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Msg #2048 The First Advent of Christ Prophecy What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Msg #2035 Herod Like Politicians What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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3 Aspects of the Normal Christian Life It's a question I have heard frequently—perhaps daily—for over ten months: “When is life going to get back to normal?”Sometimes it takes other forms: “Will things ever get back to normal?” “Is this going to be the new normal?”The civil unrest of earlier this year, the political angst of this election season, and the violence in DC last week have only made our hearts yearn more for “normal.”I strongly believe that, as far as Covid itself is concerned, we will get past it and that God will bring lasting good from it. But none of us can predict the future with certainty, which includes describing what “normal” will look like tomorrow or next year or twenty years from now.But I believe that one blessing of the past ten months—Covid and all—will be if Christians rediscover the normal Christian life.It's a sad reflection on our hunger for God that when Christians voice their desire for “normal” it is usually talking about the normal routines of being able to eat inside a restaurant or go through a checkout line without a mask.Could it be that we no longer long for what the first-century churches in Acts experienced as the normal Christian life?When you read Acts and understand some of the historical and political events that happened concurrently to the exploding growth of the early church, it's a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit through what should be the ordinary routines of the Christian life.The Christians in Acts faced cultural division, prejudice, religious hypocrisy, and outright persecution from their government. But they also experienced the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. I'm hungry to see that kind of normal.What were the “normal” factors of the early church?1. PrayerThere is hardly a page in the book of Acts without a reference to prayer. It seems the apostles and the early church Christians prayed in every situation. And God answered their prayers.These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.—Acts 1:14And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.—Acts 2:42And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.—Acts 4:31Prayer should be as normal to the Christian life as breathing. And fervent, regular, importunate, intercessory prayer should be the norm—not the exception—among God's people.The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.—James 5:162. PraiseNo matter what was happening in the larger picture of culture, including how that influenced direct persecution of Christians, the early church praised God.Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.—Acts 2:47And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.—Acts 5:41And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.—Acts 16:25Do you think the average Christian today is known for their high view of God and constant praise of Him? Or do you think they are more known for their views on the pandemic, politics, personal disappointments…? God inhabits the praises of His people. May we be people of praise.Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;—Philippians 2:14–153. Proclaiming ChristThe early church just never stopped proclaiming the gospel. For too long now, American Christians have allowed others to drive the narrative in our country to one cause or another. It's time for God's people to drive the narrative back to Jesus Christ.The gospel spread in the first century because Christians shared it.And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.—Acts 5:42And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.—Acts 8:25Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. … Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.—Acts 8:4–5, 35And there they preached the gospel. … And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,—Acts 14:7, 21I find that statements about the importance of declaring the gospel are easy for Christians to agree with. But are you doing it? Have you told anyone this week how they can find forgiveness and salvation through Jesus? This month? Last year?Yes, the pandemic has made some of our normal methods of outreach less feasible. So let's find new ones. If you can't talk with people door-to-door in your community, can you canvass and leave gospel flyers? Can you visit new move ins? Can you visit your neighbors while wearing a mask? Can you post your testimony on social media?For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.—Romans 1:16These three activities—prayer, praise, and proclaiming Christ—aren't reserved for certain people or only practiced by the spiritually mature. They are baseline discipleship. They are the normal Christian life.Let's not give up on the essential aspects of our faith.Let's not allow current events to disrupt the basics of our love and loyalty to Christ.Let's get back to normal—the normal Christian life.
Archaeologists in Israel recently discovered a ritual bath believed to be from the Second Temple period.
Archaeologists in Israel recently discovered a ritual bath believed to be from the Second Temple period.
