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Summary: Life is full of questions, What am I going to do with my life? What will I become? What will tomorrow bring? Will my children turn out right? There are also questions concerning my spiritual life. Am I saved? When I die will I go to heaven?

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For those not familiar with an Anglican Service, there are four Scripture readings prior to the Sermon. The Scripture readings for today are: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124; Romans 12:1-8 and Mathew 16:13-20

Life is full of questions, ......Questions abound everywhere.

What am I going to do with my life?

What will I become?

What will tomorrow bring? Will my children turn out .... right?

Not only do these practical questions beg for an answer, .......but there are also questions concerning my spiritual life.

Am I saved? When I die will I go to heaven?

Why does God allow such tragedy to exist ....on the earth?

Then there are the philosophical questions:

Which comes first the chicken or the egg?

How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it fall, ..... does it still make a sound?

If a man is by himself in the forest and he speaks, ...... is he still wrong?

We could go on and on.

All of these questions have one common element ...... which is illustrated by the following story:

"A college sophomore tried to prove how smart he was one day by asking his professor the following question, ......."Is the bird I'm holding dead or alive?"

If the professor said the bird was dead, ......the boy .....was obviously going to free the bird .....and let it fly away.

If the professor said it was alive, .....the boy was going to crush the bird.

The professor looked at the young man and said, "My boy, the answer is in your hands."

Our Gospel lesson today ......takes us to the District of Caesarea Philippi, ......an area about 25 miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee ...... about 120 miles from Jerusalem.

The region was strongly identified with various religions:

It had been a center for Baal worship; ..... the Greek god Pan ......had shrines there.

And Herod the Great ...... built a temple there .....to honor ..... Augustus Caesar.

It was in the midst of this pagan superstition that Peter confessed Jesus ..... as the Son of the living God.

And it was probably within sight of Caesar's temple that Jesus announced:

He would not yet establish His kingdom, ..... He would build His church.

He looked at His disciples and in a moment of reflection said: ......"Who do the people say that I am?"

The disciples begin sharing with Jesus .....what they had heard .....from the people:

Some say that You are Elijah;..... others say John the Baptist, ....still others Jeremiah .....or one of the prophets.

(Slow) You can speak of Jesus as a Prophet, ..... Holy man, .... Teacher, ..... or Spiritual leader, and few will object.

But speak of Him as the .... Son of God, divine, ......of the same nature of the Father,..... and people will line up .....to express .... their disapproval.

Muslims will say: "Prophet, Yes. .....God, No!"

Jews scattered around the world will say: ......."Teacher, Yes...... Messiah, No!"

Liberal Protestants and modern religionists will say: ......"Exemplary man, Yes. ......Divine, No!"

Beloved, ...... Who do you say ..... Jesus is?

In our pluralistic society .....we have been watering down the Gospel and the name of Jesus ......for quite some time.


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