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


Living in Light of Two Ages



"The God of Heaven" -- Ezra 1:1-4

The First in a Series of Sermons on Ezra-Nehemiah

we begin a new series on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  These two closely related books cover that period in Israel’s history from the decree of the Persian king, Cyrus, in 538 BC, until about the year 458 BC, the time of Ezra.  These two books demonstrate God’s faithfulness to his covenant promises–YHWH will bring his people back to the land after a time of exile in Babylon, and direct them to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its temple–both now destroyed.  Familiarity with these two books will help us to understand the establishment of a form of Judaism (so-called “Second Temple” Judaism) much different from that which existed in the days of Joshua, and then later under king David.  By the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, Israel is no longer a victorious, thriving military power.  Israel is now the vassal state of a Gentile empire, living on past glory, and although there are moments of revival and faithfulness among the people, this is a time when the Jewish people sought former glory and to recover that which was lost.  Yet all of this serves to set the stage for a future Messiah–who alone can restore true Israel, and turn the hearts of a stubborn and rebellious people back to the covenant promises of their ever-faithful God.  And so we begin our new series by setting the stage for the work of Ezra and Nehemiah and their accounts of an exile people who return home to find their temple in ruins, and their beloved city of Jerusalem all but deserted and now desolate.

587 BC was a year of great consequence for the people of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah.  Israel had been a divided kingdom for nearly two hundred years–a time recounted in redemptive history in the  ministries of the Old Testament prophets Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah.  This was a time in Israel’s history characterized by division and a growing apostasy and idiolatry among the people, a time when God’s covenant curses were meted out upon both the faithless Israelites and their unbelieving rulers, and a time of the ever-increasing threat of domination by foreign powers.  

The northern kingdom (Israel) was defeated and overrun by the Assyrians in 722 BC, but the southern kingdom, Judah, remained a functioning monarchy, continuing the Davidic royal line through the series of kings listed in 1 Chronicles 3:1-16.  Eventually, Judah too became largely apostate–although there was a significant Reformation in the days of Josiah (around 620 BC).  But Judah too eventually fell to the Chaldean armies of King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon as recounted in 2 Kings 25:1–7, where we read of a siege of Jerusalem, and Judah’s total collapse in the days of king Zedekiah.

    And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. 2 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.  3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans [a tribe ruled by the Babylonians] were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon.

Israel had fallen a long way from the glorious days of her great empire during the successive reigns of David and Solomon.  Now, the formidable walls of Jerusalem were breached by Nebuchadnezzer’s armies, and the city and its defenses were left in ruins–an event which will figure very prominently in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  The Jerusalem temple was sacked, and its precious metals removed (i.e., the gold and silver vessels in temple) and taken as booty to Babylon by the victorious captors.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here


This Week at Christ Reformed Church (August 22-28)

Sunday Morning, August 28.  We are beginning a new series on Paul's letter to the Philippians.  The first sermon in this series will be based upon Acts 16, and Luke's account of the founding of a church in Phillipi.  Our worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  We return to our study of the Heidelberg Catechism.  We have come to Lord's Day 15, which deals with our Lord's suffering, for us and for our salvation (Lord's Day 15 Q & A 37-39).  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study:  Our Bible study will resume on September 14 with a study of 2 Thessalonians.

Academy:  Will resume in the Fall.

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


"A Portrait of the Faithful Minister" -- Acts 20-17-38

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon from Rev. Brad Lenzner on the occasion of his installation as our associate pastor.



This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

The Great Divide

At the heart of the Protestant/Catholic division in the sixteenth century was the disagreement over the doctrine of justification by an alien or imputed righteousness. In Catholic theology, justification is conceived as a lifelong process of becoming intrinsically righteous and holy, rather than a once-for-all declaration of “not guilty” to sinners who put their trust in Christ. On this program the hosts walk through the issues involved in this important debate and interact with the views of the sixteenth-century Reformers.

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Updated Riddlebarger (Rotlisperger) Family History

The latest edition of my Riddlebarger (Rotlisperger) Family History has been uploaded. You can find it here:

Riddlebarger (Rotlisperger) Family History


"Who Is the King of Glory?" -- Psalm 24

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon from Rev. Chris Coleman:  Click Here


This Week's White Horse Inn (Updated Website)

The Great Exchange in Church History

Who was Augustine, and what was his contribution to the church’s understanding of the Great Exchange? What was the state of the church throughout the Middle Ages? Was the view of the Protestant Reformers completely new on the issue of justification by way of imputed righteousness? That’s the focus of this program as Michael Horton, Robert Godfrey, Justin Holcomb, and Whitney Gamble conclude their survey of the Great Exchange throughout church history.

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"The Shepherd, the King of His People" -- Psalm 23

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon from Rev. Chris Coleman.  Click Here


This Week's White Horse Inn

The Great Exchange in Church History (1)

Throughout our series on the Great Exchange, we have been exploring all that Christ accomplished for us by his perfect life and sacrificial death. On this program, Michael Horton, Robert Godfrey, Justin Holcomb, and Whitney Gamble discuss how these crucial themes were developed and discussed throughout the life of the early church.

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"Rejoice in the Strength of the Lord" -- Psalm 21 

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon from Rev. Chris Coleman:  Click Here

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