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A Man After God's Own Heart.

John Stover serves as an elder and the  pastor of Genesis The Church. John is a bible-teaching pastor who desires for all to know Christ and make him known.  In addition to his pastor duties, John oversees the Christian education of the church.  His philosophy of ministry is that the body gathers for edification, and scatters for evangelism.

John and Joanne Stover grew up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. After meeting in high school they became sweethearts, and shortly after graduation were engaged and later married. As partners in marriage for forty years now they have faithfully served their Lord and His people. Before starting their family, John was employed as a structural and ornamental ironworking in local union, #3, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. After coming to know Christ as Savior, John received degrees from Dallas Bible College (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M), and Reformed Theological Seminary (D.Min). As partners in marriage for forty years now, they have faithfully served their Lord as pastor and wife for over twenty‐five years in ministry and raised two children who both love the Lord. The Lord has blessed them with five grandchildren. John also serves as an Associate Professor and formerly as Coordinator of Mentoring at Somerset Christian College in Zarephath, New Jersey, where he has taught courses in New Testament, Old Testament, Hermeneutics, Capstone I, Introduction to Christian Doctrine, Spiritual Life, Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Warfare. Dr. Stover now serves as pastor of Genesis The Church, in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.


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Topics of general interest.

The book of 2nd Corinthians is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). The Apostle Paul wrote it about 56 A.D. The key personalities of this book are the Apostle Paul, Timothy, and Titus. Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth to defend and protect his Apostleship, and to teach and warn against false teachers who were spreading heresy.

•    In chapters 1-7, Paul describes the characteristics of an Apostle. He explained that his ministry was to preach Jesus Christ alone and not himself, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (4:5).

Paul then explains that Christians will suffer. "we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed". It is promised to followers of Christ that they will suffer. Paul states that compared to eternity with Christ the sufferings of this world are temporary and have a purpose for us: "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

•    In chapters 8-9, He urges the Corinthians to give the offering to the believers in Judea, as they had promised. He taught that if they gave generously they would also “reap generously” (9:6).

•    Chapters 10-13 Paul defends his ministry and responds to attacks about his Apostleship. They had been questioning his authority and opposing him. Paul declares that if anyone preaches a different Gospel or a different Jesus, other than what Paul and the Apostles were preaching, they are false teachers and deceitful workers and should not be accepted.

In chapter 12 7-10, Paul explains a theology of his own suffering. He asks God to remove a suffering from His life but God refuses. God responds to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness". Paul understood that God is sovereign and in control over even his sufferings. Therefore, Paul embraces his suffering because God allows them into his life for a purpose regardless of how difficult they may be. In times of calamity, he understood that these were times when he depended on God's strength and mercy the most. Paul responds, "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with

distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong”. Paul knew he was the strongest when he felt the weakest because he depended on God, the one who has infinite strength.

The last thing Apostle Paul teaches in 2ndCorinthians is how to test yourself. If you want to know if you are a Christian, if you want to know if you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, than you must test yourself, “to see if you are in the faith”; examine yourself with Scripture (13:5).

The book of Ephesians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison). Paul wrote it about 60-62 A.D. The key personalities of Ephesians are the Apostle Paul and Tychicus. It was written to encourage believers to walk as fruitful followers of Christ and to serve in unity and love in the midst of persecution.

•    In chapters 1-3, Paul begins with the joyful truth that every believer has been chosen by God before the foundation of the world, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will" (1:4-5). Paul then teaches about the unity of believers. These are the truths and blessings that all believers have in common. He wrote that all Christians are “adopted as sons through Jesus Christ” (1:5). All believers are, “redeemed through His blood” (1:7), and “sealed by the Holy Spirit” (1:13). Paul continues on to clear up one of the most misconceived and/or often ignored subjects even to this day, “Salvation by Grace”. He wrote that salvation is by the “Grace” of God and that it is through “Faith”, and that no one can contribute to salvation, in any way, even with good deeds: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast'' (2:8-9).

•    In chapters 4-5, Paul encourages the believer to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling”. Every believer has a responsibility to live as servants of Jesus Christ. In these chapters, Paul teaches that it takes hard work to be in unity with others, and that we are to be “imitators of God” (5:1). He mentions imperative truths and advice for well functioning families, including husbands and wives who upon the oath of marriage become as “one flesh” (5:31). Paul explains the concept of a biblical marriage. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church (body of believers) and the way that Jesus Christ loved the church is the way that the husband must love his treasured wife, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (5:25). Paul doesn’t end there, he goes on to reinforce that husbands are to love their wives, "as their own bodies" and also to love their wives, "even as himself (vss 28;33).

When a husband learns to love his wife in this way, his wife usually has no issues fulfilling her role and even enjoys it, "the wife must see to it that she respects her husband" (vs 33).

• In chapter 6, Paul instructs believers how to prepare for spiritual battle by dressing in the “full armor of God” (6:11). Prayer is the key weapon of the Christian soldier. He emphasizes his principle with the repeated statement “stand firm”.

The genre of the book of Esther is Narrative History. Its author is anonymous however; some believe Mordecai, (Esther’s cousin and guardian), wrote it. It was written approximately 470 B.C. in Persia. Esther became queen in 479 B.C. The key personalities are Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes), and Haman.

Its purpose is to demonstrate God’s love and sovereignty in all circumstances. It is a post-exile story about Jews who stayed behind after most returned to Jerusalem after captivity. Babylon was conquered by Persia and Esther miraculously becomes the queen of the land, and saves her people.

•    In chapter 1-2, Esther becomes the queen to Ahasuerus of Persia. She was personally chosen by the King. “The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him” (2:17), probably because of her beauty and intelligence.

•    Chapters 3-4, Mordecai (Esther’s guardian) refused to bow down and pay homage to Haman a high official of the king. Haman becomes infuriated and plots to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom because of his pride. Mordecai hears of the plot and reports it to his Esther. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (4:14).

•    From chapters 5-10, Esther outwits Haman and takes her petition to the king and pleas for the protection of her Jewish people from Haman’s wicked stratagem. The king out of anger, has Haman hung on the gallows, which he had built to destroy all the Jews. Esther’s faith and courage saves her people.

The book of Galatians is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). It was written by the Apostle Paul about 49 A.D. prior to the Jerusalem Council which had taken place in 50 A.D. This quite possibly could have been Paul’s first letter. The key personalities of this book are the Apostle Paul, Peter, Barnabas, Abraham, Titus, and false teachers. Paul writes this book to deal with the problem of circumcision and Jewish legalism toward Gentile believers.

•    In chapters 1-2, Paul’s gives his testimony about how he had received the authentic Gospel message. He warns that if anyone presents another Gospel message other than the one he was preaching, that person is “As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (1:9). Paul was speaking of the one true Gospel that he had received; Please read 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.

Paul then declares that Christ now lives within him, and directs, and empowers him to live as Christ’s ambassador and instrument: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (2:2o).

•    Chapters 3-5:12, Paul begins by declaring that salvation is through faith and trust in Jesus Christ “Alone”, and cannot be obtained through the keeping of the Law. “Fou foolish Galatians! Who put you under a spell? Was not Jesus the Messiah clearly portrayed before your very eyes as having been crucified? I want to learn only one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started out with the Spirit, are you now ending up with the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3). The Law (10 Commandments) is our tutor to lead us to salvation in Jesus Christ, “the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (3:24). No one can obey the 10 Commandments. It is impossible. Every person has broken them; therefore, we can only attain salvation through trusting in our Savior Christ Jesus.

•    Chapters 5:13-6, He teaches the Fruits of the Spirit and tells us to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (5:16). Good works does not save, but a Christian must have the desire to produce good fruit, obey God’s Law and live a holy and righteous life in the eyes of God. Christians should live this redeemed life.

The genre of Genesis is a Narrative History, and Genealogies. It was written by Moses about 1450-1410 B.C. Key personalities include Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Joseph. This book was written to record God’s creation of the world and to demonstrate His love for all that He created.

Genesis is the first book of the Law and also the first book of the entire Bible. The name Genesis literally means “In the Beginning”. It explains the actual events of one of the most debated subjects of our current day...the origin of life. Genesis describes the Lord God, who is infinite and all-powerful, creating everything that exists, by the power of His spoken Word, out of nothing. He essentially creates material matter out of nonmaterial nothing.

•    In chapters 1-11:28, Moses explains the creation of all things, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (1:1). He quickly switches to the fall of man in sin and separation from God in chapter 3; then, how God implemented His judgment on the wicked earth. Through a universal flood and by selecting and sparing Noah, a faithful man, and his family, God wipes out humanity and starts again, with one secluded family.

•    From chapters 11:28-36, God begins to carry out His plan of redemption in the beginning stages of establishing His own nation of Israel. It is through Abraham, again one faithful man, which God calls and promises to bless with a multitude of people and through them bless the entire world, "...and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed" (12:3).

