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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Sunday
Jun112017

"Walk By the Spirit" -- Galatians 5:16-26

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the eleventh in my series on Galatians

Click Here

Sunday
Jun112017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

The Search for a New Adam

As we saw in last week’s program, the Bible traces the story of God’s promise to rescue the world from the consequences of the Fall. Yet as we follow the lives of characters such as Abraham, Moses, and David, we find not only sinners but also those who sin in spectacular ways that remind us of Adam’s original sin. In other words, it quickly becomes clear in these stories that the new Adam has not yet arrived, and that the new creation is still on hold. On this program, the hosts continue to unpack this way of reading Scripture as they make their way through the Old Testament prophets and finally point to Jesus Christ as the true “Son of Man.”

Click Here

Thursday
Jun082017

Bernie Sanders Berates Nominee for White House Budget Office on the Grounds of His Christian Convictions

Scary stuff. 

Apparently, Bernie missed the fact that the U.S. Constitution forbides any religious test for holding public office (h.t. Justin Taylor).

I highly recommend David French's response, including a transcript (Sanders Imposes a Religious Test for Office)

Wednesday
Jun072017

"God Has Numbered the Days of Your Kingdom" -- Daniel 5:13-31

The Eleventh in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Daniel

It was a party like no other.  Wine was flowing freely and the thousand or so royal guests seem completely oblivious to the fact that within hours the party’s host (the Babylonian king Belshazzar) would be dead and the Persian army will have captured the city and the palace in which his guests were partying.  King Belshazzar and the great Babylonian empire will be no more.  Yet, the events of this fateful evening should not come as a surprise to Belshazzar.  YHWH warned Belshazzar’s more famous predecessor (Nebuchadnezzar) of this very thing, in a dream recorded in Daniel 2.  Nebuchadnezzar saw a gigantic metallic statue with a head of gold (presenting Nebuchadnezzar and his empire).  But that empire would at some point give way to the Persian empire (represented by the silver arms and chest of the statue).  It was the Hebrew prophet Daniel, who, when interpreting the dream, told Nebuchadnezzar of these events yet to transpire.  On this very night, YHWH issues a warning of impending judgment–in the form of a mysterious handwritten message which suddenly appeared on the wall of the palace.  Daniel is summoned to the king’s palace yet again.  This time, Daniel is to interpret a mysterious handwritten message which absolutely terrified Belshazzar as well as his guests.  The message does not bring good news to Belshazzar.  It is YHWH’s declaration of judgment, fulfilling the scene in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

One of the sure signs that God is directing all things to his appointed ends is that the last night of the Babylonian empire is also the same night in which the intoxicated king ordered that the gold and silver vessels, originally taken as the spoils of war from the temple of YHWH in Jerusalem, be used at his  party as vessels with which to toast the Babylonian gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.  These are the same elements which composed the statue of Nebuchadnezzaer’s dream, which was crushed by a rock cut without human hands (Christ’s kingdom), but which are worshiped by the Babylonian pagans.  This is an act of out and out sacrilege by Belshazzar and nothing short of the intentional blasphemy of YHWH.  We do not know if Belshazzar knew that this would be the night his empire would fall (there is no mention of him leading his troops or making an effort to rally Babylon’s defenders), but he does make an intentional effort to mock the God of Israel.  But YHWH will not be mocked–especially by the likes of Belshazzar.  So YHWH crashes the party by directing that an angel (or perhaps the pre-incarnate Jesus) write a message of warning on the wall of the royal palace for all to see, warning the king and his guests of sure and certain judgment coming later that evening.  

While Belshazzar saw the hand of YHWH, his guests saw the writing.  No one present could read it–certainly not the useless court magicians and wise men.  Belshazzar was terribly shaken by the sight of the hand leaving the message.  All color left his face, he looked faint and he was so shaken he could not walk.  Overhearing the kerfulle in the palace, the queen mother entered the banquet hall and remembered a Hebrew prophet Daniel–who was now well up in years, and likely had not served in the royal court for some time.  Daniel will be summoned to interpret the dream, only to warn Belshazzar that he will die this very evening.  In this we see the overarching theme of the entire chapter–YHWH raises up kings and kingdoms.  He removes kings when and how he wills.  Belshazzar’s kingdom will be taken from him and then given to another.  The point of this incident is to give encouragement to the Jewish exiles then living in Babylon.  By the next morning, Darius the Mede (Cyrus) will be in charge, and he will issue his decree to allow the Jews to return home to Jerusalem to rebuild.  This too, has been ordained by God.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
Jun052017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (June 5-11)

Sunday Morning, June 11:  We come to Galatians 5:16-26 and Paul's contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Note:  The Consistory has called a congregational meeting for Sunday, June 11 @ 9:00 a.m. in the fellowship hall.

Sunday Afternoon:  How do I obey the first commandment?  We continue our study of the Heidelberg Catechism as we come to Lord's Day 34 (Q & A 92-95).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, June 7, (7:30 p.m.):  We follow-up our series on personal evangelism by considering Jesus' view of the Bible and its authority.

The AcademyResumes in the Fall of 2017. 

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

Sunday
Jun042017

"Through Love Serve One Another" -- Galatians 5:7-15

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

Sunday
Jun042017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

The Search for a New Adam

In many ways the Bible is the unpacking of God’s initial promise recorded in Genesis 3:15, that though death entered the world through man’s fall, one day a child would be born who would restore all things and crush the serpent’s head. Therefore, the primary question that we should ask as we make our way through the pages of Scripture is whether any new character that emerges might actually be this child of promise. What we see again and again, however, is that all of these potential messiahs end up not being anything new at all, but actually end up being mirror images of the old Adam.

