Summary: Good things happens to bad people, and the Gospel tells us that, but it is not fair, but what we don’t see, is God changing us for the better, refining us to do his will. It is all there in the bible.
This sermon was delivered to St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 30th October 2016; This is a Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries.
When the temple police had brought the apostles, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority.
The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
“Please join me in a short prayer”, “Father I ask that the words I speak are your words and not my words; that they speak for you, and glorify you. Amen.
This morning we are going to look at today’s readings in reverse order, starting with Revelations and ending up in the book of Exodus. You may think, you cannot do that, because everything works in chronological order, and you cannot start with the end before the beginning, but God can. God is omnipresent, and time means nothing to him as “He is the great alpha and omega; the first and last; the beginning and the end”; the great “I am”.
Rev 1 4:8
In revelations this morning, we heard the verse, “All praise to him who always loves us and who set us free from our sins by pouring out his lifeblood for us.” God, through Jesus has freed us from our sins; and I believe that is past, present and future sins, but today I want to talk about being free from our past sins; in the way God has promised us.
Acts 5: 27 32
So from the book of Acts this morning we read the apostles say “We are witnesses of these things, (that is the death and resurrection of Jesus), and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to all; who obey him.” By taking communion we are obeying Gods command by becoming his body: by the eating of His flesh we receive his atonement; by drinking his precious blood we receive forgiveness because we allow the Holy Spirit to enter and take control of our lives.
The disciples were boldly proclaiming in this verse that they witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus, and by doing so, they could not help but preach the good news; that is the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone, regardless of circumstances. … You see, the disciples knew and felt the power of Jesus, and could do nothing to contain there excitement. Could you imagine how that felt, they were afraid of nothing, and busting with excitement. They just could not contain themselves, regardless of consequences.
Moving back further to John 10, “My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them away from me, for my father has given them to me.”
In plain language, we belong to Jesus, and he is keeping us for himself, letting no one near us to snatch or take us away. I find this very comforting, as this verse is saying, we belong to Jesus, He is all powerful, and He is always looking after us.
I know it does not feel like it at times, but that is what the bible tells us, and we can be forgiven for thinking that the “biblical theory” and “life reality” are totally disjointed at times.