Sunday Sermon Series – The Man of Sorrows and Grief

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Isaiah 53

The Suffering Messiah or Servant is the Major theme of Chapter three. Matthew Henry divides it this way: The person. (1-3) sufferings. (4-9) humiliation, and exaltation of Christ, are minutely described; with the blessings to mankind from his death. (10-12)

In keeping with our ongoing Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying Series, the above artwork was in my inbox this morning and of course, just begged to be today’s feature sermon.

Last Sunday, we returned to Lakeshore Baptist Church, Pastor Don Elborne preached a sermon from 1 Peter 2:24 & Galatians 2:20, entitled;  “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”. In it, he reminded us of the old Black spiritual of the same name. If you have never heard it, here is the 1899 version (v.1-4), the oldest known written copy as passed down and likely the closest to the original.

1 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (were you there?)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh!
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

2 Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? (to the tree?) Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

3 Were you there when they pierced Him in the side? (in the side?) Were you there when they pierced Him in the side? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they pierced Him in the side?

4 Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (were you there?) Were you there when the sun refused to shine? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

5 Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? * Added around 1907

6 Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? O–sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? * Added around 1950s

No one suffered or grieved on earth more than Christ Jesus. Man cannot even begin to comprehend the weight of all sins bearing down upon him. The inability to grasp this should not deter in fact it should sour us to think about it frequently.


Sermon

The Man of Sorrows

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, March 1, 1873,

Scripture: Isaiah 53:3

From: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 19


Other Resources:

Surely He Has Borne Our Griefs, John Piper

“Acquainted With Grief”, Oswald Chambers

Why is Jesus referred to as a man of sorrows in Isaiah 53:3

Made Righteous In HIM!

APRIL IS SECOND CHANCE MONTH

pf-logo

Every person has dignity and potential. But approximately 1 in 3 American adults has a criminal record, which limits their access to education, jobs, housing, and other things they need to reach that potential.

Since launching the first Second Chance® Month in 2017, Prison Fellowship® has spearheaded the nationwide effort to raise awareness about these barriers and unlock brighter futures for people with a criminal record.

Together we can open the door for approximately 70 million Americans to live up to their potential after paying their debt to society!

Second Chance Month Logo
https://www.prisonfellowship.org/about/justicereform/second-chance-month/

William

It’s May 30, 2018, and William Jones is going home. He has been incarcerated at the Carol S. Vance Unit in Richmond, Texas, for more than three years.

“I found out [I was going home] 15 days ago,” he says. His prison chaplain brought him the news. “I hugged him, and we cried together. Two big, grown men standing there, crying together.”

William’s parents, wife, and family wait for him outside the prison walls. “The fact that I’m not there to … help them—it really lets me know how selfish I had been in my ways,” William says. “The opportunity to get back out there—to get [the] second chance that God has given me … man! I’m without words. Speechless.”

WILLIAM’S SECOND CHANCE

SCM Proverbs 31

A surprising response to “The Great Commission”

This was shocking and should be of serious concern to everyone calling themselves Pastor, Elder, Preacher, etc. James 3:1

In today’s Barna Highlight, we’re sharing another bite-sized finding you can use to become a more informed leader.

Just because a word or phrase is common in church leadership, doesn’t mean it’s common among churchgoers.

For example, half of all U.S. churchgoers (51%) say they are unfamiliar with the term “the Great Commission.”

(Also note when you add up the unfamiliar with the unsure and can’t explain, a whopping 82% have never heard of or do not comprehend Christ’s command to ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS.)

This surprising finding comes from Translating the Great Commission, a report we created with Seed Company

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Matthew 5:10


Open Doors International

More than 340 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.

That’s 1 in 8 worldwide, 1 in 6 in Africa, 2 out of 5 in Asia, and 1 in 12 in Latin America.

NOT ALONE, NOT FORGOTTEN NOT EVER

[Urgent Prayer] Suicide bombers attack church in Indonesia, at least 19 wounded

’God is alive!’—in Nigeria, this pastor finds hope in the rubble

Eritrea is rounding up and arresting Christians—37 in two days

Terminally ill and 62—Christian convert faces prison in Iran

The Chinese church is exploding … but will it survive?

