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  • May 13 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Persecution and Consequences (Acts 12)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Persecution and Consequences (Acts 12)

5.13

Bulletin_05.13.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Persecution, Prevailing Prayer, Power of God in the Church

King Herod (3) in NT.
1. Herod the Great = Wisemen came during baby Jesus’ time. Built beautiful buildings, refurbished the temple. He was cruel.
2. Herod – killed John the Baptist, Jesus appeared to him before his death.
3. Herod Agrippa – grandson of Herod the Great. All were descendants of Esau – not loved by the Jews.

They acted like Jews, tried to get Jews to like them.

Acts 3, Peter and John went to the temple for prayer, so new Christians were still being good Jews.
They found the beggar, healed him. All the people witnessed it, they were in awe of the Jews who believed in Jesus as the Messiah.

Many signs, miracles, wonders were done by the apostles. So, the people loved them, really respected them.

Sadducees didn’t like the Jewish Christians. Some Pharisees were not SO opposed to them.

Acts 5, apostles arrested, put in prison, angel rescued them. Told to go back to the temple to preach.

They were brought before the council, “why are you preaching in this name? You were told not to.” Peter: “Should we obey

God or man? We cannot help but to preach.”

Controversy, but a wise Pharisee counciled the others, “Other cults and religions have risen often and come to nothing. If this is of man, it will come to nothing. If it is of God, we would be opposing God if we went against it. Let it be for now.”

Generally, acceptance of converted Jews because they didn’t seem to affect Judaism in a HUGE way. True, they preached Jesus as Messiah, but they kept most of the Jewish customs.

Why the change in attitude now? Why does Herod set out to persecute the leaders now?

Earlier, Peter went to Cornelius’ house.
Before that, he’d taught in Samaria (among the non-pure-bloods – muggles).

John 4, Samartian woman was healed and changed and forgiven by Jesus. Gospel had already started spreading with her. After the Holy Spirit came, more Samaritans came to believe. Peter and John went down to teach among them.

But, this might have upset some in leadership. Esp. after the conversion of Cornelius (an unclean dog of a man – racism at its best).

Even the converted Jews were shocked by what Peter had done. Imagine the non-converted Jews. So, the attitude – overall – shifted greatly.

Herod knew it, so he wanted to appease the Jews – the majority. So, he decided to persecute the apostles and Christians. James, brother of John was beheaded – Jews loved it. So, he grabbed Peter next.

However, during the Feast, he couldn’t do anything. He was waiting for the end of Passover to try and execute him and get more love from the Jews.

There was a hesitation to do anything DURING the Passover because otherwise the people would riot. Scandal.

What was the church doing?
Praying.

James and John “Sons of Thunder” they were called. They were very zealous, which became more tempered by love as they grew in the faith.

James was the first apostle to die.

Looks like Peter will be the second.

Church is praying, Herod means business, so their prayer becomes very focused.

An angel is sent.

Herod had no doubt heard of Acts 5 escape, so he had 16 total soldiers in rotation looking after Peter, with 2 of them chained to him. This is the last night on earth – potentially, but he is at peace.

But, perhaps he remembered Jesus’ promise that he’d live to old age, on the Island of Tiberius?

He was martyred eventually, but not now. He was at peace – he trusted Jesus fully.

The angel came, woke him, removed the chains, said, “Follow me.”

He went through the 4 groups of guards and gates, thought he was sleeping, once he got outside, cold air probably woke him up and he realized the angel had rescued him.

Peter thought, “what should I do now? Ahh! There’s a house meeting in Mary’s house! I’ll go there.”

Knock, knock.

Maid, “*Gasp*! Peter?!” Runs inside, “Peter! Peter!” People inside, “Crazy girl!” Girl, “Really!”

Finally, they opened the door on him and found him. Comical (3 stooges?)

Peter explains how he was released. Another James, the half-brother of Jesus heard – Peter sent someone to tell him and other apostles. Then Peter left.

1. Persecution
2. Prevailing Prayer

Next, Herod’s consequences.

The next day, Herod’s soldiers woke up “*Gasp!* He’s gone? We’re going to die…”

If soldiers lost the prisoners, the guards take the prisoner’s penalty. Herod tortured them, no answers, executed them.

Then Herod went to the capital city.
Tyre and Sidon (coastal cities) wanted to make peace with Herod for food (FTA).

They made friends with a member of Herod’s court.

Herod is appeased, reconciled with these cities. He arrived early, appeared in a silver, shimmering gown, and begins to speak. “My voice is god’s voice!” An angel killed him.

Josephus says, he was languishing with a terrible disease, parasites that ate his insides, for 5 days, then he died. (v.23)

The word of God increased, multiplied.

What’s the relevance today?

Does God still send angels?
The word in Greek actually means “messenger.”

Russian writer tells a brave story not to give up. In the prison he was in, nothing to read, no one could speak, nothing encouraging for life. The stress was so much, he thought about taking his own life. If he tried to escape, he’d be shot “but at least the suffering would end” He was a Christian, and couldn’t. Morning, taken out to work, during the break, tempted to commit suicide, almost about to run so guards would shoot him. A shadow fell across his path. A fellow prisoner came, couldn’t speak words, but saw in his face love and concern. They communicated in their souls. The new one drew a cross in the dirt. New hope abounded! It’s not hopeless! 3 days later he was released. Learned that many had been praying for him.

God is sovereign.
We must not give up.
We can communicate hope to others.
We must love and pray for each others.

Herod is a representation of the rulers of this world. So, put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6).

Jesus is concerned about each of us personally.
He is concerned with your every day struggles and needs.

So pray!

Prayer prevails!

Let’s pray one for another, in and through each other.

  • May 06 / 2012
  • Comments Off on If You Are Saved, Yours is Lazarus’ Story! (John 12:1-11)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

If You Are Saved, Yours is Lazarus’ Story! (John 12:1-11)

5.6

Bulletin_05.06.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Bless us with Jesus’ living voice.

John 11:25-26 – Memory Verse on the bulletin cover.

Previously, Jesus raised Lazarus after 4 days and smelling badly. Jesus called to him in a loud voice “COME OUT!” And he came out still bound by his grave clothes. “Take off those dead clothes, let him go – I give him new life, new chance, new opportunity.”

Today is the continuation.

What a BIG difference!

Chp 11 – Death, bad smell, funeral.
Chp 12 – Life, table, fellowship, reclining, excellent smell.

We have something to learn from every person. Mary, Martha, Judas. But, let us focus on the story of Lazarus. He is one of the key people in the book of John.

Raising Lazarus from death to life is the GREATEST of all of Jesus’ miracles on earth. Why is it so important? Today, Lazarus is not here, but with God in heaven.

At that time, Jesus raised Lazarus to proclaim a timeless truth for them and for coming generations. John 11:25-26.

Lazarus’ Story is the visible picture of the invisible story of children of God today. If we are saved, yours is Lazarus’ Story.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Jesus is UNchanging in changing something bad in your life.

9 common themes between Lazarus and you (things Jesus does in your life).

#1 – Lazarus was DEAD when he was away from Jesus, with a bad smell, making others sad. Nobody ever lived in the absence of Jesus Christ. At the same time nobody ever died in the presence of Jesus Christ.

When we were far from Christ, we were completely dead. Even Christians say, “At that time, I almost died! I should have died! But because of Jesus, I do not need to die!” NO NO NO. We WERE completely DEAD at that time! Not ALMOST dead! (Ephesians 2:1)

No dead person died more than another dead person. No difference in death. But one dead person can smell worse than other dead people. We WERE ALL dead! We were all stinky! We were all shameful.

#2 – Even though Lazarus was dead, making a bad smell, Jesus loved him so much – personally, individually.

