Out of all the four Gospel accounts recorded for us in the New Testament, none is more descriptive in documenting the events surrounding the nativity of Jesus Christ than those recorded by Luke. If I had just one word to capture the expression of my heart as I read through the account of the events surrounding the birth of Christ in the first two chapters of Luke, it would be awe; if I had another, it would be amazement!! Dreams, visions, prophetic utterances, angelic visitations all heralded the birth of this holy child, bearing witness to the One who the prophets long ago foretold would come – Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world!!
Sadly, many today, even Christians, tire of hearing the Gospel. Clichés have become all too familiar to us and we have lost the awe and amazement of this good news. May those who have yet to hear the Gospel, hear and be saved!! May those to whom it has become dry and impersonal, rekindle their love and adoration for the King and serve Him with all their being!!
Many know Eric Liddell for his world famous victory in the 400m in the Paris Summer Olympics of 1924. Yet fewer people remember Eric Liddell for what I consider to be an even greater feat. In July of 1923 before the eyes of an on-looking crowd, Liddell took to the starting line to compete in a quarter mile race. At the first bend tragedy struck as he tripped over the legs of another runner, falling off the track. Surely in the eyes of the masses his race was over, but for Eric it was not! By the time Liddell got back on his feet, the last of the runners was a whopping 30 yards out. Liddell with grit determination took to the track with such pace that within just 3 yards from the finishing line he overtook the lead runner to win the race!! Dear Brothers and Sisters, how do you respond after a spiritual fall?
This sermon is an encouragement for those who cannot seem to get up after a fall; bound by condemnation and guilt they can’t seem to rise back on their feet and carry on in the Christian race. Yet, there are some who after a fall seem content to wallow in the mud. To them this sermon serves as a rebuke and an exhortation to arise. The Lord is hand and His coming draws near; let us be found running in the race!!
Bible Prophecy (Pt.9)
The Bible speaks of a final period of time which shall see a rapid succession of cataclysmic events that shall bring to a close this age and usher in the millennium reign of Jesus Christ. This final period of time shall be seven years in length; the last three and a half of which shall be characterised by a time of intense suffering and tribulation likened to no other period of time in history. As far as the Bible relates to these times prophetically, Israel is at the very centre and heart of this tribulation period. Daniel spoke about a figure that shall make a covenant of peace with the Jewish people for a period of seven years but mid-way into this shall break his covenant and turn to persecute them, putting an end to sacrifices. This by default necessitates a Jewish presence in their ancient homeland and a rebuilding of a third temple which the Apostle Paul identifies as the place in which the man of sin shall be revealed, sitting in this temple showing himself to be God.
The Jewish presence in Israel today is one of the single greatest visible sign that we are in the last day’s and soon to witness the return of the Lord Jesus Christ!! If the words of the prophets are right, we are set to see the rebuilding of the third temple and a Jewish holocaust which shall outstrip the holocaust, at the end of which Messiah shall make His long expected return to save the Jewish people out of great tribulation!! In this ninth part of this teaching, we turn to look at these staggering events out of the pages of Holy Scriptures.
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One author dubbed this Church as “the Church of which there was nothing good to say”. Christ had the right to find His people burning in their love, devotion and service to Him, yet when He came He found a people that were neither hot nor cold. What was the crime of the Laodiceans? The sin of being lukewarm!! Oh dear brethren, this chilling reality is that this describes MOST professing believers in the West!! Moderate Christianity, which by definition is a lukewarm Christianity has become the accepted norm in the majority of Western Churches, yet our Lord said on account of this, He was about to vomit His Church out of His mouth!!
This sermon is a sobering warning to guard our hearts against indifference in the matters of Christ. Laodicea, like the Western Church was incredibly wealthy and what many thought to be their blessing proved to be their undoing!! When a people become rich, indifference and apathy sets in. To this end we must guard our hearts so as not to allow our outward prosperity to become the measure of our spiritual prosperity!!
Bible Prophecy (Pt.8)
Matthew Chapter 24 is known as the Olivet Discourse and is key to understanding the run-down of events in the last days prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Jesus in seeking to prepare His disciples and those coming after them for the days that lay ahead in the intervening period from His ascending into heaven until His coming back again, spoke of wars, rumours of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes along with persecutions, offences, betrayal and hatred. All these He said would be signs accompanying the countdown to the end when He would make His sudden and long awaited return. Without a doubt, all these signs are clearly evident and point to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, there is one thing that Jesus spoke of prophetically, this one thing He warned against more than any other, namely this…be on guard against spiritual deception!!
In this teaching we illustrate the amazing fulfillment of Jesus’ prophetic warnings in the very days we are living in. By utilising a number of video clips, we seek to highlight the spiritual deception that has invaded the Church through the false prophets that abound in our day. In so doing we seek to demonstrate the authenticity of Bible prophecy and to warn God’s people to be on guard!!
