Examples of the False Teachers

2 Peter 2.4-11

Peter gives us three examples of what awaits the false teachers. God rescued the godly and destroyed the wicked in the past, and He will do it again in the future. So don’t be fooled by the lies of the false teachers. Or a culture that promotes indulging the flesh in its lusts and that despises authority.

So why the delay? Why doesn’t God judge now? Because God’s patience is mercy. His patience leaves room for the wicked to repent and for the righteous who have stepped off of Torah Road to return. He’s provided a way for the wicked to escape…through Jesus. He has already paid the penalty for their sin…He has already bought them. But they have to receive what is freely offered.

It’s as simple as admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Believing that Jesus came to save you from your sin. He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death on your behalf, and was raised the third day, so that you might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life and might reign with Him forever.

If you are a believer who’s bought into the lie of the false teachers/this present world’s madness aka not walking the Torah Road, Peter is not trying to comfort you. He is warning you because the path that you’re now on does not lead to joy and peace. When you trusted in Jesus, the Spirit was given to you as a pledge, and you became a new creation. You’re not who you used to be. Which means now that you have the Spirit, you can’t enjoy sin any longer. And instead of facing it, unfortunately too many try to justify it while at the same time having to numb the pain that their sin is causing…their righteous soul being tormented. It’s not a good place to be. God wants much more for us than that.

So if that’s you, what do you need to do? Making every effort, to your faith add moral excellence. And to your moral excellence, knowledge…then self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and finally love. That keeps you strong and keeps you from stumbling. Makes you fruitful and useful for the kingdom. And an abundant entrance awaits. Motivated not by fear, but love.

What you do today matters. Who you choose to follow/listen to matters. Life or death. Blessing or curse. It’s your choice so choose wisely.

pro rege

This post is based on a sermon from our 2 Peter series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the iTunes App Store.

The River and Tree of Life aka Back to the Garden

Revelation 22.1-5

John finishes his description of the new heaven and the new earth with a trip back to the garden. Or maybe better a trip forward to the garden. The river and tree of life. The removal of the curse. God’s presence. Seeing Him face to face. Serving Him. Ruling and reigning with Him forever.

But now we live in this in-between time…in between the time of Jesus’ ascension and His return…where life seems to be crashing down around us because of sin and death and the effects of the curse. In this in-between space where the consequences of our own sin…we might call it compromise…and the sin of others, especially persecution, impact us in often tragic ways, we can’t forget that our hope is not in this broken world. Let me say that one more time…our hope is not in this broken world. I think we forget that. We are just sojourners passing through, on our way home.

As I was thinking about that, it struck me…this world is like a burning house. Hang with me for a minute. When you see a house on fire, you don’t go in to rearrange the furniture. You don’t settle in and make yourself comfortable. Nope. You grab the first person you see and pull them out. Then you go back and grab one more. And then you go back and grab one more… Our job is to keep pulling folks out of the fire until God calls us home. To storm the gates of hell until we see our Savior fact to face. To share our story with those around us, investing our mina until the King returns. No…our hope is not in this broken world, but in a new one, a re-created one where Jesus is reigning. So Don’t give up on your faith. Don’t give in to the pressure of this world. Don’t forget…Jesus wins.

pro rege

This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster. You can also download our Central Christian app in the iTunes App Store.

A Resurrected Jesus

John 20

The resurrection proves not only that everything Jesus said and did was absolutely true, but that He “crushed sin and death for all eternity.” Jesus’ death pays the penalty for sin. However, if we stopped there, we might be forgiven; but where’s the empowerment for life? It is the life of Jesus that allows us to experience life today…real, abundant life.

John says that he wrote “these things that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing we might have life in His name.” While Mary and the disciples had believed in Jesus…their experience of a crucified Jesus hadn’t brought life (fear, doubt, distress, confusion). Although Jesus was alive and although He had crushed sin and death, they were not experiencing the victory.

And while I would say “yes” to those truths today, many times I practically live like Jesus remained in the tomb…I know I’m forgiven, but I still tend to be totally consumed by my circumstances – distraught, confused, fearful, and even doubting that Jesus can/will bring me out of the current situation. My guess is, I’m not alone.

Some of us today are believers…we’ve believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, but we are not experiencing the life of Jesus that is ours through His resurrection. Maybe we are like Mary…distraught and grieving, focused on our circumstances and having a hard time seeing Jesus. These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. Like Mary, Jesus patiently waits for us to recognize Him, wanting to turn our mourning into joy. Maybe we are like the disciples…fearful, betting on Jesus but feeling like we are on the losing side. These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. Like the disciples, Jesus speaks peace over us, wanting to transform us from being fearful to being fearless. Maybe we are like Thomas…doubting, needing evidence that Jesus can help us in our present predicament. These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. Like Thomas, Jesus meets us in that place of unbelief and wants to turn our doubting to believing. Whatever character you most resonate with, we all need to be reminded of the truth of the resurrection. Jesus is alive. He died and rose again to give us life.

