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At Calvary - Our Choir Sings the Old Hymns! For some time on Sunday mornings I have invited anyone interested to come up and join in on an impromptu choir special right before the message. There is no ...
Calvary Baptist Church Union Grove NC 4/14/2021 Wednesday Evening Service Join us as Brother Timothy Morgan preaches at the pulpit of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, NC.
Distracted By The Dishes | Brother Timothy Morgan Join us as Brother Timothy Morgan preaches at the pulpit of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, NC.
Calvary Baptist Church Union Grove NC 4/11/2021 Sunday Evening Service Join us as Brother Brandon Bridges preaches at the pulpit of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, NC.
God's Simple Plan Of Salvation | Pastor Stephen Pope Join us as Pastor Stephen Pope preaches at the pulpit of Calvary Baptist Church in Union Grove, NC.
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Temple Baptist Church - 3-28-2021Matthew 27:1-2; 11-26 Introduction: A. As we approach Resurrection Sunday, our thoughts need to go to the place called Calvary. Almighty Jehovah God became flesh and dwelt among us. There at Calvary, the Son of God suffered and died for the sins of the world. 1. The Purpose of the Cross – “When He was on the cross, I was on His mind! Romans 5:6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Christ chose to die for the sins of the world: every man or woman who ever lived. The Scripture is plain at this point. Calvinism or Reformed Theology is a damnable heresy and needs to be rejected entirely. 2. The Price of the Cross – Explained in one verse, Mark 15:34: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Though Jesus suffered as no man has ever suffered, the greatest suffering was that, for the first time in eternity past, we see the Godhead divided because He became sin for us. 3. The Pleasing of the Cross – The satisfaction of God the Father in sin's ultimate payment! Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 4. The Pardon of the Cross – Though we who have come to Christ through the Gospel, we are still just sinners saved by grace! Through the Cross of Christ, we are washed whiter than snow! When God the Father sees us, He sees us through the blood that was shed and applied! 5. The Praise of the Cross – The Apostle Paul said it all in Galatians 6:14: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Hallelujah, What a Saviour! B. This morning, our text asks the question. Mankind's personal answer to this question settles his/her individual eternity! I would venture to say that this is the most important question ever asked. Matthew 27:22a: “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” 1. More Important Than “What will I do for a living?” 2. More Important Than “Who will I marry?” 3. More Important Than “Where will I live?” 4. This is the only question that deals with “HOW WILL I DIE?” C. It is a question that DEMANDS a response from all! Everyone who hears the gospel makes one of the three following responses. 1. The Damnable Response of Rejection. For the most part, the world wants nothing to do with Christ! I would like us to notice 3 groups of people who responded to this question by rejecting Christ. a. The Religious Crowd Rejected Christ – Mark 15:10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. (The priests were the instigators. They were the religious people of that day. They studied the Scriptures and yet rejected the One who died for them. Christ disrupted their religious system!) b. The Macho Crowd (Soldiers) Rejected Christ – Matthew 27:27-31 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. They simply did what the world told them to do! The Chief Priests were the instigators. The soldiers carried out their duties. John 19:2-3 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. c. The Wicked Crowd Rejected Christ – Matthew 27:22-25 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. If our response to Christ this morning is that of rejecting Christ, we are no better than the soldiers who drove the nails into His hands, or the crowd who cried out, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him!" 2. The Unacceptable Response of Neutrality Found In Pilate. Most people in the Bible Belt have heard the gospel and know who Christ is but make no decision at all concerning Christ! (Pilate illustrates this response.) We will discover that a response of neutrality is in essence a response of rejection. a. Pilate was a Coward – Mark 15:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. (What will the people think of me?) b. Pilate was a Compromiser – John 19:12-13 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. c. Pilate was Condemned – Matthew 27:24 Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. I have often said that there is no benign state of neutrality with God! 3. The Wonderful Response of Acceptance. I am thankful that Scripture shows us some people who were courageous and accepted Christ. I thank God every day for my salvation! I not only have heard about Christ, know who Christ is, but have placed my faith in Christ! a. The Thief on the Cross – Luke 23:42-43 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. b. Joseph of Arimathea – Matthew 27:57-60 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. Though he was saved earlier, he made public his profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. c. The Roman Centurion – Mark 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. He was the highest-ranking soldier at the crucifixion. It was a rejection of Caesar's divinity and could have cost him both his job and his life. Conclusion: Albert B. Simpson wrote a poem, which has been put to music about this question. Listen to the words:Jesus is standing in Pilate's hall,friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all;hearken! what meaneth the sudden call?What will you do with Jesus?Refrain:What will you do with Jesus?neutral you cannot be;some day your heart will be asking,"What will he do with me?"Jesus is standing on trial still,you can be false to him if you will,you can be faithful through good or ill:what will you do with Jesus? RefrainWill you evade him as Pilate tried?Or will you choose him, whate'er betide?Vainly you struggle from him to hide:what will you do with Jesus? RefrainWill you, like Peter, your Lord deny?Or will you scorn from His foes to fly,daring for Jesus to live or die?What will you do with Jesus? Refrain"Jesus, I give thee my heart today!Jesus, I'll follow thee all the way,gladly obeying thee!" will you say:"this I will do with Jesus!" Refrain a. What will you do with Jesus this morning? You must either crucify Him or crown Him. Ask Him to come into your life as Savior, your Lord and King. b. How do you respond to His call?
