What do you think about GPS systems. Pretty handy, right? Pat and I were recently out to Lancaster and decided on the way back to see if we could confuse GoogleMaps, or get it lost. We kept turning in directions it did not indicate, taking roads that had not been mentioned, and completely ignoring whatever the voice said. Yeah, we were really enjoying living the rebellious life!
As it turned out, no matter what we did or did not do, the GPS had a way to get us home. It was not confounded by Yost Road, a road that only runs for about three quarters of mile between North Hollander Road and Peters Road. It treated little known Ligalaw Road as familiarly as Broad Street in Philadelphia. It was able to do this because it knew exactly where we were at any given moment and it knew our intended destination. Regardless of the ill-advised turns we made, it could adjust to all our deviations and still provide a good way home.
We pondered the fact that thousands of similar directions were being given at exactly the same time by that GPS system. Each set of directions being individualized for the particular persons seeking guidance. It made no difference if the persons were traveling on Yost Road in Lancaster County as we were, or Yost Road in Waterloo, NY, or Yost Road in Selbyville, DE, or Yost Road in Zanesville, OH. The system knew all the roads, knew where we were, knew where we wanted to go, and was able to adjust and provide the information to get us from where we were to where we wanted to be.
One wonders if it’s even possible to get lost given the capacities of GPS systems? Only if one gets outside the coverage area of the system. These GPS systems give us a heady sense of being in control. While the system gives us directions, it does not make us follow them. It adjusts to our deviations, but does nothing to prevent us from making whatever deviations we desire. The GPS system adjusts to us, not us to it. We can do whatever we want and the system allows (makes allowances for) it.
Isn’t this a good picture of the prevailing cultural worldview? On all sides we hear reports of individuals deciding this is what they want to do, this is what they want to be, this is how they view themselves. The common expectation is that the rest of reality will adjust to those desires, make allowances for them, and each person will reach his desired destination.
Not only GPS, but all of our many technological advances teach us to think this way. We have the notion that we’re in charge and can chart whatever course we desire. That seems to be true morally, physically, economically, and culturally. It is pretty amazing all that we can do! No question about it. But we dare not draw the wrong conclusion.
The Bible teaches that God is in control. He is the One who directs us. He is in charge and He has a plan and a purpose. In one of our scriptural readings this month we’ll hear that God is the One who determines the times and boundaries of nations. In the midst of all the uproar and upheavals that take place, God is working out His plan and purpose.
More importantly for you and me, this is also true on a personal basis. As amazing as it may seem given the world’s current population of six and half billion people, God knows exactly where each of us is, all the details of our lives, and nothing escapes His attention. In that sense, the GPS analogy works well. Not so much on the broader picture, though.
With a GPS, it adjusts to you and does not have the power to input changes that would affect your choice of directions. God, however, does have input into our lives and directs us by all manner of things. Let me give you some examples.
Peter was supremely confident in his ability to follow Jesus and stand with him regardless of what came to pass. We know what happened: in a matter of a couple of hours, Peter denied knowing Jesus three distinct times. Peter didn’t plan that, didn’t want that, didn’t anticipate that, but it happened. God brought it to pass through the instrumentality of the devil. God had purpose in it. Here’s what Jesus told Peter before it came to pass: . . . I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. [Luke 22:32] Even Peter’s failure was part of God’s purpose in making Peter into a rock of strength for his fellow Christians.
One can consider the case of David. He had no higher aspirations than being a tender of flocks like his father. But God brought things into David’s life that changed everything: he became a mighty king! David purposed to build a house for the Lord. In the midst of those plans, God reveals His plan: . . . the Lord will make a house for you . . . I will raise up your descendant after you . . . I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever . . . My lovingkindness shall not depart from him. [2 Sam. 7:11-15] God not only took David from the flocks, not only made him a great warrior and a great king, but He also declared the Messiah would come through his direct genealogical line. God accomplished more in and through David than David could ever have imagined.
