Posts Tagged With: Jesus

Sunday Morning Sermon for 5/12/13

We have audio for this week.  You can listen by clicking on the sermon entitled “Follow the Leader” in the player on the right or by following this link.  Note are available below or on the site with the audio as a PDF file.  May God richly bless you through His Word.

Follow the Leader

Philippians 2:1-11

Sermon notes 5/12/13

  1. Complete Joy

    1. Same mind

    2. Same love

    3. Same spirit

  2. Consider Jesus

    1. True Servant

    2. Total Humility

    3. Tested Obedience

  3. Confess Jesus

    1. With your lips – Romans 10:9-10

    2. With your life – Romans 12:1-2

    3. With your love – John 15:9-17

Categories: Disciples, Epistles, Philippians, Podcasts, Romans, Sermon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Shrouded Thinking

I came across this news item last week regarding the Shroud of Turin.  As we were sitting in Sunday School class yesterday with the youth at our church, we talked about it for a few minutes.  Of course, I realized that they had no idea what the Shroud of Turin even is, but that was pretty easy to explain.

The debate is still going as to the authenticity of the Shroud.  I am not firmly in either camp.  If it is genuine, that is certainly interesting and amazing, but it won’t make my faith any more firm than it already is.  I am completely convinced that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the strength of evidence that has nothing to do with the Shroud.  If it is shown to be fake or fabricated long after the fact, it will have no effect on me for the same reason.  But I did see this cockamamie new theory from an academic who is convinced that the Shroud is genuine, but who has taken that conclusion to a bizarre place.

Art historian Thomas de Wesselow is convinced the Shroud is real and did touch Christ’s body.

But the Cambridge academic insists that the image on the cloth fooled the Apostles into believing Christ had come back to life, and the Resurrection was in fact an optical illusion.

Please note that we are talking about an “art historian” so I am left to conclude that his biblical knowledge and scholarship is likely to be lacking.  The idea that the early disciples would be so amazed by an image on a cloth that they would treat it as if the man they had walked with was “living in the image” or whatever he wants to call it, is insulting to the intelligence of first century believers for one thing and insulting to the testimony of Scripture for another.

His theory is based on the worst kind of Bible “scholarship” and I put it in quotes because it isn’t very scholarly at all.  He takes one verse (ONE) as proof for his theory and apparently ignores the rest of the story.  He tries to assert that Paul claimed that the resurrection is “not about flesh and blood” in 1 Corinthians 15(verse 50 according to the article).  I am not sure what translation he is working from but he draws completely the wrong conclusion about what Paul is saying.  At the beginning of that very chapter, Paul asserts that the risen Jesus was seen by Cephas (Peter) and then the rest of the disciples, and then at least 500 others, and then James and the rest of the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:4-7).  These appearances are the parading of an image on a sheet.  These are appearances in person and in the flesh.  A different kind of flesh to be sure (he walked into locked and shut rooms), but flesh that ate and could be touched.  Read the Gospel accounts and picture a pair of disciples walking down the road when a giant bedsheet with a picture suddenly appears next to them and starts talking and you will see just how silly and ill read this “art historian” has to be.

Is the Shroud of Turin legitimate?  Maybe.  Is it possible that the disciples and the first century witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection were all looking at it and thinking that this was Jesus raised from the dead?  Not a chance.  Just picture one of them trying to give a piece of fish to a cloth and being fooled into thinking the sheet ate it.

 

Categories: Apologetics, Bible Misunderstandings, Bible Thoughts, Christianity, False Teachers, History, Messiah, Questions, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Harold Camping -Twice Bitten and Still Not Shy

As bad as the storm damage has been to witness this spring (and it has hit areas that I am very familiar with), I am just as concerned with the spiritual damage that folks like Harold Camping have caused with his false prophecies and predictions.  As I previously wrote, May 21, 2011, was not the date of the rapture or judgment or anything else specific in regard to God’s appointed times.  As for his now revised date of October 21, 2011, I will just tell you now that it also does not fall on any of God’s appointed times.  The only thing on the calendar for that date is Simchat Torah, which marks the beginning of a new Torah cycle.  It is hardly an ominous date in God’s previously revealed character.  I am confident to say that Camping’s latest grasp at another straw will prove to be fruitless indeed.

