Facing Persecution

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

How does Jesus Christ expect us to face persecution? The Scripture show how Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets approached the persecutions they endured.


The Beatitudes, Part 8: Blessed Are the Persecuted

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Persecution is a fact of life for a Christian. Jesus Christ says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake — here's why.


Persecution

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh acknowledges that although many in God's church have gone through sore trials and tests of sorts, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome. Because most of us have lived our lives in modern Israel rather than a Gentile culture, we have …


Persecution Edges Closer

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh informs us that the Christian religion (both nominal and actual) is the most persecuted religion on the face of the earth. Heretofore, Christians in Gentile nations have received the brunt of the persecutions, whereas Christians in Israelite nations have been spared—until now—as secular progressive …


A Pattern of Persecution

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Just as the child of the flesh persecuted the child of promise, the spiritual children of God can expect persecution from those living according to the flesh.


Persecution, Israelitish Style

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on "Persecution: Israelitish Style," suggests that the kind of persecution practiced in Israelitish nations is more psychological than physical, but just as brutal in its own way. Candidates at the 2012 Democratic National Convention audibly "booed" God out of the platform. When …


Facing Times of Stress: Persecution

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.


Eroding Religious Freedom

'Prophecy Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Freedom of religion in America is being slowly eroded rather than removed en masse. Richard Ritenbaugh presents several examples, then shows how the Bible encourages us in such times.


Prudence

Sermonette by Ronny H. Graham

Ronny Graham, citing statistics from the non-profit organization Open Doors, asserts that persecution against Christians is rampant and dramatic, escalating in many parts of the world in which professing Christians suffer governmental harassment, torture, and death. In North Korea, owning a Bible is a capital offence, bringing …


The Fifth Seal (Part Two)

'Prophecy Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Persecution and martyrdom are not popular topics among Christians, but they are facts. The fifth seal shows the cry of the martyrs and God's response.


A Government to Fear (Part One)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on a recent lawsuit against a woman photographer for refusing to provide services for a same-sex couple, describes an ominous phenomenon gripping American culture—the imposition of government control over the way we think and act in the name of tolerance and multi-culturalism. God's Law is …


A Look at Christian Suffering (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Even suffering that may not be as a direct result of our faith is part of the trials of this age. It will bear positive fruit if it is approached in faith.


The Handwriting Is On the Wall (2011)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, continuing the traditional opening night Feast of Tabernacles "Handwriting on the Wall" message, focuses on the plaintive Psalm 94 in which the psalmist despairs of the crescendo of wicked men and institutions causing the righteous to move "underground" for safety purposes. The church is …


Endurance

Sermonette by Ronny H. Graham

Ronny Graham, recognizing that some of the most poignant and hurtful persecution we experience comes from our own families and extended families, rather than, as some might expect, from embittered members of the fellowship, maintains that we must assiduously learn endurance. As we approach the time of Christ's return, …


The Seven Churches: Smyrna

Bible Study by Staff

The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches—no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?


Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Four)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Christians often spend so much time engaged in their present-day trials and tribulations that they fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past. In the New Testament, God has supplied His church with multiple examples of the difficult times faced by the early church. John Ritenbaugh provides …


Are You Bearing Your Cross?

'Ready Answer' by Staff

How do we, as modern Christians, bear our cross as Jesus commands? He meant far more than simply carrying a stake over our shoulders! This article shows how vital denying ourselves and taking up our cross is in following Christ.


Hebrews: A Message for Today

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.


Smyrna: Faithful Until Death

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

The biblical city of Smyrna may be one that many know the least about. The city's name reveals the themes that the Head of the church wants us to understand.


Matthew (Part 6)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh


A Truly Threatening Time

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, in his keynote "Handwriting on the Wall" message, based on Daniel 5:1-5, issues a stark warning of dire events to befall the Israelitish nations, predicting a truly menacing time when the leftist, 'progressive' powers that currently control the judiciary and the executive branches of government will …


Where Is Your Ultimate Allegiance?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reminding us that we, as followers of Christ, may suffer persecution, provides encouragement by reminding us we are promised boldness through the power of the Holy Spirit, making it unnecessary to prepare a response against the persecutors. When the laws of God conflict with the laws of man, civil disobedience is …


Facing Times of Stress: Grieved by Various Trials

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, describing different reactions of certain substances to fire, uses this variation of reaction as a metaphor of our differing reactions to fiery trials. As Christians, we can be conditioned to rejoice in trials, paradoxically having joy in the midst of grief and heaviness. Trials come in great variety, from …


Knowing Christ (Part 1)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

When we mortify the flesh, refusing to feed the hungry beast of our carnal nature, we suffer. Suffering for righteousness' sake helps us to know Christ.