CLICK HERE for a list or an interactive MAP of countries where persecution is taking place today. 

Main website: OPEN DOORS INTERNATIONAL


An Educational Antidote to a Rising Tide of Tribal, Religious, and Political Violence in Africa

Giving Meaning to ‘Never Again’ in Africa

Myanmar Massacre: GFA World Calls for Prayer Amid Military Coup


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated at barnabusfund.org/news

APRIL PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE

DAILY PRAYER LINK

Barnabas Aid Calls on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Recognize the Armenian, Assyrian, Syriac and Greek Genocide

Churches Draw Up Religious Studies Syllabus for Christian Students as Part of Pakistan’s New National Curriculum

Five Out of 39 Nigerian Students Kidnapped From Kaduna College Released

Islamist Attacks Illustrate the Growth of Jihadism in Mali and Niger

Church Minister and Three Worshipers Killed by Gunmen in Benue, Nigeria

U.S. State Department Confirms Turkish Participation in Nagorno-Karabakh War, Highlights Azerbaijani War Crimes

Christian Families Lose Everything as Fire Engulfs Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh

Dozens Killed and Thousands Flee as Jihadists Attack Town in Northern Mozambique

Eight Christians Abducted by Bandits in Kaduna, Nigeria

Praying for the Persecuted Church review of 40 countries and 7 other areas to pray for


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Pakistan:

When 13-year-old Shakaina Masih’s mother arrived to take her home from the job at which she helped with housework, she was informed that her daughter had already left. When Shakaina never showed up, concern soon became alarm as her parents urgently filed a missing person report. After initially delaying to respond, police informed Shakaina’s parents that she had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man last month.

Devastated to learn that their teenage daughter was supposedly married to a man whose name they had never even heard, Shakaina’s parents believe she was abducted. “Shakaina is just a kid,” Shakaina’s father, Johnson Masih told Morning Star News. “She was kidnapped and taken to Okara, where they forcibly converted her and conducted the fake marriage to give it a religious cover.” Many Christian parents in Pakistan fear exactly this occurrence — and it is all too common.

Hundreds of girls from Christian and Hindu backgrounds are kidnapped each year and forcibly converted before being raped and often forced to live as their abductor’s wives. Widespread discrimination and the government’s failure to protect religious freedom creates an environment that enables horrific incidences of forced marriage to thrive. Islamic clerics who solemnize underage marriages, magistrates who make the marriages legal, and corrupt authorities who refuse to investigate all contribute to the problem.

For more on this issue and what the United States can do about it, check out Family Research Council’s new publication titled, “Combatting Forced Marriage of Young Women in Pakistan.

Africa:

Hardly a day passes without accounts of mass kidnappings of Nigerian schoolchildren, Christian clergy and aid workers gunned down, villages torched, or churchgoers massacred. Africa is in trouble, and the United States and other global leaders must wake up to the horrifying levels of violence suffocating Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Read more in Lela’s op-ed in Newsweek.

China:

In coordination with the United States, new sanctions were placed on several Chinese officials responsible for atrocities in Xinjiang by the United Kingdom, European Union, and Canada. In retaliation, China decided to sanction two U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) Commissioners, including FRC President Tony Perkins.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s sanctions are nothing but tactics of intimidation, designed to help them save face in an international community that’s denounced their brutal and repressive policies,” Perkins said. It is telling that while Western countries sanction Chinese officials over human rights abuses, China sanctions individuals who merely speak out in defense of the oppressed.

See FRC’s resources:

What we’re working on:

We recently started an “International Religious Freedom 101” series on the FRC Blog. Check out our second installment, “Pakistan Is Captive to Islamist Mob Rule.” Stay tuned for more!


