The Spoken Blessing NL PIC

We are blessed by God and called to be a blessing to others.  Therefore we are equipped with two powerful tools.  1) Prayer and 2) The Spoken Blessing.

 

The more familiar tool is Prayer!  We have the privilege to pray for one another.

 

The other less known and less used tool is the power of the Spoken Blessing.

 

In this series “The Spoken Blessing” we are going to learn how to not only pray for others, but we will learn how to impart the blessings of God upon their lives as well!

 

We are called to be a people of prayer and we are called to be a people that speak blessings.

 

Join us at Believers Church this Sunday, 11-01-15, 9 or 11 a.m., as we explore “A Scriptural Basis for Imparting the Blessing.”

 

Prayer Card Sunday

This is also Prayer Card Sunday, a Sunday where families will exchange their families name with another family and both families will commit to pray for the other family for the month of November.  You will want to get in on that blessing!

 

Fall Back & Invite Someone to Church! 

Speaking of Blessings! It’s DST!  So Saturday Night set your clock back one hour and enjoy the extra sleep! This is also known to be the perfect Sunday to invite someone to church! They will have an extra hour of sleep and be more likely to say YES!

 

One Hour on Wednesday 7 p.m.

October 28th, 2015

Tonight at One Hour On Wednesday, we continue with “THE END” according to Jesus, Paul, Peter and John. See you at 7:00 p.m.

The End Pic for NL

Family Fun Night 6-8 PM

October 28th, 2015

Family Night will be Saturday, October 31st from 6-8 p.m. Join us for games, inflatables and candy!  Wear your favorite costume and invite your friends to Believers Church Family Fun Night!

FFN adCandy Donation

First Serve Class 11.01.2015

October 28th, 2015

Want to find out what your Spiritual Gifts are and how you can use them here at Believers?  Join us Sunday for our First Serve Class during the 11 a.m service!

First Serve Class Nov

10-25-15_WD Heaven_Blog

In the “The Walking Dead” television show people thought that they were experiencing the end of the world, or at least the world as they knew it.  They wrestled with questions of life as it once was, as it is, and the afterlife.  They debate about the existence of God, heaven, morals, what’s now right and wrong.  They asked the same questions that people asked in Jesus’ day and the questions that many are still asking today, “Are we living in the last days?” and “Is this the end?”

I believe we are living in the end times, even if it is only the beginning stages of the end times.

If you have missed any of these messages you can go back and watch them on our web site and download the notes as well.

Week One – Are We Living in the Last Days

Week Two – We started looking at the book of Revelation and seven love letters from Jesus to seven churches and we talked about the rapture.  From Jesus’ words we answered the question, “How Do We Get Ready for Jesus’ Return?”

Last Week Three- The Tribulation period (Rev 6-19).  Not to scare you, but to encourage you. (1Thes 4:18)  We saw that even in the judgements, Jesus is all about redemption.  Calling people to repentance.

Jesus Returns (Rev 19:14-15) After the glorious return of Jesus to the earth, His victory at Armageddon.  Then we have what is called the 1000 year Millennium Reign.

Rev 20:1-2 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2  He seized the dragon, (Some of the names of the enemy) that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (NIV)

 After the 1000 years of bliss, the enemy is released and causes one last rebellion and attempt to over throw God, only to ultimately be defeated and cast into the lake of fire where the antichrist and the false prophet await him.

Rev 20:8-10 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth– Gog and Magog– to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (NIV)

The Great White Throne Judgement (Rev 20:11-15)  We will come back to this.

 

New Heaven and a New Earth

Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (NIV)

This is what I want to talk to you about today.  The New Heaven and the New Earth!

We need a healthy view about heaven, especially here in America.  Christians here in America are a bit spoiled and we think here on earth is this wonderful place.  We look around at all that we have, house, auto’s, toys, and most of us have good health.

  • We’ve got so many things that we want, we’re just not excited about heaven that much. How could it be that much better than what we have now and what we have here?
  • We need to understand that the best hope we have is not here on earth, but our best hope is the life we are going to have in heaven!

We are created with a sense of eternity and we need to remember that eternal joy is what we’re destined for; to live with Jesus forever in heaven.

  • Heaven is a relational place.