•    In chapters 37-50 God faithfully raises up and protects the generations from Abraham as He had promised, all the way through unto Joseph while in Egypt. God blesses Abraham’s son and their son’s. Through their disappointments and failures, He displays His power and sovereignty in their lives; but in at the end of the book of Genesis, God’s people are in a foreign land and wondering about the promise land.

The book of Jude is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). The author is Jude the brother of James, both of who are half-brothers of Jesus Christ. Jude wrote it circa 75 A.D. The purpose of this book is to address false teachings and to illustrate a contrast between the error of heresy and the truth of Jesus Christ. Jude consists of only one chapter.

•    In verses 1- 16, Jude identifies himself and quickly delves into the dilemma of false teachings. “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed” (vs. 4), heresy was obviously seeping into the region, disturbing the churches, and deceiving believers. He begins by illustrating similarities between false teachers and condemned individuals from the Old Testament citing Cain, Balaam, and Korah.

•    Verses 17-25, Jude urges Christians to “remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 17). He was referring to all of the apostles and disciples in the past, which had warned about false teachers and prophets that were coming to deceive. His advice is to focus on Jesus Christ and to watch out for each other so that no one is misled into error.

Those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ are secure in salvation, not by their own good deeds, because no one is good enough to do that, but believers are secure by the vicarious work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is only by, “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (vs. 24-25).

The literary genres of the book of Revelation are an Apocalypse, a Prophecy, and an Epistle (or Letter). The Disciple/Apostle John, who followed Jesus Christ and witnessed His crucifixion, authored it.

John wrote Revelation while a prisoner on the Island of Patmos, approximately 85-95 A.D. Its purpose is to give encouragement and hope for all Christians to continue watching for the return and triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ. It also is to warn of the Final Judgment that nonbelievers will endure on that Last Day.

John wrote that Revelation is special because, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near” (1:3).

•    In chapters 1-3, John describes the details of the setting as he received this revelation (unveiling of truth). John was elderly and imprisoned on the Island of Patmos when he received an apocalyptic vision from an angel. With this vision he was instructed to write to seven churches about what he had seen. Revelation 1:19, describes a basic outline of the entire letter written by John, “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things” this is the pattern that is followed by John. He describes of the seven churches their qualities and/or their weaknesses and failings (such as Sardis and Laodicea).

•    In chapters 4-20, John depicts what he sees in his vision about the Spiritual Realm. He describes Jesus Christ as the “Slain Lamb” who is the only one able to open the book with 7 seals. Aside from the 5th seal, each will bring a judgment upon the populace of the Earth. The 7th seal introduces 7 angels who each possess 7 trumpets, another series of daunting judgments. Incredibly, after the 6th trumpet in which 1/3 of the Earth’s population is killed, John claims, “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, DID NOT REPENT’ (9:20).

After this, John receives visions of which include the antichrist and Satan who is aware of his looming end. Next, John describes 7 more angles that will each carry 7 bowls of plagues to be poured onto the Earth. Again, amazingly, while hail is raining from heaven during the 7th plague, humankind does not repent but instead, “men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe” (16:21).

These fierce plagues demonstrate the wrath of God’s holy judgment upon the still wicked Earth.

John describes the eternality of Hell, the final resting place of the unbelieving. In 19:20, the antichrist and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire. One thousand years later after the millennium reign of Jesus Christ in 20:10, the devil is also cast into the Lake of Fire. We also see that the antichrist and the false prophet are still in torment, “day and night forever and ever” because John describes Hell as an eternal place of conscious torment.

• Finally, in chapters 21-22, John writes the last of the cannon of Scripture. Here he describes the New Heaven and the New Earth. In it is the holy city of the New Jerusalem. There will no longer be any crying or tears, pain, mourning, or death because, “the first things have passed away” (21:1). Only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter this place to live eternally with Jesus Christ who sits on His throne. “Come.”And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (22:17).

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (22:12-13).

The book of Romans is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). The Apostle Paul wrote it roughly about 56-57 A.D. The key personalities in the book of Romans are the Apostle Paul, and Phoebe who delivered this letter. Paul wrote the letter to the believers in Rome, hence the name “Romans”. He wrote it to give them a concrete theological foundation on which to construct their faith and to live for and serve God effectively.

The book of Romans reveals the answers to important questions and supplies information on many topics, such as salvation, the sovereignty of God, judgment, spiritual growth, and the righteousness of God. Many scholars also describe it as The Gospel and the Righteousness of God, which can be received only by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

The focus of the “righteousness of God” is foundational throughout the book of Romans. In fact, it is threaded through every section of the basic outline of this epistle. Paul reiterates this so that the reader may realize that salvation cannot be attained through man’s good deeds but only through faith in God’s righteousness: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes... For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith" (1:16-17). You cannot repair your relationship with God through your good deeds; this is only accomplished through faith in the perfect and finished work of Jesus Christ.

•    In chapters 1-8, Paul explains the fundamentals and foundations of the Christian faith. This is the Gospel Message, which all believers are commanded to share with the entire world. Some of the most popular and precious memorization passages about Salvation can be found in the first several chapters of Romans, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23). Paul teaches about the sinful nature of all men in the eyes of God, justification by faith in Jesus Christ, freedom from sin, and victory in Christ.

•    Chapters 9-11, Paul explains God’s sovereignty over salvation. He also spells out how an individual may come into a right relationship with God: "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." (10:13). Place your faith and trust only in what Jesus Christ has already done on the cross and make Him the Master of your life and trust He raised Himself from the grave conquering death. His promise is "You will be saved''.

• In chapters 12-16, Paul gives instructions for all Christians about how to live a holy lifestyle. In the beginning of chapter 12 he writes, “Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice”, and “Do not be conformed to this world” (vss. 1-2). Much of the errors and trials that Paul dealt with in his “Epistles”, were because the believers had conformed their lives to the world and not to God.

The book of 1stJohn is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It is written by the Disciple/Apostle John around 85-95 A.D. probably from Ephesus. The key personalities are the Apostles Peter and Paul. Its purpose was to warn about the increasing threat of false teachings and to reassure Christians of their faith and love in Jesus Christ.

It was written to combat false teachings that had to do with the denial that Jesus had a genuine human body (1:1). This Gnostic view of matter as being evil led to two responses, asceticism or licentiousness. He very clearly writes to give the true tests of a true Christian. These tests also contradicted the Gnostic licentious approach to Christianity. He gives several means to measure the reality of one’s conversion experience.

•    Chapters 1-2, John reassures believers explaining, “God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1:5). He wrote that if sins were confessed He would cleanse them, because Jesus is the propitiation for “the whole world” (2:2). Because John was aware of the continuing attack of false teachings, he then urged believers not to love and follow after the world because it was not of the Father, and would ultimately pass away. Discernment is necessary to thwart the constant attacks of heresy.

•    In chapters 3-4, He teaches about the love of God and that through His love He sent Jesus, “To destroy the works of the devil” (3:8). Therefore, believers should love each other not only with words but also, “in deed and truth” (3:18), as Jesus commanded.

•    Chapter 5, John exhorts Christians to live by faith because through our faith in Christ we overcome the wickedness of the world. In addition, John writes one of the most powerful and assuring statements concerning the work of Jesus on the cross, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (vs. 13). John wanted all believers to know 100%, that because of their faith and trust in Jesus Christ they would spend all of eternity with Him.

Sermon Series

  • ROMANS

    The book of Romans is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). The Apostle Paul wrote it roughly about 56-57 A.D. The key personalities in...

  • GALATIANS

    The book of Galatians is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). It was written by the Apostle Paul about 49 A.D. prior to the...

  • EPHESIANS

    The book of Ephesians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison). Paul wrote it about 60-62 A.D. The key personalities of Ephesians...

  • ESTHER

    The genre of the book of Esther is Narrative History. Its author is anonymous however; some believe Mordecai wrote it. 

  • JUDE

    The book of Jude is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). The author is Jude the brother of James, both of who are half-brothers of...

  • REVELATION

    The literary genres of the book of Revelation are an Apocalypse, a Prophecy, and an Epistle (or Letter), authored by the Apostle John.

  • 2 Corinthians

    The book of 2nd Corinthians is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth to defend and protect...

  • Genesis

    Genesis is a Narrative History, and Genealogies written by Moses about 1450-1410 B.C. Written to record God’s creation and to demonstrate His love.

  • General Topics

    General sermons tjat are not part of any series. These sermons are usually Holiday Messages or Topical Studies. From time to time we have...

  • 1 John

    The book of 1stJohn is a General Epistle written by the Disciple/Apostle John. Its purpose was to warn about the increasing threat of false...