Saturday, May 14, 2022

I WILL RETURN TO YOU















Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Today we open the third chapter of Malachi, and it begins with words from Jesus, the Word of God. As always, it’s the personal pronouns in verses like this that reveal the identity of the speaker, and of, or to whom he is speaking. These may have not been realized by readers of the Old Testament, but as New Testament believers, we can acknowledge God’s fulfilled prophecies, and His imparting of the Holy Spirit, and come to the knowledge of the truth.

This should not surprise us here in Malachi. The Jews had moved so far from God and His Word that their minds had been seared, and their ears shut up. Malachi’s prophetic Book is followed by 400 years of silence from God, as though He were shunning them for their disobedience, and violations against His Law. But even in their disobedience, God’s grace and mercy shines through as a light in the darkness. His silence to His people will come to an abrupt end with the advent of God’s Messenger, John the Baptist. He will prepare the way before the Lord, the promised Redeemer, and He will come suddenly!

Deuteronomy 8:5 is affirmed by Hebrews 12:6; God chastens those that He loves, as a father chastens his son. The modern church still proclaims the Glory and power of the Son, but many churches have gone astray in their teachings, abandoning the simplicity and beauty of God’s word and teach human dogma for God’s Word. Just as Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem in last week’s teaching, it took a day’s travel before they realized He was not with them. And returning to Jerusalem, it took them three days to find Jesus.
2 Peter 3:8 – “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one days is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Chronologically, we are 22 years into the third thousand-year period after our Redeemer shed His blood for us, and revealed Himself alive on the third day. Mary and Joseph were separated from Jesus for three days before they found Him again in the Temple. “The Church” has been divided, quartered, and divided many times over since Jesus told Peter “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt. 16:18)
Mark 7:7 – “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Today's Audio Message:
Malachi 3:1-4:6 - "I Will Return To You"

Summary/Notes:

Though the words of Malachi were delivered to the Jews, there are so many lessons for us learn in this text.

It is a rebuke to those who have turned away from the Lord, those who have forgotten His ways, and to those who are unfaithful to His Word. It is a call to repentance, to turn away from sin; it is a call to return to Him and righteous living. It is a warning of a coming judgment to sinners, contrasted by the blessedness of the saints. It is a call to righteous living, looking to Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. It is a call to faithfully and actively pursue the Lord, to be committed to His Word, and to live out our faith in righteous living.

In Malachi 2:17, the people are scoffing at the Lord. People who scoff at God, with accusations that He doesn't care, doesn't see, doesn't exist, doesn't reward those who obey him, and doesn't punish evil, have been around since the beginning.

The Lord's answer to these scoffers is in Malachi 3:1-6 is a prophecy concerning John the Baptist. He was the Messenger of the Lord sent to prepare the way (Matthew 11:10) for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. John preached repentance and baptized in the name of the Lord, thus preparing the way for Jesus’ first advent. But the Messenger who comes “suddenly to the Temple” is Christ Himself in His second advent when He comes in power and might (Matthew 24). At that time, He will “purify the sons of Levi” (v. 3), meaning that those who exemplified the Mosaic Law would themselves need purification from sin through the blood of the Savior. Only then will they be able to offer “an offering in righteousness” because it will be the righteousness of Christ imputed to them through faith (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Sin is mankind's problem, Jesus is the answer to that problem. He calls us to repent, to turn from our sins and turn back to Him. Those who harden their hearts towards the Lord, those who deny His Word and continue in sin will be judged on the Day of Judgment.

God's character doesn't change - ever! He is immutable, and because He doesn't change, He keeps His promises. Psalm 89:34 - "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips."

The final message delivered to Israel by Malachi is in verse 7. Here, God accuses the people of "robbing" Him by withholding His required tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8). God's covenant with Israel included both blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Israel fails to understand. They have strayed so far from His Word, that they don't remember that this is exactly what God promised them in return for unfaithfulness.

Abraham gave a tenth of all he had to the priest of Salem in Genesis 14:20. Later, the Mosaic Law included commands to give a tenth for tabernacle worship. Tithing is mentioned 18 times in the Law, as the people were to share their produce and livestock to support the Levites, the caretakers of the tabernacle. This same system of tithing would later be applied to the temple (2 Chronicles 31:5).

Does this teaching apply to Christians today? Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day, saying, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Matthew 23:23). These Pharisees obeyed the Law of Moses in that they tithed scrupulously, yet did not truly love God. They were challenged to do both.

The Law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:17). The principle in the New Testament is to give voluntarily to support the needs of others (Acts 2:45Romans 15:25-27), support Christian workers (1 Corinthians 9:11-121 Timothy 5:18), and expand Christian outreach (Philippians 4:15-16). 

Can you outgive God? We have been so abundantly blessed haven't we? But still, at times we hold back from God. Our giving should be a joyful act, with hearts full of thanksgiving, and love and desire to bless the Lord. Our giving reflects our love for God.

God is not pleased when we do not obey His commands. He will repay those who disregard Him. God sees our hearts, so He knows what our intentions are; nothing can be hidden from Him. He will return and He will be the judge. But if we return to Him, He will return to us (Malachi 3:6).

God keeps track of those who fear and love him in a "scroll of remembrance." They are his special personal possession that he treasures greatly (Malachi 3:16-17).
On Judgment Day the distinction between the righteous and wicked will be clear (Malachi 3:18).

Judgment Day, "the Day of the Lord," will bring fiery punishment for those who don't love God, but blessing and peace to those who trust him (Malachi 4:1-2).

Jesus Christ will be either a stepping stone into heaven or a stumbling stone into hell. No one can be neutral about Jesus Christ. Either you rise on Him, or you fall on Him. You cannot walk around Him. Either you’re saved by Him or you’re judged by Him.

You will encounter Jesus Christ. He is inevitable. He is unavoidable. He is inescapable. What you do with Jesus Christ determines what Jesus Christ will do with you. What are you doing with Jesus Christ today?





Saturday, May 7, 2022

Where Did He Go?



Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Happy Mothers’ Day! Where would we be without them? And to reveal their importance to us, God’s Word tells of their many roles in the scriptures!

