52 Verses-10 200706PM Today we started teaching the introduction to our next East Asian Bible Institute course—Exploring Proverbs. The longer I spend in this Book of Books, the bigger this truth dawns on my heart. Wisdom is not just a topic or subject in God’s Word—it is THE message of GOD in His Word. Wisdom […]
As we open to Revelation 2:8-11 we are opening to the second of Christ’s seven personal letters to individual churches of the late First Century. We looked at them as a group, but now we are taking a look at each individual church.
As we read these words, the historical context is that the Church at Smyrna was going through the second wave of persecutions that the Early Church had to endure.
A Short History of Early Church Persecution
Someone told me this week they could save the first half hour of my messages by just “Google-ing” what I talk about, and implied they wanted me to just stick to reading the text of the Scripture. But for the rest of you that are willing, if you will bear with me, I’d like to give you a sanctified mind’s analysis of Church History: something that they could never get on Google.
Perhaps the most unlikely words to be uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ are in our Bibles this morning. Jesus says in modern terms of the church in Laodicea, “You make me sick!”
As we open to Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus writes a letter that all scholars conclude is the most piercing, stinging and scathing letter He ever wrote to any church. That means:
Laodicea is the Worst Church
This morning we are looking back at where we’ve been. Much like getting home from a trip and spending time looking at the pictures that you took while traveling.
We have invested the past year, looking at the only part of God’s Word dictated by Christ, for the express purpose of: being sent to His Church, being read by His Church, and being obeyed by His Church.
There is no part of the Bible so clear, so personal, and so direct: as these three chapters. What exactly did we find in Revelation? We found that:
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COR-10 050807AM Christ is our refuge; Christ is my refuge–that is what we each need to learn. And to learn that wonderful truth we are in the midst of a six stop tour of Christ’s promises. Christ our refuge is the safest spot in the Universe. He is the place we go when life gets […]
BC&D-18 130206WE BC&D-17 Jeremiah.doc God’s Great Faithfulness in Our Great Sufferings Lamentations 3 One of the great promises of God is also one of our greatest treasures as believers. Someone has said you can live a lifetime without luxuries, but only 40 days without food, 3 days without water, 3 minutes without […]
BC&D-56 140430WE 140430 BCF-22 Theology of Suffering.docx Lesson 22 A Theology of Suffering We have been looking at God’s Standards for Life in our lives as believers. That standard God has for us is clearly explained in His Word. We operate best by sticking as closely as possible to His operating instructions. Those are His […]
SUF-03 ZNA-107 Job – Guided Tour of Suffering 951015PM Letter Written to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 117138) The Christians know and trust their God. They placate those who oppress them and make their enemies their friends. They do good to their enemies. Their wives are absolutely pure and their daughters are modest. Their men abstain from unlawful marriages, and all other impurity. If any of them have bondwomen or children, they persuade them to become Christians for the love they have toward them; and when they become so, they call them […]
SUF-12 960414PM FATHERS HAVE A BIG CHALLENGE One of the questions I often ask men who have raise children is, “Would you do it any differently?” I listen carefully and try to learn from those ahead of me in their earthly pilgrimages. Do you know what? The changes they often share are so easy to […]
SUF-11 960317PM Ever since Adam and Eve left the Garden for their sin mankind has had to choose God’s way or man’s way. Life is made up constant forks in the road, the path toward God means going away from the world. No one expressed more clearly and pointedly than our Lord Jesus Christ . In […]
SUF-10 960310PM God is not really interested in your money. He wants your heart. If He can’t have your heart He doesn’t want your money. If He has your heart, He has your money. We want to learn about investing with God. We are learning in the context of AGONIDZOMAI, the New Testament word used […]
SUF-09 960303PM A young pastor just starting out in Chicago polled several thousand homes. He asked them what type of church they would attend. The most repeated answer is one that was not asking for money. God is not really interested in your money. He wants your heart. If He can’t have your heart He doesn’t want […]
