July 15, 2012

INTRODUCTION – J.C. Ryle’s introduction to chps. 26,27 p. 345

I. The Plot to Kill Jesus – vs. 1-5 (read it) all what words? (ch. 24,25)
how were they supposed to know?
A. This is the latest of a number of x’s Jesus sought to emotionally and theologically prepare His disciples for His suffering & death . Listen as I read them to you:
“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and there nights in the heart of the earth.”

“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem , and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.” 16:21 “but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 17:12 Continue reading The Passion of Jesus I – Matthew 26:1-16

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July 8, 2012
INTRODUCTION – As we jump into Matthew 25, which is the second chapter of a two chapter discussion about the end times, let’s first do a quick review of Matthew 24 – Jesus answers the questions of His disciples – so that they can be familiar with the events that will lead up to the end of the age and the return of our Lord; and so that they can live in a way that will enable them to avoid the deception that will be rife in the last days; and not be tainted by the lawlessness that will also be rife in the last days; and instead be fully engaged in His kingdom agenda in the nations until He returns or death knocks at our door.
Our emphasis as a fellowship in the whole realm of eschatology or the study of the last days or end times is Jesus’s emphasis: a general understanding of end time events; but focus on how to be found ready and prepared for His return.

The whole chapter of Matthew 25 is given to help us be found ready and pleasing in His sight when He returns. Continue reading Preparing for the Lord’s Return II – Matt. 25:1-46

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June 2012
INTRODUCTION – Ch. 24,25 are in response to a question of the disciples, as seen in vs. 3, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Two weeks ago we looked at the context of this question and the beginning of Jesus’s long almost two chapter answer to this question and to the question they should have asked, but didn’t because they like us by nature are more interested in knowledge than they are proper responses to that knowledge.

For the sake of review I want to read what we covered two weeks ago; and then I want to read our first section for today = vs. 15-22 that introduces the subject of the coming Great Tribulation. Continue reading The Great Tribulation & Return or Second Coming of Christ – Matthew 24:15-51

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May 20, 2012

INTRODUCTION – In our ongoing series in the gospel of Matthew we jump into ch. 24 this morning, which along with ch. 25 forms a long two chapter discussion of how to prepare for Jesus’s return, and many of the things or events that will precede His coming. This is a challenging passage to tackle for those of us who have known the Lord for a while,….. because we cannot help but see it through the lens of whatever teachings we have been exposed to about the end times. I’m in that boat with many of you, so I trust we will all be humble and prayerful and teachable in these next weeks as we do our best to hear and heed what the Lord wants to say to us through these passages. Why don’t we start off now with a word of prayer.

Much of Matthew ch. 24 is Jesus’s response to the three questions His disciples ask Him about the end times. But because they didn’t ask the most important question re: the end times, Jesus goes on and answers that one as well. And that most important question is: How can I personally prepare for what is to come?! Or What should my response to all of this be? Or How should I live in light of all of this? Continue reading Preparing for Jesus’s Return – Matthew 24:1-14

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May 6, 2012

INTRODUCTION – One of if not the most fiery passages or addresses by Jesus recorded in the Bible. Matthew 23:13-39
What is behind such passion and fiery language and riveting rebukes?

1. Because of the impact a shepherd (spiritual shepherd over people trying to connect with and please God) has on the sheep. These Pharisees and Scribes knew the law and the prophets like the back of their hand. There is no possible way they could not have seen the continual theme of God’s expectations for shepherds and His many rebukes to the shepherds in the Old Testament days.
(Jeremiah 10:21, 12:10, 23:1,2, 50:6; & Ezekiel 34:1-10)

One of the many things Jesus Christ came to correct was the rampant abuse of the sheep by the shepherds of His day. Jesus revealed Himself as the good Shepherd early in His ministry and He made it very clear that there were shepherds that saw themselves merely as hired hands – meaning they were just in it for the paycheck, and had no genuine concern much less willingness to sacrifice for the sheep. (John 10) Continue reading Why Jesus’s Harshest Rebukes Were Necessary – Matt. 23:13-39

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April 22, 2012
INTRODUCTION – As we continue our journey through the gospel of Matthew, we continue to discover how desperate our society’s need is for the kingdom of God to take root – if any real solutions are ever to come for all the problems we are facing.

