Explore God

Can I Have a Personal Relationship With Jesus?

Gary Brandenburg • October 25, 2015

A few years ago eight workers at a Nebraska meat packing plant hit the jackpot. They split the largest lottery prize in history, 365 million dollars. It was front-page news. Their responses to questions at a press conference were priceless. One of the winners, Quang Dao, a Vietnamese immigrant said, “This is a great country.” Mike Terpstra, a 47-year-old single man is a little more philosophical. He said, “Everybody has dreams. Buy an island. Buy an airplane. In reality, I’m not a fan of flying and I don’t like water.” Another winner, referring to his three-month old baby said, “She’s going to be happy for the rest of her life.” Right? We are often fooled into believing that the source of our happiness can be found on this planet in spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Is The Bible Reliable?

Gary Brandenburg • October 18, 2015

I don’t believe in the Bible. I believe the Bible but I don’t believe IN the Bible. Words on paper have no power to save. The Bible is the message of salvation but not the means of salvation. This is not a magical book. You can put the Bible under your pillow at night but it cannot protect you. You can clutch the Bible close but it has no power to heal your broken heart. The Holy Bible is “holy” not because it has a conscience but because the writings that it contains are divinely inspired. In other words, the Bible is a divinely inspired collection of documents that bear witness to Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world. So when I say, “the Bible says,” I fully understand that the Bible doesn’t say anything, it reports what others said and did. Even though I do not put my faith in a book, I do believe what the Bible reports. That is what makes our question this morning so important, “Is the Bible reliable? Is the Bible the Word of God or just a compendium of human opinions? Is the Bible a faithful witness to actual historical events or merely an ancient book of fables?”

Is Jesus God?

October 11, 2015 • Gary Brandenburg

In our Explore God series we are considering some of the ultimate questions in life. They are broad questions that provoke all sorts of opinions and stimulate meaningful conversation. Today we come to the most penetrating question of all. It is a question that provides the center of gravity for the Christian faith. One day Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” The angels held their breath as they waited for Peter’s answer. They didn’t have to wait long – it was Peter after all. The answer would determine not only Peter’s future but the future of the whole world. I want to consider that question this morning. Who do you say Jesus is? Or, in Explore God terms, “Is Jesus God?”

Is Christianity Too Narrow?

October 4, 2015 • Gary Brandenburg

Let’s begin with a test. I have one cookie and two children. If I give the cookie to one of the children the other will say, “That’s not ______.” So, to avoid this insult, I divide the cookie. When the cookie breaks, one piece is larger than the other. The one who gets the smaller piece will complain, “That’s not ______.” You passed. Children come equipped with a profound sense of fairness that seems to be programmed into every human heart. It is so strong that I believe many people reject Christianity not because it seems unreasonable but because it seems so unfair. To suggest that Jesus is only one way to Heaven excludes all those who are not Christians. And that’s not _______.

Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

September 27, 2015 • Gary Brandenburg

My friend Tom became one of the first elders at a church we planted in California many years ago. We have stayed in touch very sporadically. Last week, after he saw a picture that Jana posted on Facebook in light of our 38th anniversary, he sent me a note. Here is what it said…

Is There a God?

September 20, 2015 • Gary Brandenburg

What you have just experienced is a powerful argument for the existence of God. Today we take up the second of seven important questions in our Explore God series, “Is There A God?” What we have just experienced together is one of many arguments for the existence of God. When we feel wonder or joy or even longing - where does that come from? Does a poodle ponder a sunset or a snail write a symphony? Why do we have this deep inner longing that we grasp for a moment in a painting or song. “If we find in ourselves a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, it is possible that we were made for another world.” Could there be a Satisfier at the end of our search for satisfaction?

Does Life Have A Purpose?

September 13, 2015 • Gary Brandenburg

Trapper John is exploring God. For the next seven weeks I want to invite you to explore God too. Some of you, maybe most of you, have already discovered God. But many people you know are troubled by questions such as: “If God exists, why is He so shy? He seems to be playing hide and seek.” “If God exists, why doesn’t He do something about this mess on planet earth?” “If God exists, is He (or She) Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or other?” “If God exists, what does He want from me?” These are the kinds of questions we are going to consider over the next seven weeks. Explore God is simply an invitation to ease of off the road for a season and think about the things that matter most. Today we are going to begin our expedition with the question, “Does life have a purpose?” If you’re like most people there are times when you have felt like you’re just going in circles.

Meant For More

September 6, 2015 • Randy Thompson

Good morning everyone and welcome to Fellowship Dallas. We’re glad you are here. My name is Randy and I’m one of the Associate Pastors here at the church. If you are new here, then you may not know that next Sunday is a big day for us. We, along with hundreds of other churches across the Metroplex, are launching into a two-month series called Explore God. We are really excited about what we sense God will do in our church and through our church to reach the people of our city, our neighborhoods, our families and our friends. We can’t wait to hear the stories of conversations and how God uses our offerings of time and love to bless others.

Godly Life, Curious World

August 30, 2015 • Kurt Pressler

There is a popular series of commercials that has been out for several years now. In the commercials, a narrator with a bold and dramatic voice lists characteristics about a certain person who happens to be very unique. The narrator tells us things like: He can speak Russian… in French He has won the lifetime achievement award… twice On every continent in the world, there is a sandwich named after him His cereal never gets soggy. It sits there, staying crispy, just for him He is the life of parties that he has never attended If he was to pat you on the back, you would list it on your resume You can see his charisma from space And after giving us some descriptors, the narrator announces that this person is, and some of you know, “the most interesting man in the world.”

Reveal Revealed

August 23, 2015 • Gary Brandenburg

We have come to the end of Mark 10 and I have decided to push “pause” in our series in order to apply some of what we have learned. For the next couple of months we are going to make an effort to engage our friends and neighbors in redemptive conversations about Jesus. We are going to do that by participating in Explore God with over 300 other churches in the metroplex. Explore God is a way to talk about some serious questions that don’t get talked about very much. For the next two weeks we will train, prepare and communicate how you can be involved and then, on Sept. 13, I will preach the first of seven messages that address some of the ultimate questions of life. But this morning I want to remind you of the two most important resources we have been given in order to lead people to the beauty of the gospel. The first resource is a prepared messenger.