Good morning everyone,

About a year ago I was curious about government healthcare options. I went to the website and compared a few plans and didn’t do anything more. Shortly afterwards, I received the first of many emails encouraging me to sign up and warning that the deadline was quickly approaching. Each subsequent email used more urgent language. The deadline was months, then weeks, and finally just days away. Finally, the deadline passed and I assumed that the emails would stop. They didn’t. Instead, I received another long string of them informing me of a number of “second chances” for late enrollment which extended over many more weeks.

So how seriously should one take a deadline, if it’s not really going to be one? Children quickly learn that it doesn’t matter how often or how loudly parents warn them that they will lose TV and computer privileges for misbehavior, if Mom and Dad never follow through with what they say.

Do you think about God’s Word the same way? Do you imagine that God really can’t be serious when He says, “The soul who sins is the one who shall die” (Ezek. 18:20)? Do you think He must just be exaggerating for effect. God really wouldn’t suddenly bring the world to an end, judge all people, and condemn unbelievers to hell, would He? Surely, He’ll give people a second chance, right. He can’t be serious.

The truth is, God is completely serious about everything He says. Whatever He says He will do, it will be done. His warnings about sin and eternal death are not exaggerated hyperbole. They stand as written. They are so reliable, they are as good as done. They are intended to seize everyone’s attention and to send a chill into the sinful heart. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked” (Gal. 6:7).

However, then remember that God is also just as serious about the salvation from sin and death Jesus earned for all by His holy life and His sacrifice on the cross. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

In tomorrow’s sermon text (Heb. 12:25-29), the writer to the Hebrews impresses upon us the seriousness and urgency of God’s Word regarding the temporary nature of this dying world and the unshakable kingdom of God. May we build our lives and hopes for today and for eternity on that kingdom of grace and glory alone.

We will follow our usual schedule tomorrow morning. The adult Bible class will begin a study of the Lord’s Supper based on the Catechism.

An evangelism seminar will be held at the church from 3:00 to 5:30 this afternoon. As the last day of world history draws near, it is all the more vital to share the gospel good news of forgiveness and life in Christ. But all of us have felt inadequate for the work and at a loss for words at times. Through turning to the Lord in His Word and discussing opportunities, methods, and various life-situations, we pray that the Spirit will equip us and make us better prepared for being Christ’s witnesses in our day-to-day lives. Everyone is invited. Why not make plans to come? It is time well-invested for spiritual returns! A chili supper will follow the seminar.

In Jesus’ name,


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