Rev 21:2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

 The New Jerusalem (Capital City of Heaven) is compared to the beauty of a Bride, beautifully dressed for her husband.  A great visual word picture of beauty, but also of relationship.  In heaven we will have a relationship with God, like that of a husband and wife.  United, one!

Rev 21:9-10 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. (NIV)

Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, (The fulfillment of Emanuel, God with us!) and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (NIV)

 Not God at a distance, not God far away in heaven, not God behind a veil, but God will be living with us!  We will be living with God!

Now as far as I am concerned, everything else is just secondary!  We are about to see the splendor and majesty of heaven, but this one thing would be enough for me!  In other words I would be happy anywhere as long as God was dwelling there with me.

Exod 33:18-20 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” 19     And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” (NIV)

In Heaven we will see Jesus face to face.

1 Cor 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (NIV)

 Oddly enough there are no churches of temples in heaven.  Why?

Rev 21:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are

its temple.

  • Heaven is a real place.

You can touch it, feel it, it is a tangible real place.  Not a dream, not a cloud, not a place to only go to in your mind.  Heaven is so real it can be measured.

The Measurements

Rev 21:16-17 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide.  He measured the city with the rod and

found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 He measured its wall and it was 144

cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using.

This city is huge!  It is a cube shape which measures 1,400 miles in width and length and height.

  • The highest skyscrapers of today are about 1,500 feet high.
  • The Japanese developed plans for a mile-high skyscraper.
  • Space satellites orbit the earth 300 to 600 miles above the surface of the earth.

So a city 1,400 miles high is stupendous!  No more cramped and crowded little cities.[1]

The Foundations, Walls, and Gates

The foundation and walls are made of Precious Stones.   Full of color!

The streets were made of pure gold and transparent like glass and the Gates are made of pearls!

  • Twelve Gates – On the gates were written the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • Twelve Foundations. – On them were written the Twelve Apostles.

Lights  How would you light up such a structure?  No need.  No need for the Sun or Moon.

Rev 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives

it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

 Rev 22:5  There will be no more night.  They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the

sun, for the Lord God will give them light.  And they will reign for ever and ever. (NIV)

 

  • Heaven is an awesome place.

No Tears / No Death/ No Mourning / No Pain

Rev 21:4-5 He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for

the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything

new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (NIV)

No Impure Things or People

Rev 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (NIV)

No More Curses

Rev 22:3 No longer will there be any curse.  The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city,

and his servants will serve him. (NIV)

  • Heaven is a rewarding place.

Rev 22:12  “Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (NIV)

 Rev 21:6-7 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life 7        He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (NIV)

 What Do We Do While We Wait for the Blessed Hope?

Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope—

the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, (NIV) 

Heaven is going to be an awesome place.  So how do we live until then?

  1. Run From Ungodliness

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

We can do this because Jesus has made it possible.  Look at verse 13 and 14.

13 while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, (NIV)

14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very

own, eager to do what is good.  (NIV) 

  1. Refocus Your Energies.

Matt 6:19-20 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (NIV)

NEXT STEP: This week I will think about how much energy I’m putting toward earthly treasures as compared to the energy I’m putting toward heaven’s treasures.

  1. Reach People.

This ability to live for all eternity, in a relationship with Christ Jesus, in Heaven is available to all people!

Rev 22:17  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (NIV)

It is a free gift!  The water of life to all who are thirsty!  But time is running out on many!

2 Pet 3:9-10 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.10   But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Jesus is delaying and we are deli dallying around!

2 Pet 3:15  Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. (NIV)

 NEXT STEP: This week I will make a list of five friends or relatives that I am pretty sure are not ready for Jesus’ return.  Now I will ask the Lord what He wants me to do about it.

 Renew Your Commitment with God.

2 Pet 3:13-14 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

 Are you looking forward to the New Heaven and New Earth!

If not, is it because it’s the home of righteousness?

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless

and at peace with him.

Salvation Call

Rev 20:11-12 and 15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.  Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (NIV)

 Rev 21:6-8 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7       He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars– their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  This is the second death.”(NIV)

Which one do you choose today?  To dwell with God as His Child or the lake of fire?

 Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Why do you think our grandparents generation, had more of an awareness and hope in heaven than we do today?
  1. What mental images and expectations of what heaven will look like or be like have you grown up with?
  1. How much of your energy is spent to store up treasures on this earth compared to how much of your energy spent storing up treasures in heaven?
  1. In light of the reality of heaven and hell, the rapture and the second coming of Jesus, how much of an effort should we be giving to reach lost people for Jesus?
  1. Read 2 Pet 3:13-15. Are you looking forward to the New Heaven and New Earth?  What promise is Peter referring to?  Do you believe His promise?

[1] David R. Shepherd, SHEPARDS NOTES, Revelation (Nashville: B & H Publishing House, 1999), p. 97

The Walking Dead  “Is Heaven A Real Place”    Believers Statesboro    10-25-15

10-25-15 WD Promo

Is Heaven A Real Place?  If so is it nothing but white clouds and fat baby angels playing harps?  There are a lot of misconceptions of heaven.  Often times heaven is presented in such a way the you might not even want to go there!  But that’s not the heaven the scripture tells us about.  Come join us this Sunday, 10-25-15 at Believers Church, 9 or 11 and let’s discover THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH!  A place of beauty, color, and splendor, but most of all a place of eternal relationship and fellowship with the Lord!

2 Pet 3:13-14

13        But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

14        So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

 I look forward to being in heaven with Jesus, and with you!  I also look forward to being with you this Sunday at Believers for a little taste of heaven, right here on earth!

 

10.18 Blog Pic for notes

The Walking Dead “The Tribulation”  Sermon Notes 10-18-15

In the last few weeks we talked about the pressing questions that are raised within the popular AMC television show “The Walking Dead”.  Survivors wrestle with questions of life as it once was, as it is, and the afterlife.

They debate about the existence of God, heaven, morals, what’s now right and wrong.

They ask the same questions that people asked Jesus and questions that we  all have today, “Are we living in the last days?” and “Is this the end?”

 

I believe we are living in the end times, even if it is only the beginning stages of the end times.

If you have missed any of these messages you can go back and watch them on our web site and download the notes as well.

Last week we started looking at the book of Revelation and looked at seven love letters from Jesus to seven churches in Revelation 1-3. From Jesus words to the church’s we answered the question, “How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return?”

So far we looked at: The Church Age (now Rev 1-3).  And The Rapture of the Church (Rev 4:1). Today we will talk about The Tribulation period (Rev 6-19). Not to scare you, but to encourage you. (1Thes 4:18)

The Tribulation

Twenty One Judgements are released during the Seven Years of Tribulation.

  • The Seven Seal Judgements                 (Rev 6) Start bad and get worst.
  • The Seven Trumpet Judgements Each judgement gets increasingly worse.
  • The Seven Bowl Judgements The last 3 ½ years known as The Great Tribulation.

The Seal Judgements

John saw a sealed scroll in heaven and Jesus the sacrificed Lamb of God, is the only one who is worthy and able to break the Seven Seals which release Seven Judgements on the earth.

1st Seal: (1st of the Four Horsemen) The White Horse ridden by a conqueror bringing Cold War.

2nd Seal:  The Fiery Red Horse / Removes Peace on the earth bringing Open War.

3rd Seal:  The Black Horse brings Famine.  (A loaf of bread will cost a day’s wages)

 

4th Seal:  The Pale Horse ridden by Death with Hades close behind. (1/4 Earth Killed)

5th Seal:  The Cry of the Martyrs / Avenge or blood. (Jesus said, wait a little longer, more to come.)

6th Seal:  Physical Cosmic Disturbance.  Earthquakes, sun black, moon blood red, stars fall.

Now this is what I need you to understand, most people think that during these terrible times of the tribulation, God is just angry at the world and releasing his judgements upon them.  But even during the tribulation you can see the long suffering and patience of God.  He uses this judgment to get people to repent and turn their hearts towards him.

Even in the Seal Judgements God raises up 144,000 Jews who now believe that Jesus is the Messiah and they will go out as evangelist and preach the gospel and millions are saved!

God is always about redemption!

 

7th Seal:  The Seventh Seal is actually the release of the Seven Trumpet Judgements.

1st Trumpet – 1/3 Earth burned up with hail and fire.

