Ashamed

Sermon:  3/01/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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God’s Slow Trek Through Time

The Bible records many people of faith from the time of Adam to Abraham. We recall Enoch, who walked with God and never died, and Noah, who received the covenant of the rainbow after the Flood, that God would never again cover the world with water. But that was a long time with no progress toward the end that the Glory of God would fill the earth. Then came Abraham. With him God made the covenant that he would be the father of a great nation and through his seed all the nations would be blessed. A nation needs land, laws and people. It would take more than four hundred years for this to take place. God waited a hundred years for the ark to be built, 100 years for people to repent. God does not judge on an immediate whim. His patience is graceful. God is in no hurry but he is steady.

God gave Abraham the land as an eternal inheritance for his descendants. However, they would not enter the land “until the iniquity of the Amorites is complete.” (Gen. 15:16)God gives over 400 years for the Amorites to repent or have their sin completed for judgment. Then the Lord would give the land to Abraham’s descendants. While the land was promised, God lacked two things, people and law. The covenant was reaffirmed to Issac and Jacob and then Jacob’s twelve sons, the tribes of Israel. It was these persons that went to Egypt (a total of 72). They became slaves for 400 years. This was lost time; or was it? Well, it was time for the sin of the Amorites to be completed. Freedom allows people to wander as Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeans. Slavery was a way of keeping people together. Shared oppression also builds strong bonds. Abraham had left his heritage behind. He was the first Hebrew. Three generations later the 72 could have wandered away; not so in Egypt. There, God was building a people of common heritage of hardship and oppression, a heritage that has helped keep the people of Abraham unique to this day!

With the Exodus, Moses and laws of Sinai, the people had been prepared to enter the Land and become a nation. But the promise to Abraham was not yet fulfilled. There is a long way to go to glory.– Ben

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Live For God, Not Self

Sermon, 2/22/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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Not Just For Forty Days

Ash Wednesday Sermon, 2/18/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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“Make The Message Loud And Clear”

Sermon:  02/08/2015
Rev Ben Herlong

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Where Is This World Headed?

In all the turmoil we see in our nation and the world, the question of where we are headed is an appropriate one. The prognostications of individuals can be misleading if not totally confusing. Listening to a “60’s channel” on the radio, “The Eve of Destruction”, a song of how close we were to blowing ourselves up, was played. After that, a rebuttal song, “The Dawn of Correction”, was played. Speaking of the same world agenda, what a different view and expectation these two songs had. Fifty years later we are still here. We haven’t self-destructed. But correction has not dawned in any fullness yet, either. We’re still in a mess.

From the Bible we see that the world has a definite destiny. Some generalize that in the end, good triumphs over evil. But this leaves us with continual, ongoing challenges where good and evil constantly battle. What’s ahead, just more of the same? Thankfully, no. Way back in time, God tells Moses what this world is coming to. The rebellious Israelites had so rejected the leading of God that he told Moses that He would destroy them and start over with him. God could have, since Moses was a descendant of Abraham. However, Moses prayed that the Lord would not destroy the people, but have mercy for His name’s sake. God pardoned the people, but told Moses, “but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” (Numbers 14:21) Yes, that’s where we are headed. What we have to go through to get there is another story. At the turn of the 20th Century there was great expectation that the church was on the verge of ushering in the Kingdom of God. It was referred to as the “Christian Century” by some. We would become better and better and the Kingdom would arrive. Two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Cuban missile crisis, the cold war, and many other wars and conflicts put an end to those thoughts. But these have not put an end to God’s purpose or His ability to bring this world to it ultimate destination. We have seen that we lack the ability to do this great task. It is not our task. It is God’s work.

So as we see things that are nothing like the glory of God on earth, things that look like the eve of destruction, let us know that correction is not the means to bring the Glory here. It is the appearance of God, the return of Christ, that will fill the earth with God’s glory. Though He tarries, Christ will come. This is the earth’s destiny. — Ben

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The Unbreakable Covenant

Sermon, 02/01/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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It Is No Secret

Offertory Music, 02/01/2015
Al Quarles

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Changes To The Newsletter

The council approved the newsletter to be issued twice a month. This starts with the next issue. We will mail/e-mail newsletters on the first and third Thursdays of each month. This will mean that any articles or entries must cover the two weeks following those days. Since it is common that we already receive notifications several weeks in advance, this will not be a real issue for most of us. Only those who are accustomed to giving weekly notice must now give two in advance. This means I must give two Scripture lessons at a time. Oh, well. I guess I can handle that.

Also, I have introduced a prayer column to be put in the newsletter. It is my understanding that the “phone/e-mail/instant” prayer chain is for the prayer needs of our church members. But in order to share prayer requests for the needs of those beyond the church—i.e. families and friends of our members – this prayer list will enable us to pray for those beyond ourselves. This endeavor is a matter of trust. Before you request that we print a non-member’s name, get permission from them to do so. Without that, be generic. “Ben’s third cousin twice removed needs prayer.” The idea is to pray for people. God knows who my third cousin twice removed is and hears your prayers for one so designated. Furthermore, these lists can become very long, very quickly. This is one reason these requests are not placed on the instant email/phone chain. Therefore, these requests will be published for two issues only.

Like all new endeavors, this is a work in progress. It will be tweaked as needed to best meet our needs in this prayer ministry. — Ben

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God’s Successful Purpose

Sermon:  1/25/2015
Rev. Ben Herlong

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