December 25th 2016 Lesson 4 – Are You Living your best life now? Luke 16:10
In the Teacher’s book, the instructor is told to ask the question “What are some common ideas and descriptions the world believes about heaven and hell? Who do you think will be in either place?” The examples the writer gives are.
Heaven is beautiful, Hell is torment. Heaven has angels harps clouds and pearly gates, hell is flames and torture and punishment. The same people that think all will go to heaven (including themselves), also think the really bad people will go to hell (Hitler, Bin Laden, ect.). Many think goodness and religion get us to heaven.
The whole truth is that people that “Believe God” and have trusted His Son Jesus as Saviour go to Heaven and people that refuse Jesus as their LORD get their choice of separation from Him: Hell is that place where you are alone with your choice to be your own lord, Heaven is where Jesus is and He is who He is…who is LORD and Creator of the universe. The Choice, let Jesus be Who He is and spend eternity with Him: or take what you want from this life now and spend eternity alone and consumed by the never ending fire of your burning trash.
THE RICH MAN AND THE POOR MAN HAD OPPOSITE LOTS IN THIS LIFE
The first GROUP LESSON NOTES questions were-
1. The rich man has his BEST life now.
2. The poor man has his WORST life now.
Observe the descriptions of Both the rich man and Lazarus while they were still living. Make any comparisons and contrasts between the 2 characters in this parable. You might want to make 2 columns to list these for each character.
The Rich Man – Lazarus
Covered in fine clothing – Covered in Sores
More food than He wanted – wanted only leftovers
Dressed himself, depended on no one – Couldn’t carry himself, depended on everyone
Big Home with a gate – no home, laid at gate
Had a funeral – Wasn’t even buried
No name, just “Rich Man” – Had a name, “The one who God helps”
HEAVEN AND HELL WERE THEIR OPPOSITE DESTINIES IN THE NEXT LIFE
Second “Group Lesson Notes”
1. The rich man LOSES everything he ever had.
2. The beggar gains EVERYTHING he never had.
Observe the descriptions of both the rich man and Lazarus now that they are on the other side of the grave. Make comparisons and contrasts between the 2 characters.
“The rich man is now the one suffering; he is now begging for a drop of water. A gate separated him from Lazarus – now a great gulf separates them. The rich man commands Abraham as if he is still in charge. The man who showed no mercy is now demanding mercy. A man that never noticed Lazarus at his gate has immediately noticed him across the gulf.”
What is the significance of Lazarus being in Abraham’s bosom? (see John 13:23;20:21 )
“This was an intimate posture during an intimate meal. Meals together signified friendship and acceptance. While Lazarus had nothing to eat while on earth, he is reclined and ready to feast with Abraham.”
ABRAHAM COMPARES THE TWO LIVES BEFORE AND AFTER DEATH
What do these passages tell us about God’s Word? ( see Psalm 19:7;119:50,149,154,156; Romans 1:16;10:13-15; 2 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 4:12 )
“God’s Word revives the soul, gives life to men, is the power of Salvation, is necessary to be heard in order to believe, is able to make wise unto Salvation, and is living and active. The Word of God that the Spirit of God uses converts sinners.”
What do we learn about God’s Word from Abraham’s statement in this Parable?
It is sufficient to warn people of hell and prepare them for heaven. It is enough – even Old Testament (Moses and the prophets) – to convince people of their need for salvation. It is more convincing even than one returning from the grave! Miracles, signs, gimmicks, and tricks cannot and will not save sinners. Books about people supposedly dying and going to heaven, and returning will not save sinners. God’s Word is a necessity.”
This holiday we are celebrating today is about Jesus, the Son of Almighty God being born as a helpless child on this earth, having to flee for His life before He could even walk: avoid murderous treachery before he was even 2 years old. He lived a perfect and Sinless life and is the only man in the history of mankind that could ever meet the price demanded to be the atonement of our sin and reconcile us to God so we can have the choice to forsake this life and embrace eternity with Him. Even though Lazarus being raised from the dead didn’t change much, Jesus raising Himself from the dead changes everything. You have the choice to be a lord here and inherit hell or Believe Christ and inherit heaven… and yes, I am living my best life now, but it has nothing to do with things: it has everything to do with knowing Jesus. Houses with leaky roofs and cars that fall apart aren’t worth much in light of the way things really are: the worth of this life is actually the deception and illusion of Satan, real value is in Christ Jesus.