2nd Trumpet – 1/3 Sea destroyed.

3rd Trumpet – 1/3 Earth’s Fresh Water turned bitter killing many.

4th Trumpet – Sun, Moon, Stars1/3 of the day without light, 1/3 of the Night without light.

5th Trumpet – Demonic Locusts don’t kill but Torment the Ungodly for five months to the point where they wish they could die, but can’t.

God’s limitation of five months is an act of mercy, a stern warning, and opportunity for people to repent.

6th Trumpet – Four Angels with 200 Million mounted troops destroy 1/3 of Mankind.

Remember during these Seal and Trumpet Judgements God raises up the Two Witnesses that we talked about in Revelation 11.  They prophesied during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation and called people to repentance.  But as in our day, people sometime refuse to repent.

Even after this Sixth Trumpet Judgement when 1/3 of mankind is killed.  They don’t repent.

How would you respond if you were part of the two thirds that survived?  I WOULD REPENT!  Remember God is always about redemption!  They didn’t repent…

Rev 9:20  The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood– idols that cannot see or hear or walk. (NIV)

The Antichrist

The Tribulation is a 7 year event.  In the first 3 ½ years the Bible teaches that the Antichrist is going to rise to a place of prominence.

II Th 2:4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (NIV)

  • More than likely he will be a European. He will bring lasting peace in the Middle East and make everyone happy.
  • He will be able to explain away the rapture to those that remain and stabilize the economy.
  • He will be a charismatic leader, a man of great power, and many will worship him.
  • This is a dream come true for Israel. They never accepted Jesus Christ as there lord and savior, so they love the antichrist because he is allowing them to go back to the Old Testament sacrificial system, rebuild the Temple, and worship in the temple like they did in OT times.

“This king (the antichrist) will make a seven-year treaty with the people, but after half that time, he will break his pledge and stop the Jews from all their sacrifices and their offerings; then, as a climax to all his terrible deeds, the Enemy shall utterly defile the sanctuary of God.  But in Gods time and plan, his judgment will be poured out upon this Evil One.”  Daniel 9:27 (TLB)

Now throughout history people have always tried to guess who the antichrist is.

  • In the Roman Empire many thought it was Nero. He wanted to eliminate Christianity.  Not him.
  • In our times some said Hitler (due to his horrible crimes). Not him.
  • In my days some said Henry Kissinger just because he was striving to make peace. Not him.
  • Ronald Reagan, because his name was Roland – Wilson – Reagan and each of those names have 6 letters and the mark of the beast is 666. Not him.
  • Many Georgia fans used to believe it was Steve Spurrier! (LOL) Not him!

I don’t know who he is or will be, but there will always be speculations.

After the first 3 ½ years, in Revelation 11 we see the two witnesses or the two Prophets that expose the Antichrist for who he really is.  Being that their time of testimony has ended, the Antichrist, out of jealously will be able to kill them. (Rev. 11:7)

God will raise them from the dead, and at the same time a severe earthquake will occur in Jerusalem and a tenth of the city will collapse killing 7000 people. (Rev. 11:11-12).  Many survivors will be terrified and give glory to the God of heaven.  Remember God is always about redemption!

The last 3 ½ years will be a horrible time on the earth when three evil characters show there true colors.

Sort of a Satanic Trinity…The Dragon – Satan / The Antichrist / The False Prophet

The False Prophet

  • He performs miraculous counterfeit signs; he is empowered to work on behalf of the Antichrist.
  • He deceives the earth. He sets up an image of the Antichrist in the Jewish temple and all who refused to worship the image was killed.
  • He gets so evil that he demands people to take his mark of ownership upon their heads or forearms, the mark of the beast, 666, or they will be killed.

 

Revelation 13:15-17 (NLT) He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak.  Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.16  He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.

 Not to be spooky or scary, but the technology to do this through “chips” exist today.  Mainly developed to prevent credit card fraud.  I’m not planning on being around when this happens, but if I am, I will have to keep the mark of God on my life, and never take the mark of the beast, even if it means death.

7th Trumpet Judgement is the act of pouring out the Seven Bowls of Wrath

(This is during the last 3 ½ years, The Great Tribulation!)

Bowl One – Boils poured out on people with the mark of the beast and worship the image.