Dr. Terry Mortenson recently traveled to speak at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge for a well-attended three-day creation conference event, and you can watch them too!
Temple Baptist Church - 2-24-2021Hebrews 13:10-15 Introduction: A. Under the Old Covenant, animals suffered within the gate because there was no reproach. The Jews gladly sacrificed their Atonement because they felt right with God without personally suffering for it. They were not required to go outside the gate. B. Under the New Covenant, Christ Jesus suffered outside the gate because He was a reproach to the people of Israel. They neither accepted His sacrifice in their place, nor did they accept those who went without the gate, bearing His reproach. C. Paul, when ending his letter to the Hebrews, made mention of an altar. The Jewish believers were well acquainted with the concept of an altar as altars were used from Abraham until that present day. 1. Verse 10. An Altar Is A Place Of Privilege. A right granted by the grace of God. We do not have any right outside of Calvary. Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 2. Verse 12. An Altar Is A Place Of Protection. Christ is our Sanctity, and we are sanctified in Him. A place of protection. Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Psalms 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3. Verse 12. An Altar Is A Place Of Propitiation. Jesus Christ bore our sin and our reproach. Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 4. Verse 12 – “He suffered” – An Altar Is A Place Of Suffering. A place of the smell of blood and death! Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Isaiah 53:3-4 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 5. Verse 12. An Altar Is A Place Of Separation. Christ died without the camp. He was despised and rejected by the world. Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 6. Verse 13. An Altar Is A Place Of Seeking. Calvary was a fixed place. Our Lord said, “Come unto me!” Our Lord said to the Pharisees, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 7. Verse 13. An Altar Is A Place Of Identification. The child of God goes without the gate bearing His reproach. Our Altar is a place of identification! When we go out, we stand out because we are out! Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Hebrews 11:25-26 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; (26) Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. D. Paul was speaking of a different altar than the one that they were well acquainted with. He was speaking of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross at Calvary. vs. 10-12. 1. The cross of Christ was a willing sacrifice. It was an act of love.2. The cross of Christ was an awful sacrifice. It was terrible in its price. 3. The cross of Christ was a beneficial sacrifice. It opened Heaven for those who believe. E. Paul declared that those who continued to serve the tabernacle (a reference to the Old Testament priesthood) had no right to the altar at Calvary. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law (moral, civil, and ceremonial) and the continual sacrifices were a rejection of His sacrifice. F. Paul then sets forth the obligation of the Christian. Vs. 13-16 1. Let us go forth without the camp. Losing our identity with the world. 2. Bearing His reproach. Identifying with our Lord Jesus Christ. 3. Seeking a city to come. Keeping our eyes on eternal things. 4. Offer praise continually. This is open praise or the fruit of our lips. 5. Let us do good and communicate. To live right and to witness of God's grace. G. I want to key on the phrase “let us offer the sacrifice of praises to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” A liturgical deadness has entered our churches. Worship services (I use that term loosely) have become more ritualistic. There certainly is more form than fire. Our Lord's commentary on the church of Sardis was that they had a name that they were alive and yet were dead. H. The cause of this deadness and lack of praise is obvious. 1. There is the lukewarmness of Laodicea. 2. There is the materialistic society of our day. 3. There is the lack of persecution that keeps the church pure and hot. 4. There is the bombardment of worldly religion and a lack of godly, straight, sin killing preaching. 5. There is the growing carnality of God's people. 6. There is the lack of prayer and Bible study that develop closeness to God. J. The list could go on but this is not my subject. I want to look at praise for a few minutes. I will only use a few verses for time's sake. 1. When Should We Praise The Lord? a. All the day long - Psalms 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Psalms 35:28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long. Psalms 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised. Psalms 119:164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. b. Praise Him continually - Psalms 52:9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints. (The praise of some is sporadic at best and those who run on emotions normally run out. We are not to praise God on emotions alone, but praise Him in both good and bad times.) Psalms 104:33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. c. Before church ever begins - Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 2. How Should We Praise The Lord? a. Through Singing - Judges 5:3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. (When God's people really “get into” the singing, the worship service is greatly enhanced.) b. Through remembrance and public thanksgiving - 1 Chronicles 16:4 And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel. (How sweet the service when God's people begin to stand, weep, and praise His name in testimony.) Psalms 66:8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard. Psalms 67:3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. (Praise is to b e done by all.) c. With loudness, not just quietness - Psalms 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. d. Through musical instruments - 1 Chronicles 23:5 Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith e. With our whole heart - Psalms 9:1 I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. f. Increasingly instead of decreasingly - Psalms 71:14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. 3. Where Should We Praise The Lord? a. Praise Him in your private devotions - 1 Chronicles 23:30 And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even. b. Praise Him in the Church - Psalms 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Psalms 22:25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. Psalms 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. Psalms 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. c. Praise Him in public - 2 Samuel 22:50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. Psalms 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. 