Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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Christ The King Sunday – November 25, 2012 – God’s Salvation Is Approaching

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Epistle Lesson just read, Jude verses 20-25.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • There are times when we kind of resign ourselves to the inevitable.  When the outcome of a game is certain both teams tend to “let up.”  The winners don’t have to give it 100% because the game is already won.  The losers know they don’t have a chance, so why bother giving it your all. 
  • I’m sure there are other things in life that we tend to resign ourselves to as well – certain bad habits, or a degree of laziness in some things, a lack of fervor and devotion to certain tasks and responsibilities.  I suspect this happens more and more the older we get – although it also happens to young people. 
  • In our spiritual lives, we may experience the same kinds of temptations – knowing that our salvation is sure and certain through faith in Christ, knowing that this world is coming to an end, and knowing that our real life is in heaven, we may decide to just “ride out” our time here in this world.  This, however, is not what God’s Word encourages us to do.  Even though we are fully aware that “GOD’S SALVATION IS APPROACHING,” as all three of our Scripture readings indicate, we are nonetheless encouraged to be alert and to be growing in our life of faith and love.  Our text encourages us to “play hard” all the way to the end, and:

 

I.  First And Foremost, We Are To Be Building Ourselves Up In Faith

 

Text:  “But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith.”

 

A.  We Are To Do So By Praying In The Holy Spirit – In Accord With God’s Word

 

Text:  “Pray in the Holy Spirit.”

 

B.  We Are To Be Building Up Our Faith By Keeping Ourselves In The Love Of God

 

Text:  “Keep yourselves in the love of God.”

 

C.  And We Are Built Up In Our Faith By Looking Forward To Eternal Life In Christ’s Heavenly Kingdom

 

Text:  “Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”

 

Statement:  Faith is an important blessing in our lives – it makes so much of a difference in how we experience life, whether we are happy or sad, optimistic or depressed, eager to embrace good things in life or simply resigned to “go with the flow.”  Scripture also warns us that faith can be lost, turned away from.  Faith is like a lot of other things – it never remains static, but is either growing or it is diminishing and dying.

 

Application:  I suppose that a good part of the life of the church is insuring that we are being “built up in our most holy faith.”  Our attention to the Word of God serves to create faith, sustain faith, build up faith, and confirm people in the faith.  His Word teaches us His will for human life, and assures us of His constant and complete love for us, and reminds us that we are headed to a glorious destiny in heaven! 

 

Transition:  So even though many things are settled for us already, it is not a time to “resign” ourselves to just “coasting” through life.  For we serve a very important role in this world – and so we are encouraged to:

 

II.  Live In Accord With God’s Gracious Mercy

 

A.  We Are To Encourage Others In Their Faith, Having Mercy On Those With Weaker Faith And Doubts

 

Text:  “Have mercy on those who doubt.”

 

B.  We Are To Assure Even The Worst Of Sinners Of God’s Gracious Mercy And Forgiveness – Hopefully Bringing Them To Faith And Salvation Also

 

Text:  “Save others by snatching them out of the fire.”

 

C.  We Are To Extend Mercy Even Toward Those Whose Sins Remain Visible And Apparent

 

Text:  “To others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”

 

Statement:  Living in God’s mercy means living with mercy toward those around us.  Mercy is not giving the “okay” to sin, or agreeing with people who want to justify their sin and wickedness.  Rather, it is doing all that we can to bring them back to repentance, and assuring them of God’s forgiveness.  It is remaining humbly repentant ourselves, and putting full faith and trust in God’s forgiveness and love – and urging others to do the same. 

 

Application:  This is the important loving role and responsibility that we are blessed with in this life – and it is critically important!  We heed God’s instruction about growing more robust and zealous in our own life of faith so that we can be a great influence for the good of others – so that we can minister God’s Word and His gracious mercy to others around us! 

 

This may involve us in some conflict and tension – but we are willing to suffer the dissonance for the sake of the good, welfare, and salvation of others.  We are able to do this with greater confidence when we work together as a church, a congregation of God’s people, supporting and encouraging one another as together we also “wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” 

 

Transition:  If we understand how important a role we play in the good and welfare of others, and if we are aware of our own weaknesses and foibles, then we will also realize the importance of:

 

III.  Remembering That God Alone Can Keep Us From Stumbling – So That He Will Present Us Blameless And Holy Before His Own Presence, With Great Joy For All His Blessings

 

Text:  “Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

 

Statement:  What a pleasure and privilege it is to give such praise, thanks, and glory to God our Savior!  He is the One Who provides us with all good things, including the strengthening and sustaining of our faith!  We dare never think that we can sustain our faith on our own, or manufacture such blessings for ourselves.  No, everything depends upon God and His love – and He has provided all that we need in His blessed Word and His Sacrament!

 

Application:  Again, this is precisely what the church is about – gathering together to be so blessed by God.  As we are blessed by God we are formed and fitted to bring blessings to others – and this is God’s work in us!  He is the One from Whom all blessings flow – Who keeps us firm in faith until the blessed end, in His glorious presence in heaven.

 

Conclusion:  So this is not a time for resignation, or for us to give “half-hearted” effort and involvement!  Though the great celebration begins in the next age, there is much blessedness and purpose in our lives now, and much to give thanks and praise to God for!  May this blessedness be embraced by us all, Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.