On The Edge

Proverbs 5:14
“I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

“The assembly of the congregation”, or in our case, the church, was designed by God as a means to help the individual believer grow in Christ. The Word of God, corporate worship, and fellowship, were all designed by God to help each of us grow in Christ. When we come to church with a soft heart, eager to hear from God, His Word has a way of speaking directly into the things we are facing; equipping us in advance against trials and temptation. When we enter worship, with a desire to give back to God for all He has given to us, we find we draw near to Him, and surrender more of ourselves to Him. When we develop honest fellowship with other believers, we are willing to ask for prayer and counsel. When we remain open to share our struggles, we find that iron sharpens iron, and we are able to overcome sin and temptation.

That being said, it is dangerous when we enter the assembly of the congregation, put on a mask, and begin to play the Christian game. By wearing a smile and speaking our best Christianese, we convince others that all is well, when in reality we have begun to wander from the Lord. Instead of allowing the Word to do its work in our lives, by convicting, instructing, and changing, or taking advantage of the fellowship of the saints, we use our church time to pretend all is well.

Solomon warns of the danger of living like that. He declares, it is possible to be on the verge of total ruin, while standing in the midst of the assembly. Backsliding begins long before we stop gong to church. It starts when we begin to pretend all is well; when truly we have begun to drift. Instead of putting on your best mask, come to the fellowship with a hunger for the Word, a desire to worship, and an eagernes to glean all you can from other believers.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 5
We are asked to pay attention to specific wisdom and to preserve discretion. Discretion-discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one’s own conduct. This chapter is a warning about the “immoral woman”.
1. How is the immoral woman described in verses 3-6?

2. The instruction given in verses 7 & 8 are very clear. As we have read in earlier chapters, some things we need to keep far away from our lives. Have you known someone that has fallen into this sin? Are you being tempted? Follow the instruction given.

3. We have read about the benefits of obeying the principles in previous chapters. What consequences are described here for being involved with the immoral woman?

4. Verses 15-20 tell us what we should and should not do. Verse 21 can bring comfort or guilt; for the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all his paths. Do you understand that the Lord sees all you do? Read Colossians 3:17


Old Testament:
Hosea 7- Silly Bird
Hosea 8- Watch Your Step

Healthy Home

Proverbs 4:3-4
“When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: ‘Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live.’”

Solomon is giving us a brief glimpse into his home life. In these verses we learn he was raised in an environment of love. He proudly refers to himself as his father’s son and the only one in the sight of his mother. Whatever cultural experiences he might have had being the son of a king, his parent’s love for him was clearly evident. We also see, Solomon was raised on the Word of God. Although David carried the responsibility of caring for the entire nation, he did not neglect the responsibility of caring for his own son. He took the time to instruct Solomon in the ways of wisdom and the Word of God.

These are two key ingredients that must be found in every Christian home. Children need parents that love them, and express that love in such a way, they believe they matter more than anything else to their parents. Certainly, there were times when the responsibilities of the Kingdom took David away from the home, requiring his undivided attention. He seemed to have made a point not to let his children think the Kingdom mattered more to him than they did.

King David had the resources of the kingdom at his disposal. He would be able to provide the best tutors for his children, and send them to the best schools. While it is necessary to have help, we must realize, as parents, we are the primary players in the spiritual development of our children. Sunday school teachers and youth pastors are a huge blessing, and can have a tremendous influence on our children, for the Lord. However, we, as parents, need to make the primary investments of the things of God, into the lives of our kids.

I think the reason it is somewhat difficult to do this, is because of the fact, we cannot give what we do not have. I am incapable of helping my son with his calculus homework, because I do not understand the subject. Some parents are the same way with the Bible. If you do not spend time reading the Bible, you will not have anything to share with your children or others.

The key to investing the things of the Lord in the lives of your children, is taking time to, first, make those investments in your own life.

