Tag Archives: good

What the Church Becomes

Today’s message summary of September 4, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

This final segment of the study of Revelation will look at the role of the church and what it will become.  There will be an end as to its role.  Over time, the church has changed, and we will look at the seven churches that Jesus Christ reveals to us.  He paints the picture as to what will take place, and what has taken place in the church over generations.

The church has changed over generations, and the Lord reminds us to look back at the older churches, and one can see how the word of God and His name seems to have diminished over time.

Apostasy (drifting or sliding away from the truth) within the church has been present from the very beginning of the church.

With apostasy, you can move away from truth, and yet still be religious.  You can be “religious” and still disobey God.

What we know from history is that many have professed Christianity without accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.

If there is no growth in Christ or a hunger for His Word or desire to be a walking testimony for Christ, then it calls to question the commitment that one has for Jesus Christ.

Theodore Epp, author of Christ Speaks to the Churches, wrote about the various churches referenced in Revelation:

Ephesus – the first century church (Love of Jesus)

Smyrna – Roman persecution of God’s people (falling away from the true love of Jesus)

Pergamos – church corruption and the uniting of church and state

Thyatira – the Dark Ages (6th-15th Century – era of knowledge; the Age of Enlightenment – teaching) – knowledge without Christ is useless; doctrine infused with man’s knowledge instead of godly wisdom

Sardis – The Reformation (church did not maintain spiritual strength) – what Martin Luther started in the Reformation is no longer what is practiced today.

Philadelphia and Laodicea – a picture of the church condition running side by side preceding the church rapture, where today we see the evangelical, fundamental church on one side running concurrent with the liberal church in this day.

All of the churches have had a degree of false teaching within them.  While the majority of the church may be on a solid rock, Satan will still find a way to infiltrate the body of believers.  Sometimes it may even affect the church leadership.  Here is where discernment comes into consideration.  The issue is how large the degree of false teaching takes place and what effect will it have on the church.  Can it be dealt with or will it take a permanent hold? (How many hypocritical people will the church allow through its doors? The church battles this matter all of the time because of financial considerations.)

Jesus says that He knows our deeds.  He addresses all seven churches:

Revelation 2:1-7

Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus:

 The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and who walks among the seven gold lampstands says: I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name and have not grown weary. But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its placeunless you repent. Yet you do have this: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 

Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will give the victor the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in Gods paradise.

–The good and the wrong

  1. Ephesus: The neglect of Jesus leads to a loss of love for Jesus.

Matthew 23:23

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of the lawjustice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others.

 

Psalm 119:9-16

How can a young man keep his way pure?

By keeping Your word.

I have sought You with all my heart;

dont let me wander from Your commands.

I have treasured Your word in my heart

so that I may not sin against You.

Lord, may You be praised;

teach me Your statutes.

With my lips I proclaim

all the judgments from Your mouth.

I rejoice in the way revealed by Your decrees

as much as in all riches.

I will meditate on Your precepts

and think about Your ways.

I will delight in Your statutes;

I will not forget Your word.

 

Hebrews 2:1-3

We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.

 

The sin of neglect is the starting point of loss (faltering and weakening of the church and its people).  It is when love is lacking.  (Jesus refers to this within Rev. 2:4-3:20 – Ephesus through Laodicea).

 

  1. Smyrna. Jesus reminds them that they are rich even though they were afflicted and in poverty (Revelation 2:8-11).  They dealt with the pretenders in the church who represented “the synagogue of Satan” (v. 9).  They were told that they would suffer but to be encouraged and remain faithful (v. 10).

Matthew 10:28

Dont fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 

2 Corinthians 8:9

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.

 

  1. Pergamos. The center of idol worship – Satan’s seat. Some of the things worshiped include medicine, science and nature.  Satan worship began in Babylon under Nimrod.  All religious movements except Christianity have the infusion of some of Nimrod’s beliefs that began back in Babylon; for example, one of the main teachings in all other religions is that Jesus was created as a man (not a deity – John 1:1).

 

Revelation 2:13

I know where you livewhere Satans throne is! And you are holding on to My name and did not deny your faith in Me, even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness who was killed among you, where Satan lives.

 

Remaining true to the name of Jesus…not denying faith in Jesus Christ.

 

  1. Thyatira. The Word was willingly set aside for a Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess.  The question is if these things really come to pass.  He tells that church that it is time to repent.

 

Revelation 2:20-22

But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives My slaves to commit sexual immorality[a] and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I will throw her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her practices.

 

Good (v. 19).  Jesus noted that they were doing more good than they did at first (knowledge of Jesus Christ had improved over the years).

 

  1. Sardis. The sleeping church. It’s time to wake up!  The church was not alive but dead.

 

Revelation 3:1-6

Write to the angel of the church in Sardis:

The One who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead. Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before My God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; keep it, and repent. But if you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you have no idea at what hour I will come against you. But you have a few people[e] in Sardis who have not defiled[f] their clothes, and they will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. In the same way, the victor will be dressed in white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels.

Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

The counsel of the Lord: be watchful and strong for what remains will soon perish.  What needed to be done was to remember what you have received in the Word, obey and repent.  Be awake and alert and meet your responsibilities.

 

  1. Philadelphia. The true church (v. 8) …it has the key of David. They also had their pretenders, too (v. 9).

 

Revelation 3:7-13

Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia:

The Holy One, the True One, the One who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens says: I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close. Take note! I will make those from the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews and are not, but are lyingnote thisI will make them come and bow down at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming quickly. Hold on to what you have, so that no one takes your crown. The victor: I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God, and he will never go out again. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My Godthe new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My Godand My new name.

Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

Isaiah 22:22-23

I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one can close; what he closes, no one can open. I will drive him, like a peg, into a firm place. He will be a throne of honor for his fathers house.

 

  1. Laodicea. (It means the “voice of the people.”) They would rather hear the voice of man than the voice of God. There was a greater concern with man’s words than the Word of God. The church accepted formality over truth.  God’s Word was not a good fit for our present culture or social life.

 

Revelation 3:14-22

Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea:

The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of Gods creation says: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit[b] you out of My mouth. Because you say, Im rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing, and you dont know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed[c] and repent. Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne.

“Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

People of the church are neither cold or hot (v. 15).  They say they are rich (v. 17) and that they need nothing.

In all seven of these churches, there is a part of each one of us.  God selected these seven churches to give us a picture of what we need to do to improve our relationship with Jesus Christ.  We need to answer questions raised from these passages because we are the church.  God wants to use His church for greatness and for His glory.

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Why the Millennium? (Part 2)

Today’s message summary of August 14, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

These messages about the end times are for the benefit of sharing with those who want to know more about the Lord and to be aware of the signs that are present and yet to come.

Hosea 4:6a

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Whose fault is it for the Millennium?  The Millennium is set up to show how mankind has been evil, and this period is to represent what it originally was like in the Garden of Eden (Adam and Eve).

Do we, as Christians, perform good works, or not?  Throughout history, people have tried every means possible to make the world a better place to live.

Some Christians think that this is the wrong thing to do.

Please understand that everything that Christians do should be with the purpose of presenting Jesus, in order that it brings people to encounter the presence of Jesus Christ.

People are to remember that we are the salt of the world (Matthew 5:13).  Salt is a seasoning and a preservative.  Christians are to be the seasoning and preservers of humanity.  We are in place to witness and work on His behalf to bring as many people as possible to Christ.

Even the best efforts of people to bring others to Jesus Christ have been unsuccessful.  A sinful nature creates an imperfect environment, but it does not mean that we do not continue to work for the best.

Ephesians 6:12-13

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.  This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.

What people have never been able to do, Jesus does in the Millennium by setting forth a perfect environment for people.

The Millennium is the last event that will take place on the old earth if you have the last battle with Satan at the end of the Millennium.  Everything from this point will take place in heaven.  The White Throne Judgment will be in heaven and follows the destruction of the old earth.

Important events of the Millennium:

  1. Jesus will be on earth in bodily form. He will, from that point, never leave His people again.
  2. Satan is bound. His activities will be restricted (Genesis 3:13).
  3. The people will live in the environment of Adam.
  4. People will have the free choice to worship and obey Jesus. (The same free will that Adam and Eve had.)
  5. One thousand years will not change the heart of Satan.

Romans 10:17 ESV

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

People work to try to improve their old nature, but the old nature cannot be improved.  It can only die.  Your old nature must die to self.  God has to create a new nature in you.

People that go through the Millennium will…

  1. Obey without knowing Jesus as Savior. Why? (You are in a disastrous place without Jesus Christ being at the head of your life.)

Isaiah 11:3-9

His delight will be in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge

by what He sees with His eyes,

He will not execute justice

by what He hears with His ears,

but He will judge the poor righteously

and execute justice for the oppressed of the land.

He will strike the land

with discipline from His mouth,

and He will kill the wicked

with a command from His lips.

Righteousness will be a belt around His loins;

faithfulness will be a belt around His waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,

and the leopard will lie down with the goat.

The calf, the young lion, and the fatling will be together,

and a child will lead them.

The cow and the bear will graze,

their young ones will lie down together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

An infant will play beside the cobras pit,

and a toddler will put his hand into a snakes den.

None will harm or destroy another

on My entire holy mountain,

for the land will be as full

of the knowledge of the Lord

as the sea is filled with water.

Like the church, there can be an outward conformity without an inward reality of Jesus.  The heart of the person must change to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is more deceitful than anything else,

and incurablewho can understand it?

 

  1. There will be no war.

Micah 4:2-4

and many nations will come and say,

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

to the house of the God of Jacob.

He will teach us about His ways

so we may walk in His paths.

For instruction will go out of Zion

and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He will settle disputes among many peoples

and provide arbitration for strong nations

that are far away.

They will beat their swords into plows,

and their spears into pruning knives.

Nation will not take up the sword against nation,

and they will never again train for war.

But each man will sit under his grapevine

and under his fig tree

with no one to frighten him.

For the mouth of the Lord of Hosts

has promised this.

 

  1. There will be no killing of people by other people.
  1. People will live a long life.

Isaiah 65:20-22

In her, a nursing infant will no longer live

only a few days, or an old man not live out his days.

Indeed, the youth will die at a hundred years,

and the one who misses a hundred years will be cursed.

People will build houses and live in them;

they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

They will not build and others live in them;

they will not plant and others eat.

For My peoples lives will be

like the lifetime of a tree.

My chosen ones will fully enjoy

the work of their hands.

 

  1. There will be no divorce, physical problems (no disease), drunkenness, or addiction. There will not be any poor, and there will not be any hunger.

It only makes you wonder how people can experience all of this and yet walk away from Him.

Who rules with Jesus, and why?

He will set up a ruling class of righteous people, and will give authority to those who are faithful in service to Him.

Revelation 20:4

Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. I also saw the people who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of Gods word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for 1,000 years.

Why do they get to rule with Jesus and not the present saints?

They all come with a supernatural body, while others do not have such a thing.

1 Corinthians 15:40-57

There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones. There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for one star differs from another star in splendor. So it is with the resurrection of the dead:

Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption;

sown in dishonor, raised in glory;

sown in weakness, raised in power;

sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.

The first man was from the earth

and made of dust;

the second man is from heaven.

Like the man made of dust,

so are those who are made of dust;

like the heavenly man,

so are those who are heavenly.

And just as we have borne

the image of the man made of dust,

we will also bear

the image of the heavenly man.

Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. Listen! I am telling you a mystery:

We will not all fall asleep,

but we will all be changed,

in a moment, in the blink of an eye,

at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound,

and the dead will be raised incorruptible,

and we will be changed.

For this corruptible must be clothed

with incorruptibility,

and this mortal must be clothed

with immortality.

When this corruptible is clothed

with incorruptibility,

and this mortal is clothed

with immortality,

then the saying that is written will take place:

Death has been swallowed up in victory.

Death, where is your victory?

Death, where is your sting?

Now the sting of death is sin,

and the power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ!

  1. Difference between a perishable and imperishable body
  2. There is a body of dishonor and a body raised in glory
  3. Weakness versus power
  4. Natural body and a spiritual body (one for earth and one for heaven)

There must be a change in the body of a person from corruptible to incorruptible…in other words, to be more like Jesus.

