Thursday, March 22, 2018

Hail the Conquering Hero! Revelation 19:11-16

 Revelation 19:11-16
Hail the Conquering Hero!
 (pt. 1)

INTRO- Popular portraits of Christ: (click here to listen to to Sunday's exposition)

A) The tame and mild babe of Bethlehem.   A very safe Jesus. 

B) The humanitarian "peace to all" Christ.  An all-inclusive Jesus.

Overarching questions to ponder: Is the Person I worship, live for, and tell people about the COMPLETE JESUS?  

Are we presenting a user-friendly Christ and a truncated gospel-in hopes of saving face with a lost and hostile world?”  If we're being honest, our portrait of Jesus does not seem to mesh with (biblical) Christ of Revelation 5 or Revelation 19:11-21.  

The entire Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-4:5) are given to us for a reason (including passages like Rev. 19-20).  The Holy Spirit wastes no ink in the Holy Scriptures.  Do we really believe what we say we believe about the Bible?  Does our preaching, worship, and evangelism give evidence of this?

The future earthly reign of the Messiah was prophesied in the O.T.; anticipated in the Gospels and Acts, and finally comes to fruition in John’s inspired Revelation of greater things yet to come!

This new inspired vision of future things presents three interconnected scenes:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Protecting Your Church from Sexual Predators

Protecting Your Church from Sexual Predators.  Article by Jim Newheiser
We are blessed to have a very vigilant "security team" and a very intentional security process in place at Lake Country Bible Church.  I very much appreciate Mike Umland's intentional leadership in this area of ministry. One can never be too careful when addressing sexual abuse issues with precious children.  Having said that, we walk by faith and not by fear so biblical balance is needed in parenting and when implementing safety checks in the life of the church.

I. Lessons learned from unthinkable Sexual abuse. 2 Sam. 13:1-22

A. Sexual predators are incredibly deceitful. 2 Sam. 13:1-6 Jude 1:4

1. Sexual predators are self-deceived – they call it “love”. 2 Sam. 13:1,15 1 Co. 13:4-7

2. Sexual offenders abuse trust. 2 Sam. 13:1-6 Jude 1:4

3. Predators invest significant time and effort into manipulating others. 2 Sa. 13:3-5

4. Those in spiritual authority who become sexually involved with people under their care
are guilty of abusing their power, even if a crime has not been committed. Ezek. 34:4ff

B. Potential victims need to be taught to cry out. 2 Sam. 13:7-14 Deut. 22:23-24

1. Because sexual predators are masters of manipulation, boys and girls need to be
prepared to know exactly what to do if someone tries to take advantage of them.

2. Tamar, to her credit, did not hide what had happened to her. 13:19

C. We need to protect and help victims. 2 Sam. 13:15-22

1. One of the saddest parts of Tamar’s tragic story is the failure of others to protect her
both before and after she was raped. 13:7,19-21 Prov. 31:8-9 Ps. 82

2. If you suspect that abuse has taken place, ask. 2 Sam. 13:20a

Saturday, March 17, 2018

How to Handle the Hard Passages of the Bible (pt. 3)

Dr. Chou is helping us understand why dealing with difficult areas of scripture matters. Today I want to take the time to look at some specific hard passages to show not only how to think through difficult questions but also why the answers to these questions are beautiful. We could look at a plethora of different issues, but we only have space for three. Picking up where we left off yesterday.

The Conquest of Canaan

Moving from the law, we encounter the Conquest. Often people will ask, “How could a loving God demand the mass slaughter of men, women and children and the seizure of land?”

Is this really historical?

This is an issue that not only bothers unbelievers but also believers. Some people argue that this really never happened and so God really never ordained such killing. Before answering the question above, we need to make sure we understand what the Bible teaches.

The writers of Scripture consistently view that what happened in the Bible is historical and the basis for theology. Jesus’s historical resurrection is the basis for a theology of hope (1 Cor 15:13-14). His death on the cross is a proof of God’s love (Rom 5:8). The Flood is a demonstration of God’s judgment (2 Pet 3:6). In all these examples, the reality of history anchors the truthfulness of theology. Thus, one would expect that the book of Joshua, written in the same type of language as all these other events, would also be real history that grounds theology. This is how other biblical writers read that passage (1 Kgs 16:34Heb 11:30-31).

In fact, counter to what some people claim, archaeological evidence exists that supports the biblical account. At the site of Jericho, people have observed a pot amidst a layer of destruction. Archaeologists discovered that this burned pot was filled with grain. This implies that Jericho was destroyed at a point of time, without much of a siege, and soon after the harvest (for the pot was full of grain). That is exactly what the Scripture says (Josh 5:11). So archaeology doesn’t contradict the scriptural record. The biblical account records real events that have left traces to this day.

Aren’t conquests acts of hatred?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Hail the Conquering Hero! Revelation 19:11-16

Hail the Conquering Hero! Revelation 19:11-16 (part 1) will the title/text of the morning message at Lake Country Bible Church.

This neglected portion of Scripture has left me wondering, "Are we (American Christians) presenting a user-friendly Christ and a truncated gospel in hopes of saving face with a lost and hostile world?" If not, then why do we act as if we're embarrassed over what Revelation 19:11-21 communicates? When is the last time you heard this passage read, let alone taught, during a congregational service?  Again, why is this (note 2 Timothy 3:16)? Food for thought. 

As always this weeks songs are listed below as you prepare your heart for corporate worship. We are singing one new song with lyrics/images from Revelation. Hail the Day!

