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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Tuesday
Apr122016

"A Faithful Creator" -- 1 Peter 4:12-19

The Tenth in a Series of Sermons on 1 Peter

Peter’s purpose in writing his first epistle is to comfort persecuted Christians in Asia Minor, many of whom who have been displaced from their homes because of a decree from the Roman emperor Claudius.  Peter has reminded them that despite their struggles, in God’s eyes, they are elect exiles, citizens of heaven, and when worshiping together they compose God’s spiritual house (the church)–And this even while they are sojourning upon the earth until the day of final judgment when God will dispense his covenant blessings and curses.  Through a lengthy series of imperatives (commands), Peter has told these struggling Christians how they are to differentiate themselves from the Greco-Roman pagans around them–through their profession of faith in the Triune God who sent his Son to die for his people’s sins, and through their honorable conduct before the Pagans.  Christians are to think and live as God’s people–they must live a life of self control, in contrast to their pagan neighbors who live to indulge every urge of the sinful flesh.  But even if Christians do all of the things Peter exhorts them to do, they should not be surprised if their struggles continue and the persecution they face remains intense.  As Peter has stated in verse 4 of  chapter 4, the pagans “are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you.”  Evil-doers want nothing more than for professing Christians to join them in their self-indulgence.  Having made this point in the first part of the chapter  Peter now describes their troubles as a fiery trial, and a time of judgment.  Yet, this is also a time in which God’s purposes will be realized, and through which these struggling Christians will grow in their faith.

We return this morning to our series on 1 Peter.  As we conclude our time in chapter 4, Peter acknowledges that his readers and hearers have been through very difficult times, so much so, in verse 12, Peter writes, “beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”  Some commentators take Peter’s statement as a warning of an impending calamity, and that extending this warning is the reason why Peter sends this letter to Christians of the Diaspora in Asia Minor.  In other words for those hearing/reading Peter’s letter, things have been bad, but they are about to get a whole lot worse.  Peter is writing to warn them in advance so that his readers and hearers can prepare themselves for what is about to come.

But most commentators take the view–I think correctly–that verse 12 of chapter 4 begins a new section of the letter in which Peter is not warning of an impending trial, but is instead making the point that Christians must realize that professing faith in Christ, as they have been doing in the midst of a pagan culture, is itself a fiery trial.  In fact, Peter made this point clear back in chapter 1 vv. 6-8 when he wrote, “for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him.  Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”  The Christians to whom Peter is writing are being put to the test.  They are undergoing a fiery trial–yet a trial with an important purpose.  The time of trial is difficult in itself, yet it is that much worse if there is no seeming purpose to it.  Peter’s point then is to remind the Christians of Asia Minor that the fiery trial they are currently experiencing has a purpose, and that keeping this in mind will help them endure their trying circumstances.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here

Monday
Apr112016

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (April 11-17)

Sunday Morning, April 17:  Rev. Andrew Compton will be preaching from the Book of Ezekiel.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  Rev. Compton will be conducting our catechism service, which begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, April 6:  We are going verse by verse through 1 Thessalonians.  We are now chapter 4.  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).

 

Monday
Apr112016

"God's Relentless Message of Life" -- Ezekiel 33:1-22

Here's the audio from Rev. Compton's Sunday sermon.

Click Here

Thanks, Andrew, for pinch hitting at the last minute!

Monday
Apr112016

This Week's White Horse Inn

The Reliability of the Gospels and Epistles

On this program we continue our series on the Resurrection of Jesus. Once again Michael Horton interviews our special guest, Michael Licona, who is a New Testament scholar, historian, and Christian apologist. He is a professor at Houston Baptist University and the author of the excellent work, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.

The two scholars continue their discussion about the eyewitness character of the four Gospels and unpack a host of issues relating to the historical reliability and early dating of the New Testament epistles. Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we continue our series, The Resurrection.

Click Here

Friday
Apr082016

Know Anyone in the Cincinnati Area? I'm Speaking on the End Times, Saturday, April 16

Here's the info from the conference brochure, sponsored by three local Reformed churches:

Join us as we learn what the Bible teaches about The End Times.  Our speaker is Rev. Dr. Kim Riddlebarger, pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim and co-host of the White Horse Inn, a radio program that brings the theology of the Reformation to the public, in order that Christians "know what they believe and why they believe it".  Dr. Riddlebarger is also a specialist in the field of eschatology, or "the end times", having written A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times and The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

  • 9:00am - "What's a Thousand Years Among Friends?"
  • 10:15 - Refreshments
  • 10:45 - "The Signs of the End"
  • 11:45 - Lunch - a catered lunch may be purchased for $10
  • 1:00 - "What does the Future Hold for Israel?"
  • 2:15 - Q&A with Dr. Riddlebarger

Childcare is provided for pre-school-aged children.

