What does the Bible have to say about THE END TIMES

Week three of our study in “What does the Bible have to say about…” on Wednesday night during Oasis found us looking at the End Times.  This is definately just a thumbnail sketch of what the Bible says about the End Times, but it’s a start.  Next week we’ll go into what the Bible says about Heaven and Hell.

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  1. Christ’s Return
    1. All Christians agree with the WHAT of Christ’s return
      1. Christ’s return will be the judgment of unbelievers and the final reward of believers, and that believers will live with Christ in a new heaven and a new earth for all eternity
    2. Verses Predicting a Sudden return of Christ
      1. Matthew 24:42-44 – “”Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
      2. Mark 13:32-33 – “”No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert[f]! You do not know when that time will come.”
      3. Luke 12:40, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, James 5:7-9, 1 Peter 4:7, Revelation 1:3; 22:7
    3. Signs of Christ’s return
      1. The Preaching of the Gospel to all Nations (Mark 13:10; Matthew 24:14)
      2. The Great Tribulation (Mark 13:7-8, 19-20; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24)
      3. False Prophets Working Signs and Wonders (Mark 13:22; Matthew 24:23-24)
      4. Signs in the Heavens (Mark 13:24-25; Matthew 24:29-30; Luke 21:25-27)
      5. The Coming of the Man of Sin and Rebellions (2 Thessalonians 2:1-10)
      6. The Salvation of Israel (Romans 11:12; 25-26)
  2. The Millennium and Rapture
    1. Much controversy occurs over this
    2. Revelation 20:4-5 – “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.”
    3. The word “rapture” is not in the Bible, but refers to when Christ calls Christians into heave
    4. When and how these events take place is much debated, but their certainty is not
  3. The Final and Eternal Punishment
    1. Revelation 20:11-15 – “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
    2. See also Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:5; Matthew 10:15; 11:22,24; 12:36; 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 6:2; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; and plenty others!
    3. The Final Judgment
      1. The Final Judgment will occur after the Millennium and the final battle (Rev. 19-20)
      2. Jesus Christ will be the Judge (2 Timothy 4:1)
      3. Unbelievers will be judged on every sin (Matthew 12:36; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Luke 12:2-3, 47-48; Romans 2:6; Luke 8:17)
      4. Believers will be judged based on merit in Christ, not condemnation (Romans 8:1; 14:10, 12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 3:12-15; 5:9-10)
      5. The eternal destination is either Heaven or Hell
      6. Next week’s lesson will be “What does the Bible have to say about HEAVEN AND HELL”

NCAA Mayhem

Here’s your chance to prove that you are more knowledgeable than the rest of us on college basketball!  You can play Northside Student’s bracket challenge and prove that you really are the King of the Brackets.

Not a fan of College Basketball?  You can give it a shot anyway for a chance to win your Spring Retreat paid for (a $50 value!!!).  Prizes will also be given for the following:

  • Most Correct First Round Picks
  • Best upset bracket (bonuses will be given to lower seeded teams you correctly pick)
  • Most points in a Region (prize for each region)
  • Worst Winning Bracket (lowest scoring bracket to correctly pick the Champion)

There are two ways you can play:

  1. Go to http://northsidestudents.mayhem.cbssports.com/e and register to fill out your bracket online.  Be sure you include your First and Last name.  The password to join our group is “nb123”.
  2. Show up at Oasis (our youth worship) on Wednesday, March 17 at 6:30 pm and fill out your bracket in person.

You can enter BOTH ways to double your chance of winning.  (But you cannot fill out multiple brackets online nor can you fill out multiple brackets in person.  Only one of each please!)

Feel free to invite other friends to play

There is a minimum age (13 or 14 I think). If you are too young, get your parents persmission and use their birthday instead of your own. Make sure you still put YOUR name so I know who you are.

DISCLAIMER: The First Prize is for the Retreat only.  No cash will be given and if you do not go to retreat, the next closest contestant will win the First Prize.  Feel free to play even if you aren’t planning on going on the retreat.  You are still eligible for other prizes, however, you must come to Oasis (Wednesday night), Sunday School (Sunday morning), or S.O.D. (Sunday night) to collect your prize once the tournament is over.

