The Second Sunday after Trinity, 2022
The Hymn #411 From Eternity O God
- Pastor Jim Shrader, Chris Shrader, Lynda Roper, Callie and her mother Peggy, C. and her family.
- Those working to protect the unborn, the weakest of the weak, the poorest of the poor.
- Our nation, built upon the sacrifices of patriots and the faith of its Founders, has a Constitution that has outlived all others.
- KJVs are being requested by Springdale neighbors, who also want Spanish Bibles.
1 John 3: 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
This is now being played out in America, and echoed throughout the unbelieving world. Protecting the unborn enrages unbelievers, who respond by destroying buildings where people are counseled about keeping the unborn child.
I volunteered at a pro-life center in Columbus. Of all the young women I met there, only one came with the prospective father of the child. All the rest came alone, except for the married couple hoping a child was on the way. Where were all the teen-age boys? They were never along.
We live in a world where the righteousness of works has taken over, not only disconnected from the concept of God (Natural Law - God commands what is good for us - basic to the US Constitution) but antagonistic toward anything Christian. Therefore, the highly praised works are not derived from God's Commandments but from the destructive power of Satan. Cain belonged to Satan, so he hated Abel. Thus, the works become more destructive because of this power.
John's Gospel and Letters state clearly that the unbelieving world will hate Christians just as they hated Jesus Christ. Nothing is too absurd and destructive for this generation, so we should not be filled with wonder ("do not marvel") that the world hates Christians since that has been a theme since the very beginning.
And it is important to discern that Cain and Abel were brothers, that opposition and hatred are not simply from enemies far away but also from the incense-scented halls of the visible church. We find the opposition in the Church of Rome and in the denominations (Lutherans too) that hate the teaching of their founders and do their best to show their unChristian works to the world.
We should expect that the world hates us for loving the Gospel Word, which includes the Bible in its various parts and the whole. No one can water down the Scriptures enough to please unbelievers, sceptics, and rationalists. When I sit in the garden to work on the flowers and weeds, I am surrounded by creatures, even a bunny walking casually by, not by evolutes.
We know we belong to the invisible Christian Church because we love those who are also believers. That tie unites a bewildering variety of people drawn by the Word.
He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Many can carry on with the outward signs of the Christian Church, which vary in a hundred different ways. But when the unbeliever is loyal to his Father Below, he works against the Gospel and persecutes the believer. The radicals took over ELCA starting in 1987 and completed the victory in 2009, driving out several million members and pastors. The radicals will never let go of their prize, and yet WELS-LCMS-ELS will continue to work with them for the Thrivent money.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
The two go together. When people are proud and haughty, obsessed with keeping what they have and the honors they think they deserve, they do their best to crush their opposition, very much like Cain and Abel. Here John is using the same term that Jesus did in John 8.
Lenski, 1 John, p. 469.
Man-murderer (ανθρωποκτονος) is the very word that Jesus used with reference to the devil in John 8:44; it applies to all the devil’s children (v. 10b); included among these are the antichristians who have gone out from us (2:19). John has called the latter liars (1:6, 10; 2:22) and combines liar and man-murderer as Jesus does in John 8:44.
Faith and eternal life go together. Expressing one is proclaiming the other. I have found that the "conservative" Lutherans will do everything possible to promote universal forgiveness without faith and to condemn and silence Justification by Faith in Jesus Christ. I noticed that two "conservative" graduates of the Jesuit Marquette University (John Brenner, WELS, and Gregory Schulz, LCMS) write about the "justification of the world," as if every person is forgiven, no matter what. Everyone who writes for Christian News promotes this anti-Scriptural dogma and anyone who teaches Justification by Faith is excommunicated. Ask me how I know.
This is what we see in secular life. There are trigger-words and snares that catch anyone who is pro-life, or can only count to two with genders, etc. The watchers keep track of terms they do not like and silence those people, one way or the other. The "goals" are scared to them, so when something new "aligns with our goals," any offense means automatic dismissal.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
This was automatic in the Apostolic Church. Because Jesus gave up His life, the believers gave up theirs. False brothers fell away, and it is easy to see why, but the martyrs increased the numbers across the known world. Now we do not have "laying down our lives" but "lifting a finger," and hardly a finger is lifted. The official charities do some of the works, but the most important efforts should be for our next-door neighbor or relative.
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Some might say, "This is a passage about works," but it is really about the fruit of the Spirit, works that naturally grow from the Gospel taught and believed. Years ago, in the LCA, a bunch of members agreed to visit and spend time in the home for handicapped adults. Only one or two actually did. I was one. The other person had a chronic and fatal disease and died young. She always visited Erin Joy too and had so much fun with her. I often felt sorry for those who never stopped to be with life-long handicapped people.