Posts Tagged ‘revelation’

A Remodeling Job

June 10, 2014

Today is Pentecost Sunday.  You might expect a pentecostal minister to preach about the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, but that will not be the case today.  Pentecost Sunday is considered by many people to be the birthday of the Christian church.  It was on that day that the disciples went from being a small group of believers in hiding, to a powerful force that “turned the world upside down”.  Today I will be preaching about God’s ongoing work in the church.

I>  The Church in Smyrna.  Revelation 2:8-11

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,

‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

A.  I know you.  God saw that the church in Smyrna had remained faithful even in the midst of terrible persecution.  God also knows us.  He knows exactly what trials we face and how we are responding to them.  Are we faithful?

B.  I know those who wrong you.  God also knows who the people are who wrong us.  We are to remember to “not repay evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good”  and that “vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”.  We must be careful to do what is right in the eyes of God and to leave our oppressors in the hands of God.

C.  Be faithful unto death.  We too, are called to be faithful unto death.  Our lives may not be all that we expected them to be, but we should remain faithful in our service to God.

D.  You will receive the crown of life.  If we are faithful, then we will receive our reward one day.  God sees us, and is faithful to us.  We should be faithful to Him.

II.  The Church in Pergamas:  Revelation 2:12-17

 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.[a] 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

A.  You have held to the name of Christ in difficult circumstances.  The people of the church in Pergamas had continued the confession of faith in Jesus in the midst of persecution and death.  That is commendable.

B.  You have compromised in doctrine and lifestyle.  Although they continued in a confession of faith, they had given into idolatry and immorality.  They had allowed the culture of their community to corrupt their lives.  Here in America, there is much ungodliness and sin in our culture.  We must guard against giving in to the corrosive influence of contemporary culture.

C.  Repent!  If we have slipped away from godly standards we ought not to try to justify or rationalize our sin.  We should repent!

III.  The Church of the Laodiceans:  Revelation 3:14-22

 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

A.  They were lukewarm.  The church was half-hearted in their service to God.  We as Christians are called to serve God with our whole heart, not simply with a piece of it.  We should be fully committed to the cause of Christ.

B.  They were deceived.  The church did not even realize that they had fallen so far spiritually.  May God help our eyes to be open to our true spiritual condition.

C.  God will rebuke and chasten those whom He loves.  We can expect that God will take disciplinary action in our lives when we are going against His will for us.  We should continually seek to know His will and to follow in the path that He has for us.

The church is not a building but rather a gathering of believers in Christ.  However the idea of a building can be used to illustrate the point of today’s message.  If their is something displeasing to God in our lives our in our Church we can expect that God will undertake a remodeling project in us.

May we be the people, and the church that He wants us to be.

These are the sermon notes from 6/8/14.  Any advertisement that follows is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them , nor do I receive any money from them.

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Our Warfare

January 28, 2013

These are the sermon notes from 1/27/13.

I.  War in the Heavens:  Revelation 12:7-12

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for themin heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

A.  Heavenly Conflict

There is a battle in the heavens that continues to this day.  “We do not war against flesh and blood…”  The battle in which we are engaged does not involve rifles, tanks, or fighter jets.  Our battle is waged over the allegiance of souls.  Whether people are a part of the kingdom of God or whether they have rejected God’s offer of salvation in Jesus.  It is our desire to bring as many people into the kingdom of God as possible and keep them there.

B.  Overcomers

We overcome by the blood of the Lamb.  It is only through Jesus that we are victorious in this spiritual battle.  The word of our testimony is a powerful weapon.  We share what we believe, and what God has done in our lives, and God uses it for His kingdom’s work.  We should remember to keep our first allegiance to the work of God and not to seeking our own desires in this world.  Even to the point of sacrificing our lives for God if necessary.

II.  Choosing Sides:  Revelation 14:9-13

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

A.  Judgement

We must recognize that although God loves us and has provided salvation for us in Jesus, that not everyone will be saved.  Those who have rejected God’s offer of salvation in Jesus will be subject to eternal judgement.  That is why it is so important that we bring as many people into the kingdom of God as possible.  It is a battle that rages, not over some piece of land or political system, but over the eternal destination of human souls.

B.  Rest

For those who are serving God, life can be wearisome.  We are encouraged to “endure hardship, like good soldiers of Christ”.   We are encouraged to ” not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.    God sees our faithful service and our goal should be to one day hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant”.

III.  Final Reward:  Revelation 21:1-8

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving,  abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

A.  All Things New

There will come a day when all things will be made new.  For those who have received Christ as their savior we will be able to be a part of the new world, a world in which righteousness dwells.

B.  2nd Death

Not everyone will be allowed entrance to this new world.  Again, that is why the spiritual battle is so important.  God does not want any to perish, but those who have rejected salvation in Christ, or those who only give lip-service to Christ will not enter the kingdom of God.

Our warfare does not kill anyone.  Our warfare is about bringing life to those who are spiritually dead.

 

 

 

Revelation, Reason, Faith & Feelings

January 27, 2010

The Christian Bible is God’s revelation to us.  It is a history of God interacting with humanity throughout thousands of years.  It was written by men, but inspired by God.  It should be understood as a single work composed of individual parts that fit together as a whole entity. It provides the information that we need to be in a right relationship with God, both in this life, and in eternity.

The Bible is written using human language and can be understood using human reasoning…to a degree.  It is necessary for the Holy Spirit to grant us the insight to comprehend those portions that would perplex unaided human reasoning.  This insight is not contrary to reason, but rather supplements reason.

Faith allows us to accept that which we cannot see.  Faith is a response of our inner-most being to the Word, and to the Spirit of God, that works together to produce the character of God in our lives. 

As God does His work within us, wonderful feelings of love, joy, peace, and more are stirred up within our souls.  Sometimes people focus on the feelings, rather than the Word, and can be led astray. Our feelings should not guide us.  Be careful to remain guided by the Word,  which is the revelation of God; using reason, which is guided by the Spirit; which works in our lives, through our faith; all of which, is a gift from God.

Beyond Words

September 3, 2009

“The spirit may grasp truth that breaks beyond the barriers of human language.”

Last night in Bible study, one of the older members of our congregation, (She is 97!) commented that the topic was so deep that she was having trouble expressing what God was saying to her.  After the study was officially concluded, we were still sitting around talking and the line that I wrote above, came to me and I quickly got up wrote it down on the board so that I wouldn’t forget it. 

I believe that God communicates to us in a variety of ways.  God will utilize the natural means of verbal communication, such as reading, dialogue, and rational thought; but additional truths are grasped by an internal comprehension,  a revelation on a spiritual level, which allows us to understand, but that may be difficult to express.  These truths have a profound impact on how we comprehend the things of God, and of the world, and even though our attempts to put them into words are only partially successful; they enrich our lives, and our cognition of metaphysical reality.