88 episodes

The Local Christendom Podcast provides free resources for understanding the Bible, Christian doctrine, and much more.

The Local Christendom Podcast with Aaron Ventura Aaron Ventura

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.5 • 4 Ratings

The Local Christendom Podcast provides free resources for understanding the Bible, Christian doctrine, and much more.

    Sermon: Remember Lot's Wife (Mark 13:14-23)

    Sermon: Remember Lot's Wife (Mark 13:14-23)

    Remember Lot’s WifeSunday, April 14th, 2024Christ Covenant Church – Centralia, WA

    Mark 13:14-23
    14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: 15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. 17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. 19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.


    Prayer
    Father, we thank you for these words of warning and comfort and assurance from the Lord Jesus. We thank you also for the Holy Spirit, who helps us to test the spirits, to know which are from God and which are from the world. We ask for the gift of spiritual discernment as we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and forces of darkness in high places. We ask for Your Help in Christ’s name, Amen.

    Introduction
    The title of my sermon this morning is “Remember Lot’s Wife.” These words come from the mouth of the Lord Jesus in a passage that is parallel to Mark 13, and which Luke records in his gospel in Luke 17:31-32. There we read, “In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife.”
    Jesus likens the coming tribulation and destruction of Jerusalem as a time similar to two previous historical events.
    The first is Noah’s flood. He says in Luke 17:26-27, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
    So just as life seemed to go on “business as usual” for those who rejected Noah’s preaching (the Ark was his sermon), so also shall it be in the days leading up to the coming of the Son of Man, when the building of the church is God’s sermon.
    And whereas in Noah’s day it was water that drowned and cleansed the old world, in 70 AD it will be the Roman armies who shall act as God’s flood and fire to burn down the temple and baptize the cosmos which it represented. Jesus says, “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.”

    The second event that Jesus likens the destruction of Jerusalem to, is God raining fire down upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
    Jesus says in Luke 17:28-30, “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
    In both of these instances, you have a persecution and rejection of righteous Noah and righteous Lot (2 Peter 2:7).
    In both instances there are messengers and warnings that a flood of judgment is coming, and yet because the inhabitants of those places refused to repent, they are blinded to the obvious signs that their world is coming to an end

    • 32 min
    Interview: Evangelism Travels & Trends with Campus Preacher Keith Darrell

    Interview: Evangelism Travels & Trends with Campus Preacher Keith Darrell

    • 42 min
    Sermon: The Abomination of Desolation (Mark 13:14-23)

    Sermon: The Abomination of Desolation (Mark 13:14-23)

    The Abomination of DesolationSunday, April 7th, 2024Christ Covenant Church – Centralia, WA

    Mark 13:14-23
    14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: 15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. 17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. 19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.


    Prayer
    Father, we thank you for these words from the Lord Jesus and how you used them in the 1st century to preserve the church through The Great Tribulation. We thank you also for how you continue to use these words to inspire and encourage us amidst our afflictions. Make us now to cling to your Word, for you alone have the words of Eternal Life. We ask in this Jesus’ name, Amen.

    Introduction
    Well, we are back in Mark 13, and this morning we come to an exceedingly difficult question that the church has yet to come to any consensus answer for, which is, What is the abomination of desolation? And while we will spend the majority of our time trying to answer that question, we must not forget or lose sight of the larger purpose for Jesus teaching these things, which is, to prepare the disciples to die as martyrs for His Name.
    The twelve apostles are going to be commissioned, empowered, and sent to the four corners of the earth to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, and while that gospel will indeed conquer and be victorious, it will not be without bloodshed. So just as Christ conquered by suffering and dying on the cross, so also the apostles and early church shall conquer by suffering and being faithful even unto death.
    So this is the very practical purpose for Jesus telling the disciples what shall take place within one generation. And we know that these events were all fulfilled in the 1st century because after describing these events Jesus says in verse 30, “Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.”
    So all of Mark 13 refers to events that took place in the 1st century, within one generation. Recall that starting in verse 5 is Jesus’ response to the disciples’ question in verse 4 which is, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?”
    And what are the “these things” they are referring to? They are referring to Jesus’ declaration that “there shall not be left one stone upon another [in the temple], that shall not be thrown down” (vs. 2).
    So the “end” (vs. 7) that is spoken of here, is not the end of our world, it is the end of the temple which was itself a symbol of the whole cosmos. So when the Jerusalem temple is destroyed and replaced by Jesus Christ, the true temple and the saints in Him, it can rightly be described as the end of the old world and the beginning of a new creation. It is rightly spoken of as the end of the age and the beginning of a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    This end is also what Daniel is shown in his visions where there is a series of world empires that

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Sermon: Seeing & Believing (John 20:24-31)

    Sermon: Seeing & Believing (John 20:24-31)

    Seeing and BelievingEaster Sunday, March 31st, 2024Christ Covenant Church – Centralia, WA

    John 20:24-31
    24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


    Prayer
    O Father, we thank you for opening to us from Christ’s side, the door of life. We thank you most of all for the death and resurrection of Your Son, which is the greatest of all signs, and is a perpetual testimony that your love for us is stronger than death. As we open now Your Word, we ask for spiritual strength, so that we may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is incomprehensible:the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fulness of God. We ask for this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

    Introduction
    In Matthew 16, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” And his disciples answer him saying, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” And Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    The chief purpose of the four gospels is to make you to say what Peter said, and more personally, to make you say what Thomas says here in our sermon text. In answer to the question, “Who is Jesus? Who do you say that I am?” The gospels are written so that you might answer, “Jesus is my Lord and my God.” My lord and my God.
    More important than any other truth there is. More important than any other confession you make. Is this confession of faith from Thomas the Apostle. Who is Jesus? He is “My Lord and my God.”
    We are told in Philippians 2:10-11, that there will come a day when “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
    And so Scripture teaches us that there are two ways of confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord.
    One is voluntary and arises from the grace of faith: “Jesus Christ is my Lord and my God.”
    The other confession is involuntary. It is the forced confession of a conquered foe. It is the fearful and shuddering confession that demons and the reprobate shall make when they stand before the throne of the Lord Jesus on judgment day.
    James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”
    The unclean spirit in Mark 1:24 says, “what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.”

    So you can believe that Jesus is Lord and God like a demon with a lifeless faith that has no love in it. Or you can believe like an apostle, with a faith that flows from charity, and thanksgiving,

    • 40 min
    Sermon: Before The Great Tribulation - Part 2 (Mark 13:5-13)

    Sermon: Before The Great Tribulation - Part 2 (Mark 13:5-13)

    Before The Great Tribulation – Part 2 (Mark 13:5-13)Sunday, March 17th, 2024Christ Covenant Church – Centralia, WA

    Mark 13:1-13
    And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


    Prayer
    Father, we thank you for the promise and comfort of the Scriptures, and that through them we have hope. We ask now that you would enlighten the eyes of our understanding, give us ears to hear, and make us watchful, so that at all times we would be ready to die and see you face to face. We pray this all in Christ’s name, Amen.

    Introduction
    The title of my sermon this morning is Before The Great Tribulation (Part 2), and last time in Part 1 we introduced some new vocabulary.
    We said that eschatology is the doctrine of last things, or the study of how the Christian story ends, and it this topic of eschatology that we are treating as we work through Mark 13.
    We then said that there are two different positions on whether or not a particular event or prophecy has been fulfilled. A futurist believes that the prophecy/event will be fulfilled in our future. And the preterist believes the prophecy/event was fulfilled in our past, typically in the 1st century.
    And we said that all of us are both futurists and preterists depending on which event or passage of Scripture we are talking about. For example, we are all futurists on the final resurrection and final judgment. We confess as an article of faith that Christ will return bodily just as he ascended (Acts 1:11). At the same time, we are all preterists on the death and resurrection of Christ.
    One of the major places of contention amongst Christians is whether you are a futurist or a preterist with regards to the Olivet Discourse, which is recorded in three different places: Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21. And in case you missed last week’s sermon, my position and the one I will be arguing for throughout these sermons is that all of Mark 13 was fulfilled in the 1st century. And so as we work through this chapter verse-by-verse, I will be explaining how exactly that preterist interpretation does justice to everything that Jesus says here.
    So for those of you who may have missed Part 1 or for those who just ne

    • 50 min
    Sermon: Before The Great Tribulation - Part 1 (Mark 13:1-4)

    Sermon: Before The Great Tribulation - Part 1 (Mark 13:1-4)

    Before The Great Tribulation – Part 1Sunday, March 3rd, 2024Christ Covenant Church – Centralia, WA

    Mark 13:1-13
    And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


    Prayer
    O Father your Word says that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out. As we desire to be kingly and to search out these words of the Lord Jesus, and try to understand them, we ask for divine illumination. We ask for the Holy Spirit. We ask for all of this in Christ’s name, Amen.

    Introduction
    Well, we are back in the Gospel of Mark this morning and have come to what is perhaps the most difficult chapter in the book. Mark 13 is the longest monologue from Jesus in this gospel, and in it he prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the old creation.
    Now what makes this chapter difficult is not really the words themselves (which are pretty straightforward), but rather all the false ideas that we import and bring to this text when we hear it. There are entire denominations of Christians who have interpreted this chapter wrongly and from those errant (but often well-meaning) conclusions they have constructed a vision of the future that is not a true or accurate portrait.
    I speak primarily of the viewpoint that teaches that the world is going from bad to worse, at some point the Antichrist is going to come, and there will be an evil one-world government that persecutes Christians and brings about The Great Tribulation. And then there is debate amongst these proponents as to whether a rapture will occur before, during, or after this Great Tribulation. For those of you familiar with the books or movies “Left Behind,” it is this dispensational reading of Scripture that has blinded many Christians from a biblical vision of the future. Which is a future far more glorious and full of hope than what the doomsdayers and alarmists continually perpetuate.
    And so before we get into the first four verses of this chapter, we need to do some ground clearing exercises so that we can come to this passage and hear what Jesus is actually saying.
    So I want to begin by defining a few terms for us that you will likely hear as we study this chapter.
    1.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
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4 Ratings

Calmc1 ,

Very helpful!!

Clear and scriptural teachings are so helpful these days, and Aaron makes it enjoyable with his style and tone. Great resource to have!

Les Doyle ,

Believer

Wonderful biblical preaching by this young man. Thank you, for opening the word to your listeners.

Mya__1 ,

Wow!

Just started listening and very God honoring and enriching !

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