The Master‘s Class, LifeChange Church Wichita
CAN’T GOD DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT? (Revelation 9:15-21)

CAN’T GOD DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT? (Revelation 9:15-21)

October 15, 2017

I think that we can all agree that evil is certainly growing around us today. In spite of the restraint of the Holy Spirit during the day that we live in, evil is still on the rise. Men murder others. Women even murder their own children, and now we have children who become murderers in their own homes and schools.

Yet, most of all, may God have mercy on the murderers of unborn babies. May God send His Spirit to bring repentance to every man and woman who has participated in this most heinous act against defenseless little babies. People today get upset and wonder where the judgment of God is for the perpetrators of terrorism and mass shootings, but the number of people who die all across the world from terrorism is but a fraction of the murders of babies that occur each year in this country. It is a sin that God will hold this country accountable for. It would be easy to wonder where is God in all of this, and why isn’t He doing anything about it.

Click on the link below to hear a sermon on the Biblical truth that timing is more important to God, than time. God has a plan to deal with all of the evil of this world and in all of creation. That plan is on time. God is never early, and He is never late. Nothing, or no one can stop or change that plan. Not Satan, or all of his demons, for Satan is but a creation, and God is sovereign.

We started this series by asking Doesn’t God know? Doesn’t God care? And if God knows and cares, then why isn’t He doing something about it? God knows, and God cares. It is man that has turned his back on God. That no longer wants to know God. That no longer cares about God.  Yet, we have still have a chance during this age of grace that we live in to turn to God. God loves you. Lay aside your pride. May the mercy of God through His Son bring the saving judgment of eternal life to you today, so you will not be lost in the fires of Judgment for all of eternity.

Amen.

WHERE IS GOD? DOESN’T HE CARE? (Revelation 9:12-14)

WHERE IS GOD? DOESN’T HE CARE? (Revelation 9:12-14)

October 9, 2017

With events like the terrible tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas last week, it would seem that everything not nailed down is coming loose, and that Satan is busy at work prying loose everything else. Every day it seems that evil is growing and dominating the world. It would be easy to understand if there are people who are asking Where is God? Doesn’t He know? If He knows, doesn’t He care? If He knows and cares, can’t He do anything about it?

Click on the link below to learn that God does know, God does care, and God does have a plan. If you want to know where God is, He is right on time. With God, timing is more important than time. If you want to know if God knows and hears your prayers, the answer is yes, they are before Him as incense. If you to know if God cares, yes He does, He cares so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross so you do not have to. If you want to why God is not doing anything, God says, just wait, my plan will occur just as I said it will, because I am sovereign, and nothing, and no one, can stop or deter my plan. Amen.

THERE IS NO PROMISE TOO HARD FOR GOD TO KEEP PART II (Revelation 7:1-8)

THERE IS NO PROMISE TOO HARD FOR GOD TO KEEP PART II (Revelation 7:1-8)

September 3, 2017

This Biblical truth is important to all believers because it gives us assurance that when God says something in His word about the future of the world, the future of the heavens, the future of the lost, and especially the future of believers, we can trust that it is true. That what God says, God will do. This allows us to stop worrying about the future and focus on the task that God has for us to accomplish to move His purposes and plans along.

We are to be looking for and hasting the day of God, which is that day when Christ completes all that He is to do and delivers the kingdom to the Father so that God can be all in all. We are to be working on witnessing and bringing lost souls to Christ, that is our purpose and that is our reason for being here. Not all of us are evangelists, but all of us have a role to play, and a story to tell about how real God is in our lives, and what He has done for us.

We cannot be bashful about praising our Lord, for people want to hear that God is real and working in this world. This is the missing element in so many people’s lives. Man was created to worship God, and when they do not, they have a hole in their lives. They know something is missing and so they try to fill it with all kinds of things, and yet there is still a hole. It is our testimony that can help them find the Lord Jesus Christ to fill that hole.

Click on the link below to learn how one way that God fulfills His promise to Abraham that all of the families of the earth will be blessed by the children of Israel. God chooses 144,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, He seals them, and they become His servants to spread the gospel message of Christ during a time of Great Tribulation. There is no promise too hard for God. Amen.

