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.

A LAST ATTEMPT (John 12:23-36)

A LAST ATTEMPT (John 12:23-36)

September 29, 2019

Have you ever had an event or an experience that you knew was going to be really, really, bad in front of you? You knew it needed to be done, people were depending on you, but you had a few days that you had to get through before it would begin? The waiting, the dreading, the sheer horribleness of it playing on your mind. I can think of things like watching my mother’s last few days on the earth, and the suffering she was dealing with. I knew her death was imminent. I knew it would happen in the next few days. I knew she would be in heaven soon, but I had to steel myself for the emotions that would come.

A soldier facing some kind of really tough battle. He knows the chances were slim that he was going to make it, but he couldn’t let his brothers in arms down. These were men he depended on, and they were the ones who depended on him, so he prepared himself to deal with it.

This is what our next few messages are going to be about for Jesus. He knew this was the reason that He had come to earth. His whole life had been about this coming hour. The entire human race depended on Him completing the work of salvation. He knew that He was about to carry the burden of every sin that had ever been committed and would ever be committed. He knew the ugliness of the world’s worst sins was about to be thrust upon Him and He would have to die as punishment for that sin. He dreaded the hour, but He knew the whole world depended on Him, and so He prepared Himself. There was so much He needed to do before that hour came, but His disciples needed to hear what He had to say. These next several weeks are going to be a study in how much Jesus loved each and every one of us, even the Jews and the Romans who would crucify Him.

Click on the link below to hear a message on what is likely the Lord’s last attempt to convince the Jews that He was the Son of God, the Promised Messiah.

Amen.

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

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

July 7, 2019

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

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

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

Amen.

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

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

July 3, 2019

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

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

Amen.

WHO IS JESUS CHRIST TO YOU? (John 8:24-41)

WHO IS JESUS CHRIST TO YOU? (John 8:24-41)

June 2, 2019

This is the single most important question that each of us must answer. No other question has your eternal destiny in the balance. It is the one question that Jesus will look at when you stand before Him to be Judged.

John 5:22-24
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
KJV

Today’s message is one with three powerful statements by our Lord Jesus.

The first one is a declaration that Jesus is God, and if you fail to believe that He is God, then you will die in your sins.

John 8:24
24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
KJV

The second is that if you truly accept Jesus, the Son of God, as the Lord and Master or your life, then that truth will set you free from the bondage of sin.

John 8:31-32
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
KJV

The third statement is that if you commit sin, then you are the slave of sin. If you do the works of Satan, then you are the slave of Satan.

John 8:34
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
KJV

With these three statements, Jesus Christ is laying out the gospel message of the Bible right here in this set of verses. These are powerful statements that are meant to convict the hearts of each of us.

Click on the link below to hear a powerful testimony as to who Jesus Christ is. Jesus declares Himself to be God. You may want to call Jesus a good man, a prophet, a teacher, or a healer, but until you call Him God, Jesus says “that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” If you refuse to accept Jesus as God, then you are still without a passport to an eternity in heaven. Deny Jesus as God, and you will spend an eternity burning in the fires of Hell. Is just doesn’t get any plainer, any more powerful, than that.

Amen.

JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (John 8:12-24)

JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (John 8:12-24)

May 27, 2019

When Bible talks about Jesus being the light of the world it has several meanings, but essentially it means that Jesus is God. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the light of the world? If not, then how long have you been rejecting Jesus as the light of the world? How many times do you believe that the Holy Spirit will stand knocking on the door of your heart asking to come in? Everyone wants to believe they have forever to decide about Jesus, but the truth is, that there comes a time in everyone’s life when their refusal to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, becomes final, and the Holy Spirit walks away never to return. When this happens, the eternal destiny of that person is sealed forever.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how Jesus is the light of the world, and how the rejection of that truth will cause God to leave you to die in your sins.

Amen.

GAINING VICTORY OVER SATAN (Revelation 12:11-17)

GAINING VICTORY OVER SATAN (Revelation 12:11-17)

December 10, 2017

We are studying a period in the future called the Tribulation Period. It is a time which begins after the church is raptured out to meet the Lord in the air. It is a seven-year period of great tribulation and chaos. It is filled with war, disease, famine, and overwhelming demonic activity. During this Tribulation Period, Israel has many earthly foes, but Israel’s biggest enemy is Satan. John describes him as the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan. He is called a dragon, because he is so fierce. He is called a serpent, because he is so subtle. He is called the devil. The word devil means accuser because he is the accuser of the brethren. He is called Satan. The word Satan means adversary. Israel is in a spiritual fight with Satan.

