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Most of us likely remember those times growing up when our parent's announced that company was coming.  Be it grandma and grandpa, or friends of the family or coworkers, this announcement was soon followed by several days to prepare the home for the anticipated visitors.  Floors would be swept and mopped, furniture was dusted and we even had to make sure our rooms were cleaned. In Exodus 19, the children of Israel find themselves in a similar position.  They are only a few days removed from their exodus from Egypt.  They have witness the wonders of the Lord as He judged Egypt and their gods, now bringing them to the foot of Mount Sinai.  And the command is clear, "consecrate yourselves."  For they also anticipated the arrival of the God of the Universe.  This very same God whom they witnessed in the plagues poured out upon Egypt.  This very same God who parted the Red Sea and provided water from the rock.  And this divine appointment with the creator of the universe bears infinitely more consequences than the arrival of family or friends. We learn two key principles from Israel's encounter with the Lord at Mount Sinai.  First, we must be ready to meet the Lord.  Second, we learn that no one can come into the presence of Yahweh uninvited.  To do so brings judgment from the Lord.  This is why, when the Lord spoke from the mountain, their response was, "Moses, you talk to us.  But don't let the Lord speak to us any more or we will perish." And just like the children of Israel, we find ourselves in similar straits.  To approach God on our own merit brings judgment and wrath.  So how can we approach such a holy God?  How do we apply today's reading and lesson to our lives today? Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  We pray you will be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
The recent decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court striking down Roe versus Wade has resulted in much discussion and controversy within our nation.  As Christians we are bound by the Word of God.  As we consider the topic of abortion, as Christians we must begin by asking, what does God have to say about this subject?  Our understanding of this cannot come from our preferred political party; from either side.  Rather we must think about this a people who are bound to the word of God. But isn't this topic a political discussion?  On the one hand, this is a political discussion, but the political discussion is down stream from the religious discussion.  The problem is that the political discussion is trying to answer religious questions by contemplating whether or not to follow what the Word of God says on this topic. This is a difficult discussion; but it is a discussion from which we as Christians cannot and must not avoid. Thank you for listening to today's message on this very timely topic.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
"It's a free country!" is a refrain many of us has heard here in the United States of America.  This response often comes when someone's speech or actions are challenged.  The implication, of course, being that as a free country, we are free to say and do whatever we please.  The problem, however, comes in the fact that independence cannot really be freedom from all law or my freedom will endanger the freedom of others within the community. As the nation prepares to celebrate its independence, how do we as Christians view our freedom and independence.  From what and to what have we been freed?  And how can we claim independence when Paul, and other writers of scripture, assert that we are now slaves to righteousness? Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word as we consider the freedom we have in Christ.
Peter spent roughly three years with Jesus, during the Lord's earthly ministry.  He witnessed unimaginable signs and wonders.  He witnessed the Lord walking on water.  He was there when the Lord raised the dead and when He healed the blind and lame.  But as the Lord reached His darkest hour, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter couldn't keep his eyes open for even an hour.  And as the Lord was arrested, Peter fled; even denying to have known Jesus at all, despite his boasts, "even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be;" (Mark 14:29 KJV), and again, "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" (Mark 14:31 KJV).  These were his confident assertions when the Lord warned all the disciples that they would desert Him, and Peter would deny Him. One question that comes to mind is, how can someone who spent so much time with the Lord Jesus find themselves in a place so far from Him?  In today's lesson, we consider five steps which resulted in Peter calling down curses upon himself and swearing he never knew the Lord.  And as we consider these steps we are reminded that we are also prone to follow the same path as Peter. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Following Paul's preaching in Pisidian Antioch, the Jews plotted to stone Paul and Barnabas.  Learning of this plot, they fled for the cities of Lycaonia; Lystra and Derbe, where they continued to preach the Gospel. In Lystra, they encountered a man lame from birth.  Through faith in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul was enabled to heal this man.  The response was misplaced credit for this miracle; attributing this healing to the work of their gods and assuming Paul and Barnabas to be Hermes and Zeus visiting their city, even going so far as to prepare sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas. Aghast, Paul and Barnabas rush to stop this idolatry.  Beginning with the fact that they are just men, Paul makes great effort to preach the Gospel, beginning with the foundation of general revelation which points to the One True God, who is the creator and Lord of All. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Wherever the Gospel is preached there is a response to it.  In some cases, the response is overwhelmingly positive.  Sometimes, the response is violent opposition.  And other times, the response is indifference.  But in each of these cases, God is still accomplishing His purposes through His Word; as we are reminded in Isaiah 55:10-11, "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." As we continue our study of the book of Acts, we pick up with Paul and Barnabas in Pisidian Antioch, where Paul has preached the Gospel.  The response is what we would expect; some overwhelmingly accept the good news, others are violently opposed to the message of the Gospel, and still others are indifferent.  But regardless of the response, we are called to preach the Word. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be richly blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
As Jesus approached the time of His crucifixion, He spent time to prepare His disciples for what was to come.  In John 15, He introduces His disciples to a level of relational intimacy with God through Jesus Christ.  Using imagery with which they were likely familiar, Jesus relates the Christian life to the vine and the vine dresser. In today's lesson, we get a glimpse at the True Vine and see how the vine dresser cares for us in order to bring about increased fruit in the life of the believer. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Picking up in Acts 13:16, Paul gets into the meat of the Gospel.  As we saw last time, Paul preaches nothing new, but the same Gospel which the other apostles have preached all along.  And this Gospel is not rooted in any new information or in human invention; rather it is rooted in the Scriptures.  So as Paul preaches to the Jews and the God fearing Gentiles in the synagogue, he brings them to the Scriptures.  Rehearsing their own history, Paul recalls that Jesus is the fulfillment of the magnificent promises made to their forefathers centuries prior; the fulfillment of the promises made to David. He reminds them of John the Baptist, of whom this group must have heard the stories coming out of Israel.  John, the prophet who came after 400 years of silence, pointed to the one who would come, "the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie."  John pointed to Jesus, but when Jesus did come, the rulers recognized "neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him" without cause.  But God raised Him from the dead, after which He appeared to many. This is the Gospel Paul preached.  It is the Gospel to which the prophets pointed centuries before.  And it is the same Gospel which has been preached for nearly two millennia.  And so as we consider this same Gospel, may we be emboldened to preach the Gospel, turning to Scripture as the basis and foundation for our teaching. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.  
As we pick up with Paul in Pisidian Antioch during his first missionary journey, we find Paul doing exactly what he has been doing since the time of his conversion; he is preaching the gospel.  As became his practice, in each city he visited, he went to the Jews first in the synagogue.  In fact, it was the fact that he was already doing the work of an evangelist and missionary which allowed him to be set apart by the Holy Spirit for this journey to take the Gospel to the Gentiles in Asia. Now in Pisidian Antioch, he again preaches the Gospel.  And as he does so, his method becomes a model for us to follow, for we see that in his preaching, Paul: Preaches nothing new; his message is the same message he, and the other apostles have preached. Paul appeals to Scripture, the Old Testament, throughout his sermon, and not to human opinion or philosophies He ends his message with a call to faith, as well as a warning for those who will not believe. We also see, that just as Paul was called to preach the Gospel, we are called to the same mission.  Therefore, let us preach the Gospel. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May the Lord bless you through the teaching of His Holy Word.
The book of Acts follows God's set plan for His church.  As the Lord commissioned the Apostles, they were to take the Gospel from Jerusalem into Judea, Samaria, and finally to the remotest parts of the earth.  In other word's, God's plan was that the church would be a global religion; not just the religion of Israel. Acts records how, at the Holy Spirit's leading, the church expanded from Jerusalem into the countryside of Judea, eventually reaching into Samaria.  And now the focus of Acts changes from Jerusalem as the center of the the church to Antioch as the base camp for the expansion of the Gospel into Asia Minor.  The Gospel had reached the continental divide as it prepares to leave the region of Palestine and reach into the remotest parts of the earth. In today's lesson, we see how the Holy Spirit set aside Saul, now referred to as Paul, along with Barnabas for the work of bringing the Gospel to the gentiles.  We learn principles associated with God calling workers for ministry.  We see how the enemy seeks to resist the work of the Gospel.  But we also see how God works in wonderful ways, greater than we can imagine, to bring people to salvation. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.
