Sunday, May 31, 2015


Pentecost – 3000 Obey The Gospel

    “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”  Acts 2:40-41 (NKJV)

    The Keys to the Kingdom.

    “The man with a fact is never at the mercy of a man with a doctrine.”  The Cross & Resurrection is a fact.  The Wind & Fire of Pentecost is a fact.

    “The Bible is a book of facts.” 

    “Prophecy counts as fact.” 

    “Facts are stubborn things.”

    Jesus spoke: Believe the Fact of My Works.

    “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." John 10:37-38 (NKJV)

    Joel spoke.

    “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:16-18 (NKJV)

    Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. “To prophesy” in the New Testament means to communicate religious truth by divine authority, as well as to foretell the future. The prophecy was fulfilled in the inspired speaking on Pentecost and afterwards, as well as by the daughters of Philip (Acts 21:9). It will be seen that both sexes are included. See visions … dream dreams.  Such visions as that of Peter at Joppa. Such dreams as that of Paul at Troas, where he saw the Macedonian asking him to “Come and help us.” —Johnson’s Notes

    Peter spoke.

    "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”  Acts 2:22-24 (NKJV)

    “In one breath they have just heard no less than seven startling propositions: 1st. That Jesus had been approved by God among them, by miracles and wonders and signs which God had done by him. 2d. That they, themselves, knew this to be so. 3d. That it was not from impotence on .his part, but in accordance with the purpose and foreknowledge of God, that he was yielded up to them. 4th. That when thus yielded up they had put him to death, by the torture of crucifixion. 5th. That they had done this with wicked hands. 6th. That God had raised him from the dead. 7th. That it was not possible that death should hold him.— McGarvey: Acts of the Apostles

    "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.”  Acts 2:29-31 (NKJV)

    “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” Acts 2:32-33 (NKJV)

    "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:36-39 (NKJV)

    "Convinced by the prophecies, by our testimony, and by the remarkable scene exhibited on the day of Pentecost, let all be convinced that the true Messiah has come, and has been exalted to heaven." —Barnes' Notes on the New Testament

    “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.  A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)

Saturday, May 30, 2015



Rhoderick D. Ice


         Everyone has Grandparents, Great-grandparents, and so on - all the way back to Adam and Eve in the Garden.  And this is how it is in the history of the church also.  We stand on the shoulders of those who lived before us.  And this is true even when we know nothing about it.

         When PENTECOST came, God had been preparing the world for it since the beginning of time. Centuries of Jewish history led up to that great Day.  "God does not have emergencies; He has Plans." History, then, is marching toward the END which God had planned. It cannot be otherwise.

         Present day Churches of Christ are rediscovering their  roots.  Tours bring people from all over the nation to Bethany, W.Va., where the Campbells lived; to Cane Ridge in Kentucky, where the "Great Revival" touched Barton W. Stone and others; and to other places where our fathers in the faith struggled with the IDEAL of what we now term "Restoration." [Stone & Campbell spoke of the "Continuing Reformation."]  Books & papers have been printed; videotapes produced; all to take us back to previous times so that we can KNOW what these Pioneers of Faith thought and did in their own lifetimes.

         "CAPTIVES OF THE  WORD" has been reprinted by College Press.  Louis & Bess Cochran chronicle the history of the "Movement With Three Faces" [this is an important fact] in a smooth, flowing way which makes excellent reading.  Every preacher and elder should be required to read this book. We may have differences on what the past means to us today. But we cannot deny it.  Our past is fact.  It really happened.

         The Campbells, father & son, [the defacto leaders] were impelled by an intense loyalty to Christ Jesus.  They took His "Great Commission" as a mandate to conquer the World with the Gospel of Christ.  They believed that to convert the World to Christ would usher in a Golden Age.  They took Jesus' prayer for unity (John 17:20-21) as the MEANS to accomplish Christ's command.  To create this UNITY, they believed it was only necessary to persuade "believers in Christ" to RECOVER the ANCIENT ORDER which they saw existing in the church while the Apostles lived on the earth.  "Go back," they said, "all the way back, beyond the years of change and distortion, to RECOVER the purity and power of the First Century Church."

