The Church and the End Times

maxresdefaultThis week during our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, we are going to study two chapters of the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the church in Thessalonica. Of the subjects covered in this letter, the Apostle Paul attributes much ink to the subject of the end times. The reason that he does so is because false doctrine had wormed its way into the church and had begun to upset the faith of the believers. In Acts 17, we read the story of how the Gospel comes to Thessalonica. The Apostle Paul was on a missionary journey. He visited Philippi and as a result, a church plant was formed from him making disciples. After leaving Philippi, Paul and the team traveled to Thessalonica. While there, Paul and the team began to visit the synagogue and teach the Word of God. Some of the Jews accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Also, many Greeks accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. The team had a total of three weeks to train these new believers. Paul wanted to stay longer but was forced to flee the city because of persecution. According to II Thessalonians 2:1-12, Paul taught much about the end times during his three week stay. Continue reading

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The Gospel Rebuilds Relationships

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 12.39.25 PMAs I sit here preparing to teach one of our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, I am amazed to see how much God values relationships. As a pastor, one of the most frequent problems that I help people deal with is broken relationships. Building and maintaining relationships is very difficult because of our sin nature. God created us to be social creatures. He is social. He has always existed in a perfect relationship as the Holy Trinity. The Father has always had a perfect relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. When He created mankind, He created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. The reason that we have difficulties with relationships is because we are broken by our sin nature. Even after we are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, we still have a sin nature that taints us. Our sin nature causes us to be selfish. By nature, we are egotistical. This egoism causes relationships to break down. God knows of this and He wants to help us learn to live in good social relationships with others. This is the topic of this lesson. We are going to learn how to invest in relationships with others. Continue reading

Paul the pesky preacher

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 3.13.05 PMThis coming Sunday, we are going to begin a new quarter in our Connect Groups at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. At the beginning of the year, we dove into the book of Acts. Then we moved into the epistles. Now we are going back to Acts and pick up where we left off. We left Acts after chapter 20 when Paul gave his final charge to the church leaders before heading to Jerusalem where he had already been forewarned of the persecution and imprisonment that awaited him. This is where we are going to pick back up this week, in Acts 23. In order to get caught up with what happened in chapters 21-22, I want to give a quick summary of those chapters. Continue reading

A pastor’s calling

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 12.28.50 PMAs I prepare for our teacher training meeting with our Sunday School teachers this Sunday, I was impressed by the depth and clarity of the lesson that we are going to study and then teach to our classes. This lesson is about the calling of a pastor and the results of a pastor living out his calling. In a specific sense, this lesson is for shepherds. All followers of Jesus Christ have been called to be leaders because we have all been given the Great Commission to “make disciples” of all the nations. Having made the above statement, I would like to clarify the fact that not everyone is a shepherd. God calls and appoints shepherds/pastors in the church to teach/lead/equip the members to make disciples. So, this lesson is profitable for every single person who calls himself or herself a follower of Jesus Christ (Christian, disciple etc.), even though these commands are given specifically to pastors, the pastor is going to use these commands to equip every man, woman, and child in the church to be discipled and to make disciples. Our previous Sunday School lesson was about Agape Love in Action. Continue reading

Enduring Identity in Christ

Walking-With-GodAs I sit and study through 1 Peter, I am amazed, once again, at how practical the Word of God is for our daily lives. This Sunday, during our Sunday School hour, we are going to study James 2. I am preparing 1 Peter 2 for our Sunday School teacher training. The Sunday School teachers, along with me, will all teach this lesson in 2 weeks. Continue reading

Set Apart by God for Good Works

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 5.12.54 PMThis coming Sunday at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, during our Sunday School hour, we are going to cover how God sets us apart to be a Royal Priesthood so that we can walk in the good works that He prepared from before the foundation of the world was laid. We have been walking through the books of Exodus and Leviticus. Previously, we looked at the daily sacrifices that we offered in Israel on a daily basis. There were 5 sacrifices and 2 of those 5 were dedicated to reminding the children of Israel to be grateful to God and to be grateful to each other. If you do the math, that equates to roughly 40 percent of the sacrifices, dedicated to reminding people to be grateful. Continue reading

God, My Protector (Psalm 141)

in-Jesus-armsI am so glad to be back in writing mode. The past 2 months have been crazy for me and my family. I have changed jobs and, as a family, we have moved across the country. I have not been able to study and write like I normally do. I am getting settled in and I am so glad to be able to study and write on a more regular basis. Last week, our Sunday School lesson was based on Psalm 32. David left some practical advice for us to learn from his mistakes. Another of the Psalms that I have a lesson on is Psalm 19, Restoring the soul.

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The New Jerusalem

UntitledI am writing this article after teaching this past weekend at Hoffmantown Kids. I usually write before I teach, in order to think through the subject and be better prepared to share the lesson. Last week, I taught on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This lesson is about the New Jerusalem that God is going to bring down from heaven to the new earth. The question is, “why is there a need for a new earth and a new Jerusalem”? I am so glad that you asked that question because I want to answer it in this article. There are 5 aspects that we need to focus on in order to understand the new Jerusalem. Continue reading

Getting Connected with God through Christ

connect-with-godI have spent the better part of this school year teaching through the Gospel of Mark with my preschool teachers. We have all learned so much about our Lord and Savior, how He interacted with people to share the message of the Gospel with them in order to help them connect with God. All throughout the history of Israel, God had established spiritual leaders to help the common people connect with Him. For the most part, the spiritual leaders used their position and authority to lord over the people instead of help them connect with God. In Mark 10, Jesus reveals what people who are not connected with God are like. Most of the examples are the spiritual leaders. This is yet another opportunity for the spiritual leaders to admit their failure, repent of their mindset and actions, and connect with God through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, most of them were so caught up in themselves that they could not admit their wrong doing and therefore continued to live disconnected from their Creator. This same problem exists to this very day in all churches, no matter the denomination or creed. I would like to examine this idea of getting connected with God through the Lord Jesus Christ as presented by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10.  Continue reading