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The Power of an Invitation

Taught on | Topic: Evangelism | Keywords: invitation, forceful, the eternal state, new heaven, new earth, New Jerusalem, salvation, satisfaction, spiritual darkness, the church, the gospel, truth

There is something special about receiving an invitation; it makes us feel wanted, special, and significant. As we examine an invitation found in the book of Revelation, we are challenged to be part of God's work as instruments of change for the gospel, and we are reminded not to underestimate the power of a simple invitation.

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9/27/2015
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The Power of an Invitation
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
There is something special about receiving an invitation; it makes us feel wanted, special, and significant. As we examine an invitation found in the book of Revelation, we are challenged to be part of God's work as instruments of change for the gospel, and we are reminded not to underestimate the power of a simple invitation.
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Topical

Topical

This collection of topical teachings from Skip Heitzig includes anniversary celebrations, messages about the vision of the church, special teachings from conferences and countries around the world, and more.

Study Guide

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Connect Recap:  September 28, 2015

Teaching: "The Power of an Invitation"
Text: Revelation 22:12-17

Path: There is a difference between informing someone and inviting someone. When you invite, you make it personal, relational, and individual. In today's teaching, Pastor Skip invites us to look at the power of an invitation.
  1. The Personality of God (Revelation 22:12-14)
  2. The Power of Christ (Revelation 22:12, 16)
  3. The Participation of the Christian (Revelation 22:17)
Points:

The Personality of God (Revelation 22:12-14)
  • Revelation 22 is the end of God's written disclosure in Scripture, leaving us His final offer and summons.
  • Notice: God is not forceful in His invitations; He is inviting. 
  • There are over fifty-five invitations found in the Bible (e.g., Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 55; John 1)
  • There are two main types of cellular growth: anabolic and catabolic growth.  Anabolic builds up; catabolic breaks down. Christians should be agents of anabolic growth, helping build the body of Christ by extending a natural invitation to people around us. This is what author Michael Green calls being "informal missionaries," a spontaneous outreach of the Christian community.
    • Probe: Discuss a time you were invited to church or to receive Christ.  What did that invitation tell you about the personality of God and His people?
The Power of Christ (Revelation 22:12, 16)
  • Notice that the titles of Christ reveal His power:
    • The coming One (see v. 12): He is coming for His people
    • The rewarding One (see v. 12b): He will remunerate people
    • Alpha—the beginning: a title used for God
    • Omega—the consummation of all things in Christ
    • Bright and morning star (v. 16): ancient Hebrew word similar to hero. Christ is the "star" on stage, the center point of history.
      • Notice that Christ is "bright"; He is the light that fuels life and maintains existence on earth.
      • To get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame there are three criteria: produce something iconic, wow the selection committee, and pay $30,000. 
        • Christ is the ultimate Star, fulfilling all three components: paying the price with His life, producing an everlasting effect on lives—a definite wow—and making our future bright.
    • Probe:  Some have surmised that there are over 150 titles for Christ found in the Bible. Why are titles important to describe God? What do they tell us about God's nature?
The Participation of the Christian (Revelation 22:17)
  • "The Spirit" is a reference to the Holy Spirit.
  • "The bride" is a reference to the church, the bride of Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit is in the world, drawing people to Jesus Christ. The church is part of the process.
  • And we who have been changed by the gospel are instruments of change for the gospel.
  • Many people are waiting for a personal invitation, not just given information.
  • When we invite someone, we need to ensure we invite them to the One who can change their life, the One who has power to permeate the deepest need—salvation.
  • When you invite someone to the One, there is no one who is unchanged.
    • Probe: The Spirit is the person who is changing lives (see John 16:8), yet the church—you and I—participate in the process. Discuss a time you told someone about Christ. How did the conversation begin and end?
Connect Up: Can evangelism draw you closer to God? How can watching God work in the lives of people strengthen your faith in Christ?

Connect In: How can evangelism strengthen the body of Christ and the local church? Name some practical benefits the local church receives when people are invited to participate in God's work in the world.

Connect Out: What does evangelism tell the nonbeliever about God? Read Romans 10:14. Why is it important to continually invite people to Christ and to church?

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. There is a difference between information and an invitation
      1. Information is impersonal
      2. An invitation is personal, individual, and more successful
    2. An invitation makes you feel special, wanted, and gives you a sense of significance
    3. The book of Revelation is an invitation that goes out to the entire world
  2. The Personality of God
    1. An inviting God
    2. God is not forceful
    3. The eternal state
      1. New heaven
      2. New earth
      3. New Jerusalem
    4. This is the last invitation to come to God
    5. Previous invitations
      1. Invitation to salvation
      2. Invitation for satisfaction (see Isaiah 1:18)
      3. Invitation for rest (see Matthew 11:28)
      4. Invitation for evangelism (see Mark 1:17)
      5. John 6:37
  3. The Power of Christ
    1. Terms that refer to Christ
      1. The Coming One
      2. The Rewarding One
      3. The Alpha and the Omega
      4. The Beginning and the End
      5. The First and the Last
    2. These are also terms that refer to God
      1. Jesus introduced Himself as God
      2. Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12
      3. When you invite someone, invite them to the One who can do something to help them
    3. The Bright and Morning Star
      1. A hero
      2. A cultural luminary
      3. He deserves to be called a star
        1. He produced something iconic: salvation
        2. He will wow the selection committee (see Philippians 2:10-11)
        3. The morning star is what you see in the sky right before dawn breaks
        4. When you come to Him, the shadows flee away
    4. The Devil has consigned people to spiritual darkness in this world
      1. We cannot survive without the light of the Son
      2. John 8:12
  4. The Participation of the Christian
    1. The Holy Spirit convicts people to come to the cross
    2. The bride = the church
      1. 2 Corinthians 11:2
      2. Ephesians 5:27
      3. Revelation 19:7
    3. The church has to be part of the process to bring people to Christ
      1. We who have been changed by the gospel should be instruments of change for the gospel
      2. If you are sure the gospel works, you want to get the message out
      3. Your response to God's calling in this task reveals how you feel about God
      4. See Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:15-24
      5. People told others to "come and see" that Jesus was the Messiah (see John 1:41, 43; 4:29)
      6. We are ambassadors for Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:20)
    4. Never underestimate the power of a simple invitation
    5. Many people are just waiting for a personal invitation
  5. Closing
    1. If believers were consumed with bringing others to Christ, there would be a lot less fighting
    2. There are a lot of people who need to know the truth

Cross references: Isaiah 1:18; 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; 55:1; Matthew 11:28; 22:1-14; Mark 1:17; Luke 14:15-24; John 1:41, 43; 4:29; 6:37; 8:12; 2 Corinthians 5:20; 11:2; Ephesians 5:27; Philippians 2:10-11; Revelation 19:7


Transcript

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Hello and welcome to this teaching from Skip Heitzig, Pastor of Calvary Albuquerque. As these teachings are shared worldwide, our prayer is that God uses them to impact lives for his glory. Do you want to join us in sharing the love and hope of Christ to people around the world? Well, then partner with us by supporting this ministry financially. Just visit Calvaryabq.org/giving to give online securely.

If this message inspires you to tell others about the love of Jesus, tell us about it. Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. Now, we invite you to open your Bibles, as Pastor Skip begins the message, The Power of An Invitation.

