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Our President Stands Up For Churches | 5-22-20



Is The Coronavirus Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy?

As a pastor, one of the questions I have been getting lately is—do I think this Coronavirus is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? And depending on which Christian pastor, Bible teacher, or biblical scholar you talk to the answer is a resounding—MAYBE!
 
Some take a less ambiguous and more definitive approach to the subject—for example:
 
I read an article this morning with the title: “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are ACTIVE”
 
The article went on—
Bible scholars have sensationally claimed the end of the world could be upon us as they believe the Four Horsemen, who bring about death, war, famine and disease before the return of Jesus Christ in the holy book—have all been released.”
 
So, what about it—is the Coronavirus pandemic a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and have we entered into chapter 6 of the Book of Revelation?
 
I happen to be ‘Pre-Trib.’ in my eschatology (Explain)—and as such, I don’t believe the world will enter into the events of Revelation 6 until Jesus comes for His Church at the Rapture and takes us to heaven where we’re standing around the throne of God praising Him—
 
Revelation 5:9-10 (NKJV)
9 And they [the redeemed, the saints] sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

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Pastor’s Update | “He Is Risen” 4-14-20

Two days ago, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single greatest event in the history of the world and the cornerstone of the Christian faith.
 
It is so foundational to Christianity that anyone who denies the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ—cannot be a genuine Christian. Without the resurrection there is no Christian faith, no salvation—and no hope for man.
 
As Paul the Apostle said, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is useless, your faith is meaningless, we are still in our sins, those who have died believing in Christ are lost and we are of all men the most pathetic. We might as well eat, drink, be merry and then die—for there is nothing more to life than this.”
 
However, Paul went on to say, “But now Christ is risen from the dead and is the first fruits from the grave of those who have died believing in Jesus.”
 
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest source of joy and celebration known to man, as we remember how our Lord and Savior defeated an enemy that was too strong for any moral man to conquer. But understand, what ended with great joy and celebration—didn’t start out that way.
 
Matthew 27 ends with the death and burial of Jesus Christ and everyone present that day—the Pharisees, the Roman soldiers, and even Jesus’ own disciples believed that the story ended there.
 
Of course, death is where most people believe the story ends for all of us—and that it is final. We don’t like to talk about it; we try to push it from our minds. We try to deny it, we even try to cheat it—but inevitably death will claim all of us someday.
 

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Church Update | 4-2-20 AM

Good morning Church Family,

I pray you are all well and using this time to catch up on some household projects and some of your reading.
 
Of course, reading the Word is first on the list, but then the two books we have suggested so far this year (The Found the Secret and Pilgrim’s Progress) would greatly enhance your walk with God as well.
 
I just wanted to let you know that this Friday at 7pm I will be hosting a Zoom meeting for the entire church. I will be sending out an email blast today inviting all of you to attend along with some basic instructions how to use Zoom (it’s very easy!).
 
This will be a time to share your hearts, your concerns, and prayer requests. Thru this meeting I’m hoping we can bear each other’s burdens, encourage one another and pray for each other.
 
Next week our Wednesday Livestream will be cancelled because we are going to livestream our Good Friday Service on April 10th at 7 PM and conclude with communion (you’ll obviously have to have your own elements). Easter Sunday Service will be livestreamed on April 12th at 10 AM.
 
Please keep these upcoming services in your prayers as the Lord has been laying on people’s hearts (many unbelievers and other Christians that don’t regularly attend our church) to tune in and listen to our livestream services.
 
What the devil intended for evil (COVED-19), God is using for good to spread His Word to many who wouldn’t normally step foot in church to listen to the teaching of His Word!
 
One more thing.
 
I know we need to be prudent and take this Coronavirus pandemic seriously—but I want to leave you with something I hope will put things into perspective.
 
While everyone is so focused and fearful of how many people have died because of this virus (and rightly so)—I read this article that came about from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show yesterday (April 1). I thought it might help you to put this pandemic in perspective (not that I’m minimizing its seriousness in anyway).
 
“On his Wednesday broadcast, Limbaugh cited a list from worldometers.info that rounded up the worldwide deaths from Jan. 1 through March 25 of 2020:
    • Coronavirus: 21,000 deaths.
    • Seasonal flu: 113,000.
    • Malaria: 228,000.
    • Suicide: 249,000.
    • Traffic fatalities: 313, almost 314,000 deaths.
    • HIV/AIDS: 391,000 deaths.
    • Smoking-related deaths: 1,162,000.
    • Cancer deaths: 1,909,000 deaths.
    • Deaths attributed to starvation: 2,382,000 deaths.
    • And death by abortion: 9,900,000.”
“I’m not trying to make any correlation,” Limbaugh explained. “I’m not trying to say, ‘Hey, we’re overreacting to coronavirus death.’ I’m just giving you the stats here. You can react to these stats however you wish.”
 
Let’s keep things in perspective and remember that God is on the throne in all of this!
 
Love you all,
 
Pastor Phil


Church Update | 3-27-20 AM

Good morning beloved,

I trust the Lord gave you all a blessed night’s sleep.

I talked to some pastor’s yesterday who said that some in their churches were really struggling with this “shelter in place” quarantine. I realize that this has not been an easy time for many believers in Jesus. We can approach this time in one of two ways—either we can ‘hate’ it or ‘embrace’ it.

Remember, we are admonished in Scripture—“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I came across a quote this morning that I thought might help you to ‘embrace’ this time:

“While in quarantine:

  • Isaac Newton discovered gravity.
  • Paul wrote part of the New Testament.
  • John Bunyan created Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • Luther translated the Bible into German.
  • John penned the Book of Revelation.

We are stewards of the time God has given us. Let us make the most of it!”

Of course, as Christians, our pilgrimage in life towards the “Celestial City” becomes so much more enjoyable when we seek out the fellowship of other believers. In my reading of “Pilgrim’s Progress“, Christian has just caught up with Faithful, who together are now encouraging and strengthening each other in their journey toward the Celestial City.

Since we can’t be together in person, let us seek out fellowship with one another thru social media. Stay in contact with each other. Pray with one another. Encourage each other as we walk this path during these strange and difficult times we’re in.

And along those lines, please join us this Sunday Morning at 10 AM (via Livestream) for the next part of the series we’re doing—for such a time as this: “Life’s Essential Ingredients-Part 2.”

Also, I hope you’re reading, “They Found the Secret”. If not, please read Chapter 6: “Charles Grandison Finney: The Powerful Life.” I have read this chapter numerous times in the past but found it ‘new’ and very encouraging as I read it again a few days ago. So please check it out.

That’s it for now. I love you all and am asking God for a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon all of us for whatever He has in mind for our lives going forward.

In our precious Savior’s name,

Pastor Phil



Church Update 3-24-20 PM

Good Afternoon Church Family,

I watched the President’s briefing today and it looks like he wants the country back open for business and people working again by Easter—which is good news.

That means we have another 2 ½ weeks of “sheltering in place” ahead of us.

That said, I thank the Lord that we were able to livestream our last Sunday service and plan on livestreaming this Wednesday night’s Bible study as well.

Please join us at 7 pm as we will be continuing our study in the Book of Jude.

Also, I would like to resume the small groups next week using ‘Zoom’ which will allow all the small groups to meet and interact with one another thru the webcam on their home computers.

I will be in contact with Mike Nuxoll who will be contacting all the group leaders in the next day or two to set things up.

I know that for some of you “cabin fever” is taking its toll—which makes it even more important that we ‘come together’ remotely thru the avenue of social media.

I know it’s not the same as being with each other face to face, but it’s better than no fellowship with each other at all—

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

Love you all and see you soon!

Pastor Phil



Church Update – 3-21-20 AM

Good Morning Church Family, Beloved of God,
 
Well, our governor (J.B. Pritzker) has announced a statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.
 
The order is expected to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday (tonight) and continue until the end of April 7.
 
The governor is asking Illinoisans to ‘hunker down’, stay at home and not come into contact (as much as possible) with other human beings as a way of fighting this virus.
 
President Trump has started to refer to himself as a “wartime president” seeing as he (and his team) are fighting a war against COVID-19.
 
To borrow a line from Thomas Paine during the Revolutionary War—“These are the times that try men’s souls”—and indeed they are.
 
For many Americans, they find themselves isolated and bereft of human contact with only social media to satisfy their longing to connect and communicate with others.  At this time in history, I thank God we do have social media as a way to connect with each other.
 
Having said that, please join us tomorrow at 10 AM for the first livestream of our church services.
 
Tomorrow’s service will be basic, as we want to keep it simple so see how things go.
 
But then beginning the week after, I’d like to introduce some worship into our service before the message.
 
Please keep things in prayer—as someone has said, “Life is hard, but God is good!”
 
I love you all, and want to encourage you to keep looking up—and remember that God is on the throne (sovereign) and we must trust Him to see us thru difficult times no matter how bad things get around us.
 
Psalm 46:1-3 (NKJV)
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
 
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NKJV)
Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls– Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
 
In Jesus precious name,

Pastor Phil



Church Update – 3-20-20 AM

Good Morning Dear Ones,
 
I don’t know what I’d do without the Lord in my life—especially in times of crisis and adversity.
 
Listen, I understand why people drink alcohol and take pills to calm their nerves—I understand even though I don’t agree with them.
 
I understand because people can’t live in a perpetual state of stress, anxiety, worry and fear (about the future)—in other words, they can’t live for very long without peace.
 

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Church Update – 3-19-20 AM

Good Morning Calvary Family,

I hope our precious Lord gave you, as His beloved, rest last night. Rest in His presence (He is always with you), provision (that He will provide all you need to see you thru this time of financial insecurity) and power. Power in that, He is on the throne and nothing is impossible (or even hard) for Him to deal with and overcome!

As of right now, I am planning on doing a livestream of our Sunday morning service via Facebook. This broadcast will take place at 10 o’clock. Rhonda, our church media & programming manager will post on our website the information you’ll need to access our church Facebook account. I will be doing a special message designed to promote peace and joy in the hearts of God’s people during this difficult time in our nation’s history.

In the meantime, I am including a devotional study by my son Phil below. He felt led to share with the people of God a message from His Word that he hopes will bless and encourage your hearts.

That’s all for now. I Love you all, and please know we will get thru this as long as we keep our eyes on God and not on the circumstances we find ourselves in at this moment.

In Jesus precious name,
Pastor Phil



Church Update | 3-18-20 AM

Good Morning Calvary Family,

I hope you all slept with the peace of our precious Savior upon your hearts and minds.

I just wanted to take a minute to encourage all of you to pray, not just for peace in place of fear and calmness in place of anxiety, but also for direction as to how God might use us as a light to those in darkness. As I said last Sunday, this could be the greatest opportunity in our lifetime to be used to share the lifegiving message of salvation with those who are lost. If, however, we are going to be effective in reaching the lost during this time of upheaval and fear then, the lost need to see in us God’s peace, calmness and especially love.

If you have any elderly neighbors, maybe you could help them by picking up some basic groceries and other necessities from the store and leaving them on their doorstep. And as always, please keep our church in your prayers that God would direct us in His will. He often uses crises to redirect His people, so we want to be open to that. That’s all for now. May the peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ be upon us all.

Your brother,

Pastor Phil