Posts in the "Series" Category

The First and Second Comings of Jesus: The Two Comings of Jesus Are Predicted Together

Sunday Sermon Series The First and Second Comings of Jesus Holidays Christmas


Jesus was at the side of God. Then the time came for Him to leave God’s side and come down to Earth. He was born, carried out His ministry, was crucified, buried, rose, and ascended to Heaven. He sits in Heaven now and there will come a time where he returns to Earth. 

Isaiah 9

First Coming (9:1-2)

Second Coming (9:6-7)

Light will shine in Galilee. … This region had suffered much, but these verses predict something great will come from it. Matthew 4:13-16 confirm that this prophecy is about Jesus’ first coming. 

Government of peace, forever. … The first two lines of these verses are about His first coming, but the rest are about His second coming. 

Isaiah 11

First Coming (11:1)

Second Coming (11:4-9)

The Messiah will be a descendant of David. … Jesse was the father of David. The stump of Jesse refers to his family tree that was seemingly cut off during the exile as a descendant of David no longer ruled afterwards. Matthew 1:1 confirms that Jesus comes from this lineage. 

There is coming a time of harmony. … In His second coming, He’ll defeat His enemies just by speaking. The wolf will lie down with the lamb. Predator and prey will be no more. 

Isaiah 61

First Coming (61:1-2a)

Second Coming (61:2b)

The Messiah will preach good news and perform miracles. … Jesus quoted this verse in Luke 4:17-21 and confirmed that it was about His first coming. Notice where Jesus stopped reading. The last part of verse 2 doesn’t apply to His first coming.

The day of vengeance is coming. … This is where Jesus stopped reading in the middle of a sentence. That’s a bit odd, but it’s because the last part refers to His second coming. 

Zephaniah 9

First Coming (9:9)

Second Coming (9:10, 14, 16)

The Messiah will ride a donkey into Jerusalem. … Matthew 21:1-5 confirms this prophecy being fulfilled in His first coming. 

He will proclaim peace to the nations. … He will be the king of all and will come riding on the clouds. The trumpet will sound. This won’t be some lowly, subtle entrance. He will return in a way everyone will know and He will complete our salvation. 

Do you believe Jesus is coming again? Let’s look at the first column. Those prophecies were all fulfilled. God has a pretty good track record. Why should we doubt that what He has revealed to us won’t come true?

Think Like Jesus: Think Like Jesus in Your Relationships

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus

Philippians 2:1-11

This passage teaches us how to think like Jesus in our relationships. It applies to marriage, family, school, friendships, work, and church. … Last week we saw that our unity with Christ is the basis and foundation for the Christian thought-life, in Philippians 4:2, Paul calls out a couple of the leading woman in a church for not being like-minded in the church. Being like-minded doesn't mean we never disagree. There will still be arguments, but we should all have the same direction and same end goals that unite us. 

Verse 3 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves."... We love ourselves; it's part of our culture, the selfie culture. We like raising ourselves up and being first fiddle. Sometimes though, it's important to raise others above us and be willing to play second fiddle. 

Verse 4 says not to look only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Verse 5 says in your relationships, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. 

Verses 6-11 shares the attitude of Christ we are to imitate: 

Jesus was in very nature God, but He gave up the privileges of deity (v. 6), made Himself nothing, took the nature of a servant and became human (v. 7). He humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross (v. 8). Because of this, God has exalted Him (vv. 9-11).... Jesus continued to lower Himself from God to human to death in the worst of ways. But then He was exalted to the highest of plays and been named Lord of Everything. This prophecy tells us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This doesn't mean that all will be converted and saved and make it to Heaven. Many knees and tongues will do it involuntarily. It is the ones who do it of their own free will that are saved. 

What would happen if you would take up the cross and follow Jesus and His example? Here are two things that are apparent from scripture. 

