Judgement House Weekend One Testimonials

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Judgement House 2017: Broken has been incredible, but don't take our word for it.  Check out what others are saying...

The Scarlet Thread - Pt. 3 Joseph

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The Scarlet Thread
Pt. 3 Joseph

Mankind is capable of doing incredible things. From antiquing, remodeling, refinishing, to repurposing there is this desire in us to redeem used, worn out things. We have an ability to envision value and purpose in things that seem like trash.

We get this from our Creator. Remember, we’ve been made in God’s image. So if we love to redeem things, I think that means God loves to redeem things. And when we talk about the spiritual part of you I think this especially makes sense.

The Bible says that before a person puts their trust in Jesus, they are considered spiritually dead. The Holy Spirit is not living in them, giving them life. But even after a person puts their trust in Jesus, the Bible says every good thing we try to do is the equivalent to a heap of dirty laundry. Very dirty laundry.

Now, I don’t want to bum anybody out prematurely, so allow me to give you some good news. God is powerful enough to give grace despite our sinfulness. That’s important to remember. Keep that in mind.

The Scarlet Thread is the story behind the stories of the Bible. It’s the Gospel and it runs through every chapter of the Bible. The goal of this blog series is to give you a jump start on reading the Bible in a new, Gospel-oriented way. So we’re just getting a few of the more familiar Bible stories and finding the Scarlet Thread running through them.

So far we’ve looked at the story of Creation in Genesis 1. We’ve looked at the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. And now I’d like to look at the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-41. As you read through this, I’m going to point at the sins of the characters in this story, and show how God is powerful enough to give grace despite their sinfulness.

1.   Joseph Sinned (Genesis 37:1-8)
He was no perfect saint. He sinned frequently. He was selfish, lustful, bitter, and proud. I know this because Joseph was a male human-being. He had his own issues. You can almost hear some pride hiding behind his words when he shares a prophecy with his brothers saying they will bow down to him. Joseph was a sinner. But God still poured out grace. God chose Joseph to rule a country despite his sinfulness, just as He has chosen to save us when we didn’t deserve it. This choosing was not because we were worthy of it but because God is generous. A Scarlet Thread of the Gospel.

2.   His Brothers Sinned (Genesis 37:18-24)
His brothers sinned long before they plotted against him. They had committed murder in their hearts already by their hate, and then they planned on killing him. That’s messed up! But God still poured out grace. Reuben, the oldest brother, saves Joseph from the murderous plot of his brothers by providing an alternative to death: throw him in a pit. Nice, Reuben.

Now, the name “Reuben” means “behold, a son” which symbolized another Son that would also deliver His people from death. A Scarlet Thread of the Gospel.
On a side note: Reuben would later sleep with his father’s concubine. A obvious no-no! This guy was a shadow of the Gospel, but only a shadow. A two-dimensional image of the real thing.

So the brothers throw him in a pit, don’t know what to do with him, and decide to sell him into slavery. My brothers bullied me, but they never achieved the bully status of selling me into slavery.

3.   The Slavers Sinned Genesis 37:36
The slavers sinned by committing a crime against the image of God. All people are made in God’s image and are inherently valuable. Slavery, the owning of another human being, is deeply wrong. But God still poured out grace. He led the slavers to sell Joseph to a wealthy officer of Pharaoh. As far as slavery goes, this was an alright gig. He excelled in his service so much that Potiphar made him head of the household.

God never wants us to remain enslaved to our own sins and addictions. The Gospel is what frees us from that spiritual slavery. A Scarlet Thread of the Gospel.

4.   Potiphar’s Wife Sinned (Genesis 39:11-15; 20-21)
Potiphar’s wife sinned by committing adultery in her heart and lying as well. Joseph didn’t deserve this. He was just a handsome guy minding his own business and yet because of one scandalous lie he was immediately thrown into prison. But God still poured out grace. Joseph eventually rose through the ranks of prisoners and earned favor in the sight of the guards.

God often times takes us through dark paths. He doesn’t promise us an escape from the difficulties, but He promises we will persevere. A Gospel Thread.

5.   Pharaoh Sinned (Genesis 41:7-8; 14; 37-40)
Pharaoh went searching for answers and put his trust in things other than God. He ruled with cruelty and with no regard for God or the people made in His image (like Joseph, the slave/prisoner.) But God still poured out grace. Joseph was brought in to interpret Pharoah’s dream and was given the opportunity to save millions of people from an unexpected famine.

This all happened as a foreshadow to how God has chosen to save us from an unexpected demise. The Scarlet Thread.

6.   His Brothers Sinned Again Genesis 42:1-2; 13
Years later, his brothers wind up in Egypt, looking for food. When Joseph approaches them in disguise, they lied directly to his face about him being dead. Really they had been lying about his death all along. Can you imagine what a miserable life you’d live, carrying that kind of a secret with you?

