The Master’s Class, Summit Church
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.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SHEPHERD? (John 10:8-26)

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SHEPHERD? (John 10:8-26)

July 7, 2019

What are the characteristics of a good shepherd? Does he take care of his flock? Does he lead them to pastures where they can find food? Does he protect them from those that would harm them? Does he teach the Bible as the inerrant Word of God? The answer should be, yes, to all of these. The pastor of a church is the under-shepherd of the flock, and he must have all the same characteristics that Jesus says He has as the Good Shepherd. Now, I want you to ask yourself, is that the kind of under-shepherd that you serve? If not, then you need to find another church with a better shepherd. Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. You go find a Bible believing, Christ follower, to be your under-shepherd.

This is the message that Jesus has been telling the Jewish people. Their religious leaders have failed to act as good under-shepherds of the fold of Israel. They have become full of pride and greed, teaching the people false scripture, burdening them with strict regulations, and turning them away from God and toward the religious establishment that Judaism had become.

Click on the link below to hear a message where Jesus will make three powerful statements. He will tell the pharisees how a Good Shepherd cares for His sheep, contrasting His own behavior with that of theirs toward the fold. Jesus will also proclaim Himself as the Son of God, and then He declares that He is the only way to find eternal life. Big, powerful, Biblical doctrines are in today’s message.

Amen.

JESUS AS THE GOOD SHEPHERD (John 9:39-10:7)

JESUS AS THE GOOD SHEPHERD (John 9:39-10:7)

July 3, 2019

Where do you feel the safest? At home? That is generally the answer we give to that question, and it is because that is where we spend most of our time, it where we keep most of our possessions, and it is where our loved ones live with us. It is also the reason we feel so emotionally impacted when a robber comes in to violate that safe space. It is not just the things that they take, it is that they remove that feeling of security we feel within the walls of that safe space. Once that feeling of security is violated, you may want to fortify your home, put in better locks, stronger doors, or get a burglar alarm. I know if it happens in my house, my first reaction will be to stand guard at the doorway of my home as the protector of my loved ones who live in that house with me. I believe that is the role God gives the husband, to be the protector of the people that God has put in his life, and I would give my life in order to keep them safe.

Click on the link below to hear a message about that safe place we have in our spiritual lives. That place where we feel protected. Jesus is going to talk about being a good shepherd, one who puts His sheep in a secure place and stands at the door to protect them from those who would come to steal and to rob the flock.

Amen.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

April 1, 2018

Today, we are going to talk about why the resurrection of our Lord Jesus is so important to our faith. The simple truth is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and then on the third day, He rose bodily, physically, from the grave so that we might have everlasting life. We stand on a foundation; that foundation is the Rock, and the Rock is Christ. He came back from the dead, and Christianity rises and falls on that Rock.

It is a result of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that all of the great doctrines of the New Testament faith ring out like a church bell with truthfulness to a lost world.

Not just forgiveness, but justification.

Not just redemption, but regeneration.

Not just remission of sin, but adoption into the family of God.

We are God’s children. We are joint heirs with Christ.

This is the importance of the Resurrection of Christ. It is an undeniable and indisputable fact in history. Everything hinges on the Resurrection. Do not insult my intelligence by saying that I believe this just because I wish it were so. I would not dedicate my life to the service of a man in a grave, and if you are in a religion where the founder of your religion is still in the grave, then your hope rests in that grave. It rests in a body that has turned to dust.

My faith rests in a risen Christ. My faith rests in a living Christ, therefore, my hope is a certain hope of eternal life with Him. Christianity is not just a creed, a code, a cause, or a church. It is a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. He alone has the words of eternal life. In Him dwells all the fullness and the wisdom of God. Only Jesus can meet the deepest desires of the human heart. Only Jesus is worthy of our faith, and it is in Jesus whom my faith rests.

Click on the link below to hear a message on why the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so important to the Christian faith. If you want to know who Jesus Christ is, ask the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t just say you must believe, but if you can’t believe that is just your hard luck. God says if you want to believe, He will help you understand and know that these things are true. If you want to know the truth about Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit will speak to you and confirm to you that Jesus is the risen Christ, the Son of the Living God.

THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:13-18)

THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:13-18)

January 7, 2018

We are continuing our study of the future period called the Tribulation Period. This period is described in the book of Revelation. During this time Satan will have a False Prophet that will serve as the anti-Holy Spirit. There is the Antichrist, and this False Prophet will be the anti-Holy Spirit. His purpose will be to cause the world to worship the Antichrist and glorify Satan. He will be a servant of Satan.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the characteristics of this False Prophet. He will be a master of miracles. Not the fake, showboat, type of miracles, but real miracles such as calling fire down from heaven. In this message we talk about how you can determine if the miracle you are seeing is of God, or if it is of Satan. Don't be led astray by miracles. Don't put your eyes on miracles. You'd better put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

Amen.

IS IT NICE TO BE NARROW-MINDED PART 2 (Revelation 2:18-29)

IS IT NICE TO BE NARROW-MINDED PART 2 (Revelation 2:18-29)

May 21, 2017

One of the greatest lies that Satan has put in the minds of Christians is that it is not right to stand up for the absolute truths that are found in the Bible. Satan, and the world, say that it is not nice to narrow-minded in our beliefs, for we might offend someone. They ask how can you, as a Christian, possibly be so sure that you are right, that you would take such an offensive stance as to say that another person’s religious beliefs are wrong? Are there not many ways to please God and have eternal life?

I am here to tell you today, that there is only one way to find eternal life and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ. God tells us in His Word that it is ok for us to confront error in the church when it raises it head. In fact, He commands it and that we commit a sin when we fail to do so. Now, it must be done Biblically, and lovingly, and firmly, but it must be done.

Click on the link below to hear the second part of a sermon about a church which thought it was nice to be broad-minded about their faith, and what the Lord had to say about that. What the Son of God says about being tolerant of those who would teach something other than what is in the Scripture.

IS IT NICE TO BE NARROW-MINDED PART 1 (Revelation 2:18-29)

IS IT NICE TO BE NARROW-MINDED PART 1 (Revelation 2:18-29)

May 14, 2017

Is it nice to be narrow-minded? Is it ever nice to be intolerant? I looked up the definition of the term narrow-minded, and it was not willing to listen to or tolerate other people’s views. The opposite of narrow-minded would be broad-minded, which surprisingly is defined as tolerant or liberal in one’s views and reactions. It actually used the example of a broad-minded approach to religion. Certainly, in today’s politically correct society, being a conservative and being narrow-minded about things like politics, morality, the meanings of the words found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the right to life, and your religion is a good way to find yourself the target of a bunch of intolerant, socialist, progressives who feel it is just fine to be narrow-minded about the things they believe in. But, is it a good thing to be narrow-minded?

I would say that we would prefer our doctor to be narrow-minded in the prescriptions that he writes for us. If we went in and we said we were hurting all over, and the doctor, said well, Ok, what color of pills would you like today, the pink, the blue, or the purple ones? I think we would all tell the doctor that we wanted him/her to be more narrow-minded in their treatment of us. When I get on an airplane, I want the pilot to be narrow-minded about who he lets fly the plane. If he came back and just picked a passenger at random to fly the plane, in the spirit of being broad-minded, I would likely find a way to get off that plane. Most of you know that I handle firearms quite a bit. I shoot at ranges, at competitions, in practice, and in training. I will tell you that I am very narrow-minded about how the people around me are handling their firearms. I will even speak up and get on to somebody when they are doing something I think is dangerous. So, I am narrow-minded in that situation, and I believe it is a good thing to do.

So, there are certainly times when it is nice to be narrow-minded. How about in our church? Should we be narrow-minded in our church?

What if a member accepted the position of a Bible study teacher and began teaching a doctrine that was different than one of our core doctrines. I don’t mean something like eschatology, we can disagree on eschatology, but what if they were teaching the doctrine of salvation by faith and works, instead of salvation by grace and not works? Should we be narrow-minded or broad-minded about that? Should we stop the teaching of that doctrine, or allow it in the spirit of being open-minded, or broad-minded in our approach to our faith? If you believe we should stop it, whose job would it be to stop it?

