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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Monday
Jul202015

This Week's White Horse Inn

Honest Evangelism

This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our series on sustainable church growth. In this program, we will be looking at evangelism with Rico Tice. Rico is the associate minister of All Souls, Langham Place in London and founder of Christianity Explored Ministries. He is the author of several books dealing with evangelism and understanding the nature of Christian witness in this world. His popular Christianity Explored and Christianity Explained DVD series has taken off around the world. He has recently written a book titled Honest Evangelism: How to Talk about Jesus Even When It's Tough.

In addition to making life-long Christian disciples, churches in our day need to equip the saints so that they can faithfully share the gospel with outsiders. As we take the gospel out to the world, we need to resist the temptation to change or dilute the message in order to remove the offense of the cross. But how do we actually do that? What should we expect from those we witness to? Will it be difficult or easy? How should we prepare? Is evangelism necessary for every Christian? Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we discuss the necessity and purpose of evangelism within our context.

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Tuesday
Jul142015

"When I Am Lifted Up" -- John 12:27-36

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

Jesus has entered Jerusalem in apparent triumph.  As he heads along the road from Bethany to Jerusalem a huge crowd spontaneously assembles and begins the messianic chant, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  The people expect Jesus to enter the city, to his take his place on David’s royal throne, and then free the nation from their Roman oppressors.  But Jesus is entering his city only to be rejected by Israel, to suffer and die for the sins of his people, to bear the wrath of his Father in his own flesh, and to rise again from the dead.  When Jesus does take his rightful place on David’s throne, it will be a heavenly throne when Jesus ascends into heaven.  In John’s Gospel, Jesus reveals what he is about to do to a group of Greeks (Gentile God-fearers), who have come to Jerusalem to witness Israel’s Passover celebration.  In revealing what is about to transpire, Jesus tells these Gentiles that his hour is now at hand.  Jesus speaks openly of his own great anguish, and his mission is audibly confirmed by his heavenly Father.  Jesus tells the crowds which assembled as he began speaking, that he must be lifted up in order to draw all people unto himself.  Jesus is, of course, speaking of his cross.  And those listening to him are struggling to make sense of it all.

We continue to work our way through the Gospel of John.  We have come to John chapter 12, and we are considering a remarkable teaching discourse which takes place soon after Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph on Palm Sunday.  The remarkable thing about the content of John 12:20-36, is that Jesus begins to speak about his coming death and resurrection soon after he had entered Jerusalem to the messianic chants of the people.  On the face of it, Palm Sunday looked as though this was the long-expected day when Jesus enters Jerusalem to the accolades of the people of Israel to claim David’s royal throne.  While the people correctly sense the messianic implications of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, they cannot yet know that events are about to take a very dramatic and unexpected turn.

The sad reality is that Palm Sunday is every bit as much a tragedy as it is a triumph.  Although the people of Israel cheer and shout messianic anthems, the reality is that Jesus is not the king they want or expect, and so the very moment when Jesus is arrested and stands helpless before Caiaphas (the Jewish high priest) and then Pilate (the Roman governor), the people turn on him and began calling for his death at the hands of a hated Roman bureaucrat–Pilate.  On Palm Sunday, the people see Jesus as the successor to king David and they are thrilled.  By Friday (the Passover), they see Jesus as a mere messianic pretender who should be put to death for causing so much trouble.

The events recorded at the end of John 12 serve to set the stage for the lengthy teaching discourse (the so-called Upper Room Discourse) of John 13-17, when Jesus prepares his disciples for his unexpected departure from them.  In light of Jesus’ dramatic entrance into Jerusalem, the disciples cannot understand how the whole course of Jesus’ messianic ministry will change so drastically in the next few days.  Jesus had raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, just the week before.  This was his seventh and most dramatic sign yet, confirming that he is both the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah.  On Sunday he entered Jerusalem in triumph, but as we read in the synoptic gospels, immediately after entering the city, Jesus went to the temple to pray and saw that the outer court (the so-called court of the Gentiles), was filled with merchants and money-changers selling their wares.  According to Jesus, these men had turned the temple from a place of prayer into a den of thieves and robbers.  Acting in righteous anger, Jesus drove them out.  The conflict between Jesus and the Sanhedrin will rapidly escalate in the days ahead.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Jul132015

"Times of Refreshing" -- Acts 3:1-26

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

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Monday
Jul132015

This Week's White Horse Inn

The Nature of Spiritual Growth

This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our series on sustainable church growth. In this program, we will be looking at the nature of spiritual growth itself. How do faithful disciples and faithful churches grow? What sustains this faith across the decades? The horticultural metaphors in Scripture are definitive for understanding the nature of the church’s health and growth. Although a church may grow in attendance, does that mean it is necessarily fruitful or faithful? Can Christians grow spiritually in these church environments over the long haul?

While it’s true that megachurches continue to see growth in numbers, it is not being mean spirited to ask whether there is real viability or sustainability in their methods. True spiritual growth is the topic on this episode. This topic is something we need to desperately understand in today’s environment. So how do faithful churches grow? What does it mean to be a lifelong disciple who is maturing in Christ (Eph 4:15)? We will trace these horticultural metaphors in Scripture to help us understand this process. Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we discuss the means and method the Spirit of Christ has promised to bless and use according to his Word.

