Default in computer language is when the program goes back to the original setting. There is also a default in religion. That default is that one gains favor with God by doing many good deeds, or simply that one earns his way to heaven by being good. This is the way of every religion, Muslim, Hindu, or even Christianity when it neglects the Holy Scripture.
God provides a new and correct setting by way of special revelation. It is this, “By grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). This gift comes “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:24,25). This is the chief doctrine of the Christian religion, yet when the Scripture is neglected it will be lost. People go back to default.
In the era of the Reformation beginning October 31, 1517, Martin Luther brought to light again this good news of Jesus Christ in a time when the church had defaulted to works. He did this by returning the church back to the Scriptures. Jesus reminds all of us, “If you continue in My Word, then are you truly my disciples, and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:31,32). Come to Peace Lutheran Church for this Truth, this freedom, and this comfort that Christ has done it all. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3). The pure preaching of the Word of God is boring for those who allow their sinful natures to be titillated with pornography and greed for gain. When the excitement of sin dominates one’s life, a person will avoid the truth of God’s Word and seek a religion that suits his life-style. Such a person will “itch” for a religion that allows for the way he chooses to live.
This is why anyone gets excited about the gnostic “Gospel of Judas,” or why The Divinci Code, became a best seller when it questions the morality of Jesus Christ. This is why “Everyone does what is right in their own eyes” is repeating the times of the Biblical judges (Judges 21:25), making right and wrong merely subjective opinion.
To counter this nature of sinful mankind, God gave us the Holy Scriptures (Bible) which “are able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:15,16). “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28). Come to Peace Lutheran Church for this Word. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
When the Bible condemns sin and the sinner, it would appear that God wants to save only a select few. All others are just too evil. But quite the contrary! “God wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11).
He calls an adulterer and murderer to repentance, and forgives him, King David (2 Samuel 11, 12; Psalm 32). He places a prostitute into the line of the Savior, Rahab (Matthew 1:5). Another person foreign to the people of Israel is included in the line of the Savior, Ruth the woman from Moab (Matthew 1:5). Tamar and Bathsheba and Judah, adulterers, are honored as forgiven sinners to be part of the lineage of Christ (Matt.5:3, 6).
Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29), no exceptions. Christ died for all (2 Cor. 5:15), no exceptions.
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself,” (2 Cor. 5:19), no exceptions. Come to St. John Lutheran Church for this message of repentance and forgiveness. Sunday service time is 8:00 a.m.
One often hears, “All religions are good. They are just different roads to the same God.” How can this be, when the book of one religion prescribes revenge and the slaying of one’s enemy, while the book of the other religion says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for the who spitefully use you and persecute you”? How can one say, “All religions are good” when one religion encourages a person to commit suicide and in doing so kills and maims multiple victims?
People have committed atrocities in the name of Christianity, but this has been done contrary to what the Bible teaches. The heart of Christianity is Christ, and the forgiveness that God grants because of Him and His redeeming death upon the cross. Certain of this forgiveness, the first martyr could pray, “Lord, lay not this sin their charge.” He too freely forgave.
Only unthinking people would say that all religions are good! Or that all are true! There is one religion that brings forth “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” It is of Jesus Christ who says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).
Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
There are times when the Christian feels all alone. At these times God assures us, “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11). When the enemy armies surrounded them, the servant of the prophet Elisha cried out, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Elisha answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Lord, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And BEHOLD THE MOUNTAIN WAS FULL OF HORSES AND CHARIOTS OF FIRE ALL AROUND. (2 Kings 6:15-17).
As Christians in this nation are feeling more and more like a minority, they can take comfort, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” We pray with Elisha, “Lord open our eyes that we may see.” Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery” (Luke 16:18). God’s pure standard is “one man for one woman for a life long relation”. Anything different adulterates this purity: casual sex, homosex, sex outside of marriage, or divorce.
The Bible speaks of another kind of adultery. God’s pure standard is, “You shall have no other gods” (Exodus 20:3). The Prophet Jeremiah accused the people of Judah, “You have played the harlot with many lovers” (Jer. 3:1), referring to their worship of the gods of the nations around them. Placing one’s trust and security in money, investments, or government rather than the God revealed in Scripture is adultery. “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). Naming God but rejecting His Word as to His creating the world and what is in it, is to have another god.
God gave marriage to depict the relationship with His people, “Though I was a husband to them” (Jer. 31:32). “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for Her’ (Eph. 5:25). On the one hand, when people turn from God they will “troop to the harlots’ houses….Every one will neigh after his neighbor’s wife” (Jer. 5:7,8). On the other hand, when sex outside of marriage becomes a way of life, the people of that culture will turn from the worship of the living God to idols. Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS, of whom I am the foremost….that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life” (1 timothy 1:15,16), testified the Apostle Paul. His reasoning is this: If the Lord Jesus could save me, a blasphemer, persecutor of Christians, and an insolent person, there is no one He does not want to save.
“I have come to seek and to save the lost,” (Luke 19: 10), our Lord replied to those who criticized His associating with open sinners. He is the Good Shepherd who seeks out the one lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7). He laid down His life on the cross that all sinners might live. He arose on the 3rd day as a foreshadowing that all believers will be raised to eternal life on the Last Day. He ordained the preaching of this Good News (Luke 24:47) in His continual seeking and saving the lost. He desires that “all be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). This includes you. Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.