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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Sunday
May142017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

No Creed But Christ?

What are Christians known for in our day? If you ask people on the street this question, you’re likely to get answers that relate to particular moral or political concerns, but though they may be important, do these issues get to the heart of our faith? In her book Creed or Chaos (1940), Dorothy Sayers observed that “it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology.” On this program the hosts will discuss Sayer’s profound observations as they begin a new series on the importance of recovering creeds and confessions in contemporary Christianity.

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Wednesday
May102017

"But I See Four Men" -- Daniel 3:1-30

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

After Daniel interpreted the king’s frightening dream, Nebuchadnezzaer was greatly relieved.  In fact, the king was so thankful to Daniel that he acknowledged his young Hebrew servant’s God as “God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries.”  The Babylonian king even made good on his promise to reward anyone who could interpret his dream.  He “gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon” (v. 48).  Daniel remained in service to the royal court until his death about 538 BC–living well into his eighties.  But while Daniel remained a trusted court advisor to both Babylonian and Persian officials, his three Hebrew friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were serving elsewhere as high officials in the province of Babylon–a favor which Nebuchadnezzar granted to Daniel on their behalf.  Although Nebuchadnezzar offered high praise to YHWH because he revealed the meaning of the dream to his servant Daniel (as recounted in chapter 2), it will become clear that the Babylonian king never gave up his pagan ways and erected a golden statue, demanding that his subjects worship it.  This strange demand is a mix of a gigantic royal ego, ancient near-eastern power politics, combined with pagan religion.  Once again, Daniel’s friends’ lives are in danger, and this time Daniel will not rescue them–YHWH will, in what amounts to the next round in the on-going conflict between YHWH and the idols of Babylon.  

As believers in YHWH, Daniel’s three friends (who were taken captive when Daniel was) refuse to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, believing this to be a violation of the first two commandments in the law given to Israel by YHWH–There are no Gods but YHWH, and YHWH’s people are not to worship idols.  Upon learning that three of his own appointed officials refused to worship the statue–especially three men who were serving in this capacity as a favor to Daniel–Nebuchadnezzar erupts in his characteristic rage and fury.  The king demands the execution of these rebellious Hebrew officials–just as he had ordered previously with his court magicians.  Yet, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, will be spared again, only this by far more dramatic and miraculous means.  

This passage (Daniel 3) is one of the most famous of the so-called “Bible stories” (along with “Daniel in the lion’s den”) which Christian children are taught, and which few forget because of the nature of the story, its ability to capture a child’s imagination, and because of the sing-songy names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  While Bible stories are anything but harmful, they are often sanitized and prone to miss the main redemptive-historical point of the original event, which is, in this case, the conflict between YHWH and the idols, reflected in the difficult struggle faced by YHWH’s faithful servants in exile, who are under tremendous pressure from a pagan king to renounce their faith, and who threatens their lives if they refuse to renounce their faith in YHWH.  The alternative is death and martyrdom–such as we have recently seen on the evening news, ironically, in the same location.
 
As we continue our series on the Book of Daniel, we come to an episode which reflects the struggle of Hebrew exiles living in Babylon now living under the heavy hand of a tyrannical king like Nebuchadnezzar.  Although commanded by YHWH to live their lives to the fullest during their exile (cf. Jeremiah 29:1-9)–including serving in the government of the nation which was bringing havoc upon their own people (Israel)–YHWH’s people are to worship and serve him only throughout their time away from the promised land.  Nebuchadnezzar, however, now demands that all his subjects worship a newly-erected golden statue–an edict which includes all the exiled Hebrews in Babylon.  Nebuchadnezzar’s order also included the rulers throughout his entire kingdom, likely extending to the Jewish vassal king back in Judah (Zedekiah).  In any case, the act of bowing before such a statue would have been an extreme violation of a Jew’s conscience, and an act of open disobedience to YHWH’s commands.

To read the rest of this sermon: Click Here

Monday
May082017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (May 8-14)

Sunday Morning, May 14:  We continue with our series on Paul's letter to the Galatians.  This week we tackle Paul's discussion of the two mountains, the two women, and two covenants in Galatians 4:21-31.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  What are the "Keys of the Kingdom?"  We discuss this from Heidelberg Catechism Lord's Day 31 (Q & A 83-85).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, May 10, (7:30 p.m.):  We continue our series on personal evangelism entitled, "Telling the Truth in Love."  We will be looking at the "dos and don'ts of evangelism."