As believers in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are also in a spiritual fight with Satan. Satan has a plan to destroy your witness. He has a battle strategy to defeat you as you do the work that God has given you to do.

In our message today, John speaks of the saints of the Tribulation Period when he says, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Satan, who is cast out of heaven once and for all, now is here upon the earth. He is filled with violent rage. He knows that things are closing in on him. He's like a cornered animal. He begins to fight against the saints with an intensity that he's never known before, and so there is a battle on earth during the Tribulation Period.

And even though, Satan and his minions, the Antichrist and the false prophet, slaughter untold millions upon millions of people, Satan does not defeat these saints. Instead, the saints gained victory over Satan. And what I want you to see in our message today is that John gives us the three-part formula that the saints used to gain this victory over Satan. And the wonderful thing about this message is that you can use that formula today in this age, or in any age to lead a victorious Christian life by defeating Satan’s plan for your life.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how you can gain victory over Satan in your life by the blood of the Lamb, the word of your testimony, and loving not your life even if it means you must die for Christ.

Amen.

ISRAEL’S SATANIC FOE (Revelation 12:3-12)

ISRAEL’S SATANIC FOE (Revelation 12:3-12)

December 3, 2017

God has not turned His back on Israel. He has not forgotten them, and He has not abrogated any of the promises that He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Every promise that God has made, God will fulfill completely, and He will fulfill it just as He planned to do so from the foundation of time. God’s plan is on schedule, and that plan includes God’s chosen people, the people of Israel. Israel is God's yardstick. Israel is God's measuring rod. Israel is God's blueprint, and Israel is God's program for what He is doing in the world. Each of us stand here today blessed because of Israel. The Bible that I hold dear to me is a Jewish book. I serve a Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. And God has made Abraham a blessing to all the nations of the world.

Yet, the nation Israel has a satanic foe. Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation describes this foe as a great red dragon. John says that he is red because of his bloodlust. He is a murderer. He is called a dragon, because he's so fierce. He is called a serpent, because he's so subtle. He is called the devil, and the word devil means accuser because he's the accuser of the brethren. He is also called Satan, and the word Satan means adversary. Satan hates Jesus, and he hates the Jew. As Bible believing Christians, we are to love Jesus, and we are to love the Jew, if for no other reason than the fact that Satan hates them.

Satan is indeed a powerful foe, but he is also a defeated foe. Jesus Christ defeated Satan when He died on the cross and then rose victoriously from the grave. Satan is on his way down, and all those who follow him will go down with him. First, Satan was cast down from his lofty place in heaven where he was the anointed cherub, ministering praise to God, but still given access to heaven in order to accuse the brethren. Yet there is a time coming when even that limited access is taken from Satan and he's cast down to the earth. And then he's going to be cast into the bottomless pit, the abyss. Then, he's going to be taken out of the abyss and put into the lowest hell, and that's where he will spend eternity and he won't be ruling there in hell. He won’t be in charge of anything down there. He will simply be in the worst kind of torment, for all of eternity.

The one who said, I will exalt myself above the stars of God, will be brought down into the lowest hell. When Satan fell, he took a third of the angels with him. Every one of those angels, that chose to follow Satan, is going to be brought down to the lowest hell with him. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. God did not make hell for you. God made hell for the devil and the devil's angels. That tells me if you do go to hell, then you will be an intruder there. You will be going someplace you were not meant to go to, for Hell was not made for you. But if you chose to follow Satan, instead of Christ, then just like these angels, that will be your destiny. Why in the world would you choose to follow a loser? I have made my choice, and I am following the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope you have made your choice for the Lord as well.

Click on the link below to learn about Israel’s satanic foe, and how you can defeat him and live a victorious Christian life.

Amen.

