When You Encounter Trials, Church of Christ Sermon

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“When You Encounter Trials” is a sermon from James 1:2-8 at the Mountain Creek Church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN. The sermon discusses God’s desire for us to develop endurance, wisdom, and faith. Interestingly, all three of these qualities are necessary for successfully dealing with trials and temptations, and are increased by dealing with trials and temptations.

I. Endurance
A. Trials we endure
1. Compromise scripture to be more inclusive
2. Interpersonal conflict from fleshly lusts
3. Criticism from calloused hearts
B. Expect difficulty
1. 1 Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
C. Be thankful for trials — count it joy
1. V. 12 perseverance
2. Testing of faith — makes stronger
3. When preparing for race, testing your readiness increases your readiness
4. Practicing for game is type of test/trial
5. Changes you into what God wants you to be

II. Wisdom
A. Dealing with trial requires wisdom
B. Wisdom is ability to put knowledge into practice
1. Discernment — knowing real from fake
2. Prudence — avoiding the dangerous, risky
3. Understanding — seeing below the surface
4. Common sense — learning from experience
C. Going through trials successfully requires wisdom
1. Trials teach wisdom
D. God gives wisdom generously — v. 5
1. Ask God — how often do you pray for wisdom
2. How often do you ask for wisdom?
3. When you don’t know what to do, where to turn, how to proceed, ask for wisdom
E. God wants you to have wisdom
1. Enable you to live fuller, richer, contended life
2. Prov 2:2-8

III. Faith
A. God wants faith
1. God wants us hound doubt from our minds
2. “Without any doubting”
3. 1939 — George Dantzig — doc. candidate at UC Berkely — late to class — two theorems on board — copied down as homework — completed them — they were previously unsolvable
4. Intolerant of continual doubting — “I can’t help it” — “Can’t control my thoughts”
B. Doubting comes from unstable thought
1. Driven and tossed back and forth
2. Double-minded — trying to believe and follow two contradictory things
3. God wants you to reach a conclusion
a. Pick a side — look at the evidence and put your faith in him and act on it
b. Continuing to waffle divides your mind
C. Train your mind
1. Eph 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
2. 1 Peter 1:13 prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
3. Phil 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

7 Certainties About Hell, Church of Christ Sermon

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“7 Certainties About Hell” is a sermon preached at the Mountain Creek Church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN. The sermon focuses on the Luke 16:23-28 in which Jesus describes the rich man who went to Hell at his death.

Many don’t want to hear about hell — prefer to doubt existence
Bitter suffering in Hell — practically unimaginable
Some say God wouldn’t send people there
God has enemies, prepared hell for them
Gave everyone fair warning about its horrors
Understanding facts about Hell is powerful motivator

I. You Will Be Thirsty.
A. 24, send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue;”
B. John 4:14 whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

II. You Will Feel the Fire
A. Luke 16:24, ” for I am tormented in this flame.”
B. Rev 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
1. Brimstone = sulphur — noxious fumes — runs like thick liquid but won’t burn up
2. Rev 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night,

III. You Will Hear People Screaming.
A. Matt 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

IV. You will see the Devil and his Angels.
A. Matt 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
B. 2 Peter 2:4 God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;

V. You Will Have Regrets
A. V. 25 “remember”
B. Mark 9:47-48 it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, 48 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
1. May be the conscience
2. whatever worm is, I don’t want it

VI. You Will Know Your Family
A. V. 28 5 brothers
B. If your influence were the deciding in factor in your family’s salvation, where would they spend eternity?

VII. Unless You Are Saved You Will Be Going There.
A. Rev 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
B. Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
C. John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Hell Is Real.
“No one who is ever in hell will be able to say to God, “You put me here,” and no one who is in heaven will be able to say, “I put myself here.”

C.S. Lewis said, “The safest road to hell is the gradual oneā€”the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

Adapted from Mark Posey

Countering Our Culture, Church of Christ Sermon

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“Countering Our Culture” is a sermon preached at the Mountain Creek church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN. Senseless murders in Colorado, July 20, 2012. James Holmes killed 12 and injured 58
Columbine in 1999
Virginia Tech in 2007
Fort Hood, TX — Nov. 2009
Arizona — Gabrielle Giffords — January 2011
Steve Higginbotham: “If one would leave the Century 16 Movie Theater where the shooting took place, turn North on South Sable Blvd, and drive 2.2 miles (according to Google maps) they would arrive at the Mayfair Women’s Center. Here at this center, they perform 12-25 abortions a day.** But now, here’s my question: Where’s the national outrage about this daily slaughter? Where’s the news coverage? Where are the stories about the senseless murder of innocent lives? Where are the stories discussing the potential these individuals could have contributed to our society? What efforts are being taken to stop the perpetrators of such senseless violence? In both cases, innocent lives have been taken, but one is condoned while the other is condemned. In both cases, the victims were unwilling participants, but one is acceptable while the other is unacceptable. In both cases, the murder is perpetuated by a man, but one is called a “Doctor” while the other is called an evil lunatic.”

I. Satan — You Have An Enemy
A. 1 Peter 5:6-10
1. V. 6 Humble– don’t think you’re bullet proof
2. V. 8 Alert — don’t act like life is easy
3. Roaring lion — hungry and powerful
a. Wants to destroy you
B. Eph 6:11-12 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
1. Uses many different weapons against us
C. Satan has great effect on world
1. 2 Cor 4:4 the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving
2. John 12:31; 16:11 the ruler of this world
3. Eph 2:2 prince of the power of the air,
4. 1 John 5:19 the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

II. Worldliness — One of Satan’s greatest tools
A. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world
1. Must protect your mind
B. Glenn and Cindy Colley book, Your Mama Don’t Dance
1. If someone being shot or stabbed in street, close shades and call police
2. If sexual behavior, keep kids away
3. But same thing comes from inside electronic
4. “Through this window, the average high school senior has seen eighteen thousand murders. Through this window he has witnessed the abuse of alcohol in an acceptable setting tens of thousands of times. He has heard profanities and obscenities when they were shouted and when they were whispered. He has seen the values and the person of his God denigrated and reviled hundreds of times. He has relaxed beside the window for so long that he is no longer shocked at what he sees on the other side.”
C. James 4:2-8
1. Devil makes it easy and profitable
2. Watch TV — fit in w/ everyone — seem normal
3. We’re in a spiritual war
4. 2 Tim 2:4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

III. Happiness
A. Prov 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
B. Happiness and success is the path of most or normal
1. Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
C. Matthew 5:3-10
1. Poor in spirit
2. Mourn
3. Gentle
4. Hunger and thirst for righteousness
5. Merciful
6. Pure in heart
7. Peacemakers
8. Persecuted for sake of righteousness

Church of Christ sermon “Joy Made Complete” 1 of 2, Chattanooga, TN

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Church of Christ sermon “Joy Made Complete” 1 of 2, Chattanooga, TN
Mountain Creek church of Christ
May 15, 2011

Church of Christ sermon “Joy Made Complete” 1 of 2, Chattanooga, TN
1 John 1:4-10

Church of Christ Sermon “Accepting Forgiveness” 3 of 3, Chattanooga, TN

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Church of Christ Sermon “Accepting Forgiveness” 3 of 3, Chattanooga, TN
Mountain Creek Church of Christ, Red Bank, TN
Wells Hill Church of Christ Gospel Meeting
April 26, 2011

Church of Christ Sermon “Accepting Forgiveness” 3 of 3, Chattanooga, TN
Peter’s Denial
Paul’s Persecution

Church of Christ sermon “Accepting Forgiveness” 2 of 3, Chattanooga, TN

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Church of Christ sermon “Accepting Forgiveness” 2 of 3, Chattanooga, TN
Wells Hill Church of Christ in Fayetteville, TN
April 26, 2011

Church of Christ sermon “Accepting Forgiveness” 2 of 3, Chattanooga, TN
Peter’s Denial
Paul’s Persecution of the Church