Posts in the "Sunday Sermon" Category

What Happens When a Christian Sins?

Sunday Sermon

When we are saved, our past sins are wiped away, but what happens when we sin after receiving salvation? There are two popular answers: 

  1. We lose our salvation if we willingly sin. 

  2. It doesn’t matter because we’re already forgiven. 

Are these right? Let’s see what the Bible says. 

  1. When we Christians sin, our standing with God is unchanged (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8-9). … Those who are true believers are sealed and salvation is secure. We aren’t saved by works and we don’t lose it through works. 

  2. When we Christians sin, our fellowship with God is disrupted (Ephesians 4:30). … Even though Christians are guaranteed salvation, that doesn’t mean sin has no effect on us or God. Our sin affects our ability to worship and spend time with God.

    1. Our prayers are hindered (Psalm 66:18; 1 Peter 3:7). … We are told that cherishing sin (including disrespecting your spouse) hinders our prayer life. 

    2. We experience God’s discipline (Revelation 3:19). … Jesus tells us He rebukes and disciplines those He loves. 

Look back at the two popular answers. Is either right? No, they are both on the extreme ends of the spectrum. The first is legalistic and the second treats God’s grace as a simple get out of Hell free card. 

What do we do as Christians who have sinned? We follow the advice of Revelation 3:19: we earnestly repent. 

We also have a tradition that helps us remember this: The Lord’s Supper or Communion. It forces us to consider Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and that should repentance. 

1 John 1:5-10 is a great message about how to live as believers. It calls for us to live in the light of our Savior and to be honest and confess our sins.

God Is Calling You

Sunday Sermon

What method does God use to call us? 

  1. God can speak audibly (1 Samuel 3:4-5).... God called to Samuel apparently in an audible verse since Samuel thought Eli had called out to him. 

  2. God often speaks inaudibly (Acts 8:29).... This can be a simple thought that pops in your head or a tug on your heart to do something. 

  3. The Bible is God's authoritative communication (1 Corinthians 14:36-37).... When you think God has spoken to you either audibly or inaudibly, always check that message against what the Bible says. If it goes against what the Bible says, it wasn't from God. 

  4. God prefers to use human messengers to call us (Acts 9:10-11; Romans 10:14).... He does this a lot in the Bible. In the Old Testament he spoke prophets, judges, kings, and others when getting a message out to His people. In the New Testament He speaks through the Disciples and Paul and Peter and others. The ultimate messenger from God is Jesus who came from Heaven to take human form and deliver His message. Even today He speaks through pastors as well as other people, 

What is the content of God's call to us? 

  1. God calls to salvation (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Peter 2:9; John 5:24).... We all have a sin problem but Jesus has bridged the gap caused by our sin and we are called to cross that bridge to salvation. We are called out of darkness and into light. We are called from death to life. 

  2. God calls to ministry(Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2).... When we are called to salvation, we are also called to ministry in a sense. We are all supposed to spread the Gospel. However there is also a special calling for people to be more specialized in the ministry, to be pastors, missionaries, public speakers. 

  3. God calls to specific assignments (Acts 13:1-3; 16:9-10).... Sometimes God calls on people to take certain tasks. Maybe you are called to do missions in a specific part of the world or to be the pastor of a specific church or to lead a certain Sunday school class. Maybe you're even called to help lead worship or operate sound and lights and slides. 

Five Pictures of Heaven

Sunday Sermon

Revelation 21-22

CS Lewis said that “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” I've never been to Heaven. The preacher has never been to Heaven. There are books about people who claim to have gone to Heaven, but we are going to get our ideas of Heaven from the Bible. So let's look at five pictures of Heaven from Revelation 21-22. 

  1. Renewal (Revelation 21:1-2).... The new Heaven and Earth will have all the good from the current Heaven and Earth but without sin. There will be no curse. Think about how the Earth was before sin, before the curse. 

  2. Reunion (Revelation 21:3).... We will be with God and with our family of believers, including those who died before us.. We will be ecstatic to be reunited with loved ones, but the greatest reunion we will experience is the one with Jesus. 

  3. Release (Revelation 21:4).... There will be no more pain, depression, sickness, cancer, crime, or even tax forms. There will be no more sin and we will all have pure hearts…. Will we forget all the pain we suffered on Earth? In Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, upon realizing he and his friends were still alive, Samwise Gamgee asked “is everything sad going to come untrue?” That’s a great question that has apparently inspired several sermons (do a quick search and you’ll find some good ones). What does it mean for all sad things to come untrue? It doesn't mean that we forget them or that they cease to have existed, but that they become unimportant with an eternal perspective. After all, we will be with our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. 

