Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 


Here you will find service outlines,

sermon manuscript

and additional writings.


Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

View RSS Feed


  • Please read! Sermon Addendum: 56:43-1:03:07; pages 5-6
                I am writing to point out an error / omission on my part from Sunday. As I was walking today and listening to the sermon as I always do, I became aware that in my zealousness to talk about the wrongs of the future kingdom, I did not clearly explain this. The part I am referring to is the part about the humiliation of Christ. When I prepared my sermon, the article I read was talking about the millennial kingdom meaning that Jesus would finally be king the way he was supposed to be, not in humiliation. What I have realized is although Acts 8 and Isaiah 53 are the same Acts 8 adds the word humiliation and I missed it. Missing this verse was my error. I asked; where do they get this stuff from? When I asked that I was thinking about Jesus not being king till later. The answer to my question was Acts 8! If we look at what this really means, we see that Jesus offered himself for us in humility. John 3:16 “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.” So I apologize for not covering this well enough and I will try to explain this better. Here is the passage I did not cover.
    .           Acts 8:32 “This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” This is where this idea comes from. This is the verse I did not cover. These verses were taken from Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
                For some reason I did not read that verse and I am deeply bothered by it, as I always check scriptures. This would have changed some of my comments as you will hear in the sermon. I am not going to post the sermon until I figure out what happened. (I did briefly until I realized my mistake) I decided to leave it the way it was and add this addendum. I want to emphasize that my comments are directed at those who do not believe Jesus presently reigns of David’s throne. In the sermon I quote a person who said, “This is a clear indication of what will occur at the Second Coming of Christ. During the first advent, Christ came in humiliation and died a humiliating death on the cross for the sins of the world. In His second advent, Christ will come with power as the Conquering King.” This article was in reference to the Millennial Kingdom where Jesus will finally reign as king for a thousand years. You see when you turn his birth and death into humiliation in the sense they were using it, you have a problem but the word humiliation is scriptural. The problem is the word humiliation in the way it was used in scripture is different that the way the writer used it when talking about the millennial kingdom and how we often use it. After looking at this, I believe I was talking about two different humiliations but I combined them and should not have as I did not look deeply enough into it. My comments about the nonsense are directed at the idea that Jesus died in humiliation as a failure.
                In the context of this passage from Acts 8 and other verses, the state of being humiliated is the lowering of oneself. This is what I did not emphasize in the following verse. God lowered himself in the likeness of man. Philippians 2:5 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is what the word really means in the passage. He willingly laid down his life but he was not humiliated in the sense we use the word. We also see this in 2 Samuel 6:21” David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”
                If we look at this word it means being made low, or low estate. I said in my sermon “These are two totally different words. The word humiliation is to feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, especially publicly.” The word humble on the other hand means, “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance.” What I left out was the definition of humiliation that describes humiliation as lowering oneself, the humility part. Man did not humiliate him as Jesus lowered himself to that position. Philippians says, “He made himself nothing.” When we normally hear the word humiliated, we think of dreaming about being naked while speaking in public or the embarrassment of being caught doing something wrong but Jesus did nothing wrong. This is how we often think of humiliation. 2 Samuel 10:4 “So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away. When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.” Jesus humiliation was not something done to him. This was allowed to happen. In the sense of this verse, this word has more to do with humility (humbleness). Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” He was not a failure because of this.
                The mistake I made was I did not look at Acts 8. It was right there in front of me and I missed it. Because of this I did not expand on what the word humiliation meant. I only covered humiliation as weakness and incompleteness and I did not cover the meaning of a lower estate along with the definition of humble. This word is all about God lowering himself. In this section I spent more time on what the word did not mean than what it meant and for that I apologize. Any questions let me know.


