We joined together at Blackjack Church this Sunday, October 8, 2017, now free of the flu virus that kept our doors closed last week as most of our congregation suffered its symptoms. Gladly now we again enjoyed our worship and prayer time which followed the reading of the word, Psalm 86. The life found in the word is so tangible when we read aloud in unison the wonderful word of our God.
The adult Sunday School class continued in Acts 18 following a review of Paul’s work in Corinth. Although he was no longer welcomed in the synagogue, he preached the gospel at the home of one called Justus, continuing his tent making and fellowship/friendship with Aquila and Priscilla. With continued anger and resentment, the Jews ushered Paul before a Roman proconsul named Gallio who refused to listen to the internal issues of the Jewish religion. His interests were the needs of the society in general; therefore, he dismissed the case. To the chagrin of the Jews, Paul would not receive punishment. Paul had been ushered away. But the angry Jews took Paul’s friend, Sosthenes, and put a beating on him instead. Today, many innocent suffer at the angry hands of others who attempt to bring about change by the blood of others. 2 Peter 2:10 tells us that “….them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (or those in authority). Ezekiel 18 tells us that if man turns from his righteous way, all his righteousness will not be remembered. So, we call fall from grace. The class also discussed Paul’s departure to Ephesus and the significance of the Nazarite vow. Paul adhered to it before his Jewish brethren but now shaves his head in verse 18. Chapter 21:23,4 of Acts explains this.
Each of our young people identified a specific blessing they received as well as a trial of life. They spoke of the blessing their pets bring and of the temptations to lie or cheat on tests in school. They also sang a couple of songs for the congregation. Pastor Vic Murdy then preached a message entitled “Heed The Final Warning.” He prefaced his message with an example from his military background, explaining that when a US Navy ship sailing in international waters is approached by another country’s aircraft, a warning is signaled to that aircraft. They are warned that they are 50 miles from said ship and need to move away or be fired upon. Another warning occurs at 25 miles away. At 10 miles away, the aircraft is signaled that they have just been fired upon. Many disastrous storms and events have occurred worldwide and almost back-to-back. There is no “Mother Nature” to be blamed. God is sending us warnings. Which one will be the last one?
Deuteronomy 28 lists blessings of obedience and curses of disobedience. Over time, man has taken God’s perfect world and polluted it to a point where it must be cleansed with fire (2 Peter 3:10-18). We have God’s word that clearly states homosexuality is an abomination in His eyes; yet our laws says it is okay. God’s word states we are not to shed innocent blood; yet our laws say it is okay to abort or kill our babies. When can man have more wisdom and understanding of what God says or means than He (God) Himself? God calls for obedience, not clarification. Scripture states that no man, nor the angels, shall know the day or the hour of His return. Yet man struggles and guesses at this, deceiving many in the process. Verse 16 states that “some things are hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they so also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
God will not bring forth the new heaven upon an old and polluted earth. It will be purged with fire. Verses 11 and 12 warn us that “seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat”? God has been patient and longsuffering, wanting and waiting for those lost in sin to behold Him, (Truth and Righteousness), repent and be saved and obedient. Be not “led away with the error of the wicked” and “fall from your own steadfastness” in the faith (verse 18). Rather “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Grace means favor. Strive to do daily His instruction through prayer, witnessing and reading the word. Luke 21:36 tells us to “watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man.”
Have we passed the 25 mile warning? Are we at the 12 mile mark? Has the l0 mile warning been given? Have the shots been fired? Where are we in the light of God’s warnings? Will we take heed or will we ignore them. The choice is ours; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
We enjoyed another tasty meal in fellowship and invite all who would to come and join us for service and food Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Pastor Murdy can be reached at 4l7-543-3659. We cannot take the rest of our day for granted let alone tomorrow. Have a blessed week.