A Search for Identity

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.


Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Three)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles.


Faith to Face Our Trials

'Ready Answer' by Pat Higgins

Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.


Are You Worthy of Your Calling?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins discusses the apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians, a group of dispirited, despairing Christians who had been bombarded by false teachings that the Day of the Lord had already come, prompting many to quit their employment, rest on their laurels, and become busy-bodies, as well as leading the leaders to …


Suffering Disgrace For Christ's Name

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without" in Peter's time came from the evil oppression incited by the Pharisees …


The Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Biblically, patience is far more than simple endurance or longsuffering. The patience that God has shown man gives us an example of what true, godly patience is.


Death, or Not A Hair of Your Head?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, acknowledging that people universally are curious about the future, asserts that prophecy is difficult and perplexing. Regardless of when Christ will return, we must be ready. False teachers, apostasy, and wars, as well as rumors of wars, will be a permanent part of the birth pangs ushering in Christ's Second …


Why Is Life So Hard? (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Entrance into the Kingdom of God will not happen without many tribulations (Acts 14:22). We may need to adjust our expectations of what discipleship entails.


Psalms: Book Two (Part Four)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, focuses again on Book Two, aligned with Exodus, Ruth, and Pentecost, emphasizing the wave loaves made of beaten down flour with leavening and baked with intense heat—loaves which symbolize us and our preparation for the Kingdom of God. Eight of the psalms of Book Two were not written by David, but by …


The Handwriting Is on the Wall (2004)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh in this keynote address of the 2004 Feast of Tabernacles, continuing on the perennial "handwriting on the wall" theme, warns us to be aware of disturbing coming trends (both in society and in the church of God) especially the very real possibility of persecution, betrayal, incredible tribulation …


Why is Life So Hard?

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, assessing the impact of struggles, pressures, and tribulations of our spiritual journey, reveals that Christ's followers will have to endure afflictions and fiery trials as He prepares them for His Kingdom. Some detractors have tried to preach that "godliness is a means of gain," implying that if we were …


The Father-Son Relationship (Part Six)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The Father and the Son are two distinct beings, not co-equal as the trinity doctrine proclaims, but with the Son deferring to the Father in all things.


Make Sure of Your Focus

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the watchman responsibility as defined in Ezekiel 33:2 and Isaiah 62:6, consisting of both physical and spiritual aspects. Part of the pastor's responsibility is to carefully observe economic, social, meteorological, and political trends, warning the flock to take prudent precautions, including …


Letters to Seven Churches (Part Three): Smyrna

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Christ prepared the members of Smyrna for martyrdom, promising them eternal glory for enduring a relatively short time, looking at things from a hopeful perspective.


Does Doctrine Really Matter? (Part Three)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon an official poll administered by the Vatican, reveals that throughout the so-called Christian world, militant atheism may be decreasing, but religious indifference (or prudent agnosticism) is also increasing at even a more dramatic rate. People in both Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions feel …


Avoiding Spiritual Burnout

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

John Reid, drawing on an example of an exhausted military medic, explores the problem of burnout with the attending symptoms of collapse, callousness, and giving up. The inability of solving mounting cultural and social problems despite advances in technology puts a strain on anyone who cares about the consequences, especially …


Conscience (Part 1)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh warns that human nature will degenerate as far as it is allowed. It has the tendency to quickly adapt to its environment, "adjusting" effortlessly to immorality and perversion. The conscience'the response of man's moral awareness to the divine revelation concerning himself, his attitudes, and his …


A Place of Safety? (Part 5)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Obsessing about the Place of Safety is a sure way to disqualify oneself from it. God calls some faithful, zealous ones for martyrdom during the Tribulation.