Sunday, 11th October 6.00 pm Order of Service

WELCOME

HYMN  All the heavens

Holy, holy are You Lord

The whole earth is filled with Your glory

Let the nations rise to give

Honor and praise to Your name

Let Your face shine on us

And the world will know You live

All the heavens shout Your praise

Beautiful is our God, the universe will sing

Hallelujah to You our King

[Incomprehensible] sing holy

Holy, holy are You Lord

The whole earth is filled with Your glory

Let the nations rise to give

Honor and praise to Your name

Let Your face shine on us

And the world will know You live

All the heavens shout Your praise

Beautiful is our God, the universe will sing

Hallelujah to You our King

And all the heavens shout Your praise

Beautiful is our God, the universe will sing

Hallelujah to You our King

PRAYER

READING MATTHEW 12:14-37

14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

God’s Chosen Servant

15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen,


the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.

19 

He will not quarrel or cry out;


no one will hear his voice in the streets.

20 

A bruised reed he will not break,


and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.

21 

In his name the nations will put their hope.”[

a]

Jesus and Beelzebul

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

SERMON – THE GREAT DIVIDE

C.S.Lewis wrote a marvellous book called

 The Great Divorce. In it, the author takes a bus-ride which terminates in heaven. Yet, to our amazement, many of those who find themselves at the heavenly terminus try any number of excuses to GET OUT of God’s presence. Lewis quoteshis mentor George MacDonald:

There is no escape. There is no heaven with a little hell in it – no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Out Satan must go, every hair and feather.”

There is an inevitable great divide, or great divorce, between those who are of Jesus and those who aren’t.

 We are all either God’s children or we are the Devil’s offspring.

No-one in modern times brings this out as clearly as C S Lewis. However, instinctively we ALL want to believe that we can have a foot in both camps – or sit on the fence. But this is just not possible – the fence is of barbed wire.

This divide between Jesus followers and His enemies becomes ever clearer as Jesus’ life and ministry develops.

LOOK at

 Matthew 12 and see for yourself. Matthew is quick to point out that ALL that happened to Jesus was prophesied many centuries earlier.

Isaiah, the prophet, wrote 4 passages about GOD’S SERVANT and he revealed some amazing things that would happen to the Messiah. In vv 18-21 here, we have a quote from the FIRST Servant Song (Is. 42:1-4) which speaks of Messiah keeping quiet about His true identity.

And, of course,

 Jesus didn’t shout about being God’s Son. Indeed in vs 16 He warns the crowds NOT to tell Who He was.

************************************************

In vs 22 we see Jesus’ healing work continuing. The people are astonished to see the blind and dumb demon-possessed man – totally cured. Yet Isaiah said it would happen. In the 4th(& greatest) Servant Song (Is 53:5) we read: “By His wounds are we HEALED.

This prompts some people to ask: “Could this be the Son of David.”Some now wondered if Jesus was the promised Messiah.

However, the chasm now splits wide open between the followers and the enemies of Jesus. While some are wondering if He is God’s Son, the

 Pharisees jump in (vs 24) and condemn Jesus as working for the Devil! Yet what do we read in Isaiah’s 2nd Servant Song (Is 49:7) “He was despised and abhorred.

NOW we reach a turning point. The Pharisees have nailed their colours to the mast – they have openly slandered Jesus and condemned Him as demonic. And so Jesus turns, now, and speaks plainly to them!

He tells them how stupid it is to imagine that a demon-filled man would cast demons out of others. Indeed, Jesus says

 (vs. 28) “If I drive out demons by the power of God THEN the Kingdom HAS come upon you.

And Jesus takes up a similar stance to

 John the Baptist (currently in prison, you remember). In Matthew 3, John had called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers” and here in vs 34 Jesus calls them by the same name.

John the Baptist also told the people (Mt 3:8) “

produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” And Jesus picks up that theme in vv 33ff. A good tree – good fruit. A bad tree – bad fruit. A tree is recognised by its fruit.

Well, how will YOU be recognised?

 On what side of the great divide are YOU?It is impossible to be neutral in this battle between heaven and hell. Jesus says (vs 30) “He who is not with me is against me.” That is the truth from the lips of God’s Son. And, Jesus says, YOUR LIPS will ultimately betray you also (vv 30-37).

There is some plain speaking here in this pulpit – how do you react?

 How do you respond to the God who demands total submission and loyalty from you?

Be sure which side you are on.

 Make sure it is GOD’s side.

PRAYER

Hymn

Mine eyes have seen the glory

1 Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:

he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

he hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword:

his truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, Alleluia,

his truth is marching on.

2 He hath sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;

he is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment-seat;

O, be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant, my feet!

His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, Alleluia,

His truth is marching on.

3 In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:

as he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,

while God is marching on.

Glory, glory, Alleluia,

His truth is marching on.Benediction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: