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

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Friday
Dec192014

Friday Feature -- How About Some Blues Before Christmas?

Thursday
Dec182014

If You Ever Collected Baseball Cards as a Kid . . .

Here's a great tribute by NY Times sports writer, Tyler Kepner, to the late Topps executive Sy Berger, who died this week at age 91.  You may not know his name, but you've seen his work.  Mr. Berger was the father of the modern baseball card.

A Salute to Sy Berger

I was one of those kids who would never put something as precious as a baseball card in the spokes of my bike.  Thinking it would help my sons get into card-collecting, I did sell and trade some of my partial sets from the late 60's for complete 1980-1990 sets.  I now have no Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, or Willie Mays cards in my collection, only couple of complete sets featuring Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Sammy Sosa.

I think I should have kept the old ones and admired Mr. Berger's art.  If I owned a bike, I think I'd put a few of my newer cards in the spokes.

Wednesday
Dec172014

What Happens to Your Auto Trade-In

Poor Mark Oberholtzer.  In October 2013 he traded in his old truck to AutoNation when he bought a new one.  Who knows how many times his old work truck has traded hands since.  But somehow it ended up in the hands of ISIS as seen in this recent photo.

Mr. Oberholtzer should have removed his "Mark's Plumbing" logo and phone number, because now someone might call needing a truck-mounted Soviet-made ZPU-2 to deal with pesky government forces and attacking aircraft.

Makes me wonder what happened to my 2001 Dodge Caravan.  Wherever it is, and regardless of who has it, I'll bet the transmission is shot and everything in it rattles.

Tuesday
Dec162014

"God So Loved the World" -- John 3:16-21

The Eleventh in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

Our world and everyone in it has fallen in Adam.  We stand condemned and await the sentence of judgment because God is holy and he must punish all sin.  Even worse, that same sinfulness which condemns us, distorts our thinking about our sin, guilt, and God’s grace.  Because of this, we actually prefer the darkness of unbelief, as we foolishly attempt to hide ourselves and our sin from God.  No doubt, we deserve God’s eternal wrath.  But God’s holy wrath is not the end of the story.  God is also love.  The story of redemption repeatedly tells us that God has made gracious covenant promises to his people to save them from their sins, and then at the great climax of redemptive history, God sent his own beloved Son–who is the light of the world–to save us from ourselves, and to deliver us from the wrath of God which is to come.  Nowhere is this saving mission of Jesus better summarized than in the words of John 3:16.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”      

We have now made our way into John 3 and John’s report of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus.  In this chapter we find John 3:16, which, without doubt, is the best known and most widely-quoted verse in all the New Testament.  Sadly, John 3:16 also has become a object of ridicule by many of our contemporaries–wrestler Steve Austin comes to mind.  And who can forget the rainbow wig of Rollen Stewart, who showed up at every major sporting event throughout the 1970's-80's holding a sign which read “John 3:16" while mugging for the cameras.  More importantly, at least in regard to our time and interest, John 3:16 is cited by many of our friends and contemporaries as the supposed biblical death knell to the evil doctrine of the Calvinists, who deny that Jesus died for everyone (“the world”), when John 3:16 explicitly says otherwise.  So, there is much to say about this passage, and we best let John the disciple, the author of this text, say it.

Last time we took up the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus in the first 15 verses of John chapter 3.  Nicodemus was from a prominent Jewish family (the Gurions) and was a noted teacher and member of the Pharisees (even perhaps, a member of the Sanhedrin).  An older man well-known to everyone in Jerusalem, Nicodemus approached Jesus at night to ask Jesus about the miracles Jesus had been performing while in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.  Based on these miracles (John does not give us any specifics other than Jesus driving out the merchants and money changers from the temple courtyard), Nicodemus knew that Jesus must have been sent by God, and that God was with him.

Jesus replies to Nicodemus’ comment by telling him that unless Nicodemus is born again (or from above) by the power of God, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Completely baffled by Jesus’ comment, Nicodemus asks Jesus “how can it be that an old man like himself can enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time?”  In verse 5 of John 3 Jesus repeats his statement of verse 3, “truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” adding the necessity of being born of water and the Spirit to his previous comment.  Some have argued that Jesus is referring to baptism (water) which regenerates (spirit).  Other have argued that Jesus is referring to natural birth (water–amniotic fluid) followed by a spiritual birth (being born a second time).

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

Monday
Dec152014

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 15-21)

Sunday Morning (December 21):  We are concluding our four part Advent series, focusing this coming Sunday upon the suffering servant, who took the form of a servant (Isaiah 52-53; Philippians 2).  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  As we work through the Heidelberg Catechism's teaching regarding the person and work of Jesus Christ (during Advent), we will take up Lord's Day 13 (Q & A 33-34) and discuss Jesus as God's only begotten son.  Our  catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study:  Bible Study will resume January 14, 2015

The Academy:  The Academy will resume in 2015.