Job’s life is always worthy of consideration. After years of blessing, he experienced tragedy after tragedy. What had he done wrong? Nothing. He was faithful to God in all ways. Therefore God chose to use Job as an example of faithfulness to God that wasn’t based on blessings, but on God’s worthiness. Concerning Job, God tells Satan: . . . Behold, all that he has is in your power . . . Behold, he is in your power only spare his life. [Job 1:12; 2:6] When all that God intended was accomplished, Job said to God, . . . I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. [Job 42:5] Job made the adjustments to what God had purposed for him.
We live in challenging times. Despite all our technological savvy, we’ve lost our way. In seeking to chart our own course, we’ve gone far astray. How should you and I respond to this?
We need to adjust our lives to God’s specifications. We do so knowing that God knows exactly where we are and exactly what’s going on. Because we know God, we know that we are not our own. We know that we are His! We are the apple of His eye, each of us individually. He is at work in all facets of our lives, working out His purposes in the seemingly haphazard events of our lives. We want to follow Him! May He give us grace to do so.
In the Joy of the Lord,
John H.C. Niederhaus
May Pulpit Schedule
1st – We Cannot Be Silent – Jeremiah 1:11-19; Luke 19:41-47; Acts 17:16-21
In today’s texts we find Jesus and Paul reacting to the cultures in which they lived. Jesus weeps, while Paul is provoked. Each will speak as a consequence. Jeremiah, on the other hand, is told he must speak and not be silent given the time and place where he lives. How about us? We cannot but be observers of the culture in which we live. What do we see? How do we react? What do we think? What do we say? What will we do? We need discernment in all this. Paul had a good word to speak to his situation: Jesus and the resurrection. We cannot be silent in our day.
8th – Origins I – Isaiah 45:18-25; John 1:1-5; Acts 17:19-34
When we read about leaders in the Bible speaking to people, often it simply states that they spoke without indicating what exactly it was they said. Frustrating! Our text from Acts is not of that type. It is one of only two instances in which we hear the words Paul spoke when he addressed a group of non-believing non-Jewish folk. He gets right to the root of the matter as he speaks about the creation of the world. Every person who’s ever lived has had to ponder how the world came to be. It is essential that we know God made the world and continues to govern it.
15th – Origins II – Psalm 103; Ephesians 1:1-14; Acts 17:19-34
This is Pentecost Sunday, which also means it is Confirmation Sunday! We have a good group of young persons who will profess their faith and commit themselves to a life of faithful Christian discipleship. Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill in Athens is a good text for confirmands and congregation to consider some essentials of the faith. No one is born with faith. Faith does not originate in man’s work, but in the work of God. God’s work is accomplished through the declaration of His Word. That Word points to where all origins end: at the judgment seat of God.
22nd – A Fruitful Desert – Psalm 107:33-43; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Acts 18:1-11
When Paul travels from Athens to Corinth he little understands the consequences that will follow. He will meet a Jewish couple who were driven from Rome with the rest of the Jews, that is, Aquila and Priscilla. Though he’s never visited Corinth previously, for the rest of history Paul’s name will be linked with that of Corinth. His ministry in Corinth begins with controversy and very little fruit. He is intimidated by the Jews and Gentiles. Yet God makes it very clear to Paul that God has people in that corrupt town, people whom Paul does not yet know. But he will.
29th – Faithful Ministry – John 13:1-5; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; Acts 18:12-23
Wherever Paul went he seemed to generate controversy. He’s constantly being run out of towns. Though he ministers in Corinth for 18 consecutive months, his time there includes a Jewish mob dragging him before the city authorities. The source of most of Paul’s problems was his being a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus. His ministry was faithful and fruitful. Because that was the case, he attracted opposition. He takes pains to maintain proper accountability for himself and for others. Paul is faithful because he knows that God is faithful.