Pastor Jim

Question for Proverbs 4
1. Words from a father to his son (David to Solomon). Take a moment to list the instructions with each action:
• Hear

• Do not

• Get

• Keep

• Love

• Exalt

• Take

• Turn away

• Put away

• Let

Old Testament:
Hosea 4- Confusion
Hosea 6- Come back

Benefits

Proverbs 3:1
“My Son, do not forget my law”

Have you ever heard someone ask, “What’s in it for me?” As if they will not consider the cost of doing something, unless they can understand the personal benefits they will derive. In light of that, notice how Solomon goes to great lengths to express the benefits of living a godly life.

Proverbs 3:2. “For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.”

Proverbs 3:4. “And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”

Proverbs 3:8. “It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”

Proverbs 3:16. “Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.”

Proverbs 3:17. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

Proverbs 3:22-23. “So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble.”

Proverbs 3:26. :For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”

Proverbs 3:35 “The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools.”

Long life, peace, favor, wealth, pleasantness, safety, protection and glory are just a handful of the blessings on the path of godliness. Sadly, we often step off the straight and narrow path, because we think there is something better on the other side of the fence. The only thing the narrow road is keeping you from, is that which will lead you away from the Lord, and into a life of misery. It is time to put our hands to the plow, keep our eyes on the Word, and press forward in the Lord. The end of that road is the greatest glory, and the path is filled with righteousness.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 3
1. How can you keep the law in your heart?

2. Verses 5-6 are a great place to start; can you memorize these verses by the end of the week?

3. In verse 7, we are given wonderful instruction; we know what it means to fear the Lord and we know how to depart from something. Evil is the thing we depart from and it is defined by God’s word. You are never mature enough to have sin in your life.

4. What are the benefits listed of honoring the Lord with your possessions? Do you honor the Lord with all that you have?

5. How is wisdom described in verses 14-18?

6. In verses 19-20 we see wisdom’s part in creation. Do you give honor & praise to God for His creation?

7. More benefits of wisdom in verses 21-26. List them and ask the Lord to make them part of your daily walk.

8. Verses 27-35 offer practical instruction, if you are not applying these principles in your life, start today! How can you make a difference to someone by this application?



Old Testament:
Hosea 2- Undue Influence
Hosea 3- Sale Rack

Wise Guys

Proverbs 2:6-11
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, . . . “

Wisdom can be defined as the proper application of knowledge in any given situation, or simply knowing what to do. We have all felt, at times, that we do not know what to do. We are faced with a problem, and are crippled with indecision. It is comforting to know, God promises to give wisdom to His children. The question that remains is, how do I get my hands on the wisdom He has? There are at least three simple steps.

First, we must understand there is a difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of this world. Not all advice is godly, and not every direction will lead us closer to Him.

Second, we must cry out to God for His wisdom. James wrote that if we lack wisdom we must ask Him for it and He will give it to us (James 1:5). Solomon wrote that we should search for it as you would for a precious treasure (Proverbs 2:4). When we do not know what to do, we should look up to Heaven and cry out for help.

2 Chronicles 20:12 “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

Finally, wisdom is acquired by asking God, and looking into his Word. Since the wisdom of God differs from the wisdom of the world, the means by which we find it, will also differ. Heaven’s wisdom is not found on the TV screen or at the box office. It is rarely listed in the advice columns, or even in university text books. Instead, the wisdom of God is found in the pages of His Word. When Israel was about to enter the Land, God told them, if they followed His Word, the nations around them would be stunned by how brilliant they seemed. They would ask where they acquired such know-how and wisdom. Their answer is recorded for us:

Deuteronomy 4:6 “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’”

When we apply the Word of God to our lives, we will find that our own lives are better, and we become a witnessing tool to those around us. Let’s be careful to seek wisdom as a precious treasure.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 2
1. How are we to search for wisdom and understanding?