         The "Movement With Three Faces" was never monolithic - even though many make this claim.  Walter Scott wrote about how things were in 1827. "There are three parties struggling to restore original Christianity: the first of them calling themselves "the Churches of Christ"; the second calling themselves "Christians"; and the third lying at that time chiefly in the bosom of the Baptist Churches and originating with the writings and labors of Brother A. Campbell.  To the first of these parties up to 1826, belonged your humble servant, W.S."  [The Evangelist, April 1832:94]  Note: the "Churches of Christ" which Scott mentions, were the New Independents led by Haldane, Glas, Sandeman, etc. The “Christians" were the Stone movement.   The Campbells favored the name, "Disciples of Christ." These three names were used interchangeably before 1906.

         Building on the roots and foundations from the "New Independents" in England, the "Scotch Baptists," and others on the continent of Europe, Alexander Campbell led the way in searching out just what were the faith and practices of the IDEAL church in the Scriptures.  In "Captives of the Word," we watch as he and the others struggle to find form for their faith.  By the close of the "War Between The States," this "Movement To Recover The Ancient Order" had grown to become perhaps the fourth largest religious group in the USA.

         Around 1830 these three independent "streams" came together to form what we are now calling: The Restoration Movement.  Until 1906 "Church of Christ," "Christian Church," "Disciples of Christ," described the exact same group of people.  These people made the claim to be: "Not The Only Christians - But Christians Only."  This is not to say that each [local] church thought exactly the same.  "Instrumental music" became a serious issue in the latter 1800's.  But formal division over it did not come until Daniel Sommer's address at Sand Creek, Illinois, 1889. By 1906 the separation was "formalized."  Today many have no knowledge of the fact that unity once existed.

         It was a Golden Age in some ways. The Campbells, Scott, Stone, and a host of others were Pioneers of Faith!  Thousands were baptized into Christ - every year!  Churches were planted all over the USA and in other countries besides.  Sectarianism was being defeated!  The Ancient Order was being put back into local churches.  It seemed this Movement was invincible!  But the "War Between The States" smothered the flame and almost put it out.  The Movement began to shatter, not immediately, but the seeds of disunity were sown.

         World War II, strangely enough, brought new life.  Returning from the arena, many were captured by the challenge of a World To Be Won To Christ!  Churches of Christ exploded with growth as they took the Gospel to all the world - including friends and neighbors.  And this continued into the 1960's.

         But once again, Satan persuaded some to begin drawing lines and creating “issues.” Growth began to slow around 1965, and today very little growth is taking place over the whole brotherhood.  [Some churches are very much alive and growing.]

         The past is gone forever. We cannot call it back!  What has already taken place should be of great interest.  We must restudy our roots and the mistakes of the past.  But the words of JESUS ring out! "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature..."




"CAPTIVES OF THE WORD"  Louis & Bess Cochran, College Press, Joplin,  MO 64801

[A Restoration History]


"FOOL OF GOD"  Louis Cochran, College Press [The life of Alexander Campbell]


"RACCOON JOHN SMITH"  Louis Cochran, College Press [The life of the Kentucky Preacher]


"DISCOVERING OUR ROOTS"  Allen & Hughes, ACU Press [The Ancestry of the Churches of Christ]


"CHRISTIANS ONLY"  Murch, Standard

[A History from the "Independent" point of view]


