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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Wednesday
Aug192015

Fact Can Be Stranger than Fiction

If you look closely, you might see more than a slight resemblance between King Solomon and John Travolta.  That is because there is.

A "Bible Wax Museum" in Mansfield, Ohio, has been cutting costs by purchasing wax figures of celebrities from a now defunct Madame Tussaud’s Museum in Arkansas.  Among the wax figures transformed into "Biblical Heros" include Steve McQueen, Tom Cruise (who is the wax "Jesus" about to be baptized by John--see the article for the image), Elizabeth Taylor, Ringo Starr, and Prince Phillip.

Like I say, you cannot make this stuff up.  Click Here

(h.t. Larry Johnson)

Tuesday
Aug182015

"I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" -- John 14:1-14

The Forty-Fifth in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

As the Upper Room discourse continues to unfold in John 14, Jesus tells his disciples that he is going away, and that he will prepare a place for them.  The disciples are confused by Jesus’ words, and several of them have questions for Jesus.  Thomas wants to know the way to the place which Jesus is preparing for them in his Father’s house, while Philip wants Jesus to show the remaining disciples the glory of the Father.  In answering Thomas’ and Philip’s questions, Jesus utters some of the best known and most profound statements in all the New Testament.  For nearly three years, the disciples have traveled with Jesus, witnessed countless miracles, and heard Jesus say things which nice Jewish boys do not say, unless he is God incarnate.  In their last evening together, Jesus reveals much new information about the nature of his messianic mission (which is about to end), but he also speaks about the disciples’ future ministry (which is about to begin).

When we left off last time (the closing verses of chapter 13), Jesus is with his disciples in a rented upper room in Jerusalem celebrating the Passover.  It is early Thursday evening–the Passover began at sundown.  With the joy of Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday quickly fading because of the gravity of the Passover celebration, the disciples surely sensed that this Passover was going to be different from anything they had ever experienced with Jesus before.  Jesus is troubled, and is speaking like a man about to die.  

The reason for the somber nature of the evening is that Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure–he will suffer and die upon a Roman cross the next afternoon, and after being raised from the dead, Jesus will ascend into heaven and return to his Father.  Because his long anticipated hour has come, Jesus must now explain to his disciples that he is about to leave them, as well as explain to them why.  The disciples stand at the brink of a new age in redemptive history, and in order to understand what is soon to come later that evening and next afternoon, Jesus must teach them about the nature of his messianic mission, explain why it has come to an end, why he must now leave them, and why his departure will be better for them.  To do this, Jesus will explain to them the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Understandably, his disciples are struggling to understand the significance of Jesus’ words, and it is only in hindsight that the things Jesus tells them during this discourse will finally make sense to them.

Although Jesus is their teacher and Lord, soon after sundown Jesus opened the Passover celebration by washing the feet of his disciples–something never done for servants in the ancient world by someone of Jesus’ authority, since it is the disciples who ordinarily would be washing Jesus’ feet.  Jesus told them how this washing with water pointed ahead to a spiritual washing–a washing with the blood he was about to shed for his people upon the cross as Israel’s true and spotless Passover lamb.  

But there were other difficult revelations to be made as well.  Jesus announced to the twelve that one of them (Judas) would betray him, and that another of them (the leader of the group, and the most exuberant of them all, Peter) would deny evening knowing Jesus.  In fact, Peter would do so three times before the rooster crowed (i.e., at first light the next morning).  Peter was brave and loyal and could not begin to understand how he would come to do such a thing.  The news of a satanically-inspired defection by the group’s treasurer (Judas) was also difficult to understand, so much so that even when Jesus identified Judas as his betrayer when he handed him a piece of bread dipped in sop, the disciples could not get their minds around such an act until Judas showed up with an armed mob later that evening bent upon arresting Jesus so that he might be put to death.  Judas had been with them from the beginning, and although they figured out later on that Judas was a thief and a liar, on this night the eleven remaining disciples simply could not understand how one of their own could so such a thing.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Aug172015

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (August 17-23)

I'm back . . .  