From the Youth Pastor
Streaming for God in a Pixel World
Obama promised it, babies need it, and often churches fear it! Yes, I’m talking about “CHANGE”. As humans we desire things to stay the same over time. But it’s God’s very design that our environment changes (seasons), which therefore means that we constantly have to adapt. The challenge in adapting for the Church at large is to change with discernment so we stay true to our commitment through appropriately ministering the gospel in every season to every generation. This of course does not imply that we compromise in any way the message or methods that we have been mandated to use or share! But under God the Church is always called to effectively present and proclaim truth. If we don’t, we run the risk of stagnating. To prevent this from happening there are some general lessons we can observe from Kodak, Blockbuster, and Netflix.
Lesson 1. Failing to go from Pics to Pixels.
Would it surprise you if I told you the first digital camera was made in 1975 by Kodak? An engineer named Steven Sasson was given the charge to develop the concept and he did just that. However the Kodak company didn’t want to develop digital cameras for fear that it would impact the sales of their lucrative processed film business (which they dominated for much of the 20th century). Well, here we are in 2016 and Kodak whose tag line was “capture the moment” is a distant memory, and the picture taking industry is dominated by cell phones not cameras. If only Kodak would have acted on their early innovation they could be the technology leader of our times (think Apple), but their failure to turn pictures into pixels cost them everything. Kodak should have stayed committed to selling products that take pictures (capture memories) by adapting how they would capture memories in a society being revolutionized by technology. Kodak is a case study in failing to change when they should have, all due to the fear of losing what they had.
Lesson 2. Thinking Outside Of the Block
Twenty five or so years ago I remember the thrill of going into the Blockbuster Video for the first time. I remember being welcomed by shiny logos and banners that beamed bright yellow and royal blue all over the store. Everywhere you looked were shelves and shelves of entertainment options to choose from. The process was easy! All you had to do was pick out a movie, take the VHS cassette tape from behind its cover, pay the rental fee, and drive home to watch the movie. (Oh, you had to return it to the store in two days time, rewound of course.) Tell this process to a teenager today and they just find it hard to believe that we would go to so much effort just to watch a movie, but back in the day a trip to Blockbuster was a big deal!
Skip ahead to the present and Blockbuster is a big bust! Once, those stores were all over the world, but now where are they? The local store in Souderton got demolished a couple of years back. Blockbuster is gone! They couldn’t adapt to a rapidly changing entertainment industry, and when they did it was all too late.
What Kodak and Blockbuster failed to do was to stay true to their specialty, for their core product didn’t need to change but only new means and methods of getting it out needed to change. Netflix faced the same challenges but was flexible enough to survive change, even to thrive and create change. What is Netflix is known for? Streaming content comes to mind now, but ten years ago (before streaming existed) they were a successful DVD lending service. Unlike Blockbuster they knew that if they didn’t change how they “deliver content” they would die! Netflix saw potential before others did and they acted on it. Instead of “stagnating” they have been “innovating” the entertainment industry. Netflix is a case study in adapting and innovating change, while remaining true to their core commitment.
So Are You Streaming (like Netflix) or Dreaming (like Blockbuster)?
Well, as our Church community is on the verge of some significant change (new building/new opportunities) we also need to “stream” for God in a pixel world. We can trust and take much comfort in knowing that our God does not change, for He is immutable and stays true to His character and covenant promises. Rest in the fact that our core commitment to Jesus can never go bankrupt, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). But let’s all be flexible and willing to adapt and embrace new ways and ideas of doing ministry, while all the time being steadfast, unmovable, abounding in the work of the Lord at all times (1 Corinthians 15:58). Let’s not fearfully grip on to what is in the past, for we are called to faithfully advance in trusting God and fulfill being the Church that the gates of Hell will not prevail against. Clearly know that the future of the Church is certain for we are “unmovable” in our faith in Christ, but we are eager to advance our faith to this world. Stream on!
Confirmation: Maturing in Faith
May 15th is Pentecost Sunday this year. It will be an extraordinary day in the life of Leidy’s Church. Not only is it Pentecost, but this year it also is Confirmation Sunday. It also is extraordinary this year because we hope to conduct this service in the new church building. We’ll see if that actually happens!
During our service of worship some of our young folk will make solemn vows and be confirmed into the Christian faith to begin their lives as adult, faithful followers of Jesus. Immediately following the service of worship, a light luncheon/reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall with the Confirmation Class members as the guests of honor. Everyone is invited to stay and enjoy finger foods and cake while congratulating the Confirmands.
Not all members and friends of Leidy’s Church come from faith backgrounds that practice Confirmation. Or, some come from backgrounds where Confirmation is practiced and understood differently. For us at Leidy’s Church, Confirmation is something that takes place at that point in life when young folk are stepping from childhood to adulthood.
Our Confirmation classes last for two academic years, beginning in September of even numbered years. Students coming into the class ordinarily are entering the 8th or 9th grade. The entire first year is spent reading and studying the Bible, beginning at Genesis and ending at Revelation. For a textbook, each student is given a leather-bound reference Bible which is theirs for life. [Yes, that’s a deliberate play on words.]
During the second year students spend 14 weeks learning about the history of the Church from the age of the apostles down to the present day. That is followed by 14 weeks of studying The Heidelberg Catechism, the basic confessional and teaching document of our particular Reformed heritage. Written mostly by Zacharias Ursinus in 1563, in a series of 129 questions and answers it leads students through the basic questions everyone needs to consider when thinking about life, God, salvation, and living for Christ. The final weeks of the second year serve as an in-class Inquirer’s Class for the students as they prepare for church membership.
Though young folk do not reach their legal/civic majority until the age of 18, at Leidy’s Church their spiritual majority is reached at the point of Confirmation. Those who desire to be confirmed, who are accepted by the Spiritual Council, and who make their public profession of faith during the Confirmation Service become full members of this local church body, and are authorized to enjoy and exercise all the privileges and duties thereof. They each get a church mailbox – if the secretaries like them!
Join us for the Confirmation service of worship on May 15th at 10 am. Or, maybe 10:45.
Within the Fellowship
Congratulations to Jake and Meghan Hughes at the birth of a son, Sawyer Stover, to Matt and Kate Harris at the birth of a son, Hawthorne Jude, and to Jeremy and Justine Smith at the birth of a son, Kaleb Joash. May God be with these families as they grow in Him.
Congratulations to Peter and Bambi Martindell at the dedication of their daughter, Vivian Pearl, and to Jeff and Mary Kirkpatrick at the dedication of their son, Stephen Paul, and to Reagan Hostelley at her baptism. May God be with them as they grow in Him.
Notes of Thanks
From the Middle East
During the season of Lent our 30 Pieces of Silver offering was collected. This year that offering amounted to just over $4,000! Funds collected were to be used to help persecuted Christians in the Middle East utilizing the ministry of Church Without Walls.
Recently, we received a letter from Rev. Anees Zaka the head of Church Without Walls. Among other things, he said,
CWW has received your church’s generous check with $4,008.06 for your Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East. . . . This will be a great help for them to have food items, medicine, and clothing. We will tell them the LORD provided this amount of money through their Christian American brothers and sisters who do pray and care for them. Of course, they will shed some tears as usual because of your care. So, thanks to the whole church for their generosity. Please let them know of our ‘heartfelt thanks.’
So, we’re letting you know of their thanks to God for your gift. Let us remember to keep them in our prayers in the days ahead.
Baby Bottle Boomerang
Earlier this year the Church and Community Committee sponsored a church-wide effort to provide some monetary support for the Pregnancy Resource Clinic of North Penn. It was done through the distribution of baby bottles that we then filled with coins, checks, paper currency, gift cards, or other means of value. It proved to be the largest income the agency has yet received from that particular fund raiser. Our total came to $3,100.76!
Here’s part of the letter we received from the Center:
Thank you for your generous donation to the Pregnancy Resource Clinic of North Penn through the Baby Bottle Boomerang fundraiser! Recently we were able to meet four adorable newborn client babies. It was moving to see the transformation in these new moms from their first visit with us when they didn’t know how they would make it through. This time, they couldn’t stop smiling at the new life in their arms. Because you donate to this ministry, you are a part of these girls’ stories. Without our donors, our doors couldn’t be open to help girls in difficult and often desperate situations.
We are amazed by how the Lord chooses to use the clinic. Lives are being saved and lives are being changed. Thank you for being willing to be used and playing such a necessary part in the work of the Pregnancy Resource Clinic.
We praise God for what He is doing through ministries such as this.
Women’s Sunday School
The Women’s Sunday School class will resume on Sunday, May 1st. Topics for future lessons will be discussed and decided.
Ladies of Leidy’s
The next meeting is Tuesday, May 2nd at 7 p.m. in the Conference Room. Ken Peck, one of our church family who is part of a local police department, has agreed to come share with the ladies. A business meeting will also take place, and we will be given an opportunity to sign up to help with the May Rummage Sale.
The week of May 8th is when our Fellowship Hall and surroundings are transformed with all the donated items we receive, and our community is invited to shop for their family wardrobes, linens, jewelry, books, toys, household items, and much more!
Many workers are needed. On Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. items are unpacked and arranged. On Wednesday (9 a.m. -8 p.m.) and Thursday (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) sale days we need friendly workers to bag items, serve as cashiers, and straighten items as many shoppers come to make their purchases. On Thursday at 6 p.m. we need willing hands and strong backs to transform our facilities back for ministry before Sunday. Mary Beth Musselman has a schedule she needs to fill, so be sure to speak with her if you can be plugged in at any time to help.
The funds raised at the Big “R” are disbursed where needed at Leidy’s Church and in our community by Ladies of Leidy’s. It’s a big undertaking, and with your help we can make it another great event.
What’s Happening with the Building Project?
Two years ago at this time we had just broken ground for the new building. Now we’re in the process of doing all the final touches. Lots of progress, lots of changes over the past two years.
However, we’re still not quite sure when we will begin worshiping in the new sanctuary. Nor do we know when the office will be relocated and ministry activities shift to across the street. Our aim is still early in May, but . . .
At the time this Newsletter is being published one obstacle from the PA Department of Licenses and Inspection is holding everything up. We hope it will be resolved speedily, but who knows!
As soon as we know anything specific we’ll get the word out. Thanks for your patience!
Shout Out Needed!
It’s May. It’s the beginning of Graduation Season! If you have a graduate or graduates in your household undoubtedly you’ll be doing a shout out of some sort. How about letting us know that such is the case? Not the details of the party, but the name of your graduate, the institution from which the diploma will come, and any post-graduation plans the graduate may have. We’d appreciate it very much!
It is our desire to gather a list of all the students from Leidy’s Church who are graduating this year – or who graduated in December, as some are wont to do – and do our own little shout out in the June Newsletter. We’re talking about graduates from high school, nursing school, tech school, college, and post-graduate programs.
Just call the church office, or shoot them an email, or drop a note on the desk and let the office ladies know details of your graduate. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Business & Professional Breakfast
On Thursday morning, May 12th, BMCE will host its spring Business & Professional Breakfast. Beginning at 6:30, the breakfast is not just any breakfast, but a hot and hearty country breakfast with plenty of fruits and breads as well. It’s served family style, so dish out as much or as little as you prefer. It takes place at the Franconia Heritage restaurant.
Special speaker for the occasion will be Dr. Frank James III, the new president of Biblical Seminary. Don’t be put off by the Dr. in front of his name, or the Roman numerals after his name. Dr. James grew up in less than ideal conditions in the Dallas area. Living in low-income housing projects, he experienced plenty of ups and down as he made forays into behaviors and activities that put him at risk. He will tell his story from those years through his years of progressing through the various stages of academic advancement. Particular focus will be on his conversion to faith in the Lord Jesus and his subsequent life of faith. His presentation should be profoundly interesting and encouraging to all who attend.
Tickets for the B&P Breakfast are $12. You may get your ticket from several different sources: Jack Parry has a number he’d like to dispense; the church office has some available; and if all else fails, contact Pastor Niederhaus and he’ll have a ticket for you. Invite a friend, neighbor, family member, or colleague to join you at this breakfast on May 14th.
Adult SS Resumes
It’s been awhile since particular Adult Sunday School classes have convened. They were suspended during March for Mission Month. Then in April there were special sessions each week that precluded individual class meetings. Here’s a reminder of what’s available for adults during the Sunday School hour.
- The Women’s class meets in the basement in Rm. 19. Led by Lorraine Kroesser, this class is beginning a study on prayer called The Armor of God.
- Pastor Steve Myers leads an in-depth Bible study class that meets in the Conference Room. Having recently finished a long journey through Genesis, attention will now be given to the New Testament book of 2 Corinthians.
- Meeting upstairs, the Joy and Glory class is led by Jeremiah Rizzo. This class focuses on learning how to extract precious truths from biblical verses for use in daily life. Romans 5 is the focus at the moment.
- Issues & Answers is the class that meets in the Fellowship Hall. It has a stable of speakers, including Dave Reich, Matt Harris, Steve Landis, and Stan Ott. During May Dave Reich will be leading a series titled: Christian Aesthetics: Beauty.
Take the plunge and choose an adult SS class to help sharpen and shape your spiritual life.
VBS 2016: God’s Plan 4 U = Jesus!
This month, registration for the 2016 VBS program SonSpark Labs, will open to church members and their friends. Attendees will have fun with science-themed games, crafts, experiments, snacks, music and Bible lessons with a focus on discovering that God’s plan for their life is salvation through Jesus Christ. The dates for this program are Sunday, August 7th through Thursday, August 11th (5:30-8:30 p.m.). You can read more about this year’s program on the church website (located under Ministries, Children).
To date, almost 50 people have stepped forward and offered to help out with various aspects of VBS but we will need a few more helpers to pull off this amazing program. Specifically, we still need singers (who aren’t afraid to act a little goofy!), preschool assistants, nursery workers, and guides to help lead children between activity centers. The more help we get, the more children we can minister to this summer, so even if you can only help a couple nights, please contact the church office and let us know!
With the smell of spring in the air, the Consistory met on the 6th of April to conduct the ongoing business affairs of Leidy’s Church. Below is a summary of some highlights:
- Aesthetic concerns came to the forefront in Dave Reich’s devotional thoughts. He spoke about beauty, remarking that during a recent tour of the new church he was struck by the beauty he saw. From a variety of scripture texts it was established that God is a God of beauty, including the beauty of holiness. Beauty is grounded in the character of God and includes four basic principles: proportion, harmony, simplicity, and complexity. Ps. 50:2 says, “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth.”
- Received an update on the building project. The most substantial portions of work remaining include carpeting in the narthex and stairwells, finishing the baptistry area, and the cabinets to be installed in Sunday school rooms. A team of finish carpenters continues to work particularly at finishing pillars near most of the entrances.
- A full audio/visual practice took place on the 2nd of April with all the various worship groups and choirs and instrumentalists participating. It was a long day, but a very encouraging day as the acoustics in the new building seem to be extraordinary.
- Obtaining our occupancy permit could be delayed due to two unresolved American with Disabilities Act questions raised by the state inspector. A hearing in Harrisburg by the L&I board on April 21st will determine what does and does not need to be done. In any event, the tours scheduled for April 23 and 24 will not be feasible. It is hoped they can occur on the following weekend instead.
- Time was spent discussing some how the ushering responsibilities will need to adjust as we make the move to the new church. How many ushers will be required, what will be the protocol, all very necessary, but nit-picky sorts of things. Likewise, how communion will be served and how many elders will be required was discussed. New offering plates have arrived and some new communion ware is on order.
