Category Archives: Preaching

6 Arguments that Support the Doctrine of Eternal Security

My Outline

bibleThe following is an outline for a sermon I have preached a few times. It starts off with some arguments against the “once-saved-always-saved” position. The next part lists six basic arguments in favor of the eternal security of the believer.

Please keep something in mind as you consider the outline: evidence is cumulative. In the legal world it is called the “preponderance of evidence.” In other words, one bit of evidence might not convict, but the collection of evidence pointing in that direction, when overwhelming, leaves little other choice.

Of course, this is only an outline, not the sermon. However, take what I am giving you and print it off, do your own study, and then let me know your thoughts.

“Eternal Security” 

Arguments Against “Once Saved, Always Saved”

  1. Observational – How people live that believe it.
  2. Free Will – We are created with a will; we’re not slaves.
  3. Scriptural* (Hebrews 6; 1 John 3:9; 5:18) *These passages, when used against the doctrine of eternal security, are most often themselves misunderstood or taken out of context.

Arguments FOR “Eternal Security”

  1. Creational Argument: We are New Creations (2 Cor. 5:17)
    1. It took a supernatural act to change us
    2. We can’t act supernaturally to change us back
  2. New Birth Argument: We are Born Again (John 3:7,16)
    1. By the Spirit – Jn 3:6
    2. By the Word of God – 1 Peter 1:23
    3. We are not God, so we must remain “born again”
  3. Children of God Argument
    1. Born that way – 1 John 5:1; 1 Peter 1:23
    2. Adopted – Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5
    3. Abba – Gal. 4:1-7
  4. The Possession Argument – We belong to Christ
    1. Purchased – 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 7:23 (Bought with a Price)
    2. Given by the Father – Jn. 6:37-40; 10:28-30
    3. Will never be separated – Rom. 8:35-39
    4. Romans 14:8 – For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
    5. He can keep what is His – 2 Tim. 1:12 “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” See also: 2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  5. The Marriage Argument
    1. Ephesians 5:25-28, 31-32 – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    2. He is faithful, even when we are not.
      1. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 “…if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful…”
      2. He is God, not man! – Hosea 11:7-9
  6. It’s a Gift
    1. 2:8-9 Gift of God, by grace
    2. Romans 11:29 KJV – For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance (irrevocable)

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Filed under Bible Study, Preaching, salvation

How to LOVE SIN in 7 Easy Steps

My lovely wife, Valerie, has been going through containers of “keepsakes” and “treasures” which have been packed away for the last two years, or so. What was supposed to be a library in our house had turned into a “put it there until we figure out where to put it” storage facility.

Within one of the plastic totes full of seemingly random notes, old greeting cards, and priceless “I LOVE YOU” drawings made by our little girls were old sermon outlines. I don’t know why they were there, but I’m glad they were preserved.

One of the outlines is one I preached, but I don’t remember when or where. Honestly, I don’t even remember if it was original or borrowed. Therefore, I won’t take credit (at least not all of it) for what I’m going to share. Just know, whoever developed this outline, he was preaching the truth!


How to Love Sin in Seven Easy Steps

“Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.” – Romans 12:9

To be clear, the following is an outline showing the progression one can make from that of hating (abhorring) sin, to that of loving it with equal passion.

I. Abhoration

At this stage, even the mention of sin is shocking. One might ask, “How could anyone even do that?” Unfortunately, even though it is a good thing that one abhors (hates; is totally repulsed by it) a particular sin, the danger – the crack in the foundation – is to understand that “God says that is sin; but I don’t know why.”

Folks, if you will remember, Eve took of the fruit when offered because her doctrine was off a bit. In other words, the message she’d been taught (by Adam) was that touching the fruit was deadly. In her mind she knew what God supposedly thought, but she didn’t know the “why.” That’s where legalism begins, and ultimately apostacy.

II. Awareness

Step two on the path to loving sin is becoming more aware of the sin. You know it’s there, you’ve heard more about it, and it’s not quite so shocking the more you hear of it. Granted, it’s still HORRIBLE to you at this point, and you cannot for the life of you see how anyone could get involved in it.