    Call to Worship:      Mark 1:1-15, I then want to sum up what this kingdom looks like with John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
    Songs:    Light Of The World    Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman                                
    Every Giant Will Fall  Rend Collective                                 
    He Shall Reign Forevermore       Chris Tomlin                       
    War   Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago                         
    Let Your Kingdom Come   The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir 
    Scripture:     2 Samuel 22:1-51
    Song:   Joy to the World   Steve Green
    Sermon:     “Coming into the Light”
    Closing Song:   Great I Am   Phillips, Craig & Dean
    Benediction: 2 Corinthians 4:1 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
    Sermon:                     “Coming into the Light”
                Last week we saw that Jesus must be our king if we are to ask for mercy. We must believe that he reigns on the throne of David in order to witness the power of His kingdom that he has offered us. If we don’t believe, this goes in a whole different direction. Actually Christmas just stays the way it is. Some nice gifts, decorations, dramas, music, family and friends get together to celebrate and that perpetuates year after year until someone says; hold on, is this all there is to Christmas, where is the power that came when Jesus came to this earth to take the throne of David in fulfillment to the prophecies about him. Where is the power he told his disciples to wait for? Where is Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” The answer is right in front of us yet we have been blind and deaf to it. Jesus showed us as what to do. Acts 10:38 “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” 1 John 3:8 “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Are you and I not his disciples? The only answer to the power not flowing is because we have not followed God’s word wholeheartedly and God has turned his face from shining on us. A refusal to repent leads to doctrines and theology that are false gospels. In order to obey his command we must wait for his power. Not only do we obey, we must believe that there is power available. Can we with Naaman say? 2 Kings 5:15 “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” John 20:29 Then Jesus told him (Thomas), “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Will you say My Lord and my God?
                Christianity without power is not Christianity, its just people gathering for a cause and lots of people do that. Christianity is not a social event it is about being like our master and that means doing as he did just as he said we would. I think it is fair to say we don’t want Christmas lights without power. This Christmas tree came with lights already built in. There was also a bunny and suddenly those lights did not work. The tree is just not the same without the lights and I think we can all say they look better lit up than just hanging there without being turned on. Just hanging there is not what they were designed for. But sadly the church has accepted the lies concerning power and it just exists without power which makes us like any other service group. The church continues to (2 Timothy 3:5) “have a form of godliness and continues to deny its power. It is actually so hard to fathom that God sent his Son to destroy the work of the devil and take over satan’s kingdom and go around healing and casting out demons to free people from captivity and darkness and then giving authority to those who believed, to go and do the same and then to die on the cross so that we would have life. Then he appeared again and again and told them to wait to be clothed with power and then Pentecost came and they were all filled with the Spirit and power to go into all the world. The disciples go out in the power of the Holy Spirit and proclaim the gospel as Jesus told them. Mark 16:14 “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Remember what John said about Jesus. Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Peter said right after Pentecost, Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:8 “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.” Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
                But then everything comes to a grinding halt. There is no power to defeat our enemies, heal the sick and cast out demons. Repentance is the only way to see this kingdom appear. There is no kingdom like it. Now we are not waiting for a millennial kingdom so Jesus can come and show us all over again. That is not what scripture says. Also there are people who don’t believe there is a millennial kingdom who are simply passing the time and have no idea what the kingdom of God actually is. They have no idea what is available and they think going to church on Sunday is all there is. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.” Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
                During Advent we talk of “the already but not yet.” “Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well as the return of Jesus at the second coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming".  By the way I hope you are understanding that there is a lot more to the nativity. As you read the New Testament you see the disciples preparing people for the return of Jesus. Each generation must be ready to meet him. Jesus said Matthew 25:13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Peter said 2 Peter 3:11 “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives You see Jesus already reigns on the throne of David and he will return to take us home for eternity and that is it. So after telling them to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:11 “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.” Yet there is another view, which falls under the category of ludicrous. This view says he came, he left, he’s coming again to do it all again. So basically us poor saps have no power because he’s not king of his kingdom. We are just lights hanging on an eaves trough wrapped around a Christmas tree with no power. “Normal Christianity, as planned by our Lord, was not supposed to begin in the Spirit and continue in the flesh.” Paul said in Galatians 5:7 “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.” Well we have done a good job of continuing in the flesh. Remember the Jewish websites “This rationalization for his (Jesus) failure certainly provides no reason to accept him as the Messiah today. Furthermore, the Jewish Bible does not have a Messianic “installment plan” where Messiah comes, fails in his mission, and then returns thousands of years later to finally succeed.” The sad part for them is he did not fail. 2 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.” That simply means those who follow in the ways of the Jews have a veil over their eyes.