Click on the link below to hear a sermon about a church which thought it was nice to be broad-minded about their faith, and what the Lord had to say about that. What the Son of God says about being tolerant of those who would teach something other than what is in the Scripture.

A WORLDLY CHURCH (Revelation 2:12-17)

A WORLDLY CHURCH (Revelation 2:12-17)

May 8, 2017

A worldly church is one that has compromised its doctrines to be acceptable in the world around it. A church that says they don’t want to preach a message on sin that might offend people. It is a feel-good church. A church that doesn’t teach about the importance of the soul cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ, because it is too graphic. A church whose message about Jesus is that He just wants to be your best friend, not your Savior, not your Master and Lord, but your best friend?

Today’s lesson is about a church that had compromised with the ideas and morals of the world around it. It is about a church, like many of our churches today, that no longer feels the great commission of winning souls for Christ is the most important mission they have, but it is one of entertaining the members, and getting along with everyone.

Click on the link below to hear a sermon on what the Lord Jesus thinks of a church that has turned away from the absolute truths about right and wrong found in the Bible, to the social ethics of the world.

CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN (2 Peter 3:1-6)

CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN (2 Peter 3:1-6)

January 30, 2017

With each new presidential campaign, comes a new catchphrase. President Trump’s catchphrase is “Make America Great Again.” President Obama’s catchphrase was “Hope and Change,” other presidents have had the New Deal, A thousand points of light, and a New World Order. Each man promised something new by mixing up what exists in the world today, and restacking it. Someone once said that you can’t make a good omelet out of bad eggs, and you can’t make a new world using the corrupt world that we live in today as the material for the new world.

I believe that there will be a new world order, but it won’t come from the hand of man, or the politicos in Washington, or Paris, or London, and certainly not from the UN. Jesus Christ is coming again, and He will indeed establish a New World Order. In fact, the Bible says that there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Rev 21:1
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
KJV

So, not only will there be a new earth, Jesus Christ is going to create a new heaven, as well. It will not just be a remixing and a covering of the old, it will all be brand new. The old will be consumed in fire, and the new will be created.

This is the fervent hope of every believer, the Second Coming of Christ. No matter how difficult it gets, no matter how full of sin the world becomes, we have this promise from our Lord. We don’t have to worry about what the world is coming to, because we can look forward to Who is coming to the world. Jesus Christ is coming again in power to judge the wicked, to reward the saints, and to create a brand-new world.

Satan hates the teaching of the second coming of Christ because he knows that all of his power and all of his kingdoms will come crashing down in the judgment of the Lord. Satan knows this and so he marshals all of his cohorts to deny and disgrace the idea of the return of Christ.

Listen to this podcast as we find the apostate’s argument against the second coming of Christ. Next week, we will have the apostolic response and confirmation of the second coming of Christ. This is an exciting and incredibly important chapter of the Bible to study. Every believer needs to learn and apply these promises in their hearts.

LIBERTY TO DO AS YOU WANT (2 Peter 2:19-22)

LIBERTY TO DO AS YOU WANT (2 Peter 2:19-22)

January 22, 2017

Liberty to do as you want, that is the promise of the false teacher and the apostate. It is a lie that is as old as mankind. No more following the rules of your parents. No more following the rules of your religion, the church, God, or the Bible. It is a lure that draws people within its trap doors, and once there, they find themselves deeper and deeper into the bondage of sin.

How many alcoholics feel free from the bondage they are in? How many drug addicts feel free from the bondage they are in? How many sexual addicts feel free from the bondage they are in? They were free to choose, but they were not free to choose the bondage brought on by the consequences of their sin.

People who are trapped in sin often try religion out for period of time. They commit to cleaning themselves up. It becomes their New Year’s resolution. How many New Year’s resolutions have you kept? My guess is not many. So, they fail in their cleanup efforts and then they go back to their lives of sin and they are worse off than they were before. They are trapped, they are in bondage.

Let me tell you something, I sin all I want to. You say, really? If I sinned all I wanted to, I would be deep in sin. My answer to that is you need to get your wanter fixed, in fact, you need a brand new wanter. You need to be saved. A child of God can sin. They can lapse into sin, but when they do they loathe it. When a lost person sins, they love it.

This is the reason that Peter has instructed us to make our calling and election sure. It is not enough just to go to church, or to be baptized. You must be sure that you are sure. You must be truly born again. One does not become a child of God by cleaning up his life. If we try to clean up our life without filling it with the Holy Spirit, Satan will fill it with many more sins than we had before. Knowledge of salvation is not salvation. In order to live in the Father’s house, you must accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. You must make certain that you have authentic Christianity.

If you are not sure that you are sure, then you come find me, or find a pastor of the true gospel of Christ, such as we have at this church, and you make sure that you have the authentic Jesus Christ in your heart as your Lord and Master.

Listen to this podcast to learn that Jesus Christ can give you the liberty to do as you ought, rather than to do as you want.

FAKE COLA, FAKE NEWS, and FAKE GOSPELS (2 Peter 2:14-18)

FAKE COLA, FAKE NEWS, and FAKE GOSPELS (2 Peter 2:14-18)

January 1, 2017

Coke-Cola used to have a slogan saying that it was the Real Thing. This inferred that all of the other colas were fake colas or not real. Now, I know there are people with strong preferences of one cola over another, but to be honest, I don’t drink enough of it to be able to tell a Coke, from a Pepsi, or a Shasta.

In our news media, there is talk of fake news, and there certainly is. Truth seems to be at premium in our news and social media applications. Political bias, ideology, hunger for power and the wealth that comes with that power, and a desire to live a lifestyle that has been considered immoral, and often illegal for most of this country’s history, all seem to be the drivers of wanting to push the general public into supporting one political group, agenda, or person, or another. They want you to believe they are the real thing, and all the others are fake, or not real. The news media blatantly say they no longer have an obligation to report the truth. Instead, their purpose is to destroy the values and morals that have been the foundation of this country.

When a nation rejects God, gross immorality is usually at the heart of that nation. When a politician embraces liberalism and progressivism, gross immorality and corruption are usually at the heart of that person’s desire to do so. You cannot believe in the liberal, progressive, political platform and believe the Words of the Bible. You are deceiving yourself if you think that is possible.

These progressive leaders know that this is true so they plan, and they strategize, on how they can lure people away from the truth of God’s Word. They don’t want to destroy Christianity, as much as they want to corrupt it, to draw it away from the teachings of God, to lay alongside it their own corrupted ideology and religious teachings. They want to so corrupt the corporate world of Christianity that they can use it to move their own agenda forward. They want to make their own ideas on what is right and wrong the accepted, or normal, behavior in our society. They want the power that comes with drawing people to their movements, and they want the money that comes from these people.

There will always be false teachers, false prophets, and apostates, in our churches. Always. Therefore, we must be able to identify them, in order to remove them. That is the reason Peter is spending so much time on defining what these false teachers look like, act like, and talk like.

Listen to this podcast to learn how to identify that which false, from that which is the true Word of God.

WILL GOD JUDGE THOSE WHO LIE ABOUT HIM? (2 Peter 2:6-9)

WILL GOD JUDGE THOSE WHO LIE ABOUT HIM? (2 Peter 2:6-9)

December 12, 2016

It is easy to get discouraged when we look at the trajectory of the world around us. To wonder if God is really going to judge those who lie about Him. The news media, the entertainment media, and the social media, would all have us believe that Christianity is on the decline. That God’s definitions of right and wrong are outdated, hurtful, and bigoted.

But I do not believe that is the case. God’s purposes are on track to be completed, just as God planned it from the foundations of the world. God’s people are steadily marching toward the goals that God has laid out for them. The Word of God is being shared all around the world. People are coming to know Jesus Christ as their Savior by the millions around the world. It is important for us to remember, that in spite of all the bad things that surround us, God is still on His throne, and He is still in control of all things. God’s will, will be done on this earth and in heaven.

Isa 46:9-10
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
KJV

Isa 14:22
24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
KJV

Not one promise that God has made will fail to come true. Not one.

Not one reward that God has promised the believer will fail to come true. Not one.

