Sunday, 7th November 10.30 am Order of Service

WELCOME

SONG Whosoever will

  1. “Whosoever heareth,” shout, shout the sound!
    Spread the blessed tidings all the world around;
    Spread the joyful news wherever man is found:
    “Whosoever will may come.”Refrain:
    “Whosoever will, whosoever will,”
    Send the proclamation over vale and hill;
    ’Tis a loving Father calls the wand’rer home:
    “Whosoever will may come.”
  1. Whosoever cometh need not delay,
    Now the door is open, enter while you may;
    Jesus is the true, the only Living Way:
    “Whosoever will may come.”
  1. “Whosoever will,” the promise secure,
    “Whosoever will,” forever must endure;
    “Whosoever will,” ’tis life forevermore:
    “Whosoever will may come.”

PRAYER

Children’s Talk

Children’s Song

As the deer pants for the water

So my soul longs after You

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship You (You alone)

You alone are my strength, my shield

To You alone may my spirit yield

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship You

You’re my friend, you are my brother even though You are a King

You’re my friend and You are my brother

Even though You are a King

I love You more then any other

So much more then anything

You alone are my strength

You alone are my strength, my shield

To You alone may my spirit yield

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship You

Still the first verse and the chorus again

As the deer pants for the water

As the deer pants for the water

So my soul longs after You

You alone are my heat’s desire

And I long to worship You

You alone are my strength, my shield

To You alone may my spirit yield

You alone are my heat’s desire

And I long to worship You (You alone)

You alone are my strength, my shield

To You alone may my spirit yield

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship You

O Lord You’re the desire of our hearts this day

Lord, You’re the desire of the Nations

And so Father, we gather here from many Nations

And many people

And we join our hearts together

To say Lord, that in everything we do this day

And every time we spend and every thought we think, Lord

And every meditation that we’re involved with, Lord

May it all be an act of worship

To Your great and glorious name

Blessed be Your name, O God

Amen

READING 2 Peter 2:17-22

17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

SERMON EMPTY FREEDOM

[John 7:37-38 / Revelation 21:1-8]

Though the ultimate judgment of heretics is assured, Peter wrote as he did because of the damage they wreak in the church. You may have met people who have rejected all religious faith and now profess to enjoy a new freedom. They boldly confess, “I used to believe that stuff, but I don’t believe it anymore. I’ve got something better and I feel free for the first time in my life.

The false teachers in the first century Church promise Christians liberty, but this not a promise they can fulfill. But the freedom they offer is an empty freedom, and Peter gave three reasons that explain why it is an “Empty Freedom.”

I. THE FREEDOM OF EMPTY SUBSTANCE, 2:17-18.

II. THE FREEDOM OF EMPTY PROMISES, 2:19-20.

III. THE FREEDOM OF AN EMPTY LIFE, 2:21-22.

1 – Empty Substance

Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. A pagan may have great faith in his idol, but the idol can do nothing for him. Peter uses two vivid illustrations to emphasise the false teachers’ empty offerings.

They offer real satisfaction from their “truths” but the reality is they have only empty allusion to offer. They offer a great deal, but produce emptiness.

If we want true satisfaction in life, we need the living spring of Christ who can truly supply living water.

False teachers may develop a great presentation by which they draw people, but despite the influential words, their message is devoid of any eternal help.

neral Epistles: A Practical Faith.]

A New York City couple received through the mail TWO TICKETS to a Broadway musical. Oddly, the gift arrived without a note, and they wondered who had sent it. But they attended the show and enjoyed it immensely.

Returning to their apartment, they discovered that their apartment had been ransacked, Valuables, furs and jewels were missing, On the pillow in the bedroom was this simple note: “Now you know.”

Like that nameless thief, a false teacher knows what people want and appeals to their desires. He claims he will enrich lives, but those who follow him often learn at a high cost that they have been deceived.

Jesus, however, is a teacher we can trust completely. He offers us the gift of eternal life because He truly loves us. Accepting His gift of salvation is the first step in protecting ourselves from the deceptive gifts that false teachers offer.