JESUS CHRIST AS KING (Revelation 11:14 to 12:2)

JESUS CHRIST AS KING (Revelation 11:14 to 12:2)

November 26, 2017

There is a time coming in the future when heaven will open up and the people of the world will see Jesus Christ crowned as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Jesus Christ is coming to this world to establish His Kingdom on earth. Satan has been trying to establish this kingdom since the beginning of mankind, but all of his efforts have failed. Yet, there is a time that Jesus Christ will come to this earth to rule the whole world. It is important to understand that the Lord is not coming to be given a simple constitutional monarchy. Rather, it will be absolute, untrammeled, unhindered power. It will not be granted to Him by some decree issued by a group of men. No church will grant Him this reign. It will be taken, and imposed upon the earth, by the absolute power of God.

Heaven's ideal form of government for earth is a totalitarian monarchy with complete power vested in the Person of the Lord Jesus. When Jesus Christ comes to set up His Kingdom on earth, that is what it will be, and nothing, or no one, will be able to stand in His way.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the great power of our Lord Jesus.

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.

WHY BRING TRIBULATION (Revelation 6:1)

WHY BRING TRIBULATION (Revelation 6:1)

July 30, 2017

Our lesson today begins in chapter 6 of the Book of Revelation, and what we will see in this chapter is that the world is on a collision course with judgment by God. That may not be a socially acceptable message, and some of the more sensitive of our society are probably running for their safe spaces right about now, but it is certainly true.

So, when I say that the world is on a collision course with judgment by God, what does that mean? Many people think that judgment only involves the active stance a judge takes when he delivers a sentence to the guilty person. But a judge can also take a passive stance, letting the chips fall where they may and allowing the consequences of one’s behavior to serve as the judgement. This passive stance is how God will judge the world in these next few chapters. There will come a time for God to take the active stance of condemning those who have rejected Him. But first, God will simply let the world have its own way.

Think about it. How hard has the world been trying to deny the existence of God? How hard have they rebelled against God’s morality, and divine truths about right and wrong? How hard have they persecuted Christ’s followers trying to eradicate them from the face of the earth? How hard have they tried to deny that Christ is the Son of God, that He was born of a virgin, and that He died on the cross for the sins of the world? That He was buried and rose, bodily, from the grave, and then ascended into heaven, promising that one day He would return to reign in power forever an ever? How hard have they tried to prove that none of these things are true?

One of God’s methods of judging the world during the Tribulation Period will be to simply let the world have its way. Ironically, when the world gets what it wants, it will not want what it gets. Jesus describes the Tribulation Period as containing such horrible events beyond anything that has happened in the entire history of mankind.

So why would a loving God allow such horrible things to happen?

Click on the link below to learn that the answer to that question is to bring God’s chosen people, the Israelites, back to Him, and to restore them to their position in His Kingdom. The Tribulation Period is about the Jews, not the church.

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.  
WE HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE WORLD (Romans 15:8-12)

WE HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE WORLD (Romans 15:8-12)

November 1, 2015
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a message just for the few, or the select.  It is a message for the world.  It is a message of God’s grace, God’s love, God’s truth, God’s sacrifice, and ultimately God’s judgment.  

As Christians, we are the ambassadors for Christ on this earth.  Our home is in heaven and our eternal destiny is secure resting safely in the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We do not have to be good to get into heaven, for we are already citizens in heaven.  Christ has paid the price for our sins, and our faith in Him has made us the adopted sons and daughters of the almighty God.  I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I will be greeted and welcomed by my Lord Jesus in heaven when I leave this life.  

We are sojourners on the earth, with a message of the good news of God’s grace to declare.  Part of that message is how we embrace and accept our fellow believers in Christ.  This is what our lessons have been about over the last several weeks, for we are to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ in a way that will build them up, and that will be for their lasting benefit.  

In areas where we have the flexibility to accommodate a weaker brother’s beliefs in debatable issues, we are to accommodate them.  Our guide is to never be a stumbling block, but to always be a stepping stone in our brother’s spiritual growth.  In all things we are to love our God with all of our heart, mind, spirit, and soul, and then we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  

This is the witness that we are to have to the outside world, one of compassion and love for one another.  As a body of believers, we are to have unity in essential beliefs, and we are to have liberty in non-essential beliefs.  

Yet, there is also a time when we are to stand up for what is God’s truth.  There can be no compromise in the areas of vital truth.