  4. Reassignment (Revelation 22:3).... We will serve God. Work was part of the original plan in Eden, but it wasn't supposed to be difficult like it became after sin entered Earth. 

  5. Reign (Revelation 22:5).... We don't know who we will reign over, but we do know we are royalty, sons and daughters of the King. 

How do we apply these future realities to our present circumstances? 

  1. Put away your bucket list…. The new Heaven and Earth will have the best of everything from the old Earth and Heaven…… If you need a bucket list, there is one thing that we can do now that we can't do in Heaven: share the Gospel with the lost. 

  2. Stop being depressed about aging…. In the new Heaven and Earth, we will get a new, glorified body. 

  3. Let's teach our children these things…. The reality of Heaven should change how we parent and raise our kids. 

  4. Understand what you are longing for…. CS Lewis says that having a longing for something is a pretty good indication that it exists. We all long for something that this world can't provide and can only be fulfilled by God. 

How to Overcome Temptation

Sunday Sermon

Three promises about Temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13):

  1. You are not the only one facing this temptation.... It's easy to feel like you are the only one going through whatever you are going through. Even Elijah felt this but God informed him there were many others who were with him.

  2. You will not be tempted beyond what you can bear…. Even with Job, God put limits on the temptations and suffering Satan could put him through

  3. You will always be provided a way out of your temptation.

Three strategies for overcoming temptation:

  1. Flee (1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22).... There are some places we don't need to go to. There are some websites that we don't need to visit. There are some people we don't need to associate with because they tempt us and especially with sins we are prone to committing. Set some boundaries in your life that keep temptations away. This isn't always possible, which leads to the second strategy.

  2. Fight (James 4:7).... We are told to submit to God and resist the Devil. Too often we get this backwards…. One thing this verse implies is that the Devil feeds on weak prey and doesn't like when we fight. And we have weapons and armor provided by God.
    Your weapons (Ephesians 6:11-18) :

    1. Salvation (1 John 4:4)... Claiming your salvation helps you remember who you are, a redeemed child of God. The Spirit is in you and He is greater than the Devil.

    2. The Bible (Matthew 4:1-11)... The Devil traffics in lies but cannot defeat the Truth. When Jesus was tempted, He quote scripture. Memorize scripture and say it when you are tempted. Don't fight with a butterknife when there is a sword available.

    3. Prayer (Matthew 6:13; 26:41)... Jesus tells us to pray for protection against temptation.

  3. Change (James 1:13-15; Galatians 5:19-25).... Some temptation you can flee from. Some you can fight. But the real root of our temptation problem lies within us. The only way to truly fix the problem is to change. To quote Pogo, "we have found the enemy, and it is      us." Some people say there is no way for a person to change, but we serve a God of miracles who has no limitations on what He can do. Our desires can change. We can crucify our old desires and pickup new ones.

A Challenge to Christian Men

Sunday Sermon

2 Timothy 1:1-18

Paul addresses Timothy as “my dear on.” Timothy did not have a Christian father. H had a mother and a grandmother who passed the faith onto him. Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy. Paul shared two challenges with Timothy that our pastor wants to share with men today. … Our best guess for some context of this letter is that Paul is in his sixties and Timothy is in his thirties. Paul is very much a father figure for Timothy and Timothy a son to Paul. … Fathers are important. There are several statistics that indicate just how impactful a father is in the family. But that doesn’t mean that children who grow up without a father have to be doomed. The church should be full of men who can be spiritual fathers to the fatherless.

  1. Be bold in following Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1-12). … From what we know, it seems that Timothy was a naturally timid and passive person. Men can sometimes be pretty passive as they see things happen. Paul encourages Timothy to fan the flame of our gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit. He tells Timothy to be bold and not ashamed of the Gospel or of Paul’s imprisonment, but rather toi join Paul in his suffering. Why should we join Paul in suffering by being bold in our faith? (side note: Being bold does mean being obnoxious or annoying. You won’t win many souls for God that way.
    Three reasons:

    1. We are saved (2 Timothy 1:9-10). … Jesus died on the cross to save us. When He died and rose from the grave, he defeated, obliterated, death.

    2. We are sent (2 Timothy 1:11). … Preacher or not, we are sent into the world to make disciples.

    3. We are sure (2 Timothy 1:12). … Even as he sat in prison for his beliefs, Paul was still sure of his salvation in Christ.

