Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church

God’s anger

“He [God] is never provoked without reason.  It is evil alone which provokes Him, and necessarily so since God must be (and behave) like God.  If evil did not provoke Him to anger He would forfeit our respect, for He would no longer be God.”

John Stott, The Cross of Christ

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The Rock Jesus – the thirst is over

Scripture readings:

  • Exodus 17:1-17
  • John 7: 14-39

Introduction

Just about two weeks ago we observed Armistice Day.  It meant the end of the war in which 17 million soldiers died and 20 million were wounded.  We need dates to help us remember.

In 1969 the BeeGees had a hit song “Don’t forget to remember.”  The chorus says, “In my heart lies a memory, to tell the stars above.  Don’t forget, to remember me my love.

Don’t forget to remember.  The Bible has the same message:

… then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:11–12, NIV)

Israel were reminded of different things:

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm… (Deuteronomy 5:15, NIV)  

Moses also told them to remember something else:

Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. (Deuteronomy 9:7, NIV)

In fact, the different feasts of Israel were designed for remembrance:  Passover, The Feast of the Weeks, and the Purim Feast.

Our reading from John chapter 7 takes us to Jerusalem during the Feast of the Tabernacles.  The Feast of Tabernacles was designed to help the people remember the Exodus from Egypt; it reminded the Jews of their wandering and dwelling in booths in the wilderness (Leviticus 23:43).

Sleeping and living in the temporary shelters they needed to remember how God provided for them:  He gave them manna, meat in the form of quals, and protection from their enemy.  He dwelt with them – right in there midst in the tabernacle.  He ministered mercy to them in the form of priests and sacrifices.  And they remembered how He provided water out of the rock – the last place anyone thought water could come from.

Jesus, the Father’s Word

Let’s keep in mind the words of John in chapter 1:

Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. (John 1:14, NET)

This “took up residence” takes us to a word, which for centuries before John wrote his Gospel, plainly just meant “pitching a tent”.  Israel’s Old Testament history is shaped by tent-living.  Even God’s presence in Israel during the journey through the desert is expressed in Him living in the Tent of Meeting, or the Tabernacle, which was a tent.  In some sense then John says that God again in the Jesus Christ made his residence (or tabernacle) with his people.

John also right in the beginning of his Gospel introduced Jesus as the Word, who was with God and who was God.

So, in our reading today, when Jesus appeared in Jerusalem during the Feast of the Tabernacles is extremely significant.  More so when Jesus started to preach,

“My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me.If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority. (John 7:16–17, NET)

Christ is the Word of the Father.  There were many other rabbis present in Jerusalem during festivals.  It was almost like schools and boarding schools showcasing their curricular excellency, as well as their extra-curricular programs to attract students.  Every rabbi showcased his knowledge to attract students for their schools.  But Jesus did not draw attention to Himself; that would push Him on the foreground, and not the Father.

And purely because He was from the Father, and because He was God, He completely fulfilled all the requirements of the Law of Moses.  In spite of the fact that He never disobeyed the Law, and yet the leaders wanted to kill Him.  They might have been good rabbis and teachers, but they had no grasp of the Law, which was about Him.  They were concerned about a man carrying his bed on a Sabbath after he had been paralysed for 38 years, but not about his well-being.  They did whatever they could to circumcise a child on the Sabbath day to make a Jew of him, but Jesus fulfilled the Law in a different way.  Listen:

But if a male child is circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken, why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? (John 7:23, NET)

The journey through the desert for Israel always meant that something better will come:  a permanent land, homes , and most of all freedom to worship God.  But the land which Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David and others by faith saw – which is heaven, the home not built by hands, but by Christ – they lost sight of.  And now Christ stood in their midst – God who tabernacled with them, the the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, the One declared to them by the Holy Spirit that He is indeed the Son of God – and the only thing they wanted to do to Him was to kill Him.

My friend, our message is not about a man who lived 2000 years ago.  Our message is about the God/man, Christ, who took up residence amongst us – indeed, the Man who fulfilled the demands of the Law of Moses to become our righteousness.  Before him we bow and Him we worship as Lord and Saviour because we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only who came from the Father.

Some people in Jerusalem heard Him teach, and saw Hm perform miracles.  They had different opinions about Him.  Some thought He was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God, and they believed in Him.  Others ridiculed Him.  The Pharisees issued an edict for his death.  Where do you stand with Him?