Bowl Two – Sea turned to Blood.  Every living thing in the sea died.

 

Bowl Three – Fresh Waters turned to Blood.

Bowl Four – The Sun scorched the people of the earth with fire.  No water and severe heat.  You would think that would make people repent.  But…

Revelation 16:9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. (NIV)

 Bowl Five – Darkness upon the throne of the Beast.

Revelation 16:10-11The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony 11and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. (NIV)

Bowl Six – The Great Euphrates River Dries Up.  This is actually in preparation for the battle of Armageddon.  Evil spirits go out from the mouth of the dragon, the antichrist, and the false prophet to deceive the nations and gather them together for battle against God!

Bowl Seven – Severe Earthquakes, lightning, thunder, and hail.

The Great City of Babylon, which the Antichrist rode to power on, falls in one day!

Heaven rejoices and Glorious King Jesus returns to the earth with his army of heaven and defeats Satan, the Antichrist, the false prophet, and the wicked nations with one swipe of his sword. (Rev 19:11-16)

Revelation 19:19-20Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf.  With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (NIV)

 

Now we are united once and for all with Jesus at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Satan is bound for a 1000 years during the Millennial Reign.  The earth will be free of sin and beautiful as it was in the Garden of Eden, before sin entered the world!

I believe that there are some world events that will need to occur before Jesus returns to

judge the earth.

But nothing else has to happen for the return of Jesus, in the air, to rapture up His church!

I want Believers to be a Church that is End Times Ready.  So let’s answer this question today.

HOW SHOULD WE LIVE IN LIGHT OF THE LAST DAYS?

  1. Get Connected
  • You don’t have time to be isolated; you need to get into a local church. If you are listening

on-line, great, but get to church, get in fellowship!  A church that teaches the Word of God.

  • You also need to be in a small group. Because when the “rug is pulled out” from under you, you are going to need some Christian friends to help you out during those times.
  • You also need to be connected for accountability in your life, to keep you end time ready!

1Thes 5:12-13 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.  Live in peace with each other. (NIV)

Pray for me!  Pray for my family.  Pray for all the Pastors and their families, pray for the staff, leadership and their families!  We need your prayers.  The devil would like to take us out, just like he wants to take you out!  So we need to be connected and praying for one another.

  1. Have Passion for the lost

Have passion for those who are not ready for the end times.

  • I know you guys are inviting your family and friends to Believers during this end time series and many other times as well. If they haven’t come yet, keep inviting them.
  • During this “Walking Dead” series you have invited people and many have received Jesus as there Lord and Savior. Many of those will be baptized in November.
  • You may be here today and you’ve never asked Jesus to be your savior and in just a few moments I’m going to give you the opportunity to do just that! So that you will be ready when death comes knocking at your door.  We will all die, be it during a time of tribulation or peace, our life will be over and what will determine our future is the decision we make about Christ Jesus today.
  • When your life if over the scripture says you will experience one of two options. One you will go to heaven to be with the Lord, or you will spend all eternity in hell separated from God.

So Paul says have some passion for those who are lost. 1Thes 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, (are we warning people who think, “I don’t need God!  My life is ok; I’ve got everything I need!”) encourage the timid, help the weak, (those who are far from God we are going to go after, because we know God has a purpose and plan for their lives.) be patient with everyone. (NIV)

  1. Be Forgiving

1Thes 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (NIV)

What Paul is saying is that in the last days we don’t have time to be caring around grudges; we don’t have time to be bitter!

  • How many of you here have been hurt my another Christian? Lift your hand (my hands up!).

The reason we are hurt my other Christians is because we are in the FAMILY of God.

  • Who has ever had an argument with their wife or husband? Lift your hand.

In family sometimes you have arguments or disagreements, but we don’t walk off and leave one another, because we are family!

In the church we are going to disappoint one another, let one another down, hurt each other’s feelings, because we are family!  But don’t focus on that, set your eyes on Jesus and focus on him and love each other the same way Jesus loves us!  Take the high road, be forgiving, and let it go!  The time is too short not to live forgiven and forgive others.

  1. Keep your Joy

1Thes 5:16 Be joyful always; (NIV)

Always!  It’s hard to do that isn’t it?  Remember Paul wrote these words from a prison cell and many people had been trying to take his life!

