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We are coming up here on the second Advent season in a lot of years where I’m not in the pulpit. I remember after preaching about a dozen years of Advent/Christmas messages feeling the well was a bit dry. How many more ways can the story be told, afresh? Maybe there are pastors out there who will benefit from 21 of the Advent message series I preached over the years. Maybe God will again touch something here with inspiration for your pulpit work this season.

Are You Expecting? 1994

Tangled in the Tinsel 1995

Celebrate the Gift 1996

All I Want For Christmas 1997

It’s A Wonderful Life 1998

A Time For Joy 1999

All Is Calm 2000

God of Wonders 2001

Dark Streets Shineth 2002

Adoration 2003

Everlasting Joy vs. Xmas Cheer 2004

Narnia/ Always Winter, Never Christmas 2005

Hopes and Fears 2006

Wish List 2007

Desire of Nations 2008

Foretold 2009

Incarnate 2010

Expecting 2011

Happy Holiness 2012

Stump of Jesse 2013

Holy Days 2014

Each series was 3-5 messages, usually four plus a message for Christmas Eve. Here’s a link to an excel spreadsheet which will give individual message titles and scripture texts for each message in the series. I have manuscripts for each also, I think, if you’d want a peek at any of them – borrow freely from anything I have. For most of them we have artwork also, but you’d have to figure out how to crop out our church name.

Here’s an example of how I promoted a series and laid it out:

foretold

Here are some of the big ideas which are behind this series FORETOLD: A Prophetic Christmas

  • People today are hungry for prophetic insight
  • God does nothing without first revealing it to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7)
  • Prophets foretold Jesus’ first coming with specifics and detail
  • Many missed Jesus’ first coming in part because they were prophetically-challenged.
  • Jesus’ Second Coming is foretold and therefore we need to immerse ourselves in the prophetic revelation of his Second Coming or we’ll miss that too.
  • Last weeks message: Is There a Star to Follow?, Genesis 49:10
  • This weeks message: The Due Date on Advent’s Calendar, Daniel 9:20-27

One hundred and twenty men at Church at the Gate have committed to a year long process we are calling Tailgate Jesus!!  More on all that here, and here.  You can follow it here on Facebook, and Twitter.

The basic idea is that we are called to follow him and many guys today are having trouble following him closely – we let many things get between us. It’s not too late to jump on board, we start book one now. The next segment starts mid-July and that is another on-ramp for men wanting to join in. Every 5-6 weeks we will open the door to additional guys.

I’ve been in Greece these last three weeks and was bummed to have missed the Tailgate Jesus kickoff last Saturday. However, I did a little eleven minute video message for the guys back home. Here it is:

Tailgate Jesus

One hundred men, nine books, three track options, one year, no excuses.

Jesus picked some men and said “Follow me.” This is exactly what we intend to do as men this next year at Church at the Gate and that is what TAILGATE JESUS is all about… following him more closely. Manhood and Christlikeness are synonymous. Too many men today are not following Christ very closely. They are letting many things cut in and get between them and the Lord.

Men, we know you’re busy. We also know you’re up for a challenge. We know we need to be Godly men who are mature in the Lord.

Three Track Options to Fit Your Schedule:

☐ WEEKLY huddles: Thursdays from 7-8:30 PM starting June 6

☐ Bi-Weekly huddles: Every other Saturday from 8-9:30 AM starting June 8

☐ Monthly Rally: Actually every 5-6 weeks on a Sunday night 5-6:30 PM

The monthly rally track is a self-study track and you’ll miss out on a key aspect of the process, connecting with other men and being accountable. However, we know schedules will only permit some guys to meet up once during each book study.

The guys in the weekly and bi-weekly huddle tracks will also participate in the monthly rallies.

There are nine books and nine corresponding workbooks by Ed Cole. The cost is $155 and that is 30% off available only if you buy all nine and sign up now. Do not let money be a reason you don’t participate as we have options for those who need time and help to pay for it. It will be the best investment you ever make. And your commitment to nine books and one year is critical and that is why we are not giving the option to just buy one book at a time. We don’t want to be men who don’t follow through to the finish line. Though all books are paid for up front, we will only give out one book at a time. Fill-in-the-blank completion of the workbook is required to move into the next book. The stack of nine books and workbooks is daunting but one at a time is easier lifting.

