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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Thursday
Jan282016

Ben Sasse on Trump and the Abuse of Executive Power

Ben Sasse continues to raise an important question regarding the continual increase of the power of the executive branch of government.  Sasse calls out Donald Trump and those in both parties who champion presidential unilateralism.

What is Trump's Solution?

Wednesday
Jan272016

Updated Christ Reformed Church Website

Christ Reformed Church's website has been upgraded (using Squarespace V7).  Check it out here:  Christ Reformed Church

There will be a few bugs and broken links for a while, but we'll get these worked out.

Hopefully, there will be a revised Riddleblog down the road--this blog is long overdue for a makeover (as is its owner).

Tuesday
Jan262016

"We Know His Testimony Is True" -- John 21:15-25; Ezekiel 34:11-31

The Sixty-Fourth and Final in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

Jesus has but a few final words for his disciples before he ascends into heaven.  That night on which they celebrated the Passover together now seems so long time ago in light of all of the things which have happened since.  Jesus has since been arrested, tried, crucified, rose again from the dead, and then appeared to his disciples three times–twice in Jerusalem, and once in Galilee.  The fundamental character of redemptive history has changed.  Jesus will reinstate Peter as chief apostle, and prepare the others for a new phase of redemptive history, when Jesus pours out his Holy Spirit upon them on the Day of Pentecost.  Jesus’ disciples will go and preach the gospel to the ends of the earth, and in doing so, will turn the whole world upside down.

We have finally come to the end of our series on the Gospel of John.  Sixty-four sermons, twenty one chapters, eight-hundred and seventy-nine verses.  This is truly an amazing document–especially in comparison to the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke).  John’s Gospel has many affinities with the other gospels, yet at the same time John has a completely different organizational structure and unique points of emphasis.  Hopefully, John’s Gospel will remain familiar to us as we move on to new biblical texts in the weeks to come.  Now that we know John’s Gospel a bit better, it is my hope that we all turn to it often and read through it regularly.  This gospel is too important to neglect.

As I pointed out last time when we began going through the epilogue of John (the 21st chapter), critical scholars tend to argue that this chapter is an appendage–not an integral part of the gospel, and tagged on to the end by either John, or someone else.  As we saw, however, these verses make an important point and are not carelessly stuck on to the end of John’s summary statement in 20:30-31 as critical scholars believe.  Recall that in his summary statement, John writes, “now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”  This is both a summary statement of the content of his gospel, as well as a challenge to all who read and hear the gospel to believe in Jesus Christ.

In context, John’s point about believing in Jesus and then possessing life in his name is tied to the blessing which Jesus extends to the doubting Thomas, as well as to those, who, unlike Thomas, believe in Jesus based upon the testimony of those who did see Jesus’ miracles and heard him preach.  John says “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  In addition to defining the promised blessings, John’s summary statement also wraps-up his account Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances in Jerusalem.  Yet several important things do occur after the risen Jesus appears to his disciples in a locked room in Jerusalem eight days after Easter.  These things are recounted in John 21.

In chapter twenty-one the scene shifts from Jerusalem to the Galilee region at some point in the days and weeks after Jesus appeared to his disciples on two different occasions in Jerusalem.  After this, the disciples (at least those mentioned here by John) returned to their home towns and their previous vocation–fishing.  Although Jesus told them that he would go ahead of them to the Galilee, they did not recognize Jesus when he began speaking to them from the shore.  Given the difficulties of grasping the new realities of redemptive-history after Jesus was raised from the dead, the disciples do not expect that Jesus was the one speaking to them from the water’s edge as they struggled to get their boat ashore.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
Jan252016

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

Sunday Morning, January 31:  As we continue our series on Book of Daniel, we will take up Daniel's rise to prominence in the Babylonian court (Daniel 1:17-21).  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  Rev. Chris Coleman will be leading our catechism service which begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, January 27:  We are doing an overview of the theology and Christology of Paul's two Thessalonian letters.  Our study begins at 7:30 p.m.

The Friday Night Academy: January 29:  The Academy resumes this week as we return to our series "In the Land of Nod" on the two kingdoms.  We will continue to discuss the church's prophetic role in the midst of the civil kingdom.  The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m.

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

Sunday
Jan242016

"God Gave Daniel Favor and Compassion" -- Daniel 1:8-21

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the second in a series of sermons of the Book of Daniel.

