ARP Sermons & News

serving as an archive for the goodness of our denomination

  
  
  
Vern Sheridan Poythress ARPChurch Anthony R Locke Tony

What is the relation between God and the human authors of the Bible? Does God’s meaning at every point coincide with the intention of the human author? Can we use the same procedures of interpretation as we would with a noninspired book?

A recent article by Darrell Bock delineates no less than four distinct approaches among evangelicals. The specific issue which Bock discusses is the question of New Testament interpretation of the Old Testament. Does the New Testament use of Old Testament texts sometimes imply that God meant more than what the human author thought of? Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. says no, while S. Lewis Johnson, James I. Packer, and Elliott Johnson say yes. Bruce K. Waltke introduces still a third approach emphasizing the canon as the final context for interpretation. A fourth approach, represented by E. Earle Ellis, Richard Longenecker, and Walter Dunnett, emphasizes the close relation between apostolic hermeneutics and Jewish hermeneutics of the first century.

Admittedly the New Testament use of the Old Testament has some complexities of its own. We cannot here look at all of the ways in which the NT makes use of the OT. Instead, we will concentrate on the problem of dual authorship, a problem touching on our understanding of the entire Bible, rather than on the NT or OT specifically. Continue reading

Chuck Wilson Romans ARPChurch Anthony R Locke Tony

In a sin-mad world where evil is called good, light is called darkness, moral is called immoral, and the truth of the Bible is called fiction, there seemed to be no good news. In the godless and unrighteous darkness of ancient Rome, the light of the good news of God in Jesus Christ appeared and shown brightly in many lives. BY FAITH, they exchanged the darkness of Satan and sin for the good news of the grace of God and faith in Jesus Christ. BY FAITH, they laid hold of God’s forgiveness of their sins in Christ’s blood. BY FAITH, they came to know the transformation of their lives through the work of the Holy Spirit. BY FAITH, they joined Paul in service to the living God of the Bible. BY FAITH, they cried out to God in Jesus’ name, and they were given Paul’s song of salvation to sing:

Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. (Rom. 4.7-8)

In a God-denying culture where there is no good news of forgiveness and salvation, the light of the good news of God in Jesus Christ still shines brightly for those who will have it. As a matter of fact, in the words of Paul, “[God] commands all people everywhere to repent [and believe in the Jesus of the Bible], because [God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts17.30-31).

Will you exchange your godlessness for the God of the Bible? Will you exchange your faithlessness for faith in Jesus? Will you exchange your good newslessness for the good news of God? Will you exchange your sin for the cleansing blood of Jesus’ cross? Will you exchange your immorality for God’s morality? Will you exchange your unrighteousness for God’s righteousness in Christ? Continue reading

Chuck Wilson Philippians 3 12  ARPChurch Anthony R Locke Tony

Plainly, a clear understanding of faith in Jesus as the only way of salvation was Paul’s focus and concern for the church. Paul says the things he had written are important for the Philippians because of the presence of false teachers. Paul writes, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision which worship God in the Spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (3.2-3). In other words, because of false teachers, Paul wrote it is imperative we are clear on what we believe.

What we believe about Jesus’ person and work is the foundation of our faith and the standard by which we have unity and fellowship in the church. DELIGHTING in fellowship, GROWING in knowledge, WORSHIPING in the Spirit, and REJOICING in Christ Jesus. Continue reading


Our church planters depend on the prayers and encouragement of God's people

OUTREACH NORTH AMERICA provides this monthly prayer letter to inform you of some of their specific needs and praises so you will know better how to pray for them. Thank you for your prayers and the interest you show by your phone and e-mail responses.

Your prayers truly encourage your church planters. Continue reading


Forced OUT Resigns Dr. David A. Norman ARP Church Erskine Anthony R Locke

"I am exhausted."

The toll this job has taken on me and on my family cannot be ignored. I also know that, although I have committed each day to serve God and this institution to the best of my ability, I have strained or broken relationships with several of Erskine’s most important alumni, faculty, and staff.

I want what’s best for Erskine.

It is therefore with great regret, but with the full support of the Executive Committee, that I have decided to step away from the presidency of Erskine College. I have requested that the Executive Committee appoint an interim president to take the reins July 1, 2013, and a search begin as soon as it's practical for Erskine’s 16th president. Continue reading


The Dragon Isnt Above the Law Revelation 20 1-3 ARP Church Anthony R Locke

Jesus will orchestrate the Omega of this Creation and declare with absolute finality the destiny of every person.

After the war. After He has changed His blood splattered garments. After He has brought us into His eternal rest. God the Father will reveal a new name by which we will know Jesus.

