The Master’s Class, Summit Church
STUBBORN UNBELIEF (John 12:37-50)

STUBBORN UNBELIEF (John 12:37-50)

October 6, 2019

Jesus Christ has been my Lord and Savior since I was a young man. His Holy Spirit has lived in my heart for more than 50 years. In fact, it is hard for me to remember a time when the Holy Spirit was not my constant companion in everything that I did. I have chosen to live my life in the center of God’s will. I am God’s servant and that is the desire of my heart, to serve God in all that I do. However, that has not always been the case. There have been periods of my life when I have ignored Holy Spirit who lives within my heart. I have put Him in closet within my heart and told Him that He was not welcome in certain areas of my life. I wanted Him close by if I needed Him, but otherwise I didn’t want to be bothered. I wanted to live my life, my way. Now, every single time I did that, the Holy Spirit convicted me, chastised me, even took me out to the woodshed to discipline me. In short, I failed in all aspects of my life when Jesus was not first in my life. It is when Jesus is the President of my life, not just a resident, that I truly live an abundant life in the way God wants me to live.

As a result of this lifelong relationship with Jesus, it is sometimes hard for me to understand why someone would choose to reject Jesus as the Son of God, as their Lord, and as their Savior. Knowing what I know and what it has meant to me, it just doesn’t make sense to me why the vast majority of people would turn away from the free gift of eternal life in heaven with Jesus. It boggles my mind. Yet, it is true. Whether it is for self-centered reasons, or to chase after a false religion, they deliberately, willfully, and knowingly, choose to reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It doesn’t mean they cannot be reached. It doesn’t mean that they are morally bad people. It just means that, so far, they have made a deliberate decision to reject Christ. It means that if they were to die today, they would spend eternity in Hell, without God. Unfortunately, the longer a person lives rejecting Jesus, the harder it gets to ever reach them with the truth of who Jesus is. In other words, their mind is set in its ways. Their heart becomes hardened to the gospel message that is found in the Bible. They say, it cannot be true. That the words of the Bible have been corrupted by man. When you die, you die, and that is it.

Listen to me, the Bible is the one true word of God, and the God that I believe in, is powerful enough to protect His word from any efforts by man to corrupt it. If you believe that man can corrupt God’s Word, then you do not believe in the same almighty Creator of all things that I do. You do not believe in the God of the Bible.

I also believe that there comes a time in everyone’s life when they must choose Jesus as their Savior, or to reject Him. The Holy Spirit is patient with each of us.

2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
KJV

Jesus declared that He stands at the door knocking.

Rev 3:20
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
KJV

Jesus wants you to choose Him, but when the Holy Spirit determines that your decision is final, He will stop convicting you, and walk away. He will harden your heart to the word of God, and you will be doomed to die and go to Hell.

Click on the link below to hear a message about how the Jews, in their stubborn unbelief, finally rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and Jesus stopped knocking, stopped pleading with them, and then hardened their hearts.

Amen.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST (John 6:64-69)

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST (John 6:64-69)

March 10, 2019

This is an important question to have a ready answer for, because if you cannot articulate a response to that question in your own mind, then you will not be able to explain it to someone else. You cannot effectively share the gospel of Christ without explaining who Christ is and why you believe in Him.

Now, as believers, we all will agree that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He came as God incarnate in man. That is the easy part. Yet, many of us will have a different answer to the question of why we believe in Jesus Christ. It will be different because each of us came to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior in our own way. Some of us, like me, knew Jesus from a very young age, others not until much later in life, and still others after a tragedy or trial occurred.

How we were saved is the same for each of us, for there is but one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ, but how we learned to love Jesus is different.

Click on the link below to hear a message on why I believe in Jesus Christ, and hopefully, it will help you learn how to express your own reasons.

Amen.

A STRONG, SAVING, FAITH (John 4:48-54)

A STRONG, SAVING, FAITH (John 4:48-54)

November 25, 2018

Why do we Follow Christ? Think about your answer to that question, why do you follow Christ?

