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A Place to Belong - Acts 2:41-47 - Jan 24, 1999 - 3

With this message I am beginning a four-part sermon series based on our 1999 theme: A Place to Belong. The pastoral staff arrived at this theme several months ago as we considered what we were hearing from many people. Our congregation has added so many new families in the last few years that, in so ... More

I Will Pour Out My Spirit On All People - Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:14-21 - Jul 10, 2005 - 205

A few days ago I happened to see my son Mark intently reading a paperback book. When I asked him what he was reading, he named a title I recognized as being very popular with Christians in their 20’s and early 30’s. It is, in fact, a bestseller with that group. How did Mark like it? &ldq ... More

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 3 - Jul 9, 2012

The Incorruptible Christ - Acts 2:24 - Apr 20, 2003 - 176

The first word is sometimes as important as the last word.Seven weeks had passed since the resurrection of Jesus. For 40 amazing days, Jesus appeared to his disciples on many occasions and taught them concerning the Kingdom of God. Then he ascended into the clouds and returned to his Father in heave ... More

THE P.U.I.H. - Acts 2 - Apr 17, 1994 - 807

I don’t know what image comes into your mind when you hear the word Pentecostal. When I hear the word, my mind always goes back to the small town in Alabama where I grew up. Back then, there were only four churches you could belong to—Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Church of Chri ... More

Our Mutual Covenant - Acts 2:41-47 - Oct 8, 1998 - 481

Down in Texas they say that football is a religion. But I ran across something the other day that made me think that the same thing might be true in Chicago. It happened while we were browsing through a shopping mall. I walked into a department store and found a whole area reserved for Chicago Be ... More

Water, Wine, Wind, Fire - Four Pictures of the Holy Spirit - Nov 13, 2009 - 1230

Are you spooked out by the Holy Spirit?Perhaps I should say, “Are you spooked out by the Holy Ghost?” Lots of Christians are, you know. They say things like, “I know about God the Father, and I know about Jesus, but the Holy Spirit is a mystery to me.” You may remember the st ... More

The Wind Blows Wherever It Wills - John 3:8 - May 15, 2005 - 200

This is the first in a six-part series on the Holy Spirit called Experiencing God Today. Two months ago I had no idea that I would be preaching on the Holy Spirit once we finished I Peter. But as I thought about the matter, I felt impressed by the Lord that this is the direction we should go. There ... More

A Tale of Two Men - Acts 2:24-32 - Mar 27, 2005 - 168

“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of ... More

The Scripture Had to Be Fulfilled: Can We Still Believe the Bible? - Acts 1:15, 20 - May 10, 1998 - 639

It is sometimes asked why the early church grew so explosively. We know, for instance, that after Jesus ascended into heaven, approximately 120 men and women gathered in the upper room to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. While there were doubtless other disciples scattered across Israel, this ... More

The Holy Spirit and the Gift of Tongues - Article C: The Holy Spirit - Various - Feb 23, 1992 - 749

There are two problems a pastor faces whenever he comes to speak on a topic as controversial as speaking in tongues. The first is that the subject is so vast that he cannot hope to cover it completely. It would take a book to fully consider all the pertinent issues, and if I wrote such a book, I d ... More

Overcoming Lingering Bitterness - Genesis 45 - Dec 15, 2002 - 706

On Thursday morning, November 21, as the sun was peeking over the horizon in the port city of Sidon in southern Lebanon, Bonnie Penner Witherall was up early. On this day she was going to work at the prenatal clinic that offered medical services to the Muslim women from a nearby refugee camp. Tensio ... More

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit: The Source of Our Power - Acts 1:4-5 - Feb 22, 1998 - 630

“I believe baptism in the Holy Ghost is exactly on the same plane as baptism in water—we never need to repeat it." W. H. Griffith Thomas With this topic we venture deep into the waters of theological controversy. While those outside the church may have no knowledge of it, evan ... More

Lucky to Love - I Thessalonians 3:10-13 - Mar 16, 2003 - 503

"Prayer is not everything but everything is by prayer.” So said Ray Ortlund. All Christians would agree with that statement. No matter what our background, instinctively we know that prayer is central to the Christian life.Most of you are familiar with Corrie Ten Boom. Her family hid Jews in H ... More

Repent! The Forgotten Doctrine of Salvation - Acts 17:30 - Oct 6, 2006 - 510

In 1937 the American Tract Society sponsored a contest in which they offered a prize of $1,000 for the best new book written on one of the “essential evangelical doctrines of the Christian faith.” Sixty-one years ago, $1,000 was a lot of money and a great many well-known Christian author ... More

Inside the Pearly Gates: What Will We Do in Heaven? - Revelation 7:9-17 - Jun 25, 2000 - 215

"Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal—a body that death ... More

The Comeback Kid: Christ Speaks to the Problem of Personal Failure - John 21 - Apr 29, 2001 - 125