I went to the trouble of doing all of this because we are not having Sunday School Christmas day and I thought it was too good a lesson to skip. Let me know if I should keep doing this or not on Facebook in the comments or email the church website.
“Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a nation that is rebelling against me. Their ancestors have rebelled against me from the beginning, and they are still in revolt to this very day.” EZEKIEL 2:3
Mission: Impossible holds a special place in the annals of television drama. Mysterious assignments were handed out at the beginning of each program and that which was billed as impossible became possible, however improbable, before the weekly installment ended. Ezekiel’s assignment came to him in a much more dramatic fashion than the way Mission: Impossible’s operators received theirs. He was given a vision of God’s glory that was so overwhelming that he “fell face down in the dust” (Ezek. 1:28). In this undignified but perfectly understandable position, Ezekiel was ideally situated to hear from the Lord. It was there, in the posture of awestruck submission, that he was told, “Stand up, son of man…. I want to speak with you” (2:1). The voice, of course, was the voice of God. This was no ordinary voice, and the words spoken were no ordinary words. These words contained the very power necessary for obedience to them. Ezekiel testified, “The Spirit came into me as he spoke and set me on my feet” (2:2). Men today rarely find themselves flat on their faces in reaction to hearing the voice of God. But they do have available to them the written word of God, which, when read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested, not only commands but empowers for obedience. The word heeded releases the power needed. Ezekiel soon discovered he needed the unique empowering of the Spirit working through the word. Ezekiel was instructed, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a nation that is rebelling against me….They are a hard-hearted and stubborn people…. They won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious” (2:3-4, 7). The nature of Ezekiel’s mission was essentially that he was to talk to people who would not listen and who, even if they listened, would not do what they were told. Mission impossible! It might reasonably be asked, “What, then, was the point of sending Ezekiel to them?” God’s rationale for sending him was that “whether they listen or not . . . at least they will know they have had a prophet among them” (2:5). The point of them knowing they had been listening to a prophet would not be immediately obvious. But later on when the things he had said came about, they would realize that what they were experiencing was no accident—it was what God had promised. It was exactly what he had determined should come to pass. In other words, they would learn that even when things go wrong, God is still in control. Ezekiel’s mission was impossible, but essentially practical. And his message was unmistakable: God is in control, he knows what he is doing, and he will bring it to pass. Just watch!
© 2000 One Year Devotions for Men: April 19th entry
Welcome to Ridgecrest, we glad to be here.
The weather has been cold – the fellowship has been warm. We have heard some good messages on Hearing from God, I think they are timely. As the election year is upon us we need to be talking to God then we need to listen to Him. We have been having some good studies in Sunday School, if you have been missing you are missing a blessing.
We are glad you are here, let us open our ears and heart and receive a blessing from God.
God Bless You
Brother Donnie Mathis
God Speaks to us through….
Speaker: Robbie McMasters.
Series: 2016 The Year To Hear Part: 3.
Pastor : Robbie McMasters.
January 10, 2016 Morning Service
God speaks to us as we pray.
God might speak to us through a dream or vision.
God speaks to us through His creation.
God speaks to use through circumstance.
God speaks to use through people.
God speaks to use through His Holy Spirit.
God might speaks to use through Angels.
God speaks to us through His Word.
Source: Click here to listen.