Not one judgment that God has promised for those who reject Christ as the Son of God, and their Lord and Savior, will fail to come true. Not one.

The message that Peter has for us in this letter is that in spite of all of the persecutions that Christians face in this world, God knows how to deliver the righteous from temptation, and to judge those who lie about Him.

TO HAVE ITCHING EARS (2 Peter 2:2-5)

TO HAVE ITCHING EARS (2 Peter 2:2-5)

December 6, 2016

Why do people listen to false teachers? What is the appeal that they bring?

Certainly, nobody likes to hear that they are living a life that is displeasing to God. Most people’s first reaction to that message is that they live good lives, they help other people, they don’t do any bad things like steal, or lie, or hurt others. So, how could that be displeasing to God? People would rather hear that man is inherently good, that the meter which determines right from wrong, and good from bad, is an evolutionary thing, that it changes as society’s morals change. That which was wrong in our parent’s day is no longer wrong today, and they want to hear someone tell them that is a good thing. That those who preach and teach otherwise are homophobic, racist, and hateful.

People who want to have followers, lots of followers, know that this is true, and so they deliberately say the words people’s itching ears want to hear. We see this in the pulpits of our churches, and in politics, on every side. We see it in our colleges. We see it on our media, TV, movies, and social networks. If you want to get a bunch of likes in social media, say the politically correct things, say the things their itching ears want to hear.

However, the gospel message of Christ is not a negative message, it is a joyous message. It is not a message about do’s and don’ts, it is a message about life, eternal life. It is a message about the unconquerable love of God for His creation, man, even when man totally rejects Him. It is a message about the sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave for the ruined human race. How He chose to die for the sins of the world so that man might find eternal life. How salvation from an eternity in Hell is a free gift of God, by the grace of God alone, through faith in Christ alone, and by Christ alone.

Yet, this is not the message that tickles the ears of those that want to hear the popular message, the feel good message, and the socially correct message. People want to hear that their destiny is within their ability to earn, by what they do, and by how much they give. The false teacher, or the predator teacher, knows this and gives that person tasks to perform, and places to send their money. They can then look at their fellow members and say, See what I have done, see what I have given. They feel good about themselves, right up to the point they stand before God on Judgment day.

We said last week that it is wrong to tell a lie, it worse to teach a lie, but it is monstrous to teach a lie about God. These false teachers know that the words they share are a lie about God. They know that their lies are drawing people away from the true gospel of Christ, and they know that people will spend an eternity in Hell because of their lies. They know this, and they count the money they have earned by these lies all the way to the bank. That is their motive. They covet wealth, power, and an immoral lifestyle.

Listen to this podcast to learn about how these false teachers, who are ever present, are deceiving many, and God’s assurance that He will judge them for their lies.

UNMASKING THE FALSE (2 Peter 2:1)

UNMASKING THE FALSE (2 Peter 2:1)

November 27, 2016

We are surrounded by different kinds of religion. There are Baptists and Buddhists, Islamists and Methodists, Catholicism and Confucianism, Evolutionism and Gnosticism. There are as many religions as there are colors in crayon box. If you don’t like the way one religion makes you feel, pick another, or another. We are encouraged to believe that we all worship the same God, and there are just different ways of coming to Him. Unfortunately, we are being encouraged to believe a lie. When you look at all of the religions of the world, and you analyze the differences between them, when you boil it down to the basics, there are but two kinds of religion, the true and the false. That’s it, the true and the false. That which is authentic from God, and that which in inauthentic and has the curse of God upon it. If it is false it is dangerous and the world is full of dangerous doctrines.

I am going to say something that does not fit in our politically correct society. It is likely to cause college students across the nation to run to their safe zones, to grab a cup of hot cocoa and a binky, and curl up on the coach in their jammies, afraid to face an idea that does not meet their narrative. They may even need counseling after they hear this.

There is but one God, and there is but one way to Him, and that is through His Son Jesus Christ. It is not a religion that will give you eternal life in heaven, it is a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior that will give it to you. It is a relationship, not a religion.