Revelation, Chapter 22. As we start this morning and before I read the text itself, if you are one of those people that has a bumper sticker on your car announcing that you're a Christian, I do not want to offend you by what I'm about to read. But there are things people will not say because you have a bumper sticker.

Here's the top 10 things people won't say when they see a Christian bumper sticker on your car. Number 10, they won't say, look let's stop that car and ask those folks how we can become Christians. That's probably not going to happen. Number 9, they won't say, don't worry Billy-- [AUDIO OUT]

[INAUDIBLE] followed by, Dad can we get a bumper sticker like that, too?

Number 5. Stay clear of those folks, Martha. If they get raptured, that car's going to be all over the road.

[AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]

Number 4, oh look. That Christian woman is getting a chance to share Jesus with a police officer.

[AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]

Number 3. No, that's not garbage coming out of the windows. Those are probably gospel tracks for road workers. They won't say that.

Number 2. Oh man, we're in trouble now. We just rear-ended one of God's cars. And number 1, they won't say, quick, Alice, honk the horn, or they won't know that we love Jesus, Now, if you have a bumper sticker that says, honk if you love Jesus or, follow me to Sunday school, or whatever, great. I think it's wonderful, and I don't want to offend those of you who believe that's an important expression.

I do, however, want to tell you that that is information. That's all that is. That is information. You're telling people what team you're on. I get that. But there's a big difference between information and an invitation.

Information is impersonal; an invitation is personal. It's individual. It is risky, but it is more successful, because it is personal in nature. And there's something special about receiving an invitation. It makes you feel wanted. It makes you feel accepted, whether it's a boy asking a girl on a date or a boss inviting an employee to coffee or a couple inviting another couple out to dinner.

I think of some of the special invitations I've had over the years. I had an invitation to attend a meeting at the White House; another invitation for a presidential prayer breakfast; another invitation for Billy Graham's birthday party; special moments, where someone thought it was important to have you at that special meeting. It gives you a sense of significance.

Well, we're doing a series starting next week, called, Where Lives Are Changed, where we want to look at the core Biblical values that make us this community called Calvary. We're a group of people that pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do it with one another, through worship, by the Word, to the world. We want to examine that, but the word that I want to highlight, here, is the word we. That's who we are. And what that means is all of us, you and I, are part of a process.

And I want to talk to you about the power of an invitation. In a book entitled, Evangelism in the Early Church, historian Michael Green said this, "Christianity was supremely a lay movement spread by informal missionaries." I love that term, spread by informal missionaries. "It was the spontaneous outreach of the total Christian community that gave immense impetus to this movement from the outset."

Revelation 22 is the last chapter of the book, right, of the Bible, not only of the book of Revelation, but of the revelation of God in the Bible. Revelation 22 is the last of the 1,189 chapters that comprise the scripture. Essentially, it is an invitation that goes out to the world in this paragraph. And what I want to show you from this paragraph is three elements of the Christian experience. I hope their your experience, three elements of the Christian experience-- the personality of God, number one; the power of Christ, number two; and the participation of the Christian, number three.

Let's read it together, and I hope you'll see it. Beginning in verse 12, Revelation 22:12. "And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me to give to everyone according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters and whoever loves and practices a lie.

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."

The first thing that grabbed my attention in that paragraph, as I looked at it again this week, was the personality of God. Our God is an inviting god. Three times the word "come" is used. Come, come, come. It's an invitation. God is not forceful, rather he is inviting.

Now, I always like to give context whenever I go through a text. And I want to give you where we're at. We know this is the end of the Bible. It's the end of the Book of Revelation. By the time this chapter is written, John, through the Spirit of God, has swept through all of human history to the final period of humanity. It's after the seals of judgment have been opened, after the trumpets have sounded, after the bowls of wrath are poured out on the Earth, in a final period of history known as the Tribulation.

This is after the vision of the millennial kingdom, after the Great White Throne judgment. And we are now at what is called the eternal state. The eternal state is where this heavens and this Earth have been uncreated. They're gone. And God creates a new heaven, a new Earth, with a new capital city called New Jerusalem.

At this point, all of the ungodly are in the Lake of Fire, and at this point, all of the godly are in the New Jerusalem. And so with one final invitation, confident of the revelation that has been given, is the last invitation, the ultimate summons, for people to come. It's an invitation.

You that know the Bible well know that the Bible is filled with invitations, invitations from God to humanity. One researcher discovered 55 invitations in the scripture. I want to give you a few notable ones, some that you'll recognize.

Isaiah, Chapter 1, verse 18-- God says, "Come no. Let us reason together. Though your sins are a scarlet, I will make them as white as snow." That's an invitation to forgiveness, to being pardoned. Here's another one, a notable one. Isaiah, Chapter 55-- "Come, all you who are thirsty. Come to the waters. You who have no money, come, buy, and eat. Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost."

Now, that is an invitation to be satisfied; first, forgiveness, now, satisfaction. And if you think about it, you meet people every day of your lives that need those two messages, forgiveness and satisfaction. You meet people who are burnt out on life. They're fed up with life. Their dreams have been dashed. Their hopes have gone.

It's just day after weary day. They have no hope. They have no money. They have no strength. They are unfulfilled. They are unsatisfied.

God has a message for them. He would say to them, you are just the candidate I'm after. Because I have what you would need. I have forgiveness for your sin. I have satisfaction for your soul. Our God is very inviting. He'll never force a person, but he will give people the option and the choice, and he will invite them to make the right choice.

When we get to the New Testament, and we see Jesus Christ, the person of Christ, he was always inviting. And I love his style. When Jesus was at the Jordan River, after he was baptized, there were two disciples of John the Baptist, who just worked up enough curiosity to ask him where he's living.

So they walked up, and they go, Jesus, Master, where are you staying? And Jesus didn't say, my address is 13447 Zion Way, Jerusalem. What Jesus did say to them is this, Come and see. Where are you staying? Well, come check it out. It was an invitation for them to follow him and find out what he's about.

As time went on, he made the invitation even more formal, and it included them in his mission. He said, "Come after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men." And then, perhaps his greatest invitation ever, is when he said to the crowd, "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." So inviting.

Then, later on, he fortified that in John, Chapter 6, when he said, "He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out." God is an inviting God. He invites humanity to come. He invites people to be pardoned. He invites people to be satisfied at his banquet table. The power of an invitation.

I read a story I want to convey to you. Five days before Christmas, years back, five days before Christmas, a 10-year-old boy by the name of Chris Carrier, Christopher Carrier was outside of his house, when a stranger approached him. He'd never seen the man before, but the man said that he was a good friend of his dad's and that he wanted to buy his dad a gift for Christmas. Would that little boy help them.

So the little boy not knowing what to do, but he thought, well, I want to help my dad out, was convinced to get into that man's motor home parked up the street. He got into the motor home. The man drove him to a vacant lot and took out an ice pick and stabbed the 10-year-old boy in the back with an ice pick. Then, he drove down a dirt road, took out a pistol, and shot the little boy in the head, the left temple, opened the door, threw him out, left him for dead in the Florida Everglades, the alligator infested Florida Everglades.

