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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Sunday
May122019

"One Mediator" -- 1 Timothy 2:1-7

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on 1 Timothy 2:1-7: 

Friday
May102019

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Making the Case for Christianity (The Resurrection of Jesus -- Part Four)

Here's the audio from the Wednesday night Bible Study:  Making the Case for Christianity:  The Resurrection of Jesus (Part Four)

Wednesday
May082019

"Three Days and Three Nights" -- Jonah 1:4-17

Sermons on the Minor Prophets:  The Book of Jonah (2)

God called the Prophet Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh (in the heart of the Assyrian empire) and preach his word to the Ninevites.  Refusing to go to Nineveh, instead Jonah undertook the fool’s errand of attempting to flee from YHWH, boarding a ship which Jonah hoped would take him as far away from Nineveh as humanly possible.  But why was Jonah, known to us as the “reluctant prophet,” so hesitant to go where YHHW was sending him?  The answer is both religious and political.  Jonah is an Israelite.  Assyria is Israel’s enemy and a serious military threat.  Jonah knows that his own people (Israel) are hardening their hearts against YHWH and are likely to come under YHWH’s judgment.  Jonah also knows that should he go to Nineveh and preach, YHWH might bring about the city’s repentance, sparing it from imminent judgment.  As a loyal Israelite, Jonah fears that his preaching might be YHWH’s means of sparing Assyria from judgment.  Jonah refuses YHWH’s call to go and preach and attempts get as far away from Nineveh as he can.  But his plans are about to change in ways he cannot yet begin to imagine.  YHWH will change Jonah’s mind and his destination.

We continue our time in the Book of Jonah, moving this week into the heart of the prophecy (chapter 1:4-17), where we read of Jonah fleeing YHWH’s prophetic call, only to find himself thrown overboard by terrified sailors and then swallowed by a great fish, in which’s belly Jonah spent three days and nights entombed in conditions beyond human imagination.  As we discussed last time, when we raised and answered the “Who?” “When?” “Why?” and “What?” questions, the assumption often made by readers and about the Book of Jonah is that the story is so implausible that it cannot be historical.  When viewed in this manner the fictional story of Jonah becomes an object lesson or moralistic tale about obeying God’s will so as not to suffer the consequences–like those which befall the reluctant prophet.

But when we look behind the well-known details of the Jonah story and consider God’s greater purpose in calling Jonah to go and preach YHWH’s word in Nineveh, we discover the true message of this prophecy–God’s purpose is to save Gentile sinners outside the limits of his covenant people, Israel.  When we established the redemptive-historical context for the Minor Prophets, we saw that while in Canaan, YHWH’s people were to be witnesses of his mercy and righteousness to the Gentile nations all around them.  Because of Israel’s failure to drive all the Canaanites from the promised land (as recounted in the Book of Joshua) over time, the people of God became more pagan than Hebrew (the message of the Book of Judges).  Israel’s idolatry and failure to keep the terms of Israel’s covenant with YHWH, led to a terrible civil war and a divided nation–Israel in the north and Judah in the south.  Given Israel’s rapid and downward spiritual spiral the Northern Kingdom never did serve as a missionary witness to the surrounding Gentile nations.  Instead, Israel became a sad example of sin, disobedience, and religious compromise.  Israel faced certain judgment as YHWH’s long suffering patience came to an end.

But had Israel been faithful to God’s word and covenant, YHWH would have protected his people from the surrounding Gentile nations, including Syria and Assyria to the north.  A very important element to the back story of the Book of Jonah is that YHWH’s call of Jonah is part of YHWH’s greater missionary purpose to ensure that his word is preached to Gentile nations–even to Israel’s enemies.  We saw that YHWH sent the prophet Amos to Israel to call the nation to repentance.  But YHWH sends Jonah to Nineveh in Assyia–Israel’s fiercest enemy.  Although the Jews are YHWH’s chosen people, his redemptive plan includes Gentiles.  YHWH will extend salvation to the very ends of the earth.  

We risk completely missing the message of the Book of Jonah if we understand it merely to be a moralistic fable about not obeying God’s call and suffering the consequences.  The Book of Jonah is a prophetic revelation of God’s missionary purposes for his people as is typical of the Minor Prophets.  Since Israel has failed in its mission to be YHWH’s witness to the Gentiles, YHWH calls Jonah to be his witness to Assyria.  Jonah’s reluctance to go to Nineveh reflects the fact that he is a loyal Israelite who does not want to see his enemy (Assyria) repent, when he knows his own people will be crushed by the Assyrians unless YHWH intervenes and saves Israel.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
May062019

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (May 6-12)

Sunday Morning, May 12:  As we move deeper into Paul's first letter to Timothy, we come to Paul's charge for Christians to pray for all people through the mediatorial work of Christ.  Our text is 1 Timothy 2:1-7.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We are going through Lord's Day 5 in our study of the Heidelberg Catechism (Q & A 9-11).  We are currently discussing Christ's work on our behalf to secure our redemption (questions 12-15).  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: (May 8 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are making the case for Christianity, and discussing the evidence for Jesus' bodily resurrection.

Friday Night Academy: (Friday, May 10 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are discussing Michael Horton's theology text, The Christian Faith.  We take up chapter thirteen, "The Fall of Humanity" (p. 408).

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

Sunday
May052019

"But I Received Mercy" -- 1 Timothy 1:12-20

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on 1 Timothy 1:12-20, "But I Received Mercy 

Thursday
May022019

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Making the Case for Christianity (The Resurrection of Jesus -- Part Three)

Here's the audio from the Wednesday night Bible Study: 

 

Tuesday
Apr302019

A Sheologian?

Tuesday
Apr302019

"Go to Nineveh" -- Jonah 1:1-3

Sermons on the Minor Prophets:  The Book of Jonah (1)

Most everyone knows the story of Jonah – a reluctant Hebrew prophet who was thrown overboard by his terrified shipmates, only to be swallowed by a big fish (usually assumed to be a whale) and then spend three days and nights in the fish’s belly, before being vomited up by the fish on a foreign shore, forcing Jonah to go and preach to the Ninevites, who repented en masse when Jonah–however reluctantly–finally fulfilled his evangelistic mission.  The story is simple enough it can be understood by a child, but complex enough that theologians and biblical scholars still debate its meaning.  The Book of Jonah is next up in our series on the Minor Prophets.  Lord willing, we’ll spend four weeks in this book before we tackle the next of the Minor Prophets, Hosea.

Whenever we begin a study of any new book of the Bible it is important to ask and answer several questions to make sure we interpret the book and its message correctly.  Who was Jonah, when did he live, why did he write this book, and what is in it?  How does this particular prophecy compare with the other Minor Prophets (the Twelve)?  These questions are especially important with a book like Jonah, which many think to be an allegory or a moral fable, seeing the story as so implausible that it cannot possibly be speaking of historical events.  How can someone be swallowed alive by a whale and live for three days?  No, the critics say, this cannot be history, so it must be an allegory, a teaching parable, or a work of fiction, designed to teach us some important spiritual or moral truth.  

When we interpret Jonah’s prophecy through this fictional lens, the reader’s focus usually falls upon Jonah himself, the prime example of a reluctant prophet who refuses to obey God’s will.  By not obeying God, Jonah finds himself in the belly of a whale, until God relents and the whale then spits Jonah out safe and sound–if a bit shook up.  The moral to the story is that should God call you to do something you do not want to do, learn the lesson of the story of Jonah.  Obey the Lord and avoid the kind of calamity which comes upon those who, like Jonah, will not do what they know God wants them to do.

But when we ask and then answer the “Who?” “When?” “Why?” and “What?” questions, it becomes clear that Jonah’s prophecy is not an allegory, nor does it offer such a trivial and moralistic message.  This is not a “once upon a time in a land far away” kind of book.  The prophecy opens with Jonah’s personal ancestry–revealing the name of his father enabling us to compare other biblical references to this family, thereby tying Jonah’s ministry directly to the reign of Jeroboam II, one of the last rulers of Israel (the Northern Kingdom)–as we saw in our just concluded series on Amos, and in our introductory sermons on the Minor Prophets.

Jonah’s prophecy comes in the form of a prophetic narrative (much like 1 and 2 Kings) with a song/Psalm included within the narrative (chapter 2).  It is clearly set in a particular period of time–the final days of Israel (the Northern Kingdom).  Yet unlike the books of the Kings, the Book of Jonah does not emphasize God’s prophet’s obedience to undertake a difficult prophetic call.  On the contrary, the Book of Jonah focuses upon the prophet’s determined reluctance to fulfill his mission.  But what is that mission?  That is the critical question not often properly considered.

When the reader steps back from the sensational particulars of the story–the sailors and the storm, the big fish, the three days–what becomes clear is that God’s ultimate purpose (whether Jonah responds appropriately to that purpose or not) is to extend salvation into the heart of the same nation (Assyria) which is about to invade Israel (the Northern Kingdom), wiping Israel out and killing, capturing, or exiling its inhabitants.  Jonah’s reluctance to preach YHWH’s message to Israel’s enemy highlights the importance of that message–even in the days of Israel and Judah (mid 700's B.C.), YHWH’s gracious purpose is to save sinners, and that purpose is not limited just to Israel.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
Apr292019

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (April 29-May 5)

Sunday Morning, May 5:  We return to our series on Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus.  We take up Paul's "faithful sayings," the first of which--"Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners"--is found in our text (1 Timothy 1:12-20),  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We are now considering Lord's Day 5 in our study of the Heidelberg Catechism (Q & A 9-11).  We open the second main section of the catechism (Grace) with a discussion of the payment for sin in questions 12-15.  Our afternoon service begins at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: (May 1 @ 7:30 p.m.).  As we make the case for Christianity, we continue to discuss the nature of and evidence for Jesus' bodily resurrection.

Friday Night Academy: (Friday, May 3 @ 7:30 p.m.).  We are discussing Michael Horton's theology text, The Christian Faith.  We are now in chapter twelve, "Being Human," and talking about the Imago Dei (p. 403).

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

Sunday
Apr282019

Dave and Nancy -- Congratulations!

Our oldest son David, and his new bride Nancy (nee Robles), were married in Simi Valley CA, on Friday, April 26th. 

The new bride and groom will live in Marina Del Rey and attend Valley Presbyterian Church (PCA).

What a day of great joy and thanksgiving for God's wonderful blessings!  The Lord has given Micki and me two wonderful sons, and now two wonderful daughters-in-law (Mark and Brianna).

We are thrilled.  We are thankful.  We are truly blessed.

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