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Missionary to Nursing Homes of America
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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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Temple Baptist Church - 7-5-2020Zephaniah 3:1-8¬ Introduction:¬ The 4th¬ of July; the Declaration of Independence; Freedom!¬ Free-dom¬ ‚Äď a contraction for ‚Äúfree‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúdom‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúdoom.‚Ä̬ To have the freedom to choose one's death or one's doom.¬ Freedom to choose your doom or death but not freedom to control it.¬ America's freedom¬ is one of choice and I fear that, in many cases the freedom to choose will bring either doom or death to our nation.¬ In Zephaniah, we have a classic example of choosing and choosing wrong.¬ A.¬ This year has been one of great change and those changes have not been good ones.¬ 1.¬ Our economy was running on ‚ÄúHigh Test.‚Ä̬ 2.¬ People had money in their pockets and home in the future.¬ 3. Then, in a couple of months, the COVID-19 Hoax.¬ Now, before you get mad at me for making that statement, let me explain.¬ a.¬ Our nation has been faced with war, depression, sickness, etc. many times in my lifetime and survived each one because of our great American spirit.¬ b.¬ COVID-19 should have been no different!¬ Wash your hands, quarantine the Nursing Homes and Retirement Centers, stay at home if you get sick, and do not cough on me!¬ c.¬ CDC decided to scare the nation and, with the help of our 24 hour ‚Äúno news media,‚ÄĚ did a great job and the people panicked.¬ ¬ B.¬ The Stock Market began to tumble,¬ people began to get laid off as businesses were forced to close, schools closed, unemployment‚ÄĒwhich had been at a historic low‚ÄĒrose to historic highs, Government overreach caused people to hide in their homes and criticize those who did not, ‚ÄúRat Phone Lines‚ÄĚ came into existence, all categorized as non-essential services were closed (churches were the first on the list and readily complied), and now the far left is trying to keep America in distress until the November elections are over with.¬ C.¬ A man was killed.¬ ¬ It was a shame and justice needed to be done.¬ Justice was in the process of being done, but protests turned to riots and riots to burning and looting causing heightened racial division.¬ The police became the enemy, and many were killed and many more injured.¬ What is said to be protest, which is an American right, turned into anarchy and lawlessness.¬ D.¬ Anarchy is now ruling in many¬ of these Democratic run cities with a ‚ÄúNeo-Nazi‚ÄĚ like youth corps taking over parts of cities with no fear of reprisal.¬ Monuments defaced and destroyed.¬ A nation that has no history has no future because history will then repeat itself and become the face of the future.¬ E.¬ We are watching as our Country is going from:¬ 1.¬ God to Atheism2.¬ Pride to Shame3.¬ Morality to Perversion4.¬ Prayer to Apostasy5.¬ Strength to Apologies6.¬ Humility to Arrogancy7.¬ Structure to Anarchy8.¬ Law to Lawlessness9.¬ Capitalism to Socialism10. Prosperous to Bankruptcy¬ F.¬ The Interpretation of our Scriptures this morning are to the nation of Israel.¬ ¬ Zephaniah deals with the coming of the Day of the Lord and the end time.¬ G. Application is to any nation.¬ ¬ There have been many great nations that have come to power and then, through moral decay have declined to annihilation.¬ 1.¬ Egypt¬ (rose to its zenith of power under Joseph)2.¬ Israel¬ (the greatest nation and most feared upon the face of the earth to dispersion)3.¬ Babylon¬ (from Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar)4.¬ Medio Persia¬ (From Cyrus the anointed to oblivion)5.¬ Greece¬ (Alexander the Great and no more worlds to conquer at age 30)6.¬ Rome¬ (the great Caesars, armies, and roads to internal decay)7.¬ Spain¬ (the great explorers and Spanish Armada to mediocrity)8.¬ England¬ (great military and missions' outreach to total apostasy)9.¬ America¬ (In God We Trust to In Government We Mistrust)¬ 1.¬ Our Nation Is Sinful¬ - vs 1 ‚Äúfilthy and polluted‚Ä̬ a.¬ Lack of integrity among the peopleb.¬ Immorality and Sexual Perversionc.¬ God haters and Baby killers¬ 2.¬ Our Nation Is Disobedient¬ - vs 2a ‚Äúobeyed not the voice‚Ä̬ a.¬ She Both Had and Knew God's Wordb.¬ She Willfully Rejected God's Word¬ 3.¬ Our Nation Is Stiff-Necked¬ - vs 2 ‚Äúreceived not correction‚Ä̬ a.¬ She Rejected the Message From God's Menb.¬ She Rejected the signs of Impending Destruction¬ 4.¬ Our Nation Has Become Self-Reliant¬ - vs 2 ‚Äúshe trusted not the Lord‚Ä̬ a.¬ She Forgot From Whence Her Blessings Cameb.