Some of us today would not put ourselves in the believing category at all. We may be somewhere on the road of our spiritual journey, but we are definitely not there. That’s ok. These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. Jesus changes everything. He wants to meet us right where we are. He knows us…He knows our name, our doubts and fears, our circumstances. He’s not afraid of our questions, but is patient with us.

Until next time…stay salty.

“May we experience the uncontainable joy and unquenchable hope in knowing that Jesus is alive today!”

This post is based on our Easter sermon, A Resurrected Jesus. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

August 8 – OT Reading

Proverbs 22-24


Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

22 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.
He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.
10 Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the Lord will fall into it.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

24 Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,
25 Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

26 Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

28 Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

Proverbs 23

On Life and Conduct

23 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.

Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.
When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
11 For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
16 And my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the Lord always.
18 Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

26 Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit
And an adulterous woman is a narrow well.
28 Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the faithless among men.

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will utter perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.
35 “They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”

Proverbs 24

Precepts and Warnings

24 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.

By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.
For by wise guidance you will wage war,
And in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Wisdom is too exalted for a fool,
He does not open his mouth in the gate.

One who plans to do evil,
Men will call a schemer.
The devising of folly is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.

10 If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.

11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?

13 My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
14 Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.

15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;
16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.

19 Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21 My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,
22 For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?

23 These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;
25 But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26 He kisses the lips
Who gives a right answer.

27 Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.

28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
And do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”

30 I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
31 And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
33 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”
34 Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

A Confident Goodbye

Genesis 23

“Where are you from?” A simple, seemingly harmless question on the surface. But it can have huge implications…where you’re from may explain your accent or use of vocabulary, but more than that where you’re from explains your perspective or worldview…how you see the world and process information. It can foster great pride…nothing like FIFA fever to bring out a strong sense of nationalism, and in this country, 9/11 stirred a deep and powerful sense of patriotism…and ultimately I would argue, it can become, if it isn’t already, the place where our earthly kingdoms are built.

Abraham still saw himself as a stranger and a sojourner in the land even though he had been traveling there for 62 years. And as a stranger and sojourner, he is a type of all saints whose home is the heavenly city. Folks throughout church history have described themselves “strangers and sojourners” on an earthly pilgrimage toward the city of God. They saw themselves like Abraham…living in tents (Heb. 11:9)…think about how temporary that is…looking forward to their promised heavenly home, “the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).

To see yourself as a stranger and a sojourner requires a heavenly perspective…it doesn’t mean that the earthy isn’t important…they really were looking for a piece of real estate…but it means that you don’t stop at the earthy. They were pursuing something much bigger than just a physical piece of property. They were pursuing a lasting inheritance. The land seen only from an earthy perspective, was only land. But seen from the heavenly, it was the land of promise. It represented a return to paradise. We too are looking for a lasting inheritance. And while temporary inheritances like family, jobs, friends, freedoms, etc. are important, they in themselves, fall far short of the hope that we have as heirs of the King of the universe. We are pursuing a lasting inheritance, a return to paradise. New heavens and new earth. New Jerusalem.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that Abraham and his clan and the saints of old died, not receiving the promises; yet they died in faith…their hope was not extinguished (Heb. 11:39–40). They did not realize the fullness of the promises…at this time Abraham owns only a cave and a field in the land of promise, far less than what God had promised. Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, far less than the nations he was to father. It would be centuries later before the Head-crushing Seed of the woman would appear on the scene, Jesus of Nazareth. And even though Jesus has come, the fullness of the promise is still yet future. A Sabbath-rest yet remains…a return to paradise; yet those who believe enter into it even now and will fully realize it in the future (Heb. 4:8–10). God’s promises to His people are not exhausted in this life. As Abraham in hope bought a burial plot in the land, so believers today have a hope beyond this life. God’s promises demand resurrection!

What about you? Where are you from? Can it be said of you, “You’re not from around here” because of your walk with Creator God? Could people tell that you have an eternal hope by the way you live your life? Maybe you don’t have that hope today. If not, today could be the day. You too could join the ranks of those who are sojourning through this life, strangers and sojourners… ambassadors in a war torn country, living as citizens of a heavenly kingdom that’s making an earthy impact. I would love to talk to you about that.

My prayer for us is just that…that we would live as citizens of a heavenly kingdom making an earthy impact.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster