050612am WNS-28 Matthew 24:24 As the end of the physical world approaches, so does earth’s darkest spiritual hour. Satan knows that God has plans to save “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm […]
050417AM Matthew 24:15-16 COM-04 NR4-32 WNS-19 When Jesus told His disciples and us about the future he built every word of it around one spot on earth. In theological circles this message (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21) is called the Olivet Discourse. Jesus framed His words about the rest of the history of this […]
050612AM Matthew 24:24 COR-01 NR4-41 WNS-29 Satan knows that God has plans to save “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands…” (Revelation 7:9). So to try to thwart […]
KGD-17 XAS-29 971119WE One Bible scholar who spent an entire decade studying every word of Matthew’s Gospel over and over wrote this summary: Jesus is painted in royal colors in this gospel as in none of the others. His ancestry is traced from the royal line of Israel; his birth is dreaded by a […]
190707AM CBC The Call of Matthew Christ’s Call To Matthew: “Follow Me” Matthew 9:9-13 Jesus summed up His entire Gospel message into just two words “follow Me”. We could sum up Biblical Christianity as: FOLLOWING JESUS. These two words also sum up the New Testament Church and the essence of the overcoming, victorious […]
ZNA-451 890108PM THE CHURCH – A SHARED LIFE MATTHEW 16:18 The church is literally the ekklesia, “called out ones”. Our study is a biblical portrait of who and what we are… More than a 160 year old organization we are an organism… The Scriptures call us the body of Christ, a living, growing body called […]
ZNA-244 930207AM THY KINGDOM COME MATTHEW 6 Before we look at The Lord’s Prayer this week… We have relieved a transmission on earth from deepest space: • Beyond our solar system, • Past the feathery edges of the Milky Way • Far away across nebulae, pulsating suns in the throes of nuclear collapse • Long […]
ZNA-242 930214am “THY WILL BE DONE” Matthew 6:9-13 * Embracing the Lord of the Lord’s Prayer can make a big difference in your life! What does that mean? In short, the Lord’s Prayer strikes a knockout punch to our six greatest problems! Which ones? Listen: Mt. 6:9-13 – To go to God as Father ends […]
ZNA-240 930221am MATTHEW 6:9-13 LORD’S PRAYER SERIES THY WILL, p. 2 Last week we focused on the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done”. *Luther called it the “fearful prayer”. Why? Because we are calling on God to take over our lives… To let His will prevail… To serve and worship Him […]
ZNA-239 930228AM LP-Thy Will Peter-3 Mt.6.9-13 LORD’S PRAYER – PETER #3, P. 3 THY WILL… MATTHEW 6:9-13 This past 2/26/93 Friday at 12:18 p.m. a massive explosion rocked the largest office complex in the world. About 150,000 visitors and business people were affected… We all have heard, seen and read about it! What struck me […]
ZNA-238 930307AM OUR DAILY BREAD MATTHEW 6:11 GIVE US DAILY BREAD (Only in Matt./Luke until 1930’s) Of all the petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, this one seems most out of touch with overfed and indulgent America 1993. The idea goes with the words – SOMALIA or ETHIOPIA or INDIA…but to think in “DAILY BREAD TERMS” […]
ZNA-237 930321AM FORGIVEN AND FORGIVING MATT. 6:12 PART TWO Last week Christ taught us in His prayer to pray “give us our daily bread”, that was to be a constant reminder that we are creatures needing humility and dependence. Today Jesus Christ tells us that if you are forgiven then you must be forgiving! He’s […]
ZNA-234 930411AM LORD’S PRAYER- “FOR THINE IS…..” MATTHEW 6 In the Middle Ages the Alchemists sought to turn Base materials into treasured gold. In our lives this morning, a perhaps undiscovered treasure lies at our fingertips. A doxology of such magnitude, it can stir our souls to the depths. When Jesus left us with […]
ZNA-215 930815AM “CAN THE BIBLE CHANGE ME?” PEACE MATTHEW 11:28-30 The greatest man who ever lived or will ever live is the Lord Jesus Christ. He stands monumentally in contrast against the deplorable backdrop of fallen and depraved humanity. God become man, unique and all powerful authority. The historian Philip Schaff (The Person of Christ, […]
ZNA-141 941016AM LASHed to Christ Part Two “Admit your need to Him” Matthew 11:28-30 One of the classics of ancients literature is the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer in his 8th century account of the great warrior Ulysses [Odysseus], he is seen plugging his sailors ears with wax so that they would not be […]
