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Sermon 1617                          1 Thessalonians 4.13-19                                              November 19, 2017

They were lounging at the street corner, killing time.  They had quit their jobs yesterday, because they believed Jesus was coming back soon, two weeks, tops.  Since they had nothing better to do, they talked about things they knew nothing about.

“Poor Joe.  He passed away last week.  He will miss out on the Judgment Day and won’t go to heaven.”  “Yep, it’s too bad about Joe.  Hope I make it to when Jesus comes back.  You say it’s going to be this week, right?”  “Yup.  Next week tops.”

That’s the conversation some eager beaver believers in the church at Thessalonika were having.  They were so eager they totally messed up Jesus’ return and what it meant.  They thought that the dead believers would miss out on it all.  They thought only the believers who were alive when the world ended would go to heaven.

How would that affect our hope of salvation if it were a “you have to be present to win” deal?  Paul’s words corrected their erroneous thinking, and gives great certainty and comfort to all believers, whether we will be walking the face of the earth or whether we will be in our graves when the Last Day comes.

We Will Meet the Lord

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Last Judgement Sunday                             Matthew 25:31-46                                               November 13th, 2017  

     You know this is how it ends. You know that Jesus died on the cross to take away each and every one of your sins. You know that when you meet your God and are judged, it's not going to be based on what you did or didn’t do, but your life will be judged on what Jesus did for you because you have faith in him. That’s how this all ends for you. It ends with your Savior saying to you come with me, take your inheritance prepared for you since the beginning of the world.  No matter what your story is up to this point or until you stand in front of your God. No matter what evil characters are around us. No matter our setting, or the conflicts that we have in our lives. All of us who believe in Jesus as our one and only Savior will live happily ever after in heaven. 

The End


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Reformation 2017                                   Matthew 10:16-23                                                      November 5th, 2017

Jesus fought the law, but Jesus won. See the law says that if you sin once. If you break a single law that God has made. If you slip up once in your entire life, you deserve eternal death in hell. God created you to be perfect. He made humanity to be perfect. God made mankind to be without sin, and we are sinners, so yah we deserve punishment. That’s the law; you sin you die.  And I don’t like that. Neither did God. So Jesus beat that law. He did it not by just removing the law; he did it by fulfilling the law. He kept the law that we couldn’t. And then he gave us his perfect record so that we would be found not guilty before our God. He did that not because you are unique, or a good person, or based on your wealth, or race or anything about you, he did that because he loves you. And he wanted you to be with him forever. 

I Fought the Law

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Sermon 1616                          Isaiah 25.6-9                            October 29, 2017

Mountain top experiences aren’t what they used to be.  I always thought a mountain top experience was where you had exerted much time and effort to achieve something, and once you climbed that mountain and arrived at the top, once you completed that project successfully, you would be beside yourself with the beauty of the moment or struck by some hard-fought insight.

Mountain top experiences today aren’t what they used to be.  A number of years ago—I had my first cell phone—I hiked up to the very top of Cathedral Rock, 11,919 feet above sea level.  When I got there and looked over the valley, I thought, “Hey, I can get cell reception here!”

Today I ask you to resist that temptation to make the mountain top ordinary.  Today I ask you to walk with me as we follow Isaiah and hear him out.

On This Mountain

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Pentecost 20                          Matthew 21:34-43                    October 22nd, 2017 

  I wonder what Jesus what parable Jesus would tell us if he were standing in front of us today. Would this lesson be different? Would he be able to say to you, well done good and faithful servant? Or would he reprimand us for being like those wicked farmers? That’s something that each of us needs to answer honestly. Are we faithful to the Lord with what he has given to us?

    When you look at this parable in front of us today, it is amazing how patient that master is. Isn’t it? Put yourself in his shoes. If you owned a vineyard. If you planted that vineyard, if you built a wall around that vineyard, if you constructed a wine press on that vineyard, if you built a watchtower on that vineyard, if you hired farmers to work on that vineyard, And then you sent some employees to go collect some of the harvests on that vineyard, and they were beaten and killed. Would you send more servant to try and reason with them? Would you send your children to try and convince them? When we look at the patience that God had with the Old Testament church, We see that same love. Time and time again that nation turned away from God. Time and time again they worship something else. Time and time again they squandered what God had given to them. And God never gave up on them. He kept calling them back. He kept asking them to change their ways. He kept asking them to turn it around. It is the same God. Who is patient with us. He didn’t send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world. That's what John 3:17 says. He is always forgiving. Always patient. Always kind. He is always calling us to repent and see the love that he has for us. 

Time for the Harvest

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Sermon 1615                          Matthew 21.28-32                    October 15, 2017

Jesus was driving them crazy.  Sunday he came riding into town and riots broke out.  Well, not riots exactly.  Impromptu parades.  People singing and laughing and dancing, right into the Temple courts.  People were happy to be at church.  That had to stop.

Then he objected to all the fund raisers they were having.  The sheep stalls and the tables of the money changers practically blocked the entrances so people couldn’t get in.  The cattle were mooing so loudly you couldn’t hear the sermon.  Why didn’t anybody ever clean up all that manure?  They objected to Jesus’ objections!  How were they ever supposed to keep the place going?  People weren’t just going to give out of the goodness of their hearts, were they?

Then Jesus started teaching Bible classes in the Temple.  They tried to nip that in the bud right away.  Where are your credentials?  Where’s your Seminary diploma?  “By whose authority are you doing all these things?”  And Jesus actually answered them!  “Well, by the same authority that John the Baptist baptized!  Who do you think told him to do what he did?”

It was clear Jesus was waiting for an answer and so were the crowds who were packing his Bible class.  (Why didn’t they come to Caiaphas’ Bible class?  His two volume book on filleting the tensor fascia latae from the middle gluteal tendon had received critical acclaim!).  “We don’t know,” they lied.  They knew very well.  They thought John was a fraud because he had never attended a day at Jerusalem U studying under them, but you couldn’t say that in front of this crowd.  And Jesus was a rabble rouser just like John.  “Then I won’t tell you, either,” Jesus said, with a wink to the clapping crowd.

Oh, if only Mary had been barren!  Jesus was driving them crazy.  He was even trying to get them to

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