  1. You'll have more joy

  2. You'll be exalted.

Think Like Jesus: Set Your Mind on Things Above

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus

Colossians 3:1-15

Before we get to the sermon, let's have a quick review as said by Ephesians 4:1`7-23… We all start out in this world confused. We are prone to certain destructive thoughts and desires such as greed. Fortunately, there is a way 

  1. The basis of our new thought life is our union with Christ (Colossians 3:,1 3-4). “Since you have been raised with Christ--” “For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ.”... As believers, we've been joined with Jesus. That union includes a death of our old selves and a resurrection as a new being, With this death and resurrection, we are also linked to Jesus in His ascension, Our home is in Heaven. Shouldn't we live and think in ways consistent with our status? 

  2. You can choose and control your thought life (Colossians 3:2). “Set your mind--”.... We may not be able to choose what thoughts, but we can choose what we do with thoughts. We can choose to either welcome them or push them away. It’s like what Martin Luther once said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” 

  3. The object of our new thought life is to be Heavenly things (Colossians 3:2). “Set your mind on things above--” CS Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that “the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.” When we have our mind set on Heaven, we feel more urgency to impact Earth. 

    1. Put to death the thoughts and attitudes of your earthly nature (Colossians 3:5-10).... Paul tells us we need to kill off these thoughts dealing with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed. We don't simply manage these thoughts or toy with them. We need to put an end to them. 

    2. Fill your mind with Christ-like thoughts and attitudes (Colossians 3:12-15).... Once we kill of those earthly thoughts, we can fill our mind with much more virtuous thoughts that will lead to a better life. 

Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is your thought life consistent with the ways of Christ? 

  2. Are you taking control of your thought life? 

  3. Is your mind set on things in Heaven? 

Think Like Jesus: From Confusion to Discernment

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus

Romans 1:20-31; 8:1-7; 12:2

Before we can learn to be discerning, we need to see how we are confused.

  1. When you reject God’s revelation, your thinking becomes confused (Romans 1:20-31). … Everyone has some knowledge that there is a God thanks to nature. But we typically choose not to give Him the glory for it. 

    1. God gave them over to sexual impurity. … As a culture, we have moved this way. Since the 1960s the approval of sexual immorality has increased. Has God abandoned us to sexual impurity

    2. God gave them over to shameful lust. … In the early 200s the acceptance of homosexuality started to grow. In only 4 years, the same president who said he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman changed his tune in his second campaign. Has God given our culture over to shameful lust? 

    3. God gave them over to depraved thinking. … We might not be to this point yet, but if the pattern continues, it’s not far off. 

  2. When you believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit enables you to think clearly (Romans 8:1-7). 

Romans 8:5

Romans 8:6

Romans 8:7

Mind set on flesh

Leads to death

Hostile to God

Mind set on Spirit

Leads to life and peace

Submits to God

  1. As Jesus transforms you, your thinking becomes sharper, and you are able to discern God’s will (Romans 12:2). … Even after salvation, the world wil still put pressure on us to conform, but we must renew our minds and stand firm. How do we renew our minds? By studying God’s Word and praying and worshipping God. This will help us be able to discern the Will of God.

Think Like Jesus: Three Ways of Thinking

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus


1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3

What is your thought life like? Is it clean? Do you think like Jesus or

  1. The natural person (1 Corinthians 2:14) … This is how we are. This is how everyone starts out. 

    1. Does not receive spiritual things.

    2. Views spiritual things as foolishness. 

    3. Does not understand the value of spiritual things. 

We don’t start out just knowing about spiritual things. We don’t start out with an experience in these matters and we don’t start out with the Holy Spirit helping us understand it. … It’s akin to discovering a new sport. At first you know nothing about it, but then you start to receive it.  2 Corinthians 4:4 says Satan has blinded us. Acts 26:18 says the Gospel can open our eyes to see the light. 

  1. The spiritual person (1 Corinthians 2:15-16) 

    1. Is able to discern the real value of everything. 

    2. Is misunderstood by the world. 

    3. Has the mind of Christ.

Spiritual people have the Holy Spirit, and through Him, they are able to discern or know the value of spiritual things. The world tends to struggle with understanding spiritual people, which can make it difficult to live as a spiritual person. These spiritual people also think like Jesus. 