Monday, May 18, 2015


    I serve a Risen Savior!
    Christ's bodily Ascension foreshadows our own entrance into Heaven not simply as souls, after our death, but as glorified bodies, after the resurrection of the dead at the Final Judgment. In redeeming mankind, Christ not only offered salvation to our souls but began the restoration of the material world itself to the glory that God intended before Adam's fall.”
    “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.  Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"  And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.”  Isaiah 6:1-4 (NKJV)
    “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”  Romans 8:18-21 (NKJV)
    "On the third day He arose from the dead, with the same body in which He suffered, with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of His Father, making intercession, and shall return, to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.”  Westminster    [His body was glorified.]
    The Risen Christ spent forty days with His disciples.  More than 500 are mentioned by Paul (1 Cor 15:6).  Then He ascended back to Heaven ten days before Pentecost (Acts 1:1-3).  He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came with power.  There were 120 in the Upper Room, the Jerusalem church.
    “One thing is proved by this, that the Lord Jesus had many more disciples than is generally supposed. If there were five hundred who could be assembled at once in a single part of the land where he had preached, there is every reason to suppose that there were many more in other parts of Judea.” —Barnes' Notes on the New Testament
    The Ascension.
    “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.  Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.”  Luke 24:50-53 (NKJV)
    “Luke alone records the events of the Ascension (see also Acts 1:9).  The Ascension signifies Jesus’ full glorification and lordship over all.  He is Pantokrator, the All-ruling Christ, sharing equal glory, authority, and honor with the Father.  The Ascension is as great a mystery as the Resurrection, and should not be understood simply in terms of time and space.  The risen Lord Jesus Christ is now enthroned, sharing fully the ruling power of the Father together with the all-Holy Spirit.  The disciples worshipped Him (v 52) because His Resurrection and Ascension fully reveal His divine nature.  They also continue to meet together, praising and blessing God (v 53) for all the gifts of salvation in the Son.  Joy (v 52) dominates their lives through the renewing experience of His Resurrection.”  Wallerstedt
    Wait for the Power.
    “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." Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."  Acts 1:8-11 (NKJV)
    Coming Again!
    “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."  Rev 1:7-8 (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit And Mary


    “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” Gal 4:4-7 (NLT)

    Mary as a guarantee of humanity.

    First consider our relationship to Jesus.  No one can accept Mary without fully embracing the mystery of the Incarnation.  The reality of Mary is a safeguard against any attempt to keep God at a distance by denying His closeness to us – by denying the reality of Immanuel, the Only-begotten Son of God in our midst.

    Mary is also the guarantee of humanity in the Church and in the world.  She is a woman and a mother; and like all mothers, she has a sense of the uniqueness of each person.  She brings a human touch to technology and the struggle for life.   

    God’s Plan for Mankind was in place before Creation.  This Plan centered around Jesus and a human mother.  As Eve was the first mother, Mary became the ‘God-bearer” (theotókos) as the mother through whom God the Son took flesh & blood. 

    “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”  Eph 1:4-5 (NLT)

    “Christian History involves the Action of God.  It is an action of God the Holy Spirit towards Christ, under the conditions of our humanity.  It was our humanity, as it were, that gave the signal for God’s Action.  The visible beginning for the Church was at Pentecost, but that is only the visible action that began in Heaven.  In fact, all the external world as we know it is an effect, caused by God.  Our causes are concealed, and mankind becomes to us a mass of contending and unrelated effects.  The Church began its career by arguing about its own Cause – in the time it could spare from its efforts to come into existence.”  Williams

    Mary as a guarantee of humility.

    Jesus is the Son of God, but He is also the Son of Mary.  Even in the Glory of Heaven He remains both.  We must not forget that Jesus willed to be dependent on His mother, during the time she carried Him, and also during the long years of preparation for His public ministry.  "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14

    God’s Son born of a human mother.

    “Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”  Luke 1:34-35 (NKJV)

    “That He is to be born of Mary demonstrates Christ’s human nature.  But that the Virgin will conceive and bear the Son of God reveals the divine nature of Christ.  We note especially the reference to the Holy Trinity: God the Father (the Highest), the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”  Wallerstedt

   But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."  Matt 1:20-23 (NKJV)

    “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.”  Rev 12:5  

    “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

    Jesus places His human mother in safe care.

    “Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister [Salome], Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.”  John 19:25-27 (NLT)

    In the agony of death, Jesus placed his human mother in John’s care. The fact that John is her nephew helps explain this. Some think this act implies that Joseph was dead at this time. And, her sons and daughters were likely still unbelievers (John 7:5), although after the Resurrection, they are mentioned with the believers (Acts 1:14).

    Mary in the upper room.

    “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”  Acts 1:14 (NKJV)


Lord Hear Our Cry Of Prayer

Lord Hear Our Cry Of Prayer

    “Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee today:” 1 Kings 8:28 (KJV)


    Solomon prayed for God’s Temple.

    “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today.  May you watch over this Temple night and day, this place where you have said, ‘My name will be there.’ May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place.  May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.”  1 Kings 8:27-30 (NLT)


    Abraham prayed for Sodom.

    “Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. And Abraham came near and said, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?  Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"  Gen 18:22-25 (NKJV)

    “Abraham’s philosophical discussion with God jars some readers. But his requests, though bold, were made with genuine humility and profound reverence.  He asked: What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it (Gen 18:24)? The reason Abraham can appeal to God’s righteousness is because he knows God’s character. Far be it from You to do such a thing – to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from You! This was really bothering him, and he finally asks the question we all ask at some point in our lives: Will not the Judge of all the earth do right (Gen 18:25)?”  Jackmay


    Jews were to pray for Babylon.

    “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.  And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.”  Jeremiah 29:4-7 (KJV)


    Pray for Ceasar.

    “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)

    “For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.  It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.  For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.  Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.”  1 Peter 2:13-18 (NLT)


    Pray for America.

    “Our Father, Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory.  We come with confidence to Your Throne of Grace in this time of need.  As our World faces crisis in many forms, may Your Will be done.  We will try to live to please You.  May Your great Purpose be accomplished and many souls be brought into Your Kingdom.  Send us a new Great Awakening and bring peace to Jerusalem.  Shine the Light of Christ into every nook & cranny.  Crush Satan beneath our feet.  Bring us home to be with You forever and ever.  Through Christ.  Amen.


Sinners In The Hands Od An Angry God

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

    300 years ago Jonathan Edwards preached judgment and repentance in his sermon: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  People responded in what is called The Great Awakening.  They genuinely repented and came to God.  Other times of revival, renewal and spiritual awakening have taken place over the years.  We pray for a new Awakening in America!

    Edwards’ text: “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.”  Psalms 73:18-19 (KJV)

    Edwards preached God’s Power: “But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defense from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God’s enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell.”

    “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” Psalms 53:2 (KJV)

    “Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.” Romans 2:9-11 (KJV)

    Why will you die!

    “The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: "Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says the Lord God.”  Ezekiel 14:12-14)

    God began judgment with His People the Jews.
    “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”  1 Peter 4:17
    As the scripture says. Peter paraphrases Prov. 11:31 and Ezek. 9:8-11.  Peter is saying: “The time has come for judgment to be poured out on the Jewish nation for their crimes, and it must begin with you Jewish Christians who have become in fact God’s own people. If God allows such punishment to come on us, whom He loves so dearly because of our faith in Christ, what will He do to those Jews who reject His Son.”  Johnson’s Notes applies the principle to the whole church. “If even we Christians must suffer in this life, what will God do to the godless and sinful after the Judgment?”
    The time has come. Those who think this passage teaches that in the Judgment, Christians will just barely squeeze by, do not give full honor to God‘s finished work in Christ! Christians are given full right to enter the eternal Kingdom (2 Pet. 1:11)! MacKnight is right in thinking the judgment is that which Christ predicted in Matt. 23:35. Even Christian Jews such as Peter would suffer in the events which led up to the destruction of Jerusalem. But Josephus tells us no Christian Jew was in Jerusalem when it was destroyed. (see note on Matt. 24:21).
    Come to God and be saved!

    Edwards offered hope:  “And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in, calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.”

    “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19-21  

    “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matt 8:11

    “Revive us again, Fill each heart with Thy love, May each soul be rekindled with fire from above!”  [from old song]

    “Lord – We pray for Revival, Renewal, Spiritual Awakening!  Fill our hearts with Christian Love, Holy Joy, and all the Fruit of the Spirit!  Bless America again!”

God of Goodness and Mercy

God of Goodness and Mercy

    “I am a sinner but God loves me anyhow.  I am a hypocrite but God loves me anyhow.  I do believe, help my unbelief.  But I am trying to cooperate with God as He leads me through life.  I am a sinner saved by grace.”

    “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”  Romans 2:4

    “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

    Paul’s lament about Law.

