The Master‘s Class, LifeChange Church Wichita
THE JESUS WHO STANDS BEFORE US TODAY (Revelation 1:14-18)

THE JESUS WHO STANDS BEFORE US TODAY (Revelation 1:14-18)

April 2, 2017

We talked last week about a few things we could surmise about what Jesus looked like the first time He came, and compared that to the one portrayed in the paintings that we see, pictures, movies, and books today. The best example of this image is found in the painting of the last supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, showing Jesus with long hair, long white robes, and gentle in nature. If there is a picture of Jesus hanging in the church, it will be of this Jesus, the one man created because the Bible does not give us a clear description of what Jesus looked like the first time He came. Certainly, this is the image that people have in their minds when they think of Jesus today. When they use the name of Jesus in vain, this in the Jesus they are thinking of. When they declare that Jesus was nothing more than a good man, a prophet, or a teacher, this is the Jesus that they are thinking of. This is a Jesus that you can choose to ignore, or to reject, make fun of, or even deny that He ever existed, because there is nothing intimidating about Him.

However, even if this movie image of Jesus was correct, and I don’t believe it is, it was what Jesus looked like before the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of our Lord. The Jesus that stands in heaven today as the High Priest in the Holy Tabernacle of God, does not look anything like that Jesus. That Jesus was approachable, almost indistinguishable from everyone else. He looked like a common man, with nothing desirable about His appearance to draw our attention to Him. The one that stands before us today, retains the humanity of that Jesus, He has the scars of the nails in His Hands, but everything else about Him speaks of His deity, His glory, and His almighty power as the Creator of all things. The Jesus that stands before us today, is in the full glory of God. There is nothing meek or gentle in His nature or appearance, and when the world sees Him as He is, they will fall to their knees in worship and awe. No one will deny that this Jesus exists, nor will they ignore Him, or curse Him.

Click on the link and learn about the Jesus that stands before John as he hears a voice that sounded like a trumpet, and he turned and saw a vision of the resurrected, risen, glorified, Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Jesus who stands before us today.

JUDGMENT IS COMING (2 Peter 3:7-9)

JUDGMENT IS COMING (2 Peter 3:7-9)

February 6, 2017

Jesus Christ is coming again, and when He arrives the time of judgment will begin. The Great White Throne of Judgment will deal with all who have rejected Christ. Satan and all of his antichrists, false prophets, apostates, demons, fallen angels, and followers, will be cast into the lake of fire. A new heaven and a new earth will be created, and Christ will reign in power for all of eternity. This is the promise that the Bible has given us as believers. The whole purpose of the Gospel message of Christ is so that man can avoid this judgment and live with Christ in the new heavens and on the new earth for eternity. God’s plan of salvation for the corrupted human race has been planned by a loving God from the foundation of the world.

Rev 13:8
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
KJV

God knew that we would reject Him and His Son, but He loved us anyway.

1 John 4:19
19 We love him, because he first loved us
KJV

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world.

John 3:16-21
16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
KJV

Christ has done all of the work of salvation for us, all we have to do to have everlasting life with Christ is accept His free gift of redemption. Yet, there are those who still reject this gift. They deny these truths, and they claim that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. He was a good man, a teacher, and a prophet, but He was not the Son of God. The apostate rejects Christ, and claims that he cannot find Christ. They shout, where is He?

The apostate cannot find Christ for the same reason that a thief cannot find a policeman. Because he doesn’t want to find Him.

The only hope of the salvation of any soul rests in the patience, longsuffering, and self-control of God. God is long–suffering; He is patient; He is not rushing things. After all, He has eternity behind Him and eternity ahead of Him. But this almighty, merciful, and patient, God has promised that the final judgment, the dissolution of the earth and the heavens, is coming. God cannot lie. The day of judgment is coming.

In the meantime, He is giving men everywhere a further opportunity to repent and accept His gift of grace. This is the reason you and I need to get the Word of God out. It is the only thing that can change hearts and lives. It is by the Word of God that man is born again:

1 Peter 1:23
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
KJV

It is not God’s will that you should perish. God does not want you to come into judgment; He wants you to pass from death unto life. And you can do that—you can turn to Him and receive the wonderful salvation that He has for you.

Did you know that you cannot keep God from loving you? You can reject His love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you. Neither can you keep it from raining, but you can raise an umbrella to keep the rain from falling on you. Also, you can raise the umbrella of indifference, or the umbrella of sin, or the umbrella of rebellion, so that you won’t experience God’s love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you.

