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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Sunday
Sep042016

"At the Day of Christ Jesus" -- Philippians 1:1-11

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on Philippians 1:1-11 and Paul's introductory comments.

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Sunday
Sep042016

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

What Happens When We Die?

If you ask people today what happens when we die, you’re likely to get a lot of different answers. You’re also likely to discover that the traditional Christian belief concerning heaven and hell is now a minority position. But why do people believe what they believe about our ultimate destiny? On this program the hosts begin a new series on heaven as they listen to and interact with a number of man-on-the-street interviews about contemporary views of the afterlife.

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Tuesday
Aug302016

"Everyone Whose Spirit God Stirred Up" -- Ezra 1:5-2:70

The Second in a Series of Sermons on Ezra-Nehemiah

I think it fair to say that no one reading this would mention Ezra chapter 2, if asked to identify your favorite chapter in all the Bible.  Why is a chapter which contains a detailed list of the family names of the 42,360 returning exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem, included in the Book of Ezra?  Why is this list repeated in the Book of Nehemiah (chapter 7).  Why does Ezra include an exact count of all the bowls, basins, censers, and other implements to be used in the rebuilt Jerusalem temple, which were to be brought back to Jerusalem, years after they had been taken from the temple by Nebuchadnezzer?  Why all the detail?  Ezra is a priest, not an accountant.  He is not a store clerk doing inventory.  Well, we will address the question of why such detail is important as we turn to the balance of Ezra chapter one (vv. 5-11) and all of Ezra chapter 2, our text.

In the opening four verses of Ezra, we read of a decree issued in 538 BC by the Persian king Cyrus, declaring that those Jews who had been held captive in Babylon (under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, whose empire Cyrus had defeated the previous year) were being sent home by Cyrus to restore and rebuild their capital city (Jerusalem) and its temple, identified by Cyrus as “the house of God.”

    In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

Several things should jump out to us as we read this decree from the Persian king.  The first is that Erza refers to several prophecies from Jeremiah, which foretold of Israel’s exile and return to the land.  Last time, we considered several similar prophecies from the prophet Isaiah, but it is important to consider the remarkable prophecy mentioned by Ezra and found in Jeremiah 25:11–12.  Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry took place from about the time of Josiah’s reform in 620 BC (and recounted in 2 Chronicles 34) until the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 587.  Through the prophet Jeremiah, YHWH told his people, “this whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.  Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land an everlasting waste.”  A similar prophecy is found in Jeremiah 29:10. “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.”  Cyrus’ decree in 538 BC, indicates that the seventy-years of Israel’s predicted exile are now blessedly over.  God’s people will be set free, and will directed by a pagan king to return to the promised land in what amounts to a second Exodus.  They will even be given the support necessary to rebuild.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Aug292016

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (August 29-September 4)

Sunday Morning, September 4.  We are continuing our new series on Paul's letter to the Philippians.  Our text this coming Lord's Day is vv. 1-11 of the opening chapter, as we consider God's grace toward sinners  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We are continuing our study of Lord's Day 15, and our Lord's suffering, for us, and for our salvation (Lord's Day 15 Q & A 37-39).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study:  Our Bible study will resume on September 14 with a study of 2 Thessalonians.

Academy:  Will resume in the Fall.

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

Sunday
Aug282016

"From There to Philippi" (Acts 16)

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the first in a series on Paul's letter to the church in Philippi

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Sunday
Aug282016

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

The Great Exchange & the Christian Life

Throughout this series on the Great Exchange, we have focused a great deal on doctrines such as justification, imputation, and propitiation in order to unpack the riches of all that Christ has accomplished for us. Yet there is still more for us to explore. Christ not only takes away our sin and gives us his righteousness, but he also makes us alive by his Spirit and renews us. On this program the hosts conclude their series on the Great Exchange by discussing the implications of these views on our understanding of sanctification and the Christian life.

