Breaking Barriers – Message Introduction

Last Sunday in our message series “Basic Training” we talked about Building Disciples of Jesus Christ. Making disciples is an adventure for each and every believer. Jesus commanded all of His followers in the Great Commission to …

Matthew 28:19a (NIV)  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations …

In this phrase we see two instructions. First of all we are to go. You can’t stay where you are at and make disciples. You have to go from your present situation in order to impact the lives of others. Secondly, Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations. The words that Jesus spoke in the Great Commission were spoken to Jews, who had never been outside of Israel. Yet Jesus was calling them and us today to make disciples of every kind of person who lives in the face of this planet.

Today, my message is entitled “Breaking Barriers.” The Gospel, the good news of the kingdom of God, must break barriers in order to make disciples. If no barriers are broken, the Gospel will not spread. Jesus told the first disciples in …

Acts 1:8 (NIV)  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

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Introduction to The New Heaven and Earth Message

We’re nearing the end of our message series called “Understanding the End Times.” God’s Word tells us that we’re living in the last days. The last days are the time from when Jesus ascended into heaven until He returns again at the second coming. Today, we’re going to look at the far future. We’re going to see what the Bible has to say about what eternity will be like for the believer.

Last Sunday, we learned that at Jesus’ return, believers will receive resurrection bodies that are designed to live forever. Believers who have died will be resurrected and those who are alive at Christ’s return will be changed to have the same resurrection or spiritual bodies.

At the return of Christ, Satan will be bound for 1000 years on this earth. During that time, Jesus Christ and believers in their resurrected bodies will rule and reign during those 1000 years, called the millennium. At the end of the millennium, Satan will be loosed and deceive the nations into a massive rebellion against the rule of Jesus Christ. Christ will crush the rebellion and all rebels and evil forces, including Satan himself will be cast into the lake of fire, which is hell. The present earth and heaven will be destroyed and God will create a new heaven and earth. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

My message is entitled “The New Heaven and Earth.” The new heavens and earth will be the home of the believer forever. It will be a place in which evil of all kinds has been removed. The new heaven and earth will be a place of perfection and holiness in which God’s glory dwells.

Notice that our eternal home is not just heaven, it is a new heavens and a new earth. The two will merge into the perfect paradise that God has designed for believers to live forever with Him in their resurrected bodies.

2 Peter 3:10, 13 (NIV)  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. … But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

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Our message series in January is entitled “Praying with Jesus.” In this series, we’re looking at the phrases in the Lord’s prayer through the lens of other Bible passages. The Lord’s prayer is a model or example prayer. Jesus intended for us to learn how to pray for this prayer, not to pray it repeatedly word for word.

Why spend time studying prayer? Because prayer is one of the most important things you can do in life. Prayer connects you with God, for whom nothing is impossible. Today, my message is called “Living for the Kingdom.” We’re going to be looking at the phrase found in

Matthew 6:10 (NIV)  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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A New Year is a time for a fresh start, a new beginning in our lives. It is a time to look back and reflect on the previous year and to look forward to what God has for us in the new year. Today, is my last message in our Who Is Jesus? message series and I’ve named it “Jesus Our Coming King.” We’re going to take some time to look ahead to when Jesus returns again. It could be in the New Year, 2013, or it could be further off in the future. When Jesus ascended into heaven following the resurrection, here’s what the angels told the disciples.

Acts 1:11 (NIV) “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

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