What are we facing?
Psalm 92 Nehemiah 1 Mark 10:13-16 October 20, 2013
There is a phenomenon in our society called zombies. From comics to a very popular television show, zombies are all the rage. Our own CDC/NIH decided to provide guidelines for life in a zombie filled world!
What are zombies? They are supposed to be humans who have died, yet they continue to be animated. This animation is powered by their desire to kill. The only way to dispose of a zombie is by killing them for a second time. Thankfully, zombies are not in the church. Yet, part of the picture we have of zombies is that they are mindlessly going along, not caring about anyone or anything. Are we sure zombies are not in the church?
We know that life without God means that we do not have anything to live for. We also know that the Bible says there will be those who will rise on the day of the Resurrection to eternal contempt (Daniel 12:2). Jesus mentions 6 times in the Gospel of Matthew that there will be a place in which there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. So, in a sense zombies could be part of a future that we do not want anyone to be involved.
Yet we know the Lord has done marvelous work in this world. When we follow God, we become righteous. We do not want the children to have to worry about zombies. So, we work so that the children can get to Jesus Christ. However, the children gathered with us this morning are not the only children who need to get to Jesus Christ. From where will we gather the children so they can get to Jesus Christ?
- We follow God, even as we get to old age (Psalm 92)
- We give thanks to the Lord – he made us!
- There are wicked people, who are enemies of the Lord
- God’s enemies perish (but God doesn’t want any to perish away from him – 2 Peter 3:9)
- The righteous flourish – because of the Lord & not their own doing
- They are planted in the house of the Lord – they belong to the church!
- In old age they still produce fruit – always green & produce sap (92:14)
- We know that as we depend on God, we gain life. His righteous ways become our ways. The Lord’s concern for everyone becomes our concern. We gain the idea that we do not want any to perish away from the Lord, or to become zombies. Remember, it is our sin that causes each of us to die. It is the gift of God that we can have life eternal. When people hear on zombie shows that there is a virus that causes zombies to live in a state of eternal contempt, we know that virus is sin. Who do we know who is most vulnerable and needs to hear about Jesus Christ?
- It is the children that need to know Jesus Christ (Mk 10:13-16)
- We are glad to have children in church!
- Some people could give the excuse that children distract them in worship –
- Yes, we have pickled people who have forgotten the joy of children
- We pickle ourselves by some food/beverages consume, thus making it easier for the mortician at the time of our death – they have to use less formaldehyde!
- It is to such as children that the Kingdom of God belongs
- I am glad we don’t make a distinction between “our” kids and “those” kids
- Jesus wants the children to come to him
- If we don’t receive the kingdom of God like children, we won’t enter the kingdom of God
- Just as Jesus blessed the children, can’t we bless the children?
- Children all over our city and counties need to be able to get to Jesus. How do the children know that we want them to be able to get to Jesus Christ? Is there something with our property that we need to do so that children will know that we want them here? Are there some opportunities we can develop so that children will get to know Jesus Christ? Asking these questions leads us to ask the next question.
- From where will we gather the children? (Nehemiah 1)
- Nehemiah heard about the great trouble & shame in Jerusalem
- He wept & prayed to God, the one who keeps steadfast covenant
- He confessed Israel’s lack of keeping covenant with God
- Shall we pray for the children to be gathered from under the farthest skies?
- We want the children to grow up knowing Jesus Christ. We want them to know that indeed there is life in the kingdom of God. What are we willing to do for more children to know Jesus Christ? We may be getting older, but there are still children who need to be introduced to Jesus Christ!
Zombies are not in the church. Children are in the church. We depend upon God for our life. We can grow old and still be fruitful in the Kingdom of God. This means we can pass along what we know about Jesus Christ to the children.
We want the children to know about life with Jesus Christ. Is that what we are showing by what we do and who we are as followers of Jesus Christ? Maybe we can reclaim what we have known about Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God – to remember what it is like to first place faith in Jesus!
We want the children to grow up knowing Jesus Christ. From where can we gather the children? The children are in this world around us. They need Jesus Christ. He wants them to come to him. What can we do to make sure the children come to Jesus Christ?
 Matthew 8:5-13, 13:36-43, 13:47-50, 22:11-14, 25:45-51, & 25:14-30