Archives from May 2019

The Avenger: End Game

Sunday Sermon

Nahum 1:1-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Romans 12:19

Vengeance is defined as payback or retribution for something that someone has done wrong. Some people say they don’t want a God who is vengeful. But it’s possible these people are deceiving themselves and they really do want a God who is vengeful and deals out justice. Just look at the current number 1 movie, soon to be number 1 all-time, Avengers: Endgame. The movie is about heroes who are taking vengeance on the villian on behalf of the universe. People may say they don’t want a vengeful God, but the evidence in our culture indicates otherwise.

God is an avenging God. Vengeance means God brings justice and punishes evil. Today we look at three Bible passages that explain God’s vengeance.

Nahum 1:1-8

Nahum’s prophecy is about the city of Nineveh. Another book about this city is Jonah. These people returned to their evil, and now Nahum says they will be destroyed. God can use natural disasters and wars to exercise His vengeance. … The people of Nineveh were cruel people and did detestable acts. However, in the book of Jonah, God sends a prophet to warn the city that He would destroy them unless they repented. They repented and God relented, showing His mercy. Then about 150 years later, Nahum has a new message for the people of Nineveh. Nahum starts out by saying God is slow to anger, telling us that anger and vengeance are not the first of His attributes to be revealed. His wrath is great and terrifying. But God also is merciful and extends grace, but that mercy and grace looks even more welcoming with His wrath in the background. After stating these attributes of God, Nahum prophesied that Nineveh will be destroyed and doesn’t give an option for repentance and mercy. The people of Nineveh, the Assyrians, no longer exist today.

2 Thessalonians 1:6-9

The vengeance of God in this present world is uneven and incomplete. But there is coming an endgame to His vengeance. When Jesus returns, He will take vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey to His Gospel. … In our world, some crimes go unpunished. Sometimes innocents are punished with or in place of the guilty. Endgame spoilers: In Endgame the forces of Thanos gather on one side of the battlefield and the Avengers gather on the other side. Using time travel, they were able to bring back those who died in the previous movie. When Jesus returns the dead will rise and join Him and He take vengeance on those who do not know Him.

Romans 12:19

Christians must not take revenge. We must leave room for God’s wrath Because of the vengeance of God, we can let go of bitterness, trust God’s justice, and pray for our enemies. … Whenever we try to take vengeance into our own hands it turns into revenge, which involves more personal feelings and emotions. Paul quotes Deuteronomy here and tells us that vengeance belongs to God and that we should leave it to Him. This allows us to let go of bitterness.

Oh the Places You'll Go

Sunday Sermon

Joshua 1:1-9

This week we celebrate the graduating seniors with a sermon from our youth pastor.

You may recognize the sermon title as the title of a Dr. Seuss book. In the book, a young character leaves home and goes on a journey. The journey takes him to various places and requires courage. Today’s sermon is mainly directed at graduating seniors, but also applies to all of us.

God commissions Joshua to be the next leader of the nation of Israel. He must be courageous and step up to the task. … Joshua has seen many powerful works that God has done through Moses. Now, it’s his turn to lead his people and he has some big shoes to fill.

4 distinct pillars of courage to lead you into the future:

  1. Courage rests upon a clear assignment from God (Joshua 1:2-4). … These graduates have been doing assignments all their lives in school, and they are also on assignment from God, just as we all are. We’ve been given our assignment by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 and are reminded of it in 2 Corinthians 2:17-20. That assignment is the great commission, to go and make disciples.

  2. Courage rests upon the assurance of God’s presence (Joshua 1:5). … God reminds Joshua that He was always with Moses and He promises to always be with Joshua too. We can also claim this promise for ourselves.

  3. Courage rests upon a focused determination (Joshua 1:6-9). … God repeats Himself, telling Joshua to be strong and courageous. We won’t be any more courageous without using what courage we do have, and sometimes we need to be encouraged to use that courage. … In Dr. Seuss’ story, the character needs courage as they go on their journey. There will be tough times and easy times and we need to be strong and courageous in all those times. … God is with us wherever we go and He gives us the courage we need for every situation.

  4. Courage rests upon the Word of God (Joshua 1:7-8). … As long as we trust in the Lord and His promises, His Word, we can be courageous. These verses tell us how to use His Word to live courageously.

    1. Proclaim Truth … Joshua proclaims truth, he speaks it and references Deuteronomy 6:7-9

    2. Possess Truth … We need to take ownership of God’s word and meditate on it as we see in Psalm 1:1-2

    3. Practice Truth … We are told do some things in the Word. James 1:22 also tells us we need to do as the Word states. We need to live out the Truth.

