Sermons

Summary: Looking into the unknown is our position- it’s not comfortable but necessary.

On the Edge of Tomorrow

Cornwall/Montreal

August 27, 2005

The unseen is a powerful motivator to human lives, normally in a negative direction.

The unseen is a powerful disincentive to most of us, to our lives and to our development.

As we look back at human history, almost every advance of human society has been resisted, including the understanding of the round earth, the fact that the earth rotates around the sun rather than the sun and other bodies around the earth, the steam engine, penicillin, the incandescent light, flight to the moon, and the list could go on. Yet, in all cases, at least some good has come, often begrudgingly admitted by former detractors and resisters, and often they have become, over time, ones most enthusiastically embracing the development.

Change is threatening, even while exciting. Change is disturbing, even while energizing. Often the benefits are not clearly seen for some time, but once they are, we wonder why we were not enthusiastic earlier on.

Christians are experts at change- or, at least, are supposed to be.

2 Pet.1.5-11- Peter speaks of ongoing development that is to occur in our lives. This is not something to attain once and then come to a point of simply being content. But, Peter is writing of a process that occurs over time, and that is circular, so that change in one area brings further change in others that touch it. Growth requires change. Change requires risk, though, and most of us are very risk averse. We see this at camp, among other places. In water skiing, many have to be seriously coaxed to take the risk of success. Some never make it up on skis, but the fact that they have tried is success by itself. We had one young man, now recently married, who tried year after year and only got up two years ago, I believe it was. He took the risk over and over again. Each time was not failure but took him closer to the goal of ultimate success. This year, one young man, a more seasoned skier, succeeded at something he had tried before and wanted to succeed at- bare foot skiing, and another succeeded at trick skiing. When I was first in ministry, as a summer intern in the summer of 1974, in Prince George, BC, with Danny Banham, we had a family camp and he taught me, what I did not know, that water skiing is one sport fairly easy to succeed in, and one that boosts personal confidence immeasurably. He was right and I had no idea how that ‘spiritual information’ could come to play, in my ministry, 25 years after it was given.

The point is that going forward takes change. You can’t stay where you are and go forward. We’d all prefer to be able to do that. We’d all like that. We’d all like to never have to change. But the reality of life is that we’re always changing. As scientists explore the human body, they continue to amaze me with facts about the internal changes that happen naturally and normally, as organs change and grow constantly. This gives us God’s pattern for growth and change- it’s constant and it’s normal.

Think about Jesus- on his last night of physical body ministry, as he faced a tomorrow unlike any you or I have every faced, yet so much like what you and I have faced and face right now.

Matt.25.36-46- Here is Jesus Christ, on the edge of tomorrow (sermon title for today). What example did he set us as he faced something difficult, something not done before, something meant to have a positive impact? Please focus on this, and allow this example to quiet the apprehensions, anxieties, expectations, and fears you might have right now as we sit ‘on the edge of tomorrow’ in our church’s development here in Montreal/Cornwall. As we are on the edge of tomorrow and great change in our church, can we not identify with Jesus, and can we not learn from Him, the ultimate teacher? We are His disciples, which means that we’re to be learning from Him and responding to Him. Please, let us do that.

v.37-38- Jesus knew anxiety and even fear. Do you feel nervous? I do. Do you feel anxious, fearful, and do you have second thoughts and even doubts? I’ll tell you that I do. Jesus did, too. He knew what was ahead. He knew the benefit, the need, the holiness of it, yet He knew, too, the pain and the horror that lay ahead for Him.

You and I have known the same, at many times in our lives. Think of a major decision you have made- maybe to buy a house or a new vehicle- and the nervousness you felt- even the sickness in the pit of your stomach as you signed papers, wondering whether you would be able to fulfill what you were signing, or simply recognizing the impact of what you were signing, as you signed, perhaps, marriage or divorce documents. Men, remember your anxiety before a Spokesman Club speech. Or remember how you felt on the eve of a major interview for a job or some position you wanted somewhere, or facing a first day of school, or a first date.

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