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All One Body We: “The Communion of Saints” - Hebrews 12:1 - Jun 6, 2004 - 661

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). In 1979 John Bass interviewed Ronald Reagan as he was p ... More

Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus - Hebrews 12:2 - Jan 7, 2001 - 1

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). At the beginning of each new year, we announce a theme for the year along ... More

Can I Lose My Salvation? - Philippians 1:6 - Nov 2, 1997 - 525

I would like to begin with the observation that this is a controversial question in Christian circles. It would be difficult to find a subject about which believers are more deeply divided. To the question, “Can I lose my salvation?” there are whole denominations that answer yes: The Met ... More

The Seventh Law: What God Starts, He Finishes - Apr 14, 2002

We begin with the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor whose opposition to Adolph Hitler during World War II finally landed him in jail. Shortly before the end of the war, the Nazis put him to death. His best-known writings include The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together. At one point ... More

A Tale of Two Brothers - Genesis 25:17-34 - Aug 30, 1992 - 357

Several years ago Dr. Kevin Leman wrote The Birth Order Book. You may be familiar with that book because Dr. Leman is a well-known Christian psychologist and has been on Dr. Dobson’s radio program a number of times. The thesis of The Birth Order Book is very simple: When you are dealing wit ... More

Adoption: Plenty of Room in the Family - Jan 7, 2007

When Leslie Lynch King, Jr. died earlier this week, it made headlines around the world. Commentators talked about his legacy, and in the United States flags were lowed to half-staff in his honor. That always happens when a president dies.But who was President King? You can’t find any record of ... More

Murder One: Why Do We Hate Each Other? - Genesis 4:1-16 - Jul 7, 2002 - 231

This is the story of Cain and Abel. It is a story that is so well known that many people who never read the Bible know that Cain killed Abel. It has even entered our language as a synonym for troublemaking—Raising Cain. The phrase is appropriate because this story is dark and tragic from begin ... More

The Rod of God: When Love Says No - Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 13:34 - May 16, 1999 - 299

“Spare the rod and spoil the child.” It’s an old saying and like most things old, it has been neglected of late. But there is the ring of truth about it. If you spare the rod, you will indeed spoil your child. This is the clear testimony of Holy Scripture and of centuries of human exp ... More

Mountain-Moving Prayer - Mark 11:22-24 - Apr 9, 2000 - 11

"Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in p ... More

His Kingdom Will Never End - Luke 1:33 - Dec 10, 2007 - 81

“He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33). “I’m gonna be famous.” That’s what Robert Hawkins wrote in his suicide note before going to the mall in Omaha last Wednesday where he murdered eight people and th ... More

Forward-Leaning Defense - Sep 16, 2006

“There is no victory at bargain basement prices.” General Dwight Eisenhower“World War IV began in a long string of terrorist attacks, whose real nature went unrecognized until on September 11, 2001, huge billows of black smoke curled above New York City, Washington, D.C., and a fie ... More

How to Help a Caveman - 1 Kings 19 - Jun 25, 2006 - 426

We do live in strange times. Someone has called this the Age of Anxiety, and it seems appropriate enough. Not long ago I found this headline: “Most Think Country Headed in Wrong Direction.” Those words could be slightly altered to read like this:“Most Think Family Headed in Wrong ... More

When in Trouble, Pray! - II Thessalonians 3:1-5 - Apr 6, 2003 - 508

On the day when the war in Iraq broke out, Channel 5 in Chicago sent a news team to cover our special prayer meeting that night. Hoping to get some good sound bites, they interviewed several people, including Soo Ai Kudo. When the reporter asked her why we were having a prayer meeting at the very mo ... More

Good News for Poor Performers and Splendid Sinners - Luke 1:5-20, 57-64 - Dec 16, 2007 - 89

This afternoon I read a bit from Faithfulness and Holiness by J. I. Packer. The book consists of Packer’s short biography of J. C. Ryle, the 19t5h-century Anglican bishop, and a reprint of Ryle’s justly-famous book called, simply, “Holiness.” I happened across this quote from ... 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

