In times of distress and judgment, it is a normal human reaction for a believer to lose hope and think that God has forgotten them. In Psalm 10:1, David confessed that he was distressed because he felt as if God had forgotten him during troubling times. Paul admitted that his issues in Asia were so severe that he was close to giving up on life (2 Corinthians 1:8). Even Jesus experienced the human emotion of hopelessness on the cross when He cried out to God (Matthew 27:46). Genesis 8:1-9:17 shows that when hope is lost, all is not lost. God does not remain silent or still. When hope is lost, God remembers His creatures, blesses His people, and remembers His covenant.
In many ways, Western Civilization is living as they did in the days of Noah. People are living their lives without God and embracing depravity to its fullest. How is a believer to live in an age of rampant sin and depravity? Genesis 7 provides three truths for living is such an age: God is still sovereign, the righteous are still to be obedient, and the unrighteous will be judged.
In order to watch and avoid false teachers and their teachings, believers must know how to identify them. In 1 Timothy 6:3-5, Paul returns to the theme of false teachers and provides believers with characteristics of false teachers, so they could be protected.
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. Who are the deceitful spirits? What are doctrines of demons?
Time and again, Jesus reached across ethnic barriers to love people and speak the Gospel to them (cf. the Samaritan woman — John 4). He grew His Church from a band of ethnically different people. The church must not reinforce racial divisions. Instead, churches should be as diverse as the community in which they minister. The church should be a place were all people, regardless of ethnicity or culture, can worship the Lord together.
How do we gain a hearing for the Gospel among people who mock God and His people? In Titus 3:1-2, Paul reminds us of how we should act towards this ungodly world.
Understanding the Gospel is one thing. However, how do we actually present the Gospel. Scripture provides us with a biblical strategy for presenting the gospel in a pandemic (or any other time).
Over the last few months, churches in America have been forced to cancel their normal services and activities due to the virus outbreak. While the it, is impacting and disrupting our lives and plans, locally and globally, the one thing that it cannot disrupt is the Gospel. In fact, it is beneficial to the Gospel.
The Scripture provide precepts and principles regarding human government. These principles apply to all believers of all ages, living under various forms of governments.... even in a pandemic. How do we honor both God and Government in a pandemic? Romans 13:1-7 answer this and other important questions concerning our relationship with the government.
Our text gives us what appears to be three difficult commands (1 Thess. 5:16-18): “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” All three of these verbs are in the imperative mood meaning they are commands not suggestions. As well, these verbs are in the present tense, implying that these actions are to be continuous and recurring. These commands are not just for the good times…. they are for the difficult times as well. It is tough to rejoice and give thanks when…
There is not a promise in the Bible that says we will be free from troubles, trials, temptations, or tears. God does promise something better - He promises contentment in the trouble, trials, temptations, and tears. In Philippians 4:10-19, we meet a man in prison because of corrupt officials awaiting possible execution over false charges who tells us how to find contentment.
Suffering is unavoidable in a fallen world. However, God has a three-fold strategy for suffering in the life of the believer. Like gold in the refiner's fire, God uses suffering to purify, mold, and shape believers.
Jesus rose from the dead... and transformed these despairing, discouraged, and doubting believers into men and women of contentment, courage, and conviction. By looking at how the resurrection helped the disciples gain hope in the aftermath of the crucifixion, we can gain perspective for recovering our hope.
The secret to having peace of mind in the worst of times is by praying right and thinking right. This peace of mind is not to be viewed as some pie in the sky approach to life. It does not mean that our life is going to be a rose garden. It does not mean that will that we will not endure trying times. Peace of mind does not deny the existence of anxieties or worries. Instead, our text tells us what to do with anxiety and worry and how to have peace of mind.
We are in a war against an invisible enemy. Except the enemy to which I refer is not a virus but worry. This worry or anxiety is a feeling of being powerless and unable to cope with threatening events. How many believers, facing the current world circumstances, have found themselves overwhelmed by worry or anxiety? What is a believer to do? How can we cope with these unknowns and not be overcome with worry?