Do we follow Christ because of promised healing? No, that is not the reason we follow Christ, because Christians get sick and die just like everyone else.

Do we follow Christ because of protection from disaster or accidents? I see no evidence that Christians escape disaster and accidents more often than others. A bullet makes no detour around the body of a believer.

Do we follow Christ for promised prosperity? Again, I see no evidence that Christians are particularly favored with wealth and success in the world.

Do we follow Christ because of a promise of stronger personalities or fewer neuroses than non-believers? I have watched Christians suffer emotional and mental disabilities, just like non-believers.

So, why do we follow Christ? Why become a disciple of Jesus when life may become more complicated as He so often warned us it would?

For one reason alone. In Jesus we behold the face of God. He is the truth, the everlasting truth. I trust in Him and His promises. He is the one certain thing in an uncertain world. He is to be worshiped, not so something will happen to me or to the world, something already has happened to me and the world, but because He is God, who through Christ has reconciled the world to Himself. He saves me. He is my justification. He is the center that holds. We offer our lives to Him because He alone has claim upon us."

Don’t base your faith in Jesus Christ based on signs and wonders. Jesus is the Savior. He suffered, lived, bled, and died for you, rose from the dead, and if you'll trust Him, I promise you, according to His Word, He will save you and He will keep you, and one day we'll be gathered around the throne to give Him praise forever and ever and ever. Believe in miracles, but trust in Jesus, and you go from a superficial faith, to a strong faith, to a saving faith. That's what matters.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to progress from a superficial faith based on signs and wonders, to a strong, saving, faith in Jesus Christ.

Amen.

THE LAST MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE (Revelation 22:14-21)

THE LAST MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE (Revelation 22:14-21)

June 24, 2018

The last message of the Bible is choose Jesus. It really is that simple. The whole Bible was given to us so that we might choose Jesus. The last promise from our Lord is Surely, I come quickly. The last prayer of this book is Even so, come, Lord Jesus. In these last words, the Lord Jesus Christ makes a proposal to every person who is alive today. He asks you to choose Him as your Lord and Savior. He is asking you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven, instead of eternity without Him in Hell. Choose Jesus, that is the last message of the Bible.

Who cares if a sinner goes to hell? The Lord Jesus cares. Jesus said, "I sent a message with an angel, and I said to that angel, go to the churches and give them this message. I want them saved." The Lord Jesus cares if you go to Hell. That's why Jesus stepped out of the glories of heaven and walked the dusty shores of Galilee. That's why Jesus left heaven's love for earth's abuse. That's why Jesus was nailed to that horrible cross and died in agony and blood.

Why? With every drop of His blood, He is saying, "I love you and I want to save you." It is a Biblical truth that if you die and go to hell, you will have to climb over the battered, bruised, body of Jesus to get there. He's saying, "Stop! Don't go to hell."

Click on the link below to hear a message on how much Jesus Christ wants you to choose Him.

Amen.

GAINING VICTORY IN JESUS (Revelation 15:3-8)

GAINING VICTORY IN JESUS (Revelation 15:3-8)

February 4, 2018

Let me ask you a question, have you ever considered celebrating the wrath of God?

Chapter 15 of the Book of Revelation talks about the tribulation saints standing in victory on the crystal sea of glass, or the Word of God, and celebrating the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can learn three principles about our victory in Jesus Christ from these Tribulation saints, and how to celebrate that victory. We are studying the Tribulations saints and the events that occur during that Tribulation Period, but there is much that we can learn from this set of verses and apply to our lives today.

Have you ever looked at the sin of those around you and asked the question, Where is the wrath of God? Doesn’t God promise to punish sin? Yet, when you look at rape, child abuse, blasphemy, sexual perversion of all kinds, and the horror of terrorism, we are all tempted to ask, Where is God? And where is His wrath?