Today we know Jesus as Redeemer. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Savior. Jesus is the Lamb and He is a Lion. Jesus is THE Wonderful Counselor. He is Mighty God, Everlasting Father and THE Prince of Peace. Jesus is the Great High Priest. He is the Great Prophet. Jesus is the Great King.

Revelation 19:12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. This name will be revealed!

Maybe His new name will have something to do with reversing the Fall, ending sin and chaining the Dragon. Continue reading


And Sitting Down They Watched Him There Matthew 27 35-36 Chuck Wilson ARPChurch Anthony R Locke

The betrayal of Jesus by the Jewish religious and political leaders is a tale of hate and malice. The extent of their perfidy is evidenced by their uncharacteristic setting aside of their cherished traditions of justice and mercy. Demonically driven, they abandoned justice and mercy and embraced treachery and hell. In madness, they howled, “Let his blood be on us and our children.” And ignoring the law of consequences, they cursed themselves and future generations of their children and drank down shame and judgment like wine.

For many, Judas stands as the most craven character in the drama of the Cross. Whatever his reasons, he betrayed his friend and teacher and rejected his Savior and Lord for 30 pieces of silver (the price of a common slave). Indeed, at this point, if there were no other reason for hell than the just disposition of Judas, God would have had to commission an angel to construct the contours of hell and set them ablaze as a fiery maelstrom.

Continue reading

Capturing Bad Guys Revelation 19 11-21 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke Tony

One day soon God will again send His only begotten Son into the physical realm of this planet.

Jesus will show up in all His glory and splendor with orders from the Father to finish out the victory He already won at the Cross.

Jesus will have orders from the Father to tie up loose ends, squash the resistance and bring an end to the conflict.

The rebellion will not be resurrected. God will call the unclean birds of the air to remove the impurity and filth that they leave behind.

This is a glorious victory for our battle scared Lord Jesus.

Peace will be found at the tip of His sword and He will win the battle. Continue reading


Harriet Leslie 01

Dear Harriet E. Leslie,

February 24th, 2013

You have completed your active service as a servant of the Church. Your sisters and brothers rejoice with you in the blessed evidence of God’s anointing upon your years of faithful ministry. We thank God for your love and dedication to Jesus Christ, and we praise God for the grace that has allowed your ministry to touch so many lives.

Now we come to mark with you the fulfillment of your calling, as the Church confers upon you the status, Honorably Retired. While we know this begins a time of rest and the enjoyment for other callings, we value the experience you have gained and the skills you have acquired throughout your years of ministry.

Therefore, we welcome your continued participation in the life of the church, using your gifts in meaningful ways. You remain a colleague in ministry, and we will continue to seek your wisdom and your fellowship.

May God continue to bring joy and peace to your life, just as you have blessed so many others throughout the years of your life.

May you know the full joy of the Father’s words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.” Continue reading


Are the Saints Guilt of Heavenly Schadenfreude Revelation 19 1-5 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke

Schadenfreude is that wonderful German term for those who experience wicked glee at the demise of others.

If we see someone suffer, someone that we don’t like very much, and our hearts feel malicious pleasure, then we can be accused of Schadenfreude.

Well, are the saints in this passage feeling that? Are we going to sin a little in our hearts while watching sinners receive God’s judgment?

What causes our hearts to shout for joy when sinners are judged?

There is an answer, and it isn't what you might imagine. Continue reading


The Final Days and Prophesy of this World Revelation 18 1-24 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke Tony

The Holy Spirit is vexed when pride, greed, lust, envy, anger, gluttony and laziness are at home within our hearts. When these traits increase, we know that the end is near.

God has been warning the Earth of His judgment since the beginning of Genesis.

These are literally the last words of warning before the end of the world comes.

Are you ready for that final moment? Are you saved? Have you repented of your sin and walked away from a love of this world?

God loves you so much. God has been patient for so long. Will you keep testing His compassion? Will you seek His forgiveness? May God give us the grace to repent right now. Continue reading


Marriage What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It Ryan t Anderson ARP Church Anthony R Locke

Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father.

Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage; it rejects these truths. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children.

By encouraging the norms of marriage—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence—the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role. The future of this country depends on the future of marriage.

The future of marriage depends on citizens understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine, true marriage.

Click to read Ryan's other articles on Marriage

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Eric Teetsel and The Manhatten Declaration ARP Church Anthony R Locke

They hear that their cause is lost, that demographics and the march of history have doomed their campaign to keep marriage only between a man and a woman. But the young conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage - unlike most of their generation - remain undaunted.

