The LORD Regretted That He Had Made Man?

The Bible plainly says that God is sovereign over all things. But if this is so, then how are we to understand the Bible verses that say that God was grieved or sorry that He did something?

Genesis 6:6 – And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

Two Obstacles: Angry Men and Immodest Women

Two great obstacles to the completion of the mission of the church are angry men and immodest women. In this sermon, Ryan Fullerton deals with 1 Timothy 2:8-10 to show how angry men who do not pray and women who dress immodestly can affect our effectiveness in advancing the Gospel.

This sermon was preached at Boyce College and is embedded from their YouTube Channel.

Learning Christ

Being a Christian is not just learning facts about Christ, but rather it is actually learning Christ personally. This is what causes us to live radically different from how we lived formerly. A person can hear about Christ without actually learning Him. Have you learned Christ?

Crushing Idols and Communing With God

Are willing to eliminate things in our lives that are displeasing to God? Are we willing to be rid of idols in our lives that are not only displeasing to God but are also greatly hurtful to us because they hinder sweet communion that we would have with God?

The Seed of the Woman & The Serpent

A major theme in the Bible is the battle between Christ and the Devil. We see this promised from the very beginning in Genesis 3. Because of the Fall, everyone is born as a child of the devil with his seed in them. And our only hope is the seed of the woman (Christ) bruising his head and setting us free.

The Truth is Never Arrogant

The truth is never arrogant but the truth is a matter of fact. Now in the delivery of the truth, the messenger can be proud, unloving and arrogant. It is true that our actions will either substantiate the message or undermine it. To proclaim an exclusive Gospel is not the proclamation of a proud man, but the proclamation of a man whom God has humbled and rescued by Jesus Christ.

View the full sermon, “The Exclusivity of Christianity“.

The Exclusivity of Christianity

Christianity is the exclusive faith that can save us and bring us to heaven. There’s only one God and one Savior and the Bible is dogmatically clear on this. No matter what the world and our culture want to accuse us of, we can’t compromise on the exclusivity of the Gospel.

Preached at the 2019 Fellowship Conference New England.

Don’t Let Anyone Take Your Crown

We need to take heed to the warnings of Scripture and not delude ourselves into thinking that we’re immune to them. We’re living in a generation of so many platforms for people to spew out false doctrine. And many of these false teachers are very likable outwardly, which makes them all the more able to deceive the naive. And immature spiritual children who lack discernment are their easiest prey.

Revelation 3:11 – I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

View the full sermon, “No Longer Children“.

“Jesus Is Passing By!” (Part Three)

Luke 18:35-43

“Receive your sight.” Jesus told him. “Your faith has saved you.” Instantly he could see, and he began to follow him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God (18:42-43 CSB).

Lastly, we see the happy outcome (18:42-43): Jesus caused the blind man to see. This was the last of his healing miracles in the Gospels. As he drew near to Jerusalem, his action demonstrated that the Lord, the Great I Am, had come to his people. The wilderness and the dry land will be glad; the desert will rejoice and blossom like a wildflower. It will blossom abundantly and will also rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, steady the shaking knees! Say to the cowardly: “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God; vengeance is coming. God’s retribution is coming; he will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped (Isaiah 35:1-5 CSB).

He healed by word alone. Notice that there was no set pattern for the way that Jesus gave sight to the blind. The power was not in his method but in his ability. What we need in our local churches is not a successful method. We need only to see the Lord act in his sovereign mercy. We should become serious about asking the Lord Jesus to act for his glory among us. Is there any outlook that the western church of our time will recover the conviction that the Lord Almighty acts when his people pray? Now we hear of demographics, polished programs for children, nice facilities, worship bands, skilled communicators, etc. as churches try to get religious consumers to buy their pretty spiritual package they are marketing.

He healed the blind man immediately. There was no question about whether the man could see or not. Can you hear the man shouting? “I can see! I can see!”

What a happy day had come for the former blind man! He went from darkness to light, because he met Jesus the Son of God, who acted with power in his life. Has that happened to you? Have you by faith met the Lord Jesus? Can you now by faith see the glory of God in Jesus Christ?

God received praise because of Jesus.

The man became a follower of Jesus. And what did he do? He praised God. Isn’t that what followers of Jesus should do? God’s first purpose for us is worship. It’s not about you! It’s about the living God. When we join to praise the Lord, it’s not a matter of what we like or don’t like. It’s all about exalting God, whether a song was written in the 1730s or in the 2010s. We ought to magnify God with all our hearts. Lift up your voice and say, “Praise God, I can see! I can see! I can see! Praise his glorious name!” Don’t sit so silent. Or are you still blind?

The watching crowds also began to praise God. It’s hard to argue when you see a blind man receive his sight. The greatest attraction a church can have is to have the Lord changing people. “Look how they love each other!”

