Sermon Titbits


Pastor Bolaji Okulate

In the previous message, we discussed the place called hell and it's purpose. In Mark 9:43-48, we read that hell is a place of pain, torment and lamentation and that it is not the will of God for anyone to end up there. The Bible in the book of Revelations describes for us the place called heaven. It is the dwelling place of God and that is the place He desires for all mankind to live with Him in eternity. Now that we know that Heaven is a glorious place and is the place that our God wants to be, the next question should be - What should I do to get there? The answer the Bible provides is that we should occupy till The Lord comes back again. Jesus told some parables in order to answer this question. In Luke 19:12-13 the Bible says, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come". Jesus also told a similar parable in Matthew 25:14-30. Verses 14 and 15 read as follows "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey".

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In the previous message, we discussed the place called hell and it's purpose. In Mark 9:43-48, we read that hell is a place of pain, torment and lamentation and that it is not the will of God for anyone to end up there. The Bible in the book of Revelations describes for us the place called heaven. It is the dwelling place of God and that is the place He desires for all mankind to live with Him in eternity. In Revelation 21:2-4, the Bible says "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Now that we know that Heaven is a glorious place and is the place that our God wants to be, the next question should be - What should I do to get there?

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In the previous message, we discussed the place called hell and it's purpose. In Mark 9:43-48, we read that hell is a place of pain, torment and lamentation and that it is not the will of God for anyone to end up there. The Bible in the book of Revelations describes for us the place called heaven. It is the dwelling place of God and that is the place He desires for all mankind to live with Him in eternity. In Revelation 21:2-4, 21-26 the Bible says "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. ...... And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it"

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As we live our lives every day, we must always remember that we are here for a purpose: to live our lives for God. We are here to represent God and to be about our Father’s business until He comes. The devil does not want us to succeed, therefore he will do everything he can to distract us. Those who are successfully distracted by the devil end up in hell, a place reserved for the devil and his fallen angels. God does not desire for us to end up in hell, but to spend eternity with Him in heaven. That is why we have to be sober and be vigilant daily so that we can recognize and resist the devil whenever he comes to attack us through deception. 

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The lyrics of a song I love say in part "Are you standing in need of a miracle today? Even doctors don't what to do about your case. Our God is able to make a way where there's no way. God is still doing great things". The lyrics of this song speak to the situation of the woman with the issue of blood we read about in the Bible. The scripture says in Mark 5:25 "And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse". For twelve years this woman went from one physician to another. Her hopes of getting well kept rising and falling; She suffered many disappointments in hands of doctors. To make her situation worse, she spent all her income on her medical bills and there was no improvement. 

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The last conversation Jesus had with His disciples before He went back to heaven was known as the great commission? In Matthew 28:18-20 the Bible says "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen”.  From this scripture, it is clear that the disciples of Jesus and every Christian have a mandate: to teach the word of God to all nations, and to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In other words, the mandate of God for us is to be a witness.        
1. Who is a witness? A witness is a person present at some event and is able to give information about it. A witness is a person giving sworn testimony. A witness tells all he has seen. A witness is a person whose existence attests or proves something. 

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Another work of empowerment by the Holy Spirit is recorded in Acts 13:6-13. Here we see how the Holy Spirit can empower us to fight the forces of darkness. Paul and Barnabas had just been commissioned as Missionaries (v 4) and they went about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Synagogues of the Jews (v 5). Immediately they set out to do the work of God, they had an encounter in Paphos with a man called Bar-jesus who was a sorcerer or false prophet. Bar-Jesus also known as Elymas the sorcerer had established himself as a person of influence in the Island of Paphos and he was a confidant or an adviser of the proconsul (governor) of the Island.  
Lesson 1: There are principalities and powers that govern and influence the decisions in every territory. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. We need to be conscious of our environment and pay attention to the spiritual climate of the place. Many of us are on the Eastern Shore for the first time or have been here for a while for studying or living. Regardless of what brought us here, we must be conscious of our spiritual environment. There are principalities and powers that govern this territory and we cannot afford to be careless. Be watchful about the associations you keep, be watchful of the places you go. Be sober and be vigilant (I Peter 5:8).  

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As we continue to discuss the Holy Spirit, it is expedient for us to understand the reason why the Holy Spirit came into the world. Some of the reasons are as follows

1. The Constant Presence of the Holy Spirit:

2. Empowerment: Another purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to empower us to do the supernatural and the extraordinary. The Holy Spirit empowers for service
We had discussed the example of Saul and David.
In Num. 11:25, the Holy spirit of God came upon seventy elders of Israel and they prophesied.
In Num. 24:2 the Holy Spirit came upon Balaam and he blessed the children of Israel instead of cursing them.

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As we continue to discuss the Holy Spirit, it is expedient for us to understand the reason why the Holy Spirit came into the world. The Bible says in John 14:16 - 17, that "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16, 17 KJV).   
1. The Constant Presence of the Holy Spirit: From scripture above, the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to abide with us for ever. The best thing that can happen to anyone is to have the abiding presence of God the Holy Spirit in their life. Not only so, but to have Him continually forever. This is a heritage of all God's children living in this dispensation. Before the Holy Spirit came into the world to live with us as it is today, He used to dwell temporarily with people for specific assignments. 

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This series will focus on the Holy Spirit. The more we know about the Holy Spirit, the better our Christian experience will be.

A. Who is the Holy Spirit                              
1. The Holy Spirit is a person: In Genesis 1:26, the Bible says "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26 KJV)  
The verse of scripture tells us that there are more than one person in the conversation. These are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These are one God but different personalities. In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as God the Father. 

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