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Articles
  • Bible Studies
  • Theology
  • Evangelism
  • Family and Life

Bible Studies

The Book of Isaiah Outline and study notes on the Old Testament book, focusing on Isaiah's prophecies against a wayward people and the promise of a future Messiah: Jesus of Nazareth.

The Book of Jude The notes from a recent adult Bible study by guest pastor Carl Nelson on the letter from Jude, the brother of Jesus, exhorting believers to hold on to the faith and watch out for false teachers.

The Lord's Prayer: A King and His Castle This article, written by a longtime Immanuel member, explains the Lord's Prayer using the imagery of a king and his castle, showing how the King and Kings and Lord of Lords cares for those in His Kingdom.

The Prodigal Son These are notes taken from Pastor Okubo's first adult Bible study at Immanuel, an inductive study and discussion of Jesus' parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.

Structure of Revelation The outline of Pastor Okubo's study of Revelation from our adult Bible study, looking at the meaning behind the book's symbols and imagery and its call for all believers to keep the faith in the face of persecution and God's final and complete victory over Satan.

Theology

The Athanasian Creed: Affirming the Trinity The text of the Athanasian Creed and a devotional on its defense of the Holy Trinity--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Christ, Our Life This the outline of an in-depth study by seminary student Chris Halbert, given at the adult Bible study at Immanuel First in August 2003 and at his home church in Laguna Niguel, CA.

The Ninety-Five Theses An English translation of the document written by Martin Luther in 1517 that sparked the Protestant Reformation. His questioning the Vatican's practice of indulgences and doctrine of purgatory began a rediscovery of the biblical truth of salvation by faith and not by good deeds.

Outline of Heresies False teachings like denying the Holy Trinity, not accepting Christ's human as well as divine nature, and salvation by good deeds are as old as the church itself, as explained in this handy outline of historic heresies that have challenged the church through its history.

A Study of the Reformation A three-part study of Martin Luther, his discovery of salvation by grace through faith instead of by good deeds, and the events leading to the birth of the Lutheran church and the Protestant Reformation.

Traditional vs. Contemporary WorshipA look at the differences and strengths of traditional liturgical and contemporary worship services in the Lutheran church and their common goal of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in the heart language of the people.

Who Are These Lutherans? This short outline explains the differences between Christianity and other religions, man's relationship to God, and how Lutheranism differs from other Christian denominations.

Why was the Reformation So Important?An explanation of the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, including original sin, salvation as a gift, why Lutherans believe babies should be baptized, and how salvation by works tortured a young Martin Luther until he discovered the true meaning of the Gospel.

Evangelism

Al-Qaeda Fact Sheet An outline from Pastor Okubo's own research on the history, origin, beliefs and strategy of the al-Qaeda terrorist group. Includes its deviation from historic Islam, common misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims in general, and a condemnation of terrorism by an influential Muslim scholar.

An Apologetic Outline on Islam An outline by Christian apologist Charlie H. Campbell on the Islamic faith from an apologetic point of view, covering major differences with Christianity, contradictions within the Qur'an, and how to share the Gospel to Muslims in a culturally respectful and sensitive way.

Engaging a Relativistic World An outline on the logical fallicies of relativism, how and why relativists hold their worldview, and engaging them with the absolute truth of God's Word and plan for salvation without attacking or ridiculing them.

For God So Loved the World John 3:16, the most well-known verse of the Bible, translated into various languages, many of them spoken by Immanuel First members.

Free AccessA compelling story on the persecuted church and the open access to God that we have as Christians, from a personal friend of Pastor Okubo who is an LCMS missionary in central Asia. The focus of the story is on an otherwise proud Muslim woman who turns to sources other than Allah when crisis strikes her life.

How to Speak to Muslims (or any non-Christian) These are the notes from Pastor Okubo's Sunday bible studies on Islam, its origins, and how to share your faith with Muslims in a friendly, non-confrontational manner.

The Rapture That Never Happened The failed 2011 doomsday prophecies of Harold Camping are easy to laugh at and mock, but they teach us some very serious lessons about eschatology, how people get caught up in doomsday cults, and how even mature Christians can fall under the influence of a charismatic false teacher.

What About Islam? Based on a pamphlet by the late LCMS president A.L. Barry, this is a concise introduction to the history, belief and practices of the Islamic religion, including similarities and differences with Christianity and how to share the Gospel with our Muslim friends.

What is Evangelism? A thoughtful article on relationship evangelism and relying on the Holy Spirit in sharing the Gospel with family and loved ones who grew up in the church but don't have a saving faith in Jesus.

What is "The Secret"? A critique of the popular self-help spirituality phenomenon "The Secret" and its Law of Attraction. It documents their New Age origins, utter lack of morality, empty promises, and distorted view of God and His will for us in comparison to what God has revealed about Himself in the Bible.

Family and Life... and Fun

Stuff They Didn't Teach Me in Sunday School

Teaching Angels [LHM - Stuff they Didn't teach me in Sunday school] God has had a hidden plan from the beginning. You won't believe whom He has chosen to teach it to the angels.

The Baloney Shop

Real Religion [LHM - The Baloney Shop] When people say "Why I love Jesus, but hate Religion", they're forgetting something...

Celebrate Mom

Created in 2007 for Mother's Day, this special four-page section celebrates all things Mom. Includes the videos "Total Momsense" and "In Tha Muthahood" by Anita Renfroe, the origin of Mother's Day, why God made moms according to their kids, and all-time famous momisms.

Celebrate Dad

Created for Father's Day, this four-page section does equal time for the old man. Includes the origin of Father's Day, what a father is, Anita Renfroe's "DadSense", and all-time famous Dad-isms.

The Final Victory Against Sin

Do you want to know how to have total victory against sin in this lifetime? Are you sure? This humorous story from a Christian radio program illustrates the reality of struggling with sin while we are in this life.

God's Answer to the "Why Me?" Question

A diabetic member of Immanuel First asked God that question when he learned he had the disease, but later saw the Great Physician's hand in the seemingly unrelated series of events that led to his diagnosis and treatment.

An Interview with Rick Warren

From a 2005 interview, the author of The Purpose-Driven Life talks about the purpose of life, his wife's battle with cancer, and handling prosperity as well as struggles.

It's Like, You Know, I'm All...

Since Mary was most likely a teenager when the angel Gabriel announced she would be the mother of Jesus, how would she have shared this with her teenage friends? Like, you really wanna know? Evangelist Greg Laurie thinks out loud what it would sounded like.

Learning to Listen This bible study was taught by Guest Pastor Nate Loesch at the Adult Bible Study on Father's Day, June 15, 2003. Using Scripture and a little bit of humor, Pastor Loesch shows us how to be a better listener in our conversations and meetings with others, and how it is a reflection of the Good News of Christ in us.

The Lutheran Church Basement

Inspired by a radio commercial for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in 2005, this poem sings the wacky praises of one of the most venerable institutions in the Lutheran church... which Immanuel First doesn't have.

Moving Forward

This is the transcript of Pastor Okubo's first sermon as the pastor of Immanuel on October 12, 2003. At this time of change he asks the congregation and the reader to move forward and not look behind, but warns not to change simply for change's sake

A Rescue Mission

How do you confront a fellow Christian in your own family who is entangled in sin? This article has very throughtful advice on using God's Law and Gospel in a very sensitive, and often uncomfortable, situation.

Ten Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

Ten simple acts that you can do to encourage and edify your pastor, who works so hard all year long to care for and feed the flock God has entrusted to him.