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Four Women in Jesus' Family Tree - Matthew 1:1-16 - Dec 20, 1992 - 90

You might call this text “The forgotten chapter of the Christmas story.” It is a genealogy—a list of names, most of them unpronounceable. Because of that, this is a portion of Scripture that we tend to overlook. We don’t know what to do with it. It’s not often read ... More

Overcoming Loneliness - Isaiah 7:14 & Matthew 1:22-23 - Dec 22, 2002 - 707

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to ... More

Christ B.C. Part IV: Born of a Virgin - Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23 - Dec 24, 1995 - 68

Christmas is an amazing time of year. Yesterday I ran across a statement that sums it up: “Isn’t it amazing that a baby born in a stable 2,000 years ago can cause traffic jams this week?” I am thankful for this season. We Christians ought to enjoy Christmas more than anyone. D ... More

Joseph: A Teenager's Dilemma - Matthew 1:18-25 - Dec 2, 1990 - 103

If you were given the opportunity to meet any person in the first Christmas story, who would you choose? I’ve been thinking about that this week, and it’s not easy to decide. There are so many fascinating people: Herod–That wicked old toad squatting on the throne of Israel, insa ... More

Eighth Day Savior - Luke 2:21 - Dec 26, 2004 - 80

"On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived” (Luke 2:21).Today we’re going to explore a forgotten corner of the Christmas story. If you doubt that it is forgotten, consider this: Whenever church ... More

Journey to Bethlehem - Dec 19, 2010

For the last several years Moody Radio in Chicago has asked me to do a series of “word pictures” describing the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Nancy Turner, host of This is the Day on WMBI-FM, introduces me and then lets me tell the story in several short segments interspersed wi ... More

Shall We Kill Our Children Today? - Hebrews 11:23 - Sep 23, 2008 - 1166

Are children a burden or a blessing?I suppose it all depends on who you ask or what you mean or why the question even matters at all. If you have to ask the question, you are bound to come to the wrong answer. The Bible is clear enough on this point. “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, childre ... More

Born of a Virgin - Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23 - Dec 8, 2008 - 1180

Christmas is an amazing time of year. Yesterday I ran across a statement that sums it up: “Isn’t it amazing that a baby born in a stable 2,000 years ago can cause traffic jams this week?” I am thankful for this season. We Christians ought to enjoy Christmas more than anyone. Don&rs ... More

The Incomparable Christ: “Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord” - Philippians 2:9-11 - Feb 15, 2004 - 647

Who is Jesus Christ? Of all the questions that might be posed to modern men and women, none is more important than this. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the central question of history and the most important issue anyone will ever face. Who is Jesus Christ? Where did he come from? Why did ... More

From Adam to Noah: Lessons from a Genealogy - Genesis 5 - Jul 21, 2002 - 229

I begin this sermon with a confession. In my quarter-century as a pastor, I believe this is the first sermon I have ever preached from a genealogy. There is a reason for that, which I’m sure you already understand. To most people, the genealogies are the most boring part of the Bible. If you r ... More

Two Ways to Go to Heaven: Make Sure You Choose the Right One - Galatians 3:1-14 - Jun 17, 2001 - 253

With this sermon we turn a corner in our journey through Galatians. This short letter has three parts:The Personal Section: Chapters 1-2The Doctrinal Section: Chapters 3-4The Practical Section: Chapters 5-6As we begin the Doctrinal Section of the book, I need to tell you that there are some verses t ... More

The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage - Genesis 1:26-28; Revelation 22:17 - Sep 26, 2004 - 267

My story today begins a long way from Oak Park, and a long way from our current controversies. In order to get the proper perspective, let’s go all the way back to the beginning of the Bible. To quote a line from The Sound of Music: “Let’s start at the very beginning, that’s ... More

A Savior is Born - Luke 2:11 - Dec 21, 2003 - 198

Recently I received an e-mail from a man who attended “Two from Galilee,” the Christmas program presented by our music ministry several weeks ago. He wrote to say how much he enjoyed it, and then added this sentence: “God is just in the amazement business.” That Sunday— ... More

Christmas Hope - Hebrews 6:18-20 - Dec 24, 2000 - 97

This is Christmas Eve. Even though there is no command in the New Testament to celebrate Christmas, we happily join with millions of Christians around the world in remembering the birth of our Savior. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” And because he was born in Bethlehem, “the ... More