This is one of the greatest dangers we face in modern times – the increase of knowledge. In centuries past, even up to the mid-20th century, many shameful sins were hidden from the general public (Ephesians 5:12). Back in those days it was shocking that someone you knew was caught smoking cigarettes in the school bathroom. Now the sky’s the limit with what children can get away with, even in the classroom!

Years ago, it wasn’t that we would have just been shocked by where the sin was committed; we would have shocked to even hear that such a sin existed!

III. Association

The third step toward loving sin begins when some sort of contact with the sin is made. In other words, it’s no longer something you’ve heard about in sermons or gossip; it’s something with which you’ve had a run in.

Often what happens at this stage is that your belief about the sin isn’t affected, but the contact (i.e., association with someone who commits the sin) develops curiosity. Oh, you still think this sin is wrong, even abhorrent, but you’re beginning to become accustomed to it. Still disturbing, but not as shocking.

IV. Acceptance

This is the stage where so many Christians are right now. They’ve watched so much television, movies, and social media that they are no longer shocked, but they’ve come to accept sin as a matter of choice.

As a matter of fact, it is during this stage toward loving sin when morals become relative. You assimilate into the thinking that there is “good and bad in all things.” Personally, you think the sin is wrong, but it’s not as big an issue anymore.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1 Timothy 4:1-2

V. Admiration

At this step you are not only well on your way to loving sin, but your feet are tripping over each other as you run down the slippery slope. This is the “Devil’s Advocate” stage.

After being around those who are regularly practicing a sin (not just on media, but in your associations), you start to believe that maybe the sin in question was not as bad as you first thought. Granted, you don’t actually get involve, per se, but you become defensive of those that are involved. You become an advocate, a fellow-traveler, and create “safe places” where the sin can be affirmed.

At this stage you have forgotten your original feelings, the ones you now see as “backward,” and focus on “redeeming values” that outweigh the bad.

VI. Assimilation

Here we are at step 6, the point in your journey where you begin participating on some lower level. If nothing else, you would not say you’re fully into it; you’re just experimenting and having fun.

Regardless of your level of participation, the sin in question is no longer in question. You start saying things like, “God must have been talking about something different.” As a matter of fact, now you become more of a Bible and Theology expert than ever before! If anyone challenges your exegesis, you become terribly defensive, for this is now part of your life’s fabric.

VII. Adoration

What was evil is now good – what was good is now evil. You’ve done an about flip and now adore the thing you once abhorred.

Non-involvement becomes total involvement and is accompanied by championing praise for the sin and those who commit it. You’re proud of it, actually.

You’ve now become a lover of sin, and all it took were seven easy steps.

Wasn’t hard, was it?



Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, “Wherein have we wearied him?” When ye say, “Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them;” or, “Where is the God of judgment?” – Malachi 2:17

He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. – Proverbs 17:15

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

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How We Know Jesus Was a Gift from God

A Christmas Sermon Outline

Have you ever been given a gift, or seen one under the Christmas tree, that needed no card or tag informing you who sent it? Maybe the meticulous wrapping was a clue to who the wrapper was.

I know Christmas is still a few days away, but some of you might need something to preach or teach between now and then. Therefore, please accept as my gift of an outline I prepared, “How We Know Jesus Was a Gift from God.”

Please, feel free to use it 🙂

“How We Know Jesus Was a Gift from God”

I.  Because of When THIS Gift Was Given

·   Galatians 4:4 “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son…”

II.  Because of How THIS Gift Was Wrapped

·   Luke 2:12 “And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

·   Philippians 2:7 “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

·   Hebrews 4:15 KJV – “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.”

III.  Because THIS Gift Was Truly Free

·   John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He GAVE…”

·   Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace…it is a GIFT of God, NOT of works…”

·   Romans 3:24 “Being justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

IV.  Because THIS Gift Was Exactly What We Needed

A.  To Bring Us Life – Luke 2:11 “Unto you is born, in the city of David, a SAVIOR…”

B.  To Bring Us Joy – Lamentations 3:22-23 “His mercies are new every morning”

V.  Because of the Love that Went Into It.

·   1 John 4:9 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”

VI.  Conclusion:

A.  Accept the Gift of Jesus

B.  Give Thanks! – 2 Cor. 9:15 “Thanks be to God for this unspeakable Gift!”

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The Joy of Christmas (an outline)

This past Sunday morning, the third Sunday in the Advent week, I preached a sermon that taught about the joy that was experienced in the Christmas story.

