We all have to fight battles in this life; perhaps you may be fighting one right now. We all face challenges that make us feel helpless, hopeless, to say the least. At times these challenges get the best of us; stress and anxiety, fear and insecurity. This is how the first king of Israel felt for at least 40 days; he faced a huge problem as king and leader of the nation. He didn’t know how to overcome the issue; he was afraid, insecure regarding a war he was fighting against the Philistines. The Philistines had a champion named Goliath who taunted the nation of Israel for 40 days. Goliath’s words “Choose a man and have him come down to fight me” King Saul ran out of resources.
Many of worship services are taking place right now in this nation and around the world. The main goal is to honor God. I often wonder how pleased God is with the way, approaches and attitudes we bring to our worship services. There are churches in which God doesn’t even show up in their gathering. God doesn’t show up because people are not truly seeking his presence, they may want something else, but God’s presence. Sometimes God doesn’t show up because their approach to worship doesn’t glorify God. When it comes to worshiping God, you cannot worship whichever way you think. You must know what God expects in worship because you may think you are worshipping right and you may be disrespecting him,
God has a plan even in the ugly situations! Genesis 29:31-35 You may be in situations where you wonder how in the world God is going to show up or make something productive or beautiful come out of it. Some of us have had situations very ugly, circumstances where we ask the big question, why…
“Ministry is messy” those were the words of my professor and adviser Dr. J.K. Jones during my ordination sermon. He wanted me to remember that serving God has its challenges. It’s messy. It doesn’t matter the ministry or service you may be involved in, you will face big challenges. One of the reasons I didn’t want to become a preacher like my father was because I saw firsthand what he went through. If you start working for God and expect it to be a walk in the park, you are in for a big surprise. Every service or ministry has its challenges but the Bible gives us guidance in how we can overcome such challenges.
We began talking about a teaching that has also been attacked by some in the evangelical circle. The teaching of hell has been removed by some churches who professed a universal theology. (Universalism: At the end everyone will be saved) Others believe hell exists but that it won’t be eternal. We looked at what Jesus said about hell and we discovered that Hell is a real place created for the devil and his angels; we also found out that the wicked will go there. Jesus described it as an eternal place. Today we will look at other passages which will give us a better understanding about hell as portrayed in the Bible.
Today we will talk about one of the most misunderstood teachings in the Bible; hell. Most people don’t believe hell is a real place; others claim that they would not believe in a God who sends people to hell. According to Lifeway Research 60 % of Americans believe that hell is a real place but you have to be real bad to go there. 67 % of Americans believe heaven is a real place. 45% believe there are many ways to heaven. The beliefs about heaven and hell come from the Bible, but people have been making these beliefs more palatable as they continue to refuse the authority of the Bible and create their own beliefs in order to feel more comfortable. Ed Stetzer said it right. “People like to believe in a generic Christian-ish god with cafeteria doctrines”
This is why we must redefine our theology, our beliefs and in order to do so, we must go to the Scriptures. Jesus believed in hell and he spoke many times about this dreadful place.
A foundation for life. Luke 6:46-49 We began discussing last week the importance of knowing what we believe in order to stand for those beliefs. We also talked about the need to go back to the Bible to redefine some of our beliefs, which are not in line with God’s word today. Last week we…
More than ever in our nation we Christians need to know what we believe and stand for those beliefs. However, there exists the need for us Christians to redefine our theology (our beliefs). Most of us grew up believing certain things that were passed from generation to generation which may not be in line with the word of God. Our beliefs and our worldview (the way we look at the world) must come from God. God is the one who tells us what to believe and what not to believe. He sets the standard, not man.
There is a need to redefine our theology today; most of us grew up believing certain things that have been passed from generation to generation. We have believed them without questioning. There are lots of things people believe today just because it makes them feel better about themselves; however, that doesn’t mean their beliefs are accurate or true. Sometimes we believe things without applying logic or reasoning. We don’t research it ourselves to see if they are true. As disciples of Jesus we need to know what God has said and says in his book, the Bible. Our theology will be messed up if we don’t know the teachings of the Bible. For example, most people believe they are children of God just because they are humans and believe God exists. What does the Bible say? Who are the children of God? How does a person become a child of God?
A young woman at a Bible study had the toughest time viewing God as a father. Her earthly father was abusive and was never in her life. She didn’t understand a father’s love because she didn’t receive love from her biological dad. I explained to her that God is the ultimate Father; that our earthly fathers would do well to emulate God. God is not like our earthly fathers but our earthly fathers should be more like God. There is a story in the Bible that illustrates to us the kind of Father God is.
Last week we talked about prayer. We discussed that Jesus modeled prayer and his followers were committed to it. We also learned that what most people know as the Lord’s prayer is truly a model prayer; a prayer given to his followers as a pattern or model. Prayer is not meant to be about meaningless repetitions.
Prayer is a very important discipline of a disciple of Jesus, Jesus himself modeled prayer during his earthly ministry. He taught his followers how to pray. Prayer was one of the things the first Christians were devoted or committed to (Acts 2:42)