Christianity 101: His Return Notes

Key Points in Matthew 24:3-44 about His return:

  • There will be impostors and persecution before His return. (Matthew 24:3-13, 15-26)
  • The Gospel will be preached to the whole world before His return. (Matthew 24:14)
  • Jesus will be unmistakeable when He returns. (Matthew 24:27-30)
  • Jesus can return at any moment. (Matthew 24:32-35)
  • No one knows when He will return. (Matthew 24:36)
  • His return will be sudden and surprising. (Matthew 24:37-43)
  • We must be ready. (Matthew 24:44)

How can we be ready?

  • Determine your allegiance. (Romans 10:9)
  • Live in obedience to the commands of the King. (Matthew 24:45-51)
  • Remember the reward. (Romans 8:18)

Christianity 101: The Church Notes

Matthew 16:13-20

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

What is the Church?

The Church is both local and universal.  The universal Church includes all of those in the world who have confessed Christ, both past and present.  The local church is a local expression of the universal church and is comprised of regenerated believers who, in obedience to scripture, organize under biblically qualified leadership, come together regularly for preaching and worship, observe the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are held accountable through discipleship, and go out into the world to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity.

The Church…

  • is led by Jesus. (Ephesians 1:22,5:23 & Colossians 1:18)
  • is given qualified leadership by Jesus. (1 Corinthians 12:27-28)
  • is ordained by God. (Matthew 16:18)
  • is essential for all believers. (Hebrews 10:19-25)
  • displays the glory of God. (Ephesians 3:7-10, 21)

Christianity 101: Discipleship Notes

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What is a disciple?

A disciple is someone who believes, lives, and spreads the teachings of another.

Discipleship is…

  • the only option. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • costly. (Luke 9:23-24)
  • difficult. (Matthew 19:23-30)
  • worth it. (Philippians 1:21-24)

Discipleship Essentials

  • Abide (John 15:1-11, John 8:31)
  • Repent & Believe the Gospel (the whole Bible)
  • Move on (Hebrews 12:1-2)
  • Wage War (Colossians 3:1-17)

Christianity 101: Evangelism Notes

Evangelism

A Picture of the Work of Evangelism

Ezekiel 37: 1-10 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

What is Evangelism?

Let’s begin by defining what evangelism is not.

Evangelism is not…

  • having a non-christian friend.
    • Should you have non-christian friends? Absolutely!  But just the fact that you have these friends does not mean that you are doing the work of evangelism.  These relationships can be an important starting point for sharing the Gospel, but we must actually share the Gospel to evangelize.
  • sharing your personal testimony.
    • Should you share your personal faith story? By all means!  But your personal testimony is just that a personal testimony.  Your personal testimony speaks to the effect of the Gospel in your life, but is not the Gospel itself.  The Gospel is the power.  Your personal testimony is the result.  While presenting your personal testimony is a good way to show people the power of the Gospel, only the Gospel itself can unleash that power in their lives.
  • acts of charity.
    • Should you be charitable?  No doubt!  We should serve people like Jesus serves people.  We should be known for our extravagant generosity.  Generosity and charity, though, are not the same as the Gospel.  Generosity is the result of a Gospel transformed life.  It is a fruit and the Gospel of God is the root.  Give them the root so that they can fully understand the fruit that they see in your life.

Evangelism is the clear presentation of the Gospel in a way that can be understood by the hearer.

Evangelism is a supernatural work. (Ephesians 2:1-9 & John 6:44)

Evangelism is an essential responsibility. (Romans 10:14-16)

  • We must Pray.
  • We must Send.
  • We must Go.

Evangelism is an extreme privilege. (Philippians 1:18-26)

How do we evangelize?

  • Be Prepared!
  • Be Real!
    • It’s not about presenting a compelling sales pitch.  In evangelism, you are seeking to communicate the solution of the deepest need of humanity.  It is a weighty subject with much in the balance.  When you share the Gospel be real and be yourself.  Anything else will seem forced and insincere.
  • Be Courageous!
    • God has sent His Son Jesus to live, suffer, die and resurrect on our behalf.  He gave us the Spirit and left us with a command to go and make disciples.  This is difficult work and requires great courage.

Christianity 101: The Bible

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The Bible

What is the Bible?

  • The Holy Scriptures, which consist of the 66 books (the Old and New Testaments), are the only verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the manuscripts, infallible, and God-breathed.
    • 2 Timothy 3:16, 1:13; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5

How should we approach the Bible?

  • Reverently – We are handling the very words of God and we must never take that fact lightly.
  • Humbly – We are always the student and never the teacher when it comes to the Bible.  Since it is God’s word, the truth presented in the Bible is superior to our ideas and opinions.  We submit to God’s truth.
  • Seriously – The Bible deserves and requires serious attention, devotion, and study.
  • Like other books – The Bible is a book and it must be treated like a book.  It has an author, a plot, and a purpose, and we must study it with that in mind.

What does the Bible teach us?

  • The Bible is God’s revealed word to us that teaches us the overarching Story of our existence.

The Story…

  • is God’s Story.
    • He is the Author
    • He is the Hero
    • He is the Point
  • is the correct explanation of reality.
  • provides us with necessary information that we cannot receive in any other way.
  • is not a collection or morality tales.
    • Although the Bible does present a code of morality, it is much more than a disconnected collection of stories about how we should behave.  It is a seamless Story which teach us about what God has done on our behalf and how we are to appropriately respond to Him.
  • is not exhaustive.
    • It does not tell us everything that can be known, but it does tells us exactly what we need. (The Gospel)

 

Additional Resources on the Story

God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgement – Jim Hamilton

Dominion & Dynasty – Stephen Dempster

 

Check out this brief overview of the Story.