Romans 8:28-30

We know that all things work together[a] for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

1 John 3:2

Dear friends, we are Gods children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.

The rest of the dead that are not reigning with Christ because they will be the unbelievers:

Revelation 20:5-6

The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.


What is the Gospel?

Today’s message summary of August 16, 2015 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

What is the true message of the gospel? What is the gospel?

It is the message that Paul gave to the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

 

The Corinthians were practicing immorality, and Paul had to remind them of what the true gospel was in order to refute other messages or beliefs that were prevalent in the day. There were differing opinions on the resurrection of the dead, and in what to believe. The Sadducees did not believe there was a resurrection. In fact, many believed that there was spiritual truth in opening other doors and seeking one’s own way. Gnosticism is a result of this way of thinking.

Our church needs reminders of the foundational gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you remember this gospel when you are cursed at or mistreated by someone? Remember that Christ died for you and was treated much worse than you can ever imagine.

What the gospel is not…

  • It is not about good deeds (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10)
  • It is not about self help.

There is nothing in Scripture that says that self-help is in righteousness. There is nothing that one can do to save himself…it is only in righteousness from God.

  • It is not about listening to gospel music.

You do not become more holy when you sing louder. It is only the sound preaching and teaching of the gospel.

  • It is not about the preacher.

A pastor is not to be the primary focus of hearing him speak. It is about coming to church to praise the Lord and hear His Word.

This popularity contest was what drove the Corinthians to elevate the apostles and people of the church to a higher status.

1 Corinthians 1:11-13

My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

 

What are the implications of the gospel?

  1. Preaching of the gospel (Romans 10:14)
  1. Salvation of sinners (1 Corinthians 15:2; 1 Peter 2:24)
  1. Priority of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1)

The gospel must become the first of all things taught within the church before anything else is taught.

So, what is the gospel?  (How this question is addressed will determine your eternal state before God.)

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning.

All things were created through Him,

and apart from Him not one thing was created

that has been created.

Life was in Him,

and that life was the light of men.

That light shines in the darkness,

yet the darkness did not overcome it.

  1. The gospel is about the birth of Jesus.
  1. The gospel is about the life of Jesus.
  1. The gospel is about the death of Jesus.

1 Peter 1:18-19

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

  1. The gospel is about the resurrection of Jesus.

 

1 Corinthians 15:13-17

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

 

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.


Jesus was Sent to Us at a Specific Time

Today’s message summary of December 21, 2014 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Why was Jesus sent to us when He was? What was the purpose for the specific place and time for His appearance.

Genesis 3:15 is the promise of Jesus’ coming–thousands of years before He was born. Why so long?

Genesis 3:15

I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

  1. Why not have Him sent a few years after Adam and Eve were put out of the garden?
  2. Why not have Him come after Noah’s survival of the flood?
  3. Why not right after the deliverance of the Israelites’ delivery from Egypt?
  4. Why not after God had provided the law and shared it with the people?

Matthew 1:20-21

But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

God is saving us from what?

Luke 2:8-11

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.

Why at this time?

Between the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) and the New Testament book (Matthew), there are 400 years of silence from God. Why?

Many things take place during that time:

  1. Alexander the Great
  2. His five generals fought until there were only three (over a thirty-year period).
  3. Last empire from Alexander was Seleucid, which was founded by the last general, Seleucus. His dynasty lasted from 312 to 64 B.C. The Roman general named Pompey defeated him.
  4. The Greek culture that took root beyond Greece is called Hellenism (Greek civilization). From this formed the Roman army, the Egyptian army and Mark Antony. Israel was fighting with the Roman army to defeat Egypt. From here emerged Antipates and Herod the Great. Herod built temples to worship Augustus as a god. Daniel’s Abomination of Desolation was when the god of Zeus was set up in the temple (168 B.C.). Mattathias, a priest, and his five sons started the war of the Maccabees.

In Acts 6:1, we see the results of all of these changes in the Grecian Jews (Hellenists). During this time Herod through Roma appointed the high priest. Some of these appointees were not Jewish but they were most likely in positions of wealth.