Nothing ever gets accomplished; no problems ever get solved; no wrongs every get righted without leadership; and particularly without the kingdom style of leadership that Jesus Christ revealed to the world, both through His example and His teaching.

In the kingdom of God everyone is called to lead; though not everyone is called to a position of leadership. Continue reading Kingdom Leadership Principles – Matt. 23:1-12

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Easter Sunrise Service at the Rock in Morro Bay, CA April 8, 2012

This last Tuesday when I met with our noon men’s discipleship group, we wrestled with this question: Does the Bible support the contention that Jesus Christ – the Risen Head of the Church – intends to so powerfully work in and revive and purify His church before He returns – – that cities, states and even nations will be transformed by His power and grace? As you think about this question, please understand that I am not saying everyone will be saved; nor am I saying that there will no longer be rebellion against Christ. I am asking if there is any reason for us to believe biblically that the Holy Spirit might work so powerfully in our coastal region before He returns that everyone who lives and works here would at least know about it, whether they choose to participate in it or not? In other words, might we experience here before our Lord returns, what we read about in the book of Acts, and what we’ve read and heard about in reports of revivals and great awakenings that have happened at various times in human history? Continue reading Do it Again Lord

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April 1, 2012
INTRODUCTION – Jesus has been speaking alot about the kingdom, and specifically about the authority of the King in this new kingdom He came to establish. Much of His teaching in these last chapters has been in response to a growing resistance movement against the King of Kings and His new kingdom – led by the religious leaders of Jesus’s Day.

You see these leaders – the Pharisees and Scribes – had developed a religious system over time that had guaranteed for them a very comfortable lifestyle, and a level of control over the masses. And all of this was being challenged because the kingdom of God was based on truth and righteousness; whereas the religious system these men had built was based on deception and lies and man made rules and traditions.
One thing we know for sure about these guys – they wanted to do away with Jesus as soon as they possibly could pull it off. Getting Him to say some things that could incriminate Him would really help their cause – or so they thought. Continue reading Cutting to the Chase – Matthew 22:15-46

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March 25, 2012
INTRODUCTION – My purpose today is to do my best to help you better understand and appreciate God’s sovereign, aggressive, merciful role in our salvation, and how that fits with our human responsibility. My purpose is not to present both sides of the controversy between Calvinism and Arminianism. There is tons of material on the internet on this controversy. But I must warn you – some of it, if not much of it is in the wrong spirit, and seems to be tainted by the accuser of the brethren.

Last week we sought to understand and respond to the parable of the King’s Banquet or the Marriage Feast in Matthew 22:1-14. Jesus Christ says in the last verse of that passage, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Referring to the King who issued a legitimate invitation to all through His servants; but who then chose who truly belonged at His banquet, or the terms by which one can come and enjoy His banquet.

When we get to ch. 24 of Matthew -twice Jesus is going to refer to His disciples as “the elect”. Continue reading God’s sovereignty vs. Human responsibility in Salvation – Matt. 22:14f

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March 18, 2012
INTRODUCTION – There was not a contentious bone in Jesus Christ’s body. He did not enjoy conflict any more than anyone else in their right mind. But He never came to just teach nice moral lessons so we can all just get along.

The reality of two kingdoms. One we are born in and stuck in unless God Himself delivers us from it.
One He rules and He decides who enters it and who doesn’t. Continue reading Populating the Kingdom of God – Matthew 22:1-14

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February 26, 2012
INTRODUCTION – One of the great dangers in Jesus’s day and in ours is that it is possible to be playing the religious game, and even being looked up to by some, but our hearts are miles away from where they ought to be with the Living God on a day by day basis.

