Sermons by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder
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by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | November 15, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 11/15/15
“The Ultimate Stone: Final Redemption”
Revelation 2:17: 21:2, 19
INTRODUCTION: The glory of heaven is associated with stones that stand for the solid foundations of eternal life and the infinitely valuable treasure of heaven. Christ is the cornerstone of the church and faith in Christ is its foundation. The Bible’s very message in stone is the kingdom mission. The stones in Revelation symbolize spending eternity in heaven with God. The passage from Revelation 21 gives a visual representation of the invaluable reward awaiting the Christian in heaven. The passage in Revelation 2:17 reminds us of the redemption won for us by Christ and the message of that redemption handed down through mission-minded churches begun by obedient apostles.
When we give our lives to Jesus Christ in faith, we can trust Him to bring us to a timeless place of both final redemption and full reward in His presence.
THE REWARD OF THE REDEEMED
*John saw a “New Jerusalem.” What John saw was a visualization of the eternal togetherness of God’s people with God Himself –
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).
* This place where we will be with God is a place of:
- Rich Reward – With precious stones decorating the foundations of the walls and 12 foundation stones of the city (which correspond to the 12 apostles). “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb… The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone” (Rev. 21:14-19).
- Promised Reward – For those investing in the kingdom cause of Christ in our lifetime and beyond it.
*The reward of the Christians at Pergamum for repentance and faithfulness would be hidden manna and the presentation of a white stone inscribed with a new name.
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it” (Rev. 2:17).
A New Name:
- We will be given new names especially chosen by Jesus, as an indication of His personal involvement in our lives and His nomination of us into His family.
- When we give our lives to Christ and invest ourselves without reservation, we can trust Him to bring us final redemption and full reward in His presence.
- Were used in courts to indicate a judgment of innocence.
- Given by Jesus would mean a commendation or a judgment of acceptance, though our acceptance, of course, is due to the work of Christ, not our own.
Will there be a white stone with a new name awaiting you?
*Will you be welcomed into the city founded on the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ?
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | November 8, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 11/08/15
“Message in Stone: The Kingdom Mission”
Luke 19:38-40; John 20:1-2
INTRODUCTION: Stones seem to lend themselves naturally to symbolism. We have seen in the Bible that a cornerstone represents Christ in the building of his church, and giant stone foundations signify the rock-solid confession of Christ as saving Lord. Consider some stones that are attached in Scripture to the idea of the Kingdom mission of Christians. In Luke 19:38-40 reports Jesus said “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” In John 20:1-2 we see that “Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running…” Our third touchstone is missional response.
I.The Believer Understands the Message of Salvation
- The stone that was rolled away didn’t allow Jesus to leave; it only showed that He was gone.
- The Gospel is not merely that Jesus came, not even merely that Jesus came and died, but that Jesus came, died and rose again!
- The kingdom mission begins with the correct and complete kingdom message, which includes the resurrection.
II.The Believer Proclaims the Good News of Jesus
(Psalm 118:22, 26).
- The psalmist’s words were ultimately fulfilled in the coming of Christ, who was rejected by the Jews as Messiah, but was installed as the cornerstone of the kingdom church by the Father Himself. (Luke 19:38-40).
- Where the builders considered Jesus the rejected one, the believers welcomed as the expected one.
Peter later described Christians as Living Stones
(I Peter 2:5)
- One way or another, the good news of Jesus will be
- Christians are the bearers of the Good News!
- When Christians fail to share the gospel, even stones can declare the message of Christ.
III. The Believer is Eager to Invest in the Mission of Christ (John 20:1-2)
- The first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection ran with the news to retell it (Mary Magdelene).
- The next 40 days is full of urgency (two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:14-35).
- The book of Acts is similarly a story of the disciples’ eagerness to tell people everywhere about Jesus Christ (Peter and John in Acts 4:20).
- The image of a stone revealing the risen Christ and stones lying ready in the road to shout the name of Jesus if people would not, speak to us of the eagerness every Christian should have about investing himself in gospel ministry.
Christians throughout the ages have been able to GIVE.
- The widow was commended for her willingness to give all she had.
- The Macedonians giving out of their extreme poverty but giving with tremendous joy.
