The Master’s Class, Summit Church
HOW TO RAISE KIDS WHO WILL COUNT FOR GOD (Proverbs 1:7-9)

HOW TO RAISE KIDS WHO WILL COUNT FOR GOD (Proverbs 1:7-9)

January 17, 2021

I am always amazed at the wisdom of God.  There are times that I don’t always understand what God is doing, but that is ok, because God doesn’t need my understanding.  One area that I think about is the fact that most people are parents when they are young, full of energy, and make no mistake they need that energy to chase after those kids, but they lack the wisdom that it takes to be a really good parent.  You see, we tend to gain more wisdom as we get older, but it is when we are young that we need that wisdom, and raising kids is one of those times.  

Now, my wife is a terrific mother.  She has dedicated herself to our boys, and nobody ever loved a child more than my wife loves our two boys and their wives, and our grandchildren.  But, I have to admit, that I could have been a better parent than I was.  It wasn’t for a lack of trying.  I just never did get a copy of the how to raise kids manual so that I could read it and know what I was supposed to do.  I had to learn on the job, just like everyone else.  Now, it is at a time like this when I realize just how ignorant I was.  There I had, available for me in His Word, a complete guide to the way God wants us to raise kids to count for Him, and I just didn’t have the wisdom to use it like I should have.

 If you are a Christian parent, one of the promises of God that you should hold dear to your heart is that, the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Ps 112:2
2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
KJV

This is a promise that God will bless your children and make them mighty upon the earth.  The strongest desire of my heart for my kids is not that they be wealthy, not that they be famous, not that they will always be praised or whatever, but that they will love the Lord Jesus Christ and count in His cause.  I want them to be people who will count for God.  God has kept this promise in my two boys and their own families, in spite of my failings.

I thank God for Christian homes. I don’t know of anything any better than a Christian home. Your home doesn’t exist so you can do your business; your business exists so you can have your home. God ideally wants everybody to have three homes. A family home, a church home, and a heavenly home. Jesus is the greatest homebuilder. Satan is the greatest home-wrecker.  God wants you to have a family home. Now maybe you’re an orphan. Maybe you’re divorced. Maybe you’re separated. Then you need some friends that will be sort of a family to you. That’s one of the good reasons we have Bible fellowship classes in churches. But you need some kind of a family home. And then you need a church home. You need a place with your brothers and sisters in Christ. And then you need to know that you know that you know that when you die, you’re going to heaven—to the Father’s house. Now Jesus is the key to all three. You have to know the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to raise kids who will count for God.

Amen.

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Proverbs 1:1-6)

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF PROVERBS (Proverbs 1:1-6)

January 10, 2021

Whenever I get ready to teach, or study, a book of the Bible, and I know that I am going to be spending a lot of time in it, I try to get in my mind why God put this book in the Bible and what it is that He wants me to learn from it.  The Bible is such a marvelous book. It is so simple that a child can learn about God’s love for them, and it is so deep that a person can spend their entire life plumbing it depths and barely get below the surface. I love the Word of God, because it allows me to know the mind of God, and when I know the mind of God, I know the love of God.  There is nothing that I value more than the love that God has for me.  It sustains me, it motivates me, it guides me, and it makes me the person that I am, a servant of God.  

I firmly believe that God gave us His Word so that we might know who He is, what He has done for us, and as a result, that we might live for Him.  It is His Word that answers all of the questions that we have in this life.  It is His Word that grounds me in the absolute truths about right and wrong, it establishes what good and evil are, light from dark, and it gives me the keys to living a victorious Christian life.  

So, what is it that God wants us to know from the book of Proverbs?  Why did God give us this very unusual book?  When you look at the book of Proverbs, you will find it to be an interesting collection of short, concise and forcefully expressive sayings.  Unlike our studies of the gospel of John, and the life of David, Proverbs does not even tell a story, or a series of stories.  We won’t find David slaying Goliath with five smooth stones, and we won’t find Jesus healing the sick and feeding the five thousand.  As a result, you may not consider the Book of Proverbs as a very thrilling story, but it is.  You also may want to think of the Book of Proverbs like a big collection of sayings that you might find in a Chinese cookie, but it is not.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on what God wants you to know about the book of Proverbs, and how it can give you the answers to many of your questions about life.  

Amen.

WHO DO YOU TRUST IN? (1Chronicles 21:1-30)

WHO DO YOU TRUST IN? (1Chronicles 21:1-30)

December 27, 2020

The America that most of us grew up in, was a country where self-reliance was expected and taught.  You worked to provide for you and your family’s needs.  If that meant digging ditches, or working in a factory, or in an office, then that is what you did.  You relied on your physical skills and your mind to provide for you needs.  You did not rely on the government or others or to provide for your needs.  However, that is not the world that we live in today.  We are told by a corrupt media and educational system that we are to rely on an equally corrupt and all-powerful government to provide all of our needs.  The government takes from those whom they deem to have too much and gives it to those who they choose to give it to.  We are expected, and we are taught, to trust in our government.  

That is what the world teaches.  Yet, as Christians, we are taught to rely on God to provide for our needs.  However, that does not mean that we are to sit on our backsides and wait on God to turn rocks into bread so that we may eat.  The Bible tells us that if we choose to not work, then we will not eat.

2 Thess 3:10
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
KJV

So, the world teaches us to rely on the world, and the Bible teaches us to rely on God.  The question that we have before us today is who and what do your actions, not your words, say that you trust in?