THERE IS NO PROMISE TOO HARD FOR GOD TO KEEP (Revelation 7:1-8)

THERE IS NO PROMISE TOO HARD FOR GOD TO KEEP (Revelation 7:1-8)

August 27, 2017

We may be the last generation of church age believers that live on this earth. We may very well be the ones who are alive when the rapture occurs, the trumpet sounds, and the Lord comes with a shout to take us home. What a day that will be when we are called to meet our Lord in the air, and so we need to be ready. We need to have our rapture shoes on, but this should not be a call to stick our heads in the clouds of prophecy. Someone once said that way too many Christians are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.

The promises that we are about to read about in chapter seven should not cause us to put heads up in the clouds, but they should cause us to put our feet on the pavement of serving and soul winning. The blessed hope for which we await is not an incentive to rest, but to work. Jesus said that we are to occupy till I come. He didn’t mean for us to take up space, he meant for us to get to work because we know the future. Our occupation is our job, and we need to get busy.

Chapter seven of The Book of Revelation is about making sure we know that God is going to do all that Word of God says He will do. It is about giving us a more sure word of prophecy. It is about giving us assurance that our future is secure. Because, it is when we know that our future is secure, that we can focus with all of our heart on the present job that Christ has assigned each of us as believers. We are here on this earth to work for Jesus.

We each have a task to complete, a role to play, and a job to perform. If this were not true, then Jesus would simply take us to heaven the moment we made Him our Lord and Savior. There would be no reason to keep us here, for we do not work for our salvation, and we cannot lose our salvation by failing to work. So, if the Lord did not have something for us to accomplish that furthered His purposes and plans for this world, then He would just take us up.

God knows the number of souls that must be saved before the day of the Rapture comes and the end of the period of grace occurs. We are tools that the Holy Spirit uses to bring those souls to Christ. We pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance on where those souls are, and which ones we are to evangelize to, and then we labor to bring them in for the Holy Spirit to do His work. In doing so, we hasten the day of His coming. We learn about our future in eternity by studying the Book of Revelation and the other books of prophecy. In doing so, we learn that our future is secure. With that settled, we can then focus on working to hasten that wonderful day.

Click on the link below to hear a sermon on the mighty God that we serve, and the certain knowledge that there is no promise that is too hard for God to keep.

JESUS IS EXCLUSIVELY WORTHY (Revelation 5:1-5)

JESUS IS EXCLUSIVELY WORTHY (Revelation 5:1-5)

July 16, 2017

Let me begin this post with a few personal questions.

1) Do you have a cause worth living for?

2) Is what you are living for, worthy of Jesus’ dying for?

3) When you get where you are headed, where will you be?

When you put our short, mortal, lives in the context of eternity, many of us are shoveling smoke and plowing water. When this world is done, much of what we have done will make no difference whatsoever. Think about it, how much of what we have worked so hard for in this life, will extend beyond the grave, or will even exist after Jesus Christ destroys this world and creates a new heaven and a new earth?

Years ago, Reader’s Digest had an article that said in order for a person to have a meaningful life, they need three things. First, they need someone to love. Second, they need something to do. Third, they need something to hope for. I think Reader’s Digest is right, but they did not say who or what that something was. That something is Jesus Christ. He is the One we love, the One we serve, and One in whom we hope. Jesus Christ is the only One worthy of my love, my life, my all, and yours.

The fifth chapter of Revelation talks about the One who is worthy, Jesus Christ. And it brings home the fact that each of us will never have satisfaction and fulfillment, or understand why God created us, until we come to worship Him.

Click on this link to hear a sermon on just one of three things that this chapter says about why our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is worthy of our worship.

A ROAD MAP OF THE END TIMES (Revelation 1:19)

A ROAD MAP OF THE END TIMES (Revelation 1:19)

April 9, 2017

Many people ask if there is a key to understanding the Book of Revelation? The answer is yes! God’s purpose is not to conceal, but to reveal. This golden key is hanging right on the front door in verse 19 of the first chapter of Revelation. It is John’s commission to write the Book of Revelation. In fact, John got his commission from the Trinity Book Publishing company. Jesus Christ, one of the three partners in the Trinity Book Publishing company, tells John,

Rev 1:19
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
KJV

Now, contrary to what some will tell you, the Book of Revelation is primarily a prophetic book. It tells us about the things which shall be hereafter, it is not a history book. Revelation is a book of prophecy, and only God knows the future. God alone can prophecy what will occur in the future. Satan cannot prophecy at all.