ZNA-138 941030am Matthew 11:28-30 L-A-S-Hed to Christ Part Four: Hold on to Him One of God’s persistent invitations and commands in all the Bible is that we cleave, cling and hold fast to Him. Deuteronomy 4:4 4 but all of you who held fast to the LORD your God are still alive today. (NIV) Deuteronomy […]
ZNA-93 970323AM Palm Sunday PALM SUNDAY THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY AND EXIT MATTHEW 21 AND MARK 11 You are not an accident (You have Divine ORIGIN) You life is not meaningless (You have Divine PURPOSE) Your death will not come unexpectedly (You have Divine DESTINY) The arrival of Jesus on the 10th of Nissan in AD30 […]
WTB-23 040627PM We are examining these three vital elements of the Gospel. This evening we complete our look at Christ’s Death. We have seen in the past weeks that there were many amazing, miraculous and profound details that God’s Word records. We can say that Christ DIED for our sins according to the Scriptures. HE […]
WTB-22 040523PM Matthew 27.45-54 Five Supernatural Signs: Day Darkened Curtain Torn Earth Quaked Graves Opened Centurion Saved There are some wonderful elements we need to explore in relation to Christ’s death for our salvation. Christ DIED for our sins according to the Scriptures. HE DIED on The Exact Place – On Golgotha in […]
081116PM WNS-07 Signs.doc WNS-40 Signs of His Coming Matthew 24:3 Are you living each day in light of the seven step plan God has for this world that stretches from Now to Eternity? We have just completed our look at the plan God left for us. Those are what I call the: Seven Steps: […]
080928PM WNS-2 Return.doc WNS-33 Seven Big Events on God’s Calendar for Earth: #4 The Second Coming Matthew 24:21-22 As we open to Matthew 24:21-22, we come to the Second Coming of Christ, the 4th of 7 Big Events on God’s Calendar that we are examining from last to first. The Second Coming of Jesus […]
080921PM WNS-1 Numbers.doc WNS-32 Prophecy by the Numbers Signs of His Coming Matthew 24:3, 8, 33 Please open with me to Matthew 24. The disciples ask Jesus a question that interests all of us, I’m so glad they did. Follow along as they ask in Matthew 24:3, and as Jesus answers them in verse […]
050605PM WN-20 Hitler.Christ.Ultimate Angel And Antichrist NR4-40 WNS-27 The Ultimate Angel Hitler, Christ and the antichrist Matthew 24:24 As the end of the world approaches, so does earth’s darkest hour. Hell will open and the pit will vomit out it’s demon hordes to run wildly throughout humanity. Other beasts from the abyss will […]
050529am Wn-19 Shipwrecked NR4-39 WNS-26 Shipwrecked Souls Christ our Refuge Matthew 24:24 One of the most feared activities of the ancient world was sailing in a ship across the Mediterranean Sea. Why? Because shipwrecks were so common back then. Many who sailed never returned. The families of would be travelers and sailors most often […]
050522PM WN-18 Anchored By Clinging Hope.Hupomeno WNS-25 Anchored by Clinging Hope Matthew 24:13 Lamentations 3:21-25 Isaiah 40:31 For those of us who believe the Bible, the weeks since Christmas have been thrilling. Jesus said that the generation that sees His plan unfold for the end of days–will witness His second coming. That promise has […]
050522AM WN-17 Anchored By Hope NR4-37 WNS-24 ASTEROID DEAD AHEAD Anchored by Hope Matthew 24:29 Jesus said that the generation that sees His plan unfold for the end of days–will witness His second coming. That promise has kept the church throughout the centuries in the Word, on their knees, and ready to go at […]
050515AM WN-16 Living In Trusting Hope NR4-36 WNS-23 Living in Trusting Hope Matthew 24:21-22 Our God is a God of hope. Living in hope is Christ’s plan for our lives today. But when we dig into the prophetic portions of God’s Word the future looks very bleak and hopeless. So to balance what […]
050501pm Wn-14 Cling-Resting-Sheltering Hope NR4-34 WNS-21 Living in Hope: by Waiting, Clinging, Resting, Sheltering Matthew 24:21-22 This evening join me as Jesus describes the most hopeless moment in our planets future; the moment when life is heading toward a complete extinction. This moment is somewhere near the end of the Tribulation. That where Jesus […]
050424AM WN-13 Final Seige Of Jerusalem Jerusalem NR4-33 WNS-20 The Final Siege of Jerusalem Matthew 24:15-16 If you read and listen to the news with a Biblical mind, you can often hear a faint whisper of some of the truths God’s Word faintly in the background. Think about the implications of this summary I read […]
