Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it? If we say yes to that, then we concede that there is something God can’t do. God couldn’t lift the rock. If we say no to that, then we are saying God can’t create a rock, he can’t lift. It is a trick question meant to affirm that God is not all-powerful. So, the argument goes.
Trick questions are not unfamiliar to Jesus. Many times, in the gospels the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus in a no-win situation. It was on the heels of those kind of questions that we often find the words, “Then no one dared to ask him any more questions.”
Do you remember the time when Jesus was asked, “Should we pay taxes to the Romans?” Would he side with the Romans by saying yes and turn the Jewish people who hated the Romans against Him? Or would he say no and get in trouble with the Romans? Seems like a No-win! Check out Mark 12:13-17 and Luke 20:21-25 to see how Jesus beautifully handles this predicament.
Let me draw out one conclusion from this true story in Jesus’ life. Jesus puts politics in its place. Jesus does not merge God and Caesar. Our primary allegiance is to Christ and His kingly rule. We belong to a heavenly kingdom and Christ is our king. Jesus is not an American king! His realm is global.
This is a tough week for many Christians. But when is our hope ever to be in a person or a politician? Jesus said to Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place” (Matthew 18:36). Church, at the risk of being redundant, our primary allegiance is to Christ. Let’s not take what is secondary and make it primary.
We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all the other things we often get all worked up about will be taken care of. If that is our preoccupation, then we won’t have as much time to fill our minds with secondary things. We have the gospel that is more powerful than any weapon of this world. We serve an all-powerful God who stamped His image on us to represent Him in this world. What banner are we lifting for all to see? What is the hope that lies within us? Does the world know what king we are following?
May our allegiance be clear to all- Jesus is our Savior and king! May our witness never be compromised, and the gospel message obscured because we, myself included, have made a secondary allegiance primary.
I leave you with this. No matter how much we love our country and thankful for where we have come from, we look forward to the kingdom in which Christ reigns. It says in Revelation 11:15, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he will reign for ever and ever.” The kingdom in which Christ reigns is made up of all the nations of the world under His authority.
Now that is what helps me sleep at night…well most of the time!
Blessings to you, church! Pastor Brian
Living with Gospel Confidence
1 John 5:6-13
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
New Sermon Series
A Bright Spot in a Dark World
A study in the Book of Daniel
Begins February 7th
EBC Sunday Study
We’re excited to offer two four-week adult studies this February. Each study will meet at EBC, Sunday morning from 9-10:15 AM. See below for a detailed description of each study.
Take The World, But Give Me Jesus
With Adam Hayes
Overexposure is one of the greatest threats to peace in the modern church. With access to every corner of the world and into the living rooms of so many individuals, church members often willingly put themselves in the way of fear and envy. While this feels like a modern problem, the heart of the matter is ancient. This class will be an opportunity to turn your attention away from all that’s robbing you and others of peace and reconnect you with your God who promises to protect and provide.
Objectives for this study:
· Address the temptations of fear and envy that stir when we dwell on the world’s prosperity and progress apart from God.
· Replace rumination with God’s eternal promises, so that we can live our calling confidently; trusting that He is our strength and portion forever.
With Susan Lyle
The Living Grace Class is a discipleship growth experience intended for people who struggle with mental and emotional challenges (e.g., anxiety, panic, depression, and/or other diagnoses). As a group, we will explore biblical truths, scientific research, and practical tools to cultivate healthy hearts and minds. Topics include identity in Christ, renewing your mind, managing stress, and relaxation and joy.
Objectives for this study:
· To better know and understand who we are in Christ specifically as it relates to our mental and emotional struggles.
· To help build individual resilience in navigating mental and emotional challenges.
· To cultivate a safe and supportive network of individuals with mental and emotional challenges.
Sign up in the back of the sanctuary this Sunday for the next round of Community Groups, or contact Tim Whitman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a reminder we are asking that you please wear a mask when entering or leaving the building. You may remove the mask once seated. We have designated a section in the back right of the sanctuary for those who prefer to wear a mask throughout the service.
Signs will be posted on the designated seats, please leave these seats available for those who choose to wear a mask during the entire service.
Change in Service
Reminder, for the time being we are offering one in person service at 10:45 am.
Our livestream will also be at 10:45 am as well. Nursery will be provided from birth to age 5.
In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services at Evangelical Baptist Church, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, the timing of the weather event, and whether roads/walkways/parking areas are/will be cleared
A decision would be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or more of our services. Events in the afternoon or evening would be dealt with separately. EBC will notify of cancellation using the following: WMUR TV, Church website news feed: www.laconiachurch.com, Email (weekly epistle email list) and EBC’s public and private Facebook page