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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Entries by Kim Riddlebarger (3695)

Monday
Mar252019

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (March 25-31)

Sunday Morning, March 31:  This coming Lord's Day we will conclude our time in Malachi and in the Minor Prophets.  Our text is Malachi 4:4-6 and we will discuss the "Elijah to come."  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We are working our way through Lord's Day 3 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Our question this week is "what are the consequences of Adam's Fall?"  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: (March 27 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are continuing to make the case for Christianity.  This week, we'll look at the external evidence for the reliability of the New Testament text.

Friday Night Academy: (Friday, March 29 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are discussing Michael Horton's theology text, The Christian Faith.  We are now in chapter twelve, Being Human," and talking about the Imago Dei (p. 385).

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here Christ Reformed Church, or Christ Reformed on Facebook.

Sunday
Mar242019

"My Treasured Posession" -- Malachi 3:6-4:3

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon:  Click Here

Thursday
Mar212019

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Making the Case for Christianity (Internal Evidence for the Reliability of the New Testament)

Thursday
Mar212019

"The Lord Roars from Zion" -- Amos 1:1-2

Sermons on the Minor Prophets:  The Book of Amos (1)

"The Lord Roars from Zion,” “He has spoken against you the people of Israel,” “An adversary will bring you down,” “I will send you into exile,” “I will send a famine of the word upon the land,” and then “I will restore the fortunes of my people.”  These are just some of the words of blessing and curse YHWH declares to his people through the Prophet Amos.

Whenever we take up the study of a new book of the Bible it is important to take the time to consider who wrote this book and when.  We should also ask why the book was written, as well as identify the specific issues it addresses.  Because the books of the Minor Prophets are God’s word, they speak powerfully to us today.  But we are not the original audience.  If we do not take the time to do ask and answer these questions, it becomes all too easy to use the ancient text as a springboard for any number of moralistic object lessons: “what does Amos teach us about how to be better people?” “Dare to be an Amos.”  Or, we can turn his message into a political diatribe about the evils of wealth and materialism.  

The latter is an especially strong temptation in the case of the Minor Prophets because they do speak truth to power.  Yet unlike political figures seeking reform and change, these prophets speak God’s words to power in a particular redemptive-historical context, a context which we’ve spent the past few weeks working to establish.  If we take up each of the books of the Minor Prophets without considering the background questions, “who?” “when?” and “why?” these books were written to the original audience, we risk falling into one of the previously mentioned misuses of the text, and then we likely miss the message these prophets bring to God’s people.  We will briefly answer these questions and conduct a fly-over survey of the contents and issues raised in Amos’ prophecy.  

Who was Amos?  Like Elijah, Amos suddenly appears in Israel (the Northern Kingdom), during the reign of Jeroboam II, about 760 B.C.  Jeroboam II is the twelfth king of Israel, taking the name of one of those from whom he descends, Jeroboam I.  Jeroboam II’s reign is approximately 130 years after Jeroboam I, and nearly one hundred years after God sent Elijah to confront king Ahab and his successor, Ahaziah.  Jeroboam II is likely the most successful of the kings of Israel.  He defeated Israel’s nearest enemy (the Arameans–2 Kings 14:25-28) and extended his kingdom as far north as Damascus (in Syria).  As a benefit of relative peace, Israel’s economy grew strong through international trade–making land owners wealthy, while their servants suffered terribly because of the demands of a greatly increasing harvest.  The population of Israel had grown to more than 350,000, and archaeological evidence demonstrates significant olive oil and wine production during this time, even, perhaps horse breeding.

Israel’s spiritual heath in this period does not match its economic prosperity.  YHWH was still officially worshiped at Israel’s chief ancient shrines at Dan (in the north) and Bethel (to the south).  But it was also likely that such worship was tied to the use of statues and/or images of golden calves representing YHWH (as instituted by Jeroboam I).  This practice becomes the subject of much of the prophetic activity in Israel, as YHWH sends forth his messengers to condemn all such idolatrous use of images throughout Israel and Judah.  Those priests conducting services in Israel’s holy places continued to renounce Judah, Jerusalem, and the temple.  Israel’s heart toward YHWH had grown increasingly cold and distant after the days of Elijah and Elisha.  Many have come to believe their apostate form of Judaism is actually the true religion to be practiced by God’s people. 

To read the rest of this sermon,  Click Here

Monday
Mar182019

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (March 18-March 24)

Sunday Morning, March 24:  Malachi speaks of a God who does not change and who considers his people to be his treasured possession.  This Lord's Day, we will tackle Malachi 3:6-18. Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We've come to Lord's Day 3 in our study of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Our question this week is "did God create us sinful?"  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: (March 20 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are continuing to make the case for Christianity.  This week, we'll look at the internal and external evidence for the reliability of the New Testament text.

Friday Night Academy: (Friday, March 22 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are discussing Michael Horton's theology text, The Christian Faith.  We are now in chapter twelve, Being Human," and talking about the Imago Dei (p. 381).

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here Christ Reformed Church, or Christ Reformed on Facebook.