What does the BIble say about TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS

Common verses used against tattoos and piercings

  • Leviticus 19:28 – “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself. I am the Lord”
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Do you not know that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”
  • Isaiah 3:18-21 – “In that day, the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle charms, the signet rings and nose rings,”
  • Exodus 21:6 – “then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”

Interpretations of these passages

  • Leviticus 19:28 is in reference to those who cut themselves (some translations say pierce their ears) or get tattoos to memorialize the dead
    • This was a practice done in an attempt to have the pagan gods accept the deceased into their ‘heaven’
    • To have a piercing or tattoo of this manner was a form of idolatry and obviously sinful for the Israelites and for Christians
  • Isaiah 3:18-21 is in the context of a punishment for Israel, specifically, the women of Israel
    • God is taking away the vain and valuable jewelry from Israel’s women as a form of punishment
    • The items are not in and of themselves sinful – if so, then we should not wear headbands or bracelets
    • Note to that this passage specifically applies to Israel’s women – and very few people feel that women should not have piercings
  • Exodus 21:6 is a passage relating specifically to certain slaves
    • All slaves in Israel were to be released every 7 years
    • Many slaves had families that they didn’t want to leave and so they would permanently devote themselves to on master
    • Piercing a slaves ear was a mark that that slave permanently belonged to one master
  • None of these passages specifically condemn piercings or tattoos…
  • Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
    • There are many reasons why your parents may be against you getting a piercing or tattoo – health, appearance, preference, etc
    • No matter the reason, if your parents are against it, it is a sin. Period.
    • This doesn’t mean for you to beg and tell them there is nothing wrong with it – they don’t need any reason to be turned off by something. Their “no” is final
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that our bodies do not belong to ourselves as Christians
    • Our bodies are a temple of God and should reflect who God is
    • Ask yourself two questions – “Is this harmful to my body?” and “Does this bring honor to God?”
  • 1 Peter 3:3-4 and 1 Timothy 2:9 remind us not to dress immodestly
    • Dress in such a way to draw attention away from your body and to your face
    • This includes having piercings or tattoos that would…
      • draw attention to a specific area of the body (belly button piercing, lower back tattoo, etc)
      • reflect negatively on your face

What does the Bible say about ALCOHOL?

Starting our new series on Wednesday night entitled, “What does the Bible say about…”.  Week one – Alcohol.  Also got plenty of good topics from you all this past week to do next week.  I’ll post my teaching outlines on here for you to reference.

 

What does the Bible have to say about ALCOHOL?

Is wine in the Bible alcoholic?

  • Genesis 9:20-21 – “Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.”
  • Noah was obviously drinking fermented wine
  • John 2:1-11 – Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding
  • John 2:9-10 – “and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.’”
  • The bad wine was served later so it’s quality would not be noticed by drunken guests. Again, obviously alcoholic wine

Is drinking alcohol a sin?

  • The wine itself is not sinful, because sin lies in the hands of men and women.
  • When a man is intoxicated by wine, it is a sin
  • The Bible teaches us to use moderation – even eating too much is a sin according to Proverbs 23
  • Bottom Line
    • Anyone underage who drinks is in sin – “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” – Romans 13:1
    • Galatians 5:13 warns us not to use our liberty in Christ to sin – “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love”
    • 1 Corinthians 8:9 tells us not to use our freedom to cause someone else to stumble – “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”
    • Numbers 6:2-3 – “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite, he must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins”
    • Those who wish to take a special vow to the Lord were called “Nazirites”
    • They abstained from all alcoholic drinks – even the grapes that the wine was made from
      • So are you saying that we can’t even eat grapes?
      • No, the Nazirites wanted to avoid anything that might lead them to getting drunk or drinking wine, so they avoided grapes altogether
      • Modern day equivalent?  Not going certain places (parties, friends houses, etc.) you know would put you in tempting situations.
    • As Christians, we are called to be “set apart”, that is “holy” to the Lord – Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
    • Christians, like the Nazirites, are set apart and should abstain from alcoholic drink

Sharing the Gospel, Respecting the People

I went into the Dollar Store the other day to pick up a few things and saw that the line was forever long.  Then I saw why.  “No ma’am, I’m not selling anything.  We’re just spreading the Gospel.”  The already behind cashier tried to move on, but the persistent evangelist kept going.

Two things stuck out to me.  One, more Christians should be bold enough to witness to people we run into in public.  Kudos to the man trying to win someone to Christ.  But two, I am very sure that the cashier and the dozen people in line were not at all interested in what this man had to say.  They were only interested in getting through the line and moving on with their day.  (I know I was!)

All in all, the man did more damage than good.  We have to be careful how we represent Christ.  1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  But remember the second part of that verse.  “But do this with gentleness and respect.”  There is nothing worse than someone pushing something on you.  (Just think how you feel when a telemarketer calls you in the middle of dinner.)

I can remember waiting tables in college.  I hated to wait on church groups.  Why?  Because they were the least respectful people that came through the restaurant.  They were typically rude and were notoriously bad tippers.  But they always managed to let you know where they went to church!  I had lost co-workers who were turned off of Christianity because instead of a tip, they got a tract!

We must be persistent with our sharing of the gospel.  It is commanded that all Christians “make disciples”.  But remember that for the message to be received, we must give it with respect.  James 2 tells us to share our faith by meeting physical needs.  Philippians 2 tells us that we are to put others ahead of ourselves.  However we promote the gospel, we must do it in a loving and respectful way.

The Decade that Was

Youth Newsletter Article
January 2010

Do you realize that the 21st Century is already 1/10th over? Unbelievable! We have already finished the first decade in a new century. And seen some pretty unique things! On a local level, we saw an ice storm that Kentuckians will probably not see again for another century or more. On a national level, we’ve seen terrorist attacks on US soil and the first African American president. On a global level, we’ve seen 8 gold medals won at an Olympics. And these are just a very small sampling of the decade that is behind us.

So what have you done this decade? Besides get 10 years older? Many of you students don’t even remember the year 2000 because you were 2, 3, or 4 years old. So what is your greatest accomplishment. I’m curious to know and I’d love for you (young and old) to comment on this article telling me what your favorite part of the past decade was. Maybe you have something that changed your life or an event you’ll never forget.

But the past is the past. God is more focused on the here and now than the past decade. Philippians 3:13-14 says, “…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” The past is the past. But the future is at hand. What will you do this year, decade, century to “win the prize”?

Obviously, you’ll do nothing for God if you dwell on the past. Instead, dwell on His Word which will guide your present and future. Psalm 119:9 asks, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word.” And so the challenge is for you to read through God’s Word.  A great place to start is by reading the New Testament through this year. One chapter a day for 5 days a week will do it. Keep yourself accountable to God’s Word.  At the end of this article are a few resources for reading through the Bible this year.

My decade has been filled with awesome moments – Graduating High School, meeting and marrying the woman of my dreams, graduating college, beginning in ministry, the birth of Callie, and the expectation of Ashtyn. “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7). What are you going to do great for God by 2020?

 

Read through the New Testament this year

Read through the entire Bible in this year

Both of these reading plans and more can be found in a great article by Denny Burk here.

Bible Challenge

Okay, so a challenge has been issued.  Will you bring your Bible to church?  Two ways you can benefit from this.  First, bring your Bible to Sunday School.  Any youth Sunday School class that has at least 12 students and everyone has their Bible, they will go the McDonalds for breakfast the following week.  So encourage your friends to come to Sunday School and bring their Bibles!

Secondly, bring your Bible to Wednesday night service.  We will count how many High Schoolers bring their Bibles verse how many Middle Schoolers bring their Bible and whoever has the higher percent of Bibles brought wins for the night.  Whoever wins the most nights through the end of the year will get something special on Wednesday night.  (Last week, the High School barely edged out the Middle School.)  So again, encourage your friends to bring their Bibles!

If you don’t have a Bible or a friend of yours doesn’t have a Bible, please just come and see me or any adult at Northside.  We’d be happy to give you one for free!  Remember, if you don’t read your Bible at church, chances are you’re not reading it at home!  GET IN THE WORD!