Palm Sunday: What Does That Mean? March 23, 2018 Written by: Prophecy in the News

Palm Sunday is March 25, 2018
In Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19, Jesus descends from the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem, and the crowds lay their clothes on the ground to welcome him as he triumphantly enters Jerusalem. Christians celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as Palm Sunday, a week before Easter Sunday.
Some churches decorate with palms and distribute palm branches in memory of the greeting Jesus received from the pilgrims as He rode into Jerusalem.
Jesus had spent many months traveling through the towns and villages. He preached about the kingdom of God and healed the sick wherever He went. Now the time had come for Him to claim His title as the Messiah – the Savior that God had promised to the Jewish people.
Jesus knew His mission was almost finished. As they traveled to Jerusalem, Jesus warned His disciples that He would soon be put to death, and after three days He would rise again.
As they came near Jerusalem, Jesus told two of His disciples to go into a nearby village and bring a donkey that would be waiting there. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey. Crowds of people spread their coats on the ground in front of Him. Some waved branches of palm trees, a sign of victory. The people shouted, Hosanna!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!
Only a king would be greeted this way, and the people wanted Jesus to be their king. (II Kings 9:13)
Most of the people did not understand what kind of king Jesus would be. They expected their Messiah to be a great political and military leader who would free them from the tyranny of the Roman Empire. But, the kingdom of God is not of this world. It is a spiritual kingdom that is now growing in the hearts of people who put their faith and trust in God.


Did you know that a Donkey is the only animal in the world with a cross on its back, Jesus the Messiah came into Jerusalem on the cross and he also left Jerusalem with a cross. Coincidence ? I don’t think so. Thank you Jesus for taking ALL our sins on You!

By Prophecy in the News| March 23rd, 2018|Tags: Bible, Christians, Churches, Donkey, Easter, Israel, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jewish, Jews, Kingdom of God, Messiah, Palm Branches, Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday: What Does That Mean?



The King Is Coming

King of Kings and Lord of Lords

“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)

There is coming a time—perhaps not too far in the future—when all the kings and other rulers of the world will “have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (v. 13), the great humanistic world system of the last days, whose Satan-possessed leader will then have power “given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (13:7).

Only one opponent will remain, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, against whom “the kings of the earth . . . take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2-3).

So they will proceed to “make war with the Lamb,” but they will lose! At the final “appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:14-15). He, who as God’s sacrificial Lamb has taken “away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), is greater than all kings and rulers.

No longer as the submissive Lamb before His shearers (Isaiah 53:7), but as the “Word of God,” out of whose once-silent mouth now “goeth a sharp sword” with which He shall “smite the nations.” He will have “on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords” (Revelation 19:13, 15-16).

Indeed, the kings and leaders of the whole world will think they can successfully “make war with the Lamb,” but He “shall overcome them.” In that great day that is coming, it will be far better to be with Him than with them! HMM

Salvation Comes Solely Through One Name ~ Our Daily Bread Devotional

One Name

One Name
January 7, 2018

Read: Philippians 2:5–11 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 18–19; Matthew 6:1–18

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Philippians 2:10
Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé. They are all so well known that they need only one name to be recognized. They have remained prominent in history because of who they were and what they did. But there is another name that stands far above these or any other name!
Before the Son of God was born into this world, the angel told Mary and Joseph to name Him Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and “he . . . will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). Jesus didn’t come as a celebrity but as a servant who humbled Himself and died on the cross so that anyone who receives Him can be forgiven and freed from the power of sin.
Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all. Augustine
The apostle Paul wrote, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).
In our times of greatest joy and our deepest need, the name we cling to is Jesus. He will never leave us, and His love will not fail.

Jesus, You are the name above all names, our Savior and Lord. We lift our praise to You as we celebrate Your presence and power in our lives today.

Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all. Augustine

By David C. McCasland | See Other Authors

God, who exists eternally in three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—has a variety of names that describe His attributes, including Good Shepherd, Lion of Judah, Lamb of God, Prince of Peace, Almighty God, Strong Tower, and Comforter. Yet here in Philippians 2 Jesus is called the “name that is above every name” (v. 9). Paul, the author of Philippians, goes on to say that at the sound of His name “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (v. 10). Why this enthusiastic praise for the name of Jesus? It’s because of who He is, what He left behind, and what He accomplished. Jesus, the Son of God, left the magnificence of heaven and the presence of His Father and humbled Himself by taking on “human likeness” and “becoming obedient to death” (vv. 7–8). Thus humbled, Jesus was “exalted . . . to the highest place” and given the name above all names (v. 9). He died and rose again because of His love for us and is deserving of our praise and the overflowing joy it expresses.