In today’s passage, we’re going to hopefully learn some valuable lessons from the sad example of the chief priests, elders and Pharisees – on how to avoid falling into this trap; and/or how to get out of it – if that is where we find ourselves. Continue reading Godly Sorrow – Matthew 21:23-46

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February 19, 2012
INTRODUCTION – Our theme – “Patient Expectation”
This morning – Jesus’s expectations of us. Only when we clearly see and embrace those expectations, will our expectations be what they ought to be.

First expectation
I. The Triumphal Entry vs. 1- 11 Jesus expects us to know and receive Him as He is, not as we wish Him to be.
All four gospels give an account of this story, which is often referred to as the “Triumphal Entry”. Not that many stories are found in all four gospels; so this unusual entry by Jesus into Jerusalem is clearly important to God. Continue reading Jesus’s Expectations – Matthew 21:1- 22

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Nov. 27, 2011
INTRODUCTION – Review the Disciples’ reward in 19:27f
Mark 10:30 “but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mother and children and farms, along with persecutions, and in the age to come, eternal life.”

If you have known the Lord for a while, and are familiar with this promise, you might have a few questions rattling around in your brain.
1. Why if this is true, am I finding it so difficult to find adequate housing and income in this region?

2. Why if this is true, have I worked for so long at so and so business, and not really made my mark ,and achieved the success and prosperity that once or several times was prophesied over me? Continue reading Entitlement and the Kingdom of God – Matthew 20:1-28

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Nov. 20, 11
INTRODUCTION – Our Theme this year = “Your Kingdom Come”

The theme of the King and His kingdom through Matthew as contrasted with the other three gospels.

The kingdom of God is not a democracy nor a republic. It is a kingdom unlike any mankind has ever known – – primarily because the King is unlike any earthly king that has ever ruled on this earth. For many Americans the kingdom of God and knowing Jesus as King is difficult because there is little in our heritage and experience along those lines. Folks who grew up in England have an advantage over us in this regard I suppose – – and yet because their kings and the kingdoms they ruled were so corrupt – they have the problem of seeing the kingdom of God through those lens. Continue reading Kingdom Realities and Rewards – Matthew 19:16-30

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Oct. 23, 2011

INTRODUCTION – Leith Anderson said in his book “Dying for Change” “Without a vision of God as He is, there is no vision of the church as it could be; without a vision of the church as it could be, the reality of our vision of God comes into question.”

One of the reasons this book is so thick; and one of the reasons why we encourage you every year to read it from cover to cover is because God has revealed Himself – His attributes, His works, the things He loves and hates, His will and ways – in the pages of this book.

One of those attributes of God that theologians have struggled to adequately explain – that the Bible oft speaks of when describing the living God – is that of God’s holiness. Continue reading Oneness – God’s Way & Wonder – Matt. 19:1-14

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August 14th, 2011

INTRODUCTION – Our theme – Your Kingdom Come – –
Jesus came to set the captives free – – in case that is nebulous or vague to you – – Jesus Christ came to not only save people from their sins initially so that they could be born again and gain eternal life; He came to set us free from every sin, every destructive passion and thought and attitude – – anything and everything not in keeping with His life and character and righteousness – – until He returns and fully and completely and forever sets us free!

Clash of kingdoms. the kingdom of darkness does not give up its captives without a fight. Our enemy is cruel, and his power is very real.

This passage is going to teach us how to fight better and more effectively for those that have never once tasted of His power and saving grace. Continue reading Deliverance and the Cross – Matthew 17:14-27

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August 28, 2011

INTRODUCTION – For whatever reasons – in the last couple of months or so – I’ve noticed when my wife and I pray together – that she will often pray for the stumbling blocks in our region to be removed – – so the kingdom of God can advance. I’ve found this a little curious – until I began to prepare for this week’s sermon. If you would turn in your Bibles to Matthew 17 starting with vs. 24 – – we’re going to learn a few things about stumbling blocks. And if you have been paying attention in our series through the gospel of Matthew – you may have noticed this term or concept has come up a couple of times before.