    “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.....  But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice..... For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”   Romans 7:15,17-19,22-24

    “The law was central to God's old covenant with the people of Israel, and many Jews in Paul's day still saw it as critical to how God's people lived. Therefore, in Romans, Paul frequently deals with questions about the law. The pinnacle of his treatment comes in Romans 7, where Paul powerfully argues that the law of Moses, rather than having a positive effect on people's lives, stimulated sin and brought death (7:5).  Paul wants us to realize that the law is not at fault. God's law is good and holy (7:12), but it is powerless to change the human heart. Deliverance can come only through a new and radical experience of God's power and grace in Jesus Christ (7:25). Through God's Holy Spirit, Jesus rescues us "from the power of sin that leads to death" (8:2).

    God’s answer of salvation.

    “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

    “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27

    Jesus has already purged our sins (Hebrews 1:3). 

    “For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given.  As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.”  Romans 10:4 (NLT)

     “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4 (NLT)

    How to work it out - sanctification.

    “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way.”

    “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  Gal 5:16-25

   But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:9-11

    “And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.” Revelation 21:24

Changed from the inside out.

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  Romans 12:1 (KJV)


Take your everyday, ordinary life—

your sleeping, eating, going-to-work,

and walking-around life—and place it

before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is

the best thing you can do for Him.

Don't become so well-adjusted to

your culture that you fit into it

without even thinking. Instead,

fix your attention on God.

You'll be changed from the inside out.

Readily recognize what He wants from you,

and quickly respond to the good He sends you.

God - unlike the culture of this world,

which is always dragging us down to its level

of immaturity - God brings out the best in us, and

develops well-formed maturity in all who love Him.


    “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

    Not the acquiring of wisdom but the practical proof of having it.         “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.”  2 Cor 5:17-18 (NLT)

    Keep pressing on!

    “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Phil 3:12-14 (NLT)

    Hold on to the progress we have already made: There must be no slipping or reversal; as believers, our conduct must be consistent with our spiritual understanding.  Pattern your lives after mine: Paul's serious pursuit of Christ and the life to which God had called him (3:7-14; 4:9; 1 Cor 4:6,16-17; 11:1; 2 Thes 3:7-9).

    “I am a sinner but God loves me anyhow.  I am a hypocrite but God loves me anyhow.  I believe, help my unbelief.  But I am trying to cooperate with God as He leads me through life.”

    “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  Romans 8:28-29

    “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:17-18

    “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”  1 Cor 6:11

    “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

    “God has made Christians holy by the work of his Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:11; 2 Thes 2:13), and they are therefore called to live as his own holy people (1 Cor 1:2). God has given them everything they need to live a holy life in this world (2 Pet 1:3-4). As a result, their way of life is to be distinctly different from that of the unholy world around them. Every part of their life is to reflect the transforming work of the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:2). —NLT Study Bible

    The Church is a LIGHTHOUSE radiating God’s wonderful LIGHT! 

    “For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).

    “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Cor 13:14



    The Cross & Resurrection was keyed into Passover when all the Jews were at Jerusalem.  “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7).

    “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.' " 8 And they remembered His words.”  Luke 24:1-8

     “A lot of people say, "I believe in the resurrection; I just don't understand it." Pollster George Gallup said even 84 percent of people who never go to church believe Jesus rose from the dead. It is historical fact; it wasn't done in secret. The whole city of Jerusalem and the whole Roman Empire knew about it. It was news. If CNN had been there, they would have had it live.”  Rick Warren

    The Book of Revelation bears witness.

    “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  Rev 1:5-6 (KJV)

    "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."  Rev 1:8

    “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Rev 1:18

    Christ offered Himself

    “Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.15 That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.” Heb 9:14-15 (NLT)

    “What is Christianity without the resurrection – both Christ’s and ours.  His death does us no good without it.  What use is forgiveness if we remain dead?  His disciples were transformed by His Resurrection; and this they preached above all.  Some Christians sing: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in tombs bestowing life.” Wallerstedt

    “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.”  1 Cor 15:20-23 (KJV)

    “And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”  Romans 8:10-11 (NLT)

    “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.25 “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live.26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son.27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man. 28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son,29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.”  John 5:24-29 (NLT)