His body was there for six days before he was discovered by a driver, and miraculously, Chris survived. Permanently blind in his left eye, he was rehabilitated. They never caught the man who did it because he left without a real trace, so an arrest was not made. And so Chris had problems as the days wore on, months, weeks, even years, sleeping at night and feeling safe. He was very agitated, even though he had police protection.

When Christopher Carrier turned 15 years old, suddenly, one day, an invitation came, an invitation from a local church, to be a part of a hay ride. They were going to go on a hay ride and have a little campfire. So he went out. And he said he never had as much fun in the last five years as he had that night. The invitation just made him feel welcome, make him feel at home. By the end of the night, he was so comfortable, that for the first time in five years since the incident, he told his story to those people around the fire.

By the end of the night, that 15-year-old boy prayed with that church group to receive Christ as his Savior. And wrote, "I was overwhelmed with emotion because I knew I had never really accepted and personally met the Savior." Well, Christopher Carrier decided that he would go into the ministry, and he would be a help and a counselor to those who needed rest and peace from having suffered similar experiences as he did.

Now, there's more to the story. But I'm not going to tell you the rest till the end of this message. Because I just want you see, here, the power of an invitation and that our God is an inviting God. This is the personality of God. Come, come, come.

The second thing I want you to see, and it's related to it, is the power of Christ. As you work your way through the passage, there are several titles of Jesus that he introduces himself as, that give you a hint as to who he really is. Notice in verse 12, he says, "Behold"-- Jesus is speaking, "Behold I am coming quickly and my reward is with me to give to everyone according to his work."

So we know he's the coming one. He came once; he promised to come again. He's the rewarding one. When he comes, he will remunerate those who have been faithful to him. Look at the next verse, verse 13. "I am the Alpha and the Omega." That's the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet. "The beginning, the end, the first, and the last." So he's the goal, and the consummation.

If you know your Bibles, you know that these are terms for God himself. Isaiah 41, Isaiah 44, Isaiah 48 call God in heaven, almighty God, the first, the last, the beginning, the end. So Jesus introduces himself as God Almighty, the be-all end-all of humanity in human history, the Alpha, the Omega; the beginning, the end; the first and the last.

I'm belaboring that point because I don't want you to miss something. It's important to connect the nature of God in inviting, with the power of Jesus to save. You see, when you invite someone, make sure that you invite them to the one who can do something for that person. The reason we invite people to our group or to our church or to our meeting is because we ultimately want to invite that person to Christ. He's the only one who has the power to change the life. When you invite someone to this one, there is no one who is unchanged.

But look at this. Verse 16, "I Jesus." He's speaking. "I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David." A Messianic term, he's of the lineage of David. But look at this last, "I am the bright and the morning star."

I don't know if you know this or not, but the ancient Hebrews used the word, the description, star, to refer to a person, much like Americans do when we call somebody a star. To them, it meant a hero. He or she had done something, and they were a cultural luminary, a star.

If you go to Hollywood, there's the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There's 2,500 plus stars in the sidewalks of Hollywood, brass stars with names on it. Some are music stars. Some are film stars. And that Hollywood Walk of Fame is visited every single year by 10 million people from around the world.

Have you ever wondered, how do you get a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame? And just in case you ever want to do that, there are three criteria that you have to meet before that can happen. Number one, you have to produce something iconic. Number two, you have to wow the selection committee. And number three, you have to pay $30,000 for the brass star and the upkeep for the first few years. So you've got to produce something iconic, wow the selection committee, and cough up 30 grand. And then, you'll be considered a star.

One day, all of the world will see that Jesus Christ is the ultimate star on the stage of human history. And he qualifies. He produced something very iconic; salvation for humanity. And he paid the price, more than 30 grand. He bought it with his own blood. And he will wow the selection committee, for the Bible says, "Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

He's the star. He's the bright and the morning star. He's the one who changes people's lives.

But I love that description, he's the bright and morning star. The morning star is what you see in the darkest part of the night just before the dawn. It's a beautiful description of Christ. Because when you come to him, the shadows flee away. It's like beginning a brand new day. You have a bright future because you've had that encounter.

Now, we live in a state that has, well, look outside, lots of sunshine, 310 days a year of sunshine. That's important, because we need it for our chiles, right? You've got to have a lot of sun to get those chiles hot. Sunlight is the fuel of life. The energy from the sun regulates and maintains everything on the Earth.

Some people don't live in such sunny conditions. They're beautiful places, but there's no place like this. If you live, for example, in the Pacific Northwest, there's a light deprivation that occurs. And experts will tell you that because there's less light, lots of cloud cover, that that affects personality. There's mood swings. There's even depression that comes because of it. Experts call this Seasonal Affective Disorder, giving the acronym SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.

And so what doctors will do, if somebody is diagnosed with this condition, is there are special lights that give a certain kind of Kelvin temperature just like daylight. So you can set it up in your house, and it emulates that light that comes from the sun. All to prove the point that people need light to survive. And that's the reason, in the old days, they would punish criminals by locking them in the darkest dungeons.

Essentially, what the devil has done in our generation is consign people to spiritual darkness. They cannot survive without the light of the Son, the S-O-N, the Son of God. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world, and whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." But being in darkness and being blind, they don't see it. They don't even know their own condition. They reject the notion that somehow they're blind and that you have something they don't have.

But that's where you and I come in. And that's where we have these two principles, but we need a third element in the Christian experience. Yes, there is the personality of God. He's an inviting God. Yes, we have the power of Christ. He's a capable and competent Savior. He can change people. But unless we invite people to him or to a place where they can hear about him, it may never happen.

And so the third and final thing I want you to see in verse 17, is the participation of the Christian. Verse 17, notice, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who thirsts come on. Whoever desires let him take the water life freely." The Spirit mentioned here is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said he's in the world convicting people of sin, righteousness, and judgment, drawing people to the cross.

But then, notice, the Spirit and the bride say come. Who's the bride? It's the church. It's unmistakably the church. Three times in the New Testament the church of Jesus Christ, the people of God, are called the bride of Christ. II Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5, Revelation chapter 19. So yes, the Holy Spirit is in the world drawing people to Christ, but the church has to be part of the process.

We who have been changed by the gospel should become instruments of change for the gospel. I bet some of you have heard of Henry Blackaby. He wrote the book, Experiencing God, a very, very famous book some years back. It still is very popular. There's one sentence in that book I want to read to you, because I got my attention.

He said, what you do in response to God calling you to this task of being part of the process-- evangelism, inviting people-- what you do in response to God calling you to this task reveals what you believe about God. Now, that statement made me stop and think. I thought, that makes sense.

If you really believe in a product, you'll want to make sure that as many people as possible get exposed to that product. If you're not too sure about the product, but you feel good being around it, OK, good. And it's just, I'll make it about me; I don't want to invade anybody else's space. But if you are sure that the product of the gospel really works, boy, that's a message you're going to want to get out.

And so what you do in response to God's calling you to this task reveals what you believe about God. We're to be part of a process. God is inviting, which means we should be inviting on his behalf. We are the body of Christ. We're his mouth. We're his hands bringing people in.

Remember when Jesus gave a parable of that great feast, where people were invited, and they said, oh, I'm busy. I don't want to come. I can't come. So they turned away the invitation. Remember that Jesus said, "Go into the highways and the hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."

And then, there was Andrew, who invited his brother Peter. Aren't you glad there are Andrews to invite guys like Peter. And he said, we have found the Messiah. And he brought him to Jesus. He invited him to come to Jesus.

Phillip did the same with his friend Nathaniel. He said, we have found the one the prophets and Moses said would come, Jesus of Nazareth. Nathaniel said, can anything good come out of Nazareth? I think we could say that about a lot of towns. Can anything good come out of that place? Nazareth was like, whatever.

And I love how Philip answered his friend. He said, come and see, like Jesus. Come and see. You don't believe me? Come. Just come and check it out for yourself. Then, there was a Samaritan woman, whose life Jesus changed. And afterwards, she went to all of her neighbors and all the villagers and said, Come and see the man who told me everything I've ever done. Come and see.

Then, there was Paul the Apostle, who said, this. "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors"-- this is II Corinthians 5:20. "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you, on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God."

Listen. Never underestimate the power of the simple invitation. It changed Peter's life, Nathaniel's life, the Samaritan villagers' lives, and thousands of people, ever since.

This last Wednesday night, before a service-- I mean, we were 15 minutes before the service-- I'm in the back prayer room with the worship team. And one of the guys in the worship team said, I've been trying to get this guy to come to church for a long time, but I bet an invitation from you, Skip, would be helpful.

So he got out his little phone, and he has an app called Snapchat. Some of you use it. And go, Snapchat my friend. Invite him to church. I said, I'm in. So I called him by name. I said, come on, get down to church; I want to meet you. He came. I met him right after the service. So simple. A little app, a little Snapchat, a little invitation.

I think we make evangelism more difficult than it really ought to be. You want to know why people come to Christ and why people come to church? I'll give you the statistics. This is from the American Institute of Church Growth. They polled over 10,000 church goers, asking them a simple question. What was responsible for your coming to Christ and you're coming to this church?

2% said, I had a special need. 3% said, I just walked in. 6% said, I like the minister. I find that amusing. Only 6% liked the minister.

[AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]

1% said, I just was visiting. 5% said, I like the Sunday School. One half of a percent said, I attended a gospel meeting, like a special crusade. 3% said, I like the programs. But 79%, 79%, 79%-- you see, I really want you to know this statistic-- that's almost 80%. 79% said, a friend or relative invited me. That's powerful. That's powerful.

One leader said, every Christian knows about 200 people-- friends, family, extended family, neighbors, or workmates, about 200 people that are within your circle of influence. And he found that 95% of all conversions come from that category. An invitation. I know many people are just waiting for a personal invitation, not posted information; a personal invitation.

I told you that I'd tell you the rest of the story about Christopher Carrier, right? So fast forward years after those events that I just mentioned. In 1996, a detective found Christopher Carrier, now married with children, still blind in his left eye. He's grown up. He has his own family. A detective found him and said, the man who committed the crime against you has finally confessed. We found him.

Christopher said, I want to visit him. And so the detective took him to a convalescent home. The criminal was now 77 years old, totally blind, in very ill health, incapacitated, in that home, a broken man. Chris recognized him, but very differently. Christopher approached his bed, and he spoke with him and told him his story and told him his testimony. And he said this to the man, what you meant for evil, God meant for good.

Then, he went home, and he had to tell his wife and his family, his kids, that he finally met the man who caused him to be blind after all these years. He finally met him; told them about his encounter that evening. They committed to praying for him, and they committed as a family to visiting him regularly in that convalescent home.

And one Sunday afternoon, with that family gathered around-- because that guy couldn't get out and come to church, so the church came to him-- as people were gathered around that bed one Sunday afternoon, that 77-year-old man, who was a criminal, prayed with the victim to receive Christ as his Savior. A simple invitation to go on a hay ride and now, a simple invitation in that convalescent home to know Christ. The power of an invitation. The Spirit and the bride say come.

Have you heard of Max Lucado? He's one of the great authors in the Christian world. One of his great books is called, In the Eye of the Storm or, The Eye of the Storm, I forget which. But he tells a story in there. And I'll close with this. Promise.

He said that when he was a teenager, his family used to go camping. He loved it. Every spring break, they would get in a camper and go fishing. Well, one year, his brother and mother couldn't come. So his dad told young Max, now a teenager, you can invite any one of your friends to come camping. So he invited a buddy. And they were all excited. They talked about fishing, and they're going to have a lot of fun.

So they get in the camper. And they drive all night, and they get there in the dark. And they set up the camper. And they can't wait for the morning to come, go fishing. Well, in the middle of the night, this freak storm, known as a nor'easter, a Northeastern wind, in that part of the country, blew through, so that the next morning, they could hardly even open the camper door, the wind was so ferocious. The lake was choppy. The sky was gray. Fishing was out.

They're confined to a camper all day long. They play Monopoly, which turns into monotony. They have one copy of a Reader's Digest. They tell a few jokes. They don't know many of them, so it gets a really long day. So by nightfall, they want to get to bed early. They can't wait for the next day. They've been waiting all day.

The next morning comes. And now, the door wasn't hard to open because of the wind. It was almost impossible to open because of the ice. An ice storm was in the tail of that nor'easter that brought incredibly cold temperatures and that ice storm. Fishing was out; too cold.

Well, now, their patience is running very thin, and their words with each other are very short. And they're not so happy, and there are no jokes to tell. And monotony, which was once Monopoly, is just now downright anger. They have to make the best of it.

They suffer through the day in that little camper, thinking, OK, tomorrow is going to be very special. You can't make this stuff up. The very next day, they wake up to the sound of sleet hitting the camper. It's even worse. It's cold, choppy. They start hitting the walls of the camper and then, saying bad stuff to each other. They're just mad at each other. They're fighting now.

The next morning, it's even colder. Four days in a row. So they go, we're going home. In his book, Max said, that weekend, that long weekend, I learned something, not about fishing. I learned about people. And here is his concluding statement in the story. "When those are called to fish don't fish, they fight."

I read that, and I thought of all of the churches and believers that I know who find it so important to disagree and fight about so many little squabbles. And if they were fishing, they wouldn't be fighting. If they were consumed with people who don't know the truth and don't know the Lord and don't have a family and could be invited to a place to hear the gospel, it could be different.

I realized something. I'm looking at a packed house. And I know we have overflow, and I know we have four services. And the very idea, I know, that if everyone here decided, I'm actually going to apply this sermon to my life. I'm actually going to apply this message and invite someone. You're saying, Skip, invite them? Where are you going to put them?

I still feel like I'm a young man. If I need to do two or three more services on a Sunday, let's go for it. We have the rest of the day.

[AUDIENCE APPLAUSE]

We can have our four services and add a couple more and a Sunday night, or whatever, if we need be. But good problem to have. There's lots of people who need to know the truth. I'm in if you're in.