    Please read above Sermon Addendum
                As I was preparing I came across this statement which I have to admit I had not of heard of. This writer states, “This is a clear indication of what will occur at the Second Coming of Christ. During the first advent, Christ came in humiliation and died a humiliating death on the cross for the sins of the world. In His second advent, Christ will come with power as the Conquering King.” So as I looked a little deeper I saw that this is a doctrine of the church called the Humiliation of Christ. Let’s just say it shouldn’t be. (In the sense of someone doing it to Jesus) I was reading a little from an article taken from Luther's Small Catechism, which talked about this so-called humiliation. You see if you believe Jesus was humiliated then you probably don’t worship him as your present day king. I was a little confused by the word humiliated.(I did not look deep enough at this – see addendum) It’s interesting that as they talk about this, they use the word humble. These are two totally different words. The word humiliation is to feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, especially publicly.” The word humble on the other hand means, “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance. Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” That is what we are called to do and we will not be humiliated for doing so. How is one humiliated if this was the plan all along? This was the path of our King. (Please read addendum)
                Now let me read to Isaiah again Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” So because he came as a baby in those lowly circumstances he was humiliated? I don’t think so. Even in those lowly circumstances, Luke 2:8 “there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” That absolutely sounds humiliating. But to add to that Matthew 2:1 “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Now here is the amazing part “3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” So everyone knew. Matthew 2:11 “Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” That must have been humiliating to receive those gifts. Matthew 2:6 “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:”
                Does that sound humiliated, no it does not. This is the problem with following man and not our King.  2 Chronicles 23:3 “In the seventh year Jehoiada showed his strength. He said to them, “The king’s son shall reign, as the Lord promised concerning the descendants of David.” God kept his promise and Jesus is the King of Kings and the lord of Lords. Yes he came as a baby in a manger and died on the cross with criminals but He did not die on the cross in humiliation; he humbled himself so that you and I could be saved because that is the kingdom of God. When he returns it will be final. But because many have taken the same view as the Jews who already missed the Messiah in the first place, they too miss Jesus the King of Kings and his kingdom. Blackest darkness is reserved for those who teach other wise. 2 Peter 2:18 “For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”
                This baby came to destroy the enemy. Christmas just isn’t about finding a crib for a bed. Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” You must understand how this birth changed all of creation and gave us hope in darkness. Nothing has changed today as we too need this light. John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” Jesus started his ministry by quoting Isaiah. Luke 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
                John’s father Zechariah, Luke 1:67 “was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Isaiah 49:13 “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” Isaiah 42:5 “This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. 8 “I am the LORD; that is my name!” Isaiah 49:8  “This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!” Revelation 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.” Matthew 4:16 “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
                Do we want to be free? If yes then we must follow the light of the world. Darkness was replaced with light. John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 1 John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
                So as we think about this Advent and the Advent that is coming, we better make sure we are living as we ought. 1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” Now if you die before that trumpet that’s it, so be ready and prepared. Make sure you have oil. We desperately need the anointing of the Holy Spirit once again, so keep calling out in desperation. Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Paul asked Jesus Acts 26:15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” We are to continue that directive but we must have clothed with power. Romans 13:12 “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Ephesians 5:11 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 2 Timothy 1:6 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”
                As we go through this advent season 2017, know that we are at war and we are losing but that is not how it is to be. Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” The only way to defeat him is by the light of the world in the power of the Holy Spirit. God has promised that he would hear our cry, so keep crying out for Him to pour out his Spirit on us once again. Because we have not acknowledged our king and followed his commandments, we are desolate and will remain that way unless we repent. Unfortunately false teaching in the church is widespread and most feel they are on the right track, even though there is no power. It is just the empty way of life handed down to us from our fathers 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” These empty ways have left us defeated before our enemies. Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” We have no power to stand against them but we have hope as we have left that empty path and have left that path that leads to death and destruction. We do not want to be on that path of destruction. Isaiah 35:8 “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.” We must find this path. Jesus said Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” This is expanded in Luke 13:22 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
                It doesn’t have to be this way. The birth of Jesus meant victory against darkness. John 3:19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” Unfortunately this is still true today but it does not have to be this way. Colossians 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1 “Now about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.