Today, I want to give us a panoramic view of the prophecy we find in this book so we can use it as a guide to what we are seeing in these prophecies. I am not going to go into them deeply, because we will be doing that over the next several months, years, or however long it takes us to get through this wonderful book of prophecy. But I do want you to have a roadmap to work from in our study.

Click the link to hear a podcast on the major branches of prophecy that will occur in the future. Jesus Christ is coming to judge the world, and God wants you to know what is going to happen so you can be ready.

GOD’S GUARANTEED BLESSING (Rev. 1:3)

GOD’S GUARANTEED BLESSING (Rev. 1:3)

March 5, 2017

How many of you seek God’s blessing on your life? Well, of course, everyone would say yes to that. That may be the only time I get a 100% agreement from everyone listening to this lesson. Everyone wants to be blessed by God. In fact, I pray for the blessings of God in my life, and that of my family’s. When we think of blessings, the first thing that comes to my mind are the beatitudes. Jesus tells us that blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are meek, merciful, pure in heart, and many more.

So, these blessings are from the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount where He described the principles and the rule of the Kingdom, meaning the Millennium Kingdom. These are the characteristics of those who will be blessed during Christ’s reign on earth, but they are also the characteristics of believers in today’s world whom the Lord will bless. Our Lord is saying this is how we should be living our lives, and when we do so, we shall be blessed. In fact, He tells us,

Matt 5:12
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
KJV

It is a Biblical truth, that many of our blessings for being an obedient and faithful child of God will come in heaven and not on this earth. This is not bad news, in fact, this is really great news, because we get to have those blessings for all of eternity, not just some minor period in our today. To me, that is a blessing I want to have.

Now, what if I told you of a promised blessing from God, that would occur while you lived on this earth? I am not talking about a fortune cookie type of blessing, I am talking about a true blessing from the almighty God of all things.

Rev 1:3
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
KJV

We are to read this book, we are to hear this book, and we are to keep this book. If we do those things, then we will be blessed. The Bible is the only book I know of that that you can study and be God-guaranteed to be blessed by. Join me as we study God’s word in this lesson. Click on the link and listen to the podcast as we learn of The certain blessing of Revelation.

WHY DO WE STUDY REVELATION? (Revelation 1:1-2)

WHY DO WE STUDY REVELATION? (Revelation 1:1-2)

February 26, 2017

 

We study it because we live in a dark world, full of persecution, sin, and evil, and the book of Revelation is about the light that is coming to this world. It is about Jesus Christ. No matter how bad things get in this life, we can be at peace, because we know Who is coming to set things right, and set them right He will.

The book of Revelation is a book of prophecy, and the first truth we must acknowledge is that only God can prophesy. Anybody else who says they can, be they a psychic, preacher, apostle, prophet, Imam, or teacher, write it down, plain and simple, only God can prophesy. If somebody else tells you they have a new prophecy that is not contained in the Word of God, be nice to them, but don’t you be led astray.

We study the book of Revelation because it is a book of certainty. That may seem like an odd statement about a book that so many people have said it is like a Chinese puzzle in that it is impossible or hard to understand. And it certainly is full of many things that are hard to understand, but God has provided this book to us in His Word because He wants us to understand it. God wants believers, and you must be a true child of God in order for this to be true, but God wants believers to understand His Words and be encouraged by them.

Even the most simple minded believer can walk away from reading the book of Revelation with four certainties. Four Biblical truths that you can know for certain and understand. The first and most important certainty in the book of Revelation is that Jesus Christ is coming again in power. Not as a Servant Savior, but as Lord of lords and King of kings. This certainty is our shining star on the other end of our tightrope of this life. This is the star that we focus on. Jesus Christ is coming again.

The second certainty is that we will be blessed because we are taking the time and effort to study this book.

Rev 1:3
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
KJV

God has promised His blessing on those who read, hear, and keep the things that are written in this book.

The third certainty is that every man who has ever lived, and will ever live, is going to be judged. There are different judgments for different groups of people, but we will all be judged by our Lord Jesus. Those who have believed on Jesus Christ will go to live with Him into eternity, and those who have rejected Him will be condemned to live without Him in the fires of Hell for eternity. Judgement is coming for each of us, the book of Revelation is God’s proof that this is true.

The fourth certain truth is that God has a plan, and that plan is on schedule, and God will complete that plan.

