“You were certainly filled with the Spirit today,” says the person who heard the preacher proclaim his message in an exuberant manner. This complement comes especially if the hearer was moved emotionally. Others may define the Spirit’s presence as producing some ecstatic language.
Jesus made no reference to exuberance or emotion when He promised the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised, “He will testify of Me” (John 15:26). “He will glorify Me” (16:14). “He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (16:8).
You can be sure the preacher is moved by the Holy Spirit when he proclaims, in a language people clearly understand, “the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11). These works are all about Jesus Christ who lived, died and rose again. You will hear that it is not your goodness before God, but God’s goodness toward you in declaring you righteous because of what Jesus did for you.
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, where the pastor may, or may not, be exuberant in his preaching, and you may, or may not, have your emotions stirred. As he testifies of Jesus you can be sure the Spirit is working. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
“These are they who have come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). This describes believers in Christ who at their baptism were clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27). The “Great Tribulation” is their lifetime, enduring the afflictions of war, famine, disease, plus persecution (Revelation 6:1-11). Despite imprisonment, beatings, and martyrdom they were “faithful unto death” (Rev. 2:10), that is, under such pressure they did not turn from faith in Jesus Christ. The came out of the great tribulation.
Totally incompatible with this scene is the message of popular preachers of our day with sermon titles such as: “Financial Prosperity” and “Do All You Can do to Make Your Dreams Come True”, and produce books such as the number-one best seller, YOUR BEST LIFE NOW. Such preaching draws thousands of people and enables the preacher to live in luxury, but it has nothing to do with Christianity.
Jesus said, “If any would come after me, let him deny himself and TAKE UP HIS CROSS and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Come to Peace Lutheran Church,
1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, where through the proclaimed Word of God the Holy Spirit enables the hearers to be “faithful even unto death.” Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
“In the world you will have tribulation,” Jesus told his disciples (John 16:33). Tribulation could be translated “Pressure.” “Peer pressure” usually refers to the pressure to do what is harmful, such as, experimenting with drugs, alcohol, or sexual promiscuousness. “Political correctness” is a result of pressure to avoid the truth lest it harm one’s political career, public reputation, or advancement in business. Bowing to such pressure destroys intelligent discourse and will ultimately destroy a free society.
The unique pressure upon the disciple of Jesus Christ is to keep his mouth shut. That began early after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. In Acts 4:18 we read, “They commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Thankfully, the Apostles did not bow to the pressure of the religious leaders, saying, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (4:20). Yet the pressure continued in the form of beatings, imprisonment, and for nearly all of them, execution. Christian, if you keep your mouth shut, no one will pressure you. That is exactly what the “world” would like.
Jesus also said, “Take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Join with us at Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, where through His Word and Sacraments we participate in His victory and do what Christians are called to do, openly confess Him as the one and only Savior of mankind. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
MOTHERS’ DAY is emptied of all the intended honor when conception is considered a tragedy and fathers and mothers cover the evidence of motherhood by aborting their offspring. “Children are an heritage of the Lord. The fruit of the womb is His reward” (Psalm 127:3). Another evil of our time is the large percentage of children born without a supporting father, or when a father abandons the mother of his children for another woman. Such wickedness dishonors mothers.
The greatest honor you can bestow on the mother of your children is to love her by supporting her, protecting her, remaining loyal to her, and giving of your time and energy to meet her emotional, physical, spiritual needs, and in addition, teaching, guiding, training, and disciplining your children. That is what marrying her means. The Bible gives the Christian man no other option: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also love the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, to “fix your eyes on Jesus” who by loving us even unto death grants forgiveness for failure and the desire and the power (Phil 2:13) to honor mothers by being a loving husband. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
In 1887 an English cleric, Sir John Dalberg-Acton, known as Lord Acton, made this statement directed at the Pope Pius IX’s declaration (1870) of papal infallibility: POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT, AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY. The present crisis in the Roman Catholic church supports Lord Acton’s statement.
Yet one could argue that it is not power that corrupts. Absolute power merely removes all restraints from an evil heart. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). At one time even Hitler, or Stalin, would have been surprised to be told they would be guilty of mass murders. No one recognizes his evil heart. Power tends to reveal just how corrupt it is, because power removes all restraints. This is why, even in the church, there must be checks and balances to curb those in authority from bringing harm to humanity.
This should also make each of us aware of the need for a “clean heart”
and daily pray with the Psalmist, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). Come to Peace Lutheran Church 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, AR, to hear the Word of Christ who cleanses the heart of the humble sinner (1 John1:7-10).
Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.