Mark 6:5 No Mighty Work 7/24/2016 < >
#1. is Not This the Carpenter? (Mark 6:3-4, Gal 1:18-19, Acts 1:14, Rev 22:18, 14:11)
#2. What Can God Not Do? (Mark 6:5. 1John 4:8, Num 23:19, 1Sam 15:29, Heb 6:18, Jam 1:13,
Mai 3:6, James 1:17, 2Tim 2:13, John 6:37, 44)
#3. He Went Round About. Teaching (Mark 6:6. Jer 2:12-13. 1Cor 13:4-7, Jer 3:14)
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Please open your Bibles to the Gospel according to Mark 6:1 (2X). While He was on earth, the Lord Jesus did many mighty works. But there were occasions when He did not do any mighty works. Today we are looking at one of these events. The sermon today is titled, "No Mighty Works" (2X). In Mark chapter 6, the Lord Jesus visited His hometown Nazareth for the second time. Perhaps you remember that when He visited Nazareth the first time after He began His ministry, they tried to throw Him off a cliff. So Nazareth was not a country that was friendly to Jesus. The Lord Jesus just came back from Gadara, where He had healed the Gadarene Demoniac, and where the people from that region begged Him to leave their country. So the region of Gadara was also unfriendly to Jesus. In fact, we can apply this principle to every country in the world. Everyone of the human race comes into the world as an enemy of God. No one in the world desires to be close to Jesus. This is how we have been born, as sinners who are enslaved td sin and Satan, and who do not want God to meddle in their lives. Don't rock the boat. We are doing just fine without you, Jesus. We read here in Mark 6:1,
Mr 6:1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
Mr 6:2 And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Mr 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and
Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Verse 1 refers to the history that He went out from the country of Gadara. and He came into His home country of Nazareth. His disciples followed Him as soldiers who follow their leader. Can you see that this is an example to us? We are in the army of Christ. He does not send us atone into the world; Christ goes before us and we follow Him. He meets the enemy head on. He fights for us, He teaches us how to fight and He teaches us by His example. He goes before us and we follow Him. Then we read in verse 2, "he began to teach in the synagogue". Jesus had not forgotten what they did to Him 2 years earlier. Therefore, Jesus taught them in their synagogue because they needed to be taught what salvation is. But how did they react? They were astonished at His wisdom, and they were astonished at the mighty works that Jesus had done outside of Nazareth. But in their souls, they were not touched by His presence, or by His teachings, or by the miracles that were performed by Him. They were not impressed at all. This shows us the essence of the human heart. God says in Jer 17:9, "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, desperately wicked". Even the presence of God Himself, and the gracious Words from God, and the threat of Hell, is not able to make an impression on the human soul, unless God's grace comes along and changes our soul into one that is friendly to God. This is the condition of a human soul, a totally depraved soul, unable to do anything that is pleasing to God. In 21st century language they would have said, "Where did this man
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learn all this wisdom, where did he go to school, where is His diploma? We do not believe Him unless we see His diploma from a school that is certified by our council of the Sanhedrin". And they were offended at Him. We read in verse 3,
#1. Is Not This the Carpenter? (Mark 6:3-4, Gal 1:18-19, Acts 1:14, Rev 22:18, 14:11)
Mr 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
This is what many people in the Roman Catholic Church would say, and they would be offended at a Jesus who has half brothers born from His mother Mary. Their Jesus has a mother who remained a virgin all her life. Their entire church would fall apart if the "Virgin Mary" would not be a virgin. Well, then they have to write their own Bible and worship another Jesus. But the Jesus from the Bible has half brothers from His mother Mary. The Bible declares that God wrote the Bible. God used the hands and mouths of holy men of old, and God moved them to say and to write exactly what God wanted to say. That is why the Bible is called "The Word of God". Let me read to you what God said in Gal 1:18, Ga 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. Ga 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. James was one of the half-brothers of Jesus. According to Mark 6:3 Jesus had at least 4 brothers and two sisters born from Mary and Joseph. These brothers eventually were saved. We read in Acts 1:
Ac 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Jesus was the Son of God and the Son of Mary. His half-brothers were sons of Joseph and Mary. And the Bible is absolutely clear in many places that Mary had more children after the birth of Jesus. But when a church has decided to make more of the mother of Jesus than the Bible declares, and to elevate her to a status of "Mother of God", then that church has "added to the words of the prophecy of this Book", and this means that "God, shall add unto them the plagues that are written in this Book". (Rev 22:18) What are those plagues? "The smoke of their torment ascendeth up ascendeth up forever and ever" (Rev 14:11). It is a dangerous business to declare the Word of God. And if I, or anyone of us, is inadvertently making more of those things that the Bible declares, let us remind one another that we are treading on dangerous ground. Let us continue with Mark 6:4,
Mr 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
A prophet is given honor, except in his own country and in his own house. We can see that clearly today. The Lord Jesus Christ is called a prophet by Moslems, and by Mormons, and by Jehovah's Witnesses, and even secular authorities will honor Him by giving holidays like Christmas and Easter. But the nation of Israel refuses to acknowledge Him as their favorite Son, and the household of Mary and His brothers did not believe in Him until after His resurrection. But now we read in verse 5,
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Mr 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Now, this is strange language. The Lord Jesus Christ is God. Could God do there no mighty work? I checked the translation, but the translation is correct. What then are we to make of Gen 18:14, where God says, "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?" Is God not able to do whatever He pleases? Of course, our God is omnipotent, which means our God is all-powerful. What can we say about the power of Almighty God? The mighty power of God is demonstrated in the works of His hands. What do the Scriptures say about the omnipotence of God? The Scriptures say: He is the creator of heaven and earth. He created this great wide universe. He created us, and He created everyone else here on this earth. He created not only the beautiful flowers and the sunshine, but also tornados, and hurricanes, and earthquakes. He also created the good angels and the angels that fell into sin. And so, in an absolute sense, He created Lucifer who became Satan. God says in Isa 45:7, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do ail these things." Yes, God is responsible for creating both light and darkness, and for creating both peace and evil, such as war. Nothing escapes the providence of God, which are the hands of God, because He has the whole world in His hands. God says in Isa 54:16, "Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy." Historically "the waster" refers to the kings of Assyria and Babylon. But "the waster" here could just as well refer to Adolph Hitler, who caused the 2nd world war where over 40 million people died. God says in Amos 3:6, "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?" The trumpet call is a sign that an enemy is approaching. It is also a warning to the church that the enemy is knocking at her doors. This is the God of the Bible. Will we give in to the popular notion that God is love, and that is all He is: only love? Or will we listen to the Bible? When God says in Deut 32:39, "See now that I. even I, am he. and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand", will we believe that God's providence is in control of everything, including salvation and condemnation? Will we believe that we have a God who is sovereign? He calls the things that are not yet in existence as if, they already exist. We read that in Rom 4:17, where God says, "Even God, who quickeneth the dead (spirits), and calleth those things which be not as though they were." Yes, this is the sovereign God of the Bible. And God accomplishes whatsoever He pleases, so that nothing is too wonderful for Him. God says in Psalm 115:3, "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased." All this is clearly seen in all of God's creation, so that His eternal power is seen in all the things that have been made. But mankind does not believe it. God lays down the
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principle of Reprobation in Rom 1:19-20, where God says, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them: for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead: so that they are without excuse." Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians 1:17 (2X). This altogether unique and divine power of God's omnipotence is even more wonderfully revealed in God's marvelous work of salvation, and in His work of redemption through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the future glorification of all things. This is the prayer of the Apostle Paul for the church. It is also our prayer for each other and it is also our prayer for all those throughout the world who are listening to this message. God says in Eph 1:17,
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of
wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (Knowing Him is all we need to know.)