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

The prophet Isaiah tells us about this truth. God has said that My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. It is the book of Revelation which is the proof that this is a certain, sure, truth. God has a purpose for all of creation. He has declared it from the beginning. His counsel will stand, and He will do all that He has purposed and planned. It is important that we as Christians have the unshakable assurance that God has an ultimate plan for the universe. The book of Revelation tells me that the future is in God’s hands, and the best is yet to come. Of that we can be certain!

Those are certainties of this book. If by the end of this study, those are the only truths that you know and can lay hand on, then you have accomplished more than most.

Listen to this podcast and then, come to this page each week for a new lesson as we learn about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HIS COMING? (2 Peter 3:10-12)

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HIS COMING? (2 Peter 3:10-12)

February 14, 2017

The world is going to pieces.  It is falling apart all around us. But Peter says, that what is happening today should not be what the believer is looking for and working toward. Our focus should be on completing our mission of sharing the gospel to a lost world, but our hearts should be looking for the Second Coming of our Lord and the new heavens and the new earth that He is going to create.

Jesus Christ is coming again, and those who have rejected Him will spend eternity in the fires of Hell. I can’t say it any plainer than that. If you reject Christ as your Savior, then you will spend eternity in Hell. Not only is Jesus coming again to judge the wicked, but He is going to destroy the current heavens and the earth by fire and create a new heaven and a new earth. This new heaven and new earth, and our home on it, is what we are to be looking for. Let me tell you, the world is indeed getting ready to come apart.

Someone once told Mark Twain that they were afraid the world was going to end, and he said, “Don’t worry about it, we can do without it.” We can, and we will, do without this corrupt world, but we will have a new heaven and a new earth to live on. In our lesson today, Peter is going to tell us that since we know that all of these things are true, there should be changes in the way we live today. There should be an urgency to our mission. There should be a desire to live a life that is pleasing to God. There should be a fire burning within each believer to do everything they can to hasten the coming of the Lord. Somewhere out there is the last soul that the Lord is waiting on to be saved. If we truly want the Lord to come, then we need to be working hard to accomplish the tasks that we have been given. We should be sharing the gospel message to the lost souls that Jesus Christ has said He is waiting on, so that none should perish.

We are the tools that God uses to bring those souls to Him. We pray for His guidance on where those souls are, and which ones we are to evangelize to, and then we labor to bring them in. In doing so, we hasten the day of His coming.

Listen to this podcast to learn what we should be doing to hasten the coming of our Lord. We will answer the questions, What role are you playing in the purposes of God? Are you really looking for that day, and working toward it? If not, Peter says, get ready, be looking, and be working for the coming of the day of our God.

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.

GOD’S PROVISIONS, GOD’S PROMISES (2 Peter 1:3-4)

GOD’S PROVISIONS, GOD’S PROMISES (2 Peter 1:3-4)

October 17, 2016
What was the most solemn vow that you have ever made?

Swearing in as soldier?  Taking the oath to become a law enforcement officer, or some public office?

For me, it was the day I spoke my wedding vows.  Those words meant something very important to me, and they mean just as much today as they did 38 years ago.  I promised to love my wife, to comfort her, to keep her, meaning I would provide for all of her needs, and that I would remain faithful to her no matter what comes in our lives till death do us part.  Those are pretty powerful words.  I have promised to love my wife, protect her, and provide for her.  When she needs a home, or food, or shelter, or someone to provide courage, strength, a helping hand, or just someone to stand by her as she deals with a problem, I have promised to provide that for her.  It is my promise that I will do these things, and I have lived my life trying to keep that vow.  It is the most solemn vow that I have ever made, and most likely ever will make.  Now, lots of people get married making this vow to each other, but the problem with vows made by man is that it is a weak person making the vow.  Try as we might, we sometimes fail to meet our promises.  

