Be zealous in your efforts to advance the kingdom
“Then he said, ‘Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.’ He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” – Genesis 18:32
Somehow as I drive through the alleys, streets and corners of where the majority of the people live here in our country, I see a stark deterioration in the way of life that we were used to as British Subjects. To me it seems as if we lost our moral and spiritual compass once we became masters of our destination and purpose.
And we are now at the place when the wrath of God is about to descend upon us because we went a-whoring after strange gods — the gods of selfishness, materialism, arrogance, and the total rejection of the prophets that God sent among us to lead us on the right path. How did we get this way?
In our lesson text today, God is angry with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their sinful and promiscuous ways. They were not mindful of serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had no respect for person, place or things. They were sex crazy and had no morals or scruples. Mildly put, it was the order of the day. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that if you sow a thought you will reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap your destiny — good or bad.
A whole lot of preaching is done against the LGBT sins, but whatever is done where sin is involved, is scoffed and not accepted by God. That is why he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, so that we can be forgiven upon confession of our sins. Today, I acknowledge that we have become a very sinful nation and it behooves all of us to seek forgiveness through confession.
Have the pirates of old left these beautiful isles of the sea and plunder no more? I say no, they are still here and have become more intense in their ways and habits. Ralph Emerson says that it all begins with a thought and the Holy Book told us long ago that, “as a man thinks so is he.” So if you only applied for a position because you saw a way of milking the company of its assets, then the end result is shame and disgrace. If you only became acquainted to dismantle a family, what is sowed is reaped.
The first Sunday in the Baptist Church is celebrated as Communion Sunday and the partaking of The Lord’s Supper. During the service, the Baptist Covenant is read responsively.
What common experience leads us into spiritual fellowship and covenant relations with God and one another? Having been led by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and on the Son and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
By what pledge do we promise to turn from the ways of the world? We promise by the aid of the Holy Spirit to forsake the paths of sin, and to walk in the ways of holiness all the days of our lives.
What are some of our privileges and duties in this our own church? We engage to strive together for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort — to promote its prosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines. What vows do we gladly make as stewards to that which God has entrusted to us? To contribute cheerfully, by tithing as taught in the Bible, to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel throughout all nations.
For the sake of our home and loved ones, what tasks do we humbly assume? We engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances.
For the sake of the unsaved for whom Christ died, to what manner of life and conversation are we solemnly pledging? To walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements; exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; and to oppose all un-brotherly acts and attitudes in all walks of life toward any of God’s children, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our savior.
Since one is our master, even Christ, and all we are brethren, by what fraternal ministries are we to strengthen each other and adorn the teachings of our Lord and savior? We further agree to walk together in Christian love and watchfulness, giving and receiving admonition with meekness and affection to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offence, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our savior to secure it without delay.
Humbly confessing our past sins, we pray for grace and strength to keep these our holy vows, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today the clarion call goes to those who are numbered as his children calling upon his name to get the righteous army together. If there are sufficient of us petitioning the throne of God on behalf of our land, our land will be spared from pending doom and disaster. Are you making up the number for the saving of our land?
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