God sent His Son because of the culture of this time. Why did God go silent for 400 years? What actions were taking place. These matters were being revealed in Malachi:

  1. There was a failure to truly worship God (Malachi 1:4-8). This matter of worship was regarded as a burden (v. 12).
  1. The heart of man was set on not honoring God (Malachi 2:2).

Malachi 2:1-2

“Therefore, this decree is for you priests: If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart to honor My name,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings. In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.”

  1. The people turned away from Him, and the priests were not following Him (Malachi 2:7-9).

Malachi 2:7-9

For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and the people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. “You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have violated the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of Hosts. “So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in your instruction.”

  1. Those who were doing evil were regarded as good (Malachi 2:17).

Malachi 2:17

You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him?” When you say, “Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and He is pleased with them,” or “Where is the God of justice?”

  1. Those who are doing what is wrong have no fear of Him (Malachi 3:5).
  1. God is not worthy of our giving (Malachi 3:7-9).
  1. It is futile to serve God (Malachi 3:14-15, 18).
  1. Every evildoer will be nothing more than stubble (Malachi 4:1).

Can you see these matters today in America? Can you see how this applies to the lost generations of people who live according to what they deem is right?

2 Timothy 1:15-17

This you know: All those in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me.

John 14:8-9

“Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works.

Hebrews 2:14

Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through death He might destroy the one holding the power of death–that is, the Devil.

The people who believe in God and His Word will be blessed. God held this as a promise to the people referred to in the book of Malachi and it also applies to those who have faith and trust in Him today.

Malachi 3:16-17

At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name. “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”


The Fruits of the Spirit – Love

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

 

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith.

 

The fruit of The Spirit is the character or attitude displayed in ministry within your life.

Romans 12:4-8

4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:

If prophecy,

use it according to the standard of one’s faith;

7 if service, in service;

if teaching, in teaching;

8 if exhorting, in exhortation;

giving, with generosity;

leading, with diligence;

showing mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

These gifts are referred to as administrative gifts. The body of Christ has different functions (v. 4) and there are different gifts within the body (v. 6).

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. 7 A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:

8 to one is given a message of wisdom

through the Spirit,

to another, a message of knowledge

by the same Spirit,

9 to another, faith by the same Spirit,

to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

10 to another, the performing of miracles,

to another, prophecy,

to another, distinguishing between spirits,

to another, different kinds of languages,

to another, interpretation of languages.

11 But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.

 

These gifts are for the common good (v. 7). All of these are works of the same Spirit. He gives them to each person as He determines.

The gifts that are made visible in their evidence and functionality. The attitude in which these gifts are presented will not be of the flesh, for the Spirit and the flesh are incompatible.

A note of caution: Satan and his demons can duplicate the very things that we see here. There are some things that must be evident with these gifts, however, that Satan cannot duplicate…love is the key element. Satan cannot copy agape love. Agape love comes only from God, and it is evident in your best interest when He is involved.

1 Corinthians 13:1-8

1 If I speak human or angelic languages

but do not have love,

I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy

and understand all mysteries

and all knowledge,

and if I have all faith

so that I can move mountains

but do not have love, I am nothing.

3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,

and if I give my body in order to boast

but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not envy,

is not boastful, is not conceited,

5 does not act improperly,

is not selfish, is not provoked,

and does not keep a record of wrongs.

6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness

but rejoices in the truth.

7 It bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends.

But as for prophecies,

they will come to an end;

as for languages, they will cease;

as for knowledge, it will come to an end.

 

The Spirit gives these gifts, but love must be the foundation of the manifestation of these gifts.

Love must be about the other person. Genuine love never fails and will touch the hearts of the people. (Note that love is the first fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22.)

1 John 4:8 – God is love

Romans 5:8 – God demonstrated His love

How do you demonstrate your godly love to people. You do it without ego trips, pride, vain glory, self need, rewards, or showing off your knowledge.

Real love brings people you minister to along side of you–not behind you.

Romans 12:9

Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good.

1. A love that gives of self. John 3:16-17

John 3:16-17

16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

 

2. A love that covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.

 

3. A love that deals with our sin. Psalm 103:11-12; Micah 7:18-19

Psalm 103:11-12

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is His faithful love

toward those who fear Him.

12 As far as the east is from the west,

so far has He removed

our transgressions from us.

 

God wants us to have this very attitude when we minister to others…not seeing the sin, but seeing the person who needs to be ministered to.

Micah 7:18-19

18 Who is a God like You,

removing iniquity and passing over rebellion

for the remnant of His inheritance?

He does not hold on to His anger forever,

because He delights in faithful love.

19 He will again have compassion on us;

He will vanquish our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins

into the depths of the sea.

 

4. A love that doesn’t remember my sin. Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:12

Isaiah 43:25

“It is I who sweep away your transgressions

for My own sake

and remember your sins no more.

Jeremiah 31:34

No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin.”

Hebrews 8:12

For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing,

and I will never again remember their sins.

 

5. We are called to love our enemies. Matthew 5:43

Matthew 5:43

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”

 

6. We are called to love each other. John 13:35

John 13:35

“By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

God wants you to have the type of love that people who are your enemies will see the difference of Christ in your life. You have to love them in order to minister to them. Love conquers all things.

If we are to use the gifts that the Spirit gives to us in the proper manner, they must all begin with agape love. It can only come from God Himself through the Holy Spirit. We can extend grace to others because we have received grace from Him. Amen.


Your Identity: Shame and Denial of Christ

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

If you are truly following Jesus Christ, there will be evidence in what people can see in your life. We are to be a group of people that should truly reflect a difference, for we are in the world but not of the world. We’re not to be a people that will be here on earth forever; we have a divine purpose.

People will also know when you are denying Christ or if you are ashamed of Him. Your actions will not support your words that you are a Christian. It really takes courage to follow Christ. It takes courage to stand up for biblical beliefs and Scripture. It takes courage to be distinguished as a Christian in today’s world.

To deny something is to declare a statement that turns out to be untrue or in contradiction. For example, you can make a declaration that Jesus Christ is your Lord, but you can still walk contrary to what God’s Word says. A person may choose to not follow God closely because he may not see evidence of God working. The question becomes, “Is God really real for me?” We may be so busy in life that we miss what He is really doing.

We read about Jesus Christ in Scripture, but the connection needs to be made as to how He is relevant in your life; otherwise, we may fall victim to not followhing Him as we should.

To be ashamed is to be humiliated or embarrassed due to inadequacy or inferiority. As a Christian, are you so affected by the world that you find yourself ashamed to be associated with Jesus Christ? Do you feel inadequate because you don’t blend in? Don’t allow Satan to trick you into moving away from Christ. Either you are bringing people closer to Jesus or you are turning people away from Him. People should not view you in such a way where you are presenting a double standard.

Matthew 10:32-33
32 “Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven.

2 Timothy 2:12
…if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He will also deny us;

Luke 12:8
“And I say to you, anyone who acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.

John 9:22
His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews, since the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him as Messiah, he would be banned from the synagogue.

Fear will keep a person from completely following Jesus because of the world’s pressures.

John 12:42-43
42 Nevertheless, many did believe in Him even among the rulers, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so they would not be banned from the synagogue. 43 For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

If there is confidence in God’s power and authority, you can and will speak boldly for Jesus Christ, in spite of formidable opposition.

Daniel 3:15-18
15 Now if you’re ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire—and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. 17 If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. 18 But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

Isaiah 40:27-31
27 Jacob, why do you say,
and Israel, why do you assert:
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my claim is ignored by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Yahweh is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He never grows faint or weary;
there is no limit to His understanding.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Youths may faint and grow weary,
and young men stumble and fall,
31 but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not faint.

Do you think that God is unaware of your life circumstances, and because of that you choose to not follow His direction? Remember that God is fully involved in your life and He does care about you. If you trust in God, you will be strengthened and encouraged in His presence.

We have courage when we trust in God. We gain knowledge of Him with the power of His Word. Without it, you will find yourself empty.

Philippians 1:20
My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

Psalm 40:9
I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
see, I do not keep my mouth closed—
as You know, Lord.

Trusting in Jesus Chrsit makes you a living testimony. There will be no shame in Him or being associated with Him.

2 Timothy 1:8
So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.

Believing in Him and living for Him allows you to bear His name before others.