Now one of the great things about the book of Revelation and studying these end time events, no matter what comes our way, we see the end and we know that ultimately Jesus and we win!  Therefore we should be joyful!

One of the problems is Christians go around looking like they have been eating lemons and no one wants to be like us!  People want something that brings joy to their lives.  Let’s be joyful.

  1. Keep Praying

1Thes 5:17 pray continually; (NIV)

Never stop praying, in good times and in bad times.  Praying that God will keep strong especially as we see the early signs of these end time events beginning to come about.  We need to be a people of prayer.

  1. Always be Thankful

1Thes 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Always be thankful.  Let’s admit it, this is tough isn’t it. You’re going through life and you’re trying to be faithful and things happen, you lose your job, you get a bad diagnoses, your kids get into trouble, your business fails, and you were trying to do everything right! Well Paul said always be thankful, because what we can’t see at times is that God is writing a bigger story on our behalf.  We see the nasty now, but God see’s the better days to come.

Don’t fall into the trap of fusing and gripping, know that God is for you and be thankful in all things.

  1. Feed the Fire

1Thes 5:19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; (NIV)

End times or not, the last thing I want to do is quench or put out the fire of the Holy Spirit in my life!  On the contrary, I want to feed the fire of the Holy Spirit in my life! I need the power of the Holy Spirit!  I need the enabling power in my life! Press into Jesus, surrender your whole life to the Lordship and Jesus and let the fire of God burn brightly inside of you.

Salvation Call

Here is the question today?  Are you ready?

Next Step: Today I will make sure that I am ready to be with Jesus in Heaven.

Jesus could return at any moment?  Are you ready to go and be with Him in heaven?

Next week we are talking about Heaven and it is going to be an awesome place!  I want you there!

I don’t want you to miss heaven. So let’s say a prayer together today and get things right with God,

so that we will be ready!

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. How high on the scale is your passion for lost people? Does knowledge of End Times increase that number?
  1. If Jesus was going to return tomorrow, is there anyone you would need to forgive or make things right with?
  1. In your own words explain how it is possible to “be joyful always”. Does the world see JOY in you?
  1. What does it mean to “pray continually” and how do you do that? If you knew Jesus was coming back sometime today, but you just didn’t know at what time, would you be praying continually?  Saying what?
  1. Why is a heart of gratitude and a spirit of thanksgiving so important in a believer’s life?
  1. How do you feed the fire of the Holy Spirit inside of you? Give me some practical examples.

 

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The End Pic for NLCollege and Career

The Walking Dead  “Is This The End? Sunday Sermon Notes  10-11-15                   

Watch or listen online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/

10-11-15 WD Is This The EndLast week we talked about the pressing questions that are wrested with in the “Walking Dead Series”, and saw that even Jesus was asked, “Are We Living in the Last Days?”  The question that many continue to ask today.

And it has an equal amount of people asking, “Is This The End?”

As we teach on this most of you will fall into one of two camps.

  • How long are we going to talk about this, it scares me? (The next series is The Blessing!)
  • Wow, this is so exciting and I love it! Can we go longer?

 

1Thes 4:16-18 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17        After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever. This is where we get the word “RAPTURE”.  We will be “Caught Up” to meet Jesus in the air.  We will be raptured up and we will live with Jesus forever! 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words. (NIV)

This is good news, this is encouraging.  And in this “Walking Dead” Series and on One Hour on Wednesday “The End According to the Experts” I want to teach you about the end time events, but I want to do it in such a way, not to scare you, but to encourage you!

I want you know what is going to happen in the future.  You will know how it’s all going to end.  So if you suddenly found yourself in a “Walking Dead” situation, you would know that’s not how the world is going to end!

END TIME EVENTS:

The Church Age. (Now thru Revelation 1-3)

John is not martyred, but exiled to that Island of Patmos and had a divine revelation from God and John is told to write the vision down.  John is given information about things in the past, a revelation of where we are today in the church age and then God shows John what is going to happen in the future.  End Time Events.  The next event in the end will be the rapture of the church.

The Rapture of the Church.  (Revelation 4:1)

Now these events that I am sharing with you are pretty much the same across the board in all denominations, but there are some different views of when the rapture will occur.

I am what you would call a “Pre-Tribulation guy, because in the church age Revelation 1-3 the church is mentioned 18 times, and after Revelation 4:1 we don’t see the word church mentioned again.

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven.  And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” (NIV)

Now you don’t have to agree with me on this.  Some believe that we will be raptured out in the middle of Tribulation and some believe it will be at the end.

Pre-Tribulation Rapture is not in our Tenets of faith and you don’t have to believe that to be apart or a member of Believers Church, but it is what I believe.

After the rapture of the church the next event moving toward the end will be the tribulation.

The Tribulation.

The Tribulation is a 7 year event.  In the first 3 ½ years the Bible teaches that the Antichrist is going to rise to a place of prominence.  He will bring peace in the Middle East and make everyone happy.

He will somehow be able to explain away the rapture and those that remain will revere and almost worship him.

After the first 3 ½ years, in Revelation 11 we see the two witnesses or the two Prophets that expose the anti-Christ for whom he really is.

Revelation 11:7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. (NIV)

Their bodies will lay in the streets for 3 ½ days and the world will gloat over them and then God will raise them from the dead.  As we said last week this is one of the reasons that we know we are living in the last days, because never before have we had the technology possible to witness this event live and worldwide.  The whole world will see it.

The last 3 ½ years will be a horrible time on the earth and trust me you don’t want to be there.

The tribulation will end with…

The Second Coming of Christ.

This is where Jesus not only comes down half way like in the rapture, but Jesus comes to the Planet Earth!  Jesus comes on a White Horse with an army from heaven and all of us who are already in heaven at this time will come with Him.  So work on your horseman skills.  Jesus comes to defeat His enemies and to reclaim the earth and give it to the rightful owners.  Jesus comes like a kinsman redeemer for you and me!

The final war will take place in a valley called Armageddon and with one swipe of the sword Jesus will annihilate that army and He will win!

Rev 19:11-16 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.15   Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (NIV)

After the enemy if defeated we will be once and for all wed with Jesus as the Bride of Christ and we will all celebrate at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  Can you imagine what a celebration this will be and what Jesus will serve at the supper when the church is reunited as the Bride!

After the Marriage Supper we will come back to the earth and we will reign with Jesus for 1000 years in what we call the Millennial Reign.  The earth will be free of sin and beautiful as it was in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world!

No sin, no pollution, no taxes, no political debates, no need for insurance, no suffering and no pain!  We will rule with Him for a thousand years!  Awesome!

Now toward the end of the 1000 year reign Satan (the Dragon) will be released and deceive the nations of the earth and then there will be the final defeat of the enemy and he will finally be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

The Great White Throne Judgment.

This is a Heaven or Hell issue.  Who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell?  One question, a relationship question.  “What did you do with my son Jesus?”

I want to help you with the answer; this is what God wants to hear…

“I was going my own way in sin, and then I invited Jesus into my life to be my Lord and Savior and He paid the price for my sins.  He saved me by his blood shed on the cross.  I stand before you God saying I love your son, I accepted your son and he is my Lord!”

We want to hear Jesus say, “Well done, enter into heaven.  Your name is written in the Lambs book of life!

Do you trust Him today, if not at the great white throne judgement you will be cast into a lake of fire! Later Christians will go thought judgements of and receive the rewards for their labors.

The last event…

The New Heaven and New Earth. (Revelation 20)

Next week I’m going to talk to you about the tribulation Revelation 6-19 and then on our last week October 25, just to make the enemy mad, because Halloween is his holiday, we are going to talk about heaven and how glorious it will be.

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return?

Rev 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (NIV)

You will have to come to your own conclusion, but most theologians believe that we are living the “last days” of “the last days”.  And the end is near. The Rapture can occur at any time.  All the prophecies that needed to be fulfilled before the rapture have been fulfilled and we could go at any moment.

In order for us to prepare ourselves for The End, let’s look at the words of Jesus to Seven Churches of Asia Minor recorded in the book of Revelation Chapter 1-3.  (The Church Age)  We are living in the church age now; therefore these words can apply to us as well.  It’s within these words to the Seven Churches we learn How To Get Ready For Jesus’ Return.

