ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

"Where Your Experience In Christ, Makes You A Member"

133 3rd Avenue,  P.O. Box 245,  Onalaska,  Washington  98570     (360) 978-4161      FAX (360) 978-6941  
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MARCH 6, 2005

TWO APPOINTMENTS WE MUST KEEP 

SCRIPTURE READING: REVELATION 20:11-15 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 16:8 (NLT) And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment.  

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  

INTRO:  There are two appointments that we will all meet, death and judgment. 

   People have spent great amounts of money and effort trying to delay or avoid the first but not matter how rich they are, death comes to each of us. 

   For a few there is a warning of the coming of death and they have a period of time to prepare. 

   But for most of us we have no idea when death will come, and when death does comes there is little or no time to prepare. 

   There are those who have prepared for death: 

v      They have made out a will

v      They have purchase a burial plot

v      They have planned their own funeral service 

   These are some of the physical preparation we can do for death but what about spiritual preparation for death and the judgment that follows? 

   This is why the Holy Spirit seeks to convince and convict men and women of sin, the Righteousness of Christ and the coming judgment. 

   He wants us to prepare ourselves for death and the judgment that follows. 

I.  DEATH AND JUDGMENT ARE THE PENALTIES OF SIN. 

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

   The Bible tells us that we are all under the same sentence of death and judgment because we have all sinned. 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  

   If we are all under the sentence of death what about the Scripture found in JOHN 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  

   If those who believe in Jesus never die, why have so many Christians died including all the Apostles?  

   There are two different deaths: 

v      Physical death that all of us will experience except for those who are Believers and alive at the Second Coming of Christ.

v      Spiritual death that is eternal separation from God. 

REVELATION 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  

REVELATION 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  

   The first death precedes the judgment the second death follows the judgment. 

   As there are two deaths there are also two resurrections: 

v      The resurrections of the righteousness. 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  

Revelation 20:4-5 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  

v      The resurrection of the ungodly. 

Revelation 20:11-13 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  

   There are two deaths, there are two resurrections and there are two judgments. 

v      The Judgment Seat of Christ 

NOTE: This is where all the Believers will stand before Christ and give account for what they have done in the Christian life. 

MATTHEW 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  

ROMANS 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  

2 CORINTHIANS 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  

NOTE: At the Judgment Seat of Christ we will not lose our salvation but we will lose our rewards.

   I do not want God disappointed in me. 

v      The Great White Throne Judgment. 

Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  

NOTE: Jesus has experienced both death and the judgment of sin for us so that we no longer have to fear either. 

   The Holy Spirit seeks to convince sinful man of this and to turn fallen man away from the Great White Throne Judgment and the Second Death. 

ROMANS 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  

2 CORINTHIANS 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  

GALATIANS 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  

CONCLUSION: The purpose of the Holy Spirit convincing us of sin, righteousness and judgment is not to condemn us but rather to turn us away from sin and to Jesus Christ. 

   May the Holy Spirit continue to convict us that we might seek to live a life that is pleasing to God.

MARCH 13, 2005

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?” 

SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 16:7-15 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

INTRO:  Our church is at a crossroad; we must decide what we are going to do. 

   “If we keep doing what we have been doing, we will keep getting the same results we have been getting.” 

   If we want to achieve different results than what we are receiving we must make changes, but what are the changes we need to make. 

   It is very difficult for us to accept change unless we are the one who is initiating the change. 

   Change will almost always produce conflict. 

   Conflict if handled properly will produce positive growth, if handled improperly it will produce negative results. 

   Growth will produce change. 

   This will happen in our personal Christian life and in the life of our church. 

   But what changes do we need to make and how will we know how to make them? 

   Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit to act as our guide.  

   To be guided by the Holy Spirit three things must take place: 

  1. We must be willing to be guided and we must seek His guidance.
  2. We must be willing to walk by faith and not depend upon our own understanding.
  3. We must be obedient to His directions.

I.  WE MUST SEE THE NEED TO BE GUIDED. 

NOTE: There are many Christians who are not being guided by the Holy Spirit because they have not seen the need nor do they have a desire for His guidance.  

   “It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because then you are not bothered by what He requires.  Common sense, covered with a layer of Christian emotion, becomes your guide.  You may be more prosperous and successful from the world’s perspective, and with have more leisure time, if you never acknowledge the call of God.  But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will.  You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense.”  

   Either the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is guiding us or the spirit of Satan is guiding us. 

   Satan gets us to believe that we are making the decisions but he is behind the scene pulling the strings. 

Proverbs 14:12, 16:25 (niv) There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

   The lack of an unwillingness to grow may produce a contented Christian life but it will never produce a victorious Christian life. 

   We must all seek God’s plan for our own personal life and the life of our Church. 

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish… 

II.  WE MUST WALK BY FAITH. 

Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.  

NOTE:   It is much easier to walk by sight than to walk by faith. 

   “The certainty that I do not know that is the secret of going with Jesus.”

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. 

   If we wait until we can comprehend all the answers and have a perfect understanding of the solution, we are not dependent upon God but are rely on ourselves. 

   A.  WE CAN TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT. 

JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  

v      He is the Spirit of Truth

v      He will guide us into Truth

v      He will not speak of Himself

v      He will only speak what He is told to say

v      He will reveal things to come 

B.  WE CAN HEAR AND RECOGNIZE HIS VOICE. 

JOHN 10:2-5, 27-28 But He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To Him the Porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.  And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice.  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from Him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:  and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.  

v      We must have a desire to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. 

There are several time Jesus said, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  

NOTE: We must seek God with our whole heart wanting His will above our own. 

JEREMIAH 29:11-13 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  

III.  WE MUST OBEY HIM. 

NOTE:  There are three things involved in a miracle: 

v      There must be a need we cannot meet.

v      We must believe in the power of God.

v      We must obey His directions. 

ILL: The widow and the pot of oil.  II KINGS 4:1-7 

NOTE: There was nothing she could do to meet the need in herself. 

ILL: The axe head that floated.  II KINGS 6:1-7 

NOTE: They need a bigger building, they began to work but they could do nothing about the axe head. 

   God will never do for us what we can do for ourselves but He delights in doing for us what we are unable to do for ourselves. 

   The Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years because the failed to obey and trust God. 

   The secret of knowing God’s will is found in knowing God. 

CONCLUSION: Leading Congregational Change. Pg. 21 ph 3 

   “I know some of you expect me to have come with a program or an agenda to turn the church around.  I want to tell you as clearly as I can that the only agenda I have for now is to repeatedly call us back into the presence of God.  Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying – I firmly believe God has a plan for us.  But I want us to be sure that the plan we commit to is God’s not ours.  I don’t know when or how He will reveal that plan.  Until He makes it clear, I want to ask you as leaders in Trinity Church to join me in calling the rest of this body of Christ back to its first love. 

My Utmost For His Highest: Oswald Chambers.  March 4

My Utmost For His Highest: Oswald Chambers.  March 9

 

Leading Congregational Change: Jim Herrington, Mike Bonem & James H. Furr; Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco. Pg 21

 

MARCH 20, 2005

WHO IS YOUR TEACHER?” 

SCRIPTURE READING:  I JOHN 2:18-29 

SCRIPTURE TEXT:  1 John 2:27  

But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.  

INTRO: There are many Christians who faith is Second Hand Faith. 

   Our relationship to God is based on what we believe and what we believe is based on what we have been taught. 

   Who has taught you what you believe? 

   Have you been taught the things of God by? 

v      Your parents

v      Your church

v      Your pastor 

   All these are good to provide us with information.   

   But the Holy Ghost must teach what we accept and believe. 

JOHN 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  

   Man’s teaching at its best if flawed. 

v      By his education

v      By his likes and dislikes

v      By his experiences

v      By his environment

v      By his personality

v      By his own relationship with God 

   Does that mean that God cannot use man? 

Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.  

   How do we know when it is the teaching of man or the teaching of the Holy Spirit? 

   There must be some sort of guide or reference that we can depend on to show to us the difference. 

   It is the Word of God, the Bible. 

   While the teaching of man may come in contradiction of the Word of God, the teaching of the Holy Spirit never will. 

   This is where so many Christian come into difficulties; they fail to study the Word of God to see if the teaching they are receiving lines up with God’s Word. 

ACTS 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  

I.  THERE ARE MANY FALSE TEACHERS AND TEACHING. 

MATTHEW 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  

2 CORINTHIANS 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  

NOTE: False teachers put their own ambition and personal ideas above the truth.  

1 TIMOTHY 1:7 Wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.  

   There are teachings that may be false but hold no eternal value or affect our relationship with God 

ILL: In 1650, Archbishop James Ussher calculated that the world was created in 4004 B. C. A few years later, John Lightfoot calculated that Adam was created on October 23 at 9:00 am. 

   We need to be very careful with those who teach things as God’s truths that are not founded on the Word of God even if they don’t effect our salvation or relationship with God. 

   There are other false teachings that DO affect our salvation and relationship with God. 

   These teachings deal with Who God is and Who Jesus Christ is: 

v      They deny the existence of God

v      They deny the attributes of God

v      They deny the deity of Jesus Christ

v      They deny that Jesus is the Son of God

v      They deny His death and resurrection

v      They deny His second coming

v      They deny the Holy Spirit and His role in the Christians life

v      They deny the infallibility of the Word of God 

1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  

2 PETER 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  

NOTE: These kind of teachers we must shun at all cost. 

Jeremiah 50:6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.  

II.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO DESIRE TO LISTEN TO FALSE TEACHERS 

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?  

Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. 

NOTE: They only want to here things that make them feel good.  They do not want to hear about: 

v      Sin

v      Righteousness

v      Judgment

v      Christian responsibilities 

   The teachings of man will lead us to death. 

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.  

   The Holy Spirit must be our teacher because we cannot rely on the reasoning of man. 

PROVERBS 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 

III.  TO HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AS OUR TEACHER WE MUST A

       TEACHABLE SPIRIT. 

NOTE: God desires to lead us. 

PSALM 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.  

NOTE: In order to be led by the Holy Spirit we must have a hunger and desire to be led by Him. 

PSALM 25:4-5 Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.  

PSALM 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.  

NOTE: The Christian walk is difficult at best. 

   There are times when God will make the way plain as He told Paul of the things that he must suffer. 

   Other times, like Abraham, our walk is a daily walk by faith not knowing where we are going. 

CONCLUSION:  Are we willing to walk by faith or do we insist that God lay everything out plainly for us? 

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  

   I would rather be led by the Holy Spirit in a walk of faith then by the hand of man in a walk by sight. 

FASCINATING BIBLE FACTS PEOPLE, PLACES AND EVENTS; David M. Howard, Jr., Ph. D.; Publications international, LTD. Pg 8

EASTER SUNDAY

MARCH 27, 2005

WHO NEEDS A MESSIAH?” 

SCRIPTURE READING: I CORINTHIANS 15:1-23 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: JOB 14:14 

If a man die, shall he live again?  

INTRO: “Who needs a Messiah?”  The answer if found in the resurrection. 

   If there is no life after death then there is no need of a Messiah. 

1 Corinthians 15:13-14 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  

   It is how we answer the question, “Is there life after death”, that determines if we believe we need a Messiah. 

   Jesus’ resurrection shows to us that we need a Messiah. 

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  

I.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO CLAIM THEY DON’T NEED A MESSIAH. 

   A.  BECAUSE THEY ARE GOOD PEOPLE. 

ISAIAH 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  

ROMANS 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  

1 JOHN 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  

   B.  BECAUSE THEY CAN FIX IT THEMSELVES 

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  

II.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO SAY THEY HAVE SINNED TO GREATLY FOR A

     MESSIAH. 

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  

Romans 10:13-17 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  

   There are none too righteousness that they do not need a Messiah and there are none so sinful that Jesus Christ the Messiah cannot save them.

 

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