Lord of the Church (part 8) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, February 20, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Revelation 3:7-13.  This message was part 8 in the “Lord of the Church” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Revelation 3:7-13
  3. What keys do you have on your keychain?  What do these keys say about your life?  How does knowing the “keys” on Jesus’ “keychain” (see Revelation 1:18 and 3:7) reveal something to you about Jesus?
  4. The OBJECT of our faith is incredibly important.  This section of God’s Word presents Jesus as someone AWESOME and worthy of our faith and trust.  What do you learn about Jesus in this passage that MOST encourages you?
  5. Have you thought much about the fact that one day God will JUDGE this earth?  Revelation 6-19 (a section of God’s Word we will look at later this year) talks about the 7 year season when God will pour out His wrath upon the earth.  This era will include the “mark of the beast” and the presence of the anti-Christ.  However, our passage this week reminds us that if we trust in Jesus now, we will not have to endure this season of judgment upon the earth.  How is that a motivator for you to trust Christ today?  How is that a motivator for you to share Christ with other’s today? 
  6. The security of a believer is highlighted in 3:12.  The believer in Jesus has assurance of His salvation and place in God’s Kingdom forever.  How does this assurance encourage you in your relationship with Christ today?
  7. The key response indicated throughout this section of God’s Word is to “keep the Word” and “hold fast what you have received.”  What are some areas where you are tempted to NOT keep the Word in your life today?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to audio offline, click the link to download:

Lord of the Church #8 2.20.22

 

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Lord of the Church (part 8) Preview

Take out your keychain right now and see what is on it.  That keychain will say something of the areas of responsibility you have in life.

You probably have a key to where you live, where you work, vehicles you own or have access to, maybe a bike lock, or possibly a key to a storage unit.  All of these keys represent things that you have access to at a level that others do not.  With this access comes increased opportunities AND increased responsibility.  It is actually an interesting exercise from time to time to look at your keys and see some of what the Lord is asking you to steward.

We hold our keys as things of great value.  We don’t want to lose them, and certainly don’t want them to fall into the “wrong hands.”  If someone is up to no good AND they have your keys, they could inflict a lot of damage.  

Now, I want us to think for a moment about Jesus Christ.  Did you know that He has a few keys on His keychain?  They show us a lot about Him … His opportunities and His responsibilities.  In Revelation 1:18, Jesus shows us that He has the keys to “Death and Hades.”  This means that He holds power over death, and He controls access to our destinations after we die (Hades was the “place of the dead” in first century vernacular.)  By showing us that He has the keys to death and Hades, Jesus was saying, death cannot lock me up, and it cannot lock up anyone who believes in Me.  Jesus was saying that He alone holds the key to unlock an eternity in paradise, and He would open the door to heaven for all who trusted in Him.

In Revelation 3:7, Jesus shows us that He has more than just the keys to death and Hades on His keychain, He also has the “Key of David.”  This is a reference to having access to the full treasury of the King.  Jesus is able to bless His followers with all the spiritual blessings in the Heavenly Places, and ultimately to provide us with His riches in eternity.  

By showing us His keychain, Jesus was showing us what He has responsibility over.  Though we don’t have these keys ourselves, we can rest easy.  Access to these blessings is far better off in the hands of the One who is Holy and True (Revelation 3:7).  Jesus is never up to no good.  He is always acting rightly and truthfully.  We can trust Him to take care of us in death, the afterlife, and by giving us access to whatever else we might need.

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will look at the Jesus who holds these keys in order to inspire in us more and more faith and trust in Him.  We will do this by looking at the letter Jesus wrote to the church in Philadelphia as recorded in Revelation 3:7-13 in part 8 of our “Lord of the Church” series.  Hope to see you in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service, or online in the stream.  Hope to see you there!

P.S.  This passage also has a lot to say about a truly unbelievable promise of where the church will be during the period of time when God judges the earth.  You don’t want to miss this great truth!  It is SO ENCOURAGING.

Lord of the Church (part 7) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, February 13, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Revelation 3:1-6.  This message was part 7 of the “Lord of the Church” series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find audio and video to listen to/watch, download or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Revelation 3:1-6
  3. Can you think of an example from your life where someone’s reputation did not match up with their reality?
  4. Doe the fact that Jesus can see us from the inside out (including our spirit) encourage you or terrify you?  Why or why not?
  5. The church at Sardis apparently was nice and moral, but not openly acknowledging or professing Jesus as their Savior.  Are you ever tempted in life to conceal the fact that you are a Christ follower?  What are the circumstances where you may not want your connection to Christ to be known?  
  6. Jesus calls the silent church to WAKE UP!  Yet He also calls (at least a segment of this church dead).  The only hope we have to “wake the dead” is a resurrection!  Thankfully Jesus is capable of such things!  Where in your life do you need the Spirit to “wake you up” to deeper obedience to Him?
  7. Who are some examples in your life of people who boldly and openly proclaim the name of Jesus regardless of their audience?  How might you learn from their behavior?
  8. Who might the Lord want you to talk to this week about Jesus?
  9. Of the promises Jesus gives to the church here, what most encourages you?  Why?
  10. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

The Lord of the Church #7 2.13.22

 

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To watch the stream, use YouTube online:

Lord of the Church (part 7) Sermon Preview

Our reputation matters to us.  Let’s be honest … we care what others think.  Now, some of you may care LESS about this than others, but all of us (to some degree) spend some time and energy thinking about what others think of us.

One of the difficult components of social media is that it creates a two headed monster: (1) a platform on which we can try to carefully manage an appearance of ourselves for the “world” to see, and (2) a “scorecard” of “likes” or “hearts” or “impressions” or “comments” to let us know if people approve of the version of us we just posted.  This feeds some really terrible tendencies that have filled many counselor’s offices with people who are experiencing anxiety because of their concern of what others think about us.  It is a vicious cycle.

One of the things that must be acknowledged, though, is that sometimes a person’s reputation does not match reality.  Sometimes people are painted as a monster when they are not.  Other times people are painted awesome when they are a mess.  There are limits to our understanding, and with these limits come imperfect evaluations and (at times) mislabeled reputations.

This is not just true of individuals, it is even true of churches.  The reputation of some churches might be awful … while they truly love the Lord and are doing great work.  But the converse is also true … there are also churches that are celebrated by their city, their culture, or even other churches, but they are actually in really bad shape.  

While we may struggle to align reputations with reality, you know who doesn’t struggle in these evaluations?  Jesus Christ.

Jesus sees past the reputations of individuals, pastors, and churches and knows who we REALLY are.  In Revelation 3:1-6, Jesus writes a letter to the church in Sardis.  In this letter, He says, “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.”  Jesus is not wowed by our reputation.  He is not distracted by the size of our church building, how many people are in the pews, how talented the worship band is, how interesting the pastor’s messages are, how many followers someone has on social media, or any other thing we might want to zero in on.  Jesus sees our hearts.  Is our spirit “alive” or “dead” 

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will talk more about what it means to be spiritually alive or dead, as we “who have ears will hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  See you for part 7 in the “Lord of the Church” series at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship services … on online in the stream.  See you there, and bring friends!

Lord of the Church (part 6) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, February 6, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church in Norman, OK I preached a sermon based on Revelation 2:18-29.  This message was part 6 in the “Lord of the Church” series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection and group discussion.  You will also find the audio/video of the sermon to listen to/watch download or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Revelation 2:18-29
  3. What would you say has the strongest “gravity” in your life?  Around what does your life orbit?
  4. Does it encourage you to know that Jesus “sees all” (good and bad) … or does that scare you?  What is your honest reaction to this knowledge?  Why do you react this way?
  5. The church in Thyatira was being influenced by a false prophetess who was encouraging compromise (Jesus + other gods).  This approach would experience judgment by Jesus in a  dramatic way to discourage our participation in its ways.  Have you ever witnessed anything that appeared to be the judgment of God upon an unrepentant sinner in this life?  
  6. What would it look like for you to place Jesus as the center of gravity in your own life today?  What changes would you make?
  7. The promise of future rule and hope are extended as incentives to trust Christ today.  Do either of these promises particularly encourage your heart today?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to sermon audio offline, click the link:

The Lord of the Church #6 2.6.22

 

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Lord of the Church (part 6) Sermon Preview

Lord of the Church (part 5) Sermon Questions, Audio, & Video

On Sunday, January 30, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church in Norman, OK, I preached a sermon based on Revelation 2:12-17.  This message was part 5 in the “Lord of the Church” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Revelation 2:12-17
  3. To this point in your life, what would you consider as the spiritual “high point?”  To what degree have you built off that moment or season, and to what degree have things faded?
  4. The church in Pergamum had begun to compromise by allowing false teachers a platform in their church on issues of idolatry and sexual activity.  To what degree have you seen compromise like this in any churches you have participated in over the years?  Are you tempted to personally compromise on these matters today?
  5. The solution to compromise is repentance – to turn our thinking and actions away from compromise and toward the truth.  If you have been struggling with compromise, what does repentance look like for you?  
  6. Which “sword” do you fear most:  the sword of Rome or the sword of Jesus?  Why?
  7. Jesus promises provision and intimacy to His believers.  How do these promises encourage you to remain steadfast with Him in the midst of a secular society?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here

 

To listen offline, click the link to download

The Lord of the Church #5 1.30.22

 

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Lord of the Church (part 5) Sermon Preview

I think one of the most challenging dynamics of being a successful athlete is coping with the fact that what you are MOST famous for, may have happened very early on in your life.  By the time most “non-pro athletes” hit their vocational prime, the average NFL or NBA player is already done with their career.  A tailback runs for more yards as a second year pro than they do in their eighth year … if they even get that many years in the league.  AN NBA player is considered old if they have already celebrated their 31st birthday … that may be the last year of residency for some physicians!  Dealing with that type of success, then the early end of career would be a hard dynamic to navigate.

One note of encouragement for any former high level athletes out there is that your life is not defined by your on-field accomplishments.  Mature and healthy people continue to grow and develop throughout their lives in many ways … and the most significant legacies of our lives are almost always made by personal development and generosity well into our fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth decades on the planet.

But what about our spiritual lives?  Where are the “highlights” of your Christian walk?  For some, they might say their high school years — when they were really involved in the youth program at their church or went to Young Life Camp one summer.  Others might point to their time in College and their devotion to a particular campus ministry.  They spent their summers on mission trips, their mornings doing devotions, their evenings in small groups, and their afternoons doing outreaches on campus.  Still for others, it might be their time as a young adult  … or as a new spouse or parent … when they plugged into a church for the first time in their “grown up” life.  Many people have an early “peak” in their spiritual walk.  Are you one of them?

As we sit here today, has life taken the wind out of your spiritual sail?  Has the enthusiasm you once had for Christ begun to wane?  Have you begun to compromise?  Does your life and values look the same as all others around you … including those who do not know Jesus as their Savior?

If this is the case, I want to encourage you this week – and I want to encourage you with the words of Jesus Christ in a letter He wrote 2,000 years ago to a church in a city called Pergamum.  You probably feel like you have nothing in common with this church, but I want you to see that in the letter Jesus wrote to this church He says, “Let he who has ears hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  Jesus wants you to listen to what He says to this church.

In His letter to this church (in Revelation 2:12-17), tells them that He remembers the highlights of their spiritual past … but He also tells them that He desires their devotion in their spiritual present.  He wants to continue to grow and develop them in the years ahead.  He wants them to know that Mature and Healthy spiritual people will continue to grow throughout their lifetimes, and He warns them against some particular temptations.  He also gives them some specific promises they have to look forward to.  

I believe this is a letter you and I need to read.

So, let’s read it.  On Sunday, January 30, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church in our 3 Sunday morning worship services (8:30, 9:45, and 11:00), and online in the stream, we will be in part 5 of our study of Revelation 1-3 titled “Lord of the Church.”  This week we will be looking at the letter Jesus wrote to the church in Pergamum.  We will sing, pray, be together as a church family, and look at this letter Jesus preserved for you and me.  See you Sunday … and bring friends.

Episode 32: This is Wildwood! For the Nations with Compassion International

This is Wildwood
This is Wildwood
Episode 32: This is Wildwood! For the Nations with Compassion International
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Global Outreach Director Kevin Bradford and Pastor Mark Robinson walking the streets of Lagoa de Sao Francisco after “Opening Day” at the church and Compassion Center there.

At Wildwood we are For the Nations Following Jesus Together with us to the Glory of God.  One of the expressions of this movement is our involvement in the church plant and Compassion Center in Lagoa de Sao Francisco, Brazil.  Last Sunday (January 23, 2022), Global Outreach Director Kevin Bradford and I shared an update of how this project is going (now 3 years since it began!)

If you are interested in sponsoring one of the children in this center who are still in need of sponsorship, visit compassion.com/wildwood to find out more.

Lord of the Church (part 4) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Revelation 2:8-11.  This message was part 4 of our “Lord of the Church” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the message to listen to/watch, download or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Revelation 2:8-11
  3. In today’s message, we talked a bit about the number of Christians who have been martyred for their faith in Christ over the history of the church (70 million) … and how as many as 5,000 – 10,000 more (on average) will currently die for their faith each year.  Were these numbers as you would expect them?  Is there more persecution of Christians than you would have expected?
  4. Have you ever personally experienced any persecution for your faith in Christ?  When did it occur and what happened?  Whether you have experienced it in the past or not, do you anticipate experiencing persecution for your faith in Christ at some point in the future?
  5. We talked about 3 perspectives to encourage the persecuted Church that Jesus gives in Revelation 2:8-11.  The first perspective is that of eternity.  How does remembering our eternal destiny help encourage someone in the moment of their persecution?
  6. The second perspective is that of true riches.  How does remembering what we have in Christ help the “poor” Christian today?
  7. The third perspective is that of the resurrection.  How does the hope of resurrection encourage the persecuted Christian?
  8. What are you afraid of right now?  Place your faith in Jesus and find the courage needed to walk forward today.
  9. Have you pre-decided to be faithful to Jesus unto death?  What might be holding you back from making such a commitment?
  10. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

The Lord of the Church #4 1.23.22

 

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