[AUDIENCE APPLAUSE]

Father, thank you for your nature, so inviting, so welcoming. It makes us feel so welcome and significant to be invited by you. "Come, let us reason together. Come and partake. Come if you're weary and heavy laden. Let me give you rest." Those were your words. But we are your ambassadors, as though God were pleading through us, be reconciled to God. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Many of us came to know Jesus Christ because of someone inviting us to church. We pray that God will fill you with the boldest to do the same for someone else. Has the power of an invitation changed your life? Well, then, let us know. Please email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for listening to this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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1/21/1982
completed
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The Tower of Babel
Genesis 11:1-9
Skip Heitzig
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The Tower of Babel - Genesis 11:1-9 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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6/27/1982
completed
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Peter's Homecoming
Mark 14
Skip Heitzig
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Peter's Homecoming - Mark 14 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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3/27/1983
completed
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The Purpose of Worship
Romans 12:1-2; Revelation 4:10-11
Skip Heitzig
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The Purpose of Worship - Romans 12:1-2, Revelation 4:10-11, Psalm 84 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/29/1983
completed
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Demon Possession
Luke 22:31-32
Skip Heitzig
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Demon Possession - Luke 22:31-32 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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10/30/1983
completed
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Happiness is...
Psalm 1
Skip Heitzig
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Happiness is... - Psalm 1 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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1/7/1984
completed
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Jesus Who?
Deuteronomy 11:10-16
Skip Heitzig
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Jesus Who? - Deuteronomy 11:10-16 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/19/1984
completed
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Keep Going, Keep Growing
2 Peter 1:1-11
Skip Heitzig
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Keep Going, Keep Growing - 2 Peter 1:1-11 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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3/10/1984
completed
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The Antioch Church
Skip Heitzig
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The Antioch Church from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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4/1/1984
completed
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The Marathon Christian
1 Corinthians 9
Skip Heitzig
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The Marathon Christian - 1 Corinthians 9 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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4/1/1984
completed
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India Review
Acts 13:1-3; Acts 14:19
Skip Heitzig
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India Review - Acts 13:1-3, 14:19 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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6/17/1984
completed
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From Despair to Joy
Habakkuk 3:17-19
Skip Heitzig
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From Despair to Joy - Habakkuk 3:17-19 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/8/1984
completed
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The Sheep and the Shepherd
John 10
Skip Heitzig
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The Sheep and the Shepherd - John 10 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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10/21/1984
completed
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The Decline of Discouragement
Numbers 21
Skip Heitzig
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The Decline of Discouragement - Numbers 21 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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10/28/1984
completed
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Living on the Border
Numbers 32
Skip Heitzig
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Living on the Border - Numbers 32 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/12/1985
completed
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Make Up Your Mind - Today!
1 Kings 18
Skip Heitzig
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Make Up Your Mind - Today! - 1 Kings 18 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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6/16/1985
completed
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Daniel's Seventy Weeks
Daniel 9
Skip Heitzig
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Daniel's Seventy Weeks - Daniel 9 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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11/17/1985
completed
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Preparing for Service
Isaiah 6:1-9
Skip Heitzig
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Preparing for Service - Isaiah 6:1-9 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/15/1986
completed
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The Prodigal Family
Ruth 1:1-14
Skip Heitzig
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The Prodigal Family - Ruth 1:1-14 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/22/1986
completed
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Portrait of a Radical Rabbi
Galatians 1:13-21
Skip Heitzig
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Portrait of a Radical Rabbi - Galatians 1:13-21 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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3/1/1986
completed
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The Flesh and The Spirit
Galatians 5:16-26
Skip Heitzig
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The Flesh and The Spirit - Galatians 5:16-26 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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4/11/1987
completed
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Doctrinal Questions - A Foundation
Skip Heitzig
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Doctrinal Questions - A Foundation from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/9/1987
completed
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Hey, What's God Like?
Skip Heitzig
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Hey, What's God Like? from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/23/1987
completed
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Security or Insecurity
Skip Heitzig
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Security or Insecurity from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/7/1987
completed
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Growing Strong, Becoming Mighty - King Jotham
2 Chronicles 27:6
Skip Heitzig
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Growing Strong, Becoming Mighty - King Jotham - 2 Chronicles 27:6 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/15/1987
completed
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When God Withdraws - Hezekiah
2 Chronicles 32:21
Skip Heitzig
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When God Withdraws - Hezekiah - 2 Chronicles 32:21 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/23/1987
completed
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Stubborness that Alienates
Luke 15:11-32
Skip Heitzig
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Stubborness that Alienates - Luke 15:11-32 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/29/1987
completed
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Approaching Those with Heavy Hearts
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
Skip Heitzig
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Approaching Those with Heavy Hearts - 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/5/1987
completed
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Completing a Long Task
Ezra 6:14
Skip Heitzig
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Completing a Long Task - Ezra 6:14 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/19/1987
completed
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Separation: What God Has Not Joined
Ezra 9:1-4
Skip Heitzig
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Separation: What God Has Not Joined - Ezra 9:1-4 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/5/1987
completed
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For a Time such as This
Esther 4:13-14
Skip Heitzig
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For a Time such as This - Esther 4:13-14 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/12/1987
completed
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Bringing God to the Marketplace
Titus 2:9-10
Skip Heitzig
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Bringing God to the Marketplace - Titus 2:9-10 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/28/1987
completed
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The Untrodden Path
Joshua 3:1-10
Skip Heitzig
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The Untrodden Path - Joshua 3:1-10 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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1/2/1988
completed
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Jesus Answers Job
Job 16:19-21
Skip Heitzig
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Jesus Answers Job - Job 16:19-21 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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1/9/1988
completed
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What Sustains a Weary Soul
Job 23:8-12
Skip Heitzig
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What Sustains a Weary Soul - Job 23:8-12 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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1/16/1988
completed
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God Rebukes a Spiritual Man
Job 40:1-14
Skip Heitzig
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God Rebukes a Spiritual Man - Job 40:1-14 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/24/1988
completed
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Jesus Came
Mark 1:1-20
Skip Heitzig
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Jesus Came - Mark 1:1-20 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/16/1989
completed
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The Nazarene
Matthew 2:23
Skip Heitzig
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The Nazarene - Matthew 2:23 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/23/1989
completed
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The Carpenter
Skip Heitzig
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The Carpenter from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/24/1989
completed
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Joshua's Sweet Smell of Success
Joshua 1:1-9
Skip Heitzig
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Joshua's Sweet Smell of Success - Joshua 1:1-9 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/30/1989
completed
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Caleb: Fully Alive at 85!
Joshua 14:6-15
Skip Heitzig
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Caleb: Fully Alive at 85! - Joshua 14:6-15 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/26/1990
completed
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Psalm 3
Psalm 3
Skip Heitzig
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Psalm 3 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/18/1991
completed
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God's Plan for World Evangelism
1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
George Sanchez