- Churches joining together give through the Cooperative Program to support missions in reaching the world for Christ.
Eager to Give
- God has not called every Christian to become a career missionary, but he has called us to be on mission.
- Believers need to be eager to invest in the mission of Christ through regular, proportionate, and even sacrificial giving (unified budget).
- Our church should never say “we’ve done enough.” – We must be open to God’s leading and be eager to invest (Beyond 2018).
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | November 1, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 11/01/15
“The Foundation Stone: Faith”
Matthew 16:18; Philippians 2:10-11
INTRODUCTION: Bridges need a firm foundation. The completion of the Brooklyn Bridge was an engineering feat, costing numerous lives. The result is a bridge that stands solid and beautiful. Human beings need to build life on firm foundations too. Confession of faith in Jesus is foundational to the building of the church and eternal hope. True confession of faith in Jesus includes genuine submission to Him as Lord of Life. The strength of a church is seen in the genuineness of its members, who both trust in the Jesus they believe is God’s Son and also obey the Christ they proclaim to be Lord. THIS is biblical truth.
BELIEF THAT LEADS TO LORDSHIP
*Jesus used a play on words when He stated, “…you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church…” (Matthew 16:18).
- Jesus said that His church would be built on the Petra – a massive stone that could not be moved.
- Peter’s nickname was Petro – a rock you could pick up and move.
*Paul took Peter’s confession and expanded it to show its implicit meaning: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).
- The confession Jesus said is foundational to His church is an admission and agreement that Jesus Christ is Lord.
LORDSHIP THAT MEANS OBEDIENCE
*Lordship calls for obedience.
- With Jesus Christ as Lord of the Christian, there should be:
2.Mastery and forgiveness
3.Control and freedom
- The gospel demands for us to receive and obey Christ as Lord.
OBEDIENCE THAT INCLUDES EVERYTHING
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:16)
- Allow Christ to be absolutely in charge – we simply manage it for Him.
- Failure to allow Christ to be totally in charge makes for weak believers and congregations.
- The foundation stone of faith is the belief that leads to lordship of everything in life -- all we are and all we have.
*The goal of the Holy Spirit today is to examine our personal faith in Christ, especially as to submission of the lordship of Christ in every area.
- Shut out the world around you.
- Focus on the Savior who gave His all for you.
- Ask Him to show you where you need to surrender so He may be Lord of absolutely all of you!
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | October 25, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 10/25/15
“The Cornerstone: The Standard of Salvation”*
Acts 4:12; 1 Peter 2:7-8
INTRODUCTION: A touchstone in life is a means of testing the genuineness of something or someone. The Bible contains several references to stones that were in some way standards by which human lives were judged. Certainly the most significant such reference is in Psalm 118, quoted by Peter in his sermon in Acts 4:11–12. There he said: Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Later, Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:7–8: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”
Jesus is either the rock of salvation, the cornerstone upon which every saved life is built, or He is the stone of stumbling, a person whose claims are rejected by people, resulting in their being eternally lost.
In other words, Jesus the cornerstone is the touchstone of salvation. The standard by which a person knows he has eternal life is the presence of the cornerstone, Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He made himself the standard of true belief in God, true love of God and truly following God’s way.
The gospel of Jesus, the cornerstone, presents us with two great tests of true Christianity, tests that have existed since Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach the good news of His coming:
(1) Do you believe that Jesus is God the Son and your only Savior?
(2) Believing He is, do you surrender to Him as Lord?
Ask yourself now - Is Jesus your cornerstone?
FIRST STANDARD OF SALVATION – IS JESUS SAVIOR?
*This test looks at where a person places his fundamental trust for both forgiveness of sins and also confidence in eternal life. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
*In ancient times the cornerstone was crucial to the positioning and the structure of a building. Peter was saying that Jesus Christ is the righteous foundation stone of eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The “Jesus test” will reveal whether a person is a true disciple or a person still needing the salvation of God.
SECOND STANDARD OF SALVATION – IS JESUS LORD?
*Peter presents contrasting decisions people make about the cornerstone. “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall” (1 Peter 2:7-8).
