Category Archives: Sermons Preached

Sermons I Have Preached at Riverview Baptist

Is Your Salvation FORGED By God Or a FORGERY Of Religion?

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter eight. The message God put on my heart for you is:

Is Your Salvation FORGED By God, Or A FORGERY?

Opening: That may seem like a strange question, but I think its a very important question you MUST ask yourself before you leave this room. God doesn’t want you guessing about your salvation. We are told in 1 John 5:13, “These things (the Scripture) I have written to you, that you may KNOW you have eternal life”. God wants you to KNOW that you are saved. Not just religious, but saved.

“What’s the difference?”, you ask. I’m glad you asked!

Illustrate: The other day I went to Ollies – a local discount store – because they sent me a 15% off coupon for a complete purchase. You know me – I love free or discounted. I had bought a non-stick copper pan that was supposed to last forever from Ollies. “Forever” is about 3 years. Having received this discount I headed toward Ollies. Finding the newest “you can never scratch it, even if you throw it in a volcano” frying pan, I headed toward the checkout with my coupon and pan. I got in the shorter line.

Thank goodness, because “Religion” was in the longer line.

Religion is the devil’s tool. Religion has little to no love for God, and certainly loves only its follower. Religion attacked Jesus when He walked this earth. Religion persecuted the early Church. Religion crucified, stoned, and beheaded the Apostles. Religion boiled the Apostle John in oil. I can always spot religion.
Religion loves rituals, not relationships.

Religion is two people arguing in Ollies – not about salvation through Jesus – but on whether you should worship God on Saturday or Sunday. One believed you worship God only on Saturday. The other, on Sunday. Me, I think EVERYDAY!

As these two argued, I never – NEVER – heard them mention the name of Jesus, the Cross, or the empty Tomb. Let me talk for just a minute about the “Sabbath”, the seventh day of the week. Beloved, the שַׁבָּת Shabbâth, {pronounced. Shab-bawth} was NEVER given to the Gentiles, but to the Old Covenant Jew. Israel under the Old Covenant was commanded to have a WEEKLY Shabbâth (Exodus 20:8-9), a SPECIAL Shabbâth during the ceremonial feasts (Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23; Numbers 28:18, 25-26;… Continue reading

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About Paradise

As Jesus hung on the Cross dying for our sins, He did not suffer just from the nails – but from the mocking crowd around Him. To be right, and know you’re right, and yet to be accused of wrong, is one of the worse sensations in the world. Jesus knew He was right. He knew He was the Messiah. And yet, as Jesus hung from the Cross, He said nothing in His defense. This was prophesied by Isaiah:

Isaiah 53:7 (ESV) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

The soldiers mocked Jesus. “If You are really the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”. Jesus said nothing. They offered Jesus “vinegar” – actually “vinegar mingled with gall” (Matthew 27:34). This was actually a small kindness, this offering of vinegar. The “gall” or myrrh (see Mark 15:23) was a substance that – mingled with weak alcohol or vinegar – dulled the pain of crucifixion. Jesus refused the vinegar the first time it was offered. Why? Because the Bible says:… Continue reading

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The New Covenant Of The Heart

Look in verse 31. God is speaking to “the house of Israel, and … the house of Judah”. God saved these two “houses”, the Hebrew בַּיִת bayith, {pronounced bah’-yith}. This word is used to describe a “family”, as in “The Bayith of Buffaloe” (my family name). Israel is divided into two families at this writing. Now, this was not the way it was supposed to be. God said that He was going to make a NEW Covenant with the two houses of Jews – Israel and Judah – a covenant distinctly different from

Jeremiah 31:32 … the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;

First of all, who was Judah and Israel when God first met those families, those peoples? They were a people in Egypt. The Bible says that one King of Egypt died. Judah and Israel were not TWO in Egypt, but they were one House, one bayith. The Bible tells us:

Exodus 1:8, 11, 13 (ESV) Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. … 11 .. Therefore {the Egyptians} set taskmasters over {the Jews/ Israel} to afflict them with heavy burdens. .. 13 {the Egyptians} ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

Judah and Israel were only ONE Household in Egypt. They were a household of SLAVES. I think there is nothing worst than being a slave. To be taken against your will, to be made to do any labor, any debauched or evil thing, made to obey the voice of the Master. To be beaten, and tormented, and killed as no more than a beast of burden. To be sexually abused, at the whim of the Taskmasters. What a horror slavery is! … Continue reading

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Jesus Teaches Us To Pray

I am never surprised when people don’t listen to me, their Pastor. Sadly, we are all at times hard of hearing. When our Lord Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, He taught us the pattern of godly prayer. Jesus started out by telling us to not be like the Pharisees who loved to be seen praying by men – not by God (Matthew 6:5). The Pharisees were always seeking the spotlight, whether in giving or in praying or in following the Law of God. Jesus told us that we should not use vain repetitions in prayer (Matthew 6:7-8). Prayer is conversation with God – not nagging God. God gave us a pattern for prayer that I’m sure you’re all familiar with:

Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

I love praying this prayer every day, and then personalizing it for my day. It is important to understand that this “Lord’s Prayer” is a pattern. Anyway, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray that day on the Mount of Olives.

But they did not listen. Or if they listened, they did not process it. It was only after they watched the Lord pray – seriously and frequently pray – that they came to Jesus thirsty to learn about prayer. Jesus said “Blessed are those who HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness, for THEY WILL BE FILLED” (Matthew 5:6). God will not attempt to fill a full vessel. … Continue reading

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Choosing Your Master

We choose how we will live our lives. We choose to be the master of our story, or to let someone or something else be the master of our lives. The best life is to choose to serve God. Our Lord Jesus said:

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

It is best to serve God. It is best to pattern your lives after Jesus Christ. It is the highest sort of life to hear the words of God and to obey them and do them. Why? Because God is love. The best life is to love God, and be loved of God. Anything God requires of us is, of necessity, for our good. God does not make us love Him, but calls to us in love to repent and come to Him.

If you believe that “God is love”, then you also believe that God wants US to love. The scripture says “He that will not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). … Continue reading

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The Joy Of Faith

We see toward the end of verse 25, “Joy of Faith”. When you live for Jesus, you will often find yourself in bad spots. The Apostle Paul had more than his share of bad spots. Saul met Jesus on the Damascus Road, and heeding His call became Paul the Apostle. When Ananias was told to go to Saul and lay hands on him, Ananias was initially hesitant. After all, the Saul had been terrorizing the Church. But Jesus told Ananias:

Acts 9:15-16 (ESV) “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

As Saul caused others to suffer for Satan’s sake, now Paul himself will suffer “for the sake of {Jesus}”. Oh, how Paul would suffer! Paul told the Church at Corinth:

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (ESV) For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

The brighter and more flamboyant the LIGHT, the greater the DARKNESS will hate it.

Paul said that he was so distressed that “we despaired of life itself”. That is a profound statement. This means that Paul got so discouraged that he and those with him welcomed death. This is a state of advanced depression, where life has lost its savor. Paul was like that poor old Saint Job who cried out:… Continue reading

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Who Or What Constrains You?

Throughout the Old Testament, God showed His love for His creation. God put Adam and Eve in a perfect “Paradise”, and even when Adam sinned, God covered his sin. Though Adam died spiritually, God did not take Adam’s life but took the life of an innocent creature. Adam was saved by the sacrifice of an innocent.

Man continued to fail God. The world drifted so far from God, that the Lord would have destroyed it all. Yet God loved us anyway. He had Noah build an Ark, and though God stayed the judgment of mankind for 120 years, God used Noah to save a remnant that would repopulate the earth.

Word Study: God loves us so much! Each time God loved us, we pushed Him away. And yet, He did not destroy us. His wrath tarried, for God promised that a Messiah would come to save us. The word “Messiah” is only rendered four times in the King James Bible, in Daniel 9:25-26; John 1:41 and in John 4:25. In the OLD Testament “Messiah” is the Hebrew mâshîyach, {pronounced maw-shee’-akh}, which means “One Anointed or Chosen by God to govern or care for others”. The Kings and Prophets of the Old Testament were mâshîyach or anointed for service. Yet in Daniel God foretold of a special Person Who would be mâshîyach or “The Anointed One”. When we come to the New Testament and move into the Common Greek (Koine Greek), the word mâshîyach is not used to describe the Messiah, but “Christos” or “Christ” – some 559 times. In the New Testament Jesus is called “The Christ”, or “Jesus, the One Anointed of God”.