050410AM WN-11 Prophetic Hope NR4-31 WNS-18 Living in Hope! Matthew 24:15-16 Jesus enclosed a snapshot of what life on earth was like–just before the Ground Zero of His Second Coming. We have been looking at those snapshots in Matthew. So please open with me to the greatest sermon on the end of the […]
050320am Palm-Prophetic Exactness ORS-07 NR4-28 WNS-15 The prophetic Exactness of palm sunday Matthew 21:1-11 One thing you can be sure of—God keeps His Word. You can count on Him, trust Him, and believe His Word. We have been looking at the future for the last few weeks in our Prophetic Series What’s Next. But […]
050220am Whats Next-01 WNS-09 What’s Next Series Signs of His Coming Matthew 24:3, 8, 33 God left us the greatest book ever written. He watched over every word that is in this book. This book is our guide, our plan for how to live every day of our lives until Christ comes or calls. […]
ORS-27 100404AM Mightiest.doc The MightIEST Miracle ofCalvary Matthew 27 Jesus rose triumphant over sin, death, and Hell after being captured and killed during the greatest crime the world has ever witnessed. On a cross of wood, with carpenter’s tools, and “on a skull shaped hill, on a sunny day outside of Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years […]
ORS-01 010415AM Easter ThePromise Kept the promise kept Matthew 27 God kept His promise, He sent us Jesus to be born as God with us. God kept His promise, He sent us Jesus to die for our sins. God kept His promise, He sent us Jesus to rise from the dead. God kept His promise, […]
MOI-25 NR4-12 NR5-27 990530PM The Beginning of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-14) The events described in this section are “the beginning of birth-pangs” (Matt. 24:8). The image of a woman in travail is a picture of the Tribulation period (Isa. 13:6–11; 1 Thes. 5:5). Let’s consider some of the significant events that will occur […]
MOI-24 NR4-11 NR5-26 990509PM GLOBAL GRAVEYARD: One out of every four people will die (see Rev. 6:8), some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and amazingly many others by the ‘beasts of the earth’. So, whether by death that come instantly and thus less dreaded or a slow and painful death that […]
The First Coming of Jesus LHC: Message Fifty-One (051204AM) LHC-64 Week 51: The First Coming of Jesus (Christmas Message—Luke 1 and Matthew 2) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you ponder the First Coming of Jesus! SUNDAY: God Uses Ordinary People “There was in the days of Herod, the king […]
LHC-43 Christ and the Antichrist What’s Next for Planet Earth? The Promises and Prophecies of Christ in Matthew 24 Jun 5, 2005 | tags: 050605pm At the helm, the visible leader of the world will be the long promised man of sin, the lawless one, the beast, the Coming World Leader – commonly known […]
Living Contentedly for Christ: Stewardship LHC: Message Forty-One (050703PM) LHC-53 Week 41: Living Contentedly for Christ (Stewardship—Matthew 11:28–30) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you learn to live contentedly for Christ! SUNDAY: A Lifelong Refuge for the Weary “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I […]
Wise Men Still Seek the King! LHC: Message Fifty-Two (041212AM) LHC-65 Week 52: Wise Men Still Seek the King! (Matthew 2:1–11 and Luke 2:8–20) As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you become one of the King’s seekers! SUNDAY: When Life Is a Blur — Focus! “Be still, and know that […]
141224ls GCM-52 The Hands Of God, Face Of God, And Feet Of God, In A Manger.Docx The Hands of God, The Face of God, & The Feet of God: In a Manger Matthew 2:1-11 John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, And the Word was with God, And the Word was […]
111225AM His Name The Glory of Christmas is in The Name of Jesus Matthew 1:21 GCM-50 Christmas Day, gathered as the Church of Jesus Christ, we celebrate the Glory of God revealed at Birth of our Savior. That Glory of Christmas is in the Name of Jesus. This is a time to think […]
GCM-48 111224LS God in a Manger.DOC The Hands of God, Face of God, and Feet of God: In a Manger Matthew 2:1-11 John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, And the Word was with God, And the Word was God; John 1:14 And the Word Became flesh and dwelt […]
101205AM GCM-46 Joseph: The Quiet Man Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2 As we open to Matthew 1, whenever I look at the cast of Christmas: one member stands out because he is so quiet. Joseph is one of the main characters: he opens the Christmas story in Matthew 1 and closes the story in […]