  2. Be faithful in following Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13-18). … There’s a beginning and a continuing to the Christian life. Some people begin the Christian life and then something happens and they quit. Paul gives examples of people who were not faithful in their walk and someone else who was faithful. It is important to only begin following Jesus, but to also continue following Jesus even when the journey grows difficult.

    1. Two negative examples (2 Timothy 1:15)

    2. A positive example (2 Timothy 1:16-18)

When Was God at His Best?

Sunday Sermon

The Bible

How can we answer the title question? When was Go at His best?

  1. God must have been at His best the creation of the Heavens and the Earth. … All of the parameters that had to be perfect for life to exist on Earth are just that, perfect. The Earth spins at the perfect rate, in an orbit around the sun in the Goldilocks zone. There are so many things that had to be perfect for life to exist that it’s absolutely amazing everything came together properly.

  2. God must have been at His best when He create man. … Man is unlike anything else on Earth and God put man in charge of the Earth. The intricacies of the human body are spectacular. Your small intestine is 23 feet long. A human sneeze can travel 100 mph. The eye is equivalent to a 576-megapixel camera. To put that in perspective, smartphone cameras tend to be around 12 megapixels and 4k resolution is only about 8.5 megapixels.

  3. God must have been at His best during the period of time when God’s children were winning battles. … There are quite a few battles in the Old Testament where the Israelites won a battle only because God intervened. Moses, Joshua, King Jehoshaphat, and more led the Israelites in battles they could not win without God’s help, and God was faithful to His people.

  4. God must have been at His best during the time of the prophets. … Elijah, apparently the only prophet of God left at his time, did great things, including having God burn up water soaked bulls to show that God is the only God, showing up the prophets of baal in the process. Other prophets also did great works in God’s name.

  5. God must have been at His best the birth of Christ. … Even the angels sang in joy of this event. The Magi came with gifts, fell on their faces, and worshipped Jesus.

  6. God must have been at His best during the life of Christ. … Jesus did many miracles. He turned water into wine. Healed a child from miles away by simply speaking, healed a man by just telling him to get up, fed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, walked on water, calmed fears and storms, used mud to heal a blind man, rose Lazarus from the grave, and more.

  7. God must have been at His best during the death of Christ. … Jesus suffered unimaginable beatings and punishment and died on the cross. The Earth shook. The sky went dark. The veil tore. Because He died. The sacrifice of Christ was the final sacrifice to cover sin.

  8. God must have been at His best at the resurrection. … When those who loved Him were weeping and His enemies were rejoicing, He rose from the grave. The tomb was empty and He had risen. He had defeated death.

  9. God is at His best in salvation. … When He saved me, when He saved you, when He saved your friend, when He saved your enemy God was at His best,. God is at His best when people are saved. The whole Bible, from beginning to end, is about the salvation God offers and how it is available to everyone.

VBS Key Verse: The Purpose Statement of the Gospel of John

Sunday Sermon


John 20:30-31

Why did John write his gospel (story of Jesus)?

John wrote his gospel to help us believe in Jesus. … This is why it is often recommended as the first book of the Bible to read for those who have never read it before.

John calls the miracles of Jesus “signs”. … They are signs that point to who Jesus is.  

“Believe” is the key word in John. This word occurs 11 times in Matthew, 10 times in Mark, 9 times in Luke, and 98 times in John! … That’s quite a stark difference from the other gospels and shows a major emphasis.

What does John want us to believe about Jesus?

  1. Jesus is the Messiah (Christ). … Jesus is the One who was promised in the Old Testament prophecies.

  2. Jesus is God’s Son. … He is the Son of God, holy and eternal.

Why is it important to believe in Jesus?

When you believe in Jesus you receive life through Him.

  1. Jesus gives abundant/rich/satisfying/full/better life. … Jesus gives life better than we can dream of, better even than the life King Solomon had. Solomon had everything he wanted and came to the conclusion that it was all meaningless. To be more specific, that it was meaningless without God.

  2. Jesus gives eternal life. … We know that even after we physically die our spirit will live on in eternity because we believe in Jesus and have put our trust in Him.

One of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas (called twin) struggled with believing Jesus had risen from the grave. He wasn’t with the other 10 (Judas Iscariot was dead) when Jesus first appeared to them and he doubted their reports. Jesus appeared to them again and showed Thomas His scars and Thomas believed. And because he believed, he will have eternal life. Then Jesus says that those who believe without seeing will be blessed. That’s us!

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

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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.