We will complete a book and corresponding workbook every five or six weeks and celebrate that at the monthly rally. Rallies will include guest speakers and food to follow.

The course concludes May 2014 with an anointing and  commissioning ceremony where each man is presented an engraved sword.

Every six weeks with each new book, new men visiting our church can join the program as we expect it to be ongoing.

We have secured tailgatejesus.com and @tailgateJC on both twitter and facebook and we will launch a blog later this month. Also later this month we will put out order forms for some shirt options.

LEAD TEAM: Our point man is Bill Boyd (cell 496-3978). Our lead team will certainly expand but presently Brad Bomhoff, Spence Kittelson and Pastors Dennis and Steve are hands-on involved in TAILGATE JESUS.

We need you to sign up immediately so materials can be ordered.

You can sign up at the Information Center or by calling the church office or sending an email to bill@billboydministries.com Checks for $155 payable to CATG: Tailgate Jesus. Please indicate which track you will commit to attend.

This weekend, January 2, I am excited to begin a series I have been working on for some time. Here’s a preview…

To a young person, grounded for life sounds like harsh punishment. Those who go a bit further in life know how important it is to be grounded. More and more, even in the church, people are tossed about by every wind and wave—following feelings, fads and chasing after fringe unorthodoxies.

Simon, Cephas and Petros are Aramaic and Greek names that all mean the same thing… rock or stone. And all three of these are names for the disciple (and later apostle) known today as Peter. Frankly, it’s an interesting name for one who, at least in his early years, was anything but a picture of stability. His over-eagerness, immaturity and mistakes make him the disciple with whom we can most easily empathize. Yet he became a rock during the foundational period of the church and the initial wave of tribulation that came against the followers of Christ. Each of the four gospels, as well as the book of Acts, set forth his life as a witness to us. His letters, 1 & 2 Peter, comprise exhortations for us as “living stones” to be grounded, especially in anticipation of the end times.

The first weeks and months of a New Year are key times to get grounded which is why Pastor Steve is focusing in this season on the theme grounded—based on the life and letters of Peter the Rock. In a weekend message series that is at the same time both a character study and a book study, it will become clear why Jesus said: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16:18

This summer we are focusing on some of the heroes of the Christian Faith—men and women who have been faithful witnesses for Christ in their generation. The Book of Revelation says testimonies pack power to overcome adversaries and the Book of Hebrews teaches how all ages are encouraged on by the example of those in the Great Cloud of Witnesses.
Each Wednesday evening in a special mid-week service, we will introduce one of the trailblazers of the faith and set forth the distinctives of their contribution to the Kingdom of God. You’ll meet people like Amy Carmichael, Rees Howell, George Muller, Watchman Nee, Smith Wigglesworth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and, among others, revivalists and patriot pastors from our nation’s past. On Sundays, I will be basing my messages on the testimonies of key Biblical trailblazers like Joseph, Caleb, Gideon, Josiah, Deborah, John the Baptist and Anna.
More importantly, you will be challenged to be bold with your testimony throughout the week as God gives you occasion and to live as an example knowing others are following closely.

This weekend, on Mother’s Day, I start a new message series, a three-week mini-series that I’m calling “Small World.”

 

Small World is about having a global perspective and concern – it’s about the big things our big God wants to do through little ol’ you and me. 

Small World is a missions series where I’ll explore the mandate of God on the Church to reach the world – no one is exempt from this call. I’ll talk about the unprecedented connectedness of the world and globalization and how historical and geographical divisions are becoming increasingly irrelevant. I’ll talk about what the Bible says about the immigration issue presently facing our nation. I’ll address the fact that global problems are here in our backyard and that yes, we are to be our brother’s keeper.  It’s a series on being a World Christian, not a worldly Christian, but rather someone who has not only a passport but has a passion for the justice issues facing the hurting in our world.  This isn’t a series about how bad the world is…. it’s a Good News series…. He’s got the whole world in His hands!

“…established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” Psalm 89:37

Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on church services, programs and activities catered to every age group. And yet, what kind of “Christian” is the result? Are we producing hit and miss cultural Christians who are really functional atheists and spectators?  Or, are we producing “faithful witnesses” as they are called in the Book of Revelation.