From Genesis 2 with the creation of Eve, to the Proverbs 31 woman (Proverbs 31:10-33), to the stories of many women in the Bible, we see that God honors them repeatedly with their names and their accomplishments recorded in the text.

Though the genealogies of the Old Testament honor the fathers with the “begats” and “begottens,” it is truly the bloodline of mothers that bring the next generation into the world to fulfill God’s promises. Nowhere in God’s Word does this become more evident than when we read the two genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke, one from Mary’s family and another of Joseph’s.

Whether our mothers are alive, or if they have passed on to receive their reward, their presence in our lives today is clear as we hear their voices yet.

They have loved us, nurtured us, taught us, and offered us correction. Their role in our lives has been huge, and Mothers’ Day is a day to honor what they have accomplished in us.

Not every mother is God’s ideal Mom, and indeed every “Mom” is a sinner, but many are sinners-saved-by-grace. We recall Paul’s Epistle to Timothy, reminding him to think about the unfeigned faith that was in Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. Paul goes further, and says he believes that unfeigned faith is in Timothy also! “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” -2 Timothy 1:5

Just as bad habits can be passed from one generation to the next, so too can good Godly traits and a life of faith! How many of us are assembled together this morning because of the basic lessons of faith that we learned at home?

Let’s celebrate our mothers today and give honor and praise to the Lord God Who gave us to them!

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” - Proverbs 22:6


Today's Audio Message:
Luke 2:40-52 - "Where Did He Go?"

Summary/Notes:

In today's teaching we get a brief glimpse into one occasion in Jesus' childhood. We will see the devotion of parents, Joseph and Mary. We will see their devotion to God.  We will see how much they loved this Son, Jesus, their Messiah.  We are inspired by their obedience and their faithfulness to do all that God's Word instructs them to do. And even when they don't fully understand what the Lord is doing, they trust, and His mother kept all these things, all these sayings in her heart.  

We will also see the child Jesus, who understood at the age of twelve the fullness of the truth of God as He grew into manhood. He was full of wisdom. He could see the Passover, the sacrifice, and could see Himself in it. He knew His mission. This child who was God, MUST BE about His Father’s business.

Today we are in Luke 2:40:52, and we will take a look at one of the only childhood events that scripture reveals of Jesus' young life. There just isn’t much information in the Bible about His childhood or teenage years. We know what happened the first eight days of life, that He spent a short time in Egypt with His parents when King Herod was out to kill Him. We know that He grew up in Nazareth but other than that, we know nothing about that time period except for what we are going to learn today from Luke chapter 2. These are known as the silent years of Jesus.

We might be wondering why the scriptures don’t reveal much about this time in Jesus’ life, but we are given a clue as to why in verses 40 and 52. Luke gives us a glimpse of the child who was God. 

Jesus knew that He was God. He knew exactly who He was, and He knew exactly why He came. From birth to twelve “the child continued to grow, He became strong, He increased in wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:40). This is normal childhood development except for one thing, Jesus was sinless, never sinning, without the stain of sin on His life, and without the effects of sin in His life. So, during His growing years we understand that Jesus is growing and developing like any child, but is pure and sinless, and thus living a sinless life.  It's important to understand this because, in this story, some confuse what Jesus did as bad behavior, or disobedience to His parents.  When Jesus lingers behind, it was a natural result of His knowledge that He must be about His Father’s business.

Joseph and Mary are on their way to Jerusalem, probably with family in tow. It is the Feast of the Passover and scripture reveals that they observed this feast every year. Parents, children, extended family and friends all heading towards Jerusalem together. Parents teaching their children to be observant of God’s law, and of God’s promise to redeem His people.

They had gone to the feast of the Passover, they had fulfilled the days there, and now they are returning home, that is everyone except for the twelve-year-old Jesus. Scripture tells us that He tarried behind. His lingering was not disobedience or irresponsibility. Jesus was without sin, obedient, thoughtful, perfect. But there is something going on here…a break. Something that Mary will observe and keep in her heart.

After a day's journey heading north out of Jerusalem, they realize that Jesus is not with them, and they cannot find Him anywhere.  We can all sympathize with this couple, perhaps some of you have had similar experiences. Through all the hustle and bustle, and the confusion of travelling they lose sight of Jesus, and they probably left Him behind. A parent's worst nightmare. The panic in their hearts. 

Joseph and Mary did what every parent would do, they worried, and then made haste back to Jerusalem to search for Jesus. Scripture reveals that it took them three full days to find Him. They found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.

This sets the stage for the most dramatic, profound and penetrating statement from the mouth of Jesus, indicating that He knew exactly who He was, and why He came.

“I MUST BE ABOUT MY FATHER’S BUSINESS.”

Jesus uses the word MUST.  "I must be about my Father's business."  

Pastor Bob encourages you to do a word study on this word must.   See: Luke 4:43; Luke 9:22.  


































Saturday, April 30, 2022

Return to Me!


Bobersvations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Malachi’s prophecy comes during the Restoration Period, the years after the Jews returned to the land from their Babylonian captivity. Almost two generations had passed; no Temple, no Temple sacrifices. And now, back in their own land, the daunting task of rebuilding the Temple, rebuilding the City of Jerusalem, and the homes of the people lay on the shoulders of leadership. Ezra and Nehemiah were God’s chosen to help direct the project, and they were eventually successful. But lacking a Temple all those years in Babylon, the traditions of the Law had slipped substantially. The people still saw themselves as Jews, and God had promised their return to the land.

And while they were absent from the land, God was not. Nothing had changed about the Lord’s attitude toward sin and disobedience, that being the reason for God allowing them to be taken off to Babylon in the first place.

There are a multitude of reasons and distractions that might keep us from obedience to God. Maybe you are “between churches,” or new to an area. If we love the Lord, we will not want to stay away from worshipping alongside of other Christians for more than a week, or two.

When one ignores the thing that can anchor us, and center our lives, it’s easy to begin to just stumble through life as best we can on our own, and wander away. But if the Believer stays faithful there won’t be any stumbling, or losing their way. God will direct and bless our lives through His beloved Son, and His Holy Spirit, AND He will bless our families.

