A Startling Glimpse…

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Although most of you may not ne able to personally relate in the same way to this story, I trust that there will be some example in your own life where you can at least identify with the sentiment.

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One day, while I was in highschool, as we laughed and I carried on in the joys of adolescence with my friends, the laughter came to an abrupt stop when two police officers entered the classroom.

They quietly spoke to the teacher, who then signalled for me to come to the hallway.

The class grew silent and my heart began to sink into my stomach as I got up from my seat and walked toward the hallway door.

So many crimes I had long forgotten about and thought I had gotten away with came rushing back to my thoughts immediately. Something had been uncovered, and the police were now there to place me under arrest.

I remember vividly and intimately what it felt like to be escorted out of the school through its hallways, into the back seat of a police car and down to the station.

———

If this picture only serves as a glimpse of something that could be exceedingly worst by comparison, I use it to earnestly implore you to consider very carefully and make wise decisions concerning the paths you are currently travelling upon.

In Scripture, Jesus spoke far more frequently about hell than he ever did about heaven.

And contrary to how some teach the subject to lambaste the unbelieving world, most of Jesus’s teachings regarding hell were actually directed towards… Believers.

One of which I’d like to share with you today:

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“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. (the Jews)

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ (an invitation to the entire world)

So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:2-14

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This man without a wedding robe represents someone who pretends to accept the invitation to God’s covenant, but then refuses the invitation by their actions.

There is only one appropriate and acceptable covering that God has provided for His guests:

“the blood of the Lamb!”

But it is only applied to our lives by true repentance, (a complete turning away from sin) and through faith in Christ.

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In the book of Revelation, Jesus says to the church in Sardis:

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. *The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white.* I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Revelation 3:3-6

 

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A Prayer:

Lord, if there is any way in us that is unpleasing to your sight, give us wisdom, give us clarity, remove the blinding spiritual fog of sin from our eyes, and strengthen us by your Spirit to put it to death!

We long to be clothes in your perfection. If there’s anyone who feels like they’re struggling alone, raise up your servant to walk beside them. Pour out encouragement and every grace into their hearts that welcomes them to come to you and be washed.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, Majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages,now and forevermore!

Amen,

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

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The Noise of Nonsense

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“Sur, sous, dans, devant
Derrière, devant
Derrière, devant
Derrière…

Sur, sous, dans, devant
Derrière,
À côté de!”

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In case any of you is wondering ‘what in the world kind of song is that?’ Well, it’s a song that I learned in my grade three French class.

 

The thing I found so interesting about this song that compelled me to share it with you today was that I learned it over 25 years ago! I don’t practice it. Nor do I have occasion or reason to sing it, yet there it is, somehow perfectly preserved in my memory over such a long period of time.

 

We didnt sing the song often even in school from what I recall. Nor were we challenged in any way to memorize the lyrics. It just seems that with hearing it the few times that I did repeatedly, it just stuck.

 

But through this example, I think we can begin to see something spectacular about using mere men in the preservation and inerrancy of Scripture.

 

In ancient times, Jewish boys were actually ‘taught and trained’ to memorize and recite the entire Torah, from seven – and sometimes even as young as five – years old, in preparation for their Bar Mitzvah (boy) or Bat Mitzvah (girl). The Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a ceremony which in Judaism now pronounces you a man or woman in the religious sense. And it usually takes place at their 12th or 13th birthday.

 

That means that if every copy of the Torah were somehow changed or altered or even destroyed, a Jewish child at the age of thirteen years old was competent to recite the entire document by memory for it to be recreated from scratch.

 

But even though they were capable of doing so, it would still be considered ‘amateur’ when compared to the high standards that the ancient Scribes had to meet in order to make a copy of these ancient manuscripts to ensure their accuracy.

 

In fact, tradition tells us that when making a copy of the manuscripts of the Torah, the scribes had to stop every so often, select the same word in both copies, and count from the beginning of the document to that word.

 

If they were even one number off, they would destroy the entire document and have to start again. And that was in an era when resources were not nearly as abundant as they are today. Needless to say, the copying of the Word of God was held in very high esteem.

 

And if that wasnt enough, since they passed down their teachings in a community in oral tradition, this meant that an entire community would be involved in receiving God’s Word so that they could all verify the facts of it if there was ever a dispute concerning it. This left very little place for error.

 

And just to completely obliterate any final foolish contentions one may still try to make against the preservation of Scripture, we also know that the Pharisees and Sadducees – who were considered the top ranking Jewish authority of those days – each had either their arm, forehead, or both wrapped with something called the “Teffilin” or “phylacteries,” each containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. This means that members of the community were ‘physically’ carrying around the Scriptures with them daily.

 

As you can see, this community was very serious about their preservation of God’s Word.

 

This is why although you may hear it often said in the unbelieving world that “the Scriptures have been changed” or “the Bible has been altered,” those comments usually come from the uninformed public who are completely oblivious to the history and ancient Jewish customs and therefore vocalizing meaningless noise with their tongues; men of corrupt minds and deprived of the truth, they only seek to lead many astray.

 

No one who has actually searched these things out for themselves could ever come to such a conclusion, and it’s also why I can submit to you today with all certainty that the Bible is the *inerrant* Word of God!

 

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The Apostle Paul wrote to his young protège Timothy to encourage him knowing firsthand that even if you have the truth, people will still find some way to deny it. In the same Spirit this morning, let us receive encouragement this morning to continue to press into our labours, knowing with certainty that our labours are not in vain!

 

 

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

 

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
2 Timothy 1:7-14

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

LORD? LORD?

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My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:19-22

 

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Step one – read and put into practice the counsel found in God’s Word to your life.

 

Step two – no matter how hard you try, how educated you become, or how theologically sound your ‘doctrines’ may be,, you cannot move onto step two until you’ve thoroughly completed step one.

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!