Sunday Morning (August 23):  We return to our series on Ezra-Nehemiah.  Our text for Sunday is Nehemiah 1 and our subject is "Nehemiah's prayer."  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We return to the Heidelberg Catechism, beginning with Lord's Day 1, and the first question and answer.  This would be a great time to join us!  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study Will resume in the Fall (TBA)

The Academy:  On Hiatus until Fall (TBA)

For More Information on Christ Reformed Church you can always find us here (Christ Reformed Info), or on Facebook (Christ Reformed on Facebook)

Monday
Aug172015

"Samaria Receives the Word of God" -- Acts 8:1-25

Here is the audio from Rev. Compton's Sunday sermon at Christ Reformed.

Monday
Aug172015

This Week's White Horse Inn

Living Into Community

This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our series on sustainable church discipleship. In this program, we are joined by special guest Christine Pohl who is the Associate Provost and professor of Christian Social Ethics at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. She's the author of a book we highly recommend on the topic of hospitality entitled Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition. She has recently written a book that we'll be talking about on this program, Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us.

As churches conform more and more to the values of the marketplace, true and lasting community is becoming harder to find. Many of us do not know the person we will sit next to on Sunday morning. Few of us even care. Yet, the Christian faith is a communal event. We cannot be in union and communion with Christ without simultaneously being in fellowship with his body, the Church. It is only within such a communion of saints that our beliefs, practices, and habits truly form and shape who we are and allow us to live faithfully day by day. What are the essential ingredients of an authentic Christian community? What exactly does this living community look like? Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we discuss what it means for a church to be a community that every Christians needs for the cultivation of faith and the virtues of the Spirit.

Click Here

Tuesday
Aug112015

"If You have Love for One Another" - John 13:21-38

The Forty-Fourth in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

Jesus is about to depart from his disciples and return to his Father.  But there is much for Jesus to reveal to them before the Passover celebration comes to an end, when Jesus leads the disciples to an olive grove known as the Garden of Gethsemane, where he is arrested, and then crucified the next afternoon.  As the Passover celebration began, Jesus did the unthinkable–he washed the feet of his disciples.  Jesus then spoke of how washing the disciples’ feet pointed ahead to a much more important washing–with the blood he will soon shed upon the cross for all those given to him by the Father.  As the Passover celebration continues to unfold, Jesus reveals more and more about why he is leaving, and how this will impact his disciples.  In the next phase of the discourse, two of Jesus’ disciples (Judas and Peter) will be shocked at predictions made by Jesus, and that one greater than Moses (Jesus, the true Israel) will give the disciples a new commandment.  

We are working our way through the Gospel of John, and we have come to the so-called “Upper Room” discourse which is found in John chapters 13-17.  As we saw last time when we covered the first half of chapter 13, Jesus’ public ministry to Israel has come to an end.  With the arrival of the Passover (sundown on Thursday evening of Passion week), Jesus gathers his disciples in a rented “upper room” in the city of Jerusalem to celebrate his third and final Passover with the twelve.  Jesus knows that with the coming of the Passover, so too, his dreaded hour has come.  Our Lord also knows that this evening will end with his betrayal (by one of his own disciples sharing the Passover meal with him), his arrest and trial (before the Jewish high priest, Caiaphas, and then before the Roman governor, Pilate), the agony of a Roman scourging and crucifixion the next afternoon, followed by his bodily resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.  Jesus knows that all of this is just ahead–hours away, in fact.  Accordingly, our Lord speaks with a solemnity and seriousness of someone saying his final goodbyes.  But his disciples do not know what is about to transpire, and they are struggling to understand what Jesus is telling them.    

We know from the synoptic gospels, Jesus has been openly speaking of his death and resurrection in the days before his entrance into Jerusalem.  Yet, despite the many miracles which Jesus has performed (especially raising Lazarus from the dead just a week or so before), followed by his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus’ disciples surely sense that the atmosphere of celebration and triumph which marked Palm Sunday, has given way to the solemn finality of the Passover.  Jesus is giving his final instructions to his disciples–although they do not comprehend what it is for which Jesus is preparing them.  But this will all become clear in the days ahead when Jesus appears to them after he is raised from the dead, before he returns to his Father in heaven.  As we read in John 2:22 (and which applies here as well), “when therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.”  

