Episode 229

Disciple Up # 229
Are We In the Last Days?
By Louie Marsh, 9-22-2021

Websites Quoted From in this Episode:

https://evidenceandanswers.org/article/are-we-in-the-end-times/

https://www.gotquestions.org/living-in-the-end-times.html

https://www.amazon.com/Late-Great-Planet-Earth/dp/1470886642

The Key verse:

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17“ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” (Acts 2:14–21, ESV)

28And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” (1 John 2:28–29, ESV)

 

 

 

Episode 228

Disciple Up # 228
7 Letters For 7 Churches, Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh

Intro. Last week we did the first three and I shared a nice graph on the letters in the show notes. This week we’ll be finishing off the last four.

Next week – I might be focusing on what I preached on September 12th – Gender with a special focus on the end of the message which dealt with why we are thinking the way we are in this culture/

Gender & Sanity:

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/christschurchontheriver/02_reThink_-_Gender__Sanity.mp3

Last Four Letters:

 Website where I got what’s below from: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/end-times/what-do-the-7-churches-in-revelation-represent-summaries-and-explanations.html

  1. Thyatira. The Church that Follows False Prophets (Revelation 2:18-29)

Summary and Explanation: Thyatira was a wealthy commercial city. Jesus’ letter to Thyatira praises the church for having grown in faith and service (Revelation 2:19). The church’s downfall was its devotion to a false prophet that led some members to commit idolatry and immorality (Revelation 2:20). Although the false prophet remained unrepentant, Jesus affirms that the congregation can still repent by turning away from the prophet’s ways (Revelation 2:21-22).

The Lord reminds us in this revelation that He will repay each of us according to our deeds (Revelation 2:23). The payment for sin is death. Those who persevere in faith, however, will receive a share of Christ’s messianic authority over all nations and triumph over death (Revelation 2:26-28).

Significance Today: Just as some in Thyatira’s church were led astray by a false prophet, Christians today fall prey to cult leaders, occult practices, and other false teachings. To share in Christ’s victory, we are to avoid these “so-called deep secrets” of Satan (Revelation 2:24) and hold firm to Christ’s teachings.

  1. Sardis. The Church that is Spiritually Dead (Revelation 3:1-6)

Summary and Explanation: Sardis was a city that had endured two surprise attacks despite its fortifications. Our Lord faults the church in Sardis for maintaining an outward appearance of being “alive,” while actually being spiritually dead (Revelation 3:1). Alluding to the city’s history of prior surprise attacks, Jesus warns the congregation to “wake up” and repent, lest he “come like a thief” to bestow His judgment (Revelation 3:2-3).

Those in Sardis who heed Christ’s warning will be “dressed in white,” a symbol of purity and victory, and will be acknowledged in Heaven’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5).

Significance Today: Today, Christians can fall into the trap that ensnared the church in Sardis if we merely go through the motions of practicing our faith without really feeding our spirit. We can avoid becoming “the living dead” by engaging in our faith through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship.

  1. Philadelphia. The Church that Patiently Endured Despite Weaknesses (Revelation 3:7-13)

Summary and Explanation: Philadelphia was home to a synagogue community hostile to Christians. Christ praises the Philadelphians for remaining faithful in the face of trials despite their limited strength (Rev. 3:8).

Jesus does not reproach this congregation but condemns its persecutors. (Revelation 3:9). Christ promises that if Philadelphia’s congregants remain faithful to Him, He will protect them from the “hour of trial” and make them pillars in God’s heavenly temple (Revelation 3:10-12).

Significance Today: The message to Philadelphia shows us the blessings that come when we maintain our faith despite life’s tribulations. In fact, those who persevere despite weaknesses will stand strong as pillars in Heaven.

  1. Laodicea. The Church with a Lukewarm Faith (Revelation 3:14-22)

Summary and Explanation: Laodicea was a prosperous industrial and commercial center. Jesus’ letter to this church wastes no time denouncing the congregation for its lukewarm faith, threatening to “spit” the congregation out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16).

