Selected Sermons by Pastor David A. Reed

Immanuel Baptist Church
195 Whitman Street, New Bedford, Mass.

Immanuel Baptist Church is "a church preaching Christ, crucified, risen and coming again"

A 4-part sermon series. This is the Gospel the Apostles preached. But Paul warned the Galatian church to watch out for "a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-9)

July 16, 2017 "A Church Preaching Christ"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
This first sermon in a 4-part series on what it means to be "a church preaching Christ, crucified, risen and coming again" has its focus on what "preaching Christ" means. It means preaching the Jesus of the Bible, not the 'Jesus' of popular culture. Many churches today preach 'another Jesus.' The Bible warns against this: "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted--you may well put up with it!" (2 Corinthians 11:4) Paul was disgusted with the Corinthians for putting up with the preaching of another Jesus and a different gospel. So, how does Jesus view those today who preach 'another Jesus'?

July 23, 2017 "A Church Preaching Christ Crucified"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
This second sermon in a 4-part series on what it means to be "a church preaching Christ, crucified, risen and coming again" has its focus on what "preaching Christ crucified" means. The Apostle Paul was a well-educated man, but he chose to preach a simple message of "Christ and Him crucified" rather than an intellectual display of human wisdom: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:1-2) We, likewise, can put simple faith in Christ crucified.

July 30, 2017 "A Church Preaching Christ Risen"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
This third sermon in a 4-part series on what it means to be "a church preaching Christ, crucified, risen and coming again" has its focus on what "preaching Christ risen" means. This message is crucial for us, because, "if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:17-20) Christ is the firstfruits, so we, too, will rise. Our hope rests on the risen Christ.

August 6, 2017 "A Church Preaching Christ Coming Again"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
This fourth sermon in a 4-part series on what it means to be "a church preaching Christ, crucified, risen and coming again" has its focus on what "preaching Christ coming again" means--what it means for us who belong to Christ, and what it means for the rest of the world. It is unpopular today, even in many Christian churches, to talk about the return of Christ, but it is a key element in the Gospel message found in the Bible. And world events indicate that Christ will come again soon. Are you keeping watch, as Jesus said we should? Are you ready?

The End Times -- the Last Days of this world

A 4-part sermon series. Christ told us to "Keep watch!" for his return. We do this by looking for the events the Bible says will lead up to the Second Coming.

October 7, 2018 "The Beasts of Revelation"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
For centuries Christians have prayed, “Thy kingdom come...,” and have been watching for Christ’s return. Identifying the ‘beasts’ of Revelation will help us to “Keep watch.” (Matthew 24:42) Bible prophecy says world events in ‘the end times’ will be frightening: “Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world.” But Jesus said, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)

October 14, 2018 "Jerusalem Has Been Restored for the Return of Christ"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Caesar’s armies killed a million Jews in Jerusalem, and took the rest away, to be sold as slaves throughout the Empire, leaving the Jews scattered worldwide without a country of their own. Later, Muslims controlled Jerusalem for over 1,200 years. But the Bible foretells a role for a Jewish Jerusalem at Christ’s return when “the inhabitants of Jerusalem ... will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:9-10)

October 21, 2018 "Armageddon: All the Nations VS God"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The Bible says the end of this world, and the return of Christ, will be accompanied by war in Israel. The war starts with a multi-national attack on Israel, after which Christ comes at the head of heavenly armies to defeat the attackers. The details are found in the books of Psalms, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Zechariah and Revelation. The outcome is that God’s forces win, of course. But, how does the war start? Can we see the nations assembling now for the final conflict? We watch for that, as we “keep watch” (Matthew 24:42) for Christ’s return.

October 28, 2018 "Jesus Returning Angry"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
In Luke chapter 19 our Lord Jesus gave the Parable of the Minas, illustrating how he will bless and reward his faithful people when he returns. But he concluded the parable with the king who represents him saying, “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.” Yes, Christ will also return angry, ready to punish this world that rejects him. All the evidence points to this happening soon.

October 2018 sermons on The End Times

February 28, 2021 The Sorcerer vs. the Apostle   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The sorcerer Elymas contradicted Paul's Gospel message and tried to prevent the Roman prefect Sergius Paulus from putting faith in Christ. It was really a contest between invisible spirit forces. Similar spiritual battles occur today when Satan tries to lure people away from the Gospel of Christ through sorcery, magic, witchcraft, horoscopes, Reiki, yoga, eastern meditation, and a host of other related practices.

February 21, 2021 Peter's Miraculous Jail-Break   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Peter was a V.I.P. prisoner on death row--guarded 24/7 by a special contingent of 16 soldiers. He was due to be executed in the morning, but then his dark cell was suddenly illuminated as a angel of God appeared and set him free, leading him past one check-point after another, until he was on the street as a free man. The rest of the story is equally fascinating, as well as its implications for us today.

February 14, 2021 Paul and Barnabas Partner for Ministry   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Let's look back prior to the missionary tour they went on together, to see how the ministry partnership of Paul and Barnabas began. We'll also see where the name Christians was first use to describe believers. And we'll learn lessons about friendship and working together in the Church today.

February 7, 2021 UFOs, QAnon, Vaccine and Prophets   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
With the left-wing mainstream media lying and censoring news and opinions, and with texts and videos going viral despite deceptive and false content, what are we to believe? How can we separate truth from fabrication? How can we examine a source's history, follow the money and check the details to root out falsehood, before we fall victim to it? Scripture will help us sort it all out.

January 31, 2021 A Key to Understanding the Bible   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The early Christian Church in Jerusalem was outraged when they heard that Peter had entered a Gentile home and had eaten non-Kosher meals with Italians and other non-Jews. After Peter explained how God had used visions and angels to arrange that encounter, and had blessed it with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Church rejoiced. Gentiles could become Christians without becoming Jews--a whole new thought to the Apostles and the early Church, which had been all Jewish prior to Peter's visit to Cornelius. But controversies over the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant would rage for decades--as seen throughout the rest of the New Testament.

January 24, 2021 Prayer for the New President?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
In the musical Fiddler on the Roof the Rabbi's son asks him if there is a blessing for the Czar. He replies: God bless and keep the Czar . . . far away from us. At 1 Timothy 2:2 the Apostle Paul urges Christians to pray a similar prayer regarding those in authority. In Paul's day it was the Caesars, and today a new administration is rolling back all the protections President Trump had put in place to secure Christians from government interference and persecution.

January 17, 2021 Peter's Keys Opened the Door to All   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The early Christian Church was entirely Jewish for months, or perhaps 3-1/2 years, after Peter preached to thousands of Jewish visitors to Jerusalem on Pentecost. (That was his first use of the keys of the Kingdom.) Later, Peter was the first to preach the Gospel to non-Jews, when he was miraculously called to the home of Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Regiment. That completed Peter's use of the keys of the Kingdom.

January 10, 2021 Do You Feel the Foundations Shaking?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The events of recent days are shaking the very foundations of our way of life, our democracy, and our nation. What is really happening? What will happen next? And what does God say about it in the Bible?

January 3, 2021 Tabitha's Example in Using Our Gifts   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Peter used his spiritual gifts when raising Tabitha from the dead--a woman who used her spiritual gifts to bless others in the Church, particularly poor widows to whom she gave coats and garments she had made. Tabitha is an example for us in doing good works.

December 27, 2020 Can the Worst of Sinners Be Saved?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Saul of Tarsus helped stone deacon Stephen to death for being a Christian. Then he organized and spearheaded brutal persecution against the newborn Christian Church. On his way to arrest believers in the city of Damascus, Jesus stopped him on the road, and reversed his life course--preparing him to become the Apostle we know as Paul (Saul's Greek name). Paul called himself the worst of sinners, and said he was an example of how Jesus can save others like himself.

December 20, 2020 Christmas in Scripture and Song   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Christ was born to save us from our sins. When we put faith in him as our Savior and Lord, we are born again as children of God. Traditional Christmas carols join with Scripture in proclaiming this Good News.

December 13, 2020 The Mystery of the Christmas Star   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
How do we know that the Christmas Star did NOT lead the Wise Men to Jerusalem--but DID lead them to the Christ Child in Bethlehem? Why would God send such a sign to pagan astrologers, when astrology is a practice of divination forbidden to Jews and Christians alike?

December 6, 2020 Can Christmas Trees Honor God?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
What roles did Martin Luther and Queen Victoria play in the Christmas Tree traditions? How does God use trees in the Bible when discussing himself, his kingdom and our salvation?