*What is it they are accepting or rejecting? First is a rejection of the command of Jesus to surrender to His lordship. The other is the love/hate or solution/problem contrast. You either love Jesus and see him as your solution or you hate Jesus and see him as a problem.
*Christ is the cornerstone who is perfectly square—righteous. A cornerstone is also “squared true,” which means when it is laid level, its sides are also perfectly vertical. If we are built upon Him, our lives must therefore be oriented upward in a true vertical. The non-Christian does not orient his life to Christ as Lord: he stumbles over this requirement.
*Why do people so desperately reject the lordship of Christ? Is it merely that they like being their own bosses? Or is it that they understand that lordship means everything? Is your life oriented “true vertical” to God? Is Jesus Christ your Lord?
Is He the Son of God and your Savior? Is He your Lord? If not, what will you do now?
*sermon from Dr. Robert Simms for the Touchstones Stewardship emphasis
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | October 11, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 10/11/15
“Beyond 2018: The Nehemiah Principle”
Nehemiah 4 & 6
INTRODUCTION: Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the King, but with God’s help he became the Governor of God’s people. Nehemiah moved from where he was to where God wanted him to be. I hope you have made some changes in your life these past few weeks using the steps found in the Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah, a lay person, shows us principles of leadership that any individual, businessperson, or church can use today. One of his key concepts of leadership is what has been called the “Nehemiah Principle.” The Nehemiah Principle helps you maintain your sense of purpose and direction.
WHAT IS THE NEHEMIAH PRINCIPLE?
*The people became discouraged and wanted to give up half-way through the project to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. They faced opposition and fatigue during their efforts (Neh. 4:6-10).
*Nehemiah challenged the people to renew their vision and to get back to work (Neh. 4:13-15).
*The people regained their focus and rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 6:15-16).
The Nehemiah Principle: Vision and purpose must be restated every twenty-six days to keep you moving in the right direction.
GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU AND PARKVIEW.
So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to find out and do whatever the Lord wants you to (Ephesians 5:15-17 TLB).
WHAT DOES GOD WANT? MY WHOLE LIFE.
“Give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God” (Romans 6:13 NLT).
“This is what the Lord your God wants you to do: Respect the Lord your God, and do what he has told you to do. Love him. Serve the Lord your God with your whole being” (Deuteronomy 10:12 NCV).
WHAT DOES IT TAKE? DISCIPLINE.
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Tim 4:7 NASB).
“Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit” (1 Timothy 4:7 TLB).
“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).
“God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose” (Philippians 2:13 GNT).
WHY SHOULD I DO IT? THE CROSS.
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again”
(2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV).
“Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins” (Ephesians 1:7 GW).
“Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him” (Romans 12:1 GW).
“We beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us” (2 Corinthians 6:1 MSG).
WILL YOU MAKE A COMMITMENT TODAY?
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | October 4, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 10/04/15
“Beyond 2018: Enlist Help”
Nehemiah 3: 1-32
INTRODUCTION: God has made us to be a part of a community. We need each other. There are no Lone Rangers in the work of the Lord. We are made for relationships. We are made for common purposes. We are valuable individually and collectively. We need to lean on each other as well as work together. We also need to recognize the sin factor: we will let each other down at times. But we must pick one another up and move toward the common goal. Nehemiah and the people experienced these truths as they rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. His example has shown us that you must TAKE INVENTORY of the situation, formulate a plan and then WORK YOUR PLAN. Today we see that you must ENLIST HELP TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS. There is amazing power in collective effort toward a common goal. Nehemiah challenged the people and they embraced the vision (2:17-18). Notice the help you can recruit to reach your goals.
ENLIST HELP FROM PEOPLE WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS.
-People with personal interests built the walls. “Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house” (10).
“Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house” (23). “Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house. Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs. Next to him, Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. Next to them, Meshullam son of Berekiah made repairs opposite his living quarters” (28-30).
-Leaders with a vested interest built the walls. “Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section” (9). “Shallum...ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters” (12). “The repairs... were made by the priests from the surrounding region” (23).
-The best helpers have personal motives for helping you.
ENLIST HELP FROM ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE.
-Religious leaders joined in the physical labor. “Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate” (1). “Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani” (17).
