A Message from Pastor Johnny

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” Isaiah 7:14


The past three years have presented us with so many challenges, the likes of which we have never faced before! Some of you may feel depleted and defeated, others might say “it doesn’t even feel like Christmas this year!” Well, I’m so thankful that our faith is not based on how we feel, but rather upon the truth of God’s Word and His faithfulness towards us!

We must admit that the Lord has been faithful, and remains faithful, it is His nature and we can rely upon Him! What a great God we serve!

So as this Advent Season is upon us, I remind us that the word Advent means “Coming” and as such, may we reflect upon the Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the weeks ahead!

Certainly as we celebrate together the Incarnation, that is, the fact that Jesus put on flesh and came to this earth, born of a virgin to die on the Cross in our place, to pay the price for our sins, so that we can be forgiven! What an amazing gift!

We look forward to this time of year for that reason, but we are also looking ahead with anticipation to the fact that Jesus is Coming again very soon!

That is our Blessed Hope as believers. The Bible tells us that we are to be looking for the appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ! Take heart, Jesus is coming soon, what a day that will be! In the meantime, let’s continue to share the Good News of the Gospel and make disciples of all Nations!

Be encouraged, trimming trees and exchanging presents is great, but may it not distract us from reflecting upon the Tree of Calvary and His presence within us and among us as the Lord had promised many years ago during some very dark and desperate days when the Prophet Isaiah wrote about the Messiah who was to come, that He would be called Immanuel - God With Us!

Know this precious believer, Jesus is with us, He is with you now, He has been with you in the past, and He has promised to be with you in the future! Take comfort in that, and as we celebrate Christmas this year, may it truly be a time where we desire more of Christ in our lives, as we surrender more of ourselves to Him and His will for each one of us!

May the light and love of Christ shine brightly from our lives into a lost, dark and desperately hurting World around us this Christmas Season!

In His service for His glory,

Pastor Johnny

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CRT

Hey everyone,

I’m sure by now many if not all of you have heard of “The Critical Race Theory.”

Perhaps you are un-informed or have been mis-informed regarding this extremely Divisive and may I even add Demonic social construct which is now permeating every aspect of our society and culture and sadly even certain parts of the Body of Christ as of late.

Either way, I highly encourage you to give a listen to a very brief and well done explanation and word or encouragement regarding CRT as it relates to us as believers given by my friend Pastor John Randall.

It is critical that we are educated and informed in this area that no one shames or takes advantage of you in anyway simply because of the God given color of your skin!

Enjoy!

God bless you!

Pastor Johnny

December 9

All ladies 16 and up welcome!

Join us as Tina Zacchio share's a Christmas Message.

If you can, bring a dish to share. If not, just come as you are.

Wear your ugliest Christmas Sweater!

Great Fellowship, Games & Prizes!

Morning Prayer Meeting

Join us Sunday Mornings for Prayer from 8AM to 8:30AM.

December 11

Special Advent Message with Pastor Johnny:

"Rejoicing in Peace"

John 14:25-27

Also available via the following platforms:

Church App, CCOGT Website, YouTube and Facebook.
Additional parking available in parking lot on Truman Avenue.

December 14

Message with Pastor Johnny:

"Repairing That Which Is Broken"

2 Kings 11-12

Also available via the following platforms:

Church App, CCOGT Website, YouTube and Facebook.
Additional parking available in parking lot on Truman Avenue.

Christmas Services

Mark Your Calendars and Join Us!

Be sure to invite your family and friends to our
special Christmas Services:

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - Saturday, December 24 at 5PM

Christmas Day Service - Sunday, December 25 at 11AM*

*Please Note: Christmas Day there will be only ONE Service at 11AM

Join Us!

Tour Dates: October 21-31, 2023

$4,998.00 Per Person - All Inclusive!

Travel through Italy, Greece and Turkey and experience
the Bible come to life!

Online Registration Coming Soon!

Opportunities to Serve

If you have been praying about how the Lord might use you here is your opportunity. We are in need of faithful servants who are available and willing to serve!

Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church

By John MacArthur

Friday, July 24, 2020

A Biblical Case for the Church’s Duty to Remain Open

Adopted by the Leadership of Calvary Chapel of Grace and Truth


Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). He is also King of kings—sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16).

Grace Community Church has always stood immovably on those biblical principles. As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture. Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.

Some will think such a firm statement is inexorably in conflict with the command to be subject to governing authorities laid out in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. Scripture does mandate careful, conscientious obedience to all governing authority, including kings, governors, employers, and their agents (in Peter’s words, “not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” [1 Peter 2:18]). Insofar as government authorities do not attempt to assert ecclesiastical authority or issue orders that forbid our obedience to God’s law, their authority is to be obeyed whether we agree with their rulings or not. In other words, Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 still bind the consciences of individual Christians. We are to obey our civil authorities as powers that God Himself has ordained.

However, while civil government is invested with divine authority to rule the state, neither of those texts (nor any other) grants civic rulers jurisdiction over the church. God has established three institutions within human society: the family, the state, and the church. Each institution has a sphere of authority with jurisdictional limits that must be respected. A father’s authority is limited to his own family. Church leaders’ authority (which is delegated to them by Christ) is limited to church matters. And government is specifically tasked with the oversight and protection of civic peace and well-being within the boundaries of a nation or community. God has not granted civic rulers authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church. The biblical framework limits the authority of each institution to its specific jurisdiction. The church does not have the right to meddle in the affairs of individual families and ignore parental authority. Parents do not have authority to manage civil matters while circumventing government officials. And similarly, government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.

When any one of the three institutions exceeds the bounds of its jurisdiction it is the duty of the other institutions to curtail that overreach. Therefore, when any government official issues orders regulating worship (such as bans on singing, caps on attendance, or prohibitions against gatherings and services), he steps outside the legitimate bounds of his God-ordained authority as a civic official and arrogates to himself authority that God expressly grants only to the Lord Jesus Christ as sovereign over His Kingdom, which is the church. His rule is mediated to local churches through those pastors and elders who teach His Word (Matthew 16:18–19; 2 Timothy 3:16–4:2).

Therefore, in response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely, we, the pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, respectfully inform our civic leaders that they have exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction, and faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services.

Said another way, it has never been the prerogative of civil government to order, modify, forbid, or mandate worship. When, how, and how often the church worships is not subject to Caesar. Caesar himself is subject to God. Jesus affirmed that principle when He told Pilate, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11). And because Christ is head of the church, ecclesiastical matters pertain to His Kingdom, not Caesar’s. Jesus drew a stark distinction between those two kingdoms when He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's” (Mark 12:17). Our Lord Himself always rendered to Caesar what was Caesar's, but He never offered to Caesar what belongs solely to God.

As pastors and elders, we cannot hand over to earthly authorities any privilege or power that belongs solely to Christ as head of His church. Pastors and elders are the ones to whom Christ has given the duty and the right to exercise His spiritual authority in the church (1 Peter 5:1–4; Hebrews 13:7, 17)—and Scripture alone defines how and whom they are to serve (1 Corinthians 4:1–4). They have no duty to follow orders from a civil government attempting to regulate the worship or governance of the church. In fact, pastors who cede their Christ delegated authority in the church to a civil ruler have abdicated their responsibility before their Lord and violated the God-ordained spheres of authority as much as the secular official who illegitimately imposes his authority upon the church.

Our church’s doctrinal statement has included this paragraph for more than 40 years: We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19–31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4–7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1–4).

In short, as the church, we do not need the state's permission to serve and worship our Lord as He has commanded. The church is Christ’s precious bride (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23–27). She belongs to Him alone. She exists by His will and serves under His authority. He will tolerate no assault on her purity and no infringement of His headship over her. All of that was established when Jesus said,

“I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). Christ’s own authority is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And [God the Father has] put all things in subjection under [Christ’s] feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:21–23). Accordingly, the honor that we rightly owe our earthly governors and magistrates (Romans 13:7) does not include compliance when such officials attempt to subvert sound doctrine, corrupt biblical morality, exercise ecclesiastical authority, or supplant Christ as head of the church in any other way.

The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church. Conversely, the church does not in any sense rule the state. Again, these are distinct kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both. Neither church nor state has any higher authority than that of Christ Himself, who declared, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

Notice that we are not making a constitutional argument, even though the First Amendment of the United States Constitution expressly affirms this principle in its opening words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The right we are appealing to was not created by the Constitution. It is one of those unalienable rights granted solely by God, who ordained human government and establishes both the extent and the limitations of the state's authority (Romans 13:1–7). Our argument therefore is purposely not grounded in the First Amendment; it is based on the same biblical principles that the Amendment itself is founded upon. The exercise of true religion is a divine duty given to men and women created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27; Acts 4:18–20; 5:29; cf. Matthew 22:16–22). In other words, freedom of worship is a command of God, not a privilege granted by the state.

An additional point needs to be made in this context. Christ is always faithful and true (Revelation 19:11). Human governments are not so trustworthy. Scripture says, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). That refers, of course, to Satan. John 12:31 and 16:11 call him “the ruler of this world,” meaning he wields power and influence through this world’s political systems (cf. Luke 4:6; Ephesians 2:2; 6:12). Jesus said of him, “he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). History is full of painful reminders that government power is easily and frequently abused for evil purposes. Politicians may manipulate statistics and the media can cover up or camouflage inconvenient truths. So a discerning church cannot passively or automatically comply if the government orders a shutdown of congregational meetings—even if the reason given is a concern for public health and safety. The church by definition is an assembly. That is the literal meaning of the Greek word for “church”— ekklesia—the assembly of the called-out ones. A non-assembling assembly is a contradiction in terms. Christians are therefore commanded not to forsake the practice of meeting together (Hebrews 10:25)— and no earthly state has a right to restrict, delimit, or forbid the assembling of believers. We have always supported the underground church in nations where Christian congregational worship is deemed illegal by the state. When officials restrict church attendance to a certain number, they attempt to impose a restriction that in principle makes it impossible for the saints to gather as the church. When officials prohibit singing in worship services, they attempt to impose a restriction that in principle makes it impossible for the people of God to obey the commands of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. When officials mandate distancing, they attempt to impose a restriction that in principle makes it impossible to experience the close communion between believers that is commanded in Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, and 1 Thessalonians 5:26. In all those spheres, we must submit to our Lord.

Although we in America may be unaccustomed to government intrusion into the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, this is by no means the first time in church history that Christians have had to deal with government overreach or hostile rulers. As a matter of fact, persecution of the church by government authorities has been the norm, not the exception, throughout church history. “Indeed,” Scripture says, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Historically, the two main persecutors have always been secular government and false religion. Most of Christianity’s martyrs have died because they refused to obey such authorities. This is, after all, what Christ promised: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). In the last of the beatitudes, He said, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12) As government policy moves further away from biblical principles, and as legal and political pressures against the church intensify, we must recognize that the Lord may be using these pressures as means of purging to reveal the true church. Succumbing to governmental overreach may cause churches to remain closed indefinitely. How can the true church of Jesus Christ distinguish herself in such a hostile climate? There is only one way: bold allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even where governments seem sympathetic to the church, Christian leaders have often needed to push back against aggressive state officials. In Calvin's Geneva, for example, church officials at times needed to fend off attempts by the city council to govern aspects of worship, church polity, and church discipline. The Church of England has never fully reformed, precisely because the British Crown and Parliament have always meddled in church affairs. In 1662, the Puritans were ejected from their pulpits because they refused to bow to government mandates regarding use of the Book of Common Prayer, the wearing of vestments, and other ceremonial aspects of state-regulated worship. The British Monarch still claims to be the supreme governor and titular head of the Anglican Church.

But again: Christ is the one true head of His church, and we intend to honor that vital truth in all our gatherings. For that preeminent reason, we cannot accept and will not bow to the intrusive restrictions government officials now want to impose on our congregation.

We offer this response without rancor, and not out of hearts that are combative or rebellious (1 Timothy 2:1–8; 1 Peter 2:13–17), but with a sobering awareness that we must answer to the Lord Jesus for the stewardship He has given to us as shepherds of His precious flock. To government officials, we respectfully say with the apostles, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge” (Acts 4:19). And our unhesitating reply to that question is the same as the apostles’: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Our prayer is that every faithful congregation will stand with us in obedience to our Lord as Christians have done through the centuries.

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NY Voter's Guide / Registration

We as Believers and followers of Jesus Christ must be diligent to go out and Vote according to our Biblical beliefs as found in the Word of God regarding the upcoming Primary Elections this November!

Provided below is a line for the Voter Guide for NY State.

Please look at the policies of the Candidates and Vote towards righteousness!

The main issues to consider when Voting for a candidate:

• Protecting Life in the Womb

• Protecting Biblical Marriage

• Protecting Biblical Gender

• Protecting our Children from the LGBTQ+ agenda in public schools and abroad

• Protecting our Children from the Woke, Racist agenda and ideologies being pushed through C.R.T.

I remind us that these are not "political" issues, these are Biblical issues!

If you are not registered to vote, please click on the link provided below to register!

Please note you must register to vote 30 days prior to Election Day which is November 8th 2022. We are also gearing up to provide that opportunity for you to do so at the Church.

This is a very critical time in the History of our Nation; the Church is called to be Salt and Light in the midst of the darkness! The Gospel is the only hope for our Nation and the Gospel must effect every area of our lives!

Let’s continue to pray and act in accordance to God’s Truth!

God bless!

Pastor Johnny

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The Global Reset

Join Charlie Kirk, Founder and President of Turning Point USA, and Pastor Jack as they discuss the Great Reset and the coming New World Order as it relates to Bible prophecy and modern-day politics!

A Coalition of Faith!

Be sure to watch this very important and informative discussion with Charlie Kirk, Pastor Jack Hibbs, Rob McCoy and guests as they share the importance of Faith and Liberty as Charlie introduces a new initiative: "Turning Point Faith!"

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May 31, 2020 Pentecost Sunday

Our first Drive-In Service was a blessing! Please click below to see highlights from our Service.

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CC Grace and Truth
1373 Nepperhan Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10703

Ph: 914-410-4830
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Wednesday: 7PM

Sunday: 9AM & 11AM