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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Letters to the Seven Churches: Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)

(Second in a series on the Book of Revelation)

Chapters two and three of Revelation contain individual letters written to the seven churches in Asia Minor to whom the entire book of Revelation is addressed. We should see these letters as seven actual letters written to seven actual churches in seven actual cities. There is absolutely no evidence that would cause us to see the seven churches as somehow representing seven periods of church history, as some would have us do. Our appropriate use of these letters is twofold. First, we can use them to gain insight into the historical situation addressed by the book of Revelation. Second, we can look for parallels between their situation and ours so that we can accurately apply the message in the letters to our own situation.

Let us first look at some of the details of the letter to Ephesus.

First, note that the letter is addressed to the “angel” of the church. Some have suggested that the “angel” of the church is the pastor of th…

Why Do We Have a Book Like Revelation? (Revelation 1)

(The First in a Series on the Book of Revelation)

Much ink is spilled over the book of Revelation because of its unusual nature. Unfortunately, much of that ink is spilled inappropriately because the interpretations offered by many are so far removed from the actual message of the book and are so sensationalized that they obscure the gospel message contained in Revelation. What I hope will happen over these next few weeks is that you will see that Revelation makes sense. Its message is straightforward and very accessible, once you realize and accept a few truths about the book. Today I want to try to answer the question: Why do we have a book like Revelation?

Because strange times call for strange words

Revelation is persecution literature. The people to whom this book was originally addressed did not wonder about a coming time of tribulation; they were already living in a time of tribulation. They were looking for a word to help them.

Revelation was written to real churches l…

Sermon by Sarah Holik

(Note: a few weeks ago our Minister of Preschool/Children/Senior Adults Rev. Sarah Holik preached this sermon at the First Baptist Church of Fitzgerald)

Luke 2:22-40

What makes a family? What makes something or someone holy? What makes a family holy? At this point it’s tempting to offer the obvious, Sunday school answer and say, “Jesus.” Jesus fits all three questions. That’s the end of the sermon—let’s all leave and go eat lunch. But these are short essay questions, not one-word-answer questions, and I can’t really do that with Dr. Mike sitting here. Maybe the next time he’s out of town…

Ideally, most of us hope to be part of a family with two parents who love each other; children who get along, get good grades, and who stay out of trouble; and where everyone is healthy. That kind of family—the kind where everything is perfect, just the way we imagined—that kind of family is rare if not imaginary. Sometimes we forget, but not even Jesus’ family was that perfect.

Hadlee just read the …

For Every Action ...

(A sermon based on Hebrews 13:20-21 preached on Sunday, February 16, 2014)

Isaac Newton’s 3rd law of motion states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The physical truth explained in that law is that every action produces a reaction that is equal in size to and opposite in direction from the action. So, for example, when the action is a rocket pushing against the earth, the earth pushes back with a reaction that is equal in size to the push of the rocket but is in an opposite direction; that’s why the rocket launches. Newton’s third law also explains why, when you step out of a boat onto the shore, the boat goes off in the opposite direction with a force equal to the push of your foot.

We can also think in terms of cause and effect: something happens that causes something else to happen; something happens because something else happened. So, for example, snow and ice fell north of us last week and accidents happened on the roads; the snow and ice were the ca…

Your Two Bits’ Worth

(A sermon based on John 21:24-25 for Sunday, February 9, 2014)

There is a thing in this world known as collaborative storytelling. Here’s how it works: one person starts a story and sends it to someone else then that person writes a section and sends the story on to someone else who adds the next part and so on and so on and so on. And so the writing of the story involves the contributions of many people. I’m told the final result can be a bit of a mess but that’s ok since art is supposed to imitate life and life sure can be messy, especially when you get lots of people—or just a few people—or just one person—involved.

There is a sense in which we are all involved in collaborative storytelling. God started a story—a story in the plot of which God is still heavily involved—and all of us are involved in the writing, telling, and living of that story. We are all contributing to it whether we realize it or not and whether we want to or not; our contributions might be unthinking and ha…