Further Sojourning…Now Through 2 Thessalonians, Pt. 3

Further Sojourning…Now Through 2 Thessalonians, Pt. 3

Study Guide, May 5, 2024

Pastor Clay Olsen

Have you seen some of those crazy laws that are still on the books? For example: Here are some just from North Carolina. If you are walking around the scenic city of Asheville, NC, and you feel a sneeze coming on, you might want to stifle it, because it is illegal to sneeze on city streets in Asheville! And in Nags Head you can be fined for singing out of tune for more than ninety seconds! Then, although you might like to do this, don’t do this in Kill Devil Hills, because it’s illegal to ride a bicycle without having both hands on the handlebars! And in the early days of settlement around Raleigh, before a man could ask for a woman’s hand in marriage he had to be ‘inspected’ by all the barnyard animals on the young woman’s family farm, to ensure there would be harmonious farm life! (So, you might be all right with the hogs, but if the chickens get all riled up when they meet you…well, that might be a deal breaker right there. Chickens know stuff, you know?)

Again, there are a lot of crazy laws people have come up with…but then there are universal laws that were put into place at creation that are immutable. One example is the physical law of ‘Gravity’. Gravity does not change nor does any belief about it or conduct of mankind remove it. It is the same with another law, a spiritual law, that does not change, nor will any belief about it or conduct of mankind remove it. We see it throughout the Bible, but it also comes through in the passage of 2 Thessalonians that we introduced in our last study. So, let’s return to it.

Let’s look again at 2 Thess 1:6-8- “For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” NASU The law is referred to as ‘The Law of Compensation’, and it is an immutable spiritual law, and every person that ever has or ever will live is subject to it. And it works both ways, either in retribution for wrong that is done or in reward for right that is done. And here, Paul assures these persecuted believers in Thessalonica that any injustice done to them will be justly judged and avenged by God, who, by His very nature, is a God of justice. In a passage to the Galatian believers Paul reinforced this truth in another description of this Law of Compensation as being the Law of Reaping and Sowing. Note that one: Gal 6:7-8- “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” NASU

This ‘Law of Compensation’ or ‘Law of Sowing and Reaping’ is one of the first laws that should be taught in homes and in churches and in schools, for it is a foundational law of life on Earth. It is the law of accountability, and everything is recorded. And yet, few people, especially unbelievers from all ages, seem to understand that God has a record of their entire lives. Every deed, every word, every thought, every motive…all is on their record that God has recorded in the ‘books’. And everyone has a ‘this is your life’ appointment with the Sovereign God of Creation and Judge of all mankind. For the redeemed, thankfully the record of our sins was nailed to the cross, and we have forgiveness. So our record is about our service, and not our sins. But for the unrepentant, their sins remain on record. That, too, is revealed in Rev 20:11-12- “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” NASU

We have discussed the Great White Thone judgment many times, but just to reinforce its impact upon all life, remember that this judgment is for the unsaved, for those who neglected or rejected the great salvation offered to all by the Lord Jesus Christ. Their unbelief determined their destination in Gehenna Hell, and now this judgment is of the record of their deeds, all recorded in these ‘books of justice’. And this will determine their sentencing while they spend eternity in Gehenna Hell.

Point being: As we see the sinfulness of people on full display day after day, in our own country and around the world, we need to see it all in light of each of these unsaved people standing before the God of Justice at the Great White Throne Judgment. We need to see them having the record of their lives revealed to them by God, and then being taken away to Gehenna Hell to carry out their sentencing for whatever justice their sins require of them.

Remember, one of the purposes of Prophecy is to project pictures of future truths into our present experiences. We need to regularly superimpose ‘prophetic pictures’ over our present times. Otherwise, like with a book of Anatomy, we will only be looking at the skeleton of this world, without laying the other pages of the human anatomy over it. This is the only way that we can have a better understanding and can live with a realistic perspective concerning everything that is happening day by day…and will happen in due time.

Every day, people are sowing what they will reap in due time. This Law of Compensation cannot be changed or altered or removed, for God is not mocked, and He has already warned everyone of His justice that will be done! Fortunately, for the believer, for the follower of Christ, this Law of Compensation also is a powerful comfort in knowing that no injustice done to them will go unavenged. Remember what God told us about that? Rom 12:18-19- “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.” NASU

To the persecutor to the troublemaker of God’s people, God is going to enact His vengeance upon each of them for their treatment of His children. You can be certain about that! And, since we have also taught much about how ‘The Law of Compensation’ blesses the faithful follower of Christ, we’ll simply remind us all here of what the Apostle Paul revealed about that in Eph 6:7-8- “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.” NASU Our great God is a great rewarder, and He will reward each and every good thing His children have done in their worship and service for Him. And He is also a great compensator, and will compensate each child of His for each and any harmful thing they have ever had to face or experience from this world, the flesh, and the devil. Our God is ‘The Great Compensator!’