Today's culture has reduced motherhood to one who is a "birthing person."  In other words, the role of the mother is a purely physical one.  But this view of motherhood diminishes the Biblical view of motherhood, which endows the mother with both value and importance in the work of the Gospel. In today's lesson, we survey the many roles a mother plays and discover a mother is so much more than the modern view of motherhood.  From comforter and protector, to planner and referee, mothers work in ways which shape the family and therefore have tremendous opportunity to impact the world for the Gospel. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.
Throughout Paul's letter, he has overflowed with praise for this young church.  He has been impressed by their faith in the face of persecution.  Despite their young status, this church already distinguished itself as an example of faith and love to the churches in Macedonia and Achaia, that is, Greece. But now Paul moves on to so-called practical matters.  Answering questions as well as addressing issues within the church, Paul starts by noting their faithful walk with God, encouraging them to excel still more.  And Paul starts in an area which has the potential to deeply influence the church, both then and today; the area of sexual immorality.  This is a topic which affects us today, drawing away both young and old from a faithful walk with the Lord. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May the Lord bless you through the teaching His Holy Word.
For those with children, especially thinking of fathers, there is nothing sweeter to the ear than to hear your young child call to you, "Daddy!"  We remember the days when, after a long day of work, we walk into the door to excited exclamations, "Daddy's home!!" and often to the relief of a weary mother.  An ideal picture for us might be sitting at the breakfast table, coffee in hand, and have your child come in and say, "Good morning, Daddy!" But as we get older, most of us stop calling our father, daddy; opting instead for the simple Dad, or Father.  Why is that?  And why do we not approach our heavenly Father in the same way, opening our prayers with, "Good morning, Daddy."  Many of us cannot imagine this, as it sounds too irreverent.  And certainly, we must approach the Lord with awe and reverence, recognizing His holiness and power.  But is there a place for this kind of intimate language, approaching our Heavenly Father as Daddy. In the New Testament, various passages, for example, Romans 8:15, point to the fact that we have "received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father'".  Most of us recognize, "Abba" as being the Aramaic equivalent of "Daddy".  And what we find, in a survey of just a few New Testament passages, is that approaching God as Daddy: Reminds us of how we can relate to God the Father How God the Father relates to His Children The position we have as His Children through Christ Jesus' own position before His Father Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Happy Easter and thank you for listening to today's lesson. In today's lesson, the leadership of Atlantic Gospel Chapel share the pulpit to consider Easter considering four factors: Who is Jesus? Why does the life of Jesus matter? Why did Jesus have to die? What does the resurrection accomplish? We pray you will be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Most of us have experienced loss of one sort or another.  This includes the loss of money and possessions, the loss of position or job, or even the loss of friendships and the loss of loved ones.  For many, these times of loss, times of suffering, become a true struggle as we try to reconcile the concept of a loving God with the reality of suffering. During these times, many questions arise.  If God is all powerful, all knowing and all loving, why does he not intervene to prevent suffering?  How can a loving God allow suffering to exist in the world?  Does God even care? These are real questions which which we must wrestle.  Fortunately, Scripture has much to say regarding suffering.  As we consider the themes around the central verse of today's lesson, Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (NASB), we find that God is indeed working through suffering to accomplish His purposes.  We find there is comfort in a sovereign God.  Further, there is great comfort in Jesus' promise to His disciples in Matthew 28:16-20, that all authority is given to Him and that He is present with us always, even to the end of the age. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Many of us grew up on stories told in books and movies in which we imagined what it might be like to live in that world.  The world of George Lucas in a galaxy far, far away, where we imagine what it might be like to be a Jedi knight, or perhaps a smuggler.  Or perhaps it was the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, where we imagine ourselves in Middle Earth, joining the fellowship to destroy the one ring of power in the fires of Mount Doom.  Who would we be in these stories?  What would be our purpose? While these are the things of fanciful imaginations, there is a story in which we have a part and a purpose.  This is God's story, set in the world He created, and we are its characters.  Today's lesson is the second part in our look at "Living in Light of the Risen Lord," in which we discover we are part of God's continuing story of the Gospel.  And we not only have a part to play, but also a purpose. What is our purpose?  