Click Here

Wednesday
May312017

Senator Sasse on the Importance of Civics

Senator Ben Sasse has made a number of media appearances promoting his recent and excellent book, The Vanishing American Adult.  But whenever Ben gets the chance, he reminds his audience (especially on his twitter feed--which is a must follow) that one reason behind a number of the problems facing modern America is a lack of education in basic civics.

In light of Ben's media appearances and our recent Academy course on Allen Guezlo's American Mind (The American Mind), a number of people have asked me where to turn for a better understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the history of its ratification. Here are a couple of suggestions. 

Start with the U.S. Constitution Reader which was put together by the Political Science department of Hillsdale College.  You can find it here:  Constitution Reader

I would also recommend The Constitution: An Introduction.  Written by Michael and Luke Paulsen, this volume provides a basic commentary on the history of Constitution and an informative survey of how the constitution frames so much of American life.  Not scholarly, but informative.

If you prefer audio/video, well then you can do no better than Dr. Guelzo's new offering from the Teaching Company, Americas Founding Fathers.  Guelzo is a great historian and a brilliant story teller--telling the story of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution as a fascinating series of debates and compromises among the rather colorful participants.  You ought to purchase this when on sale (it often is).  My wife and I listened to much of the series while commuting to and from Escondido during my recent teaching stint at Westminster Seminary California.  Listening to this made the commute bearable (well almost).

Thanks Senator Sasse for reminding us of how quickly we can lose our basic freedoms if we do not know how and why a republican government providing ordered liberty came into being and what it means for us as a citizens during a time of eroding freedom.

Wednesday
May312017

"There Is a Man in Your Kingdom" -- Daniel 5:1-12

The Tenth in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Daniel

Nebuchadnezzar foresaw this terrible night in a dream–a great empire, crumbing by the day, now entering its final hours.  In his visionary dream of a gigantic metallic statue with a head of gold, Nebuchadnezzar saw the greatness of his own empire, even as Daniel warned him that both the king and his empire would come to an end–crushed by a rock cut from a mountain without human hands.  Now, Nebuchadnezzar is long since dead and gone with the last of the Babylonian kings (Belshazzar, co-regent with his father–Nabonidus) on the throne.  The year is 539 BC.  Although Daniel does not reveal the circumstances behind the debauchery seen in the opening verses of chapter 5 until the closing verses of the chapter, this is the Kingdom of Babylon’s last night.  Persian armies are about to take Babylon through a daring commando raid using the city’s dried-up water supply.  Instead of leading the city’s defenders in an effort to save the city, Belshazzar hosts a huge drunken party as though all were right with the world.  On this night, the last hours of the great Babylonian empire,  Belshazzar spends it drinking and mocking YHWH, even as YHWH takes his kingdom from him and gives it to another–the Persian conqueror of the city, Darius the Mede.  All of this was foretold in king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Daniel 2.

We resume our series on the Book of Daniel picking up in Daniel 5, where the circumstances are greatly different from those at the end of Daniel 4 (v. 37), when Nebuchadnezzar confessed–even if reluctantly–“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”  Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 BC–23 years before the events of recounted here.  A list of short-term successors had taken Nebuchadnezzar’s place.  The first was the king’s own son, Amel-Marduk, who was assassinated by his brother-in-law in 560 (reigning just two years).  One of those who plotted his death (Neriglessar) ruled unto 556, and was succeeded by his own son, Labashi-Marduk, who was brought down just a few months into his reign by a coup lead by Nabonidus, an unpopular eccentric known for his devotion to the god “Sin” instead of the traditional and most favored Babylonian god, Marduk (Bel).

Nabonidus was hated by the people, so for some ten years he ruled from the Arabian wilderness over the rapidly declining, increasingly decadent, and about to be defeated Babylonian empire–appointing his son Belshazzar as a co-regent representing the “pro-Marduk” wing of the Babylonian court.  It fell to Belshazzar to remain in Babylon when the Persians finally breached the city’s walls (after damming-up the Euphrates river so that an elite unit could enter the walled city using the dried up riverbed which ran through the heart of the city).  After the fall of Babylon (his capital), the cowardly Nabonidus later surrendered to the Persian king Cyrus and lived out his life in exile.  Darius the Mede and Cyrus are likely one and the same man–Darius the Mede is the conquering king’s birth name, while Cyrus is thought to be his Persian royal throne name.  

The scene in Daniel 5 is one in which the city’s fate has already been determined–it is just a matter of time before the Persians open the gates from the inside so that the Persian army can enter the undamaged city in triumph.  We can even precisely date the events of this night to October 11, 539, because Persian military records tell us that Darius’ victorious armies marched into Babylon on 16 Tishri, 539 (October 12).  According to verse 30, the king’s banquet occurred the very night the city fell to Darius.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
May292017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (May 29-June 4)

Sunday Morning, June 4:  We continue our series on Galatians.  We will consider Paul's exhortation to use our Christian liberty to serve our brothers and sisters in love.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  What is repentance?  The Heidelberg Catechism deals with this question in Lord's Day 33 (Q & A 89-91).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, May 31, (7:30 p.m.):  We follow-up our series on personal evangelism by considering the accuracy of the New Testament text.

The AcademyResumes in the Fall of 2017. 

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

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