This morning I am uploading my outline from the sermon so that you may have it. But it is also the same outline I’m going to use this morning on our Discord server, FaithChatt.

The Joy of Christmas

Opening Text: Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

1. Joy Defined: What is Joy?

Examples: “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” “Joy to the world, all the boys and girls…” “Happy Happy, Joy Joy Song” (from Ren and Stempy)

            A. How many words translated as “joy”? 10 in Greek, 25 in Hebrew! If the word LOVE could have multiple meanings (4-5 different words in Greek), then JOY might be much more difficult to define, correct?

            B. Merriam-Webster: The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires DELIGHT; the expression or exhibition of such emotion; a state of happiness or fidelity (bliss); a source or cause of delight.

2. Joy Delivered: Who Were the Recipients? Who Delivered?

            A. Zacharias and the “many” – Luke 1:14 (Gabriel)

            B. Mary (Gabriel, Elisabeth, God) Luke 1

            C. Elisabeth and John the Baptist (Mary, the Holy Ghost) Luke 1

            D. The Shepherds (the angel of the Lord: Gabriel?) Luke 2

            E. The Wise men (Testimony, the star) Matthew 2

            F. To All People Luke 2

3. Joy Described: How they Responded

            A. Khar-ah: cheerfulness, i.e., calm delight

                        1. Matt. 1:14: Zacharias and people

                        2. Matt. 2:10: Wise men (great (megas) – joy)  REJOICED χαίρω chaírō, khah’-ee-ro; a primary verb; to be “cheer”ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well.

            Luke 2:10-17: to The Shepherds – they shared the news!

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
― Mark Twain

            3. All people – we’ll get to that in a second…

            B. ἀγαλλίασις agallíasis, ag-al-lee’-as-is; from G21; exultation (a feeling of triumphant elation or jubilation; rejoicing) ; specially, welcome:—gladness, (exceeding) joy.

  1. Elisabeth For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. – Luke 1:44 KJV

            C. σκιρτάω skirtáō, skeer-tah’-o; akin to σκαίρω skaírō (to skip); to jump, i.e. sympathetically move (as the quickening of a fetus):—leap (for joy).

1. Luke 1:41, 44 KJV – And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: … For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luke 6:23 KJV – Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

            D.  ἀγαλλιάω agalliáō, ag-al-lee-ah’-o; from agan (much) and G242; properly, to jump for joy, i.e. exult:—be (exceeding) glad, with exceeding joy, rejoice (greatly).

1. Luke 1:47 KJV – Mary – And my spirit hath rejoiced (jumped for joy) in God my Saviour. (In reply to Elizabeth’s statement about John)

2. Matthew 5:12 KJV – Rejoice (jump for joy), and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven… (Jesus)

E.  χαίρω chaírō, khah’-ee-ro; a primary verb; to be “cheer”ful, i.e., calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well.

  1. Matthew 2:10 KJV – Wise men – When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

4. Joy to be Determined

Luke 2:10-17: to The Shepherds – they shared the news! “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
― Mark Twain

A. We’ve heard the news

B. We’ve seen the “star”

C. “Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is Lord!”

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Heaven is a Personal, Permanent Place!

I preached on Heaven this morning. Want to watch the sermon (and me singing a song beforehand)? Well, to borrow from a funny guy, here’s your video.

(Oh, btw, please pardon the choppy internet service)

Click on the picture to watch the video. Thanks!

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Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, Church, Life/Death, Preaching

A Sermon Not Preached Enough

Truth be told, I’m probably setting myself up for a firestorm of hateful comments and threats with the video I’m about to share. I’m tempted not to.

But then what would that make me?

Then again, with a much smaller number of readers than I had a year or two ago, it’s likely that the video I post will only be seen by a few, and most of them (maybe even you) will not watch or listen to all of it.

So, is it worth it? Is it worth sharing?

Of course it is! If it convicts one person . . . If it reaches one heart . . . If it only causes one person to stop for a minute and consider the truth of Scripture . . . then it was worth it.

Then again, it’s not my job to decide the value of a blog post, or even a sermon. My job is to be faithful to the call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to exposit the Word of God so that others may come to the knowledge of the Truth.

Preached Sunday evening, September 5, 2021, at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, GA. Dr. Anthony Baker, Pastor.

