Blog moved to BOL Fellowship website

We would like to make you all aware that we have moved our blog to our church website. It can be found at

We pray that you would continue to be blessed by reading our Sunday sermon devotionals. Here are also other ways where you can stay up to date with Bread of Life Fellowship:

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact us at

The Olivet Discourse 3: The Abomination of Desolation – Matthew 24:15-28

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) … Mt 24:15

The Olivet Discourse, the longest of Jesus’s recorded discourses in the synoptic gospels, is prompted by the disciples’ question in light of Jesus’s shocking revelation regarding the destruction of the Jewish temple (24:1-2). “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Mt 24:3). Jesus’s response seems to point to two distinct historical events – the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and His yet future second coming.

In verses 4-14 of chapter 24, Jesus describes a series of “non-signs” of His return. I call these “non-signs,” as the events He prophesies do not point specifically to the end of the age, but instead they are warnings that the disciples would not find themselves deceived by the coming of a false messiah. We have seen how these signs – false prophets, wars, famine, earthquakes, tribulation, apostasy, and a lawless faith and frigid love – were fulfilled, and continue to be fulfilled, throughout the history of the church age. But like birth pains that portend the child’s birth, these afflictions and trials will intensify as the consummation of the age approaches. In particular the “apostasy,” and people following after “lawlessness,” will climax with the coming of “the man of lawlessness,” or “Antichrist;” the one who the book of Revelation refers to as “the beast,” who comes to conquer the saints.

In verse 15 Jesus begins to describe the terror of the days prior to His return. Destruction will arrive so quickly that believers ought waste no time in preparing their escape. The imagery of sacrilege that Jesus uses, “the abomination of desolation,” calls to mind Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians chapter 2: “For that day will not come, unless … the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” Matthew also calls us to discerningly read the book of Daniel – in particular Daniel 9:27 and 12:9-11.

This week, read Matthew 24, Daniel 7:19-28, chapters 9 & 12, and Revelation 13:1-10. Try to read them without any presupposed end-time position; as you do, make notes as to what they reveal to you about the “the beast,” and in particular the “abomination of desolation.”

Why We Baptize Believers

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:3-4

Christian baptism is a sign from God that signifies inward cleansing and remission of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:25-27), Spirit-wrought regeneration and new life (Titus 3:5), and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit as God’s seal testifying and guaranteeing that one will be kept safe in Christ forever (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14). Baptism carries these meanings because fundamentally it signifies union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11-12); and this union with Christ is the source of every element in our salvation (1 John 5:11-12). Receiving the sign in faith assures the persons baptized that God’s gift of new life in Christ is freely given to them. Baptism signifies a defining moment in a believer’s life because it signifies a new-creational engrafting into Christ’s risen life.

Christ instructed his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). This means that the covenant relation which baptism formally confers is one of acceptance by, communion with, and commitment to all three Persons of the Godhead.

To baptize believers’ babies has been the historic practice of most churches. However, the worldwide Baptist community, including Reformed Baptists, dispute it. Baptist’s insist that membership in local congregations is only for those who have publicly professed personal faith: an emphasis often buttressed by the claim that Christ instituted baptism primarily for a public profession of faith, and that such a profession is part of the definition of baptism, so that infant baptism is not really baptism at all. Baptists affirm that (a) circumcision was primarily a sign of Jewish ethnic identity, so the parallel alleged between it and Christian baptism is a mistake; (b) under the new covenant, the requirement of personal faith before baptism is absolute; and (c) practices (such as infant baptism) that Scripture does not explicitly recognize and approve must not be brought into church life.

(Edited from “Baptism” by J. I. Packer)

Next Sunday, God willing we will witness the water baptism of our brothers and sisters and hear their testimonies. Prior to the baptism, we will consider from the Scripture the question, “Why do we baptize believers?”

MI 2: Trust during Trouble – Matthew 10:16-39

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Mt 10:16

Jesus’ teaching and miraculous works summarized in the first 9 chapters of Matthew’s Gospel point to a greater mission for God’s people. The mission which every Christian must accept, is to proclaim the good news that Jesus has come into the world to save us from the consequences and power of sin through His atoning death and triumphant resurrection. In chapter 10, Matthew seems to have systematically collected the teachings of Jesus related to mission. We have seen in the first 15 verses of chapter 10, the source, staff, and specifics of the first mission given to the twelve apostles of Jesus. Next week we will pick up with verses 16-39 which reveal the peculiar danger of the mission as it is carried out by the apostles and subsequent generations of the church in a hostile world.

Trouble is the habitat of Christian mission. It seems that Jesus purposefully sendsHis people into a hostile world as “sheep among wolves.” Rather than an unfortunate side-effect of our mission, it seems Jesus intends for His disciples to carry on His mission through suffering. The cross is not the exception, but is the rule of a disciple’s life; we will lose many battles in our effort to carry our our mission. Though we are sent out as vulnerable sheep, we are not “stupidly vulnerable;” we are also called to be “wise as a serpent,” even while being “innocent as doves.”Christian disciples are not fighters; hatred and retaliation are not options for us; we are not revolutionaries; we are likened to sheep and doves – the gentlest of animals. And we carry out our mission in the midst of arrests, beatings, confrontations, hatred, mockery, and persecution, even at the hands of those closest to us. These were the experiences of our Lord, and we cannot expect to be exempt from them ourselves. However …

Trust is the habit of Christian mission. As “sheep among wolves,” we have no hope, save One. On judgement day God will vindicate us and our message. We do not need to fear “those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” So go boldly on your mission, knowing that you have a Heavenly Father who cares and is sovereign over everything that happens to you on this impossible mission. In fact, He ordains even your trouble. So fear God, and do not fear anything or anyone else. Though He makes no promise that you will be delivered from trouble on earth, He promises something much greater – to be rescued from eternal death and judgment.

