Sunday, July 31, 2016

Micaiah - Israel's Don Quixote, Between Fear and Faith


“Micaiah – Israel’s Don Quixote”
“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *



Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org / gospelcall.blogspot.com - Date: 07.31.16

Text: I Kings 22.13 - 28
Thesis: Between fear and faith is the Truth!

1           Introduction

A. Ahab and Ben-Hadad were adversaries in the 9th century B.C.
B. Ahab – “father’s brother”
C. Ben-hadad – “son of Hadad”  A title of all Syrian kings
D. Ben-hadad made two demands of Ahab
             1. He agreed to give his wives, children and gold
          2. Refused to let him into his palace and take whatever he
               wanted.
E. God gave victory to Ahab “and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
F. Ben-hadad and 32 kings were drunk and defeated
G. The next spring Ben-hadad came back because they surmised that God was only God of the Mountains and not of the plains.
H. God told Ahab that “you shall know that I am the Lord, the God of both hills and valleys.”
I. Ahab captured Ben-hadad alive and did not kill him but rather made a treaty with him and sent him home.
J. Since Ahab refused to “devote to destruction” Ben-hadad and his host, God promised that he would require of Ahab both his life and lives of his people.
K. 20.43 – “And the kind of Israel went to his house vexed and sullen and came to Samaria.”
L. Chpt. 21 – Naboth
          1. Elijah prophesies the doom of Ahab and Jezebel
M. Chpt. 22 – Ahab makes an alliance with Jehoshaphat of Judah and plots war again with the Syrians to retake Ramoth-gilead which Ben-hadad’s father had taken from Ahab’s father, Omri

2          Two kings wrestle with a decision

A. Ahab – let’s get up and go
B. Jehoshaphat – let’s inquire of the Lord first
C. 400 say “yes,” yet Jehoshaphat wants another opinion
D. Ahab – I hate Micaiah
E. Jehoshaphat – Don’t say that
F. Ultimately, both are swayed by the vast majority – 400 – 1
G. BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR IS THE TRUTH

3          The heroism of Micaiah

A. Was told by the king’s messenger to “let your word be as their words.”
B. Told the messenger; “what the Lord tells me that I will speak.”

C. Sarcastically agrees in 20.15
D. Ahab demands the truth and Micaiah gives it to him
E. Tells Jehoshaphat – “Didn’t I tell you so?”
F. Micaiah relays a vision of the heavenly realm – 19 – 23
H. Micaiah is struck by Zedekiah as he demands how Micaiah could prophesy such things.
I. Micaiah gives him a sign of the future
J. Micaiah is seized and thrown into prison on bread and water until peace comes.
K. “IF” peace comes Micaiah says
             1. The fate of Micaiah is unknown to history
M. “Hear all you peoples!”
N. BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR IS THE TRUTH

4         Defeat and Death

A. Ahab disguises himself
B. Jehoshaphat battles as a king
C. Ahab is killed by a stray arrow and dies
1. His chariot is washed of blood in Samaria where the dogs lick up his blood.
D. Jehoshaphat escapes to continuing leading Judah
E. BETWEENFEAR AND FAITH IS THE TRUTH

5          The Meaning of the Text

A. No matter what, HEAR the Word of the Lord
B. Never submit to the demands of the majority
C. Never be swayed by the sheer number of the camp of the wicked
D. Never be swayed by the insistence of one’s superiors to do evil.
E. Never add to nor take away from God’s Word
F. There is a greater reward that life, safety and freedom
G. Fear surrenders, faith fights on driven by the TRUTH
H. BETWEEN FEAR AND FAITH IS THE TRUTH

6         The Challenge of the Text

A. Hear the Word of God
B. Believe the Word of God
C. Obey the Word of God
D. BETWEEN FEAR AND FATIH IS THE TRUTH

7          “The Gospel Call”


·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston  Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org.

·         On Friday night, August 12, 2016 Russ will dramatically portray the life and times of his 5th Great grandfather, John “Justice” Gaston entitled; “A Patriot of the Revolution.” A portion of the event will cover also the life and times of his brother, Hugh Gaston.  The event will take place at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at 7 p.m.   The public is invited to this free presentation.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Long-suffering - To What End?