There are not a lot of people these days using Romans chapter one to describe America and the culture in which we live. No, they are too afraid of the WOKE police and social media censors, not to mention the protestors who scream and threaten as they label Christians as the hateful and bigoted ones.

Too many pastors are afraid of offending, of burning bridges, of losing whatever numbers we have left.

But if we can’t preach the truth, preacher and pastors, we need to just call it quits and go home. I’m sure that we are not too far away from what God spoke through the Prophet Micah:

“I wish one of you would shut the temple doors, so you would no longer kindle a useless fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Hosts, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/Malachi/1/10

And if, after listening to the above sermon, you think I’m going overboard on the “sex” thing, just a few minutes ago, right before I linked the above video to this post, my wife sent me a story in Messenger.

https://newschannel9.com/news/local/chattanooga-man-among-18-charged-in-tennessee-human-trafficking-operation?fbclid=IwAR3JvOaShXlS4LRRxvEHGbw-lyPayhazJ_OdTWNLPZiBUBJTRlYxzETmhPY

What’s this world coming to?

Read Romans 1.

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Filed under America, Bethlehem Baptist Church, current events, Defining Marriage, Preaching

Sunday’s Sermons from the Back Porch

Good Monday morning! I pray you are doing well and are excited for what God has in store for us, today!

I know, it’s a Monday.

I know, there are a lot of sad things going on in the world.

But, you know what? We can still find encouragement in God’s Word! That is why I want to share with you the Facebook videos from yesterdays messages I preached from my back porch.

Why the back porch? Because we had cancelled in-person services last week because of COVID-19 cases. Hopefully we will be back together as a congregation this Sunday.

In the morning sermon I preached from Ephesians 1:3-7 and outlined 5 benefits that come with being “in Christ.”

In the evening video I continued our study into the the book of Romans. Good stuff. Really good stuff 😉

Please pray for those who are sick.

Please pray for the poor souls in Afghanistan.

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You Might Be a Fool If…

April 1st

Happy April Fools Day!…or, happy Atheists Day!…whichever you prefer.

You know, even though atheists think we are being smug and “snarky” by quoting Psalm 14:1, I believe the one who insists there is no God really is a fool.

But what I think matters little in the scheme of things. What matters is what God thinks.

That is why I came up with this list.

Defining a Fool

What is a fool?  Believe it or not, Scripture lists several characteristics of a foolish person. The following is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start.

So, why not do this Jeff Foxworthy-style?  

You might be a fool if…

  1. You are always right in your own eyes (Proverbs 12:15).
  2. You despise instruction (Proverbs 1:7; 15:5).
  3. You are unteachable (Proverbs 17:10; 23:9; 26:11)
  4. You’re always running your mouth, getting into trouble (Proverbs 18:6-7; 29:11).
  5. You are always trying to find yourself (Proverbs 18:2).
  6. You make fun of sin (Proverbs 14:9).
  7. You’re always meddling in other people’s business (Proverbs 20:3).
  8. You are a shame and a burden to your parents (Proverbs 17:25).
  9. You deny the obvious because the truth is inconvenient (Romans 1:18-22).
  10. You deny Jesus because you think the cross is foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Don’t be a fool.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, General Observations, Life Lessons, Preaching

We Preach Jesus! (Revival In Africa – and Needed in Georgia)

The following post is not new, but one from a year or so ago, maybe longer. But here are the basics…

  1. It’s been around 5 years since I went to Africa (August, 2016) and I’ve still not gotten over it.
  2. I was supposed to go to Jamaica this time last year, but then you-know-what happened. Nobody went anywhere.
  3. We are now praying for revival. The Church of God, the Body of Christ, but particularly we Southern Baptists here in Georgia, need a fresh outpouring of the Spirit, a move of God among our congregations!
  4. Sometimes we need to go to other places, like Zimbabwe or Pakistan, to be reminded how big our God is and how powerfully He wants to work in our lives if we’d just let Him.
  5. Having a fired-up preacher serve as your interpreter can rock your world! And shake the Devil’s!!

So, the following post is about my trip to Zimbabwe, but the best part is the audio of the final sermon preached. I am amazed that the Lord could even use someone like me, especially back then when I (capitalized) was the one in need of revival (that’s really why I went on this trip in the first place). But if you want a real blessing, scroll down and click on the link to the sermon.

Be sure to listen to the sermon at the end!


Revival

It has been [five] years since I went to Zimbabwe. I went there to preach in a series of revival services in two different Baptist churches, both of which were started along with several others by Chinhoyi Baptist in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. Of course, preaching wasn’t all I did; I went with different pastors into various villages, visiting and praying with Christians, evangelizing those who’d never heard the gospel.

The other reason I went to Zimbabwe was to get revived myself. I needed this trip! And, praise be to God, it was life-changing!

Here are some photos from different services.

People starting to show up for church. River of Life met in a tent in a member's front yard.

People starting to show up for church. River of Life met in a tent in a member’s front yard.

image

Worshiping Sunday morning at Dolomite Baptist.

Worshiping Sunday morning at Dolomite Baptist.

Lively and energetic African worship at Chinhoyi Baptist.

Lively and energetic African worship at Chinhoyi Baptist.

Being introduced at Chinhoyi Baptist.

Being introduced at Chinhoyi Baptist.

The Final Service

The final service in which I preached was at Chinhoyi Baptist Church. It was a celebratory farewell service where all of the churches which had hosted our team of three (Dr. Eddy Rushing, Marshall Kellett, and myself) came together as one. And man, was it a service!

The honor was mine to be selected to preach the final service, and what an honor it was. Dr. Rushing and Bro. Kellett were responsible for personally leading scores of people to Christ during this trip, so who was I to be the one to preach? Nevertheless, they asked me, and I jumped at it!

The beginning of the service was full of extremely lively music and dancing – not something the average Baptist in America is used to 😉 When all of that was over, the music shifted to hymns. Dr. Rushing and Bro. Kellett both gave stirring testimonies before the final hymn “Higher Ground” (sung in the native language of Shona) set the tone for the sermon to follow.

Oh, Rev. Luckmann Chiasaru was my interpreter for this service, and man was he good! He even sang with me! Awesome!

Chinhoyi Baptist Church in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. This congregation hopes to plant a total of 50 new churches in 10 years. They're well on their way!

Chinhoyi Baptist Church in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. This congregation hopes to plant a total of 50 new churches in 10 years. They’re well on their way!

The following was recorded on an iPhone 6s, then edited on Audacity. I wish it could have been a better recording, but it was all I had. I pray it is a blessing 🙂

CLICK HERE for link to the audio of “We Preach Jesus!”

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You Can Laugh, But I Believe

It is 1:27 in the morning, and I just finished preaching to the congregation in Pakistan. It was a sweet time of fellowship with brothers and sisters 10 time zones away.

This time I told Pastor Victor that I would provide to him a transcript from which I would preach so that he would be able to know exactly what I said. But that being said, having a transcript made things easier for me, too. As some of you may understand, it is not at all easy to preach through an interpreter.

So, doing the best I could with the little time I actually had – because a 10-minute sermon can take 15 minutes to translate – I preached a sermon on the Rapture. Honestly, it was a VERY SIMPLE sermon, one which was meant more to encourage the believer than convince the skeptic.

After all, how many unbelievers do you expect to show up to a Christian service in a 98% Muslim country?

I hope the following sermon transcript encourages you, too (even if you didn’t vote for Trump – LOL).


Good morning, brothers and sisters, I am so happy and honored to be worshipping with you today.

It is also my honor to have been asked by Bro Victor to preach to you each Sunday the rest of this month.

When Bro Victor asked me if I would preach each Sunday in February, I asked him what it was that he thought I should preach.

That is not something I normally do; I normally never ask another man what I should preach, only God.

But this time, because your pastor knows you better than I do, I wanted to hear what you needed or desired to hear from God’s Word.

So, today I am going to talk about something that should be an encouragement to all of us… to every Christian in every country… This morning I am going to talk to you about the Rapture of the Church.

I am going to ask Bro Victor to read to you my opening text…

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.

This year in America we had a very controversial election. According to the numbers reported, this year more people voted than ever before – the most for a Republican candidate, the most for a Democrat candidate.

Unfortunately, many Americans just like myself think something was not right.

We look at the crowds President Trump had at his campaign rallies, then compare them with the tiny crowds Joe Biden had, and it’s very hard to believe that more people voted for Biden than Trump.