  1. The carnal person (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

    1. Is a believer, but is spiritually immature. 

    2. Is jealous and quarrelsome. 

    3. Behaves like a natural person. 

Carnal people believe in God but don’t grow in their faith. Since they fail to mature in their faith, they end up being continuously jealous and quarrelsome and act like a natural person. The natural person is what we are prior to salvation and that salvation should change us to be spiritual people. However, many of us are carnal people instead. The Holy Spirit should change us into spiritual people

The key to thinking like Jesus is your relationship to the Holy Spirit. … You probably caught that He was mentioned in all three sections. He is the one who changes us if we keep our relationship with Him strong.

Stress and Distress: Some of Our Distress Is Caused by Our Sin

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress


2 Samuel 24

We’ve looked a few types of stress from outside sources already, but today we look at stress that we cause for ourselves through sin. 

Why does 2 Samuel 24:1 say the Lord incited David to take a census, while 1 Chronicles 21:1 says Satan incited him? … We don’t really know why these accounts differ. It doesn’t make sense for God to incite someone to commit a sin. One possible explanation is that God allowed Satan to incite David to sin. This is what happened to Job and to the Israelites when God allowed more sin influence in their lives as an act of discipline. 

What was wrong with taking a census? … It seems like a strange act to consider a sin. Was his motive wrong? Was the method incorrect? 

Joab tried to persuade David not to take a census (2 Samuel 24:3). What can we learn from this? … Whatever made it sinful was obvious to Joab as he protested immediately. Often when we are about to go down a bad path, God sends someone to warn us. Joab was far from perfect but he was God’s messenger (apparently along with other commanders) in this case. David would not listen and overruled them and carried out the census. 

2 Samuel 24:10 shows what truly made David great. He wasn’t great at avoiding sin, but he was great at confessing it. He knew he had sinned and he immediately confessed it to God. Then he’s given three options that he must choose from as punishment. The three options show us that our sins have consequences not only for ourselves, but also for innocents.

David said, “Iam in deep distress” (2 Samuel 24:14). Is sin the root cause of any distress in your life? … Have you been dishonest? Consumed by greed? Wronged somebody?

In Psalm 25:18, David prayed, “Look on my affliction and distress and take away all my shame.” … 70,000 people in Israel had died because of his sin. David felt some heavy shame and distress from his own sin. David knew that God could remove that shame and he asked God to take it from him. 

David bought Araunah’s threshing floor, which would have been on the top of a hill, so he could build an alter and make sacrifices. Araunah offered to give it to him free, but David insisted on paying. David didn’t want to offer sacrifices that cost him nothing. 

What is the significance of the threshing floor of Araunah? … But what makes it more significant than any other threshing floor? This is Mt. Moriah where God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. This is the place where Solomon would later build the temple. Later, the temple was destroyed and rebuilt in the same place. It was destroyed once more in the first century A.D. All that remains is one wall that has been a pilgrimage destination since then. 

Stress and Distress: Cumulative Stress: When Giants Keep Coming

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress

2 Samuel 21-22

We’ve already looked at circumstantial stress and relational distress. Today we look at cumulative stress, stress that just piles up. The Holmes-Ray Stress Inventory is a scale that rates how stressful certain life events typically are. When you add up all your stress over the past year, they say that if your score is 350+ you are likely to have a breakdown in the next two years. Stress can really add up and affect lives. 

Cumulative stress means stress that accumulates in your life. We can handle one or two stressors in our lives, but what do we do when stressful events seem to pile up? You probably know that David killed a Philistine giant named Goliath. Did you know there were other Philistine giants who attacked David and his men? What do you do when the giants keep coming? … Wait, just how big were these giants and is this possible to be that tall? We’re told Goliath was 9 feet tall. Even in recent history there was a man, Robert Wadlow, who was 8’11” and still growing when he died at only 22 years old. Wadlow was a rather skinny man but weighed over 400 pounds just because he was so tall. Imagine how much Goliath and these other giants must have weighed as warriors likely with broad shoulders and large muscles. Well, he was a descendent of Rafa and had brothers and cousins. Some of them were also giants and they attacked Israel. 

How do you deal with cumulative stress? 