Like this, even when we were totally dead, smelling badly, harming others, God loved each of us individually, personally (John 3:16).

(Eph 3:18-19) How wide, how long, how deep is the love of Christ. The width, height, depth, length of his love is far beyond our understanding – even if we study our whole lives.

Jesus knew us each by name, before birth, before Creation.

#3 – Lazarus was raised from death. He did NOTHING to rise from death. Only, he smelled badly, made others sad. He was totally hopeless, helpless, useless. He did not/could not go to Jesus and ask him to save him. But Jesus CAME to Bethany to save him.

Likewise, Jesus CAME to Earth to save us.

Jesus approached the entrance of the tomb and called “Lazarus!”

Likewise, Jesus approached our hearts and calls “Aaron!” (Rev 3:23).

Romans? It is by grace you have been saved…
How long have you been Christian?

If you say, “Oh yeah! I did it!” to be saved, it SHOWS you are still NOT saved by his grace.

At that time, we were totally, totally powerless, and helpless. We are saved by Jesus power ALONE! All things necessary to raise Lazarus, Jesus did.

#4 – After being raised, Lazarus had immediate, intimate fellowship with Jesus. (v. 2) even reclining with Jesus, fellowshipping at the table.

Likewise, we have immediate, intimate, personal fellowship with Jesus after he saves us.
Jesus does not say, “Oh, no problem, it’s my job” and walks away. No, they became more intimate, more close. We have an unbreakable spiritual union for eternity with Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)

If you are saved, do you know where you are NOW? You are IN heaven NOW, with Jesus! Our real identity is in heaven with Jesus NOW! Even if you don’t understand, believe!

Romans 8:29
Predestined – called – justified – glorified!
We can therefore believe that God is always working for the good of those that love him! (Romans 8:28).

When did God love you? Predestine you? Call you? Foreknew you? Justified you? Glorified you? Sometime before Creation, he predestined us. In our lifetimes, he has called us. In the future, he HAS glorified us. This is human understanding of the sequence of events.

But, in God’s time, ALL happened in the same time.

In our understanding, we WILL be glorified in the future with Christ. In God’s time, we already ARE.

#5 – After new life, it’s still life. It is impossible, unthinkable for Lazarus to return to the same tomb with the same bad smell. Totally impossible!

Our salvation does not guarantee always safe, easy ways, sinless ways. BUT, no matter what we face, narrow ways, difficulties, suffering, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be saved and then lost again and go back to being dead.

Jesus says, “I give you eternal life – you will NEVER perish – NEVER be condemned – you have already crossed over from death to life.” From this place, we can never again cross from eternal life back to death.

#6 – Among Jesus’ miracles, this miracle is the culmination of all miracles! To Lazarus personally, this experience was the greatest turning point in his whole life. This was the miracle of miracles to Lazarus. Before and after, Lazarus never experienced anything greater than this.

The world is divided – not by war, not religion, not politics, but by JESUS. (BC – AD).

The Bible is divided – not by Abram, not Moses, not David, but by JESUS. (OT – NT)

Our lives are divided – not by suffering, not by hardship, but by JESUS.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation! The old has gone, the new has come!”

If somebody never meets Jesus in his whole life, no matter how much he works, there is no life.

If somebody meets Jesus ONLY ONCE, no matter how short his life, there is life.

#7 – Lazarus got new life by changing nothing – no payment.

Lazarus had nothing to lose, nothing to complain about.

Likewise, if we are saved really, we have NOTHING to lose, nothing to complain about!

Why do people worry, fear, be troubled and dismayed?

We do it to NOT lose something. Bible COMMANDS us to not fear (Joshua 1) and not worry (Luke 6?)

We actually have NOTHING to lose on this earth! Even if we lose everything on this earth, it means we get the best thing~

#8 – Be blessed in this. There is yet persecution. (v. 10)
Chief priests decided to try to kill Lazarus, even before Jesus.

Killing the body is the highest persecution on earth – there is none greater.

When Lazarus was dead, nobody tried to kill him, nobody persecuted him. The fact that somebody tried to kill him means, he was alive.

If somebody hates you, persecutes you, makes you suffer, it means you are alive! Hallelujah~

If there is trouble from Satan, it means, you are alive! Spiritually alive!

2 Timothy 2:3 – In fact, everyone who wants to be like Jesus, will have trouble.

Matthew 23:16? – In this world, you will have troubles of many kinds, but take heart, I have overcome this world!

“If this world hates you, this world hated me first. You do not belong to this world because I have chosen you out of this world.”

Persecution because of Jesus Christ is a wonderful blessing! In heaven.

#9 – Lazarus became automatically, willingly, a living witness of Jesus’ life-giving power. (v.9,11).

Many people, everyone! Knew what had happened to Lazarus, so everyone came to see!

Challenge: If you are saved, from that time up to now, how many are saved because of your life? Because of your life change? How many came to church, came to God, came to heaven, because of you?

For Lazarus, it was IMPOSSIBLE to go on living without testifying, talking about it.

Imagine: In April, 100 years ago, if you were in the Titanic, on that terrible night. You ALMOST died, but were SO lucky to survive. Would it be possible to live afterward without witnessing about it? Testifying about it? No way!

But all those who came before, Titanic survivors, Lazarus, are gone now. Ours is much greater because it is NOW!

September 11, if you were sleeping on the 100th story of the World Trade Tower in New York. The whole tower collapsed! You were SO lucky, blessed, to be alive – completely uninjured. After that, would it be possible to live the next life without talking about it? NO WAY!

Our salvation experience is so much MORE powerful than these! It is the miracle of miracles we can experience in this life!

Acts 1? – When the Spirit comes on you, you will receive power. You will be witnesses.

  • Apr 29 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Gentiles Receive the Gospel (Acts 11)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Gentiles Receive the Gospel (Acts 11)

4.29

Bulletin_04.29.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch.

The disciples were first called “Christians” at Antioch.

Last time, Acts 10 – conversion of Cornelius, the Gentile = a milestone in the church’s history.
Cornelius was first fruit of Gentiles receiving Christ.

Peter, very Jewish, had to be convinced by a vision to receive Cornelius and go to his house.

In Acts 11, Peter recounts his vision and actions.

The angel said, Peter will give them a message by which their whole household will be saved.

The Holy Spirit fell on them, and the same manifestations of the Spirit appeared on them as had appeared at Pentecost on the Jews.

How does Cornelius conversion affect Gentile standing with Jews?
It doesn’t fix or set the proper relationship, Jews and Gentiles.

v.2-3
The circumcised believers (Jews) criticized Peter “You ate with uncircumcised! (Gentiles)”

The emphasis of circumcised believers shows that some in the church insisted that ALL people should be circumcised in order to REALLY be saved (fundamentalist?)

They didn’t really care that Peter had baptized a Gentile. They only cared that Peter went into their home, fellowshipped with them and ate food together.

Sharing food symbolizes sharing spiritual life.

Gentiles often offered their food to idols (problem in the early church – even Paul addresses it in Corinthians).

So, the circumcised Jews felt that Peter had “tainted” the fellowship by joining with the Gentiles in eating.

So, Peter had to explain himself “precisely.”

He describes Acts 10 with some new info. (v.14) “He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.”

Peter also talks about the 6 other believers who ALSO entered the house with him (v.12). This suggests that he expected to be challenged (these are witnesses, maybe bodyguards?). So these 6 also had been converted and their testimony would be important, and hold weight for the other Jews.

So, God has put his stamp of approval on this event – Peter PLUS 6 other religious Jews are all in this together.

