Author: Jimmy Seibert

3 Things You Should Know About Eternal Life

One of the most assuring truths from God is that He has put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Eternal life is a gift Jesus offers everyone. It is a gift that allows us to experience abundant life in the now, while we’re on earth, and in the future when we’re in heaven. Here are three things the Bible says about eternal life:

1. Eternity begins at salvation

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Eternal life is the unending, indestructible life of God. It begins when we profess our faith in Jesus and is to be abundantly experienced and enjoyed in this life and in heaven.

2. You can experience the hope of eternity in your daily life

John 4:14 – but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Eternal life is not just a feeling or a thought, it is the person of Jesus. Truly beholding Jesus means putting your faith and trust in Him every day. Life can be hard, but the Word of God is always right and is meant to give you peace and hope in the midst of difficulty.

3. You have the promise of living with God forever

1 John 5:11-13 – And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in the Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Everywhere the river of life goes it brings healing and restoration. There is always hope when we are connected to Jesus. Regardless of our present circumstances we can rest in the fact that eternal life is a promise from God.

By Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

5 Things You Need to Know About Heaven

Theologian Peter Kreeft once shared a conversation with a challenger to his belief about heaven. The man asked him “What do you know about heaven? Have you ever been there?” Peter answered, “No, but I have a very good Friend who has. He came here and told us about it and showed it to us. He is the Way the Truth and the Life.”

Although I have never been to heaven, I do know Jesus references heaven many times in Scripture. This week we started a sermon series about heaven, eternity and what that means to us. Below are five things Jesus tells us about heaven that may give you a better idea of what heaven is like.

1. Heaven is like paradise

Paradise means a beautiful, walled garden. Most theologians believe it refers the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1 and 2. There will be restoration of relationship and beauty like Adam and Eve had before sin entered the world.

Luke 23:42-43 – And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your Kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Revelation 2:7 – He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.

2. Jesus made a home for you in heaven

Heaven will not be just a spiritual place, it will be a physical place too; a dwelling place He prepared for us.

John 14:1-3 – Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

3. There will be every tribe, tongue, people and nation

Revelation 7:9-10 – After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standingbefore the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

4. There will be no more pain or shame

Every wrong will be made right. In heaven, we will experience joy, the love we were made for and all of our longings will be met.

Revelation 21:4-5 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

5. Heaven is a place where God is present

Revelation 22:2-3 – On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him.

 

By Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

A Biblical Response to the Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

Dear Antioch Family,

This past Friday the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. This is a fixed point that just changed, redefining for our nation what they believe is a new normal. This law does not change God and His word, but it does give us an opportunity and a challenge. To learn again to love God, love others and live with a sense of mission to rescue in an adverse environment.

Last Sunday I did an update on a message I shared 18 months ago called “Clarity and Compassion.” In this message I addressed our current response to the Supreme Court decision and a biblical response to the issue of homosexuality. God and His word have, and always will, guide and direct His Church. As a church we will adapt to Jesus, not our culture. We are called to be rescuers, to speak the truth in love and to help people go to God and His word for whatever issues we face as a culture.

This is a historic hour not to panic and fret, but to love Jesus, press into His word and wrap our arms around a broken world. Compromise has never made people more free, but has always put them into the chains they are trying to avoid. This is a great opportunity for believers to pull together like never before.

I am encouraging you again to watch this message and to pass it onto any family or friends that you feel it might help. We are called to be compassionate and clear in our journey together to see God and His Kingdom come here in our city, our nation and the nations of the world.

We love you,

Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

Making the Most of Your Summer

Dear Antioch Family,

I hope your summer is going well! I am excited about all that God wants to do in your life and mine in these coming months. Every summer I send out an encouragement and a Summer Goals Sheet that will help you have a great summer. This year I’ve also shared more ideas on how to do that in this video. I hope both of these serve you well.

In the goals sheet will find space to write down goals relating to your spiritual life, family life, finances, physical health, relationships and more. It is a great tool to help you and your family plan for the summer and hone in on the mission God has called you to.

My hope is that at the end of the summer you will see tremendous fruit from doing this exercise!

Get the Summer Goals Sheet. In case you missed it, here is our Summer Goals Sheet for kids!

In His Strength and Love,

Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

Prayer For Our City: A Letter From Jimmy

Dear Antioch Family,

I am currently out of town and will be for the next 10 days, but my heart has been heavy for our city and for our community in light of recent events. From the gang activity at Twin Peaks to the heart breaking suicide by a student at Robinson High School, we are desperate for God. I want to send my heartfelt love and prayers to all of the families affected and give us some points of prayer for the coming days. Whenever we encounter challenges in this life, we are to first run to the Lord for safety, refuge, help and healing, to resist the enemy in any and every work he wants to do in our city and to its people.

Here are some thoughts to help fuel our prayers:

1. Pray for the families affected by the gang violence:

Lord, we pray for every gang member involved in Sunday’s tragedy to turn his heart to You. We pray for salvation for the gang members, and not just for them, but for their families and friends. We ask for the brokenness of this situation to turn people to You and not away from You. And Lord, we resist every work of the enemy through gang activity in our city and beyond. We bind the work of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy people’s lives and we ask You to cover and protect the leaders in our city. We pray, expecting You, Lord, not only to protect but also to save.

2. Pray for our police force, our law enforcement and our city’s leadership:

Lord Jesus, we are thankful for our mayor, our city council, our police officers and our law enforcement that serve our city and the surrounding areas. Empower them by the Holy Spirit to do the work You have called them to do. We ask You to protect them from every work of the enemy and every demonic assignment that would come at them physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally. We bless our law enforcement with great grace to lead, protect and guide our city at this time.

3. Pray for our city:

“By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.” (Proverbs 11:11) Lord, raise up righteousness in our city. Thank You for all You are doing here. Thank You that Waco is called to be “a city set on a hill.” Thank You that Waco is a place where families can flourish and faith can be abundant and authentic. Lord, we pray for Your literal wall of protection to fall down over us and upon us. Lord, we resist every demonic assignment and pray that anything acknowledging itself against the living God would be torn down. We pray for every evil thing to be bound and for there to be a release of the Holy Spirit to draw us back to You.

4. Pray for the family and friends affected by this teenage suicide:

Lord, we pray with hearts of great compassion for the family and friends of Johnny Rogers. We pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit that goes beyond words to invade their hearts. We pray for the ministry of hope in the midst of overwhelming grief. Lord, be closer to them than they have ever experienced before. Come in Your mercy and grace over Johnny’s family and friends today.

5. Pray for the teenagers in our city:

Lord, we pray for every young man and woman in our city, from junior high to high school, to be covered and protected by the blood of Jesus. We pray for every work of darkness over their hearts and minds to be bound. We ask for every lie the enemy has planted in their hearts to be eradicated right now. May they see themselves as having great value in Your eyes. We pray for families to pull together like never before and specifically for the teenagers in Waco to band together and call upon Your name. Lord, may they be drawn to Your love, Your power and Your presence to take care of every painful thing in their lives. Cause a deep move of the Holy Spirit throughout our junior high schools and high schools today. Let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done.

I’m standing with you and for you as we continue to contend for our city to be what it is called to be: A city set on a hill for the glory of God.

In His strength and love,
Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

The Gathering

Dear Antioch Family,

This Sunday night at McLane Stadium we are gathering with more than 100 churches and thousands upon thousands of people from Central Texas to worship Jesus, hear powerful testimonies and hear the word of the Lord from Dr. Tony Evans.

This is an historic event for Waco and you don’t want to miss it.

Right now we have more than 800 people signed up to sing in the city choir and Israel Houghton leading worship. We have testimonies from Bryce Petty and our own Joanna Gaines and, as I mentioned, Dr. Tony Evans is preaching. Not only will Tony preach, but we will have hundreds of prayer counselors available as people respond to the Gospel.

Throughout our current Sunday series, “Lost and Found,” we’ve been encouraging “each one reach one.”

My encouragement to you is to reach out to a neighbor, a friend or a co-worker and invite them or bring them with you.

As always, an undertaking like this is quite an endeavor and I want to ask you to pray with us for unity, salvation and the power of God.

The pre-service will start at 4:30 p.m. We are going to have a lot of fun interviews and activities going on from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. We will go live on a local ABC affiliate, Channel 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For all other information you may need, go to The Gathering’s website. I am so looking forward to being together for this historical event.

In His strength and love,

Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

Fasting for Breakthrough: A Letter from Jimmy

A few years ago there was a young couple in our Lifegroup who were struggling with their eight year-old son. He seemed out of control and they seemed out of wisdom and strength to help him. We agreed as a Lifegroup to take three days to fast and to pray for a breakthrough for their son. We stayed in contact during those days; praying and asking God to touch his life in a fresh way and to give the parents fresh wisdom on how to lead their son. After those three days they begin to say things seemed different in their home and felt they had direction for how to handle some of the unruly behavior. By the next week when they came to Lifegroup he was a different little boy. Today he is married, walking with Jesus and holding down a solid job.

Jesus said some things only come out by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).

What a powerful phrase! God desires to partner with us in every way so we might see victory in the things that concern us, but some things require a little bit more. These next three days, Monday through Wednesday evening, we are asking our church family to take time to fast and pray for breakthrough in our congregation, in our city, in our nation and the nations of the earth.

We will be meeting three times a day corporately at 6:30 a.m., noon and 6:30 p.m. to worship and pray (see below for prayer time locations and fasting tips). I also encourage you to set up any separate prayer times with your friends and family around the needs of your own heart, home and the things that burden you in our world. These should be glorious days of meeting with God and watching His hand at work in response to our prayers.

I want to encourage you with this: anything you set aside in order to give more time to prayer and worship and meeting with Jesus will be a win for you and your family.

I am so grateful and thankful for each of you. I look forward to seeing you next week as we seek the Lord for breakthrough in our lives and the lives of those we love.

In His strength and love,

Jimmy

 

Prayer Time Locations

Monday and Wednesday: all prayer times are located in the Auditorium

Tuesday:

6:30 a.m. – Auditorium

Noon – Journey Room

6:30 p.m. – Underground (located in the main office building)

Fasting Tips

In anticipation of our corporate prayer and fast starting tomorrow, here are some practical tips to equip you for the safest and most faith-building experience possible. If you have a medical condition (hypoglycemia, pregnancy, etc.) or are taking medication, please consult your physician with any questions about fasting.

  • Have a purpose.
  • Set a definite beginning and ending time. Be accountable to someone if it is an extended fast.
  • If this is a new discipline for you, begin slowly. Start by fasting for one day and increase the number of days you fast over a period of time.
  • Always drink lots of water and/or juice.
  • Consult a doctor before beginning if you are on medication.
  • Set aside plenty of time for prayer during the fast.
  • Break it with healthy food — bread, fruit, nuts.
  • Make it a consistent part of your spiritual disciplines.

A New Year’s Letter from Jimmy – 2015

Dear Antioch Family,

I pray the holiday season was refreshing for each of you. During this season, we would normally take time to reflect and look forward to the new year. This helps us to realign our lives afresh to God’s purpose and Word to us.

For many years, my family and I have used this template to help us write down the word of the Lord to us and our roles and goals in the coming season. A question I always ask as we fill it out is, “What is going to be different this year than the past year that is going to help you fulfill all that God has called you to?” This always leads to family discussions that allow us to follow through with God’s direction and leadership in our lives.

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to order our days that we might present to you a heart of wisdom.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

It is through God’s initiated love and our response to Him that our destiny is ultimately created. I believe this simple exercise alone will help you clarify God’s journey for you. I have great love for all of you and I hope this helps.

If finances are an area you are prompted to focus on this year, I want to suggest you sign up for ReAlign – a Financial Equipping Course. And if you have some questions about God, or know someone who does, Alpha Course starts January 6th.

