Angels are Among Us

Tim Burns Testimony

Angels are among us, but they are not what many think of. Many of you may know a lot of truths about angels and so today may only be review. Let’s test each other to find out where we are at. Anyone call out the answer to these questions.

  • What do angels look like?
  • Do we have guardian angels? Do angels play man to man or zone coverage?
  • Do angels marry?
  • Do angels have children?
  • Are angels male or female?
  • Are angels real?

Well, let’s get into this sermon and answer some of those questions and/or provide Biblical support for your answers.

My favorite preacher Charles R. Swindoll shares:

Many years ago one of my mentors told me a story I have never forgotten. A missionary was home on furlough, traveling by car from church to church. Late one rainy evening, facing a long and lonely all-night journey, he asked the Lord to help him stay awake and make it safely to the next place he would minister.

A few minutes later he came upon a man off to the side, thumbing a ride. Although he rarely picked up hitchhikers, he felt sorry for the man out in the rain and offered him a lift. As the two of them began to visit, the missionary was thrilled to discover that the stranger was a believer and that they also had many mutual friends engaged in the Lord’s work.

Time passed rapidly as the two of them laughed and shared stories. The fellowship was so rich that the missionary hated to see the early light of dawn and hear his new-found friend say, “Well, here’s where I get off.” Before saying good-bye, the missionary invited him to have a cup of coffee at a roadside cafe. As they parted, they promised to pray for each other.

The rain had stopped by now, and a bright sun-drenched sky warmed the missionary’s soul. Then, a couple of minutes down the road, he realized that he had failed to get the man’s address and phone number, so he quickly returned to the cafe. There was no sign of the man. When he asked the cook if he’d seen which way the other fella had gone, he was shocked to hear him respond, “What other fella? You came in here alone . . . I wondered why you ordered two cups of coffee.”

The missionary glanced at the table where the two had sat and noticed that the other cup was still full to the brim . . . and the coffee was cold.

As he returned to his car, another surprising realization came to his mind. He remembered that when he had picked up the hitchhiker in the rain the night before, the man had gotten in the car but he wasn’t wet![1]

Did this missionary find help from an angel?

My Theme today: Angels are among us.

My application: Don’t worship angels, but let everything point to the creator God who we worship.

  1. There is more than we can see.
    1. Let’s read 2 Kings 6:17-20: 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Strike this people with blindness, I pray.” So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city; follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria. 20 When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
    2. I do not have time to give all the background to this passage, but I can share that Elisha’s servant was scared. He had a fear that Elisha and he were going to be captured by the Arameans. Yet, his eyes are opened and the truth is revealed. Further, the angels fight for them.
    3. Daniels 10:10-14: [an angels is talking with Daniel and he shares]Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.11 He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
    4. In the passage we just read we find out more about angels. There appears to be some form of cosmic struggle between angels and demons. Daniel had prayed in the previous chapter, but his answer was slow in coming. In verse 12 the angel says that he heard the answer on the first day. But he was in a struggle with the prince of Persia and Michael one of the chief angels had to come and help him.
    5. Now, I do not plan to talk about demons and satan’s fall today except for this: In Revelation 12 we see satan fell with 1/3rd of the angels who are now demons. Still be encouraged. God still has 2/3rds of the angels and furthermore, even if He did not, God is still Lord. The devil and the demons are no threat.
    6. The meaning of the word angel: Angel. The Hebrew word malak simply means “messenger”; it may refer to a human messenger (1 Kings 19:2) or a divine messenger (Gen. 28:12). The basic meaning of the word is “one who is sent.” As a divine messenger an angel is a “heavenly being charged by God with some commission.”1 The word is found 103 times in the Old Testament. The Greek word angelos occurs 175 times in the New Testament; however, of men it is used only 6 times. The word angelos is similar to the Hebrew malak; it also means “messenger … who speaks and acts in the place of the one who has sent him.”[2]
  2. Attributes of angels:
    1. There is so much to be said about angels, so let me skim the surface if I may.
    2. Angels are Spirit beings: Heb 1:14 is talking about angels: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
    3. Angels do take the form of humans and we see this in Genesis 18:3.
    4. Something really important, angels do not have a gender. Mark 12:25: [Jesus speaking] For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
    5. They are warriors. We already read the passages where the angels do battle. You can read all throughout the book of Revelation and see the angels bringing about judgment. In certain cases when a person encounters an angel in the Bible the angels says, “Do not fear.” In Luke 2:9-10: And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people
    6. There are myriads of angels (Heb 12:22; Rev. 5:11)
    7. They were created by the Lord (Col. 1:16).
    8. Colossians 1:16: For by Him all things were created, bothin the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
    9. We do not become angels when we die.
    10. Some of these Scriptures I will be referencing but you will have to look them up at home.
    11. They are higher than us for now, but we will judge the angels: Heb. 2:7 shows that we are lower than the angels but 1 Cor. 6:3 shows that we will judge the angels.
    12. They are incapable of death (Luke 20:36)
    13. Angels have greater wisdom than man (2 Sam. 14:20), yet it is limited (Matt. 24:36).
    14. Angels have greater power than man (Matt. 28:2; Acts 5:19; 2 Pet. 2:11), yet they are limited in power (Dan. 10:13)
    15. We are created in the image of God, not angels (Genesis 1-2).
    16. There are rankings within the angels: Angels who are highest ranking. Michael is called the archangel in Jude 9 and the great prince in Daniel 12:1. Michael is the only angel designated archangel, and may possibly be the only one of this rank.
    17. Gabriel is another angel mentioned (Dan. 9:21; Luke 1:26).
    18. Lucifer (Isa. 14:12) means “shining one” or “star of the morning.” He may have been the wisest and most beautiful of all God’s created beings who was originally placed in a position of authority over the cherubim surrounding the throne of God.10[3] Yet, he rebelled and we know him as the devil or satan. See also, Ezekiel 28:11-19)
    19. Cherubim are of the highest order or class, created with indescribable powers and beauty (Gen. 3:24).
    20. Seraphim, meaning “burning ones,” are pictured surrounding the throne of God in Isaiah 6:2. They are described as each having six wings. In their threefold proclamation, “holy, holy, holy” (Isa. 6:3).

