Saturday, June 12, 2021

God's Gracious Warnings (2021.06.12 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

Hopewell Herald – June 12, 2021

Dear Congregation,

Thank you for your prayers for elder Rentschler and me while we were at General Synod this week. I trust in the Lord to give you an informal report at open mic time tomorrow afternoon and to write up something a little more thorough by next week’s Herald.

Last week, in Joel 2:1–11, we were quite sternly and frighteningly warned against assuming that the Day of the Lord is going to be a good day for us just because we’re part of His church or know some good doctrine.

Such warnings are sometimes unpopular in preaching, and sometimes I even hear people say that that’s “Old Testament preaching” as if the New Testament is different or that strong warnings are somehow incompatible with the gospel.

But complaints like these commit serious errors in themselves. For, the Old Testament and New Testament are from the same God, by the same Spirit, and rich with the same gospel of the Son. If you miss the gospel in the Old Testament, or the warnings in the New, then you’re not reading either one with good understanding.

In tomorrow’s Luke reading, Jesus tells a parable in which the Master wants his servants to be about His business (19:13). He then characterizes as those who hate (!) Him, anyone who does not want to be ruled by Him (v14). Then at the end of the passages, He calls such people “those enemies of mine” and commands for them to be slaughtered (!) in front of Him (v27).

It just will not do to pretend that Jesus is some undemanding, tame teddy-bear of a God-Man.

Luke, Joel, and the entire Bible are clear: if your life isn’t being ruled by Christ, if you are not living in order to be about His business, then Jesus is your enemy, and the Day of the Lord is a day of terror for you. All of the churchianity and grace-speak in the world will do you no good.

But He is a marvelous Redeemer, who has come to seek and to save the lost (cf. Luke 19:10)—which is exactly what He is doing when He alarms you at your sin and guilt, so that His Spirit may also allure you by Him and His grace.

This alluring is what we are looking forward to in Joel 2:12–17 tomorrow!

Looking forward to sitting with you under such a gracious word as we worship our gracious and glorious God,


LORD'S DAY – June 13, 2021 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
This week, we’ll begin studying the Scriptures behind WCF 15, “Of Repentance unto Life” — the grace of Repentance and graciousness of preaching it.


11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for June 13
Q85. What does the third commandment teach us? A. To reverence God's name, word, and works.

Shorter Catechism for June 13
Q93. Which are the sacraments of the New Testament? A. The sacraments of the New Testament are baptism and the Lord's supper.

Psalms and Hymns
TPH467 “Cast Down, O God, the Idols”   
ARP9B “Sing Praise to the Lord” 
TPH130A “Lord, from the Depths”

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Acts 17:24–31

Scripture Readings and basis for confession of sin and petition for help
2Samuel 14:23–33
Luke 19:11–27

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Joel 2:12–17 about being Allured to True Repentance

Lord’s Supper! (Please see the section at the end of the Worship Booklet on how rightly to prepare for it and take it)

1 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class

1:15 p.m. Fellowship Lunch & Open Mic Time
Members are encouraged to bring a generous amount of extra food, so that there will be plenty for everyone, including for any members or guests who are deciding last-minute whether or not to stay.

At open mic time, we’ll begin with birthdays and anniversaries and recitations of the memory verse:
▫Memory Verse for June 13, Joel 2:13So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.

2:30 p.m Psalm/hymn Sing

3:30 p.m. Evening Sermon from
Philippians 3:12–14, When Your Best Is the Worst

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for June
Riverside ARP Church in Riverside, AL

June Psalm of the Month
ARP9B Sing Praise to the Lord

Upcoming Events

• Wednesday, June 16, Prayer Meeting. 6:30p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We pray for a solid hour, splitting into groups to balance praying corporately with giving everyone an opportunity to pray out loud as much as possible.
June 18, Hopewell Church Covenant Family School invites the entire congregation to the graduation of its three seniors, Friday, June 18, 7p.m. with dessert reception following.
June 19, Leadership (men’s and boys’) breakfast, 6:30a in the Fellowship Hall
• June 21, Monthly Stated Session meeting, 6p

No comments:

Post a Comment