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


Living in Light of Two Ages



In Light of All the Hubbub About the Re-Release of "Left-Behind," It Is Time to Check the "Rapture Index"

It has been a while since we checked the "Rapture Index."  You'd think with the Ebola crisis, Isis, Putin's Mussolini-like antics, the "Rapture Index" would be at an all-time high.

But no, it stands at 185, down from an earlier high this year of 188.  Looks like improving economic numbers are driving down the likelihood of the Lord's return, despite an increase of plagues (Ebola) and Satanism in Oklahoma.

I am not making this up.  The Rapture Index


Our Deadliest Enemy?

Here's something to think about.

The fact that Ebola has made its inevitable way to America is hardly a surprise.  Thankfully, we have the medical infrastructure to deal with such things.  But the presence of such a frightening and terrible disease raises the real possibility of quarantines, travel bans, and additional infection of others with who came into contact with those in the early onset phases of the disease--especially health care workers and families of the sick.

But why the post about mosquitoes?  Recently, two healthy and vital members of our church family were struck down with West Nile virus.  Both were very ill with high fevers, hospitalized for significant periods of time, and now face long and difficult recoveries.  You read about the 100 or so people every year in our neck of the woods who contract this malady, but until now, these have been statics in the news and not people I know.

Both contracted West Nile in the same way--a seemingly innocuous bite from a mosquito.  It is easy to forget that this pest can be a killer.  Like you, I've been bitten hundreds of times with nothing worse than an itchy welt.  But that is not always the case.  The chart above was prepared by Bill Gates in April of 2014 as a warning to take mosquitoes seriously as a public health threat.

West Nile is a serious disease, but not a world health threat.  Malaria is--killing over 725,000 people every year, and sickening up to 200 million of the world's population.  Those numbers are hard to grasp.

Not to get all apocalyptic about it, it is important to realize that Ebola is not the only threat to public heath.  Mosquitoes kill far more humans annually than all other insects and animals combined.  I'm not sure the DDT ban was the best public health decision.


"Sit at My Right Hand" -- A Sermon on Psalm 110

A Sermon on the 110th Psalm

When the authors of the New Testament sought Old Testament passages to prove to Jews that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah), one of the passages to which they frequently turned was Psalm 110.  This particular Psalm is among the most commonly quoted Psalms in the New Testament.  What makes this particular Psalm so important to New Testament writers is that it unites two distinct offices which God gave to ancient Israel–that of king and priest–in a single person.  But David–to whom Jesus attributes authorship of this Psalm–was of the tribe of Judah, and not a Levite (and therefore not a priest).  As it turns out, the one to whom these offices both apply is David’s Lord, a mysterious messianic figure associated with yet another mysterious and shadowy figure from Israel’s ancient past, Melchizadek, who was the king of Salem, and a priest to whom Abram paid tithes.

As we continue our series on select Psalms, we now take up one of the so-called “royal Psalms” connected to Israel’s most famous king, David.  We will proceed by:  first, discussing the background and structure of the Psalm; second, we will then go through the Psalm; and finally, we will observe how this Psalm is utilized throughout the New Testament, where it is quoted from or alluded to by Jesus, Peter, Paul, Luke, and the author of the Book of Hebrews.  Since the authors of the New Testament saw in this Psalm clear Old Testament evidence that Jesus is the Son of God and Israel’s Messiah (and the figure about whom David is actually speaking), this is a Psalm with which we ought be well familiar.

We know virtually nothing about when this Psalm was written or why–although it is ascribed to David in the title of the Psalm, a point which Jesus acknowledges when he quotes the 110th Psalm and applies it to himself.  This Psalm might have been written for any number circumstances in Israel, such as a celebration of David’s authority over the twelve tribes of Israel, or even a celebration of David’s enthronement as Israel’s king.  Given the fact that chief authors of the New Testament saw this Psalm as predicting a great messiah yet to come–we too should understand this Psalm as messianic.  This simply means that although David composed the Psalm, and it was used for a particular occasion in Israel, the contents of the Psalm point to a kingly/priestly figure yet to come–a descendant of David who holds both the kingly and priestly offices mentioned in this Psalm.

The 110th Psalm is found in Book Five of the Psalter (which includes Psalms 107-150).  This particular Psalm has a very simple structure, taking the form of two oracles (vv.1-3; and vv. 4-7), each of which speak of God’s promise (v. 1, 4) followed by an explanation of the way in which God will give his people the promised victory.  Both this Psalm and the preceding (Psalm 109) are associated with David, and follow after the lament in Psalm 108:11, in which the Psalmist cries out, “have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies.”  Psalms 109 and 110 answer the question as to whether or not God has rejected his people by reminding the Israelites that God has indeed given his people a divinely-appointed king who will lead and protect them (Israel).

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here


This Week at Christ Reformed Church (September 29-October 5)

Sunday Morning (October 5):  We are continuing our current sermon series on 1 Peter.  We will address the theme of suffering for righteousness' sake from 1 Peter 3:8-17.  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

New Members Class (9:00 a.m.):  Our Fall new members class continues with a discussion of  Reformed church government.  Inquirers welcome!