Sunday
Mar172019

"The Messenger of the Covenant" -- Malachi 2:10-3:5

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on Malachi from our series on the Minor Prophets

 

Friday
Mar152019

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Making the Case for Christianity (New Testament Textual Criticism)

Here's the audio from the Wednesday night Bible Study:  The Textual Criticism of the New Testament

 

Wednesday
Mar132019

"A Man of God" -- 1 Kings 17:1-24

An Introduction to the Minor Prophets (4)

He appears on the scene unexpectedly, possessing the miraculous ability to close or open the heavens so as to bring drought or abundant rain.  We know very little about his background and origins, but he is best known for his confrontation with prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.  He comes as a new Moses who raises the dead.  He confronts the apostate king of Israel, Ahab, and his Baal worshiping wife, Jezebel.  He is taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire, and the last two verses in the Old Testament (Malachi 4:5-6) speak of his re-appearance as the sign of the dawn of the messianic age and the coming of Jesus.  He appears with Moses and Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and is mentioned frequently in the New Testament as the forerunner of the Messiah.  He is truly a remarkable man.  I am speaking, of course, of the prophet Elijah.

We will continue to establish background for our series on the Minor Prophets, as we take up the account of Elijah, one of the so-called “non-writing” prophets sent to Israel (the Northern Kingdom).  Elijah’s ministry is recounted in 1 Kings 17-2 Kings 2.  He appears during the reign of Israel’s sixth king (Omri), who took the throne about 885 B.C., approximately 50 years (a full generation) after Israel’s civil war with Judah (our subject last time).  His name means “YHWH is my God,” which is fitting since his ministry to Israel centers around his prophetic call for the people of Israel to renounce the Canaanite fertility and weather god, Baal, and return to the proper worship of YHWH the Creator of all things and the Redeemer of his people.  Along with Enoch–the man who walked with God (Genesis 5:21-24)–Elijah was taken up into heaven without dying, pointing ahead to the ascension of Jesus and the catching up of believers on the day of Christ’s second advent.

Before we survey the life and ministry of Elijah, it would helpful to briefly survey the three points of background we have established so far in our series on the Minor Prophets.  First, what roles do God’s prophets play in redemptive history?  Recall that Moses is the preeminent Old Testament prophet and is the model for all those prophets who follow him, except that YHWH speaks to all other prophets in dreams and visions, but he speaks to Moses as a man to a friend.  God’s prophets are preachers of God’s words given them by YHWH.  They are not primarily predictors of the future–although they do address things about to happen in Israel while at the same time predicting a messianic age far off in the distant future.  These prophets function as God’s process-servers, announcing to Israel that the verdict of the heavenly court is in–the curses threatened in God’s covenant with Israel established through the giving of the law at Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) and renewed with Israel before the people entered the promised land (Deuteronomy 28-34)–are about fall on God’s disobedient people.  These prophets have the difficult task of declaring that God’s long-suffering patience with his disobedient people has come to an end.
 
Second, the words YHWH gives to his prophets echo the words of blessing and curse Moses spoke to Israel on the plains of Moab nearly seven hundred years earlier.  The Sinai covenant is administered as part of God’s gracious covenant (promised to Adam and established with Abraham).  But the ten commandments reflect the blessing/curse principle of God’s covenant of works originally made with Adam in Eden.  If YHWH’s people obey the terms of God’s covenant, he will bless them above all other nations.  Should they forsake the true and living God, ignore his commandments, and serve the gods of the Canaanites (Baal), then the threatened covenant curses will be dispensed from the heavenly court.

Third, those prophets whom God sent to Israel appear after the civil war which divided the united kingdom of David and Solomon into a Northern Kingdom (Israel), and a Southern Kingdom (Judah).  From the time of Israel’s split from Judah, Israel and the northern tribes are in a spiritual free-fall.  The founding king of the northern kingdom (Jeroboam I) was a man of self-interest who had no concern for either YHWH or his covenant.  As we saw last time, Jeroboam’s legacy of forsaking YHWH was the norm in Israel.  We read in 2 Kings 17:22-23, after separating from Judah, “the people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did.  They did not depart from them, until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets.  So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.”  God’s prophets are sent to announce that God’s people have broken his covenant and will face its curses–drought, famine, disease, defeat at the hands of their enemies (the Assyrians in 722 B.C.), and then finally, exile from the promised land.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
Mar112019

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (March 11-March 17)

Sunday Morning, March 17:  The Prophet Malachi foretells of a messenger yet to come, who will prepare the way for the coming Messiah.  Our text this week is Malachi 2:10-3:5.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We move into the first section of the catechism (misery/guilt).  We'll be tackling Lord's Day 2, and questions 3-5 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: (March 13 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are making the case for Christianity.  This week, we'll be talking about textual criticism of the New Testament text.

Friday Night Academy: (Friday, March 15 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are discussing Michael Horton's theology text, The Christian Faith.  We are now in chapter twelve, Being Human," and talking about the Imago Dei (p. 375).

For more information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here Christ Reformed Church, or Christ Reformed on Facebook.

Sunday
Mar102019

"For I Am a Great God" -- Malachi 1:6-2:9

Here's the audio from this Morning's Sermon on Malachi, part of our series on the Minor Prophets: Click Here