COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"New Testament" Tagged Sermons

IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS

Professor and Biblical scholar Leon J. Wood published in 1979 the book titled” THE PROPHETS OF ISRAEL”.
“Prophets did not come to office by inheritance, having been born into a prophetic tribe or family; nor was a son of a former prophet automatically made a prophet because he was the son of such a person. Each prophet was selected by God and called to a work God had for him to do.
In this, prophets differed markedly from priests in Israel. Priests did receive their office by inheritance.
One reason why an inheritance relationship was not suitable for the prophets was that each had to be a special kind of person. Not just anyone would do. The priestly office did not find this nearly so true. A weak son could still carry on rather well, for the work was quite routine. And one may expect that there were some mediocre priests, who functioned simply because they had become priests by inheritance.
The prophet, however, did not act by pattern. Even when God gave him instructions as to his work and the course he was to take, that course often carried with it a great challenge.
He had to be prepared for suffering and injustice as well as ease and plaudits. He had always to be an individualist in courage and ingenuity. There was no room for mediocrity.”

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” makes this observation:
“The metals are not simple code. They are symbols embodying metaphors that help us to understand some important aspect of the empire they represent.
The metals, with their different relative strengths and values, highlight the fact that empires differ in both relative value and relative strength.
It could not have been easy to get that message across to an emperor like Nebuchadnezzar.
One reason is that the vast majority, if not all, of these rulers regarded themselves as chosen by the gods (in extreme cases, they regarded themselves as gods), so that their rule was by definition the best there could be.
In more recent times many of the power brokers of this world, whether they claimed to believe in the divine or not, have been all too convinced of the absolute nature of their rule, often with horrific consequences for their citizens.”

Historian Herbert Butterfield published in 1957 the book titled:
“Christianity and History”
“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgment; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making inductions, I am always surprised at the curious aptness with which they seem to have found the formula in this connection – a formula which they put in a special position of priority. Judgment in history falls heaviest on those who come to think themselves gods, who fly in the face of Providence and history, who put their trust in man-made systems and worship the work of their own hands, and who say that the strength of their own right arm gave them the victory.”

“Sir, we will always humbly reverence your majesty in public; but since we have this occasion to be with your Majesty in private…we must discharge our duty, or else be traitors both of Christ and you.
Therefore, Sir, at diverse times I have told you, so now again I must tell you. There are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland. There is King James, the Lord of the Commonwealth, and there is Christ Jesus, the King of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head.
We will yield to you your place, and give you all due obedience, but again
I say; You are not the head of the church; you cannot give us that eternal life that we seek for even in this world, and you cannot deprive us of it.” Andrew Melville

ANYTHING BUT IDEAL

Christmas cannot be understood apart from this simple truth revealed to us in Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between you and the women, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
The entire Old and New Testament was written so we can understand the spiritual struggle thousands of years in the making. Just think about the New Testament alone. Every chapter provides a glimpse into this spiritual conflict. Follow Jesus footsteps and you are confronted with the fact that wherever He goes, whatever He says, whatever He does, spiritual confrontation with the unseen powers are a daily occurrence. Eventually, the conflict pursues him unto death – it was just a matter of time; God’s time.
Today, the Christmas story has been so sanitized we miss the whole story altogether. It did not happen over night. This romanticizing has taken place over centuries and eventually was picked up by Hollywood, and commercialized by the merchants of this world. The church is not without fault in all of this. Throughout the western world, churches idealize the birth of Jesus Christ through songs, pageants, musicals and dazzling performances.
As we address the theme of this series: “It’s just a matter of time” in the next few weeks, we will pull back the curtain to see what is going on in the spiritual and physical world for thousands of years, eventually culminating when Christ returns the second time to this earth. It’s just a matter of time; God’s time when everything will come to a completion.
Remember, at that time political intrigue, racial tension, increased immorality and societal instability was the norm. This was a time of unprecedented economic and political success for the rich only. For the rest of the Roman empire it was a time of unprecedented economic and political oppression. In other words, for the Jewish people it was anything but ideal. They were hoping that their Messiah would show up and once again lead them out of bondage like Moses did when leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. It was such time as this that God the Father sent His son to this earth. It does not look good. The chances of success are slim from a human perspective.
The problem with the world at large is that people’s lives are dominated with the headlines of the day. God works behind the headlines to accomplish His will. In His word, He revealed to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what He will do IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME. He tells us WHERE, WHAT, WHEN AND HOW.
Today’s time are no different when Jesus was born. Political corruption…religious compromise…economic crisis. These will always be headline news. Just remember, God uses desperate times, anything but ideal times, to accomplish His eternal purposes in our world and in our lives.

Equipped and Trained

Everything pertaining to life and godliness, all the power we need to live a life that glorifies God has been given to us. All the power we need to overcome the corruption of this world, to overcome the deceptive power of self-help, to overcome the destructive power of false religion, has been supplied by our Lord.
As a soldier of Christ, we don’t have the luxury to fall asleep on our job. The battle is raging and is intense. Everything we need to win the battles has been supplied to us. Now it is our job to get properly equipped.
Moses saw for a few seconds the back of God and immediately Moses’ face began to reflect the divine glory that just walked by him. In other words, God’s glory was bounding off the skin of Moses. However, each passing day this glory on Moses’ face started to fade, because it was only a reflected glory.
Not so on the mount of transfiguration. JESUS CHRIST NEVER REFLECTED GOD’S GLORY, BUT AS JOHN WROTE LATER: WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, THE GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.
This is what Peter is pointing out in his second Epistle, they have seen His glory and heard the voice of God audibly.In other words, they did not tell people about legends and myths or what others were saying about Jesus. PETER, JAMES and JOHN witnessed the glory of God Almighty in JESUS CHRIST.
Today, too many Christians lack of sense of the greatness and awesomeness of God Almighty, which I believe is directly linked to the church’s ignorance of the Old Testament.
We cannot really understand the New Testament apart from the Old Testament. Peter says that we must obey the prophetic word and regard it as a LIGHT THAT SHINES IN A DARK PLACE, UNTIL THE DAY DAWNS AND THE MORNING STAR RISES IN YOUR HEARTS.
At the Diet of Worms, when Luther was called to recant, he said: “Unless I am convinced by sacred Scripture or by evident reason, I will not recant, because my conscience is held captive by the Word of God, and to act against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other; God help me.”

Wake Up!

This is the 5th letter to one of the churches in Asia Minor. Church historians believe that the Sardis church represents the church age of the Reformation. The most prominent figures of that time are Martin Luther and John Calvin. However, during this period of church history, smaller groups, mostly rejected and persecuted, were the real Biblical churches walking in fundamental Christianity.
When Jesus said to Sardis that they have a reputation that they are alive, BUT HE SAYS THEY ARE DEAD, He simply states that they have the right creed, the perfect statement of faith, BUT NO HOLY SPIRIT that gives life.
The Holy Spirit is not in charge of the political system of any state or government. He is in charge of the church of Jesus Christ, made up of born again Believers, blood washed sinners who opened the door to their hearts and invited Jesus Christ to be their savior.
Notice in Revelation 3:3b: AND I WILL NOT BLOT OUT HIS NAME FROM THE BOOK OF LIFE; but I will ….
This is not a threat coming from Jesus own lips, but to the contrary, a PROMISE that those who have life, whose names are written in the book of life, are safe and sound. Because they sit in the midst of non believers in the visible church, their names are not removed from the book of life.