Our Greatest Offering
What do you think that could be? What do you give someone who has EVERYTHING? Literally Everything? We use His cars, live in His houses, spend His money…to buy His stuff with??? That is already HIS to Begin With! 7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. 8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. 9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Psalms 50:7-13 (KJV) God has no need to go to the mall or Walmart: His hands made everything that everything in Walmart or the Mall is made of… He made the earth those buildings sit on and the materials those stores themselves were constructed from. What does God need that we can give Him? Even the things we create on this earth are just re-appropriations of things God has already created…and many times, misappropriations of God’s resources. We read in this week’s Bible readings in 1st Samuel “To obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”; but I have actually known people that had fooled themselves into thinking the price paid for sin was worth what they gained…their offerings did not pay for their sin: Jesus did that on the Cross: Satan is a master deceiver and the whole world system is based on his lies. How could we think there would be no penalty for using and abusing the Son of God for our pleasure? Verses 14 and 15 of Psalms 50 answers the question -14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Psalms 50:14-15 (KJV) and again 8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8 (KJV) if you would argue that I am using Old Testament verses, God didn’t change in Matthew Chapter 1, just methodology: The Old Testament was powered by the first Adam and the Law…the New Testament is powered by the Love of God and of the Sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son on the Cross. God sat back and waited 4,000 years so His people could determine that they can’t fix it themselves: that all our wealth is just pennies in the Hands of God and then He split time itself with the arrival of His Son and Literally changed everything for eternity. We are about to begin the 2016th Anno Domini – AD “Year of our LORD”. I took 2 of my creations to the music store Christmas Eve and a couple of Master Banjo pickers put them through their paces; I can’t describe the joy that flooded my heart when my creations did what they were created for: as God’s Creations our purpose is to Glorify He that made us with our fellowship and praise. God doesn’t want your stuff if you will not allow Him to have you. 1 Corinthians 13 says if your gifts aren’t given from a heart of love… you are just making annoying noise. 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
What was man’s sin that separated him from God? Wanting to be as God and be the ruler of OUR own lives and those around us: desiring to be as God means having the desire to control everything around us. Our greatest offering is to surrender the throne of our lives daily to Him that is truly worthy of it: when our hearts are rightly connected with God’s heart, we will give because someone we love has a need: God wants His family whole and gathered around Him… just like you… just like me. – David Orr
Our Greatest Gift
Tis the season to… fuss at people for saying “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas? I don’t fuss, I just answer them back “Merry Christmas” and I am thinking I should add “And may God bless you?” People have the right to believe what they want to: I can’t MAKE them do anything, but I can lead by example. There is a verse I just wanted to quote but I had to bite my typing fingers because that verse is the brunt of next weeks “Our Greatest Offering”. I am talking about “Our greatest Gift” this week, I have been rushing trying to get my family gift done: I make a musical instrument, Usually a guitar, and Christmas Morning a name is drawn out of “The Christmas Container” and whoever’s name is on that piece of paper gets the guitar (this year is not a guitar) and then I get the great nieces and nephews a little something. We are all busy buying or making gifts to give those we care about; but to a Christian those gifts are just symbolic of something else far greater than anything we could ever give anybody. We give the gifts we are able to come up with for those we love because we have been given a Gift we could never purchase. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:6-10 (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
We were born condemned by our nature… and Jesus gave us the gifts or reconciliation and redemption… by taking our mocking, our lashing our nails, our cross, and our Sin upon Himself… and dying in our place. How HUGE is that Gift? I don’t have to spend eternity separated from goodness anymore. Receiving that gift means accepting Him that gives it as our LORD and trusting Him with our life and our Salvation that only the Son of God can accomplish. How hard is it to submit your life to Someone who died to save your eternal soul: those of us that know Him are here to let the rest of the world know that Jesus has already gave them the way to be saved… but they have to choose whether to accept His gift, just like you had to choose. Instead of offering a rebuke to someone that doesn’t know Jesus for saying “Happy Holidays”, offer them the alternative: tell them about Jesus. My testimony is the only thing I can give that can make an eternal difference in someone else’s life… do I give it? Do you? Jesus Gave us the MOST AWESOME GIFT that is so special it had to originate in the Mind of God…He gave Himself!! That is something to rejoice about and Praise Jesus name for… O HOW HE LOVES US! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
– David Orr
Welcome, that’s what we do here at Ridgecrest, we welcome you here. This coming Saturday is the Blood Drive. I hope you’re able to give blood or invite someone. This could save a life. Jesus gave his blood but for different reason. He shed his blood for us all, not just for one. If you’re not able to give blood, it’s understandable. Pray for this event. Pray for the donors, the helpers, and the Red Cross. Be supportive. Jesus supports us by blessing our efforts. We also pray for this service today. Once again, Welcome, make yourself at home. We are family here, Family in Christ.
– Brother John Cook
Sunday School 10am
Sunday Morning Worship 11am
Sunday Evening Service 5pm
Wed. Night Bible Study 6:30 – 730 PM
(opens in new window)