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Twenty-eight miles south-east of Sardis lay the city of Philadelphia; so named after Attalus Philadelphus, the king of Pergamos who founded it in the second century BC. Its name means “brotherly love and is a fitting name for a Church that would later be born in that city! Its natural geography served well to illustrate the robustness of this Church in bearing up under trial. Subject to frequent earthquakes, being laid waste by one just less than a century before this epistle was written, this hardy city bounced back with a greater vibrancy than before! If there was one name that best describes the Church in Philadelphia it would be the word “faithful”. As a Church, they had remained faithful during trial and persecution and had persevered despite having little strength and had not denied Christ’s name. For this they were praised by the Saviour!
This sermon is an exhortation to Christians to bear up under trial and to do so keeping their eyes steadfast on the One who reveals Himself as holy and true! Many Christians under trial and difficulty often ask the question why? Many grow cold and bitter towards God through offence. If God is God, why does He not answer my prayers? Yet for the Christian under trial, they must never forget the goodness and trustworthiness of a sovereign God who keeps covenant with His children! Be of good cheer dear Saint and keep your eyes on Jesus. Say not I have no strength, for His strength is made perfect in your weakness!!
Sardis was a great city of the ancient world, a very wealthy and prosperous city. Into this city came the Gospel and the Church at Sardis was born!! The fame of their conversion and the fruits thereof were sounded out near and far, and overtime Sardis had amassed a reputation for being a Church that was alive!! Sadly, overtime the testimony of this Church had become nothing more than a label; still having repute before men, the spiritual condition of this Church was a far cry from what it was in their former days, our Lord tells us that they were now dead!
This sermon is a serious challenge to flee from sin and a solemn warning against hypocrisy!! The Lord is seeking one thing from the backslider, namely that he might return to Him in true brokenness and repentance. The hour is late and urgent is the day that we are living in. Dear Brethren, it’s no time for religious hypocrisy, we must at all costs seek to keep our garments unsoiled from this world and walk before our God with a clean heart.
Despite the many hard things that our Lord had to say to His Church in Thyatira, it is often overlooked that He had some of the best things to say also to some within this Church who were shining examples. He commended them for their charity, service, faith, patience and works. In fact not only had this Church begun well, but they were praised that their last works were more than their first!! Yet, despite this, our Lord reserved some of His harshest words to those within the Church at Thyatira who had tolerated the false prophetess Jezebel, who was seducing God’s children, causing them to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
This sermon is a strong and passionate plea on two counts. Firstly an exhortation to practical Christianity and holiness and secondly a warning to flea sexual immorality!! Christianity Today in a 2000 survey found that 45% of Christians admitted to having done something sexually inappropriate while married, with 23% committing adultery!! Literally, there is an epidemic of sexual immorality that has swept into the Church with 1 in every 2 Christian men falling prey to pornography. If ever there was a need for sexual purity within the Body of Christ, it is now!!
Bible Prophecy (Pt.7)
On May 14 1948, in a single day, a nation was born as Israel declared its national independence. For some 1900 years the Jews have wondered the world over having no national homeland, suffering in every place they have sought to lay their head. AD 70 witnessed the tragedy of the destruction of the Jewish Temple and the beginning of the diaspora as Jews were exiled en-mass to every corner of the world. At the end of the 19th century due to growing widespread anti-Semitism in Europe Jews began leaving Eastern Europe and a small minority headed for Israel with the dream of returning to their ancient homeland. The twentieth century would see the greatest calamity ever perpetrated against the Jews as some 6 million were systematically exterminated being shot or gassed by Nazi Germany. Yet, defying all possible odds with European Jewry tinkering on the edge of annihilation, millions of Jews have since poured into their Biblical homeland of Israel from more than 100 different countries worldwide!!
In this teaching, we look at the amazing fulfillment of Bible prophecy as it relates to the restoration of God’s ancient people Israel. Indeed, the stage has been set and the countdown to eternity has begun!!!
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This sermon is the third part in a series looking at the letters to the seven Churches of Revelation. Pergamos was a city distinguished as being one of the chief centres of religious worship, its landscape littered with shrines and altars to the false gods and goddesses of the Greek/Roman world. In the words of Jesus Christ, the seat of Satan himself!! As a Church under intense persecution from the dragon Satan, it was bearing up faithfully under severe trial and holding fast the name of Jesus Christ. However, that said, whilst our Lord praised them for their faithfulness, He rebuked those within Pergamos for allowing and holding to the doctrine of Balaam who cast a stumbling block before God’s people to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
This sermon is a warning and a challenge to the body of Christ to be on guard against false teachers, who secretly bring in false and damnable heresies, even denying the Lord Himself. How will the body of Christ discern such false prophets? By their fruits you shall know them; for such are they that draw away after themselves unstable souls, alluring them through the lusts of the flesh. Is there a root of covetousness in your heart? Are you still enamoured by the love of this world? Are you prepared so as to resist the strategies of the serpent, who even now is deceiving many, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness?