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


Living in Light of Two Ages



This Week's Academy Lecture

Man%20of%20sin.gifThe next Academy lecture @ Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim is part three of a four part series entitled "Eschatology and the Antichrist."  This week's lecture (Friday, October 12) deals with "The Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet," as we work our way through John's vision in Revelation 13.

If you live in So Cal, why not come out and join us!  The lecture is free, we start @ 7:30 p.m., there will be a time for Q & A, and refreshments are served.

For more information about our Academy Click here: Christ Reformed Info - Schedule of Academy Classes and Author's Forums


White Horse Inn "Live" in Washington DC @ Christ Reformed DC

WHI%20Logo.jpgFor those of you who live in the Washington DC area, there's a special live taping of the White Horse Inn on Friday, October 19th @ 7:00 P.M.  The topic will be "Worship on Earth as it is in Heaven."  Mike Horton and Ken Jones will be there, along with guest host Dr. Brian Lee, who is the pastor of Christ Reformed Church DC (URCNA), which begins conducting worship services on Sunday, November 4.

For more information about the "live" White Horse Inn taping, or the opening of Christ Reformed Church DC, check out their website (


Blessed Are They -- Romans 4:1-12

romans%20fragment.jpgThe Ninth in a Series of Sermons on Paul's Epistle to the Romans

Paul has said a number of striking things about the gospel.  The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.  Through its proclamation, both the wrath of God as well as a righteousness from God are being revealed.  Embracing the gospel through faith brings life, delivers us from God’s wrath and justifies us, that is, gives sinners a right-standing before God.  In fact, these points are so striking that some of Paul’s critics could easily argue that this gospel was Paul’s invention and amounted to a betrayal of the Judaism which Paul claimed to be upholding.  Paul must now prove that his gospel is no innovation.  Not only was this gospel revealed to him by Jesus Christ, it is the same gospel believed by Abraham, the father of all the faithful.

Given the sorts of problems faced by the Roman church, it is vital for Paul to demonstrate to the Jews in Rome that the gospel he has been preaching is no mere innovation.  As Paul has pointed out in Romans 2-3, the failure of the Jews to understand the true purpose of the law and the meaning of circumcision, does not at all mean that the Old Testament says nothing about the gospel that Paul is now preaching.  In fact, for Paul, the Old Testament anticipates, indeed points the reader ahead to that one event which marks the turning point in redemptive history–the coming of Jesus Christ to inaugurate the long-expected messianic age of salvation in which God will deliver his people–Jew and Gentile–once for all from the guilt and power of sin.  This is what God promised throughout the Old Testament, and what God has now accomplished through the person of his son.

Paul has already spoken to some of these matters earlier in the epistle.  In Romans 2:28-29, Paul made the point that the true Jew is the one who believes God’s promise to save sinners, not someone who merely hears the law and trusts that by possessing the oracles of God, he is somehow exempt from judgment.  In Romans 2, Paul has also addressed the question of Jewish superiority and the false hope on the part of those who undergo circumcision, thinking that it makes them members of the covenant and exempts them from that judgment which is coming upon the whole world. 

In believing God’s promise, the true Jew recognizes that God has acted in Jesus Christ to bring about all that he has promised.  Through faith in Christ’s blood, shed to redeem God’s people and to turn aside God’s wrath toward sinners, God justifies all of those who believe in Jesus.  Trusting in the cross of Christ is the only way for sinners who are under the curse because of their sins to receive a right-standing before God, and this trust excludes all human boasting.  Furthermore, far from eliminating the law from the life of a Christian, seeing the law in the light of the coming of Christ actually establishes proper role for the law, as both the teacher of sin and as the rule of gratitude.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here 


Come Out of Her, My People! Revelation 18:1-17

Revelation%20--%20vision%20of%20John.jpgThe Twenty-Fifth in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Revelation

The harlot Babylon has seduced the kings of the earth with her wealth, power and beauty.  John is now given a glimpse of the future, when Babylon the Great will come to her appointed end.  Indeed while heaven celebrates Babylon’s fall into ruin, the nations will weep and mourn.  For the kings of the earth have committed spiritual adultery with the harlot, and her destruction will bring them to ruin as well.  But the declaration that God’s judgment is coming upon Babylon is also intended to serve as a warning to all of God’s people–flee from the evil city before it is too late.

We now turn our attention to Revelation chapter 18 and the account of the reaction from heaven and the earth to the news of the destruction of Babylon the Great.  Recall that in Revelation 17–our text last time–Babylon the Great is depicted as the great prostitute and harlot who seduces the kings of the earth, who commit spiritual adultery with her, which is idolatry.  The great city, as John calls the harlot, sits on many waters and rules over the kings of the earth, having seduced them with of the allure of her wealth and beauty.  Because of her seductive ways, the nations, kings and people who serve her, also serve her master, the beast.  John has depicted the harlot as a woman riding upon the beast, which, in apocalyptic symbolism, indicates that the harlot does the bidding of the beast and that the two of them–the beast and the harlot–have forged an unholy alliance.