Earlier references: Matt. 13:41 “The Son of man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,” (Speaking of the end of time or the return of the Lord) Continue reading Stumbling blocks and the Kingdom Matthew 17:24-18:14

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July 17, 2011

INTRODUCTION – If you were with us last week you may remember that we talked about the victorious church built and led by Jesus Christ Himself. We looked at His commendation or affirmation of Peter for his accurate and courageous confession of who Jesus Christ was and is. And we talked about the authority He has given to His servants to advance His kingdom to the ends of the earth.

My guess is when Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” there was fire in His eyes – – and the disciples knew at that point – that Satan and his demons were no match for this amazing man, whom Peter had just pegged as the Messiah….. But my how fast things can change! Let’s pick up the story in vs. 20-23 Continue reading The Way of The Cross – Matthew 16:20-28

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July 10, 2011

INTRODUCTION – Everyone has an opinion about Jesus. For instance John Lennon said, ““I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.”

Jesus Christ is not the only thing folks seem to have an opinion about. They also have an opinion about the church. For instance the comedian George Carlin once said, “I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” Continue reading The Victorious Church – Matthew 16:13-20

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July 3, 2011
INTRODUCTION – Last week we recognized that if we are to see the answer to our prayer and our theme for this year, “Your Kingdom Come” – – we’ve got to know our King better, and we must understand His kingdom better. We must learn to feel the way He feels about things, and respond the way He responds to needs and situations.

Last week from Matt. 15:29-31 we discussed the truth that Jesus Christ wants to heal the sick today as much as He did 2,000 + years ago.

The second truth we see about Jesus Christ in the last paragraph of ch. 15 starting with vs. 32 is this: Continue reading Compassion in Action – Matt. 15:32-16:12

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June 30, 2011

INTRODUCTION – Review of concept of “kingdom” in gospel of Matthew
John the Baptist – 3:2 – Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand
Jesus – 4:17 same

Sermon on the Mount – chps. 5-7 – How to enter in and experience it:
1. brokenness “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

2. enduring persecution, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 5:10

3. Greatness in the kingdom of God can be attained by obeying and teaching others to obey Christ’s commandments 5:19 Continue reading Healing and Feeding the Multitudes – Matthew 15:29-39

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June 12, 2011
INTRODUCTION – Our theme = Your Kingdom Come – – a prayer Jesus Christ the King expects His disciples to pray as a way of life; and a prayer that He expects us to expect Him to answer – first in our Jerusalem, and then to the ends of the earth.

A huge difference in the kingdom of darkness – that many of our friends and neighbors and co-workers are stuck in; and the kingdom of God – – is the king of the kingdom of darkness – otherwise known as Satan – could care less if you ever care about anyone but yourself – – in fact he will encourage you to be obsessed with yourself, and to live a self absorbed life. Continue reading Knowing Jesus the King – Matthew 15:21-28

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May 15, 2011

INTRODUCTION – Our theme this year – “Your Kingdom Come”

The reality of two kingdoms

One aspect of the kingdom of darkness is obvious – that being – those who out and out reject Christ and Christianity.
But another is not so obvious = those who claim to know God/be Christians, but whose worship is empty and man focused and thus not acceptable to God, and who seek to win other adherents to their hypocrisy. Continue reading Avoiding Empty Religion – Matt.15:1-20

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April 24, 2011

INTRODUCTION – Weeks ago when I began to anticipate preparing for Easter Sunday, I sensed the Lord directing me to focus on the power of God. Since then I have been meditating on the New Testament scriptures that speak to this subject, of which there are many. 101 references in fact – found in 96 different passages, though a handful of those are parallel passages in the gospels, like Jesus’s rebuke to the religious leaders, which is found in both Matthew 22:29 & Mark 12:24 – where He said, “You are mistaken, not understanding the scriptures or the power of God”

One of the many things that sets Jesus Christ apart from all of the other religious leaders known to man is He established a kingdom – that He and the other New Testament writers proclaimed would be characterized by supernatural, not military power. And the reason it is indeed characterized by supernatural power, unlike the empty platitudes that characterize all the other religions – is because the King of this kingdom rose from the dead, and was given all authority over heaven and earth by His father in heaven, with whom He reigns in heaven. Continue reading Easter and the Power of God

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