Have you ever done something or said something that disappointed someone you loved? I suppose all of us, if we were honest, would have to answer “yes” to that question. Perhaps we promised to be somewhere, but when the time came, we weren’t there. Or we said, “You can count o ... More

Will Everyone Eventually Be Saved? - II Peter 3:9 - Jul 24, 2005 - 143

I can think of only four ways to answer the question raised in the title of this sermon:1) Everyone will eventually be saved.2) No one will eventually be saved.3) Some will be saved and some will be lost.4) There is no way to know.Let’s consider answer #1, which is becoming increasingly popula ... More

Taking The Plunge - Apr 5, 1990

Of all the issues that divide Christians, none is more hotly debated than the issue of baptism. For centuries godly men and women have come down on different sides of this question. Entire denominations have sprung up as a result of disagreements over the mode, meaning, and purpose of baptism.The wi ... More

Praying For the Sick - James 5:13-16 - May 7, 2000 - 13

If you have read the title, you know exactly what this sermon is about. Praying for the sick is something we are all asked to do from time to time. It is certainly something that all pastors do every week. That fact alone makes the subject important, especially when I consider that in four years of ... More

Do Not Quench the Spirit - 1 Thessalonians 5:19 - Jun 12, 2005 - 202

Our text has been translated in various ways:“Do not quench the Spirit” (ESV).“Don’t suppress the Spirit” (The Message)“Do not try to stop the work of the Holy Spirit” (New Life Version).“Don’t stifle the Spirit” (HCSB).“Don’t t ... More

Praying for the Sick–Part 1 - James 5:14-15 - Aug 18, 2009 - 1210

“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).(I am dedi ... More

Should Our Teachers Be Required to Sign the Articles of Faith? - Various - Feb 2, 1992 - 748

Tonight we are beginning a brand-new series of Sunday night messages. As you know, I usually take books of the Bible on a chapter-by-chapter basis on Sunday night. This series is a major departure from that pattern. But I decided to make the change after considering three factors: 1. The rapid ... More

You Will Be My Witnesses: God's Job Description for Every Christian - Acts 1:8 - Mar 15, 1998 - 632

I first heard the question 27 years ago from my friend, Ben Wilkinson, a Presbyterian evangelist. He came to the First Presbyterian Church of Russellville, Alabama for a week of evangelistic meetings. During the mornings he trained a team of young people to share the gospel door to door. Although it ... More

He Ascended Into Heaven: Why It Still Matters Today - Acts 1:9 - Mar 29, 1998 - 634

"After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight." Acts 1:9This is one of the most remarkable statements in Holy Scripture. We call it the ascension of Christ into heaven. All the major creeds mention it and every Christian group believes it. There ... More

THE HOLY SPIRIT - Various - Apr 13, 1988 - 422

Free at Last - Romans 6:1-7 - Jan 5, 1993 - 445

There are many reasons people give for not becoming a Christian. Most of those reasons are in the form of either excuses or misunderstandings. But there is at least one reason that bears some consideration.The woman said, “Pastor, you don’t understand. I’ve been like this for so ... More

Life-Changing, Heart-Moving, World-Shaking Prayer - 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 - Sep 29, 1996 - 323

"Prayer is not everything but everything is by prayer.” So said Ray Ortlund. All Christians would agree with that statement. No matter what our background, instinctively we know that prayer is central to the Christian life. Most of you are familiar with Corrie Ten Boom whose family hid Jew ... More

Don't Get Fleeced! - Judges 6 - Oct 24, 1993 - 387

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is wha ... More

Some Sneered, Others Questioned, A Few Believed: Lessons on the Amazing Power of the Gospel - Acts 17:32-34 - Aug 30, 1998 - 245

It is not often that a preacher has his sermon interrupted by the congregation. In the 29 years that I have been preaching, it has only happened to me a handful of times. Once in my first church in Downey, California a woman stood up during my sermon and began making comments. She wasn’t argui ... More

Clarification of Certain Doctrinal and Practical Issues - Various - May 23, 1996 - 563

The following material is presented by the Elders as a means of clarifying the church’s position on certain issues. As you read this, please remember that this is not meant to be a comprehensive statement of what we believe in every area. You may consult the Articles of Faith for a full statem ... More

This Same Jesus: The Blessed Hope of the Church - Acts 1:10-11 - Apr 5, 1998 - 638

"They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way ... More

In God’s Waiting Room: Lessons from the “Down Time” of Life - Acts 1:4 - Feb 15, 1998 - 629

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” Acts 1:4Have you ever heard of the American prayer? It goes this way: “Lord, give me patience, ... More

God Has a Big Family—Part 2 “I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church” - Ephesians 4:1-6 - May 30, 2004 - 657

“I believe in the holy catholic church.” The Apostles’ Creed Let’s begin at the most basic point. What does the word “church” mean? In the New Testament the word “church” translates the Greek word ekklesia, which itself comes from two other Greek ... More


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