1 Peter 4:16
But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name.

Psalm 71:15-18
15 My mouth will tell about Your righteousness
and Your salvation all day long,
though I cannot sum them up.
16 I come because of the mighty acts of the Lord God;
I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone.
17 God, You have taught me from my youth,
and I still proclaim Your wonderful works.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
God, do not abandon me.
Then I will proclaim Your power
to another generation,
Your strength to all who are to come.

Are you proud to bear the name of Jesus Christ before others?


God’s Plan of Salvation

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

We’re going to discuss salvation and having the knowledge as to whether or not a person knows if he or she is saved, and not because of what a person declares on their own–instead, it is a realization of what God says that you need to do to be saved. Many people claim that they are saved but yet they are not living like they are saved.

God has a plan for a person to be saved, and it is up to a person to acknowledge that it is necessary. The plan of salvation from God only comes through Jesus Christ and with the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is good news that God has provided this message to mankind. The good news that we read about in Luke 2 comes from the angel for all to hear.

Luke 2:10-11
10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.

The good news here is just more than just one thing (the announcement of Christ being born). Salvation is important, but it is only the beginning. Look at salvation as a mother giving birth to a child. Salvation is a new birth and we’re just beginning to learn how to walk with God.

What is in this message of good news? The good news refers to a Savior. The Jewish word is Messiah. The good news is used when speaking about salvation. It begins the instruction given to the people concerning what is needed for salvation…how one is to live as a believer in Jesus Christ…how to live as a Christian.

The meaning of the word “news” is new information–unknown information. The phrase “good news” is evangelise–meaning the messenger of good news. To evangelize is to proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a gift unto us.

Gospel: good news /good tidings / good story
1. Teaching of Jesus
2. The story of redemption through Jesus Christ.
3. The history of the life of Jesus–from His birth through his youth and the period of life from age 29 (His baptism) through age 33 and His crucifixion.

Luke 1:34-37
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?”

35 The angel replied to her:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore, the holy One to be born
will be called the Son of God.
36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Man will argue that it is not possible to be saved. A man ultimately does not determine under his own power as to his salvation. The power of the Holy Spirit is the one that moves one to recognize salvation through Jesus Christ. It requires faith and trust in the power of Christ. It means that God is speaking to you about your need for a Savior in recognition of your desire to repent from sin.

1 Corinthians 15:1-3
1 Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. 2 You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed for no purpose. 3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures.

Christ was born to be the Redeemer for all of us.

Acts 2:21
Then everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ. Man cannot save himself. It is up to each person to accept the gift of salvation. It is impossible for man, but completely possible for God.

It is truly good news that all you need to do is call on His name in order to be saved. After this, the Holy Spirit will be teaching you so much more.

Jesus says that He knows what is in the heart of a person, and He knows your sincerity. In your sincerity, if you call upon His name, He will definitely save you.

People are still caught asking the question “How can I be saved” or “I was saved once and I got saved again.” There is only one way to be saved (acknowledging that you need to repent from sin and acknoweldging that you need Jesus Christ, and you only need to do it once for your lifetime.

Many will need to take this message seriously in order to experience eternal life in Christ.

What else is in this message of good news?

Philippians 2:10-11
10 …so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is above all others. It removes all questions concerning His deity.

He is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30).
He is our peace with God (Romans 5:1-2; John 16:33; Philippians 3:7)
The good news reveals a joy that is not found in life. There is great joy (Luke 2:10). Also see Romans 5:2, 14:17.

It is a great joy to know that you are forever removed from the wrath of God through His salvation. In His righteousness, you are made righteous before Him because of your faith.

The good news tells us about Jesus as a Mediator.

1 Timothy 2:15
But she will be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith, love, and holiness, with good judgment.

What does a mediator do for you?

1 John 2:1
My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.

The good news is for all people (Luke 2:10).

Ephesians 2:11-19
11 So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands. 12 At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14 For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, 15 He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. 16 He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. 17 When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household.

Ephesians 3:6
The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

2 Corinthians 10:15-16
15 We are not bragging beyond measure about other people’s labors. But we have the hope that as your faith increases, our area of ministry will be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may proclaim the good news to the regions beyond you, not boasting about what has already been done in someone else’s area of ministry.