Paul’s Journey to Rome

acts-pauls-voyage-to-romeThis lesson for our Connect Group classes will carry us to the end of the book of Acts. The book of Acts has a peculiar ending. Actually, it does not end. The book concludes with Paul in Rome preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God. The idea is that the ministry has continued uninterrupted until this very moment. In a way, even though Paul went to glory long ago, the ministry that he started still continues on to this day. Some mission movements have named themselves Acts 29 because the modern church is living out Acts 29. Every generation of Christians lives out Acts 29. Continue reading

Our Salvation in Christ

salvationOn Wednesday nights at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, my wife leads a small group Bible study on the Peter’s first epistle. Last night, we covered lesson two which was a chapter study on I Peter 1. In order to get caught up to speed on I Peter 1, I need to give you some context. Peter is writing to believers, people who have chosen to bow to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and follow Him for the rest of their lives. This decision to follow Christ has cost them everything. They are heavily persecuted for their faith, to the point where they are on the run, fleeing to new areas to escape. Peter tells us his reason for writing in I Peter 5:12: Continue reading

Genuine faith endures persecution

suffering_for_the_gospel_00036146I am preparing to teach my class on II Thessalonians this coming week. I love teaching this short letter because there is so much truth packed into a small amount of space. During our first lesson, we covered the overview and learned that the Apostle Paul was a master communicator. From reading and studying Acts 17, we learn that the Thessalonian church was planted in the midst of heavy persecution. The Thessalonians were very familiar with persecution. The Apostle Paul was there working as a team with Silas and Timothy. They had a plan to enter the synagogue on the Sabbath and reason with the Jews living in Thessalonica from the Scriptures. Paul took the inductive Bible study approach which involves questions and answers from the Biblical text. The team was there for 3 weeks. While studying, several of the Jews came to Christ along with some God fearing Greeks and leading women. After these people accepted Christ, the rest of the Jews who rejected Christ became jealous of Paul and the team. They stirred the people up and after forming a mob, tried to attack Paul and the team. Paul escaped to Berea and continued teaching in the synagogue in Berea. While Paul was busy planting more churches by making disciples, the new beleivers in Thessalonica continued to grow in their faith amidst persecution. The Word of the Lord went out from them to all of Asia Minor. Paul continued to communicate with the Thessalonians. II Thessalonians is the second letter that we know of that Paul wrote to the Thessalonian Christians. Paul had to write this letter because the attacks shifted from the outside to the inside. False teaching had crept in to the church and people’s faith was in danger. Continue reading

Persecution: The fuel that furthers the Gospel

philip-eunuchWe are in Acts 8 as we continue to walk through the New Testament this year in our Children’s Department at Hoffmantown Church. To get us caught up in what we have learned, we need to take a look at the commands given to the disciples by Jesus before He ascended into heaven.

  • you will receive power
  • the power will be the Holy Spirit
  • the Holy Spirit will allow you to be a witness for Christ to all
  • you are to live a life of missions, seeking to make disciples of all nations and ethnic groups
  • evangelize and equip/train those who believe
  • teach/preach/proclaim/share the Word of God with all who will listen
  • you are to make disciples starting in Jerusalem and moving out to the ends of the earth

Continue reading

Paul in Thessalonica and Berea

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-7-35-31-pmI spent a large part of today preparing to teach my second grade Sunday School class this coming Sunday. It is the first meeting of the new year. It is hard to believe that it is already 2017. I am excited to teach the New Testament this semester. We are starting midway through Acts. Last year, we went through the entire Bible in one year. It was a neat 3,000 foot view of the Bible, learning that it is all about Jesus. This week, we are going to examine Acts 17:1-15. Continue reading

Stir up your spiritual gift

As a staff, we just finished up “Understanding Spiritual Gifts” and have now moved on to II Timothy, a study we are using this year to teach during our Wednesday evening program called T.T.C. (Treasure Trust Club). I would like to write about this week’s lesson, a lesson that I am about to teach in a couple of hours.

During our meetings, we have already taken a look at what we learn about Paul and what we learn about Timothy, from II Timothy. After doing that, we took a look at the specific commands that Paul wrote to Timothy and why he had to write them. Now we are going to take a look at the gift of God and how it corresponds to overcoming fear. Timothy, like all of us, had a spirit of fear. When we begin to serve the Lord with the gift that He has given to us, we are immediately faced with fear, from without and within. In order to overcome that fear, God has instructed us in His Word. Let’s see what we can learn. Continue reading

Experiencing God’s Comfort

comfort_God As a church council, we have begun studying Paul’s second epistle to the church in Corinth. We are studying Kay Arthur’s, “Lord, give me a heart for You”. I just finished the first lesson today and I want to write a little bit on what we learned about suffering, which is not a fun subject, and the comfort that we receive from God while enduring difficult times in life. II Corinthians 1:1-11 is the main text for the lesson.

Continue reading

CHRISTIANS – THE MOST PERSECUTED PEOPLE GROUP ON EARTH

martyrdom

By Anthony Browne, Europe correspondent of the Times.

Rising nationalism and fundamentalism around the world have meant that Christianity is going back to its roots as the religion of the persecuted.

There are now more than 300 million Christians who are either threatened with violence or legally discriminated against Continue reading