2. When you do this, you will understand the fear of the Lord, verse 5. Do you understand the fear of the Lord? Proverbs 1:7, 3:7, Deuteronomy 6:2, 10:12, Psalm 115:11, 1Peter 3:15

3. How is the “immoral woman” described? Where does her house lead?

4. Verse 19 may be described in our vernacular: the innocence lost is never regained. Sin can bring on consequences as described in chapter 1 when we do not listen to wisdoms call. Never forget 1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:28. Are there things in your life you need to confess to the Lord? Take time now to lay it at the feet of Jesus. 2Corinthians 5:17, be obedient allow Him to cleanse you!

5. Verses 20-23 again show us what happens if we seek wisdom or try to do it without God’s help. Which choice will you make?


Old Testament:
Daniel 11- Times Like These
Daniel 12- The Shining

Wisdom

Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

We often find ourselves in the middle of situations where we do not know what to do. Arriving at a fork in the road, without road signs, we feel lost and confused. Often, the most difficult concern is the fear of making a bad decision. The Bible promises, in those times, the believer can call out to God, who will give us a liberal serving of wisdom. No matter what you are facing, the Bible will direct you to a good and godly decision. The purpose of the book of Proverbs, is to provide heavenly wisdom for earthly living. Solomon begins this long journey, consisting of hundreds of nuggets of godly advice, with the secret to obtaining wisdom. He tells us, all wisdom and knowledge must begin with a healthy fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord might be best defined as simply desiring to be pleasing to the Lord. The first step to problem solving is to ask ourselves, “What is most pleasing to the Lord?” If you are facing a problem in your personal life for which you need heavenly direction, the first step is to ask what God wants you to do. It is vital to remember, the answer to that question will be found in the pages of your Bible.

One of the most important of all the proverbs Solomon penned, is a word of warning found in Chapter 14.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Instead of trying to figure things out on your own, or doing only what you think is best, take the time to look into the pages of God’s Word and do what He says.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 1
1. Verses 1-6 offer a lot of benefits to heeding to instruction. Verse 7 sums up the how to receive these benefits. What is the beginning for this instruction?

2. How do sinners entice you? Verses 8-14

3. What is the outcome of the enticement? Verses 15-19

4. Wisdom cries out to us in verses 20-23, in what ways has wisdom spoken to you?

5. Verse 7 says that “fools despise wisdom and instruction.” In verses 24-32 gives us a scary picture of what happens when we do not fear the Lord and listen to His instruction. How many times have you heard someone cry out to God when things are a mess, yet never obey His Word?

6. Have you ever felt like you were in something you couldn’t understand? How is the Lord speaking to you in verse 28-29?

7. How would you describe verse 31? So many things we see in the world’s wisdom today relate here. Read Romans 1:18-25

8. Proverbs is full of principles of life; God’s Word is full of promises. Principles are a way of life, promise are sure foundations of those principles. As you read verse 33, take time to look at Psalm 91, Jeremiah 17:5-8, Matthew 11:28, Philippians 4:19. Are you holding to God’s promises and principles?

Old Testament:
Daniel 10- Fasting

I’ll Be Back

Revelation 22:20-21
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘ Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

If you are anything like me, you have echoed the cry of John, from time to time in your walk with God. It seems whenever things become difficult, confusing or frightening, my heart cries out, “Come, Lord Jesus.” I realize, the only reason for His delay is His desire to see others come to faith in Christ. Peter wrote,

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

There is a day coming, in the not so distant future, when all the promises of Scripture will be fulfilled, and Christ will return for His church and set up His kingdom. As John sat incarcerated on the island of Patmos, his heart longed for the return of his Savior and Lord.

That being said, it has often struck me, that the final promise of Scripture takes us from the promises of the future, to those of the present. After declaring Christ will return for His church, John reminds us that we are living in a present state of grace.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

Grace can be defined as the giving nature of God. It i s expressed in His desire to save the lost, and to pour out lavish gifts upon His children. As we await the return of Christ, we live in the age of grace. The closer we get to the time of Christ’s return, the more difficult things will become on earth. As men harden their hearts to God, sin will increase and righteousness will become more and more scarce. It is vital to remember, although God will judge sin, it is His desire to save. The darker the background, the more brightly the message of the Gospel shines. Instead of becoming discrouraged by the present condition of things, let’s remember that it is in the heart of God to save. Let’s be busy praying for, and witnessing to, our friends and loved ones, until the day Christ calls us home.

Until He comes,

Pastor Jim


Questions for Revelation 22

Over the course of the book of Revelation, we have seen future history. And at the center of both future history and all history is Jesus. Today we bring things to a close.
1. In verse 1, where does the water of life come from? Read John 4:9-14, John 7:37-39. What does the water of life represent?

2. In verses 2-3 we notice a tree that is for the health of the nations. Read Gen 2:9. What tree is present in Genesis 2:9 that is noticeably absent in Revelation 22:2-3?

3. Read verses 4-6. We are told in verse 4 that we shall see God face to face, and that He will always be on our mind. One of the chief characteristics of heaven is that our relationship with the Lord will be great! Read Exodus 33:20. God the Father could not be seen in His glory by sinful men. But in heaven with sin removed we will be able to know Him face to face. Until then, there is one way to see God face to face. Jesus if the face we look upon. Read John 14:9.

4. In verses 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12, there are reminders of how near this time is. Do you live in the light of eternity? Does this vision of heaven both encourage you and challenge you to live more fully surrendered to the Lord and His purposes for your life?

5. According to verse 9 who is to be the lone recipient of worship? It is very common for us as men to put on a pedestal the one God is using. See to it that you do not.

6. Consider verse 12. Do you ever feel that the things you do for God go unnoticed? Do you wonder if they will be worth it? What does this verse say to both of those questions?

7. Look at verse 13. Now look up Isaiah 44:6-8 and 48:12-13. What does this title that God ascribes to Himself, the First and the Last, mean? What does it teach us about Him? How do these things affect your life?

8. Look at verse 17. Who sends out the invitation to the water of life? Who is allowed to come and receive? Are you receiving this life? Are you extending this invitation?

9. Look at verse 20, and especially John’s prayer at the end of the verse. It is good to pray for and look forward to the Lord’s return. Is there anything that prevents you from wanting Jesus to return right now? If there is, even if it’s a good thing, it has become too important to you. Ask God to help you to freely look toward heaven and seeing Him face to face.

10. Notice the last verse of this book, of the New Testament and of the Bible. Grace is God’s giving nature, the kindness that He extends to us, undeserved and freely, because He loves us. According to this verse, who does God want to pour His grace out upon? Are you receiving and enjoying the grace of God? Are you a vessel for Him to show grace to this others and to this lost world?

Old Testament:
Daniel 7- Are You Ready?
Daniel 8- History And Prophecy

New And Improved

Revelation 21:1
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”

Revelation 21 begins the final section of the book. Pastor, preacher, theologian, and early radio pioneer Donald Barnhouse put it like this, “In this chapter we see that the history of time is finished; the history of eternity is about to begin.” Just as Jesus promised, the heavens and earth have passed away, and in its place a new heaven and earth have been created. The word ‘new’ carries the idea of what we might call “new and improved.” Just as our heavenly bodies will be superior to our earthly ones, so will the new heaven and earth be far beyond anything we ever experienced here. John goes on to describe just a little of what we have to look forward to.

Heaven is a place where we will experience fellowship with God. No more will we look at God through the stained glass of human experience. Today our understanding of who God is, and how He feels about us, is often confused by the difficulties we face. Some, because of difficulties in their past, have a hard time relating to God as father. Others, because of pain, struggle to understand His love. The day is coming, when we will dwell with Him and see Him as He really is. This is the essence of God’s desire and man’s purpose. God desires to live in close fellowship with man, and man’s purpose is to be the people of God.

Heaven is a perfect community. All sin, and everything that defiles, is removed from heaven, and we will live in perfect harmony with one another. The idea of heaven being a lonely, isolated, and boring place, where we go through eternity as ghoulish figures without purpose, is totally foreign to the Bible. Heaven will be a place of community. We will sit together with the heroes of old, our saved friends, and our loved ones, and forever be in the presence of the Lord. Heaven will include feasting and celebrating, with those from every nation, tribe and tongue, as we experience glories that this life could never reveal.

John is reminded that entrance to heaven is solely for those whose names are in the Book of Life. The only way to ensure that your name is there, is by placing your trust in Christ for salvation. If you have never done so, pray right now, “Jesus I ask you to come into my life and forgive me of my sin. I want you to be my Savior and Lord.”

If you have prayed this prayer contact us at ccvb.net

Pastor Jim

Questions for Revelation 21

Up until this point we have seen the church age, the scene in heaven after the rapture, all of the judgments of the Great Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ, His millennial reign upon the earth, and the final judgment of Satan and all who opposed God. Having removed His enemies we now take a look at the New Heaven and Earth.
1. Read verse 1-5. Why do you think that God is starting all over with a brand new Heaven and Earth?

2. In verse 2 we see New Jerusalem. Galatians 4:26 and Hebrews 12:22 are suggestive of this city. What three things does this verse tell us about this city? We will see more of this city later in this chapter starting in verse 9.

3. In verse 3 we read of God being with His people. Read Matthew 1:23, and John 14:16-17. How has He been with us already?

4. Note verses 4-5. If you are going through great difficulty or pain in your life right now, take heart. God will bring it to an end and will comfort you.

5. In Revelation 18 we saw the fall of the world’s economic system, which could be summed up as everything has a price, even the bodies and souls of men. Look at verses 6-7. What is the economic system of the Kingdom?

6. In verses 9-10 we learn more of the heavenly city New Jerusalem. What does verse 9 tell us of those who live there? Look up Ephesians 5:25-32 for how Jesus cares for His bride, the church.

7. Verses 11-21 give a fantastic description of some of the details of this city! Heaven will be amazing, and God gives us these pictures of it for us to be encouraged by the good that is coming. It is right and good for us to look forward to heaven. Do you?

8. In verses 22-23, what two things are missing from the temple? What takes the place of these things?

9. Note verses 24-27. What things are brought into this city? What can never be brought in? We should always be thankful to Jesus that He has removed our sin from us at the cross, or we would never be able to enter heaven. If you have never put your trust in Jesus and His work at the cross, do so now, and the doors of heaven will be open for you!


Old Testament:
Daniel 5- Sky Writing
Daniel 6- Exonerated

End Of The Road

Revelation 20:12
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

Have you ever heard someone say, “All roads lead to God”?  While it is not true, according to Jesus Himself, that all roads lead to heaven, it is true, all roads lead to God. Whatever road you choose to travel in this life, it ultimately ends at the throne of God. John explains that he saw every person who had ever lived, the good, the bad, and the ugly, all standing before the throne of God and awaiting judgment for sin. There is no road you can travel that will not ultimately lead to the throne of God. Even those who stubbornly resist the Spirit of God and refuse to accept Him, will stand before this throne, along with those who refuse to believe He even exists. There is no way of escaping the throne, but there is a way of avoiding judgment.

John records that a book was opened which contained a list of all the sins that each person had ever committed. One sin is enough to condemn, and every sin is recorded. However, there is a second book; the Book of Life, which contains the names of all who have received Christ and His forgiveness of sin. Those whose names are in the Book of Life have had all the charges against them erased. Paul put it like this,

Colossians 2:14 “. . . having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

The most important decision you will ever make is the one regarding Jesus. If you choose to accept Him as Savior and Lord, your sins will be forgiven and you will be excluded from judgment. If you choose to reject Him, for whatever reason, you are left in your sin. One day you will stand before the throne of God and the book of deeds will be opened, read, and you will be sentenced. It seems like a pretty straightforward decision. Joshua put it like this;

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Pastor Jim

Questions for Revelation 20

The title of this book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. In the last chapter, we saw Jesus revealed at his Second Coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to the world that rejected Him. As this age comes to an end, we see many things in this chapter that are unlike anything we’ve seen before
1. Read verses 1-3. After Christ’s return what happens to Satan? Why? For how long?

2. Read verse 4-5. Although this group of people (martyred tribulation saints, now resurrected) is given authority to rule, they are not the only ones. In other places in the Scripture, we see that the saints in general will hold this position (Revelation 2:26, 3:12, 22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). If you are currently being persecuted in any way, take heart. There is coming a time when Jesus will reward you and set things right.

3. Read verse 6. How long will these saints rule with Jesus?

4. Read verse 7-9 what will happen at the end of the thousand years? Why? This is a final demonstration of the depravity of man. Even after a thousand years of Christ’s wonderful rule, with Satan bound and his influence removed, many people will still align against God at the first chance they get. Look up Jeremiah 17:9.

5. In verse 10 we see Satan’s final end. Where does he end up?

6. In verse 11 we see a Great White Throne. What is the response of heaven and earth to this throne? There are many people who in their arrogance defy God, and say accusatory things like “When I see God I’m going to ask Him why He…?” Before the Great White throne, man will clearly see his place before his Creator. Look up Hebrews 4:13 and 10:31.

7. Read verses 12-13. Notice the books that are opened: The Book of Life, and books. It would seem that these other books are records of the works of men. Man in his pride often will say something to the effect of “I’m a pretty good guy. My good deeds will get me into heaven.” However, only having our sin forgiven by Jesus gets us into the Book of Life, and heaven. Read Ephesians 2:8-9.

8. Read verses 14-15. Who/what is cast into the lake of fire (where the devil already is)? Look up Matthew 25:41. Who was the lake of fire originally made for? What causes men to end up there? Read John 3:36. If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sin and give you eternal life, do it now.


Old Testament:
Daniel 3- What Would You Do?
Daniel 4- He Reigns

Wedding Day

Revelation 19:1
“After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia!’”

Revelation 19:3
“Again they said, ‘Alleluia!’”

Revelation 19:4
“And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, ‘Amen! Alleluia!’”

Revelation 19:5
“Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God,’

Revelation 19:6
“Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”

Revelation 19:7
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come,. . .”

In Revelation 19, the scene in heaven is one of exuberant praise. We read of a great multitude joining in worship, and giving glory to the Lord. While there are many reasons to worship God, their praise stems from the fact that the marriage supper of the Lamb has come. To help us understand the relationship we have with God, the Bible uses a number of illustrations. We are referred to as the ‘children of God’, the ‘body of Christ’, the ‘church’, or ‘assembly of those who have been called out of the world’. Perhaps the most intimate of all is when the Bible refers to the Christian as “the bride of Christ.” Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

“For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2

In ancient Jewish culture, the greatest of all celebrations was the wedding feast. The same is often true today. Being a pastor, I have an interesting perspective at weddings. As the congregation turns to watch the bride enter the room, I usually turn and look at the face of the groom. It is amazing to see his face the moment he sees her, and watch him fill with joy. There are times when the joy becomes so great, tears fill his eyes. In those times, I cannot help but think of the joy in the face of Jesus, when He is finally reunited with His bride; and we will forever be with the Lord.

In ancient times, when a man and woman committed to marry one another, they would be betrothed. Betrothal, unlike engagement, involved being legal bound. It was not something that was cast aside on a whim, but would require a legal document in order to bring it to an end. When you received Christ, you were betrothed to Him. While the wedding day and it’s celebration remain in our future, we are bound to Him by love. He is in heaven, anticipating the day when we will be united with Him. We should live on earth with that same anticipation.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Revelation 19

After 13 chapters of the Great Tribulation, we now come to its end. As world as we know it is coming to an end and Jesus returns to rule and reign upon the earth.
1. Look at verse 1. What four things belong to God? Notice in particular, that Salvation belongs to Him. God alone saves.

2. In verses 2-4 we see the reaction in heaven at the final judgment of the world. How would you describe heaven’s reaction? Why?

3. A voice speaks from the throne in verses 5-7. In verses 5-6 what honors are ascribed to God?

4. Notice verse 7 and 9. What special event is being mentioned in these verses? Look up Ephesians 5:25-33. What is our (the church’s) relationship with Jesus?

5. Verse 10 tells us something very important about prophecy (God speaking through man). What is it?

6. In verses 11-16 we see that Jesus Himself leads the armies of heaven to lay His rightful claim to this earth. List as many things as you can that these verses teach you about Jesus.

7. In verses 17-21, we see all the nations of the earth aligned against God. Read Psalm 2. What will their fight against God come to?


Old Testament:
Daniel 1- Start To Finish
Daniel 2- Kingdoms Will Rise And Fall

Get Out

Revelation 18:4
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.’”

As John begins to describe the fall of Babylon the Great, he hears a cry from heaven calling the people of God to come out, and no longer share in its sins. Babylon here is referring to more than a city in modern Iraq, it refers to the world system that is opposed to the ways of God. The call then is for the people of God to leave the ways of the world, to live in step with the ways of God. This is not a one time call, but is repeated time and again within the pages of your Bible. We were saved, not to continue in a destructive lifestyle, practicing the things that Jesus died to free us from, but to live a new life on a higher plain, where we seek in every area of life to bring pleasure to God.

Galatians 1:3-4 “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,  . . .”

Christ died, not only to forgive sin, but to provide deliverance for all who come to Him. When we put faith in Christ, the chains that once bound us to a life of sin have been broken. We no longer have to be like shrub in the desert, barely surviving in life, but we can be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bearing fruit in its season.

Have you come to Christ? Have you asked Him to wash you of your sin and give you new life? That is the first step; the second is to come out of the world and stop partaking in practices that do not please Him. Don’t wait another moment,

“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”

Pastor Jim

Questions for Revelation 18

Although there was an actual city known as Babylon, metaphorically throughout the bible Babylon represents the “world system” that is aligned against God and against His anointed King, Jesus. At the pouring out of the seventh and final bowl judgment that fall of Babylon begins. In the last chapter we saw the fall of spiritual Babylon; the collective religious system that man commits himself to rather than to God. In this chapter we see the fall of financial Babylon, or all of the ways that man looks to the wealth and provision of this world for his joy and satisfaction, instead of looking to Jesus.
1. Read verse 3. Are there any nations that are innocent of “going to bed” with Babylon? Notice the imagery: intoxication, adultery, and self-indulgent pleasure.

2. In verse 4, we see God’s instruction for His people in the midst of this world. Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Exodus 33:16, 1 Corinthians 5:9-12, and Matthew 5:13-16. What is our heart attitude to be toward this world? What is our heart attitude to be toward the people of this world?

3. Read verses 5-8. Does this world feel that it will ever be judged? Will God forget to judge her? Look up Galatians 6:7 and 2 Peter 3:1-10.

4. In verses 9-10 we see how those who do not know God relate to the world. Would you say that they have a casual relationship with the world or an intimate one? Are they emotionally invested in this world system?

5. Verses 11-19 point to the complete financial collapse of the world’s economic system. Note the end of verse 13. In this world even people’s souls have a price. Look up Matthew 16:26.

6. Look at verse 14, 17 and 19. What does the pursuit of this world’s riches and pleasure come to?

7. Notice verses 20 and 24. God will not ignore the wrongs this world has committed against His people. God will judge this world. Since we know how it ends, take inventory in your own life. Have you given your heart to any of these things that are passing away? If you have, ask God to forgive you and give you a new heart concerning the things of His Kingdom which will never pass away

Old Testament:

Ezekiel 47- River Of Life

Ezekiel 48- Your Land