November 29, 2020 Preparations for Christmas   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
What preparations were made on earth and in the invisible heavens for that first Christmas? The holy angels of God played major roles, but their preparations are hidden from us. The star that led Eastern astrologers to seek the newborn King had to be put in place--and the interpretation and motivation put into their hearts and minds--so that the treasures they brought could finance the Holy Family's flight to Egypt. And God put it into the mind of Caesar Augustus to send everyone to their home towns for a census--timed just right to place Mary in Bethlehem when it was time for her to give birth. What far-reaching preparations, indeed!

November 22, 2020 What's Wrong with Thanksgiving?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Left-wing liberals try to make us feel ashamed to celebrate Thanksgiving Day because our ancestors supplanted the Native American Indians and their culture. But that has been the story of human history--one population group supplanting another, all over the world. British culture was lost when Romans colonized Britain; then the Saxons replaced them; the Angles conquered and replaced them; and then the Normans came and prevailed. It was no different when the Europeans colonized the Americas. The Thanksgiving Day proclamations by the Continental Congress in 1777 and by President Trump in 2019 both reflect the Christian foundation of this country--which is what the left-wing liberals are really attacking when they oppose celebrating Thanksgiving Day.

November 15, 2020 Deacon Philip Spreads the Gospel   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
When violent persecution drove the early Christians from Jerusalem, deacon Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ there, with many Samaritans welcoming the Gospel. Magician Simon's sin showed he had not really given his heart to God, even though he had outwardly gone through the motions. Philip next shared Christ with an Ethiopian government official, who brought the Good News to that African country.

November 8, 2020 The Winner--and How It Will All End   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Anxious waiting over the results of Tuesday's presidential election is unnecessary, if we put our trust completely in the Child of Bethlehem, of whom Isaiah prophesied that "the government will be upon his shoulder." Christ is already King over his people worldwide, and will return as the victorious King of kings who does battle with mankind's demon-run governments and defeats them.

November 1, 2020 A Deacon on Trial for His Life   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
On trial for his life before the Jewish Sanhedrin court, deacon Stephen gave an unusual defense: He recited the history of the Jewish people--citing how they rejected Moses twice, failed to keep the Law of Moses, persecuted God's prophets, and were now persecuting the followers of the Messiah whom they killed. Besides inspiring us through his courageous example, this faithful deacon also blessed us by summarizing (1) Where the Jewish people came from, (2) Where the Jewish religion came from and (3) Where the Christian religion came from.

October 25, 2020 Today's Churches Need a Reformation   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
It was 503 years ago this week that Martin Luther nailed to the church door in Wittenberg his 95 Theses challenging unbiblical teachings and practices of the church of Rome. He lived in a world where questioning the hierarchy or translating the Bible could bring the death penalty. Today Bible translations are everywhere, but many churchgoers devote themselves to the latest 'Christian' books and videos, rather than read the Bible itself. This leaves us with modern churches teaching half-of-the-Word heresies and outright heresies, such as approval of gay marriage. We need another Reformation!

October 18, 2020 'Select 7 Men'--the First Deacons   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
To end the discrimination against Greek-speaking converts in the early Church, the Apostles appointed 7 men--the first deacons--to oversee food distribution to the widows. These deacons were godly men, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. One of them, Stephen, proved so conclusively that Jesus was the Christ, that those who disputed with him could not refute his arguments. Instead, they brought criminal charges against him.

October 11, 2020 "We must obey God, rather than men"-Peter and John   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
First Peter and John spent a night in jail, and then all 12 of the Apostles. The authorities commanded them to stop preaching about Jesus. But the Apostles answered, "We must obey God, rather than men." God's powerful hand was with them in this, and is with us today when we take the same stand of obedience to the Highest Authority.

October 4, 2020 The Church Is Not Just a Club   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Why were Ananias and his wife Saphira struck dead by God right in front of everyone at church? Should we expect to see signs and wonders performed by ministry leaders today? Who are those behaving like Ananias and Saphira in churches today? And who did Jesus say would be behind signs and wonders in end-times churches?

September 27, 2020 Will God Pick Our Next President?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
We know that voters will go to the polls and choose our next president, but the Bible tells us that God is in control and installs the leaders he chooses. How can both be true? What biblical issues are at stake in the November election? How will the outcome affect the ability of Bible-believing Christians to live out our faith unmolested by the government?

September 20, 2020 When Should We Disobey the Authorities?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
With some churches claiming that Scripture supports their open defiance of state coronavirus regulations, we do well to look at the conflict the Apostles faced when ordered by Jerusalem authorities to stop preaching in Jesus' name. Are we in the same circumstance today? Or, are there ways to obey God without disobeying the state? Does God ever expect us to obey unreasonable authorities? (1 Peter 2:18) But, who is the highest authority--deserving our obedience always?

September 13, 2020 The Marvelous Acts of the Apostles   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
When Peter commanded a lame man to 'get up and walk,' the man had no idea who Peter was, or who Jesus was--in whose name Peter worked that miracle. This shows the sovereign power of God to heal, without depending on the infirm individual's faith or lack of faith. This points to the errors of the so-called 'health and wealth gospel'--which is wrong in other ways, as well.

September 6, 2020 Does the Bible Teach Socialism?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The Old and New Testaments both teach private ownership as God's arrangement, as well as hard work to earn a profit. Why, then, did the disciples share everything in common and distribute to each one according to their need in Acts chapters 2 and 4? What was the emergency situation that prompted this exception to the rule? Why were thousands of new disciples in Jerusalem much like evacuees in a shelter following a storm? How does charitable giving differ from socialism?

August 30, 2020 Peter Didn't Mince Words   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
After the miracle of tongues brought together large crowds in the streets of Jerusalem below the upper room, Peter addressed them and convinced them they had killed the promised Messiah. Three thousand were convicted and repented and were baptized as followers of Christ. How can we learn from Peter's example?

August 23, 2020 What About Speaking in Tongues?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
There is no denying that God poured out the Holy Spirit on 120 disciples on the day of Pentecost 2000 years ago, and that they all spoke miraculously in foreign languages previously unknown to them. What about those who claim that the same miracle occurs today? What about the churches and organizations devoted to upholding that teaching? What does the Bible say?

August 16, 2020 How the Church Picks Its Leadership   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Should the selection of church leadership be a popularity contest? Or a product of who plays golf with whom? No, the Bible gives us God's guidelines spelling out the requirements and qualifications for positions of leadership in the churches. The bullet points in Paul's letters to Titus and to Timothy apply today, just as they did in the First Century, and should be followed by church nominating committees everywhere.

August 9, 2020 How Jesus Changed the World   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The world measures history in years B.C. (Before Christ) and years after Christ--his impact on the world was so great. After his death and resurrection, and just before he ascended to the Father in heaven, Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission to take his Gospel to the whole world, and that Gospel changed people everywhere.

August 2, 2020 Prepare to Meet Your Maker--BEFORE You Die!   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
"Prepare to Meet Your Maker!" says the gunman to his intended victim in one movie scene after another. But the moment you're about to die is too late for that. God wants you to meet your maker now, while you are alive in this world--not when you pass into the afterlife. Old Testament Jeremiah foretold a New Covenant (Testament) where ALL believers would know God. And Jesus promised to reveal himself to those who love him. Have you met your maker?

July 26, 2020 Are we in the Tribulation NOW? Luther and Calvin would say YES   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Worldwide disease epidemics, wildfires, rioting and social unrest, political instability, climate change--are these happening in fulfillment of Bible prophecies? Why do so many churches follow the teachings of LEFT BEHIND instead of the traditional approach to prophecy upheld by Martin Luther, John Calvin, Wesley, Tyndale, Wycliffe and Spurgeon?

July 19, 2020 Jesus Said He Didn't Go to Heaven When He Died. So, Where Did He Go?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Jesus said no one went to heaven before he did, and he told Mary Magdalene--after his resurrection--that he had not yet ascended to the Father. So, where was Jesus' spirit during the 3 days his body lay in the tomb? And, what was he doing during that time?

July 12, 2020 Depression Hit Disciples and Prophets   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The disciples were deeply depressed after watching Christ die on the cross. That depression lifted when they learned he had risen from the grave. We, today, may be depressed--due to the circumstances around us, or even due to chemical or hormonal imbalances in our bodies. What can we do to escape depression?

July 5, 2020 Christ Crucified, But Coming Again   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
When Christ suffered and died on the cross, it may have seemed like a defeat. But it was actually a victory. The fulfillment of prophecy on that occasion guarantees fulfilment of the prophecies about Christ's return. He didn't call on the 12 legions of angels at his disposal, to keep him from the cross, but he did send heavenly armies into action to throw Satan and his angels out of heaven. And Jesus himself will lead the heavenly armies that will soon annihilate corrupt human governments.

June 28, 2020 "Blessed Is the Nation Whose God Is the Lord"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence prove that this country was founded on Christian principles by Bible-believing Christians. As a direct result, the United States of America has been blessed beyond the other nations of the earth for centuries. If we abandon God, will we keep those blessings? What do we learn from John Adams' letter to the Massachusetts militia?

June 21, 2020 When Courts Break the Law   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The United States Supreme Court has broken the law--violated the Constitution--by creating new laws, a function which the Constitution assigns to Congress, not the courts. Let's look at the similarities to the illegal actions of the courts that sentenced our Lord Jesus to death for crimes he was not guilty of.

June 14, 2020 Prophecy Fulfilled--Did You Miss It?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
First Century religious leaders who were experts in the Old Testament missed prophecies about Jesus that were fulfilled before their very eyes. Could the same thing be happening today? Could that be why popular Christian celebrities fail to point out how news headlines fit the signs that lead up to Christ's Second Coming?

June 7, 2020 Christ, Our King, Will Bring Justice   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Why can't our leaders do away with racism and injustice? Why can't they better handle the coronavirus crisis? Why did they crash the economy? Why can't they prevent looting and arson? Replacing present leaders with new ones won't fix it. That's already been tried for thousands of years. Our leaders fall short of our expectations because, like us, they are all sinners in need of a Savior. Christ's Kingdom--which we pray for when we say, "Thy Kingdom come..."--will give us a sinless leader, who will establish true justice. Come, Lord Jesus!

May 31, 2020 "I'm no saint!"--But Neither Was Peter   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Rough-and-tumble fisherman Peter was so sinful that he warned Jesus to keep away from him when they first met. On the night of Jesus' arrest, Peter drew a sword and used it, cutting off a man's ear. Later that night, Peter cursed and swore that he didn't even know Jesus. St. Peter was no saint. Neither are we. But Jesus has the power to turn us all into saints and children of God.

May 24, 2020 Memorial Day and God's Mercy   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
We decorate our loved ones' graves today, but they are not actually in those graves. Have religious teachers led you to worry about where they may be? We have reason to trust in God's mercy.

May 17, 2020 "Watch and Pray!" in the Garden of Gethsemane and Today   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
When Jesus went farther into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, he asked his faithful Apostles to "watch and pray." But they didn't. Instead, they slept. So, they were caught off guard and unprepared when the crowd and officers arrived to arrest Christ. Jesus tells us, too, to "watch and pray" as the time for his Second Coming approaches. Will he find us sleeping?

May 10, 2020 Mother's Care Blocked by Satan's World   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
Why does it seem nearly impossible today for parents to raise their children to walk with the Lord? Why do so many kids break their mothers' hearts by following the world into drug abuse, single-motherhood, and non-Christian lifestyles? Satan, 'the ruler of this world,' re-designed this world so that his influence overshadows parental influence on children. But Christ came to destroy the works of the devil.

May 3, 2020 Jesus Prays for Us the Night Before Going to the Cross   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
The Gospels give us a few examples of Christ's prayers to the Father--mostly brief, just one or two sentences. But in John Chapter 17 we find the full text of Jesus' prayer the night before he went to the cross. He prays briefly about returning to heavenly glory, but the rest of his prayer is about us: what he wants for us while we live in this world, and the future he desires for us with him in heaven.

April 26, 2020 Jesus, Gone to Heaven, But Still with Us   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Christ's final message to his disciples, before his arrest and crucifixion, was meant to encourage and strengthen them as they faced a period of grief and mourning. He assured them that endless joy would soon follow. Those words of Jesus are especially helpful to us today, as we face frightening uncertainties in our world right now.

April 19, 2020 Ezekiel Bread and the Coronavirus Crisis   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio) WATCH
God's patience with Jerusalem's murder and sexual sins finally ran out, and he was about to execute judgment on the city's inhabitants. First, he had Ezekiel announce what was coming, by acting out how there would be hardship, even rationing of bread. Today's empty supermarket shelves make us think of the reasons why God is angry with America and this world: their teaching that there IS NO Creator (just evolution), 'sex education' classes teaching little kids to be homosexual and transgender, 85 percent of Americans approving of sex outside of God's marriage arrangement, and so on.

April 12, 2020 Resurrection Sunday -- Victory in Jesus   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! At the cross, Jesus won the victory over Satan. He won the victory over death. And he gives us the victory. After rising from the grave Easter Sunday morning, he lives forever. He is alive today. He is active today in the life of this church, and in each of our personal lives. And he gives us everlasting life.

April 5, 2020 The Work of the Holy Spirit   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
God came down to live with mankind in the person of the Son, Jesus. After he returned to heaven, God came down to live in Christian believers, with Christ living in our hearts by his Holy Spirit. So, God is still with us--more intimately than ever before. And the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the New Testament: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." (John 16:13)

March 29, 2020 We Are Not the Target of Their Anger--God Is   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
If we find ourselves hated for our faith, we are in good company. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first,” and he added “Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.” People hate God only because they don’t really know him. Anyone who knows God, loves him. And we have the privilege, with the help of the Holy Spirit, of helping people come to know God by introducing them to Jesus.

March 22, 2020 Did God Send the Coronavirus?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)   WATCH
Is the Coronavirus a plague from God? ...or from the devil? ...or just a coincidence? Does it signal the end of the world? Or, is it a wake-up call for this world? And for lost sinners to turn to Christ? What is it? And who or what caused it? In 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 God says, "Whenever I hold back the rain or send locusts to eat up the crops or send an epidemic on my people, if they pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again."

March 15, 2020 Christ Is the Vine, We Are the Branches   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
It’s impossible for the human mind to fully grasp the “mystery, which is Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27)—because it is an invisible, supernatural, spiritual relationship that exists between each individual believer and Christ, our Lord. But Jesus uses this illustration to help us understand it: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

March 8, 2020 Jesus Introduces the Holy Spirit   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Old Testament believers had a relationship with God, but it was rather distant. Then God came down to live with men and women in the divine Person of Jesus. Would that new closeness to God end, when Christ returned to heaven? No, our Lord promised, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. ... he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18) Jesus was introducing the Holy Spirit.

March 1, 2020 EVENING SERVICE Cults and World Religions: Jehovah's Witnesses   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Jehovah's Witnesses refer to their organization as "the Truth" and they believe no one comes to God except through their organization. But Jesus said, "“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

March 1, 2020 Jesus Is the Way and the Truth and the Life   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus’ parting words in the Gospel of John are words of comfort. He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” (John 14:1) And then he goes on to give us reasons to take comfort in him right now, and in his promises for our eternal future. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)

February 16, 2020 Our Lord's Closing Remarks   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As the Last Supper ended, Jesus and his apostles sang a hymn and moved on to the Mount of Olives. Christ explained that he would soon be leaving them, and began to give them instructions that would help them carry on as Christians in his absence. Those instructions, which begin here and continue through John Chapter 17, are beautiful, faith-strengthening messages that empower us in our Christian walk.

February 9, 2020 The Last Supper   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Much went on at the famous Last Supper—our Lord Jesus’ final meal with his apostles, before going to the cross. Jesus washed their feet, as an illustration of servant leadership. He settled their argument as to which of them was the greatest, in a way that they didn’t expect. And he dismissed his betrayer, without letting any but Peter and John know who it was. And then our Lord instituted the intimate sharing of Communion, which we continue to this day.

February 2, 2020 EVENING SERVICE Cults and World Religions: Hindu, Buddhist and Other Eastern Religions   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Hindu and Buddhist pagan idolatry and non-biblical beliefs are permeating our culture and even infiltrating churches, as Buddha statues adorn lawns and gardens, and even church members recite Sanskrit-language mantra prayers to Hindu gods and goddesses in meditation and Yoga classes. God's view on this is clear: “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) “The sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. And I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too.” (Corinthians 10:20-21)

February 2, 2020 The Same Lesson, Over and Over Again   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
In what way are we most like Jesus’ first disciples? Perhaps it’s the way he needs to keep teaching us the same lesson over and over again. The particular lesson may vary from one to another, since we all have different weaknesses. But most of us are slow learners. Christ spent 3-1/2 years with his disciples, and at his final dinner on earth, he had to repeat a lesson they had failed to learn on at least two earlier occasions.

January 26, 2020 Why Did Jesus Wash the Apostles' Feet?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
What does the Creator of the universe do, when he comes to the earth as a man and lives among us humans? Does he sit on a throne, and demand that we come and bow before him, while serving him? No, he goes about visiting people who are paralyzed or have horrible skin diseases, healing them and teaching them. And, when sharing his final dinner with his closest followers, he interrupts his meal to wash their feet, dusty from walking dirt roads in sandals. And he calls on us to learn from his example.

January 19, 2020 Blinded by Power and Money   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When a woman poured perfume on Jesus, “one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12:4-6) Judas’ bad attitude infected others: “Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste...?’ And they rebuked her harshly.” (Mark 14:4-6)

January 12, 2020 Christ on His Judgment Throne   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Someday Jesus “will sit on his glorious throne,” and, “before him will be gathered all the nations.” (Matthew 25:31-32) To some people he will say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” but to others, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:34,41) Now is the time to “believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) And now is the time to invite others.

January 5, 2020 Jesus' Parable of the Talents (Bags of Money)   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When we reach heaven, we all want to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” That expression comes from his ‘Parable of the Talents.’ Not musical ability, as in “America’s God Talent,” but heavy bags of money where that ancient unit of weight—the talent—represented silver or gold worth about sixteen years’ wages. The ‘master’ in the parable represents Christ, and he hands his servants bags of money to do business with in his absence. Where’s yours?

December 29, 2019 Looking Ahead with 2020 Vision   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As a new year approaches, many in the world around us are busy making plans for the future. Some of those plans will fail, because the planners didn’t see clearly what lay ahead. Our God tells us, “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” (Proverbs 4:18-19) Only the Lord can give us 20-20 vision for the year 2020. So, we should turn to him in prayer as we think about the future.

December 22, 2019 Who Was Born on Christmas Morn?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Immanuel Baptist Church takes its name from one of the most significant Christmas passages in the Gospels: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us.’)” (Matthew 1:21-23) If we dig deeper into the Christmas story, it becomes mind-boggling to consider what it really means for each one of us that “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14)

December 15, 2019 Christmas: Peace on Earth?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When heavenly angels visited the shepherds outside Bethlehem to announce Jesus’ birth, they concluded by proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”? (Luke 2:14) Where is that peace? History tells us that the First World War was interrupted by a spontaneous Christmas truce, but that horrible war resumed right after the holiday. And there have been other wars, right up to the present day. Where is the promised peace?

December 8, 2019 How Long Will Your Christmas Last?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Christmas brings such joy, but how long does it last? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Christmas all year long? We can do that, if we take our cue from Mary, the mother of the baby Jesus, who “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) The message of Christmas is the message of God’s love for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

December 1, 2019 Christ Born to Be "a Light for the Nations"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
A part of the Christmas story less often told involves the prophecy the old man Simeon spoke when he took the baby Jesus into his arms. It was an earth-shaking prophecy about a change that would affect the whole world—including us today. For 2,000 years our Gentile ancestors hopelessly worshiped demonic idols of wood and stone, but for the next 2,000 years the Good News about Jesus would call people worldwide “out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

November 24, 2019 What Do We Have That God Hasn't Given Us?   READ  
There is nothing that we can touch with our hands or look at with our eyes that wasn’t made by God, and given to us by him. Moreover, our hands and our eyes were designed and fashioned by the Creator. And our very life is a gift from him, even each new breath. “He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 17:25) The more we appreciate this, the more we have reason to be thankful to God at every moment of our lives.

November 17, 2019 Locked Out of the Kingdom of God   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus doesn’t want us to find ourselves locked out of the Kingdom of God. So, he gave us the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. It teaches us the same lesson that Christ has been stressing throughout the 24th and 25th chapters of Matthew: That we need to “Watch!” for his return, and to “Be ready!”—because he will come back for us individually, or to judge this world, at a time when we don’t expect him.

November 10, 2019 Veterans Day and God's Hand in World Affairs   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
On Veterans Day we take time to honor all who served this country in our armed forces. We appreciate what they did to preserve our freedom. But do we realize the role they also played in Bible prophecy? World War One put an end to the Islamic State—the caliphate that kept Jerusalem in Gentile hands for over 1,000 years—opening the way for Christ’s return. World War Two stopped the Holocaust before it would have made Israel’s restoration impossible. God’s hand can be seen in the history of the World Wars, and recent Mid-East events.

November 3, 2019 What Will Christ Find You Doing?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Christ said his departure for heaven was like “a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.” (Mark 13:34) That’s us! He’s given us assigned tasks—to “make disciples” and “to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) And he wants all of us to “keep watch” and be ready, because he will return unexpectedly.

October 27, 2019 Christ Told Us to "Keep Watch!" and to "Be Ready"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
A few thousand years ago, there was a world very much like ours today, full of sin and violence. Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” by no one would listen. (2 Peter 2:5) God sent a flood on that world—suddenly, while everyone was preoccupied with everyday life. Our Lord Jesus tells us that sudden destruction will come upon this world when he returns in glory. He urges us to “Keep watch” and to “Be ready” for that day when he will suddenly “gather his elect” and sweep away this wicked world. (Matthew 24:42, 44)

October 20, 2019 Watch, and Watch Out!   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Immanuel Baptist Church preaches ‘Christ crucified, risen and coming again.’ But when can we expect his Second Coming? The disciples asked for a “sign,” and Jesus answered them in Matthew, Chapters 24 and 25. We’ll begin looking at that answer today, so that we can know what Jesus told us to “Watch!” for, and what he told us to “Watch out!” for.

October 13, 2019 The Sign of the End--of Jerusalem, and This World   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus told his disciples that the beautiful Temple they admired in Jerusalem would be torn down and the city desolated, within that generation. He also gave them a sign to signal when Christians should leave the city to escape that destruction, and when Christians centuries later would know Christ was about to return in glory, to bring this wicked world to an end.

October 6, 2019 Our Responsibility to Care for God's House   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
From Moses’ wilderness tabernacle, to the stone temples that stood for a thousand years in Jerusalem, to today’s modern church buildings, the worshipers of God have been charged with keeping them beautiful and in good repair. Just as he inspired the prophets, God’s Holy Spirit empowers those who do this work. “The LORD said to Moses, ‘See, I have appointed by name Bezalel . . . And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship.’” (Exodus 31:1-3)

September 29, 2019 A Generation Facing God's Judgment   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
In his final public sermon before he was arrested and crucified, our Lord Jesus harshly denounced the hypocritical religious leaders of his day, and warned his disciples not to act like them. He warned of destructive “woe” that would come upon the scribes and Pharisees within that generation, and that would culminate in destruction of Jerusalem and its holy temple. God has not changed, so there is reason to wonder what will come upon today’s generation that has abandoned the Bible and Christian worship.

September 22, 2019 Religious Hypocrisy   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
While Christ patiently and lovingly called sinners to repentance and salvation, he harshly condemned hypocritical religious leaders. In his final public sermon before going to the cross, he denounced the scribes and Pharisees, and urged us—his disciples—to avoid falling into the same pattern of behavior. As we look at the religious hypocrisy Jesus condemned, we need to ask ourselves, How do we measure up?

September 15, 2019 The Son of David Teaches Us to Love God and Neighbor   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
While teaching large crowds in Jerusalem’s Temple courtyards during the final days of his ministry on earth, our Lord Jesus submitted to hostile questioning from the leaders of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians. His answers put them to shame so that, “from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.” (Matthew 22:46) Then he baffled them by pointing out how the Psalms reveal Christ’s ancient origins and future victories.

September 8, 2019 Christ Refutes Skeptics of the Resurrection   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Just like the Sadducees, who tried to embarrass Jesus with a trick question about the resurrection, there are people today who are “in error” because they “do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) Their erroneous thinking is not an academic matter, because it leaves them without hope for the future, and without solid guidance in this world. As we study the Scriptures and experience the power of God in our lives, we can point them in the right direction—to Jesus.

September 1, 2019 A Trick Question, Answered with a Coin   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Different factions opposed to our Lord Jesus joined together long enough to lay a trap for him, using hypocrisy and flattery—both of which are displeasing to God. But he didn’t fall into their trap. Instead, he used a Roman denarius coin to answer their trick question about paying taxes to Caesar. Besides learning that no one can match wits with the Son of God, we also learn to distinguish what we owe the government from what we owe our Creator.