- Coordination will need to be made between duties of ushers, greeters, and hospitality committee members.
- Extensive time was spent discussing a rental/leasing option possibility for the current facility once the transition to the new building is accomplished. Under the auspices of BMCE, five different ministries are seeking space for offices and/or ministry activity. Stan Ott will work on drawing up a suitable lease to be reviewed at the next Consistory meeting.
- Reviewed and slightly revised the job description for the new position being proposed to the congregation. It was decided the job description will be distributed to the congregation a week or so before the meeting and vote. Glen Tyson and Dave Walbrandt will make the presentation at the meeting.
- Reports were received from the Furnishing Committee indicating chairs, tables, blinds, and other furnishings have been purchased for the new church at a cost of a little less than $70,000. The Dedication Committee is well underway in preparations for the anticipated June 5th Dedication Day.
- The Property Committee reported that repairs have been made to our heating system and approved by the state.
- It was noted that Matt Harris was not present at the meeting, but with a good alibi. His wife Kate gave birth in mid-afternoon to Hawthorne Jude Harris. Congratulations.
- Following a time of intercessory prayer and the unison praying of the Lord’s Prayer, the meeting was adjourned at 10:27 pm.
The Westminster Larger Catechism
A perennial concern for Christians is the assurance of faith, or, the security of the believer. Should you know that you’re a Christian and will continue to live as a Christian and, finally, die as a Christian? That’s the topic taken up below.
What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God
Question 79: May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections, and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from the state or grace?
Answer: True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God, and his decree and covenant to give them perseverance, their inseparable union with Christ, his continual intercession for them, and the Spirit and seed of God abiding in them, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation.
Question 80: Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein to salvation?
Answer: Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavor to walk in all good conscience before him, may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God’s promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made, and bearing witness with their spirits that they are children of God, be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein to salvation.
Question 81: Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?
Answer: Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith, true believers may wait long before they obtain it; and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions; yet they are never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.
Question 82: What is the communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
Answer: The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is in this life, immediately after death, and at last perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment.
Question 83: What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of the invisible church enjoy in this life?
Answer: The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the first-fruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully possessed of; and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, and hope of glory; as, on the contrary, sense of God’s revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful expectation, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments which they shall endure after death.
Judgement House is Coming This Fall!!
That’s right! It’s a Judgement House year in 2016. So in order for us to pull off another great “dramatic gospel presentation” we need God’s help. And your involvement. So please be praying for this ministry. What will it look like in the new church? Don’t know. Help us determine that issue and more.
Would you also consider being on the planning team? Pastor Andrew is looking for passionate Judgment House devotees who would like to have significant ongoing involvement and input in the planning and directing of this year’s presentation. If you would like to do this or if you have any related questions, please call or email Pastor Andrew.
Contact info: Cell 215-272-2769 or email email@example.com
1st Joan Tawney
8th Jack Edling
15th Beth Guntz
22nd Debbie Caserta
29th Helen Hahn
1st Julia Kulp
8th Donna Moyer
15th Mary Beth Musselman
22nd Ruthie Niederhaus
29th Ede Rupp
Greeters: 8:00 10:45
1st Dave & Flor Hughes Jerry & BJ Kulp
8th Mike & Deb Hughes Steve & Sue Landis
15th Dorothy Kehs & Patty Kendall Justin & Courtney Lepping
22nd Jim & Angela Kinney Curt & Betty Jo Lockman
29th Mike & Shannon Kehs Justin & Chrissie Lockman
8:00 Dana Gehman, Captain; Gary Brown, Jeff Kirkpatrick, Tom Leidy, Terry Leidy,
10:45 Matt Harris, Captain; Isaac Inyang, Steve Radcliff, Joseph Thompson, David Thompson,
The A/V Booth technicians for May are Jim Foote & Joseph Thompson.
The Emergency Committee for May is Joe Sciacca & Phil Shafer.