The Preacher Says....  
  Rededication with Thanksgiving  

2 Chron 29. 1 - 3, and 30. 13 - 27

In what we think of as a Godless world, there is certainly a lot of talk about religion these days. The religious right, heard from at election time, not monolithic, but repelled by the evil done in the name of tolerance is also turned off by the addiction to the drug of the public dole. They urge a return to the old virtues. Cal Thomas, in a 1994 column made a strong plea for Christians to really live the life they claim to believe in so that a bona fide revival could take place by behavior such as loving your enemies, praying for those who persecute you, befriending ‘sinners’–some old time religion, isn’t it? Question: is this still the country the Bible built? Truth to tell, with the result of our loss of knowledge and belief in the Bible, many of us must plead guilty to Nietzche’s disturbing statement , God is Dead.

Is this us, or maybe some of us? Let’s put it this way. We’re dangerously close to the line. Think of the children of Israel, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night–God was often dead to them. Isn’t it likely that He may be dead or dying for some of us? In the past God was a part of everyday life–seedtime and harvest –a total dependence on the Creator to sustain life. In the past most work involved matters of life and death. Modern life divorces us from God. Some might say that work is no longer meaningful. We’re blasted by so much information that we’ve come to know less and less about more and more–until we know nothing about everything. With excessive prosperity we become less thankful. And in a surfeit of good times, less holy.

Do we attend church every Sunday so we can feel good about the precepts of truth.? To be briefly thankful when we do go to remember the Lord’s death-- is that enough to keep God from dying? Is our understanding enough? How good is it, anyway? We’ve got to continually search for wisdom and understanding. We need to get the message that you can’t please God without believing in Him;

Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Heb 11. 6)

For us, this is not a case of our ‘ever learning and never coming to a saving knowledge of the truth’, but the message is revealed when we search the scriptures daily, always recognizing the fact that we only see through a glass darkly. But if we seek in this scholarly way, is it enough? For example, I have $1,000 and I have faith in AT&T, but if AT&T stock goes up–and I haven’t invested–I don’t share the reward. Did I really have faith?

If you will read Hebrews 11 you will see examples of great faith. Were they all experts in scriptural interpretation? Maybe so. But that’s not what got their names in this chapter. They were the ones of whom the world was not worthy, wandering–ever seeking. Don’t you feel like a fish out of water in that company? They demonstrate to us that we have got to prove our faith by taking risks; we must try to do things, lots of good things, that we would not do but for our faith. Will we rededicate ourselves today? Can you who are not yet backsliding please resolve to continue to take risks for your faith? The heroes in Hebrews 11 all obtained a good report through faith. They have yet to receive their reward. They are waiting for you.