They identify themselves as part of the "pro-marriage movement" and see themselves at the beginning of a long political struggle, much like the battle over abortion. If they can begin shifting the terms of the debate away from gay rights and toward the meaning of marriage, they say, they have a chance to survive short-term defeats.

"The primary challenge that our side faces right now is the intense social pressure," said Joseph Backholm, 34, the executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington. "To the extent that the other side is able to frame this as a vote for gay people to be happy, it will be challenging for us."

CLICK to sign the Manhattan Declaration

Print The Manhattan Declaration for your church

To put it another way, opponents of same-sex marriage say they must argue in favor of traditional marriage, not against gay people or gay rights. "It's really a broader defense of marriage and a stronger marriage culture," said Will Haun, 26, a lawyer and member of the Federalist Society. Continue reading


A Woman Rides the Beast Revelation 17 10-18 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke Tony

Everywhere you look people talk about being spiritual. Yoga empties us for spiritual enlightenment. Walking outdoors connects us to the Earth. Buying a hybrid car makes us feel like we are saving the planet.

Yet, none of these things are real connections to the Father in comparison to what Jesus offers.

Many churches participate in meeting spiritual needs without Jesus. They provide religious rituals and sentimental experiences. Churches seek to be relevant to impress and attract "seekers." Worldly techniques for entertainment are used to grow the financial and congregational numbers.

But, what does Jesus think about this alliance between the World and the Church?

Jesus uses a brutal and graphic allegory to share His thoughts. Continue reading


Communist China Happily Claims to Have Only Murdered 330,000,000 Million Babies ARPChurch Anthony R Locke Tony

Chinese physicians claim to have murdered over 330,000,000 million babies since the government implemented a controversial family planning policy 40 years ago, according to official data from the health ministry.

The Communist government proudly publishes these numbers, yet reporters outside the country believe the numbers to much, much higher.

China’s one-child policy has been the subject of a heated debate. Sadly, world news media are not debating the immorality of these murders, but rather the economic consequences that will arise from an ageing Chinese population. With 34,000,000 million more men than woman, the gender disparity is also a rising concern. Continue reading


A City on Seven Hills Revelation 17 1-9 ARP Church Anthony R Locke

The whole book of Hosea is based on the accusation from God that the people of God had prostituted themselves for what the world had to offer.

God illustrates our sin by commanding one of His very godly men to marry a very silly girl who was in love with this world.

Hosea 1:2 When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.”

God does shocking things to teach us valuable lessons. This passage is provocative.

The Church that was started in the Book of Acts has now become, like Israel became, an unfaithful spouse.

How many of these harsh accusations could be applied to us? Continue reading


The investigation surrounding alleged sexual abuse of children by a former Iredell County teacher three decades ago has grown to include at least 20 former students and more than 110 charges, the Iredell sheriff’s office says.

Iredell Sheriff Phillip Redmond said at least 16 additional alleged victims have been identified, and he said 96 more indecent liberties charges were filed Thursday against Patterson. In addition, Redmond said, Patterson has been charged with one count of first-degree sex offense.

Patterson, of Mooresville, was released under $100,000 bond after the first arrest but was jailed Thursday under $350,000 bond. He bonded out later Thursday, a jail official said. Continue reading


Our church planters depend on the prayers and encouragement of God's people

OUTREACH NORTH AMERICA provides this monthly prayer letter to inform you of some of their specific needs and praises so you will know better how to pray for them. Thank you for your prayers and the interest you show by your phone and e-mail responses.

Your prayers truly encourage your church planters. Continue reading


Alan Avera ONA ARP Church

Outreach North America Director Alan Avera has accepted a job as senior executive for Christianity Explored USA's ministry in North America. He will begin his new job on July 1.

Christianity Explored is a ministry that began 10 years ago at All Souls Church in London, England. The ministry produces tools to help churches in evangelism and discipleship, the primary one being the 7-week Christianity Explored evangelistic Bible study based on the Gospel of Mark.

As the North America executive, Dr. Avera will help increase awareness of the resources available through Christianity Explored, and will help support churches that use Christianity Explored resources. Continue reading


and God Remembered Revelation 16 16-21 ARP Church Anthony R Locke

Sometimes my children mess up a LEGO project. I have to disassemble their project until I find the wrong piece in order to fix it. God will disassemble the universe for the same reason.

The dis-assembly part scares me, but for God to fix the imperfections of this Creation, it has to be totally disassembled and reassembled correctly.

My children come to me in tears wondering why their project looks wrong and doesn't work right. In love I have to judge certain LEGO pieces as wrong and then break it apart that it might be corrected.

God is going to judge certain things as wrong. God will then disassemble the sinful things and reassemble the Creation perfect and holy.

