November 21

Yadah!  What a wonderful word.  And a wonderful concept.  Giving to the Lord what he rightly deserves.  Whether that is thanks or praise or confession.  It is just one word used in the OT to praise the Lord.  The more familiar one is Hallelu as in the combined Hallelujah!  So now you know two ways to praise the Lord in Hebrew!  For those of you who are NT scholars, you probably all know the Greek word for praise which is of course doxa as is doxology.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

November 14

“Heaven is more than a destination; it is a motivation.  Knowing that we shall dwell in the heavenly city ought to make a difference in our lives here and now” (Warren Wiersbe)  What are you living for?

November 7

One of the questions I did not answer fully on Sunday is why will God allow to reenter the world after being locked up for 1000 years.  Warren Wiersbe believes it is “the final proof that the heart of man is desperately wicked and can be changed only by God’s grace”  As I said, it is hard to believe that people who have been living in a perfect environment, under the perfect government of God’s son, will rebel in the end and choose to follow the lies of Satan.  But that is what the Bible says will happen.  And with the fire that destroys them, it will also destroy the old heaven and the old earth.  I cannot wait to see the new heaven and the new earth next week!

October 31

There was a lot that I cut out from my sermon Sunday because I ran out of time.  But in this post you get to read them.  The two I want to point out are two quotes that I was going to close with.  The first from Warren Wiersbe says, “Each generation of believers must keep itself pure from the pollution of both the ‘harlot’ and ‘Babylon'”.  Applying the message of Revelation is not just for end time believers but for us today.  And finally from Craig Keener, “All Rome’s successors, all the evil empires of history who repress God’s people, will be dust and ashes, but God’s kingdom will no fail!  Empires rise and fall, and our own early lives persih with the passing of generations. We must rest our confidence not in the short-term troubles that we read in the news headlines, but in God’s long-range purposes in history.”  Both are good reminders as we enter into this election season.

October 24

A thought from my desk calendar this morning.  “Jesus Christ did not die for you because you were actually worth dying for.  He died for you because he considered you worth dying for.  He put your best interests above his own — and he willingly marched to Calvary.” (Charles Stanley A Touch of His Freedom)  None of of us are worth dying for.  We are all sinners, but in God’s eyes, he sees us as sinners worthy of his grace.

Oct 17

The sermon on Revelation 16 this week touched on the word Armageddon.  I did not have time to go into detail this week about that (it might be in the next sermon).  But the word Armageddon comes from two Hebrew words Har and Megiddo, which means the hill of Megiddo or place of slaughter.  In the Bible it is also called the Plain of Esdraelon and the Valley of Jezreel.  It is a 14 miles wide and 20 miles long plain in northern Israel that has been the sight of numerous battles both in Biblical and modern times.  In fact, Napoleon called it “the most natural battlefield of the whole earth”.  And it appears this might be the place where the final battle in human history will take place (unless it is symbolic which I do not think it is).  Jesus has gathered the armies of heaven (the saints and his angels) in chapter 15 and now in 16 the earthly kingdoms (led by these demonic “frogs”) are gathering.  The showdown will take place in chapter 19 where we will see Jesus defeat the beast with the sword from his mouth.  As Martin Luther says in one of his famous hymns, “One little word shall fell him”.  Praise the Lord!

October 10

I mentioned in my sermon several times the parable of the weeds and the wheat, but I never did read from that passage.  So in this post, I am going to let you read through this parable and see the connection is has to Revelation 14. 
“Jesus told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?”  “An enemy did this,” he replied. The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”  “No,” he answered, “because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”‘”

October 3

Just came across a quote from Charles Swindoll that ties in nicely with Sunday’s sermon.  “If our perfect Lord is gracious enough to take our worst, our ugliest, our most boring, our least successful . . . and forgive, burying them in the depths of the sea, then it’s high time we give each other a break . . . He promises full acceptance along with full forgiveness . . . without an erratum sheet attached.  Isn’t that encouraging?  Can’t we be that type of encourager to one another?  After all, imperfection is one of the few things we still have in common.”  (Come Before Winter)

September 26

Another of the lessons that we can learn from these chapters that I did not touch on Sunday fully is how we are to overcome.  I did say that Satan’s time is limited, his power short and his defeat is sure, but why.  It is because of blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony (Rev 12:11).  But what that entails means a lot for us.  Because as that same verse goes on to say; “they did no love their lives so much as to shrink from death”  I like what one commentary says about this.  “The rest of this book teaches that our goal as Christians is not to escape suffering or death but to announce Jesus to the world”  (Keener 331)  This has already been seen in 6:9-11 and 11:3-7.  Our testimony about our encounter with the blood of the lamb is critical now, but will be even more important as the end draws neigh.  We must not shrink from this duty.  We cannot.  The salvation of our family, friends and neighbors depends on it.  We must invade the world with the message and example of God’s redeeming love.  And we need to start now!

September 18

I was watching some of the funeral procession of the late queen of England this morning as well as reading about a pastor over in the UK that was fired from his job for teaching and preaching the Bible but was it considered hate speech.  I do not know how much longer we as God’s church is to tell others about him and his gospel before we are treated as criminals or our free speech about Jesus is outlawed by those around us (either formally or informally).  So let us not be silent but in boldness and in the freedoms we still have to tell others about our Great God.