Whom can you tell about Jesus?
Alyson Kieda


Merry Christmas!

Days of Praise

Thanks for the Greatest Gift
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. | Dec. 25, 2017
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
We who have known and sought to follow the Lord for many years have received many, many blessings for which to thank Him. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits” (Psalm 68:19), we can pray again and again.
But there is one blessing that is so great that it cannot even be put into words—it is unspeakable! That gift is so great that when we try to comprehend it, the sense of awe and gratitude becomes so overwhelming (or at least should become so overwhelming) that our joy is also unspeakable—indescribable! That gift, of course, is the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and Savior, “whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, . . . ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
It is significant that the Greek word translated “unspeakable” occurs only these two times in the entire New Testament. God’s unspeakable gift to us produces unspeakable joy in us. We who deserve nothing but eternal separation from God in hell, instead will enjoy eternal life with God in heaven, and all because of that amazing and truly inexpressible gift!
To think that the mighty Creator, God the Son, would not only humble Himself to become His own creature, man, but then also suffer the unimaginable agony of the cross and separation from God the Father in order to deliver us from the just penalty of sin! This act speaks of such love and grace that all we can do is whisper softly, “Thank you, Lord, for this unspeakable gift,” and then shout it over and over again in our hearts wherever we go and share its unspeakable joy and blessing with whomever will listen to its message. “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3). Thank you, Lord! HMM


Our Daily Bread

Traditions and Christmas

Traditions and Christmas
December 25, 2017

Read: Luke 2:1–10 | Bible in a Year: Zephaniah 1–3; Revelation 16

I bring you good news that will cause great joy . . . a Savior has been born to you. Luke 2:10–11
As you savor a candy cane this Christmas, say “danke schön” to the Germans, for that confectionary treat was first created in Cologne. As you admire your poinsettia, say “gracias” to Mexico, where the plant originated. Say “merci beaucoup” to the French for the term noel, and give a “cheers” to the English for your mistletoe.
But as we enjoy our traditions and festivities of the Christmas season—customs that have been collected from around the world—let’s save our most sincere and heartfelt “thank you” for our good, merciful, and loving God. From Him came the reason for our Christmas celebration: the baby born in that Judean manger more than 2,000 years ago. An angel announced the arrival of this gift to mankind by saying, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy . . . a Savior has been born to you” (Luke 2:10–11).
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. Romans 15:13
This Christmas, even in the light of the sparkling Christmas tree and surrounded by newly opened presents, the true excitement comes when we turn our attention to the baby named Jesus, who came to “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). His birth transcends tradition: It is our central focus as we send praises to God for this indescribable Christmas gift.
Lord, we thank You for coming to join us on that first Christmas. During a time of the year filled with many traditions, help us to keep You first.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. Romans 15:13
By Dave Branon | See Other Authors

The angel Gabriel told Mary, “[Jesus] will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32–33). The angel who appeared to Joseph said, “What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. . . . [Y]ou are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20–21). Mary and Joseph knew Jesus would be the Messiah, and as faithful Jews they would have known the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem, David’s hometown. Perhaps when Joseph was ordered to Bethlehem for the census he thought, So that’s how God is going to get us to Bethlehem!
How does reflecting on the miraculous events that led to the birth of Jesus fill you with renewed awe and wonder?
Adapted from Mystery of the Manger by John Greco. Read more at


Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!

Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!
November 28 2017
Written by: Prophecy in the News

Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!


Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!
November 28 2017
Written by: Prophecy in the News

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the town of Bethlehem in Israel, you will find that the place where Jesus was born is nothing like you would imagine. Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judaean Desert, Bethlehem is the historical place where Jesus was born “in a manger” and is now preserved by the “Church of the Nativity.” It is considered a major Christian holy site and is one of the oldest surviving Christian churches.
The birth of Jesus is told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Matthew 1:18-25 – King James Version (KJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
Luke 2 – King James Version (KJV)
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
According to the Bible, both accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. According to Luke 2:7 (in the traditional translation), Mary “laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.” However, the Greek can also be rendered, “she laid him in a manger because they had no space in the room” — according to some scholars, they perhaps imagine Jesus being born in a cave. The gospel accounts do not mention a cave, but less than a century later, both Justin Martyr and the Protoevangelium of James say Jesus was born in a cave. Some believe this is reasonable, as many houses in the area are still built in front of a cave. The cave part would have been used for stabling and storage – thus the manger.    justin-martyr

Saint Justin Martyr, (born c. 100, Flavia Neapolis, Palestine [now Nāblus]—died c. 165, Rome [Italy]; feast day June 1), one of the most important of the Greek philosopher-Apologists in the early Christian church. … He spent a considerable time in Rome.

WIKIPEDIA: The Gospel of James, also known as the Infancy Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James, is an apocryphal Gospel probably written about AD 145, which expands backward in time the infancy stories contained in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and presents a narrative concerning the birth and upbringing of Mary herself. It is the oldest source to assert the virginity of Mary not only prior to but during (and after) the birth of Jesus. The document presents itself as written by James: “I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem.” The purported author is thus James, the brother of Jesus, but scholars have established that the work was not written by the person to whom it is attributed.

History of the Church of the Nativity


The first evidence of a cave in Bethlehem being venerated as Christ’s birthplace is in the writings of Justin Martyr around 160 AD. The tradition is also attested by Origen and Eusebius in the 3rd century.
In 326, Constantine and his mother St. Helena commissioned a church to be built over the cave. This first church, dedicated on May 31, 339, had an octagonal floor plan and was placed directly above the cave. In the center, a 4-meter-wide hole surrounded by a railing provided a view of the cave. Portions of the floor mosaic survive from this period. St. Jerome lived and worked in Bethlehem from 384 AD, and he was buried in a cave beneath the Church of the Nativity.
The Constantinian church was destroyed by Justinian in 530 AD, who built the much larger church that remains today. The Persians spared it during their invasion in 614 AD because, according to legend, they were impressed by a representation of the Magi — fellow Persians — that decorated the building. This was quoted at a 9th-century synod in Jerusalem to show the utility of religious images.
Muslims prevented the application of Hakim’s decree (1009) ordering the destruction of Christian monuments because, since the time of Omar (639), they had been permitted to use the south transept for worship.
The Crusaders took Jerusalem on 6 June 1009. Baldwin I and II were crowned there, and in an impressive display of tolerance the Franks and Byzantines cooperated in fully redecorating the interior (1165-69). A Greek inscription in the north transept records this event.
The Church of the Nativity was much neglected in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, but not destroyed. Much of the church’s marble was looted by the Ottomans and now adorns the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. An earthquake in 1834 and a fire in 1869 destroyed the furnishings of the cave, but the church again survived.
In 1847, the theft of the silver star marking the exact site of the Nativity was an ostensible factor in the international crisis over the Holy Places that ultimately led to the Crimean War (1854–56).

 In 1852, shared custody of the church was granted to the Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches. The Greeks care for the Grotto of the Nativity.


The Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church, is the Church of the Nativity’s focal point. Entered by a flight of steps by the church altar, this is the cave that has been honored as the site of Christ’s birth since at least the 2nd century.


A silver star in the floor marks the very spot where Christ is believed to have been born. The star’s Latin inscription reads, “Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born — 1717.” The floor is paved in marble, and 15 lamps hang above the star (six belong to the Greeks, five to the Armenians and four to the Latins).
All other furnishings date from after the fire of 1869, except for the bronze gates at the north and south entrances to the Grotto, which are from Justinian’s 6th-century church.

Note:  I was in Israel just after Christmas in 1987, exactly thirty years ago from writing this.  I was inside the Church Of The Nativity and toured this holy site.  I agree totally with the above article that the early church historians, led by Justin Martyr in 160 A.D., and followed by Origen, Eusebius and others, give this site the best credence as the genuine place where Christ was born.   Merry Christmas, Pastor Steve  <><


Key The Following Link From The Southern Baptist WMU, For A Celebration Of Christ’s Birth:


Christmas at MacPherson

Our Daily Bread

Read: Luke 1:68–75 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 47–48; 1 John 3  Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. Luke 1:68
About 230 families and individuals live at MacPherson Gardens, Block 72 in my neighborhood. Each person has his or her own life story. On the tenth floor resides an elderly woman whose children have grown up, gotten married, and moved out. She lives by herself now. Just a few doors away from her is a young couple with two kids—a boy and a girl. And a few floors below lives a young man serving in the army. He has been to church before; maybe he will visit again on Christmas Day. I met these people last Christmas when our church went caroling in the neighborhood to spread Christmas cheer.
Every Christmas—as on the first Christmas—there are many people who do not know that God has entered into our world as a baby whose name is Jesus (Luke 1:68; 2:21). Or they do not know the significance of that event—it is “good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (2:10). Yes, all people! Regardless of our nationality, culture, gender, or financial status, Jesus came to die for us and offer us complete forgiveness so that we can be reconciled with Him and enjoy His love, joy, peace, and hope. All people, from the woman next door to the colleagues we have lunch with, need to hear this wonderful news!
The good news of Jesus’s birth is a source of joy for all people.
On the first Christmas, the angels were the bearers of this joyous news. Today, God desires to work through us to take the story to others.
Lord, use me to touch the lives of others with the news of Your coming.

The good news of Jesus’s birth is a source of joy for all people.
By Poh Fang Chia | See Other Authors

One of the great themes of Luke’s gospel record is that it continually affirms that the message of Jesus’s death and resurrection is for everyone—not just for Israel. Today’s devotional declares that Christ’s coming would “cause great joy for all the people” (2:10). This important message continues later in this chapter when Simeon says that salvation is prepared in the “sight of all nations” and that Israel’s Messiah is both “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (vv. 30–32). At the conclusion of Luke’s account, the risen Christ tells the two disciples on the Emmaus road that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (24:47). This message was not intended for Israel alone, nor are we to keep it to ourselves. The entire world is the object of God’s love.
For more on sharing your faith, see the Discovery Series booklet Truth with Love: Sharing the Story of Jesus.
Bill Crowder

Our Daily Bread Topics: Christ Jesus Birth Savior & Messiah
Tags: Christmas, hope, Jesus’ birth, joy


Advent: Jesus Is Coming, and This Time It’s Different


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TV commercials, radio stations, and shopping malls are all proclaiming that it’s the Christmas season! But actually, it isn’t.

Last Sunday, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, in churches all around the world, the Gospel reading was Matthew 25:31-46.

The passage opens with words that should make our hearts soar, or, perhaps, shiver with dread: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

As the passage makes clear, Christ’s second coming will be very different from his first. He will return in glory, not obscurity. He will return as the King of the Universe, not as a nobody in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire. And this time, He will do the judging.

This, and not shopping, or who saw whom kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe, is what we’re supposed to be thinking about these next four weeks, the season known as Advent.

Now if you’re wondering, “Wait, isn’t this the Christmas season?” the answer is, well, “no.” Of course, we wouldn’t know that from watching television, where some networks have been running “Christmas” movies–none of which ever mention Jesus–since late October.

Beginning Sunday, December 3rd through Christmas Eve, many Christian traditions celebrate the season of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “come to.” Thus, Advent is the season Christians anticipate the celebration of God’s coming to live and die as one of us. And to better appreciate the immensity of that gift, we are to put ourselves in the place of ancient Israel which yearned for the promised Messiah who would set things right.

One of the ways to do this is through hymns. The ancient Advent carol “Creator of the Stars of Night,” which dates from the 7th century, expresses this Old Testament yearning in a way that has literally stood the test of time.

“Thou, grieving that the ancient curse/ Should doom to death a universe/ Hast found the medicine, full of grace/ To save and heal a ruined race,” the hymn reads.

The “medicine” required to “save and heal a ruined race” was Jesus, as Paul told the Philippians, emptying himself and becoming obedient to death.

But that’s not the entire story. We also sing “At Whose dread Name, majestic now/ All knees must bend, all hearts must bow/ And things celestial Thee shall own/ And things terrestrial, Lord alone.”

That’s because Advent is not only a time of anticipating Christ’s first coming but also anticipating the next and final time Jesus comes to Earth. And, I repeat, this coming will be very different from the first: The same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem during the reign of Caesar Augustus will return as the “judge of the living and the dead,” and “his kingdom will have no end.”

This makes Advent not only a time of reflection, but also a time of repentance. This season is a time to examine our lives and ask ourselves whether we are sheep or goats. Are we living, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, for ourselves or for Him who died for us and rose again?

Originally published at – reposted with permission.