  1. Lean on your relationship with other people (2 Samuel 21:15-22). … David had help from other people in defeating these giants. He had a group of warriors known as David’s Mighty Men. These men were incredibly loyal to David. Why? Well, he had shown his willingness to die for them and now they show their willingness to die for him. … None of these men were perfect and neither was David. They all were sinners and had flaws, but they were loyal to each other and to God.

  2. Lean on your relationship with God (2 Samuel 22:1-7, 17-210). … David sang Psalm 18 to God. This where he writes the psalm. David recalls what has happened and praises God for saving him as David called out to God in distress. 

One more thing: Committing your life to God will increase some stress in your life. Our goal is not stress-free living. Our goal is to follow even if that causes us greater distress. … Following Jesus will introduce certain new stresses but it will also get rid of other stresses that are caused by sin. 

Adoniram Judson, one of the more well-known missionaries, was serving in a dangerous location in India. He was in love with a woman, Anne. He sent a letter to her parents asking their permission to marry her and take her to this dangerous place where they could die any number of ways. It had to have been stressful writing that letter, reading the letter, and allowing their daughter to go. Serving in such a place also must have been stressful. Eventually Anne would die of a sickness. But not before becoming the first person to translate the Bible into the local language. 

Stress and Distress: How to Deal with Stress from Broken Relationships

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress

2 Samuel 15-19

There’s good stress in life. For example, the strings on a guitar are under stress and make beautiful music, but if you tighten them too much, putting them under too much stress, they’ll snap. 

Ten years before the events we’ll look at, Absolam killed his half-brother because David, who was furious, refused to punish him for raping Absolam’s full sister. Absolam then fled the kingdom. David longed to be reunited with Absolam but there was this barrier that kept them from each other. 

David’s son, Absolam, rebelled against him and tried to take the kingdom from his father. David’s reaction models how to deal with relational distress. 

David’s encounter with Ittai, Zadok, and Hushai reminds us to focus on good relationships in times of distress (2 Samuel 15:14-34). … Ittai, one of his sons, is an image of loyalty here. Zadok the priest also shows his loyalty to David. Then David heard that one of his elder advisors was helping Absolam, but another of his advisors (Hushai) offered to help counter any knowledge the traitor gave to Absolam. … We all need people in our lives we can count on in times of need. This is why being in a connection group and part of the local church is important. 

David’s encounter with Shimei reminds us not to retaliate in times of distress (2 Samuel 16:5-13). … Shimei is throwing rocks and cursing at David from above, so one of his people takes offense and offers to cut off Shimei’s head. David stops him and allows God’s plan to play out. 

During this time of distress, David wrote Psalm 3. … Absolam’s spy gave him some good advice on how to defeat David, but Hushai gave Absolam some different advice and gave David time to get away.

David affirmed that God was his shield (Psalm 3:3-4). 

When you are in distress, don’t focus on what you don’t know; focus on what you do know. … We know God has promises that He will keep, than we can rely on Him. 

David determined that he would sleep (Psalm 3:5-6). 

When you are in distress, you need to talk to God, but you also need to talk to yourself. … It often helps to give ourselves a good talking too. 

Eventually Absolam died in a rather dramatic way (2 Samuel 18:9) and David went back to Jerusalem to retake his seat on the throne. Remember Shimei? The man who threw rocks and curses at David? He came crawling back to David seeding forgiveness and David forgave him. 

Stress and Distress: In Your Distress, Find Strength in the Lord

Series Stress and Distress


1 Samuel 30

Many things can cause stress: money, work, school, family, and many more factors can cause stress for us. Some stress is good. It can help us grow and reach new achievements. But some stress, often called distress, has negative effects on us. 

Background: God had made a decree back when Moses as leading His people that He would completely wipe out the Amalekites. God entrusted Saul with part of this task, but Saul spared some of Amalekites. This is part of why God rejected Saul as king and eventually replaced him with David.

What was the cause of David's distress in this passage (1 Samuel 30:1-6)?... Saul had raided Ziklag, where David and his men had set up as a base and left their families there. David's men were upset; they had followed David and trusted him, but now their families had been taken from them because of him. Apparently they discussed stoning David. 

