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Sermons about Kingdom
The parable of the rich, young, good ruler is actually not about money. It has some to do with wealth. But it has everything to do with the gods that we live for and are unwilling to give up in exchange for The God.
Jesus says that John the Baptist is the greatest person who has ever lived. Why? And why was John doubting the Lordship of Christ? How does Jesus address his concerns? The most confusing aspect of these words of Jesus is when He says that the Kingdom advances with force, and that forceful (violent) people lay claim to it. Huh? Let's try to answer that question...
Jesus: The Lunatic, Deceiver. or Savior?
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This message on the in-breaking kingdom of God was preached to the homeless community in NYC at The Bowery Mission.
This sermon was preached to the homeless community at The Bowery Mission in New York City. The Word says that “creation groans for redemption.” What does it mean to redeem creation? It means that we must look at the world holistically and with holy eyes. It means that we must not settle for merely our own salvation, but that we must confront the principalities and powers that oppress the poor, sick and afflicted. It means that we are to break down the gates of hell to set the captives free.
Spring does in some ways give us hope. Today as we look into Revelation 7 we will see a vision of real, true hope. Last week Pastor Mark unpacked Revelation 6 and the beginning of chapter 8. Those chapters speak of death, war, famine - like being stuck on hold watching only negative stories on the evening news. Our cry today is the same as when Revelation was written: "How long Lord? Who can stand it?" It leaves us feeling like all hope has been yanked out by the roots. In Revelation 7 we see a completely different picture. Right in the middle of this crazy mess, everything seems to go calm and we see a vision of a future with no more hunger, no more thirst, no more tears. Wow! Isn't this something we need to share with the neighbours around us? Key Passage: Revelation 7:9-10
The 7th church to be addressed in our study, receives the harshest criticism. All the other churches seemed to recognize that they were in a "war-zone" spiritually speaking. The church at Laodicea however, felt that they were doing quite well, and that they didn't need a thing! Rather than living as exiles, waiting for the deliverance of Jesus, they had settled in and were quite comfortable with life in the here-and-now. As such, they were no longer useful to the Master, and He was ready to "spit them out." The Laodicean letter is sobering, because it hits so close to home. I hope and pray that God will call out the "dangerous" spirit of exile among us? How much do we LONG for the kingdom to break in? How much do we pray? Do our songs reflect this longing? Are we anchored to the promises of God? Have we given up? Key Passage: Revelation 3:14-22
At the start of a New Year, maybe nothing could be more important than gaining a fresh vision of Jesus! On-going military conflict and the recent global economic turmoil has heightened our awareness to the fragile nature of life. John offers his readers much more than an end-times road map, he offers a rocksolid confidence that the same Jesus who began the work of reconciling us to God - will one day bring it to an incredible conclusion! In the meanwhile, we stand in awe and in worship! More than anything else, I pray that this study will give us a clear vision of the powerful, exalted, and victorious Christ we serve - and that from that confidence - our lives will be different! Key Passage: Revelation 1:1-20
The "church" is coming under a lot of fire in the west. We're living at the transition point from a Christian world-view that predominated society, to a church that is standing at the margins of culture. Many voices are critical of the church (and often they are right) ... and what it most disconcerting is that many of these voices are coming from "within" the church herself. Yet Jesus promised that He would build the church! But what is the church all about? We need to grapple with these questions, and that's what this new series is all about.
If you're going to live out the beatitudes in this world, then you will endure some sort of persecution or suffering on behalf of Jesus. The true nature of this world, being evil, opposes the goodness & justice of God's ways - a paradox that may not make sense, but it's true. We should not only expect resistance, but we should be thankful for it - because it proves we're on the right track. The church following Christ against all odds will be the church that sees the kingdom reign of God today! So, will you live, work, think, give, consume differently? BE different. Key passage: Matthew 5:10-12