The following gives a lot of detail but important detail. It comes from the Moody Bible Handbook by Paul Enns:

  1. Angels minister to God, to Christ, to believers (Heb. 1:14)
    1. The cherubim have a ministry to God in defending the holiness of God; Seraphim have a ministry to God in surrounding the throne of God as they attend to His holiness.
    2. Angels predicted His birth (Luke 1:26–38)
  • Angels protected Him in infancy (Matt. 2:13). An angel warned Joseph of Herod’s intention and told Joseph to flee to Egypt until the death of Herod. An angel also instructed Joseph when it was safe to return to the land of Israel (Matt. 2:20).
  1. Angels ministered to Him after the temptation (Matt. 4:11)
  2. Angels strengthened Him at Gethsemane (Luke 22:43).
  3. Angels announced His resurrection (Matt. 28:5–7; Mark 16:6–7; Luke 24:4–7; John 20:12–13
  • They released the apostles from prison (Acts 5:19) and Peter from prison (Acts 12:7–11).
  • They will protect the 144,000 in the Tribulation (Rev. 7:1–14).
    1. There are many other places in Scripture where angels ministered such as: (1) Physical protection. David experienced physical protection by the angel when he was forced to flee to the Philistines (Ps. 34:7). Angels may frustrate the plans of the enemies of God’s people (Ps. 35:4–5). Angels protect from physical harm those that seek refuge in the Lord (Ps. 91:11–13). They released the apostles from prison (Acts 5:19) and Peter from prison (Acts 12:7–11). They will protect the 144,000 in the Tribulation (Rev. 7:1–14).
    2. Physical provision. An angel brought physical nourishment for Elijah when he was weakened from a lengthy journey (1 Kings 19:5–7).
    3. During the storm at sea an angel encouraged Paul, reminding him he would arrive safely at Rome to bear witness for Christ (Acts 27:23–25).
    4. An angel directed Philip to witness to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26); an angel arranged the meeting of Cornelius and Peter that brought the Gentiles into acceptance in the believing community (Acts 10:3, 22).
    5. Assist in answers to prayer. There seems to be a relationship between the prayer for Peter’s release from prison and the angel’s releasing him (Acts 12:1–11). Similarly, Daniel’s prayer was explained by the angel (Dan. 9:20–27; cf. 10:10–12:13).
    6. Carry believers home. Luke 16:22 describes the death of Lazarus and the angels carrying him to Abraham’s bosom. This may be the way God causes all His dying saints to be “absent from the body … at home with the Lord.”
  1. Angels will also be instrumental in judgment at the end of the age when they cast unbelievers into the furnace of fire (Matt. 13:39–42); angels will sound the trumpet judgments during the Tribulation (Rev. 8:2–12; 9:1, 13; 11:15); angels pour out the bowl judgments upon the earth (Rev. 16:2–17).
  • Applications:
    1. Angels in Heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents, wow! We see this in Luke 15:10.
    2. Don’t worship angels, but let everything point to the creator God who we worship.
    3. We must only worship the Lord, He created the angels.
      1. Angels show the greatness of God’s love and plan for us.
      2. Angels remind us that the unseen world is real.
  • Angels are examples for us. This is true in their obedience and worship.
  1. Angels carry out some of God’s plan.
  2. Angels directly glorify God.
  1. We must understand that God uses angels to carry out His purposes.
  2. As we study angels we must be amazed more by God.
  3. We must make sure that we have a correct understanding of angels.
  4. We must be aware of angels in our daily life (Heb. 13:2).
  5. We must be aware of false doctrine from angels (Gal. 1:8).
  6. We must understand that even satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).