Temple Baptist Church - 12-20-2020Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:18-25 Introduction: A. It is the Christmas season, in which we normally celebrate the incarnation of the Son of God, the Seed of the Woman. B. The Virgin Birth of Christ Prophesied – 6,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” 1. It was about Sin. Disobedience to God and God's hatred for sin. 2. It was about Sinners. God's love for the sinner despite sinfulness. 3. It was about Separation. Man hiding and God seeking. 4. It was about Substitution. The innocent died for the guilty that the guilty could become innocent. 5. It was about a Saviour. The coming of Messiah, Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world. 6. It was about Salvation. Free to all who would repent and believe. 7. It was about Security. Eternal restoration, eternal life, eternal joy. C. The Seed of the Woman – The Virgin Birth of Christ. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 1. One of the most precious of all doctrines is that of the Virgin Birth of Christ. How important it is to the salvation of the child of God! The Virgin Birth of Christ is often referred to as “The Doctrine of Holy Ground!” 2. The wording in Matthew 1:18 differentiates the birth of Christ from the series of “begats” found in the preceding verses. a) “Espoused wife” and “before they came together” declares a birth like none other that preceded it. b) A birth like none that would come after it. 3. No man or woman since Adam and Eve, except for Jesus Christ, came into the world through a virgin birth or without the seed of man involved. As God created the world to bring forth after its own kind, so man brings forth after his own kind. Adam and Eve had no predecessors and the Father of Jesus Christ was God. D. The world celebrates a Christmas without God and while others make Christmas about Mary as much as about the birth of Christ. Christmas is not Christmas without Christ! IT IS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST, ISRAEL'S MESSIAH, OUR SAVIOUR. E. The Virgin Birth Was Performed - Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. (“On this wise” sets the birth of Christ apart from the “begats” of the first 17 verses!) F. The virgin birth of Christ was the pivotal point between Prophecy and Performance. 1. It is a doctrine both Sweetly Adored and Severely Attacked. It the mystery of mysteries, the jewel of all ages, the hope of mankind, and the love of God manifested. 2. It was a miraculous event. A miracle is a phenomenon that cannot be explained outside the realm of supernatural intervention. It is an event that supersedes natural law. No other child born of man has been born without the seed of the man. The “seed of the woman” combined with the seed of the Holy Ghost to bring forth the God-Man! 3. The immortal became mortal that the mortal may become immortal - 1 Timothy 6:16a Who only hath immortality 1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 4. The untouchable became touchable that mortal may touch Him - 1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;. G. The Virgin Birth was a thing beyond human comprehension! Dr. Herbert Lockyer said it this way, “The incarnation is the most stupendous miracle comprehending and involving all other miracles, and because it is a theme both deep and delicate, infinite and incomprehensible, how about “finding out acceptable words”. The ground we approach is holy calling for the putting off of our shoes.” The Importance Of The Virgin Birth: 1. Scriptural Credibility Depends Upon It - Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (If the Scripture errs on this point, how can we trust any other supernatural event such as the death, burial, and resurrection?) 2. The Deity Of Christ Depends Upon It - 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (If the Scripture errs on this point, then anyone could have been His father and He would not be the only begotten Son of God!) Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 3. The Sinless Humanity Of Christ Depends Upon It - John 1:1-2, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (If the Scripture errs on this point, then the blood of Christ was tainted with the sin of Adam and Christ would have had an Adamic nature!) 1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 4. The Vicarious Atonement Of Christ Depends Upon It - Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (If the Scripture errs on this point, then the blood of Christ could not save!) 1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. 5. The Ultimate Defeat Of Evil Depends Upon It - Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. (If the Scripture errs on this point, then evil would ultimately win and Satan would reign!) 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 6. The Security Of The Believer Depends Upon It - Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (If the Scripture errs on this point, then the blood of Christ would ultimately corrupt and we who were lost would perish!) 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Temple Baptist Church - 12-13-2020Revelation 8:1-5 A. The opening of the Seventh Seal, chapter 8, begins with the word “and,” which ties it to chapter 7 and the scene around the throne in heaven. In chapter 7, we saw the reprieve in God's judgment; the sealing of the 144,000; and a great revival that saved an untold number of people on earth who were martyred for their faith. B. As God unleased the first six seals, the earth's inhabitants experienced the horrific judgments that befell them. God in His mercy gave a reprieve, sent 144,000 sealed Jews as witnesses on the earth, and saved “whosoever will.” It is “whosoever will” or it is “whosoever will not!” 1. How can this many people be saved in so short of time? A question that needs to be answered. 2. The people of earth gave power to Antichrist in the opening of the first seal and expected his reign to be the answer to all problems. 3. In the opening of seals 2-4, multitudes saw the “error of their ways” as Antichrist ushered in a world system of socialism which brought great famine alone with the punishment of all who opposed it. One fourth of the world's population are put to death. 