How to Handle the Hard Passages of the Bible (pt. 2)

In Handling the Hard Passages, Part 1, Dr. Chou helped us look at why dealing with difficult areas of scripture matters. If you didn’t get a chance to read that post yet, it would be beneficial for you to check it out as a foundation to understanding today’s topic. This week I want to take the time to look at some specific hard passages to show not only how to think through difficult questions but also why the answers to these questions are beautiful. We could look at a plethora of different issues, but we only have space for three. We’ll take a look at them in Biblical order.

Creation in Genesis 1

One question is how should we understand the creation account in Genesis 1, especially in light of modern scientific discovers.

Creation isn’t an issue we should just tolerate or be embarrassed by. For us as Christians, scriptural truth hangs upon this doctrine.

Before discussing this issue, we need to make sure we know what the Bible says. I believe in 6 (24 hour) day creation, but how did I come to that conclusion? The world might think this view is crazy but we need to show we have not crazily handled God’s word.

Was it a miscommunication, myth, or myth-busting?

We can begin to think through this issue using the C. S. Lewis’s logic of “liar, lunatic, or lord.” Either what Jesus said is not real, He didn’t mean what he said, or He spoke the truth. In the same way, either Genesis is not historical (myth), there were ambiguities that allow for evolution (miscommunication), or it is history that bust myth (myth-busting).

In evaluating these views, we can first ask whether Genesis 1 is a myth. Scholars point out similarities between the Bible and other myths. For instance, both the Bible and those myths mention a firmament. But the myths talk about how a god slices a goddess in half and puts half of her body in the sky and the other half below. With that, the similarities are not that similar. The Israelites would see how different Genesis 1 is from any myth.

The next option is miscommunication. People argue that Genesis is not entirely clear on what a “day” means in the text. However, Genesis 1:5 says,“And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” The term “one” is important. As opposed to “first,” which shows order, “one” tells you what counts as a day: evening and morning (not millions of years). The Bible defines itself. Similarly, people use what’s called the gap theory which says there’s this big gap in the first verses of Genesis 1. But, if you go through all the instances of parallel grammatical constructions in Hebrew, you’ll find out that there are no gaps in any of them. So Genesis doesn’t have the ambiguities people suggest. It is clear.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Marriage of the Lamb

Revelation 19:1-10 
The Marriage of the Lamb! 
(pt. 4)

INTRO-   Marriage, that blessed arrangement, that dream within a dream...”

“From heaven He (Christ) came and sought her (the Church)/ to be His Holy Bride and with his own blood He bought her/and for her life He died!” Eph. 5:25-33

In order to better understand and celebrate “the Marriage of the Lamb” we will use 4 Marriage Headings (click to listen to sermon):

1) The timing of this marriage celebration; (think "save the date").

2) The location of this marriage celebration; (think "venue").

3)  The  bridal party of this marriage celebration.

4)  The blessings and benefits of this marriage celebration.

For Further Reflection/Application:

In your own words, what features contribute to the “perfect marriage?

Why do you think the Godhead chose the metaphor of marriage to describe the spiritual relationship between Christ and the Church? (see Eph. 5:22-33; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2; John 3:29)

In layman’s terms, briefly explain what “the Marriage Supper of the Lamb” is?

Why is this such a big deal (see Rev. 19:6-10)?

Where are we at in big picture of redemptive/history? (see chart)

What are some of the reasons why Christ delays His return to earth (see 2 Peter 3)?

Handling the Hard Passages of the Bible (pt. 1)

When it comes to interpreting the Bible accurately there is no one that I trust more than Dr. Abner Chou.  Abner Chou is first and foremost a devoted follower of Christ and a committed churchman.  He is also a first-rate scholar who has been uniquely gifted by God.  When it comes to the Biblical languages (Hebrew/Greek), hermeneutics, and exegesis Dr. Chou is the man.

Abner's latest book, The Hermeneutics of the Biblical Writers: Learning to Interpret Scripture from the Prophets and Apostles, is a must read.  Pastor John MacArthur told me a while ago that I needed to purchase another book Dr. Chou edited, because "Abner's chapter alone is worth the price of the book."  That resource is titled, What Happened in the Garden?: The Reality and Ramifications of the Creation and Fall of Man.

Dr. Chou has agreed to serve as my academic adviser for my forthcoming doctoral dissertation on "Proclaiming John's Gospel For All It's Worth."  But today at PTL I want to post an article Chou wrote on "handling the hard passages of Scripture."  This is part one of two.  Tolle Lege

We all get embarrassed sometimes. Whether it be by a messy house, a family member, or a quirky habit. To try and diffuse our embarrassment, we do things like stuffing our messes in a closet when company is on the way, or cropping the offending family member out of our profile pictures. We want to hide these embarrassing things because we believe they would make us seem to be less than we are.

We can have the same mentality about handling the hard passages or doctrines in Scripture. People like to argue about six-day creation, election, or certain laws in the Old Testament. They say they are contradictory or morally objectionable. How could God do that?

Unfortunately, we treat these hard passages just like the things that embarrass us. We often want to diffuse the situation and do some so-called “damage control.” Just like with a quirky habit or a messy house, the reason we do this is because we believe those questions are beneath us.

However, that should not be. All of God’s Word is profitable and it is authoritative truth. It stands above us and convicts us, not the other way around (Heb 4:13). We need a better way to think through these “difficult” issues.

Before thinking through various examples, we need to think through some fundamental issues about these texts. That will give us some important perspective in handling these texts well.


First, we need to have the right goal in dealing with these “hard” passages. We do not want to merely show that a doctrine is not that bad. We can’t have an attitude like, “eat your vegetables because they’re healthy for you even though they’re disgusting.” We don’t want to say, “Well, this doctrine is good for you even though I think it’s terrible.” We want to say with all confidence, “this is a good doctrine.” We want to demonstrate that, like all of Scripture, these “hard” passages are beautiful and necessary. We have nothing to be ashamed about in the Scripture.