Academy, Friday, May 12, (7:30 p.m.):  We will be viewing and discussing Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American Mind.  Our text for this series will be Hollinger and Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition.  Be sure to get a used copy!  They are much cheaper!

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

Sunday
May072017

"How Can You Turn Back?" -- Galatians 4:8-20

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

Wednesday
May032017

"Your God is God of Gods and Lord of Kings" -- Daniel 2:44-49

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

Nebuchadnezzar had a frightening dream–it was not a nightmare, but divine revelation.  In this dream, the Babylonian king saw a statue of a mighty and brilliant figure which absolutely terrified him–and he was a man who prided himself on his ability to terrify others.  Knowing this was no ordinary dream and that it foretold his own future as well as that of the empire he ruled, the king demanded that his court magicians recount the contents of the dream and then give the king an interpretation.  When it became clear to Nebuchadnezzar that his magicians cannot recount the details of the dream, much less interpret it for him, the king grows furious and threatens his magicians with death–along with the entire palace staff, including Daniel and his three friends.  The image which the king saw in his dream had a head made of gold, its chest and arms were made of silver, its belly and thighs were made of bronze, while its feet were an odd mixture of clay and iron.  Suddenly, in the dream, a rock hit the statue’s feet, shattering them and causing the entire statue to crumble into pieces.  The fractured remains eventually disintegrate into dust which was scattered by the wind so that nothing of the statue remained behind.  The rock which smashed the feet of the statue had been cut from a mountain without human hands, and rapidly grew into a giant mountain which eventually filled the entire earth.  What did all of this mean?

This dream terrified Nebuchadnezzar because it had been given to him by none other than YHWH (the true and living God), who, in turn, revealed both the dream and its contents to a young Hebrew servant in the Babylonian royal court, who also happened to be a prophet of YHWH.  In the dramatic conflict between Daniel and the wise men and magicians (the Chaldeans) which plays out in the Babylonian royal court (in reality this is a conflict between YHWH and the idols of Babylon), Nebuchadnezzar learns the fate of his empire–it will be defeated and destroyed.  At the same time, the people of God are given a panoramic vision of the four great empires which will arise and then fall until the coming of Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) who will crush the last of these great empires as his kingdom extends into all the earth and endures until the very end of time.  It is Daniel’s God, not Nebuchadnezzar’s “gods,” who rules heaven and earth, and directs the affairs of people and nations.  King Nebuchadnezzar is terrified for good reason–his “gods” and his magicians cannot help him.  Nebuchadnezzar is at the mercy of YHWH.  

We wrap-up the account of Nebuchadnezzaer’s dream (in Daniel 2), by considering the king’s unexpected response to the amazing ability of Daniel to do what the king’s expert magicians cannot do–recall and explain this bizarre and frightening dream.  The 49 verses of the second chapter of the Book of Daniel can be divided into four parts.  The first part (vv. 1-13), deals with Nebuchadnezzaer’s dream and the king’s challenge to the Chaldeans to recall and explain the meaning of the dream.  In the second part of the chapter (vv. 14-23), Daniel recounts that YHWH revealed both the contents of the dream and its meaning to Daniel–which Nebuchadnezzar demanded from his court magicians but which they could not provide for the king.  The third part of the chapter (vv. 24-45), which we covered last time, involves Daniel’s recounting and explanation of the meaning of the dream to the king.  We will wrap up our time in Daniel 2 by considering the fourth part of the chapter (vv. 46-49), which describes Nebuchadnezzar’s response to Daniel, after his young Hebrew servant interprets the dream for the great king.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
May012017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (May 1-7)

Sunday Morning, May 7We are continuing to work our way through Paul's letter to the Galatians.  This week we will cover Paul's challenge to the Judaizers--"How Can You Turn Back?" from Galatians 4:8-20.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We come to the Heidelberg Catechism's discussion of who should come to the Lord's Table (Lord's Day 30, Q & A 81-82).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, May 3, (7:30 p.m.):  We continue our series on personal evangelism entitled, "Telling the Truth in Love."  We will be looking at the "dos and and don'ts of evangelism."