Maybe you are just coming to Christ. Maybe you’re coming back to Jesus, always loving Him, but loving the world too. No matter how long you have been counted among the missing, God’s arms are open wide to welcome you home, and the angels will rejoice!

The Prodigal Son -
“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him...” “(and) the father said, ‘Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him. And put a ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be merry: For my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.’ “
~ Luke 15:20-24 ~


Today's Audio Message:
Malachi 2:1-17 - "Return To Me"

Summary/Notes:

This week’s study begins in Malachi chapter 2.

The book of Malachi was written to the people of Israel, and is dealing with the same sinful issues they had before their exile to Babylon. Falling back into sin is so easy when we operate in the flesh.

Malachi also had to deal with the sins of the priests, these are the leaders of the people who are supposed to lead the people into the presence of the Lord. These priests are supposed to know God’s law, walking in holiness reverencing the Lord, and teaching the people to do the same.

In this chapter the priests are being called out for dishonoring God. They are disobedient to God’s law, arrogant, lax in their spiritual duties, as well as in their homes, and in so doing they were insulting the name of God. They are warned that if they continued to do so, that God would humiliate them in the eyes of the people, remove them from their positions and allow them to be completely defiled by their own attitudes.

God also confronts the Israelite men who were divorcing their Jewish wives to marry pagan women. They were marrying women from cities of Ashdod and Ammon and the Moabites, those who worship false gods. Marriage is an institution of God, and so God sets Himself against divorce. He hates it. God was also seeking to preserve a godly seed for the nation Israel, in order that they might bring forth His Son into the world. That's why He commanded them not to marry outside of the race. There is a clear warning to those who are in a marriage, they must understand God’s purpose if they are going to preserve it.

While the people are accountable for their own sin, the priests are responsible for leading them astray. They were unfaithful to the Lord, and the teaching of His Word. They had deliberately changed course from what God had called them to. They did not study, and they did not tell the people the truth They did not live out the faith as an example to the people. They had corrupted the ministry and caused many to stumble.

God warns the people of His judgment and He explains what that judgment will be. Malachi reminds the priests of the calling they received, and what that ministry is supposed to be. God’s ministers must teach and live the truth. The essence of God’s Covenant is a ministry of life and peace. God’s blessings are upon those who walk holy and obedient to His Word. The instruction of God’s Holy Word is the law of truth or true instruction. These priests had turned away deliberately, and were corrupting the plan of God.

Blind and numb to their own sin, the people of Israel are blaming God for the consequences of their own actions. First they break God’s law, then complain when God isn’t blessing them, and even more outrageous ask, “Where is the God of justice?”.

Delayed judgment doesn’t mean no judgment. God is slow to anger and longsuffering. He is gracious and merciful calling sinners to repentance. His plan of redemption would come, the Messiah, Jesus Christ would pay for the sins of the world.





Saturday, April 23, 2022

Jacob Have I Loved














 
Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

At the end of Jesus’ life on earth, we saw how cruel the Jewish leadership had become. They had no problem ignoring God’s command, “Thou shalt not kill.” But not only with Jesus, they also conspired to kill Lazarus because Lazarus stood as a living example of God’s power to restore life after death.

A living Lazarus gave credibility to Jesus’ claim that He was God-come-to-earth. Lazarus was therefore a threat to the Temple leadership’s control over all things Jewish, including the Jews themselves.

As we open the book of Malachi this morning, we will see earlier examples of the failure of humans in leadership roles. The people followed their examples, and did not follow the teachings of God. Indeed like many Believers today, they cherry-pick God’s teachings to adhere to, and those to ignore.

The Prophet Malachi was the last of the Jewish prophets chronologically, his times being 400 years before Christ. And his words to the Jews were followed by 400 years of silence from God. The silence ended during Christ’s time, with John the Baptist sharing a message from God for the people to repent and be washed clean from their old sins. Malachi’s words speak of one to be sent before the coming of the Lord. It is also Malachi who sees the Second Coming of the Lord. Both advents are taught of in this Book.

The four chapters of Malachi will carry us through the 40 days after the Resurrection (May 26th) before we return to the New Testament again for Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. But throughout this 40 day time period, Jesus was showing Himself alive after his Crucifixion on the cross. He died a very public death, and yet now shows Himself publicly to be alive as He continues to teach his followers.

Malachi’s words begin with Jehovah’s pronouncement of His love for His people, blessings for obedience, and judgment for sin. God’s Word to us has remained unchanged since the foundation of the earth.
“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” - Psalm 89:34
Today's Audio Message:
Malachi 1:1-14 - "Jacob Have I Loved"

Summary/Notes:

Malachi is the last of the prophets in the Old Testament. In fact, when his voice ceased, over 400 years passed before God spoke to His people again. His name means, "My messenger." He is God's messenger called to speak God's Word to Israel.

Malachi was sent to confront Israel, expose their sin and reprove it.  Also, to warn them of judgment and to promise the coming of Him who shall take away sin.  He preached about unrequited love: God’s unrequited love for Israel. He prophesied during or shortly after the ministry of Nehemiah, around 420 B.C. He was the last of God’s prophets for 400 years. He preached against many of the same sins that Nehemiah did, including the corruption of the priesthood (Malachi 1:6-2:9; Nehemiah 13:7-9). But his overall theme, which opens the book, is the indifference of God’s people to His great love for them.

The book of Malachi is a detailed dialogue between God and his hardened people. “I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 1:6

Out of captivity, brought back to into their land to rebuild once again, and it certainly  doesn’t take long for the sinful nature to take over thoughts and actions. God is looking for those who love Him, for those who walk in obedience to Him as children to a Father. Israel is a stark example of those who do not understand God's love, nor His relationship to them. Having been chastened and delivered throughout their history, here we find them once again cold and indifferent to their God, and falling back into the very things they were chastened for.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Tomb Is Empty!



Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Imagine that your dearest friend has passed from this life under questionable circumstances. You and other close friends watched his life ebb away, and another acquaintance offers a tomb for his burial. You managed to get through that sad day, even witnessing the entombment.