SUF-08 960121PM There are few among us that have not been touched over the years by Radio Bible Class and its Day of Discovery and Daily Bread ministries. Few of us ever met the man who led that ministry for the past many years. He was the son of the founder M.R. DeHann. Alzheimers crippled […]
SUF-07 951231PM Abraham lived in an ancient city called Ur. Nearly 4000 years ago, when God first appeared to Abraham, Ur was one of the most important cities in the world. It was a busy commercial center located in the country of Mesopotamia on the Persian Gulf and bordered by the Euphrates River. The city covered about four square miles […]
SUF-06 951210PM There is a plague sweeping America. It’s not AIDS or TB, it’s a dark cloud that overshadows all of life. It’s called DISCONTENTMENT. What is the plague we face here in America? It’s the plague of discontentment. Discontentment is like an infection. You can catch it by contact unless you are resistant. THE LAST SHALL BE […]
SUF-05 951203PM The Lord’s Purpose for Pain is that Suffering for God Enables Us to Experience: The Sight Giving Power of God in Job and David TO SEE GOD CLEARLY God takes Job on a divinely guided tour of pain. Along the way He teaches him and at the end He never blames Satan, apologizes to […]
SUF-04 951112PM The Lord’s Purpose for Pain is that Suffering for God Enables Us to Experience: The Song Giving Power of Suffering in Paul and Silas’ Life Acts 16 and the Philippian JailPsalm 142 The Sight giving Power of Suffering in Job’s Life TO SEE GOD CLEARLY God takes Job on a divinely guided tour of pain. Along the way He teaches […]
SUF-02 950730PM Somewhere out in our world someone just gave up the fight for food. They starved to death, just like 17 million do each year, that is almost 60 thousand a day, or 2,500 each hour, or 41 each minute – its almost one a second. And that is suffering. And God knows everyone […]
SUF-01 950716PM We are looking at the wonders of having the power of God through suffering. ACTS 16 IS A MODEL OF GROWING THROUGH SUFFERING Open with me to Acts 16. Here we find the events God used, that led to the founding of the church that received Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul went […]
OTI-18 960410WE As long as mankind has existed there has been suffering. Because of sin in the world some suffering is understandable. But what about the innocent, the saints. Every year 17,000,000 people starve to death on planet earth. That comes to 60,000 people each day. The vast majority are children. Why do they likewise […]
060226AM DSS-09 1st Corinthians 3 Life is so distracting, isn’t it? Sights explode before our eyes all day long; sounds and smells flow around us—in fact so much swirls around us and before us, we can get totally distracted. It can become so easy to just float through life going with the flow of the […]
This morning we arrive at the eighth chapter of Revelation. This chapter may hold one of the most impacting truths we have studied so far in this final book of God’s Word. This chapter before us contains the twin truths that explain what has happened to the prayers of every believer and saint of every age of human history. The twins truths are that God illustrates for us:
The Destination & Application of Our Prayers
Each time we pray in Christ’s Name that prayer rises before the Face of God our Father.
Please join me in Psalm 119 and look over God’s curriculum in “The School of Suffering”, where our Lord shares with us what He expects from each of us as we go through all the various painful forms of suffering, afflictions, trails, and troubles.
The longest chapter in the Bible is the summary of the entire Old Testament written by Ezra after he had copied all of the chapters of the Old Testament into what we would call Biblical Hebrew, In fact, the famous Dead Sea Scrolls would be copies of the scrolls that Ezra hand wrote as the founder of the Biblical Scribes.
When Ezra was inspired by God to write the 119th Psalm, God used him to give us the most complete explanation of how God uses suffering as a classroom to teach us lessons in His Great Faithfulness that can never be learned anywhere else.
As we open to Psalm 119:71, we as a nation are in the midst of one of the most challenging times American’s have faced for over a generation. But as bad as it may seem, think about how hard life was here in the USA in 1917.
That year, World War I was sapping the finances, wearing down the resolve, and destroying the young men of this nation. In the midst of all that, there was no government security for the sick or unemployed.
People only lived on what they could make and scrape out on their farms or in the cities. Even the churches were struggling. So much so, that one church in Kentucky couldn’t afford to keep their pastor as a paid staff member any longer.
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.