C. Believers are to live a life that looks
forward for the coming consummation
Chronicles of Narnia: “The Last Battle” (CS Lewis)
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them
like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and
beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories,
and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them
it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and
all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now
at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on
earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than
the one before.”
Joshua 24 is the final chapter in the book of Joshua– a chapter that deserves careful attention. Notice how Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel and what He spoke before them: God’s Word. “Thus says the LORD God of Israel:” (1) I took your father Abraham… and led him… and gave him Isaac; (2) I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau; (3) I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt; (4) I brought your fathers out of Egypt; (5) I delivered… into your hand [the men of Jericho, the Amorites, the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; (6) I have given you a land for which ye did not labour.
God, the LORD God, reigns supremely and is sovereign over our lives. He knows the future as well as the past. He sees the whole picture. We don’t. “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth” (Joshua 24:14). Remember Job 1:21. The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
We would like to share with you a Christmas Concert Celebration by Parkside Church. We pray it will be a blessing to you. Pay special close attention to the screen presentation of what Christmas means and to the lyrics of each song. The Lord bless you and your family this season!
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true (Revelation 21:1-5 ESV).
Just imagine– our world– regenerated! “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22-23 ESV).
The question is: will YOU be with God? Do YOU belong to Him? God “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9b ESV). If you are not sure about your future, watch “The Story.” We pray you will know Him today. (And if you do know God through Christ, who alone can save us, we pray the song below will encourage you!)
Pastor Sidney preached today from Revelation 20:11-15. This passage speaks of God’s great white throne, the dead, opened books, and the book of life. The sea, death, and Hades “gave up the dead . . . and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.” They were judged “from the things which were written in the books . . . And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
One day, each of us will stand before the presence of God. Matthew 9:31-46 describe how “all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them . . ., as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats . . . . Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . . . Then, He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
On which side will you be? Will your name be found in God’s book of life? We encourage you to listen here to know more. Then, take a look at the short film, “The Story” or view a full movie, “The Hope Project.”
Better yet, if you live in the Silicon Valley or are visiting our area, contact us today!
David testifies in Psalm 40:3 that the LORD “put a new song” in his mouth, “a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” This verse echoes so many others in Scripture that teach us why we, as believers, sing! The following link is an outline of lessons learned by Anthony Adona. His “notes” are from the 2018 Sing Conference, which was held in Nashville, Tennessee. May this outline of what has been learned from the 2018 Sing Conference be meditated upon and practiced for the benefit of our homes and our local churches! (Thank you, Anthony!)
Revelation 18 is a reminder for believers to not be worldly, but godly. “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (18:4-5). The “her” referred to in these verses is “Babylon.” Here are two viewpoints: Who is the Whore of Babylon” and “What is the Whore of Babylon.”
It is important to note in Revelation 18 the “lovers” of Babylon: (1) “the kings of the earth;” (2) “the merchants of the earth;” and (3) “every ship master and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea.” These “lovers” weep and lament over Babylon, for “in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste.” Significantly, although they cry over Babylon, they are noted as standing “at a distance”– that is, their object of concern was not her but themselves. These “lovers” were weeping because of their personal losses, in that they could no longer get rich from her! True love? Clearly not. These lovers possess only selfish, self-centered love.
Now, pause. Take time to contrast the selfish love of Babylon’s lovers to the genuine love of God. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Watch this brief video!
In the course of our search for a book about marriage, we came across a little booklet by Rick Thomas entitled, “Help! My Marriage Has Grown Cold.” We would like to highlight an important truth that the author proclaims with clarity, which truth is found in Philippians 1:29 and 1 Peter 2:21. From theses verses, the apostle Paul makes clear that we are granted, “for the sake of Christ,” not only to “believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” In the words of Rick Thomas, “there are two gifts at salvation: the first is faith in Christ, and the second is personal suffering” (p.36). In other words, “suffering is part of our calling” (p.36); and the “‘good’ in Romans 8:28, and the point of the whole passage, is that I will be changed into the image of Christ, but will not necessarily grow healthy, wealthy, and wise” (p.14).
Those of us who have grown up in the American culture may have the tendency to fall into the trap of demanding or expecting a life that is “pain-free” (p.35, quoting Paul Miller’s “A Praying Life.”). We may tend to believe that we “deserve” better (p.35), which is contrary to the Bible’s teaching that what we deserve as sinners is hell. However, because “God so loved the world… he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
To learn more about God’s calling, come and join us in the study of God’s Word. Contact us today or worship with us on Sundays at the venue indicated on our Calendar. We look forward to hearing from you and to meeting you!
Believers in Christ are described as pilgrims on this earth. In Scripture, we find that as pilgrims, believers are not to set their affections on things that are temporary, but on things that are eternal. Also, as pilgrims, believers are to expect suffering and persecution; and, are to persevere until the end. If you are a believer and have not yet read John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” do take the time to read or to listen to this Christian classic, links to which are provided above. If you are not a believer but desire to get a glimpse into the Christian journey, we encourage you to read or listen today!
An article from familylife.com caught our attention today. Believers are aptly reminded to “hold our material possessions with an open hand” because we know “that God is our Provider.” Indeed, it is easy to focus on what we do “not” have and forget the blessings we “do” have. More importantly, we need to realize that we are called to seek after heavenly things, true treasures that will not rust, be taken away or destroyed. What are you seeking after? Will those things last and satisfy?
As a body of believers, we do praise and thank the Lord for His provision of a church office that can allow us to further the work of the ministry. Also, we are thankful for the continued availability of the Milpitas Community Center where we have held (and continue to hold) most of our Sunday worship services. More importantly, we are thankful for the way the Lord has been growing us in His Word as a body, deepening our relationships and drawing us to matters that matter most!
Wherever you are in your life’s journey, we welcome you to contact us. Make an appointment with us for a conversation at our church office or join us on a Sunday for our service! We do encourage you to contact us today. It’s time to start seeking after true treasures that satisfy– treasures that will never perish but last forever!
Quick snapshot of three men specifically asked to pose for this photograph at the Milpitas Community Center during our Father’s Day Service. Of these three, would you believe that one used to be a serious drug addict? And one has always been “good.” Are you able to tell which one is which? Either way, each found himself in the same predicament– no matter how “good” or how “bad.” Call us or come to find out more!