Christ – the Father’s mission

Listen to what our Lord says:

I have not come on my own initiative, but the One who sent Me is true. You do not know him, but I know Him, because I have come from Him and He sent Me.” (John 7:28–29, NET)

Listen carefully to the words of our Lord:  The Father sent Him.  He knows the Father because He came from the Father. But we don’t know the Father.  Do we now understand why Jesus said that He is the gate (John 10:7-9); and later on He said, “No one comes to the Father but by Me”? (John 14:6).  Peter said to the Jewish Council,

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, NET)

The mission on which God sent Jesus had one purpose:  through his life, death and resurrection those who by nature do not know the Father may get to know Him.

To underscore this the Pharisees and other who did not believe in Him had no idea what our Lord talked about when He told them that He would be with them for only a short time and then He would go away.  But because of their unbelief and stubbornness of heart they could not follow – they rejected the only One who could take them to the Father.  “If you knew Me, you would have known my Father also.” (John 7:19)  The opposite is painfully true:  “If you don’t know Me, you would not know my Father.

How different was the circumstance in John 14 when Jesus spoke to his disciples about the same thing.  They were troubled about Him going to the Father, but He comforted them and assured them that He is going to prepare a place for them and that He will come back again to take them to the Father.

Here we are again confronted with the fact of the mission of Christ:  to make the Father known to us and to take us to the Father.  He is the only One who can do it.  The Pharisees banked on their now righteousness of good works of the Law.  It leads us to the question:  What do you bank on to go to heaven?  There is no backdoor into heaven.

Christ – the Father’s provision

This takes us to verse 37:

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37–38, NIV)

This day had the special distinction that it was the last festival day in the entire Jewish church year and was called “the last good day”, “the sacred close of the year”.

Each morning during the seven days of the feast, at the time of the sacrifice, a priest proceeded to the fountain of Siloah with a golden pitcher, filled it with water, and, accompanied by a solemn procession, bore it to the altar of burnt sacrifice, pouring the water, together with the contents of a pitcher of wine from the drink offering, into two perforated flat bowls. The trumpets sounded, and the people sang Isa. 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” It was a remembrance of the water that gushed out of the rock at Meribah as we read about it today in Exodus 17.

As the first redeemer (Moses) caused the spring to arise when he divided the rock in Horeb, so the last Redeemer will cause water to rise up, as it is written: A fountain shall come forth of the house of God.

Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:4 refers to the rock in the desert as Christ.  Without that water in the desert the people would have died.  Without Christ there is no life.  He is God’s provision for life.  The women at the well drank of this water and she never thirsted again.  He who believes in Christ will never hunger or thirst again (John 6:35).  His Spirit gives the new birth and makes us children of God, not born of the will of a man, but born of God.  This is the only way we can know God!

Conclusion

It’s unwise to forget to remember.  It is foolish to remember but not know what it means.  It is dangerous, to stand in the presence of Him who is the reason why we must remember – and then turn away and don’t pay attention.  Remember: the Rock is Jesus who gives eternal live through the forgiveness of sins.

Amen.

Sermon preached by Rev D. Rudi Schwartz on Sunday 27 November 2016

Jesus Christ, our eternal food and drink

Readings:

Isaiah 55:1-8, John 6:25-51

Introduction

My dear brothers and sisters, I read this just yesterday:

I walk up to the grocery cupboard looking for food, but the only things I see are the ingredients.

Ready-made meals can be so convenient.  Mothers who labour long hours in the kitchen to prepare meals for their families might just love the idea to not put together the ingredients and actually prepare the meals.

The crowd who, seeing Him multiply the bread, followed our Lord only for the bread.  Jesus Christ said to them,

I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. (John 6:26, NIV)

It therefore seems quite possible to be a follower of Jesus Christ purely for the earthly benefit it might bring.  There are some churches who preach what is called prosperity theology, or the name-and-claim theology.  This teaching misleads people to claim certain things they want in the name of Jesus Christ and then believe they will receive it.  If it doesn’t work out, they are told to try harder, confess secret sins, and even put more money in the plate so that the good times can start rolling.

But our Lord taught those who followed Him just for earthly comfort something we need to learn today too.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15,

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19, NIV)

The best food in the universe

Some people just buy brand products; they won’t not even have a pain tablet if it doesn’t have a known brand stamp on it.  Generic medicine is considered to be less effective, irrespective of the fact that all the ingredients are the same.