Kings were anointed to protect, rescue, and lead nations.
Priests were anointed to temporarily cover our sins before God.
Prophets were anointed to speak to us God’s Word.
Jesus was anointed to be both King and Priest to “whosoever will”. Continue reading

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Who Has Your Heart?

What is IN the spiritual heart is manifest in what you OUTWARDLY do. Religion cannot fix a heart problem.

Our Lord Jesus put it this way. Jesus chastised the religious Pharisees of his day – because they twisted the Word of God to make allowance for their sinful practices. Their are many in our world who do that today – you might be one of them! Jesus told the Pharisees:

Matthew 15:7-9 (ESV) You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Preach: Jesus said of the Pharisees, “their heart is far from Me”. God gave us His Word, the Holy Bible, to show us His Standard and His Savior. We are to follow His Savior Jesus Christ with all our hearts. We are to love God with all our hearts. Jesus came to this earth not just to heal our physical bodies, but to fix our heart problem. He said:

Matthew 15:10-11, 17-20 (ESV) … “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” … 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

When we look around our America today, around our homes, in our schools, what do we see? Certainly there are good things out there. Certainly there are good people. But I’ll guarantee you, there were a lot of “good” people who stopped traffic to pick up and, yes, steal money that was not their own. They did not earn that money. They had a heart problem.

Jesus came, not to be a Hero, a conquering King,
but to be a Healer of our hearts…. Continue reading

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Likewise …

Nowhere in the Scripture are we commanded to love ourselves. We are commanded to love others. John Stonestreet of Breakpoint notes:

“The biggest factors behind the drop in life expectancy among Americans over the last three years are drug overdoses and suicides. In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, and approximately 45,000 people intentionally took their own lives. These deaths, along with alcohol-related deaths, have been dubbed “deaths of despair” … {there is a} 30-percent rise in suicide rates among 15-to-24 year-olds … As the sixth-century theologian Isidore of Seville put it, “to commit a crime is death to the soul; but to despair is to descend into hell.” If there’s a better word than “Hell” to describe the despair we are seeing in so many American communities, I’m not aware of it.”

This world needs Jesus. This Church is God’s tool to bring the glorious hope of Jesus to a lost and dying world. Let us strive to be one as we reach other to other in His name, for His glory. Through God’s Holy Spirit I pray…. Continue reading

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I Am Not a god

A cowboy rode into town, and saw a crowd gathered around a gallows. The hangman standing by, there was a man clothed in leaves and branches. Everything he was wearing BADLY was leaves. The cowboy dismounted his horse, and went toward the crowd. He whispered to another townsman standing there, “Are they getting ready to hang this guy?” He replied, “Yes we are, stranger. This man kept telling us he was a bush, and kept dressing up like he was a bush. We warned him to stop it, but he refused. So we’re hanging him!” The cowboy said, “Hanging him because he says he’s a bush?” The townsman said, “No. We’re hanging him because he won’t stop rustling”.

Yeah, that’s a “dad joke”, or you might think a “bad joke”. But it’s a good introduction to the message today. Every time I turn on the television or radio, I hear people pushing “You do you, and I’ll do me”. According to the Progressive mind so prevalent today we as humans can make ourselves into anything we want to be. If I’m born a woman, I can be a man with enough surgery. If I’m a man, I can have radical surgery and hormones and breastfeed babies. In fact, some say that men can get pregnant. If I wake up and think I’m a kitten or a dog, then what I say is reality. I can bark or meow, and you must treat me as a “furry”.

We want to be God. We think we are God. We Aren’t God.

This mentality creeps into the churches – even our Church. It creeps into your Pastor. I was praying this past Monday and felt like God told me to “Go to the middle of My Book”. So I went to Psalm 117. I kept trying to “get a sermon” out of this text until God reminded me, “You are not God. You are David.” So I stopped trying to make a sermon, and asked God what He wanted me to say. Read with me:… Continue reading

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