Sermons and Classes
THANKS: We all know this has been a tough winter. You may not realize that it has been especially hard on our physical facility here. In the past month the light on the sign went out; the heater in the well house died and the pump froze and had to be replaced; a hole developed in the pipe inside the well casing and the whole assembly had to be replaced, the men's toilet sprung a leak and had to be fixed; and we still have a problem with the water pump for the building. Bill Gibson with assistance from Richard Hoyt has taken care of all of these things, and we thank them. The question has to be raised as to what we would do without them? We cannot continue to have all of the work around here done by a small number of people. We need to talk about it.
TUESDAY NIGHT CLASS THIS WEEK: Our monthly home Bible study is this coming Tuesday night at 7:00. Bring your Bible and come to Claytons — 1555 Echo Valley Drive in Niles. This study brings together people from six or more congregations in the area. Some bring refreshments and we have popcorn and drinks. It is a great time of fellowship and Bible study, so join us for the March get together.
A. On February 16 and 23 we studied Satan and how he works.I. SUBJECT 1 — PRAYER
B. The church of Satan is real — look at its creed.
1. Compare it to Jesus' church.
♦Church of Satan: “Prayer is useless — it distracts people from useful activity. No God ever answered any prayer at any time, nor ever will.”II. SUBJECT 2 — HOW WE DEAL WITH OTHERS.
A. THE PROBLEM — we all have prayers that seem to have not been answered.
B. THE EVIDENCE AND GOD'S ANSWER
1. Looking to a higher Power does work.
2. The act of prayer shapes us.
3. Unanswered prayer has two basic causes:
a. James 4:1– 3
b. Isaiah 55:8 and John 9:3
♦Church of Satan: "Survival of the fittest." Peter SingerIII. SUBJECT 3 — MORAL CONDUCT
♦Matthew 5:38 – 42 and Matthew 7:12
A. THE PROBLEM: Survival of the fittest gives a practical immediate answer and Jesus' teaching violates nature.
B. THE EVIDENCE AND GOD'S ANSWER
1. What happens when you are “not the fittest?”
2. What has happened when Satan's methods are tried? (Liberal, Missouri, and Russia)
3. 1 Corinthians 3:16 — moral practices
♦Church of Satan “Practice with joy the ‘seven deadly Christian sins.’ Engage in sex freely in accordance with your needs, be it heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or with one or more consenting adults.”WHAT CHURCH (TWO CHOICES) ARE YOU A MEMBER?
♦Seven deadly sins — Proverbs 6:16 –19; 1 Corinthians 6:9 –10; Galatians 5:22 – 25
A. THE PROBLEM: Moral freedom and pleasure are attractive.
B. THE EVIDENCE AND THE ANSWER
1. The results of the seven deadly sins
2. No purpose in our existence is offered by Satan
a. John 9:1– 3; Job 1, 2, 38 – 42; John 13:2 –17
YOU CANNOT BE A “NONE” — Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23.
THE BACK PAGE
TRAVELING WITH ABRAHAM
If you have not been coming to our Wednesday night class on Abraham, you have been missing a really encouraging study. Abraham is held up as an example of faith in passages like Hebrews 11:8 –19; but, as we watch Abraham's journey, we see that he was very much like us in many ways. The story starts in Genesis 11:27 and continues through Genesis 25. We see Abraham's father not going to the land God had told him to go to, so Abraham reaches adulthood living among a pagan people that have no relationship to God.
As Abraham leaves Ur and starts to go toward Caanan, he almost continually fails to totally obey God. He takes Lot with him when God told him to separate himself from his relatives, and this brings him huge problems. He lets his wife become a part of Pharaoh's harem because his faith is weak. He allows Sarai to push him into an attempt to solve her own childlessness by giving her servant to Abram with the idea of raising the child as a surrogate mom. This gets him into a hen fight between Sarai and Hagar, and he allows this tragedy to tear his family apart.
In the midst of all this weakness, Abraham grows in strength and does some great things. He refuses to let the king of Sodom get a foot in the door of making Abraham a success which would have weakened God's role in Abraham's success. He allows Lot to take the choice lands of the area they have taken up residence in, and then rescues Lot when Lot is kidnapped by the local kings. As we continue our study of Abraham we will see his covenant with God and how he got to the level of faith to trust God in the story of Isaac. Even in this period however, he weakens in trusting God to protect him.
Why do I take a sadistic delight in Abraham's failings? Because it lets me know that my failings are not out of the reach of God. God can forgive me and God can use my weakness to bring me strength. Come travel with Abraham and with us Wednesday night: it is a good trip.
— John Clayton