That’s the message of all the judgment passages in the Bible. God loves us all too much to let things stay imperfect forever.

God looks forward to the day that your body disassembles into the grave that He might resurrect you into life everlasting.

Don't fear the tear down. God is a great re-builder! Continue reading

Invitations to Repent Revelation 16 1-21 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke

This passage is one of the most negative chapters in the whole Bible. Let me offer a new view.

When my children disobey, as a parent I place them in crisis through discipline. I might threaten to take away their favorite toy, ground them or spank them. I bring trouble in their life to lead them to repentance.

God did this with the Egyptians. He brought Ten Plagues to upset their life and motivate them to obey His commands.

During the end times God will bring these plagues back. God will bring Humanity into a great crisis that He might lead us all toward the last great invitation for repentance. Continue reading


Time to Learn the Song of Moses Revelation 15 1-8 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke

The people of God crossed over the Red Sea on dry ground. When they looked back from the Promised Land, they watched God destroy their enemies and they sang out in victory.

That same experience will be ours when we get to Heaven and watch God destroy our enemies left on the Earth. We will sing the same song Moses sang.

Jesus also walked through the valley of the shadow of death. From the other side He looked back in victory and sang a song of praise that the curse was defeated, the Dragon was crushed and sin was removed.

The Church will join Israel to sing the Song of Moses, but Jesus will join both of us while we sing the Song of Moses . . . and the Lamb! Continue reading


The Great Harvest of the Earth Revelation 14 14-20 ARP Church Anthony R Locke

Jesus holds Death's sharp sickle. He wrestled it from Death after He was taken down off the cross and lay in the tomb for three days.

Jesus now has the right to determine the destination of your destiny. He alone can call a life into judgment.

All will feel the cutting sickle of death severing them from life as promised in the Garden of Eden.

Our nation celebrates this harsh truth when we sing,

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.

His swift sword is for death and judgment. That shatters the average image of Jesus.

How should we feel about that? we should sing with gusto, Glory, glory, Hallelujah! Continue reading


The Big Promises of the Bible Revelation 14 6-13 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke

The Gospel informs us that Jesus has all authority and all power in Heaven and Earth, that the Father has given all judgment to the Son, and that the blessings of God will rain down forever upon those who place their faith in Christ.

These are the Big Promises of the Bible that are planted in Genesis and finally bloom in Revelation.

Jesus promised that it hasn't entered our imagination how great Heaven will be for those who love God.

Sadly, it also hasn't entered into the imaginations of men the eternal terrors that await those who reject God's love. Continue reading


Do the 144,000 Have a Tattoo Revelation 14 1-5 ARPChurch Anthony R Locke

When the 144,000 sing, it sounds like Niagara Falls multiplied by Thunder.

Heaven is more like a Monster Truck Show than a Presbyterian worship service. Cast out this idea of Heaven being quaint. Heaven will knock your socks off.

And this congregation wears the Heavenly tattoo. They are filled with moxie and bravado. Who are these 144,000?

The Jehovah Witness Church teaches that only 144,000 will be saved. Wrong answer.

Islam says that these are the 144,000 Prophets of Muhammad. No.

The Church Universal and Triumphant teaches that 144,000 souls were brought back to Earth from Venus. Not even close.

Tim LaHaye thinks that only 144,000 Jews are saved during the tribulation and that they become evangelists before the final Armageddon. Who do you think these people are? Continue reading


A Dragon in Religious Clothing Revelation 13 1-18 ARP Church Anthony R Locke

Why is it 666?

I am going to give you an answer that is so simple, it stretches credulity. I hope you find it beautiful in it’s simplicity.

6 is less than 7. There are 7 churches, 7 stars, 7 lamp-stands, 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 bowls, 7 horns. There’s the 7 days of Creation. Seven is the number of fullness, the number of completeness. We enter God’s rest on the seventh day.

To be short of seven is to be locked in the cycle of work. To be short of seven is to be incomplete. To be short of seven is to be Earthly and temporal. You are outside of God’s blessing as a six.

Humanity is a six. We are created in God’s image, but on the sixth day because we are less than God. The Dragon is a six. He is a fry short of a Happy Meal. He is a day late and a dollar short. He doesn't measure up to God.

This Demonic Trinity will leave you empty and lost for all they have to offer is 6, 6, 6. Continue reading


No Beauty In This Beast Revelation 13 1-10 ARP Church Anthony R Locke

The Beast is all the nations in opposition to all that is good. All ten nations symbolize the totality of humanity involved in this rebellion, and the seven heads remind us that the Dragon is the Puppet Master.

