Leaving Laodicea

Steve McCranie

Have you ever felt like your spiritual life is lukewarm and lacking?

If so, this podcast is for you.

All Episodes

We’re Running Out of TimeThere comes a time in everyone’s life, at least everyone who accomplishes something of value, when they quit making excuses and commit to an ideal greater than themselves. We see this in sports, in the financial arena, and in the life of faith. Almost all of our spiritual heroes sacrificed their comfort and security for something they could not see, for some ideal beyond themselves that only their faith could grasp. And their life was defined by the very moment they stepped out in faith, regardless of the outcome. We see this in the summary of the life of Able, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham in Hebrews 11. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth – Hebrews 11:13. These men, charter members of the Hebrews 11 Roll Call of Faith, all died holding fast to the promise, to the ideal they committed their lives to by faith. Dire circumstances didn’t sway them. Neither did pain, suffering, disappointment, or betrayal. And their unwavering trust and commitment to the Lord and His Word is why they are so highly revered as champions of our faith. Yet in each one of their lives, there came a point where they went “all in” and everything in their life changed from that moment forward. Their priorities were re-aligned. Their definition of success re-defined. Their motivation for life was no longer in themselves and their happiness, but in Him who called them. They found themselves, like Paul, “forgetting those things which are behind and racing forward to those things which are ahead” they “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14). I know what many of you may be thinking right now. “Ok, but that was them. What about me? Do I have what it takes to make the same commitment they did? And if so, when do I go about doing that? When should I make that commitment? Does something have to happen to me first? Do I have to reach some sort of spiritual zenith before I give my all to Christ? Or is this something I can do today, right now? Or should I wait until tomorrow? Or maybe next year? Or whenever I think I’m ready?” But the time is now.  Not tomorrow or next week. But now. Or Maybe, We’ve Already Run Out of TimeIt is time for each of us to no longer be a hearer of God’s Word but to do what it says. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was – James 1:22-24. It is time to move beyond hearing and knowing, to becoming and obeying His Word. After all, Jesus did not die to give us spiritual knowledge, but to transform us and make us new. There comes a time in each person’s life when they say, “Enough is enough!” With everyone we admire, they came to a point of no return, no compromise, no backing down. For them, it was all or nothing, no matter the cost, “come what may.” And it is time for you and me to do the same. It is time for each of us to come to a point when we take our faith seriously enough to face what all of us will soon face, whether we’re ready or not. And it is time for us to get ready to meet our King and live like we truly believe He is coming. Are you ready? To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/112021-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/112021-Slides.pdf (slides) for this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/112021-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/covid-mandates-and-the-cost-of-doing-nothing-512/ (512: COVID Mandates and the Cost of Doing Nothing)

Nov 20

52 min 29 sec

Be Subject to the Governing Authorities?There are two major teachings in the New Testament, one from Peter and the other from Paul, that reveal God’s instructions for the church regarding submitting to governing authorities. And both of these seem to give blanket commands to submit to them for the sake of the Lord and the gospel. The first one is found in 1 Peter 2:13-15. Therefore submit yourselves (to place under in an orderly fashion) to every (pás) ordinance (to create, form, or found) of man (why) for the Lord’s sake, (examples) whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for (1) the punishment of evildoers and for (2) the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good (what) you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men - 1 Peter 2:13-15. And, even more direct, the second is found in Romans 13:2-4. Therefore (since God is sovereign regarding governing authorities) whoever resists (antitássō – to set an army against, to arrange in battle order, to go to war against) the authority resists (anthístēmi – to stand against in both deed or word) the ordinance of God, and those who resist (anthístēmi) will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good (agathós – excellent, best, upright, virtuous) works, but to evil (kakós – wicked, vicious, bad in heart and character). Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good (agathós), and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister (diákonos – servant, one who runs in the dust) to you for good (agathós). But if you do evil (kakós), be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister (diákonos), an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil (kakós) - Romans 13:2-4. But what happens when the governing authorities no longer serve as the protector of good and the punisher of evil? What happens when the authorities reward evil and persecute good? How are we to obey these passages? Or should we? How does this command relate to the COVID mandates and the coming vaccine passports? What is the difference between a just or unjust law? Are we required to obey an unjust law? And if we do, doesn’t that make our actions unjust? Or, based on the truths cited above, does it even matter to a believer if a law is just or unjust? Are we to obey outright, with no concern for the morality of what we are obeying? Unless… What?Are there ever any exceptions to submission to governmental authority? Or does this blanket submission apply in all cultures and at all times, such as during the holocaust in Nazi Germany or in our country today? And it so, why did Peter and John refuse to submit to the governmental order to stop preaching or teaching in the name of Jesus in Acts 4:18-20? Were they wrong? Or is there another principle at play here? And if there is another principle involved, what is it? How are we to determine if obeying God means disobeying our authorities? And how is that being played out in our nation, and the church, today? The answer is found in our duty and calling to stand for others who are too weak to stand for themselves. We are to give voice to those who have no voice. Consider the following: Deliver (to rescue, to free from harm or evil, to snatch away to safety) those who are drawn (to grasp, take, or seize by an outside force) toward death, and hold back (to restrain, to refrain, to keep one from doing something), those stumbling (to move without being stable, to waver, to cause to be shaken in one’s resolve) to the slaughter (an event that causes someone to die) – Proverbs 24:11. Remember the chilling words of Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) in his prophetic poem, First They Came. First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a socialist. Then they...

Nov 18

55 min 43 sec

The Early Church: Our Example in PersecutionIf you look around, you will see we are in the early stages of state-sanctioned Christian persecution in our nation. I know it seems inconceivable that our government, which mints “In God We Trust” on our coins, would now come after the church, much like the Nazis did in the 1930s. But believe it or not, it is happening right before our eyes. Just look around. And since we have all grown up in a world devoid of religious persecution, at least in the West, we are seriously unprepared for what will soon come our way. Just how unprepared are we?  Consider the fact that many Christians today blindly believe God would never let a righteous nation like ours, or a faithful church like ours (as strange as it sounds to even say the words “righteous” and “nation” or “faithful” and “church” in the same sentence), suffer anything remotely resembling persecution.  Remember, the best-selling book in the Christian market over the last decade promises God wants you to experience Your Best Life Now! And if you are discerning, you will understand that only those who are lost and going to hell are experiencing Your Best Life Now! Sobering, isn’t it? So if this assessment is true, what are we to do?  In fact, the church is so unprepared we don’t even know which way to turn. But there is an example for us in Scripture. There is a detailed account of ordinary believers, just like us, who lived under persecution and suffered under occupation and yet turned the world upside down for Christ (Acts 17:6). And that account is found in the book of Acts. What We Can Learn From the Early ChurchWhat were these early believers like? How did they think? What was their mindset? What motivated them each morning to rise and suffer another day? What was the source of their power that enabled them to flourish and thrive even under trying times? Why did God use them to turn the world upside down, and yet we find it hard even to make a difference in our own families and with our close friends? How committed were they to their Lord? And how did their commitment impact their lives and the lives of those around them? What did they have that we don’t? Answer: Nothing. We have far more than they ever did. But what did they believe that we don’t? Answer: Much. More than you can imagine. In this message, we will look at some of what made them who they were and allowed the Lord to move through them as He did. And we will, by comparison, see if maybe we lack some of what they had. Together we will examine some of their key beliefs and convictions to try to find a way back from where we have fallen (Rev. 2:5). So join us as we discover the passion and reckless abandonment to the Lord that defined the early church as revealed in the book of Acts. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/111621-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/111621-Slides.pdf (slides) for this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/111621-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/what-is-the-will-of-god-for-all-believers-510/ (510: What is the Will of God for All Believers?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/do-we-actually-believe-what-the-word-of-god-says-509/ (509: Do We Actually Believe What the Word of God Says?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-wonder-of-being-a-child-of-god-508/ (508: The Wonder of Being a Child of God) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/what-do-i-do-when-fill-in-the-blanks-507/ (507: What Do I Do When _________ ? (fill in the blanks)) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-grow-your-faith-during-dark-times-506/ (506: How to Grow Your Faith During Dark Times)

Nov 16

50 min 26 sec

The Power of the Early ChurchAs we begin to see the signs of religious persecution raise its ugly head in our culture, one thing we need to do as the church is take a crash course on how to live under persecution and in a society hostile to our message. And the best way to do this is by following the example of other believers who have faced what we are soon to face yet remained steadfast, confident, and faithful to the end, no matter what. So we began to look at the early church, as revealed in Acts, to see what they knew then that maybe we don’t know today or what they believed back then that maybe we have conveniently forgotten. And we found they knew far less than we know, but believed so much more. For them, God’s Word was just that— God’s Word. It was not to be analyzed, scrutinized, or debated. It was to be obeyed. And to prove this point, we took one familiar passage and asked ourselves if our belief in its truth differs from how the early church believed. It was from 1 John 2. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life— is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever – 1 John 2:15-17. It seems this truth comes with a command, followed by a warning, and ending with a great promise. The command is to “not love the world or the things in the world.” The warning then states those who do not follow this command will find the “love of the Father is not in him (them),” which is quite frightening. But it ends on a high note. The promise says those who do “the will of God abides forever.” As you recall, the word for “abide’ is ménō and means to “remain, dwell, live, to make their home, to be united in one heart, mind, and will” with God. And to “abide with God forever,” both now and for all eternity, is the perfect description of the Higher Christian Life. But one question remains: What is the will of God? In other words, if we abide forever with God by doing His will, then exactly what is His will for us as individuals, and for all believers in general? I can’t think of a more important question to get answered than this, can you? What is the Will of God for All Believers?Remember, we always move from the general to the specific when it comes to knowing God’s will for our lives. In other words, we must start with knowing God’s will for all His children (general) before we need to know His will for us as individuals (specific). For it is only when we are faithful to obey His will for all believers that He will reveal to us His specific will for how He wants us as individual believers to obey His general will. We must be faithful with the macro will of God before He will reveal His micro will for us. So as a starting point for knowing God’s specific will for our lives, we need to first know His will for all believers. Theologically, these are called the Five Wills of God. One, it is God’s will for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 5:17-18. Two, it is God’s will for us to be sexually pure – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8. Three, it is God’s will for us to suffer (ouch!) – 1 Peter 4:19. Four, it is God’s will for us to give thanks in all situations – 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Five, it is God’s will for us to submit to governmental authorities – 1 Peter 2:13-15. In this message, we will explore the first four of these five wills of God. Remember, once we are faithful with these, God will gladly reveal to each of us His specific will for how He wants to us follow Him. And isn’t that the goal of our life with Him, to know exactly how He wants us to spend this life He has...

Nov 3

57 min 22 sec

Are We Willing to Trust His Word, Come What May?As we grow closer to Christ and begin to experience the Higher Christian Life, we find our ability to experience His Word is also enhanced. Greatly. After all, experiencing His Word and experiencing Him go hand in hand, one literally feeds the other. And our faith grows when we take His Word seriously and ask Him to place us in situations or circumstances that will test our faith in His promises and commands and warnings and then, by letting our faith be tested by trials and tribulations, it grows to maturity. This is how we know, personally, and by first-hand experience (the best kind), that His Word is true and can be trusted. And this is also how we begin to experience the Higher Christian Life found only in Him. So we are going to look at just one if / then promise and its subsequent blessing and see if we truly believe what it says and, more importantly, if we will align our life to the truth it reveals. And this is where it often gets difficult. Let’s look at a familiar passage found in 1 John 2:15-17. Do not love the world or the things in the world. (why) If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (again why) For all that is in the world— (defined as) the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (think Eve in Gen. 3:6)— is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away (worthless, of no value), and the lust of it (also of no value); but (contrast, the blessing) he who does (not just knows – James 1:22) the will of God (what) abides forever – 1 John 2:15-17. Let’s dig deeper and define some confusing terms so we can make sure we know exactly what we claim to believe and act upon. This is where it gets interesting. Do not love (agapaō – to love with a strong affection, indicating a direction of the will and finding one’s joy in something or someone) the world (kósmos – the world’s system, its order, standards, and nature) or the things in the world (kósmos). If anyone loves (agapaō) the world (kósmos), the love (agapaō) of the Father is not in Him – 1 John 2:15. But there is more. For all (pás – each, every, any, the whole, in totality without exception) that is in the world (kósmos) the lust (epithumía – an intense or great desire for some particular thing, a longing or lust to satisfy the carnal cravings) of the flesh, the lust (epithumía) of the eyes, and the pride (alazoneía – an arrogant boasting of what one does or does not possess, the pompous showing off of the manner of life, the ambitious pursuit of the glory and pleasure in this life) of life (bíos – this does not mean the quality or worth of one’s life regarding soul or spirit (zōḗ), but the duration, means, and manner of life or mode of living (financial, possessions, etc.) is not of the Father but is of the world (kósmos) – 1 John 2:16. It means to pass one’s life without reference to its eternal or spiritual quality. But its focus is on the livelihood or possessions accumulated in this physical life on earth, and nothing more. Kind of sad, isn’t it? But wait for the finish. And the world (kósmos) is passing away (parágō – to disappear, perish, no longer exist), and the lust (epithumía) of it (the world); but he who does (poiéō – to carry out or perform an action or course of action, to make, form, produce, bring about, cause) the will (thélēma – not a demand, but desire, good pleasure, what pleases or creates joy) of God abides (ménō – to remain, dwell, live, make their home, to be united in one heart, mind, and will) forever – 1 John 2:17. It appears God obviously wants us to be concerned with the things that last and have great eternal value, and not waste our lives on things that do not have any lasting value and fade with time. And it also appears God no longer will tolerate hearers of His Word...

Oct 28

50 min 24 sec

Learning to Embrace the Love of GodAs we strive to grow our faith, there are two non-negotiable truths we must come to grips with. One, like everything else in life, faith must be tested in order to be trusted and relied upon. And, since the object of our faith is God and His nature, character, and promises, then our faith in Him and His Word must be tested in order to be believed. Unfortunately, this usually comes by trials and tribulation, the stuff nightmares are made of. And two, when tested our faith must win over our fears, doubts, and insecurities, no matter what. We cannot let our damaged emotions or faulty self-image eclipse what God says about us, no matter how much we want to believe otherwise. After all, God is God… and we are… well, not. So let’s take a simple truth about God and ourselves and see if we can truly believe what His Word says (and this one is hard to believe because God claims to feel something about us that sometimes we don’t feel ourselves.) God says He loves you. And He loves you unconditionally, no matter what you have done and no matter if you love Him back. God has an incomprehensible, mind-blowing, love for you that is beyond description. Does this seem like an unrealistic, over-the-top statement? Or, maybe I’m guilty of a bit of exaggerating? Well, let’s see. In this message, we are going to look at five statements about God’s love for you (make it personal) and then try to learn how to live each day as if we really believed them. And by the way, this is how your faith grows. You accept, by faith, a specific truth as true, and then put it to the test in real life. Which is exactly what we are going to do this week. These five truths are: One, there is nothing you can do, or have done, or will do, that will separate you from the love of God. God wants you to know you are secure in His love – Romans 8:35-39. Two, God’s love for you, regardless of your failures, is so great and perfect and wonderful that it is impossible to describe or fully understand – Ephesians 3:18-19. Three, God’s love for you is so personal that He calls you His child— which is exactly what you are! – 1 John 3:1. Four, God loves you so much that He gave you the Holy Spirit as the full manifestation of His love, to live in you and be with you forever. God gave you the Holy Spirit because He wants you to be filled with His love – Romans 5:5. And Five, at your very worst, when you were at the height of your rebellion against Him, and when you were most unlovable, at that time God chose to love you by sacrificing His Son to secure your salvation in Him – Romans 5:8. So join us and we strive to grow our faith by whatever means possible as we learn how to Leave Laodicea behind. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101321-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101321-Slides.pdf (slides) for this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101321-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/what-do-i-do-when-fill-in-the-blanks-507/ (507: What Do I Do When _________ ? (fill in the blanks)) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-grow-your-faith-during-dark-times-506/ (506: How to Grow Your Faith During Dark Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/take-my-yoke-upon-you-and-learn-from-me-505/ (505: “Take My Yoke Upon You and Learn From Me”) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/god-uses-ordinary-men-in-extraordinary-ways-504/ (504: God Uses Ordinary Men in Extraordinary Ways) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-respond-during-dark-times-503/ (503: How to Respond During Dark Times)

Oct 14

45 min 15 sec

How Do We Navigate These Uncharted Waters? Or, to ask the question another way, what are we to do when we see (you fill in the blanks) just over the horizon? What are we to do next? And the answer is quite simple: We are to do the same things we should be doing even if things are smooth sailing without a cloud in the sky. We all have a mandate from the Lord, and we need to concentrate on being faithful to Him, no matter the circumstances. But, as an encouragement, let me share four unchanging truths that should help us navigate these uncharted waters? One, recognize the times in which we live and don’t be surprised by them.  After all, Christ warned us about these times and told us in advance they would happen. The Situation: But know (ginṓskō) this, that (when) in the last days perilous (chalepós – troublesome, grievous, difficult to deal with, violent, fierce, hard to bear) times will come: (described as) For men will be lovers of themselves (narcissistic), lovers of money, boasters (self-exalting), proud (arrogant), blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers (false accuser), without self-control (unrestrained by convention or morality), brutal (savage, wild and menacing, fierce), despisers of good (characterized by hatred or an absence of love for all things good), traitors (one who violates or betrays an allegiance or trust), headstrong (defiant, rash, thoughtless, reckless), haughty (to swell or inflate with pride), lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form (impression, shape, appearance) of godliness but denying (to refuse to recognize or acknowledge) its power (dúnamis). Our Response: And from such people turn away (to deliberately avoid, shun)! – 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Two, make sure you are truly saved. … having a form (impression, shape, appearance) of godliness but denying (to refuse to recognize or acknowledge) its power (dúnamis). Three, focus on the reality of your true citizenship, which is in heaven with God, and not on earth. This world is not our home (Colossians 3:1-4). Four, be ready for the Shout! For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words – 1 Thessalonians 4:14-15. In this message, we are going to review some encouraging truths that should help us prepare for whatever the Lord allows to come our way. So join us as we learn how to leave Laodicea behind. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100721-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100721-Slides.pdf (slides) for this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100721-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-grow-your-faith-during-dark-times-506/ (506: How to Grow Your Faith During Dark Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/take-my-yoke-upon-you-and-learn-from-me-505/ (505: “Take My Yoke Upon You and Learn From Me”) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/god-uses-ordinary-men-in-extraordinary-ways-504/ (504: God Uses Ordinary Men in Extraordinary Ways) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-respond-during-dark-times-503/ (503: How to Respond During Dark Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-lords-supper-and-the-higher-christian-life-502/ (502: The Lord’s Supper and the Higher Christian Life)

Oct 8

49 min 19 sec

Faith Must be Tested to GrowFirst, like everything else in life, faith must be tested. And unfortunately, testing usually comes during trials and tribulations. At least that’s what the Scriptures teach. Consider the following: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (why) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let (or don’t quit or give up early in the process) patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing – James 1:2-4. Now, let’s look at this truth just a little bit closer. My brethren, count (reckon, consider, live like it was true) it all joy when you fall (to fall into the midst of something as to be totally surrounded by it) into various trials (temptations, putting to the test), (why) knowing (ginṓskō) that the testing of your faith produces (to finish, accomplish, to bring to the desired end) patience (to persevere, to remain under, to endure). But let (or don’t quit or give up early in the process) patience have its perfect (complete, full, wanting in nothing) work, that you may be perfect (complete, full, wanting in nothing) and complete (whole, having all its parts), lacking nothing – James 1:2-4. One of the best ways to grow your faith in the faithfulness of God and His Word is to put His Word to the test in your life. Exactly how is that done? By finding a promise of God and putting it to the test by living as if the promise is true. This means having God place us in situations where our faith in His Word, and in a single promise, is tested. In this message, we are going to look at five promises from Scripture and live as if we believe them. This week we will grow our faith in Him and His Word by focusing on these five promises: Monday – James 1:5-8 Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 10:31 Wednesday – Matthew 6:33 Thursday – Matthew 6:14-15 Friday – Romans 12:18-19 So join us as we strive to grow our faith, even in these dark, troubling, chaotic times, as we learn to leave Laodicea behind. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100621-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100621-Slides.pdf (slides) for this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100621-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/take-my-yoke-upon-you-and-learn-from-me-505/ (505: “Take My Yoke Upon You and Learn From Me”) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/god-uses-ordinary-men-in-extraordinary-ways-504/ (504: God Uses Ordinary Men in Extraordinary Ways) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-respond-during-dark-times-503/ (503: How to Respond During Dark Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-lords-supper-and-the-higher-christian-life-502/ (502: The Lord’s Supper and the Higher Christian Life) https://leavinglaodicea.com/to-reckon-or-not-reckon-that-is-the-question-501/ (501: To Reckon or Not Reckon, that is the Question)

Oct 7

46 min 26 sec

A Call to Both Salvation and SanctificationWhen we look at the classic invitation by Jesus recorded in Matthew 11, we find both a call to salvation and to a deeper intimacy with the Lord. Or, as we would say, the Higher Christian Life. Let’s take a look at these verses a bit closer. First, the call to salvation. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” – Matthew 11:28. Then, after answering His call to salvation, He offers an invitation to sanctification, to become more like Christ (Rom. 8:29), or to experience the Higher Christian Life. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” – Matthew 11:29-30. In this message, we will look at both calls and how they relate to the Higher Christian Life. And we will dig into the phrase, “learn from Me” as we discover how to leave Laodicea behind. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100321-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100321-Slides.pdf (slides) for this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100321-Slides.pdf (HERE). Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/god-uses-ordinary-men-in-extraordinary-ways-504/ (504: God Uses Ordinary Men in Extraordinary Ways) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-respond-during-dark-times-503/ (503: How to Respond During Dark Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-lords-supper-and-the-higher-christian-life-502/ (502: The Lord’s Supper and the Higher Christian Life) https://leavinglaodicea.com/to-reckon-or-not-reckon-that-is-the-question-501/ (501: To Reckon or Not Reckon, that is the Question) https://leavinglaodicea.com/god-is-able-but-is-he-willing-500/ (500: I know God is Able, But is He Willing?)

Oct 4

54 min 34 sec

Are You an Ordinary Man?We are truly living in troubling times. Not times unknown to believers in the past, but times the church of today is ill-equipped to manage. But there is hope. And this hope is found in our faith in the One who “declares the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10)— the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, extraordinary times call for extraordinary people. Or, more accurately, it requires ordinary people doing extraordinary things by the power of the Holy Spirit living in them. This leads to a few questions we will try to answer. One, what holds us back from being all God created us to be? Two, what does God need for us to be in the waning hours of the American experiment? And finally, what are our children going to remember about us when they look back on these troubling days? Sobering questions. But do we have any answers? In 2nd Timothy, Paul is giving final instructions to the one who will carry on without him. Timothy was a man that struggled with timidity and fear (2 Tim. 1:7) and avoided confrontation to the point of appearing ashamed of his calling and the testimony of Christ (2 Tim. 1:8). In fact, Paul’s first words to Timothy were to urge him not to leave for greener pastures, not to throw in the towel, but stay and see the task to the end (1 Tim. 1:3). And his final words to Timothy were to remain steadfast to his calling and don’t quit. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry – 2 Timothy 4:5. These are the same words we need to hear as the church today. Following Christ, standing for truth, speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves (Prov. 24:11), always comes at a cost. So what are we to do? We should start by remembering where we have fallen and do the things we did at the beginning (Rev. 2:5). But there is more. Stir Up the Gift of God in YouThere comes the point in every Christian’s life when they simply must choose. We must choose to either stand for Christ and all that means or cower under the world’s pressure to be forced into its mold. We must be willing to suffer misunderstanding, cancellation, loss of jobs or family relationships, even overt suffering and persecution in our commitment and faithfulness to Him. After all, all our heroes have done the same when they had to choose. Why should we think we are exempt? And we know that all we lack, He supplies. All we don’t have or can’t do, He can. No matter how broken or ordinary we may be, He is strong, mighty, invincible, and He lives in us. So there is no excuse. The only thing lacking is our commitment. So, like Paul’s words to Timothy, we need to rekindle the spark of His life in us and surrender anew all we are not, to the One who is everything. Therefore I remind you to stir up (or rekindle) the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands – 2 Timothy 1:6. And then watch what the Lord will do through you. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092721-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092721-Slides.pdf (slides) for this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092721-Slides.pdf (HERE). Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-respond-during-dark-times-503/ (503: How to Respond During Dark Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-lords-supper-and-the-higher-christian-life-502/ (502: The Lord’s Supper and the Higher Christian Life) https://leavinglaodicea.com/to-reckon-or-not-reckon-that-is-the-question-501/ (501: To Reckon or Not Reckon, that is the Question) https://leavinglaodicea.com/god-is-able-but-is-he-willing-500/ (500: I know God is Able, But is He Willing?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/there-is-no-tomorrow-apollo-creed-499/ (499: “There is No Tomorrow!” – Apollo Creed)

Sep 27

54 min 15 sec

Who Do You Trust?Great question. But the answer is usually less than encouraging. Who do we trust? The government? Not so much. The organized church? Probably not as much as we did in the past. The media? Please. The educational system? Hollywood? Our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram friends? Nope. So who do we trust to tell us the truth? Or where do we go for truth? What source can we truly depend on today? You know the answer to that question. Our source for truth is God and what we need in these dark times is His wisdom. But this raises even more questions, such as how do we find the wisdom of God? I mean, where would I begin to look for His wisdom? And is His wisdom something like the force in Star Wars? Is it an attribute or characteristic or power of God that He lends to us for a season or for a particular purpose? Or is it something else? The best way to answer that question is found in an amazing verse in the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. In this statement, we are told God placed all His wisdom in His Son. So the more we have of Jesus, the more we have of God’s wisdom, which is, again, the point of the Higher Christian Life. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us (1) wisdom from God and (2) righteousness and (3) sanctification and (4) redemption that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord” – 1 Corinthians 1:30-31. Did you get that? We are “in Christ Jesus” by the sovereign act of God. And, Jesus “became” or “began to be” for us the wisdom from God or the wisdom of God. So, Jesus is what we need, all we have ever needed.  But I think we always knew that. Yet, we still struggle with these nagging questions. Do I get the jab or not? What if I can’t see my family unless I get vaccinated? What if my employer requires it? What if I lose friends over this? There are so many opinions out there. Who do I trust? What am I to do? Or better yet, what does God want me to do? Do you see the need for God’s wisdom and the ability to hear His voice as He speaks His will to us? Taking Responsibility for Your Spiritual LifeThe greatest need for us as believers facing dark and uncertain times is the ability to hear from God and understand His wisdom in our lives. And this can only take place when we spend the necessary time pouring over His Word and applying it to our lives. But we won’t know what His Word means unless we first understand what it says. Remember, it is called Bible study… and not Bible reading or skimming. I will make a bold statement. I firmly believe God can and will speak to you about anything He wants using whatever verse you may now be studying, Old or New Testament; it doesn’t matter. Why? Because He is God. To prove this point, we will look at one verse chosen at random, Proverbs 21:1, and look at it in such as way as to determine precisely what it says, and then glean from it the wisdom we need for today. The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes – Proverbs 21:1. Now, let’s begin by simply defining some terms. The king’s (meleḵ – a male, sovereign ruler, one with power and authority over a kingdom) heart (lēḇ – the seat of one’s inner nature, the focus of a person’s thoughts [mind], volition, emotions, and knowledge of right from wrong [conscience]) is (present tense) in the hand (yāḏ – physical hand, strength, power, possession, control, and care) of the LORD (yehōwāh – the proper name of the God of Israel, understood as “I AM THAT I AM”). Like (just as, in the same way, similar to) the rivers (peleg̱ – stream, a channel, canal, a natural body of running water flowing on or under the Earth) of water (same

Sep 21

55 min 13 sec

Jesus First Became a Bondservant…There are many questions Christians have about the Lord’s Supper, and not all of them revolve around the nature of the substance of the bread and wine. There is the question about timing, how often are we to celebrate it? And then questions about meaning, is it symbolic, or does it truly transfer some tangible grace to those who partake? But the biggest question, for me, is in regards to its significance. After all, there is a judgment attached to the Lord’s Supper. The Scriptures teach those who partake of it in an “unworthy manner” will bring judgment upon themselves, even to the point of sickness and death. That’s right. Read it yourself in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30. That seems a bit heavy-handed to me. Does it to you? That is until I began to see a deeper meaning in the Lord’s Supper, something right below the surface. For years, when Jesus broke the bread and gave it to His disciples, we focused on “this is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19), referring almost exclusively to the physical suffering and death of Jesus on the cross for our sins. And that is true. But there may be more we have been missing. And when Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20), again, we usually interpret that to only mean the physical shedding of His blood as His sacrifice for our sins. And that is also true. But there could be more to this than meets the eye. Since we tend to think linearly, we often jump from the Upper Room, with the bread and wine, to the cross, with His broken body and shed blood, and assume we have the point of the Lord’s Supper all wrapped up in a neat package. But what we miss is what happened between these two, the turmoil in the garden, where Jesus had to determine for Himself if He would fulfill His commitment to His Father that He made long before He came as a Babe in Bethlehem. Never forget, between the upper room and the cross, was the garden. And it may be that what happened in the garden is what the Lord wants us to remember every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper. Let’s look at the commitment Jesus made to His Father. And Then He Came in the Likeness of MenIn Philippians 2, we have a scene before us that reveals the Lord Jesus making Himself (His action) a “bondservant” (doúlos) of His Father and then, as a bondservant, a voluntary slave, becoming obedient to His Father “to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). And in this passage, we see the depth of the relationship between the Father and His Son and the reason for the suffering of Jesus in the garden. Consider the following: Let this mind (phronéō – to think, to have the mindset) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being (to be or exist in a state or condition) in the form (morphḗ – shape, essence, replica, the expression of something that reflects or manifests fully and truly the essence of what something is) of God, did not consider (hēgéomai – view, regard, esteem, count, reckon) it robbery (taking something by force) to be equal (ísos – alike in quantity, quality, dignity) with God, but (His action) made Himself of no reputation (kenóō – to make empty or void, of no value), (to what degree) taking the form (morphḗ – shape, essence, replica, the expression of something that reflects or manifests fully and truly the essence of what something is) of a bondservant (doúlos – a slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other), and coming in the likeness (homoíōma – similitude, resemblance) of men. And being found (or recognized) in appearance (schḗma – form, external appearance, mode) as a man, He (Christ’s actions) humbled Himself (tapeinóō – to bring low, to abase, to render oneself to a...

Sep 17

44 min 10 sec

The Cross Not Only Paid For Your Sins…We have been looking at the three key truths that will allow you to experience the surrender that leads to the Higher Christian Life. Let’s take a moment for a quick review. Truth One – You are incapable of pleasing God or producing anything good with your flesh (your sinful nature) no matter how hard you try. It cannot be done, has never been done, will never be done, by anybody, ever. And you can find the foundation of Truth One in Romans 7:15-25, especially verse 18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find – Romans 7:18. So Truth One states you can’t, no matter how hard you try. But Truth Two reveals He can, beyond all you can imagine.  Truth Two reminds us that God has given you the Holy Spirit to live in you. And one of His purposes for His Spirit dwelling in you is to work in you “both to will and to do (why) for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). In other words, the Holy Spirit now living in you is able to do in you “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). And, by the way, the power that works “in us” is none other than the Holy Spirit. (Note: Did you notice how many times the phrase “in you” was used in this paragraph? It is not something to gloss over lightly). This brings us to Truth Three.  But first, a bit of warning.  Truth three is not something to be believed only, but to be experienced, just like the Higher Christian Life. For without experiencing this truth, firsthand, you will not gain the wonderful benefit of it nor the changed life that comes with it. Finally, all the benefits of Truth Three are contingent on faith. And it is in your faith the enemy will attack. Maybe even today. So be forewarned. Let’s look at Truth Three. You Are Also to “Reckon” Yourself Dead to SinTruth Three states that when Christ was crucified, He took with Him to the cross not only your sins, but also your sinful nature (the “old man”). Let that truth sink in for a moment. Remember, your “old man” refers to your unregenerate human spirit consisting of the Adamic life prior to salvation. And the “new man” refers to the regenerate human spirit, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Basically, the “old man” is all that you were before salvation, and the “new man” is all that you have become after salvation. You can find these terms used in Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22 and 24, and Colossians 3:9-10, among other places. It should be a familiar concept to you. But one not usually carried to its logical conclusion. Watch how this plays out so clearly in Romans 6. First, the foundation: For if (since, because) we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be (united together) in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that (what) our old man was crucified with Him, (why) that the body of sin might be done away with, (why) that we should no longer be slaves of sin – Romans 6:5-6. Next, the logical progression based on the foundation: For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if (since, because) we died (how) with Christ, we believe (our choice, see below) that we shall also live (how) with Him, (how) knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. (why) Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died (past tense), He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives (present tense), He lives to God – Romans 6:7-10. And finally, the conclusion about our old man and his death on the cross. But remember, this truth only becomes real to you by experience. Or, as Romans says, when you “reckon yourself” to this truth. Likewise (in

Sep 1

50 min 51 sec

There is an account in Matthew 9 where two blind beggars followed Jesus and continued to cry out to Him hoping to get His attention and receive their sight. After all, He had healed others, maybe He would heal them also. Jesus, ignoring their cries, entered into a house when the two men barged in refusing to be deterred from their search for Jesus. When Jesus saw them He asked a simple question, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt. 9:28). In essence, He asked them if they believed He had the power, the authority, sufficient to give them back their sight. And they answered, in faith, “Yes, Lord.” Jesus then touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” (Matt. 9:29). And the Scripture says “their eyes were opened.” But what was the object of their faith? Was it in Jesus’ ability to heal them? Probably. After all, that’s what Jesus was questioning them about. He was saying, “Do you believe I am able to do this for you?” And, by faith, they said, yes. But they also had to believe Jesus was willing to heal them. Otherwise, they would have never followed Him as they did and cry out to get His attention. And if you look at the sequence of faith in this healing account, you will find belief in His willingness came before faith in His ability. There is much to learn in this regarding the Higher Christian Life. Just think, what keeps us from having the faith of Abraham or Noah or Moses or the Apostles or those listed in Hebrews 11? Or what hinders us from having the faith we once had when we were young in the Lord and followed Him with reckless abandon? It is usually summed up in this one statement: “I know God can, and I know that He is able. I just don’t think He will.” And this sentiment about God plays out in our lives like this: “I would surrender my life to God if I could trust Him to truly take care of me. And since I can’t trust Him to do that, I’ll just have to keep looking out for myself.” “I want to surrender my life to the Lord because I know He is God and He is sovereign and He can do anything He wants anytime He wants. But I just don’t think He will take care of me. Maybe others, but just not me. So, I’ll have to keep looking out for myself.” And then we wonder why we languish in the land of Laodicea, neither hot nor cold, longing for more in our life with Christ yet afraid to trust Him completely. I Believe God is Able. But I’m Not So Sure He is Willing.As you read the following five statements about God’s ability, ask yourself this one question: Do you believe, knowing God is able, that He is willing to fulfill His promise to you? If so, you are on your way to the Higher Christian Life. But if not, you must pray and ask our Lord to forgive you for your faulty, hurtful, view of Him and His love for you. For to think God selfish or miserly with you and not others, does not show your piety or humility. It impugns His character and grieves His Spirit who lives in you. Consider the following: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy – Jude 1:24. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work – 2 Corinthians 9:8. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen – Ephesians 3:20-21 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day – 2 Timothy 1:12. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him,...

Aug 2

46 min 53 sec

Often, when it comes to the things that scare us or assault our faith, we tend to go into a brain freeze, to zone out, to habitually rationalize and procrastinate away the issue like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III when he faced fighting Clubber Lang. He was afraid and ashamed of his fear. He’d lost all confidence in himself. He no longer believed he still had what he once possessed that made him Heavyweight Champion of the World. And he was ready to give up. When Appolo Creed kept pressuring him to work harder, Rocky’s only response was, “Tomorrow. We’ll train tomorrow.” To which Appolo said over and over again, “There is no tomorrow!” We face a time in our nation when it appears God’s judgment has finally fallen. After allowing the murder of over 65,000,000 unborn children on our watch as the church, God seems to have allowed us to experience the consequences of our sin. Since we, as the church and as a nation, “did not like to retain God in their (our) knowledge, God gave them (us) over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Rom. 1:28). And what are those things which are not fitting? Abortion, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, idolatry, greed, violence, rebellion, arrogance, transgenderism— you name it, we as a culture are embracing it with open arms. So what are we to do? How bad is it really going to get? And what can we do to have the faith necessary to persevere during the coming dark times? These are vital questions for the church today. So keep listening and we’ll discover how to become a Faith Prepper together. This study is on the importance of preparing your faith today. Why? Because “there is no tomorrow!” To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072621-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072621-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072621-Slides.pdf (HERE) For the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072621-German-Timeline-for-1933-and-1934.pdf (referenced list) of events in Germany in https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072621-German-Timeline-for-1933-and-1934.pdf (1933 and 1934), click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072621-German-Timeline-for-1933-and-1934.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/do-you-believe-the-promises-of-god-498/ (498: Do You Believe the Promises of God?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-unlimited-possibilities-of-faith/ (The Unlimited Possibilities of Faith) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/why-did-you-doubt/ (“Why Did You Doubt?”) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/now-to-him-who-is-able/ (“Now to Him Who is Able”) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/its-his-job-to-make-and-keep-you-holy/ (It’s His Job to Make and Keep You Holy)

Jul 27

55 min 6 sec

Quite honestly, this question is what separates those who live their Christian life on the bottom rung from those who experience the Higher Christian Life. And it is all based on faith. Your faith. Do you believe the promises of God? Not just specific doctrines about God. Not what God has done for others. But do you, emphasis on you, believe the promises of God? Do you believe what He says He will do? Do you believe what He says about you? Do you believe the consequences of disobeying Him? And do you believe in the blessings promised by being “in Christ”?  In short, do you believe? Now your answer will be either yes or no. Or maybe, “Sometimes. It all depends on the promise.” But that view of God impugns His character. After all, He is either trustworthy or not. He either tells the truth or He spins it to fit His own narrative. He is either perfect and pure or shady like the rest of our friends. There is no middle ground. We either believe, or we don’t. And the consequences of our choice are profound. Consider Abraham. He was given a promise from God that defied understanding, not to mention biology. When it was physically impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have children due to their advanced age, God promised Abraham he would have a son and his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky (Gen. 15:5). Pretty steep order. Yet this was a promise from God. Initially, Sarah laughed in unbelief when she heard God’s words (Gen. 18:10-13). And Abraham tried to find a loophole to work around his unbelief using Eliezar his servant (Gen. 15:4), and later Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden (Gen. 16:1-3). Nevertheless, the promise was clear and precise. It was a promise to be believed, or not believed. And the choice was Abraham’s. So what did he do? Consider the following: He (Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, (1) giving glory to God, and (2) being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it (Abraham’s faith) was accounted (imputed, reckoned) to him (Abraham) for righteousness.” Now it (Genesis 15) was not written for his sake alone that it (righteousness) was imputed to him (Abraham), but also for us. It (righteousness) shall be (future) imputed (reckoned, accounted) to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, (crucifixion) who was delivered up (why) because of our offenses, and was (resurrection) raised (why) because of our justification – Romans 4:20-25. Note, Jesus died because of our offenses or sins. And He was raised up or resurrected because of our justification (when we are declared righteous). We are not declared righteous based on our own merit, but the righteousness of Christ is now imputed (reckoned, accounted) to us by faith in the Lord Jesus. Just like it was with Abraham. But there is so much more. Ask Yourself, “Do You Believe the Promises of God?”Jesus also became for us our sanctification (or holiness). But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God— and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – 1 Corinthians 1:30. He became for us the ability to live the Higher Christian Life. He literally became for us, since we are “in Christ Jesus”, the ability to live the kind of life that pleases Him right here, right now, today. And this thought should make you giddy in wonder. This is who Jesus is and what he has “become for us.” It is more than justification, eternal life, and a place in heaven with Him, as wonderous as all that sounds. He also became for us our sanctification. He is our freedom, the victory, and the power given us to live an “overcomer” life in this world, in satan’s domain, today. But there is one last thing we need to...

May 5

1 hr 3 min

In Acts 19 we have a controversial encounter between Paul, the Holy Spirit, and some believers in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7). One side claims it proves the Holy Spirit can, and will, come upon believers after salvation thus justifying much of the fringe charismatic movement. The other side, just as dogmatic, claims this encounter proves nothing more than the fact these “disciples” (Acts 19:1) were lost until Paul preached Christ to them even though the Scriptures state they “believed” (Acts 19:2). The question at the heart of this controversy is this: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2). And your answer, or on what side of this great theological chasm you choose to land, will have a critical effect on whether you experience the Higher Christian Life. Let me explain. The account in Acts shows Paul coming to a group of “disciples” (a key word) in Ephesus and obviously noticing something different, something missing in their Christian life. We are not told what he saw or what prompted his question, but nevertheless, the first words recorded out of Paul’s mouth were “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Strange. Why would he begin this conversation with them this way? Note, the book of Acts calls them “disciples” and Paul asked about something they did, or didn’t, receive after they “believed.” Paul never shared the Gospel with them or made any indication they were less than fellow believers. So the inference is they were believers, Christians, but were obviously missing something, some power or intimacy, something expected and assumed for believers back then. Not so much expected today, but then we sadly live in different, more apathetic, lukewarm times. So let’s answer the question, Do believers receive the Holy Spirit when they believe? And do they receive the Spirit Immediately? Instantaneously? Did You Receive the Holy Spirit When You Believed?In a word, absolutely. On this, there is no debate. Consider the following statements from Scripture. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, (when) having believed, (what) you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory – Ephesians 1:13-14. The Holy Spirit is our security, proof, pledge, the guarantee of our redemption. And we are sealed in Him “having believed.” But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His (or is lost) – Romans 8:9. This is more direct. No Holy Spirit, no salvation. Therefore, a believer must receive the Holy Spirit as soon as they are saved, or they are not truly saved. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free— and have all been made to drink into one Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:13. The Holy Spirit is the common bond that brings all people groups together in Christ and makes us one. And this obviously only happens after salvation. This brings us back to the reason Paul asked the question of these believers in Ephesus, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2). As we will discover in this message, it is not how much of the Holy Spirit we received when we believed. But how much of ourselves are we giving to the Holy Spirit? How much of us is He receiving on a daily basis? This is what makes the Higher Christian Life so appealing. It is more of Him possessing more of us, to be used to bear the Father’s fruit and bring glory to Jesus. Join us as we unpack this amazing truth. The following message is about answering the question: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”...

Apr 1

51 min 27 sec

Acts 19 begins with Paul stumbling upon a group of disciples in Ephesus that seemed different from those he had encountered elsewhere. So different he asked them point-blank, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2). This, on the surface, seems like a strange question. After all, how could they be “disciples” and not have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9)? Didn’t Paul write to the church at Ephesus that all believers are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1:13-14)? And if so, is there a difference between “knowing” the Holy Spirit and “receiving” the Holy Spirit? Plus, when Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit to His disciples in John 14, He made this statement: “And I will pray (ask) the Father, and He will give you another (állos – of the same kind, an exact replica) Helper (paráklētos – to comfort, encourage or exhort), that He may abide (live, rest, dwell, make His home) with you forever— (described as) the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows (ginōskō) Him; but you know (ginōskō) Him, (how) for He dwells with you (present) and will be in you (future). I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (future)” – John 14:16-18. In this statement about the Holy Spirit, Jesus makes a distinction between the lost world and those whom He will redeem, the chosen (Eph. 1:4), the children of God (Rom. 8:16-17). And this distinction is the ability to “see” and “know” (ginōskō) the Holy Spirit. The word translated know (ginōskō), does not mean to know in a cognitive sense, such as, “I know that George Washington was the first president of the United States.” It is not mental, factual, academic knowledge only. To know (ginōskō), as Jesus said we would “know” the Holy Spirit, is an intimate knowledge (as Adam “knew” his wife Eve and as Joseph did not “know” his wife Mary “until she had brought forth her firstborn Son”). The word ginōskō also means to know by experience, to know completely, to know and place one’s favor and acceptance upon. It is a powerful word that reveals more about parents knowing their child than a student knowing the answers to Friday’s pop quiz. And this is how Jesus said we are to know (ginōskō) and do know (ginōskō), the Holy Spirit (John 14:17). Do you know the Holy Spirit that way? But How Can I Know the Holy Spirit?This is the question that is asked by many today as we see the possibility of the Higher Christian Life and compare it to the lukewarm relationship we have with the Lord— and even a less than lukewarm relationship with the Holy Spirit. Plus, when you consider the familiar verses found at the beginning of Romans 12, and realize the Person of the Godhead we are to “present your bodies (to as) a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1) is none other than the Holy Spirit, it begins to make our lack of intimacy with the One who lives in us almost unbearable. Think, God the Father is in heaven seated on His throne. Jesus is right now at the right hand of the Father (Rom. 8:34, Eph. 1:20, Col. 3:1) continually interceding for us (Heb. 7:25). And where is the Holy Spirit? Exactly. He is here on earth, living in you and me. God the Father has never been revealed to us in a body nor does He have a need for one since He is sitting on His throne in heaven. Jesus already has a body and may reveal Himself to us throughout all eternity in His broken body bearing the marks of His atonement for our sin. This may be the meaning of John’s description of Jesus in the Revelation as, “a Lamb as though it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6). And the Holy Spirit? He inhabits your body. He empowers us with His gifts of ministry to bring the Lord glory while we live out our life on this earth. He makes our bodies a temple, a dwelling place of the...

Mar 27

1 hr 7 min

One of the great longings of those the Lord used mightily in the last church age is the fullness, or baptism, of the Holy Spirit. No, we’re not talking about loopy believers today who claim something their life doesn’t exhibit. We are talking about the heroes of old, those like D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, Oswald Chambers, Charles Finney, Amy Charmichael, and so many others. Each of these great servants of God testifies to their deep longing and ultimate baptism of the Holy Spirit that they claim was the source and power for all that God did through them and led to what they called the Higher Christian Life. But what about us? And what about the church? How does our view and participation in church impact the Higher Christian Life? Does it help? Or does it hurt? Take a moment and think about how we “do” church today. See if any of these ring true to you. •  The “church” is primarily defined as a building, institution, or tax-exempt entity. •  The members of a church meet in a neutral building. •  Almost all ministry and fellowship takes place in the neutral building. •  Almost all relationships are forged by shared activities in the neutral building. •  There is usually a corporate model of top-down leadership within the church. •  The Sunday morning worship service is primarily designed as a time of musical performance (concert), corporate singing, and teaching and is designed to make the congregation feel comfortable. •  The structure of the facility seating models an educational institution and not a family. •  Primarily, the pace of the teaching is on a “C” level. •  Participation is the goal, not measurable growth. •  Much of the focus is not on the individual believer but on the entity of the “church” (lesser serves the greater). •  Paid professionals perform those required tasks often neglected by the fathers in their own families. •  Self-promotion and marketing are usually designed to point people to the church and not to Christ. •  Most preaching is about personal “felt” needs. •  Church usually meets once a week on Sunday for less than two hours. •  Sometimes, a mid-week Bible study or small group meets with an attendance of less than 5% of those who come on Sunday. •  Women are far more likely to attend and participate in church functions than men. And if you compare this picture of the church today to what we see in the New Testament, especially in the Book of Acts, you may come to the troubling conclusion that the modern, Western, contemporary idea of the church may be the greatest hindrance to experiencing the Higher Christian Life. But first, let’s address the elephant in the room by answering the most pressing question. What is the Higher Christian Life? What is the Higher Christian Life?To answer, I’ll borrow from an https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-higher-christian-life/ (earlier post). If you are like me and most believers that I know, our spiritual life has been a series of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, two steps forward followed by two steps back, and is less than what we would call abundant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about our salvation or the grace of God so lavished upon us by the sacrifice of His Son. I’m talking about living a life of holiness, a life of sanctification, living as someone “set apart” for God’s holy purpose, a life surrendered to Him only to be selfishly reclaimed whenever things get tough, or painful, or boring. And for me, this is less than what Jesus promised and less than I am willing to live with. And this life so described, a life of holiness, devotion, sanctification, and surrender is the Higher Christian Life. It is, in actuality, the life we were created to live. Or, as Watchman Nee...

Mar 15

56 min 21 sec

There is uncertainty all around. And we, as the church, are in the beginning of a life of persecution that was promised by our Lord. Often uncertainty leads to fear, and fear crushes faith. But we are instructed in Psalm 56 to not fear but turn our fear into faith. David says, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3). And then twice, in the same Psalm, he affirms, “What can flesh do to me” (Psalm 56:4) and “What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11). Great questions. And the answer is, “Not much, other than kill us.” But if we have a proper view of eternity, even death becomes an anticipation and not something to fear. Think about it. Life is more than what we see and feel, much more than what we can experience with our senses. There is, on the one hand, the true reality that lasts forever with God, when this temporal, transitory, substitute reality ceases to be. And there is, on the other hand, the pre-game reality we exist in today. Jesus said we are living in this kingdom, this reality, but are actually citizens of His kingdom, of His reality, that has not yet physically manifested itself in this world. And the true, “abundant life” Jesus promised is reserved for those who physically exist in this temporal reality that is passing away, yet live and abide in the reality that lasts forever. This is called living by faith. And it takes concrete action on our part to do. When fear is brought into (or subject to) the presence of God, it dissolves right before our eyes, just like it did with David in Psalm 56 and elsewhere. And when for some reason it doesn’t vanish yet remains like a lingering cough after a bad cold, it is not because our fear is so large, or intimidating, or frightening. It is simply because our God is too small. But What Can Man Do To Me?Jesus said we are not to fear those who have only limited power, who can do nothing more than take our lives. He said the one to fear is God, the One with unlimited power, who can not only do what man can do and take our lives, but also have the power and authority to cast us into hell. “Yes,” Jesus said, “I say to you, fear Him!” “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and (limited power) after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, (unlimited power) has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5). So are we to have that kind of relationship with the Father, one of fear and dread, like a young child living in an abusive home? Of course not. Because right after this Jesus lets us know how much we are loved and known by the Father and how much He truly cares for us. Jesus said: “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered (not counted). Do not fear therefore; (why) you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7). So no matter how much unrest, anger, and distrust there is all around us, do not fear. For the only One worthy of our praise and our fear, is God and God alone. And remember to confidently smile when things go from dusk to dark or from bad to worse. It is only another confirmation that Jesus is soon to return. So rejoice and look up, for “our redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). The following message is about How to Fear God and Not Man. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/031021-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/031021-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/031021-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-bema-seat-judgment-of-christ-492/ (492: The Bema Seat Judgment of Christ) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-king-and-his-kingdom-491/ (491: The King and...

Mar 11

56 min 38 sec

Let me share some uncomfortable truths deliberately forgotten today in our land of apathy and opulence. And this truth may be hard to swallow for some, yet it is true nonetheless. In a simple statement: Persecution is an integral part of Christianity. So much so that it is to be expected, even desired.  Why? Because persecution, like spiritual fruit, is an outward sign of living and abiding in Christ in obedience. And if so, we must, as a church and as believers living in the West, prepare for persecution. The Scriptures teach that persecution is an inevitable result of one wanting to live in the image of Jesus. Consider the promise and the conditions of this verse: Yes, and all (each, every, entire, with the idea of oneness, without exception) who desire (to will, wish, intend, implying active volition and purpose) to live (to spend one’s existence, to pass one’s life) godly (righteously, attributing to God the things which rightfully pertain to God) in (who) Christ Jesus will (promise) suffer persecution (to press, distress, trouble, crush, to prosecute, to pursue with repeated acts of enmity) – 2 Timothy 3:12. I suggest you read this passage in context. You will clearly see the focus of this chapter is that persecution is to be expected and not feared. Ever. After all, when Jesus was speaking about the relationship between a master and His servants, He was speaking in the context of suffering and persecution. This is a classic if/then statement from our Lord “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, (then) they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, (then) they will keep yours” – John 15:20. In fact, when you look at the ministry of Jesus from the perspective of Him preparing His disciples, and the church, for the inevitability of persecution, you can see it on almost every page. How Do I Prepare for Persecution?Assuming that is true, how can we begin to prepare for the inevitable persecution. Below are twelve bullet-point items we will expand in the weeks to come. For now, just get familiar with them. •  Fear God and Not Man – Matthew 10:28, Proverbs 1:7, Psalm 56:11, Acts 9:31 •  Expect Persecution as a Christian, Embrace it – John 15:20, 1 Peter 4:12-14 •  Despite Persecution, Have Peace and Rejoice – Matthew 5:10-12 •  Be an Example of Christ Even During Persecution – Philippians 2:15-16 •  Love Your Enemies (no matter how hard that is) – Matthew 5:39-45 •  Endure Suffering and Persecution with Patience – 1 Peter 2:20-23, 1 Corinthians 10:13 •  Keep Eternity in View – Hebrews 12:1-3, Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17-5:1 •  Remember to Worship Him, Come What May – Philippians 4:6-7, Psalm 34:1 •  Hide God’s Word in Your Heart (Memorize it!) – Psalm 1:1-2; 119:11, 105 •  Fellowship with Other Christians – Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:17 •  Love One Another – John 13:34-35, 1 Peter 1:22-23, 1 John 4:20 •  Get Serious About God Today! Because we are running out of tomorrows! And finally, remember that Jesus said, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:12) only in the context of suffering persecution. And not in all the other activities we seem to fill our day with. The following message is about How to Prepare for Persecution. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/030321-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/030321-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/030321-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-bema-seat-judgment-of-christ-492/ (492: The Bema Seat Judgment of Christ)...

Mar 3

1 hr 2 min

There are three major judgments in the prophetic timeline of God: the Sheep and Goats Judgment, the Bema Seat Judgment, and the Great White Throne Judgment. Some of these judgments take place on earth and some in heaven. But there is only one that you should be worried about. And that is the Bema Seat Judgment of Christ. So what is the Bema Seat Judgment of Christ and why is it such a big deal? The Bema Seat Judgment of Christ takes place after the Rapture of the church and before the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in heaven. This judgment does not determine salvation. At this time, believers are rewarded for how faithfully they served their Lord. Some will receive rewards (and be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, etc.), and others will obviously not receive rewards (or suffer loss). It will be a time of great rejoicing for some. And for others, a time of immense sadness, regret, and shame. Therefore we make (labor) it our aim (to make our ambition, to aspire to), whether present or absent, to be well pleasing (acceptable, that which one wills, recognizes, and approves) to (who) Him. For (why) we must all appear (to show openly) before the judgment seat of Christ, (for what reason) that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad – 2 Corinthians 5:9-10. Some will receive a reward. But others will “suffer loss” or not receive a reward and the benefits that come with it. Consider the following. Now if anyone (what) builds on this foundation (Christ) with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s (what) work will become clear (to shine, to make manifest, become evident); for (when) the Day will declare it (to make known), (how) because it (one’s work) will be revealed (to remove a veil or covering to expose to open view) by fire; and the fire will test (approve as worthy or not) each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s (what) work which he has built on it endures (abide, to remain, dwell, live), he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire – 2 Corinthians 3:12-15. But what are some things Christ will judge at the Bema Seat Judgment? Should I Be Concerned About the Bema Seat Judgment?In a word, absolutely. Consider carefully some of the things we will have to give an account to Jesus on that day. •  How well did I fulfill the Great Commission? – Matthew 28:18-20 •  How much did I overcome sin and my flesh? – Romans 6:1-4 •  How well did I control my tongue (speech, words)? – James 3:1-9 •  Were the fruits of the Spirit clearly manifested in me? – Galatians 5:22-23 •  Was I obedient to God and His Word in all things? – Luke 6:46 •  Did I long for the Lord’s soon return? – Revelation 22:20 Or, in summary, did I live like Jesus? Did I ask what would Jesus do and then, to the best of my ability, follow His command? And remember, the reward or loss of reward we will receive on that day is totally something we can control now, in this life. Our future in His Kingdom is determined by our faithfulness right now. So make it your life’s ambition to be well-pleasing to Him (2 Cor. 5:9). Because nothing else really matters, does it? The following message is about the Bema Seat Judgment of Christ. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/022421-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/022421-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/022421-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-king-and-his-kingdom-491/ (491: The King and His Kingdom) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/salvation-and-the-kingdom-of-god-490/ (490: Salvation and the Kingdom of God)...

Feb 24

38 min 58 sec

Often it is difficult for us to visualize Jesus as King, because we are pretty much clueless as to what life is like under a king? All we know about kings and kingdoms come from Netflix mini-series or old British movies. But the Scriptures clearly state that Jesus is King. And it also makes it abundantly clear that Jesus, our King, has a kingdom. But what does that mean? How do we begin to understand the King of Kings and His coming Kingdom? So ask yourself, what do we know about earthly kings and their kingdoms? What is true about them? Because if what we know about human kings is true, it would be reasonable to assume the same is also true about Jesus and His Kingdom. Consider the following. A king must have a kingdom. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” – John 18:36-38. And within his kingdom, a king sovereignly rules. Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (to what extent) far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also (where) in that which is to come – Ephesians 1:20-21. As sovereign king, he has absolute power over life and death, over justice and punishment, over blessings and rewards, over wealth and poverty, over sickness and health, over order or chaos, over everything in his kingdom. I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, (which means) so that you do not do the things that you wish – Galatians 5:16-17. This means that any freedom the king grants to his subjects is granted to them by the merciful grace of the king. But there is so much more. It gets even better. What Can We Learn About Jesus and His Kingdom?If Jesus is king, then these are some of the most important lessons we can learn about living under a king as subjects to his kingdom. •  In life, the best thing to do is please the king. •  And that includes honor, respect, adulation, sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, and obedience. •  Citizens of the kingdom support the king, and the kingdom first. •  And as a result, the king and his kingdom protect them from evil and harm both from within, and without, the kingdom. This brings us to the crux of this message. Consider carefully how you would answer this question. If you were called to give an account of your faithfulness to the King, how would your life line up with the following three verses? “No one can serve two masters; (why) for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (wealth, the personification of riches, earnings, gains, materialism)” – Matthew 6:24. Do not love (agapáō) the world (kósmos) or the things in the world. If (since, because) anyone loves (agapáō) the world (kósmos), the love (agápē) of the Father is not in him – 1 John 2:15. And finally… Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know (eídō) that friendship (philía) with the world (kósmos) is enmity (hatred, hostility, war) with God. Whoever therefore wants to be a friend (phílos) of the world (kósmos) makes himself an enemy of God – James 4:4. And if you really want to dig a bit deeper into the meaning of these verses, spend a little time online looking up a few...

Feb 24

55 min 29 sec

One of the most sobering truths you can discover about your salvation is that it is not all about you. That’s right. Your salvation is actually about the Kingdom of God. We just happen to be the beneficiary of a great blessing from God in our salvation, but the overriding purpose of our salvation is not just about us, but about the Kingdom of God. It seems, when we think of salvation today, it always begins with our justification and ends with us spending eternity in heaven. And it always seems to center on us. Think about it. Salvation begins when we ask the Lord to forgive us of our sins and ask Jesus to come into our lives as Lord and Savior. We usually follow this with the believer’s baptism. Then we try, to the best of our ability, to live according to the profession we made in Christ, but often fall short on a daily basis. And when we die, we go to heaven to be with the Lord and all those in Him who have died before us. And what happens when we get to heaven? We get a new, glorified body that doesn’t age or have any of the problems our old bodies had. We can fly like angels. There is something about a supper we are invited to. We get a really big house, a mansion, and we get to travel down streets that are paved with gold. All our needs and wants are taken care of. We are pretty much rich and live like kings. Also, there is no sadness or sorrow or pain or suffering or tears or death or anything like that. So, I guess we’ll be happy all the time. And we’ll be surrounded by other believers who have also died and are happy all the time just like we are. Does this view of heaven seem a bit narcissistic? How Does Salvation Fit into the Kingdom of God?Great question. But there are a few more questions we need to also ask ourselves about the purpose of our salvation and how it fits into the grand scheme of God regarding His kingdom. Does anything happen between our death on earth and when Christ ushers in His kingdom? I mean, does everything rest on what happens to us? Does God’s plan of salvation and the establishment of His kingdom center around us? Are we the centerpiece of His eternal plan? Or does His eternal plan center around someone else? And if so, is that person, just maybe, His Son? The best way to understand where our salvation fits into His Kingdom is to look at the prophetic timeline God has established for Himself. And when we do, it is easy to see that everything is not all about us. God has a master plan, and we play an extremely small part. Consider the following. •  Church (Matthew 16, Acts 2) •  Great Apostasy •  Rapture (Restrainer Removed) The Events in Heaven •  The judgment of Believers (Bema Seat, Rewards) •  Marriage Supper of the Lamb The Events on Earth •  The Emergence of the Antichrist •  The Tribulation (First 31/2 Years) •  The Abomination of Desolation •  Believing Jews in Jerusalem flee to Edom •  The Great Tribulation (Last 31/2 Years) •  The Return of Christ •  Armageddon •  The 75 days in Daniel •  Sheep and Goat Judgment •  The Millennial Kingdom (1,000-year reign of Christ) The Events During the Millenial Kingdom •  Satan is Bound •  Jesus rules from Jerusalem •  Believers (not all) will have Positions of Authority in the Millennial Kingdom •  Satan is Released (later cast into the abyss) •  Great White Throne Judgment New Heaven and New Earth Do you see where you and I fit into this Divine plan? And can you see the plan is so much greater than us? It is about the Father and His Son and His Kingdom. But there is so much more for us to learn, so keep listening. The following message is about Salvation and the Kingdom of God...

Feb 19

59 min 43 sec

When you survey the subject of popular, contemporary preaching and compare it to the content of the message of Jesus and His disciples found in the New Testament, you will clearly see there is something missing. Jesus and His disciples and the early church almost exclusively preached about the Kingdom of God or the Gospel of the Kingdom. And today, we preach about getting our felt needs met by the Lord. How He is going to hold us, calm us, bless us, heal our boo-boo’s, and make our life in this world better. Really? What happened to the forgotten gospel of the kingdom? If we look at the flow of the New Testament, some patterns quickly emerge. Consider the following: Gospel – presents the Message (Gospel) of the Kingdom Acts – from the Message (Gospel) of the Kingdom to the Church (the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom) Revelation – from the Church to the Establishment of the Kingdom And again, the message of both Jesus and John the Baptist were identical at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. There were both preaching about a coming kingdom as they revealed to the people the King standing before them. John the Baptist – “Repent, (why) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:2 Jesus – “Repent, (why) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17 But this is only the beginning of the forgotten gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Forgotten Gospel of the KingdomNote also the summary verses in Matthew that describe the message and ministry of Jesus in a simple paragraph. This happens twice, right before and after the Sermon on the Mount (which is a description of life in the Kingdom). Matthew 4:23 – And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching (what) the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 – Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching (what) the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. As you can see, the message of Jesus was the gospel, the “good news” about the Kingdom, and the manifestation of His ministry was showing the people what the Kingdom, and the King, are all about (healing sickness and disease, etc,). But it gets even better. In the next chapter, Jesus sends out His disciples to do what they have seen Him doing, both preaching and ministry. Note the instructions He gives them. Matthew 10:7-8 – “And as you go, preach, saying, (what) ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Do you understand the implications of these few verses? Are you beginning to comprehend the importance of the forgotten gospel of the Kingdom? I sure hope so. So keep listening as we discover more about our Lord’s message together. The following message is about the Forgotten Message (Gospel) of the Kingdom of God. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/012621-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/012621-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/012621-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/what-can-we-learn-about-church-from-the-early-church-488/ (488: What Can We Learn About Church From the Early Church) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/you-can-always-begin-again-tomorrow-487/ (487: You Can Always Begin Again Tomorrow) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/what-do-i-believe-486/ (486: What Do I Believe?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/after-dc-where-do-we-go-from-here/ (After DC, Where Do We Go From Here?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-can-we-recover-what-we-have-lost-485/ (485: How Can We Recover What We Have Lost)

Jan 26

51 min 56 sec

There is an old saying that goes, Success Breeds Success. And this is true. But the opposite is also true. Failure Follows Failure. In other words, if we do the same thing we have failed in the same way, yet expect it to be successful, we are fools. This also goes for how we do church today.  The book of Acts shows us what church should be like and yet we fail to heed its advice. Why is that? And what can we learn about church from the early church? How did the early church “do” church, as we call it today? What was their worship service like? The following are some things they incorporated into their time of corporate worship. When you read these, ask yourself this, What are we doing that they didn’t do? And what have we added to our worship service that they did not? Your answer may surprise you. •  There was a time of singing. •  There was a reading of His Word. •  There was an exposition of His Word. •  There was a time of ministry to each other. •  There was a time of sharing for others in need. •  There was a time to partake of the Lord’s Supper. •  There was a time of prayer. •  There was a time of praise and testimony. •  There was a time of humility and confession. •  There was a time of verbal commitment to Him. •  And there was a time of fellowship and the sharing of a common meal. Does this look like your Sunday morning time together? What Can We Learn About Church From Them?There are also two other aspects of their worship time that are glaringly missing today. The first is their reliance on the Holy Spirit. We see this from the first chapter of Acts and continuing through the entire book. And the second is the fact they recognized that the Holy Spirit gave each of them gifts, and He expected them to use them to minister to others. This was not a spectator sport. Everyone had something to contribute. A simple look into their time together will give us great insights into the early church. For example, consider Acts 13:1-3, and the calling of Paul and Barnabas to missionary work. Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered (leitourgéō) to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. Note the key elements in this passage, ministry to the Lord (worship), prayer, fasting, the Holy Spirit speaking among them, being in agreement, missionary work, the laying on of hands, and their trust in God for sending their own out into the unknown. Ah, this sounds like real church, doesn’t it? If you want to find out more about What We Can Learn About Church From the Early Church, keep listening. The following message is on what church should be but is no longer. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/012021-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/012021-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/012021-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/you-can-always-begin-again-tomorrow-487/ (487: You Can Always Begin Again Tomorrow) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/what-do-i-believe-486/ (486: What Do I Believe?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/after-dc-where-do-we-go-from-here/ (After DC, Where Do We Go From Here?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-can-we-recover-what-we-have-lost-485/ (485: How Can We Recover What We Have Lost) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/some-questions-i-want-to-ask-joseph-484/ (484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph)

Jan 21

47 min 33 sec

One of the great things about the Lord is the fact He is slow to anger and abounds in mercy. In fact, Lamentations says “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They (His compassions) are new every morning; Great is Your (His) faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23). Do you know what that means? It means no matter how bad yesterday was, we can always begin again tomorrow with our God. Always! Do you believe that? Do you truly believe that? If so, it means that no matter how great your sin, or failure, or disappointment, or bitterness, or unanswered prayer you suffered from yesterday, it is just that— yesterday’s news. And today it is all forgotten, all forgiven, all put to rest. God promises His compassion is new, fresh, and in abundant supply every time we open our eyes and behold the new morning. They are new every morning. Not some mornings, but every morning. God provides His mercy and compassion to us each new day, regardless of how we defiled the day before. Therefore, in wonder and appreciation, we cry out to our God, “Great is Your faithfulness!” Can I Really Begin Again Tomorrow?Absolutely. But the problem we often struggle with is not condemnation from God. But self-condemnation. We can’t imagine God’s mercy and compassion are so great it will revive us of our guilt for the things we have done wrong. But it does! All we have to do is accept it. How should we respond to God’s mercy and compassion as we enter into the turbulent waters of 2021? Consider the following. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword) we are (present tense) more than conquerors (how) through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded (to be fully assured, confident, convinced) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 8:35-39. And if God’s Word is true then we must learn to rest in how God sees us, even in our sin, and not how we see ourselves. For nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Nothing. And that includes our own self-condemnation. The following message is on the Mercy and Compassion of God from Lamentations 3. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/011621-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/011621-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/011621-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/what-do-i-believe-486/ (486: What Do I Believe?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/after-dc-where-do-we-go-from-here/ (After DC, Where Do We Go From Here?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-can-we-recover-what-we-have-lost-485/ (485: How Can We Recover What We Have Lost) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/some-questions-i-want-to-ask-joseph-484/ (484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/where-did-all-our-leaders-go-483/ (483: Where Did All Our Leaders Go?)

Jan 17

33 min 47 sec

After all the chaos and upheaval we’ve seen in our country these past few weeks that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of our republic and the church, we have come to a place in our lives where we must ask ourselves the question, What do I believe? That’s right. What do I believe? •  What am I willing to die for? •  What is the mission and calling of my life? •  What means the most to me? •  And what truth will I not compromise on? Or, as Martin Luther said when commanded to recant his beliefs to save his life, “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.” So let me ask you, what do you believe about the times in which we live? What Do I Believe About the Future of America and the Church?I can’t speak for you, but I can tell you with confidence what I believe about the future. And it is summed up in seven short points. •  I believe we are entering the end times. •  I believe things will get very bad in the US over the next two years. •  I believe inflation is a certainty. •  I believe there will be shortages of food, gas, etc. •  I believe we will face persecution as Christians. •  I believe there is a great possibility of civil war. •  And I believe we must prepare spiritually right now! And since I believe these things, I will once again implore you, as the church, the Bride of Christ, to consider a deeper commitment to Him than ever before. In 2021 (or until He comes), consider following Him this way: •  Consider opening your home for Bible study this year. •  Consider getting together with others for Bible study, fellowship, and prayer. •  Consider creative ways to teach your children about the “exceeding riches of His grace” in Christ. •  And, if you don’t feel compelled to “Go” for the gospel, then consider bringing the lost to you (both home and church) to make disciples of them. And ask yourself the same question: What do I believe? And pray we have the faith to see this journey to the end. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/011321-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/011321-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/011321-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/after-dc-where-do-we-go-from-here/ (After DC, Where Do We Go From Here?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-can-we-recover-what-we-have-lost-485/ (485: How Can We Recover What We Have Lost) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/some-questions-i-want-to-ask-joseph-484/ (484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/where-did-all-our-leaders-go-483/ (483: Where Did All Our Leaders Go?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-god-482/ (482: How to Experience God)

Jan 14

54 min 40 sec

When we compare the church today with the example given in the book of Acts, we come up short and wanting. It looks like what life was like in the book of Acts and our church life now are not even related, like they were from different parents, from different planets. And if you are honest with yourself, you will see how much we have lost and how far we have fallen from the prototype God gave us in His Word. Which begs the question: How can we recover what we have lost? What do we know about the early church? Consider the following: •  They lived in communities, like one large, extended family. •  They met in homes or rented facilities. There was not a million-dollar building on every street corner that sat empty six days a week. •  Their key distinctive was worship and evangelism. Or worship expressed as evangelism. •  They were led by lay leaders. You and me. The guy next door. There was nothing of the clergy, laity divide. There were no hired holy-men. Everyone was obedient to the command of Christ, individually. •  They were guided by Scriptures. Not tradition, nor public opinion, nor vote of the congregation. God and His Word was the final authority. •  Everyone was a priest. Each believer had direct access to the throne of God. Hence, they were all equal in His sight. •  They had all things in common. This is probably the hardest concept to get our heads around since we are happy living in a narcissistic world. •  They were known, both within and outside of the church, as holy men who lived sanctified lives. Looks a bit different from any church I have ever been a part of. Can you say the same? Is it Possible to Recover What We Have Lost?The early church took the commands of Jesus seriously. They did not pass them on to someone else or assume they were meant for only those who were “gifted” or “specifically called” to total commitment. They took responsibility knowing that Jesus’ commands still applied to them, and also to us, some 2,000 years later. Consider this command: Matthew 28:18-21 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go (not stay) therefore and make disciples of all the nations, (how) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” As Keith Green once sang, “Jesus commands us to go. It’s the exception if we stay.” So as 2021 dawns on us, consider following Him this way: •  Consider opening your home for Bible study this year. •  Consider getting together with others for Bible study, fellowship, and prayer. •  Consider creative ways to teach your children about the “exceeding riches of His grace” in Christ. •  And, if you don’t feel compelled to “Go” for the gospel, then consider bringing the lost to you (both home and church) to make disciples of them. Let 2021 be a year of spiritual renewal and revival for us as individuals and as His church. After all, it has to begin somewhere. Why not let it begin with you? The following message is a call to help the church in Recovering What We Have Lost. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/010421-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/010421-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/010421-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/some-questions-i-want-to-ask-joseph-484/ (484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/where-did-all-our-leaders-go-483/ (483: Where Did All Our Leaders Go?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-god-482/ (482: How...

Jan 4

1 hr 9 min

One of the most important things we can do to combat the coming apostasy, as we have shared before, is to develop an intimate relationship with both God and His Word. In essence, to have an experience with Him through His Word.  And we do this by slowing down and asking questions of the text, just like we would if we experienced it, first-person. As if we were actually there. Today, being close to Christmas, we will briefly look at the birth account of Jesus through Luke’s eyes and see if some questions arise when we read Luke’s words. Maybe some questions we would want to ask Joseph about the trip to Bethlehem. And why is that so important? To begin with, the first step in learning how to experience God through His Word is to slow down and take your time. In essence, give God time to speak to you. Remember the points we discussed earlier? •  Take your time. After all, this ain’t no race, and the prize doesn’t go to the one who finished first. The winner is the one who hears from God. •  Therefore, you must wait for God to speak to you wherever you are reading. Slow down and take your time. Remove the yoke of bondage you have placed on yourself with your agenda or Bible reading plan that is more important than experiencing God in His Word. •  Again, slow down and take your time. •  Wherever you are at in His Word, read the passage over and over again, out loud. Emphasize each word or phrase. Let your ears hear what your lips are reading. Use dramatic effect in your voice if necessary. Become the characters. Feel what they feel. And think what they must have been thinking. •  Then ask the obvious questions or wait for questions to arise. They will if you don’t rush your time with Him. And when they do, watch what happens. As an example, today we will look at Luke 2:1-21 and see if we can experience God in this account of Jesus’ birth by waiting for our questions to arise. There Are Some Questions I Would Like to Ask Joseph Can you think of any questions you would ask Joseph if he were sitting with you at a small cafe telling you the story you have heard every Christmas? What would you ask him? How far along was Mary? Was she in much pain during the trip? And how many days did it take? Where did you sleep at night? Why did you take her with you in the first place? Couldn’t you have made the trip faster alone and returned quicker if she stayed with her parents in Nazareth? Did her birth pains come on suddenly, like a surprise, totally unexpected? Or did you have some warning her time was coming close? Where did she give birth? Was it in a barn or stable? Or maybe in a cave where animals sheltered at night? Was it in an open field? Where did His birth take place? How did you feel when the shepherds came to visit you that night? Did you immediately believe their story? Or did it take some time for it to sink in? After the birth of Jesus, why did you not return to Nazareth? Why did you stay in Bethlehem? And what did you do to support your new family in Bethlehem? And the list of questions could go on. The point is, none of these are specifically answered in Matthew’s or Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth. But they are questions we would ask of Joseph, nonetheless. And by asking these questions, the Scriptures become more alive to us as we begin to experience God, through His Word, like never before. The following message is a continuation of Step One on How to Be a Small-Time Pastor. The following message is a continuation of Step One on How to Be a Small-Time Pastor. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/123120-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/123120-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click...

Jan 1

39 min 13 sec

As we see the church beginning to bend to the whims of our culture we struggle to ask how we, as the church, have let this happen on our watch? How did things in our society go so wrong, so fast? If the church is the light of the world and the salt of the earth, we have gone AWOL and abandoned our posts. And the reason is simple, we have a crisis of Godly leadership in the church, in our marriages, and in our families. Where did all our leaders go? Part of this crisis is found in our assumptions about the church and the expectations of the Christian life. Consider the assumptions we, as men, constantly make regarding church and our responsibilities to lead our wives and children in the things of the Lord. We assume: • There will always be a church on every street corner so I can freely church-shop without having to make a commitment to any in particular. • There will always be paid staff to do ministry for me so I won't have to. • Praise and worship will always be what I enjoy. And if not, "I'm outta here, bub!" • There will always be a preacher/pastor/teacher, my personal hired holy man who will do the heavy lifting for me and my family so I can spend my time doing other things that I enjoy more. • There will always be good study materials available for free so I won’t have to spend my money on learning the Bible but can spend it on what I want. • Church will always be about me. • I can come when I want, late or not, no matter. • I can do what I want, no matter how it affects others. • I can live the type of life I want, sin and all, and if someone has a problem with that I can always leave and go to another church of my choosing. But these are all just assumptions. And church life is quite different on the front lines. So, What Happened to All Our Leaders?Great question. One of the most important questions you can ask yourself as you look in the mirror. How would you answer these questions: Do you know enough about the Bible to spiritually lead your wife and children if you had to? Are you personally growing in your faith in the Lord? Can your wife and children see your growth? And if not, why? Do you judge your success as a man by your spiritual growth and knowledge of Christ? Or are there other criteria you judge yourself by? Does your wife feel confident with you to ask you a question she has about the Scripture? Has she ever done that? Could you give her the correct answer? Or were you too busy with other stuff to be "diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, (how) rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)? And now, the good news. Would you like to know how to be proficient in “rightly dividing the word of truth?” Would you like to acquire the skills necessary to understand the Word of God on your own, without having to have someone else explain it to you? Would you like to have confidence in teaching and explaining His Word accurately and intimately? If so, this message (and the ones to follow), will give you the tools you need to grow into the man of God you were meant to be. The following message is Step One on How to Be a Small-Time Pastor. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/122820-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/122820-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click - https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/122820-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-god-482/ (482: How to Experience God) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/30-ways-to-improve-your-home-security-today/ (30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/praying-to-the-holy-spirit-481/ (481: Praying to the Holy Spirit) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-be-filled-by-the-holy-spirit-revisited-480/ (480: How to be Filled by the Holy Spirit, Revisited)...

Dec 2020

1 hr 5 min

One of the best ways to soar above the apostasy that seems to be raising its ugly head in the church today is to have a true, passionate, life-changing experience with the Lord. No, we’re not talking about memorizing more Scripture or doubling your time in prayer, although those things will help you experience God personally. And we are not talking about growing in your knowledge of the Lord if that means knowing Him as we know George Washington, all history and facts, impersonal doctrine and theology. What changes your heart is to experience God in a personal way, where He speaks to you and you recognize His voice. But how is that done? How do we experience God? And why is that even important? Let’s answer the last question, first, by listing some troubling facts discovered about evangelicals in a recent Barna survey. This alone should show us that knowledge has replaced experience in the church today. According to a recent Barna study of professing evangelicals: • 48% believe a person who is good enough or does enough good works can earn eternal salvation • 44% do not believe that history is the unfolding narrative of God’s reality • 44% claim the Bible is ambiguous in its teaching about abortion • 48% believe a person who is good enough or does enough good works can earn eternal salvation • 44% do not believe that history is the unfolding narrative of God’s reality • 44% claim the Bible is ambiguous in its teaching about abortion • 43% maintain that when Jesus was on earth, He sinned • 43% do not believe that there is a common, God-given purpose to humanity (i.e., to know, love, and serve • 42% seek moral guidance primarily from sources other than the Bible • 42% do not identify and confess their sins on a daily basis • 40% do not believe that human life is sacred • 40% accept lying as morally acceptable if it advances personal interests or protects one’s reputation • 39% identify the people they always respect as being only those who have the same beliefs as they possess • 36% prefer socialism to capitalism • 36% fail to seek and pursue God’s will for their life • 34% reject the idea of legitimate marriage as one man and one woman • 34% argue that abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship • 32% do not thank or worship God each day How is this even possible in a nation that has “In God We Trust” on its currency? Have You Ever Experienced God?Most of the church boasts of head knowledge and little experience with the living God. After all, it is the experience with God that made ordinary men heroes in the Old and New Testaments. Think about it. Adam and Eve – Genesis 3 Moses – Exodus 3 Israel – Exodus 19, 20 Elijah – 1 Kings 19 Isaiah – Isaiah Peter – Matthew 16 And so many more.  Remember, God can speak to anyone He wants, at any time, in any place, and for whatever reason. All we have to do is be ready to listen. And when He does speak and we experience Him like never before, ah, hang on, for the adventure has just begun. The following is a study on How to Experience God. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/121620-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/121620-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/121620-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/30-ways-to-improve-your-home-security-today/ (30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/praying-to-the-holy-spirit-481/ (481: Praying to the Holy Spirit) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-be-filled-by-the-holy-spirit-revisited-480/ (480: How to be Filled by the Holy Spirit, Revisited) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/should-you-get-the-covid-19-vaccine/ (Should You Get the COVID-19...

Dec 2020

37 min 51 sec

If you ask most Christians, they will tell you their prayer life is usually directed to the “Father” or “God” or “Lord” and in the “name of Jesus”. Yes, there are some who actually pray to Jesus but seldom, if ever, do you hear of someone praying to the Holy Spirit. And why is that? Often it is because we have been taught by well-meaning Sunday School teachers that “We are never to pray to the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit always gives glory to the Father and the Son, and never to Himself.” Which is basically true but misses the point altogether. So the question remains, is praying to the Holy Spirit wrong? In order to understand this key question, we have to look once again at the definition of the trinity. These are the facts from Scripture, even though they are difficult to understand. One, God eternally exists as three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Two, each of them is fully God. Three, there is one God. This means Jesus and the Father are the same, yet separate. Therefore, if you have seen Jesus, then you have seen the Father (John 14:9). In fact, Jesus said “the Father who (what) dwells in Me (ménō – to remain, abide, live, to be united with someone in heart, mind, and will) does the work (referring to the works that Jesus does that He offers as proof that He and His Father are one and that He exists “in” His Father and His Father exists “in” Him.) But what does that say about the Holy Spirit? Can I Pray to the Holy Spirit?As you will discover in this message, the relationship Jesus has with His Father is the same relationship the Holy Spirit has with us. Let that sink in. Jesus is “in” His Father and His Father is “in” Jesus (John 14:10). And we will find that the Holy Spirit resides “in” us as we are “in Christ.” The implications are staggering. Consider the following few truths: “And I will pray (ask, request) the Father, and He will give you another (állos – another of the same kind, not another as in different) Helper (paraklētos – just like Jesus), that He may abide (menō) with you (how long) forever— (described as) the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot (no, not, never, under any circumstance) receive, (why) because it (the world) neither sees Him (John 3:8) nor knows (ginōskō) Him; but you know (ginōskō) Him, (how) for He (what) dwells (menō) with you and will be (what) in you” – John 14:16-17. Therefore, since Jesus was soon to be crucified, resurrected, and ascended into heaven, He was able to encourage His disciples by saying: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (in the Person of the Holy Spirit)” – John 14:18. And it gets even better. But what does this have to do with our praying to the Holy Spirit and not just to God the Father or Jesus His Son? Ah, much. To discover more, you will have to keep listening. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/120320-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/120320-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/120320-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-be-filled-by-the-holy-spirit-revisited-480/ (480: How to be Filled by the Holy Spirit, Revisited) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/should-you-get-the-covid-19-vaccine/ (Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/stages-of-commitment-to-christ-479/ (479: Stages of Commitment to Christ) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/faith-must-be-tested/ (Faith Must be Tested) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/will-the-us-go-the-way-of-venezuela/ (Will The US Go The Way Of Venezuela?)

Dec 2020

55 min 46 sec

If you look around, you can see darkness coming upon our land. There is no denying it. Just watch the news. It’s depressing. And the church is not immune to what happens in the culture. In fact, the church often follows the culture to its own demise, which is what we are seeing today. We are in the early stages of the great apostasy Jesus warned us about in Matthew 24. But we also have a mighty weapon to confront the darkness. And that weapon is the Holy Spirit. So the most important question we can ask ourselves is this: How can I be filled with the Hoy Spirit? How can I have more of Him in me? But when it comes to the Holy Spirit, many of us are confused and conflicted as to what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Is it a Charismatic thing or is it for everyone? Is it something that comes naturally, or do we have to ask for this filling? And if we have to ask, are there any conditions we must meet first? Again, if there are conditions, what are they? Ah, so many questions and so much confusion. D.L. Moody once spoke about the need to be filled by the Spirit (and he was a pretty non-Charismatic guy. Look at what he said: “I believe firmly, that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and self-seeking, and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Ghost will come and fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit, and ambition and self-seeking, and pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God; and I believe many a man is praying to God to fill him when he is full already with something else. Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray Him to empty us.” I couldn’t agree with him more. But how is someone filled by the Holy Spirit? How to be Filled with the Holy SpiritThe key to living a life of assurance and confidence in Him is learning how to remain filled with the Holy Spirit. And before you can remain filled, you have to be filled in the first place. This is what this message talks about. We talk about some steps you can take to prepare yourself for His filling. They are as follows: First, you must desire to live a life that will please the Lord. Second, be willing to surrender your life totally and irrevocably to our Lord Jesus Christ. Third, confess every known sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and experience the cleansing and forgiveness that God promises in 1 John 1:9. Fourth, ask Him, by faith, to fill you with the Holy Spirit. You can pray something like this: Dear Father, I need You. I hunger and thirst for a more vital relationship with You. I admit that I have been in control of my life. And, as a result, I have sinned against You. Thank You for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now confess and turn from my sins and surrender the control of my life to the Lord Jesus. By faith, I invite You to fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled. You promised to fill me if I ask according to Your will. I pray this in the authority of the name of Jesus Christ. To demonstrate my faith, I now thank You for filling me with Your Holy Spirit and for taking control of my life. Amen. But that’s not the end of it. There is so much more about all this that we cannot do it justice in this simple summary. To find out more, you will need to keep listening. The following is a study on How to Be Filled by the Holy Spirit. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/120220-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/120220-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/120220-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/should-you-get-the-covid-19-vaccine/ (Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/stages-of-commitment-to-christ-479/ (479: Stages

Dec 2020

44 min 29 sec

Each of us, when presented with the call of Christ, goes through certain stages of our commitment to Him. This happened with all the disciples, even Peter.  We start optimistic and full of hope and then, if we’re not careful, we end up sad, apathetic, and discouraged because things didn’t turn out the way we envisioned in the beginning. Or, we begin our relationship with Christ at a full sprint, with reckless abandon, only to lose our fervency over time as we see others do the same. But this is not how our life with Him was designed from the beginning. If you remember, we were bought with a price and no longer belong to ourselves. We are now His and His alone. Just think, in John 2:11 the disciples believed in Him but had yet to totally commit their lives to Him. Their belief and commitment to Jesus at this time was much like our commitment to Him today. We maintain our independence and call our own shots yet claim total devotion to the Lord. But that is not what He was looking for then. Nor is it what He is looking for now. In this study, we’ll look at how long it took Peter to move from part-time follower to forsaking all for the Lord. It is a gradual process of letting go of what you know and embracing the unknown by faith. And as it was with Peter then, so it is with many of us today. What Are Our Stages of Commitment to Christ?Consider the following in the life of Peter: •  Peter is introduced to Jesus in John 1:41-42. •  Peter was obviously following Jesus as he witnessed the miracle in Cana in John 2:1-11. •  And Peter “believed in Him” (John 2:11) but had not yet fully committed himself to the Lord. •  Peter, still following Jesus part-time, went with Jesus to Jerusalem and witnessed His first cleansing of the Temple in John 2:13-22. •  Jesus calls Peter (and the other three) to follow Him the first time (but they later returned to their old life) – Matthew 4:13 -22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 4:31a. •  Jesus then heals in the Synagogue in Capernaum – Mark 1:22-28, Luke 4:13b-37. •  Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law in Matthew 8:14-17, Mark 1:29-34, Luke 4:38-41. •  Jesus continues to minister throughout Galilee – Matthew 4:23-24, Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44. And then something changed in the call of Christ and Peter’s response when Peter “forsook all” to follow Jesus. •  Jesus later calls Peter (and the other three) to follow Him the second time (and they responded and forsook all to follow Him) – Luke 5:1-11. Where are you in the continuum of God’s call on your life? Do you know what life He is calling you to? Do you know what is standing between where you are now in your spiritual life and where He wants you to be? Are there some things you are still holding on to and have refused to give to Him? If so, you are in good company. So don’t get depressed and quit. Keep moving forward. Keep striving to be more like Him. After all, each of us is on our own journey to completeness with Christ (Col. 2:10), and no two people’s journey is the same. Be faithful. Trust completely. And God will complete what He has begun in you. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/110320-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/110320-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/110320-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/faith-must-be-tested/ (Faith Must be Tested) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/will-the-us-go-the-way-of-venezuela/ (Will The US Go The Way Of Venezuela?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/more-than-stumbling-forward-478/ (478: More Than Stumbling Forward) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/where-are-we-in-prophetic-history-477/ (477: Where Are We In Prophetic History?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-condition-of-the-church-476/ (476:...

Nov 2020

1 hr 2 min

In the Christian life, surrounded by our brothers and sisters who, like us, have failed in their walk with Christ, we often define sanctification as simply stumbling forward. We hear sermons, Sunday after Sunday, that tell us to grow closer to Him and bear His fruit (John 15:1-8), but they never seem to tell us how. And we are left feeling like we have to put together a dresser from Ikea without any instructions. But the Christian life, once we know the “how” to do what we must do, is so much more than stumbling forward. And the key is knowing how to do the things we know we need to do. Or how to obey the commands of Christ that we struggle with. Consider these “how to do them” questions: •  How to live by faith (Gal. 2:20). •  How to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). •  How to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh (Gal. 5:16). •  How to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). •  How to lay my life down as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2). •  How to have victory over sin (1 John 5:4). •  How to pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17). •  How to rejoice always in every situation (Phil. 4:4). •  How to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). •  How to experience the peace of God (Phil. 4:7). •  How to hear God’s voice (2 Peter 1:18). •  How to have God’s Word become alive to me (Heb. 4:12). There are so many how questions in the Christian life. And there is so little teaching on how to answer them. But It’s More Than Simply Stumbling ForwardThe best way for our faith to grow so we will no longer stumble forward in our spiritual life is to believe the promises of God. All of them. Every last one. And in order to have that kind of faith to trust God at His Word, there are some things we must learn. And they are difficult. For example, we must learn to trust the promises of God. We must learn to lean and rely on Him and not on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6). We must learn to let Him work out all the details of our life, no matter what they are. We must learn to say “yes” and not “why?”, “how?”, “what for?”, “how long?”, or “that doesn’t seem fair.” In essence, by faith we must learn to see by believing. And not seeing in order to believe. Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible (not able) to please (to be well-pleasing, to take pleasure in) Him, (why) for he who comes to God (to approach, to come near) must (is necessary) believe (faith, trust, be firmly persuaded) that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (seek Him out, to search diligently). This means, without having faith you cannot, under any circumstances, be pleasing to God. Why? Because those who come near to God, those who approach Him must (there is no other way) be firmly convinced that He exists and that He will prove Himself to be a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out. Join us as we take just one simple promise from God, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5) and use it to grow our faith in Him by believing and living victoriously in that belief. After all, it’s so much better than stumbling forward and then trying to convince ourselves this is the abundant life we were promised (John 10:10). To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101520-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101520-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101520-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/where-are-we-in-prophetic-history-477/ (477: Where Are We In Prophetic History?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-condition-of-the-church-476/ (476: The Condition of the Church)...

Oct 2020

1 hr 6 min

When we look at the times in which we live, no question seems more important than this: Where are we in prophetic history? And what is going to happen next? What is next on the prophetic calendar? Where are we in regards to Matthew 24 or Daniel 9 or the book of Revelation? Where are we, right now, in the continuum of prophetic history? And the answer to that question will either fill you with peace or dread, depending on your relationship with the Lord. If you long for His return, then the signs of His coming provide great encouragement. But if you are trying to live your best life now, then His return and judgment should keep you up at night. Scripture gives us a few signs, like a timeline, for the end. And when we see these signs coming in rapid successions, like birth pains, we know the time of His return is near. Let’s look at just a few of these signs.  The Regathering of the Jewish People to their Land  Increasing Apostasy in the Church  The Coming Middle East Peace  Reuniting of the Roman Empire (East / West)  The Proliferation of Globalism Remember what our Lord said about these signs: Matthew 24:4-8 – “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Did you catch that? The “beginning of sorrows (or travail from childbirth).” Question: Where Are We In Prophetic History?But what about our country? Where does the United States fit in the end time? Where are we, as a nation, in prophetic history? The simple answer is, we do not figure into the end time scenario. And there are many speculations why that may be. We may be included in the list of Gentile nations that reject God in the end times (Revelation 10:11, 11:18, 12:5, 14:8, 15:4, 16:19, 17:15, 18:3, 23, 19:15). Or even worse, we may be included in the nations that rage against God in Psalm 2. Or, are we a Godly nation that follows after Him? Is the church pure enough to forestall His wrath? Can we expect another great revival before the end? And, if so, what would the rapture do to our nation? Or are we, as a nation, long overdue for judgment? As you can see, these are vital questions that need to be answered as we see the day of His return approaching (Hebrews 10:5). So let’s take a look at this together to determine exactly where we are in prophetic history and what we can expect next. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101420-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101420-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101420-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-condition-of-the-church-476/ (476: The Condition of the Church) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-understand-the-why-questions-475/ (475: How to Understand the Why Questions) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/time-to-call-a-sacred-assembly-474/ (474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/self-examination-and-salvation-473/ (473: Self-Examination and Salvation) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/have-you-experienced-regeneration-or-conversion-472/ (472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?)

Oct 2020

58 min 12 sec

What is the condition of the church today? Is the bride of Christ pure like our Lord commanded? Or have we compromised and sold our birthright for a bowl of stew? The church, made up of true believers, is to be the assembly of those who are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14) and salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13). But sadly, as we see the church compromise and the world’s acceptance and approval of us loom large in the hearts of many, our influence wanes to the point of being a non-factor in our culture. How did that happen? We allowed our focus to move from the Lord to ourselves as we judge truth by how it affects each of us. This is the current condition of the church. And it really should not be any surprise to us. After all, Jesus said it would be this way for those who live, like we do, in the Laodicean church age. Denial of God – Luke 17:26; 2 Timothy 3:4-5 Denial of Christ – 1 John 2:18; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:6 Denial of Christ’s Return – 2 Peter 3:3-4 Denial of the Faith – 1 Timothy 4:1-2; Jude 3 Denial of Sound Doctrine – 2 Timothy 4:3-4 Denial of the Separated Life – 2 Timothy 3:1-7 Denial of Christian Liberty – 1 Timothy 4:3-4 Denial of Morals – 2 Timothy 3:1-8,13; Jude 18 Denial of Authority – 2 Timothy 3:4 What else does the Scripture teach about the condition of the church in the end times? What is the Condition of the Church Today?There are many Scriptures that show us the condition of the church at the end. And the major description of the church is apostasy. They have left their first love (Rev. 2:4). Let me just share a few with you. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! And there are many more. This should shed some light on the condition of the church today. If you want to know more, including how to soar in times of great compromise, keep listening. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101320-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101320-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/101320-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-understand-the-why-questions-475/ (475: How to Understand the Why Questions) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/time-to-call-a-sacred-assembly-474/ (474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/self-examination-and-salvation-473/ (473: Self-Examination and Salvation) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/have-you-experienced-regeneration-or-conversion-472/ (472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-the-peace-of-god-471/ (471: How to Experience the Peace of God)

Oct 2020

51 min 40 sec

When we read Scripture, we usually focus on the obvious “who, what, where, and what does it say and what does it mean” questions. But what is often overlooked are the vital “why” questions. And learning how to ask the “why” questions takes some time. It is not something that comes naturally. You almost have to train your brain to look beyond the obvious and force yourself to try to understand the “why” questions that come with every passage of Scripture. Not, “why did God choose to put this statement in His Scripture?” Or, “why is the Song of Solomon included in the Bible?” But “why did Paul write this letter to the church at Phillipi in the first place?” What was the problem that needed to be addressed or the ministry that needed to be encouraged? And how would I feel if I was a member of that church, listening to Paul’s letter being read publically? What impact would it have on me? For example, consider the following well-known teaching from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Now, let’s ask some questions about the text in order to better understand “why” Paul wrote this letter to them. What was the setting for this statement? Where was Paul when he wrote the letter? What worries or fears did the church at Philippi have? Next, begin to make it personal. What worries and fears do I have? What keeps me from experiencing His peace or robs me of experiencing His joy? And what worries and fears do I have that rob me of my joy? How to Understand the Why Questions of ScriptureAs you read Paul’s letter (or any passage of Scripture), imagine you were in the church in Philippi listening to this letter being read. How would you feel? What would the words mean to you? And what impact would they make on your life if you were living in the early days of the New Testament? Then go deeper. What impact are these words having in your life today? And why is that? As you look at each verse, ask yourself the “why” questions in order to understand (and feel, experience) the power of these words. And when you do, the Scriptures, every Scripture, will come alive to you in ways you may not now fully understand. 2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, And why is that? 2 Timothy 3:17 – that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Join us as we learn how to understand the importance of asking the “why” questions in Scripture. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100320-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100320-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/100320-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/time-to-call-a-sacred-assembly-474/ (474: Time to Call a Sacred Assembly) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/self-examination-and-salvation-473/ (473: Self-Examination and Salvation) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/have-you-experienced-regeneration-or-conversion-472/ (472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-the-peace-of-god-471/ (471: How to Experience the Peace of God) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/our-uncertain-times/ (Our Uncertain Times)

Oct 2020

1 hr 10 min

As in the time of Joel, the church today needs to come together and call for a sacred assembly, or a time of national repentance and spiritual renewal. A sacred assembly is a time where everyone who is called by the name of the Lord drops everything and comes together for a season of fasting, praying, repentance, and revival. But before there can be a national move of the Spirit in our land, there has to be a move of the Spirit in our individual lives. Hence, individual revival must come before a national revival. And this is why the call for individual brokenness and repentance is so important today. Consider what the Lord said to Joel in his time about personal repentance. Joel 2:12 – “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, (how) with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning (wailing, great lamenting).” And then, after the people are revived, the nation can be revived. Joel 2:15-16 – Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room. No one is exempt. This is a time of communion with the Lord. Let’s Call a Sacred AssemblyBut a personal commitment to Him must precede a national commitment. After all, a nation is made up of individuals. And as the individuals go, so does, by definition, the nation. Therefore, each of us must decide to recommit our lives to the One Who saved us before we can come together as a group and expect God to do anything. So what would be the focus of our commitment? For me, Oswald Chambers describes it perfectly in My Utmost for His Highest. This is from January 1st. My Utmost for His Highest. “My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed.” We shall all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus on the point He has asked us to yield to Him. Paul says—”My determination is to be my utmost for His Highest.” To get there is a question of will, not of debate nor of reasoning, but a surrender of will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender on that point. An over-weening consideration for ourselves is the thing that keeps us from that decision, though we put it that we are considering others. When we consider what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does not know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point; He does know. Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—”My Utmost for His Highest.” I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone. Join us as we recommit our lives to our Lord and prepare to call for a sacred assembly. Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/self-examination-and-salvation-473/ (473: Self-Examination and Salvation) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/have-you-experienced-regeneration-or-conversion-472/ (472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-the-peace-of-god-471/ (471: How to Experience the Peace of God) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/our-uncertain-times/ (Our Uncertain Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-theater-of-your-mind-470/ (470: The Theater of Your Mind)

Sep 2020

40 min 19 sec

Scriptures teach that our heart is deceitfully wicked, even to the point it will deceive itself (Jer. 17:9). And this often happens in regards to true salvation, or the difference between saving faith and non-saving faith. That is why we are commanded to examine ourselves, to take on the difficult task of self-examination, in order to see if we are truly saved. And often this self-examination is both painful and revealing. Consider the following: 2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?— unless indeed you are disqualified (reprobates, those not approved, those who fail the test). Ouch! That stings. How can we go about looking at our spiritual lives in the light of Scripture? What questions do we ask ourselves? How is the process of self-examination and salvation accomplished? And how can we know we are saved and not disqualified? Self-Examination and SalvationThe answer is found in 1 John. In fact, one of the key goals of 1 John is for believers, people like you and me, to be able to know we have eternal life. Look at what John says towards the end of his book: 1 John 5:13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, (why) that you may know (what) that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Using 1 John as our source, let’s look at each of the following questions in detail in order to determine our spiritual state. After all, what could be more important than that? 1. Do you enjoy having fellowship with Christ and His redeemed people? – 1 John 1:3 2. Would people say you walk in the light, or walk in the darkness? – 1 John 1:6-7 3. Do you admit and confess your sin? – 1 John 1:8-9 4. Are you obedient to God’s Word? – 1 John 2:3-5 5. Does your life indicate you love God rather than the world? – 1 John 2:15 6. Is your life characterized by “doing what is right”? – 1 John 2:29 7. Do you seek to maintain a pure life? – 1 John 3:3 8. Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? 1 John 3:5-6 9. Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? – 1 John 3:14 10. Do you “walk the walk,” or just “talk the talk”? – 1 John 3:18-19 11. Do you maintain a clear conscience? – 1 John 3:21 12. Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? – 1 John 5:4 Again, don’t take this time of self-examination lightly. These may be the most important questions you have ever asked yourself. And your answers may indicate if you exercise saving faith or non-saving faith. And the difference between the two is the difference between heaven and hell. So set apart some time for this self-examination and let’s look at His Word together. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092320-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092320-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092320-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/have-you-experienced-regeneration-or-conversion-472/ (472: Have You Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-the-peace-of-god-471/ (471: How to Experience the Peace of God) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/our-uncertain-times/ (Our Uncertain Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-theater-of-your-mind-470/ (470: The Theater of Your Mind) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/whats-the-point-of-the-lords-supper-469/ (469: What’s the Point of the Lord’s Supper?)

Sep 2020

1 hr 27 min

One of the most frightening truths is the fact that many who claim the name of Christ, who profess salvation, are actually lost and on their way to eternal separation from Him. How can that be? How can someone be so duped into believing they are saved when, in fact, just the opposite is true? The answer is found in our understanding of the difference between regeneration (being born again) and conversion (exercising faith and repentance). Conversion must follow regeneration for true salvation to take place. If the order is reversed, nothing eternal happens. Often, with good intentions, we focus on getting someone to convert to Christ by emphasizing their need to recite the “sinner’s prayer”— which focuses on faith (Romans 10:9-10) and repentance. But without regeneration (being born again), the converted individual (who prayed a prayer) is not saved. They have made a verbal assent (faith) to a code of ethics or a religion or a way of life, but without a supernatural change in nature. And it is only the change in nature (regeneration) that leads to salvation. Sadly, the converted, yet unregenerate sinner, becomes another unsaved, baptized, deceived, church member. This is exactly what Jesus spoke of in His Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13) and warned about at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Consider carefully His words: Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” So what are we to do? How Can You Tell if You’ve Experienced Regeneration or Conversion?The Scriptures repeatedly admonish us to examine ourselves to see if we are truly saved, if regeneration has taken place. 2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified (reprobates, those not approved, those who fail the test). And you can do this by asking yourself the following questions (from 1 John): •  Do you enjoy having fellowship with Christ and His redeemed people? – 1 John 1:3 •  Would people say you walk in the light, or walk in the darkness? – 1 John 1:6-7 •  Do you admit and confess your sin? – 1 John 1:8-9 •  Are you obedient to God’s Word? – 1 John 2:3-5 •  Does your life indicate you love God rather than the world? – 1 John 2:15 •  Is your life characterized by “doing what is right”? – 1 John 2:29 •  Do you seek to maintain a pure life? – 1 John 3:3 •  Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? 1 John 3:5-6 •  Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? – 1 John 3:14 •  Do you “walk the walk,” or just “talk the talk”? – 1 John 3:18-19 •  Do you maintain a clear conscience? – 1 John 3:21 •  Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? – 1 John 5:4 Don’t take this lightly. These may be the most important questions you ever ask yourself. And your answers may indicate if you are truly His. Do you want to know? If so, then keep listening. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092120-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092120-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/092120-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-experience-the-peace-of-god-471/ (471: How to Experience the Peace of God) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/our-uncertain-times/ (Our Uncertain Times)...

Sep 2020

1 hr

Peace seems like such an elusive commodity today. After all, it seems we are surrounded by ever-increasing chaos and turmoil with no end in sight. What are believers to do in a climate like we are facing today? We are to strive to experience the peace of God. Note, not peace with God, which is something quite different. But the peace of God. It is a peace that only comes from Him, the peace He also experienced while on earth, the indescribable, supernatural peace of God. Paul tells us exactly how to find this peace. Consider the following: Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and (the promise) the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. But what kind of peace is that? And how can I experience that promised peace? Is it something I muster up myself? Or is it something I internalize myself? Or does it, like faith, come from outside of myself? And, if so, how can I obtain this peace of God? How Can I Experience the Peace of God?Great questions. But the answer is simple. The peace of God is a gift from our Lord, left to each of us as a part of our inheritance in Him. It is the peace Jesus personally experienced while on earth, facing untold trials, tribulation, betrayals, and spiritual attacks. And He gives us, as a gift, this very peace as a promise— a promise so wonderful it cannot be described or even understood. Notice what our Lord said about how to experience the peace of God. John 14:27 – “Peace (what) I leave with you, My peace (what) I give to you; (contrast) not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus is going away and His disciples are troubled (John 13:33-36). But He promised to leave them a gift, something that helped Him persevere during His dark days. And that was His peace. Not peace like the world gives, which is primarily a lack of conflict and is temporary at best. But a peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). His peace. The peace of God. Do you realize the peace of God is also offered to you? It is part of your birthright as a child of God and a joint-heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17). All we have to do is receive this gift to experience the peace of God. Are you ready? Then keep listening. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/090120-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/090120-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/090120-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/our-uncertain-times/ (Our Uncertain Times) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-theater-of-your-mind-470/ (470: The Theater of Your Mind) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/whats-the-point-of-the-lords-supper-469/ (469: What’s the Point of the Lord’s Supper?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/following-jesus-in-real-time-468/ (468: Following Jesus in Real-Time) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/global-upheaval/ (Global Upheaval)

Sep 2020

59 min 2 sec

When you read anything, including Scripture, there’s something that happens that is called the theater of your mind. It is in the theater of your mind that you take descriptive text and add details to make the story more personal, more alive, more kinetic. For example, consider this simple description: “It was raining. As he walked to the car, he pulled his coat tight around himself and quickened his steps.” Now, what scene are you seeing in your mind? And what details have you added to make this descriptive statement more descriptive? How hard was it raining? Was this a rural setting or a side street in New York City? Or was the man on his front porch walking across his lawn to his car, or was he coming out of a restaurant or an office building in downtown Chicago? Did this take place in winter, maybe mid-January? Or was it in early Spring, during the first week of May? What was the color of his coat? How old was the man? Was he dressed in a tuxedo like he was heading to a wedding? Or was he tired, in worn-out overalls, on his way home after spending twelve hours in a wheat field on a John Deere Harvester? How do you see this in the theater of your mind? There is no right or wrong answer. You are the one who adds these secondary elements to what you read and paints black and white text with a pallet of colors you make up in your own mind. We all do this. Everyone does this when we read descriptive text. How Does the Theater of My Mind Help Me Understand Scripture?And the same thing happens when we read, for example, the gospels. We tend to focus on the red print, the words of Jesus, to systematically glean doctrine and truth. But we skim over the black print, the descriptions of people and places where Jesus spoke and performed miracles, creating stick figures or silhouettes of the characters in Scripture. And by using the gift of having a theater in your mind, it can greatly increase your experience with Scripture. You will, in effect, see everything differently. Now rest assured, we are not adding to His Word nor or we taking anything away. We are simply imagining some details to make the story more alive. And we are wondering what we would have seen, or heard, or felt if we were actually watching a biblical scene play out before us. And once you master this tool, Scripture will begin to take on an entirely new experience for you. So join us as we learn how to experience the Word of God using the Theater of Our Minds. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/083120-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/083120-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/083120-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/whats-the-point-of-the-lords-supper-469/ (469: What’s the Point of the Lord’s Supper?) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/following-jesus-in-real-time-468/ (468: Following Jesus in Real-Time) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/global-upheaval/ (Global Upheaval) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/we-are-living-in-bonhoeffers-germany-467/ (467: We Are Living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-seek-gods-face-466/ (466: How to Seek God’s Face) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/americas-civil-wars-then-and-now/ (America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now)

Aug 2020

52 min 57 sec

In the history of the church, there seems to always be confusion about the Lord’s Supper. What does it mean? Why do we participate? What happens when I do? Let’s be honest, many find the Lord’s Supper somewhat confusing. I often hear people say, “I don’t understand what the Lord’s Supper means.” And, in our narcissistic church culture, where it’s all about us, this is usually followed by “So what’s the point of the Lord’s Supper anyway?” We know it’s something important, really important, but we’re not sure why. And we know it’s something we’re supposed to do because Jesus commanded us to, but again, we’re not sure why. Which presents even more questions. What does it mean? Is it really all that important? Why should I participate? Are there any reasons why I should not participate? What happens when I do participate? And why all the controversy and confusion? Sometimes the Lord’s Supper is called communion. But communion with who? And how is that communion experienced by taking a sip of juice and eating an unleavened doughball? In other words, there must be more to this than what many believers have experienced. And, if so, how can I understand what it all means? So, What’s the Big Deal About the Lord’s Supper?In addition to trying to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “This is My body” (Matt. 26:26), we also have confusion about His often misunderstood statement in John 6:51-56. Here, Jesus talks about those who “eat His flesh” and “drink His blood”, as strange as that sounds. And it was this statement alone that gave first-century critics of Christianity cause to call them cannibals. But that’s not what Jesus was talking about. Consider this: John 6:51-56 – “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” So what does all this mean? And why is it important? Can we get some answers to all the confusing questions? Absolutely. Simply keep listening and join us as we discover the wonder of the Lord’s Supper and the incredible benefits that come from experiencing true communion with Him as we participate together. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081420-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081420-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081420-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/following-jesus-in-real-time-468/ (468: Following Jesus in Real-Time) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/global-upheaval/ (Global Upheaval) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/we-are-living-in-bonhoeffers-germany-467/ (467: We Are Living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-seek-gods-face-466/ (466: How to Seek God’s Face) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/americas-civil-wars-then-and-now/ (America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/50-things-you-need-to-get-before-its-too-late/ (50 Things You Need to Get Before It’s Too Late)

Aug 2020

52 min 32 sec

Let’s cut to the chase. We are living in troubling times. Right now in California, for example, pastors are being threatened with fines and imprisonment for holding church services indoors. Yet, riots and demonstrations are not restricted but encouraged. How is that possible in our nation? And many Christians, who should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder for the truth, are scattered like autumn leaves afraid of their own shadows. Is this what following Jesus is all about? And what does following Jesus in real-time mean today? Is it an emotional decision we make one time that lets Jesus season our life for the better? Or is it, like Bonhoeffer said, a “call to come and die”? Or maybe something in-between these two extremes? Whatever it means, those following Jesus in the Scriptures seemed to have different lives than we do today. And why is that? What Does Following Jesus in Real-Time Look Like?In this message, we will look at the accounts in Matthew where Jesus invited those He encountered to “follow Him” and see what that actually meant. And I think you’ll find it is more than a simple mental assent to a moral code or set of personal principles. No, following Jesus is a life-altering event that literally changes everything— about everything. Consider the following: Matthew 4:18-20 – And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Does this sound like what happens when we decide to follow Jesus? But there’s more… Matthew 4:21-22 – Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. And there are dozens of more examples that show us clearly what following Jesus in real-time meant back then, and also means today. So join with us as we discover more about this life with Christ and the joy that comes from following Him. Note: There are no slides for this message. Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/global-upheaval/ (Global Upheaval) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/we-are-living-in-bonhoeffers-germany-467/ (467: We Are Living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-seek-gods-face-466/ (466: How to Seek God’s Face) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/americas-civil-wars-then-and-now/ (America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/50-things-you-need-to-get-before-its-too-late/ (50 Things You Need to Get Before It’s Too Late)

Aug 2020

1 hr 6 min

In the 1930s, if you were a Jew in Germany, you would be faced with unforeseen challenges, that would only get worse. And if you were a Christian during the same period, you would have to make the same choices many of those brave men made, to follow Christ or the Reich. This choice is now thrust upon each of us who are called by the name of Christ. Will we follow His commands or cower to the oppressive power of the State? And just like Bonhoeffer and the members of the Confessing Church, we must stand or fall together. So yes, we are living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany. Recently, the Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, denied an appeal for a Nevada church to allow additional worshipers to join in-person services based on building capacity during the virus. Nevada has placed a 50-person cap on all places of worship, no matter the capacity of the building. But that cap doesn’t apply to casinos, movie theaters, and restaurants. Does something seem amiss? And in California, churches must meet outdoors and limit the number of participants. Plus, there are no potlucks or fellowship dinners allowed. No singing, even in small, home groups. And all of this is happening while riots and demonstrations are permitted and encouraged by the same government officials, yet ordinary citizens must comply with Covid19 restrictions. Why? Because our governmental officials state the demonstrations are “too important” to regulate. So how are we to respond to this hypocrisy? How Are We Living in Bonhoeffer’s Germany?Grace Community Church published a position paper on why they will not adhere to the Governor of California’s decrees to limit worship and curtail freedom of religion. It is a paper that communicates the rationale behind civil disobedience from a Scriptural perspective. We, at the https://thechurchwithoutwalls.com/ (Church Without Walls), have modified and adopted this statement as our official position. In this message, we will talk about the ramifications of standing for Him alone, even if you have to do it alone. Join us as we stand in faith together. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081020-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081020-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081020-Slides.pdf (HERE) To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081020-Statement-on-Government-Restrictions-on-His-Church.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081020-Statement-on-Government-Restrictions-on-His-Church.pdf (Statement on Government Restrictions on His Church), click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/081020-Statement-on-Government-Restrictions-on-His-Church.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/how-to-seek-gods-face-466/ (466: How to Seek God’s Face) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/americas-civil-wars-then-and-now/ (America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/50-things-you-need-to-get-before-its-too-late/ (50 Things You Need to Get Before It’s Too Late) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/sending-me-you-form-him-day-02/ (Day Two: Sending Me to You in the Form of Him) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-forgotten-discipline-of-fasting-465/ (465: The Forgotten Discipline of Fasting)

Aug 2020

1 hr 9 min

One of the four requirements found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a cryptic command to “seek” God’s face. Note, not His hand, nor His blessings or grace, but simply to seek God’s face. What does that mean? And how is that done? Think, how do we begin the process of seeking God’s face? What does the Scripture say about that? Is it something I should be doing? Are there any requirements or things we first must do to be ushered into the presence of God? What is it like to “behold the face of God”? Is that even possible? If I do seek God’s face, won’t I die? And if I actually do experience the presence of God, how will that experience change my life? It’s maybe not as simple as we were led to believe. So, How Do I Seek God’s Face?In Psalm 24, we find the requirements God demands to have unhindered intimacy with Him, or to seek His face. These are not suggestions, but are aspects of our sanctification that allow us to “be holy, for I am Holy” by experience (1 Peter 1:16), and not just theologically or positionally in Christ. Note the question and answer in Psalm 24:3-4: Question: Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? Answer: He who has clean hands (outward holiness) and a pure heart (inward holiness), who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. Also, note the distinction between outward and inward holiness. It’s the same distinction we find in the Sermon on the Mount. For example, let’s look at Matthew 5:21-22: Outward: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'” Inward:  “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” And there is so much more we can learn about God’s requirements or standards that must be met to have the kind of intimacy with Him described as “seeking His face” and finding it. So join with us today as we strive to do just that, to “seek His face” together. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/080720-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/080720-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/080720-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/americas-civil-wars-then-and-now/ (America’s Civil Wars – Then and Now) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/50-things-you-need-to-get-before-its-too-late/ (50 Things You Need to Get Before It’s Too Late) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/sending-me-you-form-him-day-02/ (Day Two: Sending Me to You in the Form of Him) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-forgotten-discipline-of-fasting-465/ (465: The Forgotten Discipline of Fasting) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-curtain-is-closing-for-america/ (The Curtain is Closing for America)

Aug 2020

59 min 1 sec

Often the church chooses to let go and forget the disciplines that served her so well in the past. We feel they have served their purpose and then callously throw them aside for something more trendy, modern, and popular. And this is especially true of the forgotten discipline of fasting. I mean, who really wants to fast? And isn’t fasting some Medevial Christian ritual that we stopped doing centuries ago? Plus, if I fast, won’t it mark me as some sort of fanatic or Christian extremist? If I fast, won’t I really be just starving myself? That can’t be healthy. And I’m not sure there are any real-time benefits for fasting (other than losing weight). Why? Because I don’t know anyone who fasts. In fact, I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who fasts. So what’s the big deal? Remembering the Forgotten Discipline of FastingJesus expected His disciples to pray. He said, in the Sermon on the Mount, “when” you pray, and not “if”. Matthew 6:5 – “And when (not, if) you pray…” Matthew 6:6 – “But you, when (not, if) you pray…” Matthew 6:7 – “And when (not, if) you pray…” But look at what the Lord says about fasting. He assumes it is something His disciples would do, like praying, and not something that was optional. Matthew 6:16 – Moreover, when (not, if) you fast…” Matthew 6:17 – “But you, when (not, if) you fast…” And, like with His teaching on prayer, Jesus speaks about the motives behind fasting and not if His disciples should practice it. That was a given. It was assumed. There is much to learn about this all-important forgotten Christian discipline called fasting. Join us today as we dig deeper into the amazing world of fasting. To https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072120-Slides.pdf (download) the https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072120-Slides.pdf (slides) to this message, click – https://leavinglaodicea.com/pdf/072120-Slides.pdf (HERE) Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-curtain-is-closing-for-america/ (The Curtain is Closing for America) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/learning-hear-his-voice/ (Day One: Learning to Hear His Voice) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-disciples-of-jesus-and-john-464/ (464: The Disciples of Jesus and John) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-cloud-and-sea-and-the-holy-spirit/ (The Cloud and Sea and the Holy Spirit) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/finding-jesus-in-the-old-testament/ (Finding Jesus in the Old Testament)

Jul 2020

57 min 16 sec

As we look deeper into the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, the question of their respective disciples stands right before us. Why did John still have disciples after he proclaimed Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:34)? And why is there a perceived tension between the disciples of Jesus and the disciples of John? In fact, you can almost feel the tension when John’s disciples confront Jesus and chastise Him for not doing what they, and the Pharisees, were doing regarding fasting. Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” (Matthew 9:14) Or, to put it another way, “Why are we doing things right, and You are not teaching Your disciples to follow us?” The Tension Between the Disciples of Jesus and JohnBut there is more here than meets the eye. When John proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God, only two of John’s disciples followed Jesus. The rest, it appears, remained loyal to John and continued with him in the ministry of baptism. How is that even possible? Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. (John 1:35-37) We will also see the blessings that come from following Jesus into the great faith adventure, like these two did, rather than remaining in our comfort zone with John. There is much to learn about the difference between the good, and the best, for each of us. So join us today as we seek to follow Jesus more. Our Latest Posts:https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-cloud-and-sea-and-the-holy-spirit/ (The Cloud and Sea and the Holy Spirit) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/finding-jesus-in-the-old-testament/ (Finding Jesus in the Old Testament) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-holy-spirit-descending-and-remaining/ (The Holy Spirit, Descending and Remaining) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-power-of-our-testimony/ (The Power of Our Testimony) https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/the-testimony-of-john-the-baptist/ (The Testimony of John the Baptist)

Jul 2020

1 hr 25 min