As the Lord met with His eleven remaining disciples in Galilee, He instructed them to go.  Go and make disciples of all nations.  But what does it mean to be a disciple?  And does this apply to us today? Thank you for listening to today's message.  May you be blessed and encouraged through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Most of us have lost loved ones.  These losses often have a lasting impact upon our own lives.  But suppose, for a moment, that one of those lost loved ones returned from the dead; what impact would that have on our lives. The truth is, there is One who has died and rose again.  Jesus suffered the death of the cross, but rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.  So the question really is, what impact does that have on our lives.  How do we live knowing that Jesus has risen from the dead.  Fortunately, God has given us the answer. Sometime in the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension into heaven, Jesus called His disciples together in Galilee, where, as our passage notes, His disciples worshiped Him.  But it also notes that many had doubts; doubt in the midst of faith.  But again, the Lord provides the comfort. In what is often referred to as, "The Great Commission," Jesus comforts his disciples, and us, through four "All" Statements: All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you And lo, I am with you always (literally, all the days), even to the end of the age. Today's lesson looks at this first statement.  Jesus is the authority in all areas of life.  How does this truth comfort us, and how doe it impact how we live in light of the risen Lord? Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word.
The old Sunday School song reminded us as children, "O be careful, little eyes what you see," and "O be careful, little ears what you hear," and again, "O be careful, little feet where you go."  The exhortation and implied question is, do the things to which we expose ourselves, together with our walk, align with what we claim is in our hearts?  Or has been said, do you walk the talk? But the song also urges, "O be careful, little tongues what you say."  Scripture has much to say about our language.  And just like our walk, the question for the believer is, do you talk the talk?  This is not about speaking in a Christian lingo.  Rather, it is understanding, as Jesus instructed His disciples, "You are the salt of the earth."  Does our walk reflect our faith?  Does our talk reflect our faith?  These are important questions for the Christian. In today's lesson, we look at several passages that speak to the importance of our language, as we live out our lives not only before men, but before a Holy and righteous God. Thank you for listening to today's message.  May the Lord bless you through the teaching of His Holy Word.
Mankind shares a single destiny.  At some point, unless the Lord returns, every one of us will die.  Death is the just penalty of a Holy God for our sin (Genesis 2:61-17; Romans 6:23).  But while we all share a common destiny, we do not all share the same destination.  The truth of Scripture is that our existence does not end at death.  Rather, we will continue to exist in the presence of God in His glory, or we will exist separated from Him in Hell. In today's lesson, we are introduced to two characters.  One simply known as "Rich man," the other is given a name, "Lazarus."  Both die, joined together in that single destiny.  But while the poor man is found after his death in the bosom of Abraham, that is heaven, the rich man finds himself in the agony of Hades; that is, Hell. From our passage, we will draw five lessons: All die and share the same destiny, but there are different destinations The nature of Hell The eternity of Hell God's Word provides the means of escape from Hell If we don't accept what God says in the Scriptures, we won't listen to anything else. Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed and encouraged through the teaching of God's Word.
False religions tend to have one thing in common, they will elevate the teaching and traditions of men to the same level of Scripture.  In today's lesson, the Pharisees take on Jesus for the fact that His disciples eat without washing their hands. This is not an issue of cleanliness for the Pharisees; they are not concerned that they are eating with dirty hands.  Rather, the concern of the Pharisees is spiritual defilement, equating external cleansing with spiritual purity.  Taking the purity laws, the religious leaders expanded them with their traditions, treating them as if Moses himself had handed them down.  Promoting themselves as the protectors and teachers of God's Law, the Pharisees instead prohibit the people from following the true Law of God. Following a scathing rebuke which drew upon Isaiah, Jesus condemns the practices of the Pharisees, reminding them, along with His disciples, that defilement does not come from the outside in.  Nothing we take in can defile us.  Rather, defilement is a matter of the heart; coming from within.  The heart of the matter, then, is the human heart, which is filled with evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murder, adulteries, etc. If the problem is our heart, is there a solution?  Is there any hope for us? Thank you for listening to today's lesson.  May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word and learn the hope for the defiled heart.
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