The Pain of Light

Psalm 119 says that the entrance of God’s word brings light. But light is not always pleasant. As a boy I attended several double-feature Saturday matinees. Going from the dark theatre into the afternoon sun was not enjoyable. It took many squints and grimaces for my eyes to finally get accustomed to being outside. So, too, the entrance of God’s light into a dark soul is often painful; especially when that soul has no desire to live in the light. Because of the discomfort, some simply turn from the light to return to the comfort of darkness.

Chrysostom said of the unrepentant, “Like men with sore eyes: they find the light painful, while the darkness, which permits them to see nothing, is restful and agreeable.” Have you ever wondered why people who have made bad decisions continue to do so? To continue in comfortable darkness is easier than to change. Change is painful for the present. People who live only for the “now,” do not want the disturbing possibility that things could actually be better with a little light on the subject. It might cause the discomfort of change. But the prospects of future pain or blessing should be cause to get one to open his eyes and go through some pain now in order to receive future blessings.

For us now, it is better to wrestle with God’s word and find the light of challenging instruction and accept what discomfort may come our way; than to rest in the darkness and experience the momentary bliss of ignorance, to our ultimate demise. — Ben

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Resurrection Mind

Sermon:  4/12/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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The Lord’s Prayer

Solo:  4/12/2015
Karen Sturkie

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“How Great the Love”

Anthem:  4/12/2015
Women’s Choir

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The Passion And The Promise

Easter Cantata, April 5, 2015
Aldersgate Chancel Choir

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What A Week

Sermon:  April 5, 2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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The Appearance of Triumph

Sermon:  03/29/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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400 Years of Silence…Or Is It?

Toward the goal of filling the world with the glory of God and fulfilling the promise to Abraham of a great nation through which all the nations of the world will be blessed, there came what is called 400 years of silence. This was the time between the last of the Old Testament prophets and the arrival of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus. The remnant of Jews rebuilt Jerusalem under the rule of the Medes and Persians. After them, Judah became known as Judea and was under the rule of the Greeks and then the Romans. From Abram to the 12 tribes of Israel, to a great nation under Solomon, down to a small remnant of one tribe, there comes the birth of one boy descended from Abraham of the tribe of Judah, of the house of David, who was also the Son of God through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed, Jesus the Christ. But this is not the end goal. And what was God doing during those silent years to advance His purposes?

Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Gospel of salvation was established by Christ’s blood. With the giving of the Great Commission to take the Gospel to every creature the scope had been broadened to the entire world. With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Church, the spiritual nation that could go into nation, had been established and equipped. But where did church come from in God’s promise to Abraham?

Some say that the church was God’s “plan B”. When Israel failed by her many departures from God culminating in their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, it is argued that God ended His covenant with them and gave it all to the church. But I believe Church was in God’s plan all the time. He is much too wise to have to resort to a “plan B” on His trek toward His glory filling the earth and all nations coming to Israel as promised. And what God was doing through the silent 400 years had great impact on the success of the Church carrying the Gospel to the world…..To be continued. — Ben

 

 

 

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In Heavenly Places

Sermon:  3/15/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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3/15/2015 Special Music

Anthem:  “Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days”
Chancel Choir, Flute:  Leslie Maury

Offertory:  “How Great Thou Art”
Morgan Hudson & Al Quarles

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