August 25, 2019 Your Place at the Table in Heaven   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
In the Parable of the Wedding Feast, our Lord Jesus teaches a simple lesson, while also alluding to another mysteriously profound lesson. The simple lesson is that the nation of Israel lost their place at the table in the Kingdom of Heaven, and that place was given to us—the Christian Church—instead. The profound mystery is that we are called to be the bride of Christ, in a spiritual sense that our human minds can’t fully comprehend, but that is wonderful beyond belief.

August 18, 2019 Professing vs Practicing Our Faith   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us,” including Jesus’ illustrative stories. (Romans 15:4) The two that we will look at this morning—the Parable of the Two Sons, and the Parable of the Vineyard—exposed how Israel displeased God. He then took his Kingdom from Israel and gave it to the Church. Now we owe it to God to practice our faith, rather than merely profess it as Israel did.

August 11, 2019 The Eternal Christ Gives Us Everlasting Life   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Around 2,700 years ago the Hebrew prophet Isaiah “saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him”—over 700 years before Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. (John 12:41) Our Lord is the King of eternity: past, present and future without end. When we believe in him and keep his words, he gives us light to guide us through this world, and a wonderful future of everlasting life with him in his heavenly Kingdom.

August 4, 2019 Faith to Move Mountains   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When Christ cursed a fig-less fig tree, and it quickly withered and died, he assured us that we could do the same, and even move mountains if we have enough faith. (Matthew 21:20-21) We have no need to move mountains of dirt and rock, but our faith enables us to overcome mountainous obstacles in our lives, and to develop Christ-like love. “If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

July 28, 2019 Our Lighted Path Leads to Heavenly Glory   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As the time approached for him to go to the cross, Jesus admitted that his “heart” was “troubled.” (John 12:27) But he was determined to go through with it anyway, for his Father’s glory, and to bless all of us. Before we find Christ, our life in this world is like “The man who walks in the dark” and “does not know where he is going.” (John 12:35) Finding Jesus is like stepping out of the darkness onto a lighted path—leading to unimaginable glory ahead.

July 21, 2019 Jesus Disrupted Jerusalem, but He Isn't Finished Yet   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The ministry of our Lord Jesus reached its climax when he went up to Jerusalem for his final week on this planet. When he got there, he disrupted the place by what he said and did—including denouncing the Jewish clergy of his day, and roughly throwing commercialism out of the Temple. If we truly listen to Jesus today (His words are found in the Bible.), he will disrupt our lives, as well, and we will never be the same.

July 14, 2019 What Happened in Zacchaeus's House?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Little children identify with Zacchaeus, when told the story of how this short man couldn’t see over the heads of the crowd, but was so eager to see Jesus that he climbed a tree—only to have Jesus call to him, and visit his home. But, as adults, we learn the most from what happened later that day in Zacchaeus’s house. The corrupt government official repented of his sins, gave away half of his wealth, and made restitution to those he had defrauded. Jesus then taught about God’s Kingdom through his Parable of the Minas.

July 7, 2019 Jesus Brings Sight to the Blind   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Jesus healed many of blindness during his ministry here on earth, and he promises that in his Kingdom, “the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” (Isaiah 35:5) Meanwhile, “The god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel,” but God “made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory,” and we can share that light to help them see. (2 Corinthians 4:4-6)

June 30, 2019 Jesus' Example of Servant Leadership   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Christ gives us a perfect example to follow. Throughout history brave men and women have died for their country and their king, but our King died for us. “The rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them" but "the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." So, likewise, “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

June 23, 2019 Jesus Re-Shapes Our Attitudes   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Growing up in this world, our attitudes have been shaped to fit in. But, in order for us to fit in when we go to heaven, we need new attitudes—like those of our heavenly Father. Through his teachings in the written Word of God, our Lord Jesus re-shapes our thinking. The lessons we’ll look at this morning are so important, that God had them included in all three Gospels—a three-fold repetition to get our attention.

June 16, 2019 Why God Hates Divorce   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When God gave his Law through Moses to the nation of Israel, he included a provision for issuing “a certificate of divorce.” (Matthew 19:7) But Jesus indicated this was a concession, rather than a suggestion. God’s intention from the beginning has always been that a man would “be united to his wife,” and that “what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19:5-6) His aim is, not to condemn us for our past, but rather to bless us with his guidance for the future. He wants only the best for us, his children.

June 9, 2019 Persist in Humble Prayer   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When the disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1), Jesus gave them the Our Father prayer. Later, he also gave the Parable of the Persistent Widow (or, the Parable of the Unjust Judge) to show us that we “should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1) And he gave the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector to show us we should be humble when approaching our heavenly Father.

June 2, 2019 What Will It Be Like, When Christ Returns?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
We preach ‘Christ crucified, risen and coming again’ because Jesus spoke of his death on the cross, his rising from the grave, and his return in kingly power. We believe the Bible’s historical accounts of his crucifixion and his resurrection. And, by faith, we look forward to his coming again. But what will it be like? Jesus says it will be just like “the days of Noah” when “the flood came and destroyed them all” and “the day Lot left Sodom” when “fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-28)

May 26, 2019 A Nation in Conflict   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Memorial Day is a time to honor fallen heroes, and to remember loved ones we have lost. It is also a time to reflect on our history and our future—as a nation and as individuals. When Abraham Lincoln spoke at the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he looked back “fourscore and seven years ago” to the founding of our nation, but also forward to “the unfinished work . . . the great task remaining before us.”

May 19, 2019 Are We Thankful for What God Does for Us?   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When our Lord Jesus healed ten men of the horrible and incurable disease of leprosy, only one of them returned to thank and praise God. Do we take for granted the things God does for us? Some of his miracles stand out as obvious divine intervention, but our daily lives are full of his gifts and provisions that we may not recognize and give thanks for, due to our familiarity with them. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father . . .” (James 1:17)

May 12, 2019 "I Am the Resurrection and the Life"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Mary and Martha were in mourning when Jesus visited them after their brother died. He had disappointed them by not arriving sooner to heal Lazarus from his terminal illness. Their weeping over their loss moved Jesus to tears himself. When we today suffer similar loss, Jesus shares in our sorrow and grief—even though he knows that, in God’s timing, all will be made right again. He raised Lazarus from the dead, so that we can put our faith in Jesus for eternal life.

May 5, 2019 "Increase Our Faith!"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Do you have enough faith to tell a deep-rooted tree to “Be uprooted and planted in the sea!” (Luke 17:6)—and have that actually happen? None of us do. But it takes faith even to forgive, and to live in loving fellowship with sinners like ourselves. Where do we get such faith? “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’” (Luke 17:5) We, too, need to ask Jesus to give us more faith.

April 28, 2019 A Powerful Parable Teaches Multiple Lessons   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord taught three lessons through his Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus: (1) that those who failed to repent after reading Moses and the prophets would still not be brought to repentance by Christ’s rising from the dead, (2) that it is wrong to view personal wealth as an indication of God’s favor, and (3) that this life is not all there is—rather, there is a conscious afterlife, with rewards and punishments.

April 21, 2019 Jesus Rose from the Dead, and Is Alive Today   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Would you have loved to be alive when Jesus walked the earth, to feel his healing touch, to sit at his feet as he taught, and to draw near to him privately with your questions and personal requests? Easter Sunday tells us that he rose from the dead, and that he is alive today to give you his healing touch, to teach you, and to answer your questions and personal requests. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)

April 19, 2019 "I Thirst"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Good Friday message at the International Church of the Nazarene on the Seven Last Words of Christ: John 19:28-29 says, "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.' A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips." Christ fulfilled this and other Old Testament prophecies on the cross to bless us, and to supply evidence on which to build our faith.

April 14, 2019 Their Palm Sunday, and Ours   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
That first Palm Sunday nearly 2,000 years ago meant different things to different people. The crowd that welcomed Jesus with palm branches hoped he would liberate them from Roman occupation. The religious leaders feared his popularity would lead to a violent uprising, followed by a crushing blow from the Roman legions. But Jesus knew that the prophecies he was fulfilling that day would lead to his crucifixion, and to our salvation. Looking back, we see that Jesus went to the cross for us, and changed the world.

April 7, 2019 Jesus' Advice on How to Use Our Money   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
This world’s money can be a trap, if we pursue it instead of pursuing God. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10) But, since we will be leaving this world behind and going to our eternal home in heaven, it would be wise to invest our money with eternity in view, in ways that God will look favorably upon.

March 31, 2019 God's Love for Lost Sinners   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The lyrics of “Amazing Grace” express our joy “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I'm found, Was blind but now I see.” We are joyful and rejoice that God found us and saved us, but He and the host of heaven rejoice even more. Jesus tells us, “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)

March 24, 2019 The Cost of Following Jesus   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus wants us to know, right up front, what it may cost us to follow him. “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. ...any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27, 33) Some give up property. Some give up friends or family. In times of persecution, many give up their lives—as did most of the Apostles. Jesus’ parables encourage us to count the cost. But the reward is greater than anything we may lose.

March 17, 2019 Guests at Jesus' Banquet   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The Old Testament’s “Chosen People,” the nation of Israel, were the first guests invited to heaven—as pictured in Jesus’ parable of the Great Banquet. When the invited guests failed to come, “Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’” (Luke 14:21) That pictures us, broken sinners called from all nationalities. “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 14:15)

March 10, 2019 "My Sheep Listen to My Voice"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As the ‘Good Shepherd’ our Lord Jesus treasures us, his sheep. He received us from his Father, and he carries us securely, close to his heart. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:27-29) He will keep us close by him forever, “at the feast in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:29)

February 24, 2019 "We Glorify God When We Bear Fruit"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
How long would you keep cultivating in your yard a fruit tree that never bore any fruit? God cultivated the nation of Israel for more than a thousand years, but it kept disappointing him by failing to live up to godly standards. Finally, he sent Jesus in a last-ditch effort to call them to repentance. They refused, and so the ‘tree’ was ‘cut down.’ As Christians, we can bear fruit, because we are in Christ. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” (John 15:5)

February 17, 2019 "Treasure in Heaven Will Last Forever"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Egyptian Pharaohs filled their tombs with treasure, which they expected to use in the afterlife. When archaeologists opened King Tut’s tomb, all of it was still there. The treasure was gone from the tombs of other Pharaohs, not because they got to use it, but because grave robbers had carried it off before the archaeologists got there. Because the riches of this life are left behind, Jesus tells us, “Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33)

February 10, 2019 "Christ Confronts Hypocritical Religious Leaders"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus used harsh language to denounce the hypocritical religious leaders of his day. They were working themselves up to kill the Messiah, and he told them their generation would be “held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world.” (Luke 11:50) That generation did see Jerusalem and its Temple were destroyed, and a million Jews killed by the Romans. How does the Lord view widespread sin and hypocrisy in the lands of Christendom today?

February 3, 2019 "Jesus Teaches Us to Love God and Love Our Neighbor"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
We are to “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27) Such love must be active, rather than passive. We love our neighbor by doing good to him, as the ‘good Samaritan’ did in Jesus’ parable, and we love God by obeying him.

January 27, 2019 "Our Role as Christ's Representatives"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As Christians we may look like ordinary guys and gals working a job, caring for home, and going to church on Sundays. But, in God’s eyes, we are his appointed representatives to this world. Our speech, conduct and way of life all serve to draw people to Christ. And, when the opportunity presents itself, we share the Gospel message. God gives us wisdom and power beyond what is normal, to accomplish his will through us.

January 6, 2019 "The Good Shepherd VS the Hired Hands"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus is “the good shepherd” (John 10:14) but Peter tells pastors and deacons, “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:2-4) Christ himself sets the example for how to do this.

December 30, 2018 "Can Religion Keep People from God?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
We live in a day and age when many people are giving up on church, and even giving up on God. Some blame bad experiences at the hand of other church members. Some point to scandals among church leaders. Some are disappointed that the teachings they were taught haven’t helped them cope with real life. These are examples of how religion can keep people from God. The Bible teaches us to look beyond “religion” to see God Himself.

December 23, 2018 "He Became 'Lower Than the Angels' to Bring Us to Glory"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The miracle of Christmas morning was that the eternal Son of God was made “a little lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:9) when he left heaven to be born as a human baby. He left his heavenly glory so that he could save us from our sins and elevate us to heavenly glory with him, as adopted children of God. Christmas helps us appreciate “that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18)

December 16, 2018 "Christmas Through Isaiah's Eyes"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The miracle of Christmas was foretold centuries in advance by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, who wrote “the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. . . . For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7) Let’s look at Christmas through Isaiah’s eyes!

December 9, 2018 "A Tale of Two Christmases"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
There are really two different Christmas holidays. Christians remember and celebrate the birth of Christ. Unbelievers celebrate, too, even in 99%-non-Christian Japan where pagans send Christmas cards and share meals. Puritanical authorities have outlawed the holiday—even in colonial Massachusetts—to curb what they saw as rowdy excess. But we can share the Apostle Paul’s optimism: “The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” (Phippians 1:18)

December 2, 2018 "The Word Became Flesh"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
At the first Christmas, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14) He came to set us free from sin and death, and to take us home to himself, to live with him forever in heaven as children of God: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)

November 25, 2018 "Who Is Jesus?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
“’Who are you?’ the crowds at Jerusalem’s temple asked Jesus.” His answer hinted at his deity, and his enemies got the point: “’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him.” (John 8:25, 58-59) Later we read, “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being.” (Hebrews 1:3) And, “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9) What a privilege we have to claim him as our Lord and Savior!

November 18, 2018 "Israel Celebrated Thanksgiving Days 3 Times a Year"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Back in 1782, a few years before George Washington became President, the Continental Congress called for “the observation of Thursday the twenty-eighth day of November next as a day of solemn Thanksgiving to God.” Before that, the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving Day in 1621. But more than 3,000 years before that, the Lord commanded ancient Israel to celebrate three feasts of Thanksgiving each year. All of these teach us to be thankful today.

November 11, 2018 "When Veterans Are Treated Unfairly, God Cares"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The First World War’s fighting ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. And today we honor veterans for their service on November 11. But, sad to say, veterans have often been neglected and treated poorly after returning from duty. Our God feels their pain. The Bible’s account concerning Uriah the Hittite shows that God cares about warriors who have been treated unfairly by those in authority.

November 4, 2018 "God's Patience When We Question Him"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As Jesus taught at God’s temple in Jerusalem, his Jewish audience debated among themselves whether Jesus was good or bad, the promised Messiah or an impostor. Some in the crowd shouted questions, and even insults, at Jesus himself. Our Lord patiently put up with them, knowing that such a free and open discussion would lead some to follow him, and would expose the hard hearts of others. He set the example for us, as we share the Gospel with unbelievers.

September 30, 2018 "Keeping God on the Back Burner?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
While we were busy frying eggs on the front burner, what happened to that dish we left on the back burner? Is it still cold, because we forgot to turn the burner on? Or did it burn up, because we weren’t watching it? Something similar can happen to our relationship with God, if we keep Him on the back burner of our lives. Jesus teaches us to assign our relationship with God the highest priority.

September 23, 2018 "God's Forgiveness Teaches Us to Forgive"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The Bible gives us good guidance on how to live our lives—including how to handle a situation where someone in the church sins against us. Jesus tells us, step by step, what to do. First, go to them alone, to see if you can resolve the matter. If that doesn’t work, go again with one or two witnesses. Finally, if that fails, take the matter to the church. But there are also many cases where we can simply forgive the offender. Jesus says to forgive, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times.

September 16, 2018 "Trust, Like Children, in God's Loving Care"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus patiently worked with his disciples, to help them give up the attitudes of this world, so they would be fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. And he works with us in the same way. Self-importance, sin, disregard for others, looking down on ‘unimportant’ people—these are all worldly traits we need to leave behind when we follow Jesus. It brings our heavenly Father great joy when a ‘lost sheep’ returns to the fold.

September 9, 2018 "Help Me Overcome My Unbelief!"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Even those who stood in Jesus’ presence, and saw his miracles, were troubled by a lack of faith. So, we who read about these things two thousand years later, and don’t see Jesus in the flesh—we, too, can be expected to struggle with faith. Jesus knows that we need more faith, and he is more than happy to answer our prayer, when we call out to him, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

September 2, 2018 "Jesus Deserves Our Loyalty"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Everything Jesus said and did proves that he is who Peter recognized him to be: “The Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) He died for us, and calls on us to live for him—and even to die for him, if necessary: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35) He wants us to stand up for him and for his teachings, even in a corrupt world that rejects the Bible.