As we have seen throughout the past few sermons in our on-going series on the Book of Revelation, the destruction of Babylon the Great occurs as a direct result of the seventh bowl judgment which God pours out upon the earth at the end of the age.  The bowl judgments are the third and final cycle of judgment found in the Book of Revelation.  They are connected to the time of end and are far more intense than all the other judgments, extending to all of the earth and to all of its inhabitants.  When the bowl judgments have run their course, John says, God’s wrath is complete.  And yet, God’s people are spared from his judgment because they are sealed with the name of Christ.  But all those who worship the beast and his image, including those who have taken his mark so as to buy and sell, or to avoid persecution, will bear the full fury of God’s wrath. 

We have seen how the sixth bowl judgment (the demonic deception and gathering together of the nations at Armageddon to wage war on the church) and the seventh bowl judgment (the destruction of Babylon) both occur at the time of the end, when Jesus Christ returns to judge the world, raise the dead and make all things new.  This is, as we have been pointing out, a very powerful argument against all forms of premillennialism.  Premillennialism holds that Jesus Christ returns to earth and then establishes his millennial kingdom, before judging the world when the thousand years are over.  But throughout this book, John teaches that judgment day occurs when Christ comes back–not a thousand years later.

To read the rest of this sermon:  click here   


Number 27 Must Wait

Do%20It%20for%20Joe.jpgWell that was a bummer--spanked hard by the Indians. 

Torre will be gone, who knows about Mo, Posada and A-Rod.  But since the Yankees have gone 3-14 in the play-offs the last three years, I guess its time for a change.  Yankees' fans expect to win.  With those players, with that payroll, you expect them to win.  They should win.  And they didn't.

The reality is that there's no shame in losing to the team with baseball's best record (the Indians).  No current team in baseball has gone to the play-offs even two years in a row--the Yankees have gone twelve times in a row.  But still, its not enough . . .  Steinbrenner wants that 27th world series title before he turns the reigns over to his sons.  As they say, he's the Boss.

You baseball fans know full well what's wrong with the Yankees.  Pitching, pitching and more pitching.  When your play-off starter for games one and four of a five game series has an ERA of over 18.00, you are gonna lose.  Plain and simple.

So, the season's over.  No more box scores. No more games.  I'm bummed.  I can't wait till March 2008, when pitchers and catchers report and we start all over again!  Until then, it will be one wild and woolly off-season.   



The Kingdom on Earth? Now? Obama Thinks So . . .

Obama.jpgI don't discuss politics much on this blog, but when a presidential candidate tells us that electing him to office might just bring about the kingdom on earth, it merits a response. 

When politicians say stuff like that, they have now ventured into the realm of eschatology, and bad eschatology at that!  Trying to make the point that the democrats don't have to take a backseat to the Republicans when it comes to matters of faith, Barak Obama decided to turn preacher--a temptation which gets the better of far too many a politician.  According to an article on (Click here: - CNN Political Ticker Obama: GOP doesn’t own faith and values «)


"During the nearly two hour service that featured a rock band and hip-hop dancers, Obama shared the floor with the church's pastor, Ron Carpenter. The senator from Illinois asked the multiracial crowd of nearly 4,000 people to keep him and his family in their prayers, and said he hoped to be `an instrument of God.'

`Sometimes this is a difficult road being in politics,' Obama said. `Sometimes you can become fearful, sometimes you can become vain, sometimes you can seek power just for power's sake instead of because you want to do service to God. I just want all of you to pray that I can be an instrument of God in the same way that Pastor Ron and all of you are instruments of God.'

He finished his brief remarks by saying, `We're going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.'"


There's nothing worse than a politician in a pulpit or a preacher confusing the gospel with political activism.  Its just as bad when Republicans do it as when the Democrats do it. 

Christian worship is a divine service of word and sacrament.  God comes to his people to visit us with salvation, to speak to us from his word, to strengthen our faith through the sacraments, to reaffirm his covenant promises.  Christian worship is to be conducted by a minister of the gospel, called for that very purpose.  Such worship is to be supervised by elders who are supposed to make sure the minister is fulfilling his calling.  When these elements are present (the word properly preached and sacraments properly administered), you can be sure that the kingdom of God is present. 

No political pep rally and no amount of political activism will ever "bring about the kingdom" on this earth.  This is a bad example of an over-realized eschatology and an all too secularized understanding of the kingdom.  Didn't Jesus say something about his kingdom being "not of this world?"

Its painfully clear that those politicians who dare to motivate potential voters in a so-called "evangelical" church with the promises that the "kingdom might come" if they are elected to office, have accomplished nothing but demonstrating how little they truly know about the kingdom of God. 

