When we hear of events like the shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas, our first reaction is to ask, "Why?" and to try to figure out the motive. We should also begin to identify with them. Two thoughts come to mind: It could have been us, and it was us, because we are one in Christ.
Events like this cause us to fear. We end up arguing over issues like gun control. People fear coming to worship services. We know the church formed in the background of terror. The Roman Cross was one of the worst things people witnessed. And, when the disciples saw Jesus die on the cross, they went into hiding.
What do we do when tragic things like this happen? What if persecution really began to occur here? What if in deciding to get up and come to church you thought this may be the day my life is taken? Let's look at how the early church responded. In Acts, we see persecution take place and grow. Yet, the church cannot but speak about what they have seen and heard. Paul keeps preaching in prison. When he is thrown out of one city, he goes to another.
We will continue to preach the gospel, no matter the cost.
The second thing the early church did was to turn to God in prayer. Prayerfulness marked the early church. Today, there are many who are mocking prayer. They encourage people to stop praying and to do something. We pray because our prayers work. But, our wills and desires don't always match up to His. We are still praying and God still sits on His throne. He is the sole and sufficient cause for all of creation, so He has the sole and sufficient power to sustain all things presently, as he sees fit. We serve a sovereign Lord who can meet our needs.
As we see in the early church, persecution only makes the church stronger. For, we cannot fear those who can kill the body, but we fear the one who can kill the soul. The early church did not pray for the voilence to stop. They didn't ask God to keep them safe. But, they asked God to help them to be faithful no matter the cost. Be true to your calling and speak the word of God in boldness.
We cannot but live for Christ and share all He has done.
Friday, December 14, 2018
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Saturday, December 15, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Middle School Christmas Party
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Third Sunday of Advent