- I was watching the news the other night…
- One of the stories was about the deployment of a group of soldiers from CFB Edmonton…. Preparing to go to Afghanistan
- The was ceremony…. There were bagpipes and flags…. And speeches….
- But there was something else….
- There were tears
- There were muffled cries and loud cries
- There were wives crying
- And there were kids….
- Hugging, crying,…. Waving
- They were saddened by a love ones call to be deployed in a dangerous part of the world
- They were crying because of separation…
- There is great pain in separation from the ones we love!
One in Christ
Eph 2:11-13 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
- Separation can be so painful…
- One of my most vivid childhood memories
- Was when I was in hospital for a tonsillectomy
- I was only 2 ½ years old
- I remember being put back into a crib, from a bed…
- But most vividly I remember my mom having o leave me there for the night!
- Walking out that door was the one who loved me, fed me, cared for me… but all I wanted now… was to be held… be close
- I am pretty sure I howled for a good long time (sore tonsils or not)
- Separation hurt… especially because I now what I had…
- The Glory of God is demonstrated in his transcendence… and in his immanence…
- His awesomeness…
- And his closeness…
- And we should be passionate and focused on the relationship we have… it should be primary…
- Our pursuit of the Glory of God… should be motivated by the stark contrast!
A little Spiritual GPS
Where we were at… before Christ
Where we are at… if we are in Christ
1) Where we were at…
Eph 2:11-13 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
- Words of reminder…
- No Hope
- Without God!
- We are reminded….
- When we did not pursue the glory of God…
- When we did not bask in his love
- If we are god of our life…
- We are headed for separation…
- It’s real… and though its greatest consequence is separation from the glory of God…
- The bible writers explain it…
- Fail to love to God’s glory… and suffer apart from it… Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
- Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (Did they live lives to the glory of God?)13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. – if you do not live for the glory of God… then you will suffer apart from it!
- The great contrast… life in the glory of the gospel in the face of Christ… or separation…
- 2 Co 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
- No Hope
- Without God!
- 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
- Eternal glory…. Eternal Suffering
- Eternal light… Eternal darkness
- Mt 13:40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
- God glory will shine…
Where we were at…
- We were sons of hell… Matt 23:15
- A child of the devil… John 8:44
- A child of wrath… Eph 2:3
- I belonged to a viper’s brood… Mtt 3:7
- I was…
- No Hope
- Without God!
- The message of hell is important….
- It is the greatest contrast!
Jn 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
- If God and his Kingdom are worthy and glorious
- Hell is worthless and inglorious
- If God in heaven is worthy of the passion, allegiance, and of every living fibre of my body, my complete soul, and my total mind
- Then Hell is worth none of these things…
- We were…
- We were sons of hell…
- A child of the devil…
- A child of wrath…
- belonged to a viper’s brood
- Hell and its suffering point us to the eternal glory of God… and its hope and promise.
2) Where we are in Christ… new bearing on that Spiritual GPS
- A little child born 2,000 years ago…
- The very revelation of God manifest in flesh
- The incarnate Christ… (green Candle)
- Ephesians 2:11-12 are followed by verse 13
- The reality of separation is contrasted to the children of God…
v. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
o My childhood memory…. In a hospital room all alone…
o Is bitter sweet…
o I remember my great rejoicing and tears when I fell back in my mothers arms…
o Looking back at a life without Christ…
o No Hope
o I now am overwhelmed by the presence and glory and love and awesomeness of God
o I remember with great rejoicing and tears when I fell back into my Heavenly fathers arm…
o When my God bridged my sin with his Son…
o And drew me close and called me son…
o When by the atoning sacrifice of Christ… saw me as righteous!
o No more was I staring hell in the face… though I deserved it…. Though I deserve it
o No more was my path, the path of destruction
o No longer was my life self-glorifying
o No longer was I god!
o Now in Christ Jesus I was drawn near…
o Now in Christ Jesus I could see God
o By the very Holy Spirit I was transformed by the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Where we are in Christ… new bearing on that Spiritual GPS
- In humility we need to see that we do not have a gift we earned or a scheme we somehow devised
- No, we have a hope that does not originate in us
- We seek and serve a glory that does not radiate from within
- The message of hope in Christ is a message of humility
- Because Hell is our just due…
- Separation is our appropriate reward
- Our hearts should be focused on the glory and mercy and grace of God
- And we should share that glory with the world
- Satan, Hell, and Separation are as real as God, Heaven and salvation…
- The reality is one is anchored in our glory the other in the Glory of God
- This season do not loose JESUS Amongst the perfume sets, tickle me Elmos, PS3’s and slippers…
- Do not loose the reality of Hell in the piles of bows and wrapping paper
- Do not loose sight of the glory of God
- To quote the Red Cross…
- “Give the Gift of Life” this Christmas
- Give the message of the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.