Peter can point to God as the one who arranged the whole thing.
Cornelius prayed, the angel visited Peter, he saw a vision of animals in the sheet, he was reluctant, but the Spirit of God encouraged him to continue, to greet the “unclean” Gentiles, to share the good news.

It was all a God thing.

Peter figured, if God gave them the same gift, how could I oppose God?

This argument was so convincing that even the hard-core circumcised believers were OK with it (v.18). “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

Interesting: Peter spoke a message to save Cornelius and his family.
Cornelius was a leader, a good man, generous giver, religious, seeker of God, went to church, feared God, was respected by other church-goers.

And yet…
Something was lacking. The knowledge of salvation of Jesus Christ alone.

Going to church isn’t enough.
Being a good person isn’t enough.

But, these things drew Cornelius to God.

It is clear that Peter is sharing the good news with Cornelius. It was clear that Cornelius had heard of some of these things.

In Luke, the author mentions 5 centurions like Cornelius – and has good words for each in their dealings with Jesus. So, Cornelius had likely heard many stories of Jesus and other centurions (like himself).

Cornelius, good man, church-goer, still needed Jesus, needed to be born again, needed the Holy Spirit.

This story Peter told, appears to be the end of the controversy with the Gentiles, but it isn’t. This is a huge transition – a whole paradigm of a whole population of people that would need to change.

It would take much convincing that God wanted Gentiles just as much as Jews.

The believers in Jerusalem would be concerned with LOTS of Gentile believers. How would that affect the Jewish church in Jerusalem?
These problems will linger until Acts 15, where a council is formed to establish some rules.

Now, Luke is ready to write about the main theme of his book, the expansion of the church, the spread of Christianity to the Gentiles. The stage is set, so Luke will continue his book with Paul – the missionary to the Gentiles.

Antioch became the headquarters (2nd) for missions. Jerusalem was the headquarters of the church.

Antioch was large, but sinful.
Luke begins his story of Antioch with the story of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, killed for Jesus.
Saul (hardcore Jew) had witnessed this and saw Stephen as a threat to his own beliefs. He agreed and watched the killing.

The same day that Stephen was killed, a great persecution of Christians started, so they scattered – preached the gospel as they left, in Samaria, Ethiopia, Acts 10 (Roman centurion), Cyprus, Antioch, etc..

They had preached mostly only to Jews, but by Acts 11, 12, and on, they started preaching to the Gentiles, the Greeks in Antioch, etc.

The hand of the Lord was with them, and many turned to the Lord. The church in Jerusalem heard these things, so they sent a delegation down to Antioch to see what was happening (same as what happened with Samaria). So, they sent Barnabas.

Barnabas, from Cyprus, a good man, man of faith. He would be a good bridge between Jerusalem and Antioch (different peoples, different cultures).

He encouraged the believers in Antioch.

He was instrumental in introducing Saul (Paul) to the believers in Jerusalem. After Paul’s conversion, the Jews were hesitant to receive him. But Barnabas saw his true conversion and testified to it and introduced Paul to the Jews, who received him largely on Barnabas testimony.

Barnabas realizes that the ministry in Antioch is too much for him, so he goes to Paul (in Tarsus) and brings him. They preached and built up the Antioch church for a year.

Many of those who shared the gospel are nameless in the Bible. They simply received salvation, and wanted to spread the good news.

A great awakening, revival began with nameless people.

If you think, what can God do with insignificant me? Think about them. God did much!

  • Apr 22 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead! (John 11:1-44)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead! (John 11:1-44)

4.22

Bulletin_04.22.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Today’s story = Jesus raised a dead man after 4 days!

Lazarus, brother, Mary & Martha, sisters.
Lazarus = a KEY person in John’s book.

Key people
Lazarus, Jesus, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus.

His family stories are repeated many times (10-15?)

This was not the last miracle before Jesus’ cross, but it was the one that aroused the MOST anger from his enemies.
This is the MOST climactic miracle in his earthly ministry.
Lazarus has been in the tomb 4 days. This miracle could not be denied.

If Jesus cannot do anything about death, then whatever else (miracles) he can do, amount to nothing.
If we only have hope in Jesus in this life, we are to be pitied above all men (1 Cor. 15).

The story does not start with Lazarus’ death, but his sickness.

v.1 He was sick.

Sisters sent a short, urgent message to Jesus. This is enough for Jesus to understand fully.

They, the sisters, expected IMMEDIATE action to spare them grief. Jesus should have done something quickly, on their expectation because they loved each other so much. They were Jesus’ close friends. Plus, Lazarus was nearby.

Jesus did nothing, only said, “This sickness is for God’s glory.”

4 days, he was in the tomb.
Day 1 – Messenger arrived with message, same day, Lazarus died, lay dead in the tomb.
Day 2 – returned to Bethany, Jesus stayed.
Day 3 – Jesus stayed.
Day 4 – Jesus departed and arrived.

Martha saw him, “IF you had been here, he would not have died!” (v. 21)
Mary (v. 33) “IF you had been here, he would not have died!”

WHY?

Why did you come so late? Why not earlier?

Because you came late, my brother died. This is mixed and complicated feeling of two sisters. Complaining, despair, still trusting, hope, lots of emotion.

Sickness – even death – does not indicate that God has rejected you.

Remind ourselves that we are not exempt from the pain, sufferings, and difficulties in this world.
We do not have a different life in this world. But, we can experience life differently – through our hope in Jesus.

Our hope does not isolate us from this world’s difficulties.
But, our hope does provide us a way through these difficulties to make us more humble, compassionate, strong, for others.

First lesson – Wait.

Jesus’ delay had a specific purpose. This was God’s timing.

Sometimes we think, He is not listening, He is not answering, He is not doing what we want.

But, God meets all our needs according to HIS plan and purpose, for HIS glory.
Phil 4:19

Second lesson – Timing.

Sometimes, we offer passionate prayer of need and God answers quickly, and we are excited! Our faith is strengthened!

Other times, it seems God may never answer…Even in our whole lifetimes…

Sometimes we “waste” many, many years only to see God answer our prayers in a different way.

Sometimes, God’s answer is “no.”

In whatever case, God’s timing and answer is perfect and best!
Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…
Romans 8:28
In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Man plans his way in his heart, but God directs his paths.

Jesus, “IF you believe, you would see the glory of God.”

Key word – Faith
Key word – Glory

Worldly principle – “Seeing is believing.”
Spiritual principle – “Believing is seeing.”

How can we glorify God in our sufferings, trials?
Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God (Col?)

Sufferings, trials, give us patience, perseverance, develops our Christian character (hope).
Romans 5:2 – we rejoice in our sufferings…

James 1:2 – Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds…
Perseverance must finish its work so that we will be complete.

Suffering provides the encouragement of dependence on God to others. It helps us be free from worldly things when we focus our eyes on God for help. Sometimes it makes our desire for God, for eternity with him, stronger.

Lesson three – Jesus = person, God = person

A person’s treatment of another person is PERSONAL.

Jesus’ response to YOU is personal.

Matthew 8 – Centurion asked Jesus for help for his servant. Jesus said, “I will go.” Centurion said, “Not necessary, just say the word.” Jesus, “OK.”

John 4 – Royal official came to Jesus and said, “My son is sick.”
Jesus did not say, “I will go” but rather, “YOU may go, he is alive.”

John 11 – Lazarus died. Jesus waited.

Different way of handling each person, but it produced the BEST result for each person. Because Jesus’ response to YOU is personal.

“My testimony” will not be standard, the same, as other people’s.

v.35 – Jesus wept…(shortest verse in the Bible – possibly the most powerful, deepest…)

WHY weep? He KNEW He would raise Lazarus soon. He KNEW he would die on the cross as well as shed his tears.

Jesus wept – shows the humanity of our Savior. He entered ALL of human experience. He knew, He knows exactly how we feel. He has experienced ALL things we do, in a deeper way.

Jesus
Isaiah 53:3? Jesus is a man of sorrow.
Hebrews 5:7 – summary of Jesus earthly life.

During his life, he offered up loud prayers and tears to God. He was heard because of reverent submission.

Nowhere, “Jesus laughed.”
Many times, “Jesus wept.” Luke – “Jesus wept” over Jerusalem

“Blessed are you who weep now, you will laugh later. But cursed are you who laugh now, you will weep.”

Did Jesus weep to make us laugh?
So, we also must weep to make someone laugh. Also, to make Jesus laugh.

Are you ready to weep to make Jesus laugh?

Your family, husband, wife, children, parents, can you weep for them?

A good example of this = Paul.
Whenever he saw Christ, he was full of joy – NO MATTER the circumstances – even in prison – and death. “I will rejoice in the Lord.”

Rejoicing is not emotion – but a matter of will.
“Rejoice, rejoice, I saw again rejoice.”

Romans 9:2
Whenever he saw the lost, he wept. “I have unceasing anguish in my heart…”

If we have joy in our own salvation, we can weep for others’ salvation.

v. 41 – 44
Key verses, v. 25, 26

Lazarus is not on earth, but in heaven. So why raise Lazarus? To proclaim v. 25, 26 for us.

Key verses – memorize them – v. 25,26 All day today, meditate on these verses.

“I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…Do you believe this?”

Do you believe? Can you draw this picture in your mind?

Lazarus body was already smelly, decaying, but Jesus called in a LOUD voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

And the dead man came out in his grave clothes (mummy?)

New flesh, new body, new bone – all restored. Even the dead hears Jesus’ voice. IF Jesus said, “The dead! Come out!” Then ALL would be resurrected.

Jesus voice is living, powerful, absolute, even the dead hear it.

1 Thess 4:16-17 – Key verses
Very important connection to these verses.
“On that day, the Lord Jesus will come down with a loud trumpet, loud voice, and the dead in Christ will rise first, and those who are alive will be caught up in the clouds to meet them, and we will be with the Lord forever.”

v. 25 – “I am the resurrection and the life”
1 Thess “On that day…”
Jesus = resurrection for the dead
Jesus = life for the living

But, we need not only concern ourselves with THAT day, but also THIS day.

Natural death is sleeping before God – waiting for our bodies to be raised. Even, our natural sleeping is a kind of death – a death exercise before God. Nobody can get up unless God provides the power to get up.

Who got up this morning?

Every morning you get up. Even though we get up, it’s not by accident. We got up this morning by the grace of God, by the power of Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus says, “Apart from me, you can do NOTHING.”
Our hearts beat not by accident, because God makes them beat.

If God stops his working for making our hearts beating, our hearts will stop. Everyday is a new GIFT from God. Every morning we start with new mercies (Lamentations 3?)

If we start every morning with Jesus’ resurrection power and life joy, why not live the WHOLE day with this power and joy?

“I am the resurrection and the LIFE!”

  • Apr 15 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Holy Spirit and the Gentiles (Acts 10)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Holy Spirit and the Gentiles (Acts 10)

4.15

Bulletin_04.15.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Alpha Program – Nicki Gumbel “How to be filled with the Holy Spirit”

5 Categories of People who were/are present where the Scripture is spoken.

1. Thirsty (Acts 2) Disciples waited expectantly for the Holy Spirit
waiting, in prayer, didn’t know what to expect, just waiting for Jesus’ promise.

As they gathered, the HS came, like a mighty wind, filled the place, tongues of fire appeared on their heads. They praised God in other tongues (languages).

Many gathered in Jerusalem at that time for Pentecost. They heard these disciples speaking in their own languages, they were shocked.

“What does this mean?”

Peter preached. “They aren’t drunk. But this was spoken by the prophet Joel – there will be signs and wonders. This is a fulfillment of prophecy…”

Peter also said, “This is because Jesus, whom you crucified, has been raised from the dead, and is reigning in heaven.”

Many were cut to the heart, they realized Jesus was the Messiah.

Peter said, repent, and you will also receive the promises.

3000+ added to the church IN ONE DAY.
(Acts 2 – Longing – thirsty)

2. Receptive (Acts 8) Philip evangelist was preaching, signs, wonders, healing. Many turned to the Lord. Simon the sorcerer wanted to buy the power with money…

Demonstration of power in Philip’s word to the people of Samaria. Peter and John came down, prayed for them, they were filled with the HS.

3. Hostile (Acts 9) – the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, Jew, Pharisee, ardent worshiper, perfect in keeping every law…
Yet, something must have troubled him.

He saw the first martyr, Steven – it must have touched his heart.

Yet, he still took Christians to prison. He was hostile to the move of God – didn’t believe it was of God.

On his way to Damascus, he met Jesus. “Why do you persecute me?” said Jesus. “Who are you?” It was Jesus.

He was blinded, led into Damascus, humbled, prayed for by Ananias, healed, changed completely.

From the biggest enemy of Christianity, to the biggest (evangelist) apostle to the Gentiles of Christianity.

4. Uninformed (not taught about the HS)
Disciples encountered many who were baptized by John’s baptism (water), they informed them of the baptism of the HS.

5. Unlikely ones (Gentiles)
First followers of Jesus were Jews. After Pentecost, preached to Jews. Yet, some in Samaria also believed.
Samaritans were like half-Jews, but probably fellowshiped in their own communities.
An Ethiopian also believed.

The first Jews worshiped in the temple. They didn’t really know what to do with the Gentiles who were being converted to Christianity.

How could the mix with them?

This (Acts 10) is the first real “test case” where God led them to mix with the Gentiles. Without this, the barriers, prejudices, and so on would be much more difficult to break down.

Cornelius was a good man, noble. He was accepted by the Jews, recommended by them.

Caesarea.

He was not one who fully accepted the laws of the Jews (probably didn’t conform to all their laws) but he did go to their congregation, worship with them, was accepted by them. He had a vision.

He was afraid. The angel told him to go to Joppa to meet Peter and Simon the tanner – or send for him.

He sent for his devout servants. (God is orchestrating all of this).

Noon the following day, they were on their journey.
At the SAME TIME, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He was hungry, had a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven with ALL bunches of animals coming down from heaven.

“Rise Peter, kill, and eat.”
Is it kosher?…That’s a bit weird.
“Not so, Lord.”
Didn’t want to break his traditions.
“What I have cleansed, don’t call ‘unclean’”
This happened 3 times.

At the same time, the messengers from Cornelius are at the gate looking for him.

He went down to the gate to meet them. Probably surprised to see they are Gentiles: two servants and a soldier.

They told him “we were sent by a godly man to bring you back to Caesarea – you have a word for us.”

Here are 3 people…
The sheet had come down 3 times…
Connect the dots…

“Hmm, OK, come on in.”
The next day, they set out for Caesarea.

Cornelius fell down before him when he arrived – an angel had told him to get the guy, after all.

Cornelius had gathered everyone to hear from Peter.

Peter admits that, as a Jew, it wasn’t even lawful for him to GO IN to Cornelius’ house.

Jews hated Gentiles.
Gentiles hated Jews.

The Book of Common Jewish Prayer at that time:
“Thanks God I’m not a slave, not a woman, not a Gentile…”

That was a big step for Peter to go into that house.

Said, “Well, you probably know about Jesus, right? He was crucified, rose from the dead, commanded us to be witnesses to the fact that He is Lord of All.”

John 3:16 – think about that…

As he’s preaching, they are believing. The Spirit of God comes upon them. Wow! A Gentile Pentecost?

Peter had also brought Jews with him. When they saw and heard these Gentiles praising God IN THE SAME WAY that they had at Pentecost, they KNEW it was the same!

Peter said, “How can we refuse water to baptize these whom God has also saved?”

v. 44-48

Cornelius then disappears from the Story. But this incident is repeated in Acts 11. The elders had heard that Peter had gone in to these Gentiles. They wanted to know what was up.

Peter let them know. Who was I to stop what God was doing?

Still took some decades for all the differences to be ironed out between the Jews and Gentiles.

Acts 15, controversy at Antioch.
How do we live together, worship together? No impositions should be put on Gentiles except those that would hinder their ability to fellowship together.

With this sheet, God shows that everyone is acceptable to Him.

So, what category are you in?
Longing, Receptive, Hostile, Uninformed, Unlikely?

Graveheart, Ontario, at a Rotary Club at breakfast, last time he preached on this.

Rotary Club was good, like Cornelius – helped people, gave to the poor, religious, but lacked SOMETHING essential.

“So even though you’re doing really good works…You still need Jesus.”

We are all somewhere in one of these categories.

Eph. 5:18 – Be continually filled with the HS.

Even for those who have it, leakage can occur, we need to be filled and refilled.

  • Apr 08 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Fact that Three Bad News is Swallowed by Three Good News is the One and Only Best News! (Luke 2:10) – Easter 2012
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Fact that Three Bad News is Swallowed by Three Good News is the One and Only Best News! (Luke 2:10) – Easter 2012

4.8

Bulletin_04.08.2012-easter2

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Everyday we have news.
But what news can we say is Good News for ALL men of ALL time?

Today, I want to announce this Good News for all people forever and ever!

Before that, we must know about 3 bad news, 3 good news, and 1 BEST news – of ALL news!

3 Bad news!

1. All men are sinners…

Me, you, everyone. We are born sinners. Bible says, “All have sinned, no one righteous…” Romans 3:23?
We are sinners because we sin.
Actually, we sin because we are sinners.

Sin of ALL sins is turning away from God – the Father, Creator of all beings.

Sin is the root of all problems.

2. All sinners must die…

Bible says, “The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23?
“Sin entered this world through one man” (Adam) In this way, death came to all men, because all have sinned.

Sins wages = death, death = separation.

  • spiritual death = separation from God
  • physical death = separation from body

3. All sinners must go to hell…

Physical death = NOT the end.
Just separation, spirit from body.
After death = Judgment

Bible says, “All men are destined to die ONCE, and after that face judgment…”

Hell is endless agony of fire…

But God wants you and me NOT to die – NOT to go to hell – NOT to be separated from Him, because God loves us so much.

So, God has provided the only remedy for these 3 bad news.

3 Good News!!

1. Jesus died for the sins of the world.

Jesus came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Me, You, Everyone.
AMEN

Bible says, “God demonstrated his own love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

2. Jesus ROSE again! And IS alive! NOW! In you, in me, to give us eternal life and salvation!

The last enemy to be defeated is death…Jesus DEFEATED Death! Through his resurrection!

Jesus IS Risen!

That’s why we can face now and tomorrow with hope!

AMEN!

3. Jesus is coming SOON to take us to heaven!

Jesus says, “Do not be afraid, do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. And I go to heaven to prepare a place for you. And I will come back to take you to heaven, so that you may be in the place that I am.”

Revelation – last book, last chapter, 3 times repeated.
“Behold! I am coming SOON!”
“YES! Blessed is he who keeps the word of prophecy in this
Book.”

  • (v.12) “Behold! I am coming soon, my reward is with me. I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
  • (v.20) “Behold! I am coming soon!”
“Yes! Come, Lord Jesus!”

THIS IS THE BEST NEWS.

  • Jesus is coming soon!
  • Jesus is the hope for this world!
  • Jesus is the King of peace!
  • Jesus is the joy of the world!
  • Sharing Jesus passion is the fountain of our joy!
  • Endless, abundant joy!
  • Jesus Christ is the salvation of the whole world!

Today, Jesus saves you, me, my family, yours, all the world!

And finally, Jesus is perfect, complete, end solution to ALL questions in this world and the world to come!

May God bless us with this BEST news!

  • Shout!
  • Jesus is my Savior!
  • Jesus is my Lord!
  • Jesus is my King!
  • Jesus is everything to me!
  • Jesus Christ is my passion!
  • Jesus Christ is my dream!
  • Jesus Christ is my joy!
  • Jesus Christ is my salvation and eternal life!

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 01 / 2012
  • Comments Off on His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)

4.1

Bulletin_04.01.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Blessing v.28-30

This story tells us when and where:
Feast of Dedication
– not one of 7 official festivals
– was est. by Judas Macadius 165BC to commemorate the cleaning of the temple, after king of Syria defiled it by sacrificing pigs. 3 years of pollution. everything was cleaned.

– Hanuka – feast of lights

Where? Solomon’s Colonnade
– roofed porches with tall columns, facing inward with long walkways.
– believed to rest on part of original temple
– common place for meeting and teaching

very clear historical fact
(In God’s providence, we also cleaned “the temple” yesterday…)

It was winter, Jesus was there, Jews gathered.
“Tell us plainly – are you the Christ?”
“The miracles I do in His name speak for me.”

Jews challenged him for the wrong reasons.
Wanted clear, direct, plain, immediate explanation.
Jesus never plainly told Jews in Jerusalem.

Why?
– for religious leaders, “Christ” meant military/political leader/liberator – was thought to est. earthly kingdom
– also, they wanted to arrest him for blaspheming.
– if they arrested him, it would ruin them, not Jesus
– so Jesus wisely chose not to

But, though he didn’t show directly, he constantly showed himself indirectly, through miracles, lifestyle, prophecy fulfillment, teaching.

When man recognized him as Christ, he also said “True.” (Ex: Chp 4 – Samaritan woman)

Another time, Jesus asked, “who am I to you?” Peter: “You are the Christ.” Jesus: “Blessed are you! Father God revealed this to you. I will build MY church on you.”

Not YOUR church, but HIS church, JESUS’ church

This is the unity of Christ’s church.

v. 26-7 “You are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice.”

Are you listening to Jesus’ voice all the time?

v. 26 – one short sentence has MANY messages

#1 Children of God because we believe in Jesus?
OR
#2 We believe in Jesus because we are children of God?

BOTH are right.
From God’s standpoint #2
From man’s standpoint #1

Grace is before faith.

We are saved BY grace (Jesus on the cross) THROUGH faith.
Grace = ground
Faith = root

Our faith is rootless without grace.

Christian life =
we go forward by faith
everytime we look backward, we stepped by grace

We woke up by faith, came to church by faith, worship by faith

But now, looking back, every step we took was by grace (looking back we see we were blessed by grace the whole way)

ALL we have done by faith
has been done by God’s grace.

We can show we are Jesus’ sheep by listening to his voice, his word.

This is like a math formula:
How can we believe in God = believe in Jesus = believe his word
Obey? obey Jesus? obey Word
Walk with God? Walk with Jesus? Walk in the Word.

How can I __(x)__ God?
by __(x)___ Jesus.
How can I __(x)___ Jesus?
by __(x)___ His Word.

This word was given to you, is near you, is IN you.

“Let the word of God dwell in you RICHLY…”

Joshua 1:8 “Do not let (the word of God) depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Story:
Super soccer star interview:
Interviewer: “What’s your secret?”
Star: “My life is soccer.”
I: “What’s meaning?”
S: “I play, exercise, think, speak, listen, watch, learn, teach, dream, ALL about soccer!”

…How’s our passion for God’s word?

God, let it be MORE than the Star’s passion for soccer.
Star’s passion is finite.

