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Showing posts from September, 2008

We serve a great God!

Our Great God Todd Agnew and Rebecca St. James Eternal God, unchanging Mysterious and unknown Your boundless love, unfailing In grace and mercy shown Bright seraphim in ceaseless flight around Your glorious throne They raise their voices day and night in praise to You alone Hallelujah, Glory be to our great God Lord, we are weak and frail Helpless in the storm Surround us with Your angels Hold us in Your arms Our cold and ruthless enemy, his pleasure is our harm Rise up, O Lord, and he will flee before our sovereign God Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird Let every mountain, every field and valley of the earth Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe Sing praises to the living God who rules them by His word

The 5 pillars of our Youth Group

This is what I am presenting not only to our pastor, the elders, and the students themselves, but I'm going to mail this home to every parent of our youth so they know "what we're doing" when we gather together and what the goal of our meeting together is. I trust this will be helpful to those who check out this blog... _________________________________ I want to make clear some of the foundational truths that we stand on here at Christ Community Church ’s youth ministry: Our youth group is built upon 5 pillars Extolling God’s Character It is our commitment to extol the absolute and utter sovereignty of God (Ps 93:1; Isa 46:10; Rev 19:6). The Bible clearly explains that God is holy (Lev 19:2), just (Deut 32:4), loving (1 John 4:8), merciful (Deut 4:31), gracious (Neh 9:17), angry with sin (Ps 7:11), and able to save (Eph 2:8-10; 2 Tim 1:9). We commit to extolling God’s character as we come together to worship corporately (Heb 10:25),

The Practice of Preaching

Friday--Preaching Saturday--Preaching Sunday--Preaching Tuesday--Preaching = Busy week 1 Timothy 4:13-15 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.

You ready to meet the LORD?

I'm studying for a series of sermons I'm giving on the Second Coming. We have finally reached the climax in the book of Revelation as our youth group has traversed through the whole book with me! I am struck with the normality of life which was going on at the time of the flood (Gen 6:5ff). Yet, God suddenly destroyed the world (all of it!) and those who lived on the world except for Noah, his family, and the animals aboard the ark with him. Interestingly, the same is true today. Many people will live life as normal when Jesus Christ returns (the rapture and the Second Coming). But most Christians who would profess to believe in the soon-coming of our Savior are totally oblivious to the sudden and imminent return of Jesus Christ. Many believers live life without giving any thought to the possibility of meeting Christ at any moment--literally. I was just pondering this truth. For instance, I'm sitting at my desk at church eating an oatmeal cookie. I had the thought that

Centrality of God in Jesus Christ in NT Theology

From Tom Schreiner's recent New Testament Theology : “The purpose of life is to honor God, though again, John insists that God cannot be honored if Jesus Christ is not honored (John 5:23). The purpose of every life is to honor God in Christ, which fits, of course, with the major thesis that I put forth in this book [“the centrality of God in Christ is the foundational theme for the narrative unfolded in the NT”; p.119]. The Father is glorified if people bear much fruit (John 15:8), and this fruit likely involves both Christian character and the spread of the gospel so that others receive eternal life (p.138).

Biblical history questioned?

It's said when so many OT scholars today question the historicity of the biblical accounts. In fact, would it be an overstatement to say that "most" scholars question Iron Age Israel? Can the biblical account speak for itself and be authoritative enough to lay the foundation upon which everything else is built? Apparently not. "The modern state of OT scholarship is in a state of crisis," says Dr. V. Philips Long ("Introduction," in Windows into Old Testament History: Evidence, Argument, and the Crisis of "Biblical Israel, " Ed. by V. Philips Long, David W. Baker, and Gordon J. Wenham [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002], 1), and I concur with him. I wish that the biblical accounts in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were sufficient enough--but apparently not. I like what Jesus has to say referring to God and His Word (of which the OT is a part): John 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. I don't want to disagree with my Sa

Long for the return of Jesus

I was a privileged man today. I had the great opportunity of visiting a friend in the hospital. If there could be a man who talked too much about heaven--this would be the guy! Every time I see him (literally!) he reminds me that we will, one day (soon!), be with the King of kings and Lord of lords! He always speaks of being in Glory and seeing our Savior face to face and worshipping him without any sinful tendencies or motives. While he was lying in bed, I asked him what I could read for him from God's Word to encourage him. He said he wanted to hear 1 Peter 5. So I read the chapter slowly and with a loud voice (for the doctors in and outside the room to hear and afterwards we had a great talk on that day "when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" (1 Pet 5:4). If there was one truth which convicted me today, it was the simple fact that I--as a seminary student and as a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--don't exemplify th

Christian College Profs In Support of Obama?

