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Summary: Spiritual survival in a hostile spiritual environment dictates a firm confession of faith

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1st Sunday of End Time - Series B

Reformation Sunday

November 2, 2003

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Dear Friends in Christ:

I think that you are all at least familiar with the TV show “Survivor,” whether you have watched it or not. It is what they call now a “reality” game show. 16 people are put into an environment like an island, and the goal is to be the winner of a $1 million prize. Fortunately for the participants, they are voted off by the other participants, not burned at the stake of sacrificed to a volcano. After they are voted off about the worst thing that happens is they might be humiliated on the internet. In fact, they are flown from the hostile environment in which they have been living, and taken to a posh resort. Many of them make TV appearances and some even are able to launch a new career afterward.

The modern day game show “Survivor” pales in comparison to the high stakes game of life that Martin Luther became involved in when he opposed the established authorities in the Church. For Martin Luther spiritual survival was of foremost importance, and he understood how important that was for every person. No matter what may happen in life, no matter how bad circumstances may get, spiritual survival comes first. Martin Luther had it straight. He knew that spiritual survival in a hostile spiritual environment dictates a firm confession of faith.

For us in our spiritual environment it has not really gotten any easier. The Bible tells us to expect trials and troubles as we struggle to survive the hostile wilderness of this world. But, today in the words of Psalm 46 the LORD will tell us

HOW TO BE A SPIRITUAL SURVIVOR

1. Where we can find shelter

2. Where we can find security

3. Where we can find deliverance

SHELTER

In our God and in his Word we find shelter from the storms of life. David writes in the Psalm:

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.


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