But God still poured out grace. Joseph put them through a test, eventually revealed his identity, forgave his brothers, and then brought them all to live with him in security and comfort.

Likewise, God will forgive our sins when we come to Him. He will provide a place in Heaven for us to live with Him in security and comfort. A Scarlet Thread.

The Scarlet thread of Joseph’s story, and your story, is this: Nobody has ever earned God’s grace. It has only ever been given despite our sinfulness. Everybody has disqualified themselves from a place at His table, and yet, in His marvelous grace He invites us to live with Him forever.

Where Is God in a Mass Shooting? by Russell Moore

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In light recent tragedies, it seems like we have more questions than answers. We are hurting, we are angry, and we are confused. In this article, Russel Moore explains God’s presence in the midst of suffering. I hope this encourages you like it did me!

In Christ,
Brandon H.

Where Is God in a Mass Shooting? 

by Russell Moore

A few hours ago I was on the phone with a friend in Las Vegas. He and his neighbors had just lived through, and will be living through for some time, the trauma of seeing in their own city the worst mass shooting in modern American history. I reflected after that conversation what my friend, a strong Christian and a respected leader, would say when asked by those around him, “Where was God in all of this?” He will have a word for his community, but for many Christians, when disaster or great evil strikes, this is a hard question to answer. Maybe that’s you.

The first thing we must do in the aftermath of this sort of horror is to make sure that we do not take the name of God in vain. After a natural disaster or an act of terror, one will always find someone, often claiming the mantle of Christianity, opining about how this moment was God’s judgment on an individual or a city or a nation for some specified sin. Jesus told us specifically not to do this, after his disciples asked whether a man’s blindness was the result of his or his parents’ sin. Jesus said no to both (Jn. 9:1-12). Those self-appointed prophets who would blame the victims for what befalls them are just that, self-appointed. We should listen to Jesus and to his apostles, not to them. Those killed in a terror attack or in a tsunami or in an epidemic are not more sinful than all of the rest of us.

We live in a fallen world, where awful, incomprehensible things happen. When an obvious and egregious injustice such as this one is done, we should stand where God does and see this as real evil, not as an illusion of evil. This means that our response to such should not be some sort of Stoic resignation but instead a lament with those around us who are hurting.

Christians sometimes suppose that our non-Christian friends and neighbors want to hear a detailed explanation, to justify God in light of such horror. The Bible doesn’t give us easy answers. The Word of God instead speaks of the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess. 2:7). When tragedy fell upon Job, an ancient follower of God, and asked why such happened to him, God did not fully answer him. God instead spoke of his own power and his own presence. That’s exactly what we should do.

We do not know why God does not intervene and stop some tragedies when he does stop others. What we do know, though, is that God stands against evil and violence. We know that God is present for those who are hurting. And we know that God will ultimately call all evil to a halt, in the ushering in of his kingdom. We know that God is, in the words of the hymn, both “merciful and mighty.”

When my wife and I were going through a difficult time, years ago, a friend stopped by, a respected theologian who spoke often and well of God’s sovereign providence. I expected him to speak to us of how God was working in this tragedy we were facing. He didn’t. He cried with us. He sat with us. He prayed with us. And as he left, he turned and said, “Russell, I don’t know why God permitted this to happen to you, but I know this: Jesus loves you, and Jesus is alive and present right now in your life.” I’ve never forgotten those words.

Our neighbors do not need us to provide easy answers to what is, this side of the eschaton, unexplainable. What they need, though, is a reminder for us that life is not the meaningless chaos it seems to be. There is a loving Presence at work in the universe. They need for us to weep and hurt with them, as Jesus did at the grave of his friend. In short, they need us to be a people of the cross, a people whose God is not distant and blank but a God who instead loved the world enough to send his Son to bear in his own body the full measure of the curse of evil. In the cross, we see evil and horror. We also see that God is there. And in the empty tomb, we see that death does not get the last word.

Copyright ©2017 Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. All Rights Reserved. Find the original article at http://www.russellmoore.com/2017/10/02/god-mass-shooting/

Judgment House 2017 - FAQ's

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October 20-22 & October 27-29

Fridays 6:00-10:15pm
Saturdays 4:00- 10:15pm
Sundays 4:00- 9:15pm

Christmas is a time of celebration, but this year some folks are lacking in Christmas spirit. Alice, Betty, and Clyde are three very broken people who are in dire need of Christ’s love and mercy. Alice struggles with the pain of losing her father to cancer. Becky is guilty of self-righteousness. Clyde cannot fathom the idea of God’s grace covering his multitude of sins. Will they acknowledge their brokenness and allow Jesus, the ultimate Savior, to heal them before a fatal Christmas day accident?  Groups are filling up fast! Reserve your time slot today by calling our office at 972-262-5656.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Judgement House?
Judgement House is a walk-through drama that presents the gospel as well as the consequences of a person's choice to accept or reject salvation through Jesus Christ. Groups walk from scene to scene, building to building, throughout our campus until they reach the final scene and their tour is complete.

