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Showing posts from May, 2017

Seeking the Lost

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Luke 19:1-10 Jesus was passing through Jericho.  He had set His face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).  The redemption of all humanity was His purpose.  According to Luke 19:11, the people were expecting the kingdom of God to be established immediately.  This was obviously a climax.  The people expected great things.  Today we are looking at Luke 19:1-10.  This passage leads into the story of the triumphal entry of Jesus told in Luke 19:28-40.  The crowd that was following Him and the excitement that surrounded Him continued, climaxing in the Hosannas of His entry into Jerusalem. This was also the end of Jesus’s ministry.  He traveled about Judea, Samaria and Galilee preaching, teaching, healing and baptizing for three years.  The time had come for Him to complete the work His Father had given Him. He was on His way to Jerusalem in order to complete His work.  On the way, He warned His disciples what was to come.  He told them He would be killed but that He would rise ag

People of Prayer

James 5:7-18 We are living in the last days. Each generation has had its preachers and prophets who have said this.  However, I want to point out some well-known prophesies. Look with me at Isaiah 11:11-12 11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. 12 He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  (ESV) [i] Isaiah chapter 11 starts out with clear references to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Isaiah 11:1-2 says: 1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of

Barriers

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John 4:1-38 The Jews hated the Samaritans. The feelings were mutual. The Samaritans lived between Jerusalem, which was in Judea, and the region of Galilee in the north. [i] At the time of Jesus, the animosity between the Samaritans and the Jews dated back to the time of Jeroboam, when civil war tore the country in two.  At that time, Jeroboam set up golden calves to be worshipped in the northern kingdom.    2 Kings 17:21-24 says this about what happened to the northern kingdom of Israel:. But Jeroboam drew Israel away from following the LORD and made them commit a great sin.  22 And the people of Israel persisted in all the evil ways of Jeroboam.  They did not turn from these sins 23 until the LORD finally swept them away from his presence, just as all his prophets had warned.  So Israel was exiled from their land to Assyria, where they remain to this day. 24 The king of Assyria transported groups of people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sephar

Above All

Jesus began His ministry in a spectacular way. For His closest disciples, He performed a miraculous sign that revealed His glory.  John 2:1-12 tells us about this miraculous sign.  Jesus and His disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana of Galilee.  You will remember that Galilee was Jesus’s base of operation as well as near His hometown.  Jesus’s mother was also at the wedding, indicating that this wedding was for a couple known to Jesus’s family.  At this wedding, Jesus turned water into wine.  John 2:11 tells us: This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory.  And his disciples believed in him. [i] A few days after the wedding, Jesus made His way to Jerusalem for the Passover.  During the Passover celebration, Jerusalem was a very crowded, busy place. According to the noted scholar Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem had a population of about 20,000 to 30,000 people.  But at Passover, one of the three festivals that must be celebrated i

Did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?

Exodus 7:3-4 says, “ 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, 4 Pharaoh will not listen to you.” This verse seems to imply that God first hardens Pharaoh’s heart and then punishes Pharaoh for having a hard heart. Understanding such statements in the context in which they occur and in light of the whole of Scriptural teaching is important. First, the language being used allows for this active statement of hardening to carry the meaning of allowing or giving permission.  This would mean that God allowed Pharaoh to harden his heart. Dave Miller and Kyle Butt in an article on ApologticsPress.org explain it this way: In his copious work on biblical figures of speech, E.W. Bullinger listed several ways that the Hebrew and Greek languages used verbs to mean something other than their strict, literal usage.  He listed several verses that show that the languages “used active verbs to express the agent’s design or

Does God deceive people?

Ezekiel 14:9 says: And if a prophet is deceived into giving a message, it is because I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet.  I will lift my fist against such prophets and cut them off from the community of Israel.  (NLT) On the surface, this verse seems to teach that the Lord is deceptive.  This contradicts the plain statement of other verses that indicate God does not and cannot lie.  Titus 1:2 states plainly, “…God--who does not lie…”  Along with this, Hebrews 6:18 says, “…it is impossible for God to lie.” First, let’s consider the context in which this verse occurs. In Ezekiel 13, Ezekiel gives a message he has from the Lord against false prophets.  He says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all! 4 “O people of Israel, these prophets of yours are like jackals digging in the ruins.  5 They have done nothing to repair the breaks in the walls around the nation.  They have not helped it to sta