Which is why this Beast, through the leadership of the anti-Christ and the power of the Kingdoms of the Earth, targets their anti-Christian rage against the followers of Jesus. This is a Demonic Beast who is Hell bent on the Church’s destruction.

Have you ever wondered why the world is so unified in their hostility to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? This vision answers that question. Continue reading


There are some weeks that are best forgotten. This last week will best be remembered in prayer.

We are praying that the accusations against former Moderator Tom Patterson are false. He stands accused of more than a dozen crimes while a public school teacher. We will pray for God's wisdom and the truth.

There are no words to express our shock and sadness at the death of Constance Johnston at the hands of her grandson. We join our current Moderator in praying for this boy's regeneration and salvation from the darkness that has control of his heart and mind.

And we pray for the future residence of those retired, and the future employment of those working, at Covenant Way.

May God bless our denomination with an anointing of His Spirit to expand His Kingdom even in areas controlled by the Gates of Hell. Continue reading


Our church planters depend on the prayers and encouragement of God's people

OUTREACH NORTH AMERICA provides this monthly prayer letter to inform you of some of their specific needs and praises so you will know better how to pray for them. Thank you for your prayers and the interest you show by your phone and e-mail responses.

Your prayers truly encourage your church planters. Continue reading


At a local mall is a dinner theater called Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. Their building is made to look like an old European castle.

When my sons saw the castle for the first time I nonchalantly told them that we needed to keep our distance because the dragon inside isn’t very nice.

The car went silent.

I looked into the rear view mirror and saw their wide eyes and concerned faces. They were terrified of that Dragon!

Do you believe in Dragons? God does. In Genesis 3 God introduces a Dragon who reappears in Revelation 12 and 20.

This Dragon is the real deal. We should be terrified.

Anyone feel the need to start humming A Mighty Fortress is Our God? Continue reading


Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis.

During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion "shut down" and that he then experienced "something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death."

In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman in a "place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones" and "shimmering beings". Continue reading


When Lot was in front of the people of Sodom, he weakened the message of the Bible so that the people would leave him and his family alone.

Churches do the same thing today. We have lowered our rhetoric against sin.

During the last presidential debate, one of the candidates said that our national debt was immoral. Even good Churches don't talk about morality.

Maybe this is why there isn't much persecution of believers in America.

We have stopped saying what God told us to say for our own comfort sake. Continue reading


This Sunday I have agreed to join nearly 1,500 pastors nationwide and participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom. In my sermon, I plan to recommend that people vote for one presidential candidate and one political party that I will name. We will then all send our sermons to the IRS.

This action is in violation of the 1954 "Johnson Amendment" to the Internal Revenue Code, which prohibits tax-exempt organizations like churches from endorsing any candidate by name. But in our nation, a higher law than the IRS code is the Constitution, which forbids laws "abridging freedom of speech" or "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion (First Amendment).

If you participated, please tell us how your sermon was received in the comment section below.

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Youth Group Leaders,

We’re excited about our fall retreat and hope you will join us November 9-11, 2012. The speaker will be Rhett Carson, Pastor of Pinecrest ARP Church in Flat Rock, NC. The theme is “Who Am I? - Jesus”

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by Reverend Charles Wilson

Psalm 91 1:1-16

In 1868, the blind poet and hymn-writer Fanny Crosby wrote these beautiful words:

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,

There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.

Many people are concerned about safety nowadays. We ask questions like:

  • What is a safe stock in which to invest?
  • Is my money in the bank safe?
  • Do I need to build a safe-room in my house to protect me and my family from intruders?

In Psalm 91 God makes promises regarding the safety of the saints. Consider these words from verse #7 . . . Continue reading


Our church planters depend on the prayers and encouragement of God's people

OUTREACH NORTH AMERICA provides this monthly prayer letter to inform you of some of their specific needs and praises so you will know better how to pray for them. Thank you for your prayers and the interest you show by your phone and e-mail responses.

Your prayers truly encourage your church planters.

Prayers in general--

  • Pray for the various presbyteries meeting this month. Pray for the church planting and church renewal work within our presbyteries.
  • Pray for the Lord to raise up potential church planters. In addition to praying, please contact the ONA office if you have someone you would like to recommend for consideration as a potential church planter.
  • Virginia Presbytery is actively recruiting a church planter for a new mission work in Virginia and will work with the mission developer in identifying a target location. Interested parties can contact the chairman, David Vance, at 540-449-3620 or DavidVance@RedeemerBlacksburg.org.
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The only legal document with measurements that most of us possess is the deed to our homes. Careful measurements were made to determine exact specifications. We identify that area as our possession. God has identified His people by careful measurement.

God's people are Commissioned to speak the sweet and bitter words of the Unsealed Scroll of Destiny.

The World will not appreciate their words and will work hard to cleanse the culture of their Christian message. When a child of God is martyred, the world celebrates like it's Christmas. But God has the final word and calls them to their eternal home in Heaven. Continue reading


Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he had signed SB 1172 which prohibits sexual orientation change efforts for anyone under 18.

Conservative religious groups and some Republicans have argued that banning conversion therapy would hinder parents' right to provide psychological care for children experiencing gender confusion.

The Encino, Calif.-based National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality said in August that the bill was a case of "legislative overreach," and Lieu's claims of harm to children were based on politics, not research.

The effect of the law, in brief, makes it illegal to try and convert any gay person under the age of 18 if your goal is to free them from the sin of homosexuality. Continue reading


If you lived in a Muslim country, and lived your faith in the public square, you would be required to act pensive and timid when walking down the street.

You would be forced to submit, at least as reflected in your demeanor, to the superiority of Islam.

Would you do it?

Many Christians act that way in America.

Believers act weak when confronted by those arguing for evolution, abortion and same sex marriage.

This weak demeanor is the opposite of the dominant posture modeled by the angel in Revelation 10.

What happened to our confidence when holding God's word? We should be inspired to charge the gates of Hell, not be cowering in fear. Continue reading


Can the ARP Church get stronger in our old age?

Hello, my name is Charles Eugster. When I turned 75 my friends began to pass away. People were getting older around me, but I was just getting ready to retire.

Then at 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror one day, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me where muscle used to be. I looked like a wreck. I started to consider the fact that I was probably going to die soon.

So in my late-80s I joined a bodybuilding club.

There's no research into bodybuilding for the over-80s, so it's been an experiment. With weight-lifting and protein shakes, my body began to change. It became broader, more v-shaped, and my shoulders and biceps became more defined.

I'm not chasing youthfulness. I'm chasing health. People have been brainwashed to think that after you're 65, you're finished. We're told that old age is a continuous state of decline, and that we should stop working, slow down and prepare to die. I disagree. To me, a 65-year-old is young. I turn 92 this year. It is a frightening prospect – the law of averages is against me, and, yes, one day something will happen and that will be it. But until that day comes, I'm going to carry on working on my abs. Continue reading


Over the recent years I have observed a culture shift in many Western churches.

Many church members today view the church like a cruise ship when it is actually a rowboat! That is, as long as my personal/family needs are met, and as long as programs are in place for when I want to attend, and as long as I feel satisfied when I leave the services which I choose to attend - then all is well.

But don’t ask me to come too often, or to help plan the programs, or to staff the needs or, to put it another way, to help row the boat! Continue reading


Facebook has almost a billion monthly members, but there is a bigger and better community that you really should join!

God has a network. By faith we get connected in a community of saints.

If you will "Like" repentance and faith, then Jesus will share the same communion with the Father that He enjoys.

Our connection with Jesus will unite us with the Father, the Spirit, believers alive today, the Church of history and the glorified Church of tomorrow.

This community of believers is the only collection of people who are enabled to stand at the last day. Continue reading


Jesus told us to forgive 7 times 70, but we don't think of 490, rather the spiritual lesson it symbolizes.

The Sealed 144,000 also holds symbolic truth. Do you know who they are?

Want a hint?

This group of people are protected from the wrath of God, but not the wrath of Satan.

They are protected from God's condemnation for sin, but not the natural disasters at the end of the world.

Their eternal destiny is secure, but they will suffer in this life for Jesus' sake.

They are not limited numerically to 144,000, yet God identifies them by that number.

There are battalions in twelve formations ready to die for the cause. They are soldiers of the Cross. They are beautiful in perfection, symbolized in the number twelve, and full in their assembly as symbolized in the number ten. Before reading further, who do you think they are? Continue reading


If a huge meteor shower hits the Earth (verse 13), then we can only assume that other planets in our solar system will be hit by the same meteor shower, including the Sun.

This is why the Sun turns black. Let me explain.

Have you ever seen a bowl of melted steel. If it is pure then the contents of the bowl glow red hot. But if you drop impure metal into that white hot liquid steel, then the dross, the debris from the impure metal separates. The impurity then floats to the surface and forms a black crust over the molten steel until the dross burns away.

Imagine God throwing billions of tons of dirt into the hot liquid plasma of the Sun via a meteor shower. The dirt will separate, float to the surface and form a crust of debris until it burns off. This is why the sun will turn dark black like sackcloth.

