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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Sunday
Nov122017

"I Will Restore the Fortunes of My People, Israel" -- Amos 9:11-15 

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on the Minor prophets from the Book of Amos

Click Here

Sunday
Nov122017

This Week's White Horse Inn

An Interview with James K. A. Smith

Are we shaped by the theology of Scripture and the patterns of Christian worship, or by the ideas of our increasingly secular culture and the patterns, habits, and routines associated with it? While many Christians in our day seem to understand the importance of acquiring a biblical worldview, James K.A. Smith argues that we often overlook the fact that more often than not we’re persuaded by alternative stories of the world, not through overt argumentation, but by what he calls “secular liturgies.” On this program, Michael Horton talks with James K.A. Smith, author of You Are What You Love, The Spiritual Power of Habit, and Desiring the Kingdom.

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Thursday
Nov092017

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Basic Cateogies (Part Three)

Here's the audio from Wednesday Night's Bible Study -- "Basic Categories -- Civil Religion and Sheilaism"

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Wednesday
Nov082017

"A Strong Covenant" (The Seventieth Week of Daniel) -- Daniel 9:24-27

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

As famed philosopher-catcher Yogi Berra once quipped, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it!”  When we come to Daniel 9:27 and read of one who makes a strong covenant with the many for one week, we have come to such an interpretive fork in the road.  Is Daniel speaking about a future Antichrist making a seven-year peace treaty with Israel which marks the beginning of the tribulation?  Or is Daniel instead speaking of the coming of the Messiah, who makes a strong covenant on behalf of those whom he is about to redeem at the climax of his messianic mission?  The choice is fundamental as to how we understand this prophecy.  Christ or the Antichrist?

We have spent the last several sermons working our way though Daniel 9, a passage which includes the famous prophecy of the “seventy weeks” (vv. 24-27).  As we noted throughout our time in this chapter, this is one of the most disputed and difficult prophecies in all the Old Testament.  But everyone does agree that it is also one of the most important of Old Testament prophecies.  Although those influenced by dispensationalism see this prophecy as predicting a future seven-year tribulation period and a peace treaty between Antichrist and Israel, the prophecy makes much better sense when seen as a messianic prophecy, predicting the coming of Jesus (Israel’s Messiah) with great accuracy and specificity–the so-called “messianic interpretation.”

Based upon our time spent in this chapter previously, it should be clear that understanding the context and keeping the Old Testament background in mind are absolutely essential, if we are to interpret the “seventy weeks” correctly.  We begin by reminding ourselves that the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 is a direct answer from YHWH to the prophet Daniel’s petitions offered in his prayer for the exiles in Babylon (the first 19 verses of chapter 9).  Daniel is well aware that the prophet Jeremiah foretold of seventy years of exile for the Jews now living in Babylon–Daniel among them.  Daniel is also aware that the seventy years are about up.  He knows that Jeremiah prophesied that YHWH promised that his people will be allowed to return to Judah to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple.  Knowing the day of release from exile is at hand, Daniel is greatly worried about his people.  Will they remember YHWH’s covenant promises?  Will they repent of their sin and unbelief?  

In his prayer, Daniel is deeply moved to repent of his own sins, as well as pray on behalf of his struggling people–Judah.  It is as a direct answer to Daniel’s fervent prayer for Israel on the eve of their possible return to Judah, that YHWH sends Gabriel to reveal to Daniel what the future holds for Judah, Jerusalem, and the temple–the purpose for the “seventy weeks” prophecy of verses 24-27.  The good news Gabriel reveals to Daniel is that the exiles will return to Judah, and they will rebuild the city, and the temple.  The bad news is that at some point in the future, Jerusalem will be left desolate once again.  But this is not a prophecy of despair.  Rather, it is a prophecy which foretells of the coming of Israel’s Messiah who will usher in the ultimate jubilee year, as well as the eternal Sabbath for the people of God.  The exiles will return home and rebuild.  But Jerusalem and the temple will experience desolation yet again, because a greater exile remains–separation from God’s presence due to human sin.  Desolation is not the final word, however, YHWH will send someone (a Messiah) to deal with the root of our exile from YHWH–the guilt of our sin.  This will be accomplished as the seventy weeks run their course.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Nov062017

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

Sunday Morning, November 12:  We wrap up our study of the Book of Amos (as part of our series on the Minor prophets).  We will look at God's promise to restore Israel from Amos 9.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We have come to Lord's Day 44 (Q & A 113-115) in our study of the Heidelberg Catechism.  We will address the tenth commandment and coveting. Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (November 8 @ 7:30 p.m.):  We are continuing our series, "Apologetics in a Post-Christian Age."  This week's lecture is "Sheilaism," and self-justifying religion.

The Academy (Friday November 3 @ 7:30 p.m.):   We resume our lecture/discussion series based upon Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American Mind.  Our topic this week is Abraham Lincoln's influence on American intellectual history.

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

Sunday
Nov052017

"The Day of the Lord" -- Amos 5:18-6:14 

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the fourth in a series on the Minor Prophets from the Book of Amos:  Click Here

Sunday
Nov052017

This Week's White Horse Inn

This Week's White Horse Inn

Many Christians today assume that worship is something we do one hour per week, but in Scripture, worship is actually a life-long activity. For example, in Romans 12 Paul says that out of gratitude for God’s mercy and grace, Christians are to worship God acceptably by offering our bodies as living sacrifices. This is not to say that Sunday worship is unimportant. Though we’re to think of all of life as worship, we have an additional call to join with other saints on the Lord’s Day, to sing his praises corporately, and also to receive his good gifts. On this program, the hosts will begin a new series on the meaning, form, and significance of worship.

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Friday
Nov032017

Apologetics in a Post Christian Age (Audio) -- Basic Cateogies (Part Two)

Here's the audio from our Wednesday Night Bible Study -- "Basic Categories -- Humanism and Pluralism"

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Wednesday
Nov012017

"Seventy Weeks" -- Daniel 9:20-27

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

Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks is one of the most intriguing passages in all the Bible.  It is often described by commentators as among the most difficult passages to interpret in all the Old Testament.  Many of our contemporaries understand this passage as a map to the end times.  But I think the passage makes much more sense when understood as a messianic prophecy foretelling the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.  Yes, the passage does tell us much about the end times (in a big picture kind of way), but it does so through the lens of Jesus’ work in fulfilling the six conditions set forth in the prophecy–finishing transgression, putting an end to sin, atoning for iniquity, ushering in everlasting righteousness, sealing both vision and prophet, and anointing a most holy place.  As we will see in the weeks to come, these things were, in fact, accomplished by Jesus through the strong covenant which Jesus makes with the many (i.e., the people of God whom the Father chooses to save).  If Gabriel’s revelation to Daniel does speak to the end times, it does so in the form of a messianic prophecy, foretelling with an uncanny accuracy the suffering and obedience of the one who fulfills it–the Lord Jesus.

Many of us grew up in churches influenced by dispensationalism.  We learned this passage well because it was thought to serve as a guide to the end times.  The prophet Daniel supposedly foresees a time (the 70th and final week of the seventy weeks) when Israel is back in the land at or about the time the Gentile church is removed from the earth (the Rapture).  The Rapture also marks the dawn of the so-called seven year tribulation period, during which the Antichrist (on this scheme, the one who makes a covenant with Israel) turns upon the Jews in their rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, leading to a final battle (Armageddon) which culminates in the return of Jesus.  Although this is the view which dominates much of American evangelicalism, this interpretation is wide of the mark for several reasons we will address in this sermon.

Despite the difficulty and intrigue associated with Daniel’s “seventy weeks,” the passage can be properly interpreted if we spend the time to understand the context in which it is given, as well as developing the biblical theology which underlies the prophecy itself.  The first matter we must tackle is the meaning and chronology of the “seventy weeks” to which Daniel refers.  What are these weeks?  When do the weeks begin, and when do they end?  Are we to take the seventy weeks as a literal period of time, or are the seventy weeks better understood symbolically in light of the previous visions recorded earlier in Daniel?  

I’m thinking here of the visions of four great empires found in Daniel 2 (Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a metallic statue interpreted by Daniel), and Daniel 7 (a vision given to Daniel of four great and mysterious beasts).  The four metals in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue and the four beasts in Daniel’s vision predict the rise of the four great empires of the ancient near-eastern world: the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires.  As will see shortly (as represented in the chart provided), these prior visions provide the context for the vision of the seventy weeks–a context often overlooked by those who see the prophecy as focusing on the time of the end, instead of upon the dawn of the messianic age.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Oct302017

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (October 30-November 5)

Sunday Morning, November 5:  We return our study of the Book of Amos (as part of our series on the Minor prophets).  This Lord's Day we will address a prominent theme in the Minor Prophets, "The Day of the Lord" as found in Amos 5.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We take up Lord's Day 43 (Q & A 112) of the Heidelberg Catechism.  We will discuss the ninth commandment and the sin of bearing false witness against our neighbor.  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (November 1 @ 7:30 p.m.):  We are continuing our series, "Apologetics in a Post-Christian Age."  This week's lecture is on Classical and Contemporary Humanism

The Academy (Friday November 3 @ 7:30 p.m.):   We resume our lecture/discussion series based upon Allen Guelzo's Teaching Company Course, The American Mind.  Our topic this week is Abolition and the Civil War

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

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