We’re in the last hour (and have been since the 1st century)

In these two passages cited below, the first one written almost 600 years before Jesus and the second written about 60 years after Jesus died and rose from the dead, we have the prediction/prophecy of false teaching and many in the world fall prey to lies. Even those who profess to believe will have a number who fall prey to the lies. This is true not only in the first century and but in the 21st century. It’s not only true in America today given the moral and immoral teachings and approvals, but it’s happening all around the world in different ways. We’ve been in the last hour with false teaching and people falling away and being deceived and tricked for a long time. And we must keep to God’s Word and to Jesus Christ authoritatively revealed in the Scriptures in this hour.

Daniel 11:31–34 (CSB) —31 His forces will rise up and desecrate the temple fortress. They will abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination of desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will be strong and take action. 33 Those who are wise among the people will give understanding to many, yet they will die by sword and flame, and be captured and plundered for a time. 34 When defeated, they will be helped by some, but many others will join them insincerely.

1 John 2:18–23 (CSB) —18 Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.

(this post was inspired by reading chapter 5 of Greg Beale’s book, A New Testament Biblical Theology).

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Should Couples Write their own Wedding Vows?

“One of the most controversial things I do… is when I tell a couple, ‘You can’t write your marriage vows.’ … The reason I do it is because there is an assumption underneath that that my marriage is my thing… The wedding is a celebration of [my love to my spouse] and so everyone is here to see their facebook post that is live. That’s not what a wedding is. You don’t even necessarily know what you are going to vow to one another when you’re 25 years old and you’re coming together. You need the rest of the body who are coming in and preparing you to be with one another during Alzheimer’s disease, through the death of a child, through the temptation to commit adultery, through all of these things that you can’t imagine right now. So teaching your congregation along the way. This is a Christian view of marriage that is different from what the rest of the world is doing. That’s how you’re going to build a long and sustaining marriage culture.” (Russell Moore, 1:29:14) – http://erlc.com/connecting

For more on this you can read this transcript.

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5 Overview Sermons on the First 5 Books of the Bible:

charlton-heston-as-moses-in-the-ten-commandments

5 Overview Sermons on the First 5 Books of the Bible:

Genesis: The Promise of Blessing for a Cursed World

Exodus: God Redeems and Relates to His Sinful People

Leviticus: A Holy God Lives with Sinful Saints

Numbers: Walking with God in the Wilderness

Deuteronomy: Live Life under God’s Rule and Blessing

Preached at First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower from 4/19/15-6/7/15. You can download/listen to the last 52 sermons here or subscribe to the podcast.

Let me know thoughts, comments, or questions on any of these sermons if you listen to them. Thanks!

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A Word from God in our Gender Confused Day

I just saw an article entitled, “The Beautiful Trend Caitlyn Jenner Has Inspired” on Yahoo.com

Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman is not to wear male clothing, and a man is not to put on a woman’s garment, for everyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD your God.”

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

(So we’re ALL cursed. But there’s hope!)

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

(God is calling us to repent from our sins [including sexual and gender-violating sins] and trust in Jesus the Messiah who died for sinners and rose from the dead. Praying for Mr. Jenner and for us all to submit to God and receive his forgiveness and grace as he has revealed himself in his Bible).

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Tim Keller’s Advice for Solo Pastors who have to do it all in their Small Churches

Some pastors have to do everything because they don’t have other pastors on staff. They must marry, bury, counsel, preach, teach, lead meetings, evangelize, and sometimes even advertise.

One pastor asked Tim Keller (with Alistair Begg and another brother on the panel) for advice on how to get more sermon preparation time in light of all these other responsibilities. Tim Keller’s answer was very helpful. He basically said that the pastor should worry most about his time in personal bible reading and prayer. That is what must not get squeezed out. That is what many pastors would lose. And that, along with doing all the other things a pastor must do listed above with his people will actually make him a better preacher.

It was great advice in my view so I’m happy to record it here that it may encourage others.

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MEMBERSHIP VOWS OF THE PCA

I’m not a presbyterian, but these are pretty good. They summarize in large measure what a baptist church covenant states.

The following are taken from the Presbyterian Church in America’s Book of Church Order in section 57-5:

  • Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
  • Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
  • Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
  • Do you promise to support the Church in its worship and work to the best of your ability?
  • Do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?

The one missing that is in the historic baptist covenants would be summarized with a question like, “Do you promise to love all the other members, bearing their burdens and sharing their joys?”

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John MacArthur’s Practical Advice on Your First Years of Pastoral Ministry

9Marks and Mark Dever recently did a conference called, “The First Five Years” instructing and encouraging pastors on their first years in a new pastorate or church. I was really blessed by it though I missed Thabiti’s message. His is the only one not posted! Here’s what John MacArthur would have said there since he said it this past Tuesday at The Master’s Seminary Chapel.

  1. Be humble
  2. Love your wife and your kids
  3. Be extremely patient
  4. Don’t change anything
  5. Don’t be a hurry to stick leaders in there
  6. Teach the Word of God faithfully with conviction
  7. Pull around you the strongest men and any others that want to be there and accelerate their learning of the Word of God and sound doctrine
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