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April 21, 2011


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Just curious as to how you (pastor Henry) arrive at your sermon/teaching schedule. I.e., do you think of your own message themes based on what's going on in your heart at present, get a feel of what similar churches are currently studying or some other method?



Chris, Depends on the series. I'm mostly working through books of the Bible, so that's more a matter of sensing which book would be good for any particular time and balancing Old and New Testament. When doing a topical series, there are some basic subjects I feel we need to cover over a period of time. I am often influenced by what other churches are doing when it comes to branding the series. Henry


thanks for the prompt 411, pastor Henry!

this helps cuz i'm an evangelist to local inmates & i often struggle with what to teach. in many respects my vocation is easier than a pastor's, who has to feed believers in various stages of maturity. altho, i have to come up with a fresh twist on messages focussing on salvation, while considering that there are believers in the group as well.

it's always a challenge & sometimes i'm not sure what text to use, right up to the minute that i'm on deck!

since you're as close to a pastor as i currently have, would you mind if i use this forum to get similar helpful hints from you?


Chris, Absolutely. Use this as a forum. I've been impacted by Tim Keller who says the gospel is not the ABC's of the faith but the A to Z of the faith. I think it's possible to preach the gospel every week and hit the seeker and the believer alike. It's not easy, but it's possible. Most believers need to hear the gospel again and again and be challenged to live in that grace, but we do have to go deeper and deeper into it.


thanks! "a to z"...i like that! makes me think of the verse in rev; 'the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy'!

okay, since you don't mind- here's a ?:

i recently heard a tv evangelist say that eternal damnation is a roman idea & references are vulgate additives to the bible. he believes that the soul of the un-redeemed will be burned-up in the lake of fire, but that it won't last an eternity.

any thoughts or verses to refute or agree?


I've never heard anyone say that Latin Vulgate adds references to an eternal hell. Strange theory. Sounds like an idea he picked up from The DaVinci Code or something like that. My advise is to get a really good systematic theology book and hold it tight as a reference tool for questions like this because there are more than a verse or two to deal with on this subject. I recommend Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. I'm not saying to read this book from cover to cover, but use you can look up any question you might have and get a thorough, bibical treatment of the subject. Here's a link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Systematic-Theology-Introduction-Biblical-Doctrine/dp/0310286700/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1303998759&sr=8-1


Thanks for the advice, i'll have to check into this book!

after i heard the evangelist make the comment, i looked up the verse which came to mind & sure enough, the piece; "....where their worm dies not" was a an addition, according to my NKJV footnote and i think that some versions exlude it all together!

not many other specific references to 'eternal' damnation came to my mind other than the one regarding 'the lake of fire' in rev. most references dealing with eternity seem to revolve around the redeemed. just my observation at a glance.

i have another ? that i'm working through, but if you're gonna refer me over to an exhaustive text to navigate thru, maybe i should just try that first?;)


Chris, That may be true about that one statement, but you are right that there is a lot more in the Bible and in the teaching of Jesus in particular that speaks to the final judgment. Henry


Henry, i took your advice & dug into an old book that i have (what the bible teaches-torrey) & after some study have concluded that damnation is an eternal experience for the unredeemed. it wasn't an easy conclusion since many of the verses on the topic could be interpreted to mean that tho the unredeemed are cast into the lake of fire, they might be burned-up, spirit soul & body; i.e., "this is the 2nd death" as it says in rev. tho it talks of eternal fire for the devil, beast & false prophet in previous verses.

the verses that sealed it for me were: rev 14:11 & 2 thess 1:9

not a 'happy' conclusion, but a biblical 1 none the less.

thanks for encouraging me to get the answer 4 myself; i now own the topic!:)


Chris, I re-read your original comment and see that I may have slightly misunderstood. I thought you said the TV evangelist said that hell would not last forever for anyone, but sounds like he said that people will be annihilated. Anyway, I'm glad you were able to draw some of your own conclusions through your study. Henry

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  • I'm the lead pastor of Five Oaks Church in Woodbury, MN where we seek to help people CONNECT with others and God, DEEPEN their relationship with Christ and IMPACT the world for Christ.

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