Living in Light of Two Ages
The Ascension of Christ
On this program the hosts will begin a new series discussing the ascension of Christ. What is the ascension? Where do we find this important event in Scripture? How does the Old Testament prophecy this important event of redemption?
After being born of a virgin and living a life that honored God, Jesus Christ laid down his life for his sheep. After he was raised for our justification, he ascended into heaven. But why did he leave his church behind? What is significant about his ascension to the right hand of God? Join the hosts for this discussion of the nature of Christ’s kingdom as they introduce their new series, “The Ascension of Christ,” on the White Horse Inn.
There was a time in my life when I thought belief in premillennialism and a "pre-trib" rapture were signs of allegiance to biblical inerrancy and theological orthodoxy. Anyone who rejected this view, in my mind, was suspect and probably did not take the Bible very seriously.
As many of you know, my journey to amillennialism was a slow and painful slog. Apparently, I am not the only one who has grown disenchanted with the "Pre-Trib" rapture view, once held by the vast majority of American evangelicals.
In a recent poll conducted by CT of 1000 Protestant senior pastors, only 36% affirmed the "Pre-Trib" doctrine as true--although nearly half remain premillennial (48%). The shock is that 31% are now amillennial. A near majority of pastors asked (49%), affirmed a future Antichrist (as do most amillennarians and premillennarians).
While there's nothing earth-shattering in these numbers, they do reveal significant reduction of the influence of dispensationalism among evangelicals, along with a steady rise in those affirming amillennialism.
You can see the poll here: CT Poll on End Times Views
The Twelfth and Final in a Series of Sermons on 1 Peter
What do you say to Christians who have been displaced from their homes by a cruel and cynical act of a pagan emperor? How do you comfort a persecuted people who see no relief in sight from their troubles? What do you say to people who are reviled and cursed because they profess their faith in Jesus Christ as Creator, redeemer, and Lord, and refuse to worship Caesar or the pantheon of pagan gods? How do you comfort a people who are mocked because they follow the teaching of Jesus, and therefore refuse to indulge every bodily urge simply because those urges exist? If you are the Apostle Peter, you tell them the truth. The reality is that fiery trials come with being a Christian in a pagan environment. Yet, these trials are also the means through which God strengthens our faith. Just as it was with Jesus–that the cross of Good Friday precedes the empty tomb of Easter–so too it is with Christians. Suffering precedes the glory yet to be revealed. Peter also tells them that despite their troubles, God has not cast them off. Regardless of how they feel, those who believe in Jesus are his elect exiles, his spiritual temple, possessing a heavenly citizenship which guarantees all the blessings of eternal life and a heavenly inheritance. Peter also tells them, that Christians must strive to humble themselves before God, and learn to cast all of their cares and worries upon the sovereign God who is also their loving father. As they do so, Christians begin to live in the hope of the eternal glories yet to come.
With this sermon, we wrap-up our series on 1 Peter. Last time, we devoted our attention to several of the points raised by Peter in the final section of this epistle (vv. 1-14 of chapter 5)–specifically Peter’s reference to the office of elder, which functions as a bulwark against the schemes of the devil, the adversary, who is looking for struggling Christians to devour. This morning, we will cover the same ground, but focus upon two different themes in the text–humbling ourselves before God, while at the same time learning to cast all of our cares upon him. This will bring our series on 1 Peter to an end.
Peter wraps up his lengthy series of exhortations (imperatives) to suffering Christians–the elect exiles of the Diaspora of Asia Minor–by directing his audience’s focus away from those external circumstances under which Christians are struggling, to internal and pastoral matters. Before extending greetings to several individuals and concluding his letter, Peter addresses those things the churches and their leaders ought to be doing so as to persevere through difficult times. As we saw last time, Peter begins with an exhortation to the elders of the churches receiving this letter. In verses 1-2, he writes, “so I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you . . .” Jesus is the chief shepherd of his church, and he calls church officers (“elders” and ministers) to shepherd his flock as “under-shepherds.”
The reference to Christ’s church as a “flock,” is a metaphor widely used throughout the Old Testament in reference to those instances where sinful individuals are likened to sheep because of the tendency of sheep to wander away from the flock and place themselves in peril. A sheep which is separated from rest of the flock is completely helpless and likely to become an easy meal for any of the common predators in the area–wolves, jackals, coyotes, or even lions. Apart from a shepherd, who leads and protects them, the sheep are lost, they know not where to go, nor what to do.
To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here
Sunday Morning, May 1: We take up one of the most famous passages in the Book of Daniel (chapter 6) and the story of Daniel in the lion's den. Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.