Three Tests in the Wilderness Part 1: Bitter Water – Exodus 15:22-27

This Sunday we return to Exodus Ch 15:22-27. Last time we left the Israelites they were praising and worshiping the Lord for His great victory over both Pharaoh and Egypt and also their salvation. In our text, which is part of three trials they face in the wilderness that covers Ch 15:22 to Ch 17:7, we see the Lord leads the people to bitter waters after three days journey in the desert. While this was a trial from the Israelites perspective we find out in v 25 that the Lord tested their faith. The people failed that test by grumbling to Moses. Moses then intercedes and the Lord turns the bitter waters to sweet waters. Our text in Exodus is full of God’s grace to His people. It speaks of salvation, sanctification, and even a foretaste of glorification of Israel all done by our loving God.

When we fail, as we often do, we can be assured the Lord has a purpose and that purpose is that we would grow more into His image. We, like Israel in our text, are in the wilderness called the world. In this world we also face trials of various kinds, some we fail and grow, and some by His grace we pass and also grow. Through these trials and valleys we are slowly conformed into His image. Brothers and sisters where would we be without trials? It’s through these trials we learn to depend on the Lord and not on our own merits.

Please meditate on our text this week and pray the Lord would bless His word.

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

The LORD our Mighty Warrior – Exodus 14:1 – 14

The Israelites were rescued from their Egyptian oppressors by God’s mighty hand; but as the exodus narrative continues in chapter 14, we again witness the Lord’s judgment and salvation, as for one last time Pharaoh and Egypt come against Israel and her Lord. While chapter 14 is one story, we will look at in two parts – first, chapter 14:1-14 and next time, verses15-31.

The narrative begins with the Lord saying to Moses, ”turn back and encamp facing the sea.” The Israelites were heading northeast when they were instructed to turn around and go south to the sea, thus hemming them in. The Lord’s purpose for this instruction is expressed in verse 4: “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.”

Meanwhile back in Egypt we learn of Pharaoh’s remorse for letting the Israelites go, as he employs the best of his chariots and men to pursue the Israelites one last time (14:5-9). When the Israelites see the greatest fighting force of their age in pursuit, “they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord.” While crying out to God is an appropriate response under such circumstances, we find that their cry is actually a complaint. “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”  (14:10-12). One might marvel over the fact that, after they had been miraculously delivered from their oppressors by the mighty hand of God with such great signs and wonders, their faith would so quickly fail. In reality though, most, if not all of us, would have acted in the very same manner. In fact, we act this way every time we fear life’s trials after having been delivered from the power of sin and death.

Finally Moses gives the Israelites and us what we need to hear: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (14:13-14). The Lord is a mighty warrior who will fight for you, brethren. So fear not! Stand firm! And see the salvation of the Lord for the Lord will fight for you! The Lord will be glorified in the defeat of the Egyptians and Satan, for salvation is of the Lord!



Anointing Prayer for Serious Illness – James 5:13-18

As we are near the conclusion of James’ very practical epistle, James returns to the topic that he began in chapter 1 verse 2 – facing “trials of various kinds.” This final section also includes the topic of right speech, which he has been addressing throughout the letter. He addresses both topics first with a call to prayer.

To begin, James’ first exhortation for prayer is directed toward the individual, as seen in verse 13: Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Here James contrasts two spectrums in a believer’s life. The first is trouble or suffering, something that both his original hearers as well as believers throughout all ages, know all too well. Every one of us experience trouble and suffering in our lives to some degree. James says is anyone suffering “He should pray.” While trials and adversity present a Christian with the conditions wherein he is most likely to pray fervently, James continues to contrast this, saying that we should also rejoice, singing songs of praise when we are happy. In other words, it’s not only in suffering, but in joy, that believers are presented with an appropriate occasion to turn to God.

In verses 14 and 15 James moves to a second group, the church elders, again calling for prayer. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. This is one of the most controversial texts in James’ epistle, often used by the “faith-healers” to support their teachings and aberrant practices. The word sick in the original can have various meanings. One way it is used (18 times in the New Testament) is to refer to physical illness; but it also is translated as weak (14 times) and can refer to spiritual weakness. However we understand the meaning of the word sick, James says we are to call the elders of church, not the local “faith-healer or anyone else for that matter,” to pray and to be anointed with oil! The verse concludes in verse 15 with the ultimate healing – salvation manifested in forgiveness of sin.

The third section on prayer in verse 16a is directed to the congregation: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. At times it is very difficult to confess your sins to each other, but this practice can set you free as you confess your sins to one another before God, and to pray for each other. Prayer for one another in the local assembly is one of the most unselfish and beautiful aspects of the church. Knowing that your brothers and sisters are praying for you is a beautiful and humbling experience that ought to characterize our local church.

James concludes this section generally, with the prayer of a righteous person. This ought to encourage both elders and Christians in general, that intercessory prayer is necessary and effective. James does this by appealing to Elijah as an example. Overall, this section of James instructs us that the trials and joys that we face in this life should lead us to the throne of grace in prayer – individually, through the elders of the church, and together with our church.

Brethren, please pray that the Lord would be pleased to use this message so that we all would grow in our dependence on Christ through prayer.