A few days later you go to the cemetery to say a few prayers and leave flowers on the new grave. You find that the grave has been dug up, the casket lays open on its side, and your beloved friend’s body is missing!

If you can imagine the emotional roller-coaster of these few days, this is the horror that Mary Magdalene faced on that first day of a new week so long ago. Grave robbers! Vandals! Thieves! And you know that your friend died with nothing in this life, no estate, no riches, and no progeny. There was nothing to steal from the grave! Panic set in as Mary ran to tell whosoever of the Apostles might be available to help her bear this new assault.

There was, however, one thing that your friend did take with him to the grave: Jesus took with Him the prospect of eternal life. He had spoken of it many times to multitudes of people in dozens of settings: in cities, in the countryside, on mountains, and along the seashore, Jesus taught of a righteousness of faith, and a peace that surpassed all understanding.

Through His sacrificial death, and resurrection, our Beloved Friend accomplished two seemingly impossible tasks. His sacrifice on the cross paid the penalty for all sin, for all time. No wonder His death was so gruesomely painful, for we are all sinners. (And by today’s count, there are nearly 8 billion sinners on the planet, as well as all those that have gone before us!) Our sin is now paid for, for once and for all.

And then as we celebrate this Resurrection Day, we recall the other thing that He accomplished for us: new-life-after-death. This new life is an eternal one and it’s available to any and all. Sins forgiven, and Eternal Life, all accomplished over a weekend. This is the spirit of Passover that the Jews have given to us, and one Jew in particular, of the Tribe of Judah, heir of King David, whose Throne is an everlasting one!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16

Today's Audio Message:
John 20:1-31 - Easter Sunday - "The Tomb Is Empty!"

Summary/Notes:

The tomb was empty, Christ had risen from the dead! He is alive! The implications are profound. Without the resurrection, there is no salvation, no forgiveness, no hope and no heaven. Just when Satan thought he had beaten Jesus, Jesus rose up in victory and proved otherwise. The kind of eternal life Jesus has is now available to us; this isn’t any ordinary, dreary existence to which most people are accustomed, but a joyful, celebratory life.

The glorious truth that makes the gospel of Jesus Christ such good news is “that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). In the words of the angel at the empty tomb: “He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:6).

Christ’s resurrection is the central point around which all biblical truth revolves. It represents the culmination and triumph of every righteous expectation that preceded it, starting with Job 19:25–27. It is the basis for the apostles’ unshakable faith and the pivotal point in the message they proclaimed. It is the living guarantee of every divine promise from the beginning to the end of Scripture. Every other miracle described in Scripture pales in significance by comparison.

Although all four gospels bear witness that Christ had repeatedly foretold His own resurrection (Matthew 20:19; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22; John 2:19–21; 10:18), the disciples were not predisposed to believe it. They were clearly surprised—even inclined to skepticism—when they found the empty grave. Thomas was emphatic: 
“Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25). Jesus allowed Thomas to do much more than "touch" Him, a privilege He denied Mary. Jesus allowed him to be convinced by sound evidence. 

Throughout the eight-day interim, Jesus made multiple appearances, often in the presence of multiple eyewitnesses.  They were so firmly convinced of the truth of the resurrection that no argument, no threat, no form of torture could silence them. All of them ultimately gave their lives rather than deny the resurrection. After all, they had seen Him, touched Him, eaten with Him, and fellowshipped with Him after the resurrection. That explains the amazing boldness and determination with which they carried the gospel to the nations. “We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). 

Today as we look at the John’s gospel in chapter 20, we will read again this amazing account of the resurrection story. We will take a closer look at those closest to Him, their fears, their doubts and their unbelief. We will once again be amazed at God’s redemptive plan for mankind, including the finest details from the beginning, through the bloodline, and the prophets from old. The overwhelming truth of God’s Word, and all of God promises are sure and everlasting! The scriptures declare Jesus Christ, the Messiah is the Risen King and Lord of All.

Pastor Bob reminds us that if you ever find yourself in doubt about your faith, pray. Just like Christ appeared to these disappointed, fearful and skeptical disciples, Christ will come to you. Thomas believed because he saw with his own eyes, in fact they all did, but Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" - John 20:29.

We believe unto eternal salvation. We believe in the one we haven’t seen. Why do we believe? Because we believe in the record of Scripture. We have a risen Christ whom we experience in our daily lives, who has transformed us and given us a new life, a new nature. We have been called to a commission, empowered by the Holy Spirit to confront the world with the gospel of salvation.

John 3:16 says, 
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This mornings scripture reading is from Psalm 16. Not only does this Psalm speak of the coming Messiah, and clearly a promise of the resurrection, but it talks about our future life in heaven. If you’re wondering what heaven will be like, scripture tells us "In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Everything that now makes us groan will finally be done away with, and we will find ourselves in the very presence of God, where the purest and truest kind of pleasure and joy is possible for all eternity.

God has given us the truth in His Word. Jesus rose from the dead and has been given a name above every name.   Those who put their f
aith and trust in Him have an unimaginable glorious and joyous future!




Saturday, April 9, 2022

Thy King Cometh!














Bobservations Column

Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Fresh on the heels of Lazarus’ being raised from the dead, Jesus’ week of The Passion begins with Zechariah 9:9 being fulfilled (487 BC – Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

This fulfillment kicked off a week of teaching and encouragement, and of providing an example for all who would follow Jesus in their lives. The Apostles and Disciples would see their Teacher/Prophet/Healer/and Lord raised up for all to see. The texts written of Him are countless, some are true and others utter blasphemy because of the hatred that rests in some human hearts.

Our reading for today in 2 Samuel 5:1-5 speaks the reign of David that Jesus has inherited as the King of Israel, and of the whole world. Those long genealogies of the Old Testament give us a direct bloodline from King David in both Mary’s lineage, and Joseph’s also. David’s Throne is an Eternal Throne that takes us to the Book of Revelation, and beyond. Jesus is the rightful heir to David’s Throne, and the only Eternal One who can sit upon it forever.

