Sermons by Ysrael De La Cruz (Page 2)

A Christ-Centered Community

The church was Jesus’ idea; he is her founder.  Jesus said he would build it.  He bought it with his own blood and promised that it will transcend time. The apostles proclaimed Jesus as Lord and Messiah and people received the message and were baptized into Christ, then they were added to the number of followers.  This is how the church began in the first century.  Two months after the death of Jesus, the church was established.  The church is the gathering of those who profess faith in Jesus. 

Jesus Message to the Church – Laodicea

Today we will finish the series on the seven churches of Revelation.  Revelation 2-3 are seven letters of Jesus sent to seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey).  We have seen thus far how each church had its own challenges; each letter is addressed in context to whatever was going on in the church and even in the city where the church was located.  Today we will look at the church in Laodicea. 

Jesus Message to the Church – Philadelphia

Today we will look at the
church in Philadelphia, one of the seven churches to which Jesus sent messages
through the apostle John.

Philadelphia is known as
“Alashehir (city of god, exalted city). This city was very syncretistic, from
Anatolian and Hellenistic practices. Its patron deity was Dionysus, god of wine.This city was almost destroyed in 17AD by an
earthquake that devastated Sardis and nearby cities.The population of the city was small due to
the constant earthquakes; this caused people to move outside the city.Philadelphia became a missionary center for
spreading the Greek language and customs into eastern parts of Lydia and Phrygia.

Some believe disciples of
Paul planted this church there.

Jesus’ Message to the Church – Smyrna

Last week we started a sermon series on the seven churches of Revelation.  A lot of times when people read this book, they don’t realize it contains seven letters by Jesus sent to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). (Rev.1:11) Each of these seven churches was unique, each had its own struggles and issues to deal with.  For instance, the church in Ephesus Jesus commanded to repent since they had forsaken their first love.  The church was not as loving as it used to be.

Jesus’ Message to the Church

The book of Revelation is a fascinating book, it’s the only book in the Bible that promises a blessing to the readers. (Rev.1:3).  Within this book we find seven letters written to seven churches in the province of Asia Minor.  Why these seven? We don’t know, but the messages we find in these letters is relevant to the churches today.  The church is to represent Christ in this world, but sometimes churches go through many issues and may be distracted from their main mission as Christ’s agent in the world.  Through the messages Jesus sent to these churches you get to learn what God expects of his church in this world.  What does Jesus expect of his church today?  We find answer to this question in our study of the seven churches of Revelation.

Moving Forward

With the start of a new year, people tend to think about changes and resolutions as if it is the year that would bring such changes in their lives.  Resolutions don’t happen automatically.  This year is already moving forward, but you may choose to change or not to change anything.  Every year will bring joy and sadness; victory and defeat; life and death; it could be a year to plant or to uproot what has been planted.  It is good to make resolutions, but we don’t have to wait for a new year to start.  You can begin anytime, any moment.  But the choice is yours.

Gods Salvation is Here

Christmas is the time in which followers of Jesus remember the time when God sent his Son into the world, the Savior announced to Mary. Last week I talked about how the news of the Savior was announced to shepherds in the field. “I bring you news of great joy for all the people, today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.”

Good News For All

People respond to Christmas so differently; some choose to celebrate it, others don’t.  For some it could be a time of joy and celebration. For others it could be a time of sadness and gloom.  Some people would love if this holiday didn’t exist.  Some tend to hate this holiday because of how commercialized it has become.  Regardless of the commercialization of Christmas, some try really hard to focus on the birth of Jesus.  Regardless of what people do in Christmas, some people try their best to remind themselves of the time when God sent them a Savior.  This is how they choose to respond to what Christmas has become these days.