When this happens to the sun the inhabitants of the Earth will understand that the end is upon them. They will understand that God has intervened to judge sinners. They will all know that Jesus is coming. They will all be asking, “Will I be able to stand?” Continue reading


Our church planters depend on the prayers and encouragement of God's people

OUTREACH NORTH AMERICA provides this monthly prayer letter to inform you of some of their specific needs and praises so you will know better how to pray for them. Thank you for your prayers and the interest you show by your phone and e-mail responses.

Your prayers truly encourage your church planters.

Prayers in general--

  • Pray for ONA Board Chairman Wes Spring and his family as his daughter Erin has recently been diagnosed with MS.
  • Pray for your presbytery church extension committee/Outreach North America committee as they oversee church planting and church multiplication within the presbytery and as they prepare for upcoming presbytery meetings.
Continue reading

The late Robert Bowers, Jr. directed an astonishing cash distribution from his estate in August of 2012 totaling $1 million. The bequest further directs distributions to the ARP Foundation, World Witness, Christian Education, Outreach North America, Erskine Seminary and the Bonclarken Endowment.

These gift bequests are expected to have a profound impact on furthering virtually every aspect of the mission and message of the ARP Church – strategically strengthening the local church; new church plants and revitalization; and evangelism and discipleship at home and overseas.

“We are grateful for Mr. Bowers’ leadership and generosity that so concretely reflect the Lordship of Jesus Christ in his life, family and work. As a steward, his legacy will be eternal and measured by impact on the Kingdom of God by the changed lives of people,” Nichols said. Continue reading


When Jesus told the disciples about the coming destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem, they asked “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” Matthew 24:3.

Jesus answers the what, not the when.

Jesus answered, But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only Matthew 24:36.

There is a soft rebuke for their carnal calendar curiosity. If we know the when, then we might procrastinate our repentance.

Like Paul Harvey, God tells us the Rest of the Story, to encourage us when we suffer for His name sake.

Are you pouring your life out on the altar of total sacrifice for Jesus? Why not?

Do you not know what happens to the souls of the martyrs? Continue reading


These four horseman fan the flame of man's depravity to cause human suffering. I believe the suffering is cyclical and increasing as we approach the end. It started with Cain killing Abel and will end with Armageddon.

God has determined to keep humanity from being at peace on Earth while they are at war with Heaven. Worldwide suffering is a foretaste of God's displeasure that we might be brought to repentance.

And here is the real surprise, when Jesus walked this Earth, He also bore the suffering of these four Horseman.

Jesus suffered under the hands of men in government who were Hell bent on conquering the freedom and liberty found in His message. The blood of Jesus was shed. Jesus lived a life of poverty and He died. Continue reading


From grade school to college, we are taught that rocks and fossils take a very long time to form and that they are proof that the earth in hundreds of millions of years old. Part of the process of creating fossils is for the soil, dirt or sand surrounding the object to harden into rock.

According to evolutionists, it takes a very very long time, thousands to millions of years for the rocks and fossils to form, or does it?

How long does it take? Can they form quickly? Are there any examples of rocks and fossils forming quickly?

Let’s take a look and see: Continue reading


I wish I could tell you that most pastors are preaching the Word. I can’t—some are not. Here are five things we may choose to do instead of preach the Word.
1. ENTERTAIN:  “Music, drama, and video, felt needs, topics, more stories”

2. SHARE:  “There are some things I just want to share with you today . . .”

3. WOO:  “Careful, careful, don’t offend, always comfortable, never pressured, just a pinch of truth, when they’re ready to handle it.”

4. INTELLECTUALIZE:  “I’ve been thinking and researching this in the original languages . . .”

5. ABBREVIATE:  “Twenty-minute sermons” Continue reading


The ARP has a slogan that “All of Life is Worship.” How is worship being defined to fit that slogan?

David Peterson defines worship in his wonderful book, Engaging with God, quote “Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible. I like this definition because it isn’t generic. It applies to Christian Worship specifically.

Revelation chapter 5 gives us a peek into Heavenly worship.

This chapter reveals the Key to Worship .

Worship happens when we rightly profess the identity of Jesus and then rightly respond to that profession.

Said even more succinctly: when we say, "Jesus is Lord!", and we act accordingly, we are worshiping. Continue reading


by Rev. Ebenezer Erskine

Preached March 15, 1715

Sermon Text: Ezekiel 37:9 Come from the four winds, O breath; and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

The Doctrine of the Sermon: That as the generality of a church and people in covenant with God, may be in a very dead and languishing condition as to their souls; so the breathings and influences of the Holy Spirit of God are absolutely necessary for their revival.

This sermon is reprinted with the hope that God would invigorate the ARP Church with a new Spirit of revival. Continue reading


Our church planters depend on the prayers and encouragement of God's people

OUTREACH NORTH AMERICA provides this monthly prayer letter to inform you of some of their specific needs and praises so you will know better how to pray for them. Thank you for your prayers and the interest you show by your phone and e-mail responses.

Your prayers truly encourage your church planters.

Prayers in general--

  • Pray for the ARP churches that have over 200 active members to seriously pray about how they can become sponsoring churches for new church plants. Pray that they can seriously consider becoming mother churches, or seek ways to collaborate with over churches to collectively sponsor a new church.
  • Pray for the Parenting Church Community of churches in the Rock Hill area that are supporting David Stover, a new church planter in York County, SC. Pray for this group of churches as they work together to multiply the gospel witness in their area of Catawba Presbytery.
Continue reading

Imagine ripping the most important page out of your favorite novel. On that page is the pivotal event in the story when the plot culminates into one shocking moment of colorful drama.

If you haven't read the book, if you don't know the plot, then that page is without context and without drama. For those who know the larger narrative, that page is the game changer.

Revelation 5 is the game changer. It is the climax of the story that God started in Genesis. Jesus walks from the congregation of the people of God into the center of the Heavenly Throne to take from the Father all authority and all power over the Creation. Jesus receives His inheritance.

It is a peaceful transfer of power from the Father to the Son.

From this moment on, the reader can be assured, that all the rest of eternity will be centered around this One Divine person: Jesus the Son of God. Continue reading


Something began changing in the 1960s. Liberal churches decided that traditional notions of worship were out of date, even embarrassing. They preferred to emphasize intellect, rationality and understanding.

As the United Church found common cause with auto workers, it became widely known as the NDP at prayer. Social justice was its gospel. Spiritual fulfilment would be achieved through boycotts and recycling. Instead of Youth for Christ, it has a group called Youth for Eco-Justice.

Mardi Tindal, the current moderator, recently undertook a spiritual outreach tour across Canada to urge “the healing of soul, community and creation” by reducing our carbon footprint. Which raises the obvious question: If you really, really care about the environment, why not just join Greenpeace?

According to opinion polls, people’s overall belief in God hasn’t declined. What’s declined is people’s participation in religion. With so little spiritual nourishment to offer, it’s no wonder the liberal churches have collapsed. Continue reading


Lions, Bulls, Humans & Eagles . . . Oh My! The most ferocious, strongest, smartest and fastest creatures in the Creation occupy the immediate space around God’s throne.

The whole Creation bows down and gives God glory. All creatures cast back to God any glory ascribed to them.

My dad named his company "Crown" to signal he was offering his greatest career achievement in praise to God. How do you communicate that you're living for Jesus?

Are you ready to be led by these four angels to do God's will for the rest of eternity? God reveals shocking details about Heaven in this chapter.

The greatest shock will be for those who think Heaven is all about them. Continue reading


I watched a television series about the universe this last week narrated by Morgan Freeman. Did you know that at the center of every Galaxy, so science believes, is a Black Hole. As far as they can figure a black hole is billions, maybe trillions of stars, all collapsed into a mass the size of a baseball stadium. Maybe as small as the baseball. And the gravity is so intense that even light can’t escape it’s grasp. The same model holds true in miniature for an atom.

So if a black hole is at the center of every galaxy, then what’s at the center of the universe?

John tells us. and behold, a throne stood in Heaven, with one seated on the throne.

There is a throne at the center of the universe. This is the theme of chapter four as the word throne appears 13 times. The throne may not be visible by our modern telescopes, but it is the centerpiece of all that exists.

And the Bible tells us that this throne stands. It is active and empowered. No disinterested Deity sits on that singular throne. God didn’t complete the Creation and become bored. God didn’t wind it up and wait for the timer to ding.

At the center of the universe the Creator reigns supreme. Continue reading


Just a short walk up the road was the famous natural spring waters of Colossae. Like the bubbly French spring water called Perrier, no water was cleaner, colder or more refreshing.

Also nearby was the famous hot spring waters of Hierapolis. Like an expensive spa, the water was enriched with natural minerals. It’s hot springs were medicinal and rejuvenating.

The city of Laodicea didn’t have their own water supply. They built aqueducts to bring the water in. By the time water arrived from Colossae it had turned salty and lukewarm. It wasn’t good for refreshing the animals. Residents who were native to the city were repelled by it’s taste.

Jesus says that this church leaves Him feeling the same way.

Why would Jesus say this about a church and might we be on His list of people that make Him sick? Continue reading