My friend, you can slap God in the face; you can turn your back on Him; you can blaspheme Him, and you can shake your fist in defiance at Him, but you cannot keep Him from wanting to save you. You cannot keep Him from loving you, for He provided a Savior, His own Son, to die in your place. The Lord Jesus will save you if you will receive the free gift of salvation that He offers. My friend, things are not going to continue as they are now. It is coming to an end, and judgment will come. You and I are living in a world which is moving toward judgment.

We tend to think in terms of “balance scale” justice. God thinks in terms of mercy. He wants everyone to accept His gracious forgiveness so as not to pay the ultimate penalty for sin. Especially since it has already been paid for them! Listen to this podcast to learn of the promise of God that a day of judgment is coming for all who reject Christ.

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.

GOD’S GLORY AND GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 5:10-14)

GOD’S GLORY AND GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 5:10-14)

October 3, 2016
God’s glory.  God’s true glory is beyond our ability to even conceive of.  Yet, we were given a glimpse of this glory in the person of Jesus Christ, who stepped out of heaven, and for a brief time made Himself a little lower than the angels, just so that we might have our sins forgiven.  Is this the quality of God that you cherish the most?

John 1:14
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
KJV

Heb 2:9
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
KJV

God’s grace.

Eph 2:4-8
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
KJV

For me it is God’s grace that I cherish the most, for it is by God’s grace that I am saved.  It is by God’s grace that I can live the victorious Christian life against all evil.  It is by God’s grace that I have anything that I have, for I deserve nothing but judgment, but it is God’s grace that allows me to call the almighty God, Abba, Father. 

It is by God’s grace that believers can live a victorious Christian life no matter what the circumstances, terror, or adversary, that we face.  Peter describes our Lord as the God of all grace.  In other words, God has absolutely total control and ownership of this amazing resource.  He has a limitless supply available at all times.  Now this is a concept about God’s grace you may not have thought of before, God has total control and ownership of this quality.  There is none other with this quality.  

God's grace provides strength enough for every situation.  Grace for living and grace for dying, grace to deal with the penalty of sin and grace to overcome the power of sin, grace to face persecution and grace to forgive the persecutor, grace to see us through and grace to get us home. 

God's grace guarantees us a share in God's eternal glory.  God's grace is sufficient to translate that into a living reality in our lives. Satan cannot win.  God's grace cannot fail, and it is ours because of Christ Jesus our Lord.  Let Satan roar and prowl all he wants.  Neither Satan, nor ten thousand Nero’s, nor the prospect of a horrible death, nor anything else can stop God's grace in Christ from getting us home.

Rom 8:35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
KJV

This is the power of God’s grace.  It is supremely sufficient for all of our needs, and it is the quality about God that I cherish the most.   

Listen to this podcast as we learn about God’s grace and God’s glory.
OUR EXAMPLE IS CHRIST (1 Peter 2:19-21)

OUR EXAMPLE IS CHRIST (1 Peter 2:19-21)

June 19, 2016
How many people do you know that would suffer gruesome torture and death for you?  I would suspect not many, if there was anyone at all.  Yet, Christ suffered for us, and the truth is that we don’t even really understand the magnitude of the suffering Christ endured for each of us and for mankind in general.

When we think of Christ, it is generally after He came to live among us.  We think of the baby Jesus, the man Jesus, the miracle worker Jesus, the teacher Jesus, and the Jesus that died on the cross, who was buried and rose again.  We think of Jesus as we see Him portrayed in movies and TV, as a Man.  As believers, we also think of Him in His risen and resurrected glory.  This is the Jesus we normally think of.  But that is a very limited view of our Lord.  Jesus Christ was much more than that.  

I love the description that John Phillips gives of who the Lord Jesus really is.  I am paraphrasing here, but he says that the Bible gives us a picture of who the Lord Jesus was way back before time ever began, dwelling in a light unapproachable and living in perfect harmony with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in unimaginable glory.  He was uncreated, self-existing, coeternal, coequal, and coexistent with the Father and the Spirit.  He was, and is, God the Son, the second person of the triune Godhead. His wisdom was infinite, His love fathomless, and His power without measure or end.  His nature and attributes were those of the living God.  He basked in the sunshine of the Father's love in endless delight.  Eternal ages rolled by without end.  All was love, joy, and peace, beyond all imagination or thought. And then, in the council chambers of eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit agreed that They would act in creation.  The Son was the active agent. 