The answer to the question of where is God? Is, He is on His throne. The answer to the question of where is God’s wrath? John tells us “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?... for thy judgments are made manifest.” God’s judgements are God’s wrath for sin. John says that God’s judgment, or wrath, is made manifest, or visible, for all to see. One thing the Bible teaches us for certain is that all sin will be punished. Your sin will be punished. My sin will be punished. Every sin, whether it be that of a lost person, or a saved, will be punished. The only question is, who will bear that punishment? Every sin will be either pardoned by Christ, or punished in hell, but it will never be overlooked. Nobody’s sin is ever overlooked. All sin is dealt with.

Don't ever forget that the secret of our victory is the wrath of God. Apart from the wrath of God, apart from the righteous judgment of God, there can be no ultimate victory. Sin must be dealt with. We celebrate the Wrath of God, because we know that God will deal with all sin. God is indeed a loving God, but God is also a just God. God will deal with all sin. As believers, our victory comes from three things, the Word of God, the redeeming works of God, and the righteous wrath of God.

Amen.

GATHERING CLOUDS (Revelation 14:14-15:2)

GATHERING CLOUDS (Revelation 14:14-15:2)

January 28, 2018

Without a doubt, I praise the Holy name of God that, during the period that I have been alive on this earth, there may have been wars, there may have been rumors of wars, but there has not been a major world war to endure the tragedy of on a global scale. There was the Vietnam war, the Cold war, Israel’s Six-day war, the battle of Yom Kippur, The Falkland Islands, the Iraq wars, and the war on Terror, just to name a few. Each of these was terrible in its human toll of death and injury. Now, make no mistake about it, when you are a soldier fighting, and your friends are dying around you, it doesn’t matter if the war you are in is called a world war, a police action, a skirmish, or a conflict, it is horrible, it is tragic, and I am glad we have soldiers willing to fight these wars.

But the scale of deaths in a global conflict is staggering. If we look at WWII, just as an example, depending on where you look, they estimate the total deaths due to the conflict as anywhere from 35 million to 96 million people. All of these other wars that I mentioned earlier pale in comparison to the deaths and casualties that occurred during WWII.

Yet, one thing is consistent no matter the size of the conflict, each of these wars had a period at the beginning where the storms clouds of war were gathering. People, rulers, and nations, made decisions that either cast their country into war, or turned toward peace. We have many of those events happening in our world today. North Korea and Iran are two that come to mind. Either of these countries could throw the world into a major war based on the decisions their rulers make.

Chapter 14 of the Book of Revelation tells us of a turning point in Satan’s worldwide empire that will exist during the Tribulation Period. It describes that from this point on in our study, God is going to start intervening in the events of the world until it reaches a point where Satan is defeated, the world is judged, and those who have rejected the gospel message of Christ will be cast into the Lake of Fire with Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. This chapter tells us that the storm clouds of a truly epic war, unlike anything that mankind has seen before, is about to become a reality. Decisions are being made, and eternal destinies are being decided.

Click on the link below to hear a message about the coming of the Day of the Lord. The storm clouds are gathering as God moves toward judging the evil of the world at the Battle of Armageddon.

Amen.

JESUS CHRIST THE ALMIGHTY GOD (Revelation 10:3-11)

JESUS CHRIST THE ALMIGHTY GOD (Revelation 10:3-11)

October 29, 2017

The Book of Revelation presents to the world Jesus Christ as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Creator of all things, and the Lord of lords and King of kings. Jesus is the One we worship.

One of these days, sin's clock will be stopped, and the mystery of God will be finished, and delay will be no more. Sin has been on a rampage. Righteousness seems to have suffered. It is now coming to a conclusion. God has given the inhabitants of the earth time for repentance, but time is running out. The clock will strike its last note and sin's clock is about to be stopped. God’s mercy for sin is about to end. The time for repentance will come to an end.

Don't get the idea that you have time before the rapture to turn to God, for that may come at any moment. Don't get the idea that even after the rapture, that God will continue to give you time, even if you've never heard the Gospel before. There is coming a time when time will run out. When God's clock stops, that's it! And if you are not on God's train, you are going to be left.

