Lunch after the morning service. Please stay! No service tonight.
CALL TO WORSHIP
(Thomas Kelly - 1809)
The Lord of glory, moved by love, Descends, in mercy, from above; And He, before whom angels bow, Is found a man of grief below.
Such love is great, too great for thought, Its length and breadth in vain are sought; No tongue can tell its depth and height; The love of Christ is infinite.
But though His love no measure knows, The Saviour to His people shows Enough to give them joy, when known, Enough to make their hearts His own.
Constrained by this, they walk with Him, His love their most delightful theme; To glorify Him here, their aim, Their hope, in Heaven to praise His name.
(Tune: "Doxology #1)
"THE MOST HIGH DOES ACCORDING TO HIS WILL" (Daniel 4:34)
A local pastor opened his weekly newspaper column a few months ago with this question: "Do you really believe a loving God would prepare a place like hell and allow the creatures that He said He loves and died for, to spend an eternity in such pain and suffering?" He afterward concluded: "it will not be a loving God who sends anyone to hell of his own accord, but the person who gives God no other choice based on the choice he or she has made." I am struck by the candor with which that pastor denigrates God. 1) Mere mortals make a choice that gives God no other choice but to do what He does not want to do. 2) Mere mortals force God to act contrary to His nature - "not...of his own accord". 3) All mortals who go to hell do so despite God's love to them. 4) All mortals who go to hell do so despite God's death for them.
The opinions expressed above are not those of an "uneducated and untrained man" (as Christ's apostles were accused of being in Acts 4:13). Rather, he is a seminary-trained minister, a pastor to many, and a long-time prominent and influential leader in the local religious scene. I need not here cite his name, for what he wrote is representative of a great host of religious ministers around us. O ladies and gentlemen, hear me well! In the sharpest contrast to the opinion of the pastor cited above, I declare to you that "The Most High does according to His will" in everything He does (Daniel 4:34).
Accordingly: 1) No one puts God in a dilemma or forces Him to do what He does not want to do. 2) God always acts in accord with Himself, never contrary to Himself (Genesis 18:25). 3) Everyone loved by God and for whom Christ died goes to heaven -for God's love and Christ's death are effectual (Revelation 1:5; 5:9). 4) God deliberately and in perfect accord with His righteous and holy nature sends to hell those who are wicked and refuse to believe the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ (Psalm 5:4-6; 9:17; Isaiah 59:11; Ezekiel 11:21; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; John 3:36). All this is true because "The Most High does according to His will."
- Pastor Daniel E. Parks
Christ is more than a Saviour; He is salvation itself! David said, "The Lord is my light and my salvation." It is well to see salvation in the work, life, and death of Christ; but we must never forget that the essence of salvation lies in His Person. HE HIMSELF IS SALVATION! It is WHO He is which gives virtue to WHAT He does. We are bidden to come, not to His work, but to Himself. The gospel loses much of its sweetness when the PERSON of Christ is put in the background and honor is given only to His work.
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The ancient gospel is an unceremonious thing. It pays no respect to the academic because of his profound learning; nor to the moralist on account of his upright conduct. It has not the least regard to the courtier, because of his pompous honors; nor to the devotee for the sake of his zeal or his righteousness. No, the potent prince and the abject slave, the wise philosopher and the ignorant rustic, the virtuous lady and the infamous prostitute, stand on the same level in its comprehensive sight.
- Abraham Booth
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About 300 hundred years ago, Scotland had many prominent preachers. An English man went there to listen to some of them. First he went to hear Robert Blair. He came back and said, "That man showed me the majesty of God." Then he went to hear a sermon by David Dixon, and he said," That man showed me my heart." And then he heard Samuel Rutherford, and he said, "That man showed me the loveliness of Jesus." What mighty preaching there must have been in those days. We may yet see it return to our pulpits.