One last thing, do we have guardian angels? Acts 12 references this, but not in a way as a teaching. I do not think we do, but we may have myriads of angels around us. We may have more than one angel watching over us. In the end, the Christian is always with Jesus and Jesus is always with the Christian. We are safe.



I have another story from Charles R. Swindoll

Have you counted your blessings lately? Let me suggest one you might have overlooked. Let’s be thankful for angels—those unseen guardians who work overtime, who never slumber or sleep.

Angels exist as supernatural creatures in and about heaven, and they are frequently dispatched to earth in human form to bring encouragement and assistance. If you have ever encountered the sudden appearance and/or departure of an angel after receiving one’s help, you are never quite the same.

Several years ago some high school fellas from the church I pastored in Southern California went on a mountain-climbing excursion, along with their youth leader. While taking in the breathtaking sights, however, the leader realized he had lost the trail. A heavy snowfall had completely covered the path, and he didn’t have a clue where they were or how they could get back to the main camp. Sundown was not far away, and they were not equipped to spend the night on the craggy, windblown slopes where the temperature would soon drop even lower.

While trudging through the snow, entertaining thoughts just this side of panic, they suddenly heard someone on the slopes above them yell down: “Hey—the trail is up here!” They glanced up and to their relief saw another climber in the distance. Without hesitation, they began to make their way up to the large boulder where the man was sitting. The climb was exhausting, but their relief in finding the way gave their adrenaline a rush.

Finally, they arrived . . . but to their surprise the man who had yelled at them was nowhere to be found. Furthermore, there were no traces in the snow that anyone had been sitting on the boulder, nor were there footprints around the rock. The trail, however, stretched out before them, leading them to safety. The boys not only learned a valuable lesson about the wilderness but also firmed up their belief in encountering “angels without knowing it.”

God’s special messengers are often invisible but never impotent. As the psalmist has written: “He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).

Can you think of occasions in your own life when you had what you would consider “a close call”? How about one of your kids or friends? Can you remember a time or two when, through some incredible manner, they were shielded from harm or delivered from danger?[4]



Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23


God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)


[1] Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

1 Gerhard von Rad, “Mal’āk in the Old Testament,” in Gerhard Kittel, ed., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 1:76–77.

[2] Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 286–287.

10 J. Dwight Pentecost, Your Adversary the Devil (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969), p. 20.

[3] Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 289.

[4] Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.


What does it mean to be human?

As I was studying for this sermon all I could think of was a song from the 1960’s: “RESPECT, find out what it means to me…” That is all I knew of the song, so I looked it up. I don’t know that the song is all that appropriate depending if it is literal or has other innuendo, so I won’t share anymore lyrics. However, all people, male and female, should be treated with the utmost respect because we are created in the image of God. We are God’s image bearers.

We are not accidents. You are not accidents.

Just think how powerful it is to be created in the image of God. Just think how powerful it is to reflect God’s image. When you hurt another person created in the image of God you hurt the image of God.

As you know I am continuing a series based on Theology or Christian doctrine. It is called “The Study of God.” Today, we begin a worldview question. What does it mean to be human? This is still Theology because being human means that we are created in the image of God. Being human means that we do not own our body, God does. Being human means so much more. However, we must understand that our understanding of this broad topic has wide implications on every decision we make and how we view society. Furthermore, we must understand that this topic is too big for one sermon. Still, this topic should be addressed in at least one sermon. How does this topic relate to how we view society? I am glad you asked: Do you want to talk about same sex marriage? That means we must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about transgender people? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about abortion? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about sex outside of marriage? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about gender equality? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about race relations? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about creation and evolution and everything in between? Then we must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about sin and what is wrong with the world? Then we must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk to people who believe there were ancient aliens who created things and populated our race? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about murder and crime and adultery and stealing and punishments and prison reform and the death penalty? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about hate crimes? We must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about parenting? Then we must talk about what it means to be human. Do you want to talk about education? Then we must talk about what it means to be human. We must talk about this subject. Let’s talk about the subject.

Theme: You are created in God’s Image.


  1. Live for God, He is Your Creator
  2. Respect all people, they are also God’s creation.
  3. Respect yourself, you are God’s creation.

Let’s read Genesis 1:26-27

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The Moody Bible handbook says:

The study of man is called anthropology from the Greek words anthropos, meaning “man,” and logos, meaning “word” or “discourse,” hence, anthropology is a discourse about man. The term anthropology can be the study of the doctrine of man from a biblical standpoint or it can refer to the study of man in his cultural environment. The former procedure will occupy this study.

