Thursday, July 15, 2010

Preaching at Wheaton (22)

I am so grateful to those who have responded by personal email to my worship preparation on this blog....several stories are painfully personal yet speak volumes about how Jesus Christ continues to come alongside us in the twenty-first century. And I know many others have been following progress! Thank you.

These questions arise for me from this next sermon. Perhaps they will help trigger responses as we go on preparing together.

1. Our words reveal our character. Reflect on occasions when you have heard good words which showed Christian character?

2. Why do some say these words “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do the things I say?” are some of the saddest words uttered by Jesus in the New Testament?

3. Only when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10) will our true character be shown. What practical difference does this truth make to our lives as individuals, and as a church community?

4. Are there ways by which we can encourage each other to be accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ in our daily living?

Looking forward to Sunday!


Anonymous said...

In your sermon today(July 18)you talked about judgement – Christians being judged. I am quite confused. In Catholic doctrine you keep trying to do good and then at the end your works are weighed, you either go to hell, purgatory or heaven depending on the outcome of that judgement. I understood that when you are saved by faith, you are totally forgiven. Old and New Testament verses seem to imply that God forgives and forgets, that sins for which you have asked forgiveness are erased by God. I did understand from what you said that your eternal destiny is not in play at this judgement - but in the long run it puts the same stress and anxiety on the person who believes. There will never be freedom from guilt for the sincerely repentant person. His/her sins are still being recorded to be hurled at him/her in the final judgement even though he/she still slips through into heaven. What did Jesus mean in John 5:24 when he says: "I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life.” If everything we have done and said will be judged, I feel like giving up already. Might as well go to mass, it is the same burden. Even though one may desire to change, in one’s heart, like you talked about, perfection will not happen in one’s lifetime. What if someone is not looking for a free pass into heaven, but peace and forgiveness on earth and the opportunity to grow and truly develop the fruits of the spirit in his/her life? I am confused.

michael quicke said...

Thanks for sharing. Our eternal destiny is settled when we believe in Jesus (John 5:24). There should be no doubt about that!

Yet, Scriptures like 1 Cor. 3:11 and 2 Cor 5:10 speak of something else. Really it's about accountability. I like what one commentator says about 2 Cor 5:10:"Here Paul is thinking primarily of the Christian's obligation to 'give an account of himself' (Rom 14:12). Appearnace before Christ's tribunal is the privilege of Christians. It is concerned with the assessment of works and, indirectly, of charater, not with the determination of desity; with reward, not status."

I like the word 'privilege'. It's not meant to be an anxiety-producing burden damaging peace of heart but an opportunity he gives to live our best by his grace. I always remain accountable to Him!