4. Why Should We Praise The Lord? a. Because of the glories and excellencies of His person - Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 2 Samuel 22:4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 1 Chronicles 16:25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. b. Because of the blessings received from him, and through him, both temporal and spiritual - Deuteronomy 10:21 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. c. Because of the grace, and all the blessings of it now communicated to us - 1 Chronicles 29:13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. d. Because He loves you! - Psalms 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. e. Because it fills the house of God with His glory - 2 Chronicles 5:13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD. f. Because He has given us His Word - Psalms 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. g. Because our children need to see it! - Psalms 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. Psalms 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations. Psalms 145:4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. h. BECAUSE IT IS GOOD, GOOD, GOOD! - Psalms 135:3 Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. Psalms 150:1-6 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Temple Baptist Church - 2-17-2021Hebrews 13:10-13 Introduction: A. The First Mention of “Altar” in the Bible speaks God's mind on the subject. An altar is a specified place used for a specific reason. It is a place of sacrifice. Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. B. Our context in Hebrews 13:10-13 sets forth a contrast between 2 different altars. 1. The Altar of the Old Covenant. “Meats” – Plural or Many. In the beginning, a place of shame and reproach where the innocent had to die for the guilty. a) The first article found in the Tabernacle of the Wilderness was the brazen altar where the sacrifices were killed. This type of altar was used throughout the Old Testament for the atonement of the people. b) It had unfortunately become a “common” place by the time Isaiah wrote about it because the people offered with a sinful heart. Isaiah 1:11-15 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. (12) When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? (13) Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. (15) And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. c) By the time that Christ had come, their “altar” had become one of ritual: works and not grace: meats and not grace. Hebrews 13:9-10 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (10) We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. d) Their “altar” had become one of pride instead of “shame and reproach.” The Jews gladly sacrificed their Atonement because they felt right with God without personally suffering for it. Animals suffered within the gate because there was no shame or reproach to those who offered it. They were not required to go outside the gate. 2. The Altar of the New Covenant. “Grace” – Singular or One. A place of shame and reproach where the innocent Lamb of God had to die for the guilty. a) A place called Calvary (Greek word used was “kranion” from which we get our word “cranium” or a skull. The brazen altar was for the sacrifice of animals, but the “place of the skull” was a place of human sacrifice. Luke 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. John 19:17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: b) Christ Jesus suffered outside the gate because He was a reproach to the people of Israel. They neither accepted His sacrifice in their place, nor did they accept those who went unto Him without the gate, bearing His reproach. Isaiah 53:1-3 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (2) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (3) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. C. Paul, when ending his letter to the Hebrews, made mention of an altar. The Jewish believers were well acquainted with the concept of an altar as altars were used from Noah until that present day. D. To continue to “serve the tabernacle,” is to have no right to Calvary. Though we are not Jewish, the same principle still applies to day as many tend to place their religion and its ceremonies above or on an equal plane with Calvary and the finished work of Christ in the Gospel. 1. An Altar Is A Place Of Sacrifice. A place of the smell of blood and death! Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 2. An Altar Is A Place Of Privilege. A right granted by the grace of God. We do not have any right outside of Calvary. Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 3. An Altar Is A Place Of Propitiation. Jesus Christ bore our sin and our reproach. Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 4. An Altar Is A Place Of Separation. Christ died without the camp. He was despised and rejected by the world. Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. (23) Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 5. An Altar Is A Place Of Identification. The child of God goes without the gate bearing His reproach. 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
It's true that Christmas may not be as festive or lighthearted as past years, but even in the face of the bad news of our world and in our lives, the good news of God should resound in our hearts and minds as we enter the Christmas season: God is with us. I am reminded of the angel's message to the shepherds:And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.—Luke 2:10–11Admittedly there's much sadness in the world right now due to serious problems. People are terrified of contracting a sickness or being hospitalized. Businesses are closing. Church services are limited. People have lost jobs. Suicides are increasing at an alarming rate. Yet, despite these serious problems, we need to remember that Christmas was made for times like these!Christmas is a reminder that although this world stinks sometimes, we have a hope that will never fade away. The good news of God's reign exists even in the midst of crisis. If we think about what Christmas really means, it's not so much about gifts, parties, and laughter—the hope of Christmas is that Jesus came to deliver us from our sin, death, and the grave. The angel informed Joseph:And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins … they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.—Matthew 1:21,23Because of Bethlehem, Calvary, and the empty tomb there is a new day coming when the dead in Christ shall rise and all things will be made new! Jesus reminded us of that reality when He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).So, let's believe what we say we believe and behave like we know what the birth of Christ really means. Let's invest in our kids, love our families, share the gospel, and make the most of this day that the Lord has made.
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