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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Tuesday
Jun072016

"The Day of the Lord Will Come Like a Thief" -- 2 Peter 3:1-13

The Sixth in a Series of Sermons on 2 Peter

Peter has lambasted those false teachers and prophets who were secretly introducing destructive heresies into the churches, and then leading people away from Christ so as to indulge the lusts of the flesh.  As Peter has told his readers, the chief heresy being taught by these false teachers and prophets is the denial of our Lord’s bodily return at the end of the age, to judge the world, raise the dead, and to make all things new.  If, as the false teachers were contending, Jesus is not going to return, then there will be no final judgment.  And if there is no final judgment, then, as the false teachers were apparently arguing, there is no reason to restrain the lusts of the flesh.  But Peter was with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.  The Apostle was given a glimpse of Jesus’s glory which will be fully manifest when Jesus returns at the end of the age.  Peter was also present with Jesus on the Mount of Olives (the Olivet Discourse) on that fateful night when Jesus spoke of his second coming as sudden–like a thief, who comes at an hour when you least expect him.  The denial of something so clearly taught by Jesus and his apostles lies at the basis for the great irony spelled out by Peter in his second epistle–that these men who despise authority, and who are enslaved to the passions of the flesh, will find themselves facing the very same Savior on the day of judgment whose coming they deny, and in a final judgment in which they do not believe.

We return this morning to our series on 2 Peter, and we have reached the third chapter of this brief epistle wherein both the tone and content of Peter’s epistle changes dramatically.  In the previous chapter, while describing the methods and consequences of the false teachers and prophets then plaguing the churches just as Jesus warned that they would, Peter’s temper flashes as he speaks of these men as blots and blemishes (v. 13), who behave like wild animals (v. 12).  All the while denying the master who bought them (2:1), Peter says the false teachers speak blasphemies against both God and the “glories” because they are ignorant of the power of the angelic beings which they are blaspheming.  These men live to gratify the lusts of the flesh, and they are constantly on the prowl for gullible Christians whom they may deceive and then exploit.  Peter says of them, better to have “never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2:21).

In chapter 3, Peter speaks much differently than in the previous chapter, and affectionately addresses his readers and hearers as “beloved.”  If God’s judgment is reserved for false teachers, then those believers in Jesus Christ who must face these people and deal with them, need to be reminded of the certainty of the Lord’s return, and the inevitable fate these false teachers and prophets will face.  Christ is both the Lord of his church and the protector and vindicator of his people.  As Peter will tell us, the doctrine of the second coming of Jesus Christ grounds the Christian life (and Christian ethics) in a final judgment.  This will be that climatic moment at the end of human history, in which all wrongs will be righted, and when at long last God’s people receive their heavenly inheritance and then enter their eternal Sabbath rest.  There is indeed coming a day when all things will be made new, and old wrongs set right.

Unlike the false prophets and teachers who spread myths and lies, Peter has first-hand knowledge of Jesus’ promise that he will return a second time.  Peter has also heard Jesus’ explanation as to how his return was foretold in the prophetic word (Scripture) made more certain.  The Apostle knows that these prophecies were fulfilled in the doing and dying of Jesus.  Since Peter has seen Jesus’ glory, and is a witness to Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, then the Apostle knows that Jesus will keep his promise to return to usher in a new heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells–that is, where every hint, trace, and stain of human sin will be removed.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Jun062016

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

Sunday Morning, June 12:  We will be addressing Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9:1-19.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Note:  There will be a brief congregational meeting immediately following the morning service.

Sunday Afternoon:  We are continuing with our study of the Heidelberg Catechism and are currently looking at Lord's Day 12 -- Jesus as mediator (Q & A 31-32).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, June 8:  We are wrapping up our time in 1 Thessalonians.  Our study begins at 7:30 p.m.

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

Sunday
Jun052016

The "Little Horn" -- Daniel 8:1-17

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the fifteenth in a series on the Book of Daniel

Click Here

Sunday
Jun052016

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

What Do We Do Until Christ Comes Back?

Now that we have been united with Christ and engrafted into his kingdom, what are we to do in the meantime? Some answer this by saying that Christians should work at transforming all spheres of secular culture, while others say that we shouldn’t be involved in any secular activities in the first place. What is the proper biblical approach to living out a life of faith in this time between the times? That’s the focus of this edition of White Horse Inn.

Click Here

Tuesday
May312016

"It Would Have Been Better" -- 2 Peter 2:10b-22

The Fifth in a Series of Sermons on 2 Peter

In the first three verses of chapter two of his Second Epistle, Peter warns the churches that false teachers will arise throughout the course of the age and disrupt the church.  They will do so until Jesus comes back a second time–which is, ironically, a doctrine which the false teachers mentioned by Peter denied.  According to Peter’s warning, false teachers and false prophets will arise within the churches and secretly introduce destructive heresies, utter false prophecies, and speak blasphemies against God.  Peter warns us that their motives are sinister–because of their greed, false teachers and prophets seek to exploit the people of God.  The Apostle tells us that these false teachers and prophets are like the angels who rebelled against God in the days before the great flood.  They are like those evil men who mocked Noah as he built the ark.  They are like the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah–men who lived to gratify the lusts of the flesh.  Such false teachers and prophets will say and do anything to exploit the people of God.  But their ultimate destruction is as sure as is the prophetic word (Scripture) given by God.   

In the last half of the second chapter of 2 Peter 2, Peter describes these individuals in the harshest of terms.  The reason why Peter can speak so harshly when referring to them is the damage these people do is not slight.  They disrupt the peace of the churches.  They despise Christ’s authority and his word.  They place their own made-up prophecies above the authority of Scripture.  They seduce others so as to steal their chastity, their money, and their reputations.  The methods and attitudes of these false teachers and prophets are so callous and deceitful that Peter can say of them that it have been better for them to have never known the way of the truth, then to turn their backs upon Jesus (the master, who they claim “bought” them), while seeking to abuse and exploit Christ’s sheep.  Peter minces no words when describing these people, their shameful ways, and their inevitable destruction.

As we return to our series on 2 Peter we move into what may be one of the most difficult sections in the New Testament upon which to preach because the language is so harsh, and because this section may give us the impression that we, in turn, can use this same language of others.  The application is not that it is OK to call others “blots’ and “blemishes” or “irrational beasts.”  Rather, this is something we must leave to the Apostle who is writing under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, yet whose righteous anger is evident in his words.  In the first half of the chapter, Peter warns us of the false words and false prophecies uttered by false teachers and prophets.  He has described their selfish motives–these are not people who are sincere but wrong.  They are not to be trusted, nor given any benefit of doubt.  In describing their conduct in such graphic terms, Peter provides us with the reason why these individuals will be judged so harshly by the master (Jesus) whose authority they truly despise, despite their claim to be followers of Jesus.

Peter says of them in verse 10b, “bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones.”  In saying this, Peter gives theological justification for the harsh words which follow.  His words clearly echo those of Jude 8- 9.  “Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.  But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, `The Lord rebuke you.’”  Knowing his place in the order of things, even the powerful Michael the Archangel humbly refused to offer a blasphemous judgment or mock the devil.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
May302016

How Bad Is It? Bad . . .

Monday
May302016

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (May 30-June 5)

Sunday Morning, June:  We have now come to chapter 8 (vv. 1-27) in our study of the Book of Daniel.  This Lord's Day we will be considering Daniel's vision of the ram, the goat, and the "Little Horn."  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We continue with our study of the Heidelberg Catechism.  We will be considering Lord's Day 12 and Jesus' messianic office (Q & A 31-32).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, June 1:  We are continuing our time in 1 Thessalonians (we are now in chapter 5), and we are discussing Paul's teaching regarding Christ's second advent.  Our study begins at 7:30 p.m.

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

Sunday
May292016

"And the Time Came" -- Daniel 7:15-28

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

Sunday
May292016

This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

What is the Kingdom?