In His strength and love,

Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

A Christmas Letter from Jimmy – 2014

Merry Christmas Antioch Family!

Have you ever been running around your house looking for the keys when someone helping you says, “Hey, they were right here! Right in front of your nose!”?  I find that is similar to what happens in this season. We run around in circles looking for something that is literally right in front of our nose.

Every person is made for a relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is right in front of our nose.  Isaiah 9:6 says, “A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” This promise is true for everyone. God’s great love, counsel and care are there for us in the person of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

So what are a few ways that we can connect with Jesus, both individually and together as a family this holiday season? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start your day alone with Him. You can take passages like Psalm 103:1-6 and Isaiah 9:6-7 and pray through each verse. Pausing and spending time with Jesus, day by day, connects you with the one who created you.
  • Spend time with Jesus as a family.  Check out this post from our blog for creative Christmas family devotional ideas.
  • Most holidays, we pick a family game to play every day and build on it throughout the holiday. It can be a card game or a board game, and we find so much joy and love by doing something fun together.
  • Before you open presents on Christmas Day, read the story of Jesus from Luke 2:1-20 and sing one Christmas carol together.
  • Before each one opens a present encourage them in what you see in them and how God sees them. Take a moment to let them know that they are loved.
  • Take at least one day to put your phone down.  Decide on a certain time everyone can text or check their email, but take a few hours to resign from the frantic, constant communication and spend time together with your family. During this season, it is so important we pause and take time to engage with the great love Jesus has for us and our love for one another.
  • There are so many other things God may lead you to do. As you pray He may lead you to give to someone in need, love a neighbor or a family in a unique way or reach out to someone who is alone during this season. If you ask Him, He will lead you and your family to connect with Him and His great love by sharing His love with others.

Lastly Laura and I and our family are so blessed and thankful for each of you. Our prayer is that our love for Jesus and our love for one another would abound beyond anything we have ever experienced before.

In His strength and love,

Jimmy

Jimmy Seibert Endorses ReAlign

When we began Antioch, it was our desire to live out the New Testament, just as we read about in the Bible. We wanted to be people who weren’t just hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. We were committed to prayer, sharing our faith, discipleship, and reading the Bible and applying its truth to our lives.

We realized that if we were going to see people live radical lives for Jesus we would have to deal with the issues of money and possessions. When I look back at my years of church planting and church impact in our city, nation, and around the world, I cannot overstate the importance of dealing with the issue of money. Only when we set our hearts straight and align ourselves with doing it God’s way, instead of our own, can we fully embrace His purposes for our lives.

When Josh first came to me and shared his heart for helping people in the church neighborhood (one of the poorest zip codes in Texas) who struggled with finances we said, “Absolutely, we are with you. The only problem is we don’t have any money to fund that particular ministry.” How ironic. But, as God would have it, Josh said, “I believe so much in it that Jenny and I will live by faith. We will sacrifice, even financially, to see others set free.” And that is exactly what they have done. Josh began to facilitate an existing financial program on Sundays. During the first three years we saw more than three million dollars of debt eliminated, we saw people personally set free, marriages restored and healed, and miracles began to happen in the context of community. It was during this time that Josh began to develop his own curriculum with heaven and eternity as the foundation and where radical giving became more important than creating wealth and stability. So Josh and Jenny began to look at their lives, their friends’ lives and our experiences as a church community to shape and form what you are now about to experience through their new book, REALIGN.

I am so excited about this book and the curriculum. It provides very concrete and practical ideas/instruction/coaching so people can build their lives around Jesus and His purposes and not just self-interest. When that happens at a financial level, it will happen at every other level, and we will see the Kingdom of God made real. Until we touch the area of finances, our hearts will always be divided. But when we transform the area of finance, then people are set free to do anything that God would have them do in any area of the world.

This book is not just a recounting of principles, but evidence and fruit of a life well-lived by Josh and Jenny Lawson, their family and a community of people who have lived this out the last three decades. Enjoy! It will be life changing. Get your copy of ReAligned today.

Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor of Antioch Waco