I saw this cartoon of a fourth grade Sunday School class before the teacher arrived, that had all the kids hiding in a closet and peeking out to the empty classroom. On the chalkboard, the kids had previously written, “Raptu,” with a line extending up from the letter, “u” to the top of the board upward.
A latecomer walking into the classroom looking around seeing no one, reading the first five letters of the word “Rapture” on the chalkboard with a line going up into the heavens would have a sickening feeling inside. “Oh, no, did I miss it. Am I left behind?” the lonely child would wonder. It was a nasty trick!
But if this has ever happened to you, it isn’t funny. I can remember on many occasions as a kid, wondering why my parents weren’t home when they should have been home. Why am I still here? Am I not saved?
There were people in Paul’s day who felt they might have missed the rapture for they were being told that “The day of the Lord had come.” Paul walks them through why they did not need to be alarmed. Now, if I was Paul, I would have said, “Wait, I am still here, aren’t I?” Paul had a lot more to say than that as to why what they were hearing was false. You can read about it in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.
I think of the many issues today that are alarming. These are unsettling times. But words of truth should steady us. As I said Sunday, “keep looking up, but keep our feet firmly on the ground.” The best way to keep our feet grounded is to saturate our minds with truth.
To the church of the Thessalonians that was being deceived, Paul keeps bringing them back to truth. He calls them to “stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15). I urge you, church, to do the same.
This is why the timing of our working through what we believe has a greater purpose than informing you of EFCA’s statement of faith as we seek to align our church with them. Our knowing what we believe begins with embracing the essentials of the faith, but it doesn’t stop there. Do you know where you stand from a biblical perspective on the issues of the day?
We are living in a day of massive moral revolution. Whether all this is an indication that Jesus’ coming is near or not, we seem to be living in a unique time as the moral landscape is radically shifting in our country. But rather than retreat from the world, we must engage our culture with biblical clarity while loving the people in our culture as God loves them.
What does that look like for you? How do we convey how the gospel relates to each of the issues? We must remember that all of these issues come back to the core problem of sin in the world and in each heart. As we know, the only remedy for sin is the cross of Christ. Are we convinced that the gospel addresses every sin issue in our culture and in our personal lives?
What Christ has done is the main issue. As we find ourselves in conversations about sexual identity, homosexuality, abortion, racism, sex trafficking, wars, and the many other ills of our time, remember the gospel is the lifeblood of our faith and it has the power to address all these pressing issues and to change lives!
Be the gospel to all this week, Pastor Brian
This Changes Everything
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
Looking ahead to Passion Week:
Prayer 30 on Wednesday April 13
Seder Service on Friday April 15
Resurrection Sunday on 4/17
The elevator will still be out of commission this Sunday. Repairs are scheduled for next week.
Together Initiative Q&A
The elders will be available to share their vision and answer your questions about the Together Initiative. This initiative is an exciting opportunity to increase our church’s capacity to demonstrate the presence of Christ and proclaim the message of his Gospel throughout New England by joining in partnership with the Evangelical Free Church of America. Please visit the Together Initiative booth in between the services on 4/3 and 4/10 to speak with an elder. In the meantime, you are encouraged to visit laconiachurch.com/together for additional information.
April 7th will be the annual business meeting. Mark your calendars to attend. It is important to know what is happening within our church. We will be electing a new elder. Pick up the bulletin Sunday for the bio insert.
April 10th will be a newcomer’s luncheon following the second service. Further details will follow in the future.