Lessons and Carols (Wednesday, December 24):  You are cordially invited to join us for our annual service of Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m.

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church

Sunday
Dec142014

"The Father Assigned to Me a Kingdom" -- Daniel 7:9-18

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon on the third Sunday in Advent:

Click Here

Sunday
Dec142014

This Week's White Horse Inn

Why Should We Believe in the Doctrine of the Trinity?

Why should Christians believe in the Trinity anyway? What biblical passages have been used to support this teaching? Are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simply three different forms of God's presence? Does the Bible really teach that Jesus is divine? The hosts, along with Fred Sanders, walk through the biblical texts and alternative theories as they continue to explore the doctrine of the Trinity.

Click Here

Thursday
Dec112014

Friday Feature -- It's Almost Christmas, So It's Time for Miss Velma!

There are not words.  And yes, she is a crack shot!

This is but a short snippet of an hour long Christmas special "Christmas in America" produced by the late O.L. Jaggers and his wife, "Miss Velma" (a sort of proto Word-Faith Pentecostal sect).

"Christmas in America" ran for a number of years Christmas night on a small local network in So Cal, and became a sort of cult classic.  If you wish to see the whole thing, including the infamous Christmas turtle, the golden eagle mini bus, and Miss Velma as the Christmas angel, you can watch it here:  Christmas in America.  She even has her own  Miss Velma's Facebook Fan Page

Tuesday
Dec092014

"Unless One Is Born Again" -- John 3:1-15

The Tenth in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John

Only in modern American do Christians qualify someone’s profession of faith by whether or not they are “born again.”  Only in American evangelicalism do we find one of the movement’s most prominent spokesmen (Billy Graham) writing a best-selling book entitled “How to be Born Again,” when ironically, the biblical account from which Graham takes his title actually teaches that we cannot “born ourselves again” because this is something only God can do.  Telling people “how” to be born again, is like publishing a book entitled how to be taller.  In light of the confusion about what it means to be “born again” it is important that we work our way through John 3 (where this phrase appears) and that we consider what Jesus actually says about the new birth.

In the second chapter of his Gospel, John recounts the first of Jesus’ seven miraculous signs when Jesus attended a wedding at Cana.  Jesus miraculously turned 150 gallons of water into wine so as to reveal his glory, and to fulfill a series of messianic prophecies which speak of the dawn of the messianic age in terms of a great feast with rich food and fine wine.  When Jesus turns water in wine, he is beginning to perform those greater signs which he promised to his disciples.  It is also clear from the nature of this miracle that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah and that promised one in whom the messianic age dawns.  

We read in the second half of John 2, that at some point shortly after attending the wedding in Cana, Jesus went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.  It was in Jerusalem that Jesus performed his second miracle when he cleansed the temple by driving out those who had corrupted the temple’s true purpose.  Upon entering the temple, which Jesus calls his father’s house, Jesus was angry when he found the outer court of the temple filled with merchants selling animals to pilgrims coming to the city to celebrate the Passover.  Money-changers were also present, engaging in currency exchange so the pilgrims could pay the annual temple tax.  Jesus was not upset that the merchants and money changers were making it easier for Jewish pilgrims to celebrate the Passover.  He was indignant that the Jewish religious authorities allowed these merchants to conduct their business in that part of temple reserved for Gentiles to worship YHWH.  Making a cord of whips, Jesus drove them all out.  “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.”

At the end of chapter 2, we learn that “when [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.  But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”  Apparently, Jesus performed a number of unspecified miracles during the time he was in Jerusalem, and this attracted a number of people who began following him for all the wrong reasons.  When John alerts us to the fact that Jesus did not entrust himself to these new followers (despite their faith in him) it was because Jesus knew what was in people’s hearts–darkness.  He knew that true faith was not based upon miraculous signs, but is grounded in trusting in God’s promise to save sinners.

To read the rest of this sermon: Click Here

Monday
Dec082014

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (December 8-14)

Sunday Morning (December 14):  We are continuing our four part Advent series, focusing this coming Sunday upon the eternal nature of Christ's kingdom (Daniel 7:9-18).  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  As we work through the Heidelberg Catechism's teaching about the person and work of Jesus Christ (during Advent), we will take up Lord's Day 6 (Q & A 16-19) and consider Christ's two natures.  Our  catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (December 10):  We are continuing our overview of the Book of Romans, and this week we'll be covering Romans 11.

The Academy:  The Academy will resume in 2015.

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church

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