Grace and peace, David

Do Not Scoff at God’s Warnings

You’re going out of the world someday. That day with your number on it, it’s coming. You’re going to die. Where are you going? To what are you going to face on the other side? And God warns you. And He warns you by the flood. He warns you through Adam. He warns you through the Amorites. He warns you by Sodom and Gomorrah. He warns you through a double destruction of Jerusalem. He told those people the same thing. If you don’t obey My voice, I am going to wipe you off the face of the earth. And they kept on and they kept on and they kept on. Can you imagine those prophets? One prophet after another, decade after decade, another prophet comes and warns: Death is coming. Destruction is coming. God is going to wipe you out. “Yeah, yeah, yeah… we’ve heard that before.” “Kill that guy. Throw that guy in jail.” “Where is it?” And they kept saying it. And it came. And the Babylonians came. And then it happened all over again. And even Jesus came and they killed Him. And then the Romans came. These things are warnings. He warns you in His Word. You must stand before Him and He is going to judge you in righteousness. Can you imagine those folks in Noah’s day? See them. Hear them. Listen to them! That day, “Hey, Noah’s not working on the ark anymore. The door’s shut. Yeah, and the clouds are looking strange. It looks dark.” And this was no ordinary rain. Something began to happen – something threatening. I’ll tell you what had happened. Time ran out. It was over. Mercy was exhausted. God’s patience had come to an end. And when those first drops of rain began to fall down, that door was shut. Remember how it says it in the Gospel? “And the door was shut.” And those servants, those five virgins that were on the outside, when the door is shut, the door is shut. Today is the day of salvation. If you foolishly laugh and mock and play on and eat and drink and plant and marry, and that door gets shut and takes you, you’re a fool. You were warned. This is a warning you want to take with the utmost of your attention. Imagine that! That door shut. God sealed them in. The one place of refuge… gone. If you let death take you and you’re outside of Christ, it’s gone. All hope is gone. Who is laughing then? I don’t know. Some of them probably said we’ve got to get to high ground. Some probably banged and clawed on the side of that ark. It was all for naught. They were doomed. They had crossed the point of no return. There’s no more safety. There’s no more hiding place. It’s too late. There was a place of salvation. God did provide a way of escape. They laughed at it. They ignored it. They ridiculed it. Christ is the ark. There is not another. When He comes, the door is shut. When you die, the door is shut. This excerpt was taken from the full sermon “Dying You Shall Die”

The Christian’s Boldness and Confidence

Jesus Christ is the Christian’s foundation for having bold access to God. It is not our performance that allows us to come boldly before God, but the merits of Christ. Christians do not need to be full of fear and anxiety to come to God. Because of Christ, God welcomes them to come, even on their worst day.

Is it Right to Alert Pastors When You See Problems and Divisions Arising?

Do members of a church have responsibility to alert the pastors when they see divisions arising in the church? How important is communication of the sheep with the shepherds in order to maintain unity in the church? Clint: Well, when there’s a report given to a pastor, it’s very much different than one person reporting to another person in the congregation. And I’m thinking along the lines of gossip or slander – things like that that are not good. But nonetheless, there are times when a pastor may be oblivious to something that’s going on in the church and it could be very helpful in heading it off at the pass or dealing with it before it becomes a major issue, for him to know that. I think of the Apostle Paul. – we’ve been informed by Chloe’s people that divisions exist he said there. I think that’s how he worded it. So here was a case where someone – Chloe’s people – came to the apostle and alerted him something was going on. In another place, “it’s been reported that there’s immorality among you,” he said in 1 Corinthians 5. In another place, 1 Corinthians 11, he speaks about another report of division. So there are occasions when that’s helpful and I think maybe a duty. Someone might be duty-bound to say something to the pastor. But there’s a fine line between tattle-telling or being a gossip there. So we have to definitely be on guard against that.

“Jesus Is Passing By!” (Part Two)

Luke 18:35-43

Then those in front told him to keep quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to him. When he came closer, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see.” “Receive your sight.” Jesus told him. “Your faith has saved you.” (CSB)

Next we hear the blind beggar’s interview with Jesus (18:39-42). He had a problem getting to the interview. Was it a lack of transportation or a scheduling conflict? No, people tried to hinder the man from meeting Jesus (18:39).

They may have had various motives, such as self-centeredness or prejudice or disagreement with him. The incident is sort of an acted parable for what happens countless times. If someone starts to become interested in Jesus Christ, other people will try to hinder him or her from meeting Jesus. Many times this hindrance will come from family members: husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, parents and children, cousins and in-laws. People don’t like anything that might interfere with their weekend beer parties and pleasure trips. If someone really meets God through Jesus Christ, they’re sort of ruined for weekend carousing or leisure, which is all most people lust after in some form or the other.

Their opposition did not stop the blind beggar. He understood his desperate condition. He was blind and he wanted to see. And the only One who could help him was now very close. He couldn’t let this opportunity pass by. Jesus might never be this near again. So he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” People don’t like the ruckus that people who really believe that Jesus is the Messiah make. They have various objections: It’s not necessary; it’s not proper; it’s too loud; it’s disruptive, etc. etc. Guess what? The blind man wanted to disrupt the whole parade into Jericho. He had one thing on his mind: He wanted to see and Jesus could make him see. If you get around people who want to see and believe Jesus can do just that for them, you’re going to learn something. They will disrupt your quiet little parades into Jericho.