The Voice of the Martyrs

GLOBAL PRAYER GUIDE

Christian Mother Recently Widowed

Christian Women Released from Island Prison

Christians Endure Persecution as God’s Kingdom Advances

Tough Times for Ethiopian Believers

Believer Facing Prison and Family Harm

Two Christians Sentenced to Prison for “Shaking Faith”

Family Barred from Two Villages for Christian Faith

Christians Rejoice After Church Destroyed

Many Audio Bibles Already Distributed This Year

Family Fined for Hosting Worship Gatherings

Newly Baptized Followers of Christ Face Persecution

The wording of the First Amendment & Who Twisted It

American Minute with Bill Federer

On March 15, 1984, the U.S. Senate voted down children praying in public schools. President Ronald Reagan said: “I am deeply disappointed that, although a majority of the Senate voted for it, the school prayer amendment fell short.”

On September 25, 1982, Reagan said: “Unfortunately, in the last two decades we’ve experienced an onslaught of such twisted logic that if Alice were visiting America, she might think she’d never left Wonderland. We’re told that it somehow violates the rights of others to permit students in a school who desire to pray to do so. Clearly, this infringes on the freedom of those who choose to pray, the freedom taken for granted since the time of our Founding Fathers …”

Continued at Source: https://americanminute.com/blogs/todays-american-minute/wording-of-the-first-amendment-who-twisted-it-american-minute-with-bill-federer

Devotioinal Thought for Today – 03/15/2021

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

ACTS 4

Here, I. Peter and John are taken up, upon a warrant from the priests, and committed to jail, Acts 4:1-4. II. They are examined by a committee of the great Sanhedrin, Acts 4:5-7. III. They bravely avow what they have done, and preach Christ to their persecutors, Acts 4:8-12. IV. Their persecutors, being unable to answer them, enjoin them silence, threatening them if they go on to preach the gospel, and so dismiss them, Acts 4:13-22. V. They apply to God by prayer, for the further operations of that grace which they had already experienced, Acts 4:23-30. VI. God owns them, both outwardly and inwardly, by manifest tokens of his presence with them, Acts 4:31-33. VII. The believers had their hearts knit together in holy love and enlarged their charity to the poor, and the church flourished more than ever, to the glory of Christ, Acts 4:33-37. – Matthew Henry 

Christianity is the largest religious group in the world, and in 2020 there were about 2.6 billion adherents globally.[5] What defines a “Christain” [or how one becomes one]  these days man be within some of those denominations up for question, but the bible as our main text proclaims is very clear. 

Salvation is through faith alone in Christ alone. Christianity is dogmatic, it is a narrow way, for God’s chosen, His elect only and here in Acts Luke is relating Peter saying  …there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (AMP)  

In the end, I do not care if you are part of any of these or their various offshoots:

      • Catholicism 
      • Protestantism 
      • Eastern Orthodoxy 
      • Oriental Orthodoxy 
      • Non-trinitarian Restorationism 
      • Eastern Protestant Christianity 
      • Church of the East 

Without the saving power of Christ and Christ alone, you are not a Christian!

Today’s Prayer

I thank You, Father, for Jesus my Saviour. Thank You for Your gift of salvation that has been given to me through Christ alone. Thank You that salvation is so simple, that even a little child can understand it. Give me the strength and wisdom to speak out daily sharing the Good News.  I pray Lord for your Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of my friends, family, and those who read this that know you not, that they too may rest eternally in Christ.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.

Modified from source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Acts/4/12

 

Women’s Suffrage

IMAGINE THAT? The Republican Party pioneered the right of women to vote. In 1870, the Massachusetts Republican State Convention seated two women delegates.

American Minute with Bill Federer

Women’s Suffrage: Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Frances Willard, Emma Willard, Elizabeth Cady Stanton

In the U.S. Capitol Rotunda is a sculpture of women suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott…

READ MORE > > 

 

Can the United States Still be Redeemed?

Can the United States still be Redeemed?

By Glenn Meldrum

I fear the United States is hastening towards judgment. Where that line of no return is I do not know, but the nation’s rapid moral and spiritual decline is hurtling us towards that terrifying line at breakneck speed. Only divine intervention can turn us from our self-destructive course. We have forsaken the God which gave us a country immersed in a strong Christian heritage; we have abandoned the ancient paths to becoming a modern barbaric culture (Jeremiah 6:16).