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Tuesday
Aug232016

"The God of Heaven" -- Ezra 1:1-4

The First in a Series of Sermons on Ezra-Nehemiah

we begin a new series on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  These two closely related books cover that period in Israel’s history from the decree of the Persian king, Cyrus, in 538 BC, until about the year 458 BC, the time of Ezra.  These two books demonstrate God’s faithfulness to his covenant promises–YHWH will bring his people back to the land after a time of exile in Babylon, and direct them to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its temple–both now destroyed.  Familiarity with these two books will help us to understand the establishment of a form of Judaism (so-called “Second Temple” Judaism) much different from that which existed in the days of Joshua, and then later under king David.  By the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, Israel is no longer a victorious, thriving military power.  Israel is now the vassal state of a Gentile empire, living on past glory, and although there are moments of revival and faithfulness among the people, this is a time when the Jewish people sought former glory and to recover that which was lost.  Yet all of this serves to set the stage for a future Messiah–who alone can restore true Israel, and turn the hearts of a stubborn and rebellious people back to the covenant promises of their ever-faithful God.  And so we begin our new series by setting the stage for the work of Ezra and Nehemiah and their accounts of an exile people who return home to find their temple in ruins, and their beloved city of Jerusalem all but deserted and now desolate.

587 BC was a year of great consequence for the people of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah.  Israel had been a divided kingdom for nearly two hundred years–a time recounted in redemptive history in the  ministries of the Old Testament prophets Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah.  This was a time in Israel’s history characterized by division and a growing apostasy and idiolatry among the people, a time when God’s covenant curses were meted out upon both the faithless Israelites and their unbelieving rulers, and a time of the ever-increasing threat of domination by foreign powers.  

The northern kingdom (Israel) was defeated and overrun by the Assyrians in 722 BC, but the southern kingdom, Judah, remained a functioning monarchy, continuing the Davidic royal line through the series of kings listed in 1 Chronicles 3:1-16.  Eventually, Judah too became largely apostate–although there was a significant Reformation in the days of Josiah (around 620 BC).  But Judah too eventually fell to the Chaldean armies of King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon as recounted in 2 Kings 25:1–7, where we read of a siege of Jerusalem, and Judah’s total collapse in the days of king Zedekiah.

    And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. 2 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.  3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans [a tribe ruled by the Babylonians] were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon.

Israel had fallen a long way from the glorious days of her great empire during the successive reigns of David and Solomon.  Now, the formidable walls of Jerusalem were breached by Nebuchadnezzer’s armies, and the city and its defenses were left in ruins–an event which will figure very prominently in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  The Jerusalem temple was sacked, and its precious metals removed (i.e., the gold and silver vessels in temple) and taken as booty to Babylon by the victorious captors.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Aug222016

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (August 22-28)

Sunday Morning, August 28.  We are beginning a new series on Paul's letter to the Philippians.  The first sermon in this series will be based upon Acts 16, and Luke's account of the founding of a church in Phillipi.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We return to our study of the Heidelberg Catechism.  We have come to Lord's Day 15, which deals with our Lord's suffering, for us and for our salvation (Lord's Day 15 Q & A 37-39).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study:  Our Bible study will resume on September 14 with a study of 2 Thessalonians.

Academy:  Will resume in the Fall.

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

Sunday
Aug212016

"A Portrait of the Faithful Minister" -- Acts 20-17-38

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon from Rev. Brad Lenzner on the occasion of his installation as our associate pastor.


 

Sunday
Aug212016

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

The Great Divide

At the heart of the Protestant/Catholic division in the sixteenth century was the disagreement over the doctrine of justification by an alien or imputed righteousness. In Catholic theology, justification is conceived as a lifelong process of becoming intrinsically righteous and holy, rather than a once-for-all declaration of “not guilty” to sinners who put their trust in Christ. On this program the hosts walk through the issues involved in this important debate and interact with the views of the sixteenth-century Reformers.

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