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of
his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19-20 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
The greatest measure of the omnipotence of God is revealed to us in the distance from the depth of Hell into which the Lord Jesus Christ descended, to the height of power and glory to which God has exalted Him. It is true that His power is revealed in the creation of the world and of this universe, and His power is also revealed in His providential government of all things. But His power is revealed even to a greater degree in the resurrection of Christ from the dead and His exaltation at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. He is the Lord of creation, but He is also the Lord of life and death. And so, we may define God's omnipotence as that attribute of God according to which He is able to accomplish whatsoever He pleases. For example, today is "Palm Sunday", which means that people in churches all over the world celebrate the triumphal entry of the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem, 5 days before His crucifixion. God determined to let all the world know that Jesus is the King of Israel, the Israel of God, and that He is "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world". And so, God orchestrated this triumphal entry of the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem, and God's power overruled the enmity of the Pharisees and the enmity of the Devil. God did what He pleased to do. Having said that, we also realize that there are many things that God cannot do. God cannot do those things that are contrary to His nature, or contrary to His other attributes. For example, here in Mark 6:5, God said,
Mark 6:5, And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. (Let us turn again to Mark 6:5, (2X).)
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In other words, Jesus healed some people from their physical illness, but God did not call these miracles "a mighty work". Before we answer the question, "What is a mighty work of God", let us see: #2. What Can God Not Do? (Mark 6:5, 1John 4:8, Num 23:19, 1Sam 15:29. Heb 6:18, Jam 1:13,
Mal 3:6, James 1:17, 2Tim 2:13, John 6:37, 44)
Do the Scriptures teach that God is limited in what He can do? Absolutely Yes! God cannot lie. God cannot contradict Himself. Therefore, what we read in the Bible must be read as one harmonious whole, because God cannot lie, nor contradict Himself. If we believe that "God is love" according to 1John 4:8, but we do not believe Rom 9, or John 6, or Eph 1, then we have declared God a liar and then we would be obligated to write our own Bible with another god, but it is not the God of the Bible. We read in Num 23:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" Also, God will not repent, meaning that God will not retract what He has decided before. God will not be sorry for what He has done. We read in 1Sa 15:29, "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent." Now, that is a great comfort to us, because we who have put all our faith and hope on the Lord Jesus Christ shall not be disappointed. We read in Heb 6:18, "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us." God cannot lie, nor can He retract His promises to us who have been saved by His grace. Another thing that God cannot do is this: God cannot sin, and God cannot be tempted with sin. More than that, God cannot tempt anyone to sin, because sin is an abhorrence to God. For example, the sin of Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" was part of Godís plan for redemption of His elect, but God did not tempt them to sin. God only set the stage, and since God made Adam and Eve good, not perfect but good, and since God knew what was in their heart, God's plan for the fall of Adam and Eve was a certainty. We read in James 1:13, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." Moreover,
God is immutable, which means God cannot change. God says in Mal 3:6. ďFor I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Because God cannot retract His promises to Jacob, therefore the children of Jacob have not yet been consumed. Concerning the immutability of God, He says in James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." We can depend on God as on a solid rock. He cannot deny His love on those whom He chose to love from before the foundation of the world. God says in 2Tim 2:13, "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." The words "if we believe not" refer to the time before our salvation. God will not abandon His elect for leading a sinful life before they were saved. That is expected of unsaved people And so we see that God's omnipotence may not be divorced from His nature and from all the other 4/4/2004 Mark 6:5 / No Mighty Work Page 6
attributes God has. All these attributes of God are infinite. God's omnipotence is infinite, and all those things that God cannot do are things that God ordained to be done, according to His counsel and according to His will. There is not an outside force which prevents God from lying or from sinning. God decided that within Himself. God's hands, or God's providence, testify of the infinity and eternity of the Godhead and all His divine perfections. God's infinite power is revealed in the highest degree in the actual work of His hands. And so, God cannot save anyone who was not included in the number of the elect, chosen from before the foundation of the world. God says in John 6:37, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." And then He said in Joh 6:44, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." It is in this sense that we must understand the words of Mark 6:5, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." It means that the Lord Jesus could not save anyone of them, because He was bound to the decisions made before the foundation of the world. Therefore,