  1. We are created in the image of God.
    1. We were created male and female
    2. Genesis 1:26-27, we are like God and we represent God.
    3. Genesis 5:1-2: This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.
    4. We were created male and female for a reason.
    5. James 3:9 shows that men, not just believers, are created in the image of God.
    6. It takes male and female both to reflect the godhead. God created both genders and both genders reflect God’s image.
    7. Being created in the image of God shows:
      1. We are moral.
      2. We are Spiritual.
      3. We are mental.
      4. We are relational.
    8. I could talk about each of those topics right now, but I am not going to. We could add to this. God likes to create and so we like to create.
    9. However, we are talking about what it means to be human and there is much more to be said.
      1. Being human means that we are sexual and God has called us to marry and to have children, though some are called to celibacy and that is a call of God as well.
      2. Being human means that we like to play and have fun and that is good.
  • Being human means that we are learners, as stated above we are mental.
  1. Being human means that we are stewards. God owns our bodies. We must take care of them for Him.
  1. Since we are created in the image of God means that we have hope, we have purpose, we have value. The conflict over the worldview of the world and the worldview of culture is important because the worldview of the culture is leading to destruction.
  2. Culture means “Cult of the populace.” This cultural view is leading to our culture falling apart from the center. We are losing morality, we are losing purpose, we are losing grounding and foundational beliefs. Our lack of a Biblical view of what it means to be human is leading children and adults to lack purpose. Children and adults are lacking identity. Children and adults are lacking meaning. Children and adults are lacking value. Yet, we all have value, meaning, purpose and identity because we are created in the image of God. We are not accidents.
    1. Currently, physician assisted suicide is being legalized in many states. How is the Christian to respond? It is simple. We respond with grace and truth. Truth teaches that we are created in God’s image. Truth teaches if God created us we do not have rights over our bodies. We are just care takers. We are stewards. Grace teaches we must love all people and sympathize with their pain and suffering, without compromising the truth already stated. In some European countries physician assistant suicide is legal, even with young people when mental illness is present. Here is an example:

In early childhood, the Dutch psychiatric patient known as 2014-77 suffered neglect and abuse. When he was about 10, doctors diagnosed him with autism. For approximately two decades thereafter, he was in and out of treatment and made repeated suicide attempts.

He suffered terribly, doctors later observed, from his inability to form relationships: “He responded to matters in a spontaneous and intense, sometimes even extreme, way. This led to problems.”

A few years ago, 2014-77 asked a psychiatrist to end his life. In the Netherlands, doctors may perform euthanasia — not only for terminal physical illness but also upon the “voluntary and well-considered” request of those suffering “unbearably” from incurable mental conditions.

The doctor declined, citing his belief the case was treatable, as well as his own moral qualms. But he did transmit the request to colleagues, as Dutch norms require. They treated 2014-77 for one more year, determined his case was, indeed, hopeless and administered a fatal dose of drugs.

Thus did a man in his 30s whose only diagnosis was autism become one of 110 people to be euthanized for mental disorders in the Netherlands between 2011 and 2014.

Case 2014-77 appears on the Dutch-language Web site of Holland’s Regional Euthanasia Review Committees, which review mercy killing in the Netherlands — but almost never find fault. Of 5,306 euthanasias listed in the committees’ 2014 annual report, the vast majority based on physical illness, regulators found a lack of “due care” in four, or 0.08 percent. The consequences of these rulings, if any, are unclear.

Now, however, doctors from elsewhere are starting to apply independent scrutiny to the increasingly common euthanasia of Holland’s mentally ill, and their findings are not so reassuring. To the contrary.

According to an analysis of 66 of the 110 cases from 2011 to 2014, by psychiatrist Scott Kim of the National Institutes of Health and two colleagues, Dutch psychiatric patients were often euthanized despite disagreement among consulting physicians as to whether they met legal criteria. In 37 cases, patients refused possibly beneficial treatment, and doctors proceeded anyway.[1]

  1. Listen, I do not deny that people are hurting. I believe people are hurting. I do not deny that people have real and painful mental illness. I just believe that:
    1. We do not have the right to take life.
    2. Taking a life does not fix the problem.
    3. We must give real and true hope from the Biblical worldview.
      1. They need Jesus. Let Jesus help.
      2. Having Jesus means a Biblical worldview which recognizes that we are created in the image of God, we have a purpose, we have meaning, we have identity.
      3. Jesus gives hope and comfort through the church, the Word and the Holy Spirit.
    4. We have a nature that has fallen from grace, but this is not originally what it means to be human.
      1. Let’s read Genesis 3:1-7: Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make onewise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
      2. Now, many people will say, “I am only human” as they excuse sin. However, Adam and Eve were fully human before sin entered. We were not created to sin.
      3. In Genesis 9:6 it shows even after the fall we are still in God’s image.
      4. Let’s read Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
      5. Let’s read Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • We can only be saved through Jesus.
    1. We must understand as humans that we were created good.
    2. We must understand that as part of human history we fell from grace.
    3. We must turn to Jesus for redemption.


Understand, every time you turn on the television, or the radio, or the computer, or your smartphone you are seeing images and ideas that are contrary to what the Bible says it means to be human. Understand, every time you read the newspaper, or an article or a book you are reading contrary ideas to what the Bible teaches it means to be human. We need our views to come from the Bible.

Our world will tell you that being human is without purpose and without meaning. This is nihilism. This is shown in a song titled: “Mr. Rogers” by Korn: You told me everybody was my neighbor.

They took advantage of me.

I wish I hadn’t watched you.

I hate you . . .

There is a lot of nihilism in rock.

Our world will tell you that being human means we must FIND meaning in my life because there is no meaning in my life. That is existentialism.

The world will tell you that life has no meaning or purpose except for pleasure so we should go for pleasure and this is hedonism.

The world will tell you that life is about making the world a better place for humans and this is called humanism. An example is Star Trek. Star Trek is all about a humanistic idea that humans can make the world better and bring peace on their own.

I use the word ‘Humanist’ to mean

someone who believes that man is just

as much a natural phenomenon as an

animal or plant; that his body, mind

and soul were not supernaturally created

but are products of evolution, and that he

is not under the control or guidance of

any supernatural being or beings, but

has to rely on himself and his

own powers. Julian Huxley, American Humanist Association[2]

The Bible responds to these. The Bible tells us we were created in the image of God. We have sinned, but we are redeemed in Jesus. The Bible tells us we have purpose because we were created by God. The Bible gives us purpose and meaning and hope from Genesis through Revelation. The Bible tells us we are God’s special creation and we reflect the creator. We glorify God because we reflect Him.

Children need to be taught the Biblical worldview.

Teenagers need to be taught the Biblical worldview.

Young adults need to learn the Biblical worldview.

Parents need to study and teach their children the Biblical worldview.

Everyone must embrace the Biblical worldview.

Knowing Jesus and embracing His worldview is the only hope for our society. We must change the cult of the populace. We must transform the culture. We must redeem the times.

People need the hope of what the Bible says it means to be human.

Theme: You are created in God’s Image.


  1. Live for God, He is Your Creator
  2. Respect all people, they are also God’s creation.
  3. Respect yourself, you are God’s creation.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)


[2] These last quotes were taken from Dr. Bill Brown’s chapel powerpoint at Cedarville University on 02/11/2003

What is the Church? Who are the Church?

What is the Church, Who are the Church? (Ecclesiology) (Acts 2:42-47; Romans 1:16-17; 15:20; Col. 1:15-20)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, February 11, 2018

 I know many churches with fog machines in their worship service. I don’t know their purpose, but I really do not agree and I would be entirely, unreservedly opposed to a fog machine in our worship. I know of churches that begin their worship service with Beatles songs. I don’t know their purpose, actually I do. They are so intent on reaching the lost, and that is a good thing, but instead they sing songs written by a pot smoking band that do not glorify God. I do not agree with that either. A. W. Tozer has said that we were created to worship and so I would also say why would we compromise worship on our Sunday morning gathering. I would also say why when the whole body of Christ comes together some make it more about a pop concert than glorifying the King of Kings. I know why these churches do it. I respect their motivation, they wish to reach more people with the Gospel. They think if they start with a Beatles song and turn the sanctuary into a stadium people will feel more comfortable and be more receptive to the message. However, if we compromise Christianity in order to reach people we should expect that we are compromising discipleship. If we compromise worship in order to reach people we are falsifying Christianity in order to reach people. If we compromise worship in order to reach people we are being disingenuous and we are lacking integrity by misrepresenting Christianity and the claims of Christ from the very beginning. Therefore, people could think they are committing to Christianity, but they are not. They are committing to a pop culture skewed view of Christianity which is NOT Biblical Christianity.  This is what happens when we make our worship service our evangelism outreach. This is grave danger. This can lead to major problems in a church. If we compromise worship in order to reach people then we ought not be surprised when they really do not know worship themselves.

As you know, I am in a sermon series on the Study of God. So, now we come to the study of God’s church. We are talking about the church today and I want to say my theme and application:


You are called to worship, but the church as a whole is called to evangelism and discipleship to bring people into a RIGHT relationship with God so that they can worship.


Don’t forget evangelism, as that is sin, but don’t compromise worship which we are called to do.