FJC-03 091213PM The Two Kings of Christmas: Which is Your King? Matthew 2:1-23 The story of Christmas came to us from the God of Heaven. He wrote it down in the Scriptures through His Apostles in just 150 verses (30 in Matthew and 120 in Luke; Mark and John have no birth of Christ passages). […]
FJC-02 091206AM Christmas: Religious BUT Lost How Close Can You Get And Still Miss Him? Salvation is Knowing Him Matthew 2:1-6 Here is a sobering thought from the Christmas story—there were a group of very good, and very religious people in Christ’s day—who missed Heaven by only 18 inches. Can you imagine how horrible it […]
EBG-29 GNB-08 070311PM I invite you to consider Jesus, humility—and the greatest man who ever lived up until Christ. The supreme lesson of John the Baptist’s life is humility. And there can be no more vital message that we all need to hear than that God HATES pride. God uses John because he was willing […]
EBG-28 GNB-07 070311AM Are You HUMBLE? We have been studying the Gospel by Mark now for several weeks. First we saw the human author that captured the words onto paper was Mark. Then we saw the man behind those words, the eyewitness to Christ’s life and ministry, Peter. Now we come to the first mentioned […]
EBG-09 070420AM Level One—Come! Level Two—Come! Look over Living Hope chapters 15-17. Begin thinking about writing a blessing for each member of your family (this is a special and powerful part of our weekend when all families will take ten minutes to gather and mom & dad will read a short blessing of how they see and pray […]
890514AM Mothers ofPromise GDGW-14 Growing Dads God’s Way-14 MATTHEW 1:3-16 MOTHER’S DAY MOTHERS OF THE PROMISE DWM-09 WFF-14 WHG-05 ZNA-426 Mothers are quite a precious commodity, aren’t they? Each of us owes our very existence to our Mom! Scriptures are specific when we speak to the blessed theme of motherhood. In fact: God […]
What was the Great Commission and how does it relate to us today as Christians?
How do we know who to share the gospel with?
Did Jesus teach believer’s baptism?
Does God’s Word say that pork eating is okay, Sabbath keeping is optional and homosexuality is sin?
Is crossdressing a sin?
Each of us here today became Christ’s disciple the moment of our salvation. Disciples are Christ’s sheep, who hear His voice, and follow Him. Followers are disciples, disciples are believers, and believers are Christians, and Christians have been born again at the moment they were saved. So we gather as God’s family, saved by grace, through faith, the moment we called upon the Name of the Lord.
Communion is when we gather as Christ’s Body, to declare that Christ is the center of our lives, and we are His disciples. We celebrate by reaffirming: Christ’s death in our place, His burial with our sins, and His resurrection for our endless life, is the heart of our life here on Earth each day.
Have you ever noticed how clearly God personally communicated with the characters of Christmas? God explains things to them, shows them when and where to go, warns them of dangers, and arranges amazing meetings for them. What a wonderful way to live with God communicating so clearly & powerfully.
Foretaste of the Final Resurrection
We do not understand certain aspects of these miracles. The meaning of the torn veil is the easiest to decipher because of the way it is developed in the Book of Hebrews. But the darkness is unexplained. So is the earthquake. And so is the miracle to which we come now: the resurrection of many of the Old Testament saints and their appearance to many in Jerusalem following Jesus’ resurrection. We do not know whether these saints had died long ago or only recently. We do not know how long they remained alive. Was this a permanent resurrection? If it was, what happened to them? Were they transported to heaven, like Elijah? Or did they die again? We do not even know whom they went into Jerusalem to see or why they went or what they said to those they saw.
Q&A-95 150927PM 150920PM Q&A Graves Opened What Happened At The Earthquake When The Graves Were Opened? Matthew 27:45-56? In Hebrews 2:14 God tells us that through death Christ destroyed the Devil’s power of death. That event was spiritual, invisible, and would have escaped notice except for God’s amazing illustration. Point-1: Jesus Showed Death Was Subdued […]
As we open in our Bibles to Matthew 6, think of the context for these verses. Jesus looked out at a group of men, His disciples, that were so much like all of us. They needed humility.
They were wired to be proud, and needed a regular, daily reminder of needing to be emptied of that pride. So Jesus crafted a Divine Recipe for the best life possible.
Please open with me to Matthew 24.
The disciples ask Jesus a question that interests all of us, I’m so glad they did. Follow along as they ask in Matthew 24:3, and as Jesus answers them in verse 8 and 33.
This week I was examining just how much God has left for us to know about the future.
One of the touching stories of human courage and sacrifice came from the 2011 meltdown of the Japanese Fukushima reactors. In an effort to save countless other lives, one team of engineers entered the stricken reactor room and feverishly tried to stop any further radiation leaks. Their calls and emails indicated that they knew that if they stayed too long their lives would succumb to ARS (acute Radiation Syndrome), that took out dozens of similarly tasked Chernobyl workers in 1986.
Today our goal is to understand one simple question, but that question connects everything we read in this book called the Bible.
Here is the simple question: What is God’s Law & What Parts are Still Binding on New Testament Believers: None, Some or All?
Hungering for God: A Life of Prayer & Fasting Matthew 6:11 Do you remember a teacher, or coach, that was so special and encouraging to you? Do you member how much they meant to you? Do you remember how you rose to their expectations of you as they coached or taught you?
Hungering for God: A Life of Prayer & Fasting Matthew 6:16-18 Do you remember a teacher, or coach, that was so special and encouraging to you? Do you member how much they meant to you? Do you remember how you rose to their expectations of you as they coached or taught you?
“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”: Learning How to Invite God to “Supply Me” Through Life Matthew 6:11 As we open to Matthew 6:11 in the Lord’s Prayer, we arrive at the central element of these petitions. This fourth of seven petitions, is our shared confession of our need for God to sustain our lives. Simply put, asking God to give us the bread we need for today is us saying: WE NEED TO BE SUPPLIED BY GOD Everything is so fragile around us.
“Thy Will Be Done”: Learning How to Invite God to “Guide Me” Through Life Matthew 6:9-10 Today we begin to look at the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer. This petition that we all know is: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”, can become for each of us, a time when we actually invite to God to guide us through life.
Forget Focus & Control What Happens When We Forget to Seek First the Rule of God Over Our Life Each Day? Matthew 6:9-13 God is amazingly consistent in His desire for all of our heart and all our soul.
Trusting God Enough to Hold His Hand Through My Life’ s Daily Struggles Matthew 6:9-13 Prayer could be compared to holding God’s Hand. We are children, and God is our Father. The picture of being like small, weak, and needy children, reaching up to grasp the strong hand of our Heaven Father: is how Jesus presents the disciples with the need for prayer in their lives.
Focus Me .docx How to Connect with God: By Focusing Upon Who He Is Matthew 6:9-13 Please open with me to the most widely known passage of Scripture, in Matthew 6. The Lord’s Prayer as this passage is known is a life-altering introduction to the transforming power that comes by comprehending the implications of, and actually living like, God is our Heavenly Father.
Habit of Prayer .docx The Habit of Prayer: Connecting with God Matthew 6:9-13 Today we are looking at the truths of the Gospel that Jesus taught to His disciples and then asked them to go everywhere and teach everyone that becomes a follower of Christ.
True salvation implants an inextinguishable hope within us.
Salvation’s Inextinguishable Hope
Have you noticed how dark it is getting in our land these days? Sins once unspeakably bad are now badges of honor. Things God said merit endless wrath are now the goals of an entire segment of society.
Part of our asking God to protect us, delivering us from the evil one is tied to some choices. Choices to flee, choices to stay vigilant, and choices to put on the armor God has prepared, described, and commanded us to wear.
Jesus framed the contrast between His plans and Satan’s plans.
Jesus said that each day we live, we face a life or death situation.
John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
What Can Satan Do to Us, as Believers, If We Don’t Seek God’s Protection?
That is our focus today.
Today the most cunning terrorist in the Universe is stalking us as Christ’s followers.
As we open to 1 Peter 5 we learn that Satan is not only God’s adversary, he is ours.
He is coming after each of us who leave the door open to him.
He can devour us at any time we let the defensive perimeter down.
He is able to penetrate any safe room, secure location, and security system.
The simplest description of what we are as Christians comes from Christ’s first call to those first disciples in Matthew 4:19. Jesus explains the new life He was offering, and the salvation He was purchasing, and the Gospel of repentance He was preaching.
This week as I waited for the doctor and my annual physical the nurse went through the standard checklist of vital signs of my health. We all know them: blood work, temperature, weight, pulse, blood pressure.
As we open in our Bibles to Matthew 4, we look today at Christ’s temptation.
Jesus was tempted and resisted sin; we do not.
We are tempted and sin because we have sin dwelling within us.
In Matthew 6:13 we open to the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer. This part of the prayer model Christ Jesus left us sometimes puzzling. It is something we have said all our life, and perhaps puzzled over from time to time.
We All Know What Temptation Means. Right?
SWS-02 151108AM. SWS-1 Unleashing the Lord’s Prayer What is Spiritual Warfare & Why Do We Need Armor? Matthew 6:9-13, 1 Peter 5:8-9 Jesus summarized the seven key areas each of us who follow Him should pay close attention to each day. Please open to that summary Jesus Himself gave to us in Matthew 6:9-13. This […]
As we open to Matthew 6, we have come to the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer in v. 12. This petition is all about the constant need we have for cleansing. This next area we are to maintain in our spiritual lives is all part of:
Christ’s Checklist for Daily Spiritual Health
Simply stated, the Lord’s Prayer is a pattern for us, a check list for our daily spiritual health.
131229AM Giving Like Wisemen.docx 161224LS Giving to God Like the Wisemen.docx GLG-05 Giving to God Like the Wisemen A Life Wrapped with Worship Matthew 2:1-12 Christmas was when the greatest event since Creation, took place in a sleepy little village just five miles south of Jerusalem. Sadly, the lives of most people surrounding Christ’s […]
Jesus summarized the seven key areas each of us who follow Him should pay close attention to each day. Please open to that summary Jesus Himself gave to us in Matthew 6:9-13. This passage is what we commonly know in the English-speaking world as the Lord’s Prayer.
To help us focus on the text of our study today please stand and quote these words with me as we invite God through His Word to speak powerfully into our hearts, minds, and lives today.
Why should we pray? The more we examine this precious opportunity given to us by God, the more we are drawn into deeper and deeper connection to the Almighty King of the Universe.
Prayer is what Jesus modeled so clearly from the pages of the Gospels.
Prayer was what surrounded all of the major events recorded from Christ’s life.
Prayer is what we are to do or we will faint Jesus said.
Today we are looking at the Lord’s Prayer. As we open to Mat. 6:9-13, we are examining each of the seven petitions or phrases that make up this model prayer. These petitions are much like an overview of all the elements that make up the life of a healthy, growing believer.
This pattern Jesus gave us is a reminder for us, each time we pray, of all the elements needing attention in our Christian lives. This prayer can become the vital link between our minds (where we know truth), and our lives (where we live out that truth).
True salvation implants an inextinguishable hope within us. Prophecy is probably the most encouraging and affirming study we can do in God’s Word and especially prophecy. Prophecy has inspired believers since the very first recorded teaching on prophecy in the earliest days of Christ’s church; and it is the hope we have of Christ’s return that has inspired believers to face troubles, afflictions, and wearying persecutions. This morning, as we read the darkest hours of mankind’s earthly journey, note how Jesus weaves into this dark fabric, the rays of HOPE.
Nothing can ever compare to the return of the King.
Earth again will see its Creator no longer shrouded in the form of a humble servant. Christ’s Return is with the blazing glory that slightly glowed from the Mount of Transfiguration, but that on Patmos was as blinding as the Sun in the witness of the Apostle John.
So He come, powerfully splitting open the skies, majestically descending with the clouds. Before Him nothing can stand, every knee bows, all heads drop, the people of the earth begin to wail and moan. Their worst nightmares are now reality. The One who saw every secret, who heard every thought, and who felt every drop of their venomous hatred is coming, and finally—its too late.
Jesus Christ is revealed in God’s Word as love personified. In His daily life He was most observed by those closest to Him as filled with compassion; and He described Himself as “meek and lowly in heart”. So what will be His response towards those who ignore or reject His free gift of grace?
In a culture where dogmatics, convictions, absolutes, and exclusive policies are frowned upon at best—what does Jesus actually teach us about the destiny of those who do not get saved, who don’t receive the only cure, and who do not come the only way? The first thing we note about Christ’s teaching is that when it comes to salvation, there is:
No Middle Ground
Satan the Dragon has a fixation on destroying the people of the Name (Rev. 15).
God has written history, and put on paper that He is going to save a remnant of Israel at their final and most desperate hour (Zechariah 12-14).