How did David respond to his distress (1 Samuel 30:6-8)?... David got alone with God and found his strength in God. David sought God's direction as he asked what to do next; whether or not to pursue the group that raided Ziklag…. A couple of chapters before this, Saul faced distress, but instead of turning to God, he turned to a witch; he turned to false religion…. Gold answered David and said to pursue the raiding party, and that they would surely overtake them and defeat them. So they left, late in the day, and went after the raiding party. Some of the men were too tired to cross a river and were left behind. Then they met an Egyptian, a slave the Amalekites had left to die, and he led them to the Amalachites. David and his men rescued their families that were carried off. 

David wrote about his experience in Psalm 31. What is David's testimony and prayer in the psalm (Psalm 31:14-16)? … David trusted in God and asked for deliverance from his enemies. 

Who quoted the psalm in another time of distress (Psalm 31:5, Luke 23:46)?... Jesus knew the Old Testament; He knew the words of David and He used them. 

Prepared to Give an Answer: “I don’t need religion to be spiritual” Be Prepared to Answer the New Age Spirituality

Sunday Sermon Series Prepared to Give an Answer

This is the final sermon in this series about being prepared to answer others who have questions. 1 Peter 3:15 has been our theme verse and it tells us to be ready to respectfully and gently defend our faith. 

We’ve only covered a few worldviews and there are many more out there. 

New Age Spiritualism hold that oneself is one’s own god and is not an organized religion. They hold  pantheist view that everything in the universe is god and god is everything. Everything is divine. But “self” is sovereign over all. This is a bit like the “force” in Star Wars where the force is in everything and everyone and it connects us all. They meditate to clear 

The Biblical worldview says:

  1. God created everything. Creation is distinct from God yet dependent on God (Genesis 1-2; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 33:6; 104:12-25; John 1:3; Revelation 4:11). … God created everything and called it good. However, creation is not God and God is not creation. But He provides for us through creation as we and the animals and the flora all depend upon God. 

  2. God is transcendent (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33-36). … Nothing about us makes us equal with God. He is above all, even ourselves. 

  3. Balance God’s transcendence with His immanence/nearness (Acts 17:27-28a; Jeremiah 23:23-24). … God is way above us but He is also among us. He is with us and wants a personal relationship with us. 

  4. God reveals Himself to people through His creation, through the scriptures, and through Jesus Christ (Psalm 19:1-2; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 1:25). … Creation points to a creator and reveals certain characteristics of God. The scriptures reveal even more about God. And, well, Jesus is God. 

Why is Christianity a more plausible worldview? 

  1. The New Age movement is man-centered and doesn’t account for sin. Christianity is God-centered and recognizes our need for a Savior (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 53:6; 64:6). … New Age Spirituality says we are basically good. Scripture tells us we are sinners in need of a savior. 

  2. The New Age Spirituality ignores the problem of evil; that is sin, disease, natural disaster, and pain in general (Romans 18:18-24a; John 16:33). … Are they ok with calling certain things good and certain people god? Their worldview seems to demand it. Christianity is different and warns us that we will suffer through evil in the world but that we will see rewards in Heaven. 

  3. As with many other worldviews, the New Age Spiritualist would say that truth is subjective. New Agers create their own reality (Romans 1:25). … Any time a view claims truth is subjective, there is no way to prove it or reach that conclusion without going against that view. The Bible warns us that people will reject the truth for lies. 

Chew and Spit:

  1. They believe in reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27-28). … Scripture says physical death is final. We do not come back in another body. 

  2. They practice meditation to work toward enlightenment. Biblical meditation is filling the mind with Scripture and praying and focusing on the work of God in your life. … They try to empty their mind instead of filling it with God. 

  3. Spiritualists are often holistic in practice. … They are often vegan in diet because of karma and are also good environmentalists. These are a couple things Christians could consider also for their own lives. 

  4. Spiritualists have many practices that they use to connect with their inner divinity and pursue enlightenment. … They use things like ouija boards and seances to try to reach the spiritual realm. This is something the Bible warns against.