 

  1. Ephesus – The Loveless Church

Jesus said I know your deeds, hard work, perseverance, and that you do not tolerate wicked men.

Rev 2:4-5 (NIV)Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Do you remember your first love?  Do you remember what it was like?  What about when you first fell in love with Jesus?  Do you remember what that was like?

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “When it comes to Jesus and His Church, people don’t have a commitment problem, they have a love problem.”

God’s on our list, but he is way down on our list!  Jesus was saying to the church of Ephesus and He is saying to you and me today, “I want you to love me!  I want to have a relationship with you!”

What do you do if this is you? (v. 5) Remember, Repent and do the things you did at first, when you first loved Me.

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return… Return to your first love.

  1. Smyrna – Persecuted Church

Jesus told them, “I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich!”

Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days.  Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (NIV)

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return… Remain faithful.

  1. Pergamum – Compromising Church

This church was living in what Jesus referred to as the city where Satan has his throne, yet they remained true to Jesus.  They were even faithful when Antipas was put to death.

Revelation 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. (NIV)

 

Much of the business life was connected to trade guilds or organizations which met for meals that were held in temple halls.  The meat sacrificed to these idols was served at their banquets.  Often sexual immorality was a part of these banquets.

We don’t need to be sinful sympathizers, we need to let people know that God loves them enough through their destructive behavior and point them in the right direction!

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return… Restore balance.

  1. Thyatira – The Corrupt Church

Jesus said I know your deeds, your love, your faith, your service and your perseverance and that these things were increasing!

Rev 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.  By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (NIV)

Her teachings allowed people to compromise the truths of God’s Word in order to be able to do business and join a guild.  This would lead to a corrupt church full of sin.

Treat sin like a virus.  Let sin be as bad as being bitten by a “Walker”, it will infect you and destroy you!

Sin will take you further than you want to go, cost you more than you want to pay, and keep you

longer than you want to stay!

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return… Remove impurity.

  1. Sardis – The Dead Church

Rev 3:1-3 “… I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up!  Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (NIV)

I like an exciting church!  I think we should be loud!  Loud praise, loud music!  A Funeral home is quiet, Football is loud!  God’s church is alive!

I’ve never heard of a GSU fan going to Willie Fitz and complaining about the stadium being too loud!  When his team is scoring a touchdown he says, “It’s too loud in here!”  I am a bigger fan of Jesus than anything else in my life!  Raise your hands! Dance!  You dance for the devil, dance for Jesus!

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return… Renew your zeal.

  1. Philadelphia – The Faithful Church

The only church He had nothing to say bad about was the church in Philadelphia.

Revelation 3:8 I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (NIV)

Spend more time in the word of God, it is life changing!  Don’t just be a hearer of the word only, but be a doer of the Word!  It’s the difference in Rock and Sand during the storm!

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return… Respect the Word.

  1. Laodicea – The Lukewarm Church

Jesus had nothing good to say about them!

Rev 3:15-17 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm– neither hot nor cold– I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (NIV)

The Church of Laodicea is the closes thing to the American Church!  We think we don’t need anything, but we are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked!

Rev 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent. (NIV)

You say, “Hey what’s the big deal about being lukewarm?

Jesus is ALL IN and Jesus wants us to be all in.

Jesus wants us serving, making an impact for His kingdom because He is coming soon!

We have to change the world!  Be that Change Maker that we talked about last series.

How Do We Get Ready For Jesus’ Return… Repent of lukewarmness.

Salvation / Altar Call

Revelation 3:20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (NIV)

Next Step: I will honestly deal with these questions this week. 1) Am I awake and ready for The End? 

2) Am I “hot”, “cold”, or ‘lukewarm”?  3) Am I opening my door to fellowship with Jesus?

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. In your opinion, which of the Seven Church’s best reflect the 21st Century Church?

 

  1. What three things did Jesus tell the Ephesus to do in order to return to their first love? Explain why.

 

  1. Smyrna was to remain faithful. In general how faithful are people in our society today?

 

  1. Pergamum was a compromising church. What are the dangers and end results of compromising the truth?

 

  1. If you or your church is dead, like Sardis, how would you suggest restoring your zeal? Steps or actions.