1. Judge Not, That You Be Not Judged (Matthew 7) John MacArthur

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    from John MacArthur / Added

    http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com Unrighteous and unmerciful judgment is forbidden first of all because it manifests a wrong view of God. With the phrase lest you be judged, Jesus reminds the scribes and Pharisees that they are not the final court. To judge another person's motives or to curse to condemnation is to play God. "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son" (John 5:22). During the millennial kingdom Christ will share some of that judgment with us (Matt. 19:28; 1 Cor. 6:2; etc.), but until that time we blaspheme God whenever we take upon ourselves the role of judge. "Who are you to judge the servant of another?" Paul asks. "To his own master he stands or falls" (Rom. 14:4). Paul was little concerned about how other people judged him, and was not even concerned about how he judged himself. "I am conscious of nothing against myself," he says, "yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord" (1 Cor. 4:3--4)....

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    • Who Are the 144,000? (Revelation 7) John MacArthur

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      from John MacArthur / Added

      http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com These Jewish believers and evangelists are the firstfruits of Israel, which as a nation will be redeemed before Christ returns (Zech. 12:10--13:1, 8--9; Rom. 11:26). The 144,000 are not all Jewish believers at that time, but a unique group selected to proclaim the gospel in that day (cf. 12:17; 14:1--5). Despite the plain and unambiguous declaration of the text that the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to be sealed will come from every tribe of the sons of Israel, many persist in identifying them as the church. They cite several New Testament passages that allegedly identify the church as Israel to support that interpretation. But the identification of Israel with the church in those passages is tenuous and disputed. Thus, they can offer no support for such an identification in the present passage. The fact is that "no clear-cut example of the church being called 'Israel' exists in the NT or in ancient church writings until A.D. 160. ... This fact is crippling to any attempt to identify Israel as the church in Rev. 7:4" (Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1--7: An Exegetical Commentary [Chicago: Moody, 1992], 476). Further, "such an attempt becomes even more ridiculous because it necessitates typological interpretation that divides the church into twelve tribes to coincide with the listing of Rev. 7:5--8, even with all the irregularities in that list" (Thomas, Revelation 1--7, 476). The term Israel must be interpreted in accordance with its normal Old and New Testament usage as a reference to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nor is there any exegetical reason not to interpret the numbers 144,000 and 12,000 literally.

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      • A Prophetic Message to an Ungodly Nation (Jeremiah) John MacArthur

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        from John MacArthur / Added

        http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/80-367 Now I told you a couple of weeks ago that we had finished the New Testament. It doesn't mean I'll never go back there again. I will. I have some plans to. But the natural assumption is that we're going to take a look at the Old Testament. And I do have some plans for that. I'm working on kind of putting together a sort of long series that could last the rest of our lives together, that you could...you could sort of call "The Road to Emmaus." You remember in Luke 24, Jesus on the road to Emmaus said to the disciples, it says that he said to them, "Beginning at Moses and the prophets and in all the holy writings, He spoke to them of the things concerning Himself." Well Moses, that's the Law; the prophets, the prophets; the holy writings, all the other books; those are the three categories of the Old Testament. So Jesus went to the Old Testament and taught them the things from the Old Testament that were about Him. So I can't cover everything in the Old Testament, but I think we'll go on a road to Emmaus journey and we'll go through the Old Testament and find all the things that refer to Christ there. And there are many of them, and you might be surprised to know that Christ appears first in the Old Testament in Genesis 1:1. And last, in the last chapter of the Old Testament, in Malachi. So He is the beginning and the end of the Old Testament and whole lot of places in between. So that's one of the things I want to do, among several others. And I'm kind of working on that as I attempt to reinvent myself this summer. Now I want to demonstrate to you that I do really know there is an Old Testament and I am actually willing to teach the Old Testament to you. So let's get a sample, all right? Open your Bible to Jeremiah...open your Bible to Jeremiah. The remarkable prophecy of the man known as the weeping prophet, he wrote this great prophecy of 52 chapters and in addition to that, of course, he is responsible for the wonderful, deep and insightful book of Lamentations. Jeremiah....

