Larry Kirkpatrick

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Upgrade, part 3: Singing


And now, the last segment in our series on reverence. Reverence is not a “style” among other styles. God is not worshipped according to styles, very holy here and very casual there. Reverence is either present or lacking in a church. Maybe it seems like doing this series on reverence is just preaching to the choir (this is, after all, the Mentone church.) But from time to time we need to remind ourselves where we are and for what purpose we are assembled. When have you seen reverence lost in a church and later restored? Reverence is like virginity.


Upgrade, part 2: Clapping?


How shall Christians respond when they hear truth? Should we clap our hands? By shortly after the time of Christ, Roman crowds were responding in the auditoriums to the torture and murder of Christians, by clapping. As Christians were pulled apart by horses or tortured with heated metal, crowds clapped at their writhing agonies and death throes. It was considered good sport and premier entertainment.


Upgrade, part 1


Today, a different track. For some, a refresher; for others, a hearing for the first-time process. Here is the deal. Some of us grow up attending church; others, convert, or are awakened to the truth. We come. We join. But, no one taught us certain basic points. Some may feel out of place while at church. Embarrassing as it is to say it, we don’t know how to behave in the house of God. And so, let’s hear things grandmother never told you about how to behave in church.


The Close of Probation, part 4


Now we come to our last presentation in this series. We are looking specifically at the Close of Probation, and here, the issue of the vindication of God’s character. Does the final generation have a different role in the vindication from previous generations? If so, how?


The Close of Probation, part 3


A Bible Doctrine

Although we receive much of our information about the close of probation from the Spirit of Prophecy writings, the Bible offers the basis for our understanding; the revelations given later through Ellen White offer additional detail. In the case of the Close of Probation, Bible passages from Revelation 7, 14, 22, Matthew 25:1-13, Jeremiah 30, and Genesis 32 especially inform us, although there are several other biblical examples of Close of Probation kinds of events (Genesis 6-8, Ezekiel 8-11, Daniel 9, 12, etc.). In this brief series we have only looked at a few of these passages in any detail.


Word into Flesh


We have gathered here today because we believe in the salvation offered through our Lord Jesus Christ. God made man and He made him upright, but he sought out many inventions (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Adam and Eve, without serious forethought, determined that it might be possible to improve on the government God had set up. The result, of course, was suffering on an unprecedented scale.

Into our mess steps Jesus. God wants us to be holy, healthy, and happy. He wants to redeem us, buy us back, recover us from the desperate situation we are in.


The Close of Probation, part 1


Let’s face it. Some people are interested in God’s truth, and some aren’t. Some are satisfied with what they have, no matter its poverty. Some want to understand what is coming and how God would like to bless them. Some prefer to wait and see. Perhaps their trust in God is on the thin side. We don’t want to fault them. We want to increase in our understanding, and to see others blessed in growing.

There are those who would like you to think are very broad-minded but who themselves are a bit narrow. They take certain aspects of our faith and discover things to complain about. They take it upon themselves to portray certain of us as holding to a strange set of beliefs. One Adventist teaching which for many years has received little positive attention is what we call the “Close of Probation.”