Distress, Division, Discernment, Debt, Decision!

Rosskeen Free Church Sermons

Reading: Matthew 24:1-51 and Luke 12:49-59

Key Verse: Luke 12: 51-52 “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.”

Jesus ministry demonstrated who he was, but the people did not discern Jesus identity. Do we know Jesus to be God, the Saviour of the world?

God’s Word forces people to make a choice for or against Him, and thus a division is caused between those who will follow Him and those who reject Him. Those who reject Jesus now He will reject them at his coming.

Rather than rejecting Jesus, we should discern who Jesus is, by seeing and believing the evidence of His earthly ministry,and then be reconciled to Him,before it is too late and He appears before us, not as our Saviour but, as our judge to pay us our wages of sin which is death.

Sermon Points:
A: Distress of Jesus
B: Division of people
C: Discernment to understand
D: Debt to be paid
E: Decision that needs to be made

Series: Luke 12

Preacher: Rev Iain MacAskill
Preached: Evening Service, 21 September 2014

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A foot in both camps

Ross County’s great season last year was good news for their fans, but seeing them move up to the SPL hasn’t been entirely without problems for some of their supporters. See, a lot of people had loyally supported their local team all the way from back in their Highland League days, whilst at the same time cheering on a ‘proper’ team in the premier league. But now the mighty Staggies are up there with the big boys, and that leaves some supporters in a bit of a dilemma. What happens when your two SPL teams play each other? Now if your ‘proper’ team was Glasgow Rangers, then I guess league games aren’t going to be an issue for a wee while (sorry, couldn’t resist that) but if you’ve been following Celtic, Aberdeen or even Dundee United (you know who you are) then your loyalties are going to be put to the test. Which stand will you sit in? What colours will you wear? Whose goals will you cheer? Trying to stay neutral and support both teams when they play isn’t going to make you any friends. Probably best to stay at home and follow the game from there if you can’t pick a side!

But let’s take the dilemma a wee bit further. Imagine you were a footballer. What could be better than getting a chance to play for your favourite team? How about an offer from both your favourite teams? Twice as good? Well, not if you can’t decide. Maybe you could avoid having to make the difficult choice, and play for both sides. In the same match. When they are up against each other. Sounds like a plan?

Of course not, it sounds like a ridiculous idea. Completely mad. And yet, that is how many people seem to want to act when it comes to God. They know that they should choose to follow him, but they’re just not ready to make that step and turn their backs on the world. So instead they try to have it both ways. Kind of following God, but keeping in with the world as well. Maybe we can delay the choice as long as possible. Maybe we can put off choosing altogether.

Sounds nice, but there is a problem with that plan. And it is far more serious than trying to decide which of your teams to cheer for, or even play for. You see, this world is in open rebellion against God. It’s at war with him.

That’s where the phrase ‘a foot in both camps’ comes from. These days we use it to mean trying to avoid choosing between two options, trying to have both instead. But when it talks about camps, it means something far more serious than trying to choose between football camp and watersports in the summer. No, the camps in question are military camps. The picture here is of two armies, with all their equipment and armour, readying to meet one another on the plane of battle. Now imagine being in that situation. For some reason, you have divided loyalties. You could choose to fight for either side, you could pick either camp. But you don’t want to have to make that call, to choose one over the other. So you decide to join both armies, to stand in both camps. How do you think that is going to work out for you when the fighting starts? Does it mean that soldiers on both sides are going to be your friends and allies? Of course not. What is far more likely is that you’ll find you have no friends on either side, but everyone is out to get you. And they won’t just be booing you from the terraces.

When we think about it like that, it’s obviously a crazy way to behave. But if you’re trying to follow God and the world, that’s exactly what you are doing. Instead of not being against either you’ll find yourself up against both, with no allies to protect you. The world has declared war on God, and you have to pick a side. Everyone does. And if you think you can put off making up your mind, just remember that by not choosing, you are making your choice. There are no neutrals here, God has made it clear, you are either with him, or against him. Pick a camp, what’s it going to be?



Esther’s Identity Crisis

Series: Book of Esther, 3 of 5

Reading: Esther 4
Sermon Points:
A: Repentance
B: Resolution

Preacher: Rev Calum MacMillan
Preached Evening Service, 14 October 2012

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