Satan can read. He knows the written down parts of the plan, and for the past 2600 years since that plan and other parts were revealed, he has intensified his efforts to thwart God.
Satan wants to
Thwart God’s Plan
We can see on the horizon this evening, the world Jesus described as Earth at the End of Days.
As we open to Luke 21, remember, Christ’s sermon called the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) was His description of what the world would be like during the Tribulation’s horrors. But He framed His horrific description of the End of Days by these incredible words in one of these three parallel accounts, the one recorded in Luke 21:28:
“When you see these things (listen) BEGIN to happen, look up…”.
When we listen closely to Christ’s words near the start of His ministry, we hear Jesus say to all believers of all time, “Rejoice when you face persecution” (Matthew 5:10-12). At the end of His public ministry, this same Jesus also goes on to say that for those at the end of days, the worst is yet to come (Matthew 24:9-10).
When we listen closely to Christ’s words near the end of His ministry, He tells us of a future time when all of us who know and love Him will suffer greatly; and when we add that to all of the struggles, trials, challenges, hurdles, and disappointments life brings—we get a huge amount of suffering in a lifetime.
So this evening as we turn towards Lamentations 3, we turn to the greatest reminder in all of God’s Word that when there are great sufferings, during them we can find the assurance of God’s greater faithfulness.
Jesus sat on the olive tree covered slopes of the Mt. of Olives, and gave His disciples a private briefing of the End of Days for Planet earth. In the shortest and yet most complete summary He describes life from His 1st Advent through to His 2nd. That sermon called by theologians the “Olivet Discourse” is again our focus, as we open to Matthew 24:7. Tonight we hear Jesus is describing another element of what the Earth would be like at His Coming.
Each of the other six elements we have studied, that are given in God’s Word (Global: Travel, Knowledge Explosion, Disaster Awareness, Communications, Commerce, and Apostasy) are actually trends that become full blown, global realities during what is known in God’s Word the Bible as the End of Days.
As believers, God gives us an insider’s knowledge. There is an eventual major upheaval in the worldwide social and economic situation. All the currency of the world: its money, possessions, fashions, and whims, will be worthless at our death or Christ’s return, either of which could be very soon. This insight should utterly change our investment strategy.
Jesus explained to us in Matthew 24, verses 8 and 33-34—that these events would begin at the same time, run concurrently, and crescendo like the pains of a woman giving birth—the closer we get to His Second coming.
Matthew 24:8, 33-34 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Join me in Matthew 6 and Jesus reminds us how to make life count for God.
This week, more than any other week, we can all sense time flying by. The old year is almost gone; the New Year is just in front us. In this spot, once each year we can see both the passing and the oncoming years more clearly than at any other time of the year.
Life continues to move in a river racing at 60 minutes per hour, but at the end of the year it seems clearer. Each minute is unstoppable and irreversible; but each minute is also redeemable and investable.
When Jesus first met His disciples as He walked along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, do you remember what they were doing? Fishing, right? As we open to Matthew 4, think with me about the type of men Jesus called to start His team of disciples. The first four were noted as “fishermen”.
Jesus Called Some Fishermen
As His Apostles
Up before dawn, out in all types of weather, sitting in hard planked boats, straining over wet and smelly ropes and nets, fishing in Century One was not quite modern day sport fishing with a bass boat sporting swivel, high back, cushioned seats and a cooler of Cokes. Fishing was a messy, physically taxing, and never ending hard work.
Today, if asked, most of us would describe ourselves as “Christians”, some maybe as “Born-again”, others that we are “Saved”. Those are all good, valid, and proper terms; but, what is amazing is how far we have moved from what the New Testament called those who were saints and headed to Heaven.
If you just read and note the descriptions as you proceed through the books of the New Testament, you would assemble a list of the:
NEW TESTAMENT NAMES OF CHRISTIANS
If you were put on the spot and hundreds of eyes and ears were on you and you were asked to give THE reason why you know the Bible is true—what would you say? That question is best answered by remembering what Jesus said in the same situation.
As we open to Matthew 5:18, we are listening to Jesus starting His public ministry. At that huge gathering, called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus confidently told all the thousands who heard Him speak—that Heaven and Earth would pass away before any word of His Bible failed. Wow, He sure knew He had a Bible He could trust. Jesus didn’t fear that there were any historical, moral, theological, and scientific inaccuracies in His Bible. He had a copy of the Book anyone can Trust!