Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Here is a list of the passages of Scripture that I will cover during the next few weeks (sermon titles will differ). If you have sermon ideas, illustrations, or want to deal with specific issues or questions please be in touch.

Behold the Lamb

04/09/06 Jesus Our King– John 12:12-15
04/16/06 Trust the Risen Christ– John 20:14-16
04/23/06 Following the Risen Christ- John 21:15-23

Building a Household of Faith

04/30/06 The Gift of Life– Genesis 1:28
05/07/06 God and His Highest Creation- Genesis 2:7-25
05/14/06 Leave a Godly Legacy– Genesis 24:1-4
05/21/06 Attitudes That Harm Relationships– Genesis 37:3-11
05/28/06 Resisting Sexual Temptation– Genesis 39:7-21
06/04/06 Build Strong Families and Work Relationships– Ephesians 6:1-9
06/11/06 Transforming Power– John 2:1-11
06/18/06 Showing Respect- 1 Timothy 5:1-10
06/25/06 Being Christian at Home– 1 Peter 3:1-12
As promised--here are Sunday's sermon notes:

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Phobia--it comes from the Greek word phobos, meaning fear. There are some 530 phobias. Some of the more interesting ones: peladophobia, fear of bald people; geniophobia, fear of chins; dentophobia, fear of dentists; even photophobia, fear of phobias; and the Baptist phobia--tropophobia, fear of change. While we might try to make light of it, the fact is that our world is becoming an increasingly fearful place. Jesus said that one of the marks of the last days would be, "men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth" (Luke 21:26). The Bible acknowledges that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Yet, the child of God can face the future without fear. Jesus would go on to say, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28). Paul says that far from fear, these truths are given to comfort us (1 Thessalonians 5:11). There is then:
Paul lived in a state of constant expectation that any day Jesus could return. We should also.
· SECRET DELIVERANCE (v.1-2) Those Lifted Beyond
Paul does not give a detailed discussion of end time events. He has already taught them and they understood accurately. Do you understand concerning "the times?" The word is chronos in the Greek, from which we get our words chronology and chronometer. It means a sequence of time, a quantity of time. This is the course of end time events. The next great prophetic event always imminent is the rapture of the church with dead saints resurrected and living saints translated caught up in the clouds by Christ in the air and taken away to heaven by Him. Then there will be a seven year period of tribulation--the last 31/2 years being the Great Tribulation when God's wrath is poured out on a Christ-rejecting world. Next, Christ returns with His saints to overthrow the Antichrist and establish His millennial kingdom on earth. After the thousand years comes the eternal state with new heavens and a new earth. "Seasons" is kairos in the original text which deals with the nature of time, the quality of the time. In other words it is the character of end time events. Jesus gave us an overview in Matthew 24 when He described wars, plagues, famines, false religions, earthquakes and the like as signs of the end times.
We must live in expectancy--for He comes as a "thief in the night." A thief does not announce His coming. He takes the treasure when no one is looking. So Jesus will come and take away His jewels--His children, suddenly, unexpectedly, as far as the world is concerned. It could happen any moment. Are you ready? Will you be lifted beyond this world of woe and into His presence?
· SUDDEN DESTRUCTION (v.3) Those Left Behind
Note the difference in the groups Paul deals with indicated in the pronouns, "you" and "they." There are only two classes of people in the world--those who are saved and those who are lost; only two destinations, heaven or hell. There is no middle ground. The judgments will fall on a world that has been lulled into a state of false peace--as it was in the days of Noah. See Matthew 24:36-42. It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii, December 7, 1941 when just before 8 AM waves of Japanese planes without warning, unexpectedly rained destruction from the sky, decimating the American fleet in Pearl Habor. It will be that way when God brings judgment on the planet. "And they shall not escape"--nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no second chance. How the Bible contradicts the modern thinking of universalism and inclusivisim that thinks somehow all will escape judgment and enter heaven. Still Christians need not fear.
Examine yourself and see if you are in the faith Scripture commands. Salvation means:
Darkness here means the spiritual darkness of those who are ignorant of God. It speaks of the moral darkness of those who live in sin. Outer darkness is the fate of those who spurn the Savior. Jesus said that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Have you left the realm of darkness?
We will exhibit the nature of our Father (1 John 1:5-6) otherwise we are only fooling ourselves. Jesus is the Light of the world and we are the light of the world reflecting His life. The Christian has been spiritually illuminated by the light of the Holy Spirit. Light is so different from darkness. Is your life a contrast to those living in the darkness of sin? If so, we need not fear!
Paul never writes as a professor presenting a dried up doctrinal dissertation, but as a pastor proclaiming the practical implications of the truth.
The discipline of a sentry at his post. The world has a deadening effect on our spiritual senses. Satan wants to rock us to sleep. We must be alert to the danger of doctrinal and moral compromise that seeks to sneak in and undermine our effectiveness.
· A CALL TO DUTY (v.8-11)
The duty of a soldier on the march. This is not a game--it's war! We need to be equipped (v.8). The breastplate guards the heart--faith in Christ that does not waver and love for Christ that does not wane. Jesus warned, "Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12 NLT). The helmet guards the head with the hope that gives us courage in fearful times. We have a certain hope, a confident expectation because we are not appointed to wrath (v.9-10)! God appoints us to salvation in His sovereign election, but we obtain that salvation only when we respond by faith. Salvation is exclusively through Christ and His substitutionary death. He suffered the agony and anguish of separation from God in our place. Dead or alive--awake or asleep--Jesus is coming for His church! We need to be encouraging and edifying each other accordingly (v.11). All Christians have this duty.

Are you in the Lord's army? Have you given your allegiance to Jesus Christ? Did you leave the kingdom of darkness for the kingdom of light?
Hello Friends,
This is my first attempt at blogging, so please forgive any goofs. One of the intents of this blog is to publish my sermon notes from Sunday, and other Bible messages from time to time, in an effort to maximize their impact. Too often, Sunday comes and goes and the message I fear does the same--it goes in one ear and out the other. The blog will enable you to review the message substantially as given. Now, it will be in an edited version--usually somewhat abridged. It is not a transcription, but my notes (edited for publication) that I intended to deliver--though in the heat of preaching one never knows exactly how it will come out! Another benefit is that you can catch up on what you missed should you have to be absent on a Sunday. The blog can be used to send the messages to others--an outreach or ministry tool, if you will. Then, we can discuss the message further, field questions and that sort of thing. I'm excited about the possibilities! Something else that might be an option is to start a home Bible study or lunchbreak Bible study built off these notes. I'd be glad to supply some additonal teaching helps, if that works for you. What do you think? Any ideas beyond these? I'd also like for you to know that for the next several weeks, I'll be preaching on the issues of family--marriage, parenting and the like. I'll post the texts. Give me any ideas, illustrations, topics you want covered, etc. and that will help me apply the biblical truth in a very specific manner.