Jesus is the best food in the universe: it endures forever – He has no use-by date; and on top of it, He bears the seal of the Father.

For on Him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. (John 6:27, NIV)

Don’t you find it interesting that our Lord addressed the crowd who was following Him for a free feed, warned them to not work for food that does not spoil?

This can mean two things:  it can literally mean that we can be so occupied with this cares of this life, the we lose sight of eternity.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus thought his disciples,

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19–21, NIV)

So, let’s search our hearts today:  where is our treasure?  What are we working for? What do we put our trust in? Some years ago the morning news broke telling the world the bank robbers had dug a tunnel under a busy city intersection right into the vault of a bank and blasted the safety boxes open, only to disappear with jewellery, diamonds, and even gold bullion.  Many people were pictured outside the bank, hopelessly crying.  There were even those with emotionless faces – they probably had some undeclared treasure, then lost, which they could not even report as stolen.

Don’t work for food that spoils.  As the saying goes, “Death shrouds do not have pockets.

The second warning which the words of our Lord contains is what was so typical of the teaching of the Pharisees:  do your best, work hard as you follow the Lord, and He will reward you with eternal life.  And this is not limited to the Pharisees.  How many times have my courage sunken under the floor boards when I hear good church people say (when you ask them about their relationship in the Lord), “Well I try my hardest.”

No!  Stop trying your hardest.  Good works do not get anyone in heaven.  Our merits don’t count.  It doesn’t matter how hard we work to gain eternal life, it will always fall short.  How terrible must it be for someone who has devoted all his or her energy in being good, relying on own effort to enter eternity, to one day stand at heaven’s door only to hear, “Away from Me, you evildoers; I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)  This is in spite of what they might bring to heaven’s door,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ (Matthew 7:21–22, NIV)

How hard it might be to hear this, it remains the truth; our Lord said it.

What does it cost?

If we have to “work” for food that does not spoil, how much does it cost?  More than that, if we cannot work to get into the kingdom of God, what are the “works” of the Kingdom of God?

This was precisely the question to our Lord that day.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” (John 6:28, NIV)

Listen to the reply of Christ,

“The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:29, NIV)

Faith is not a work; to believe is not a set of good works.  What is it then?  Can I just interrupt myself here and go the verse we read earlier from Isaiah 55:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. (Isaiah 55:1, NIV)

Have you thought about this verse?  If we don’t have money, and if the wine and milk cost nothing, how can we buy it?  This takes us back to John 6:  to work is to believe in the One God sent. How does that work?  Listen carefully; this is the heart of the Gospel:  we don’t work for our salvation; Jesus Christ did.  We believe in Him, we set our hope in Him, we put our trust in Him – what then happens is this:  the work which He has done to satisfy the righteousness of the Father, is reckoned to us as righteousness.  By faith through grace an exchange happens:  my guilt and sin are put on Him, and his righteousness is put on me.  That’s why He died on the cross, and that’s why He rose again.  Paul writes in Philippians 3 that he understood that all his self-righteousness was nothing more than rubbish.  When he understood God’s grace in Jesus Christ he said that only wanted to

… be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:9, NIV)

So, when the people asked Jesus about a miracle He could do so that they could believe that He really and actually did the work of the Father, He pointed them to Himself and the mission He would complete:

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51, NIV)

His birth, his life, his death, his sacrifice, his resurrection is the miracle of God’s salvation.  When the people wandered through the desert God gave them manna.  That was indeed a miracle – it provided for them till they entered the Promised Land.  The life, death and resurrection of Christ are the ultimate manna. More than that, He is the Promised Land!  He gave his life for the world!  His body and his sacrifice satisfied that wrath of God upon sin, and provided righteousness and eternal life!

How much does this eternal bread cost?  Nothing!  It is free!  But listen: the price is your life.  Nicodemus learned that he needed a new life; the woman at the well, after meeting the Messiah, lived a new life.  The man at the pool was told, “Stop sinning!”  Jesus told the Pharisees in order to have this life, they had to come to Him and have life – they had to leave behind all self-effort and trust Christ.

They same applies to us today: to be a disciple of Christ is to leave behind a life of self-effort, to take up our cross and follow Him.  The reward is literally out of this world.

Is it available for me?