Just prior to my ministering at an urban church the youth pastor taught his unsaved, street-level youth group that homosexuality is a sin and those practicing it will spend an eternity in hell. One 14-year-old girl replied, “Then everyone in my school is going to hell.” This same young woman responded to an altar call I gave while preaching to that youth group. While my wife was ministering to her she asked a serious question: “How can I be a Christian when all my friends are lesbians and my mother is a drug addict?” Bob Just was right when he stated: “Today’s culture is a child molester.”

How can the Lord hold back his just wrath when we are destroying our nation, beginning with our youth? Law Professor Kelly Howard stated, “According to sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate, experts reveal that by the time a female in this country is 18 years old, 38 percent have been sexually molested. One in eight women will be raped. Fifty percent of women will be sexually harassed on their jobs during their lifetimes. In fact, sexual dysfunction is on such a rampant rise that experts are calling it a sexual holocaust.”

Crossing the Point-of-No-Return

There are cultures and nations that are simply not redeemable. This means that they have collectively crossed a line in the practice of evil where they refuse to turn from their sin and are therefore left to God’s wrath. Because a culture becomes unredeemable does not indicate that individuals within that culture cannot be saved. It just signifies that the culture has become so immersed in wickedness that the only thing left for it is destruction. This happens in part because the nature of evil is not understood to be exceedingly wicked and offensive to a holy God, so the practice of evil becomes culturally acceptable.

The fact that cultures can become unredeemable does not imply that the doctrine of limited atonement is true. The Lord gave mankind an authentic free will and desires every person to be saved. That is why He declared, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11; quoted in 2 Peter 3:9). Though salvation is available to everyone, only those who repent will be saved.

Cultures are made up of individuals who make the conscience moral choices that define the character of the nation or people group. Some cultures become so immersed in the evil that they harden themselves against God. Since they reject God’s salvation, He turns them over to their own self-destructive ways (Romans 1:18-32). In essence, they cross a line in their practice of sin where evil is so ingrained into the culture that the only thing left to them is divine wrath.

Tweet This: “…the nature of evil is not understood to be exceedingly wicked and offensive to a holy God, so the practice of evil becomes culturally acceptable.”

Examples of unredeemable cultures are abundant in Scripture. The Lord destroyed the world with a flood in Noah’s day. He hailed fire and brimstone down on Sodom. Israel could not conquer the promised land until the evil practices of the Amorites were at their worst (Genesis 15:13-16). King Saul was commanded by God to fully destroy the Amalekites because they had plummeted to the depths of evil in their pursuit of wickedness (1 Samuel 15).

The only safe way we can say that culture was unredeemable is by looking at Scripture. Otherwise, we are left to subjective claims that are based upon our small-minded opinions and highfalutin paradigms. Only God knows the hearts of men, therefore, He alone is able to justly judge men and their cultures.

To label people or cultures as unredeemable is also counterproductive to Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. We must always believe that grace is available to everyone and faithfully strive to present them with the Gospel. Ours is not to decide who is to be saved but to reach out to everyone no matter their lifestyle or sin.

The Church’s Role in America

If all this is true then what is the value of understanding that cultures can become unredeemable? So that we seek God’s face for a national awakening and prepare the way for Him to come to us. In the end, we are either going to experience revival or judgment. Yet even if we had a revival where five million people were genuinely converted, would that deliver the nation from the vile explosion of homosexuality? Would it rescue us from the evils of fornication (which includes people living together outside of marriage)? Do you think that the porn and prostitution trades would cease their practices? Would our state governments and Indian reservations abandon the decadent, yet lucrative business of gambling? Would Hollywood cease propagating the moral and spiritual filth it relentlessly vomits out of its studios?

My fear is that we are nearing the line of no return. Nevertheless, we must remember that all things are possible with God and the story of Nineveh is the perfect example of mercy being shown to an evil culture. The Lord decreed the judgment of Nineveh “because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:2). After Jonah preached, the people repented, so the Lord granted mercy. If the Savior was “concerned about that great city” of 120,000 souls (Jonah 4:11), will He not be concerned about America’s millions?

There are two ways we can respond to our nation’s aggressive pursuit of evil. The first is to run away from our responsibility as Jonah did at first. This is what the majority of professing believers are doing today. The second is to follow Jonah’s example and repent. Here lies the only hope—that a deeply repentant church would become a catalyst for an authentic awakening that would transform secular society.

