You should not have stood at the crossings to cut off his fugitives; you should not have handed over his survivors on the day of distress. For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. (Obadiah 14-15)
We start at 7. We’re working through the Gospel of Matthew. If you haven’t attended Bible Study before or it’s been awhile you should come along. Bible study enriches our lives as Christians. There’s no better way to spend an hour.
I see no more deadly poison can be given to a growing Christian than contentiousness. For are not love and contentiousness diametrically opposed? And what is the Christian life altogether but love? Therefore, when you sow the seeds of contentiousness, at the same time you banish love; for they are as unwilling to be guests in one and the same house as Christ is to associate with Belial. — Huldrych Zwingli
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you workers of lawlessness.’ (Mt 7:21-23)
“If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17).
This is how people who are Christians approach settling their differences. Pagans and unbelievers may decide to act otherwise, but Christians follow the command of Christ.
God takes not pleasure in the death of sinners, but rather that they return and live. But men take such pleasure in sin that they will die before they will return. The Lord Jesus was content to be their physician, and has provided them a sufficient plaster of His own blood: but if men make light of it, and will not apply it, what wonder if they perish after all? — RICHARD BAXTER
There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man’s table. Even dogs came and licked his sores.
Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s embrace. The rich man also died and was buried. ‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.”
Abraham said, “My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours.”
‘So he said, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.” The rich man replied, “Ah no, father Abraham, but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.” (Lk. 16:19-31)
A recent study by Vanderbilt University professor Marino Bruce has found that people who attend religious services live longer and are less stressed. The findings held true across faith traditions, said Bruce, the associate director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Research on Men’s Health, in a video posted to the university’s YouTube channel.
“We found in our study that actually attending church is actually good for your health, particularly for those who are between the ages of 40 and 65,” said Bruce, who also is a Baptist minister.
Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
“For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
See you Sunday.
The lion roars: who is not afraid? Lord Yahweh has spoken: who will not prophesy? From the palace roofs of Assyria and from the palace roofs of Egypt, proclaim aloud, ‘Assemble on the hills of Samaria and observe the grave disorders inside her and the acts of oppression there!’ Little they know of right conduct -declares Yahweh- who cram their palaces with violence and extortion. This is why — Lord Yahweh says this- an enemy will soon besiege the land, he will bring down your strength and your palaces will be looted. (Amos 3:8-11)
Final reminder: tomorrow we begin at 10:15 with singing and continue at 11 with worship followed by lunch.
So now, Yahweh Sabaoth says this, “Think carefully about your behaviour. You have sown much and harvested little; you eat but never have enough, drink but never have your fill, put on clothes but feel no warmth. The wage-earner gets his wages only to put them in a bag with a hole in it.” Yahweh Sabaoth says this, “Think carefully about your behaviour. Go up into the hills, fetch timber and rebuild the House; and I shall take pleasure in it and manifest my glory there — Yahweh says. The abundance you expected proved to be little. When you brought the harvest in, I blasted it. And why? – Yahweh Sabaoth declares. Because while my House lies in ruins, each of you is busy with his own house. That is why the sky has withheld the rain and the earth withheld its yield. I have called down drought on land and hills, on grain, on new wine, on olive oil and on all the produce of the ground, on humans and animals and all your labours.” ‘
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest and the entire remnant of the people, paid attention to the voice of Yahweh their God and to the words of the prophet Haggai, which Yahweh their God had sent him to deliver. And the people were filled with fear before Yahweh. Haggai, the messenger of Yahweh, then passed on Yahweh’s message to the people, ‘I am with you — declares Yahweh.’ And Yahweh roused the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel governor of Judah, the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest and the spirit of the entire remnant of the people; they came and set to work in the Temple of Yahweh Sabaoth, their God. (Hag. 1:5-14)
You may be quite sure that in the last days there will be some difficult times. People will be self-centred and avaricious, boastful, arrogant and rude; disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious; heartless and intractable; they will be slanderers, profligates, savages and enemies of everything that is good; they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it. Keep away from people like that. (2 Tim. 3:1-5)