Our passion WILL BE eternal.

v. 28-30
Blessing with Jesus’ promise.

“I and the Father are one.” = UNITY, not identity

(Sermon Illustration)

…But ALWAYS remain in Jesus’ hand, in the Father’s hand.

We are VERY safe in Him,
because of HIS power, not ours
because of HIS faithfulness, not ours,
because of HIS holding, not ours,
because of HIS good works, not ours.

Jesus = “I GIVE you eternal life. NO ONE can snatch you out of my hand. NO ONE can snatch you out of my Father’s hand. We are in unity in keeping you, in holding you.”

This is the PROMISE.

Listen to His voice, believe His voice, trust His voice.
He will NEVER disappoint you.

  • Mar 25 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Standing in Freedom! (Galatians 5:1)
Freedom Sermons, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Standing in Freedom! (Galatians 5:1)

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Galatians = great chart of Christian’s liberty (freedom)

Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll

Isn’t Grace Risky?
The Killing Fields movie – quite a movie
True story of NY Times report in Cambodia – closest asst. was Cambodian captured by regime (torturous cruelty).
Endured unbelievable suffering while escaping.

Continue Reading

  • Mar 18 / 2012
  • Comments Off on One Shepherd and One Flock! (John 10:1-18)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

One Shepherd and One Flock! (John 10:1-18)

3.18

Bulletin_03.18.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

OT – God often is shown as shepherd, His people as flock. Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd…”

Why? Background – at that time OT, NT, main part of Judea, was central plateau, 35 miles up and down 15 miles left and right. Majority of land was rocky, stony.
Jew was pastural, not agricultural.
(Sheep rather than farming).

Not much grass, so sheep were bound to scatter. No protecting walls or fences, sheep were liable to wander. Had to be watched continually.

On either side of the plateau, there was a cliff. Shepherds task was dangerous and constant. Shepherds watched against wild animals – esp. wolves, also thieves and robbers.

Shepherds were cold at night, hot during the day.

Self-sacrifice, fearless courage, constant vigilance, patience – these were characteristics of shepherds – God is the same.

“I tell you the truth.”
“I am the gate for the sheep.”
“I am the good shepherd.”
Jesus says each twice.

We are his sheep.

v.10 – One key, great verse of the Bible.
(John 3:16 is main key verse we use)
This verse is also a key for whole Bible.

Very clear sentence to show purpose of Satan’s coming, and Jesus’ coming.
Satan = thief, Jesus = life
Satan steals what God has given us.

1 John 3:8 – Jesus appeared to destroy devil’s work.

2 Tim – Spirit of power, love and self-discipline.

Not a spirit of despair, worry, defeat – these are lies of Satan.
God gives life, peace, joy, assurance of salvation.

Jesus came.
1. to confirm God’s promises
2. to remove sin
3. to destroy Satan
4. become our high priest forever
5. show a perfect example of holy life
6. prepare His second coming
7. to give us LIFE

Life is most important in this world, more than job, money, etc.
This life can only be found in Jesus.
John 1:1

John 3:16 – “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This is God’s purpose for sending Jesus.
John 10:10 = Jesus’ voluntary purpose for coming into the world.

1 John (5?)= “The life appeared, we have seen it, we testify to it, we proclaim to you…”

In John, Jesus 10 “I AM”
1. I am the bread
2. I am the light
3. I am the gate
4. I am the good shepherd
5. I am before Abraham
6. I am the resurrection
7. I am the life
8. I am the way,
9. the truth, and the life
10. I am the true vine (source of life)

Eternal life is living fellowship with Father God, now, and forever. This is found only by trusting in Jesus Christ.

When is your true birthday? When you believed in Christ – this is the start of your true life.

Colossians 3 – we died, our lives are hidden with Christ

LIFE

v.16 – One flock and one shepherd

I have other sheep outside of AICF, outside this church, outside this pen.

The growth and unity of the kingdom of God. This is the vision, dream, purpose, of Jesus.

1 Tim 2:4 – God wants all men to be saved…

2 Peter 3:9 – God is not “slow” in keeping his promise…He is patient…He wants no one to perish…Jesus suffered death for ALL men…

Salvation = unlimited limited atonement
Available for ALL men
Effective only for believers

Worldly world = explosiveness and division – wars, arguments, parties, genders, cultures, – competition, contest
World = division
This world cannot truly become united.

Only one possible unity = in our common sonship with God through Jesus.

Ultimate dream of Christ = whole world united for God – but only possible through unity in Christ.

Church?
The one family of God, one body of Christ, one organism of Holy Spirit, multi-national missional community, to evangelize the whole world as one flock, with one shepherd.

NT = two voices on one topic
Evangelism (Matt 10)
“Do not go to the Gentiles – go to lost sheep of Israel”
Not exclusiveness of salvation only for Jews – this is for effectiveness – the fruit of ministry.

After resurrection, Jesus said “Go into the whole world…”
Effectiveness of ministry, and universality of the gospel must go together.

In war, to get final victory, we must start with limited objectives.
Try to attack on all fronts? Divide your efforts, be defeated.
If Jesus sent missionaries at first everywhere…success would be limited – nothing would have been achieved.
So, Jesus fixed one limited area for them to focus on and target.

So, for us, our target is Jeonju, through AICF.

Pastor Heo – Philippines = mission field, but not the whole country – just a limited area – to maximize the effectiveness and fruit of the ministry.

Our actions and efforts must focus on Jeonju, though we include the whole world in our prayers.

HS student – Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream”
“I have a dream…one day white boys and black boys will play together hand-in-hand. White boy, black girls will sing together.”

AICF “I have a dream…one day soon, 200+ people THIS year!”

So, where do we focus our efforts? Jeonju!

Jesus “I have other sheep outside”
AICF – we have MUCH room

But remember, for world evangelization, there is not ONE Christian in the world who can do EVERYTHING.
But, there is also not ONE Christian who has NOTHING to do…

No one in AICF can do everything.
Also, no one in AICF can do nothing.

Where can you serve?

Do not be satisfied to only “come” and “worship”
The fact that you are here means – you HAVE a task from God to do for the growth and unity of AICF!

The church of God is the House of Prayer for all nations.

We must mention all nations in our prayers, not only Korea, not only Jeonju, not only AICF.
In our actions, we focus on AICF, Jeonju.
For the effectiveness of the ministry – fruit.

v.17-18 – Lay down my life – take it up again – lay it down of my own accord

We can see 3 points:

1) Jesus saw whole life as an act of obedience to Father God – Jesus received a task from God – he always was ready and prepared to carry it out to the end – even if it meant death

2) Jesus saw all the time, the cross and the glory together. He never doubted he must die. He never doubted he would rise again. His perfect confidence in God.

3) His death was wholly voluntary. He stressed it again and again. Jesus didn’t lose his life – he GAVE it willingly. The cross was not forced upon him. He CHOSE to take it – to give us his new life.

The cross was his greatest work. It was his definite choice. It accomplished atonement for his sheep. Through his resurrection, ALL authority on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus.
Happy Easter!

Satan has NO authority any longer.
Only Jesus has authority over anyone.
Therefore, GO!
And make disciples of all nations.

When you proclaim Jesus’ story, Jesus’ authority will be revealed through you!

Let us experience and enjoy this authority in Jesus’ name!

  • Mar 13 / 2012
  • 1
Freedom Sermons, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Christian – You are Freed! Don’t return to your Chains (Romans 6)

Sermon Notes from Romans 6:1-2, 15

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Here, Paul asks two questions. The first question (v.2) is answered with second: How shall we live in sin when we are dead to it?