In one of his Unspoken Sermons, George MacDonald writes, “In whatever man does without God, he must either fail miserably--or succeed even more miserably.” MacDonald understood that wherever we go and whatever we do, God is there and we should do all things with Him. Many of the things we do require courage, and our courage rests upon Him, His assignment, His presence, His encouragement, His word.

A Kingdom-Focused Family

Sunday Sermon


The example of Aquila and Priscilla:

  • Acts 18:1-2

    • Expelled from Rome in 49 AD. … Suetonius, a historian, confirms that Christians were kicked out of Rome in 49 AD. The order was issued Claudius, the Roman Emperor.

    • Met Paul in Greece in 51 AD. … Interestingly, they had the same occupation as Paul. They were tent makers and would have been good with leather.

  • Acts 18:18-19, 24-25

    • Traveled with Paul to Corinth in 52 AD. … After working with Paul and becoming good friends, they decide to go on a mission trip with him. … When they heard someone preaching about Jesus without the full picture, they invited him into their home and helped him learn more about Jesus. … When Paul went to Ephesus, they followed him there, but they remained there when Paul moved on.

  • 1 Corinthians 16:19

    • A church meets in their house.

  • Romans 16:3-5

    • Return to Rome in 57 AD. … We know they returned to rome because Paul addresses them in his letter to the Romans. Apparently they even risked their lives for Paul and they still have a church meeting in their house.

  • 2 Timothy 4:19

    • They are back in Ephesus in 68 AD. … Paul finally made it to Rome, but Aquila and Priscilla are in Ephesus again, as evidenced by him greeting them in his letter to Timothy

A kingdom-focused family:

  1. Works as a team. … Be on each others’ teams. Work together. Sometimes one must submit to the other, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still work together.

  2. Finds a mission bigger than their jobs. … Aquila and Priscilla weren’t full-time church workers and probably carried on as tent makers throughout the time we looked at, but they risked their lives for a mission that was bigger than their jobs.

  3. Uses their home to glorify God. … Aquila and Priscilla invited others into their home so could teach them about Jesus.

  4. Connects to a local church wherever they move. … Aquila and Priscilla always connected to a church, whether it was in their home or somewhere else, they were part of a church.

Aquila and Priscilla thought Claudius, the Roman Emperor who expelled Christians from Rome, had simply kicked them out of their home. But God used Claudius to cause them to meet Paul. They somehow saved Paul’s life and he kept preaching. Their encounter with Paul led them to many other places and to good work for Christ.

We Are Sent

Sunday Sermon

Acts 25-28

Today we are going to look at how God sends the Apostle Paul to fulfill his dream of getting the Gospel to Rome, nearly 3000 miles from where the Spirit first descended upon the church in that Upper Room.

  1. Live provocatively (Acts 25:22)... Paul was arrested and left in jail for two years and seemingly forgotten. A new ruler eventually comes to power and calls before him, but Paul, who is a Roman citizen, appeals to Caesar. So, they make plans to send him to Rome to plead his case, but before he can get there, King Agrippa asks to speak with Paul so he could try to understand Paul's motivations for how he lives. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us our lives should prompt others to ask how and why we live the way we do.

  2. Seize opportunities (Acts 26:27-29).... As Paul speaks to Agrippa he tells Agrippa about Jesus and how the Old Testament prophets point to Him. Paul saw every situation as a platform to proclaim Christ and he knew the Spirit can work in any situation.

  3. Embrace sovereignty (Acts 27:21-26).... At the start of this sermon, Paul had been in prison for two years, and now he is on a ship in a storm. Following Christ is not easy. The storm gives him an opportunity to proclaim his faith and the sovereignty of God.

  4. Live a sent life (Acts 28:30-31).... By the end of Acts Paul is renting a house and welcoming everyone and proclaiming the Gospel to everyone. That's how the book ends.

The book of Acts only has 28 chapters and ends abruptly, But did it really end or are we in chapter 29 right now? Here's some tips on how to live like we are in Acts 29.

Be Sent in your inviting…. We tend to invite other Christians to church events. That's not a bad thing, but we really need to invite non believers even more so.

Be Sent in your volunteering…. Have you been affected by a volunteer? Pay it forward. Volunteer to go on missions or teach a class or do nursery.

Be Sent in your generosity…. Giving is important. It's how we pay for new materials for missions and classes among other things.

Be Sent in your faith…. Share your faith. Don't be afraid to follow God's direction.