Unfortunately, for most of us, even Christians, the answer to that question depends on how things are going at the time.  When things are going your way, who do you trust in, and what do you trust in?  Is it yourself, your bank account, your skills, and your intellect?  When things are going good, why should you bother God?  He is very busy.

However, when things are going against you, and each bad event seems to just stack one upon the other, then who, and what, do you trust in?  Is this the time that you choose to bother God?

If, when you search down deep for the truth in answering these questions, God only appears when the times are bad, then this lesson is for you.  If God is only your 911 call when things go bad, then this lesson is for you.  

Click on the podcast below to hear a message on one of the greatest sins that man can commit, the sin of unbelief.  

Amen.

WHEN A CHILD OF GOD SINS (2 Samuel 11:1-26)

WHEN A CHILD OF GOD SINS (2 Samuel 11:1-26)

November 15, 2020

Can a child of God sin?  Yes, they can and do, frequently.  Can a child of God sin a great big sin, like breaking one of the 10 commandments?  Now, before you answer that, I want you to work your way down the list of commandments, and tell me if you can break them and be a child of God?  Yes, of course, they can.  Then, can a child of God sin and not suffer?  Absolutely not.

Today’s message is about a child of God who sinned, and sinned greatly, which makes this a very sad story.  It is sad because a man whom God loved, and who truly loved God, committed not just the sin of adultery, but then he tried to cover it up by committing murder.  Now those are really big sins, and David committed them.

So, not only is this a sad story, but it is also a tragic story because a man who the Bible describes as a man after God’s own heart will have to face the consequences of that sin.  Make no mistake, there is always a consequence to our sin against God, and David was no exception.  First, without a doubt you will suffer conviction from the Holy Spirit of God.  If you sin and you don’t feel the convicting power of the Holy Spirit working on you, then you better check your salvation, because a child of God cannot sin and not suffer conviction from the Holy Spirit.  

Now, if we repent of that sin and ask God for forgiveness, then He will forgive our sin.  But, as we will see in this story, we may still have to face the consequences of that sin.  If you are a twice-born child of God, you will not lose your salvation because you sin, even if that sin is adultery or murder, but you will face consequences in this life, and perhaps a loss of rewards in heaven.  

Now, not only is this a sad and tragic story, but it is also a familiar story.  People who do not love God, people who believe all Christians are hypocrites, love this story because it details the failure of a man of God.  Of course, I am sure you know by now that the story in our message today is about David’s sin with Bathsheba. 

Now, I want you to pay attention to this scripture that we are about to cover, and it is going to be a two-part lesson.  This first week, we are going to cover the sin that David committed, and make no mistake it was a terrible sin.  But, the reason I want us to pay attention to this Scripture is that next week we are going to give hope to believers who have sinned greatly.  God wants you to know that no matter what you sin is, there is a way back to fellowship with Him.  This is important because we all sin, even as a child of God we sin, and we need to know that this hope is there for us.  We can be right with God.

Click on the link below to hear a message about a man of God who sinned greatly, and the warning in this message is that if a man as great as David can fall into sin, then so can you.

Amen.

HOW TO WORSHIP GOD (1 Chronicles 16:29)

HOW TO WORSHIP GOD (1 Chronicles 16:29)

October 25, 2020

Most of the people who read my posts and listen to my audio messages have been Christians for a long period of time.  Some of you, like me, were saved as a child.  Others, were saved at some point later in life, and as we get older, we tend to get set in our ways.  

I say all of that to indicate that we have probably also gotten pretty comfortable in on our method of worshipping God.  We know what we like, and how we like to do it.  Some of us will be more ritualistic and formal than others, some with much less formality.  But we like what we like, and we resist change.  Now, I can hear some of you thinking, “Why bro. Keith this is the way we did it back in the church I grew up in, and that is what makes me happy, and you want me to be happy, don’t you?”  Well, I do and that is real good, because in today’s lesson, we are going to see what the Bible says about how to worship God, and who knows, maybe some of us seasoned citizens might learn a thing or two.  

The title of our lesson today is How to worship God.  Now, that is a pretty big subject, with lots of territory to cover, but we are going to make it short and sweet today, because the Bible is pretty straight forward when it comes to worshipping God.  It is us that makes it difficult, or complicated, not God.  

Do you want to have victory in your Christian life? Do you want to really be used of God? Then, learn to praise the Lord. Praise Him. Praise Him continually.  Praise Him creatively.  Praise Him celebratively, and Praise Him, confidently.  God is such a great God! Some people just don’t understand what real worship is.

Click on the link below to hear a message that tells us that Worship is all that I am responding to all that God is.

Amen.

SAUL, THE MAN WHO HAD IT ALL (1 Samuel 26:21)

SAUL, THE MAN WHO HAD IT ALL (1 Samuel 26:21)

September 27, 2020

When I look at the life of Saul, it gives me pause, and it challenges me, because what happened to Saul could happen to me, and it could happen to you or anyone.  Today, we are going to talk about the folly of disobedience. We need to learn that fools are not born, they are made, and generally, they are self-made.