Click Here

Sunday
Jan242016

Friday Night Academy Audio

Here's the audio from Friday Night's Academy Lecture.  The series is entitled, "In the Land of Nod," and deals with the two kingdoms.

This lecture is entitled The Church's Witness in Nod: Politics in the Pulpit?

Earlier lectures in the series can be found here:  Lectures on the Two Kingdoms

Sunday
Jan242016

This Week's White Horse Inn

The Story of Abraham

On this program the hosts continue their series, The Story of God’s People. We are taking a look at the great characters and moments of redemptive history. On this edition of the program the hosts are taking a look at Abraham, the man of faith who lies through his teeth in order to save his own skin. He’s the friend of God who impatiently attempts to enact God’s promises by his own works.

Too often Christians jump in and out of the Old Testament looking for morality tales and lessons for life, yet the story of Abraham refuses to be treated this way. Rather, what we see is the great plan of redemption continuing to unfold, as God makes amazing promises that are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Join us for this exciting episode of the White Horse Inn.

Click Here

Tuesday
Jan192016

"These Things Were Written" -- John 20:30-21:14

The Sixty-Third in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

Jesus was not only alive three days after being crucified, but he was now appearing to his disciples.  And he was appearing to them in a resurrected body which was transformed into an imperishable body, no longer subject to human frailty, or even death.  In allowing his disciples to see his wounds, then appearing to them in the Galilee, and then eating a meal with them, Jesus offered his disciples compelling proof that he had indeed done as he said he would do–conquer death and the grave and accomplish the salvation of all those given to him by the Father.  As a new era in redemptive history dawns, Jesus is now equipping his disciples for that mission of which he had been speaking, and which will begin in a matter of weeks at Pentecost–to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

As we near the end of our series on the Gospel John, we move into the epilogue of the gospel in which John recounts some of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.  Jesus has already appeared to Mary Magdalene, and to a number of the other women devoted to Jesus from the early days of his ministry.  Jesus also appeared to Cleopas and an unnamed disciple as they traveled along the road to the village of Emmaus.  Then Jesus appeared to Peter (although the details of this encounter are not revealed).  Finally, Jesus appeared to a number of his disciples who had gathered together on the evening of the first day of the week (Easter) to recount how Jesus had appeared to many of their number and, no doubt, to share their collective joy and to discuss what all of this might mean.

With the doors locked for fear of the Jews–who were already spreading the rumor that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body–Jesus suddenly appeared (he “materialized”) in their midst and pronounced his word of “Shalom” (his word of “peace” and forgiveness) upon his disciples.  No doubt, the disciples were overjoyed.  They had seen the empty tomb and the grave clothes, and yet Jesus’ body was nowhere to be found.  They heard the testimony of the women that angels had appeared to them, and told them that Jesus is risen from the dead.  The angels instructed the women to go and tell the disciples what the angels had told them.  The empty tomb, the grave clothes, and the testimony of the woman was good as far as it goes.  When Jesus appears among them that Easter evening, whatever doubts any among them were still harboring now became the certainty of sight.

Except for Thomas, one of the twelve, who will not believe until Jesus himself appears to Thomas and confirms that he is risen from the dead.  According to John 20:25, Thomas tells the other disciples that “unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”  As we saw last time, Jesus graciously grants Thomas’ request.  “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.  Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, `Peace be with you.’  Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, `Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side.  Do not disbelieve, but believe.’  Thomas answered him, `My Lord and my God!’”  Thomas’ confession is truly remarkable–perhaps, the clearest declaration of the deity of Jesus found in all the Bible.  Thomas sees that Jesus is truly alive and makes the immediate and proper connection to the fact that a risen Jesus, must be God in human flesh.  Even more remarkable, perhaps, is that Jesus accepts his confession.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Jan182016

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

Sunday Morning, January 24:  We are continuing with our new series on the Book of Daniel.  We are considering the great pressure put upon Daniel and his three friends by Nebuchanezzar to embrace Babylonian religion.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We are in Lord's Day 7 of our study of the Heidelberg Catechism, and discussing the nature of faith (Q & A 20-23).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, January 20:  We doing an overview of the eschatology of Paul's two Thessalonian letters.  Our study begins at 7:30 p.m.

The Friday Night Academy: January 22:  The Academy resumes this week as we return to our series on the two kingdoms.  We will discuss the church's prophetic role in the midst of the civil kingdom.  The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m.

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

Sunday
Jan172016

"Bring Some of the People of Israel" -- Daniel 1:1-7

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the first in a series of sermons on the Book of Daniel

Click Here