Our lesson today is about the promises that God has made to provide for His children, the born again believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master and, therefore, have become adopted into the family of God.  The wonderful thing about these promises is that it is the unchanging, supreme, Creator of all things, almighty God who is making them, and He will not fail. Not ever. Not once.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that we already have all the wisdom, strength, courage, power, patience, and anything else that we might need to live a victorious life for Christ.  Everything that you need is in God and God is in you.  Amen.  
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.
THE GOD-PLANNED PURPOSE OF CHRIST’S SUFFERING (1 Peter 3:16-20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The vicarious atonement accomplished for us by Christ on Calvary's cross is the great God-planned reason for His sufferings.  
A GODLY MARRIAGE (1 Peter 3:1-7)

A GODLY MARRIAGE (1 Peter 3:1-7)

July 17, 2016
The institution of marriage, as it was created by God, is a wonderful thing.  It is defined in the Bible as one man and one woman choosing to love God first and then each other next.  They work together to accomplish the will of God in their lives.  They are true yokemates working together to please God.  Marriage is something which God has given to the entire human family, not just to Christians or to the nation Israel.  In the Book of Genesis, we are told that God made man and at that time man was alone.  I think the Lord let Adam be alone for a long time to let him know he was missing something.  Then Scripture says that God took man and from man He made woman.  Using the Hebrew words, Genesis 2:23 reads, She shall be called Isha, because she was taken out of Ish.  She is called … an help meet for him (Gen. 2:18); that is, a help that was fit for him.  In other words, she was to be the other half of him. He was only half a man, and she was to be the other part of him. 

In God’s blueprint for marriage, He has assigned roles for both the wife and the husband.  A godly wife was a woman who has a healthy fear and respect of God.  A woman who is obedient to God’s will for her life.  A woman who seeks to fit into the needs of her husband as they work together to accomplish the tasks that God has assigned to them.  She is also a woman who is submissive to her husband.  Now, when Peter says to the wives, Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, it absolutely does not mean that the wife is to be a slave to her husband.  The Bible does not teach that in any form or way.  What is does teach is that a woman is to make a voluntary choice to be submissive to her husband because of her love for God.  The Christian wife, in obedience to her Lord, subjects herself to her husband’s leadership, authority, and control.  She does this because she fears God, because she loves God, and her duty, just like the husband’s, is to be obedient to God’s will for her life.  

Now, this is important to understand, none of this means that men are superior to women or that women are inferior to men.  They have simply agreed to work together with the husband leading.  In the marriage relationship, it simply means that God insists on order in the home.  To establish that order, He assigns the respective roles to the husband and the wife.  There cannot be two captains on a ship; neither can there be two people at the helm in the home.

Godly husbands are to be considerate of their wives.  Men are not to ride roughshod over their wives, bossing and bullying them, ordering them around, letting them do hard labor which is beyond their strength, or making unreasonable demands upon them.  Peter says that godly husbands and wives are heirs together of the grace of life.  This means you both are co-heirs of God’s grace.  You both are saved from your sin.  You both are joint heirs with Christ.  You both are adopted children of God.  You both have been granted eternal life by God’s grace.  The husband and the wife are partners.  They must work together. They have something more than marriage vows to bond them together.  They have Christ. They are heirs together of God's gracious gift of everlasting life.  They are true yokemates.  They should work together to establish a Christian home, to bring up children in the ways of the Lord, to provide a measure of stability to a community, and to be the moral and spiritual backbone of the nation.

A godly husband is to dwell with them according to knowledge.  For a husband to deal with his wife in the way that God wants him to do, the husband must know and understand several things.  First, he must know God’s desire for the marriage relationship.  This means he knows what marriage is and what it is to be in the eyes of God.  Next, he must know his wife.  This means he knows her nature and emotional makeup, what she needs and wants emotionally and spiritually, her strengths and her weaknesses.  He must also know the word of God.  You cannot be the spiritual leader of your home if you do not know what God says in His Word.  The husband has the responsibility to guide the family in the will of God.  In order to do this, the husband must know the Word of God.  It is amazing how easy it is for a wife to submit herself to a husband that is who and what God says he is supposed to be.  

With that in mind, you can see that the marriage relationship is not to be one of a man insisting on treating his wife like a little child who has to jump every time he says so.  She is there to help him. She is there to be a part of him.  She is there to love him. And he is there to love her, guide her in the ways of God, and protect her.  That is God’s desire for the relationship of a man and woman in marriage.  This is how a husband is to treat his wife, and this is how a wife is to treat her husband.  They both do this because they love God first, and then each other next.  

Listen to this podcast to learn what God defines as a godly marriage.
OUR MISSION IS TO GLORIFY GOD (1 Peter 2:12-13a)

OUR MISSION IS TO GLORIFY GOD (1 Peter 2:12-13a)

May 22, 2016
Last week we began talking about how the believer is to live a separated life by his behavior.  In other words, people should see a difference in us by our behavior.  They are to see in us a type of behavior that brings glory to God.  