Really? Can this be true? According to a recent poll taken at Covenant College , it is true. Specifically, a blog stating the matter says: After the above, no one will be shocked to find out thirty-five percent of Covenant's faculty members say they're likely to vote for Senator Obama. That's one third of the faculty supporting the presidential candidacy of the most radically pro-baby slaughter politician in Washington D.C. And again--and even more shockingly: Interestingly, only half the faculty members considered "abortion" to be "Very important" in their selection in their anticipated vote for a presidential candidate. This means half of the faculty members made a conscious decision to respond that abortion was not "Very important." What got a higher rating than abortion? "Social justice." Abortion had a rating average of 3.23 whereas "Social justice" won with 3.40. (Ten faculty members responded that abortion was either

Jesus is the Sovereign King

Here's a quote with which I'm concluding my sermon on Revelation 19:1-10 by the old 19th century preacher, George Livingstone Robinson: Let us picture to ourselves that celestial coronation scene. Jesus our King seated on the throne of heaven, surrounded with glory, His kingdom universal, His enemies under His feet, Satan vanquished, earthly magistrates and potentates, sages and kings, armies and emperors, bowing submissively before Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords; hymns of praise chanted by the heavenly choir; tributes of adoration by the saints clothed in white; His elect singing hallelujahs to Him that sitteth upon the throne of God most high, and worshiping multitudes raising their voices in songs of triumph, as God the Father places upon His brow the crown of victory! Oh, Jesus, thou art the monarch of the skies, thou art king of heaven and of earth!

Spurgeon on the preaching of the Word of God

Ah, my dear friends, we want nothing in these times for revival in the world but the simple preaching of the gospel. This is the great battering ram that shall dash down the bulwarks of iniquity. This is the great light that shall scatter the darkness. We need not that men should be adopting new schemes and new plans. We are glad of the agencies and assistance which are continually arising; but after all, the true Jerusalem blade, the sword that can cut to the piercing asunder of the joints and marrow, is the preaching of the Word of God. We must never neglect it, never despise it. The age in which the pulpit is despised, will be an age in which gospel truth will cease to be honored….God forbid that we should begin to depreciate preaching. Let us still honor it; let us look to it as God’s ordained instrumentality, and we shall yet see in the world a repetition of great wonders wrought by preaching in the name of Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of God

Here's my quote for the day: There is a clear progression [in human history] toward a goal. The goal is the consummation of the kingdom of God, in which human beings glorify God by exercising rule over this planet in his name and by serving and enjoying him forever. The glory of God is the highest of all ends and purposes (Larry R. Helyer , Yesterday, Today, and Forever [Salem, WI: Sheffield, 1996], 255).

Union with Christ

I love Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. "Indeed, the Christian believer possesses an ideal completeness in Christ. Since the fullness of the Godhead indwelt Christ, and since believers are in the exalted Lord, Paul could affirm, "you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the Head over every power and authority" (Col 2:10; John 1:16). Hear Martin Luther speak to this: Through faith you are so closely united with Christ ... that you can say with confidence ... Christ's righteousness, victory, life, etc., are mine; and Christ, in turn, says: I am this sinner, that is, his sins, death, etc., are Mine because he clings to Me and I to him; for through faith we have been joined together into one flesh and bone! Praise God!

Do you the youth have it in 'em?

Well, I'm off to six flags tonight to see if my youth group can hang upside-down with their youth pastor. Yes, you are reading my intended meaning; I intend to go on the roller-coasters that go upside-down over and over and over again! Can they handle it?

A reminder of the gospel

The Gospel I want to be quick to follow yesterday's post with the gospel truth that you can be saved from hell. Here is a simple reminder from Ephesians 2:1-10 that the Gospel is the greatest news one could ever hear! 1. We are dead in sin (1-3) Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 2. We are helpless apart from God’s intervention (4-6) Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the

A reminder regarding eternity

Let us not forget that we stand at the edge of eternity. Whenever God sovereignly chooses to end one's life, we must bear in mind that heaven (for some) and hell (for most) are closer than we may think. I heard read this quote today and it gripped me. If you read it and it doesn't make you stop and think: read it over again--and again. "Religion inflames the imaginations of men with a good opinion of their own state, so that nothing can disturb them." Let us not forget that many people who are religious will close their eyes in death and awake in the shrieks and torments of eternal hell. We must not minimize the reality of eternity--an eternity under the wrath of an infinite Being. Hear Jonathan Edwards speak regarding this subject: "If it seemed real unto men that there is a hell of everlasting burnings, that all that die impenitent and unconverted must immediately be cast into as soon as they die, and never be delivered from, it would be impossible in natu