i do believe that and it depends on what the child's needs are as to whether that parents level of development in that area really fits and supports that. Yes i did it. It is interesting how you can have this ebbs and flows where you have a relationship with your parent that you didn't think was possible or suddenly you know it seems like you can't relate to them anymore because they won't let you grow up. That's exactly right. We're going to be right back with dr lindsay's see gibson. She is the author of the book. Adult children of emotionally immature parents. How to heal from distant rejecting or self involved parents. If you haven't worked through all this you're going to learn a lot right after this. We'll be right back and by the way. Dr gibson is a clinical psychologist and author of who you were meant to be. She writes a monthly column on wellbeing for tidewater women magazine coming back right after this castle builds high-quality extremely affordable action cameras that enable our customers to capture dynamic moments in life and share their world of difference in less than nine years. A casio has become one of the leading action camera brands worldwide with sales of over a half million units annually. Here's a world out there to explore and enjoy while capturing every thrilling experience casas mission is to inspire and empower more people to join enjoys capture and share the fun of exciting outdoor sports. Visit a castle tech dot com sennheiser has been continuously setting trends in the audio industry wherever people care passionately about recording transmitting or playing sound. Sennheiser will be there artists disc jockeys scientists sound technicians or demanding music lovers. The sennheiser name always stands for premium. Products headphones microphones and.
"messiah" Discussed on Messiah Community Radio Talk Show
"Gotham sound is your one. Stop audio solution. For microphones mixers recorders. Podcasting and wireless. Whether you're looking to rent or buy sound equipment are working at a church feature film. A television show podcast theater or a student project. Gotham sound is here to serve you with a huge selection of new us gear. It your first stop before you buy got them. Sound has the pro audio. You need to make your project sound. truly professional. Gotham has been around for eighteen years. Perfecting pro audio visit us at gotham sound dot com since two thousand. Fifteen autonomous is dedicated to building ergonomic office chairs in electric standing desks with the highest quality materials. The autonomous product lineup began with the original office standing desk the smart desk and now spans several categories of smart economic office tools and accessories as well as new software solutions for modern hybrid work offices. All of our products are not just great looking endurable but simple to use in order to unleash their full potential. Visit us at autonomous dot. A and use code messiah radio for a five percent discount on your total order. It's the messiah community. Radio talk show. This is michael james lauren. Your host dr lindsay. C gibson is our special gas. She is the author of adult children of emotionally immature. Parents had a heal from distant rejecting or self involved parents. Perfect a lot of people have unresolved issues. And you're the.
"messiah" Discussed on Messiah Community Radio Talk Show
"You can transfer to the new situation. That's where we're dr steven hayes. He's nevada foundation professor and the behavior analysis program at the department of psychology at the university of nevada. He has authored forty four books and nearly six hundred scientific articles. He's a popular with act therapy. And we'll get into that of course more right after this since two thousand. Fifteen autonomous is dedicated to building ergonomic office chairs electric standing desks with the highest quality materials. The autonomous product lineup began with the original office standing desk the smart desk and now spans several categories of smart ergonomic office tools and accessories as well as new software solutions for modern hybrid. Work offices all of our products are not just great looking endurable but simple to use in order to unleash their full potential. Visit us at autonomous dot. Ai and use code messiah radio for a five percent discount on your total order. Tribe signs was designed in two thousand ten. We started operations as home and office solution specialists and have since established ourselves as a trusted brand all over the world. we have worked with some of the world's best designers and manufacturers to bring a curated selection of beautiful furniture to thousands of happy customers across america..