Word out now is that Camping has resorted to the JW’s defense.  He is trying to claim that the rapture did happen on May 21, but that it was “spiritual.”  This tactic isn’t new; it has been used by false prophets before Camping and it will probably be used by false prophets that are yet to come if the Lord tarries long enough.  I would instead call your attention once again to Scripture:

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.  – Matthew 24:23-28

I have already posted some of my own thoughts regarding the Rapture and you are welcome to peruse them if you like.  Suffice it to say that I am not going to buy in to the predictions of those like Harold Camping.  He has been proven false a second time (once was already enough for me to disregard him).  Don’t put your trust in men; instead you should search God’s Word for yourself and test and try these teachers against the Truth.  Camping has been measured and found wanting.

My prayer is that those who have been deceived by him to this point will awaken and seek the truth.  I noted that the site run by the believer of Camping’s prophecies has not been updated in over a month.  He has had nothing to say since the failure of the “prophet” he believed in has become evident.  I pray that his eyes would be opened now that his false prophet has been exposed.  I pray that for them all, so that the devastation will not continue.  It would seem that Harold Camping has no shame after being prove false.  I highly doubt that the third time in October will be the charm, either for him being right for once or for him admitting he has been wrong all along.

Categories: America, Apologetics, Bible Misunderstandings, Christianity, church, devotional, End Times, False Teachers, Heresy, Kingdom, Messiah, Prophecy, Signs of the Times, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Preparing for an Encounter

Tonight we are going to do a Passover Seder dinner at the church with our church family.  I am using a new Haggadah from FFOZ this year and combining an element or two from the older one that we used the last two years.  We have more people planning to come this year and I am looking forward to an exciting night as we relive the last meal our Master shared with His disciples before His crucifixion.

I expect posting to be a little sparse (I didn’t get anything yesterday) as we make final preparations for the meal and fellowship tonight.  Tomorrow I plan to post a couple of videos that are part funny and part thoughtful.  May the blessings of this season be yours in abundance through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Categories: Christianity, church, devotional, Discipleship, family, Feasts, Fun, Gospel, Grace, Hebrew, Messiah, ministry, Yeshua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Service for 4/17/11

We had a wonderful time in the Lord this past Sunday.  The weather was pretty decent after another spring storm hit on Friday and we enjoyed the presence of one another in the Lord’s house.  There are no sermon notes for this week as I had a late-finishing sermon.  That happens to me every once in a while.  The primary texts come from John 12 and 1 John 2 and 3.  May God richly bless you through His Word.

Categories: Gospel, John, Podcasts, Sermon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Father’s Eyes

I got a new toy this week.  It is a standalone DVD recorder from Sony.  It was a refurbished unit on clearance from one of my favorite tech sites, so we decided to grab it in hopes of dubbing off a bunch of our old home movies.  So today, I pulled it out of the box and after struggling with some cabling problems (I keep tons of old cables but can’t find the one for our camcorder.  I dug an older camcorder out of the box and managed to get something going to try this thing out.

As I write this post, I am watching the video of my first son digging into his first birthday cake after earlier seeing the video of my other two children doing the same thing.  I have sort of seen these in reverse order, but it is precious to walk back down the memory lane of these events.

As an obsessive dad, I filmed non-stop action of each of my kids tearing their cakes apart and stuffing them in their mouths.  In the background you hear the voices of those at the party, but you never see most of them.  The focus is on the kid at the center of the spotlight and it stays there.  The reason I did this is because I didn’t want to risk missing a moment of the excitement for anything.  Of course the whole thing isn’t exciting for most who watch it, but I have the eyes of a father.