WAITING For Christmas ~ WAITING For Christ’s First Coming ~ WAITING For His Second Coming

Our Daily Bread

Read: Micah 5:2–4
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 45–46; 1 John 2

Bethlehem . . . out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.—Micah 5:2
“How much longer until it’s Christmas?” When my children were little, they asked this question repeatedly. Although we used a daily Advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas, they still found the waiting excruciating.
We can easily recognize a child’s struggle with waiting, but we might underestimate the challenge it can involve for all of God’s people. Consider, for instance, those who received the message of the prophet Micah, who promised that out of Bethlehem would come a “ruler over Israel” (5:2) who would “stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord” (v. 4). The initial fulfillment of this prophecy came when Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1) —after the people had waited some 700 years. But some of the prophecy’s fulfillment is yet to come. For we wait in hope for the return of Jesus, when all of God’s people will “live securely” and “his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth” (Mic. 5:4). Then we will rejoice greatly, for our long wait will be over.
Most of us don’t find waiting easy, but we can trust that God will honor His promises to be with us as we wait (Matt. 28:20). For when Jesus was born in little Bethlehem, He ushered in life in all its fullness (see John 10:10)—life without condemnation. We enjoy His presence with us today while we eagerly wait for His return. —Amy Boucher Pye

We wait, Father God, and we hope. We wait, dear Jesus, as we long for peace to break out. We wait, comforting Spirit, for all the world to experience Your love.
We wait for God’s promises, believing they will come true.

INSIGHT: Christ’s second coming is also the theme of several New Testament passages. As Christ ascended into heaven, the angels told His disciples that Christ “will come back in the same way” they saw Him go (Acts 1:11). Jesus said His return would be unannounced and could occur at any moment; therefore, we are to “Be on guard! Be alert!” (Mark 13:33-37). The early Christians believed that Jesus’s return was “almost here” (Rom. 13:11-14). The apostle James encouraged believers to “be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:8; see also Rev. 1:3). The anticipation that Jesus could come any moment led some Christians in Thessalonica to become idle, quitting their jobs and waiting for Him to return. But Paul told them to get back to work and live meaningful lives (2 Thess. 3:11-13).
“While we [patiently] wait for the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13)—that wonderful day of Jesus’s return—we can ask the Spirit to help us to live “holy and godly lives . . . spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:11, 14).
In what ways can you enjoy God’s presence today as you wait for Jesus’s return?    Sim Kay Tee

Hall Of Fame / Hall Of Faith

My son and I saw the Bronx Bombers (Yankees) play against the Houston Astros last night (Monday, October 16, 2017) in the third game of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) at Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees are winners of twenty seven (27) world championships.  Yankee Stadium is the heart and soul, and nerve center for the game of baseball.  The people of the Bronx borough of New York City are hard working blue collar folks and they are patriotic.  They unfurled a gigantic American flag across the entire field prior to singing the National Anthem.  Chants of U.S.A. were heard throughout the stadium.  The seventh inning stretch later on, produced a patriotic medley of music, including God Bless America.  I was grateful to be at this playoff game with my son.

In Yankee Stadium, Monument Park is a section where the teams’ Hall Of Fame players are memorialized on large plaques:  Men like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and well over thirty others.  It is a great commemoration of one hundred and seventeen years of baseball.

Aaron Judge is the current superstar on this illustrious team.  He is a twenty five year old rookie who has taken the city by storm, hitting fifty two home runs during the regular season, and he is a candidate for Most Valuable Player (MVP).  Much more importantly, he is humble, reminiscent of the former Yankee Lou Gehrig.  Both are awesome players blessed with humility.  (Aaron Judge hit a three run home run in the game we saw and made a great catch in right field).

All of the above is very enjoyable in the mundane, but has no real lasting spiritual and eternal impact.  I would like to translate the above words that were highlighted in red, into the spiritual:  Yankee Stadium seems like heaven to a lot of folks who have a tremendous passion for the New York Yankees and baseball.  But it is not eternal, it is not heaven, and it will one day pass away.  The Lord’s real heaven is eternal, it will last forever, and is so wonderful that it is far beyond our comprehension.

1 Corinthians 2:9  New King James Version (NKJV)
9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

The Hall Of Fame includes the best players who have ever graced a baseball diamond. but their deeds and exploits will one day pass from memory.  It is the Hall Of Faith, Hebrews chapter 11, which contains the lives of the faithful, whose deeds have already had an eternal impact and will be remembered forever and ever.  A cross section of the faithful saints are mentioned in Hebrews 11, and the chapter closes with the following profound passage, depicting the great importance of faithful people in the eyes of the Lord:

Hebrews 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Aaron Judge is the current star on this team.  When he appears at the plate and is up to bat, the crowd cheers “All rise!” since his name is Judge.  Some even wear a judges’ robe in his honor.  But one day his baseball career will be over.  So let us focus on the eternal Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Corinthians 5:10 King James Version (KJV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Hebrews 1  English Standard Version (ESV)
The Supremacy of God’s Son
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
Or again,
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
8 But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
10 And,
“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.[a]
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
13 And to which of the angels has he ever said,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.