Jesus told Pontius Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Yet his kingdom is present wherever his people submit to his gracious reign. In fact, Paul wrote to the Corinthians that Christians actually serve as ambassadors of the heavenly kingdom as they announce God’s reconciling work to outsiders (2 Cor. 5:20). What are the implications of this view on our understanding of Christian ministry? What is the kingdom, and how does it advance? Join the hosts as they continue this series and unpack the implications of Christ’s ascension on the White Horse Inn.

What is the Kingdom

Tuesday
May242016

"There Will Be False Teachers Among You" -- 2 Peter 2:1-10

The Fourth in a Series of Sermons on 2 Peter

It is not a question of if, but a matter of when.  False teachers and false prophets have come, they will come, and they will continually seek to introduce destructive heresies until the Lord returns.  In his 2nd Epistle–which is Peter’s “testament,” i.e., his final words to the churches–Peter warns the churches of his day that false teachers and false prophets were already working their way into the churches and wreaking havoc.  Peter tells us that these false teachers will speak false words and utter false prophecies.  They blaspheme God and they seek to secretly introduce destructive heresies.  They wilfully seek to exploit the people of God–looking for any struggling saint weak in faith, or for those who have even the slightest bit of apathy regarding the truth or Christian doctrine.  Their doctrinal errors provide justification for indulging the lusts of the flesh, instead of manifesting those Christian virtues which Peter has described in verses 5-7 of the first chapter of this letter.  As Peter has told us in verse 19 of chapter one, we have the prophetic word (the Scriptures) which is more sure than any human opinion and which is the light shining in the dark, and the standard by which we discern truth from error.

As we continue our series on 2 Peter, we come to Peter’s dire warning (in this chapter and in the next) about false prophets and false teachers who will arise, infiltrate the churches, and seek to lead the people of God astray.  There is a very good reason why believers need to be concerned with how they live, and why they should live their lives in eager anticipation of Jesus’ return–so as to contrast themselves with those who have been deceived.  The false teachers and false prophets described by Peter were undermining the very foundation of the Christian life–that God has saved us from the wrath to come, and then called us to reflect his glory through our conduct.  Even as they encourage professing Christians to live no differently than the pagans around us, the false teachers are denying one of the fundamental doctrines of Christian theology; the bodily return of Jesus Christ at the end of the age, to judge the world, raise the dead, and make all things new.

If it is true, as the false teachers claim, that Jesus is not going to return a second time, then there is no basis for Christian ethics, nor is there any foundation for the Christian life.  Not only is Christian preaching false when we proclaim that Christ will come again, but if Christ does not come again then there is no final judgment, no resurrection from the dead, no new heaven and earth, no eternal Sabbath rest for the people of God, and no heavenly inheritance.  The proper motivation for the Christian life, which is that we live our lives in gratitude in light of these things, completely vanishes.  If Christ is not returning, then critics of Christianity, like Nietzsche, are right–all we can do is live our lives carpe diem and “seize the day.”  The past is irrelevant, the future remains to be written, there are no absolute standards of right and wrong, so all we have are the realities we face and the choices we must make in the present.  And if Jesus is not coming back, and there is no judgment, then why not do as we please, indulge the lusts of the flesh, and seek to do what is right in our own eyes?  If no one is watching, why worry about anything other than our momentary needs and pleasures?

But as Peter has told us in verse 16 of the previous chapter of this epistle, “we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”  Peter was present throughout much of the messianic ministry of Jesus.  Since Peter saw and heard Jesus in person, Peter (and the other apostles) do not need to invent myths or fables as do the false teachers and prophets.  Since Peter was an eyewitness to the majesty of Jesus, the Apostle speaks the truth, while all the false teachers can utter are clever myths which they have devised to suit their own sinful ends.  As Peter reminds his readers, he was with Jesus up on the Mount of Transfiguration.  “For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, `This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.”  Peter was with Jesus.  He saw our Lord’s glory.  He heard the Father’s voice.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

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