Saul, was a man who had it all.  In fact, no man ever had a better start than the man named Saul, and nobody ever had a sadder finish than the man named Saul. When we first meet Saul in the Bible, he was Israel's first king, he is handsome, he is courteous, he is thoughtful, he is humble, he is young, and he is vital, virile, and vivacious.  Yet, when you look at this same man when he becomes older, you see him as a bitter, murderous, envious, wicked, and desperate old man.  You look at him and say, "How could it be? How could someone who started out so well, end so poorly?”

Click on the link below to learn that there can be no success without obedience. Saul failed to obey the Word of God. No matter how much you know; no matter how much you have; no matter how much influence and authority you have, if you do not obey God, then you are going down, because you are practicing witchcraft.  “God says that Disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft.”  

The song says that we are to trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

As I have gotten older, and God has made it plain that I have a lot fewer days ahead of me than I do behind me.  Do you know what my prayer is for me? I want to end well.  I would not be honest with you if I did not tell you that I believe that God has had His hand on my life, and I bless Him for it. I bless Him for these years.  I regret the years that I spent not doing what God wanted me to do, but I rejoice in the days that God has let me teach His Holy Word.  So, my prayer is now that God will let me end well.  

No one is immune to the deceiving and deadening power of sin if he becomes self-willed rather than Spirit-filled.  We will never be over the power of sin in our lives until we are under the power of the Holy Spirit of God.  We cannot defeat sin without God in our hearts.

I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve achieved. I pray God that every one of us will have enough sense not to play the fool. Never a man had a better start, and never did a man end more tragically, than Saul, the man who had it all.

Amen.

TO HAVE KINGDOM AUTHORITY (1 Samuel 24:1-7)

TO HAVE KINGDOM AUTHORITY (1 Samuel 24:1-7)

September 13, 2020

We live in a world today that is full of rebellion, and it is not just the riots and chaos that we see in our streets.  It is in our families, our churches, and in the places that we work.  People are choosing to rebel against the authorities that God has placed over them.  They stand up and say, “I will not wear a mask because my government tells me that I have to”, or “nobody can tell me I have to shut my business down.”  Even far worse, they take the streets looting, rioting, and burning down the foundations of our country.  The Bible is very clear about Christians who have a spirit of rebellion.

Rom 13:1-2
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
KJV

Now, you might say, "Wait a minute. You don't know the kind of government we have. It is full of a bunch God hating, progressive, socialists."  Well, maybe you don't know the kind of government that existed when Paul wrote this, when Nero was on the throne. Nero was feeding Christians to the lions in his arenas, and he was setting Christians on fire to light the streets of the city.

But you say, "What if I have an unworthy authority? What if my parents are unworthy? What if my husband is unworthy? What if my president is unworthy? What if my mayor is unworthy? What if my councilman is unworthy? What if my teacher is unworthy? What do I do?" That's a wonderful question.  The Bible says that one thing that you don't do, you do not have a spirit of rebellion.  If you wish to live a victorious Christian life, then one of the most important lessons that we can learn is how to live under the authority of God.  This includes those whom God has placed in authority over us.  

Now the phrase kingdom authority means to be able to act with the authority of God in your Christian life.  Let me assure you, it is not God's plan for you to be defeated by the world, the flesh, nor the devil.  Because, when Jesus died and rose again, He gave to His children authority over these things. But, listen carefully to me now, we will never be over those things that God has put under us until we are willing to get under, and stay under, those things that God has put over us. 

However, I want to be clear that to be under authority does not mean that we give in to wickedness.  It does not mean that we approve error.  It does not mean that we blindly obey an ungodly government. The prophets in God's Word preached against the wickedness in the kingdom. Nathan warned King David when he did wrong. Elijah warned Ahab. Eleazar spoke to Jehoshaphat, Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, Moses to Pharaoh, and God forbid that we should have pulpits today that are silent when little babies are being murdered and when wickedness prevails in so many ways. 

One of the most disturbing and reprehensible rebellions that is taking place today is against our police officers, and it breaks my heart to see this occur.  Pastor Adrian Rogers quoted this description of a policeman in one of his sermons, and he says the author is unknown.  It is similar to what Paul Harvey once said about being a policeman, but it is not quite the same.  Every time I read this it moves me. 

"A policeman is many things. He is a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, and sometimes even a grandfather. He is a protector in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow. His job calls for him to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a lawyer, a friend, and an inspiration. He suffers from an overdose of publicity about brutality and dishonesty. He suffers far more from the notoriety produced from unfounded charges.

Too often acts of heroism go unnoticed, and the truth is buried under all the criticism. The fact is that less than one-half of one percent of policemen ever discredit their uniform. That's a better average than you'll find among clergymen. A policeman is an ordinary guy who is called upon for extraordinary bravery for us. His job may sometimes seem routine, but the interruptions can be moments of stark terror. He is the man who faces a half-crazed gunman, who rescues a lost child, who challenges a mob, who risks his neck more often than we realize. He deserves our respect and profound thanks. 

A policeman stands between the lawbreaker and the law abider. It's the prime reason your home hasn't been burned, your family abused, and your business looted. Try to imagine what might happen if there were no policemen around, then try to think of ways to make their job more rewarding. Show them the respect you really have for them. Offer them a smile and a kind word. See that they don't have to be magicians to raise their families on less-than-adequate salaries. We think policemen are great. We thank God for all the little boys who said they would be policemen and all who kept their promise. We hope you feel the same way, and we hope you will show it, so that there will always be enough good policemen to go around."  That is a description of a hero that speaks to my heart.

Click on the link below to learn how to have kingdom authority in a world full of rebellion.

Amen.

THE JOB OF A CHRISTIAN (John 20:21)

THE JOB OF A CHRISTIAN (John 20:21)

June 28, 2020

The title of the lesson is “The Job of a Christian,” but I could just as easily have used the title of, "Getting People Ready for Heaven" because that is what Jesus is telling His disciples, and us, about what comes next. The resurrection is real, Jesus is alive, and this is what He wants us to do next.

John 20:21
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
KJV

Jesus didn't come as the great teacher. He didn't come as the great financier, and He didn't come as the great politician. He came to be the Savior of the world. The mandate that the Father sent His Son to do was a mandate of salvation. Our mandate today is the same mandate that Jesus had, and that is the salvation of souls.

Does God want people saved? Of course, He does. Has God put His instructions in the Bible? Of course, He has. What we need to do is to give the simple, glorious, message of Jesus Christ. There are thousands of people out there who will respond to the simple message of the gospel. The gospel is so incredibly simple—not simplistic—but simple, clear, plain, and sweet. You don't have to be a PhD to understand it. God loves common people, and so, what you need to do is to learn the simple, sweet, glorious message of the gospel, and then share it with others.

The world is hungering for this truth. His message is to be our message.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how we need to make a full, total, surrender to Jesus Christ. Learn how to share the gospel. Pray that God will lay some soul upon your heart, or that God will open extraordinary opportunities to you, and then be bold enough to speak for Jesus. Don't be afraid of failure. There can be no failure if you obey. Whether they are saved or not, you will be a success if you share the Lord Jesus. Successful witnessing is sharing Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results with God.

Amen.

ARE YOU PART OF THE FAMILY Part I (John 15:12-17)

ARE YOU PART OF THE FAMILY Part I (John 15:12-17)

February 9, 2020

So, what kind of church do you belong to? A growing church, or a dying church? Here at Summit, we have a wonderful staff. Our pastors are some of the best pastors I have ever served under. We have good teachers, and dedicated volunteers. God has blessed those efforts, but is it possible for those blessings to become a negative for our church?

We come on Sunday, and Sunday by Sunday, our preachers, our teachers, our workers, and our musicians, they all present a wonderful program. Each Sunday we come and enjoy it and then go home and wait for the next service, and then we come and enjoy that and then we go home. The problem with a successful church, actually with any church, is that there are a few people working very hard, but a large part of the congregation does not share the load. They don’t become a part. They are in danger of becoming a congregation of spectators. They see the blessings, but they fail to remember the real purpose of a church, which is to be a hospital for souls. They forget that there are so many people in our church, and in our community, who need Jesus. There are so many who are hurting, so many who do not enjoy the blessings, the friendship, the warmth, and the love, that we enjoy. We need to ask ourselves, "How can we change this in our church, and how can we reach out to this community?" What is the message that we want to share?

One of the most important things that a person needs is a feeling of belonging. Well, belonging to what? Belonging to a family of friends who cares for them. Are we a family of friends? If we are to reach out to others and invite them into our family, then we must first be a family of friends.

A church that loves Jesus Christ is to be a family. You say, "Well, Bro. Keith, I live alone." That's all the more reason you need a church family because we are your extended family. And whether you have a great big family sitting around your dinner table or whether you live by yourself in an apartment, or in a room somewhere, your church is to be family. But it is more than family. It's friendship. And the two longings that people have in our world today are, for family, or a sense of belonging, and for friendship, or a sense of caring.

Each week you are given an opportunity to invite people who need Jesus to come and be a part of the family. But how many of you invite those people? Many of you have done that. We have been blessed by those that have come. But the fact that you invited them will only get people in the doors of the church. What they find inside the church is what matters. Do they find a family of friends who will welcome them into their family?

Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” It is not optional, we have a duty, an obligation, a privilege to love others as Jesus loves us.

Click on the link below to hear a message on what it takes to be a friend and to have a friend. To be a family of friends.

Amen.

FINDING JOY IN THE VINE (John 15:5-11)

FINDING JOY IN THE VINE (John 15:5-11)

January 26, 2020

True joy is something that every Christian needs in their lives. It is the lubricant of your life. The joy of the Lord is indispensable in serving the Lord. The Bible says, "The joy of the Lord is what?" Your strength! The Bible says, “Serve the Lord with gladness..." The joy of the Lord will take the weariness, and the burden, and the labor, out of serving the Lord. But there are many Christians who do not have this joy. They want it, but they do not have it. Why is that? Why can’t they find this joy?

Have you ever lost something, and you looked, and looked, for it but you couldn’t find it? You looked in almost every place that it could be, but you didn’t find it, and then you found it. Now, why didn’t you find it when you looked in all of those other places? Because it wasn’t there. You were looking in the wrong places for it. Why can’t some people find this true joy that is so important to their lives? Because they are looking for it in the wrong places. They're trying to find it. They are looking, and looking, and looking, but they will not find it because it is not in the places that they are looking. They will never find it until they look into the place where true joy is. You have to look in the right place.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the true source of joy. It is a supernatural source. It is Jesus Christ. If you want to have true joy in your life, stop looking in all the wrong places and come to the source. Come to Jesus.

Amen.