Now then, what does it mean ‘to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus’ as Paul stated: “…those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”? The Apostle John once stated it similarly when he said: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 NASU

This is an important point to focus upon since it gives us the opportunity to reinforce the Biblical hermeneutic or principle that reminds us: ‘Every teaching of the Bible that is not apparently clear is always in harmony with every teaching of the Bible that is completely clear.’ In other words: We are to interpret every dimly lighted passage in the Bible in connection with every brightly lighted passage in the Bible. For example: The Bible is completely clear in its teaching that salvation is a gift from God based upon Christ’s works for us, and thus is not something that can be earned or merited by our own works. Eph 2:8-9 is as clear as it gets on this teaching…this truth: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” NASU Therefore, whenever we find a statement like we do here in 2 Thessalonians or in John 3:36 with wording of “obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”, we then realize that the Apostles were equating ‘obedience to the gospel’ with ‘saving faith’… not with ‘works for salvation’. Again, the ‘clear truths’ clarify any truth that may be ‘unclear’. And that principle applies to every teaching of the Bible. This is a great help for each of us in our own study and application of the teachings of the Bible.

It’s remarkable that also in the Book of John is an account that speaks to this very difference between works and faith. A crowd of people were listening to Jesus’ teachings and were also asking Him questions. And being of the same mindset as is common in religious thinking, the humanistic idea that people can be made right with God or merit salvation by doing right works, they asked Jesus which ‘works’ would be the ‘right works’ for them to do to be made right with God. Here’s what Jesus said about that: “Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:28-29….”For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40 NASU

Again, we clearly see here that a relationship with God, and the possession of eternal life, is not about ‘doing religious works’ as a way to merit salvation, but about ‘believing in the Person of Christ’ in order to unite with God in an eternal relationship with Him. Remember, because all have sinned, all are spiritually dead in sin. And no one can work their way out of spiritual death. You need new life from Christ before you can do good works for Christ. Plus, Jesus even went on to illustrate that the kind of ‘belief’ that saves is not a head belief about the Messiah, but a whole life reception of the Messiah. He said that believing in Him was like eating and drinking of bread and wine…like spiritually partaking of His flesh and blood. He was saying to them that they needed to receive all of His life into all of their life. Again, saving belief was not just head knowledge, but a heart and life reception of Him.

In the beginning of John’s Gospel, he equated ‘believing in Jesus’ with the ‘receiving of Jesus’. Point being: Salvation is not about doing works in your life for Jesus…salvation is about uniting your life with the life of Jesus. And once you have united your life with Jesus, then you are expected to do the works that Jesus instructs you to do out of your new union with Christ and out of your saved position in Christ as an eternal child of God. This is what we can help people better understand, since so many people have grown up in some religion, doing religious traditions, but they have never come into a personal relationship with Jesus. They have never asked Jesus to come into their life and give new life to their dead spirit. People are religious by nature, but a relationship with God begins by a new birth of their spirit when they receive the Person of Christ into their life.

Now then, back to the passage: 2 Thess 1:9-10- “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.” NASU

From the time of the devil’s skeptical question in the Garden of “Oh, has God said?” to these present times, people have been skeptically questioning God’s words about all kinds of things. And one of them is their skepticism about the duration of Hell. Many either deny the existence of Hell, or diminish the punishments of Hell, or dilute the duration of Hell. But the Scriptures do not allow for anything other than the eternity of Hell. Hell is always referred in the Scriptures as being eternal…as being everlasting. Jesus did not allow for a temporary Hell nor an annihilation in relation to Hell. Rather, He equated the duration of Hell with the duration of Heaven: Matt 25:46- “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” NASU Even the wording Paul uses here in verse 9 of ‘eternal destruction’ does not allow for ‘no longer existing’. The word for ‘destruction’ here means the same as ‘ruined’, especially ruined in relation to its original purpose.

