Sunday – December 6, 2015 Revelation 8:1-13 “The Worst is Yet to Come”

Sunday – December 6, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday – December 6, 2015 Revelation 8:1-13 “The Worst is Yet to Come” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Revelation 8:13
“Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

I think most of us would agree at the outset that these prophetic books are among the most difficult parts of the Bible to interpret or to read with understanding. We shouldn’t be embarrassed to admit we have difficulty reading the prophets. In referring to the prophets, Martin Luther once said the following: “They have a queer way of talking, like people who, instead of proceeding in an orderly manner, ramble off from one thing to the next so that you cannot make heads or tails of them or see what they are getting at.” Now that is a comment to which I can relate.

The primary difficulty for most modern readers of the prophets stems from an inaccurate understanding of the words “prophet” and “prophecy.” The word prophet refers to one who tells forth (or proclaims), as well as one who foretells. But we often limit the meaning of prophecy to foretelling the future, so many Christians refer to the prophets only for predictions about Christ’s first coming, or his second coming, and the end times as though prediction of events far distant to their own day was their main concern.

It should be pointed out that less than 2% of Old Testament prophecy is messianic. Less than 5% specifically concerns the New Covenant age. The prophets did indeed announce the future, but it was usually the immediate future of Israel, Judah, and the surrounding nations, not our future – except here in the Book of Revelation. To see the prophets as primarily predictors of future events is to miss their primary function, which was, in fact, to speak for God to their contemporaries.

Through the prophets, God makes predictions of imminent doom using the device of the “woe,” and no Israelite could miss the significance of the use of that word. Woe oracles contain, either explicitly or implicitly, three elements that uniquely characterize this form: an announcement of distress (the word “Woe,” for example), the reason for the distress, and a prediction of doom. You can read Habakkuk 2:6-8 as an example of a woe oracle spoken against Babylon. The oracle announces “woe” in Verse 6. The reason is also given in Verse 6, where Babylon is personified as a thief and extortionist. Disaster is predicted in Verses 7-8, when all those Babylon has oppressed will one day rise up against it.

So what was it the prophets were seeking in their ministry? You might say restoration and a restored covenant relationship with God. Yes, that was the ultimate goal. But what the prophets truly sought was repentance. Restoration was the goal, but repentance is what they hoped to see from the people. In fact, this message of the prophets was so prevalent that Zechariah (one of the last prophets) was able to sum up in one sentence all the prophets that preceded him: “the earlier prophets proclaimed: Thus says the Lord of Hosts, turn from your evil ways and doings,” (Zechariah 1:4). The heart of Revelation is that all would come to repentance so that none would perish. And this is one reason the study of Revelation is so important to the church today.

Sunday – December 1, 2013 Judges 6:1-35 “How to Start a Revival (Without Even Trying)”

December 1, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

“How to Start a Revival (Without Even Trying)” Judges 6 verses 1 to 35 from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.


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Judges 6:7-10
Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the Lord on account of Midian,  that the Lord sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel,’It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land, and I said to you, I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me.”

There are two very important forces that affect faith in our culture; pluralism and privatization. Pluralism is the process by which our culture accepts a wide diversity of beliefs and practices as having equal merit. Considering the free society in which we live, this tolerance of other views is necessary for the functioning of the nation. In terms of religion, our nation is made up of many faiths, and our system of government allows people to believe and practice their faith as they see fit, provided they are not a danger to themselves or others.

It is necessary in a democracy to accept the reality that many faiths can coexist and be embraced in our nation, but this does not mean that all these faiths are equally true and valid. According to the Bible, and particularly the Lord Jesus Christ, Christianity alone is true faith, and faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins is the only way to heaven. People have the freedom to believe and worship however they wish, but only Jesus Christ saves, and only the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

Privatization not only embraces pluralism, it seeks to promote it. Our culture wants to believe all religions are of equal value and all of them will eventually get you to heaven. So pluralism says you can believe whatever you want, but privatization insists that you must not hold your belief as exclusively true. And so in the culture the only unpardonable sin is to attempt to impose your belief on someone else. Privatization insists we keep our faith – whatever that may be – to ourselves. This is the opposition we as Christians see in society towards evangelism.

Our text exposes these modern beliefs as false. The Israelites did not have the freedom to worship whatever they wanted. They were commanded to believe in the God who saved them from Egypt and had given them the land of Canaan. God told them through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.” The Great Commission demands we share our faith with others who are lost apart from trusting in Jesus Christ for their salvation. Gideon must tear down his father’s idols and publicly worship the God of Israel.  Our text challenges us to confront the pluralism and privatization of religion in our lives. There should be no such thing as “secret Christians” for those who follow Jesus Christ.

http://www.sunrisetc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SunriseWOW2013-12-01Web.pdf

Sunday – August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Sermons by the Sea from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Jesus continues to teach the crowds around the Sea of Galilee in parables. Describing the Kingdom of God in parables to keep those who are only looking for the miracle man in the dark, but providing illumination for those who are seeking the truth, Jesus continues to place the emphasis of His ministry on teaching. Join us this Sunday as we look at Mark 4 verses 21 to 41 and listen to Jesus’ “Sermons by the Sea”.


Word On Worship – August 26, 2012 Download / Print

Mark 4:21-23
And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

God rarely makes headlines in the world today. But is that really surprising? His gentle touches seem inconsequential to humanity because God works silently and in ways human eyes overlook. The parables by the sea bring the hidden Kingdom of God into full view — for those who have the faith to see it. All parables of Jesus require faith, which can only be given by God, before we see God’s purposes are being fulfilled; even when there appears to be no empirical evidence to be gathered, quantified or measured.

The world tells us the only certain things are death and taxes. Jesus tells us in the parables God’s Kingdom is certainly at work in ways we do not know and accomplish His purpose in a manner that is beyond human formulation. From our finite perspective, we are ignorant of God’s grand design even when we are in the midst of it. In the eye of the world, how can the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul be a good thing? Yet God uses the imprisonment of Paul to advance the gospel so the entire palace guard heard the good news of Jesus Christ while Paul inspired others through his epistles to preach the gospel even more boldly! God draws straight lines using what seems, from our perspective, to be crocked lines.

God’s purpose is revealed in the cross, a road of suffering, which leads us to the resurrection. Yet many remain blind to God’s plan of redemption. Those who look for certified proof see the cross as foolishness. But the weakness and apparent foolishness of God is transformed into the power of God to bring future triumph in the reign of Jesus Christ. It takes faith on our part to take such a step, to risk trusting your whole life to something that lies hidden, like a seed in the soil.

Often God’s children suffer from spiritual myopia because we lack the spiritual vision to see what God is doing in the soil. We cannot see next week, much less all eternity, and so become impatient waiting for God’s purpose to bear fruit. The parables illustrate the purpose of God and when we sow God’s seed, it will accomplish His purpose. We may not harvest the crop, but it was never our crop to harvest to begin with. It is and will always be God’s harvest. The gospel must be preached to all nations, disciples must face suffering, and judgment continues to rest on Jerusalem as we wait for our Lord’s coming- in God’s time.