So, when people ask me, “Anthony, do you think the election results were manipulated?” I say, “Yes, I do.”

Now, the problem is that anyone who thinks like I do these days is laughed at and mocked. It is now being said by some people that those who voted for Trump should be sent away to re-education camps!

They even say that Trump voters are as crazy as Christians – and as dangerous – for believing in a “fairytale,” a “myth,” even a “lie.”

This should come as no surprise to us, for Jesus said that His followers would be hated by the same people that hated Him. Those who mock the name of Jesus will mock Christians, too.

But what do people think of you and me when they ask if we believe in the Rapture of the Church? Should we be surprised if they laugh at us?

Just like those of us in America who think something went wrong with the election, they will laugh at us and say, “Show us the evidence!”

But this is nothing new, for they have been saying the same thing for 2,000 years! Saint Peter wrote about these people…

2 Peter 3:3-4 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.

But let me tell you, dear church, that things have not always gone on the same from the day of creation. For one thing, everything changed when a Virgin gave birth to a Child and called His name Jesus!

The world went on like normal for thousands of years until the King of the Universe, the Living Word of God, became flesh!

John 1:1-2, 14 KJV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

This was the First Coming of Jesus Christ! The fact that Jesus came to earth the first time is all the evidence I need that he will return again.

For you see, for thousands and thousands of years a Messiah was promised, even as far back as the Book of Genesis when Eve rejoiced at having a man child.

Throughout the Old Testament we read of One who would be our Kinsman Redeemer, our Great Shepherd, our Fountain in the wilderness, our Rock in the storm, and the Servant who would suffer for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 53).

The Messiah was promised, His birth, His life, and His death… especially His resurrection… were all prophesied, and it all happened just as we were told it would!

Acts 1:9-11 KJV – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Did you hear that last part? This SAME JESUS shall so come!

Jesus told us that He would return. Do I believe Him? Yes, I do!

As the Apostle Paul said, one day a trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised, and we who are living will be caught up! We will be snatched up, like pulling a fish out of the water! We will be taken out, like pulling a cork out of a bottle!

In the blink of an eye, when the trump of the Lord shall sound, we shall be “caught up,” raptured to be with Jesus!

IF I can do nothing else this morning, dear church I want to encourage you!

You live in a world that hates you for what you believe, for you believe in grace, not works.

You believe in freedom, not slavery.

You believe that all men and women, boys and girls, are made in the image of God.

You believe that God became flesh, that Jesus died for our sins, and that He rose again.

You believe in Jesus, yet you are mocked, you are laughed at, you are hated.

But you and I have a HOPE! Our HOPE is not in our good deeds.

Our HOPE is not in how many times we pray or in what direction we pray.

Our HOPE is in Jesus! Our HOPE IS Jesus!

And one day, whether we live or die, one day He will receive us unto Himself!

Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage the church at Thessalonica:

1 Thessalonians 4:13 – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

Some people are full of sorrow and fear because they don’t know where they will go when they die, but you know! You have hope in Jesus!

1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

You see, Paul was trying to encourage the Church, for many thought that those who had already died would never see the return of Jesus. But Paul said that not even death would prevent the Christian from receiving a resurrected body!

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Did you hear that? Those are the words of COMFORT! That is TRULY encouraging! One day, we don’t know when, but one day a trumpet is going to sound…

Do you believe that?

One day the Lord Jesus is going to descend from heaven with a shout! Do you believe that?

One day we will be caught up, taken out of this world, and given a new body fit for eternity in heaven!! Do you believe that?

Then, church, be COMFORTED WITH THESE WORDS! HALLELUJAH!

Do I believe that Jesus is coming again? Yes, I do.

Do I believe that at any moment a trumpet could sound and I could be raptured out of this world to be with Jesus? Yes, I do!

And why do I believe that? Because God keeps His promises! If Jesus came the first time as promised, then I believe He will come again just as He promised.

The only thing is that none of us knows when, so we must always be ready to meet Him.

Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to meet God?

Please be sure you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, dear friend. For if the trumpet doesn’t sound, we are also promised something else, that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement (Heb. 9:27).

You could die today, even before the rapture, and you want to know your soul is right with God.

Brother Victor, I will now give the service back to you.

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