Tweet This: “…we seek God’s face for a national awakening and prepare the way for Him to come to us.”

The First Great Awakening in America began in the 1730’s. There were approximately 340,000 people in the country, with roughly 100,000 being alcoholics. At the end of the awakening, 50,000 people were saved. An equivalent awakening today would produce 50 million authentic conversions.

Jesus warned that prior to His second coming the world would be like it was in the days of Noah and Sodom (Luke 17:26-30). Those that gather to fight against God at Armageddon will suffer a fate similar to Sodom’s. Finally, mankind’s practice of evil will reach a depth unequaled in history. The Lord will destroy all of creation and then make a new heaven and earth “wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

People, cultures, and nations that cross the line in the practice of evil have something worse to fear than the destruction of their culture or of creation itself, and that’s the Great White Throne Judgment. Here the Lord will judge the people as individuals who made their own conscious choices. All who refused to own Jesus as Lord while on earth will suffer an eternity without Him in the Lake of Fire. Even the eternal fires of hell will not purge them of their love of evil. In the Lake of Fire, they will truly be unredeemable.


Glenn Meldrum has been a national evangelist since 1997. Prior to his calling as an evangelist he pastored for 15 years. He is ordained and holds an M.A. in theology and church history from Ashland Theological Seminary. Visit http://www.ihpministry.com for articles, sermons, books, and information on Glenn Meldrum and In His Presence Ministries.

Copyright © 2021 by Pure Life Ministries. Permission is granted to use, copy, distribute, or retransmit information or materials on this page, so long as proper acknowledgment is given to Pure Life Ministries as the source of the materials, and no modifications are made to such material.

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/11/2021

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The Bible has much to say about the Glory of God, here are a few sources to look at:

King James Version (KJV) by Book Order

Crossway, 100 Verses  (ESV) not in book order

Biblical Texts to Show God’s Zeal for His Own Glory

Why is Soli Deo Gloria important?

Of course, you can google thousands more some good some not so much. That is where biblical discernment comes in, but that is for another day.  Today I want to look at two main points of application as it applies to God’s Glory. 

Someone once said, “Show me your redeemed life and I might believe in your Redeemer.” That’s a fair request! As Christians, we are Christ’s ambassadors to a dying world. With His Spirit in our hearts and His Word in our hands, we are to speak His truth in love and live a life that lends credibility to what we say.¹

This should lead us directly to 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Back in 2018, I posted an article entitled  This, and nothing but this is true Christianity! It began with the first question from the Puritan catechism: Q1: What is the chief end of man? A1: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, ( 1 Corinthians 10:31 ) and to enjoy him forever. (Psalms 73:25 Psalms 73:26 ) and continued with a piece from Edward Griffin.  The main theme of everything a true believer does will be in an attempt to Glorify God. 

There is however a second aspect of Glorifying God most folks overlook and that is in prayer. God’s glory must be the ultimate goal of every prayer request we make.¹ 

How is that possible? Simply praying in God’s will. Never asking for things outside of God’s will or good pleasure. Let me see if I can give an example. Abortion, most of you know it has been something I have been passionate about for nearly 25 years. I want God to eliminate (shut down) all abortion clinics, to heal the hearts and minds of those working at those places. I would never pray for God to “eliminate” the workers how does that  ‘Show someone your redeemed life?’

Our walk should match our prayer life and our prayer life our walk. I am convinced a praying believer walks upright and an upright believer prays. 

Today’s Prayer

Praying for God’s Glory

O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous and just acts, please let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from our nation.  Because of our sins and the wickedness of our leaders your people (remnant)  have become an object of scorn and a contemptuous byword to all who are around us.  Therefore, our God, listen to (heed) the prayer of Your servants and our supplications, and for Your own sake let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary.  O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and look at our desolations and the Nation which was founded upon your principles; for we are not presenting our supplications before You because of our own merits and righteousness, but because of Your great mercy and compassion.  O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! Do not delay, for Your own sake, O my God, because our nation and Your people are called by Your Name.” based upon Dan. 9:16-19

 

¹ Source