I admit that as an earthly father, I have  my moments of distraction.  It isn’t like I always stare at my kids nonstop, but there are times when I zero in a give them complete focus.  It lets them know that I love them.  Scripture talks about this aspect of God’s love for us.  Jesus says that if we as earthly fathers know how to give good things, how much more does our Heavenly Father give good things for us.  The Bible also talks about Him “singing over us.”  One of my favorite “modern hymns” is called How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, because it is so powerful in its expression of this love.  In the first verse it says this:

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

You may feel wretched or unloved, but let me assure you that nothing is further from the truth.  The Father is not without compassion.  John 3:16 isn’t just some sappy sentiment.  He loves you and gave His only Son for you.  See yourself through His eyes.

Categories: Christianity, devotional, family, Gospel, Grace, Love, Parenting, personal, Salvation, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Service for 3/27/11

We had a fun worship service Sunday morning with some new faces and a beautiful day both inside and outside.  I am truly blessed to serve with the people at First Baptist Langdon.  This morning’s sermon comes from Mark chapter 5 and centers around the woman healed from a bleeding disorder.  I invite you to listen along and follow along with the notes as well.  May God richly bless you through His Word.

Grabbing Hold of Messiah

Mark 5:25-34

Sermon notes 3/27/11

  1. Working in the midst of uncleanness
    1. The Faith to Come to Jesus – Mark 5:28
    2. The Power of God
      1. Corners of His Garment – Numbers 15:37-41
      2. God’s Ways Bring Healing
  2. Healing in His Wings – Malachi 4:2
    1. Word for wings also means corner
    2. The corners of the Messiah’s garment – Mark 6:56
  3. Taking Hold of the Messiah – Zechariah 8:20-23
    1. The nations will take hold of Messiah; Isaiah 56:6-8
    2. The corner of the garment of a Jew (same word)
    3. Learn from the Master
      1. Isaiah 2:1-5
      2. Matthew 11:25-30 (Jeremiah 6:16)
Categories: Gospel, Mark, Podcasts, Sermon | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thomas Jefferson – Heretic? Yes. Atheist? Think Again.

Interesting story from over the weekend that fits within the stream of recent posts on this blog.  One of Thomas Jefferson’s self made “bibles” is going on display in the Smithsonian soon.  In many ways this is hardly unique.  A lot of people do their own “cut and paste” version of Scripture, but very few go to the extreme that Jefferson did with his.  Most people are content to simply ignore vast portions of Scripture on the belief that they have been “done away with” or are obsolete or something like that.

Jefferson’s “bible” is an attempt to discern what he thought were the real teachings of Jesus.  You see, while atheists like to proclaim Jefferson as one of their own and thus try to dismiss his use of Christian terminology and thought, it turns out that Jefferson was far more interested in the words and work of Christ than they might like to admit:

During the election of 1800, Jefferson was denounced as a “howling atheist” and “a confirmed infidel” known for “vilifying the divine word, and preaching insurrection against God.” But the Virginian also revered Jesus as “the first of human Sages” and was, according to one biographer, “the most self-consciously theological of all American presidents.”

Let me be quick to point out that Jefferson’s theology and view of Christ was nowhere near orthodoxy.  Jefferson was actively engaged in remaking God to suit himself and his own views.  That is why he produced a cut and paste scripture of his very own.  Jefferson generally downplayed the miracle stories about Jesus and didn’t believe in the resurrection either based on these accounts, but atheists might want to take a pause before declaring him one of their own:

After completing this second micro-testament, Jefferson claimed in a letter to a friend that it demonstrated his bona fides as a Christian. “It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.”

This is not your typical atheist speech pattern.  Jefferson claims about himself is that he was a “true disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.”  I would dispute this point vigorously as the things that he denies aren’t just the work of a couple of overzealous followers of Christ, they are bedrock beliefs that are rooted in the Old Testament long before Christ even lived.  Jesus’ disciples didn’t “make up a bunch of stuff,” they testified to what they saw firsthand and proclaimed how this was all shown beforehand in the Law and the Prophets.

16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

– 2 Peter 1:16-21

Jefferson was apparently unable to recognize this and was content to create his own “cleverly devised myths” in their stead.  That makes him a heretic, not an atheist.

Categories: Agnostics, America, Apologetics, Atheists, Christianity, church, Culture, Discipleship, Faith, False Teachers, Kingdom, Law, politics, Questions, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holding Fast to the Truth

I have gone back and forth on whether or not to even say anything about this story in the news, but I think I will share a little something.  With all the flap out there about Rob Bell’s new book, this is almost a side issue, but I think it is an important one.  Many of the “mainline” denominations have been struggling in recent years to hold onto a biblical orthodoxy.  Various denominations have caved on issues like homosexuality and even the “exclusivity” of Christ as the only Way of salvation.  For that reason, I am actually a little surprised to hear that a Methodist church fired their pastor for echoing Bell’s universalism.

It was just a couple of years ago that we had a Methodist campus “pastor” come and speak at a baccalaureate, put together by the ministerial association here in town, and essentially espouse a similar type of message.  She asserted that various faiths like Hindu, Baha’i, Buddhism, Islam and so forth all espoused some variation of the “golden rule” and believed in “god.”  Of course, she wasn’t much for mentioning Jesus Christ and hedgingly referred to a Creator a few times.   It is the Methodist church that has been running the “open doors, open hearts, open minds” ad campaign for several years now as well.  I have been worried about my brothers and sisters in the Methodist church from recent experiences.

The pastor in question mentioned in the story that he had expressed some other “controversial views” recently:

Church members had also been unhappy with Internet posts about subjects like gay marriage and the mix of religion and patriotism, Holtz said, and the hell post was probably the “last straw.” Holtz and his family plan to move back to Tennessee, where he’ll start a job and maybe plant a church.

“So long as we believe there’s a dividing point in eternity, we’re going to think in terms of us and them,” he said. “But when you believe God has saved everyone, the point is, you’re saved. Live like it.”

When someone makes a statement like this and declares to be a follower of Christ, I have to ask myself what Bible they are reading.  Are they reading the Gospels?  If they are, they don’t believe them.  Jesus made exactly this distinction over and over again.  Sheep and goats, wheat and tares, and others are exactly and precisely about a dividing line and a demarcation.  To declare otherwise is nothing short of an attempt to gut the teachings of Christ.

We cannot compromise the truth and we can’t rewrite the words of Jesus to make them more comfortable for our generation.  We are not “new” or special.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Those who reject the God who is will always seek to make a god to suit themselves of their own design.  It’s called idolatry and it still happens today.

Categories: Apologetics, Bible Thoughts, Christianity, church, Culture, Faith, False Teachers, Gospel, Grace, Heresy, Love, Messiah, ministry, Salvation, theology, Truth, Yeshua | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Emerging Picture Is Not Any Good

The flap is here.  Rob Bell’s book is out and based on what I hear and see, I don’t plan to waste valuable time reading it.  There were plenty of warning bells sounded a few weeks ago when the teaser video came out, but many asked to give the book a chance.  Well, when a MSNBC interviewer asks some straightforward questions and you fumble around in search of an answer, I am not impressed.  Bell looks and sounds like he is searching for the “good sounding answer” that will make folks happy.  When the host accuses Bell of “amending the gospel so that it is palatable,” Rob is just smiling and laughing.  The problem is that Rob is trying to have it both ways and won’t even admit it.  He says that “love will ultimately win in the end,” and when the host asks how that doesn’t make our decisions in the here and now essentially irrelevant, Bell says that “no, they really are relevant.”  Watch the video and see an example of someone who doesn’t know what the Gospel is all about talking to someone who may not believe it but at least understands it.  And yes, I do realize that Bahir’s first question is based on a false dichotomy, but that doesn’t seem to occur to Bell, which might be the most troubling thing of all.

One more piece on discernment that I will throw in as a bonus.  Lifeway has discontinued their practice of offering “Read With Discernment” disclaimers on some of the objectionable material they have chosen to sell.  I pray that their customers have better discernment of truth from fiction and fact from falsehood since Lifeway doesn’t want to bother with making such judgments.

Categories: Apologetics, Christianity, church, Culture, Discipleship, Faith, False Teachers, Gospel, Heresy, Questions, Salvation, Signs of the Times, Southern Baptist, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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