Academy, Friday, May 5, (7:30 p.m.):  We will be viewing and discussing Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American Mind.  Our text for this series will be Hollinger and Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition.  Be sure to get a used copy!  They are much cheaper!

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

Sunday
Apr302017

"Baptized Into Christ" -- Galatians 3:36-4:7

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon

"Baptized Into Christ"

Sunday
Apr302017

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

Pluralism and the American Culture

What are the beliefs and assumptions of contemporary American spirituality? Why do so many people pick and choose religious beliefs based on that which makes them happy, rather than by evaluating truth claims? On this edition of White Horse Inn recorded before a live audience in Vail, Colorado, the hosts—along with special guest Greg Koukl—discuss these questions and more as they outline the characteristics of the American Religion (originally aired Nov. 16, 2014).

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Wednesday
Apr262017

"A God in Heaven Who Reveals Mysteries" -- Daniel 2:24-45

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

King Nebuchadnezzar is in a rage and is threatening to execute his entire palace staff.  He had been awakened by a troubling dream which both confused and frightened him.  He then summoned his court magicians and wise men (“the Chaldeans”) to explain the meaning of what he had just dreamt.  But his Chaldeans cannot recount the details of his dream much less offer an interpretation.  No help in relieving the king’s anxiety, and upon seeing the king’s anger at them, the Chaldeans seek to stall Nebuchadnezzar, hoping he will forget about the dream and move on to other things.  Meanwhile, the young Hebrew servant Daniel, who has impressed the king from the moment he first appeared before the king in the royal court, offers the very thing the king’s magicians, sorcerers, and wise men cannot.  Daniel will recount the details of the king’s dream, and then give him an interpretation.  In the scene which plays out in chapter 2 of Daniel’s prophecy, we learn that YHWH has given his young servant Daniel the gift of wisdom, and also revealed to the prophet both the content and the meaning of the king’s dream.  In the contest between Daniel and the court magicians which follows, Daniel will easily win because the Babylonian “gods” are nothing but the figment of human imagination and superstition, while YHWH is the true and living God, who directs the course of history, who grants wisdom, who speaks, and who answers prayer.

We continue our series on the Book of Daniel and we are working our way through the 49 verses of chapter 2.  Last time, we covered the first two parts of this chapter.  In first part (vv. 1-13), we considered the king’s dream and his challenge to his court magicians to recall and explain meaning of it to him.  The second part of the chapter (vv. 14-23), describes God’s revelation of the dream to Daniel–the very thing which Nebuchadnezzar demands from his court magicians.  The third part of the chapter, which we will take up, includes Daniel’s God-given recounting and explanation of the dream to the king (vv. 24-45).  Then finally, we have the king’s very favorable response after Daniel interprets the dream for Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 46-49)–a matter to which we will return next time.

After the king blows the royal gasket, Daniel’s quick and decisive action saved the lives of the entire Babylonian royal court, all of whom are about to be killed because of Nebuchadnezzar’s outrage stemming from the fact that his Chaldeans can neither recount his dream nor interpret it.  Under threat of imminent execution, Daniel spoke directly to the captain of palace guard, the man assigned to put to death the “Chaldeans,” and all the court servants (including Daniel and his three friends).  As we read in verses 14–16, “then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.”  The king wants an interpretation to his dream, and if his court magicians cannot do so, then the king will see to it that the entire palace staff is executed.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Apr242017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (April 24-30)

Sunday Morning, 30We are continuing our series on Paul's letter to the Galatians.  This coming Sunday we will address Paul's discussion of baptism in Galatians 3:26-4:7.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We come to the Heidelberg Catechism's discussion of the Roman mass (Lord's Day 30, Q & A 80).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, 26, (7:30 p.m.):  We continue our series on personal evangelism entitled, "Telling the Truth in Love."  We will be considering various approaches to evangelism.

Academy, Friday, April 28, (7:30 p.m.):  We will be viewing and discussing Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American Mind.  Our text for this series will be Hollinger and Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition.  Be sure to get a used copy!  They are much cheaper!

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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