"messiah" Discussed on MTR Network Main Feed
"Leagues. I want to see a real black panther fan. Will we storm capital. We just sit there that we never did that shit. So you ain't gonna get back graduation. We know dying anyway. I'm john. I'm trying to re trying to figure these fucking rules for the academy awards are i think. They're confusing it enough. That even even our critics association originally we follow. We follow the academy rules this year. And i'm like what are the rules in list of. I don't know. I don't know what the rules are. I think if they had given it to me in time i would have been allowed to vote for it. What i'm thinking is this is. The film will be made available in the secure academy screening room members within sixty days of the film streaming or video on demand release. So i feel like in the academy. Awards are in february. Saw feel like this comes out. I think it's gonna be. It's gotta be too late because the kademi award the february right. So i feel like it's gonna be too late for most people feel. It's gotta be because it but by the time that i i don't know i think it's gonna be too late. I'm just kind of googling like variety. Say and they're talking about twenty twenty one oscar predictions and eight. They got colludes name all throughout this article now. This article came out in october. Twenty nine twenty twenty granted. But i don't think with dem extending stuff in the pandemic feel like this film might be included. It's it's supposed to be included. And that's but i just. I was talking about like there were a lot of associations and guilds that have already voted. They just didn't give access to this. Movie is what i meant. When i said some of the some of the talk and the hype that was around other films i think that conversation would have been a lot different and a lot of different critic groups if they had been given access just in the black messiah. A lot of grills didn't get it.
"messiah" Discussed on Yahshua The Messiah Ministry
"That was just rocks. You know that was just just just metal. Gold would ever in the latter house. It's people it's people who were literally the children of your way. It's people who are literally becoming the brian of messiah. So of course. The glory of the latter houses greater because we are living stones. We're not just a stone being cut out. We're livingstone's in that. Sanctuary has sent each of us on those walls of that sanctuary. To guard as watchmen the gates of what is entering that sanctuary like we read a corinthians he who destroys essentially will be destroyed. That's a serious serious thing for them to happen. Less scripture is af fifty six in verse. Seven wanna read it again. I hope the scripture means a little bit more to you now and it is the beginning of the message. Even them i will bring to my holy mountain to mount zion and i will make them joyful in my house. Appear that burn offerings in their sacrifices will be accepted on my older from my house shall be called a house of prayer for all the people my house of equal the house of prayer for all the people y'all ways sanctuary in the new covenant is not made up of stolen set of quarried in jerusalem. They're made up of livingstone. Said of quarried from every nation on the earth. It's a worldwide message. And that's why the great commission that we're to go out into all nations gathering these livingstone's that are being part of that temple part of that sanctuary and that's why you show was so upset with the money changers because they took the physical analogy and it would destroy it. Y'all ahead analogy there and then we're destroying that analogy. And he was showing the same way today. The money changers have to be taken out of the sanctuary. You always house is a house of sanctity. In prayer to old people worldwide. His spiritual sanctuary. His body is made up of members from all over the globe. And since you're shooting yesterday or only pure and holy we need to also keep their sanctuary that we are part of holy impure and fulfill our great commission as watchman for the gates of this awesome sanctuary. Where you're shula is the head. We must guard the gates of the sanctuary and not allow anything in to defile it. Yellow bliss show botulism..
"messiah" Discussed on Yahshua The Messiah Ministry
"And it was where you came up there it was something of grandeur because of not just because of how solomon built it not just because of the magnificent stones in gold and all the things that were there and delivered a choir that was singing twenty four hours a day is all these things going on but the main thing was. They did all that because of the presence of that was there. The sanctuary was a benifits and building with a watch tower. that was between some of the towers. Were three hundred and the north eastern towel was four hundred fifty feet from the basic kidron valley. You'll mansion it's like a five story building today with splendid gates all around right all the gates that were around the fountain gate the watergate the sheep gate the valley gate the lionsgate and of course the eastern gate the golden gate. So as you come there. It's not this these magnificent walls that are built like you can't imagine and actually today and what they've been doing in the city of david and we've seen it many times they're we've seen the original wars at the jesuit city. You can't believe it that almost thirty five hundred three thousand years thirty five hundred years ago that they can even build walls like that and yet they were towers three and four hundred feet high and engage all around these beautiful gates of the city. Wow it must have been something of fact if we go to more thirteen even in the new testament right now again. We know solomon's temple was destroyed by the babylonians