The Holy and the Not.

I recently preached at my church for the first time.  The text was Isaiah 6:1-8 and the main point was the “we will never be the same after meeting the holy God.”  Please take a listen.

THE HOLY AND THE NOT

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Our Best Offense is a Solid Defense

Last Sunday I had the honor to preach at Island Baptist Church in LBI, NJ.  My good friend Luke Fraser is the pastor.  He is a great man of God and it was a tremendous privilege to be in his pulpit.

I preached on 1 Peter 3:15 and how this vs teaches us as Christians how we are to honor Christ as holy, have an assured answer for people who ask us why, and answer like Christ.

Please take a few minutes to watch.

That 3:16

“For God so loved”  We think we know what love is.  We love our friends and our family and our pets.  But God so loved.  His love is beyond anything we can think of.  Think of a person you love more than anything else.  Nope!  That’s nothing compared to the love of God.

“the world”  This is Jew, Gentile, black, white, Hispanic, Arabic, European, Asian, African, every nationality.  God doesn’t care how much melanin you have in your skin.  He doesn’t care what part of the world you are from.  He so loves people out of every nation, tribe, and tongue.

“that He gave”  Have you ever given a gift?  Think of the most expensive gift you have given.  That is nothing compared to what God has given.  He spared no expense for who He loves.

“His only begotten Son” This is Who He gave.  His one and only unique Son.  Jesus Christ.  Born of a virgin.  Lived a sinless life. Died a sinners death.

“that whoever believes in Him shall not perish”  What do you mean perish?  If you don’t believe in the Son then the wrath of God will be poured out on you because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  The punishment for sinning against an eternal God is eternity in hell.  This is bad news.  But the verse says if you are “whoever” and believe this will not happen.

“but have eternal life.”  Yes!  Believe and you will receive eternal life.  Eternal life with God forever praising the Creator.  You will be forgiven of your sins and set free from being enslaved to them.  You will be given a new heart being born again to follow the risen and living Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord.

Believe today! Now is the time!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Finished

imageThere is nothing a person can do on their own to get right with God. It takes perfection. We are not perfect so we must die. But there is a work that has been done to make sinners right before a holy God. The finished work of Jesus Christ alone saves sinners. When a sinner turns from sin and trusts in Jesus Christ God sees the wage/penalty of sin, which is death, paid in full. Trust in Jesus Christ today.

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Love

cropped-ocean.jpgWe are called to love one another. Jesus says this is how men will know we are His disciples.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

The two greatest commandments He says (paraphrasing) are to love God with everything and love everyone else as ourselves. No one does either. We disobey God showing we can’t love Him as He commands and hence we can’t truly love neighbor. But Jesus fulfilled this and by His love we can love.

Repent and believe the good news.

 

 

Set Free

imageAs we celebrate our independence in the United States of America lets remember those who fight for freedom everyday. Let’s remember those who have fallen in battle. I thank you. You put it all on the line for freedom.

There is One who can give true freedom.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Watch this to see how

 

Journey to Where?

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I was once on a journey.  I was trying to find myself.  Isn’t that what life is about?  Trying to find out who you are and how you fit in this world?  Isn’t it about getting ahead, getting a degree, getting a job/career, getting a house, getting a wife and starting a family?  The list of stuff to go after is non-stop.  It is all part of the American dream.  You want it?  Go get it!  Just be nice along the way and the universe will move for you.

Is this what you believe?  If so, then what?  What happens when you get all you ever wanted?  What happens when you are living the dream?  What happens when you are suddenly on your death-bed or suddenly dead?  Will that house, car, wife, family, iPhone be of any use to you?

Sadly, some preachers even preach this.  It is refered to as the “prosperity gospel” or “name it claim it gospel”.  It is not the true gospel.  I once heard it said that he who dies with the most toys wins.  But in actuality, he who dies with the most toys dies just like everyone else.  The question goes back to, “then what?  Is it all over?  Did I amass all this stuff for my vapor of a life on earth and now nothing?  Or did I amass all this stuff in my vapor of a life on earth and it was my idol and I worshipped it instead of the creator of all?  Did I love stuff and hate God?  Did I love the dream and hate the Spirit?  Did I love the world and hate Jesus?”

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:14

“So what? My life is short.  So I am not supposed to pursue things.”  Here in America so many have the privilege to have stuff.  It is when the stuff becomes the focus.  But nothing matters at all if you do not know God.  Nothing matters at all if you are an enemy of God.  “So pursuing things makes me an enemy of God?”  If anything is put in front of your relationship with God you need to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

“But I do not believe in the God you speak of.”  If you don’t know God at all then yes, you are His enemy.  You have created your own god in the image of yourself instead of worshiping the true God who made us in His image.  We all know there is a God.  Some will recognize Him as God and others will hold down the truth.  They will actively hold it down like trying to hold an inflated beach ball under the water.  But the truth still exists that we were all created in His image.

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Romans 1:18-23

This is what happens when we deny God.  We create gods in our image.  We love ourselves and try to reason away our behavior by denying God for who He is.  We don’t want there to be a true and just God because then we will be held accountable for our actions.  Or we try to have a god who will let us in to heaven on our own works.  We know that God is just and will punish us for our sins.  So we hold down the truth in our unrighteousness and the world says that is ok.  The world and flesh and the evil one tells us to keep seeking self. They tells us to keep doing what feels good.  They tell us our good deeds out weigh our bad so if there is a heaven we will go there.

This is a great lie.  It is a lie that started from the fall.  “Did God really say????”

Yes! He has said and Yes! there are eternal consequences for not obeying His standards.  We all have lied.  We all have taken His name in vain.  We all have dishonored our parents. We all have not loved the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and strength.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  Romans 3:23

But God did something for sinners.  He came down and became a man.  He lived a sinless life.  The life we should live.  He died the death that we deserve.  He rose after three days dead to prove who He is.  “So we just believe that?”  We turn from our sins, with the power of the Holy Spirit, and put our trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and follow Him as Lord of our lives.  Putting our trust in Jesus is not just believing He lived and died and rose.  It is believing that it was for you and without it God sees your sins and punishes you with all His wrath.  When you put your trust in Christ, God sees His righteousness.  He poured out His wrath on Him so you can be saved.  This is good news.  This is the gospel.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8

Are you on a journey to find you?  Are you on a journey to amass things?  Are you running away as an enemy of God?  If so I pray you will turn away from your sins and striving for things (repent) and put your trust in Jesus Christ.  I know I can’t convince you to believe any of this.  I just want you to think about it.  Then think some more.

Holy Father, give them ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart that is regenerated by You gospel.  It is in the name of Jesus alone they can be saved.  Works, church attendance, praying the rosary, sacraments, or any other thing added by man can not save.  It is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, by You alone God, any can be saved.  I pray in the saving Name of Your Son Jesus Christ I pray.  Amen!

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

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