David’s kingly reign over all Israel and Judah lasted for 33 years. And Jesus’ life on earth is well enough documented that we know His entire life was 33 years.

So, when the Magi came to Bethlehem to see the King of the Jews, truer words were never spoken: Matthew 2:2 -
 "saying, 'Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?'"

Jesus was born as the King of the Jews, and the prophecy from Zechariah 12:10-14 remains yet to be fulfilled, when the Jews finally mourn for their promised King that they put upon a cross to die. This is a sad story of unbelief and rejection, but one day in the future, it will be a glorious day when the Jews see their King seated upon, and reigning from King David’s Throne! As the saying goes, “Hope springs eternal,” and in this case it springs for all Eternity!

Psalm 89:4 – “I will give you an eternal dynasty and establish your throne throughout future generations.” 

Psalm 89:29 – “I will give him an eternal dynasty, and make his throne as enduring as the skies above.”

Today's Audio Message:
John 12:1-24 - "Thy King Cometh!" 

Summary/Notes:

Today as we look at the twelfth chapter of John we are coming to the end of Christ’s ministry. The first eleven chapters of John describe the whole of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ from John’s perspective, covering a period of three years. But the second half of the book from chapter 12 to the end covers ONE WEEK. This final week is known as the Passion week. It is the time from Palm Sunday, or Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to His death on the cross for our sins as the Passover Lamb, and His victorious resurrection from death to life, or Easter Sunday. Everything gets very intense from here on.

Palm Sunday, or Christ's triumphal entry was a significant event not only to the people of Jesus' time, but to all Christians throughout history. Jesus’ purpose in riding into Jerusalem was to make public His claim to be their Messiah and King of Israel in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Matthew says that the King coming on the foal of a donkey was an exact fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Jesus rides into His capital city as a conquering King and is hailed by the people as such, in the manner of the day. The streets of Jerusalem, the royal city, are open to Him, and like a king He ascends to His palace, not a temporal palace but the spiritual palace that is the temple, because His is a spiritual kingdom. He receives the worship and praise of the people because only He deserves it. No longer does He tell His disciples to be quiet about Him (Matthew 12:16, 16:20) but to shout His praises and worship Him openly. The spreading of cloaks was an act of homage for royalty (see 2 Kings 9:13). Jesus was openly declaring to the people that He was their King and the Messiah they had been waiting for.

God’s fullest revelation of Himself as Savior came in the person of Jesus Christ—God in human flesh. The incarnation itself was an expression of sympathy and identification with our weakness (Hebrews 4:15). In Christ we can see countless expressions of His compassion. Though without sin Himself, Jesus suffered all the consequences of sin in infinite measure—and in so suffering, He identifies with the misery of all who feel the pains of human anguish. This was the whole reason God the Son became a man to begin with. However, the compassion of God and the earthly work of Christ must be seen as redemptive. In other words, our Lord’s tenderest mercies are concerned primarily with the salvation of our souls, not merely the suffering of our bodies.

Jesus miraculously healed the sick, made the lame walk and the blind see. He raised the dead back to the living.  What vivid displays of both Christ’s power and His compassion! Jesus exhibited proof of His deity and living demonstrations of His divine authority, and established His unlimited ability to liberate anyone and everyone from the bondage, the penalty, and the consequences of sin. The healing ministry of Jesus was illustrative of the gospel message, a true expression of God's compassion, and proof of His messianic credentials.

Here in chapter 12, we are 6 days before the Passover.

Everyone is looking for Jesus. He is the most popular person in the nation, a teacher, a miracle worker, the claimed Son of God. Everyone is waiting for Him to show up at the Passover Feast. The leaders were looking for Him, they had been conspiring to kill Him. In fact in John 11:57, the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, to report it so they could arrest Him.

We see the crowds looking for Him. They had heard testimonies about the many miracles of Jesus. They wanted more miracles to be performed. They had heard about Lazarus rising from the dead, and they came just to see him with their own eyes. All of this is waiting for Him in Jerusalem.  Just six days before the Passover, Jesus comes to Bethany. Bethany is the place where Lazarus was raised from the dead.

His time had come. Jesus would come to the Passover feast, and He would be the true Passover Lamb.  In these final days, Jesus chooses to share this time with His beloved apostles, and close friends in Bethany. He spend time with those whom He loved, and those who loved Him, Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

Jesus comes to Bethany to the home of Simon the leper. He is a leper who has been cleansed and healed by Jesus.  This is just another incredible testimony of Jesus' miraculous power. We see them preparing a supper and Martha in service to her Lord and to others.  Martha gets criticized often, but it is important to see that our service to the Lord is a high calling, and a noble service.   She loves those who she serves, and where Jesus corrected her earlier, it was because she needed to understand that true service is rooted in love. 

Lazarus, their brother, is also with them.  Lazarus who had who had been raised from the dead is sitting at the table with Jesus. We also learn that after Lazarus was raised from the dead, the chief priests and Pharisees plotted to kill him, because so many witnesses to the miracle believed in Jesus (John 12:9–11). The enemies of Christ couldn’t deny the miracle; the next best thing, in their view, was to destroy the evidence—in this case, the evidence was a living, breathing person. But they couldn’t stop the truth from spreading.

We see the humble sacrifice of Mary who took 12 ounces of very costly perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus. Mary’s anointing again points to Christ’s identity as Messiah-King, but it also points to His humble position as Servant-King. When Mary anoints Jesus’ feet and then wipes them with her hair, she foreshadows Jesus’ actions at the upcoming Last Supper when the Lord washes the disciples’ feet and teaches them how to love one another through sacrificial, humble service (John 13:1–20).  Jesus Christ is God’s anointed Messiah. The word Messiah means “anointed one” and derives directly from the Hebrew word for “anointed.”

To the contrast, we see Judas the betrayer, the hypocrite, and a thief berating Mary for the way she lavishly used this expensive perfume on Jesus, rather than selling it at a profit to be used for the poor. As Mary’s perfume filled the house with its fragrance, the poison of Judas’s words contaminated the air. Judas cared nothing for the poor, he only had his own self-interest at heart. Mary’s act symbolized the Lord’s coming death according to Jesus, John 12:7.  

