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The Most Sought After Things in the World - Romans 5:1-5 - Jan 1, 1993 - 441

A number of years ago a major American magazine published the results of a most fascinating survey. The editors had asked 16 prominent Americans what they did in order to find peace of mind in the midst of our stressful world. The responses were quite revealing.Noted author James Michener reported t ... More

Paradise Lost - Romans 5:12-14 - Jan 3, 1993 - 443

"No doctrine of the Bible is as easy to prove as the doctrine of original sin.” When I read those words by Donald Grey Barnhouse, they seemed to leap off the page. That’s the doctrine that says that left to yourself, with no outside influence, whenever you have a choice, you’ll alw ... More

That's Incredible! - Romans 5:6-11 - Jan 2, 1993 - 442

Certain passages of Scripture stand out in God’s Word as mountain peaks. By virtue of their theme, their content, their exalted message, certain passages seem to rise above the ordinary landscape of the Bible. Psalm 23 comes to mind. So does Isaiah 53, John 3, Philippians 4 and Hebrews 11. Chr ... More

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

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

Does Jesus Know My Name? - Dec 5, 2007

A few months ago we opened the ... More

The Truth About You - Ephesians 2:1-3 - Sep 26, 1999 - 310

A quarter-century ago psychiatrist Karl Menninger wrote a landmark book titled Whatever Became of Sin? In it he frames the question this way:In all the laments and reproaches made by our seers and prophets, one misses any mention of “sin,” a word which used to be a veritable watchword of ... More

What the Cross Means to Me - Jun 3, 2001

WHAT THE CROSS MEANS TO ME by Ray Pritchard “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.” Romans 5:7 Here’s a good question for you to discuss over lunch today. How many people are you willing to die for? If the chips wer ... More

Sense and Nonsense About God's Love - 1 John 4:8 - Apr 27, 1997 - 475

I’d like to begin my message with a simple observation. No attribute of God is so widely believed as the love of God. This observation is quite easily testable. Take a microphone to the streets of Chicago and ask them to tell you what God is like. I will assert without fear of contradiction th ... More

The Agape Factor: 12 Ways to Love - Romans 12:9-16 - Nov 17, 2006 - 729

There is an amazing scene at the end of the 1996 movie Marvin’s Room. Bessie, played by Diane Keaton, has cared for her ill father and her aunt for 20 years. After learning that she has leukemia, she receives a visit from her estranged sister Lee, played by Meryl Streep. Bessie tells Lee, &ldq ... More

Why Good People Won't Go to Heaven - Romans 10:1-4 - May 20, 2006 - 765

I’d like to talk to you about who goes to heaven. We all know that the Bible teaches the reality of heaven and the reality of hell. Jesus himself spoke of both places many times. All of us, I’m sure, would like to go to heaven if we could. Even if you are not a Christian, I’m s ... More

God's Simple Plan of Salvation - Romans 10:5-13 - May 26, 2006 - 766

This is a very familiar passage of Scripture. Most of us know certain parts of it by heart. I have asked the Lord to do me a favor and not let me say anything new. I don’t want to say anything you haven’t already heard. All I want to do is reinforce a truth that you already know to be tr ... More

We Shall Be Like Him: The Purifying Hope of Christ's Return - I John 3:1-3 - Dec 9, 2001 - 694

Shortly before his recent death, ex-Beatle George Harrison was asked about his spiritual journey. The question was apt since it was Harrison who introduced the Beatles to Eastern religion in the 60s and (after the group broke up) wrote the song My Sweet Lord (a hymn of praise to the Hindu deity Kris ... More

Grow Up! - 1 Corinthians 13:7 - Apr 9, 2006 - 541

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you weren’t married? If somehow you were suddenly single again? No matter how happy your marriage is, every honest person would have to answer yes to those questions. We’ve all thought about it from time to time. We’ve wondered ... More

The God We Hardly Know - Sep 22, 2006

David Mains caught me off guard with his question. “If you had to grade your congregation on their knowledge of the Holy Spirit, what grade would you give them?”Up until that moment, the interview had gone well. David and his daughter Melissa had thrown me fast pitches right over the cen ... More

Nothing Shall Offend Them: A Message for Unhappy, Irritated, and Bent-Out-of-Shape Christians - Psalm 119:165 - Feb 3, 2002 - 399

For our final message in this short series from Psalm 119, I want to look at a verse I first learned in Mrs. Sandberg’s British Literature class 30 years ago. As she began class one day, she read a verse of Scripture that had been particularly meaningful to her. Then she quoted Psalm 119:165 f ... More

Love Never Gives Up - I Corinthians 13:7 - Dec 10, 2000 - 401

The New International Version tells us that love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The Contemporary English Version says that love “is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.” The New Living Translation says “love never gives up ... More

Out On A Limb With Shirley MacLaine: Is Reincarnation True? - Various - Jun 4, 2000 - 216

This is a sermon about reincarnation, which means that I have a serious problem right off the bat. It is also a sermon about Shirley MacLaine, which poses a second problem. My first challenge is to convince you that reincarnation matters enough to warrant a full sermon. Perhaps this will help. Over ... More

Snake Eyes: The Four Stages of Temptation - Genesis 3:1-7 - Jun 2, 2002 - 226

The Bible makes no sense unless we understand the first few chapters of Genesis. These chapters answer a very crucial question: Where did we come from and how did we get from where we started to where we are today? The way that question is worded suggests that somewhere along the way, a massive chan ... 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

How a Terrorist Became an Evangelist: The Amazing Story of Paul's Conversion - Galatians 1:11-24 - May 13, 2001 - 249

Christianity is supremely a religion of conversion. Everything we say and everything we believe is built upon one fundamental and revolutionary premise: You don’t have to stay the way you are. Your life can be radically changed by God. Conversion is a miracle that happens when the life of God ... More

Risky Business: The Other Side of Christian Freedom - Galatians 5:13-15 - Aug 12, 2001 - 258

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1a). What exactly is this Christian freedom that Paul talks so much about in Galatians? In order to help us understand the answer, I’d like to borrow a definition and an illustration used by Pastor John Piper of Bethlehem Bapti ... More

God Will Do What Needs to Be Done - Hebrews 13:20-21 - Sep 18, 2005 - 268

A long time ago in the history of our church, long before I became the pastor, someone wrote a document that became our Church Covenant. It is probably the most forgotten document in the history of this church. If you are a member, you had to read the covenant before you joined the church. And for m ... More

Why is There So Much Suffering in the World? - Isaiah 45:5-11 - Sep 4, 2005 - 147

Of all the questions that trouble the people of God, none is greater than the question posed in the title of this sermon. Sometimes, it is asked in other ways: Why do bad things happen to good people? Or, why do the wicked prosper, while the righteous take such a beating? Or, if God really has the p ... More

Snake Eyes - Genesis 3:1-7 - Mar 8, 2006 - 46

“The literal Genesis record of supernatural creation is the foundation of the true gospel, the true doctrine of Christ, true evangelism, genuine saving faith, and of all the key aspects of biblical Christianity.” “All truth–in every area of life–finds its beginning in t ... More

Looking for a Second Chance: What About Purgatory and Postmortem Salvation? - Hebrews 1:3 - Jun 11, 2000 - 213

Most people think that Catholics believe in purgatory and Protestants don’t. That statement needs qualification in two ways. First, the various Orthodox churches also believe in purgatory, though we don’t often hear about it. Second, there is a sense in which Protestants in general and e ... More

Real Hope for Lasting Change - I Corinthians 6:9-11 - Oct 3, 2004 - 264

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of Go ... More

"He Took My Place" - Feb 29, 2004

“HE TOOK MY PLACE” by Ray Pritchard The current controversy over “The Passion of the Christ” has raised an important point that deserves careful discussion. We know that Jesus died for others. What does that really mean? Perhaps an illustration will help. At the time of the Civil ... More

Death is Not Natural - Mar 27, 2005

Death is Not Natural by Ray Pritchard Joe Carter of The Evangelical Outpost has written a fine article called Still in the World: A Pro-Life View of Death and Dying. While discussing his mother’s death, he comes to this bottom line: Until the cancer made her unable to work, my mother had been ... More

How to Meet the Enemy - Ephesians 6:14-17 - May 8, 2009 - 1199

It is commonplace in our day to doubt the existence of the devil. Many who believe in God believe not at all in the devil. When people say, “The devil made me do it,” they mean the exact opposite. When someone says, “Oh, you devil,” it’s meant as a kind of compliment. A ... More

Something New Under the Sun: Ancient Wisdom for Contemporary Living - 33. THOUGHTS FROM THE GRAVEYARD - Mar 6, 2013

The Silent Savior - Isaiah 53:7-9 - Apr 9, 2014 - 1507

Twenty-four years is a long time to spend in prison. Especially for a crime you didn’t commit.   This week Jonathan Fleming was set free after almost a quarter-century behind bars when he was wrongly convicted of murder. Ironically, part of the evidence that freed him was a hotel receipt ... More

Have You Stopped Blaming Others For Your Problems? - John 5:1-9 - Sep 22, 1991 - 790

You probably don’t recognize the name Bob Shannon unless you happen to be a student of Illinois high school football, in which case you know exactly who he is. Bob Shannon is the head football coach at East Saint Louis High School. I happened to be watching the game between Illinois and Hous ... More

The God We Hardly Know: Why I Believe in the Holy Spirit - Various - Oct 29, 1995 - 793

David Mains caught me off guard with his question. “If you had to grade your congregation on their knowledge of the Holy Spirit, what grade would you give them?” The interview, broadcast nationally on the program You Need to Know, centered around my book Names of the Holy Spirit. I g ... More

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2013 KBM Winter Report