-Country people helped build the walls. “The men of Jericho built the adjoining section” (2). “Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah...places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates” (7).”The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah” (13).
-People with a variety of gifts, abilities, and jobs repaired the wall. “Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that” (8). “Between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs”(32).
-Families joined the effort. “Shallum...repaired the next section with the help of his daughters” (12).
-Expand your list of potential helpers and allies.
ENLIST HELP FROM PEOPLE WITH MIXED MOTIVES.
-Families with conflict helped build the walls. “The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors” (5).
-People with divided loyalties helped build the wall (the example of Meshullam). “Meshullam son of Berekiah made repairs opposite his living quarters” (30). But Nehemiah 6:17-19 says, “Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.”
-“Anyone who is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40).
YOU NEED OTHERS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | September 27, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 9/27/2015
“Beyond 2018: Work Your Plan”
Nehemiah 2: 1-20
INTRODUCTION: You need to repair the broken areas of your life so you can become all that God wants you to be. Parkview needs to repair its building and grounds so we can be ready for all God is going to do. The book of Nehemiah details the struggles of God’s people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The principles Nehemiah used to rebuild the city walls are the very steps we need to use as we repair our own cracked and broken walls. Last week we discovered that you must TAKE INVENTORY of your life so you can make a plan to rebuild your life. Today we see that you must WORK YOUR PLAN. You must move into action and do what God has shown you to do. Even if you are on the right track you can’t just sit there. Nehemiah 2:1-20 shows us you must MOVE.
MOTIVATE YOUR WILL (1-3).
“In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before; so the king asked me, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart." I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, "May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"” (1-3).
-Pray. Face your fears. Step out in faith.
ORGANIZE YOUR STRATEGY (4-10).
“The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it" (4-5).
-Keep on praying. Ask for help.
“Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?" It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. I also said to him, "If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king's forest, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?" And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.” (6-8).
-Work out the details and secure resources.
“So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king's letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites” (9-10).
VISUALIZE YOUR GOAL (11-18).
“I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days I set out during the night with a few men. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on. By night I went out through the Valley Gate...examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire....The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work. Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work” (11-18).
-Get the big picture. Cast a vision. Get to work.
ENGAGE YOUR PLAN OF ACTION (19-20).
“But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. "What is this you are doing?" they asked. "Are you rebelling against the king?" I answered them by saying, "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it." (19-20).
-Be firm. Allow no compromise and no stopping.
You can move into action and do what God has told you to do!
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | September 20, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 9/20/15
“Beyond 2018: Take Inventory”
Nehemiah 1: 1-11
INTRODUCTION: The walls are down. In society, in homes, in churches, in individual lives, the walls are in need of repair. While we can easily see areas of life that should be rebuilt and restored, the same question needs to be asked of each one of us. Are the walls down in your life? Most of us can look at ourselves and see the need for repair.
You need to repair the broken areas of your life so you can become all that God wants you to be. Parkview needs to repair its building and grounds so we can be ready for all God is going to do. The book of Nehemiah details the struggles of God’s people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The man of the hour was Nehemiah. The principles Nehemiah used to rebuild the city walls are the very steps we need to use as we repair our own cracked and broken walls. Let’s decide to change the way we are as we move through this study. Let’s become all that God has called us to be. Let’s be Fit 4 Fifteen and move Beyond 2018. Nehemiah 1:1-11 gives us the setting and first step of repair.
YOU MUST REPAIR YOUR WALLS BEFORE YOU CAN GOVERN YOUR KINGDOM (1:1-3).
-Nehemiah discovered a vulnerable situation: “The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire"” (1:1-3).
-Nehemiah took personal steps to help repair the walls.
He went through a process of development. He went from Cupbearer (1:11) to Wallbuilder (2:17-18) to Governor (5:14).
-God moves us from where we are to where He wants us to be so we can do what He has in mind.
THE FIRST STEP: TAKE INVENTORY (1:1-11).
-Evaluate your situation. “I questioned them about the the Jewish remnant that survived the exile and also about Jerusalem ...They said to me, ‘The wall of Jerusalem is broken down’” (1:2-3).
-Pray. “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: "O LORD, God of heaven...I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you”” (1: 4-6).