This sermon was delivered on 27 July 2016 at the Mountain Island church of Christ in Charlotte, NC as part of their on-going "Summer Series."  I am grateful to God and to the elders of MICofC for the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Painting by William Blake Courtesy of wikiart.org / Public Domain

AudioLink: "To Follow Soon"

“Long-suffering – To What End?” 
Mt. Island church of Christ Summer Series

“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org / gospelcall.blogspot.com - Date: 27 July 2016
Texts:
Gal. 5.22 – 23; Ex. 34.1 - 9;  Job 2.11 – 13;  Job 37.23 – 24; Job 42.7 - 10
Thesis:
The end of longsuffering is much more than we might imagine.

1           Introduction

A. The reading of the Scripture – Galatians 5.1; 13; 22 - 23
B. Greeting
C. Longsuffering in 2016 – “Sitting through a sermon longer than 23 minutes and is devoid of video clips to keep one engaged beyond the 7 minute attention span.”
D. The word defined:
             1. Old Testament
                       a. Ark-aphim – “Slow of angers,” “far feeling”
             2. New Testament
                       a. Mak-roth-umia
1) THAYER – “Endurance, constancy,      steadfastness, slowness in avenging wrongs, long-an-imity.”
a) WEBSTERS 1828 – “Disposition to endure long under offences.”
2) WEBSTERS 1828 – “Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient; not easily provoked.”
          a) Why an 1828 dictionary in 2016?
(1) Words have true meanings in NW1828 (Bible based)
(2) Today’s dictionaries have only evolved and ever changing meanings (Darwinian based)
          E. Tonight we will see that:
1. Longsuffering is neither purposeless or for self-improvement.
2. Longsuffering is descriptive of God Himself.
3. The Longsuffering of Job is not as it appears.
4. It was the friends that sinned, not Job
5. The end of Job’s Longsuffering was the for the salvation of his 3 friends!

2          Longsuffering is neither purposeless or for self-improvement

A. Galatians 5.1 – “For freedom, Christ has set us free”
B. Galatians 5.13 – “For you were called to freedom, brothers”
C. Galatians 5.14 – “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word; “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”
             1) How does God illustrate this?
a) John 3.16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
D. We suffer long with others for the gospels sake as He suffered long with us to bring us into the Kingdom.
E. The end of Longsuffering is more than we might imagine

3          Longsuffering is descriptive of God Himself – Exodus 34.1 - 9

A.   God seeks the longsuffering who will “stand in the gap”
1. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” – Ezek. 22.30
2.  Moses was longsuffering and stood in the gap – verse 9
3. The end of the longsuffering of Moses was the salvation of Israel.
B. The end of Longsuffering is more than we might imagine

4         The Longsuffering of Job was not as it appears – Job 2.11 - 13

A.   Job lost everything men think of as essential
1.      Family
2.     Possessions
3.    Health
4.    Self-sustainability
5.    Pride
B.   Job – my circumstances are not indicative of sin
C.    3 friends – Job’s circumstances ARE indicative of sin
D.   God – Job’s circumstances are not indicative of the either the presence or absence of sin in Job’s life.
E.    The end of Longsuffering is more than we might imagine.

5          It was the friends that sinned – NOT Job – Job 37.23 - 24

A. Job asserts that God can be known
B. The 3 friends assert the opposite – He cannot be known
C. Job fears God by faith
D. The 3 friends fear God out of fear itself
E. Even at the very end, Elihu implies that Job is “wise in his own conceit.”
F. In truth, it is Elihu and his 2 friends that are “wise in their own conceit.”
G. The end of Longsuffering is more than we might imagine.

6         The end of Job’s Longsuffering was the salvation of his friends! – Job 42.7 - 10

A. Job spoke right of God
B. Elihu and his 2 friends did NOT speak right of God
C. Job will pray for you
D. God will accept the prayer of Job on their behalf
E. The Lord accepted Job’s prayer for his 3 friends
F. When all this transpired, God restored and increased Job
G. The end of Longsuffering is more that we might imagine.
H. This principle of suffering long with people for the gospels sake is summarized by Paul in II Corinthians 5.10 – 11a; 17 - 21

7          “The Gospel Call”


·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston  Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org.

·         On Friday night, August 12, 2016 Russ will dramatically portray the life and times of his 5th Great grandfather, John “Justice” Gaston entitled; “A Patriot of the Revolution.” A portion of the event will cover also the life and times of his brother, Hugh Gaston.  The event will take place at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at 7 p.m.   The public is invited to this free presentation.