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Tuesday
Jul072015

"The King of Israel" -- John 12:12-26

The Fortieth in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

There are times when things are not what they seem.  What appears to be a spontaneous moment of triumph and joy when Jesus enters Jerusalem to return the nation to greatness, is actually a sign of Israel’s unbelief and hardness of heart.  The people sense the obvious messianic significance of David’s son entering his royal city.  But for the citizens of Israel, this was a political event with religious implications, not the moment when Jesus enters Jerusalem as the prince of peace, and suffering servant who will lay down his life for his sheep.  What looks like the culmination of his three year public ministry–the messiah has come to his royal city in a triumphal procession–is but a step on the way to Jesus’ cross and empty tomb.  This is a day of joy because Scripture is being fulfilled and Jesus must obey his Father’s will to secure our salvation.  But on this day, the crowds do not understood the true meaning of what they were seeing.  Israel’s moment has come, but the people do not understand the significance of what is happening.

We are continuing our series on the Gospel of John, and we have come to Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem–commonly celebrated in Christian churches on Palm Sunday.  There are few events recorded in all four gospels–Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem is one of them.   As we have seen during our time in John 11-12–which is the literary hinge of John’s Gospel uniting our Lord’s messianic mission (the first ten chapters) and our Lord’s Upper Room Discourse and Passion (chapters 13-21)–Jesus’ messianic mission is rapidly coming to its conclusion.  Jesus has raised his close friend Lazarus from the dead, proving that he is the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah.  Sadly, the Sanhedrin’s response to Jesus’ seventh miracle is to issue a warrant for Jesus’ arrest–which provides a pretext to put Jesus to death.  The Sanhedrin takes this action against Jesus because of their collective fear that Jesus is attracting large numbers of followers and this might provoke the Romans to remove the Sanhedrin from power.

As we saw at the end of John 11, when people became aware of the Pharisees’ order that anyone who saw Jesus or who knew where he was, was to immediately report that information to the Sanhedrin, a buzz began to spread throughout Jerusalem.  Would Jesus dare come to the city to celebrate the Passover, knowing that if he did so he would be arrested and put to death?  That question is definitively answered “yes” when Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph the Sunday before the Passover.  Jesus will defy the Sanhedrin because his chief concern is obedience to his Father’s will and that he accomplish all that the Father has sent him to accomplish.  And this he will do.

In fact, the best indication we have regarding the true meaning of Jesus’ entrance into the city on Palm Sunday actually came the evening before, during a dinner given by Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in the home of Simon the leper.  After the dinner concluded, Mary took a large amount of nard (a year’s wages worth) and anointed Jesus’ head, body, and feet, wiping them with her hair.  When Judas complained that the perfume could have been sold and the proceeds given the to poor, Jesus rebuked him.  Jesus tells Judas and the assembled group, “leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.  For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”  Although the folks in Simon’s home were probably taken aback by Jesus’ rebuke of Judas, and certainly did not yet grasp the full meaning of all that Jesus said, his statement that Mary was going to anoint him for the day of his burial reveals what lay ahead in the coming days.  Jesus will enter Jerusalem in great triumph the next day, but by Friday afternoon of the Passover, Jesus will be dead, and once again, Mary will anoint her Lord’s body in preparation for his burial, exactly as Jesus had foretold.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Jul062015

"Everyone Who Calls Upon the Name of the Lord" -- Acts 2:1-47

Here's the audio from Rev. Compton's Sunday sermon

Click Here

Monday
Jul062015

This Week's White Horse Inn

Sustainable Churches       

Over the past several decades, mega-malls have been draining commercial and social life from downtown shops and eateries. Built for the automobile, malls attract people from a region more than a particular town. Leisurely downtown strolls where you recognize neighbors and meet new ones became passé. Downtown in small town America, even cities, was boring compared to the big box centers of consumption and entertainment. But something strange is happening in recent years, many American small town main streets seem to be coming back to life. What has that do with churches? Sustainable churches? Actually, plenty.

For similar reasons megachurches have thrived, not by evangelism as much as by draining people from smaller churches. Instead of particular churches committed to a particular confession and a particular place, you have megachurches with generic names like “Bubbling Brook” or “Inspire.” Denominational names have been dropped. Sometimes you don’t even see the word “church” on the side anymore. “My church is dead,” people often say, the little church they’ve grown up in, but “the Spirit’s really doing big things at Rockin’ it Christian Center.” How much of our evaluation of “dead” and “alive” churches is actually determined by the same market forces that make us attracted to the mega-mall instead of our local downtown?

It’s not just the stereotypical megachurch with its sophisticated entertainment and technology that keeps us looking for the next big thing. You can go to a conference and hear great preachers and great music. You learn tons. Then, you go back to your home church and it just seems so… ordinary. So, even in solid churches people often move around from church to church looking for Martin Luther or John Calvin to rock their world. We’re all caught up in this impatience with the ordinary growth that happens week in and week out, but the good news is that like downtown local churches are making a comeback. Many people who wanted anonymity are now missing the community they had before. Many are saying “Hey, we need to move to that house close to our church, so we can actually go their regularly.” It’s more important that we and our kids grow up, instead of being dumbed down. Join us this week on the White Horse Inn as we look at what it means to build sustainable churches in a mega-mall culture.

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Saturday
Jul042015

Mike Horton on Court's Ruling on SSM

Mike Horton has written a short essay regarding the Supreme Court ruling (Horton on Supreme Court ruling)

On Saturday, we were lamenting the decision. But then this response came back from one friend, who happens to be a U. S. Senator: “Yes, it’s a big disappointment, but tomorrow’s Sunday, Christ is risen, and ‘trust not in princes.’”

Tuesday
Jun302015

Adding Insult to Injury

Tuesday
Jun302015

Trunews Interview

I was interviewed by Rick Wiles of Trunews today.  The topic--the end times, what else?

I have never been on a radio program/podcast the same day as a CIA operations manager.

End Times Interview