Let’s read:

Colossians 1:15-20

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

  1. What is the church?
    1. If you notice the passage above, Jesus is the Head of the church. We also see this in Ephesians 1:22-23.
    2. The church is called the bride of Christ.
    3. We see this in Eph. 5:22-25 but mostly in Rev. 19:7-8: Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright andclean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
    4. We see the idea in Rev. 20:1-6 as well.
    5. The church is the bride of Christ.
    6. There are many metaphors of the church too many to name. But the church is the body of believers who are called out of the world to serve Jesus.
    7. God has not called us to live the Christian life alone, but to be networked together.
    8. We are a community.
  2. Who are the church?
    1. Listen, every believer in Jesus Christ is part of the church.
    2. Please take your pointer finger and point to the sky and now point at your self and say, “I am the church.”
    3. If you are a believer in Christ, you are the church.
  • Purposes of the church
    1. I want to talk about 5 purposes of the church. Ultimately, I believe if every Christian is a disciple that should lead to evangelism, worship, ministry and fellowship, but we all fail. So, every one of us must evaluate how we are doing. How are you doing with evangelism? How many times have you shared your faith? How are you doing as a disciple? Are you living like Jesus? Are you trying? How are you doing with worship? Do you worship Jesus? How about ministry? Are you serving? How about fellowship? Are you connected to the body? Every believer is to be involved in those 5 areas of evangelism, discipleship, worship, ministry and fellowship. But what about the church. The church must mobilize the people for these tasks.
    2. Ultimately, I do believe we are created to worship God and DISCIPLESHIP teaches us that.
    3. But that is the Christian. Ultimately, I believe the church is God’s military organization to evangelize, but also to support one another as we share the Gospel and live the Christian life.
    4. The church is called to evangelism.
    5. Let’s read Acts 2:42-47: 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they beganselling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
      1. In that passage we see all 5 purposes of the church. The are devoting themselves to teaching. They are worshipping. They are ministering. Verse 47 says the Lord is adding to their number.
      2. There are many churches that must apologize. We must apologize for neglecting evangelism, and this is a sin of omission. Or, we must apologize for compromising worship with a goal of evangelism.
  • We do not compromise our worship for evangelism. We include evangelism in all of our ministries. If we are about evangelism throughout the week then we simply keep worship the same.
  1. The whole book of Acts is about church planting and spreading the Gospel.
  2. The whole New Testament is about spreading the Gospel.
  3. Romans 1:16-17: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous manshall live by faith.”
  • Romans 15:20: And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation
  • the New Testament is all about the spread of the Gospel. Are you? Are we?
  1. People do not care about our Gospel because we do not care enough to share it?
  2. But the purpose of our Sunday morning worship gathering is not evangelism. Don’t get me wrong, I will share the Gospel wherever the people are, but that is not the purpose.
  3. You are called to evangelism and the church is called to mobilize, encourage and equip you to share the Gospel so that there are more worshippers.
  • Furthermore, the church as a community should have more invitational evangelism opportunities. I am looking into Celebrate Recovery which would be a Christian based recovery group in order to help people in the community. This building should be full of good, God honoring community, need meeting events throughout the week. Fill up the building with Christian classes for parents and children. Fill up the building with Christian counseling. But remember, you are the church and where you go you are to infect people with Jesus. BE CONTAGIOUS!
  • Generally we do not care enough to live it. The church is called to discipleship.
  1. The church is called to Discipleship.
    1. Don’t forget that disciples worship. Disciples minister. Disciples fellowship. Disciples make disciples. True disciples share the Gospel.
    2. Jesus has not called us to be fans but to be followers of Jesus.
  • There are so many Scriptures about this.
  1. Luke 9:23: And He was saying to themall, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me…”
  1. The church is called to Worship.
    1. I talked about compromising worship in order to reach people.
    2. Think about it, compromising worship for evangelism is like compromising your entire view of purity in order to find a spouse.
  • Think about it, Christians have been doing that for at least sixty years. Christians, even parents, would rather their children graduate from college than remain sexually pure. College is way more important to the Christian parent than sexual purity. Christian children are raised with a certain view of purity and then throw it out on the first date. So, why are we surprised when we do the same thing with worship. We have a Bible view and we throw it out with the goal of marrying more people.
  1. The worship service is for the groom. The worship service is not for you, it is for Jesus.
  2. BUT the rest of the week, the rest of the ministry, is about reaching more people with the Gospel so they can join us in worshipping Jesus AND help reach other people to also worship Jesus.
  3. See Col. 3:15-17: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
  • Look at Rev. 4:8-11: And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

  1. The Church is called to Ministry.
  2. We are called to lovingly serve other people. See Phil. 2:3-11. Even this should have an evangelism goal.
  3. The church is called to Fellowship.
    1. We are to live in community.
    2. We are to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2), etc.


I started this sermon talking about churches that I believe compromise worship with the idea of evangelism. BUT remember, it is also a sin to neglect to share the Gospel. Neglecting to share the Gospel compromises worship because in neglecting evangelism we have less worshippers.

Who are the church? YOU are.

What is the church? The body and bride of Christ.

What are we called to do?

You are called to worship Jesus.

We are called to evangelism, discipleship, worship, ministry and fellowship.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)



The Holy Spirit

The Study of God, Who is the Holy Spirit? Do We Depend Upon Him? (John 14:16, 26)


Begin with the power strip example.