Col 1:16
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
KJV

All things were created by Him.  John tells us the same thing.  

John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
KJV

The Son put forth His wisdom and His power, and hosts of angels appeared, rank upon rank.  Galaxies of stars sprang into being and filled space with billions of centers of light.  Planet Earth, a bright blue sphere in the Milky Way, was chosen to be the home of man. Life, in a countless variety of forms, appeared at His command.  Man was created and became another exhibit of the Son’s wisdom and power.

This is the One who willingly chose to step down from His throne in heaven and come to earth as God incarnate in man in order to suffer for us because sin raised its head in the universe and was transplanted to Earth.  Adam fell.  Sin entered, and death by sin.  Now the Creator must become the Christ.  Prophet after prophet arose to foretell the coming of a Kinsman-Redeemer, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

So God's Son became the Seed of the woman, the Seed of Abraham, the Seed of David.  He was to be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  He was the Child born and the Son given.  He was called the Wonderful Counselor, the Father of eternity, the Mighty God, the Prince of peace.

He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, the Lord's Anointed, Prophet, Priest, and King.  Page after page of the Old Testament told the story.  Book after book was written, all about Him.  Detail added to detail increased the wonder of it all.  He stood apart from all others, robed in majesty, the altogether lovely One, and the chiefest among ten thousand, the One who suffered for us.

Peter saw it happen.  He was an eyewitness of much of it.  The suffering began when Jesus was but eight days old.  He was circumcised.  It was His first personal experience of pain.  He grew up.  He began His ministry.  He suffered at the hands of the people He had come to save.  He knew loneliness, rejection, and malicious hatred.  His family disbelieved His claims.  His disciples let Him down.  Peter himself denied Him with oaths and curses, and Judas sold Him for a pocketful of change. 

He wept His heart out in Gethsemane.  He was falsely accused, beaten, and abused by His own people, then He was mocked, scourged, and crucified by the soldiers of Rome. He endured the torments of death on a cross. Finally, He was made sin for us and abandoned by God.

Peter says, Leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.  As believers we are the apprentice and Christ is the Master Carpenter.  He is our example of how to live the life of a victorious Christian.  He is our example of how we are to react to suffering, living in a moment-by-moment cooperation with the indwelling Spirit of God.
TO BE ELECTED BY GOD (1 Peter 1:1b to 2a)

TO BE ELECTED BY GOD (1 Peter 1:1b to 2a)

January 10, 2016
The Bible emphatically teaches the doctrine of election, and this is a doctrine that has caused endless debates and disputes throughout the ages.  People will either go off the deep end into hyper-Calvinism with this doctrine, or they avoid it like the plague because they don’t understand it.  When it really is quite simple to understand.  Man complicates it by assuming that God cannot know anything that man does not know.  That really is the heart of the problem for man in understanding this doctrine.  

However, the truth is that man’s mind is limited, and God’s mind is unlimited.  Man’s capacity to know things is finite, and God’s knowledge is infinite.  Man’s knowledge is bounded by the constraints of time, it encompasses what has happened in the past and what is happening right now.  Man can only guess at the future.  

God created the concept of time so His knowledge is unconstrained by time.  He knows all things from before time began until well past the day when eternity makes time irrelevant, and He knows it all at the same time.  God cannot learn anything, since by definition He already knows it all.  

In today’s lesson, Peter gives us his own inspired insight into the subject.  He bluntly declares that our election is based on God’s foreknowledge.  Without hesitation, or qualification, Peter says that God has elected a certain company to become members of the royal family of heaven.  However, God does this and never violates our own volition, or our own right to choose.  God woos, He does not ravage.  He does not endow His creations with wills of their own, with the power of choice and personal accountability for their behavior, and then act as though they had no such thing.  

God’s election of certain members of the human family to become members of the royal family takes into account the response of each individual when confronted by the Holy Spirit with the offer of salvation.  While this may sound difficult to understand, the simple truth of it is that if you want to be a part of the elect of God, then choose Christ when the Holy Spirit presents salvation to you.  

Salvation boils down to one question, will you accept or reject Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master.  

If you say yes, then you will become part of the elect of God, and you will spend eternity in heaven with Christ.  

If you say no, then you will not be part of the elect of God, and you will spend eternity burning in the fires of Hell, forever without the light of God.  