Dear Sarah: A Letter About Forgiveness at Christmastime - Dec 14, 2006

(A few days ago I received a letter that took over a month to finally reach me. It came from someone I have never met. Because of the unusual nature of the letter, I began to think about the question, “What does forgiveness mean at Christmastime?” This week’s message is actually th ... More

Why the Virgin Birth Matters: “Conceived of the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary” - Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38 - Feb 22, 2004 - 648

Let’s begin our study with two familiar verses of Scripture: “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Sp ... More

Does Jesus Know My Name? - Dec 5, 2007

A few months ago we opened the ... More

The Overcoming Series - Oct 6, 2002

THE OVERCOMING SERIES by Ray Pritchard Everyone has a story to tell, even the people who seem to smile all the time. This is one of the first things a young pastor learns when he graduates from seminary and begins his ministry. Some people look so well-adjusted and happy that you think they don’ ... More

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

From Jacob to Jesus - Genesis 49:10; Luke 1:33 - Dec 6, 1992 - 355

Our final study in the life of Jacob is different from all the rest. When we began, he was still in his mother’s womb. When Genesis brings his story to a close, he is buried in the cave of Machpelah, along with his father and grandfather. In between, this man of restless faith never stopped ... More

Christmas Tears - Matthew 2:16-18 - Dec 14, 1997 - 87

"The rulers of this world are seldom friendly to the cause of God.” J. C. RyleLast night the contemporary Christian musician Michael Card performed a Christmas concert at Wheaton College. As part of the build-up to the concert, the Chicago Tribune carried a brief article on Friday that be ... More

Christmas Joy - Luke 2:8-11 - Dec 21, 1997 - 93

If there is a single word that describes what Christmas is all about, it’s the little word “joy.” Several of our favorite carols mention it: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,” “O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,” “Shepherds, why this ju ... More

Follow the Christmas Star - Matthew 2:7-12 - Dec 23, 2001 - 95

This isn’t exactly the sermon I planned to preach on the Sunday before Christmas, but I don’t suppose that will surprise anyone since Christmas itself comes as a relief at the end of a year that has not been what we thought it would be. If one searches for glimmers of light on the horizo ... More

Our Name is Our Mission - Mar 26, 2008

It isn’t often that I have an epiphany, but I had one last spring, during a late-night phone call with a friend. It all started early in the year when the Keep Believing board decided that we wanted to find a logo for our ministry. That might seem like a simple task, but anyone involved in mar ... More

The Shaking of the Nations - Haggai 2:20-23 - Jun 8, 1997 - 295

All of us need some special encouragement from time to time. It may be that you need encouragement to stay in school, or to stay on the job, or just to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe you’re facing the surgeon’s knife and you fear what the future may hold. Perhaps you are struggling ... More

The Blessing of a Believing Spouse - Hebrews 11:11-12 - Jul 23, 2008 - 1159

This is the story of Sarah’s faith. It is the story of one woman who together with her husband believed God and received a very great reward. It is also a story about the enormous blessing of having a believing spouse. If man has a wife who believes in Jesus, he is greatly blessed, and if a wi ... More

From Rahab to Jesus - Hebrews 11:31 - Feb 7, 2009 - 1189

“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” (Hebrews 11:31).There are certain occupations that we associate with certain biblical characters. To say a particular name immediately brings a certain occupation to mind. Abra ... More

The Whole Bible in One Message - Nov 9, 2010

(This sermon owes a great deal to a message on the same theme by my friend Ryan Whitley, pastor of Crosspoint Church in Trussville, Alabama.) What can you do in 30 minutes?How much can you read?How much TV can you watch?How many projects can you start and finish?How many calls can you return?Su ... More

Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living - 15. THE TURTLE ON THE FENCE POST - Aug 6, 2012

Do You Want to be Set Free? - Genesis 44-45 - Nov 16, 2013 - 1496

In this series on the life of Joseph we are looking at nine crucial questions that every person must answer. So far we have looked at these five questions:   Do you know why you were born? Do you know who you are? Are you willing to wait for God? How big is your God? Are you willing to face you ... More

The Incredible Adventure Begins - Genesis 12:1-9 - Mar 24, 1996 - 14

This morning we are beginning a brand-new sermon series. This series is brand-new in two ways. It is new to us as a congregation and it is new to me personally. Although I have been your pastor for nearly seven years, I served two other churches before coming to Oak Park in 1989. Over the last 1 ... More

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