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God's Plan for World Evangelism - 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 from our Guest Speaker series at Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/22/1991
completed
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The Problem of Suffering
Skip Heitzig
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The Problem of Suffering from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/23/1991
completed
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Life's Not Fair!
Skip Heitzig
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Life's Not Fair! from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/28/1992
completed
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School of Ministry Graduation 1992
Skip Heitzig
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School of Ministry Graduation 1992 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/19/1993
completed
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How to Be Used by God
Romans 12
Skip Heitzig
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How to Be Used by God - Romans 12 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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4/16/1994
completed
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Sex In The Scriptures
Skip Heitzig
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Sex In The Scriptures from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/2/1994
completed
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The Lord is My Shepherd
Psalm 23
Skip Heitzig
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The Lord is My Shepherd - Psalm 23 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/19/1994
completed
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A World without Foundations
Psalm 11
Skip Heitzig
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A World without Foundations - Psalm 11 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/25/1994
completed
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The Church and It's Mission
Skip Heitzig
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The Church and It's Mission from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/28/1995
completed
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The Assault of the Cults
Skip Heitzig
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The Assault of the Cults from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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3/14/1996
completed
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Israel Update 1996
Skip Heitzig
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Israel Update 1996 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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3/28/1996
completed
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Israel: God's Plans Don't Change
Skip Heitzig
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Israel: God's Plans Don't Change from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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4/26/1997
completed
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Connection Celebration 1997
Skip Heitzig
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Connection Celebration 1997 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/2/1997
completed
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National Day of Prayer - 1997
Skip Heitzig
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National Day of Prayer - 1997 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/6/1999
completed
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National Day of Prayer - 1999
Skip Heitzig
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National Day of Prayer - 1999 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/9/2000
completed
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Salvation Message
Skip Heitzig
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Salvation Message from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/14/2001
completed
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National Prayer Service for September 11, 2001 Attack on America
Skip Heitzig
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National Prayer Service for September 11, 2001 Attack on America from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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11/14/2001
completed
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BGEA Team and Staff Conference 2001
Skip Heitzig
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5/2/2002
completed
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National Day of Prayer - 2002
Skip Heitzig
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National Day of Prayer - 2002 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/11/2002
completed
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Where Are We Now?
Skip Heitzig
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Where Are We Now? from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/1/2003
completed
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National Day of Prayer 2003
Skip Heitzig
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National Day of Prayer 2003 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/21/2003
completed
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Skip Announces His Departure from Calvary Albuquerque
Hebrews 11:8
Skip Heitzig
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Skip Announces His Departure from Calvary Albuquerque - Hebrews 11:8 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/1/2004
completed
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I've Just Gotta Go to Church
Psalm 84
Skip Heitzig
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I've Just Gotta Go to Church - Psalm 84 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/21/2004
completed
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A History of Calvary Albuquerque as Skip Departs
Skip Heitzig
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A History of Calvary Albuquerque as Skip Departs from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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4/17/2004
completed
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What are you Hungry for?
Matthew 5:6
Skip Heitzig
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What are you Hungry for? - Matthew 5:6 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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6/3/2004
completed
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Vision Casting - Upreach
Skip Heitzig
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Vision Casting - Upreach from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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6/4/2004
completed
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Vision Casting - Inreach
Skip Heitzig
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Vision Casting - Inreach from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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6/5/2004
completed
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Vision Casting - Outreach
Skip Heitzig
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Vision Casting - Outreach from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/26/2004
completed
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Special Dedication Message
1 Kings 8
Skip Heitzig
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12/28/2004
completed
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Worship in Spirit and Truth
John 4;Psalm 95
Skip Heitzig
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Worship in Spirit and Truth - John 4, Psalm 95 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/23/2005
completed
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Worship
Isaiah 6:1-4
Skip Heitzig
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Worship - Isaiah 6:1-4 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/18/2005
completed
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Ministry Fair
Nehemiah 4
Skip Heitzig
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Ministry Fair - Nehemiah 4 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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6/12/2005
completed
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Forecasting Your Future
Philippians 1:19-21
Skip Heitzig
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8/17/2005
completed
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A Special Evening on Israel
Skip Heitzig
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A Special Evening on Israel from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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9/27/2005
completed
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The Folly of Running from God
Jonah 1:1-3
Skip Heitzig
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The Folly of Running from God - Jonah 1:1-3 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/22/2006
completed
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A Special Message to Calvary Albuquerque
Skip Heitzig
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A Special Message to Calvary Albuquerque from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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2/25/2006
completed
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Five Firm Steps for Hearts in Crisis
Psalm 27
Skip Heitzig
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When in the midst of crisis, where do you turn for comfort? Do you seek the Lord and allow Him to work through the crisis? David experienced many times of crisis, but he remembered that the Lord was his beauty and light. Pastor Skip Heitzig outlines Five Firm Steps for Hearts in Crisis and shares the insight the Lord gave David in Psalm 27. When you are in frightening times of crisis, focus on God who is above all circumstances.
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6/25/2006
completed
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Has God Got A Plan For You!
John 3:16
Skip Heitzig
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What plans do you have for today? Tomorrow? The rest of your life? Eternity? You may not have an answer for all of these questions, and even if you do, circumstances may arise that keep you from executing your plans. But God has a plan for you and for all of humanity that is sure and steadfast. No circumstance can arise that will change the course of it. Join Pastor Skip Heitzig as he lays out the details of God's plan for mankind and discover how you can be part of a sure future in Him.
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7/8/2006
completed
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Buckle Up! Your're Going On An Adventure
Genesis 12:1-9
Skip Heitzig
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Buckle Up! Your're Going On An Adventure - Genesis 12:1-9 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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7/15/2006
completed
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Trusting God for Better or Worse
Genesis 22:1-19
Skip Heitzig
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Trusting God for Better or Worse - Genesis 22:1-19 from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/30/2006
completed
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Rekindling Our Vision
Acts 2
Skip Heitzig
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10/11/2006
completed
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Rejoice!
Deuteronomy 12
Skip Heitzig
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11/6/2006
completed
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Ready 2 Serve
Skip Heitzig
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Calvary Chapel Men's Conference 2006
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5/20/2007
completed
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25 Years—A Divine Paradox
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Skip Heitzig
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Many of you know by now that these verses from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians have become my "life-text". They describe the paradox of a perfect God using imperfect vessels to carry His name and perform His work. Over the last twenty-five years I have both seen and experienced God’s faithfulness. Today we stand in awe of His great work among us, in us and through us. To God be the glory, great things HE has done!
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5/20/2007
completed
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25th Anniversary celebration, To God Be The Glory
Skip Heitzig
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2/18/2008
completed
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Abiding In The Vine - Session 4
Skip Heitzig
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Southern California Regional Pastor's Conference 2008
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4/16/2008
completed
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Why Christians Love Israel
Ezekiel 36-37
Skip Heitzig
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This message is a video of the teaching, "Why Christians Love Israel" (Ezekiel 36-37) from Pastor Skip, that he taught in Israel at the Epicenter Prophecy Conference on April 10, 2008.
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9/21/2008
completed
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Marks of Greatness - Christ's Vision For His Church
Acts 2:36-47
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11/14/2008
completed
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BGEA Team and Staff Conference 2008
Skip Heitzig
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12/10/2008
completed
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Hanukkah
John 10:19-33
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3/11/2009
completed
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Special Message from Skip in India
Nehemiah 1-13
Skip Heitzig
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9/16/2009
completed
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Why Jesus Needed to Die
Hebrews 9
Skip Heitzig
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All of us have experienced spiritual slump, when we just didn't feel like worshiping. But times like that provide the perfect opportunity to walk by faith not by sight and to experience sacrificial worship. The once for all sacrifice of Jesus should stir us up to fervent praise in spite of our earthly circumstances.
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5/9/2010
completed
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Live from the Land
Matthew 24:1-8
Skip Heitzig
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Earthquakes, wars, disease; the evening news offers a frightening and fascinating look at world events. What does the Bible say about the turmoil the world is facing? What is the resolution to the conflict? Join us as we consider what Jesus told his disciples about these signs of the times, in this special message by Pastor Skip from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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5/10/2010
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Live from the Land
Skip Heitzig
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Time and again, we hear that one of the favorite highlights for those on a Tour of Israel is the on-site teaching. Now you can be a part of it from your very own living room. Watch the Live from the Land TV special that aired on Monday May 10, 2010 on KCHF TV-11 as we join Pastor Skip Heitzig LIVE with a message from the Mount of Olives.
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8/12/2010
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Can You See It? - Rapid Responders Training
Skip Heitzig
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Can You See It? - Rapid Responders Training from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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8/13/2010
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His Presence In Crisis
Skip Heitzig
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His Presence In Crisis from our series of Topical Teachings with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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1/5/2011
completed
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Service with Skip Heitzig
1 Corinthians 12:12-18
Skip Heitzig
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Churches across America are closing their doors. How can we ensure a thriving Christian community? As we consider what God intended for the church, we'll uncover four essentials to a healthy church: God's People, God's Principles, God's Purpose, and God's presence.
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9/11/2011
completed
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A Soft Pillow for a Tired Heart
Romans 8:28
Skip Heitzig
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We all remember where we were on September 11, 2001 when we heard the news of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the downed plane near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The terrorists who crashed these aircraft brought the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. Mass confusion, anger, despair, and depression predictably followed as survivors sought to frame so devastating an event. Ten years later, we remember September 11 to honor those who died, those who have fought in the war on terror, and especially to be reminded that in the midst of a conflict-filled world, we serve a God who works His good purposes and promises to one day eradicate evil.
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11/30/2011
completed
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Points about Prayer from the Sermon on the Mount
Skip Heitzig
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Self reliance is esteemed in our culture - but it's not the example Jesus gives to us. In a life marked by continual prayer, the Son of God demonstrates His dependence on the Father. Let's consider what Jesus teaches about prayer and its role in our lives, remembering that prayer is a privilege, not a duty.
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1/4/2012
completed
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Day of Prayer and Fasting Service
Skip Heitzig
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Communication has changed dramatically over the past fifty years. In just seconds, we can now email messages, photos, important documents, and more. We easily communicate with cell phones from almost anywhere. But, what is your communication with God like? Are you responding to his invitation to come boldly to the throne of grace? Are you letting your requests be made known to Him? Remember, the Lord is willing and God has commanded that we ask, seek, and knock.
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5/6/2012
completed
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How Does Your GPS Work?
Proverbs 3:1-8
Skip Heitzig
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This passage in Proverbs is one of the most well-known and bestbeloved in the entire Bible. Believers have read it, memorized it, shared it, prayed over it, preached from it, and relied on it for centuries. Why is that so? It's simply because we all want to know God's will for our lives. Discovering God's will is one of the dominating pursuits for Christians. Let's see how it works.
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6/27/2012
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Expound Expressed
Skip Heitzig
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Revealing Himself through His Word, the Lord invites us to delight in Him—to worship Him for who He is. Join us as review highlights from the book of Matthew and respond to the Lord in worship during this special expound expressed service.
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9/23/2012
completed
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30th Anniversary: Love the Past, Live the Future
Deuteronomy 8:1-10
Skip Heitzig
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In Deuteronomy 8, we learn what the Lord taught the Jewish people—to remember what the Lord had done, to know and keep the commandments, and to bless the Lord. Moses would say, "Love the Past, Live the Future." Through the text, we are reminded what the Lord had done and are given hope for what the future holds.
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3/17/2013
completed
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Living With Vision
John 17:1-26; Acts 2:1-47
Skip Heitzig
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Every life should have purpose. All people should know why they’re here and what God’s intention is for them. So should every church. This weekend we want you to discover and celebrate with us what we believe, who we are as a church, and what we do as a church body. Beyond that, we want you to know why.
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5/5/2013
completed
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The World's Most Important Comma
Isaiah 61:2
Skip Heitzig
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In Isaiah 61:2 we discover a tiny comma. This comma represents a 2,000-year period of time: the age of grace that we are currently living in. It is during this time that we have been saved; it's the church age, and world-wide evangelism is taking place. But we are just one day away from the end of that comma. One day that comma will become a period. At the end of that comma comes the rapture of the church and then the day of vengeance of our God on this earth.
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6/22/2013
completed
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Navigating Another Year
Ephesians 5:15-17
Skip Heitzig
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What is the will of God? It can seem so elusive, but in this study, we learn five things that are the clear will of God for each of us. As children of God, as a church body, let's make a pact to preach to the lost, to be set apart for Jesus Christ, to be humble, to be submissive and honoring to the people around us, and to be thankful in all things. Taught in Ocean Grove, NJ.
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1/5/2014
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Not Done Yet
Joshua 14:6-15
Skip Heitzig
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At 85 years old, the faithful Caleb desired to keep growing and being used by the Lord. In this passage, he takes hold of God's promises, and his story of God's faithfulness unfolds. By examining his courageous life, we learn that as time goes on, we must not slow down in doing the Lord's work; we must boldly look ahead and realize we are not done yet!
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1/20/2014
completed
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South East Calvary Chapel Pastor's Conference – Session 4
Skip Heitzig
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The apostle Paul spent a large amount of time pouring into his disciple Timothy's life. And in his second letter to Timothy, he encouraged him to do the same for others. In this message, Pastor Skip Heitzig expresses the importance and process of training up responsible leaders.
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1/20/2014
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South East Calvary Chapel Pastor's Conference – Session 7
Skip Heitzig
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In his second letter to Timothy, Paul the apostle motivated Timothy to continue to be faithful in his ministry to the Lord. As we study 2 Timothy 2:11-13, Pastor Skip Heitzig exhorts believers toward faithfulness by sharing four helpful principles to cultivate this supreme attribute in their lives.
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4/6/2014
completed
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iThirst
John 19:28-30
Skip Heitzig
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The world is filled with Apple's i-technology, which delivers on its promise to make connectivity and information readily accessible. But there is a deeper need within everyone, a thirst to be right with God, that no app or gadget can fulfill. How ironic that Jesus, the great Thirst-Quencher, would Himself be thirsty. It was part of the great exchange—His temporary thirst enabled yours to be quenched eternally!
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9/28/2014
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Skip Heitzig Interview with David Eubank
Skip Heitzig