Chuck Swindoll says we should recall in our memories – recall our misery, that we couldn’t control our desires – perhaps the victim of a habit? lust, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, drugs, alcohol, food. Recall the feeling you had no hope. This is slavery = addiction at its worst. Shame increased, and overwhelmed you.

Some people, live in freedom in grace, but have forgotten their slavery.

Gordon Seagrave has said: “It is my earnest conviction that everyone should be in prison at least once. Should be in on suspicion, not proof, he should be sick most of the time, at least 4 months. Only then will he realize the value of freedom.”

Ex: Nelson Mandela, John Bunyan

When imprisoned, freedom is much sweeter.

Imagine, wrongfully imprisoned…

Who would volunteer to return to prison?

We are dead to sin, why return? We are freed slaves, freed from sin and shame. Why return?

“Emancipate” means to release from slavery.

In the US, the Civil War broke slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was killed for the cause. The 13th Amendment legally abolished slavery, black slaves emancipated (freed). The President had earlier stated his anti-slavery convictions.

New Year’s Day 1863 the Emancipation was proclaimed but it took until December 18, 1865 for it to be enacted. The newspapers declared: “Slavery: Legally Abolished” It was Good news!

But, the majority of slaves – now legally freed, continued to live as slaves…Former slaves lived virtually unchanged lives.

Shelby Foot in his 3-volume “Civil War” wrote: “The Negro was locked in a caste system of grace etiquette.” All slaves would likely say – “I don’t know nothing ’bout Abe Lincoln, ‘cept he set us free – and I don’t know nothing ’bout that neither.”

Slaves were ignorant of freedom. And that was TRAGIC…There was a war, assassination, amendment, they were emancipated, freed, but- still lived in poverty, fear, and old lives…They often chose to keep serving the same master, until they died.

Would you even know that slavery was abolished?

Plantation owners wanted to“Keep them ignorant, keep them in the field.” What else could they do?

Israelite slaves had an advantage – God was with them – signs and wonders. Exodus. Red sea, manna, pillar of cloud and fire. Manifestations of God.

Not so in America…Tragic?

Here is one WORSE. Christian slaves…

Jesus paid it all! But many Christians act as though held in bondage…Most prefer the security of slavery, to the risks of liberty. Strange, no? But Satan loves it! “Great! Keep it up!” Satan KNOWS we are free – but hates it. He does everything in his power to keep us pinned down in guilt, shame, intimidation, fear.

Romans 3 – this is us before Jesus.

3:10-20…
10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

(POINT 1) We had no way of escape. We were unable to change our enslavement to sin.

(POINT 2) Glorious release – Christ has set us free!

Sinners – everyone on Earth – has been set free! The first Easter – is our redemption.

Romans 3:21-22
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

To qualify, you need no special requirements. Not culture, not skin, not language, ONLY faith in Christ. We were all slaves to sin, to Satan (our master).

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

We were spiritually useless, could not escape. Jesus, paid our price to free us. His own blood = price. He said to us all “You don’t have to live under your former master any longer! You’re free! Free to serve me for the rest of your life!”

We were changed from rebels to servants of God.

President Grace freed us from Satan – our master, and his wife Shame.

  • Theoretically, we were freed at Jesus death.
  • Practically, legalism, old habits, attempt to keep us in bondage – to keep us ignorant, afraid, thinking like a slave.

(POINT 3) Many Christians still live AS SLAVES.

It’s like saying, “I don’t know anything about Grace, cept maybe it set us free, and I don’t know bout that neither…”

We have a Sin-oriented mentality…

  • “I just can’t help myself.”
  • “I’m only human”
  • “I’m not a great guy”

We speak self-defeating references – we look like insecure religious slaves.

We rationalize our sins – hypocrites…

We lie, cheat, steal.

We say “Nobody’s perfect.”But that basically means “I’m still enslaved…”

Chuck Swindoll says: Nonsense! Live like you’re free! Where sin abounded, grace SUPER abounded! Once you were enslaved, now you are freed. Live ABOVE your old habit – old sin. Grace helps us to say “no” to sin and conquer it.

Here’s a Maverick thought:

Once we grasp true freedom of grace, we can spend lengthy periods of time sinless, shameless. Why should sin master us? How un-biblical to say we can’t help but let sin master us. We have been trained to expect and handle sin – rather than freedom. But that reinforces our slave mentality. Wake up, confess, go to bed, confess, anything I missed? confess… Where is the abundant life Christ promised? Are free people to live in such fear of sin?

Let’s live like we’re free!

Your old master doesn’t want you to think like this. He wants to keep you ignorant and in shame, and afraid of him and his whip (sin). Wants you to think you “gotta get beat” every now and then – to keep you in line.

HERESY! Jesus set us free! Satan has no right to put a whip to your back! You are free!

This is Grace Awakening.

We are freed from sin, Satan, shame, old selves…

Old man, new man

McGee tells a story to illustrate the concept of old man and new man:

A lady lived in the deep South – had a close relationship with former boyfriend – ultimately married him, had a rewarding life, though not perfect.

But one day, heart attack took him from her. She didn’t want to let him go – embalmed him, put in a chair, sealed in a glass case, in front of her home. Whenever she walked in, she said, “Hi, John” – walked upstairs, carried on.

One year later, took a trip to EU. Met an American who fell in love with her – married in EU, honeymooned, etc.

What a surprise for the new husband…He picked her up, knocked the door open…And almost dropped her!

She said, “That’s my old man John” – So he buried John. It was finally OVER.

That’s what Christ has done for us.

We died with Christ, raised to new life with him. The revelation of Holy Spirit reminds us of our freedom – Ephesians. We need the spirit of knowing our own death and rebirth with Christ.

Chuck Swindoll – closing part 2.

There are many high passes up mountains. It can be quite dangerous. The Govt. could put EMT at the bottom of hill to be ready for the injured. (This is like 1 John 1:9 for Christians.)

OR they could put warning signs up the road, preparing people for what is ahead. (This is like Romans 6 for Christians – it is our warning, and explains our freedom in Christ). Don’t spend time in guilt, confession, guilt, confession. Our inheritance is freedom! We are not under law – it only magnifies and explains sin. Rather, we are under grace.

We are freed in Jesus name!

  • Mar 04 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Christ Opens the Spiritual Eyes of the Blind (John 9:1-41)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Opens the Spiritual Eyes of the Blind (John 9:1-41)

3.4

Bulletin_03.04.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .DOCX file>

The man in this passage went home like he was going home from work. He should have found Jesus and worshiped him, but just went home – he was not overjoyed.

What is your response to Jesus – who provides daily life/peace/joy/power – who makes our eyes to see?

This man received spiritual eyes. v. 38 (“Lord, I believe…”)

  • LAST TIME’s Sermon – was about opening our physical eyes
  • THIS TIME’s Sermon – is about opening our spiritual eyes
  • We can see 4 things if our spiritual eyes are opened (from passage):

See the Work of God (v.3) – Can you see? Do you know?