Yet, you can hear false doctrines from false teachers on every corner, on every website, and in the pulpits of churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues everywhere. Peter knew that this was true in his day, and the Holy Spirit knew it would be true in our day. There are false teachers among us today, in our own churches, and so we are going to spend the next several weeks studying about that which is authentic and that which is false. If you are going to be effective in your witness you must be able to recognize that which is authentic from that which is false.

Now, I think everyone would agree that it is wrong to tell a lie. You would agree with me on that, right? It is wrong to tell a lie. It is even worse to teach a lie, but it is monstrous to teach a lie about God. There is no greater crime in the eyes of God than to be a false prophet, or a false teacher, who preaches lies about God. God takes this crime very seriously. In the days of the Old Testament prophets, God had this to say about false prophets.

Deut 18:20
20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
KJV

Now if God acted with a bolt of lightning every time a false prophet spoke a lie about Him, that would certainly thin out the ranks of false prophets. Unfortunately, God does not always act on our time frame. However, make no mistake, God hates lies taught about Himself, and He will punish the false prophet. The Bible says, even that prophet shall die.

2 Peter 2:12
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
KJV

Jesus told the Pharisees that God has reserved a special place for them in Hell because they had led the people away from God. So, it is important that we know and understand that which is authentic and that which is false. We need to be able to unmask the false prophets and teachers so we are not deceived.

Listen to this podcast so that you can know how to unmask the false teachers who are among us.

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.

THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

October 10, 2016
We live in a world full of apostasy.  False teachings abound.  Satan is seeking to destroy the church from within.  The Christian life is more than just a birth.  It is a growth, and it is a development.  The key to a victorious Christian life in the midst of apostasy is found in the last verse of the book of 2 Peter. 

2 Peter 3:18
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
KJV

You will not be able to live for God unless you have a knowledge of the Word of God.  Yet, we need to have more than simple knowledge about Christ, the kind of knowledge we find in a library book.  Rather, we are to have a super knowledge of Jesus.  To have this kind of knowledge of Christ is to know Him better than your closest loved one.  To know Him, is to know life eternal.  First comes salvation by the grace of God, then as we begin to know Jesus, we gain peace in Jesus.  

In our lesson today, we find that in just the first two verses of this book we are told of some truly marvelous benefits of being a Christian.  We have a like precious faith, made precious by the object of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is through our faith in Christ that we have obtained all the righteousness of God.  Our sins have been wiped clean, and we have a standing before God as completely righteous.  Then, by the grace of God we obtained our salvation, and being justified by God’s grace we can have the peace of God because we have a super-natural knowledge of God.  We have a personal relationship with the Creator of all things, the almighty God.  But not just any personal relationship, we know Christ better than we know our own spouse because the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts.  He constantly speaks to us of the things that Christ tells Him to share with us, and He speaks to us when we are all alone.  

Amazing, huh?  Listen to this new series of podcasts to see the rest of what God has in store for us in this little book.
TO BE OBEDIENT TO GOD (Romans 16:19-21)

TO BE OBEDIENT TO GOD (Romans 16:19-21)

December 6, 2015
The word obedience is a great Biblical word in the life of the believer.  It is at the very heart of our service, our salvation, and our sanctification.  Many an invitation call has been made with these words. 

Trust and obey,
For there is no other way
To be happy in Jesus, 
But to trust and obey.

In our lesson today, we learn that to be obedient to the Word of God we must be skillful and intelligent in the truths and ways of God. 

Matthew 10:16
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
KJV

We are to be wise in the Word of God so that we can determine that which is really good, from that which is counterfeit; wise so that we can distinguish things that are untrue, in order to improve our opportunities to serve.  All the while knowing that we remain surrounded by those who would deceive us, and therefore take us away from God’s work.

Proverbs 14:8
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
KJV

We talked last week about how the believer is to recognize the truth among a sea of counterfeit.  You learn to tell the difference by diligent study of the real thing.  To rightly divide the word of truth requires meticulous, constant, study, an open heart to the words of the Holy Spirit, and simplicity in our faith in Christ.