You are also invited to attend our joint worship service on Sunday, April 17 (11am), when Dr. Riddlebarger will preach on "The Antichrist".

Good Shepherd OPC, Westside Reformed Church, and Redeemer Community Church are congregations that are devoted to the Bible as it is understood within the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition.  We believe that this teaching is not only true but also helpful to the Christian life.

When
Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM (EDT) - Add to Calendar


Where
Good Shepherd OPC - 11688 Mill Road, Cincinnati, OH - View Map
Sponsoring churches:
Good Shepherd OPC, Westside Reformed Church, and Redeemer Community Church are congregations that are devoted to the Bible as it is understood within the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition.  We believe that this teaching is not only true but also helpful to the Christian life.

Tuesday
Apr052016

"Arm Yourselves With the Same Way of Thinking -- 1 Peter 4:1-11

The Ninth in a Series of Sermons on 1 Peter

Although you might expect Peter to instruct Christians to fight back against their oppressors, instead Peter directs us to a different kind of war.  Christians must resolve to engage in a fierce battle with sin and not let it reign over us.  This war against sin should be evident in the way in which we relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those outside the church.  Those in Christ cannot live as the first century Greeks and Romans do, seeking to satisfy every bodily urge with little regard to natural law, and with no regard to God’s revelation of his will in his word.  As we reject pagan ways of thinking and doing, and prepare ourselves to suffer for our faith in Christ, we are called to love our brothers and sisters in the church, to use our spiritual gifts to serve one another, and we are to learn to live in the light of God’s promises which will be fully realized on the day of judgment.

As we work our way through Peter’s first epistle we now come to chapter four.  Peter is writing to a group of Christians in Asia Minor who have been displaced forcibly from their homes by a decree from the Roman emperor Claudius.  These elect exiles were facing great uncertainty about their personal circumstances.  Since many of them are victims of persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ, Peter is writing to remind these struggling saints of their dual citizenship–in addition to being citizens of Rome, these people also possess a heavenly citizenship with an inheritance far greater than human minds can comprehend.  As believers in Jesus Christ, they have been sanctified by God, sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, and called to live holy lives before the watching world.   

Peter concludes his lengthy series of imperatives found 2:11-3:17, with a wonderful indicative in chapter 3:18-22.  The humility and suffering of Jesus provides a once for all payment for sin which remits the guilt for all of those times when Christians fail to submit to those in authority over them, or who seek vengeance upon those who wrong them, or who return the curses and reviling of others, with curses and reviling of their own.  But Peter also reminds his readers/hearers that the suffering and death of Jesus is the way in which God conquered sin, death, and the grave, as well as all those authorities and powers which seek to oppress the people of God.  When God calls believers to positions in life where they may suffer, Christians should not see this as the retributive punishment of God, but as the path to glory–a pathway already taken by Jesus, the savior of, and the example to the Christians of Asia Minor.

As Peter has already stated, Christians are to identify themselves as citizens of heaven, not by a distinctive wardrobe, diet, or by withdrawing from non-Christians.  Instead, we identify ourselves through our profession of faith in the Triune God who sent his son to save us from our sins, and in our holy conduct, which Peter has said, is to be honorable among the Gentiles.  Christians are to be good citizens, wise and compassionate masters or submissive servants, and when married are to be the kind of husbands and wives who regard each other as equals in Christ.  In these ways, we demonstrate our heavenly citizenship to outsiders.

When Christians are called to suffer, or to face the reviling and cursing from non-Christians, or even when we are persecuted for our faith, our suffering is never the final word.  Just as Jesus conquered death and the principalities and powers through his humility and suffering, so will we.  Peter has made clear that at the end of time, there will be a final judgment when all wrongs are made right, and when the bad guys finally get theirs in the end.  On the day of judgment Christians will be vindicated and rewarded by the same God who has called us to suffer, as will God be vindicated when the world is silenced by the realization that God’s ways are altogether righteous and just.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Apr042016

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (April 4-10)

Sunday Morning, April 10:  We continue with our series on the Book of Daniel.  We will consider the mysterious handwriting on the wall--God's declaration of judgment upon Beshazzar (Daniel 5:13-32).  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We are considering one of the most beloved sections of our catechism, Lord's Day 10 and the discussion of God's good providence (Q & A 27-28).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study, April 6:  We are going verse by verse through 1 Thessalonians.  We working our way through chapter 3.  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
Apr032016

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

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

Sunday
Apr032016

This Week's White Horse Inn

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels

On this program we continue our series on the Resurrection of Jesus. For the next three programs Michael Horton interviews special guest, Michael Licona, who is a New Testament scholar, historian, and Christian apologist. He is a professor at Houston Baptist University and the author of the excellent work, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, which will be unpacked in these interviews.

How can we be sure that the various claims about Jesus recorded in the four gospels represent genuine eyewitness reports? How can we be sure that they were written in the crucial eyewitness period? Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we seek to answer these important questions and more as we continue our series, The Resurrection.

Click Here

Saturday
Apr022016

Twenty-Six Political Theses for Your Consideration

Twenty-Six Political Theses
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1).  If you pay no federal income tax, you have no right to demand that the top 1% of earners pay more in federal taxes.

2).  If you are not registered to vote, you forfeit all right to complain or pontificate about anything which goes on in the political arena.

3).  If you choose not to vote in any given election, then you must remain silent about politics until the next election rolls around (and you do vote).

4).  Every registered voter should take at least one course, or read at least one book on the US Constitution–its history, and/or the debates about its ratification.  Listening to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or NPR doesn’t count.

5).  Do not vote for any political candidate until you have actually read their political (or professional) resume, carefully reviewed their legislative/administrative accomplishments, and considered any scandals and controversies they have generated, or of which they have been a part.

6).  If you choose a candidate merely because they are telegenic, witty, or capable of a good sound bite, you are part of the problem.

7).  Our current presidential “debates” have more in common with the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show than they do with real “debate.”

8).  The less cable news you watch, the better equipped you’ll be to make a sane choice when voting.

9).  If any politician wants to reach deeper into my wallet, they better have a darn good reason and an established reputation for finding government waste and cutting government spending.

10).  Every household in America knows what to do in economic hard-times–cut household spending across the board and then earn additional monies to pay down debt (i.e, add a temporary part-time job).  This solution is completely unthinkable to politicians, who, apparently, have never tried it and do not know that such practices actually exist.   

11).  Our government solves its economic woes by turning on the printing press and adding to the money supply, and then (figuratively speaking) opens 10 new credit card accounts to pay existing credit card debt.  John Maynard Keynes is turning over in his grave.

12).  The massive and rapidly growing debt is the greatest threat to our national and economic security, as well as to the American way of life.  Any candidate for political office unwilling to address this crisis head-on will not get my vote.

13).   If any political candidate thinks he or she can manage my life and my family better than I can, they will never get my vote.

14).  Cutting the rate of a proposed increase in spending is not a budget cut!

15).  Do not robo-call me.

16).  Professing Christians are often far-too partisan, and embarrassingly ill-informed about history of the political ideologies they espouse.

17).  Furthermore, professing Christians rarely evaluate those political ideologies to see if they are compatible with their Christian profession.  

18).  Instead of serving as the “world’s greatest deliberative body” the US Senate has become the epitome of partisan politics.  If these people spent half of their time back in the legislatures of their home states (as the founding fathers intended), they would do far less damage to the country because of their partisan factionalism.  Repeal the seventeenth amendment!

19).  The better presidents in our history have had the rare ability to do what was best for the nation without any sacrifice of their personal governing principles.  At the same time, the better presidents were usually willing, when necessary, to depart from their political party’s “sacred” platform.

20).  As defined constitutionally, the office of the President of the United States is that of commander in chief, and therefore is the “President” to all Americans–not just those of his own political party.

21).   The intangible but essential skills of leadership are a requirement for a President as the chief executive–not so much for a senator or a congressperson (who are legislators).  This is why governors (i.e., those with executive experience) are much better candidates for President than Senators.

22).  I don’t want to hear (although I know I will) another clueless celebrity blame mass shootings and acts of terrorism solely upon the 2nd Amendment, especially when these same people frequently utilize hired (and armed) security to protect them from their adoring and/or crazy fans.

23).  There is something terribly wrong with a society which humanizes pets and dehumanizes the unborn human fetus.

24).  You may claim your pet has rights and is a “member” of your family, but if Fido bites me, I’m suing you, not Fido, and I’ll win.

25).  Because far too many of our contemporaries think that sexual gratification is the most important activity in life, our culture is increasingly unwilling to address the havoc brought about by pornography, prostitution, and other deviant sexual behaviors (incest and sexual abuse of children).

26).  Bruce Jenner may change his name to “Caitlyn,” alter his appearance with long hair, make-up, and woman’s clothes, he even may alter his physique with hormones and surgery.  But every cell in his body has a “y” chromosome.  He is and always will be a man in a dress.  Technically, he’s a transvestite, not a “transsexual.”
 

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