and then rebuilt by the rob bell in the high priest. And then herod expanded rebuilt it up but still in the same place as it was before an mark. Thirteen even in the new testament. Look what said and is. He was going out of the century. One of his disciples centrum teacher. Behold what kind of stones and what kind of buildings an answering issue is said to him. Do you see these great buildings. You see the now. He went on to tell them that wants but we see that even then they the great stones that were still there and the great buildings that was still there right so one thing we can say is that the beauty of the sanctuary of galway is not questioned by anybody that the grandeur the beauty. The just the unbelievable this and that's why today's very interesting when it was destroyed. There's nothing there today except just the foundation of the threshing floor. That's about it but again like you said one stone would be upon another. But i wanna get into if you're living in that day right if you're living in that day. Can you imagine the sanctity in the holiness and the off of an israelite taking his first fruit up to jerusalem to the magnificent building galway way and seeing the awesome walls and the gates of the city as he's appearing before you always presence we can't even imagine because today it's so different from what it was thousands of years ago right and people's mindset is different. How they different. That's one of the things. I've loved over the last twenty two years teaching about how the mindset of ancient israelite teaching about getting back to functional thinking of scripture and not thinking about bologna in. Because like i said even though america is babylon the nation this system of babylon. You know the commercialism about one. It's all over the world and not everybody in the world. But many people in the world they like bologna and say don't think like ancient israelites. But you imagine that's why. I say the importance of of a israelite. That's living there right and he. He's not just turning on his faucet for water he's not just going into cabinet and getting food or refrigerator. No you're not getting rain. Eight months of the year. And then when you.
"messiah" Discussed on Yahshua The Messiah Ministry
"Because of how sanctified that place was why because the presence of ya was going to be there tucked on the verse fourteen and solomon built the house and finished it and he built the walls of the house inside with beams of cedar from the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling. He overlaid the insight with wood and cover the floor of the house with boards of for and he built the twenty cubits on the back part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls and he built ford inside for the sanctuary for the holy of holies the very room that would be jalis room. His presence and house was forty cubic. That is the sanctuary. Before and the cedar for the house inside was carvings of girds and flowers spread out the whole was cedar. Not a stone was seen so everything was covered with cedar wood and prepared the holy of holies in the midst of the house to place the ark of the covenant of yak way. They're come down the verse. Twenty one and solomon inside with refined gold in cost it do passover in chains of gold to the face of the holy of holies and overlaid with gold and all of the house with gold and to all of the house was complete and he overlaid with gold. All of the alter that belong to the holy of holy. So why could you imagine not only was this place made with gigantic unbelievable who stones right that were taken out and brought there and put together but then once the place was and it was done the overlay the whole thing with cedar wood and then overlaid the wood with gold so you would walk into their and it would literally you know Be something that you couldn't even imagine. That was all filled with gold. That was there. And so sacred. Was the place so set apart was the place because now ark of the covenant the very thing that y'all way chose to dwell on there that even when they built it on the roof of the sanctuary they had little spikes all around so not even birds not even pigeons would be able to sit on top of that house so they looked did this and rightly so because when you always presences somewhere while places set apart and it was a setup part place.
"messiah" Discussed on Yahshua The Messiah Ministry
"Telling us be alert list scripture. i want to go into his daniel twelve. And even if there are s- coffers democracy out there don't let them or faith because you know something it's like one of those connect the dot things right when you start with one dot to another dog. It's just the line you can't tell anything but as you put the ducks together. The picture starts to become clearer. And sometimes you need those lists dots to be connected until you really see it. And if people are not understanding all of these things if they're not understanding israel being a nation if they're not understanding the rise of earth quakes and famines in these other things if they're not understanding the blood moon if they're not understanding the importance of the sh- mita then they're not gonna probably understand what's coming on september twenty third in. They're not gonna understand what's coming after that that. This is a time to prepare us for the persecution. That's coming so all of these are or or signs just like any site if you're driving from here to wherever here in nazareth if you follow the first sign but you miss the other three you're not going to get to earth you gotta follow every sign and the most important signs or later on particularly the last sign because if you missed the last sign you're going to be going in the opposite direction. Daniel twelve.