It is also painfully clear that any church which allows them to do this hasn't got a clue about the biblical meaning of the "evangel."  A church which lets a politician into their pulpit during worship is sowing to the flesh, not to the Spirit.


Academy Lecture Posted

Man%20of%20sin.gifThe most recent Academy lecture has been posted on the Christ Reformed webpage (Friday, October 5).  The lecture is entitled "The Man of Lawlessness:  Nero?  The Pope?  Or Someone Yet to Come?"  Click here: Christ Reformed Info - MP3's and Real Audio (of Academy Lectures)


Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpgWho Said That?

"As long as I wear it once on TV, we can charge it off."

You guys know the drill.  Leave your guesses in the comments section.  Please no google searches (or other forms of cheating)


So, We Have An Image Problem . . .

George%20Barna.jpgAccording to a recent article @, Christianity has a serious image problem (Click here: Christianity's Image Problem - TIME).  Based on Barna research, Christians are often perceived as too political, too hypocritical and far too judgmental towards homosexuals.


"Barna polls conducted between 2004 and this year, sampling 440 non-Christians (and a similar number of Christians) aged 16 to 29, found that 38% had a `bad impression' of present-day Christianity. `It's not a pretty picture' the authors write. Barna's clientele is made up primarily of evangelical groups.

Kinnaman says non-Christians' biggest complaints about the faith are not immediately theological: Jesus and the Bible get relatively good marks. Rather, he sees resentment as focused on perceived Christian attitudes. Nine out of ten outsiders found Christians too `anti-homosexual,' and nearly as many perceived it as `hypocritical' and `judgmental.' Seventy-five percent found it `too involved in politics.'

Not only has the decline in non-Christians' regard for Christianity been severe, but Barna results also show a rapid increase in the number of people describing themselves as non-Christian. One reason may be that the study used a stricter definition of `Christian' that applied to only 73% of Americans. Still, Kinnaman claims that however defined, the number of non-Christians is growing with each succeeding generation: His study found that 23% of Americans over 61 were non-Christians; 27% among people ages 42-60; and 40% among 16-29 year olds. Younger Christians, he concludes, are therefore likely to live in an environment where two out of every five of their peers is not a Christian.

Churchgoers of the same age share several of the non-Christians' complaints about Christianity. For instance, 80% of the Christians polled picked `anti-homosexual' as a negative adjective describing Christianity today. And the view of 85% of non-Christians aged 16-29 that present day Christianity is `hypocritical—saying one thing doing another,' was, in fact, shared by 52% of Christians of the same age. Fifty percent found their own faith `too involved in politics.' Forty-four percent found it `confusing.'"


I wonder if this would still be the case if Christian preachers emphasized what Francis Schaeffer once called "true truth," i.e., that it is far more important that Christianity is true than it is that Christianity is useful.  How many of those who thought Christians were too judgmental have ever heard a sermon in which law and gospel were properly distinguished?  How many have ever heard that Christ's death is absolutely sufficient to save even the worst of sinners and that his blessed righteousess will cover them on the day of judgment?  My guess is that not one of those who thought Christianity was too political has ever heard someone explain the two kingdoms from a Reformed perspective.

Seems to me that what the church is missing is the kind of stuff we've been emphasizing on the White Horse Inn for years (Click here: The White Horse Inn: Know What You Believe & Why You Believe It).

1).  An emphasis upon Christianity's unique truth claim

2).  A proper distinction between law and gospel (as set forth in classical covenantal/Reformed theology)

3).  Justification by an imputed righteousness received through faith alone 

4).  A proper distinction between the two kingdoms

Recovering these emphases would go a long way toward fixing our image problem! 

Far more important, this will help recover the prophetic quality of true evangelical preaching and which is so often absent from the pulpit.  We reap what we sow.



The Perils of Finding a Minister on Craig's List

Pastor%20Rip%20Off.jpgIt seems like bizarre clergy stories come in bunches.  This one may just take the cake.

According to an article on (a TV station in Portand, OR), Shawn Sonnenschien and his fiance Kitty, wanted to get married but didn't have a pastor.  So, they found a minister who advertised her services on Craig's List.  The wedding went off as planned, but the newlyweds were surprised that their 75 or so guests left so few presents.  The couple dealt with their disappointment just fine, until they realized that their guests had planned all along to give them gift cards from Home Depot to help the newlyweds complete repairs to their home.

Turns out that the guests were quite generous.  The problem was that minister-ette they hired to do their ceremony had swiped all the gift cards!  Surveillance tapes at the local Home Depot showed the rent-a-reverend cashing them in (Click here: Reverend accused of stealing couple's gift cards | KATU - Portland, Oregon | Local & Regional).

OK, no more of these for a while . . .