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 2 - Jul 9, 2012

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 12 - Jul 9, 2012

What is Heaven Like? - Philippians 3:20-21 - Jan 18, 1998 - 521

"Heaven is a place, just as much a place as is New York or Chicago.” Charles Ferguson Ball I begin this sermon with two statements that I believe to be almost universally true: Everyone wants to know about heaven and everyone wants to go there. Recent polls suggest that nearly 80% of all Ameri ... 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

God Is So Good! - Psalm 107:1 - Apr 20, 1997 - 474

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” 1 Chronicles 16:34a “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” Psalm 145:9 “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8 Let’s begin with a definition, ... More

Hard Times in Haran - Genesis 29 - Sep 20, 1992 - 359

There are many ways in the English language to express the idea of retribution. For instance, we say, “Everything that goes around, comes around.” And we say, “Things have a way of evening out in the end.” We teach our children, “Crime doesn’t pay.” We t ... More

Spiritual Warfare 101 - Genesis 14 / Hebrews 7 - Apr 21, 1996 - 17

On Friday a friend called and asked how my week had gone. After I told him, he said, “You won’t believe what’s happened to me this week.” First of all, he owed thousands of dollars in income tax that he hadn’t expected to pay. On top of that he had one catastrophe af ... More

From Temptation to Triumph - Nov 12, 1996

Playwright Oscar Wilde once jokingly remarked, “I can resist everything except temptation.” We smile when we read those words because they speak an important truth about the human condition. Temptation pays a visit to each of us every day and most of us struggle to say no.“Pastor ... More

The Day God Died: “Crucified, Died” - Hebrews 9-10 - Mar 21, 2004 - 650

The Apostles’ Creed contains four phrases that refer to the death of Jesus Christ:Crucified,Died,Buried,Descended into Hell. If you think about it, this seems redundant, especially in a Creed where the entire Christian faith is presented in approximately 110 words. Why are six words used ... More

Born Free: Seven Promises You Can Count On - Galatians 3:15-4:11 - Jul 1, 2001 - 255

The book of Galatians is all about how we can be right with God. Paul wrote this little “emergency letter” to remind us that being right with God is about believing, not achieving. Salvation is not about going to church, being religious, trying harder, or turning over a new leaf. You can ... More

How to Overcome Disappointment - Haggai 2:1-9 - May 25, 1997 - 293

On September 5, 1886, Charles Spurgeon began his sermon on our text with these incisive words: Satan is always doing his utmost to stay the work of God. He hindered these Jews from building the temple; and today he endeavors to hinder the people of God from spreading the gospel. A spiritual temple i ... More

God Must Be Praised in Fiery Trials - 1 Peter 1:6-7 - Aug 15, 2004 - 608

On April 5, 1943, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo for his resistance to the Nazi regime in Germany. For several years he had spoken out against the Nazis, and eventually it caught up with him. As he saw his country sliding into the abyss, he felt that he could not rema ... More

God Our Father - Matthew 6:9 - Oct 4, 2009 - 1217

“Our Father in Heaven.” Matthew 6:9 Before we begin: What words describe your earthly father? Do you feel comfortable addressing God as “Father?” Why or why not? “Who is God?” The interviewer looked at me expectantly while I fumbled to find an answer. Since the ca ... More

Kingdoms in Conflict - Matthew 6:10 - Oct 6, 2009 - 1219

“Your kingdom come.” Matthew 6:10Before we begin: What is the kingdom of God? In what sense is it a present reality? In what sense is it yet to come? How would things be different if you had a “God invasion” in your life? Your family? Your workplace? Your neighborhood? Someti ... More

Unless You Forgive - Matthew 6:12 - Oct 9, 2009 - 1222

“Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12 Before we begin: Which is more difficult for you: asking God to forgive you or forgiving a person who has sinned against you. The fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer seems simple enough, but simple things ca ... 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

Experiencing God’s Love - Malachi 1:1-5 - Apr 27, 2003 - 1256

A man was having a hard time getting out of bed one Sunday morning. “Get up. It’s time to get ready for church!” He just grumbled and replied grumpily, “I don’t want to go to church today. Those people at church don’t like me. I don’t want to go.” She ... More

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 7 - Jul 9, 2012

No Condemnation - Romans 8:1 - May 9, 2013 - 1484

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).A few days ago I posted a Facebook status update that was actually a quote taken from this sermon:“For those who are in Christ Jesus, now, today, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but ... More

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