Tomorrow I start a new three-part message series called Faithful Witness which is focused on the caliber of believer the Bible says will reflect God and prevail in the hard times to come. A faithful witness is one who shines bright in the darkness, as Psalm 89:37 says, like the moon. They will be unwavering, established and bold during a coming time when darkness rules.  They will testify to what they’ve seen first hand. As “night” falls over the nations of the earth, they will be faithful to embody and announce the entire Gospel of the Kingdom, not just the parts of it that are easy or that people want to hear.

Last weekend I kicked off a new Lent/Easter message series called Tough Week which is focused on the last week of the life of Jesus.  Hope part one is a blessing to you – you can listen to it here.  Hope you can join us for part two this weekend.

We tend to think of people stuck in the 70s or 80s, or stuck in the past. However, I’m starting off the new year with a message series for people who are stuck right now – stuck between a rock and a hard place, stuck in sin, stuck in dead end jobs, or stuck emotionally or spiritually, or stuck in unhealthy mindsets, or stuck in disbelief, or stuck in their ways.

God wants us unstuck, untangled and moving on. This is a series on freedom and it’s packed with truth that will set you free.

As always, my friend Bobbi knocked it out of the park with graphics for this series. It’s the perfect look especially in light of the fact that America is in the deep freeze and snowed in for a while!

I’m a week late in posting about our Christmas message series.  This week is week two.  Last week Pastor Dennis kicked it off with a message titled “I Told You So.”  I pick up the baton this week.

Here are some of the big ideas which are behind this series FORETOLD: A Prophetic Christmas

  • People today are hungry for prophetic insight
  • God does nothing without first revealing it to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7)
  • Prophets foretold Jesus’ first coming with specifics and detail
  • Many missed Jesus’ first coming in part because they were prophetically-challenged.
  • Jesus’ Second Coming is foretold and therefore we need to immerse ourselves in the prophetic revelation of his Second Coming or we’ll miss that too.

In a couple of weeks we are launching a new Sunday Night worship service!  LastCall starts October 11 at 5:30! 

LastCall will be identical to our two Sunday morning services and the plan here is to provide one more opportunity to worship before folks go back to work Monday morning.  This is perfect for those who had to work Sunday morning, felt like sleeping in or were out of town for the weekend but are back by Sunday night. Help us spread the word – word of mouth works the best!  We want people to know we are still open and there is still time to be still and know He is God!

Here’s the direct mail piece (40,000) that is going out mid-week next week. Let’s pray God uses this to reach those he’s trying to reach through us!

LastCall CATG

We had fun naming this service. The spiritual people in our midst  : ) wanted to go with the word “Still”.  However, LastCall fits the crowd we are trying to reach. Obviously we are borrowing the verbiage from the bar, and redeeming it. Sunday night services are great to see spiritually thirsty folks filled with the Holy Spirit. LastCall also makes us think of the trumpet call of God and the narrowing window of opportunity we have to respond to Him.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone in America today!  We wish we were there to celebrate with you!  In the absence of fireworks here, Thomas has resorted to taping matches together, wrapping them in tin foil and trying to make his own firecrackers. Don’t worry– we’ve redirected his energies more constructively.

ruinsA couple days ago we taped a brief video greeting to show tomorrow morning at Church at the Gate to introduce the message that will be given there in my absence. 

Not finding a nice red/white/blue backdrop anywhere here for the video, I decided to hike up to one of the old seats of power that are in ruins today – these old fortresses and castles that dot the landscape here in Europe. Many are in ruins with only scattered foundation stones remaining. 

I thought this a parabolic setting to illustrate how America is shifting off of, indeed abandoning, her historically righteous/Judeo-Christian foundations. Psalm 11:3 says “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Bible answers that question… the righteous are to call a Joel 2 sacred assembly and fast and pray.  So that’s we are doing — Church at the Gate is joining over 28,000 churches tomorrow in setting aside time during the worship service to pray for America

Most people look at the end-time prophecies in the Bible and, not seeing the word “America” erroneously conclude that since the word “America” is not mentioned in Bible prophecy, it must not be in existence at that point in history.  Even many of my colleagues in the prayer movement (all of whom are, correctly, very much dialed in on us now living in the generation of the return of the Lord), since they aren’t seeing it mentioned in Scripture, they are concluding America in the last days must be nothing more than scattered foundation stones in the pile of extinct empires.

