Message Archive

If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?

Date: June 25, 2017 | Speaker: | Passage: Selected Scriptures
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If God is in control, ruling within his determinations, of everything, every event, every day, hour and minute then how is prayer useful? Isn’t prayer reduced to mere soliloquy, speaking words into the air with no one hearing.  Does having a robust view of God’s divine decrees or predestination reduce us to being actors in a play making God some kind of detached play master willing things irrespective of our lives. First of all, I should state up front that the Bible is filled with verses telling us God is sovereign. Psalm 103:19 – The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Proverbs 16:9 – The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 21:1 – The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Ephesians 1:11 – In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will A few narrative moments illustrate God’s Sovereignty: Job 1:21 – And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Genesis 50:20 – As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that...Read More

The Muslim and the Christian

Date: June 11, 2017 | Speaker: | Passage: Selected Scriptures
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Introduction We continue in our Answers series with another question which was submitted by one of you. This is a question that, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want to address. With some topics, it’s much more comfortable as a Christian, and especially as a preacher, to just pretend they don’t exist. But recent events reminded me that we don’t have the luxury of remaining comfortable in life. The question I want to answer is this: How can we honestly view Muslims as non-enemies when their ideology is fundamentally antithetical to Christ and they consider all non-Muslims to be infidels? Now, that’s a big question—much bigger, in fact, than I’d be able to address in any kind of detail. But it’s an important question for two reasons. First, if we believe, as we discussed last week, that the time really is near—that Christ’s return is imminent—then our answer to this question means the different between heaven and hell. There’s roughly 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. That’s the first and biggest issue. Second, there are practical implications to how we answer this question. How do we as Christians relate to and interact with people who are our enemies? What does it mean for a Christian to have an enemy and what posture do we take towards that person? Notice that I said, “as Christians”—because I think it’s very easy for us to think of enemies is a geopolitical sense. Our greatest challenge as we think about this is going to be to continually remind ourselves that we are “sojourners and exiles” (1 Pet 2:11) in this world. Nevertheless, recent...Read More

Because the Time is Near

Date: June 4, 2017 | Speaker: | Passage: Selected Scriptures
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Introduction If you remember, last week we began a new summer series called “Answers” in which we invited you to ask questions that you have about life, about Scripture and theology, as well as about morality and social issues that we face in the world today. And last week Jeff launched us in this series by discussing the issue of the Christian in political office. The question I’ve chosen for this week may appear, at first blush, to be wholly unrelated to Jeff’s message. And while that’s true to a certain degree, it actually dovetails quite well with everything that we learned from him. The question I want to answer has to do with the Christian and eschatology, or more specifically, what’s the point of studying eschatology? Is there any spiritual benefit to the believer? Now, this may appear to be a simple question with a simple answer, but in reality there’s an honesty to this that hits at a question that probably all of us have asked at one point or another. It is, in fact, a very legitimate question for a number of reasons. First and foremost, if we’re honest, we’d admit that Bible prophecy is downright confusing. Opening up the book of Daniel or Revelation, just to name a couple, and trying to wade through all of that apocalyptic language and come to a reasonably coherent meaning almost seems to be an impossible task. And at the end of it, most of us are left asking the question, “How does this all relate to me?” Next, that question gets added reinforcement from the fact that most...Read More
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