Sunday AfternoonAs we continue our study of the Canons of Dort, we are currently in the 3rd/4th head of Doctrine, and will be considering the effects of regeneration (articles 15-16).  Our  catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (October 1):  We will be concluding our study of the Book of Revelation.  Next week, we will begin a study of the Book of Romans.

Friday Night Academy (October 3):  The Academy wraps-up our four-week look at the life and times of John Calvin.  This week, we'll be discussing Mike Horton's book, Calvin on the Christian Life, (Crossway, 2014).

Special Academy Guest Lecture:  On Friday, October 10th, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt will be our special guest, lecturing on the "Trinity and the Nicene Creed."

New Academy Series:  Beginning Friday, October 17, Prof. Ken Samples will begin a six week series entitled, "If I Had Lunch with St. Augustine."  Here's the synopsis for the course:

The last and greatest of the men revered as the “Church Fathers” was Augustine of Hippo or “St. Augustine” (A.D. 354-430). Though Christianity has produced many prominent thinkers during the past two millennia, Augustine may be the most influential Christian thinker of all time outside of the New Testament. His significant influence, especially on Western Christianity, is directly tied to his profound work as a theologian, philosopher, apologist, and church bishop.  If you had lunch with the bishop, what would you ask him? What would you want to know about a man who was a great sinner who became a great saint?

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church


"The Beauty of a Quiet and Gentle Spirit" -- 1 Peter 3:1-7

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon:  Click Here


This Week's White Horse Inn

Sharing in God's Hospitality

On this program, Michael Horton, Kim Riddlebarger, Justin Holcomb, Steve Parks wrap up their discussion of the feasting themes of the New Testament and begin a discussion of the ways in which we are called to share in God’s hospitality by giving of ourselves to our neighbors. Do our churches display kindness to strangers and outsiders? Or are they just a bunch of social clubs for clean living types of a particular political persuasion? How can we begin to show kindness and grace to outsiders in view of God’s own grace to us? That’s the focus of this edition of White Horse Inn.

Click Here


The Inevitable Consequence of the War Upon Isis


h.t. Andrew Compton


Friday Feature -- Farewell to the Captain

Derek Jeter was never my favorite Yankee, but I will sure miss watching him play.  His last game in Yankee Stadium represents the end of a two-decade long era of World Series championships and perennial trips to the playoffs.  In addition to the heroics in the video, it is pretty amazing to consider that Jeter was never once tossed by an umpire from a game in entire his twenty-year big league career.

I would rank him as the sixth greatest Yankee, behind Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Yogi Berra.  I saw Mantle and Berra play in person (at the end or their respective careers), but I watched Jeter's entire career, and loved every inning of it.


The Intellectual Laziness of the New Left

Mollie Hemingway drop-kicks the New York Times, by pointing out a rather serious factual error as it relates to the Christian faith (h.t. Shane Rosenthal).

You can read about it here, Will Someone Explain Christianity to the New York Times?


"Blessed Is the One" -- A Sermon on Psalm 32


A Sermon on the 32nd Psalm

There is nothing worse than to feel the conviction of sin–that miserable sense that you’ve done wrong and that your actions displease God because they violate his commandments.  The Psalmist describes this feeling as akin to the oppressive heat of a hot and sweltering day.  On the other hand, there is nothing better than to know the forgiveness of sin–the sense that the guilt of our wrong-doing has been forgiven, and that we are now considered righteous, as though we had never broken a single one of God’s commandments.  The Psalmist describes this sense as a safe hiding place in times of trouble.  This then, is the theme of the 32nd Psalm–where and how to find true happiness and peace stemming from the knowledge that our sins have been forgiven, and that we are counted as righteous before God.  When someone once asked Martin Luther which of the Psalms he liked best–he said the Psalms of Paul (the 32nd, the 51st, the 130th, the 146th) because they teach that the full forgiveness of sins comes without works to all who believe.  John Calvin says that in this Psalm we are reminded, “what a miserable thing it is to feel God’s hand heavy on account of sin,” but that “the highest and best part of a happy life consists in this, that God forgives a man’s guilt, and receives him graciously into his favor.”  Indeed, “blessed is the one.”

As we continue our series on select Psalms, we now consider the 32nd Psalm, which is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Romans 4, and used by the apostle as an important proof-text for the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone.  This Psalm is often considered a “penitential Psalm”–the prayer of someone deeply affected by the guilt of their sins.  This is the second of seven so-called penitential Psalms in the Psalter, and the second such Psalm to appear in Book One of the Psalter.  But this Psalm is much more than a penitential Psalm.  It includes thanksgiving on the part of David–the Psalm’s author–as well as an appeal to divine wisdom, wisdom which is revealed by YHWH.  The Psalmist gives thanks for this wisdom, which he has received through the “instruction,” “teaching” and “counsel” mentioned in verse 8.  Having gained this wisdom from God, the Psalmist is moved to confess his sins and gives thank to YHWH for this wonderful blessing.  Made wise by God’s wisdom, the Psalmist describes the contrast between the misery of the conviction of sin and the joy (indeed, the happiness) of knowing that he is forgiven.  The Psalmist can describe this sense so well because he has lived it.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here