Must refer to the act of salvation. You can see in Mark 6:5 that the mighty work of God is singular. It refers to one work of God that stands above ail His other works as the mightiest work of God. What is that work of God. Weil we read in 1Cor 2:2, "For i determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (2X). What does this verse say, and what does it not say? This verse does not say that Paul decided to be ignorant of ail other truths and principles of the Gospel. But it does say that "knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified" is the central truth around which everything revolves, and from which everything is derived. God says in Rom 11:36, "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom he glory for ever. Amen." Christ is the central figure in the Bible and Christ crucified is the central act of God in the Bible. Everything in the Bible, and everything in history revolves around this great act of God, which He did on Friday April 3. in the year AD 33. In the negative, we have seen what God cannot do. But in the positive, what did God obligate Himself to do? What did God obligate Himself to in the counsel of God, before the foundation of the world? God obligated Himself to save His elect, which is a people He chose for Himself out of all nations, tribes, people, and tongues found on this world. God says in Matt 1:21, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save "His People" from their sins." The words "His People" do not refer to the nation of the Jews, but they refer to all those for whom Christ suffered and died. It was for this purpose that He came in this world, and it was for this purpose that He created this world and all that is within, and it was for this purpose that Christ purchased on the cross the whole world, so that He has the right to rule over it and to guide the course of history until all His elect have come to salvation. It was for this purpose that God ordained Him King of kings and Lord of lords, because He must reign over everyone and everything in this world, accomplishing what
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God in His Counsel had determined to be done, namely that "He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth". This is what God's providence accomplishes. It was a mighty work that God imputed the guilt of ail our sins on the Lord Jesus Christ. Just think of it. If I lead a very holy life, and I sin only 25 times per day, then the total accumulation of my sins up until this day is 73x365x25, which is greater than 666000 sins, only for one person. Now multiply this number by many millions of people who were saved throughout the history of the world, and you end up with many trillions of sins. And this is only a conservative estimate. The guilt of all these sins had to be loaded on Christ. Most of those sins were future sins, and God could not forget one of them, because if only one of my sins was not paid at the cross, I would still go to Hell, and Christ would be a failure. And so, throughout history, God's providence makes ail these sins come to pass without making God the author of any sin. But at the cross, God bypassed quadrillions of sins committed or to be committed by people who will remain unsaved. All those people who have been passed by would die in their sins and they would never have any fear of God, or of Hell, nor would they repent for any one of their sins. God would simply not give them any repentance. Please turn in your Bibles to 2Tim 1:9 (2X). Of all the elect, whose sins were paid by Christ on the cross, God would give the grace of salvation in this way: God gave them the right to be raised, from death to life, with Christ at His resurrection, and God would make it known to His elect at some point in their life that they have been raised with Christ. How does God make it known to us? He changes our soul, makes it perfectly clean by applying the payment that Christ has made on our behalf, and comes to live in our soul in a special way. From that moment on, we have a desire to believe the call from God. which has come to our ears through the words of a preacher, or the words of a Bible teacher, or the words of a friend. This is the moment of having been "Born Again". God speaks of this in 2Tim 1.9-10.
2Ti 1:9-10 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Christ "called us with a holy calling", a special calling, whereby we became "Born Again", or "Born from Above". Can we make ourselves be "Born from Above"? No way! Therefore, this calling is "not according to our works". We did not want it and we did not deserve it in any way. God gave us this gift free of charge. That is why this gift was "according to His own purpose and grace", and God decided this "before the world began". This is the Mighty Work of God: God afflicted Christ on our behalf on the cross, where He had to endure the equivalent of all of His elect spending an eternity in Hell, and after Christ successfully paid for all the sins of all the elect, God raised up the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, and gave all His elect the right to be raised with Him, to a new life with Christ and in Christ. Let us now turn back to Mark 6, and continue with verse 6.