But on this night–the Passover–Jesus explains to them that he must depart from them and why.  With the momentous events of his death and resurrection at hand, Jesus has much to teach them, but not much time to do so.  This explains the length and attention to detail of the discourse which John sets out in these chapters.  Jesus is going to leave his disciples, and then send them to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.  He must explain to them his messianic mission and why it has come to an end.  He must explain to them the nature of the new mission he is about to assign to them, as well as explain why it is good for him to depart.  Jesus also tells them he will give them the blessed Holy Spirit, who will equip them to preach the gospel fearlessly and with great clarity in the face of hostile audiences.  These are the men who will soon “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6), although you would never know it from the events which take place on this night in the upper room.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Aug102015

The Next Installment of the Lectio Continua Commentary -- Hebrews

David McWilliams' commentary on Hebrews is now available.  Lectio Continua on Hebrews

This is the third volume in series, along with J.V. Fesko's Lectio Continua on Galatians, and my volume, Lectio Continua on First Corinthians

Here are the endorsements:

This promises to be a great resource for churches seeking to know the Word of God more fully. --Carl R. Trueman, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. McWilliams addresses the Epistle of Hebrews with theological precision and homiletical incisiveness. We learn how Hebrews draws from all of Scripture to unfold the covenant of grace culminating in the majesty of Christ, the God-Man, who fulfills the calling of Prophet, Priest, and King as the Mediator of a New Covenant. McWilliams grasp of the profound theology of Hebrews is marvelously displayed in the simplicity of expositional preaching. The result is a superb asset for any Christian, but especially for preachers and teachers of God s Word in general and the book of Hebrews in particular. --Harry L. Reeder, III Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL

David McWilliams exposition of the book of Hebrews admirably fulfills the aims of the Lectio Continua Expository Commentary series. Combining exegetical rigor with pastoral sensitivity, McWilliams opens up the riches of the book of Hebrews as a sermon-epistle that emphasizes the superiority of Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant, and warns its recipients of the real danger of falling away through unbelief and neglect. Though the book of Hebrews is densely argued, and therefore presents daunting challenges to its readers, McWilliams manages to open up its treasures in a clear and compelling manner. Pastors and church members alike will greatly benefit from his exposition, which is saturated with homiletical and pastoral insights. --Cornelis P. Venema, President and Professor of Doctrinal Studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Dyer, IN

Monday
Aug102015

This Week's White Horse Inn

Pastoral Burnout

This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our series on maintaining sustainable church discipleship. In this program, we will focus on pastoral burnout and the grace that avails even pastors. The statistics concerning pastoral ministry are staggering. Nearly 50% of pastors never make it to their fifth year of ministry. 90% of pastors will leave the ministry before retirement. Every month nearly 3000 pastors leave the ministry.

To help us think through this pressing issue is special guest Clay Werner, a pastor in Athens, GA. He is the author of a book dealing with this subject entitled, On the Brink: Grace for the Burned-Out Pastor. What causes pastors to leave the ministry? How might pastors and congregants overly burden the ministry? How might pastors functionally have a theology of glory and not a theology of the cross? What grace is available to a minister? What practical things can the minister do to help cultivate the joy of the resurrection? Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we discuss pastoral burnout and uncover the hidden assumptions of pastors and see what grace says to these assumptions.

Click Here

Saturday
Aug082015

Pictures from the White Horse Inn Weekend

The 2015 White Horse Inn Weekend in Pasadena was a great success. It is always nice to make new friends and visit with old ones.

The pictures above are of me lecturing on "False Jesuses," one of our recording sessions (with Nancy Guthrie and Mrs. Riddleblogger lurking in the back), Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on the person and work of Jesus, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey on Jesus in the apostolic church, and Mike Horton wrapping things up!

Lord willing, we'll do it again next year!

Sunday
Aug022015

"If It Is of God, You Will Not Be Able to Overthrow Them" -- Acts 5:17–42.

Here's the audio from Rev. Compton's Sermon

Click Here