4. In the opening of the seal 5, they saw the awesome power of God's judgement that cause the unsaved to cry out to the hills and mountains to fall upon them and hide them for it. 5. They were not privy to the opening of seal 6, as it took place in heaven, but they were privy to the sudden reprieve coupled with 144,000 of the greatest preachers who ever lived giving the gospel to the world. Peter preached and 3,000 got saved in a short time, 5,000 more were saved under another message a few days later. 6. These lost but disenchanted people on earth knew the power of God, the consequences of unrepentant sinfulness, and chose salvation at the cost of their lives at the hands of Antichrist's governing. Jude 22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. C. Though there were many who entered the Tribulation Period of Jacob's Trouble with no hope of salvation (those who had heard the gospel and rejected it prior to the Rapture of the Church), there are multitudes who could be saved living during this time. Salvation is a personal choice and choice have consequences. D. The opening of the Seventh Seal is a consequence. As the Word of God was preached, a multitude was saved and delivered through death into the presence of the Lord. E. In verse 1, the Lamb of God opens the judgements of the Seventh Seal. Notice that these are judgements, not jut one judgement. These judgements will be so great that there is silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. The rejoicing of the martyred saints, angels, and elders is silenced! There are no pronouncements given from the throne and no praises offered up. Total silence. F. Total silence can be a terrible thing. I often use the phrase, “The silence is deafening.” Silence is a powerful tool. I often use silence during preaching to drive home a point. Constant preaching can put you to sleep but the silence will wake you up! We often use the phrase “the lull before the storm.” Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Psalms 76:8-9 Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, (9) When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah. Zephaniah 1:7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. Zechariah 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation. G. The people of earth will not hear or heed the Word of the Lord and continue in their rebellion. All in heaven understand the power of an omnipotent God and fall silent in anticipation of that which is to come. Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Jeremiah 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. Jeremiah 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. H. In verse 2, we find seven angels standing before God with seven trumpets, ready to do the bidding of God. Trumpets were important in Israel. They were used for assembly, to begin a journey, to sound an alarm, to call to war, for worship. They were used in the military for many of these same purposes. To call assembly, charge, retreat, recall, taps, etc. On army posts, they would play reveille in the mornings and taps at night. Wherever I was on post, I had to come to attention and salute until it was finished. J. The Seven Trumpets will be a series of judgements: a great earthquake along with the 3 Woes in chapter 9 and the 7 Golden Vials of God and 7 Plagues in chapter 15. K. Verse 3. An angel stands at the altar, having a golden censer in his hand. He is given much incense, a type of prayers, to be offered along with the prayers of the saints. This altar is before the Throne of God. Chapter 11 shows the presence of the Temple of God in heaven. The golden censer was always located at the golden altar of incense before the veil. It was used for the high priest to offer incense daily before God and once a year, it was carried into the holy of holies by the high priest when offering the atonement. L. Both the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the Temple in Jerusalem were patterned after the Temple in heaven. Exodus 25:8-9 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (9) According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. M. Before the throne tells us that these prayers are being offered withing the holy of holies in heaven before the presence of almighty God. These are prayers that have been kept by God but not yet answered along with those prayers of the saints being offered in heaven. God does not always answer our prayers when we pray them because his time is not our time and his ways are not our ways, but God also does not forget our prayers and will answer when the time is right. Psalms 50:14-15 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: (15) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. N. These prayers contained in the golden censer also belong to the martyred saints of chapter 6 when they cried out to God. Revelation 6:10-11 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (11) And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. O. Verse 4-5, these prayers now ascend before God. The time is right, the judgements of God are at hand, the earth is now ready, and God's will be finished. The censer is filled with fire of the altar (the burning of the prayers is the fulfillment of their request for the judgment of God) and cast into the earth. This was followed by voices, thunderings, lightenings, and an earthquake. P. There was an immediate response in both heaven and earth. 1. Prayers in heaven from under the altar. Revelation 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Revelation 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 2. Past prayers on earth. a. For the past 2,000 years, God's people have prayed after the pattern of the Model Prayer. Luke 11:1-2 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (2) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. b. For 4,000 years before Christ's coming, God's people have prayed for the judgment of God to fall because of sinfulness. 26x in the Poetical Books of Job, Psalms, and Proverbs, God's people asked the question, “How long?” How long, O Lord is about to come to pass. Q. These prayers for justice are about to be answered!
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