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#3. He Went Round About Teaching (Mark 6:6, Jer 2:12-13, 1Cor 13:4-7, Jer 3:14)
Mr 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Why did Jesus marvel at their unbelief? Was He surprised? NO! The Lord Jesus is God, and God is never surprised. But God has put this in the Bible to express His displeasure with the depravity of unsaved man, and to let us know how horrible their unbelief was, and is. God expresses the same displeasure in Jer 2:12-13, where God says, "Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." We must apply this to these people in Nazareth. God says that even the heavens are astonished at their unbelief. And to these unbelievers God says, "be horribly afraid", because in your punishment for your unbelief you shall "be very desolate". Because they have forsaken the Lord Jesus Christ, the only one who can rescue them from their slippery slide into Hell, since He is the only one who can give them a Gospel of salvation. He is the fountain of living waters. But they have attached themselves to a works gospel, which they learned from their Pharisees. These works gospels are compared to broken cisterns that can hold no water; broken cisterns that cannot give any gospel promises, but only lead to Hell. Let us now leave these unbelievers in Nazareth, and please turn in your Bibles to the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians 13:4 (2X). We read in Mark 6:6, "And he went round about the villages, teaching". Why did God put this in the Bible? Jesus left His hometown Nazareth, and He went to teach in the surrounding villages. Could He have given up on the Jews altogether? The answer is NO! As long as the nation of Israel was still the wife of God, God was obligated to love that nation, because God has laid down the law in many places in the Bible that the husband must love his wife. The Lord Jesus Christ was bound to obey the law. That is why He went round about, teaching, because they needed to hear the Gospel that leads unto salvation. God says,
1Co 13:4 Charity (= agape) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself
(= is not bragging), is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5-6 Doth not behave Itself unseemly (= indecently), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniguity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
The KJV translators chose the word "charity" instead of "love", and rightfully so, because charity reflects a mode of unconditional giving. This is the love that God has for mankind. God loves His elect people, and God gives to them everything they need, unconditionally. Grace is God's unconditional favor unto salvation. Grace is an unconditional gift that we do not deserve. Like Hosea was commanded to love his unfaithful wife, so the Lord Jesus Christ had to love the unfaithful nation of Israel, because she was His wife until the divorce at the cross, brought the final separation. It is not well known that the OT church was the wife of God, whereas the NT church is the Bride of Christ. But
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God declared in Jer 3:14, "Turn, 0 backsliding children, saith the LORD: for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion". At the cross, God divorced His wife, the nation of Israel. Until that time there was still a remnant of faithful believers within the nation of Israel, and therefore she was still His church. But at the cross, God divorced His wife, Israel, and God adopted the Bride of Christ, the eternal Church, in her place. The Lord Jesus gave us here an example. His example is:
To pray for your unsaved loved ones, and to witness wherever you can. Please turn about 60 pages to your right (<-) to the 2nd Epistle to the Thessalonians 1:11 (2X). There are many prayers in the Bible. Here the Apostle Paul tells the church at Thessalonica that he prays for them. Remember that the language of God to a church is different from the language of God to an individual. The external church has a mixture of saved and unsaved people within her. This is what He prays for:
2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is what we need to pray for one another in this church. This is what every Pastor should pray for his church, "that our God would count us worthy of His calling", which means that we will play an active role in the spread of the Gospel throughout the world, and by conquering territory from Satan. Every Pastor should pray for his church "that the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us, and we in Him". This is not something that we can accomplish through our own zeal or by our own efforts. Only by the grace of God shall we be active participants in His mighty army. That is why we should always be ready to give account of the hope that is in us. God says in 1Pet 3:15, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear". Make the Lord's business your first priority in this life, and be always ready to answer every person who asks you: What is the reason for the hope that is in you? Why are you always so joyful? Why are you not stressed out over the war in Iraq, or over the economy in this country, or over the presidential candidates? How can you be so joyful when there are 2 million babies killed every year in this country alone? Why are you not joining other churches against the homosexual movement that is sweeping this country? The answer is simple: Our God is in control of world history. We do not need to worry. We give our concerns to God, and let Him worry about them. We must concentrate our efforts on the business that He has given us to do, and that is to pray always, and to give an answer to every man who asks us what is the reason of the hope that is within us. And remember to answer him in meekness and fear, because only by grace does God give us the words to speak. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.
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