But even believers can be deceived by false teaching. That’s why God’s Word exhorts us to study the Scriptures (1 Peter 2:2), to test what we hear (1 John 4:1), and to grow in the faith (2 Peter 1 :5-9). That way, our spiritual life won’t be ransacked.

II. THE FREEDOM OF EMPTY PROMISES, 2:19-20.

Verse 19 says they attract folk by the powerful promise of “freedom” but they can’t deliverer what they do not have.

God’s freedom means a release from the bondage of one’s earthly lusts, not the freedom to engage in them. This deliverance is the thrust of the Christian gospel. Jesus came to save the world from its bondage to sin by His sacrifice on the cross, where He paid the penalty for man’s sins before a righteous and holy God. However, these unholy teachers preached the exact opposite. They urged people to a freedom from the constraints of God’s Word, to a freedom of indulging their sensual fantasies [1 Cor. 6:12-13; Gal. 5:13]. Liberty was turned into license.

So Peter reminds Christians that they are slaves to whatever they give in to. Though freedom is promise, they themselves are slaves of corruption and sin. The principle [of Romans 6:16] is: if anyone is conquered by something, he is actually a slave to it.

We assume that these people had learned about the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and may have even intellectually acknowledged its claims on their lives.

On the basis of this knowledge, they began to turn away from their pagan or worldly ways. But they were never truly Christians.

Peter warns not only against the false teachers but also reminds us of the fact that we bear responsibility for ourselves. We are responsible and accountable for our own spiritual welfare, and if we allow ourselves to be led astray, we will pay a high price for our sin.

III. THE FREEDOM OF AN EMPTY LIFE, 2:21-22.

Remember, those referred to in verses 20-21 are only “professing” Christians whose false teachings provide evidence that they never truly belonged to Christ.

Whenever a person rejects the truth and returns to his or her way of life. This person is worse off than before, because he or she has rejected the only way out of sin, the only way of salvation.

Peter gives two graphic examples in verse 22 that unmistakably illustrate the terrible reality of these people’s misdirected lives. “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.

Peter employs two proverbs regarding animals that were generally despised by the Jewish culture—dogs and pigs. It is in the very nature of dogs and pigs to return to unclean living. Likewise, people who hear the truth but will still not allow Christ into their lives will return to their sinful ways.

IN CLOSING,

The whole chapter warns believers to secure the faith which had been preached to them by the apostles against the savage attack by obvious frauds who have shown themselves to be worthy of the certain judgment of God which will come upon them.

Jesus extended an invitation to come to Him instead of trying to find satisfaction in the way of the world. He said in John 4:13-14, “13 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” What a contrast! You may drink repeatedly at the broken cisterns of the world and never find true satisfaction, but you come to Christ Jesus and take one drink of the Living Water through faith in Jesus Christ, and you will be satisfied forever.

Come, and drink of this Living water from the eternal Spring of Christ’s salvation that comes from the Eternal Spirit of Christ. Come… and drink from the well of salvation, and satisfy your thirst.

PRAYER

Hymn Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken

  1. Glorious things of thee are spoken,
    Zion, city of our God!
    He, whose Word cannot be broken,
    Formed thee for His own abode;
    On the Rock of Ages founded,
    What can shake thy sure repose?
    With salvation
    s walls surrounded,
    Thou mayst smile at all thy foes.
  1. See, the streams of living waters,
    Springing from eternal love,
    Well supply thy sons and daughters,
    And all fear of want remove:
    Who can faint while such a river
    Ever flows their thirst t
    assuage?
    Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,
    Never fails from age to age.
  1. Round each habitation hovring,
    See the cloud and fire appear,
    For a glory and a cov
    ring,
    Showing that the Lord is near;
    Blest inhabitants of Zion,
    Washed in the Redeemer
    s blood!
    Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
    Makes them kings and priests to God;
  1. Saviour, if of Zions city,
    I through grace a member am,
    Let the world deride or pity,
    I will glory in Thy name;
    Fading is the worldling
    s pleasure,
    All his boasted pomp and show;
    Solid joys and lasting treasure
    None but Zion
    s children know.

Benediction

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