1 Chronicles 12:32
This week has been a week like no other I’ve ever witnessed in my forty years alive on planet earth. Coronavirus touched down and pandemonium struck. Media hype fueled mass panic buying, where every man and his family headed towards the supermarkets in an effort to stock their cupboards to overflowing. Stock markets across the world continue to be hammered with losses amounting to billions being slashed off the value of some of the world's most prestigious companies. Thursday saw the biggest one-day decline in the FTSE 100 since 1987 and Wednesday witnessed the pound plunge to its lowest level in 30 years!
Every day has seen escalating measures being announced by the UK government as it has tried desperately to stem the growth of this virus which has now claimed the lives of more than 200 British citizens and more than 10,000 globally. On Tuesday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a whopping £350 billion bailout and by Friday, he’d effectively put the whole British economy on life support. With fears that we’re just beginning to see the rise in coronavirus infections, at the start of the week the government introduced social distancing measures and by the end of the week pubs, bars, restaurants, and gyms were told to close. My dear Brothers and Sisters, all of this has shocked me and all of this has greatly moved my heart. However, I want to say with great sorrow and sadness; nothing that I’ve thus far mentioned has vexed and grieved my heart more than what I’ve witnessed take place this week by Church leaders in this country, as one after another closed the doors of their Churches until further notice!
This sermon is a desperate plea for the Pastors of Christ’s flock to seek the face of the Lord for a way forward in this hour of tremendous need. Where are the sons of Issachar who in their day, understood the right thing for Israel to do at the right time? Will the Church rise to its call or will it sleep through this present crisis only to awake to find that there’s nothing left?
J.C. Ryle said; "We may love money without having it, just as we may have money without loving it." Paul the apostle said; “…godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). In a world that is ever pushing for greater material gain and status, as believers in Christ, we are warned not to make these things our pursuit. Paul bore record of those who beginning well in the faith, later erred from the faith, piercing themselves through with many sorrows on account of coveting after money.
This sermon is an encouragement, but also a word of warning. Let us be content in the circumstances which God has placed us. Let us not desire things which God has not apportioned for us. May we be able to learn the secret of contentment that we can say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
2 Chronicles 18:31
When we speak of the grace of God - that kind and favourable disposition towards the undeserving to them good - is it any wonder that our minds run back so readily with ease, to the blood-stained cross of Calvary? There we beheld a demonstration of God’s love that forever shall resound! Yet, with that said, the grace of God cannot be relegated to 2000 years ago but MUST be brought into the here and now. When we speak of God’s grace, we’re speaking about an attribute that belongs to God — this is who He is!!
In this sermon, we offer a number of golden keys to answered prayer before asking the question; on what grounds does God answer prayer? In the final analysis, we are brought to the conclusion that it by HIS GRACE that He sees fit to grant the petition of our hearts! Oh, that we might come to God with this understanding, apart from human merit.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
When God put to Satan the question, “Hast thou considered my servant Job” (Job 1:8), Satan did not say, who is he? Instead, he engaged with the question and responded by saying; “Doth Job fear God for nought?” (Job 1:9). It appears from this verse that this righteous man was well known to the prince of darkness. Have you ever considered that your name is also known to the armies of hell? This puts a whole new dimension on spiritual warfare. Having not just one scheme but many, Paul instructs us to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). Satan’s wiles not only involve the planned assault of the individual believer but the planned assault of the Church body collectively. There is one particular weapon in Satan’s arsenal through which is able to destroy a local Church more quickly than we can ever know! The great deception of this sin lies in its seeming harmlessness. This vice comes so readily to us as humans and it appears so justified in its complaint. If Satan can find a willing vessel here, then he’s found a true ally to aid him in his assault against the Body of Christ. What is this sin to which I refer? It is the sin of murmuring.
Exhortation and warning sound aloud in this sermon; exposing the subtle danger of the sin of murmuring and calling the people of God to exercise restraint. When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, they reasoned as they left their fleshpots behind that they were heading for a land flowing with milk and honey, and they were…but just not yet! First, they had to go on a journey into the desert so what was in their hearts might be exposed. Each and every time an apparent problem arose, the people murmured. They failed to see the loving hand of God guiding them, working in them a far greater weight of glory than merely satisfying their carnal appetites. Let us learn from Israel’s example so as not to murmur and let us not allow ourselves to be used of the devil to aid him in the destruction of the Church for which Christ died.
1 Corinthians 13
You cannot have opened the Bible long, before in every book, you’re confronted with the royal command, calling us on to fervent love! The New Testament epistles spare no end of space in urging us to fill up this command and there’s not a single New Testament epistle that does not contain some exhortation on love!! Amongst the many beautiful chapters in the Bible, must surely be found the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Outside the life and example of our Saviour, there’s no clearer setting forth of the attributes of love than is found in this chapter.
In this sermon, we place our focus on just one of the fifteen attributes; love thinks no evil. May the Lord speak to all of our hearts on this greatly important aspect of love.
1 Peter 5:5-6
There are things in this Christian walk that are greatly to be desired, and then there are those things that are indispensable. Love, holiness, faith, and love…these are precious virtues that are not desirables to be added to the list of Christian attributes – these are absolutes!! Added to this list is also found the like precious virtue of humility.
In this sermon, we ponder at length the exhortation found in 1 Peter 5:5-6. We there discover that two different attitudes on the part of man, summon two radically different actions on the part of God. “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble”. Which attitude of heart will you choose to walk in?
I have come to realise that a man can be in love with the concept of holiness and make the fatal error of equating form with substance!! He thinks that because he has the form, he has the substance! Ever do we need to be on guard against this kind of self-deception! What saith the half-brother of our Lord? “…be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (Jms. 1:22). To hear only and to do nothing about it is to deceive ourselves! Having good intentions and the words to along with it are not the same thing as having the actions to back it up.
The challenge goes forth with strength in this sermon to put rubber to the road and to enter into a life of holiness!!
Sometimes as Christians, we can forget that our Lord not only said that the gate was strait; He said also that the way was narrow which leads to life eternal! Not only a narrow entrance, but a confined path also to traverse; and on account this He said that they’d be few that ever find it!!
This sermon is aimed at two groups of people, of which everyone finds themselves belonging to one. Group number 1, are those yet to enter through the strait/narrow gate. They’ve seen its gloried from a distance and have approached unto it for further inquiry; yet, they’ve still to cross over its threshold. Group number 2 are those who having crossed the threshold of the narrow gate, onto the narrow way, have yet to finish the journey and to cross the threshold into life. May the Lord speak to each heart!
Some 33 parts on and some 65+ thousand words later, we finally come to the final teaching part in our Revelation series. With the old earth passed away, and the former heaven gone forever, John saw a new heaven and a new earth, and the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down from God out of heaven. In chapter 21, John described this glorious city, and in the first part of chapter 22, he continues to do the same. There’s no escaping the parallels that exist between the first paradise in Eden, and this second paradise. What was lost in the curse has now at the end, been restored, not only to an equal state but to one far exceeding it in every degree!
The chapter concludes with a series of warnings. The end is at hand and the Lord instructs His Church. “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rev. 22:20-21).
We read in Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe”. Man is prone on every side to fear, not least in the face of pending danger. God’s desire is that we would not be overcome by fear, but rather that we would trust Him!
This sermon is an exhortation for the blood-bought children of God, to place their total confidence in the Lord. Where faith toward God abounds, fear has no resting place; but where fear abounds, we can be assured, faith is wanting! “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there”.