TO DO EVEN MORE THAN JESUS - PART I (John 14:7-12)

TO DO EVEN MORE THAN JESUS - PART I (John 14:7-12)

December 15, 2019

In today’s message we are going to talk about what it means when Jesus says that we as believer will do greater works than He.

John 14:12
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
KJV

So, what is Jesus saying here? Does that mean that Jesus fed 5,000, so I am to feed 10,000? That is greater works. Jesus walked on water. Does that mean that in order for me to do greater works, then I am to fly through the air? Then we come to the really big one, Jesus raised the dead. Now, how am I going to top that? Am I going to be walking around raising people from the dead?

Jesus tells us the answer in John 5:24.

John 5: 24
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
KJV

What is a greater work than healing a man who's been paralyzed for 38 years? It's very clear. Jesus says it is having everlasting life! Eternal life. That is the greater work. And the greater works that Jesus is talking about, the greater works that we will do, refer to salvation ministry. That is the what. What are the works that Jesus Christ is talking about? What are the works that we will do that are greater than His? Salvation ministry.

Click on the link below to hear a message on what the work of the believer is to be. It is the work of bringing men, women, boys and girls bound in the golden chains of the gospel and lay them at Jesus' feet. We are to reap the harvest that Jesus planted.

Amen.

TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVES-PART I (John 13:31-35)

TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVES-PART I (John 13:31-35)

November 10, 2019

In our message today, the Lord is going to give His disciples, and all of us, a new commandment, “…to love one another, as Christ has loved us.” Now, I have to admit, for me, that is a tall order because there are people around, even some Christians, who are hard to love. But that is what this new commandment tells us to do.

John 13:34
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
KJV

Now, Jesus is not just talking about loving other Christians. He is talking about everyone. He is saying that we should love everyone as Christ loves us. Is there someone you know that you just say, Lord that is not happening, I cannot love this person? Someone who has done you wrong, perhaps, even harmed you? Friends that have betrayed your trust? Family members who may have abused you, either physically or mentally? There are likely more than just one person who may fit into this category.

Well, why is it a new commandment? Love is not new. The Old Testament certainly taught us to love. In the New Testament gospels, Jesus even gave us a summary of all the commandments when He said,

Matt 22:37-39
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
KJV

What’s new, is that Jesus said that “we are to love as I have loved you.” Never before has this world known love like the love that Jesus Christ showed and the love that Jesus Christ gave. And that is what made it radically new. We are to love others not just as we love ourselves, but as Jesus loved us. This takes the love we are to show to a whole new level.

Click on the link to below to hear a message on how to love that person, who has harmed you, in the same way that Jesus Christ loves them.

Amen.

LESSONS WE LEARN FROM BETRAYAL (John 13:18-30)

LESSONS WE LEARN FROM BETRAYAL (John 13:18-30)

November 3, 2019

Today’s message is about the lessons that we can learn from Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. However, the focus is not on what Judas did, or even what character flaws led Judas to betray Jesus, but on what we can learn about our Lord Jesus Christ from this event. The story of Judas and his betrayal is but the black velvet background on which the brilliant character of the Lord Jesus Christ is displayed.

Just like a well-cut diamond has many facets that make it beautiful and desirable, the Lord Jesus Christ has many facets of His character that make Him beautiful and desirable. There is no question that Jesus outshines every person who has ever lived, or ever will live. And there are many things about the character of Jesus that are in this story.

Click on the link below to hear about the six facets of our Lord’s character that I want you to walk away with today:

Number one: His spiritual insight, Jesus knows everything there is to know about you, and He still loves you in spite of what He knows about you. Jesus knew from the foundation of time that Judas would betray Him, and He still loved Judas.

Number two: His sovereign control, Jesus was in control of all things. It was the Lord’s permissive will that allowed Judas to choose to betray Him. But what Judas meant for evil, Jesus turned to good for His purposes and our salvation. When man rules, God overrules.

Number three: His seeking grace, Jesus sought the redemption of Judas. Jesus knew what Judas would do, but He still washed Judas’ feet in an act of love. He still warned Judas. He still sought to bring Judas into repentance.

Number four: His steadfast mission, nothing that Judas did changed the plan of Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world. Nothing that Judas did could derail Jesus, He was steadfast in His mission. That same message applies to you. Don’t you let some hypocrite, some false preacher, or somebody who falls into sin derail your calling for God. Your worship is not to be of a sinful person. It is to be of Jesus Christ the almighty God of all Creation who will never fail you.

Number five: His sympathizing love, Jesus loved Judas, Judas rejected that love. A man will go to hell unsaved, but no man will go to hell unloved. Jesus loves the whole world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We are to love our neighbors and our enemies with that same love. Why? Because that is exactly what Jesus did to Judas.

Number six: His solemn justice. There is a God of justice. The Lord Jesus Christ is a God of infinite love, but He is also a God of great justice. You may choose to reject God’s love, but if you do, then you will face God’s great justice. If you don't get saved, then you will spend eternity in the same place as Judas, not because of how good or bad you are, but because you rejected the love of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

JESUS IS THE BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:8-36)

JESUS IS THE BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:8-36)

January 20, 2019

Are you willing for God to use you? If you are, then ask yourself, have you given everything to Jesus Christ? Some might say, “Whoa, wait a minute, That's absurd! I need some for myself. I have a family to take care of.” Well, if that is your response, then I have to tell you that you have got a real problem. If you want God to use you, then you need to give everything, I mean everything, I mean totally, one hundred percent of all that you have, all that you are, your family, your friends, your reputation, totally to Jesus Christ.

Matt 16:25-26
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
KJV

One of my favorite quotes from Adrian Rogers is, “If Jesus Christ is not Lord of your all, then He is not your Lord at all.” Do you believe that? Really, truly, believe that? Do you live your life with that as a truth in your life? Let me tell you something, Jesus already owns everything you have, whether you believe that or not. It is all His, but we don’t act like that is true. Yet, when we live our lives like it is true, then you don’t bargain with God about how much you tithe, when you tithe, or whether you tithe at all. When that is true, you don’t go places and do things that God would not have you do. When that is true, you love your neighbor as you love yourself, because, the very first thing that you did was to love God with all of your heart, mind, and soul. You love God with all of you and all that you have. If Jesus Christ is not Lord of your all, then He is not your Lord at all. Put that in your heart, and live your life with it.

Click on the link below to hear a message how Jesus is the bread of life. You are hungry for more than fish and bread. You are hungry for Jesus. Whether you know it or not, Jesus is life's hidden hunger. What you really need, the only thing that will satisfy the deepest longing of your heart and your soul, is Jesus Christ. Men are searching everywhere for satisfaction, but they will never find it until they find it in the Lord Jesus!

Amen.

ARE YOU LUKEWARM? (Revelation 3:14-16)

ARE YOU LUKEWARM? (Revelation 3:14-16)

June 12, 2017

When we call something lukewarm, it means that it is too hot to be cold, and too cold to be hot. Now, if I were to say that you were a lukewarm Christian, what would that mean? It means that you are too hot to be a stone-cold atheist, and too cold to be a passionate soul winner for Christ.

How many people in our churches today are room-temperature, lukewarm, Christians? Actually, in most churches today, if you are not a lukewarm Christian, you will stand out and be different from the majority of the other members.

Let me ask you another question, is it a sin to be a lukewarm Christian? G. Campbell Morgan said, “Lukewarmness is the worst form of blasphemy.” If you are lukewarm in your faith, then you are blaspheming the Lord Jesus Christ.

A lukewarm Christian says, “Jesus, I believe in you, but you just don’t excite me. I believe in you, but I just don’t get anything out of hearing your Word preached from the pulpit. There just is no message. Jesus, I believe in you, but I don’t intend to serve you with fire and fervor.” When you say these kind of things, you are saying to the Lord, who is present in every church service where two or more are gathered, “Lord, I am bored with You.”

Would you sing differently in the worship service if Jesus was standing next to you in the flesh? Would you pay more attention to the sermon, if Jesus was sitting next to you in the flesh? Would you be looking at your phone for the latest post on social media while the pastor preached? Would your mind be on the work you left undone the day before? If Jesus Christ was sitting next to you in the flesh, how would you be different in the service?

We ought to be worshipping and singing as if the Lord Jesus Christ was standing right there next to us. There is nothing pleasing to the Lord about a lukewarm service, full of lukewarm Christians, singing lukewarm songs, and hearing lukewarm sermons.

Click on the link below to hear a sermon about a lukewarm church. It is the last of the seven churches that we have been studying in chapters 2 and 3 of the book of revelation. These churches are real churches, but they are also representative churches of all the churches throughout the church age. There is not a problem in our churches today, that cannot be found in one these seven churches.

RULES FOR MEMBERS OF GOD’S CHURCH (1 Peter 5:5-9)

RULES FOR MEMBERS OF GOD’S CHURCH (1 Peter 5:5-9)

September 25, 2016

This week we are going to talk about how to be an effective church member.  So, as I was preparing this lesson, I got to thinking about the role of a church member.  And to be honest, compared to the pastor, church members have it pretty easy.  All they have to do is show up on Sunday for worship services, and maybe again on Wednesday night just to add a little extra learning.  

I mean, it is the pastor and the church staff who are supposed to do all of the work of the church.  If there are people to witness to or souls to save, call the pastor.  If there are letters to send out, call the church secretary.  If there are people to visit either as prospects, or at the hospital, or home bound, that is what the associate pastor is supposed to do.  If there are teenagers or children to be mentored and taught, that is what the youth minister and children’s director are for.

Now, members may need to bring some food, every once in a while, for a fellowship or a funeral, but all of the rest of the stuff like cleaning the church, replacing light bulbs that have gone out, or repairs around the church, that is what we pay the staff for.  My job as a member is to sit in that chair or pew on Sunday morning, stay awake during the sermon, say amen when the preacher says something good, and then go on my merry way letting the staff take care of everything else.  Right?  

If I tore up the bulletin into little pieces during the sermon to keep my mind occupied, it is my job to leave it on the floor of the sanctuary for the janitor to pick it up.  If something is not right with the building, it is my job to find the maintenance guy and let him know about it.  If we are not singing the right kind of music to suit my taste, it is my job to let the music director know.  If the sermons are too long, and the pastor is causing me to be late for the buffet line at the local restaurant for lunch, it is my job to tell the pastor about that, right?  He needs to know the problems he is causing.

Now, I hope everyone knows that I am being sarcastic here, and most people would say that this is not really true.  It is not the job of the shepherd to make more sheep, it is the sheep who make more sheep.  Right?  I also know that there are a lot of pastors out there saying, hey, he’s not being sarcastic at all, that is just what my members think and do.

