“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”
– Ephesians 2:8

ETERNITY (1977), COMMUNION SUNDAY (1987), DECADE OF THE 90’s (1989)

ETERNITY – January 23rd, 1977

Pastor John spoke on the subject of death and resurrection the previous week and he will continue on that theme as he talks about eternity and what that means. Pastor John believes that God in his mercy and in this last day is going out of his way to make people stop, think, and consider the word of God.

who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel

2 Timothy 1 NKJB

Immortality or life after life as it is called is known through Jesus. It is in the word and it is clear. Everything we need to know about life after life is clearly written in the scripture, yet Pastor John finds that many of God’s people are ignorant of these things. Pastor John himself was not sure that he understands everything that Jesus has said about it, and yet there are things he wants to share with us during this message.

The word eternity means having neither a beginning nor end of existence of infinite duration. According to Pastor John, this word eternal absolutely escapes our possibility of understanding because we are limited in our understanding by our minds which are mortal. Our understanding cannot go beyond what we can know of history and all the rest of it is conjecture. Therefore we must yield our intellect to the Holy Spirit to quicken us.

54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:54 NKJV

Jesus also spoke not only about eternal life but also eternal damnation. This is a sobering thing and people don’t like to preach about it, but yet Jesus told it like it is. Those who refuse God’s plan of salvation and those who reject the gift of life are choosing instead to go Satan’s way; their own way.

When we look at these things and can’t understand them because of the fallibility, and the smallness, and finiteness of our understanding in our mind, it’s a time that our heart took over and the spirit of God quicken us to realize that whatever it is with Jesus it’s enough. He is the God who is the all sufficient, He is the I am.”

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DECADE OF THE 90’s – 8am Sermon – December 31st, 1989

Pastor John interrupts his series on the Book of Luke for a special word he believed the Lord gave him for this particular morning. In Luke 21 the disciples ask Jesus what will be the sign of his coming and when shall the end be. Jesus began to answer these questions in Luke 21 and Mark 24. Pastor John say it is very interesting for us as we come into the new year to think of what’s going to happen next. We don’t really know the answer to that, but Jesus begins to tell us in Luke 21.

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Luke 21 NIV

Father we come to you in Jesus’ holy name and we ask that you speak into our hearts an awareness of the time and wisdom on what we should do in respect to time.”

It was 2 o’clock in the morning when the Lord woke Pastor John up with a dream and gave him this message. It is a different message than what Pastor John normally preaches. It is not a difficult but a simple message on godly time management as Grace Chapel and the world entered the 90’s.

I believed this is from the Lord to us as a church. I believe the Lord is speaking to us.”

According to Pastor John, because of the day God was very time orientated. He can be eternal and yet He created time. He does everything on time in his time. Not our time, but his time. Our place in time management is to manage ourselves. It is the management of “me” in regards to whatever God is doing. Time management according to the world is to figure out what you want to do and then manage your time and your resources so that you can accomplish your goals. But godly time management is for you to manage yourself so that whatever God is doing can happen accordingly.

Today marks an end of an era. This evening we will enter in at 12 o’clock into a new decade, the decade of the 90’s. It is important that we all understand the significance of the time so we can give ourselves to wisdom, this is what David said.”

Scripturally we know this is the last decade of a millennium that completes a six thousand year period since man was created. Theologically many Bible students feel that because man was created on the sixth day and rested on the seventh, that God has given man six thousand years to work in the world and the seventh millennium will be the year of his total Kingdom. Pastor John doesn’t see scripturally as some people do about this, but according to him it gets spooky if it might be.

At the time all across the planet people were speculating regarding the significance of the coming decade. What will it bring? The Bible teaches us that those who walk in the spirit of God are not at the mercy of those who predict and postulate.

The issue is are you asleep? Am I asleep? Are we aware? Do we understand the day we live in? You see, you can miss it if you are asleep…What you and I have to decide is there really behind all of these world events, a plan and purpose that God is working out or is this just random stuff happening.”

Pastor John felt he was burning in his spirit as he gave this message because he believed we were in the last times. He didn’t put any dates on that and this might not be the end of it and two thousand more years may go by, but he told us one thing that if there ever was a time that we needed to be serving Jesus it was now. This still stands true to today. Pastor John said that we should not look at world events in fear or anxiety, but instead in confidence with God because He is in control. He is the final factor. There is no other final ingredient in the world but Jesus.

Pastor John said it was time for us to move into the fullest dimension of obedience to the Holy Spirit. It was time for us to become deeply committed to accomplishing, not just knowing the will of God, but doing it, accomplishing it, making sure it happens. He believed that God had given Grace Chapel the task of reaching every person in their community with the knowledge of the Gospel.

It is a time for us to become deeply committed to accomplishing His will. It is a time to commit ourselves, our time, and our resources to bringing in this harvest of the last days.”

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COMMUNION SUNDAY – 8AM SERMON – February 8th, 1987

As Grace Chapel partook in communion Pastor John wanted them to fully understand what it is the Lord has called us to do and what this means to us. Pastor John says that what we know of communion is so precious and wonderful we can’t help but impart it and share it with everyone. For this service the ministry servants had prepared to serve the bread and wine from communion and Pastor John will be speaking on some of the roots of this beautiful service, how they come, and what they mean.

After the story Jesus the Bread of Life found in John 6 we can look back and understand that Jesus was speaking of spiritually coming into his presence and eating symbolically this little cracker and drinking this bowl of juice as a sign of receiving the spirit of God. It is through this we receive the benefits of his blood upon life and feeding from his word and his person.

When Jesus makes a promise he has the ability to do what He said. He can say to me, John Casteel you eat my body, you drink my blood and you have eternal life and I will raise you up on the last day.”

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.

1 Corinthians 11 NIV

It is a wonderful thing that Jesus wasn’t grumbling for dying for us, but when He took that bread He gave thanks to his father for the privilege of giving himself on our behalf. How thankful we are that He did. How thankful we are that we have the privilege of taking that bread today and being his body.

Communion time is a time of full surrender. Of establishing and saying before God, and before your family, and your friends, that Jesus is my Lord.”

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