Listen to this powerful Biblical doctrine of God’s foreknowledge and how it can bless you because God knows who you are, where you are, what you are going through, and He has a plan for you.  If you are believer, then God will empower you to deal with any persecution or trial that you may be going through.  He knew about this before it ever occurred and He has prepared you for it, and He is with you every step of the way.  
GOD’S PLAN WILL BE DONE (Romans 16:21-27)

GOD’S PLAN WILL BE DONE (Romans 16:21-27)

December 13, 2015
One of the great Biblical promises that we have as believers is that God’s plan will be done.  No matter what man does to mess things up in this world, no matter what schemes and plots that Satan has for this world, God’s plan will be done.  It will be done just like He set it up to be done before He created the universe and everything in it.  Nothing has changed in this plan, and nothing will change.  God’s plan will be done, period.  

The fact that I know this promise of God to be true is comforting to me, and that is why God gave us this promise, so that we could be comforted knowing that God was in control.  Paul closes out this epistle with a declaration of this promise.  The almighty God of the Bible is the everlasting God, and His purposes and His goals are pursued by Him from age to age.  Christians may be feeble and frail, but God is strong.  The church may look like it is weak and divided, but it is the body of Christ and therefore it is linked to Omnipotence.  Whatever else may fail, the work of God cannot.  

Paul draws our thoughts to Him whose loving counsels foresaw the fall of man, provided for it before the foundation of the world, foreknew us, foreknew you and me, loved us into the kingdom, and who arranges for all things to work together for our good and His eternal glory.  Paul also draws our thoughts to the Son of His love, our blessed and glorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  And having filled our hearts and mind with these thoughts, Paul says a final Amen to this great epistle.
SHOULD A CHRISTIAN SUBMIT TO A GOVERNMENT THAT REJECTS GOD? (Romans 13:1-2)

SHOULD A CHRISTIAN SUBMIT TO A GOVERNMENT THAT REJECTS GOD? (Romans 13:1-2)

August 16, 2015
Now, I have to admit that this is an interesting question as we see the political races begin to escalate.  Without question, our current government, including the democrats and most republicans, have rejected the role that God has played, is currently playing, and will play in our nation and our world.  

So, the question is, should a Christian submit to a government that rejects God?

What role should the believer play in fighting against this type of lawlessness?

Do we stand by and do nothing, or actively fight against it?

Paul is going to tell us in our lesson today that human government derives its authority from God, and that governments are appointed by God.  Evil men may be elected to power or they may seize power.  They may have no thought of God at all, but the very fact that God permits them to seize the reins of power means that God has a purpose to fulfill even in their cruel and evil ruling.  

It is a saying well worth considering that people get the kind of government they deserve.  If you vote in a socialist tyrant, then you are going to get a socialist tyrant as your leader.  If you reject God’s truths about right and wrong in your lives, then you are going to have a government that rejects God’s truths about right and wrong, and that means the concepts of greed, corruption, dishonesty, cruelty, and lawlessness will control your government.

Governments may be weak or strong, just or oppressive, benevolent or cruel, wise or foolish, but in each case God has His way and moves His own plans forward.  We may not see God’s plan and purposes in an evil government, but God has a plan nonetheless, for God is in control.

Paul is going to tell us in our lesson today that disobedience to governmental authority is disobedience to God and will be judged accordingly.  We are going to see that the believer has their citizenship in heaven, but they are also a resident in the world down here, which gives them a twofold responsibility.  If there is a conflict between the two, then our first responsibility is always to our Lord in heaven.  We have a responsibility to human government, but our first responsibility is to always obey the law of God.  

I don’t believe that the Word of God declares the role of the believer is to fundamentally change our nation.  It is to preach a gospel that is the power of God unto salvation which will bring into existence individuals like the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and gave us a government of laws.  If there is to be a fundamental change in this country, then it will be God that will bring it about by working in the hearts of man.

The truth is that there is nothing is wrong with our form of government; there is something wrong with the individuals who are in positions of power.  We need to remember this as we choose the people who will fill these positions in the next election.  

Should we as believers run for political office?  Absolutely, we need people in these offices that understand the spiritual heritage of our founders.

Should we as believers support those candidates that respect the Word of God and the role that God plays in our society?  Absolutely, we need to discern what the true beliefs of a candidate are and support those who respect the will of God.

Should we as believers, lawfully, and actively, stand against the murder of innocent children, and the corruption of the God instituted concept of marriage?  Absolutely, we need to stand against lawlessness in the world.

Should we as believers submit to a government that is corrupt and rejects God?  The Bible says that we must, and my prayer is that God will grant us the power and the wisdom to do as the Word of God demands that we do.  
GOD’S PURPOSE IN RESTORING ISRAEL PART II (Romans 11:27-36)

GOD’S PURPOSE IN RESTORING ISRAEL PART II (Romans 11:27-36)

July 3, 2015
Over the last couple of weeks of our study, Paul has declared that it is certainly within the power of God to not only temporarily remove Israel from the place of religious privilege as a result of their rejection of Him, but it is also within the power of God to restore a believing Israel to that place once again.  The almighty Creator of all things, has the power to do as He has promised.  

Not only is it within the power of God to restore Israel, Paul also tells us that it is within the purpose of God to restore Israel.

Paul has left no question that God will fulfill His promises to Israel.  God will restore Israel, for it is God’s purpose to restore Israel.  God planned these events from the foundations of time, and nothing that man has done, or can do, will change God’s plan and purpose.  God chose Israel to be His channel of truth and righteousness to the world, and that is what they will be when He restores them.  

What is God’s purpose in restoring Israel?  It is to show His power and His glory to a world that has rejected Him.  He is telling the world that there is but one true God, and that He alone is deserving of our worship.    
GOD IS SOVEREIGN (Romans 9:19-33)

GOD IS SOVEREIGN (Romans 9:19-33)

May 10, 2015
What does it mean when we say that God is sovereign?

We begin with the statement that God is the Creator of all things.  God has made each of us in the manner that He chose to do so.  God can make one person for honor, and one person for dishonor, by the sovereign will of the Creator.   He has the sovereign right of the Creator to do so.

God reaches into the same lump of humanity and takes out some clay to form Moses.  Again, He reaches in and He takes out of the same lump the clay to make Pharaoh.  That clay was all ugly, unlovely, sightless, and sinful at the beginning and God used it to make Moses and to make Pharaoh.  

God’s mercy then makes a vessel unto honor, that is, a vessel for honorable use.  

Then, it is the Potter's right to make another vessel for dishonor or common use. 

The Bible describes some people as being vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.  Those marked for destruction are fitted to destruction, but, and this is important, it is not stated that God so fitted them, as if God had prepared those vessels for wrath in contrast with those He prepared for mercy.  

God does not create people in order to damn them.  However, when people behave like Pharaoh, God so deals with them that their inbred wickedness reveals itself in such a way that they become fit objects for His punishment, or they are fitted for destruction.  

2 Timothy 2:20-21
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
KJV

God created both Moses and Pharaoh.  God knew that Moses would be a vessel unto honor when He created him.  God also knew that Pharaoh would be vessel unto dishonor when he created him.  

Moses chose to believe in God and, therefore, he was prepared by God unto glory.  Pharaoh chose to reject God and, therefore, he was fit for destruction, or fitted to destruction.  

God is sovereign, and man is granted a free will by God.  God chooses those whom He will show mercy to, and man is free to choose Jesus Christ as His Lord and Master, or to reject Him.  As the Sovereign Creator, God in His mercy has offered eternal life to anyone who will call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him their Lord and Savior.  
THE SOVEREIGN WILL OF GOD (Romans 9:14-18)

THE SOVEREIGN WILL OF GOD (Romans 9:14-18)

April 25, 2015
What does it mean when we say God’s sovereign will?

Does it mean that God, and God alone, determines the absolute truths about what is right and what is wrong, or does the concept of right and wrong depend on the social values established by man?

Does it mean that no matter what man does, God’s predetermined series of events, or God’s plan for the universe, will be completed?  In other words, will God’s will be done, no matter the choices that man makes?

Does it mean that God can show mercy to whom He chooses to show mercy to, and wrath to whom He chooses to show wrath to?  Do the actions of man determine whether they will receive God’s mercy, or God’s wrath?

God’s actions toward man are always just and righteous because God defines the meaning of the words just and righteous.  If this was not the case, and man decided what was just and righteous, then God would not be the sovereign God.

Does the creation have the right to question the actions of the Creator?  Can a potter make one vase cherished and special and the other vase ordinary and common?  Does the potter’s creations have the right to challenge the work of the potter?

These are the questions that Paul will answer in our lesson today.  Certainly the sovereignty of God is one of the more difficult concepts for a stiff-necked, willful, and arrogant, mankind to accept.  But God is sovereign, God is also merciful, and we have much to be thankful for that both of these facts are true.  

Listen to this podcast to learn about the sovereign will of God.  
THE PATH TO REJECTING GOD (Romans 1:21-32)

THE PATH TO REJECTING GOD (Romans 1:21-32)

July 23, 2014
As a believer, the fact that there is a God, that He is my Creator, and that He alone determines the absolute truths about right and wrong, are so clear and so obvious to me that I have a hard time understanding how someone could not see the same thing.  Forget about all of the theology, the religious ordinances, I am just talking about the fact that God exists and that I have an obligation to recognize that.

The simple fact that we exist screams out to me that there is a Creator.  To believe otherwise requires so much faith in the feeble knowledge of man that it becomes a religion of its own.  It is a religion born out of the desire to feel good about living a life that you know is against the will of God.  There can be no other reason for rejecting what is so obvious.  It certainly is not based on objective science.

So how did man fall so far from worshiping God and what are the consequences of that rejection?  That is the topic of our lesson today.
THE SURENESS OF GOD (James 1:16-20)

THE SURENESS OF GOD (James 1:16-20)

January 13, 2014
Have you ever considered how important it is that God does not change in any way?  This truth is the foundation our faith is based on.  

God’s love does not change.

God’s holiness does not change.

God’s judgment against sin does not change.  

God’s promises found in His Word do not change.  

God’s plan for eternity will not change.  The question is where are you going to spend it?  With the almighty, unchangeable God, or separated forever from Him in the fires of Hell.

God will never entice you to do evil.  He does not say that something is sin in the Old Testament and then say that it is not a sin in the New Testament.  

God does not change with the social values of man.  The Bible does not change to suit the changing morals and ethics of the world.  

What was sin when the world was created, was sin when Abraham was called to the Promised Land.  

What was sin in Noah’s day before the flood, was sin on the day the Babylonians took the Jews away into captivity.

What was sin in the days that Jesus walked on the earth, is sin today before He returns to gather His church and establish His Kingdom.  

Rejecting God to worship the things of this earth, has always been a sin, and it still is.  Listen to this podcast to learn the value of God’s sureness.

JESUS CONFRONTS HIS ENEMIES (Mark 11:27 to 12:12)

JESUS CONFRONTS HIS ENEMIES (Mark 11:27 to 12:12)

July 24, 2013

How well do you choose the times to confront your enemies, and when it is time to walk away? 

Most of us are not real good at making that choice, we either let people walk all over us, or we tend to push our will upon others. 

Jesus had spent much of His ministry avoiding a direct confrontation with the religious leadership of the Jews.  His previous visits to Jerusalem had been subdued and quiet.  Jesus actually spent most of His public ministry walking the countryside between Capernaum and the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee and all the points in-between. 

He would respond to direct challenges from the local leaders of the synagogue and the representatives sent from Jerusalem to see what was happening.  But when it became too contentious, He would simply move on to the next village.  Jesus devoted much of His time to teaching the people and performing wonderful miracles of healing the sick and raising the dead.  He was developing a great following among the people that would serve Him well at the end of His ministry. 

Jesus now becomes much more direct in His confrontation with the Jewish leadership.  He makes a triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, He cleans out the temple courts of the tradesmen that were managed by the chief priest, and then He teaches and heals in the temple without the approval of the chief priests. 

Listen to this podcast to learn how Jesus controlled His own destiny as He pushed the Jewish leadership into completing the tasks that the Lord’s Father had sent Him to do.  Jesus was driving to the cross.  He was in control.  He knew what He was doing and where it would lead, but He did it anyway so that you and I could have everlasting life. 

Jesus was never more Kingly during His public ministry than He was during this last week before the cross.

THE ONE WITH ABSOLUTE POWER (Mark 5:1-20)

THE ONE WITH ABSOLUTE POWER (Mark 5:1-20)

February 3, 2013
What kind of world do you think we live in?
Is it one of promise, and goodness, where evil is a rarity?The world is full of promise, but one look at the daily headlines tells us that evil is not a rarity. It happens every day. There is a constant struggle between darkness and light.
Knowing that evil exists, each of us tries to create a bubble of security around us. We try to shield our families from the darkness. Yet evil intrudes when a man walks into a school and shoots innocent children.
Listen to this podcast to learn the source of that evil, and find the only ONE with the absolute power to defeat it.
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.

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