So maybe we start looking at actions rather than words.  Think about it.  When was the last time you made a new sheep in God’s flock?  When was the last time you saw something that needed to be done for the church, and you just took care of it?  A visitor needed to be shown around the church, and you just did it.  A fellow brother or sister in Christ was at the hospital and his family needed a meal, or to be prayed over, and you just did it.  A paper towel dispenser in the bathroom was empty, and you refilled it.  You didn’t tell somebody about it, so they could fix it, you just did it.  

We live in a secular world where people get paid to take care of all of our needs.  The buildings we work in have maintenance personnel.  The streets we drive on have repair crews and cleaners.  The restaurants we eat at have servers.  So we have this expectation that a church works in the same way as the secular world, but does it?

Are the offerings we give to the church best used to maintain the building and pay the salaries of the staff, or touch souls for Christ?  Now, make no mistake about it, I am speaking to myself as much as anyone else.  I have often called the maintenance guy to take care of a problem, and in some cases, he probably would prefer we let him know about it, rather than doing a poor job of it ourselves, making the job harder for him.  But the core of my question is what should our attitude be about our service for God?  Should we expect others to be the servants of God, or are we, the members, the servants of God?  

Listen to this podcast to learn how to be an effective church member.  How we are to wear the garment of humility, how we are to deal with all of our problems and worries, and most of all, how we are to stand and resist our true adversary, Satan.  

THE ROLE OF A SHEPHERD (1 Peter 5:1-4)

THE ROLE OF A SHEPHERD (1 Peter 5:1-4)

September 18, 2016
If you asked someone where they worked and they said, “I am a preacher,” would it be the same thing if they said, “I am a pastor?”

So, how does the word Pastor differ from the word Preacher or Evangelist?  

This is interesting because I think of two different, but similar, roles for a pastor and that of a preacher.  In my mind, a pastor is someone who cares for the people of his flock.  He ministers to their needs, he visits them in the hospital, and he counsels them in times of trials.  He is the one you call to marry you, or to officiate a funeral.  When your spirit is discouraged and down, it is a pastor that you want to comfort you.  It takes a person with a humble spirit and a caring heart to be a pastor.  They are often soft-spoken, gentle souls.  They must also have incredible, Holy Spirit provided, strength of faith to see a constant barrage of the dark events in people’s lives, because nobody calls the pastor when things are going good.  They have a heart to edify, or to build spiritually, the members of their flock, but they are constantly discouraged by the seemingly endless spiritual immaturity of those same members.  This is often the reason a pastor will suffer burnout.  They face difficult challenges on every side and, therefore, it is their dependence on the Holy Spirit that is key to their ability to continue and be successful.  

A preacher, on the other hand, is a fire and brimstone speaker, who can draw people to the foot of the cross with his evangelistic sermons.  He can invigorate the soul and put fire in the spirit of his congregation with the preaching of the Word of God.  He opens the door for the Holy Spirit of God to enter the heart of a person by his anointed and spirit led sermons.  It takes a certain level of self-confidence in order to speak effectively in front of large crowds, yet that confidence must be balanced by a dependence on the Holy Spirit to provide the strength and words that are spoken.  It takes a powerful speaking voice to command the attention of people for long periods of time, yet they must be able to make a connection with the people they are speaking to.  Often, it seems they are speaking directly to you with their message.  

It would appear that these two roles are very different, requiring different types of people.  In fact, it is difficult to find a person who is successful at both, yet this is often what we expect out of the person who is chosen to lead our churches.  They must be on call 24 hours a day to rush to our sides with the right words in times of need, and then entertain, educate, and inspire us on Sunday mornings.  They are held to an impossibly high moral and ethical standard, even though the Bible tells us that we all must meet that same standard.  They must deal with pettiness, jealousy, territoriality, spiritual laziness, dark sin, backbiting, and busybodies within the membership, and they must do so with the diplomacy skills of a nation’s ambassador.  They are to have the power of a spiritual warrior and the gentle soul of a comforter.  Sounds pretty easy, right?

These men are truly special.  They are called of God to do a very difficult task and they need our prayers every day.  They face spiritual warfare that most of us will never see or experience because they are called to lead God’s people.  Listen to this podcast to learn Peter’s rules for being a shepherd of God’s flock.
THE CAUSE AND EFFECT OF SUFFERING (1 Peter 4:12-15)

THE CAUSE AND EFFECT OF SUFFERING (1 Peter 4:12-15)

September 5, 2016
If you work at a manufacturing facility, or a refinery, someplace that uses heavy machinery to make things, you know that accidents occur.  These accidents are sometimes minor, and sometimes they are fatal on a large scale such as an explosion.  When an accident occurs, there is usually an investigation, either internal or by a regulatory agency.  One of the many tools that corporations use to get to the true cause of the accident is called the TapRoot® system.  Now this is a tool that has been around for a while, and it has survived because it can be fairly effective in finding out the real cause of what happened.  Almost with every incident there are two immediate reactions, there are those who claim to have no idea how it happened, and those who know exactly what the cause of the incident was.  Both groups are usually wrong, and so the value of this tool is that it is an education for both groups in finding the true cause of the accident.  