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        • The Christian and Taxes (Romans 13:6-7) John MacArthur

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          from John MacArthur / Added

          http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/80-365 Well thank you for coming tonight, you are a noble group to come tonight and find out that you should pay your taxes. I was afraid we'd empty the place with the subject, but we're glad you're here and ready, as always, to hear the Word of the Lord. We've been trying to get a bit of an understanding on the themes of the believer's relationship to the government, for obvious reasons, because we're living in a time when our own government is very volatile, governments in the world are even more volatile than our own situation. There are all kinds of voices shouting at us out there, all kinds of attitudes being propagated that people would like us to hold toward those who are in authority over us. This is a good time for us to do a reality check on what the Word of God expects of us, what God expects of us as citizens in our own nation. And so, we've been looking at this a couple of times, and then we took a few weeks break while I was gone, and now we're back to Romans 13 again. Let me read the opening seven verses to you of Romans 13. This is really the watershed, the benchmark passage on the believer's relation to the government. It says, "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves, for rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same for it is a minister of God...that is governmental authority...to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid for it doesn't bear the sword for nothing, for a minister of God it is an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore, it is necessary to be in subjection not only because of wrath but also for conscience sake, for because of this, you also pay taxes for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them, tax to whom tax is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor."...

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          • Thinking Biblically About the Economy, Government, and Your Money (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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            from John MacArthur / Added

            http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/80-358 Tonight I want to talk to you a little bit, kind of like a family talk. This is not really a sermon, I wouldn't call it a sermon because I'm not even sure what I'm going to say myself. So I have a lot more things to say than I will have time to say and I don't want to drag it out, but I want to try to help you have a bit of a biblical perspective on the situation as we face it in our world and in our country today. I want to talk about biblical economics. Everybody is highly aware of the mega-shift in economics, mega-shift in finance. We're all very much aware of rising unemployment, people losing their jobs. Very much aware of the fact that taxes keep going up, that the government is passing more and more bills, more and more legislation that is essentially going to reallocate wealth from people who have it ostensibly to the people who don't have it, shifting economic situations are well, well known to all of us. My intention is not to talk about the politics of any of that. My intention is simply to talk about how we respond biblically to what is going on. A few things to say at the very beginning. Whatever happens economically in the United States has no direct effect on the church...it has no direct effect on the church. The church exists as a completely independent organism. The Kingdom of Christ has no connection to the kingdoms of this world. It doesn't matter whether you're in a capitalistic culture or an absolutely communistic culture. It doesn't matter whether you're in a monarchy or whether you're in anarchy. What happens in the world, what happens politically, what happens economically in the world neither retards or expedites the development of the church. The Kingdom of God works by power that is transcendent to the world. It operates under the divine purpose and the divine hand and is not subject to the whimsies and the shifting changes in human cultures from nation to nation which exists, that form of government, that form of economics, that social structure has no direct impact on the church....

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            • Principles for Life from the Death of Christ (1 Peter 2:21-24) John MacArthur

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              from John MacArthur / Added

              http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/80-357 What a privilege it is all these many years to come around to the celebration of the Lord's resurrection and be able to preach messages that relate to it. Having been here now over forty years, many, many Easters have come and gone and every one is a new and fresh challenge to take a look at the resurrection, perhaps, in a very special way. I want to do that this morning from a text that may surprise you a little bit, but I think you'll understand as we take a look at it in detail. Open your Bible to 1 Peter chapter 2...1 Peter chapter 2. For those that are visiting with us, I have one very simple role here at Grace Church, I tell people what the Bible means by what it says. The underlying commitment that we have is to the authority of the Word of God, that the Word of God is exactly what it claims to be...the Word of God, that it is without error, that is inspired, that it is authoritative, that it is life transforming and powerful. In a word, it is true in everything that it affirms. And so, from week to week and service to service, we open the Bible and we endeavor to understand the message that God has communicated to us in it, and for this morning, it's 1 Peter chapter 2 and I want to read verses 21 to 24...1 Peter chapter 2 verses 21 to 24....

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              • The Atonement: Real or Potential? (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur

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                from John MacArthur / Added

                http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-356 As we come this morning to the Lord's table, I want us to think about the meaning of the death of Christ. For years now we have been working our way through the accounts of the gospels, Luke and now Mark. And maybe this morning to divert ourselves from that a little bit and think perhaps more theologically about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, we'll enrich us and enrich our experience at the Lord's table today. I want to begin by inviting you to turn to Revelation chapter 5...Revelation chapter 5. We've engaged in worship this morning, the worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sung of His love and our love to Him. We will do this forever, by the way. This is only a preview of what will be our experience every moment, every sleepless moment of eternity we will be praising Him. The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse into the praise of heaven. In verse 9 of Revelation 5 we hear the very expression of praise that is lifted up. It is a new song, the heavenly song, the new song being the song of salvation. That's a phrase borrowed from the Psalms. And the words go like this. "Worthy are You," and this is sung to the Lamb that is slain mentioned in verse 6. "Worthy are You to take the book and break its seals for You were slain and purchased for God with Your blood, men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, You have made them to be a Kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth." And then it goes on in verse 12, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." Again in verse 13, "To Him who sits on the throne, namely God, and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." And the elders in verse 14 who represent the church fell down and worshiped. Worshiping is the occupation of heaven. And the worship will be directed at God out of gratitude for His saving plan effected through the sacrifice of Christ....

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                • A Life Without Loose Ends (1 Peter 1) John MacArthur

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                  from John MacArthur / Added

                  http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-355 Well we, of course, have the responsibility tonight to set our hearts toward the cross and the things of Christ and we also are very mindful of he fact that we are on the brink of a new year and this is a good time to kind of do a bit of a spiritual inventory. And as I thought about that, I was drawn to a text of Scripture that I would call to your attention for a few moments...1 Peter, 1 Peter. You might want to turn to it and we'll look at a couple of scriptures here in the first chapter of 1 Peter that will help us focus not only on the cross but on setting our priorities. In the thirteenth verse of 1 Peter chapter 1, Peter writes, "Therefore prepare your minds for action." Now the Authorized says, "Gird up your loins, pull all the loose ends of your life together." This is kind of military language. When a soldier went into battle, he made sure that he pulled his tunic up, tied it around him tightly so that he could move freely and not be encumbered or hindered, or give any opportunity for the enemy. And as a soldier pulls all the loose ends together to go into serious combat, so we are called upon to prepare our minds for action, to call all of our thoughts into control. And then he says, "Keep sober," and what that essentially means there in verse 13 is to get your priorities right. Think seriously, think accurately, think nobly, be sober minded. He adds, "Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. So in pulling in the loose ends of life, setting your priorities, you keep in mind the future revelation of Jesus Christ. We do everything we do in view of the return of the Lord when what we have done will be evaluated, and for that we will suffer either reward or the loss of reward. As you think about your life at the beginning of a year, that's a good way to begin. This would be a time for you to begin to pull in the loose ends. That would be sinful loose ends, that would be wasteful, useless things that occupy your life and get your priorities where they should be as you anticipate the face of the Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious return, or your arrival in His presence in glory....

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                  • The Theology of Christmas (Philippians 2:5-11) John MacArthur

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                    from John MacArthur / Added

                    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-354 To put it mildly, Christmas is a little bit confusing to the watching world, I'm pretty sure. I never really get over that. Year after year I'm struck by the paradoxes of Christmas, the strange juxtaposition of Christianity and a kind of carnival mentality, the humility and poverty of the stable confused with the wealth and indulgence of selfishness and gift giving, the quietness of Bethlehem with the din of the shopping mall, the seriousness of the incarnation with the silliness of the party spirit and party attitude, the blinking colored lights juxtaposed with the star of heaven. Just a confusion designed certainly by the enemy of men's souls, cheap plastic toys mixed with the true gift of the wise men, angels confused with flying reindeer, an ox and an ass in a stable confused with a red nosed reindeer, of all things, the filth of the stable confused with the whiteness of fresh snow. And so it goes and you're familiar with all of that. Mary and Joseph and North Pole elves...kind of hard to look through this and see the reality. But it reached epic proportions for me, this confusion, when I read an article written by a leader in the Episcopalian diocese of Los Angeles, a diocese, by the way, led by a lesbian woman who was recently appointed. And this representative of Episcopalianism wrote this. "There are few causes to which I am more passionately committed than that of Santa Claus. Santa Claus deserves not just any place in the church but the highest place of honor where he should be enthroned as the long bearded ancient of days, the divine and holy one whom we call God." He's not done. "Santa Claus is God the Son...'You better watch out, you better not pout, Santa Claus is coming to town, he knows whether you've been bad or good, he slips into the secrets of the heart as easily as he slips down the chimney.' Santa Claus is God the Father, the creator of heaven and earth in whose hand is a pack bursting at its seams with the gifts of His creation. Santa Claus is God the Holy Spirit who comes with the sound of gentle laughter, with the shape like a bowl full of jelly. And he comes in the night to sow the seeds of good humor. Santa Claus indeed deserves the exalted and enthroned place in the church for he is God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. I've seen him in the toy store, I even saw him in his car on the freeway the other day. And when I saw him with his crazy beard and his baggy suit, I saw more than the seasonal merchant of cheap plastic toys, I saw no less than the triune God. I hope you can see him too." Huh? I mean, have you ever heard anything more convoluted than that? Incredible. What chaos and what confusion, after all, what is Christmas about, what is the celebration of the birth of Christ really about? We could approach it from the standpoint of the Old Testament prophets, we could approach it from the standpoint of Mary or Joseph. We could approach it from the standpoint of the angels or the shepherds or even the wise men who came later. We could approach it from the standpoint of the inn keeper. We could approach it from the standpoint of Herod who had a lot at stake in his own mind. But I want you to look at it from the view past the event that is given to us by the beloved Apostle Paul. So open your Bible to Philippians chapter 2...Philippians chapter 2. Here is the theology of Christmas, okay? The Theology of Christmas....

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                    • The Believer's Confession of Sin (Psalm 51) John MacArthur

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                      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-353 Psalm 51, I read to you earlier, this is the Psalm that I want to look at with you for just a few minutes to prepare our hearts for our time around the Lord's table. There's something about the life of the church that is joyous. We all understand that. We've expressed that joy, we've laughed already this morning. We laugh rather easily around here because we have so much joy in our hearts. It just bubbles on the surface and easily comes out. And the reason we have so much joy is that our eternity is settled, that we have no fear of death, we have no fear of the future. We don't live in terror about Satan doing something to us, overpowering God in some way. We know that can never happen. We know that our lives are secure in the purposes of God in the salvation of God granted to us in Christ. He takes care of us, He meets our needs, He provides for us everything that we will need in time and eternity and promises to bring us to glory and His Word is true. So we live in this trust, we live in this hope and this confidence that produces joy. And so you're going to find if you come to an experience of true Christians there will be a joy, a joy that's not necessarily connected to contemporary circumstances because we have people dying all around us in our congregation from older people to little ones, and the aches in the hearts of people are deep and great and everybody understands what it is to live in a fallen, suffering world. Every time the elders meet on a Sunday morning, it seems as though the list of prayer requests of people who are suffering from cancer from one kind or another to one degree or another grows and grows and grows. We all understand that. We all understand the great pain and difficulty of life. But there's still something overwhelmingly joyous about having confidence that God is in charge of absolutely everything and our eternity is settled in the promise of heaven....

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