How long does it take?  
Groups of approximately 30 people leave every 15 minutes with our tour guides. It takes about one hour to walk through the entire drama. 

Do I need a reservation?
We encourage groups large and small to make a reservation by calling the church office.  Reservations are currently being made from opening each night till 7:30 pm. Individuals as well as groups can make a reservation by calling 972-262-5656 at any time. 

Will I have to wait long?
We make every effort to take each group through quickly to avoid long wait times.  However, there can be wait times as much as 1-2 hours.  This is one reason we highly recommend making an advance reservation.  The best time to come for a shorter wait is early each evening on the first weekend of Judgement House 2017 (October 20-22).

What is the cost of admission?
The cost this year is $7.00 per person.  This can be paid by cash, church check or credit/debit card when you come to Judgement House.   However, we will not turn anyone away if they truly cannot afford this.  Calvary Baptist Church spends between $6,000 and $10,000 each year to do Judgement House.  Expenses include the fees for the script, feeding the over 200 volunteers who work each night, set designs, advertising, permit fees, printing and mail outs, and rental of equipment used during the two weekends for the safety of our guests.

We have a reservation but more are coming, is that a problem?
We're thrilled you have a larger than anticipated group, please call our church office at 972-262-5656 as soon as possible to update your reservation!  Extra attendees will be handled as walk-ins and will have to wait until there is a place available in a group for them to go through.  For example, if you reserve a group for 30 but 60 come, 30 of them will be handled as walk-ins and may have to wait.

Is the production wheel-chair accessible?
Yes!  There are provisions made for wheel chairs to enter every scene except the hell scene which is down stairs.  For the safety of the participants there is a video of the scene provided upstairs.  We even provide wheelchairs for use by older guests or people who have difficulty walking long distances.

Can I bring my child(ren)?
We do not recommend Judgement House for children under 10 years old due to the intense nature of some of the scenes.  However, it is up to the parents.  If you feel your child is mature enough for each scene you may take them in.  For our two intense scenes one of our team will stand outside with your child until you have returned.  However, we do not have these volunteers available for your child during every scene.  Please arrange care for younger children so you can have a better and more meaningful experience during your tour.   There is no childcare provided for the public during Judgment House.

Is Judgement House just a way to scare people into being saved?
Judgement House is not intended to "scare" anyone into making a decision.  It is intended to make you think about your eternity.  In this year's script you will see three characters, each making decisions as they are faced with different circumstances.  When they reach their final destination you will see the result of those decisions.  At the last room our pastor will sit down with each group and talk about the characters and ask the group to consider how what they have seen applies to their individual life.  We hope that you will make the decision to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but that must be your personal decision.

What if it rains?
Our security team is very careful and concerned about the safety of our guests.  If there is any lightning the tours will stop, but if it is only rain tours will continue.

Is there a rain out weekend?
Yes, should there be a reason we cannot have Judgement House, we do have an alternate plan to continue one more weekend, but that is not likely due to the number of people involved and the large amount of our campus used for these two weekends.  Barring a major development Judgement House 2017 - "Broken" will be held October 20-22 and 27-29, 2017 and once it is over it will not be done again here at Calvary Baptist for two more years, putting our next production in 2019.

How do I get involved?
Judgement House productions require all hands on deck so we need your help! Construction is every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7 - 10pm.  You can call the office at 972-262-5656 or contact our coordinators to find out how you can help in any of these additional areas:
         Cast Childcare - Kim Hochstetler
         Cast Refreshments - Teresa Dixon
         Cast -Ron Adams
         Concessions - Dan Bickle
         Construction - Terry and David Green
         Encouragers - Pastor Brian Loveless
         Prayer Team - Marsha Adams
         Registration - Karen Snead
         Security -  Mike Snead
         Tour Guides -  Ashley Contreras

You can also PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!  Pray for those building sets, acting in the scenes, working in registration, concessions and food preparation, security, childcare and the many other places our people are working.  Pray for good weather and for traveling mercies as groups go through Judgement House.  Pray for strength, endurance and the power of the Holy Spirit as we work each night.  Pray for those who come to understand and make the decision God wants them to make.  Pray for God's will to be done in each life that is touched by Judgement House 2017.

You can also visit our website at http://calvarygp.net/judgement-house.html