I couldn’t disagree more.  And so, tomorrow morning at CATG, in my absence, I’ve asked our very own teacher and scholar Steven M. Collins to speak on the topic: The United States of America in Bible Prophecy. Those unable to attend can read a lengthy article by him on this topic. Steve has written five full lengths books on the topic of ancient and present day Israel and the migrations of God’s people throughout history into the present age. His conclusions lay the testimony of Scripture alongside the secular historical record, including a geo-political saga spanning four millenia on every inhabitable continent and archaeological evidences. He is an expert on the subject of the so-called Lost Ten Tribes and a frequent guest on Israeli National Radio on this topic. His exposition of Genesis 49, identifying present day nations and people groups according to the prophetic identifications about what will become of each of the sons of Jacob, is riveting.

America is absolutely identifiable and recognizable in Bible Prophecy. I have coined a new term dubbing this topic: “Recognition Theology.”  To clarify, he and I both vigorously reject “replacement theology” but I use the word “recognition” because, to date, billions of blood descendants of Abraham don’t recognize that is who they are.  (Though scientific haplotype studies, archeology, genographic migration studies, etc. etc. are now confirming this reality.) Another reason I call this “recognition theology” is because, in the Providence of God, he has kept this veiled until it’s forecast recognition at the end of the age.

But it’s been there all along. Really, we all need to read our Bible’s more carefully. Consider these points…

  • God promised he’d make Abraham into a nation and a company of nations. There are over 100 Judeo-Christian nations today. The covenant promises to Abraham weren’t just to the tribe of Judah (Jews and the nation Israel as we know them today)
  • Abraham’s descendants would be as vast numerically as the sand on the seashore. The “tribe of Judah” (Jews) today is somewhere between 12-14 million (only .002% of the present population of the world).  Considering a world population now exceeding six billion people, either we are still a millennium or more away from the end of the age or, God’s covenant promise didn’t come true, or most likely… God considers “Israelites” to be a far broader group than merely the tribe of Judah.
  • During the reigns of Jeroboam/Rehoboam, the twelve tribes (thirteen counting Joseph as Ephraim and Manasseh) divided into two kingdoms; two/three tribes made up the southern kingdom of Judah, ten tribes made up the northern kingdom of Israel. We soon start reading passages that speak of the “Jews” going to war against “Israel.” These were separate peoples from this point forward and this is a critical point in correctly understanding Bible prophecy.
  • Millions of Israelites migrated/fled out of the Promised Land in the 8th century BC and the people of Judah all were exiled by the 6th century BC. This constitutes a defection which some estimate exceeds ten million people. And only a remnant of Judah returned during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah (43,000 families may number approx. 250,000). That means millions of the blood descendants of Abraham, those we now consider the “lost ten tribes” assimilated into pagan nations and migrated far from “home.”  They didn’t vanish or disappear from the face of the earth; nor did the unconditional and irrevocable (Abrahamic Covenant) promises of God for their future get forfeited or canceled. God knows their identity in Him even though they have no recognition of it. These tribes/people groups have since increased into many large nations, innumerable- exactly as prophesied  – increasing even more by adopting many “foreigners” into their national (covenant) family –  and descendants of David – as the Bible predicts – still sit on the thrones of nations.
  • Jesus spoke of the lost sheep of Israel and sent his disciples to them (Matthew 10:6). At that time it was known where they were located, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to go to them. At that time they were only “lost” in the sense that they were spiritually lost.
  • The Bible forecasts at the end of the age that “the people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited…”  (Hosea 1:11).  Ezekiel spoke of these two “sticks” being joined as one at the end of the age. (Ezekiel 37:19-23… read it).

Prophecies central to the end times directly deal with Israelite nations today, not just Judahites.  The Bible comes alive when we recognize the role the United States of America and other major nations today play in Bible prophecy.

Only a fraction of what can be said about America in Bible Prophecy has been alluded to here in this introductory post to the topic. I highly recommend you read Steve Collins books – you can order them from him on his website or you can do so on-line at his publisher’s website. Your comments are welcome here and I have asked Steve Collins to monitor the comment string here and help me respond personally to them as he is able. We do plan to produce both a CD and a DVD of his message tomorrow at CATG and share these through his website and on youtube. I’ll post updates on those links soon.

Happy 4th America!  May you fulfil your destiny in God.

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the audio podcast and the powerpoint that supports it.

2009-07-05  USA in Bible Prophecy (notes) 9.45 MB

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