The Book of Revelation tells us about the majesty, the mastery, and the mystery of Jesus Christ. When I see the majesty of Christ that means Jesus, my Savior is due my total worship. When I see the mastery of His power that means that Jesus my Lord is worthy of my total confidence. He is the one who has everything under control. When I see God’s mysteries are revealed, then God’s mercy ends.

Click on the link below to hear a message on our Lord Jesus Christ as He is revealed in The Book of Revelation.

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.

UNMASKING THE FALSE (2 Peter 2:1)

UNMASKING THE FALSE (2 Peter 2:1)

November 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 20, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARE YOU AN EYEWITNESS?  (2 Peter 1:16-18)

ARE YOU AN EYEWITNESS? (2 Peter 1:16-18)

November 15, 2016

Have you ever been an eyewitness to a crime? At the age of 17, I was the victim of an armed robbery at the store I was working at, and at the age of 18, I was the victim of an assault by a gang of teenagers. In both cases, I was expected to describe what the person, or people, looked like, how tall they were, how much they weighed, how they were dressed, what race they were, were they male or female, and to describe exactly what happened. This is what eyewitnesses do, they testify to the activities that occurred and who did what in the crime. If a suspect is caught, then they are required to testify against them, under oath, swearing that what they are saying is true and factual, so help them God.

Have you ever been asked to be an eyewitness for God? Well, you might say, how is that possible, for we have never seen God? So, let me ask you a question, is your eyesight the only sense that you have which allows you to describe what has happened in an event? Can you use your ears, your taste, your smell, or what you can feel with your hands? How about your feelings, your experiences?

If somebody asked you, is Jesus really the Son of God? Could you be an eyewitness to that fact? Could you testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God under oath in a courtroom? You should be able to. If Jesus Christ is real in your life, if you have experienced His power in your life, if His spirit lives in your heart, then you should know Jesus Christ better than you do your own spouse. I said a couple of weeks ago, that when you get to heaven and the Lord is waiting for you, you are not going to meet a stranger, you are going to meet your best friend. You are not going to meet somebody you have only read about in a book, you are going to meet someone you have a heart knowledge of. If you are an adopted child of God, joint heir with Christ, then you should be able to testify with absolute confidence as to who Jesus Christ is.

In addition to being an eyewitness to who Christ is, you are likely to also quote from the Bible as proof of who Jesus Christ is, because the Bible is what we base our faith on. We say we believe it because it is the Word of God. Now, if you do, then inevitably, somebody is going to raise the question, How do you know that the Bible is really the Word of God, that it is not just the writings of a bunch of people with a creative imagination?

Listen to this podcast to learn how to answer the questions, is the Bible real, is the gospel of salvation true, and is Jesus Christ the Son of God. Listen to the Word of God as we hear the answers directly from an eyewitness to the Lord’s majesty.

Amen.

THE WORD OF GOD SURVIVES HUMAN MEMORY (2 Peter 1:12-15)

THE WORD OF GOD SURVIVES HUMAN MEMORY (2 Peter 1:12-15)

November 6, 2016
Memory.  Do you have trouble remembering things?  Of course you do, we all do.  Most studies on adult learning will tell you that people will remember only about 20% of what they hear in a lecture class like this one, and they will remember that for only about an hour, maybe two, after the class.  Stretch that out to two or three days, and the amount they remember is down to about 1%.  If they have an outline to read while the lecture is going on, the amount they remember goes up slightly, and if they write down notes, its goes up a little bit more.  I am no better, sometimes my wife will ask me what the preacher’s sermon was about today when we get home, and to be honest, I have to really stop and think about it.

Memory is both defective and selective.  We don’t remember things like they really were.  If we are honest, the good ole days were not really as good as we remember them to be.  Remember, the race riots of the 60’s and 70’s, the free love and drug movements, Watergate, and the war protests.  The good ole days had their own issues, but we remember the good things that we want, like how things used to run at a slower pace, we weren’t bombarded with so much of the media constantly blaring at us.  Families actually sat down at the table and ate together, and books were for reading, instead of just being used as decorations.  Our memory is both defective and selective, but we don’t have to base our faith on our memory, for we have the Word of God to put us in remembrance of what Peter, and Paul, and the other apostles taught.   

God knows we have a poor memory and so He has given His Word in the form of the Bible so that we can remember it, and in spite of all man’s efforts to change it, God’s Word survives.  Peter is gone, Paul is gone, the great evangelists of the past are gone, but the Word of God survives human memory.  

Listen to this podcast to learn how God wants us to know we have the wonderful promises of salvation written down in the inerrant, infallible, and Holy Spirit inspired Word of God.  
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.   
THE MAJESTY OF GOD’S WORD (1 Peter 1:12-13)

THE MAJESTY OF GOD’S WORD (1 Peter 1:12-13)

March 6, 2016
These are important times in the history of our country.  The decisions that we make today about who will lead our country will have a tremendous impact on the direction that we go.  Will we move back to the values of God, or rush at an even faster pace toward the values of man?  Will we choose a man or woman who has his own pride of accomplishments, and his own wisdom, to guide him, or will we choose a person who depends on the Word of God to guide his decisions?  The Bible tells us that at the top of the list of things that God hates, is pride, for if a man is full of pride, then he will not turn to God for wisdom.  If we choose a man full of pride, then we will fail as a country.  

As believers, when we have difficult choices to make, we have a tremendous advantage over those who do not have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master.  The believer, open Bible in hand, has access to truth in more realms of human activity than all of the politicians, philosophers, educators, scientists, and gurus of the world have. 

What politician has available to him a book that can foretell the future of the nations?  It would be nice to have a politician that knew the Bible well enough that he knew the difference between 2 Corinthians and Second Corinthians.  Someone who actually used the Bible to find the will of God for our country and not just as a prop that he held upside down in the picture.

What psychologist has at his fingertips an unerring guide to human behavior and to the law of sin and death, as we do in the Bible? 

What philosopher has access to the mysteries that lie beyond the grave? 

What reformer has access to power that can transform human personality and make drunken men sober, crooked men straight, and horribly sinful people pure? 

When faced with a question, the humblest believer, open Bible in hand, has access to all such knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.  The angels must marvel that so many of us act as though we were drunk rather than sober, that we are content to rely on this world's wisdom and remain in ignorance of God's Word or, knowing it, refuse to act upon it.  The Word of God is to be our focus.  It is to be read, studied, memorized, and applied to our lives.  

The Bible should be the favorite book for every believer to be reading.  It should be more important that watching TV, or looking at social media on the computer.  In fact, you should be able to gauge how important the Bible is to you and your walk with Christ by how much time you spend reading and studying it as compared with the time you spend with other books, computers, or TV.  If the Bible holds the bottom of the ranking, then your life will show that.  Your witness will show that, and your family and friends are watching you.  Your grandkids are watching you, the past saints are watching you, the angels are watching you, and God is watching you.  Do you believe that?  Do you really believe that all of these people, including the saints, the angels, and God are watching you?

In fact, someone once said that to many people of the world, you are the only Bible that they will ever read.  If you are not reading and applying the Bible on a daily basis to your life, then they will not see God’s Word in you at all.  

If you are looking for wisdom in choosing who will lead this country, the answer can be found in the Word of God.  Listen to this podcast to understand the majesty of the Word of God.
THE QUESTION OF SCRIPTURE (1 Peter 1:9-11)

THE QUESTION OF SCRIPTURE (1 Peter 1:9-11)

February 28, 2016
We have many great promises of God that we base our faith on.  We are certain of these promises and of the truth of God’s Word.  If God’s Word is not true, then our faith is in vain.  Praise God that we know the inerrancy of God’s Word.  

2 Tim 3:16
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
KJV

John Phillips states that the great message of Scripture is salvation.  It is contained in the history books of the Bible, chorused in the poetic books of the Bible, and contemplated in the prophetic books of the Bible.  It is crystallized in the Gospels, confessed in the Acts, clarified in the Epistles, and consummated in the Revelation.  The Bible is the book in which salvation truth has been revealed.  The purpose of the Bible is not to teach us things that we can otherwise discover for ourselves.  

The Bible is not a handbook of history, although it contains a great deal of history, and the history it does record is unerringly accurate.  It is not a textbook of science, although it speaks to many scientific themes, and its astronomy, meteorology, physics, and medicine are totally inerrant.  It is not a treatise on legislation, although it contains a thoroughly comprehensive legal code that is so sublime as to be the foundation of all modern Western civilized codes. It is not a book about psychology, although it speaks with authority on all matters of human behavior. 

The Bible is a book about salvation.  It goes beyond the reach and scope of human reasoning.  It tells us truth that can be known only by divine revelation.  It tells us all that we need to know about the salvation God has given us.

Human reasoning says that we must work for our salvation.  God’s Word says that our salvation is by grace.  Christ has already done the work for us.  

Man says, Do!  God says, Done! 

Man says, Try! God says, Trust! 

God has provided us a great salvation.  Listen to this podcast to learn how God’s Word reveals the truth of this salvation
TO BE PATIENT TO THE END (James 5:8-11)

TO BE PATIENT TO THE END (James 5:8-11)

June 15, 2014
We live in a world today where more Christians are being killed for their faith than at any other time in history.  Countries in the Middle East, like Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia daily beat and execute Christians just because their faith does not match their own Muslim religion.  Places of Christian worship are destroyed by the religious intolerant.   What is sad is that the mass media and the other governments of the world have, for the most part, ignored what is going on in these countries. 

The U.S. is also following this trend.  While it is currently possible for preachers and teachers of the Word of God to tell what God has defined as the absolute truths of right and wrong, I see a time coming very soon when these same sermons will be considered as hate speech by our own government.  Preachers will be silenced from telling the world what the Bible teaches, even in their own churches.  Imprisonment, lawsuits, and persecution, will be applied to those who choose to preach and teach Biblical truths.  Our government has systematically removed God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible, from our government meetings, our schools, our universities, and the public square.  

I believe as Ronald Reagan once said, "Without God, there is no virtue, because there's no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we're mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." -- Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast in Dallas, Texas, 23 August 1984 (President RONALD WILSON REAGAN)

Listen to this study of the book of James to learn that even in the face of the harshest persecution, God has a happy ending for us as believers.  We have the promise of the Lord’s return.  

We have the promise that the Lord will come in power and judgment.  

We have the promise of an eternity in heaven with the Lord Jesus welcoming us with the words well done.  

We have the promise of joy, unspeakable and full of glory.  

This is why we can be patient.  Why, when we are subject to religious intolerance and persecution, we can be still, and why we can be strong, for we know the day of the Lord is coming soon.  
HOW GOD’S WORD CHANGES US (James 1:21-24)

HOW GOD’S WORD CHANGES US (James 1:21-24)

January 20, 2014

What are the events that have made a dramatic change in the direction of your life?

The loss of a loved one?  A new job?  Becoming married?  Becoming a parent?   

All of these things are significant agents of change in our lives, but there is one other thing that can have the greatest impact on our lives, and that is a personal, soul cleansing, spirit regenerating, relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word that we call the Bible.  

Listen to this podcast to learn how God’s Word changes us. 

The Bible is the tool that God has provided for believers to understand the mind of God.  It teaches us how to live our lives.  It gives us the answers to almost all of our questions about the important things in our lives.  

Where do we come from.  Where are we going, both in the short term, and for eternity.  

How we are to treat others.  How we are to worship God.  It gives us the absolute truths about right and wrong.  It gives us the penalties of doing wrong, and the rewards for doing what God wants. 

The Word of God explains how much God loves you and what God has done for you.