We need to have our quiet little walks into Jericho (metaphorical for a quiet, orderly church services) disrupted by some blind people who want to see. How much are you willing to see your sweetly ordered, neatly packaged walk through life disrupted? Your answer will reveal how much you want other people to see Jesus or perhaps it might reveal that you yourself have never seen him. When people who have lived years in sin come to trust in Christ as Lord and Savior, their change of world and life view will disrupt their family and their friendships. An old chorus written by Stanton W. Gavitt said, “Things are different now, something happened to me, when I gave my heart to Jesus. Things are different now—I was changed, it must be, when I gave my heart to Him. Things I loved before have passed away, things I love far more have come to stay. Things are different now, something happened to me when I gave my heart to Jesus.”

Jesus talked with the blind man (18:40-41). Jesus took charge of the situation and ordered the blind man to be brought to him. Jesus directed the blind man to his source of hope—Jesus himself. “What do you want me to do for you?” Any mercy coming to the blind man will be coming from Jesus Christ, the Son of David. He did not volunteer to be a medical advisor concerning ways that the blind man could restore his own sight. Jesus was examining the man’s faith in him.

What would you really like Jesus to do for you? What would you like Jesus to do for the church you attend? I would like to see the Lord Jesus giving spiritual sight to those who are spiritually blind, wouldn’t you? The blind man told Jesus that he wanted to see. Notice his respect for Jesus. He called Jesus “Lord”. The Spirit of God was at work (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3). Has the Spirit of the living God ever worked in your heart (your inner being), so that you cried out, “I want to see you, Lord?”

“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, open the eyes of my heart; I want to see You; I want to see You: To see You high and lifted up shinin’ in the light of Your glory; pour out Your power and love as we sing holy, holy, holy” (Michael W. Smith).

Grace and peace, David

“Jesus Is Passing By!” (Part One)

Luke 18:35-43

As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Hearing a crowd passing by, he inquired what was happening. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told him. So he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (CSB)

One summer we took a “presidential vacation” in Ohio, visiting various historical sites of Presidents McKinley, Hayes and Garfield. As we were concluding our visit at Garfield’s estate, a woman from the museum came up to us and asked if we would like to meet the great grandson of President Garfield. We were able to talk with him, and he autographed a book that I had purchased about his great grandfather. That was unusual, but then a day or so later as we visited my parents in Dover, Ohio, our then current president passed through Dover on his way to a meeting in Cambridge. My uncle and aunt went downtown with many others to see the President of the United States pass by. Yes, people are interested in meeting famous people or their relatives, even in the twenty-first century. So it should not surprise us that in the first century, a time with far less distractions, people eagerly thronged to see Jesus of Nazareth, the Great Prophet of God and worker of miracles. Let us consider what happened one day.

A blind beggar heard about Jesus approaching Jericho (18:35-38). Think about the sad condition of this man. Until we suffer, most people just coast through life, unaware of the challenges that other people face.

  • He was blind. The tragedy of not being able to see is a great disability in any day. But in the first century, there were no forms of public assistance. In a dark world, the blind were totally dependent on other people.
  • Most disabilities were accompanied by poverty, and here we see this man reduced to the task of begging. None of us can understand the degradation that this brought to the blind in that day.
  • He was dependent on others for information about what was happening around him. Since we are created in God’s image, we want to know about the world he has made and what is happening in it. Clearly, this man had heard about Jesus, and had done a lot of talking and thinking about the identity and significance of Jesus.

Think about the drama of this situation. Jesus was on his way to Jericho and from there to Jerusalem to offer the final Passover sacrifice—the sacrifice of himself for sinners. Only twelve men besides Jesus knew what is going to happen; actually, Jesus told had told them, but though they knew, they didn’t understand. All that the crowds knew was that the amazing Teacher and worker of miracles named Jesus was passing through their town and they wanted to be part of the event.

The blind man, however, could not figure out what caused all the commotion. He could hear the noise of the crowds and he knew that it was not normal. So he used what resources that he had available. He asked, what is happening?

Now, we are not given any background information about what this blind beggar may have heard about Jesus. Obviously, he has heard some positive information about Jesus and what Jesus is able to do. But in his inner being, his thoughts about Jesus had generated some ideas, and he made a remarkable deduction: Jesus is the Son of David.

Dr. Luke has already taught us the underlying issues in this theology book that we call the Gospel of Luke. Think of Luke 4:17-21; 7:20-23; 9:18-20; 11:29-32.  What the man did was reason through the acts of Jesus in the light of the interpretative framework of the Scriptures and then he came to the conclusion that Jesus must be the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, the Son of David. And if he is the Messiah, then he would able to help him out of his suffering. So he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

What is your view of Jesus? That is a very significant question to have answered. Until you have true and adequate answers about his identity and significance, you will never depend on him for forgiveness and eternal life. Do you think that Jesus can help you out of your troubles?

Grace and peace, David