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February 21, 2021 - Worship Service

Pastor Jeremy
Date: February 21, 2021
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Unreached People Group of the Day

Uyghur

Population
900

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Uyghur

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Islam

% Evangelical
0%

Our Mission Statement:

"Serving God, our Father, by spreading the Good News of His Son, Jesus"

 

 

1/04/21

An Open Letter to the Members and Attendees of HBC,

 

I would appreciate it if you would bear with me for a bit and read this letter to its conclusion. I have thought about you and your health a lot over the past 10 months. As a fellow Christian, I do have concern for each part of you and that does include the physical body that God has given to you. However, the Biblical emphasis that we receive, which we see clearly by Jesus and His followers in the New Testament, is that our times are in His hands and that our lives, once we become “slaves to righteousness”, are now forfeit for His glory. As God’s people, we are not to over-value earthly things (our bodies are, in fact, earthly things). Instead, we are to consider heavenly things to be of far greater value than earthly things. For we know that if we are in Jesus, then “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

 

My primary concern is not for your physical health, but for your spiritual health. My thoughts for each of you vary from one end of the spectrum to the other.

  • For some of you, I have seen your faith and confidence in Christ grow by leaps and bounds and my soul rejoices with you. It is a great thrill to watch you "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).
  • For others, those whom I have not really had much contact with over this time period, I wonder. I wonder what condition that your soul is in. I wonder, have you diligently been “working out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12)? Have you been following along with us online and are you aware that we have elected a group of elders to serve us? I wonder so many things.
  • And for others, I have seen you drift away and I am most concerned for you. Instead of “pressing in” to Christ and His Church during this time, it seems that you have “fallen away”. The reasons for this may be varied, but the end result is the same. “Danger” is the word that comes to my mind.

Are you all aware that the world that we live in is in great turmoil? If you have been awake at all, you most certainly are aware. The systems and peoples that we have counted on, most of us for our entire lives, are failing. The ungodly and corrupt seem to have infiltrated every level of leadership throughout the globe. There is no doubt that there are evil, powerful men throughout our world who have an unrighteous objective. These men have "conspired together", just like those at Babel (Genesis 11); like those who we recently read about in Psalm 2, to overthrow “the chains and the shackles” (Psalm 2:3) that they perceive the Lord and His people have placed onto them.

 

God, and by extension, God’s people, are the targets of disdain for these evil men. There is no benefit or value in human reasoning with these men. The reason being, their problem is deeply spiritual. Any people (we see this all throughout Scripture) who will do the following:

  • Fight tooth and nail for the “right” for people to freely murder their children
  • Fight vehemently to convince the public that what is unnatural is perfectly natural, even preferable
  • Confiscate the belongings of fellow citizens in order that they may “better manage it on their behalf”
  • Intentionally manipulate and falsely fabricate the intent of our country’s founding in order to achieve a new set of laws to fit their preferences, and most importantly,
  • Do everything within their power to undermine Godly influence and the moorings of God’s law upon the people

These people have chosen to reject God and to follow their father, the devil (John 8:44).  They have determined to be the enemies of righteousness.  They are perpetually offended by every Godly thing because they have a different leader than Jesus Christ himself.

 

So, what do we do? What approach do we take? What should our emphasis be?

 

We, God’s people, must do what Peter says in I Peter 5:5-9:

  1. (v. 5) Value and honor God’s intended order within the church, the home, the workplace, etc.
  2. (v. 6) Humble ourselves before the Lord
  3. (v. 7) Trust Him like a child does his father and let Him care for us
  4. (v. 8) Be ever-aware that the enemy is lurking, looking for a crack to slip through and attack
  5. (v. 9a) Defend against him and keep resisting when he attacks
  6. (v. 9b) Keep in mind that suffering for Christ’s sake is an expected part of living a life in Him and recall that our brothers and sisters around the world, whom we have never met, are also resisting and enduring. Following Christ may indeed be hazardous to your physical health.

Dear Church, please recognize the day and time in which we are now living. The time for “lackadaisical Christianity” (as if there was ever such a time) is over. We, you and I, your children and grandchildren, certainly seem to be entering into a more difficult time than what we have experienced in our recent history. The sheltered and comfortable world that you grew up in is a far cry from the one that this and the following generations will grow up in. Biblical values, morality and the like are on steep decline. It will now truly begin to cost you something to publicly identify yourself as a follower of Christ. Only those who are strong in faith will persevere through the trial that is now here and will most certainly escalate.

 

Brothers and Sisters, Jesus is coming…soon. What will you be doing when He returns? Will He find you chasing satisfaction in this life? Will He find you “laying low” in order to minimize the damage done to you and your lifestyle? Or, will He find you studying, praying, working, serving and obeying His commands? In John 15:14, Jesus tells His disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command you”. Are you a friend of God? Then do what He says! Come to church. Read His Word. Talk to Him always. Love people. Give, don’t hoard. You will be glad you did, He promised!

 

I will leave you with this final thought from God’s Word, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For, “In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.”  And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” - Hebrews 10:35-39

 

"To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." - Jude 1:24-25

 

With love through Jesus, our Christ,

Pastor Jeremy

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