We read of those who love and serve Jesus.  We see the selfish sin and apostasy of another.  We see a crowd looking for another spectacle, another miracle and maybe then they will believe, but Hebrews 11:1 teaches us that 
"...faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  We see the hatred of the false leaders of Israel plotting against Jesus, and the testimony of those who believe. We see the indifference of the crowd.  We see prophecy being fulfilled. All of this continues today. Different people, same attitudes…and God’s Word will continue to be fulfilled until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.









Saturday, April 2, 2022

Forgive Us Our Debts














Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz


As we will see today, there are two versions of what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” one found in Matthew, and the other found in Luke. Because they are not identical, these two passages give us an outline for prayer: praise and acknowledgement of the Father; the ideal of His perfect will being accomplished; laying out our petitions for our needs; and finally following Jesus’ example of grace and mercy: His towards us, and ours towards each other. The two passages have obvious similarities, and both lay out the same pattern for our prayers to the Lord God.

In Luke 11:1 the Apostles had asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, not what to pray. Our prayers should include all the elements that the Lord Jesus taught them. If you want to find a prayer that the Lord actually prayed, look to John 17 where Lord Jesus prays for the Apostles and Disciples and for US! That’s right, Jesus prayed for us, who believe on Him because of the testimony of those who learned from His teachings, and His example.

Love is the main theme of the Gospels, but in these passages is also another theme derived from love, and that’s His example of forgiving (in grace and in mercy). This directive to forgive others is self-effacing. Thinking others are higher than self is mindset of humility. The shoes they walk in are not ours, and ours are not theirs. Cutting others some slack is appropriate at all times if we are to walk with Jesus. His entire life on earth was lived in consideration for others. He didn’t even make a reputation for Himself; we who have been touched by Him have spread the word and given Him a reputation for which He alone is worthy.

And so that we don’t just become doormats in the world, the scriptures also call for accountability for our choices and behaviors, whether we are believers or not. God will judge all by His own single set of balances. Even “Lady Justice” is blindfolded, but carries a sword. There are consequences for violating others. But has she been peaking under the blindfold?

From this comes racism, ethnic preferences, jealousies, an evil eye, envy, and sin. Guard your hearts in all these things. Be loving, forgiving, merciful, and accountable.
“...Wars and rumors of wars... nations against nations... kingdoms against kingdoms... all these are the beginning of sorrows.” - Matthew 24:6-8


Today's Audio Message:
Matthew 6:8-15 - "Forgive Us Our Debts"

Summary/Notes:

When Christ gave us the Lord’s Prayer, he gave us our pattern and primer for prayer. We begin with the Lord’s name, kingdom, and will. Then we bring our petitions to the Lord and that of others. We ask for our daily bread. Though God is our King, he is also our Father. He cares for both our physical and spiritual needs. In the fifth petition, we ask for our Father’s forgiveness. In the final petition, we ask for spiritual protection—deliverance from temptation and the evil one.

In today’s study, we’ll consider the fifth petition—a petition for forgiveness and the importance of forgiving others; Joseph's example in Genesis 37-51; wars and rumors of wars; and prophecy being played out before our eyes - Daniel 7.

When Christ calls for believers to pray for forgiveness of their debts, he is referring to their sins. In the parallel version of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:4, the word “sin” is used instead.

We have been called to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Nobody has ever perfectly obeyed these two commands, which essentially summarize all other commands (Matthew 22:37-40). We have put ourselves and our needs before others. We have put our entertainment, education, jobs, and friendships before God. We have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).

While all of our sins are forgiven “positionally” the moment we receive Christ as Savior. This means that this forgiveness guarantees our salvation and promise of an eternal home in heaven. When we stand before God after death, God will not deny us entrance into heaven because of our sins. But the fact that Christ adds this petition to his ideal prayer means that we will always struggle with sin until we die or Christ returns, whichever happens first. When we sin, we offend God and grieve His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). While God has ultimately forgiven us of the sins we commit, sin still affects our relationship with Him. Sin will result in a blocking or hindrance in our relationship with God, and stunt our spiritual growth.

We must confess our sins—the moment we recognize that we have sinned, and we are promised in 1 John 1:9, “That if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” 

The scripture in James 4:1-4 tells us, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?"

People want what they want and when they want it, and when they do it causes them to fight and quarrel. Their inability to get what they want drives them to war with one another. Today’s world is a picture of this. What people want, they take.  We've seen plenty of examples of this: from individuals looting in the streets, to countries ignoring international law and national boundaries as we see playing out between Russia and the Ukraine. The nations of the world are out to further their own agenda to get what they want by any means possible.

While it is no surprise that we witness these things in the world, what’s worse is when Christian’s behave like this. Instead of seeing sin as we should, our views often conform to that of our secular culture (Romans 12:2). We make excuses for our sin, or we try and justify our sin. 

James says that there is a better way. We simply ask God to supply our needs according to His will and His purpose. Scripture tells us that the main reason we do not have what we want is because we don’t come to Him and ask. A good review of Matthew chapter 5 will clarify what we as believers ought to be: meek and humble, merciful and pure. As we approach God in prayer, we come to him in the spirit of meekness.

All of the worlds problems are a result of refusing God and exalting man and his sinful desires.

Matthew 6:12, 14-15 - “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

As in all other areas of life, Jesus is our perfect example of how to handle wrongs that others commit against us (1 Peter 2:21-24). What should our attitude be toward those who do wrong to us? Forgiveness!

Our relationships with others should mirror our relationship with God. In order for God to forgive us, we must forgive others.

A good example of this is found in the book of Genesis chapters 37-51. It is the story of Joseph. in chapters 37 through 51 in the book of Genesis.

