Tag Archives: Jesus

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet – an mp3 audio sermon about the cross

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet” a sermon about the cross by Dan Chaney.

The Birth of Christ

Dan Chaney’s Christmas sermon: The Birth of Christ

Listen to the audio

Download the PowerPoint

View the PowerPoint online at Google Docs

Jesus Would Evangelize

Jesus Would Evangelize
by Bill Blue

People oftentimes place importance on a person’s final words. What can lessons can we learn from Jesus’ final instructions to the apostles before He ascended into heaven?

JESUS EXPECTS US TO EVANGELIZE. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts all record that Jesus’ final instructions to the apostles included the commands to preach the gospel (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:44-52, John 21:15-17; Acts 1:8).

Matthew and Mark quote Jesus as requiring the Gospel to be preached in “all nations” (Matt. 28:20; Luke 24:47), and to “the whole human race” (Mark 16:15 – AMPLIFIED BIBLE).

JESUS EXPECTS US TO PREACH THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM. According to Jesus, baptism is necessary for salvation (Mark 16:16), and to become one of His disciples (Matt. 28:19). Luke records that Jesus commanded, “repentance and remission of sins should be preached” (Luke 24:47). Peter, Luke, and Paul all say that baptism is for the remission or “washing away,” of sins (Acts 2:38. 22:16).

JESUS EXPECTS US TO OBEY HIS COMMANDS AS THEY ARE GIVEN. The apostles and early disciples followed Jesus’ instructions exactly. Luke wrote that Jesus commanded the apostles to remain in Jerusalem after His ascension and wait for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). Then, preach the gospel first in Jerusalem, then the rest of Judea, Samaria and finally the rest of the world.

46 “Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the
Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance
and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning
at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the
Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are
endued with power from on high.’”
(Luke 24:46-49) “But you shall receive power
when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”
(Acts 1:8,
NKJV).

Following this instruction, the apostles returned to Jerusalem (Luke 24:52; Acts 1:12). They were in Jerusalem when they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:12–2:4). Immediately after receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter preached the first gospel sermon in Jerusalem and 3,000 people were baptized (Acts 2:14, 41). Afterwards, Peter and others continued preaching and working miracles until the doctrine of Christ had “filled Jerusalem” (Acts 5:28).

Later, Philip went to Samaria. Many there “heeded” his teachings, and were baptized through his preaching of Jesus and the kingdom of God (Acts 8:5-6, 8:12-14).

Other Christians, fleeing Jewish persecution, spread the Gospel “as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch” (Acts 11:19-20). Eventually, the apostles and others succeeded in “turn[ing] the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) for the Gospel had not only been successful in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, but also “throughout almost all of Asia” (Acts 19:26).

Thus, as Jesus commanded, the apostles preached the gospel first in Jerusalem and Judea, then Samaria and the rest of the world.

JESUS EXPECTS US TO FOLLOW THE APOSTLES’ EXAMPLES AND TEACHINGS. Jesus instructed the apostles to teach the new disciples they baptized to obey everything He commanded the apostles (Matt. 28:20). Thus, we too, are responsible for “preaching” or “proclaiming” God’s word (2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:15).

Cleanse The Temple of Modernism

Cleanse The Temple of Modernism by Bill Blue

Is Christ pleased with all the works and forms of worship performed in His name today?

One Lino Lakes, Minnesota congregation has movie-theater style seats with cup holders (the cup holders are designed to hold the designer coffee that will be sold at the building).

Another congregation in nearby Eden Prairie, Minnesota has swelled to such large numbers that it has two buildings miles apart. The smaller building features videotaped sermons and a ten-piece band.

In Essex County, New Jersey, a congregation held a football service. Women played cheerleaders and the choir and preacher dressed in jerseys. In Peoria, Illinois, a congregation decorates its building with golf balls and footballs, and the men huddle up at the beginning and the end of each service.

A St. Paul congregation used to be the attendance champion because it operated a non-alcoholic nightclub, and boasted that its slogan was “Definitely not church as usual.”

Many Christians would oppose nightclubs and videotaped sermons, but what about daycare centers, ten-piece bands, softball teams, Wednesday night dinners, or three-dollar coffees?

What would Jesus say about efforts to modernize or liberalize worship?

Jesus is not pleased by every form of worship performed in His name (Matt. 7:21-23).

With respect to common meals, Jesus demonstrated in His own ministry that He was more concerned with fulfilling spiritual needs than one’s appetite. On the day after Jesus fed the 5,000, many of the Jews who had been fed the day before traveled across the Sea of Galilee to be fed again (John 6:24, 26). Jesus did not feed them again, but said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27). Over and over again Jesus stressed that it was more important to believe that He was the Christ, than to be preoccupied with their own bellies (John 6:29, 32-33, 35-40). Paul similarly says to churches who assemble to eat common meals, “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? … But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment” (1 Cor. 11:22, 34). Common meals can cause divisions within the church, and cause brethren to forget why they are assembling in the first place (1 Cor. 11:17-34). Jesus would prefer us to come together to be nourished with words of faith and good doctrine (1 Tim. 4:6) instead of $3 coffees or spaghetti dinners.

With respect to nightclubs, gyms, daycare centers and the like, either all are authorized or none are authorized. What would Jesus say about these social outreach institutions? On two occasions, Jesus cleansed the temple of the moneychangers. On the second occasion Jesus said that the offenders had made the Lord’s house “a den of thieves” (Matt. 21:13). On the first occasion, however, Jesus did not accuse anyone of stealing, but said, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:16). The moneychangers were guilty of doing something God did not authorize. Likewise, where is the authority for a church to spend the Lord’s treasury on daycare centers, gymnasiums, schools, or nightclubs? Where does the Bible say that these activities are the work of the assembly? Biblical silence is not permission (Heb. 7:14).

Which would Jesus find more offensive – selling animals necessary for sacrifice, or selling $3 coffees at worship? The moneychangers could at least argue that they were selling items necessary for worship. After all, everyone under the Law of Moses had to offer an animal for sacrifice as part of his or her worship to God, but God requires no one today to have daycare or coffee in order to worship Him.

The problem with modern worship is that the breadth of permitted activities grows over time because they are not confined by God’s word which never changes (Mal. 3:6). The organ or piano introduced into some denominations in the 19th century has given way to ten-piece bands and choirs that sing while the congregation sits quiet (but see Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). In the 20th Century, women and homosexuals began filling pulpits once reserved to righteous men (1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). How far has modernism gone? In one of the congregations referenced above, worship includes comedy sketches and rock music, but no Bibles and no hymnals. How well can one be filled with “words of faith and good doctrine” without Bibles (1 Tim. 4:6)? It is time to cleanse our houses of worship of the moneychangers of daycare and gyms before our Bibles disappear and we starve from a lack of God’s word.

Next week we will print our final article in this series.