There is so much confusion surrounding the book of Revelation and I am not going to be able to answer all of your questions. For you theologians, we are a dispensational church, we believe in the pretribulation rapture of the church and we believe in the literal thousand year reign of Christ. But I’m not going to teach about those today. Instead, I want to look at the last book in the NT and tell you six certainties we see in the book of Revelation.
Did you know that the lives of the Apostle Paul and the Emperor Nero overlapped for a short time in the city of Rome? In the seventh decade these two famous men lived in the same city. While Nero’s name was making headlines, Paul’s wasn’t. Oprah would have wanted to interview Nero. Bill O’Reilly would want Nero on his show. Nero would have been invited to state dinners hosted by the President. Nero was hero. Paul was zero.
“Paul faithfully follows God’s plan to the end, writing words of encouragement and challenging all along the way. We should too.”
It is going to be impossible to cover everything from this Chapter of The Story. It covered Acts 13-28, 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans!! However, we are going to briefly look at the missionary journeys of Paul and then look at five themes in his letters to the churches. Big Idea: “Paul’s mission of taking Christ’s message to the ends of the earth is our mission too.”
One book only 100 pages long published by the Department of Justice and that can be downloaded is a book that no parent wants to read. The title is When Your Child is Missing. Key bullet points and action steps are on the cover of the book, like, “You’re not alone,” “Hope is essential,” “Trust your feelings and share them with law enforcement officials,” “Distribute pictures,” “Keep your focus,” “Exercise caution,” and the final exhortation is “Never stop looking.” The parents of Jacob Wetterling have been searching for him since 1989. They post messages saying, “We’re still searching for you and we will never quit.” Parents will spare no expense as with resolute passion they search for their missing children. So does God. God has lost children, who have gone the wrong direction, lost their bearings, lost their place in this life and lost their vision of the next life. God initiated a massive search and rescue strategy to find his lost children. First was Israel. God wanted a nation through whom to show his character and to call people back to himself. Next was Jesus Christ. Jesus declared, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We are lost and Jesus is the only way back home. By His death on the cross and His resurrection, we can be reunited to our heavenly Father. How does the church fit into this search and rescue plan? It is through the Holy Spirit working through the church that God gets His message to people. We will be looking at the Book of Acts, beginning with Acts 1:1. The Holy Spirit empowers the believer (and the church) for ministry.
Have you ever had a decisive moment in your life? One where everything changes and you say, “I’ll never be the same.” I have. Some of my favorites include my salvation, my wedding, and the birth of my daughter. Last week we talked about the crucifixion of Christ. It was one of those decisive moments in history where everything changed. The world was different. You are also never the same when you become a Christian. When you are cleansed from you sin and clothed in the righteousness of Christ, you are never the same. Likewise, when we encounter the empty tomb, we are never the same. We realize that Jesus is alive, and He is with us always (and everywhere). That is a decisive moment in life. In this sermon, we are going to look at four stories and see how people’s lives were changed, how things were never the same, after they encountered the resurrected Christ. These are real people. These are real encounters. What happened in their life? Can it happen in yours? When we encounter the resurrected Christ, we are never the same.
Claude Harmon was a great golf instructor. He had four sons who would go on to become golf instructors as well. One of them, Butch Harmon, would be an instructor of the pros: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, just to name a few. Claude would tell his sons, “Boys, whenever someone comes to you to learn to play golf, you will see in their swing ten different problems. Your job as their teacher is to find the ONE that causes the other nine.” When we look at the world, we can easily see ten problems (poverty, hunger, lack of drinking water, failing economy, rise of socialism, infectious diseases, civil unrest, lack of accountability, unceasing worry, etc.). Is there one problem that causes the rest? The Bible gives a resounding yes! SIN IS THE ONE PROBLEM that causes all of the rest. Sin is falling short of God’s standard in thought, word, and/or action. The fundamental result of sin is separation from God. Jesus dealt with this problem, the fountainhead of all others, on the cross. When the problem was addressed, Jesus declared, “It is finished” (John 19:30) The question to us is “What was finished?” What task, what mission, did Jesus complete? What happened on the cross that makes the cross such a big deal? How is the world different after Jesus died? Today, we are going to answer the questions surrounding the importance of the cross. Jesus died so that we may live.
The answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?” is the only one with eternal implications. Jesus walked off the mountain onto the beach, out into the bay, and did not sink in the middle of a storm… Who is this guy? Jesus took a boys picnic lunch and turned it into an all-you-can-eat buffet for thousands of people… Who is this guy? Jesus wove leather strips together into a whip and purged the temple of money changers and hucksters… Who is this guy?
Today, we are going to see how folks in Jesus’ day answered that question, what our options are, and then see how Jesus answered that question.
Big Idea: “Jesus is no ordinary God.”
Jesus is the THEE most extraordinary human to ever walk the earth. All of history is divided by His life (BC, AD). You can love Jesus, or you can hate Jesus, but you can’t ignore Him!! One thing about this Jesus: He never invited neutrality. His followers called Him the Christ. His contenders called Him a blasphemer. His teachings were revolutionary and His miracles undeniable. He claimed nothing less that equality with God and proclaimed Himself as the long-expected Messiah. Jesus never left sitting on the fence as an option.
Big Idea: “Jesus is no ordinary man.”
John the Apostle used two characters in this week’s story to “sandwich” the message of John 3:16. It is the best-known verse in the whole Bible. It appears on posters at sporting events. It makes its way onto T-shirts and bumper stickers. Someone even wrote a book simply titled 3:16. Today, we’ll take a fresh look at this familiar message by looking at Nicodemus and the Woman at the Well. The gospel writer used these two characters to make his 3:16 point: Big Idea: “Jesus really is a Savior for all people.”
We ended our journey through the OT last weekend. What followed was 400 years of silence. No burning bushes, no splitting seas, no visions, no dreams, no prophets, no message from God. Just silence. Then God spoke again. He showed up in dreams to Mary and Joseph. He then started speaking, but it was through the cry of a baby.
What is the Christmas Story all about? As the “season” gets here earlier and earlier each year, we should celebrate the real reason we celebrate Christmas. It is not about the lights, the gifts, the vacations, the food, but about a baby. Not some ordinary baby, but an extraordinary baby. We are going to detail three parts of The Story: the conception, the delivery, and the baby. The fourth part, the boy, we may or may not get to…
Through this amazing birth story, we see that: “God’s Upper Story intersects with our Lower Story at the birth of Jesus Christ.”
The sermons from Faith Bible Church are here in blog format. You can search based on year [drop down menu], month, series, book of the Bible, or preacher. Some include video, notes, and even the bulletin. Enjoy!