Joseph, the “prince among his brothers.” His life, the history of his conflict with his brothers, their plot to get rid of him, his captivity, his troubled life, and the subsequent victory God brought about through his trials are well documented in the book of Genesis. Through all his trials, Joseph never forgot the faith of his father, always stood his ground and emerged more than a conqueror.  His troubles didn’t define him. He didn’t use them as an excuse for bitterness and defeat. Joseph reminds us that all of our strength comes from God alone. The ability to bear up under the weight of heavy burdens and not sink under them, comes from God. He is our help, and our provider.  Joseph understood God’s plan and purpose in all that he suffered, and in the end forgives his brothers for their sins against him. What Satan meant for evil, God means for good.

Just as God has bestowed his mercy and grace upon us, Joseph shows mercy and grace to his brothers. They are forgiven. They are provided for. Joseph understood the forgiveness of God, and his brothers came to know the same.

In Matthew 24, Jesus describes what are the signs of His second coming:  deception, wars, rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, weather related disasters.  More than 2,000 years later we see these things coming to pass. As this sinful world continues to forget God, reject Christ, and seek its own ways, the prophecies of Daniel 7 unfold.






Saturday, March 26, 2022

Another Third Day



Bobservations Column

Pastor Bob Lawrenz

There has long been a debate about the Resurrection occurring three days after Jesus was Crucified. As mentioned previously, was it a full three days and nights? Was it a full three nights and days? (There is a difference.) Is it after three days, or is it “on the third day?”

Regardless of how the three days are measured, the time frame has been the subject of debate, and that ignores the overriding importance of Jesus being Crucified and Raised Up later.

The Apostles and many Disciples had witnessed Jesus doing the impossible for three years; the deaf hearing, the dumb speaking, the blind seeing, the lame walking, the dead being raised up, fish and loaves being multiplied before their eyes... they all witnessed Jesus’ power over the physical world.

And it was just a week or two before His own Resurrection that Jesus raised up Lazarus from the dead. And to assure the people of His power over life and death, Jesus delayed His arrival at the grave, a small cave covered by a stone in which Lazarus was laid. And once there, Jesus said “take away the stone.”

Always the practical one, Lazarus’ sister Martha was set to argue with Jesus: “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

This is what Jesus always deals with, even among His closest followers: doubt, second-guessing Him, and simple unbelief. Then He prayed aloud for all nearby to hear. “And I know that Thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I (spoke) it, that they might believe that Thou hast sent me.” (John 11:40-44 for the entire passage.). There was unbelief among His faithful followers, and closest friends.

Jesus wants to stir up our faith that we might believe that He is capable of anything and has power over all things. While Martha is sure that her brother is cold, dead, and biodegrading, Jesus wants her faith stirred up to believe in the Power of God imbued in Him.

Jesus has the power and authority to raise Himself up on the third day, after three days, or like Lazarus, four days after He died. When is not the issue. That Jesus overcame death is the power of God in Him.

As Jesus speaks of the bread and the wine being His body and blood, He speaks it while yet in His living body-and-blood-flesh.
Luke 1:37 – “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Today's Audio Message:
Exodus 19:1-25 - "Another Third Day"

Summary/Notes:

While our study is from the nineteenth chapter of Exodus today, it is truly amazing how the gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly and repeatedly foreshadowed throughout the Exodus story. It begins with God making a promise to elect a people as his own. His people are then taken into slavery and ruled by a godless and cruel lord (foreshadowing Satan/sin). Unable to save themselves, God himself intervenes to redeem them from slavery and deliver them into freedom to worship him alone by his miraculous hand (foreshadowing Jesus’ death and resurrection). After taking his people out of Egypt, God’s work with his people continues as he then seeks to get Egypt out of his people (foreshadowing sanctification and purification). Resisting God’s continuing attempt to lead his people as he desires, the people grumble against Moses and long to go back to Egypt (foreshadowing the believers’ wrestling with their flesh).

But, God’s faithfulness persists and he continues to lead his people and provide for their needs out of his love, as he leads them on a journey to a land of rest and promise (foreshadowing heaven). God’s interaction with his people is clearly that of a living God who speaks, acts, loves, declares his laws, judges sin, delivers, redeems, provides, and is present with them. The central picture of the gospel in Exodus is one of redemption, as seen in Exodus 6:6, “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:” and Exodus 15:13a, “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed…”

As we look at Exodus 19, we see the grace of God in redemption gives us the background and the framework whereby we can understand the use and the function of His law. His law is not the way in which His people are saved. His law is not a means which He gives to them whereby they may save themselves. It is the expression for how a people, conformed and transformed into the image of God by His grace, ought to live in gratitude for His redemption. Understanding Exodus 19 helps to understand Exodus chapter 20. This law is given in the context of a redemptive relationship in which God is willing to share great and undeserved blessings with His people.

Exodus chapter 19 also makes it clear that what is about to happen at Sinai is another covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, or the Covenant of God’s Law. God is entering into an explicit, open covenant relationship with an entire nation, and He will ratify His promises to them in this covenant. God’s purpose was for Israel to be a peculiar treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5,6). As believers we belong to Him, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. As He is Holy, He calls us to be a holy nation, set apart and devoted to Him. 1 peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

In verses 14 and 15 of Exodus chapter 19 there is a stress on the people preparing themselves for this covenant. They are to consecrate themselves to the Lord and prepare to come before Him. It is a serious thing to meet with God. So Moses gives the command for them to consecrate themselves in preparation for meeting with God and when we get to Exodus chapter 19, verses 16 to the end, finally the encounter with God comes. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God…”As Moses was the Mediator of the Old Covenant, Jesus Christ is the one and only Mediator between God in men in the New. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” - 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8.





Saturday, March 19, 2022

Sharing The Faith





















Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

“God be merciful to us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; Selah. (So) That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” Each week, we close out Sunday services with these two verses from Psalm 67:1, 2.

King David’s Chief Musician penned the six verses of Psalm 67, and it was a song/hymn to be played on stringed instruments called “Neginoth.” Neginoth is always in the plural, and all stringed instruments fell into this category. By way of comparison, today’s orchestras have a “Strings Section,” or Neginoth.

My point here is not the instruments, but that the Jews wanted the world to know of God’s goodness and His saving health that comes from living His way. This speaks of evangelism among the Jews. As God’s face shone on Moses, we are called to share that shining presence with others. And after having finished the Gospel of Matthew last week, I thought it appropriate that we look at the task the Apostles faced as Jesus directs their ministry efforts to share the Good News in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

In the 12th Century A.D., the famous Rabbi, Moses Ben Maimonides, scribed “THE THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES OF THE JEWISH FAITH.” One of these principles says, “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and though He tarry, I will wait daily for His coming.” Waiting in faith is what Jews and Christians are both called to do, so we have something in common with those of the Jewish faith. And in evangelizing others, it must be the drawing power of God’s love for us all that must characterize the message.

To condemn another’s belief, rather than drawing from its similarities would turn our Gospel message to what Paul writes to the Corinthian Church:  “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.” ...nothing but harsh sounds.

So as we cover consider Maimonides’ principals, it is import to remind others, Jew or Gentile, of the Jewish scriptures, and their fulfillment, to help others see Christ Jesus as the one true Messiah for Who we all await. 

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. - Hebrews 10:36, 37

Today's Audio Message:
Isaiah 11:1-5 & Others - "Sharing The Faith"

Summary/Notes:

All four Gospels, in their records of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, explain that Jesus did not return to heaven before giving His followers a mission. Until His return, He told them, the church is to go forth and preach the gospel to all nations, telling people about Him, calling them to repentance and faith, and discipling them in everything that He taught. This task remains unfinished, and all Christians have a part to play in bringing the gospel to all creation. Ultimately, conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. Spreading the gospel is a way for us to partner with the Holy Spirit in that work.  Ultimately, conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. Spreading the gospel is a way for us to partner with the Holy Spirit in that work.

Evangelizing means sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know Him. It is an overflow of the “hope that is within us.” It is an act of love, and Christ’s love must be the defining characteristic of every follower of Jesus. Those who walk in the Spirit bear His fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…, and we demonstrate His love in dealing with people. We possess a great gift, it is good news, the best news the world will ever hear. So while we share this good news, we should share it in such a way that it is becoming of His great love for us. (John 3:16).

The Scriptures tell us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (see Romans 10:17). Whether you are witnessing to Jews or Gentiles, most are unfamiliar with the scriptures. Many times we make the mistake of trying to use reason and logic more than using God’s Word when sharing our faith with others. The truth is that the Bible has self-authenticating authority that can touch hearts: “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). The Scriptures should be the key benchmark of truth when sharing our faith.

While there are literally hundreds of fulfilled messianic (Jesus-related) prophecies. Jesus lived a miracle-filled and supernaturally empowered existence from his conception to his ascension. Centuries before his birth he was foretold by the prophets which can be clearly seen in the Old Testament scriptures. The Old Testament, which was in existence centuries before Christ, predicted the where (Micah 5:2), the when (Daniel 9:26), and the how (Isaiah 7:14) of Christ’s entry into the world. He would be born of a woman (Genesis 3:15) from the line of Adam’s son Seth (Genesis 4:26), through Noah’s son Shem (Genesis 9:26-27, and Abraham (Genesis 12:3; 15:5). He would come through the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and would be the son of David (2 Samuel 7:12f.). The Old Testament predicted that Christ would die for our sins ((Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 12:10) and would rise from the dead (Psalm 2:7; 16:10).

All of these prophecies were uniquely fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This is not true of any great religious leader or person who has ever lived.

Today’s message will focus on thirteen basic prophecies that we should all be familiar with when sharing our faith in Jesus Christ with others, whether Jew or Gentile.  These thirteen scriptures will help others understand that Jesus is truly the Messiah.  We cannot assume that the people we share with know anything about the scriptures, or that the Messiah can literally be found in every single book of the Old Testament.  The best representation of Jesus is found in the scriptures.  
While God uses many ways to draw people to Himself through His Holy Spirit – one of these ways is fulfilled 

prophecy.

These prophecies are just a few brief examples of prophecies that can be useful evangelistic tools. They point to a God who is active in His universe and to a Messiah who fulfilled the words of the prophets.

Fulfilled prophecies serve as evidence for God’s working in human history. They testify that the Gospel message is true, and show that the Scriptures are accurate and reliable, and this results in increased openness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 



The following Scripture Chart is a perfect tool to use when sharing the gospel with others. Each prophecy from the Old Testament is followed by the New Testament fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ.

 

Prophecies About Jesus

 

 

Old Testament Scriptures

 

New Testament Fulfillment

1.

The Messiah would come from the line of David, and would be a righteous judge.

Isaiah 11:1-5

Matthew 1:1,6; 5:3-5

2.

The Messiah would have a unique birth, which n itself would be a sign from God. He would be called Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Luke 1:30,31-34,35

3.

The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, yet He would have a prior existence.

Micah 5:2

Matthew 2:1

4.

The Messiah would come as a male child, and would appear as a light of Galilee. Messiah would be heir to King David’s throne

Isaiah 9:1,2,6,7

Matthew 4:13-16, 21:10-11

5.

The Messiah is uniquely God's Son.

Psalm 2:7

Matthew 3:17

6.

The Messiah would be the Light of the world. He would regather Israel and will also be a light to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 49:6

John 8:12

7.

The Messiah would be sent to heal the brokenhearted. He would bring a message of forgiveness and hope to all people.

Isaiah 61:1

Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 4:18

  8.

The Messiah would usher in a New Covenant with Israel and the Gentiles.

Jeremiah 31:31,32

Luke 22:20

9.

The Messiah the King will enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

Zechariah 9:9

Mark 11:7-9

10.

Though innocent, the Messiah would suffer for the sins of the world. 

Isaiah 53:3-12

Matthew 26:67,68; 27:26, 28-31

11.

Messiah would be mocked and ridiculed, forsaken and surrounded by enemies.  They would take His garments.

Psalm 22:1-22

Matthew 27:35

12.

Messiah would be sacrificed as a Lamb. His sacrifice would be complete, once and for all.

Isaiah 53:10

John 1:29; Hebrews 10:10

13.

Messiah would be seated at God’s right hand until He returns to Earth to judge the wicked. 

Psalm 110:1, 4-5

Acts 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8







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