Remember, God created humanity to be His physical family…to live in an eternal relationship of love and joy and the shared rule and management of His entire created universe! But He did not make robots…He made humans who, like Moses said, could choose the blessing or the curse, who could like John said… ‘whosoever will’ – could believe in Him or perish…who like Peter said, “God is not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Pet.3:9 NASU Sadly, as Jesus said in Matt 7:13- “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” NASU

God made humans for Heaven not for Hell. Hell was prepared for the devil and his demons. But if people reject God and His Heaven, then they will join the devil and his Hell. Which is another somber, but serious picture to also superimpose over people. For when Paul and John and Peter looked at people, they also saw them as either fellow brothers and sisters of Heaven, or as prisoners and residents of Hell. Remember, every person on Earth is either a citizen of Heaven, awaiting their escort home to Heaven, or a prisoner of Hell, awaiting their removal to their residence in Hell! Include that realistic picture in the picture of every person that you see, and then see what it does to the way that you see them.

Also remember that we not only have been called by our God unto salvation, we have also been called to continually live a life worthy of our calling. 2 Thess 1:11-12- “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” NASU

We often hear of some people as having a calling on their life…as for doing this or that task or service and such. Guess what? Each of us has a calling on our life. You have a calling on your life. And you don’t have to wait for a feeling about it. God has called each of us into the ministry…into the ministry of His Great Commission, of going and making disciples through sharing the Gospel with the lost and teaching His truths for the saved to live out in their lives. You have a calling to live a life that glorifies your God in every area of your life. And in doing so you then bring glory and honor to your glorious Savior. And as Paul revealed, as you honor your Savior, He will honor you and grant you privileges and positions of honor in the ages to come in His glorious Kingdom. Every day is your opportunity to give glory and honor to your Creator and Redeemer. And, in doing so, you will also be laying up privileges and rewards for your personal inheritance in the Kingdom of God. So be wise. Live wisely. Make the most of your opportunities before the King returns.

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  • Shalom Mental Attitude

    Brothers and Sisters, . As we await regathering for our worship and fellowship services, I wanted to offer some Biblical encouragements for these strange times…stressful times. And much of that help comes to us by way of ‘Shalom’.  . The Hebrew word ‘Shalom’, which at face value is interpreted as ‘Peace’, was actually intended by …

Good Friday and Sunrise Service

Good Friday Service: March 29th – 5pm to 8pm inside the Chapel 

The Church will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a time of personal silent prayer and reflection.  Begin this weekend remembering “the Cross”.

Sunday Sunrise Service: March 31th – 6:30 am outside on the Chapel Lawn 

                          He is Risen!!!   He is Risen Indeed!!!


Come to Chapel by the Sea, Sunday morning,  March 31, 2024 at 6:30 am for a Sunrise Service Celebration!

Jesus Christ proved He won the victory over Death by Rising from the Grave 3 days after being Crucified on the Cross for our sin.   Those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of their sin have Victory in Jesus” … They SHARE in the Resurrection, Inheritance and Eternal Life with the King of Kings!

This is a special time of worship held outside on the front lawn and parking area of the Chapel.   We will be praising the risen Son while we watch the Sun rise!  Pray for good weather and for the Son to rise in the hearts of  new believers this Resurrection morning.   The service lasts about 45 minutes … You can stand or bring your own chair …  also the Chapel can provide you a chair if you request one.

      Plan to stay following the Sunrise Service for breakfast in the Fellowship Hall. 

There is also a 10 am Service.      Christ is Risen!!!   He is Risen Indeed!!!


Qualities of Genuine Happiness, Pt. 5

Qualities of Genuine Happiness, Pt. 5

Study Guide, November 8, 2020

Pastor Clay Olsen

So, they call them ‘comfort foods’. And, of course, that refers to those foods that you know you can always count on to help you feel more relaxed, satisfied, and to just give you an overall sense of well-being…kind of ‘happy comfort zone’…for a while that is. Like what are your ‘comfort foods’? How about the ‘go to’ chicken noodle soup? Perfect for when you’re a little under the weather…or feeling a bit ‘quamished’ as they say in some parts around here. Or then there’s the gold standard favorite of mashed potatoes and steak. And then there’s the feel-good dessert of pecan pie. How about the popular birthday choice…chocolate cake? And then the hands down, or hands up selection for this one….Coffee and donuts! You remember, even in Genesis, when the vegetation and plants and fruits were created on the third day, and God called it ‘very good’?… the Hebrew adds, “especially the coffee”; the coffee was ‘very good’. God even included a whole book about coffee in the New Testament … ‘He-brews’! Ahh, an oldie, but a goodie! And, it’s like they say, the only circle of trust you need is a donut. Ahhh, the simple life, right?

Well, now that everyone is really hungry and really thirsty, that brings us to our next Beatitude, which says this: Matt 5:6- “Blessed (Happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” NASU Isn’t that great? ‘Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.’ What’s that all about? Well, there are many fascinating facets of this great pronouncement of Jesus’ here, so let’s explore a few together.

Do you remember that great picture the Psalmist gives us of a believer thirsting for a deeper fellowship and closer relationship with God in Ps 42:1-2- “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” NASU There’s even that great chorus about this longing for a deeper experience with God of ‘As the Deer’ that we love to sing. And notice that the Psalmist is not first longing for the commandments of God, which he also loves, but he longs for, he thirsts for the God of the commandments. In fact, it is his hungering and thirsting for this communion with his Creator and Redeemer that makes him also hunger and thirst for the commandments, since they are the pathway to a deeper walk with God.

Which then brings us to the way the Psalmist then talked about his love for the words of God. Do you remember how the Psalmist described God’s Word? Ps 19:7-11- “The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.” NLT

This is one of the most beautiful and blessed passages in the Scriptures. In just five verses we are promised seven blessings and rewards for loving and living out the words of God. 1- Refreshed and restored strength; 2- A wise mind; 3- A joyful heart; 4- An understanding spirit; 5- A wealthy eternal status; 6- A happy and satisfied soul; and 7- Assurance of rewards. How like our wonderful God to link all of this to our hunger and thirst for God and thus for godly living!

But notice again… the words of the Lord are ‘sweeter than honey, even honey from the comb.’ And like the Psalmist found, the more you ‘feed’ on the Word of God, the sweeter it becomes and the hungrier you grow for partaking of it. My college Pastor used to say that some people talk about the Bible like it’s just sort of like ‘crème of wheat’…dry but nourishing. But no, it’s way beyond that, it’s more like peaches and crème, it’s the dessert of life! And even Diabetics can eat all they want of this sweet dessert! Isn’t that great?

So the hungering and thirsting for righteousness that Jesus is talking about here is for this deeper communing with God in your spirit. But remember, communing with God follows conversion of your soul. To pursue right living, you first have to become right with God. This pursuit of right living or righteous living is called ‘Sanctification righteousness’. It means that once you become converted or born again in your spirit, you can then become ‘sanctified’ or ‘set apart’ in your commitment to living according to righteousness and godliness for the sake of your Lord who saved you. Again, these Beatitudes describe a pathway for a Disciple; a step by step path for a born again follower of Christ to walk in obedience to Christ.

But remember, as we pointed out, before one can pursue right living you have to become right with God. And that is what is called ‘Salvation righteousness’. And that righteousness that makes us ‘right with God’ is not one that we can produce on our own. We can practice righteousness, once we are made right with God, but no human can produce righteousness on their own…or we cannot produce our own ‘Salvation righteousness’.

And friends, this, right here, is where the world, and many world religions, even many social gospel churches, completely distort the understanding of Biblical righteousness by always making it a man-centered concept, a human produced concept. They start with themselves, and they then start comparing themselves with others, and then they hope…they falsely hope, that by their life and works, that their ‘so called righteousness’ will merit them a place in Heaven. But, we know that the Bible completely rules out any human being meriting or earning a place in Heaven based upon their own works…regardless of how seemingly ‘righteous’ they think they are.

In fact, the Scriptures present mankind with a problem that is impossible for any human to solve. As Romans 3:9-10 reveals: “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one…” NKJV

And to this all people say: “Uh Oh!” And then add to this what Jesus said in Matt 25:46 – “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” NASU So here is mankind’s dilemma…only the righteous enter into eternal life in Heaven, but then the Scriptures declare: “there is none righteous!” That presents human beings with a problem that cannot be humanly solved.

Add to this these additional revelations about this humanly unsolvable problem. For Paul goes on in Rom 3:23- “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” NLT But, what if people try to do some righteous works…wouldn’t that solve the problem? The Prophet Isaiah already answered that in Isa 64:6- “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” NASU

Again, ‘Uh oh’! And then to simply make our sin and separation from God problem as clear as it can be the Apostle Paul says it straight up to the now saved believers in Ephesus: “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Eph 2:1-2 NASU And Friends, that is the spiritual condition of any human being that has not repented toward God and placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Every person in the world, every person in your community, every person around you at your job or in your neighborhood is either spiritually dead or spiritually alive.

Which clarifies the fundamental reason that no one can be saved by their works. It is not just because their works are still stained with the presence of sin, like the Prophet Isaiah says, but it’s even deeper than that. The fundamental reason that no one can be saved by their works is because you cannot work your way out of ‘death’. Let’s say that again, because it explains mankind’s problem and false religion’s guilt in leading their people into false beliefs. “The fundamental reason that no one can be saved by their works is because you cannot work your way out of ‘death’; out of spiritual death.” You first have to be given life from a Life Source outside of yourself. And the only Life Source there is, is the ‘Life Giver’, Jesus Christ. When you are spiritually dead in trespasses and sin, your only hope is for God to give you a new spiritual life.

And that is what the Apostle Paul reveals that Christ does for all who come to Him to be saved, to have their dead spirit brought back to life. Listen to what he said: Eph 2:4-10- “But God’s mercy is so abundant, and His love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience He brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. In our union with Christ Jesus He raised us up with Him to rule with Him in the heavenly world. He did this to demonstrate for all time to come the extraordinary greatness of His grace in the love He showed us in Christ Jesus. For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.” TEV

So again, before we can practice the righteousness that the Beatitudes speak about, we have to first receive the perfect righteousness that Christ gives to us when we give our life to Him in repentance and receive His new life by faith. This is referred to as ‘the great exchange’. Look at how this is precisely described in 2 Cor 5:21- “Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made Him share our sin in order that in union with Him we might share the righteousness of God.” TEV

Again, mankind is incapable of producing the kind of righteousness that makes a person right with God. That kind of righteousness can only be obtained from Jesus Christ and it can only be attained by God’s grace through our faith in Christ alone.

And to help us understand that even further, the Apostle Paul put it this way: Phil 3:9- “I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law. I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith.” TEV

Thank you Apostle Paul, for that is as clear as can be made. In order to be right with God we have to have a ‘righteousness’ that comes ‘from God.’ We have to have a righteousness that is not our own. We have to have a righteousness that we did not produce, for, in fact, again, a dead person cannot produce anything until he or she is brought back to life again; is ‘born again’. And that ‘life’, that spiritual life, can only be received through receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior. And when you do, you are then also given this ‘righteousness of Christ’, which then makes you ‘right with God’. In theology, this is called ‘imputed righteousness’. It is when God credits the sinless righteousness of Christ to you and to me, so that we are declared righteous before God, and also then born again in our spirit…made alive again in our spirit by becoming united to Jesus’ own eternal life and spirit.

Those of you that have been with us for a long time know that we have talked much about this before, but the reason we do so is because most people around all of us still somehow think and believe that they can produce enough righteousness or do enough good works in their life that will qualify them or merit them a place in Heaven. Most people still do not realize that they are way past any hope of that! And the reason they are way past any hope of that is because they are already dead in their trespasses and sin and are already condemned. The verdict is already in. Their only hope is outside of themselves and in the Blessed Hope, Jesus Christ alone. So we have to understand that this is how most people still think, how unsaved people still think, like they are probably okay, and that hopefully they are a good enough person to go to Heaven. And this is why they so desperately need to be given or told or shown the truth of the Gospel of Grace on how to be saved. And this is why, in these desperate times in which we live, the best thing we can do for others around us is to share the Gospel of Salvation with them. This is the greatest need in everyone’s life and the greatest gift we can give to them.

So again, no one on Earth can produce the righteousness they need in order to be right with God. That righteousness was produced by the sinless obedience of Jesus Christ alone. But He will share it with everyone who comes to Him to be saved, to be raised up out of their dead spirit to become alive again, to become born again, and given eternal life and declared righteous…right with God because they are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

This is important that we go through this, because that’s what the Apostle was revealing to all the world; that before we can ‘practice righteousness’, this ‘sanctification righteousness’, as a follower of Christ, we first have to receive the ‘perfect righteousness’, the ‘salvation righteousness’, of Christ as our Savior. And we pray that each one going through this study with us has had your dead spirit brought to life again, been born again. That is the greatest need of any person in the whole world. If your spirit is dead, you are in desperate need of having your dead spirit brought back to life again…to have it ‘born again’. That is what the terms ‘born again’ are referring to. And that is what this ‘great exchange’ is all about in that Scripture we read. Make sure that you have made this great exchange of giving your life to God in repentance and then receiving Jesus and His righteousness into your life by faith. If you have any doubt or question about being right with God, just call out to Jesus in prayer to make you right with God. And then trust in His great promise that whoever calls upon the name of Jesus to be saved will be saved.

And so, in our next study we’ll next look at this practice of righteousness in following Christ for those who have been clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ; along with all the genuine happiness it brings into your life.


Eastertide Study Guide
May 3, 2020
Pastor Clay Olsen

Guess what? It’s still ‘Eastertide’! It’s still Easter time or Easter season. Last week Pastor Robert had a great message walking through some of the amazing things occurring during that 50 day period from the Resurrection to Pentecost, which we celebrate as the birthday of the Church. Our Brother always has really good insights from the studies he shares with us. Actually, you can also listen into further things Pastor Robert shares in the weekly radio program on the Talk Station with Faith Matters. So tune into that.

But we don’t often think of Easter as Eastertide or Resurrection Season that covers 50 days each year. So let’s think about it! Again, Easter is really not just one day – it’s a 50 day period that begins at sunset on the eve of Easter and ends on Pentecost, or the day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. Plus, you recall, 10 days before that, or 40 days after the Resurrection of Jesus was His ascension into Heaven.

No doubt some of you have visited Israel and have stood on the Mt. of Olives. And the wonderful thing about standing on the Mt. of Olives is that it is still the same Mount of Olives where Jesus once stood when He ascended into Heaven and His disciples watched Him go. Sure, there is some different dirt there by now, but it’s the same mountain. And think about the disciples watching Jesus go. You know that they sure wanted to go with Him.

But why did Jesus not take them with Him? The reason Jesus didn’t take them with Him was because of what He told them right before He left them: Acts 1:8- “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” NASU Jesus left them on Earth, left them in their mortal bodies, in order that they would be His witnesses everywhere on Earth and to everyone on Earth. It’s basically the same reason that any of Jesus’ disciples are still in their mortal bodies on this present Earth. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are also a Witness of Jesus Christ’s. It’s part of your God given identity. You and I are Christ’s Witnesses of the joys of these Resurrection truths…Witnesses to the truths of the Gospel of salvation, Witnesses to the truths of the wonders of eternal life, Witnesses of our coming immortality in union with Christ, and Witnesses to the need to live life according to instructions of God’s Word, which is God’s Owner’s Manual for life.

Again, the fact that you are still here, that you are physically sitting in a physical vehicle or a physical chair in a physical body on this physical Earth, is because you still have more work to do as a Witness for Jesus Christ wherever you go in your own Jerusalem, and your own Judea and Samaria, and your own journeys to even the remotest parts of the Earth. That’s who Resurrected people are: Witnesses of Jesus Christ…and that’s what resurrected people are commissioned to do: to witness for Jesus Christ in their worship and in their service for their King and Savior.
And one thing that helps us to act on who we are is that, as Witnesses of Jesus Christ, we are convinced of the truths of everything about our Lord Jesus and His Resurrection. Think about that: we don’t have to convince anyone here of the reality of the Resurrection. You wouldn’t be out here if you didn’t believe that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead. In fact, if the same Angels were here this morning that were at the tomb on that Resurrection morning, they would say to us the same thing they said to the women in Matt 28:5-6- “ …I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified……, for He has risen, just as He said.’ NASU
You’re here because you are looking for Jesus. You’ve come looking for Jesus, the Risen Lord Jesus, not so much as to find Him in His resurrected body, but to find Him in your focus of worshipping Him, because you have already found Him as your Lord and Savior. You are looking to worship Him each day, as in…Monday through Saturday, as well as on Sunday! You believe Jesus Christ actually arose from the dead, and is alive today, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and yet because the Holy Spirit is present with us today and everyday…you believe He is our Immanuel, our God who is always with us. And you believe that He is who He says He is: He is the mighty God, the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, our Eternal Father… He is your healer, your Savior, your King, and your Lord. You are here because Jesus not only died, rose again, and ascended, but He’s also coming back!

Eastertide is a celebration not only of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, but also a celebration of His promised return. Do you remember what the angels also said to the disciples at the ascension? Acts 1:9-11- “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ” Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Oh yes, this Jesus, this same Jesus is coming back to walk the earth just as He did before He left the earth, only this time this world will be His kingdom and He will be the Sovereign King over all the earth. He’s coming back. Or, perhaps you’ll go to Him first, but either way, as sure as we are looking at each other here this morning, soon, maybe very soon, soon and very soon, you’re going to be looking at this same Jesus that the disciples were looking at when He left.
Now, just what does the Resurrected Lord Jesus look like? Well, neither the prophets nor the apostles attached any photo images of Jesus in the Scripture writings, so we don’t have His physical image. Yet we do have some descriptions. Remember Jesus’ words to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27

One of the unique things about Jesus resurrected body is that He retained His scars from the cross. It seems that Jesus will be the only one in heaven with scars. But for all eternity we will be able to look at those precious scarred hands and remember what it took for us to get there, what it took for you and for me to get to live in heaven. Those scars could have been ours, you know, but He took them for us. Isa 53:5-6 is a passage we should think about over and over, just as we have been sharing it recently in our study times together: “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”

Again, what caused the scars? My sins, your sins; What is sin? Essentially, sin is my will instead of God’s will…sin is your will instead of God’s will. Isaiah says sin is going our own way instead of God’s way, sin is being in charge of our own life instead of turning charge of our life over to God. Our refusal to surrender to God is what caused Jesus to have to suffer the consequences that should have been ours. But Jesus chose to suffer, so that He could save you and me; save us from that spiritual death penalty…from eternal separation from God, and give us spiritual life, eternal life; life without end in union with Him.

Just think; If you were the only one that had ever sinned, if everyone else were like the holy angels and without sin, if it had only been you that had sinned, God would have sent His Son just for you, to die just for you, in order to rescue you. And we know that God would have done just that, just for you. And how do we know that? Because God told us so, remember John 3:16-17? And we’re going really personalize this passage this time. And as we do so, maybe you’ll see this familiar passage in a whole new way…a new ‘family’ way. Let’s look: 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world. Loved who? Loved the world. Who is the world? The world is you and me and each human being made by God. The world is one person at a time. I don’t know if you have ever done this before, but what we’re about to do should change everything you think about God and your relationship with God. So as we read John 3:16 and 17, put your name, your full name where we pause for that. “ For God so loved……….. now put your name right there ………………, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever, …..put your name in there again, believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge………. put your name there again, but that…………. your name once more……. might be saved through Him.”

Try writing John 3:16 and 17 out on a card or maybe in your notes on your phone or tablet or somewhere, and put your name in those places, and read it over and over and see what effect it has on you and your relationship with Jesus.
You need to see your name all through John 3:16 and 17 because, again, the world is made up of one person at a time. Plus, remember the reason Jesus gave His life to save you… “For God so loved the world”…You see, you mean the world to Him, and you always will. He didn’t just come to save everybody else…He came to save you. He didn’t just want to save everybody else…He wanted to save you. Remember, He loved you before you loved Him.
This is why we celebrate the Resurrection. This is why we gather for these church family services and sing and pray together, and even shout together…“Thank you Jesus”!

Remember this: Jesus is the Risen Lord, He is alive. This historical truth is a present reality. And just because we have not yet seen the Resurrected Lord like the disciples did, still, because He is God, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, He really is here with us and is with us wherever we are. Jesus said: “I will be with you always”.

We could say that what we really need to do is to look at the truth of the Resurrection, and the truths of God’s presence through Resurrected eyes. In fact, the unseen realities around us are actually the greater realities. Listen to Paul’s words about this: 2 Cor 4:18 … we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. NKJV

We believe the Spirit of Jesus Christ is here, but we don’t see Him, yet. We believe He forgave our sins and gave us a new spirit. We believe He resurrected our spirit from being dead in trespasses and sin to being alive together with Him. We believe He’s preparing a place for us in the better country of Heaven. We believe our saved loved ones and friends are now living in Heaven with Jesus, seeing Him in His resurrected body, with His scars and all. We can’t see all of this yet, but all this and more are all part of reality, the greater reality, because the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. The question is; Which are you looking at most this morning, or most mornings, or most days?
Again, you are here this morning because you believe the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is true, even though you cannot yet see Him. You believe in Resurrection truths. And that’s exactly the way the Angels and the Apostles are telling us to now look at everything in our lives, through Resurrection truths. Your sight will catch up, sooner or later, but Resurrection truths stand alone. If you have surrendered your life to Christ in repentance and received Jesus into your life by faith then your very soul has been resurrected. And if you don’t look all that much different from before you were converted, well, give it time, you will. And I don’t mean because of aging. But one day you’re going to look very different, you’re going to have a resurrected body that is like that of Jesus. 1 John 3:2- Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when He comes we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. NLT

Friends, that’s Resurrection truth. Whatever trials and problems, whatever infirmities, disease, sickness, or difficulties you’re dealing with now in your body, or in your life, it’s only a temporary condition. You’re not going to have that body you have now for very long….you’re going to get a resurrected body, that will have no pain, no sickness, no arthritis, no allergies, no viruses or anything like it…
The point is, these are resurrection truths, and one day, what we are celebrating here by faith, we will one day, maybe one day very soon, we will be celebrating these truths by sight. Sight will catch up, but truth leads. Remember that! Sight will catch up, but truth always leads. Truth leads…and Jesus is Truth. So let the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the truths of the Scriptures lead you to continue to celebrate your Risen Lord, and to live according to God’s word every day of your life as you look for His return or for your trip home to Heaven to see Him.


You can use this page to practice the 2018 Christmas concert “Joy!” by Joel Raney. 

Listening (all 7 songs)  1. Sing Joy!  2. Waiting  3. A Song in the Air  4. Jesus What a Wonderful Child  5. O Come, All Ye Faithful  6. Tell It On the Mountain  7. Sing Joy! (Reprise)

[youtube id=”wsfw83UfpFY”]





Baby Bottle Blessing

Help support the Coastal Pregnancy Care Center by taking a baby bottle in the Chapel foyer and filling it up with your change, bill and checks!  Ask neighbors and friends for their support so they can be a blessing too.  Return the bottle when it is full and get another one to fill. The final day to return your bottle to the Chapel is Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec 25th.  It’s especially appropriate at this time of year to celebrate the gift of a baby’s life as we celebrate the gift of “eternal life” that was born as baby Jesus in Bethlehem many years ago.

The Coastal Pregnancy Care Center (CPCC) is a Christian non-profit offering help and hope to women and men considering their choices in an unplanned pregnancy.  Click here to visit their web site:  http://cpccenter.org/


Dr Frank Turek @ ECU

Dr. Frank Turek is scheduled to speak at the Ratio Christi Chapter at East Carolina University at Greenville, NC  on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 from 7 pm – 9:30 pm.  There was a great turnout the last time Frank Turek spoke at ECU in April.  Plan to support this ministry and sharpen your Christian Apologetic defense of the gospel by coming to hear Frank Turek speak!

Click here to view this details and venue of this event on Facebook

Frank Turek at ECU

Click here to view the Frank Turek web site

Click here to view the ECU Ratio Christi web site

Click here to view the ECU Ratio Christi on Facebook


Pakistan Speaker Aug 27 & 28

We will have a special Christian brother from Pakistan that will share a special Men’s Breakfast devotion on Saturday, August 27 at 8 am to 9:30.  Plan to come enjoy good food and fellowship with our brother from Pakistan.

Also the Sunday school at 9 am and worship service message at 10 August 28, will be presented by our Christian brother from Pakistan.  There is plenty of opportunity to hear first hand about the Spiritual battle in the Middle East that is spreading through out the world!

New Chapel Web Site

Praise the Lord, we are standing on new digital ground … welcome to the new Chapel by the Sea web site!

Many people made this happen but primarily it was Mike Casile who stood up the new web site and migrated most of the content from the old Chapel web site.  Plus Grey Brinson, who managed the old Chapel web site, deserves a great deal of thanks for managing all the content on that site for many years and for helping us move forward to this new environment.  Most of the “widgets” and graphic design for the new site were done by Roger Ricketts.  The front page banner was designed in collaboration with Robert Kornegay.  The Chapel has always been a Lighthouse of God’s word, shining brightly in this stormy world.

By using a “WordPress” powered web site we are able to use an interface that will allow many people to update the content of the site, thus keeping it informative and attractive to the Chapel family and to those who many find us on the Internet.  Some of the new features are:

  •  A slide show gallery of photos on the front page which show life at the Chapel
  •  A list of scrolling important timely announcements and events
  •  A list of the latest Sermon notes
  •  A page for each Ministry program, plus a way for the person who heads up the ministry to update their page
  •  An easy to update Calendar to keep us aware of meetings and events
  •  A way for church leaders to share articles of interest and concern
  •  A way to “share” the sermons, articles and pages from this site to Facebook
  •  A way to translate the content of an article into many different language
  •  A way to easily post photos and videos of Chapel celebrations and events



Chapel Regular Meetings

Sunday School …… 9 am

Worship Service … 10 am

Youth Group …….. 5:30 pm – 7 pm Sunday

Chapel Island Kids Club …….. 5:30 pm – 7 pm Sunday

Christian Education on Sunday Morning

  • Nursery (10 am until  worship service is complete – about 11:15)
  • 3 to 5 year old Children’s Church (about 10:30 am until completion of worship service)
  • 6 to 8 year old Children’s Church (about 10:30 am until completion of worship service)
  • Preschool – Kindergarten Sunday School (9 am to 9:45 am)
  • 1st to 4th grade  Sunday School (9 am to 9:45 am)
  • Tween (5th to 7th grade)  Sunday School (9 am to 9:45 am)
  • Teen (8th to 12th grade)  Sunday School (9 am to 9:45 am)
  • Adult  Sunday School (9 am to 9:45 am)