This will be a different kind of study. We mostly go through books of the Bible, of course. Occasionally, we’ll cover books covered by Godly authors. Every great now and then, we’ll do a study concerning what affects us where we are at here at SGC or where we are culturally. This is such a study. Usually, I ask several questions, but this study there won’t be many, at least in this first week. So, if you have questions, make sure you get my attention, and I will pass them along to Pastor Brain. This, along with the Doctrine of Lesser Magistrate, is the most important current event study we have done. Thursday, I wondered if it was more important than I realized because my laptop fried and I could not retrieve the lesson, so I had to start over.
Paul writes in a couple of his letters…” we don’t want you to be unaware…” That is why the Elders wanted to cover this. We are not experts by any stretch of the imagination, but we are concerned and ready to stand for Christ in this. We will not stand by while enemies of Christ assault His people! To borrow language from Acts (17:6), “These men who have upset the world have come here also.” So, we want to cover this for 2 reasons:
1. We need to know what they are teaching and how to respond to it.Read More
Truth Taught- Jesus warns us of the day of judgment when our eternal destiny will be forever fixed either in Heaven or Hell.
We have before us today another of Jesus’ masterpieces. He was the master storyteller and this Parable is a classic. It is very similar to the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares that we addressed a few weeks ago.
Here are some points of similarity: We are going to read about fish caught in a net and like the wheat and tares, they are together, side by side, in the net as the wheat and tares are side by side growing in the field. There are two groups or classes. There are the usable fish and then the ones that are worthless like the wheat gathered into the barn and the weeds bundled up and thrown into the everlasting fire of judgment. In both stories the angels are the reapers. There may be other similarities but you get the point. We should ask the question why does Jesus tell two parables that are so similar in their teaching? In the same vein, we may ask why did the Holy Spirit have Matthew record these parables that are so similar? Why this repetition? The repetition shows us the heart of Jesus our Savior. He came to save and so He will repeat the fact that for those who do not believe the Gospel judgment waits, for those who do believe glory awaits.
Truth Taught- The Kingdom of God starts small and then grows until one day it is universal in magnitude.
Today we are looking at two very short parables tucked away in between the passages we looked at last time. Our Lord is teaching us truths and realities of the Kingdom of God that we who have ears to hear would miss if it weren’t for these parables.
So far from the parable of the soils we learned that the Kingdom of God is made up of those whom God has called and prepared. They are the good soil that receives the seed of the Gospel, grows and produces fruit.
We also learned last time from the parable of the weeds that within God’s Kingdom now there is wheat and tares growing together in the world and it will be at the last day the field will be harvested and the weeds thrown into the fiery furnace and the wheat gathered into God’s barn.
So, at the end of the age there will be a separating of those who are God’s from those who are Satan’s.
Truth Taught- The disciples heard and understood Jesus speak and teach, something the Prophets only dreamed of.
Today I’d like to read the Parable of the Sower and then look at Jesus’ explanation to His disciples. What we should see here is that the spiritual insight God gives His people does not bring with it automatic knowledge that appears out of thin air to all who have the Holy Spirit but this knowledge is given by revelation.
It works like this…
Watch for Jesus’ revelation to the disciples…
The disciples are those whom spiritual hearing has been granted. Did you catch that last time? The disciples did not decide one day to really listen close to Jesus’ words or His parables. They didn’t compare notes and come up with an interpretation. Matthew uses the phrase it has been given…
Truth Taught- Parables are designed to reveal truth to those with spiritual insight and hide truth from those without spiritual insight.
We learned two weeks ago that Jesus has a purpose in using parabolic teaching. We learned that for some a parable reveals truth that can only be acquired by the spiritual. We also learned that parables are designed to hide truth from those who will forever remain lost.
The crowds, in general, along with the religious leaders also in general have passed over into the realm of God’s just judgment. Jesus taught them, healed them, cast out demons from them, brought their dead back to life, literally doing the things the prophecies foretold that the Messiah would do and their attitude remained…that’s nice Jesus hey can You perform another sign for us? There was no repentance of sin, no brokenness over their iniquity, their time had passed.Read More
Truth Taught- God has ordained the office of the Deacon for His glory and for His Church
Deacons are set apart for a ministry of mercy, service, and outreach. They serve others with wisdom and compassion to those in need and for purposes that advance God’s kingdom on earth. Deacons visit and comfort the distressed, provide for whatever necessities may arise, and assist the congregation at services of worship.
Jonathan Karst has been serving at the discretion of the Elders for at least a year under the title “Deacon in Training”. He has performed his duties with compassion, kindness, being diligent and longsuffering through this year.
1. Why Does a Church Need Deacons?
Acts 6:1–7 (ESV)
6 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
A. The Church needs Deacons because the Church has people with needsRead More
The City of Babylon in the Scriptures represents a false city and a false system of government and a false way of commerce, if you will. It’s man’s forgery of God’s holy city the New Jerusalem.
The most important insights into the big picture of work, however, come in the concluding chapters, where the worldly city Babylon is set against God’s city, the New Jerusalem. The introductions of the cities in 17:1 and 21:9 are set in clear parallel:
Revelation 17:1–2 (ESV)
17 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.”
Revelation 21:9–10 (ESV)
9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
Babylon represents the dead-end street of humanity’s attempt to build their culture apart from God. It has every appearance of being the paradise for which humanity has always longed. It is no coincidence that its gold and jewels recall those of the New Jerusalem.Read More