Closed Doors

Mark 2:1-5    Four friends bring their friend to Jesus

This was a man who had palsy.   The four had placed him on a bed and then did what they had to do in order to get their friend to Jesus.  They were not deterred; they refused to quit; they didn’t let one closed door stop them.

So many people miss out on God’s will because they let closed doors keep them from doing what they ought to do.  It is one thing when the Lord closes a door to us.  But there are times when Satan closes doors or life closes doors, and when that happens we have to push on through the closed door, or make another way.

That is what the friends did.  They knew getting their friend to Jesus was the right thing to do.  So they made a way where there wasn’t one.  They overcame the closed doors and broke open the roof.

Too often, people let things stop them from good.  People let things stop them from doing right, and following God.  It is hard to follow the Lord at times, and it is hard to do good at times.  So we have to be willing to dig deep and find a way.

Ill:  The children of Israel were supposed to go into the land of Canaan.  But they said, we can’t, the door is closed, there are giants in the land, and we can’t defeat them.  It was God’s will for them to go and they should have gone in, trusting God.  Instead, God had to punish them for disobeying.

Ill:  The apostles were preaching and they ended up being detained; they were told to stop preaching about Jesus.  Now, they could have said, closed door, we have to stop.  But they didn’t; they kept on preaching anyhow!

What we have to know is this, who is closing the door – God or Satan.  If it is God, we stop, but if it’s Satan we kick down the door, or make a new one.

-S. Borner

The Christian’s Hope

HOPE
What is Hope?  The Hebrew word means: expectancy, something I long for, to wait for, to be patient for. The Greek word means:  to anticipate with pleasure, expectation.

Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Hope is our belief and anticipation for what we look forward to, but haven’t yet realized.

Hope is like faith                             (it’s about something you can’t see)
Hope is like anticipation               (you are waiting for it to occur, or to see it)
Hope is like expectancy                (your certain it will, just not certain when)

Hope is when you anticipate or expect by faith.
Someone said: Hope is  “a strong and confident expectation.”  That is because a Christian’s hope is not based in wishful thinking, or horoscope happiness but is based in faith in God.   Christian hope is tied to faith in God.

A Christian’s definition of hope is far superior to that of the world.  Instead of wishing or hoping for something to happen, a believer knows that their hope is certain; it is solid, concrete evidence because it is grounded in the Word of God and we know that God cannot lie.

What does Hebrews 11:1 say?  Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  We hope for things not seen, faith in God’s word is the substance, the tangible evidence for our hope. We don’t hope there is a God like others hope there are aliens. We hope with faith in God’s Word. Our hopes are based in God and his promise.

The world hopes in rainbows, and fortune cookies, and lotteries, and falling stars, and etc…We hope in God.  Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God:  Psalm 38:15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

So, the Christian’s hope for the future and hope of good things to come, is not silly schoolgirl wishes, it’s not pie in the sky theology, it’s not foolish minded people, it’s not hail-Marry passes.

The Christian’s hope is expectation based in faith in God and His Word.

Romans 5:2-5 is a good outline to learn about our hope as a Christian.

I.  Our Hope Gives Us Reason To Rejoice (vs. 2)

Because of what God promises us, we have so many reasons to rejoice in hope.  Praise the Lord for hope found in Christ.  I can’t give you much hope for the world’s future, or America’s future, but I can give you many reasons to rejoice in a Christian’s hope for our future.  What I mean is that having a Christian’s hope gives us many advantages and blessings and gives reasons to praise God for his goodness.

  1. It Gives Us Rest

Psalm 16:9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

  1. It Gives Us Joy/Happiness

Psalm 146:5 ¶ Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God

  1. It Gives Courage/Strength Of Heart

Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD

  1. It Gives Us The Watchful Protection Of The Lord

Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

  1. It Pleases The Lord

Psalm 147:11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

II.  Our Hope Grows Stronger In Tribulation (vs. 3,4)

The reason being we have three resources that will build us up during those times of tribulation.

  1. Remembering The Works Of God

Psalm 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

  1. Remember The Words Of God

Psalm 119:49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

  1.  The Power Of The Holy Spirit                      

Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

III. Our Hope Will Never Make Me Ashamed     (vs. 5)

I will never have egg on my face, never have to admit that I was wrong when my hope is in God.  Have you ever hoped your team would win and they lost.  That will never happen to those who hope in God.  We will never be ashamed, never have to hang our heads, and will never lose in the end.  All the things that we hope for as a Christian – not one will fail, not one will be lost, not one will fall by the way side.  Our hope is certain because it’s based in faith in God.

  1. We Hope In Righteousness

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

  1. We Have Hope In The Gospel

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven;

  1. We Have The Hope Of Salvation

1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

  1. We Have The Hope Of Eternal Life

Titus 1:2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began

  1. The Hope Of Christ

1 Timothy 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

No politician, no business man, no athlete, no philanthropist, no educator, no scientist, nor doctor is my hope. My hope is not in man, my hope is in one person – Jesus Christ.  And I will never be ashamed in Him.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name
On Christ the solid rock I stand all ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

– S. Borner, Pastor
Adapted from Sunday Morning Message

Another Gospel: Which Is Not Another

Galatians 1:6-12

Paul is surprised by how quickly they are removed from the truth to what is called another gospel. Paul had taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and His saving grace; they had accepted Him as their Saviour and now they are so quickly turned aside.  The churches of Galatia had believed the pure gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus’ finished work of death and resurrection, but now had let false teachers persuade them that the law was also necessary.

