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Monday, November 9, 2015

What will you say? Renmark West and Renmark Uniting Church Service 8/11/15

It was once again my privilege to lead the service at these two churches this last weekend.
I occasionally do this as a visiting lay person.
Here are the Bible Readings,my message and the order of service.  Geoff Thompson



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Renmark Uniting Church Service 8/11/15


Bible readings:Heb 9:24-28; Ephesians 2:2-6

Heb9:24-28

24 For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Friend. It was not in the earthly place of worship that he did this, for that was merely a copy of the real temple in heaven. 25 Nor has he offered himself again and again, as the high priest down here on earth offers animal blood in the Holy of Holies each year. 26 If that had been necessary, then he would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But no! He came once for all, at the end of the age, to put away the power of sin forever by dying for us.
27 And just as it is destined that men die only once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and he will come again, but not to deal again with our sins.
This time he will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for him.
Ephesians 2
Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins. You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord. All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.
But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again[a] when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved— and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.

Sermon:   “What will you say?”

27 And just as it is destined that men die only once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and he will come again, but not to deal again with our sins.
This time he will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for him.
Today we are going to consider the judgement that awaits us all.

I am going to lead into that with a true story that could qualify as a children’s talk but after all we are God’s children.

Luke 12:6Amplified Bible (AMP)

Are not five sparrows sold for two [a]copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God.
In some countries sparrows and songbirds are still sold for food.

Matthew 10:29-31J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

29-31 “Two sparrows sell for a farthing, don’t they? Yet not a single sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Never be afraid, then—you are far more valuable than sparrows.
God cares even if a sparrow falls to the ground.

How much more will He care about us.

You might find that hard to believe that God cares about the sparrows.

Not only does He care about sparrows but about blackbirds and very other creature in His creation.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving down our street and I caught a flash of black on the side of my car and then heard a thump.

A blackbird had flown into the side of my car.

I drove another 50 yards to our place and looked back.

I could see this black shape on the road.

I thought the poor thing is probably dead.

It was a hot day and my first impulse was “Oh well bad luck I’ll just leave him there.”

But this verse about God and the sparrows came into my head.

I thought I better go back and check on him.

He was lying flat on his back on the road and seemed to be twitching a bit.

I thought yes he’s dead.

I decided to pick him up by the tail and dispose of him humanely.

He immediately flipped over onto his front but was unable to support himself on is legs.

Remembering the rich legacy of Dud Foweraker and Lesley who have cared for and rescued many birds I picked him up gently and took him back to our place.

I think I assured him that God cared and he might get better.

That was all in my thinking anyway.

I got him home, put him in a box with a bowl of water and talked reassuringly to him.

His eyes were open, he was breathing heavily and his beak was open and not moving.

I put a little water in his beak to no response.

Over the next couple of hours I checked on him.

He had managed to stand up a bit and had his eyes closed but as soon as he was aware of my presence his eyes opened wide and he looked at me.

I had to go out so Lesley had come home and I put her in charge.

She took him down the backyard where we have lots of birds and she turned her back at one stage and on looking back he had flown off.

This sounds like a children’s talk I know but we are all God’s children.

God showed that He does care at that level.

He had prompted me to act on His word.

(we probably should have sung “Morning has broken,blackbird has spoken” this morning)

How much more does He care about you and me?

Now the Bible does not teach about what happens when birds and animals die and whether they go to Heaven.

I like to think they do.

The Bible does say that the whole of creation is groaning in travail.
“Romans 8:
22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”

Creation itself is awaiting the return of our Saviour and redemption.

So what has this story got to do with the Judgement of God.

The Bible doesn’t teach that animals and birds etc have to repent and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They are caught up in our sin.

The Bible does tell us that we have to respond to the claims of Jesus on our lives.

There are clear instructions for us.

What do we want to happen to us when we pass from this world?

Do we fear the Judgement?


Have we come to the place in our spiritual life where if we were to die tonight, we would know for certain that we would go to heaven?

 Suppose that we were to die tonight and stand before God and He were to say to us, “Why should I let you into my heaven,” what would we tell Him?

Our Bible reading today,Hebrews 9:27,28, says that after death comes the Judgement.

The truth is that we need to have these questions well and truly settled before we die.

When we die our destiny has already be settled.

One way or another.

You might remember back to one of my earlier messages where we talked about Nicodemus and Jesus told him he needed to be born again.

It is too late to be born again after we die.

We need to enter into eternal life before then.

If we are Christians we already have entered Heaven.

Not physically , but certainly positionally.

As Christians we are seated with Him already in Heavenly realms or places.

Ephesians 2Living Bible (TLB)

But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again[a] when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved— and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.
and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.
Put more simply we can, as we walk in the light of what Jesus has done for us, we can begin to enjoy the benefits of Heaven now.

In John 3 we read this

This is from the encounter Jesus had with Nicodemus
16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son[c] so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
18 “There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust him to save them. But those who don’t trust him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God.

We should be fully aware of the following
1.     There is a judgement after death to be applied to all mankind as sinners.
2.     God has provided in Jesus a way for us to avoid Judgement and Condemnation
3.     We need to respond to the way He has provided. The way of the Cross of Christ.
4.     We need to sort this out before we die.

We might want to think God will just pardon everybody regardless.

The Bible does not teach that.

It is not a good idea!

We might decide that I’ll take my chances when I die and just do pretty much what I like while I’m alive..

Now you may not be aware but the Bible actually talks about two Judgements.

The Judgement Bar(Seat) of God  2 Corinthians 5:10

The great white throne. Rev 20:11-15

The Judgement seat or bar of Christ is for Christians

The Great white throne is for those who have rejected Him.

If we are Christians we are going to know only the Judgement Bar of Christ.

It may be a little embarrassing and challenging to us but Iam going to read out a poem that I have read out here before.

     WHEN I STAND AT THE JUDGEMENT SEAT


When I stand at the judgement seat of Christ
And he shows me His plan for me;
The plan of my life as it might have been
Had he had His way and I see
How I blocked Him here and I checked Him there
And I would not yield my will,
Shall I see grief in my Savior’s eyes;
Grief though He loves me still’

Oh, He’d have me rich, and I stand there poor,
Stripped of all but His grace,
While my memory runs like a hunted thing
Down the paths I can’t retrace,
Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break
With tears that I cannot shed.
I’ll cover my face with my empty hands
And bow my uncrowned head.

No, Lord of the years that are left to me
I yield them to Thy hand.
Take me, make me , mold me
To the pattern Thou hast planned.



Here is what Oswald Chambers says  about it.

 We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . . —2 Corinthians 5:10

Oswald Chambers  

Paul says that we must all, preachers and other people alike, "appear before the judgment seat of Christ." But if you will learn here and now to live under the scrutiny of Christ’s pure light, your final judgment will bring you only delight in seeing the work God has done in you. Live constantly reminding yourself of the judgment seat of Christ, and walk in the knowledge of the holiness He has given you.

"If we walk in the light as He is in the light. . ." ( 1 John 1:7 ). For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person. The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit today is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie
Jesus  cares about every detail of our  lives just like He cared about that little blackbird.                  
 He knows every detail of our lives.
Nothing is hidden from Him but He still reaches out to us with His love.
So what will we say when that day comes and we stand before God.
Will we arrive at the judgement seat having already qualified by what Jesus has done for us?
 and we have responded to Him?
We should not get too smug about our salvation and the fact that our names arein the Lamb’s book of life.
Just a few words from another favourite devotional book of mine.
“Jesus says: “For from within,
  out of the heart….”
It is all there,
All the evil this world has ever known
In the hearts of men(and women).
And,we are men.
If you are not doing the evil of other men,
You will be wise to recognise the reason.
You are being saved
By the GRACE OF GOD!
Probably, at the judgement, we won’t be able to speak and we will fall to our knees and He will say
“well done my good and faithful servant”.
My prayer is that will be true for all of us.

ORDER OF SERVICE 081115 RENMARK
Call to Worship:  Geoff Thompson (Psalm 148 from Living Bible)
Hymn:  Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder.  
Prayer of confession praise and thanksgiving
Hymn:  Amazing Grace  ahb 56
Bible Readings:  Heb9:24-28
                            Ephesians 2:2-6
Hymn: I give my heart to thee AHB  471
Offering:
Sermon: Geoff Thompson:  What will you say?
Hymn : At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. AHB 170
Benediction:
“May our Lord,God of peace-----“


If you are not sure of how we can be saved or what we must do, then read the post immediately before this one on the big question.
You might like also to visit my other blog. Life Changing Christian Sermons.

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