Summary: The Bible says: 'Encourage one another'. So many people believe that if there is a God, He could not, should not love. If salvation is possible, that they are 'not good enough to be saved'. That they are unworthy or too sinful. This is a lie of the devil.

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OT – 2nd Samuel 9:1-13

NT – Matthew 5 verses 11-16

Sermon: No dead dogs to God

‘I feel like a dog!’

So someone said ‘How long have you felt like that?’

The answer was ‘Since I was a puppy!’.

I know things are bad for many people.

None of us and economists

but we are all familiar now with words like, recession, economic depression, structural unemployment, deficit,

and the role that the Treasury, the Bank of England,

the International Monetary Fund play in our lives,

and although we have pounds in our pockets or purses,

we have been told that the future of the Euro is as important to us

and it is to the Greeks, the Portuguese and the Irish.

We know things are bad,

and that it is nearly 50 years since Harold MacMillan who,

when Prime Minister, said “We have never had it so good”,

but in spite of the bad news that is going around

and many British service men and women have been killed and injured

in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

for the most part, we have seen half a century of peace and prosperity.

Most of us have colour TV, videos, DVDs, cars, dishwashers, microwave ovens.

fridge-freezers, double glazing, central heating, tumble dryers,

and, of course, the internet.

There is a minimum wage,

and pensions mean retired people can have a decent standard of living.

Most of us have decent homes to live in,

and many people take foreign holidays, some even more than one per year.

Children dress in designer gear and have expensive toys and mobile phones

There are very few “old bangers” on the roads

and many houses have conservatories and extensions.

There is nothing wrong with ‘Things’,

but are people happy?

How many happy smiling faces do you see in the shops and the streets?

Proverbs 15:13 says

"When people are happy, they smile;

but when they are sad, they look depressed".

Why do so many young people brought up in a land free from rationing and war

need to take drugs or drink in order to find happiness?

Why is the abortion rate in this country, the highest in Europe?

Why is our teenage pregnancy rate the highest in the world?

Why is Scotland the heart attack centre of the world?

Why do so many young people aged about 25-30 commit suicide?

Obviously material prosperity does not guarantee happiness.

According to a recent survey of religious belief and practice,

only 7% of the population of the UK will be in a church this morning.

An article in the Daily Telegraph published around Christmas

says according to new research for a Poll commissioned by Reader's Digest

only 64% believe in God,

only 58% believe in an after-life ,

and only 46% of adults questioned knew why Christians celebrated Easter;


Many people still like to call themselves "Christian"

especially when going into hospital

or planning for a relative's funeral,

but it seems that the majority of people have turned away

from "organised religion" and regular church-going,

but people need to hear the Good News

as much today as at any time in the past,

because it is relevant for all times,

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