This is what our lesson is about today, how the believer is to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ to the world. 
GOD’S PURPOSE IN RESTORING ISRAEL PART II (Romans 11:27-36)

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

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

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

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

What is God’s purpose in restoring Israel?  It is to show His power and His glory to a world that has rejected Him.  He is telling the world that there is but one true God, and that He alone is deserving of our worship.    
GOD’S PURPOSE IN RESTORING ISRAEL (Romans 11:25-26)

GOD’S PURPOSE IN RESTORING ISRAEL (Romans 11:25-26)

June 10, 2015
God has declared in His Word that He will restore Israel to it place of religious privilege.  In this week’s podcast we discuss when God says this event will occur.  It is not a specific date, for no man knows this date, but the Bible tells us that it will occur when the Fullness of the Gentiles is complete.  

Listen to this podcast to learn about the difference between what the Bible calls the Times of the Gentiles and the Fullness of the Gentiles.  When God has finished using the Gentiles to spread His message of eternal life, He will turn again to the Jews.  He will judge them, and then He will bless them.
ISRAEL WILL BE RESTORED (Romans 11:16-24)

ISRAEL WILL BE RESTORED (Romans 11:16-24)

June 10, 2015
In last week’s lesson, we discussed God’s judicial blinding, or hardening, of the nation of Israel for their rejection of Christ as the Messiah and their subsequent rejection of the gospel message.  Paul described for us the place of special religious privilege the Jews had been granted by God as the channel of God’s message of salvation for the world.  But their rejection of God’s plan and His Son, Jesus, as the Promised Messiah caused God to remove them, temporarily, from this place of religious privilege.  Since the day of Pentecost, it has been the church, that body of true believers, who have now occupied the position of being God’s channel of the gospel message to the world.  

So, Paul has given the Gentiles a warning that they should not be proud of the fall of the Jews and their own rise to a position of religious privilege, for this is but a temporary state of affairs, as well.  Without a doubt, God’s plan for dealing with Israel includes their restoration to the position of being the channel of salvation for the world.  

In this podcast Paul uses the illustration of the olive tree to explain to the believing Gentiles what God is doing by dealing with Israel during this period, the relative positions of the Jews and Gentiles in God’s plan, and the power and purpose of God to restore Israel to its place of spiritual privilege.
TO BE BLINDED TO THE TRUTH (Romans 11:7-15)

TO BE BLINDED TO THE TRUTH (Romans 11:7-15)

June 7, 2015
Our lesson today is about how Paul describes the way God is dealing with Israel today.  They are a nation that God has temporarily set aside from their place of special religious privilege for their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Promised Messiah.  For this rejection of God’s plan and purposes, the Jews are now divided into two groups.  The unbelieving blinded majority, and the believing minority.  

The unbelieving Jew who makes up the blinded majority rejects Jesus Christ as the Promised Messiah that their own Scriptures proclaim Him to be.  They reject God’s gift of salvation through the cross and depend on their religion for the righteousness they seek.  Paul describes this search as something that they have not obtained, for the righteousness of God can only be obtained in one way, and that is through the faith in Christ. 

The believing minority have found favor in the sight of God and have been added to the body of true believers called the church.  

Listen to this podcast to learn how God is dealing with Israel today.  
  
UNRELENTING DISBELIEF (Romans 10:16 to 11:6)

UNRELENTING DISBELIEF (Romans 10:16 to 11:6)

June 2, 2015
When presented with the simplicity of the gospel message, that salvation, eternal life in heaven, and God’s acceptance, are the gifts of God, freely given to anyone who will make Jesus Christ their Lord and Master, why do people dogmatically, stubbornly, and unreasonably, refuse to believe?

The answer is different for each person, but many simply prefer their lives as they are.  They are happy with their life.  They find fulfillment in their work, in their social life, or in their hobbies.  They are not in need of anything, certainly not a Savior, and they ask what do I need to be saved from?  Eternal life is a sketchy, made up thing, so why do I need to worry about it?  Is heaven or hell even real?

Others might say that they simply don’t want to give up the way they live their lives.  Religion is a bunch of “No’s”, don’t do this, don’t do that, essentially don’t do anything that is fun.  I can’t believe in anything that says I can’t be happy.

Still others would say that they don’t like the idea of owing something to a Creator.  For if a Creator does exist, and that Creator made them, then that Creator has the sovereign right to establish the absolute truths about right and wrong.  He decides what is a sin, and what is righteous behavior, and the social morals of today are not valid.  If this is true, then God has the right to decide the path to eternal life, and nothing made up by man will get the job done.  It’s God’s way or an eternity in hell.  

A large number would probably say that they have their own faith, their own idea on eternal life, and this is just too simple to be true.  Nobody does anything for free.  You have to earn your way into heaven.  Jesus was just a prophet, so who is He to be my Savior?

Jesus was absolutely right when He said:

John 3:19-20
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.
KJV

This podcast describes the unrelenting disbelief of the Jews in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the consequences they face as a result of that disbelief.  But this message has just as much application to anyone today who has heard the gospel message of Jesus Christ and they simply refuse to believe it.  The Bible declares that eternal life can only come to those who accept God’s free gift of salvation by believing that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God, and that He died on cross for all our sins, and that He was bodily resurrected by God.  God’s way says that the only path to heaven is through making Jesus Christ your Lord and Master.  

The question is, will you believe God or not?
CHRIST RECEIVED AS SAVIOR (Romans 10:6-15)

CHRIST RECEIVED AS SAVIOR (Romans 10:6-15)

May 24, 2015
Many religions teach that the type of righteousness needed to go to heaven and have eternal life can be only be obtained through obeying a set of laws or following some type of religious ceremony.  In the book of Romans Paul points out that in order to be saved by the law a person must live according to all the precepts of the law without violating a single one. Should a person be able to do this, he would have earned his title to heaven.  

However, there must come a time for everyone where they realize they are unable to live an absolutely perfect life in thought, words, and deeds.  Nobody can do this.  So Paul points out the obvious, it is not the law that you must appeal to for righteousness, it is the Lord.  It is not Moses, it is Christ.  

The righteousness which is of faith provided through God's grace, says that if any man tries to attain righteousness in any other way, he is in effect, saying in his heart, “I am not satisfied with what God has done, I will try to provide the incarnation, or the coming of Christ, by human effort, and I will provide the resurrection by human effort.”  Yet, this is not only impossible for man to do, it is not necessary for each of us to do again what God has already done.

Only the power of God could accomplish the incarnation and the resurrection.  Therefore, salvation is God’s work.  Man cannot produce it, or earn it by effort.  It is given freely by grace through faith in Christ. The gospel message requires no impossible task of the sinner to complete such as bringing Christ down from heaven or bringing Him up from the abyss.  The word of faith includes the whole message of the gospel with the good news that Jesus Christ has already come down from heaven.  It also says that Christ has already ascended from the region of the dead.

The gospel message says that these two miracles only have to be believed in the heart.  Therefore, the Scripture, which is the word of faith, is very accessible to man.  You don’t have to search for it, it is nigh unto thee.  

The gospel message of Christ says that the righteousness that comes by faith is right in front of you.  It says "Man, it is so close to you, it is right there in your heart, and it is on the tip of your tongue!"  Righteousness by faith is the gospel message that we preach!  And that gospel message tells us that not only is the word of faith accessible, so is the Savior as well.   

The gospel message says that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  It really is that simple.  Christ is waiting for you to call.  He has done all of the work required for your salvation, for you to have eternal life, all you have to do in believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He was crucified, and that He was raised from the dead.  Make Jesus your Lord and Master today.
ISRAEL’S NEED OF A SAVIOR (Romans 10:1-9)

ISRAEL’S NEED OF A SAVIOR (Romans 10:1-9)

May 16, 2015
Since the day that God called Abraham from the Ur of the Chaldees, the Jews have been looking for a Messiah, a Savior.  Today’s podcast discusses Israel’s rejection of God’s plan for obtaining righteousness, and how they tried to establish their own righteousness through dedication to keeping the law and other religious ceremonies. We are going to see a how a people can be dedicated to the ritual of worshipping God and still be lost.  This is a message that should resonate with everyone who is dependent on their religion to worship God and to obtain eternal life in heaven.

The key to God’s present dealings with Israel is His salvation.

Today, God is offering salvation to the Jew on exactly the same terms as He is to the Gentile, and He makes no changes whatsoever based on the nationality of the lost person.  We must all find God through His grace and His plan of salvation.  If a Jew wants to come into God’s favor, he must come to Calvary as a lost sinner and accept his Messiah as Savior and Lord. This is the message of our podcast today.