Remember the power strip illustration? It does not do good if it is plugged into itself, does it? This power strip plugs into the wall. We must plug ourselves into God. The Holy Spirit gives us power.

You are not alone.

About four years ago when Mercedes was about two years old I was away on a continuing education trip and when I got back Mercedes had learned something new. She said, “One, two…” then Meagan said, “She is going to jump on you.” Mercedes said, “Three.” I had to catch her. Now, that is faith. Mercedes could not do that if she was alone. But she knew that I was there to catch her.

Do we live the Christian life knowing that we are not alone?

You see, one may think, “I can never overcome this addiction.” But you are forgetting, you are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with you.

You may think, “I can never get rid of alcohol.” But remember you are not alone, the Holy Spirit is with you.

You may think, “I can’t read the Bible, I don’t understand the Bible.” But remember the Holy Spirit is your teacher (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 Cor 2:14).

You may think, “I can’t be a witness, I don’t know enough. What if I don’t know the answer?” But you are not alone (Luke 12:11-12).

You may think, “I can’t pray, I just can’t.” Or, you may think, “I am so sad, I don’t want to pray, I am mad at God.” But the Holy Spirit prays for you and with you. You are not alone (Romans 8:26-27).

My theme today is that the Holy Spirit is still with us. The same Holy Spirit in the early church is in your life now. Live knowing that you are not alone.

The Holy Spirit is still active today. But how do you lean on the Holy Spirit? Understand that the Holy Spirit is not a force. This is not Star Wars. The Holy Spirit is referred to as a person.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); One God manifested in 3 persons. The Holy Spirit is a person, not merely a force. He is intelligent (1 Cor 12:11), has a will (1 Cor 12:11), teaches (John 14:26), can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), and can be insulted (Hebrews 10:29). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). (See also John 14:16-19, 23. Jesus says He is leaving, yet He will come to the Disciples with the Father.) The Son and the Father come into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. The degree of separateness and unity in the Trinity is a mystery. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share Divinity (One God), yet are distinct in personality.

As Christians how is the Holy Spirit active in our lives?

[Some of the following insight and breakdown come from Dr. Charles Lake’s Discipleship Training]

  1. The Bible’s teachings on the Holy Spirit.
    1. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher of spiritual truths. (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 Cor 2:14) John 14:26: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
      1. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. Many times we don’t act like we have a supernatural teacher. We avoid the Bible, we avoid Theology, we avoid doctrine and I think this is because we diminish, or trivialize the Holy Spirit as God with us.
      2. Jesus said that He was leaving but He will send the Helper. (John chapters 14-17; 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7)
  • I must always remember that as I preach the Holy Spirit is active in the congregation. Our church leaders must remember that the Holy Spirit is active in our congregation.
  1. Do you realize how many times I have preached things and people talk to me and I am like, “that is an awesome Truth, I did not get that.”
  2. Chuck Swindoll writes about preaching a sermon and after the sermon a man said, “My wife called you, didn’t she?” Swindoll said, “No.” He said, “Come on, I know she did, she called you.” Swindoll said, “I do not even know who you are, your wife did not call me.” The Holy Spirit was at work and sometimes His work comes out as conviction.
  1. The Holy Spirit is our Mouthpiece in witnessing to others. Luke 12:11-12: When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
    1. This is hard for me.
    2. You know I must remember that when I witness I am not alone. But I will never know that the Holy Spirit is with me if I do not lean on Him and depend on Him.
  • Peter walked on water, right? He did (Matthew 14:28ff). But this would not have happened if he did not trust Jesus to get out of the boat.
  1. The Holy Spirit is our Helper in prayer. Romans 8:26-27: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
    1. My youth pastor lost his daughter to cancer and he said there were many days when he could not pray. But he knew that when he got on His knees and wept the Holy Spirit was interceding for Him.
    2. Understand that it is okay and quite good to be silent before God in prayer.
  2. The Holy Spirit is our Purifier of our hearts. Acts 15:8-9: God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them,for he purified their hearts by faith.
    1. The Holy Spirit is at work transforming us.
    2. You are not alone.
  3. Trust the Holy Spirit
    1. By way of application, step out in faith.
    2. Ray Jeske of ESPN radio in Massillon shared the story at FCA at Mount Union of himself being convicted by the Holy Spirit to give his last five dollars, which he needed for gas, into an offering for a church plant. The plant was meeting in a school (I think that is what he said) and his friend was the pastor. This was their first service.

      He wanted to resist because he needed the money for gas. The gas light was on and he would run out of gas driving home from Wadsworth to Akron or the other side of Akron. His gas light came on when he was driving to the church, but he kept driving thinking he could go further. The Holy Spirit told him three times to put the five dollars in the offering. The first and second time he told the Holy Spirit, “I need that money for gas, I need to provide for my family.” The second time he even referenced 2 Timothy 5:8 that if a man does not provide for his house he should be treated as an infidel. The third time the Holy Spirit convicted him he gave. He left the worship service early, thinking he has seen his friend and his friend knew he was there. The five dollars went into the offering, as a love offering for that plant. He leaves early after giving the money, expecting to have to hitch hike home. As he drives he sees a woman hitch hiking and the car steered over to her, or it was as if the car steered to her. It was like he felt like he had to pick her up. He does. She is a biker woman who says they call her “wild thing.” They start driving and she says she was bar hopping and her friends left her. She says she prayed if someone picks her up she will give ten dollars for gas. Wow! They get gas. Ray shares who he was and where he came from. She shares she needs prayer for her 17 year old son hanging around the wrong people. He witnesses to her. Her real name was Carol.

    3. In Forgotten God, Francis Chan shares: CHRISTLIKENESS: A PAINFUL PROCESS

      The truth is that the Spirit of the living God is guaranteed to ask you to go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally want or choose to do. The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be. The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be. This often incredibly painful process strips you of selfishness, pride, and fear.

      For a powerful example of this, read in C. S. Lewis’s book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader about the boy, Eustace, who becomes a dragon. In order to become a little boy again, he must undergo a tremendous amount of pain as the dragon skin is peeled away and torn from him. Only after he endures this painful process is he truly transformed from a dragon back into a boy.

      Sometimes the sin we take on becomes such a part of us that it requires this same kind of ripping and tearing to free us. The Holy Spirit does not seek to hurt us, but He does seek to make us Christlike, and this can be painful.[1]

    4. In James MacDonald’s book Vertical Church he shares about the Holy Spirit’s movement during the Great Awakening revivals. He writes: John Wesley (1703-1791) was one of the founding members of the Methodist movement, and his journals are filled with descriptions of unusual physical manifestations that accompanied revival. For example, when describing the effects of a sermon on Saturday, July 14, 1759, he wrote, “Several fell to the ground, some of whom seemed dead, others in the agonies of death, the violence of their bodily convulsions exceeding all description. There was also great crying and agonizing in prayer, mixed with deep and deadly groans on every side.” (“Journals of John Wesley,” The Wesley Center Online, accessed January 3, 2011, http://wesley.nnu.edujohn-wesley/the-journal-of-john-wesley-vol-4/the-eleventh-part-section-two/.)
    5. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was a contemporary of Wesley in England. When he heard reports of people responding boldly in Wesley’s meetings, Whitefield confronted his fellow preacher in a letter dated June 25, 1739: “I cannot think it right in you to give so much encouragement to these convulsions which people have been thrown in your ministry.” But a very short time later, Whitefield had to reverse his judgment when people began, without any prompting, to respond outwardly during his meetings. Henry Venn, a contemporary of Whitefield, wrote of the crowds listening to the great preacher: “Under Mr. Whitefield’s sermon, many among the immense crowd that filled every part of the burial ground were overcome with fainting. Some sobbed deeply; others wept silently; and a solemn concern appeared on the countenance of almost the whole assembly.” (Cited in J.C. Ryle Christian Leaders of the 18th Century [London: Banner of Truth, 1997], 253-53). Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) also described the sometimes-unusual events that would accompany a revival. Writing of those who find God’s grace for the first time, Edwards said, “It was very wonderful to see how persons’ affections were sometimes moved— when God as it were suddenly opened their eyes…. Their joyful surprise has caused their hearts as it were to leap, so that they have been ready to break forth into laughter, tears often at the same time issuing like a flood, and intermingling a loud weeping.” (“A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998], 1:354.) In his description of the Great Awakening, Edwards wrote, “Many of the young people and children that were professors appeared to be overcome with a sense of the greatness and glory of Divine things, and with admiration, love, joy and praise, and compassion to others that looked upon themselves as in a state of nature; and many others at the same time were overcome with distress about their sinful and miserable state and condition; so that the whole room was full of nothing but outcries, faintings, and such like…. It was a very frequent thing to see a house full of outcries, faintings, convulsions and such like, both with distress, and also with admiration and joy.” (Jonathan Edwards, The Great Awakening: A Faithful Narrative [New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1972], 4:546-47.) When considering the physical and emotional manifestations of revival, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) wrote that “these phenomena are not essential to revival yet it is true to say that, on the whole, they do tend to be present when there is a revival.” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1987].)  [2]


A.W. Tozer shares the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2 and He came “to do” and He has never left.

Tozer shares :

If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”

I hate being alone. Solitary confinement would mess me up. Thankfully, I am not and I never will be alone.

Are you alone?

Are we alone?

The Holy Spirit is at work within each of you. Then when we come together, the Holy Spirit is active in the whole church and that is powerful.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)


[1] (Francis Chan. Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit (pp. 50-51). Kindle Edition.)

[2] Vertical Church, James MacDonald. Pages 315-316 in end notes number 25 for chapter 5: Unashamed Adoration: