Shallowford Free Will Baptist
Saturday, April 21, 2018
For the Glory of Christ Alone
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                                                                                                                                                                                    April 17, 2018

 

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

~Mark 13:31

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                Our verse for this week’s entry comes from the larger section of Scripture known as the Olivet Discourse. Jesus takes His disciples up on the Mount of Olives and begins to teach them about the end of time. They, like us, want to know when the Lord will return. “What will the signs be? How long do we have to wait?” But the answers He gives to them are not in response to the question that they have. Jesus tells them what they ought to be prepared for. It is persistence that Jesus calls them and us to regarding the end of time. “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (v. 37). Be ready. Be prepared. Be expectant. But more than anything else, be in the Word!

                The details of Jesus’ discourse are not encouraging. Let’s take a moment to examine a few things He talks about. In the end of time there will be wars, earthquakes, and famines (vv. 7-8). Persecution will increase greatly against God’s people (vv. 9-11). The most basic and loving of all human relationships will be dissolved because of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and fathers will betray one another even to death (vv. 12-13). So great will be the tribulation of these days that Jesus actually says, “Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved” (v. 20a). It is going to be a bad time, a time that tests the mettle of all men and women who claim to be Christian. It will be an age that will truly separate the sheep from the goats. Many will not endure. Many more will not survive. But He has told us beforehand that we might be more inclined to be watchful.

                But piercing all of that darkness is a single, perfect ray of light that we can hold to. It is our hope in the darkest of times. It is our hope in the hopelessness we often experience in life. Our light and hope is found within the Word of God. Notice what Jesus says: “Heaven and earth will pass away.” The world as we know it will cease to exist. This world was cursed on behalf of men in Genesis 3:17. As beautiful as creation still is, it is fallen. All of creation must be changed; it must be made new. Peter tells us that the elements will melt away in a fervent heat and with a great noise (2 Peter 3:10-12). The Psalmist tells us that the earth and the heavens will grow old and be changed (Psalm 102:26). John reveals to us that there will be a new heavens and a new earth after the passing of the old (Revelation 21:1; see also Isaiah 65:17 & 2 Peter 3:13). But all of the Scriptures agree that what is now must be done away with.

                The point is that creation as we know it is finite; that is, it has an end. We do ourselves no justice by trusting in things that change and that cannot endure. Idolaters would take wood and create gods for themselves…and in the next minute throw the same wood into the fire to warm their homes. Creation is insufficient as a god because it cannot endure. But there is an even greater application to this than simply not trusting in creation. Because creation will end, everything that happens under creation will also end. There cannot be a continuation of the things of earth when the earth is no more. What Jesus is telling us in this passage is that everything we see, everything we’re facing, every single trial is temporary! It will end! There is nothing we have, are, or ever will face that is worth giving up eternity for. I’m not saying that to demean your struggles. I KNOW they are real. And I know they REALLY hurt. But we cannot give up our eternal reward simply because life gets tough. Those things are temporary. They WILL end.

                “Heaven and earth will pass away,” Jesus says, “but My words will by no means pass away.” No matter what, no matter how bad, no matter how great, no matter if it costs you your life – my words will BY NO MEANS pass away. His words are eternal in their impact. They have provided to us a pathway to being in a relationship with God. They’ve shown us what God desires from us, and to what lengths He has gone to bring us and redeem us unto Himself. When all else is done, we will dwell eternally in a world again fashioned by His words. The Word will never pass away. It pre-existed all of creation, endured all of creation’s woes, and it will persist throughout the rest of eternity. Jesus is telling us all that we have every right and responsibility to turn to His Word in those times of calamity and trial, for His Word endures through all generations and irrespective of the tribulations of the day. We can trust in that Word, holding to it as the only light in this overwhelming darkness. It is a boon to our souls that will never be overturned by the winds and waves of the storms of life.

                So that begs the question for all of us then. How important is the Word of Christ in our daily lives? I’ll just be honest with you. I spend a good bit of time each week reading and studying God’s Word…and it’s still not enough. I was praying through my prayer list today, and a thought came to me. “How much does this person actually read their Bible?” I’ve known this person a long time and their personal profession is for Christianity, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them with a Bible in their hands. Not even at church. It is a conundrum for me that so many profess faith in Jesus, but they know little to nothing about what He actually said and did. We can study the Bible all of our lives and never really scratch the surface of what it has to teach us about life, about God, and about His plan for us. So how much more spiritually anemic are we when we never open His Word? Folks, please open your bibles. Read and consider what the Lord has in store for you. Study to show yourselves approved while the days are relatively easy and good. Now is the time when we prepare the fields of our hearts for whatever future the Lord has in store for us. Because…

                When the days turn dark, it will be too late to cram. There will come a day when the Word of God will be illegal around the world. There will be a day when possession of a Bible will likely be a capital offence, punishable by death. Certain areas around the world are already like that now! Will we be ready to hold to what we know about God’s Word in THOSE days when we will not have access to a printed form of His Word? If the persistence of the words of Christ are the only thing that will bear us through the end of days, I would suggest that we ought to get busy learning it. Let us all hide God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him, that we might live for Him when things do get bad.

                Life changes quickly. Freedoms we take for granted today may be gone tomorrow. Creation is always in flux as she winds her way to her ultimate demise. All that we know and see right now will be undone…but God’s Word will endure forever. Everything will be changed, but God’s Word will never change. I want to do my best to teach you the Word with integrity and clarity, but it is not enough. You must place your hands upon that plowshare as well, never looking back. I will not be able to answer for you in that day, and you will not be able to answer for me either. Will we each be ready to endure through finite creation to receive the eternal gift of God? Now is the time to answer that question.

                May God bless you all with His grace, peace, and wisdom this week!

 


~Bro. Benjamin

 

SCRIPTURE CHALLENGE

Who cut Samson’s hair making him like other men?

 

Previous Postings                                                                  This Week's Sermons
April 17
April 10
                                                                                              April 15 (AM)
March 27                                                                                  "What's It Really About?"
March 20                                                                                             Mark 3:1-6
March 14                                                                                     
March 6                                                                                             April 15 (PM)
February 27                                                                                 "The Way Is Open!"
February 15                                                                                    Ephesians 3:1-7
February 6                                                                         
January 30                                                                                   
January 23                                                                                       April 18 (WED)
January 16                                                                                          Acts 9:23-30
January 9                                                                                        
December 19                                                                                    
December 12                                                                               
                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                  
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If you need a copy of any sermon from the past, email Bro. Benjamin with the date and title of the message listed below.
We will be happy to send you a CD of the sermon. Additionally sermons are available through the "Multimedia" Page


April 15 (AM) "What's It Really About?"--Mark 3:1-6
April 15 (PM) "The Way Is Open!"--Ephesians 3:1-7
April 8 (AM) "Is Salvation Fair?"--Matthew 20:1-16
April 8 (PM) "The Greatest in the Kingdom"--Matthew 20:20-28
April 1 (AM) "The Resurrection & the Life"--John 11:1-44
April 1 (PM) "Today in Paradise"--Luke 23:39-43
 
March 25 (AM) "It Is Finished"--John 19:29-30
March 18 (AM)
"Father, Forgive Them"--Luke 23:32-38
March 18 (PM) "I Thirst"--John 19:28-29
March 11 (AM)
"Forsaken for Us"--Mark 15:34
March 11 (PM)
"We Are the Church"--Ephesians 19-22
March 4 (AM) "If It Be Possible..."--Matthew 26:36-47
March 4 (PM) "The Peace of Christ"--Ephesians 2:14-18

February 25 (PM) "Remember Who You Were"--Ephesians 2:11-13
February 11 (AM) "Faith Is a Family Affair"--Deuteronomy 6:1-9
February 11 (PM) "There Are NO Inactive Church Members"--Ephesians 2:8-10
February 4 (AM) "The Glory of Christ"--Matthew 17:1-8
February 4 (PM) "Prepositional Christianity"--Ephesians 2:8-10
 
January 28 (AM) "Lord of All Creation"--Psalm 102:25-28
January 28 (PM) "Great Reasons to Be Thankful"--Ephesians 2:1-7
January 21 (AM) "I See the Lord"--Isaiah 6:1-6
January 21 (PM) "All in All"--Ephesians 1:22-23
January 14 (AM) "Let's Make 2018 All About Him"--Proverbs 3:5-6
January 14 (PM) "What Paul Prays For, Part 2"--Ephesians 1:15-21
January 7 (AM) "Time to Start Over"--2 Corinthians 5:14-21
January 7 (PM) "What Paul Prays For"--Ephesians 1:15-21
 
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2017!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2016!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2015!
Click here for a list of available sermons from 2014!

Click here for a list of available sermons from 2013!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2012!
Click
here for a list of available sermons from 2011! 

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About Our Pastor
 
 
Bro. Benjamin Miller began his ministry at Shallowford Free Will Baptist Church in August, 2011. Prior to pastoring our church, Bro. Benjamin pastored at New Home FWB in Colquitt, GA. He received his B.A. in History from Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College) in Nashville, TN. He then received his M.A. in Biblical Studies from Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ graduate school in Nashville. Bro. Benjamin enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and fellowshipping with the people of the church. He is a HUGE Braves fan! Our pastor has dedicated himself to becoming a student of the Word and to preaching the Word with passion, integrity, and real-life applications.
 
Bro. Benjamin married Jara in June 2002. She is a special educator at Mount Bethel Elementary School here in Marietta. She is a tremendous part of his life and quite active in our church. 
 
They had their first son, Thomas, in June 2008. Thomas was born prematurely, and is a testimony to God's amazing grace and provision. He is now a 3rd grader, and does well in school. His greatest ability is to reach out to those in his class in concern and in love.
 
Bro. Benjamin and Sis. Jara welcomed Nathanael in March, 2014. His name means "given by God" and he is absolute reminder of God's ability to bless individuals beyond measure.
 
We hope you'll take the opportunity to get to know our pastoral family!