Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Coming of the Lord



The main passage of scriptures we are going to use as a base for this non-exhaustive study of the Coming of the Lord comes from Paul’s second epistle to the Church in Thessalonica. Many scholars agree that Paul wrote this from Corinth about 6 months after he had written and sent his earlier letter, 1 Thessalonians, to them. Both epistles make a reference to the Coming of the Lord. We will begin our study with 2 Thessalonians first.

2 Thessalonians 2
1 ¶  Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2  not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

It is evident that deceived or false teachers or influential people in the Church at Thessalonica had mistaken or misrepresented what the Apostle Paul had earlier written and brought fear and confusion to the congregation of Believers there. What did the Apostle Paul write that was used to alarm the Believers in Thessalonica?

In Paul’s earlier letter, (written in about AD52 from Corinth), he wrote the truth, but the truth, as sometimes happens, had been misunderstood, misconstrued or misused in a negative, non-redemptive way, to make people afraid.

1 Thessalonians 4
13 ¶  But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18  Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Chapter 2
1 ¶  But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
2  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
4  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

Paul did not mean to convey that the coming of the Lord was at hand or near to this time. Rather, he explains, the time is not ready, and God is withholding this event until everything is ready. Of course, that was near 2000 years ago.

Next Wednesday we will study this apocalyptic passage concerning the Coming of the Lord and go verse by verse to provide us with a clear understanding of the revelation the Apostle Paul intends to share.

Let’s continue with a verse by verse commentary of:
2 Thessalonians 2
1 ¶  Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2  not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3 ¶  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
4  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5  Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
6  And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
7  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
8  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
9  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 ¶  But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,
14  to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
16 ¶  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,
17  comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

Sunday, April 26, 2020



What do you think is the biggest problem God is facing today? Hold that thought for a moment and turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Acts.

The Apostle Paul was born in the Roman free-city of Tarsus, in modern-day southcentral Turkey about 12 miles from the Mediterranean Sea in about the year 5AD. He was born a Roman Citizen to Jewish parents who lived in Tarsus.

As a young man, Paul was sent to Jerusalem to study Jewish Law under Gamaliel who was one of the most revered scholars of the day. Paul, known at that time as Saul of Tarsus, excelled in his studies and was became a very zealous Pharisee who made a name for himself by persecuting the early Jewish converts to Christianity. He was relentless in his attempts to arrest, testify against and personally participate in the public execution of those who claimed Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah.

About the year 34AD, Paul was on his way to Damascus to seek our and arrest those Jews who were followers of Jesus when all of the sudden, Jesus appeared to him and changed his life forever. At 29 years old, Paul became a Believer in Jesus, forsook his old life, was born-again, water baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, and immediately began preaching the Gospel of Christ with power and authority.

Seventeen years later, the 46-year-old seasoned Apostle Paul, along with one of his new disciples, finds himself arrested, beaten, and thrown in jail once again for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and hurting world. This was not the first time his love for the lost had gotten him in trouble and it would not be the last. This time he is in the city of Philippi in Greece. He is in the inner prison, Silas was arrested and beaten with along with him and their feet are fastened in stocks.

It is so unfair … neither of them deserved this … what are they going to do? It’s late and no doubt they are in a lot of pain and very uncomfortable in the darkness of this dungeon … but …

Acts 16:25  But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

If you have not read this account in the book of Acts let me assure, it is a great testimony. As they prayed and sang praises to God in their darkest hour, as the prisoners were listening … God moved mountains and shook the earth and loosed their chains and the chains of every prisoner, opened the prison doors, and set the captives free!

Not only were the prisoners listening to see what these Believers in Jesus were going to do but when they saw the miraculous provision God gave to these who had been treated so wrongfully by the government of their day, they continued listening and did exactly what they saw Paul and Silas do and not one of them tried to make it on their own from there.

About 20 years later, the Apostle Peter would write his first epistle and confirm the actions of Paul and Silas …

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

This brings us to our two points this morning:
        Point #1: You Have Been Chosen …

John 15:16  “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

        Point #2: … To Show Jesus to a Lost and Dying World

Colossians 3
12 ¶  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
13  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
14  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

How shall they know Him if they cannot see Him in us …

This past week God inspired me with a thought early one morning in answer to a question I had asked Him the night before. The thought was this:

What do you think is the biggest problem God is facing today?

That is what I want to be working on and focused on.

God’s greatest concern today is souls. God biggest need is laborers who will help Him to reap the fields that are ripe for harvest.

The harvest is plentiful, only the laborers are few …

God has made is so that I have no great problems in my life right now that keep me from helping Him with His.

Again … How shall they know Him if they cannot see Him in me?

Saturday, April 18, 2020

A Better Day


You can watch Pastor Ron preaching this message by searching for GTCOTR on YouTube or Facebook. 

Late yesterday evening, between watching TV with Brenda and playing with our puppy and his new bunny rabbit friend, I started looking back over notes I’ve made in the past on my phone. I spend a lot of time studying and I don’t always have the opportunity to preach everything.

This morning I would like to share from the notes I wrote in my phone at 5:01pm on November 29, 2014. I believe it is a word for today.

I started with a thought. I wrote:

One of the worst things I’ve ever gone through ended up being one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

Our main text will come from the book of First Kings

The story of the widow of Zarephath …

1 Kings 17
12  So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

She had no hope of a better day … But God did … and Elijah did … and Elijah went ahead and gave her the Word of the Lord. God’s Word opened a door of opportunity for her to believe in a better day. How do we know she believed in a better day? Because of what she did …

1 Kings 17
15  So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days.
16  The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.

When a person no longer believes in a better day they will think things and say things and do things they wouldn’t if they believed in a better day. And, the things they think, say and do will unfortunately lead them to a worse day.

Life is filled with what I should have and could have said, been or done. Instead of filling our lives with what we should have done, let’s be more like God and fill it what I am going to do. Not what I have been but what I am going to be. Not what I did say but what I’m going to say. That’s the clear message of the Bible … It’s the message of faith in God and faith for the future.

·        Faith doesn’t make God bigger … faith makes us bigger.
·        Faith doesn’t make God stronger … faith makes us stronger.
·        Faith doesn’t make God right … faith makes us right.
·        Our faith does not make us God … Our faith recognized He is God!

Dreams are a door to the future. When God inspires us with a dream, a vision, hope of a better day, faith for the future, it opens a door of opportunity. Our opportunity is to believe God above what we think, feel or see.

The very nature of faith demands that faith rely on the truth. Not our truth – Not our want – Not our plan … But God’s truth; What God wants; God’s plan. But, thanks be to God, we always know His Word and His Word is Truth. Just like it did in the life of that widow, it will speak of a better day.

God believes in a better day!

Our response to God is simple … It’s like the Prophet Micah said:

Micah 6: 8  He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
·        Do Justly
·        Love Mercy
·        Walk Humbly

You can’t re-write history, but you can take the opportunity the Lord is giving you to get the future right.

Start believing in better day and Begin writing the best chapter of your life today!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Revelation of Jesus Christ


Revelation 1:19  “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this."

These are basically three divisions of the Book of Revelation
    1.  The things which you have seen …
a.   The Vision
b.   Revelation 1:11  saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
c.    What you see …
    2.  The things which are …
a.   The Church Age
b.   Revelation 2&3
c.    Revelation 2
                                         i.    1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
                                        ii.    2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
d.   To the Angel of the Church
    3.  And the things which will take place after this.
a.   The Rapture of the Church
b.   The 7 Year Tribulation Period
c.    The End
d.   The New Heaven and the New Earth
e.   Revelation 4 – 22
f.    Revelation 4: 1 ¶  After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
g.   After these things

Should the Lord tarry and all things continue without interruption, we will take three Wednesday nights, beginning tonight, and get enjoy a brief overview of the Book of Revelation following these three main divisions of John’s apocalyptic writings.

This evening we will focus on the first division: The things which John had seen.

Revelation 1
1 ¶  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants — things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
2  who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
3 ¶  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
4  John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
5  and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6  and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7  Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
9 ¶  I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
11  saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12  Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15  His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16  He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
17  And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
18  “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
19  “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
20  “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

These are the things John saw:
  • ·        John saw Jesus, ruler over all the kings of the earth; Who loves us, and washed us, and made us kings and priests of His Father, God.
  • ·        John saw the return of Jesus in the clouds as he had been told.
  • ·        John saw the Alpha and the Omega Who lives forever and Who has the keys of death and hell.

You know what I see? I see I don’t have anything to worry about … Jesus has it all covered!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

A World At War


All around the world today, we are at war …

·        We are a world at war with the Coronavirus, CoViD19.

·        We are a world at war with terrorism.

·        We are a world at war with drugs.

·        We are a world at war with poverty.

·        We are a world at war with hunger.

·        We are a world at war with depression and suicide.

·        We are a world at war in our homes.

·        We are a world at war in our schools.

·        We are a world at war in our city streets,

Because …

·        We are a world at war with God.

The wars we face today cannot be won with carnal weapons.

The many wars we face in life can only be won if we surrender.

I am not suggesting that you surrender to drugs, depression, divorce, division or the devil’s desire to take away your joy and your peace and your security or your life or the life of your loved ones with this current coronavirus.

However, I am imploring you to surrender to the One Who can heal the leper; raise the dead; cast out devils and save a soul from hell.

1.  Surrender to the Word of God
2.  Surrender to the Will of God
3.  Surrender to the Way of God

One of the messages in the early chapters of the Book of Revelation paints a clear picture of where we stand in the world today. It’s found in:

Revelation 4:1  After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

John saw the future and he saw the things which would take place on the earth during the Great Tribulation which is to come upon all the world.

John was not in the tribulation period and neither are we. He wrote to us about a coming day. When I read this verse my mind is drawn to the clear picture it paints for us today … It’s the picture of an open heaven!

John saw a door standing open in heaven …

This is a clear parallel to what Jesus said when He was speaking to His disciples about the coming last days. Jesus said:

Matthew 24
36  “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
37  “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
38  “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39  “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

The door of the ark was standing open … there was an open opportunity for all who heard and believed the message God had given through Noah … the door was open, just like the door of heaven, right up to the moment God shut it.

The world in Noah’s day was at war with God. Wickedness permeated the lives of ungodly men who ruled the earth, and everyone imagined they were safe and secure without God. When God finally had enough, and the set time had come, God closed the door. It was yet another seven days before He judged the sin of this world and destroyed the evil and those still at war with Him.

Genesis 6
5  Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 ¶  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7  So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
8 ¶  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9  This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

The world in Noah’s day may have been evil and at war with God but Noah wasn’t. As well, Noah evidently influenced his family greatly because not only did Noah go through that open door of salvation, but so did Noah’s family.

Today I have some good news and I have some bad news …
·        The Bad News – The world is at war with God …
·        The Good News – The door of heaven is still standing open!

You can still find grace in the eyes of the Lord and without respect to what you are facing today or will face tomorrow, His grace is sufficient!

Today I am asking you to humble yourself in the eyes of God and surrender your life, your marriage, your health, your home and your hope to Him. He will never leave you or forsake you … you can depend on God!

These are the days God is giving us to work on ourselves and walk closer with Him … You can find Him in prayer!