Yes!  When?  Now! How can I say this?  Listen:

All those the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away. (John 6:37, NIV)

So, if you hear the call of the Gospel, and you come to Christ to trust in Him only and entrust you life into his hands, with the desire to please Him in all you do – even if it means hardship and battle – the invitation says “whoever comes to Me I will never drive away.” To this our Lord adds,

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40, NIV)

Listen to these words of Christ,

Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35, NIV)

Take note of the tense:  it’s present tense; not past tense – it speaks of a living relationship.  It is not build upon what you believed somewhere in the past; no, it speaks of an ongoing life in Him, an ongoing eating and drinking from Him.

Endlessly more than manna

Just a last thought:  The Israelites in the desert had to gather the manna every morning; when the sun set it was stale and went off.  Not so with the Bread of Life.  He has no use-by date.  He is eternal, and who feeds on Him is eternally satisfied.

Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. (John 6:49–50, NIV)

Conclusion

After we listen to the Good News about eternal life, I just want to point out to you what John 6:44 says:  “I will raise Him up in the last day.”  Do you get the impact of these words?  He who gives eternal life, is the One who will open the grave.  If you look into his face now and see you Saviour, hold this thought in your heart: the first One you will see when the greaves are opened on the last day, will be your Saviour.  What a glorious thought!  Amen.

Sermon preached by Rev D. Rudi Schwartz on 20 November 2016

God’s holiness

It is more characteristic of us to clap our hands with joy than to blush with shame and tears. We saunter up to God to claim his patronage and friendship; it does not occur to us that He might send us away. We need to hear again the apostle Peter’s sobering words: “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives in reverent fear”  … We learn to appreciate the access to God which Christ has won for us only after we have first seen God’s inaccessibility to sinners.  We can cry ‘Hallelujah’ with authenticity only after we have first cried ‘Woe is me, for I am lost.'”

John Stott, The Cross of Christ

Crossing over from death to life

(John 5:16-30, Ezekiel 37:1-14)

Mercy – the work of Father and the Son

The first few verses of John 5 tells the story of our Lord coming to the aide of the helpless who superstitiously stared at the signs of moving water and then hoped to get in first and be healed.  One chap sat there for years, maybe all thirty eight years of him being invalid, and he was still in desperate need to be healed.

What a sad scene:  a multitude of individuals – blind, lame and paralysed – at the Pool of Bethesda with a desire to be helped and be restored.  This is sad a picture of helplessness.

This is the picture of a world without Christ.  This is the world of John 1:  a dark world, and darkness did not understand light.  But God’s eternal plan of salvation was put into place:  a new creation was about to called into existence.  So, God sent his Son to be the light;  God sent his Holy Spirit to give new birth.

On a Sabbath day, Jesus Christ stood amongst them.  “Do you want to be healed?” “Who’s talking?  I have been waiting thirty eight years, but I can’t get in the water; there’s always another stumbler in my way.”

With a word his desire became reality. “Get up, take up your bed, and walk”, our Lord said.  Jesus Christ just spoke a word, just like his Father in the beginning – and the Light brought forth life.  The man was healed and restored.

The Pharisees saw the man walking and complained about him carrying his bed on a Sabbath!  For years they did not even see him in is misery.  Like blood hounds they immediately wanted to know who allowed it to happen.  When they found Jesus He said,

“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:17, NIV)

Just in the previous chapter Jesus told his disciples, “My food, is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34, NIV).  In verse 36 Jesus said,

“For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. (John 5:36, NIV)

When God created the heavens and the earth He did so because He wanted to; He was under no obligation to do so.  When He created Adam and Eve, He did so because He wanted to.  When He gave them the garden to live to provide for them, and when He put them above all created things to rule over, He showed his mercy to them.  That He did not consume them in his hatred of sin when they then rebelled against Him and sin, was an act of mercy.

When He sent Jesus Christ, who was with Him from the very beginning, to be the light and life of the world, providing a way out of the mess of sin and darkness, He did so as an act of mercy.

“For so God loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

God’s rest on the Sabbath Day was for Him to continue his work – after the fall in paradise this work was a work of mercy.  Jesus came as God to do the same work:  He shows mercy and restores the sick, the blind and the lame – those who could not do anything for themselves.  He gave them new life.

Such are we:  in regards to salvation we can’t help ourselves.  We need a Saviour – and He has come!  He has authority from the Father, because with the Father He has been eternally God.

His work is a work of mercy. This mercy shines bright against the fall when man swung his fist against God and all of creation, of which God said “it was very good”, and corrupted everything with sin.  The cycle of work and rest was interrupted; it became work and death.  Death and sorrow entered and became part of our life.  But exactly because of this, when Christ came to deal with sin and death, He became our eternal rest; He became our Sabbath.

For this they nailed Him to a cross. Because He restored works of mercy on the day of the Lord, and because He said He was equal to God, they killed Him.  But who can kill God?  Acts 2 states,

But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. (Acts 2:24, NIV)

Now Hebrews says,

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9–10, NIV)

To be saved is to enjoy an eternal Sabbath of rest in Christ.  But there is a warning for us,

For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. (Hebrews 4:2, NKJV)

We hear this warning in the same breath as we hear of God the Father and the Son’s work of mercy.

Life – a gift from the Father and the Son (verses 24-30)

It is not possible to honour the Father and not honour the Son.

He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him. (John 5:23, NKJV)

But the opposite is also true:

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24, NIV)

The words of our Lord are the words of the Father.  The words of the Father right in the beginning brought forth light and life.  The Spirit of God brings to life the Word of the Father and breathes life into the valley of dead bones.  Jesus said the time has come for the dead to the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  He is God.  He gives life.

He is speaking right now, here in this congregation.  All over the world today people will hear his word and those who are enabled to hear that word, their hearts will be moved by the Spirit of God to receive that word.  They will repent, believe, come to the Saviour, hear that they will not be condemned if they trust and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

More than that: even if they one day die in Him, they will be a day when He will appear on the clouds.  He will then call them.  They will hear his voice and will be raised to life, because our Lord declared at the grave of his friend Lazarus,

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26, NIV)

But let this be very clear for us listening to this today:  verse 22 states clearly,

The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. (John 5:22–23, NIV)

There will be a last day.  The Bible calls it judgement day.  Matthew 25 tells us of that day:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. (Matthew 25:31–33, NIV)

Revelation 20 talks about all of us appearing before the throne of God.  The books will be opened – and if our righteousness on that day is not the righteousness of Christ, we will stand condemned.  “Those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”

The advice of the Bible today is not wait for that day to listen to voice of Christ calling you to life.  Instead, listen – He is calling now.  Those who hear his word and believe in Him who sent Christ have crossed over from death to life.

The Scriptures – good news about salvation (verses 31-47)

There are two ways to read and study the Scriptures:  on is to find rules and regulations to live a good life in the hope to gain some brownie points to be saved.  This is what the Pharisees did.  Jesus said,

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. (John 5:39, NIV)

The other way is to read the Bible and hear the word of Christ calling.  To understand that He is our life, our door to the Father, our Shepherd who laid down his life for us.  The Word of God dwells in them for they believe in the One He sent to be their righteousness in order to be forgiven and be saved.

After World War II the Nuremberg trials gained much attention because of a so-called “superior orders defence” principle. German officers who actually gassed millions of Jews pleaded not guilty because”an order is an order”:   Because Hitler issued the order, he must be responsible for their crimes, they simply obeyed a lawful order.

But this principle did not help them.  The court applied the  principle that no person is not relieved him from his responsibility under international law if a moral choice was in fact possible to him.  We are responsible for our actions

The same applied to the Pharisees, and of course to those who heard the voice of Christ, yet rejected it.  In other words, we cannot put the blame on anyone than ourselves if we heard the Gospel and did nothing about it.  Jesus Christ said,

These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me and have life. (John 5:39-40, NIV)

There is a danger in hearing the Word and then “make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God.” (5:44)

Conclusion

My dear friend, the hardest thing for us is to see ourselves sit at the well – sick, lame, blind, crippled – and to admit that we are as good as dead.

But then again – and this is a work of mercy – what is easier than hearing the word, to believe, to honour God, and to cross from death into life?

Listen to what Jesus says, “I tell you this so that you may be saved.” (5:34)

He calls you to a new life in Him.  Listen, do not refuse to come to Him and have life. (5:40).  On the contrary, make an effort to obtain the praise that comes for the only God (5:44).  Then only will the day of judgment be a day of eternal happiness.  The contrary is too scary to consider.

Amen.

Sermon preached by Rev D. Rudi Schwartz on 6 November 2016

Wrong questions and answers

The reason why many people give the wrong answers to questions about the cross, and even ask the wrong questions, is that they have carefully considered neither the seriousness of sin, nor the majesty of God.

John Stott, The Cross of Christ