The Master’s Class, Summit Church
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD (INCLUDING ME) (John 3:16)

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD (INCLUDING ME) (John 3:16)

October 14, 2018

What was the very first Bible verse that you can remember memorizing?

It would be John 3:16 for me. In fact, with my memory going away in my old age, it is probably the only verse I still have memorized. I know lots of verses by their context, but if it wasn’t for the internet search engines and the Bible concordance on my computer, I would have a hard time finding them. But John 3:16 is one I still remember.

So, why do you think that is? Why would this verse stay with me so readily, when others do not? It is because it tells me of God’s love for the whole world, but it is written in such a way, that it seems like He is talking to just me. God loves the world, but the word whosever means including me.

Who does the verse say loves this poor lost world? The one, true, almighty God. The eternal, self-existing, uncreated, and having need of nothing, God. It is God, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It is God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is God, who takes the initiative. It is God, who loves and gives. It all begins with God.

That God is “not willing that any should perish” is a great Biblical truth that is revealed to us. John tells us in 3:16 that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That is God's earnest desire for all the children of Adam. The gospel invitation is extended to all. If you want to make the invitation of this verse personal, then put your own name in the verse. For example say, For God so loved the world (including Keith Martin), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (including Keith Martin) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God’s plan for salvation, includes me, even me. God does not want me, or you, or anybody else to perish.

The word Perish is a word that should make us all tremble as we think of the consequences of our sin against God. The word perish reveals the other side of God's character. He is not only a God of immeasurable love, he is also a God of infinite holiness. It is the finality of the word that terrifies us. Death, and what occurs on the other side of death, is a mystery to the lost person, but John 3:16 brings clarity to the mystery. In it, God puts a choice before us. He says, “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.” The choice that God gives us is to believe in Jesus Christ or perish. If we reject Christ, then God will allow sin to complete its work beyond the grave of condemning the soul to an eternity in torment.

But that is not what God wants for us. God would have every person come to repentance. That is why the invitation of John 3:16 is universal, hinging on believing in him. Those who do, become heirs of everlasting [eternal] life. God created us with eternity in mind. We have an immortal soul and spirit that will exist for all of eternity. This great verse, which summarizes the whole gospel story, begins with God and ends with everlasting life. It begins with one who had no beginning. It ends with that which has no ending.

The fact that Jesus Christ has come into the world provides each person with the ultimate test of believing or disbelieving, of choosing whether to continue in their sins and surely perish, or whether to believe in him and pass from death to life. The coming of Christ into this world is the single decision point of eternal destiny for each of us.

This great verse is the essential foundation of the gospel of Christ. God loved the world, including me, so much that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever, including me, believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Don’t walk away and reject such a gift. Choose Christ. Choose eternal life.

Click on the link below to learn just how much God loves you.

Amen.

WOULD YOU RECOGNIZE JESUS? (John 1:10-13)

WOULD YOU RECOGNIZE JESUS? (John 1:10-13)

July 22, 2018

If Jesus walked up to you today, dressed in the current millennial age fashion, narrow pant legs, long pointy shoes, hair trimmed short on the sides and bushy on top, would you know Him? Why not? Because He didn’t look like the images from the paintings we are all familiar with, in long white robes, sandals, long hair and a beard? Is it because He wasn’t what you had been taught to expect by the media, by teachers, preachers, and religious tradition?

What if He went over to a park courtyard and started teaching out of the Word of God with great insight? Would that be enough to make you think He was Jesus?

What if a sick person came up to Him and He healed them? Would that be enough to make you think He was Jesus?

What if He claimed to be the Son of God? Would that be enough to convince you?

Would you ask Him for a sign to convince you that He was truly Jesus? That is what the Jews did.

Matt 12:38-39
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
KJV

In the Book of Revelation, it tells us that Jesus will come for us at the Rapture and that will we meet Him in the air. It also gives us a description of what the Lord looks like in His resurrected form, full of glory and power. So, that is what we are expecting, that is the Lord that we are expecting, but what if, and there is nothing in the Bible to say that this will occur, I am just making an illustration here, what if the Lord chose to come speak to you one day as you were on your way to work? Would you recognize Him?