Paul said they had turned to “another gospel: which is not another”.  Here we have two English words that are the same, but the Greek words are different.  The first “another” means – different (hetero) not the same.  The second “another” means – same, similar sort.  They had been deceived into accepting “another (different) gospel, which is not another (a same) gospel.  Any time someone adds something to, or changes, or takes away from the gospel already preached, Paul says that is not the true gospel.  It is a different gospel, not the same; don’t believe it.

Paul’s letter comes with a warning to not be deceived by the source of the information. Even if this so-called gospel comes from another disciple like himself or Peter, or even if an angel from heaven like Gabriel (or Moroni) gives you a message that adds to or changes the gospel already given, it is not the same gospel – don’t believe it.  Let the person or angel be accursed (vs. 8).

Lastly, in verses 11 and 12, Paul explains to them that the true gospel of Jesus Christ, did not come as a message from a man, nor did it come as a message from an angel. No man, angel, prophet or religion can lay claim to the authorship of the gospel that saves our soul.   From where did it come, “by the revelation of Jesus Christ,” it came from Jesus Christ himself, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  What sets the true gospel of salvation apart from all other so-called gospels is that Jesus Christ himself preached it.  The only true Gospel is the one that came from His mouth while He was on this earth (John 3).  It was He who gave this message and sent out disciples to continue preaching what He gave to us.  The reason to believe that we have the truth, among all the rest, is because it came from Jesus’ own mouth.  It didn’t come from a man’s mouth, or an angel’s mouth, or on a gold or stone tablet, or found in a cave, or received in an isolated manner alone in the mountains.  It was proclaimed openly, freely, and to everyone who would hear by its author the Lord Jesus Christ – God in the flesh.  No other religion came make that claim; no other so-called gospel can say that; nothing else needs to be added to what Jesus already gave us.

– S. Borner, Pastor

The Arms of Grace

god's hand

Don’t pity me that I have gone,
My life has really just begun.
Though it may be some years for you,
One day you’ll, also, be here too.

How wonderful my life is here,
I pray, for me, you’ll shed no tear.
There is no better than this place,
I’m safe within His arms of grace.

God showed me why I had to go,
And one day you will, also, know.
His reason was so good, you see,
I would have gone had He asked me.

And when the day for you does come,
I’ll walk with you in His kingdom.
Then we will see our Lord’s dear face,
And thank Him for His sovereign grace.

by:  Shaun Borner, 2016

The Peaceful Life We Live

peace filled

Christians have been given the opportunity to live a peace filled life.  Regardless of what the world is doing around us, our lives can be peaceful.  There are four kinds of peace that we can experience through the grace of our Lord Jesus.

1.  Peace with God

This is a peace that comes from Jesus when he saves our souls.  Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  We are no longer the enemy of God, but have entered into a peace agreement with Him, through the marvelous work of Christ on the cross.

2.  Peace of God

This is a peace that comes from the Holy Spirit as we walk in the Spirit.  We have a peaceful life because the Lord is the keeper of our soul; the soul being that part of us inside the body, our mind, will and emotions.  Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…  When we submit ourselves to the Spirit of God, he fills our lives with his fruit.  And when the storms of life rage outside, inside we have His peace keeping our soul.

3.  Peace with Self

This is a peace that comes from a love for God’s Word.  Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.  When we love God’s Word, and we hold it dear, it gives us a strong foundation, it gives stability.  I don’t get riled up, I don’t get concerned, I don’t get thrown off course by the chaos in the world.  People can’t offend me, life can’t offend me, by knowing and loving God’s Word, I have a divine perspective.  I see things from Gods’ viewpoint.

4.  Peace with Mankind

This peace comes from a biblical way of living.  Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.  A biblical way of life, will allow us to live at peace with anyone, even when they are not at peace with us.  Jesus lived at peace with everyone around him, no matter how they treated him.  When we follow his footsteps, through biblical living, we also can have this peace.

Do you know the peaceful life of the Christian? We are at peace with God – through salvation in Jesus Christ.  We have the peace of God – through a walk in the Spirit.  We have peace with self – through a love of God’s Word.  We have peace with mankind – through a biblical way of living.

-S. Borner

My year commitment to live a year for Christ

The following outline was given as a challenge to our church by veteran Missionary Patrick Weimer, Iceland.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

I. In my Jerusalem 

A.  Jerusalem was where the first church was, their immediate surroundings
B.  Invest to see people save that I meet everyday

1.  Birthday cards/greetings to co-workers, people you meet daily
2.  Cookouts to be friend

a.  Coworkers
b.  Business acquaintances

3.  Tract and Bible purchase and distribute
4.  Hold fellowship in my home

II. In all my Judea

A.  All Judea was gathered at Passover by divine appointment of God
B.  People who are brought into your presence by divine appointment

1.  Visitors in church
2.  Broke down cars
3.  Fellow members of a church bringing the people they are trying to reach to be in your presence – Letting the lost experience the presence of God where 2 or 3 are gathered

III. In my Samaria

A.  The foreigner in my midst that you see

IV. For the Uttermost parts

A.  Those who are out of sight and mind

Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

edited by S. Borner