I enjoy baseball and the roar of the crowd.  But if the world can get excited about temporal pursuits that will soon pass away, how much more passion should the Christian born from above have.  When Jesus comes in judgment, “every eye shall behold Him, every tongue will confess Him as Lord, and every knee shall bow before Him.”  Let us use every fiber in our being to magnify the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, and “so much the more, as we see that day approaching.”  (Hebrews 10:25b)

All Because Of Him, Pastor Steve


Pray For Revival In America!


The Offense Of The Cross (Part 2 of 2)

The Offense Of The Cross

Galatians 5:11  King James Version (KJV)
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Consider why the cross is an offense today:

1)The cross of Christ condemns the world.  The thief on the cross who was saved, saw Jesus as He really was, and himself for what he was.  Sin reveals that we fall short of God’s demands.  It is the gigantic evil, the transgression towards God.  Sin leaves us far from God’s holy nature.  It leaves us no hope, we must pay the price.  “The soul that sins shall die.”  Sin lies upon our conscience – we lie in bed with insomnia, dreams and nightmares.  Jesus was made sin and a curse for us – He put away our sins and the condemning power.  There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  But the world is offended by the crucified God/man, suspended on a stick, and told this is the only way you can be saved.  An illustration would be Madalyn Haira and her hatred of the cross.  She actually desired for the state flag of Maryland to be changed since there was a cross on it, even though it did not depict the cross of Christ.  Another example is the movie, The Last Temptation, which made Jesus a sinner just like you and me.  Furthermore, the National Arts submerged a cross in urine in order to portray their disdain of the cross.  The first funeral that I officiated, dealt with a murder/suicide.  I spoke a eulogy to the county Rescue Squad.  When I preached on sin and the cross, the congregation was offended and they filed out.  Here is the “eulogy” that offended them:  “There are none righteous, no not one.”  Madonna, another name for the Virgin Mary, is another example of one who despises the cross of Christ.  She is offended by the cross and wears several in mockery.  The press claimed it was her trademark.  I beg to differ.  She wore it but never bore it.  She was noted for the perverted quotation:  “I love the crucifix because there is a naked man on it.”  Wrong Madonna – the cross and the tomb are empty.  Jesus Christ died for the sins of Madonna, you and me.  Many throughout the world, at work and school, curse Jesus Christ and are offended by the cross.  They feel self sufficient.  Have you ever heard of Buddha, Confucius or Mohammed cursed?  Of course not, they bore no cross.  The cross is an offense because “…men loved darkness because their deeds are evil.”  The cross throws light into the dark recesses of our soul and reveals our sins – the cross becomes an offense because it condemns us as sinners.

2)The cross is an offense because blood was shed there.  Unbelievers accuse us of a “slaughterhouse religion.”  But the Bible tells us that the shed blood of our Savior on Mount Calvary is our only hope:  “Without the shedding of the blood there is no remission of sins.”  Amen and amen.

3)The cross sets up an imperative ideal life.  Jesus said:  “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, carry his cross, and follow me.”  This imperative eliminates the church crowd.  Many people “have a form of religion and godliness but deny the power thereof.”  There is an outward show, but little evidence of the real Christian life and the new birth.  They are offended by real Christianity.  Jesus always thinned out the ranks and never sought the popular “gospel.”  Today, big churches often seek mass membership, and do not stress the new birth, the cross, the blood, true salvation and the need to repent from sin.  Today’s country club has an organization, members, reports, and programs, but is not one of self denial.  Even Jesus’ large crowd did not want self denial.  They desired the kingdom, the crowd, and to rule and live in a palace – they did not want to go to the cross with Jesus.  We shudder at a life like Jesus, refusing to surrender what the cross condemns.  

4)The cross is an offense because it claims to be the power and salvation of God.  The first duty of every man  is to get right with God.  Man does not like this, and wants to believe that many roads lead to heaven.  Jesus said the gate is narrow, and at the beginning of the gate is the cross, and one cannot enter but by the cross.  The cross humbles, demands, and expects everything we have to be given to Christ.  The cross condemns every other way of salvation.  Acts 4:12  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  If people tell you that you are narrow minded, you can share with them that “narrow is the way to the kingdom, there be few who find it.”