Our lesson today is about how Jesus came to this earth, and some recognized Him for who He was, and others rejected Him. Now, reading this with 20/20 hindsight, we can be pretty quick to judge those who did not recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. But the question is, if you were a Jew living in that day, would you recognize Jesus for who He was?

Click on the link below to hear a message on how the light of the world, Jesus Christ, came to the world that He had created, and they knew Him not.

Amen.

WE ARE CHRIST’S CANDLE (John 1:5-9)

WE ARE CHRIST’S CANDLE (John 1:5-9)

July 15, 2018

Today’s message is about our role, as born again believers in Christ, of being a candle for Christ. We have been commanded by our Lord to allow His light to shine through us. We are to be Christ’s candle for the world.

Mark 4:21
21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
KJV

When you stop and think about it, a candle, in and of itself, really is a remarkable invention. When it was created, its whole purpose was to serve as a simple instrument for dispelling darkness. It enabled man to work, or rest, in the dark. It allowed him to see the dangers that used the darkness to prey upon him. If it was put into a lantern casing, it became a mobile source of light and protection as man traveled along the road. It guided man along the pathway or trail that he was following. If you placed the candle in front of a reflective surface you could focus the light and cast it out for greater distances enhancing the protection, and utility, that it gave.

Darkness, with all of its power to frighten and bewilder, is no match for the light. The faintest gleam, the smallest candle, will dispel the deepest darkness. The function of the candle is to provide the light that dispels that darkness. But notice that the candle performs this function at a great expense to itself. It has to give itself up to the flame and be consumed. The light of the sun and stars is provided on the same principle. As they shed their light upon us, they consume the energy that is within them.

Now, the Word of God tells us that in the spiritual realm, the Lord Jesus is the Light that dispels darkness. The light that He brings has been provided at an infinite cost. Yet, when we come to Him, He kindles that light in us. The fact that we are now His light bearers means that we, too, must pay the price of shining. Our light is not to be hidden. It is not a secret light. It is to be placed where it will be seen of men. Many people hate and resent the light of Christ and will try to extinguish it. On the other hand, many other people will be drawn to it.

It is important for us to understand that it is the light itself that is the miracle, we are just the candles. We are sowers, and we are light bearers. We are to be a light unto the world.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the role of a believer to be Christ’s candle to the world.

Amen.

JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (John 1:1-5)

JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (John 1:1-5)

July 8, 2018

John tells us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world when he says, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Jesus is the Light of the world, that is why He came to this earth as a Man, to be the Light of the World. The world was in darkness when He came, and it is even darker today because mankind rejected that Light. We are in a desperate condition, but, thank God there is Light. God’s light floods our hearts. Jesus, who turned a chaos into a cosmos at the creation of the heavens and the earth, turned the chaos of our lives into something wonderful when He made us a new creation.

John 8:12
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
KJV

We have life everlasting only because of the light of Jesus Christ.

Click on the link below to hear a message on who Jesus Christ is and the impact that He can have in your life.

Amen.

MORE SURE THAN THAT (2 Peter 1:19-21)

MORE SURE THAN THAT (2 Peter 1:19-21)

November 20, 2016

For most things, if we want to know that something is really true, or actually real, we want to see it, touch it, hold it in our hands, shake it around, and simply check it out for ourselves. I am not likely to buy something sight unseen, just because somebody tells me about it.

Important events in our lives are easier to accept if we are able to physically be there, or see them happen. For example, if you told me one of my family members had been seriously hurt, my first reaction would be to immediately go to them so that I could see for myself how they were. When a major tornado hit Wichita, it happened on the other side of town from where I live. I could hear about the destruction on the news. I could see it in the video coverage, and read about it in the newspaper. However, nothing brought home the real amount of damage the tornado caused until I went to see the damage personally. Seeing whole neighborhoods completely flattened made the storm more than just another news story that we hear about every day, it made it real.

This is how many people feel about Christ and the gospel message of salvation. They hear that Jesus Christ was real and that He is the Son of God, and they say, show me. They hear that there is life beyond the grave and they say, show me. They hear that heaven and hell are real and that you will spend eternity in one of them, and they say, show me. They say if you want me to believe that God exists, show me.

God certainly knows that this is true about us, and so He designed a world that no man could possibly create, and no amount of science could explain, no matter how hard they try. He did this so that man would know that an all powerful Creator existed. God made man so intricate in the mechanical and biological portions of his body, that man would know that he was created, and could not possibly have come into existence by accident. Yet, knowing a Creator existed, and that we were the product of that Creator’s work was not enough to allow a holy God to forgive all of the sin that exists in the world. We needed a loving God to provide a path to our salvation from an eternity in hell without God, to an eternity in heaven with God. We needed a Savior, and so God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross that man might find salvation in His Creator.

And so Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to this earth to live as a Man, God incarnate in man, fully God and fully man. He did great miracles as signs to show mankind who He truly was. He healed the sick by the thousands. He made the lame walk. He raised the dead, and He fed thousands using the contents of a lunch box from a small boy. Jesus Christ came knowing that He would be rejected, knowing that He would be beaten and mangled, and knowing that He would be crucified and suffer a horrible death. He did this because He knew that it was only His sacrifice and His precious blood that would allow the terrible sins of man to be forgiven by a righteous God. The blood of animals would never be enough. The blood of mortal man would never be enough. It had to be the precious blood of the Son of God that would wash the sin away in the eyes of God.

God, then raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus walked around in His resurrected body for 40 days and he was seen by hundreds of people. People touched Him, felt of Him, put their fingers through the holes in His hands, and ate with Him. People believed because they had seen Him do those miracles, and they had seen Him die and then rise again. They saw Him, they felt Him, and they touched Him. He was real, all those things really happened, and so they believed.

Yet, all those things happened two thousand years ago. Today, people say they would also like to believe, if only they could see those things as well. If they could see Jesus Christ perform miracles, then maybe they would believe that He was truly the Son of God. If they could see Him in His resurrected form, then they would believe that there was life after death, and they would accept the gospel message of salvation. If only, they could see Him, feel Him, and shake Him around a little just to make sure He was real, then they would believe.

Yet, even if God did do this, we know that many would still reject Christ. Christ was seen by many thousands of people, and still He was crucified. So, seeing is not always enough. Sometimes we need something more. Our memories are faulty, that is why we take pictures and videos of our lives, because we forget. We remember how we want to remember things.

God knew this about us. He knew that seeing, touching, and shaking was not enough. People who did not want to believe would corrupt those memories handed down by oral tradition. He knew these things and so He gave us something more sure than that. He gave us His more sure word of prophecy.

Listen to this podcast to learn how God gave us His written Word, and how we can depend on it to live our lives in His will.

HOW TO BE A LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD (Romans 12:17-21)

HOW TO BE A LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD (Romans 12:17-21)

August 14, 2015
It is a fact that God has placed us in a world full of darkness and He expects us to be a light in that dark world.  

Matt 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
KJV

We are to be a light in a dark world.

When Jesus walked on the earth, people were drawn to Him.  They wanted to be near Him.  Certainly, they wanted to hear Him speak, and to watch Him perform miracles, but there was just something different about Jesus that drew people to Him.  Not a weird difference, for that would have pushed people away, but a good, calm, inviting, type of difference from the normal attitude that people put on in our world.  

Jesus had compassion on the poor, and the outcasts.  He had kindness for the children, and He had absolute integrity in all of His dealings with people around Him.  Try as hard as they could, the Pharisees and the Sadducees could not find anything to legitimately accuse Jesus of.  He meticulously kept the Law as it was originally written and He hated the man-made religious traditions and rabbinical writings the scribes and burdened the people with.  

He stood for what was right in the eyes of God and He condemned what was wrong.  Christ lived the perfect example of the life that we as Christians should be living today.  In our lesson today, Paul is going to describe what our behavior ought to be like.  He is going to tells us in our relationships with the world the Christian is to follow the example that Christ laid out for us in the Sermon on the Mount.  
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF KNOWLEDGE (Romans 3:1-8)

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF KNOWLEDGE (Romans 3:1-8)

August 23, 2014
Knowledge is power.  When you know something that others do not, you have an advantage over them.  That is why gossip is so enticing.  For that moment when you know something nobody else does, it makes you the smart one, the one on the inside, the one who has control of where that knowledge goes.  You get to choose who you will allow to join you in this exclusive club for those who have this knowledge.

At the workplace, knowledge is a leverage point.  When people refuse to share knowledge at work, it makes the company less efficient and less productive, but it can be viewed as job security for the person who has the knowledge.  If you are the one with all the knowledge of how things work, it makes it more difficult for the company to let you go.  It makes you more valuable than somebody who does not have this knowledge.  That value gives you leverage.  

Scientific knowledge is often the deciding factor in war time.  The country with the best weapons, the best training, and the best strategy, is usually the one who defeats the other.  Knowledge of how to make a nuclear bomb was the deciding factor in ending the war with Japan in WWII.  The country who got the bomb first was the victor.  

Knowledge is also power in the religious world.  When the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity, most of them did not know how to speak Hebrew anymore.  They spoke Aramaic which was the official language of the Babylonians.  This meant that the priests and the scribes would have to translate the Scriptures during the worship services for the people.  If the priests could declare what was right and wrong, regardless of what the Scriptures really said, then they had power over the people.  Nor could the people challenge their interpretation of the Law for they could not read the Scriptures themselves.  The religious leaders used this power to control and to mislead the people.

As Christians we have been given knowledge the world does not understand.  We have been given the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is tremendously powerful knowledge, for it is the secret of how to have eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven.  The Holy Spirit lives within our hearts and He shares the knowledge of God with us.  He opens the Word of God and He explains it meanings, it promises, and most all what God has done for our salvation.  God wants us to use that knowledge to lead others to Christ.  He has tasked us with the awesome responsibility of being His ambassadors on earth.  We have the knowledge that can help bring others into this group of believers that God calls His own.  

Our lesson today is about how those with that knowledge failed to share it with the world.  When God gave the Mosaic Law to the Jews, He gave them the knowledge of right and wrong.  He gave them something more valuable than gold or silver.  He gave them the light of God.    
HOW GOD IS REVEALED (Romans 1:17-20)

HOW GOD IS REVEALED (Romans 1:17-20)

July 19, 2014
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

I don’t know how anyone could look at the rings of Saturn, or the moons of Jupiter, and not feel in awe of the power of God to create these things for us.  The idea that all of these stars, all of these individual galaxies, black holes, quasars, and the sheer unfathomable distances of space, could be in existence just by happenstance, is the epitome of man’s ideological arrogance.       

It takes an incredible amount of assumptions based on theories that are derived from the miniscule amount of knowledge that man has about the universe and how it works for us to deny the existence of an all powerful Creator.  Yet, man makes these assumptions, calls them facts, and then proudly proclaims that there is no God.

Romans 1:20 declares For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

Listen to this podcast to learn how God continuously reveals Himself to man, and how man has intentionally, with forethought and deliberate effort, walked away from that revelation and began to worship pagan idols and his own greatness.  

We will discuss that man is lost in sin, that he needs a Savior, and that God has revealed Himself to man so that there can be no excuse for man to turn away from God.
WHAT ABOUT HELL? (Mark 9:41-50)

WHAT ABOUT HELL? (Mark 9:41-50)

May 28, 2013

Is hell really real?

The preacher says that it is. TV evangelists proclaim that hell is full of fire and brimstone. Is what they say true?

The scientist says that it is not. Professors state that there is no empirical evidence to prove... the existence of hell, or heaven, or even life after death. Is what they say true?

Somebody is right and somebody is wrong.

If the scientist is right, then life is short and the grave is all there is.

If the preacher is right, then eternity is a long time to spend burning in the fires of hell.

Listen to this podcast to see how Jesus Christ describes the reality of hell and what our roles are in preventing ourselves, and others, from spending eternity in hell.

 

THE CANDLE AND THE BASKET (MARK 4:21-23)

THE CANDLE AND THE BASKET (MARK 4:21-23)

January 14, 2013

In the parable of the candle and the basket, Jesus asks the simple question of the believer, would you bring a candle to a dark room and then cover it up with a basket?

Most people would say no, that does not make any sense because the purpose of lighting a candle is to dispel the darkness. A candle’s light brings safety from the things that lurk in the dark. If you put the candle into a lantern it becomes a mobile device that lights the pathway on a dark night, and if you put a reflective surface behind it, you can cast its light for long distances.

 

Listen to this podcast to hear how this message applies to the believer.  Learn how the believer is the candle that shines the light of Jesus upon a dark world.