Sunday, July 17, 2016

Profit and Loss - 17 July 2016



“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *


Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org / gospelcall.blogspot.com - Date:

Text: Mark 8.34
Thesis: 100% Profit or Loss for following or not following Christ

1           Introduction

A. Profit is not a dirty word
B. Poverty is not inherently virtuous
C. Self-interest is not selfishness
D. Success is not greed
E. The Golden Rule applied causes all ships to rise on the tide of faithfulness
F. Faithfulness begins with acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty and a spirit of thanksgiving
             1) Romans 1.21 - 23
F. These principles are illustrated in Luke 12.16 – 21
             1) He denied the power of God
             2) He proclaimed his own power
             3) He gave no credit to God
             4) He gave all credit to himself
             5) His profit was temporary
             6) His loss was permanent
             7) He failed to count the cost

2          100% Denial of Self for Christ = 100% Profit for my soul

A.   Acknowledge our riches come from God
1) Deuteronomy 8.17 - 18
B. Give Him thanks for all blessings
             1) Life
             2) Health
             3) Sound mind
              4) Liberty
             5) Friends
             6) Circumstances
             7) Wealth
C. Self denial is to embrace God’s Sovereignty and our subservience
D. Living the Great Commandment is self denial in action

3          100% Taking Up of the Cross = 100% Profit for my soul

A. Overtly proactive
B. Faith is not a private matter
C. Faith is to be taken to the public square
D. Faith in public has consequences that are unpleasant
E. Deposits are made in heaven when our faith is shown publically
F. The taking up of the cross is synonymous with the Great Commission

4         100% Followship of Christ = 100% Profit for my soul

A. Follow Christ in private
B. Follow Christ in mind
             1) “Think on these things” – Philippians 4.8
C. Follow Christ in Word
D. Follow Christ in Deed

5          The Meaning of the Text

A. Self Denial, Taking up the Cross and Followship is all PROFIT
B. Failure to do these things is all LOSS
C. Some banks fail, others succeed.  Which bank are we depositing in?

6         The Challenge of the Text

A. “I Surrender All” my pride
B. “I Surrender All” my priorities
C. “I Surrender All” my talents
D. “I Surrender All” my wealth
E. “I Surrender All” my time
F. “I Surrender All” of me

7          “The Gospel Call”


·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston
Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org.
·         On Friday night, August 5, 2016 Russ will dramatically portray the life and times of his 5th Great grandfather, John “Justice” Gaston entitled; “A Patriot of the Revolution.” A portion of the event will cover also the life and times of his brother, Hugh Gaston.  The event will take place at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at 7 p.m.   The public is invited to this free presentation.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Caleb - God's 2nd Fiddle



“Caleb – God’s Second Fiddle”



“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org / gospelcall.blogspot.com - Date:

Text: Deuteronomy 1.19 - 40
Thesis: First fiddles can’t fiddle without a 2nd fiddle!

1           Introduction

A. Source of phrase
B. Washington had his 2nd fiddle spies
             1. The landing of the French army
             2. The saving of West Point from Benedict Arnold
             3. The stealth of Yorktown
C. Grant had two 2nd fiddles, Sherman and Sheridan
D. Sometimes 2nd fiddles get promoted and 1st fiddles get demoted. 
             1. Prior to the 2nd WW, the Filipino commander was Douglas MacArthur.  His aide?  Dwight Eisenhower.

2          Caleb spoke up for obedience before Joshua – Numbers 13.26 - 33

A. What’s right, not who’s right
B. Leadership was the result of faith, not ambition
C. He cared not for his own safety, reputation or career

3          Caleb took up his second fiddle willingly and played the same tune – Numbers 14.1 - 10

A. He tore his clothes with Joshua
B. He spoke with unison with Joshua
C. He accepted death as a consequence with Joshua

4         Caleb took up his 2nd fiddle willingly and publically – Deuteronomy 1.34 - 38

A. He accepted that Joshua was on the platform and he wasn’t
B. He accepted that he was in the audience and Joshua wasn’t
C. He was comfortable in the 2nd chair

5          The Meaning of the Text

A. There is no shame in the 2nd chair
B. The 1st chair fails without the 2nd
C. Accept elevation and demotion with equal grace

6         The Challenge of the Text

A. Am I subservient to God and others?
B. Am I ambitious to be 1st chair?
C. Do I see my worth to God regardless of chair?

7          “The Gospel Call”


·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston  Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org.

·         On Friday night, August 12, 2016 Russ will dramatically portray the life and times of his 5th Great grandfather, John “Justice” Gaston entitled; “A Patriot of the Revolution.” A portion of the event will cover also the life and times of his brother, Hugh Gaston.  The event will take place at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at 7 p.m.   The public is invited to this free presentation.


Ephesians 6.5 - 9 - Slaves, Bondservants, & Christ

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