  1. God is very active, a diligent doer.
  2. This church can do social justice, missions work, weddings, etc – but govt. and orgs. can also do these things.
  3. The only thing church can do that orgs and gov can’t = saving souls
  4. Work of God = to believe in ME (Jesus)
  5. You can see personal change – before and after (v. 25)
    1. Final standard of before/after = Jesus
    1. Redemptive history (Old Testament = before / New Testament = after)
    2. Secular history (BC = before / AD = after)
    3. Personal history (Old creation = before / New creation = after)
    1. Dead → alive / meaninglessness → fullness / child of Satan → child of God
    2. Murder, envy, strife, wrath, sin → love, joy, peace, patience, kindness
    3. This is your personal testimony

See Jesus as Lord and God (v. 38)

  1. When Peter and Paul (men) did miracles, people worshiped them = But they stopped them, “no, no, we are men.”
  2. When Jesus did miracles, people worshiped him = He never stopped them – because he IS God
  3. Jesus = Lord of all history – HIS Story (Jesus = the hero (hero never dies in movies))
  4. Luke 3 – John the Baptist – written in Isaiah – preached gospel of repentance + baptism
  1.  From man’s eyes, John was crazy
  2. From God’s eyes, John was hero – at that time
  3.  Jesus’ schedule was being tuned to John’s ministry (preparing the way)
  4.  When Jesus comes again – HIS story / drama = THE END

When ALL nations have heard, THEN the end will come

  1. From man’s eyes, G7, G20, seem to be leaders of history.
  2. From God’s eyes, gospel preachers, are heroes, leading history.
  3. Jesus’ Second Coming schedule is being set by gospel preachers

See our jobs (v. 4-5)

  1. So many jobs in this physical world…
  2. But spiritually, only TWO jobs
  1. Fisher of fish (originally – this is our job)
  2. Fisher of men (if we are IN Jesus Christ – this is our job)
  1. Both of these jobs need power (muscle vs. Jesus / killing pwr vs. saving pwr)
  2. Fishers of fish – catch something living, and kill it
  3. Fishers of men – catch something dead, make it alive in Christ

Bride of Christ, You Are Pregnant

So, IF we are fishers of men, we all must be pregnant / conceive. After marriage – normal for bride to do so – deliver new life/child. Spiritually, we are married to Jesus – church = bride / he = bridegroom. Be pregnant, conceive someone, give NEW life.

Genesis 1st command = Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it – with the Word of God

God’s double pain =

  1. Lost sons outside the house, never come home.
  2. Home sons never go out to find his brothers.

Let us make him happy. Let us seek and save the lost. Jesus is never satisfied with our own worship alone. He wants MORE and MORE worship in oneness – ALL human beings.

So, invite someone to our Easter “Happy Day” Service on April 8, 2012!

  • Dec 25 / 2011
  • Comments Off on Salvation & Mission (1 Timothy 1:15) AKA Return to Sender? (Christmas 2011)
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Salvation & Mission (1 Timothy 1:15) AKA Return to Sender? (Christmas 2011)

12.25.2011

Sunday_Bulletin_12.25

Sermon Notes

Salvation is a FREE gift offered to all men. But once we accept the free gift, Jesus asks us to pay everything (Matthew 10: “37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”)

So, how do you feel? Cheated? Like you bought salvation on credit? Like your whole life is an installment plan to repay the gift of salvation?

Do you want to “Return to Sender”?

return-to-sender-art-christmas-2011

Art by: Aaron Snowberger

 Return to Sender? How Salvation and Mission are Inseparable.

Christmas Sermon by Pastor Heo – 1 Timothy 1:15

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

***NOTE: This post is based upon the Christmas sermon preached by Pastor JaeBum Heo at Antioch International Christian Fellowship on Christmas Day, 2011. I’ve taken down some sermon notes and will fill in the gaps here to create a full and complete post based on those sermon notes. (Aaron)

Salvation

Salvation is that thing that Christians are constantly talking about. And anyone who’s ever spent time in a church has probably heard the term. Basically, salvation is deliverance from sin and its consequences (sin, of course, being wrongs a person has committed in their lives). The consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death…”). And while all men die physically, this is only part of sin’s consequence. Spiritual death; separation from God; life eternal apart from heaven – these are the true consequences of sin. Therefore, for the Christian, salvation exempts them from these consequences. It brings spiritual life, union with God, and life eternal in heaven.

This is the basic gospel of salvation that is preached by Christians. But whatexactly is salvation? Besides its obvious promises and effects, we can see 4 more principles of salvation as a union with God.

First, salvation is a spiritual union. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”

Second, salvation is a vital union – indicating that it is a matter of death or life. This is apparent in the doctrine of salvation which says that salvation grants spiritual life everlasting, in heaven, with God the Father – and those without salvation will spend an eternity condemned and exiled from the presence of God, in hell. Colossians 3:3-4 says, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Third, salvation is a complete and perfect union with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:27says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” There is no part of the body that is unnecessary, and the body of Christ is not incomplete. The church, as Christ’s body, is already whole, and each member has a unique purpose.

Fourth, salvation is an inscrutable, mysterious union. Ephesians 5:32 says, “This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Paul here relates the marriage union between man and woman with that of Christ and the church. We cannot precisely describe this kind of union with our human language. It is a profound, mysterious union, but a strong and lasting union nonetheless.

So, if this is salvation, there is only one question to ask: Do I have salvation or don’t I?

And if the answer is “yes, I have salvation,” then there are two more questions to ask:

  1. Why am I still here? (Because if we are saved from sin and death and sin’s consequences, shouldn’t God take us to heaven immediately after we receive salvation?)
  2. What am I to do? (If God has given me salvation – His purpose for fallen humanity, then what is my further purpose for remaining here?)

Christians constantly proclaim that salvation is a free gift: Jesus invites us freely to receive his sacrifice on the cross for no payment of our own. But few remind us that afterward, Jesus asks us to pay all. Matthew 10: “37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

So, how do you feel? Cheated? Like you bought salvation on credit? Like your whole life is an installment plan to repay the gift of salvation?

Do you want to “Return to Sender”?

Mission

The answer to the above two questions is MISSION. We are still here for mission. What we are to do, is mission. After Salvation, there is always Mission. Immediately. For ALL who are saved.

Salvation and Mission go hand-in-hand all the time. They are quite literally inseparable. If you are saved, you are given mission.

Let’s look in the Bible at some examples. All the time, Salvation is immediately followed by Mission.

  • Salvation: 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
  • Mission: 2 Corinthians 5:18: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
  • Salvation: Ephesians 2:8,9: “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
  • Mission: Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
  • Salvation: Philippians 2:12: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”
  • Mission: Philippians 2:13: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

Without salvation, mission is not and cannot be given, for the two go hand-in-hand. Salvation comes first, but mission immediately follows.

So, before completely understanding mission, we should first understand what is NOT your mission.

  1. Your job (doctor, pastor, lawyer, teacher) is not your mission – this is a mission FIELD, and a mission TOOL, but not the mission itself.
  2. Meeting your own earthly needs is not your mission – these are essential and necessary parts of life, but not your mission, for those without salvation need these things as well.
  3. Doing good works is not your mission – this is not mission, though they are good and blessed things, even the lost can (and do) do these things.

So what is mission?

  1. Mission is given by God to the saved, not to the lost.
  2. Mission is something only the saved can do, unsaved cannot do it. (Although some other religions may go on “missions” and claim to have “mission”, these are really just man-made (and man-appointed, all through an application process), and not God-given upon receipt of salvation (witness where you are, as you are, all the time). These kinds of missions also tend to be more like initiation into adulthood (“Leave As a Boy Come Home a Man”) rather than ongoing, lifelong witness to preach Christ’s salvation.

We all have same salvation – Ephesians 4:4-6: “4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Also we have the same mission (fundamentally) – Matthew 28:19-20: “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mission is no less valuable than life and salvation – but it is given only aftersalvation.

In this world, what is so valuable that you must risk and invest your whole life? What is more valuable than life itself? It is Mission. Because Mission SAVES OTHER LIVES. To win persons to Christ, we must evangelize, preach the gospel, that there is “good news of great joy to all men,” forever.

Acts 20:24 gives the clearest verse about Mission to those who are saved: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task (mission)…” (same word in Greek) “…Jesus Christ has given me, the task of testifying to God’s grace.”

This is the MOST IMPORTANT THING. Because saving others is something we cannot do after death.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen