Sunday, 23rd August 6.00 pm Order of Service

WELCOME

HYMN Let God arise (Chris Tomlin)

1 Hear the holy roar of God resound,

watch the waters part before us now.

Come and see what he has done for us,

tell the world of his great love.

Our God is a God who saves.

Our God is a God who saves.

Let God arise, let God arise.

Our God reigns now and forever,

he reigns now and forever.

2 His enemies will run for sure,

the church will stand, she will endure.

He holds the keys of life, our Lord,

death has no sting, no final word.

Chorus x2

PRAYER

READING MATTHEW 10:11-15 & 32-36

11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

SERMON – THE GOSPEL DIVIDES.

GOD actually divides people.

Now, you will know that God, one day, will separate the sheep from the goats – those who are His and those who aren’t – BUT EVEN DOWN HERE ON EARTH God divides us.

Do you believe that?

Our readings this evening start with Jesus giving some counsel to the apostles. He tells them to go where they are welcomed – and it is assumed that some people will welcome Christians.

However, Jesus says that there will also be the other kinds of households where they will be shunned – and Jesus tells His friends to have nothing to do with such people.

But why would people in that very hospitable country not welcome the disciples? Well the answer is very plain – it is because they were friends of JESUS.

We’ll be looking at that in a few weeks time, but, for now, we must simply realise that some folks will hate a Christian JUST BECAUSE he is a Christian.

Whenever God’s Word is faithfully proclaimed GOD DIVIDES the hearers – some will hate the Gospel others will listen joyfully and will turn to love Jesus!

If you are one of Jesus’ friends and you tell others about Him you will also be hated by some – you will lose friends, even your family may turn against you – and Jesus has much to say about that in this chapter.

Jesus says (vs.34) Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on earth (Didn’t YOU suppose that ?) I have come not to bring peace, but a sword….. YES, Jesus brings a message of salvation, but He also brings a message of judgment.

You must know that most famous of all passages – Jn 3:16 God so loved the world that He gave…. (Verse 18 continues) whoever does NOT believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (vs. 19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

The fact of the matter is that Jesus cannot bring peace to anyone until He first troubles our heart. You will know that elsewhere, God’s Word is described as a sword (Heb 4:12) – which pierces soul, body, mind and heart.

And as we go out with the message of Jesus – with the Sword of the Spirit, then we will be rejected for His sake, just as He Himself was rejected.

HOWEVER : in vv 32,33 Jesus tells us that we must not shrink back from confessing him with our lips and professing Him to a needy world. Jesus tells us that we must be OPENLY ON HIS SIDE.

Jesus doesn’t want secret disciples – He wants all His people to nail their colours to the mast and come out in the open about their love for Him. If we will openly acknowledge Him – He will do as much for us.

HOWEVER – if we fail to live openly for Him – which is the same as disowning Him, then there is an awful warning in vs. 33 where Jesus says : I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Be warned that the Gospel divides, for God divides, but be encouraged that if you stand up and are counted as one of Jesus’ friends, then He will be happy to include you among HIS circle of friends. ARE YOU ON CHRIST’S SIDE?

PRAYER

HYMN Who is on the Lord’s side?

1 Who is on the Lord’s side?

Who will serve the king?

Who will be his helpers

Other lives to bring?

Who will leave the world’s side?

Who will face the foe?

Who is on the Lord’s side?

Who for him will go?

By thy call of mercy,

By thy grace divine,

We are on the Lord’s side;

Saviour, we are thine.

2 Not for weight of glory,

Not for crown and palm,

Enter we the army,

Raise the warrior-psalm;

But for love that claimeth

Lives for whom he died:

He whom Jesus nameth

Must be on his side.

By thy love constraining,

by thy grace divine,

We are on the Lord’s side;

Saviour, we are thine.

3 Jesus, thou hast bought us,

Not with gold or gem,

But with thine own life-blood,

For thy diadem.

With thy blessing filling

Each who comes to thee,

Thou hast made us willing,

Thou has made us free.

By thy great redemption,

By thy grace divine,

We are on the Lord’s side;

Saviour, we are thine.

4 Fierce may be the conflict,

Strong may be the foe;

But the king’s own army

None can overthrow.

Round his standard ranging,

Victory is secure;

For his truth unchanging

Makes the triumph sure.

Joyfully enlisting,

By thy grace divine,

We are on the Lord’s side;

Saviour, we are thine.

5 Chosen to be soldiers

In an alien land,

Chosen, called, and faithful,

For our captain’s band,

In the service royal

Let us not grow cold;

Let us be right loyal,

Noble, true, and bold.

Master, thou wilt keep us,

By thy grace divine,

Always on the Lord’s side;

Saviour, always thine.

Benediction

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