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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Music from clip intros: http://www.bensound.com
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!!