Showing posts from September, 2017

The Millennium

In history, there have been a few men who have made an impact in their quest to rule the world.  Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great and Hitler are names that come to mind.  There have been others who have made a significant impact as they sought to expand their political influence.  History is most notably marked by the wars that accompany the expansion of kingdoms.  Granted, once political power is consolidated under one head, then peace and prosperity tend to grow.  The Bible talks about a time when swords will be beat into plow shears, men will not practice war anymore.  Isaiah 65:25 says, “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD.”  (NIV) The apostles and followers of Jesus were looking for Jesus to usher in this time.  In Acts 1:6, we are told about a meeting these disciples had with Jesus.  It says, “So when

Others First

Philemon 15-20 Philemon was a Christian man living in an unbelieving world.  Philemon lived in a world not unlike ours.  In many ways, we have advanced.  Medicine and technology are much different today from what they were in Philemon’s day.  However, the hearts of men and women are much the same. Working our way through Philemon, we have seen that Jesus and the Gospel unify Christians.  In addition, Christians are compelled by love to serve Jesus in the ministry of the Gospel.  Today, we are going to see how this same Gospel compels us to put others first for the sake of the Gospel. First, we see that kingdom values compel us to put others first. In verses 15 and 16, Paul is speaking to Philemon about his slave, Onesimus, and he says:   15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in

Compelled by Love

Philemon 8-14 Why do we serve Jesus? The motivation should be something like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ controls us…”  ESV Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  (John 14:15, ESV) The Apostle John taught us, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.  So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters...”  (1 John 3:16, NLT) In the opening verses of Philemon, we saw that the unifying factor in the mission of the Church is the Gospel.  This week we are looking at the motivation behind our service. A mission is a job or a task that one has been given to do.  The mission or the task that we have been given to do is all about the Gospel.  Another way to state it is that the mission of the Church is all about Jesus Christ.  It is the first job of any Christian to know Jesus and to love Him. As we continue on our journey through Philemon, we see that the motivation for ou

The Unifying Factor

Philemon 1-7 Let me introduce you to some very diverse people. First, there is Paul.  Paul is a Jew.  Educated under the top Rabbi of his day, Paul grew up as a Pharisee.  Before becoming a Christian, he was the most zealous Pharisee around.  He is also educated, so educated that the Roman procurator said to him, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.”  (Acts 26:24) [i]   Paul is the equivalent of a PhD of our day. Then there is Timothy.  Timothy is a disciple of Paul.  He is the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek father.  Forbidden by Mosaic Law, mixed marriages were not accepted by Pharisees.  However, this did not stop Paul, the ex-Pharisee, from loving and working with his young protégé. Next, there is Philemon.  Philemon’s name is Greek.  Of course, normally Jews like Paul would have nothing to do with Greeks.  Philemon lived in Colossae and was well to do, a slave owner.  He had a church in his house.  His wife was