Christ scolds this church for allowing its economic prosperity to cause it spiritual bankruptcy and reveals that, despite its economic wealth, only He can provide spiritual wealth (Revelation 3:17-18). Those in Laodicea’s church who open the door to Christ will share in His Heavenly banquet and have the right to sit with Him on His throne (Revelation 3:20-21).

Significance Today: Like the church in Laodicea, it’s easy to become complacent in our faith during times of abundance. Christ warns us in this revelation that he will “spit out” lukewarm disciples. Instead, Jesus urges us to keep seeking the Lord’s face even after His hand has bestowed riches in our lives.

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Episode 227

Disciple Up # 227
7 Letters to 7 Churches
By Louie Marsh, 9-8-2021

This is just about the only part of Revelation I will teach on. I’m not quite as bad as Martin Luther about this though.

He put both Revelation and the book of James into the appendix of his New Testament translation into German. He called the book of James, “a right strawy epistle.” And of Revelation he said that “Apostles ought not to write like that.”

I love the book of James and would not presume to tell an Apostle how to write. However, most of the book does leave me pretty cold. But not these 7 little letters.

False view of them as ages of church history. This was around when Luther lived because he accepted it, at least in part. When it really began, I don’t know.

Episode 226

Disciple Up # 226
Greater Than – Don’t Miss His Rest, Hebrews Chapter 3
By Louie Marsh, 9-1-2021

What’s happening??  Last time we did this was Episode 186!

HEBREWS CHAPTER 3

Introduction:

1Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” (Hebrews 3:1–6, ESV)

God’s Rest

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

   do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,

on the day of testing in the wilderness,

   where your fathers put me to the test

and saw my works for forty years.

10   Therefore I was provoked with that generation,

and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;

they have not known my ways.’

11   As I swore in my wrath,

‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

 

What stops us from seeing this?

 

  • Blindness to the issue
  • Pride
  • Peer pressure
  • Comfort zone

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

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Episode 225

Tales From the Scrypt #225
The DEATH of Our Christian Worldview
By Louie Marsh, 8-25-2021

Links to Articles:

https://www.theblaze.com/news/over-60-percent-christians-jesus-not-only-way-to-heaven

https://probe.org/introducing-probes-new-survey-religious-views-and-practices-2020/

1I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1–5, ESV)

3But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” (2 Corinthians 11:3–4, ESV)

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Episode 224

 

Disciple Up # 224
reThinking Evangelism & Other Stuff
By Louie Marsh, 8-18-2021

What’s happening now…

 Article I’m Reading From:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/august/gen-z-evangelism-faith-conversations-jesus-barna.html

State of the Podcast

https://www.thepodcasthost.com/planning/whats-a-good-number-of-downloads-for-a-podcast/

If your new episode gets, within 7 days of its release:

  • more than 26 downloads, you’re in the top 50% of podcasts.
  • more than 72 downloads, you’re in the top 25% of podcasts.
  • more than 231 downloads, you’re in the top 10% of podcasts.
  • more than 539 downloads, you’re in the top 5% of podcasts.
  • more than 3062 downloads, you’re in the top 1% of podcasts.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/global_stats

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Episode 223

Disciple Up # 223

Persecution Watch, August 11th, 2021

By Louie Marsh

https://www.christianpost.com/news/hindu-leader-calls-for-anti-christian-violence-in-india.html

 

https://www.christianpost.com/world/american-evangelist-jailed-in-uk-its-getting-very-bad-here.html

 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/portland-antifa-christian-worship-event-clash-proud-boys

 

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/august/mozambique-insurgency-attacks-cabo-delgado-pastors-minister.html

 

“When we first arrived, our arms were crossed—we were sad and angry,” said another pastor whose family is still missing. He also asked that CT not print his name out of fear of further attacks. “But because we serve, we’re strong. Because we serve, we’re happy. In a time of difficulty or in a time of ease, we will serve the Lord.”

 

Yet another pastor, who has lost everything, said, “They can burn our houses, they can burn our food—but they cannot burn Jesus out of me.”

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Episode 222

Disciple Up # 222
Facing Our Failure (Thanks COVID!)
By Louie Marsh, 8-4-2021

Intro. I’ve been thinking about COVID’s impact on us in a different way lately. Then hearing that my dear friend Naomi’s Dad died of it yesterday and that she is down with COVID (please pray for her) shifted my thinking once again.

Setting the Stage:

COVID didn’t appear in a vacuum. It came at a time when the church in the United States and the entire Western World was in a huge and growing decline.

https://comparecamp.com/church-attendance-statistics/

US Church Attendance Statistics

The US religious landscape continues to change at an accelerated pace. On the one hand, the number of devout Christians who belong to the older generations continues to decline. On the other hand, younger Americans tend to prioritize things other than religion. Thus, this trend is expected to persist further.

  • In the last 10 years, the number of Americans who report they attend church services around once or twice a month declined by 7%
  • Conversely, the number of American Christians who report they attend church services less frequently has increased by 7%
  • In 2009, those who attend church services around once or twice a month exceeded those who attend church services only occasionally or not at all
  • On the contrary, those numbers are inverted today: 54% of Americans nowadays say they attend church services a few times a year compared to those who attend at least monthly (45%)
  • From 55% in 1965, mass attendance decreased to 23% in 2017
  • Between 2010 and 2017, US Catholics have lost 800 parishes
  • In 2010, 21.3% of the US population were Catholics. In 2017, 21% of the American population, only registering a slight loss and zero growth
  • In 2018, among those aged 21–29, 36% of Protestants and 25% of Catholics went to church weekly
  • When the first wave of church abuse charges emerged in the mid-1990s, religious attendance in the US considerably plummeted

The Most Common COVID Impacts

Giving. Some churches I know of, including my own, have seen giving go up. I know of many others who’ve experienced a drop – some quite large. I know of very few whose giving has been untouched by this.

Attendance – down – WAY DOWN! People got used to not coming to church and either don’t at all or only very sporadically.

Conclusions:

 COVID has only accelerated a process that has been underway for decades. With or without COVID church in the West is shrinking and will continue to do so. COVID has exposed a problem that we already had but weren’t really aware of just how big it is.

This Means: The church in the West has failed to carry out our Lord’s command to go and make disciples.

Which means – I’m a failure too.

COVID should be forcing the church and those of us in the Ministry to face our failure – but I’m afraid it isn’t.

The Haunting of Failure (2015)

 https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-haunting-of-ministry-failure/

 

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Episode 221

 Disciple Up # 221
Dangerous Christian Music
By Louie Marsh, 7-28-2021

Main Article Quoted from:

https://redstate.com/brandon_morse/2021/07/26/modern-christian-music-isnt-just-bad-its-dangerous-n416613

https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/30558297/Gaither+Vocal+Band/Pass+Me+Not%2C+O+Gentle+Savior

Pass me not, O gentle Savior
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by

Savior, Savior
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by

Bruce Cockburn – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ly1fKZa_lQ&t=489s

The Kind of Dangerous We Need:

“1Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. 9And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.” (Genesis 12:1–9, ESV)

“1After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”” (Genesis 22:1–2, ESV)

“16And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

22When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:16–29, ESV)

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Episode 220

Disciple Up # 220
Double Talk & the Church
By Louie Marsh, 7-20-2021

Intro. Changes to the podcast will be coming fairly soon I think. What changes would you like to see?

Article I read from:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/july/umc-leave-church-methodist-split-lgbt-conference-protocol.html

36And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” (Acts 15:36–41, ESV)

33“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (Matthew 5:33–37, ESV)

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