¬ She Became Proud In Her Accomplishments¬ 5.¬ Our Nation Has Willfully Rejected God¬ - vs 2 ‚Äúshe drew not near to her God‚Ä̬ a.¬ In our Governmentb.¬ In Our Schoolsc.¬ In Our Homes¬ 6.¬ Our Nation Has Become Politically Corrupt¬ - vs 3 ‚Äúroaring lions...evening wolves‚Ä̬ a.¬ From Government by the people and for the people to Anarchyb.¬ From Statesmen to Politiciansc.¬ From Trust to Distrust¬ 7.¬ Our Nation Has Become Religiously Apostate¬ - vs 4 ‚Äúprophets...light and treacherous...priests...polluted the sanctuary...done violence to the law‚Ä̬ a.¬ Our Pulpits are Shallowb.¬ Our Pews are Sinful¬ (we embrace sin and compromise)¬ 8.¬ Our Nation Is Shameless¬ - vs 5 ‚Äúknoweth no shame‚Ä̬ a.¬ Sinners are Justifiedb.¬ Sin Is Acceptable¬ 9.¬ Our Nation And Her End¬ - vs 8 ‚Äúmine indignation...my fierce anger‚Ä̬ 10. ¬ Our Nation and Her Salvation¬ - vs 2:1-3¬ a.¬ Seek The Lord¬ - vs 3a¬ Seek ye the LORDb.¬ Seek Righteousness¬ - vs 3b¬ all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment;c.¬ Seek Meekness¬ - vs 3c¬ seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.
Speaking to a small nursing-home¬ Bible study, I directed a question to a godly woman who missed her deceased husband terribly. ‚ÄúDid you ever receive a love letter from your husband?‚ÄĚ She smiled back with a nod as she recalled the notes of love she received many years ago. ‚ÄúIf I had intercepted one of Read More
by Phil Johnsonne of the questions prompted by the quarantine is about "virtual communion." After all, in lieu of regular worship services, we are listening online every Sunday while our pastor preaches from the pulpit of the church. So why not have a kind of virtual communion service, where we all take the elements simultaneously in the privacy of our homes?Five times in Paul's instructions regarding the Lord's Table, he uses the phrase "when you come together as a church" or its equivalent (1 Corinthians 11:17, 18, 20, 33, 34). In verse 34 he expressly contrasts "eat[ing] at home" with the act of eating the bread and drinking the cup as a church body "when you come together." Clearly, the communion ordinance is supposed to be shared by the gathered assembly of the church collectively, not taken by individuals in solitude. It is not a private sacrament.We might sometimes serve communion with a small group of 5-10 church members gathering at the bedside of someone who is homebound or permanently confined to a nursing home or long-term health-care facilities. But there's a significant difference in a case like that‚ÄĒbecause you have a subset of the church in genuine communion together, contrasted with isolated people in quarantine who serve themselves (which destroys the symbolism of the Supper).I agree that extraordinary times do sometimes call for extraordinary measures, and I understand the desire to be flexible in a time of emergency, so although I don't approve and wouldn't participate, I wouldn't necessarily inveigh publicly against a church that offered a "virtual communion service." There may be some well-meaning church leaders who sincerely believe some kind of makeshift online Eucharistic ceremony (sans any actual communion among the saints) is better than none at all. They are wrong about that. But if done anyway, such dramatic revision to the sacrament needs (at the very least) to be carefully and thoroughly explained, along with clear instructions telling participants that this is a temporary measure only, a one-time exception to the normal practice, and it should not change how the church normally observes the Lord's Table or regards its significance.In practice, however, "virtual communion" services do confuse people—or worse. Saddleback Church, for example, has embraced the idea of "virtual communion." In an email message to church members during Passion Week, Rick Warren wrote, "Last weekend, thousands of our members participated in this tradition at home in our first online Communion in the history of this church. Many people just used what they had: cheese crackers, pancake bits, and various juices. It's hilarious seeing on social media all the things our members used!"They have literally made a mockery of the Lord's Table—the very kind of thing the apostle was rebuking the Corinthians for in 1 Corinthians 11.So the best course of action—and what Grace Community Church's elders will be doing—is to wait to serve communion until the church can legitimately assemble. Better to forego the ordinance altogether during the quarantine rather than risk confusing people about the meaning of the Lord's Table and how it is normally to be administered.Phil's signature
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