Note: The Compton farewell luncheon begins immediately after our morning worship service
Sunday Afternoon: We will take up Lord's Day 11 (Q 29-30) and begin a discussion of the person and work of Christ. Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday Night Bible Study, April 27: We are going verse by verse through 1 Thessalonians. We working our way through chapter 4 and will be tackling Paul's teaching regarding Christ's second advent. Our study begins at 7:30 p.m.
Christ Our Resurrection Hope
Throughout this series, we’ve explored issues related to the factual nature of Christ’s resurrection. On this program the hosts will take a look at the theological implications of this fact and how it relates to us today.
How is Christ’s resurrection related to the resurrection of believers on the last day? The hosts will explore Paul’s answer to this question as they unpack the second half of 1 Corinthians 15. Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn in our series, The Resurrection.
Aaron Hicks sure does . . . His throw was clocked at 105.5 MPH, the fastest ever recorded by MLB statcast. Hicks' throw completed a double play too. Who would try to score on a shallow fly to left when the outfielder has a arm like this?
The Eleventh in a Series of Sermons on 1 Peter
There is one thing American Christians do not like–to submit to authority of the church officers. In a recent survey, 90% of American Christians opined that the church has no authority to declare whether or not someone is a Christian. Yet, all the Evangelical theologians asked to comment on the poll results found themselves numbered among the 10% who rightly noted that Jesus himself gave to the church the keys of kingdom, as well as explaining the precise steps for the church to take when someone’s doctrine and conduct do not match that required of those who name the name of Jesus. There is also one thing about which American Christians are thoroughly confused–the power and tactics of the devil between the time Jesus defeated Satan while suffering upon the cross, and our Lord’s second advent at the end of the age. Ironically, Peter discusses both the role of elders in governing Christ’s church, as well as Satan’s opposition to Christ’s rule through his appointed church officers, in our text, verses 1-14, of 1 Peter chapter 5.
We return to our series on 1 Peter, and we will spend our time in this sermon and the next wrapping up in the 5th and final chapter of this remarkable epistle, bringing our study of this epistle to an end. Although the final chapter of 1 Peter contains only 14 verses, there is enough significant material here, I felt it best not to rush through this section and only touch briefly on the matters which Peter addresses. In wrapping up this epistle, the Apostle Peter gives us wise counsel about the purpose of suffering, as well as introducing us to a proper understanding of church government (the importance of elders in ruling Christ’s church). Yet, Peter does so in the context of the devil’s efforts to attack the people of God. So, this week, we will discuss the office of elder, and how a proper understanding of the church and its officers is the bulwark against the schemes and attacks of the devil. Next week, Lord willing, we will conclude our time in 1 Peter by addressing how we as Christians ought humble ourselves before God, while casting all of our cares upon him.
In light of the reality that the chapter on ecclesiology is the least read section in any good systematic theology (because people tend not to be interested in the doctrine of the church), I begin by pointing out that the doctrine of the church is a major theme throughout the New Testament. Jesus called disciples and then commissioned them to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, in the process making disciples and establishing churches, which, in many ways, are modeled upon the synagogues of Israel. These new churches are to be ruled by elders who ensure the gospel is preached, the sacraments are administered according to the word of God, and that all things are done decently and in good order.
In order to understand the practical importance of a biblical ecclesiology, we only need look at the recent news regarding evangelical mega-star Mark Driscoll and the total collapse of his church brand, Mars Hill. This is yet another sad case where the name of Christ is besmirched by Christians claiming to love Jesus, all the while inventing a church structure centered around a charismatic leader, and which exists essentially to promote that leader’s personal vision to those who share it–and this with little if any consideration of what the New Testament actually teaches about how a church is to organize and conduct its ministry. Of course, it does not take long for people reading their Bibles to figure out how the church envisioned by its celebrity leader differs radically from the nature of the church of the New Testament, which does not allow for celebrity pastors to promote their own personal interests and gain fame and fortune for themselves. Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll were frequently identified with the Young, Restless, and Reformed, those millennials who discovered the glories of Reformed theology. Yet, in Driscoll’s case, Mars Hill managed to ignore the fact that any movement which is truly Reformed will also strive for a church governed by elders, not ruled by a celebrity tyrant who fires anyone who dares stand up to him, or who disagrees with his personal agenda.
To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here
Sunday Morning, April 24: We'll try this again! As we continue with our series on the Book of Daniel, we take-up the mysterious handwriting on the wall--God's declaration of judgment upon Belshazzar (Daniel 5:13-32). Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Afternoon: We are considering one of the most beloved sections of our catechism, Lord's Day 10 and the discussion of God's good providence (Q & A 27-28). Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday Night Bible Study, April 20: We are going verse by verse through 1 Thessalonians. We working our way through chapter 4. Our study begins at 7:30 p.m.