March 10, 2019
Fr Phil Eberhart
Ps 91 or 91:9-16
Good morning! Welcome back so soon. Many were here for a grand occasion last night for the double ordination and confirmations we had here. What a beautiful night! What a short night!
I think i got about 4 hours sleep. Speaking of temptation! Almost rolled over and went back to sleep. Then i remembered... oh yes... you're preaching this morning!
I want to talk about a word this morning.
It's a word that comes up in our epistle reading. The letter from Paul to the Roman church. Chapter 10 is in the middle of a section about Paul's heart's desire!
The word is WHOSOEVER. It's a great King James word. Others translate it who ever or whom ever.
Whosoever occurs 163 times in the OT and NT. What I discovered is that the word mostly means "all." And as we all know "all means all!"
So in Romans Paul is quoting the prophets when he says " whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved."
It's interesting that this is in the middle of his letter to the gentile church in Rome! He returns for a moment to remind both his gentile readers and the eventual Jewish readers that the Jews are included in his whosoever!
In fact he goes so far as to say that the salvation of the Gentiles is tied to the salvation of the Jews and vice versa
"A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved."
Whosoever is a very inclusive word! We hear a lot today about inclusion ! Everyone wants to be a part of something big. And we have the biggest deal going!
God so loved the world ... that whosoever could come, Jews, Gentiles, slave, free, Male, female, ...
black, white, brown, yellow, red, green or blue!
There's no more need for discussion! It's time to simply GO ... do it. Go in any way you can, at all times, to every place. Go tell the story, your story, His story! And how they come together!
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
And Paul goes on to commission each of us...
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Let me repeat myself...
It's time to simply GO ... do it. Go in any way you can, at all times, to every place. Go tell the story, your story, His story! And how they come together!
People are dying to hear! The WHOSOEVERs of this world are empty and restless, "looking for love in all the wrong places." And ours is the ultimate message of God's love, for all the world, all the who - so - evers that we run into every day - and never say a word to.
Bishop Bill talked last night about the power of the gospel coming through relationships. Through connections.
Do you know that is our written mission.
"Connecting people to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom!"
Let's just go and do it.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross, that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace!
So clothe us in your Spirit, that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you,