August 26, 2018 "How Much More 'Proof' Do People Want?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Jesus’ enemies demanded more proof that he was the promised Messiah. He replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4) People today ask for more ‘proof’ before they will believe the Gospel of Christ. But God has already given them all the proof anyone needs: in the wonders of Creation and in the words of the Holy Bible.

August 19, 2018 "Man-made Religion VS God's"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The 5,000 people our Lord fed miraculously showed up again the next day, but Jesus told them, “You seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26) When He preached to them instead of supplying more bread, they quit following him. Some churches draw crowds of 5,000 today by offering them a rock concert instead of the Word of God, and by “setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions.” (Mark 7:9) We are to “preach God’s message...even if it isn’t the popular thing to do.” (2 Timothy 4:2 CEV)

August 12, 2018 "Keep Your Eyes on Jesus"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus is Almighty, as he demonstrated when he healed the sick, fed 5000, calmed the waves, raised the dead and walked on water. If we keep our eyes on him, he will empower us. He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...” (Ephesians 3:20) He enabled Peter to walk on water, until Peter took his eyes off Jesus, and became afraid. Then Peter began to sink. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus.

August 5, 2018 "Take Up Your Cross, and Follow Jesus"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Jesus warned that following him may cost us our family, friends, possessions, jobs, and even our lives. “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.“ (Matthew 10:37-39)

July 29, 2018 "'Like Sheep without a Shepherd' We Need the Lord"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus found the people of Israel in a pitiful condition. They were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36)—battered, bruised, knocked about and dying, physically as well as spiritually. People today are like that, too, if they don’t know the Lord. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:24-25)

July 22, 2018 "Jesus' Divine Power and Restraint"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our Lord Jesus is Almighty. He has the power to do anything, as he demonstrated when he calmed the wind and stopped the huge waves during a storm at sea. And he puts that Almighty power to use in the lives of all who trust in him. But the time is also coming when he will no longer restrain himself from punishing the wicked. He will unleash his wrath against rebellious angels and unrepentant mankind.

July 15, 2018 "Memorable Stories with Powerful Messages"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Some may think of Jesus as an entertaining story-teller. But, if that’s all they see, then they miss the point—just like the crowds who heard him speak parables and then went home without seeking an explanation. The parables of Jesus pack powerful messages with life-changing meaning. But we benefit only if we understand the symbolism he used. Like the disciples who returned to Jesus privately, seeking his explanation, we, too, should seek the meaning behind the parables.

July 8, 2018 "Do We Appreciate the Gospel of Christ"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The Old Testament prophesied that the Messiah would speak in parables, or illustrative stories, and Jesus did exactly that. Because they required explanation, his parables helped to separate sincere seekers of truth from those who didn’t place much value on what Jesus had to say. When the crowds of listeners were dismissed, those with appreciative hearts approached Jesus privately to learn more. We do the same when we prayerfully read the Bible today. And we are always rewarded.

July 1, 2018 "This Generation vs the Founding Fathers"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As we look forward to celebrating Independence Day on the 4th of July, we recall the Founding Fathers and the vision they had for this great country that was born on that day in 1776. Has America kept their values? Did ancient Israel stick to the values God taught them? After our Lord Jesus preached to them, he said, “The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.” (Matthew 12:41) How does today’s generation compare?

June 24, 2018 "The Unforgivable Sin--Worried You Have Done It?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Sincere believers sometimes worry that they may have committed ‘the unforgivable sin.’ They desperately want God’s forgiveness, but fear that they aren’t eligible. God assures us, however, that he cares about us when we feel like that: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) And, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Christ’s love and forgiveness reach us, even when we fear the worst.

June 17, 2018 "Christ the Model for Men"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The modern world has finally got a #MeToo movement to call men to account, to treat women with respect. But God set the standard long ago, through the pages of the Bible. He instructed men on how to be husbands and fathers. And he sent his Son to model that behavior. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her ...In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” (Ephesians 5:25-28) A father who does that will be a blessing to his children, as well.

June 10, 2018 "They Would Have Repented"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Our chronological coverage of everything Jesus said and did on earth brings us this week to a passage where our Lord spoke about the destruction of the ancient city of Sodom—coincidentally just as the community where we live is celebrating with pride the sin that led to Sodom’s destruction. Peter wrote that God “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly.” (2 Peter 2:6) But Jesus calls these and all sinners to repent, and to come to him for salvation.

June 3, 2018 "The Measure of Success"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
This world measures successful ministries by numbers: large church buildings, well-funded by wealthy supporters, and sanctuaries overflowing with crowds of people. God looks at things differently. He looks for us to be found faithful. John the Baptist faithfully carried out his ministry, but he was in a jail cell when our Lord Jesus said of him, “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11)

May 27, 2018 "Memorial Day and Our Spiritual Warfare"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
On Memorial Day we remember and honor the memory of the brave men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom. We should also recognize that we, as Christians, are involved in spiritual warfare. Jesus warns us to “Watch out for false prophets” who are “ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) And sin within our old sinful nature ‘wages war’ against us. (Romans 7:23) But we enter this battle knowing that “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

May 20, 2018 "God Wants to Bless Us with His Holy Spirit"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Jesus tells us, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Christ calls us to be his followers, to trust him to save us from our sins, and to obey him as our Lord and Master. When we do that, something miraculous happens, and we are born again as children of God. We are assured that God “set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:22)

May 13, 2018 "When Does God Want Us to Judge?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
False Christians who bring gross sins like adultery and homosexual conduct into the churches argue that Jesus told us, “Do not judge.” (Luke 6:37) But that is not at all what Christ meant when he said that. He meant we should be merciful, overlooking the faults of others. We shouldn’t look down on others, with a judgmental ‘holier than thou’ attitude. But Jesus still wants us to judge right from wrong, truth from falsehood, and good from bad. He said, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” (John 7:24)

May 6, 2018 "Focus on God and Trust in Him"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Have you ever puzzled over why Jesus said, “If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”? (Matthew 6:22-23) He wasn’t recommending a visit to the eye doctor, but rather an adjustment in what we focus on. Instead of trying to impress other people or chasing after material things, we should focus on pleasing God. If we do, he will reward us with everything we need.

April 29, 2018 "Jesus Fulfilled the Law, and Gave Us a New Covenant"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Through Moses, God gave to the new nation of Israel a unique set of laws—unlike the laws governing any other people. Later, through Jeremiah, God foretold a time when he would replace those laws with a New Covenant. Our Lord Jesus came with authority to make changes: “You have heard that it was said, . . . But I tell you . . .” (Matthew 5:27-28) The New Covenant Jesus set up is not just for Israel, but for people from all nations who turn to him as Lord and Savior. We are governed by that New Covenant.

April 22, 2018 "The Beatitudes show what should BE our ATTITUDES"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The most famous sermon ever give is the Sermon on the Mount that our Lord Jesus spoke to “A large crowd of his disciples . . . and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon.” (Luke 6:17) It begins with The Beatitudes, which teach us what our attitudes should be. “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Luke 6:22-23)

April 15, 2018 "Clergymen, Scholars or Fishermen?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Who would the Son of God choose as twelve special Apostles to carry his teachings to the world? The chief priests in Jerusalem might be a logical choice. Or the religious scholars and teachers. But, no. Jesus chose at least four fishermen, a tax collector, and some other ordinary men from small towns in Galilee. The arrogant religious and intellectual leaders rejected Jesus and his teachings, while humble, uneducated people embraced him—joined later by well-educated men like scholarly Paul and doctor Luke.

April 8, 2018 "Jesus Overruled Jewish Tradition"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Over the centuries since Moses had given God’s Law to the Jewish nation, some 1500 years earlier, the Jews had added layers of tradition on top of the Law. With his divine authority as the Son of God, Jesus overruled much of that tradition by healing on the Sabbath, eating with ‘sinners,’ and teaching contrary to the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees. He was laying the groundwork for the New Covenant, and leading sinners to repentance, but he infuriated the religious leaders.

April 1, 2018 "From Doubt to Faith"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The message of Easter is that Christ is risen. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day to give us new life now and the hope of eternal life with him in heaven forever. All of Christianity hangs on this being a true historical fact. “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) But, do you have doubts? Don’t despair! You are not alone. Jesus’ Apostles Peter, James, John and the rest also wrestled with doubt. But their doubts were erased by solid evidence.

March 30, 2018 "I Thirst" Good Friday at Church of the Nazarene   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
After hanging on the cross for hours, our Lord Jesus said, "I thirst." He suffered the thirst and other pains of crucifixion, so that he could give us water of life. "Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14) He said at Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” That “thirst for righteousness” is filled when we turn to Christ as our Lord and Savior.

March 25, 2018 "Palm Sunday--The Day Jerusalem Welcomed Jesus"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, welcomed by crowds as their foretold King. He knew suffering and death awaited him there. But he also knew his death would bring salvation to millions of people all around the world. “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (Revelation 7:9)

March 18, 2018 "Why Isn't Every Believer Healed?"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
While on earth our Lord Jesus healed countless people. He even gave sight to the blind, cured leprosy, and raised up paralytics. So, why aren’t we healed today, when we turn to Jesus as our Lord and Savior? Scripture doesn’t lead us to expect that. The Apostle Paul wrote the Galatians about “my illness” (Galatians 4:14) and spoke of Timothy’s “frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23) Paul and Timothy certainly had enough faith--which disproves the 'health-and-wealth gospel' or 'prosperity gospel' teaching. It’s a matter of timing. At God’s appointed time, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)

March 11, 2018 "Jesus Healed the Sick and Drove Out Demons"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Besides healing the sick, our Lord Jesus also cast out demons from people who were afflicted by them. Demons are evil spirits, fallen angels who joined Satan in rebellion against God before the Flood of Noah’s day. One of Satan’s biggest lies is that he and his demons don’t exist. People today come under demonic influence through practices like divination, sorcery, witchcraft, seances, Transcendental Meditation, yoga, horoscopes, astrology and magic—things the Bible urges believers to avoid.

March 4, 2018 "They Left Everything And Followed Him"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Four fishermen pulled their boats ashore and left everything to follow Jesus, when he called them to take that step. They became the Apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John. How important is Christ in your life? Is following Jesus your top priority? He told illustrative stories of a man who came upon a hidden treasure in a field and sold everything he had to buy that field, and a pearl merchant who saw a special pearl and sold everything he had to buy it. (Matthew 13:44-46) Is the Kingdom of God that important to you?

February 25, 2018 "Open Your Eyes of Faith to Receive God's Blessings"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When Jesus returned to the area where he had grown up in Galilee, some put faith in him and received blessings, while others were put off by his ordinary appearance and by their familiarity with his family. Their lack of faith led to their lack of blessings. Reading the Bible—Old Testament as well as New Testament—will help us open our eyes of faith to receive God’s blessings.

February 18, 2018 "People with Messed-Up Lives Come to Jesus"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Before the sermon:
Restrictions on Christians doing business in Massachusetts would be imposed by H.767, a bill before the legislature's Judiciary Committee, according to this article in the Standard-Times
Breaking Jewish cultural taboos against Samaritans, Jesus conversed with a woman at a well. The background to this is that “Centuries earlier the king of Assyria had brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sephar-vaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. . . . They worshiped the Lord , but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.” (2 Kings 17:24, 33) So, the Samaritans had a mixed-up religion that combined Judaism and paganism. Still, Jesus reaped a harvest among them, and we can do the same, not writing-off the mixed-up generation of today.

February 11, 2018 "John the Baptist in Prison for Preaching God's Word"     LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
When John called people to repent of their sins, he named specific sins, including that of local ruler Herod who married his brother’s wife and was living in sin with her. Herod added to his sins by putting John in prison. We should not be surprised if we are treated similarly someday. Jesus said, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith...” (Matthew 24:9-10)

February 4, 2018 "Something Supernatural Happens"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” When we put faith in Jesus, we are saved from our sins, and we have eternal life. We also experience a new birth, because we are born again as children of God. Jesus told Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” That new birth is something supernatural—beyond what flesh can feel and eyes can see.

January 28, 2018 "The Kindness and Severity of God"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
At a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, Jesus turned water into wine—to keep the banquet from being ruined when they ran out. A few days later, our Lord went into the temple in Jerusalem and drove out the money changers and those selling merchandise. These two events in the same second chapter of John’s Gospel help us appreciate God’s character—which is perfectly reflected in Christ. He is a loving Father, but does not spare the rod of discipline. Romans 11:22 says, “Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness.”

January 21, 2018 "Jesus Calls Ordinary People to Extraordinary Wonders"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
John the Baptist pointed Jesus out to his own disciples as “the Lamb of God” (John 1:35) so that they could become followers of Jesus, instead of continuing to follow John. Andrew told his brother Simon (Peter), and Philip told Nathanael about Jesus. The Lord already knew Peter and Nathanael, of course, before they were introduced to Him. They were ordinary men, but Jesus called them to extraordinary wonders: “You will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)

January 14, 2018 "Father, Son and Holy Spirit--then the Tempter"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were all present, taking part in Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River. The Bible reveals that the Father is God (John 6:27), the Son is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 20:28; etc.) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4, etc.), but there is only one God. (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6; etc.) This defies human logic, but the things of God are beyond our current understanding. The devil’s temptation of Christ, after His baptism, reminds us to be on guard.

December 31, 2017 "Why John the Baptist Didn't Want to Baptize Jesus"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
God sent John the Baptist to call the first-century Jews to repent of their sins, to prepare them for Christ. Jesus and John were related by birth, and John knew Jesus well. So, when Jesus came to him asking to be baptized, John knew that Jesus was without sin, and therefore he hesitated to baptize Him. "Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.' Then John consented.” (Matthew 3:15) After that, Jesus left His carpentry shop and soon began public ministry.

July 9, 2017 "The God Who Watches over Us"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
Pain, tragedy, and frightening events can cause us to take our eyes off God, but He never takes his eyes off us. Hagar was an Egyptian slave, serving as maid to Abraham's wife Sarai (later renamed Sarah)-someone of low social stature in man's estimation, but God watched over her and comforted her in her affliction. How much more will He comfort those who have been adopted as His children and filled with His Holy Spirit! Prayer and meditation on the Bible help us keep our eyes on God.

July 2, 2017 "America's Biblical Foundation"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
As our Declaration of Independence makes clear, the United States of America was founded on belief in the Bible. Although the Founding Fathers shared the same flaws and sinful nature as the rest of mankind, they looked to the Bible as the basis for our laws and freedoms. And God blessed the nation, as a result. Ancient Israel also began with God's laws, but when they quit obeying God, He quit blessing them. "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (1 Corinthians 10:11)

June 25, 2017 "The Other Side of the Coin"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
A few weeks ago we looked at how Jesus used the image of Caesar on a Roman coin to answer his enemies. The other side of Roman coins-the side without a Caesar's head-can also strengthen our faith. Archaeologists have dug up ancient coins that confirm Jesus' words about Jerusalem, and coins that help us understand Bible prophecy. Biblical archaeology strengthens our faith, and gives us insight into Scripture.

June 18, 2017 "Faith of Our Fathers"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
God repeatedly instructed the patriarchs and the Israelites to teach their children and grandchildren about Him. "For I have chosen [Abraham], so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him." (Genesis 18:19) The Apostles give us similar instructions in their letters. We and our children are blessed when we do so.

June 11, 2017 "Jesus in the Old Testament"   READ   LISTEN (or right-click and 'save as' to download audio)
"He said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.' Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. " (Luke 24:44-45) The Old Testament is full of prophecies about the coming Messiah. They enrich our understanding and appreciation of Christ. And they help us bring others to faith.

June 4, 2017 "Dear Sir, Please Cure This Man's Leprosy"
The king of Syria sent his highest military commander to the king of Israel, with a letter asking Israel's king to cure the commander's leprosy. The impossible request threw Israel's king into a panic. He took it as an attempt to pick a fight with him. But all concerned ended up learning important lessons—especially that there was a prophet of the true God in Israel, and that God can do anything—even cure leprosy.

May 28, 2017 "How the Mighty Have Fallen!"
On Memorial Day we remember those we have lost—especially those who died defending freedom, and we also recall the hope we have because Christ died for us, and rose from the grave that we, too, may live again. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) President Eisenhower told us, “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” America’s greatness derives from its Christian heritage—which we must struggle to preserve.

May 21, 2017 "People Respond Differently"
Jesus commanded us, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20) But people react differently. Some are appreciative, and some are not. Some gladly accept Jesus as their Savior, but don't want to obey Him as their Lord.

May 7, 2017 "Proof Even a Skeptic Can't Deny"
When we share the Gospel with unbelievers, we can present evidence that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Fulfilled prophecy is powerful evidence. For example, back when the nations were all worshiping false idols, Psalm 22:27 predicted, "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him"-just as we see today with Christian churches world-wide. How could the Bible writers have known that, thousands of years ahead of time, without Di