Sermons

Grace to the End - Part 2
Sun, Sep 03, 2017
. . . knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” --2 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV) The BIG one is coming!!! We are told that something will end life as we know it. Global climate change, a super-virus, shortages of food or energy, and even a zombie outbreak have all been cautioned about. What is out of vogue is to think that God is the one that will end things, that being only a silly, non-scientific, ancient notion that holds no weight. But, Peter reminds his friends that Christ will surely return. But how can we know? This week we will explore the arguments that Peter makes as he argues for Christ’s return. These truths point us toward a God that is just and merciful. It’s a great text. Take a few minutes and read through 2 Peter 3. I also want to encourage you on this holiday weekend to invite a friend to join us! And take a few minutes to read through the rest of the email to find out about the needs and news around Hope.
Grace to the End - Part1
Sun, Aug 27, 2017
. . . knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” --2 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV) Talking about eschatology brings out all sorts of different ideas and emotions. Some people are excited to figure out the puzzle. Some start scanning the headlines. Some begin to question and fear that they are not ready. Some are hoping it doesn’t come anytime soon because they have more to do. Others are just confused or even frustrated. How about you? This week we begin to unfold 2 Peter 3. In this passage, Peter turns back to his brothers and sisters. He wants to comfort and encourage them with what is to come. I want to approach this text a little differently than you may have heard it in the past, but still take a few minutes to read ahead.
Portrait of a False Teacher
Sun, Aug 20, 2017
But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. -- 2 Peter 2:12-13 (ESV) 'Your words are so foolishly and ignorantly composed that I cannot believe you understand them.' 'You are a bungling magpie, croaking loudly.' Martin Luther When I first encountered Martin Luther's insults I was conflicted. I didn't know whether to laugh or be offended. Many think of theologians as passionless people devoid of humor. Those people have never read Luther. His wit was unleashed during the struggles and theological wrestlings of the Reformation. In fact, through the 'magic' of the inter-webs, if you would like to be insulted by Luther you can hit up the Luther Insulter. Luther was not just doing this for comedic value, but instead his passion for truth was directly employed in his insults to injure and shock those that opposed him. Our passage this week within 2 Peter 2 reminds me of Luther's words. Using the same method, Peter highlights the danger, foolishness, and emptiness of the false teachers through various pointed descriptions of their personalities and doctrine. He pleads with us to know the truth.
Fire and Brimstone and Grace
Sun, Aug 13, 2017
if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; -- 2 Peter 2:5 (ESV) I’ve always found it odd the way we have treated the flood. The images we produce of orderly lines of animals queuing up for their place on board, or we have a bearded Noah topside with the giraffe heads popping out. These cute, family-approved, nursery-appropriate shots give us warm fuzzies like the story is about a day out on the water with Noah and his menagerie. However, this story is not a clean, pleasant story but one of darkness, evil, and judgment. The water below the ark was filled with people sinking to their demise. Those pictures don’t end up in the kid’s room, but it is this aspect that Peter highlights to demonstrate the righteous justice of God. It also vividly displays God’s ability to save the righteous, but who are they? This week we continue examining 2 Peter 2. I’d encourage you to read through this chapter. It will take you back to the book of Genesis and beyond. I look forward to discovering more about our righteous and merciful God.
Grace Under Fire
Sun, Aug 06, 2017
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. -- 2 Peter 2:1(ESV) ‘Heresy’ probably brings weird pictures to your mind. People being burned at the stake. Formal trials over ideas or doctrines. Arguments over things that seem antiquated or ridiculous. Those all probably feel buried somewhere in the dusty halls of history, so these verses may seem like an echo from a bygone time. However, Peter won’t allow us to relegate them to the past. He says false teachers have always threatened God’s revelation and will continue to be a threat. This week we head back into our study of 2 Peter. It’s been a while since we have looked at this book written by the key leader at the birth of the church. I’d encourage you to take a few minutes before Sunday and read back through chapter 1 & 2. Also, I want to encourage you to look around on Sunday. Maybe sit in a new spot. Meet someone new. Invite someone one to join you.
Parables on Prayer - Part 2
Sun, Jul 30, 2017
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ -- Luke 18:2-3 (ESV) How high do your prayers go? Like day-old balloons they seem to float only as high as our energy and then sink again. When we feel this way repeatedly, we can be discouraged and wonder if it is even worth it to pray. It’s in these moments we need to learn from a needy woman and godless judge. Jesus tells us another confrontational and troubling tale about prayer in Luke 18. This week we will close our summer series on the Parables by taking a look at this last parable on prayer. It’s a story for those that are worn out and ready to quit, especially in prayer. We will also be pointed to the only Hope we have through a time of communion.
Parables on Prayer - Part 1
Sun, Jul 23, 2017
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. -- Luke 18:1 (ESV) ‘How’s your prayer life?’ It’s a question that turns discipleship groups silent and makes community groups find a rabbit trail faster then a hungry coyote. I’ve never met anyone that answered that question with a positive answer. We always feel we should pray more. We should pray with more consistency. We should pray longer. We should pray with less distraction. This Sunday we are going to look at prayer from the parables. I’ve been praying this examination would not be a time to walk away with our heads down in regret, but motivate us to approach a generous, available father. Will you join us?
Banquet for the Beggars
Sun, Jul 16, 2017
"When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just." -- Luke 14:12-14 (ESV) Have you signed up yet for "Dinners for 8" or have gone to one? Have you a dinner planned with invited guests this summer or will you be an invitee to one? Well, this next parable about a planned dinner may give you some "food for thought" for your next dinner conversation. Jim Maynard will unfold this dinner parable found in Luke 14:12-24 this Sunday. So before you hear it, read and think about this passage, maybe even before you eat your next meal. Hope to see you at Hope this Sunday, and bring someone with you.
Shrewdness is Scriptural
Sun, Jul 09, 2017
"The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings." -- Matthew 16:8-9(ESV) We have all admired those stories about less than pure characters using only their brains to turn an impossible situation back to their advantage. Movies like The Sting, Ocean 11, and The Italian Job are modern stories like that. Jesus in Luke 16 uses a parable similar to those stories in an unusual way that teaches us some godly truths centered around a surprising character. This week, Lynn Oakes will be unraveling this strange parable about a dishonest manager in the first 16 verses of Luke 16. We encourage you to take a look at this parable before Sunday. Hope to see you and your friends there.
God's Joy in Redeeming Sinners
Sun, Jul 02, 2017
". . . . , What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? . . . . , Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? . . . . , 'It was fitting to celebrate and be glad for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.' " -- Luke 15:1-32(ESV) Have you ever lost something really important to you and then found it again? Imagine those emotions when you realized you found it. This Sunday, Michael Bell will be sharing the parables of lost things from Luke 15 that should evoke similar emotions. We want to encourage you to take a look at this whole chapter in Luke before Sunday. Bring someone with you, maybe someone who has lost their way in life.
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