WHERE DO YOU SHINE? (Mark 2:13-22)

WHERE DO YOU SHINE? (Mark 2:13-22)

November 13, 2012

Where do you shine the brightest?  Where is the place that people notice you the most and say, I wish I could be like that person?

If you are a believer, is it when you are at church on Sunday? 

Certainly, Christ expects a church to be a light set upon a hill for all to see, but what about your individual light? 

Listen to this podcast to understand how Jesus expects us to be a light for a dark world that is searching for answers.

THE SPIRIT REVEALS (1 Cor. 2:9-16)

THE SPIRIT REVEALS (1 Cor. 2:9-16)

July 18, 2012

How does God reveal Himself to man? 

Man perceives the world around him through his eyes, ears, and mind. 

Man sees the world around him, yet the Scripture tells us that since the beginning of the world our eye hath not seen certain things.  We have not seen the spiritual things that God has for us. 

Man hears the world around him, yet the Scripture tells us that since the beginning of the world our ear hath not heard certain things.  We have not heard the spiritual things that God has for us. 

Man's mind is limited by what he can conceive of, prove by experimentation, or hypothesize about, yet the Scripture tells us that since the beginning of the world that our heart has not solved certain things.  We have not solved the mysteries of the spiritual things that God has for us. 

Therefore, God uses the presence of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer to reveal Himself.  Listen to the attached podcast and rejoice as Paul describes how God reveals Himself to man.

GOD’S CALLING (1 Cor. 1:25-31)

GOD’S CALLING (1 Cor. 1:25-31)

June 14, 2012

What do you think of when someone tells you about the Cross at Calvary, what do you see? 

Do you see the shame and disgrace of a so-called King of the Jews, who could not even save Himself, let alone anyone else?  Unfortunately, this is the view that most of society has of the Cross that Jesus died on. 

Yet man's view of the Cross is incomplete, and it is because of this, that man, by his own cleverness, cannot understand the way of the Cross, or the why of the Cross.  

It is only when God completes man's view of the Cross that man finds God.  Without God's revelation of Himself, man would never discover the almighty Creator of the Universe. 

It is only through the revelation of Holy Spirit that man begins to see the grace of God, and the purpose of God in the gospel message of the Cross.  

Listen and rejoice as Paul describes the greatness of God and how God is revealed to man.

THE SECRET TO A VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE (2 Cor. 4:7-12)

THE SECRET TO A VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE (2 Cor. 4:7-12)

March 5, 2012

Jesus tells believers two things about persecution.  The first is that you will be persecuted and hated by an unbelieving world.  The second is that Christ will provide you victory over that persecution and hatred.

In this verse-by-verse study of 2 Cor. 4:7-12, Paul tells us the secret of living a victorious Christian life.  Listen and rejoice as you discover the meaning, and the power, of God working through, and in, you to make you victorious.

THE LIGHT THAT IS JESUS CHRIST (2 Cor. 4:3-6)

THE LIGHT THAT IS JESUS CHRIST (2 Cor. 4:3-6)

February 27, 2012

Where can you find real truth? 

 

What are the absolute truths about right and wrong, good and evil?

 

The educational system and the liberal media would tell you that they are anything you want them to be, that there are no absolute truths about right and wrong.  But they are deceiving you.  People have been searching for the answers to these questions since the beginning of time. 

 

They have tried atheism.  Atheism teaches that all of this marvelous creation was just an accident, a random chance event.  There is no truth to be found in atheism.

 

They have tried philosophy.  Philosophy can teach you more and more about nothing, but there is no real truth to be found in philosophy.

 

They have tried false religions.  Satan absolutely loves false religion.  He is the master at making people believe just about anything you can imagine.  He would tell you that salvation can be found in ritual, ceremony, good works, and membership in a church.  Yet, there is no truth to be found in false religion.

 

So where can you turn to find truths in a dark and blinded world? 

 

In the light that is Jesus Christ.  He alone has the words of eternal life, the truth about right and wrong, love and grace, mercy and forgiveness.

 

Listen and rejoice as Paul describes how Satan has blinded the world to the light that is Jesus Christ in this verse-by-verse study of 2 Cor. 4:3-6.