In the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, not everyone welcomed Him. The religious leaders despised Him and could not understand why He would eat with sinners and dine with the publicans. They were of far greater purity to condescend to men of such disrepute. But you see, it was these for whom Christ came. Not for the righteous (those who are well) — they have no need of a doctor and hence do not seek for one. But He came for sinners that they might be made whole!!
Shared at the Dedication of Bethesda Shalom – 24/07/21
As we witness first-hand in our day, the grievous state of decline in this nation of Great Britain is a state most sorry to behold. The speed at which morality is crumbling away before our very eyes leave us without words to fully articulate the peril of the present hour. I find that in life, it’s far easier and quicker to destroy than it is to erect; to pull down than it is to build up!! Spiritually, we’re sliding into Sodom and plunging into Gomorrah; and while the world travails the broad road to destruction, the professing Church of Jesus Christ has veered off the narrow path and has found its way down to vanity fair! Oh!! do some decry this sad state of affairs and I not join them in lifting up my voice? Do others lament this midnight hour and I not also grieve with them! The hour is late, and the need is desperate.
A heart cry goes forth for God to visit His people in revival. There’s simply no other alternative. God…in wrath, remember mercy!!
There are a number of passages in the Book of Isaiah that have come to be known as the “servant passages”. Some scholars put the number at four, others at five; but what binds each of them together, is their description of Messiah in His lowly mission. There are many titles given to our Lord Jesus in the Bible that speak of His glory and majesty, titles that speak of His power and dominion. Yet, the focus of this sermon is not found in these descriptions, but rather is found in that title which serves well to depict the lowly Lord, namely that of a servant!
Ezra was a man of great influence in his day and one who possessed great knowledge of the Word of God. Talk about knowledge? Look no further than the man Ezra, he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses! Talk about pedigree and class? Look no further than the man Ezra, he was a priest of the sons of Aaron! Talk about honour and esteem? The glories of the scribe in his day eclipsed those of the priest! Yet…there was one distinguishing factor that singled this scribe out from among all the other scribes of his day. Not only was Ezra a ready scribe who prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord so as to teach in Israel its statutes and judgments. Ezra set his heart to do it!!!
In John 17, Jesus prayed that “…they all may be one”. He was of course referring to the true Church - those who would come to believe in Him through the Word of the Apostles. This reality has been made possible via the new birth. When one is born again of the Spirit of God, they are grafted into the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ. This is a concrete fact that cannot be disputed. Yet, the great challenge that faces every one of us who names the name of Jesus Christ, is the practical outworking of this reality in a functional, living experience. How does the Body of Christ bring the abstract in line with the concrete? All is brought to light in God’s precious Word!
No soldier goes to the field of battle not knowing the enemy against which he must fight. The Christian wears the badge of many titles—the badge of a son, the badge of a servant; the badge of a disciple and the badge of a friend. The badge of priest and king, yea also of saint and elect. Yet, amidst this decoration of honorary attire, there’s one badge that I left off to mention, which without, his uniform would be incomplete. What badge is this to which I refer? It is the badge of a soldier — a soldier of Jesus Christ!!
Tell me of the foe against which you war? Tell me of the hardships endured on account of this warfare? Where are your scars, where are your victories? Where are our medals of honour...where are your stripes? What is the foe to which I refer? “...sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” (Gen. 4:7).
No true move of God has ever begun without it first being preceded by prayer. Yet, a praying people prevailed with God in prayer because they were a sanctified people! This message is a clarion call to the Church of Jesus Christ. God is calling for a holy people. It’s time now for God’s children, to put away sin from their midst and prepare their hearts to seek the Lord!! “Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you” (Josh. 3:5).
Note: This is the first sermon ever preached in Bethesda Shalom, formerly known as Providence Baptist Chapel.
When one door closes and another opens, it is always a day mixed with both sorrow and joy, and yesterday was no exception. I say sorrow, not because of regret but because the door that is closing leaves behind with it an era that has now come to an end and as one looks back, the memories abound! Memories of God’s faithful dealings, His divine providence, and keeping hand of grace. His faithful provision and steadfast promises which all the way hath proven to be yea and amen! To run a course appointed you by God and to have Him close the door and in its place to open another is a thing to be most cherished. So many bail out on God before the time, but to run the course and to finish the race and then to have God move you on unto things better still; is to have the calm repose and restful assurance that we are right where He would have us to be!!!
This is the last sermon ever preached in the Chapel of Royal School Wolverhampton. We reflect on how the Lord has led us thus far and prepare ourselves for Him bringing us into our new place of meeting. Two things are apparent, the Lord has gone before us and we must seek to follow after in the spirit of earnest prayer!
When the glory of God rests upon a servant of God, it is a thing most glorious to behold. There are many great wonders in the world, but none are so wonderful as this. If that be so, then what of the opposite? What of the contrary? If the glory of God resting upon a servant of God is a thing most glorious to behold; then what if that glory was to depart? What if this anointing was to leave? What if favour was to pass no more across the threshold of the stable door? Oh, by reason of the former glory, this must surely be a thing most sorrowful to behold!! It is one thing when the glory of God departs from a person, but what, when the glory departs from a people? The Church in the West is in dire straits. Every week, another Church closes its doors for good; the glory of God departed. We can blame in on Covid and x, y and z; yet the Bible tells us that it is Jesus who removes the candlestick when His Church refuses to repent. This is a sobering reality that we must consider, may the Lord give us the grace to do so.
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 13)
Of all the different literary genres found within the Bible, by far the most unique, is that of prophecy. Where the historical books document history, those books falling under the category of Prophecy have an extra layer to them which documents the future! Who can claim to speak with authority on things that are yet to happen? The best historian can comment on what has past, and to a degree, he can predict what he may think to happen in the future based on past cycles; but at best it is a prediction with much uncertainty attached to it. When it comes however to the predictions made in the Bible, these are not based on a critical examination of data; they are based on “thus saith the LORD”.
In this thirteenth teaching part, we give a basic overview of the Books of Prophecy and offer helps that will aid in their interpretation and application. As part of a teaching series looking at Biblical interpretation, we look holistically at the nature of the books of prophecy themselves, as a pose to the individual prophecies contained within them. We seek to understand the historical setting in which they were written in the hope that one will see the common pattern running throughout.