-Claim God’s promises to help. “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands...I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'” (1:8-9).
-Plan to repair your walls. “`O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.’ I was cupbearer to the king” (11).
-You need to evaluate yourself before you can govern yourself effectively.
Are the walls down in your life? Let’s take inventory...
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | September 13, 2015
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 09/13/15
INTRODUCTION: Leonard Sweet in his book Postmodern Pilgrims says that the church of the 21st Century must become an “Ancient Future” church if it is to have a future at all. By this he means that a church must hold on to the old Gospel story and put it into new forms that move the church into the future. It is no longer acceptable to just keep up with the times, the Ancient Future church must be the change agent that shapes the future into the image of Jesus Christ. The church must let the Gospel of Jesus Christ pull the culture into the future God desires for all humanity. I believe Parkview Baptist Church has a great history! I believe Parkview Baptist Church has a great future! We need to shape our future now! Specifically, Parkview needs to revamp our facilities and renew our focus. A lay person named Haggai was used by God to give the people of Israel a fresh start and a fresh vision. He laid the foundation that shaped the future of Israel. I believe that God has a word for Parkview today through Haggai the prophet.
HAGGAI SHOWS US WE NEED…
COMMITMENT TO GOD’S WORK INSTEAD OF COMMITMENT TO OUR WANTS (1:1-15).
- The Remnant had lost its focus (1:1-5).
- God’s temple was in ruins (1:8-9).
- The leaders and people renewed their original vision (1:12-14).
Parkview Baptist Church needs to start looking Beyond 2018.
REALIZATION OF FUTURE GLORY AS WELL AS REMEMBRANCE OF FORMER GLORY (2:1-9).
- Israel had a great past (2:1-3).
- But God had great plans for Israel (2:4-9).
God’s presence reminds us of the past and assures us of the future.
EXPRESSIONS OF GOD’S BLESSING RATHER THAN EXPERIENCE OF GOD’S BLIGHT (2:10-23).
- God cannot bless disobedience (2:14-17).
- God delights in and rewards obedience (2:18-19).
God wants to bless Parkview Baptist and give us a fruitful future.
I AM ASKING YOU TODAY TO
AFFIRM THE PAST AND
BUILD ON THE FUTURE BY
COMMITTING TO BEYOND 2018.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | August 30, 2015
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 08/30/15
“Rattle Them Bones”
INTRODUCTION: Judah as a nation was gone. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. The people in captivity were demoralized and in despair. Was there hope? Where was God? The Lord gave Ezekiel a vision in a valley of dry bones. “Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off’” (Ez. 37:11). God told Ezekiel to prophecy to the bones so that they would come to life. God is in the resurrection and hope business. Israel would return home and live. Sometimes God has to rattle our bones to bring us back to life.
THE BIG QUESTION: CAN THESE BONES LIVE?
*God asked Ezekiel the big question. Ezekiel answered in simple faith, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know” (Ez. 37:3).
*God was going to revive his people. He was going to bring new life to dead bones through the word of the Lord. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life’” (Ez. 37:4-5).
*God wants to renew his people today. He wants to revitalize dead and dying churches. “Can these bones live?” can be asked about the many bones in our churches today:
- The question can be asked about jawbones.
- The question can be posed to the wishbones.
- The question can be asked about knucklebones.
- The question can still be asked about the dry bones in churches.
*Can these bones live?
THE FINAL ANSWER: RESURRECTION
*The Good News is that God’s word can resurrect the lifeless through his Spirit. So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on
them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army (Ez. 37:7-10).
*Ezekiel’s vision is a foretaste of the empty tomb. “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord’” (Ez. 37:12-14).
*God raised his Son Jesus Christ from the dead by the power of his Holy Spirit. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time…” (1 Cor. 15:3-6).
*God’s Spirit is ready to give you new hope and new life. He wants to raise you from your grave of despair and hopelessness. He wants to repair your broken bones and shattered dreams. God wants to restore a right relationship with him. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade (1 Peter 1:3-4).
Can these bones live? Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live…Do you believe this?”
*This sermon was adapted from Brian Harbor’s sermon “Can These Bones Live?” in From Cover to Cover, pages 106-109.
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