We are a chosen people, we have a special position before God, we are separated by birth because we are the adopted children of God, we are no longer the slaves of Satan, we are separated by our new birth.  

We are a people separated by our belief, our faith is in Christ, our beliefs are unlike any other man-made religion, we believe in our salvation by God’s grace and the precious blood of a risen Savior, not man’s works and efforts.  We are separated by our belief.

We are also a people who should live lives that show a new attitude toward the world around us.  We are to be strangers and pilgrims in this world that is no longer our home.  The world is defined as the society around us, with God left out.  God is deliberately not welcome in the minds and hearts of most people in our society.  Neither are His adopted children, Christians.  

We are strangers in this world.  We are away from our home.  We are in this world, but we are not of this world.  

We are also pilgrims in this world because we are on our path back home.  Our eye is on the goal of completing our mission that God has given us.  The mission of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a dark world.  

Peter is telling us that our goodness, a goodness that is to be something beautiful to behold, is how we are to behave.  This goodness is to include our obedience of the laws of man.  Christians will be, and have been, accused of horrendous crimes, of hatred, and of violence.  These are lies on a grand scale, and God wants our behavior to prove that these things are false.  Our behavior is to be such that when the world sees a Christian, they are to say that their behavior brings glory to the God that they serve.  In other words, we are God's people in a world of lost people.  Our behavior is to reflect the goodness of God who has sent us here as His personal ambassadors.  This goodness, that is witnessed by others, is to be a result of our separation.

This is the basis for everything Peter teaches in this passage.  We are a chosen people who have been saved, reborn, and given a mission from God.  That mission is to serve God.  It is to be a witness for Him, to lead others to Christ, and to bring glory to God.  That is our mission.  Everything else takes a back seat.  

God has commanded us to live separated lives.  He has given us His definition of the words good, moral, evil, and amoral.  We do not get to change those definitions as the world has done.  Our lives are to meet His standards so that we can represent Him and bring glory to His name.  The world is to know God by what they see in us.  
DOES THE WORLD SEE GOD IN YOU? (1 Peter 2:11)

DOES THE WORLD SEE GOD IN YOU? (1 Peter 2:11)

May 15, 2016
If I were to describe someone as a good person, a moral person, what does that mean to you?  If I were to describe someone as an evil person, an amoral person, what does that mean to you?  Where do the definitions of the words good, moral, evil, and amoral come from? Are these words relative?  Are some people better than others, or more evil than others?

Do those words, good, moral, evil, and amoral, have the same meaning today as they did 10 years ago, 20 years ago, even 40 years ago?  I don’t think so, so why has the world changed the definition of what good and moral behavior means?  Why does the world want a different definition of these words?

As with all words, the meaning depends on the dictionary that you use for it.  For example, if I say the word resurrection as it relates to Christ, I mean the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  I get my definition from the Word of God, the Bible is my dictionary.  Many Christian religions, and some non-Christian religions, believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but they have a different definition for the word resurrection.  They may believe in a spiritual only resurrection, or maybe a symbolic resurrection, but not a physical resurrection.  They say the same words, but they use a different dictionary to define the word, so we have to be careful to know which dictionary we are using when we say the words good, moral, evil, and amoral.  

The answer to the question of why the world has changed the definition of these words is because God’s definition of these words, as He defines them in the Bible, are too restrictive.  They don’t fit in with the new morality.  So over time, man has chosen a different dictionary to define these words, they have moved away from God’s definitions in the Bible, to a definition of their own creation.  The further man moves from the definitions of the Bible, the more evil behavior is called good, and good behavior is called bad.  God warns us of this in His Word.

Isa 5:20
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
KJV

We live in a society today where homosexuality and lesbianism are called good.  Men can call themselves a woman, have some surgery, and they are called brave, heroes, and good.  It was not long ago that the country had a different name for these types of behavior, but now we are told we must accept evil and amoral behavior as good and moral.  In fact, we must go further than just accepting them, we must agree with the world and call them good and moral, or face persecution.

We live in a society today where God’s definitions of good, moral, evil, amoral, and those who preach, teach, and try to live by these definitions are the ones called evil and hateful.  Jesus tells how we should react to these descriptions.

Luke 6:22
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
KJV

So, let me ask you, are you feeling blessed these days?

Our lesson today is about why God wants His followers to live their lives by His definition of the words good, moral, evil, and amoral.  We are to be different from the world, not weird different, but a good difference.  A difference that people will notice and be drawn to.  We will never be perfect by God’s standards, but we are to live our lives more like Christ lived His life every day.  God has a purpose in this desire for us.  We are to be a separated people, not isolated, but separated from the world’s definitions.  We are God’s special people, a peculiar people, a chosen people.  We are His ambassadors and our lives should show it.  
OUR RESPONSE TO GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 2:9b-10)

OUR RESPONSE TO GOD’S GRACE (1 Peter 2:9b-10)

May 8, 2016
Today is Mother’s Day.  It is a special day for everyone, because no matter who you are, you had a Mother.  You may not know who your Mother was.  You may not have had a very good Mother, but if you are like most people, your Mother is very special to you.  Your Mom was there when you fell.  She was there when you cried out in fear of the darkness.  She was there when you hit a home run, or when you struck out for the third time that day, and she was there when you walked across the stage as a graduate.  She loved you no matter what.  She loved you when you didn’t call her, when you didn’t come by to see her, and even when you forgot her on Mother’s Day.  She just loved you.  How do you respond to that kind of love, to that kind of grace?

Do you tell other people how great she was?  Do you tell your children what a great mom you had?  Do you do your best to make her proud of you, of what you have become?  Not everyone’s Mom is still with us.  In fact, in a class with people of our age, some of our mom’s passed away some time ago.  I firmly believe that my Mother is looking down from heaven on me and my sister and brother, and she is checking up on us to make sure we are doing what she taught us to do.  My guess is that she has a conversation with Jesus every once in a while telling Him what she thinks of us.  

How do you respond to that kind of love and grace?

Our lesson today is about several things, we are going to finish up our discussion on our position before God, about the mercy and grace that God has shown us, but we are also going to talk about how we are to respond to our God who has loved us so much, and has shared His grace upon us.

How do you respond to that kind of love and grace?  Pretty amazing isn’t it?  Listen to this podcast to learn how to respond to God’s grace.  
OUR POSITION BEFORE GOD (1 Peter 2:8-9a)

OUR POSITION BEFORE GOD (1 Peter 2:8-9a)

May 1, 2016
If I were to ask you what your position in this world was, what would you say?  What is it that you are identified by?

Are you one of the social elite?  Not many of us would say yes to that, even if we were.  It would not be politically correct to be so crass.  If you are such a person, you just know it, and live it, you don’t have to brag about it, and people just identify you as such.  

Are you a victim of something?  That is the popular position to be in today, because if you are a victim of some type of injustice, then society owes you something.  You have the supposed right to take away something from your victimizer, and declare it as yours, whether you earned it or not.  If you can get the government to do it for you, even better.  You can usually be identified as a victim by the anger in your actions and your words, your intolerance of others, and the chip on your shoulder.  

Are you a proud member of the middle class?  Hard working, providing for your family.  You are a blue collar worker with a strong back and calloused hands to prove it.  You are identified by your work.

Are you a parent?  Which means you are a provider, a cook, a teacher, a caregiver, a protector, among a hundred other things.  This is what you are identified by, the family that you raise.   

Do you have a position in a religion?  Are you a priest, a preacher, a bishop, a cardinal, a deacon, a deaconess, a choir member, a Bible teacher, a back row Baptist, or a member of the amen pew?  Are you identified by the collar you wear, the cross around your neck, the ring on your finger, or the religious book that you carry around with you, be it the Bible, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, or the New Testament that you have in your pocket?  

What is your position in this world?  What are you identified by?  When someone introduces you, how do they describe you?

Our lesson today is about the position that we have before God, both the believer and the non-believer.  

Last week we discussed Christ as the Living Stone, the foundation stone of the church today.  Christ was rejected as not fitting in with the ideas of the Messiah that the Jews had, so He was killed, but God raised Him from the grave, and now He is our Royal High Priest serving in the Holy Tabernacle of Heaven.  He is the rock that our faith is built upon.  

As believers we are members of the family of God, joint-heirs with Christ, and royal priests, in the same manner of Christ.  That is our position before God.  But, what about the person who rejects Christ?  What is their position before the Living Stone that is Christ?
 
Listen to this podcast to learn your position before God.
CHRIST IS THE LIVING STONE (1 Peter 2:4-7)

CHRIST IS THE LIVING STONE (1 Peter 2:4-7)

April 24, 2016
When we think of building a home, we spend a lot of time thinking about how many rooms we want to have, how big they should be, should we use carpets on the floor or some kind of tile or wood; what kind of countertops, marble, Formica, tile, or even solid wood; what color the outside of the house should be, do you want a deck or a fence in the backyard.  Everything we spend the most time on is generally on the appearance of the home, and the functionality of the rooms, and that is understandable because that is what we see and use the most.  

I would hazard a guess that, other than deciding on whether or not to have a basement, most of us will not even spend 5 minutes making sure the house has a solid foundation to be built on.  As Jesus said in His parable of the two builders, there are wise builders and there are foolish builders.

Matt 7:24-27
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
KJV

The foundation of our home may not be the thing we think about the most, but the truth is, if the foundation of your home is not solid, the winds and storms of Kansas will blow all of that nice exterior and interior beauty away in just a brief moment.  In fact, after a tornado, often the only thing left is the foundation of the home.  

The spiritual house of our church and our own spiritual life, depend on having a solid foundation.  You can have the best music program, the most entertaining sermons, even the best youth programs, but if your spiritual house is not built on a faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God, then, you will have nothing but disappointment when the storms of tragedy come blowing into your life.  

1 Cor 3:11
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
KJV

This is what our lesson is about today.  Jesus Christ as the Living Stone that is to be the foundation that our spiritual house is built upon.
THE SOURCE OF POWER IN A CHRISTIAN LIFE (1 Peter 1:22-25)

THE SOURCE OF POWER IN A CHRISTIAN LIFE (1 Peter 1:22-25)

April 10, 2016
Have you ever been told by someone in authority that you are to go do something that you don’t believe is within your capability to do?  At my workplace, we move people around to different roles a lot.  With a large part of the employees, they are moving to a different role about every two years.  This means that they have to quickly learn how to do a particular role, and then just when they get a basic understanding of how to do it, they move on to another role.  

Quite often they will move a very young, inexperienced, person into a position of greater responsibility and expect them to sink or swim.  I often hear people say that they were intimidated by the responsibility of the new role, and that they did not feel capable of doing it.  However, the company philosophy is one of if you have the right virtues, talents, and philosophies, then they can put you just about anywhere, and you will succeed.  It can be a bit daunting at times.  

The one thing the company does do is provide the right tools to help a person who is humble enough to ask for the help.  I have watched as a person will try to succeed by his own wit and knowledge, and almost always, you will see them fail, many times quite miserably.  I have watched others who were humble enough to ask for help and they can often succeed.  The corporate world can be a real meat grinder of people.  The proud can rise, but they can also fall quite hard.   

The demand that God puts on us as believers is very similar to this.  You take a brand new Christian, and you immediately give them the elevated standing of an ambassador to the almighty Creator of all things.  You then tell them all of the things that God has done for them to provide them with eternal life and redemption, much as Peter has been doing over the last several weeks, and then you tell them all of the things that this new standing, or position, requires of them.  

They are to hate sin, they are to live a life that is uniquely different from the life they led before, and the life of the lost people all around them.  They are to tell people about the gospel message of Christ, but more than that because words can be hollow, they are to live a life that is a testimony to the Christ they serve.  They are to be a light in the darkness drawing people to them so that they can lead them to the cross of Jesus.  

It is easy to be intimidated by this requirement of a holy life.  Yet, God formed His plan of redemption for us from the foundation of time.  That plan included the tools and resources that the new-born Christian could depend on to accomplish the task that God had given them.  They just have to be humble enough to ask for the help.  It is absolutely impossible to live a holy life that is acceptable to God under your own wit and knowledge.  You simply cannot do it on your own.  You must use the power and tools that God is offering you, or you will fail, and fail miserably.  

Those tools and resources are the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, and the living, indestructible, incorruptible, and eternal, Word of God.  It is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God who are the true source of power in a Christian life.  God has provided them as part of His plan of redemption, you just have to be humble enough to seek them out and use them.  This is what our lesson is about today.  Listen to this podcast to learn the true source of power for the Christian to live a holy life.   
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