Essentially, you are walking back through various set questions that dig deeper into what caused the failure, was it training, was it equipment failure, was it a systematic problem, or was it a people problem.  We know the effect; it is the accident that occurred.  Our goal is to find the cause of the accident, correct it, and stop such accidents from occurring again.  Now we know accidents, or failures, will continue to happen, it is almost impossible to eliminate them, but there is a way to stop the self-inflicted failures, the ones caused by something that we do, or fail to do.  

In our lesson today, Peter is going to do something similar to this process with his discussion on the cause of a Christian facing suffering.  We know the effect, it is suffering and persecution.  Peter is going to help us understand the cause of that suffering.  He is going to tell us that we cannot stop all suffering.  In fact, some of our suffering is allowed by God to cleanse us and to make our faith stronger, but we can stop the self-inflicted suffering that we bring on ourselves by the things that we do, or fail to do.

Listen to this podcast to learn the cause and effect of the suffering we face as a believer.  
THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING (1 Peter 4:3-7)

THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING (1 Peter 4:3-7)

August 23, 2016
Last week we began this section on why we suffer for our faith.  Peter has told us that we are in enemy territory, and we cannot expect to get through it unscathed.  Jesus tells us that since He was persecuted even unto death, then His servants will be persecuted as well.  But the wonderful good news of this chapter is that we can get through it victoriously, and in fact, God expects us to do just that.  We are not to spend the rest of our lives giving way to our flesh or to our fears.  We are to live in harmony with God's will, whatever that may be.  We preach the gospel message of Christ because of the coming Great White Throne Judgment, where all of those who reject Christ will be judged.  It is God’s desire that this gospel is preached to each person before they die, and if they don’t respond to the Gospel, then God makes it very clear that they are already dead in “trespasses and sins.” But if they accept Christ, they can then “live according to God in the Spirit.”  The Bible repeats this message of death and life over and over again.  When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we pass from death to life.  

John 5:24
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
KJV

Jesus is the resurrection, and the life.  When we believe in Him, we are no longer dead, instead we have life.  

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
KJV

We know that we are raised from the dead to walk in the newness of life.

Rom 6:4
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
KJV

Paul continues with this message in

Eph 2:5
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
KJV

In other words, before you and I were saved, we were dead in trespasses and sins.  We were spiritually dead.  Peter is saying the same thing here in this verse.  The gospel is being preached, and when the gospel is being preached, two things happen.  Some accept it, and if they accept it, they are going to live for God and live throughout eternity.  Others reject it, and those who reject the gospel are the men who are dead in sins and are dead to God throughout eternity; that is, they have no relation to Him whatsoever. 

The cause of suffering for a believer is the sinfulness of the world that we live in.  We are not of this world, and because we stand against the sin of this world, we will be persecuted.  We will have lies told about us.  We will face judgment at the hands of the ones in leadership positions of this world.  Peter did.  Paul did.  Jesus did.  Therefore, we will also.  The wonderful good news is that on the other side of the grave is a Savior with His hands outstretched saying “Welcome thou good and faithful servant.”  

Listen to this podcast to learn the true cause of the suffering that a believer encounters as he stands for Christ.
THE GOD-PLANNED PURPOSE OF CHRIST’S SUFFERING (1 Peter 3:16-20)

THE GOD-PLANNED PURPOSE OF CHRIST’S SUFFERING (1 Peter 3:16-20)

August 7, 2016
Certainly, the best example we have of how to prepare ourselves to endure the suffering and persecution for our faith in Christ, is Christ Himself.  Christ is not asking us to do anything that He Himself has not endured.  In fact, the persecution and suffering that Christ endured was far greater than anything we can imagine.  But there was a God-planned purpose in Christ coming to this world knowing that He would be persecuted even unto death, just as there is a God-planned purpose in our suffering as well.  The fact that the Son of God entered into human life and became a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief is truly an awesome thing to consider.  

1 Peter 3:18
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
KJV

This verse explains exactly what Christ did when He died on the cross.  It tells us why Christ died and what the death of Christ does for man.  It is so clear, that it leaves the reader without an excuse.  Why did Christ have to suffer and die?

It was for the sins of all mankind that He died.  Man is sinful, he stands guilty before God.  Man has to be judged; he has to bear the punishment for his sins.  

What is that punishment?  Death and separation from God forever.  

But this is the glorious gospel; this is the declaration of this great verse: Jesus Christ died for our sins.  He took the sin and guilt of man upon Himself and bore the judgment and punishment for man.  Note one other fact: Jesus died once for our sins.  His death never has to be repeated.  His death upon the cross satisfies God completely and covers the sins and death of believers forever.  Notice carefully that I said believers.  Christ died for the sins of all mankind so that the question is no longer have you sinned or not?  

If you wish to have eternal life with Christ in heaven, the question is now, did you accept the free gift of grace that God has offered you by sending Christ to die in your place?  Have you made Christ your Lord and Savior?  Once you have said yes to this, then nobody can take your salvation away from you, and you cannot do anything to lose it.  For if you could, Christ would have to die again for your sins to be forgiven.

Christ died so that he might bring us to God.  It is our sin that separates us from God.  It is our sin that makes us imperfect and unacceptable to God.  But note the most wonderful truth, when Jesus Christ took our sin upon Himself, sin was removed from us.  Therefore, as believers we stand before God in the righteousness and sinlessness of Christ.  We are made righteous in Christ.

The vicarious atonement accomplished for us by Christ on Calvary's cross is the great God-planned reason for His sufferings.  

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