We are to be wise enough not to be deceived, and yet so simple that we will not be deceivers.  It is a Holy simplicity that Paul describes here.  To have a holy simplicity means that you are someone who does not contrive, or have evil intentions.  We are not to be sophisticated in the ways of evil, we are to be simply faithful in our knowledge of the Lord.  

An obedient believer is to recognize wisdom, recognize evil, and recognize that both can be found in the church.  To believe otherwise is to be naive and foolish.  To be obedient to God requires that we know the truth of what God says so that we will not be deceived by the lies of Satan.  
DEALING WITH FALSE TEACHERS (Romans 16:17-18)

DEALING WITH FALSE TEACHERS (Romans 16:17-18)

November 30, 2015
How do you deal with those who deliberately, not accidentally, teach a doctrine that is different from what is found in the Bible?

When a Jehovah’s Witness comes to your door, what do you do?  Do you engage in a debate with them, or do you shut the door?

How do you identify what is true and what is false in the teachings of people who profess to be Bible believing Christians?  They may even be in the leadership of the church as the pastor, or a deacon, or a Bible teacher.  How do you know when they begin to teach something that is false?

Many of these people will use the same words that we use, but they use a different dictionary to define them.  They say they believe in Jesus as the Christ, but they mean a Christ who was not the Son of God.  They say they believe in the resurrection, but they mean a spiritual resurrection, not the physical, bodily resurrection that the Bible declares occurred.  

The subtlety of these teachings is that they use a paraphrased truth from the Bible and then mix it with a lie, for the very best lies are based on a fragment of truth.  Just enough truth to seduce you, but filled with the lies of a false religion.  

Our lesson today is on how to deal with false teachers in the church and on your doorstep.  Today, as Christians we have two weapons to combat Satan and his disciples which are sufficient for our victory in spiritual warfare: the Spirit of God and the Word of God.  Filled with the Spirit, we can unsheath the Word of God to answer every devilish challenge that Satan and his demons can make.  All the craft and subtlety that Satan can muster is useless if the believer can began every statement with the words “Thus saith the Lord”.  

If there comes among you a teacher who knowingly and willfully does not teach the truth about Jesus Christ as He is defined in the Bible, then Paul says that we are to mark them, to shun them, and to avoid them.  We are to correct them under the leading of the Holy Spirit, but if that fails, then they are to be removed from the body of believers just as you would a ravening wolf that was prowling among you.
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.    
GOD’S JUDGMENT IS REAL (Romans 2:7-16)

GOD’S JUDGMENT IS REAL (Romans 2:7-16)

August 8, 2014
Sometimes it seems that the only things we feel are real are those things that we can instantly put our hands on and control.  It must come to us instantly, or it is not worth worrying about.  Our world is a world of instant gratification.  There are fast food, fast cars, and fast planes.  We can drive up to a little kiosk and get hot coffee handed to us through our car window.  We become impatient if we have to wait in line for anything.  We expect restaurants to provide quick and efficient service or we take it out of our tip to the waiter.  

Many people suffer from what I call the tyranny of the moment.  This is when your entire focus is controlled by the things immediately in front of you.  You know you need to plan for things, like retirement, but the car payment is due, the mortgage is due, the kids need braces or college, and so you take care of the things of the moment and let the things of the future go unattended.  

When things are promised to us at some unknown point in the future, then they fade into the backs of our mind, and if we try hard enough we can imagine that they will not happen.  

Like God’s judgment.  We are told by God that it is going to happen.  The preacher proclaims that God’s judgment is coming.  All of creation tells us that God is real, and if God is real, then His judgment must be real as well.  But we live our lives like that judgment is never going to happen.  

Can you honestly say that the way you live your life today would not change if you knew for a fact that Jesus was coming tomorrow and you would have to stand before Him?

The world behaves as if God does not exist.  But God’s judgment is real.  

Listen to this podcast to hear the Bible tell us that each person is guilty of sin, there are no exceptions, Jew or Gentile.  God would be perfectly just to condemn each of us based on our works.  Yet God has provided us with an alternative.  God has provided the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ to cover our sins, so that we can have righteousness imputed to us.  A person who has made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior can stand before a Holy God in righteousness found in Christ.