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In this interview with Pastor Skip, Dave Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers explained how the Lord called his family to Burma and what the Free Burma Rangers do to help people who are caught in the crossfire of terrorism. Dave's wife, Karen, also talked about the Good Life Club, the relief arm of the Free Burma Rangers that aids mothers and children, and that Reload Love, our church-wide initiative, is raising funds for.
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10/5/2014
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How Does The Gospel Work?
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Skip Heitzig
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The book of 1 Thessalonians is a letter from the apostle Paul to a young church in Thessalonica, whom he commended for their faith, love, and endurance. As we study the first ten verses of this book, we learn from their bold example what evangelism looks like and what the normal flow of the gospel is: it comes to us, works in us, and then comes from us.
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12/28/2014
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Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Lamentations 3:22-31
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The prophet Jeremiah looked on as the city of Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. But even as he mourned over the destruction of his city, he realized the living God was at work. In the same way, though our world is filled with a great amount of uncertainty, we can still find certainty in the Lord and confidently tell Him, "Great is Your faithfulness."
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1/11/2015
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Living Life Together
Proverbs 18:1;Acts 2:41-47
Skip Heitzig
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The word fellowship is one of the most overused and undervalued words in the church. More than a social activity, fellowship should be a spiritual activity in which we all take part. As we draw some principles from Scripture and learn from the example of the early church, we see that being in community is essential for spiritual health.
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2/15/2015
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Jesus Loves Children
Matthew 19:13-15; James 1:26-27
Skip Heitzig
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The most vulnerable among us are often children. Lacking the power and means to be anything except completely dependent on parents and society, they sometimes fall through the cracks. Today we look at how Jesus loved children and consider our mandate to care for those who are most helpless. Through this message, along with a special effort by Reload Love, we aim to bring God’s freedom to many more children around the world.
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3/4/2015
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Skip's Iraq Trip Update
Skip Heitzig
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As ISIS spreads throughout the Middle East, millions of people continue to flee the growing violence—and children have been hit the hardest. In this special update from the Reload Love team, Pastor Skip, Jarrett Petero, and Murray Byrne share stories and photos from their recent trip to Iraq. While there, they reached out to organizations that are helping displaced children, and they were able to share the hope and love of Jesus with the kids.
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10/28/2015
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Defying Normal
Daniel 1:8
Skip Heitzig
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The Bible calls us to a holy defiance of the status quo—Paul the apostle said, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). Perhaps no one in the Old Testament did this better than the prophet Daniel. In this message, we look at four truths about the Christian life and learn how Daniel was able to rise above his society to defy normal.
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6/12/2016
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United in Pursuit
Acts 6:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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Acts 6:1-7 lays out God's vision for the church. At Calvary Albuquerque, we want people fitted for heaven and outfitted for service. As with the early church, we must overcome problems by establishing priorities and participating in order to progress.
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9/18/2016
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Christians and Politics
Jeremiah 29:1-13
Skip Heitzig
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Don’t worry, I’m not preaching politics, nor am I endorsing a candidate today. I realize that both political parties go to church and that Christians have a wide variety of political notions. As a registered independent, I am aware of the flaws that exist on both sides, and so I am not taking sides today. But I want to call the body of Christ to be informed of the policies, engaged in the process, and active in the promotion of godly discourse. Furthermore, I am asking that we be united this week in prayer and fasting for this nation.
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1/1/2017
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Culture Weekend
Deuteronomy 8:1-2;1 Corinthians 12:31
Skip Heitzig
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God did amazing things in 2016 at Calvary Albuquerque. In the video "Our Year in Review," Nate Heitzig summarizes 2016 and introduces fourteen Calvary culture axioms for 2017. In a short message, Skip Heitzig discusses Calvary’s past and future and reminds us that though lots of things have changed in our culture, Jesus has not.
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4/12/2017
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Special Message from Skip Heitzig
Luke 22:7-23
Skip Heitzig
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The night before His death, Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples in the upper room. In this message, we examine the progression of that Last Supper and learn both the traditional meanings behind the meal as well as the practical life applications for us as we live under the new covenant of Christ.
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7/23/2017
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Interview with Dave Eubank
Skip Heitzig
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After making national news with his relief work and sustaining a gunshot wound while combating ISIS in Mosul, Dave Eubank continues his work through the Free Burma Rangers (FBR). In this interview with Skip Heitzig, Dave gives an update on his family's ministry to bring help, hope, and love to people in conflict zones.
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9/3/2017
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Your Amazing Bible
2 Timothy 3:14-17
Skip Heitzig
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2/10/2019
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The Explosive Power of Real Love
John 13:34-35
Skip Heitzig
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We have the opportunity to show love to those who need the expression of love the most—those who have been hurt by the hatred of others. In countries scarred by past and recent terrorism, Reload Love is arming other believers with hope and healing in the name of Jesus. Today we will examine one of the most famous sayings Jesus ever spoke and explore three components of real love—what we should do, and then how and why we should do it. My prayer is that God’s love would be “poured out in our hearts” (Romans 5:5).
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2/17/2019
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The Heart behind the Hand
Luke 15:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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None of us can reach everyone. We can’t touch and change every person in the world. But we can pray for, be patient with, love on, witness to, and reach just one. When we talk about our vision to reach the world, perhaps we need to think smaller. Maybe we should think about one person we can pursue for the glory of Jesus Christ. Today we consider that as we look at one of Jesus’ most famous parables: The Parable of the Lost Sheep.
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11/3/2019
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Three Steps to a Generous Life
Matthew 6:19-24
Skip Heitzig
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Today is a celebration. We celebrate what God has done through you! Your love for God, His Word, and His work are evident by your generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure. I encourage you to continue. In Jesus’ most famous of sermons, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us the most practical ways to live unencumbered and fruitful lives. God works through people to change the world. The real question becomes, How do we become those kind of people?
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12/29/2019
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2019 Year in Review
Joshua 4:1-8
Skip Heitzig
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The end of a year is a natural time to look back and thank God for what He has done in the past. As we pause to look back and look around, it's important to evaluate and commemorate what God has done in and through us and recalibrate our priorities. Then, we can look ahead and focus on the specifics of what God wants us to do in the future. Pastor Skip reminds us that God has proven Himself time and time again, so we can look to the future with great hope and anticipation. Watch the full service video here.
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2/9/2020
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Gather, Love, and Act: Bombard the World with Love
Hebrews 10:24-25
Skip Heitzig
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Reload Love’s mission is to convey God’s love by fighting back with tenderness toward children who have been impacted by terror. For six years, Reload Love has provided trauma relief, medical supplies, academic programs, and playgrounds and other safe spaces for children caught in the crossfire of terrorism. Now, the vision has expanded to include supporting church plants and in-country evangelists. On this Love Bomb weekend, Pastor Skip shares the need to come together as a family to act upon God's great love.
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3/18/2020
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Should I Be Worried?
Matthew 6:25-34
Skip Heitzig
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3/22/2020
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Sure Steps for Uncertain Times
Psalm 27
Skip Heitzig
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This worldwide pandemic called the coronavirus (COVID-19) did not take our God by surprise. And it won’t last forever! David talked about walking through the valley of the shadow of death (see Psalm 23), not living there indefinitely. Until then, life seems extremely inconvenient and indeterminate. So how do we proceed? By taking these five steps:
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3/25/2020
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The Quarantined Life
Skip Heitzig
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Our country has become more focused on health during this COVID-19 crisis. We understand the need to stay healthy physically and mentally, but our spiritual health is more important. Cultivating a strong Christian life is akin to training the body for a marathon (see Hebrews 12:1-2). In this message, Skip Heitzig encourages you to build up your spiritual life by setting aside the busyness, constant noise, and security of this world and by putting your trust in God.
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3/29/2020
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Why Should I Suffer?
1 Peter 1:6-7
Skip Heitzig
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One-third of the world population is presently on lockdown; they are restricted by their own governments and kept (by force if necessary) from gathering together in groups. Though infection rates from the coronavirus seem to vary from region to region, one thing is common to all—everyone is suffering in one way or another. But did you know that suffering can be a good thing in the hands of a good God? Consider four truths:
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There are 133 additional messages in this series.