Freedoms Can be Lost

The Constitution of the United State provided for religious freedom.  What a blessing this has been to this nation and the Christian Church!  Unlike China, North Korea, and many of the nations where Islam is the dominate religion,  Bibles can be bought and sold, Christian messages can go out over radio and television, Christian schools and churches operate without government hindrance.  Luther (1483-1546) had said, “Where the Word of God is not taught, it must necessarily become corrupt.”  He knew the nature of humanity. John Adams wrote a similar thought: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

This nation has been unique among all the nations of the world and will continue to be so only as the Word of God is freely proclaimed and a large percentage of the citizens hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.  Freedoms are lost when freedoms are not exercised.  Come exercise your freedom at Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

I have not come to bring peace, but a sword

Jesus spoke these strange words: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).  Christians are encouraged to be “peace makers” (Matt. 5:9).  They are taught: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:27,28).   What then does Jesus mean when He says He came to bring a “sword”, which signifies conflict and even war?

The fact is that Satan will always be opposed to Christ, to the body of believers, the Church, which holds to Him as their only Savior.  This is pictured in the Book of Revelation: “The dragon (Satan) was enraged with the woman (the Church, the Bride of Christ), and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring (individual believers), who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (12:17).

Jesus’ warning comes so that Christians will not deny Him in order to have peace with the world about them.  Jesus had promised, “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).  Come to Peace/Redeemer Lutheran Church for this peace.  Sunday service time is 10:00/8 a.m.

I am with you always

Jeremiah the prophet wrote, “O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived” (Jer. 20:7).  While God had warned that people would fight against him when he faithfully preached the word of God’s judgment, Jeremiah in his mind thought the people would honor him and love him.  As God had warned, they reproached and derided him, they denounced him and persecuted him.  When this happened, Jeremiah crumbled into a ball of self-pity.

“How can you believe who seek honor one of another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John5:44).   “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).  Jesus warned His disciples as He sent them forth to confess Him before men, “You will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Matt. 10:22).  Their comfort was not that they would have a peaceable, prosperous life, and the praise of people.  Jeremiah remembered his comfort was, “The Lord is with me” (20:11).  So also Jesus promises for His disciple at that time and for today, “Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).  With that promise Christians confess Christ boldly before the world (Matt. 10:32). 

Come to Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.                    

Fathers

“Fathers, do not anger your children, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).  Another translation put it this way, “Raise them by letting the Lord train and correct them.”  The Lord trains by punishing and restraining sin.  He also trains by forgiving sin and having great compassion for the sinner.  Blessed are children whose father mirrors the Lord in dealing with His children.

But to reflect the Heavenly Father, fathers must know Him through reading, studying, and having that Word proclaimed to them.  Little wonder that many fathers anger, abandon, abuse, neglect, and sometimes do not even know, their children, when they themselves despise the Word of God. God will severely punish these fathers, and the whole culture will suffer for their sins.  God is also gracious and forgiving to the fathers who see their sin and repent.  “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). This includes fathers.  True repentance is “That the hearts of the fathers will be turned to their children” (Luke 1:17). 

Come to Peace Lutheran Church to learn of your Heavenly Father.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

The Triune God

The word “god” has different meanings to different people. The Bible impregnates the word “God” for the Christian. A common phrase you will hear in Christian worship is: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus Christ directed the Apostles to baptize in that name (Matthew 28:19). This name encompasses all that the Bible teaches about God. He is the Creator and Caretaker of all creatures.

Since the curse came when mankind sinned, God became Man to redeem condemned mankind by His death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit is given to call lost and condemned people to faith in Jesus and they are empowered by the same Spirit to confess Him and live for Him.

To invoke the name of the Triune (three in one) God is to make it clear to ourselves and to all who are listening, this is the true God whom we confess, and beside Him there is no other. Come to Peace Lutheran Church this Trinity Sunday. Divine Service is at 10:00 a.m.

Pentecost Sunday

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised the Apostles, “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5). The promise of the Holy Spirit centered in this: “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26) (A comfort for us that the Apostolic teaching, as found in the Bible, is the Word of God); “He will testify of Me (Jesus)” (15:24); “He will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment…He will guide you into all truth…He will glorify Me” (16:8-14). “No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3).

On Pentecost Sunday, as told in Acts chapter 2, God “poured out” the Holy Spirit on the Apostles to fulfill these promises. The Apostles spoke in the various languages (tongues) of the people gathered from all parts of the civilized world to make known to them the “wonderful works of God.” These works included the incarnation (John 1:14) of the Son of God, His death upon the cross, and His glorious resurrection. As the Holy Spirit gave Peter the power to testify of this Jesus (Acts 1:8) the Holy Spirit convicted 3000 people of their sin, provided them the “washing of regeneration…poured out on them abundantly through Jesus Christ their Savior” (Titus 3:5). Come to acknowledge this work of the Holy Spirit with us at St. John Lutheran Church this Pentecost Sunday.

Service time is 8:00 a.m.

Great Salvation

“Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank You, Lord, for making me whole. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me Thy great salvation, so rich and free.” This song, prayed by many Christians across the world, expresses two thoughts:

The “great salvation” is what Jesus Christ won for the entire world by His sacrificial death upon the cross and His resurrection. He paid the penalty of sin, death, and so reconciled the world of humanity to a just and holy God (2 Cor. 5:19; Romans 3:25-26). Apart from this salvation people are condemned.

The “great salvation” is distributed through “the foolishness of the message preached” (1 Cor. 1:21) and in Baptism, of which we read, “Baptism now saves us, not the removal of dirt from the body, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). In Baptism one is clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27), sins are washed away (Acts 22:16), and a new life is given (Romans 6:4-6.

Thank You, Lord, for what You did on the cross. Thank You, for distributing to me this salvation through Your Word and Sacraments. St.

John Lutheran Church. Service time is 8:00 a.m.

Return to the Lord

While many young couples disdain marriage, as is evidenced by a large percentage of children born to unmarried parents, many same sex couples are clamoring for the right to marry. This irony is explained in Romans chapter one. “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead…although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God….Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness….God gave them up to vile passions….And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…sexual immorality…envy, murder…inventors of evil things…disobedient to parents…untrustworthy, unloving” (Romans 1:20-31).

The pervasive indoctrination of evolution (ruling God out of knowledge) in the educational establishment, the public parks system, and the media, is bearing fruit. We have only begun to see the moral cesspool which is threatening to drown this nation.

Jesus Christ has redeemed us from such an empty life with His precious blood (1 Peter 1:18,19). For this reason God calls to you while there is time, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness man his thoughts. Let Him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

The Church

“They who do not love the Church as their mother, cannot claim God as their Father.” The Church is the sum total of those who “confess with their mouths the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9). The marks (evidence of existence) of the Church are the pure preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 10:17) and the administering of the Sacraments, Holy Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. By these means the Holy Spirit creates the Church. By these means the Holy Spirit sustains the Church.

“Rejoice with Jerusalem (the Church) and be glad with her all you who love her…that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory” (Isaiah 66:10-11; Rev. 12:17). Every child of this mother is urged, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious”

(1 Peter 2:2). Those who do not love the Church so as to be nourished by her will in a short time no longer believe in God as their loving Father. Come to Peace Lutheran where this nourishment through the Word and Sacraments goes on. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Lifelong Union

The Biblical definition of marriage is “The lifelong union between one man and one woman.” The account of creation in Genesis chapter two sets forth this definition. While mankind from the fall of Adam (Genesis 3) has adulterated God’s institution of marriage, the definition still stands. Same sex unions do not change what God has ordained. Neither does easy divorce, polygamy, or polyandry, or the large percentage of people who decide to have a baby outside the bonds of marriage.

Marriage as God instituted it gives stability to the culture. Simple observation will reveal that children from a stable marriage on the average show a higher intelligence, have greater desire to achieve, and have greater respect for authority. Much crime relates to sexual promiscuity and the offspring to this disregard for the institution of marriage. The disintegration of ancient civilizations, Greece, Rome, Ancient Israel, was directly related to the disintegration of marriage.

The wholesale rejection of God’s institution of marriage flows out of the doctrine of evolution which has supplanted the Biblical account of creation. Evolution provides no restraint to the lusts of fallen man.

The inspired Scripture comments, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these thing the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6). The evidence of God’s wrath, among other scourges, will be a totalitarian government. A word for our times is, “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Eph. 5:14). Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.