Sermon – 5. New Family (Hebrews 10:19 – 10:25) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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5. New Family

Ben Read, Hebrews 10:19 - 10:25, 12 August 2018

Hebrews 10:19 - 10:25

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

1208 is the page number. If you're using the church Bible, Hebrews chapter 10, and we'll start it at verse 19. Therefore, brothers and sisters. Since we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body. And since we have a great priest, over the house of god, let us draw near to god with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.

Having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur 1 another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together summer in the habit of doing, but encouraging 1 another and all the more as you see the day approaching. Thank you, Phil. Well, good evening, everyone.

Oh, nice and loud. Let me add my welcome. My name is Ben. That's a bit better, isn't it? That's echo y.

I'm a member here at Cornerstone Chech, and it's really great to see you. Thank you for coming out. Keep those bibles open in front of you, because we're gonna be looking at them. But in these evening services over the last few weeks, we've been going through a series, looking at some of the new things that we get when we become a Christian, So so far we've looked at a new life that we have, a new father that we get, a new task that we're set, and last week was a new guide. That we have.

And this week, we're looking at the new family that we get. And it's actually quite a good way to put all the stuff that we've learned into practice. So it's gonna be good. Let me pray as, as we start. Finally, we thank you for your word that we just read.

We thank you, for your spirit I pray, please that your spirit would speak through your word to us now and that we would, have hearts and minds ready to receive, and respond in Jesus' name are men. So I guess I guess we've all heard of the expression family friendly Right? That's it's a common expression. You might say, oh, you should go to that place. It's it's quite family friendly or maybe don't don't go over there, avoid that place.

It's not very family friendly. And it's not very cryptic, is it as a saying? It's basically does what it says on the tin. It essentially means that the place is, kind of suitable for kids and adults and and grandparents maybe, and that you can all go and sort of enjoy enjoy it together. So you might have a pub that advertises itself as family friendly, for example.

Don't know if you know the Spring Grove near Beatleswood. Sort of just around the corner. I would say that's quite a family friendly pub. It's got sort of climbing frame and really cool structures in the garden. That kids can can go and climb up and play with while the adults will sit and have drinks.

And it's quite nice and light in that pub as well. So it's a place that I'd imagine. I would happily take my whole family, cousins, and grandparents, and everything to quite nicely. But then you get some other pubs like this, the fighting cock in Kingston. I don't know.

Maybe maybe you've been in because, I don't know, but I've I've been there once and I will never go there again, seriously. I went to 1 gig there and I was genuinely concerned I had tinnitus for the next 2 weeks afterwards. Everything was really muffled and I had a ringing in my ear. And it's also it's really, really, you, like, you laugh. So you know, it's really dark and it's scary.

You wouldn't wanna take kids there. It's not very family friendly, is it? Definitely not. I reckon family friendly is something. There's a lot of babies, popping out in this church this year, and it's something that I guess you guys who are having kids for the first time, you might now suddenly be really aware of this this phrase family friendly and whereas like me in my life at the moment, it's kind of I avoid family friendly places, but now you've turned into those people who have to like Google family friendly things to do on a back holiday.

Because you've now got kids. So you you turn into those people. But I reckon, I think family friendly. I think that it's something that the church actually does incredibly well, being family friendly. In general, most churches you go to or most churches I've been to at least takes accommodating children and family really, really seriously, and it wants them to be a part of the, of everything that goes on and the service and things like that.

And and Cornerstone is no exception to that. At all. So this morning, if you were there, we've got those colored benches that are at the side at at the front, and that's where all the kids are. They're all set there. I don't know why because it's not very comfy, but they're all sat there anyway.

When we do like a kid song with actions to make them feel included, the Sunday school lessons as youth workers preparing dedicated stuff for them. There's a crash so that parents can be in the service. There's mums and tots, men behaving badly during the week. A women's bible study that meets here and there are volunteers who look after the kids so that women can be studying the word of god. There's, we we sit around and eat a lot of food together.

Don't we? That happened today. And the kids go up and eat first so that they're not starving and hungry. There's all kinds of activities, there's board games, there's there's, what's it called? Green Tea, this film club, walking club, all of these things.

Everyone's welcome here, aren't they? Whatever stage of life you're at. However, old you are, however big your family is. We want you here. We really value the family here.

And really that's because God really values the family. You know, aside from the fact that he he made it and he designed it, it's really clear when you when you read through the Bible God really values the family. So in Genesis, he he began by saying it's not good for man to be alone. So he may Eve, a wife for him. That was the first family.

And then he commanded that family to be fruitful and multiply to grow that family. 1 of the 10 commandments the top 10 rules God wants his people to live by is honor your father and your mother. And this is this is god. This is god who who should have unreserved honor. All the honor should be going to him and here he is saying, honor your father and your mother.

There's a special importance placed on your parents. We're to honor them in a special way. But this 1, this 1, in 1 Timothy, chapter 5, bring it up on the screen. Nope. Oh, no.

This is not there, never mind. Maybe it'll come up, maybe it'll pop up. I'll read it to you. 1 Timothy chapter 5. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family.

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives and especially for their own household has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. So to neglect the household that you live in, and to neglect your family is actually to deny the faith. Caring for your family is putting your religion into practice That is how important the family is to god. And perhaps the most tender moment that Jesus has with his mother is is in John chapter 19 just before he's crucified. So in that time, it was the responsibility of the eldest child to take care of the parent.

And so knowing he was about to die, he he assigns Peter as Mary's son, and he assigns Mary as Peter's mother. Sorry, John. Apologies. And so he says this verse 26, when Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, dear woman, here is your son And he said to the disciple, here is your mother. And from then on, this disciple took her into his his home.

So can you see the care that Jesus has for his mother. He's about to be crucified, which his mind must have just been on all of that. But yet, he still takes this moment to say, please take care of my mother. You need to take care of her as if she's your own mother. So the family is a really big deal to god.

I hope that's quite clear. And and therefore, this church expresses that, and it's a family friendly place to church. I hope actually you would agree from that from your own experience. But there is also a sense in which the church or Christianity is not family friendly. Because the thing is that you cannot speak on behalf of anybody other than yourself before god.

So when you become a Christian, you cannot automatically take your family with you on the same journey. And I think we've all seen this in our lives because it's very, very rare for an entire family. Grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, brothers, sisters, parents, children, grandchildren on both sides to all be committed, followers of the lord Jesus. And actually, many of us will have come from families who aren't Christians. You might even be the only Christian in your family.

And in those cases, maybe sometimes going to church or being a Christian actually causes a rift in your family. Maybe you get arguments because of it, or roles of the eye, or a loss of respect, maybe you get teased or bullied, or maybe there's even separation in your family because of that. For many Muslims around the world, becoming a Christian actually means being disowned by the family. There's that real, real danger there. They're emotionally and physically ostracized, and they're actually told in a lot of cases that they have brought shame on their family.

If you've become a Christian. And also in a in a pilgrim's progress by John Bunion, there's there's that moment right at the beginning where Christian is running. He's just heard about the beautiful city and he's running with his fingers in his ears, because he wants to blot out the sound of his family calling him back to the city of destruction. And we see this in scripture too. Jesus himself says in Matthew chapter 10, do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man's enemies will be the members of his own household Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And what is that about? Right?

I thought the family was important to god. Isn't that literally what I've just spent the last few minutes talking about? You know, I thought Jesus came to bring peace and love and tranquility. I thought he was meek and mild what on Earth does he mean here when he says, I have come to turn a man against his father. Or John Piper writes if you are looking for religion that will make all your relationships clearer and smoother and happier.

Then you will find a great obstacle in Christianity. And the reason is because in Christ, we inherit all of these new things that we've been learning about the last few We inherit a new life, a new father, a new task, a new guide. And by definition, if you inherit something new, then you leave the old things behind, the old life, the old guide, the old task. And the thing is the world doesn't want you to leave those things. Doesn't want you to leave the old life, the old task, the old guide.

Because of that, now suddenly, there's conflict. Where there wasn't before, but you were going in 1 direction, now you're going in completely another direction, and people will disagree with the route that you're on. So this is where a man will turn against his father. He will turn against his father's wisdom for god's wisdom. He will turn against his father's values for god's values and the turn against his father's traditions for god's traditions.

And and I don't mean to say what I'm not saying is when you become a Christian suddenly all of your relationships are completely destroyed because we all know that's just simply not true. But what I do mean to say is that though the love that you have for your family is a good thing, how much greater should your love for the lord Jesus be? For your heavenly father who made you and loves you and gave his only son for you. So when Jesus said, anyone who loves their father or mother or son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me. Why did he say that?

Here's the thing. He said, if you love your mother or father or son or daughter more than him, then you will you will give him up or compromise him for them. Because it makes sense, doesn't it? If you love your mother or your father more than Jesus, you will end up not going to church if it upsets them. Or you will end up, not going to prayer meeting if it's gonna cause an argument.

You will more readily listen to them because you love them more than you will listen to god. Great. Those have come up. And this is this is quite heavy stuff. I know this is quite heavy stuff.

And it's actually the family and and becoming a Christian. All of this is quite a painful thing to grapple with for some of us. I'm aware of that. But the thing is when Jesus says these things, he's not flippantly expecting us to accept it or or or to do it without knowing what it's like himself. He knows what it's like himself.

So in Mark chapter 3, this Hopefully will come up. So in Mark chapter 3, we see Jesus' own family trying to prevent his ministry. Thinking he was mad in fact. So it says this in verse 20, then Jesus entered the house and again a crowd gathered so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him for they said he is out of his mind.

His own family thought he was out of his mind. So here, Jesus is the embodiment of the verse itself when he says, a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. His own household are attempting to get in the way of god's salvation plan. They're against him. It says they've come to take charge of him.

Can you imagine what taking charge of someone looks like? It's like stopping them. That's like, it's what you do to your enemy. It's not what you do to your family. Is it?

But just listen to Jesus' response to this quite sad moment in his life. Says this a crowd was sitting around him. And they told him your mother and brothers are outside looking for you. Who are my mother and my brothers he asked? Then he looked around.

He looked at those seated in the circle around him and said, here, are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does god's will is my brother and sister and mother. So in his response to this, Jesus opens wide the mystery that is the church. His truer family are those who do god's will. Those who sit at his feet and learn from him, not his blood family who are actually trying to stop him.

And if that is true for Jesus, then it is also true for us. When we become a Christian and we find ourselves at the feet of Jesus, then we don't leave our old families. Of course, we don't leave them. But we do become a member of this new, truer family. And this is my first point tonight.

I want us to see the gift and the joy of this new family that we become a part of. So in the passage that we read, to begin with, you can see that, in verse 19. Just have a look at it. Therefore, the letter begins, brothers and sisters. So the author is not actually writing a letter to his real brothers and sisters.

He's writing a letter to the church. To the body of believers who do god's will. Romans chapter 8 says for those who are led by the spirit of god are the children of god the spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry abba father. So if we have 1 father and we have all been adopted into this family and have the same fam same father, then that means that we are all brothers and sisters in the same family.

It's more than just a club that we've got going on here where we meet every Friday and every Sunday. We're not just a group of like minded people who have the same hobbies or things. It's more than that. It's this is family that we've got here. You are all my brothers and sisters and I was chatting to the guys before, before the service started today about where because all the guys in this church call each other brother It's what we say to each other.

We're like, alright, brother. Hey, brother. How are you doing, brother? I'm gonna pray for you, brother. Things like that.

And I've never had that before in any other church that I've ever been to. No 1 really does anymore. So it was a bit of a shock when I first came here. And I was like, oh, alright. I'm a brother.

That's really cool, especially since I didn't have any brothers growing up. But once I got used to it, I actually found that it really helped me to call other blokes brothers and and women's sisters it really helped me to shape my affections for you guys because the when you call someone brother or sister, you can't help but love them a little bit more. Can you? You you take them sort of further into the circle, I guess. And brothers are a little bit annoying as well that which is part and parcel of of all of that.

This morning, I was holding an umbrella for Kelly and I must have been standing a bit funny because I looked in to church and there was Jerusalem and Chris doing this, like mocking me and I was like, alright, guys. The other thing is we're not just brothers and sisters, but we're kind of uncles and aunties, aren't we? I mentioned all the babies that have been popping out this year. To to all of them, I'm uncle Ben. And you're all aunties and uncles.

To the point where I kind of feel a bit sorry for their real aunties and uncles because not only is their title not special to them anymore, but they've also got a hundred of other ones that they see week in, week out. So they must turn up and see these uncles and Nancy's like, what's so special about you? Part timer. But what is it that uncles and aunties and brothers and sisters do? What do those people in your family do?

Well, they look out for you, don't they? They stick up for you. They wanna encourage you and they wanna build you up. And if you fail, if you mess up, then you don't suddenly stop being in the family, do you? You just mess up as a brother or a sister.

Families forgive families love. They pick you up when you're down. Just think of the, parable of the prodigal son and and the love that the father has for the son. Even though this son has gone and squandered the family wealth, he's plundered his own body and he's got every right to be thrown out of the family in shame. The father still loves him.

He's still a son. And so the father runs out and welcomes him home. That's what families do. And just listen to what, Paul has to say about the church in thessalonica. He says, for what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory presence of our lord Jesus when he comes.

Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and our joy. So he says the crown in which he's gonna glory is you, the church. The church is his glory and joy. And you can see the joy that this church has for itself going right back to the first churches in the book of acts.

There's an amazing description of the church in acts chapter 2. Where people who were strangers not long before, now brothers and sisters, and they're giving up property and possessions to support each other They're meeting together regularly, in each they're eating in each other's homes and they're praising god. And that description is still happening today, isn't it? You can see that you can see that today. So in Cornerstone, so Carrie and I have owned a house for just over a year now.

And already, we've had people from this church. Come and help us move from our old house to our new house, help us paint and redecorate the new house. We had, some people come and fix a broken pipe on the outside of our house. Changing light fixtures, building shelves. We recently had helped building a deck in our garden.

And and and on top of all of that, we've had people come and pick us up and drive us to and from the airport as stupid hours of the day. People have cooked us meals. They've given us lifts everywhere. And all of those things that I just said, those are things your family does. Isn't it?

You you don't call your colleague and be like, oh, can you please pick me up at 4 AM tomorrow morning and take me to the airport. You just wouldn't do that, would you? But you might call your brother or your or your mom or your dad and say, oh, please, can you give me? And that's what we that's how we treat each other. That's what we do.

And spiritually as well, the church encourages us in our faith. So the church organizes home groups, prayer meetings, services, sermons, the list goes on and on and on. The church is an amazing unique thing in this world. It's a real gift, and I hope you can see that in your lives, actually. Were part of this new family.

And that's that's that was my first point. And my second point is this, if you are in this family, then you have a responsibility to this family. It's not just fun and games, I'm afraid. And we know that from the families that we grew up in, in this in this life, didn't we? Older siblings have a responsibility to take good example.

Parents have a responsibility to nurture and love their children. The whole family, has to pull its weight. And it's the exact same with this new family. And the writer of the passage that we read at the beginning wants us to see that in these verses. He wants us to see that responsibility.

And his logic is this. Since god has brought us into this family, there are 3 things that we need to do in response. So have a look at verse 19. This is the since part of his argument. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened up opened for us through the curtain that is his body.

And since we have a great priest over the house of god, So since those things, then let us do this. Firstly, verse 22. Let us draw near to god. So if you are gonna take this responsibility to the family seriously, then you need to take yourself seriously with god first. You need to be drawing close to god yourself and you need to be growing as a Christian because you can't possibly expect to help the church if you yourself aren't drawing near to god.

And there's a specific way that we should be doing this. First 22 says, let us draw near to god with a sincere heart with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. So we're meant to do this with a sincere heart. We're meant to, draw near to god as a child draws near to his father, not as a businessman approaches a transaction, with an agenda. Because, you know, some people are like, oh, god, if you get me out of this situation, I will go to church more often, or I'll be a better person.

That's not how we're meant to draw near to god. And when we approach god as as our father, then we do so with the full assurance that faith brings. So when a when a child runs up to its father, it does so with the full acceptance that it's gonna be, loved and received, doesn't it? Even if it's been naughty, it still knows that it's gonna be loved and received. So draw near with that same confidence to god.

And we can only hope to draw near to god at all if Christ has cleansed us from a guilty conscience, and our sinful bodies have been washed by him. So let me ask you now, have you asked god for forgiveness? Through Jesus because the curtain that was between you and him has been torn down the middle by Jesus on the cross so that you can draw near to him. There's nothing now stopping you from knowing him and drawing near to him. So have you done that?

But also, it's not just about you. You need to be drawing near to god in community with others. Did you notice the command is not you draw near to god? It is let us draw near to god. So you are meant to be doing that publicly.

You're meant to be doing that with the church family to encourage them to do the same. To draw them closer to god as you draw near to him. So practically, what does that look like? That looks like making sure you're going to church. Maybe encouraging others to go to church as well, just texting them saying, are you coming tonight?

Are you coming, tomorrow? It means setting a good example for people follow, encouraging them in their faith, challenging them where necessary. And simply being here tonight, by the way, is a is a great encouragement to each other. So thank you for coming out. Please make sure you continue to do that.

As you draw near to god together, you encourage other people around you to to draw near to god. So that's the first thing. Let us draw near to god. That's the first responsibility we have to each other. The second 1 is this.

First 23. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess for he who promised is faithful. So your hope is certain because it is based on god's promises, not in anything that you've done. And because god is a hundred percent faithful, you can have a hundred percent assurance that what you hope for will be realized. So the writer says because of that, hold unswervingly to the truth that you profess, to the hope that you profess, the truth of the gospel, So don't don't meander in your faith, please.

Don't meander in your faith. Being blown around by different ideas or kind of theologies and teachings. Hold on tight to the truth what god has said in his word. I think this is increasingly relevant to us in a world that is increasingly liberal, and where truth is mocked and new ideas are kind of thrown at you. And if you don't agree with them, then you're seen as evil and people berate you.

You know, even in the Christian world, new ideas will crop up all the time. So hold tightly. Your responsibility to the church is to hold tightly to the truth. Make sure the gospel is the anthem of this church. However, you can.

Make sure that the gospel is always on your lips. So wherever you are, when you're chatting to someone or you're leading a study or you're participating in a study, make sure the truth is is central. And actually, the best way to hold unswervingly to the truth is to profess it, to constantly, to constantly have it on our lips. And that's the best way to deal with false teachings as well, just to keep preaching the truth and the gospel. So that's the second responsibility.

Hold unswervingly to the truth. And thirdly, verse 24. Let us consider how we may spur 1 another on towards love and good deeds. So this 1 is is quite carefully written, and I really like this 1. So it says let us consider You know, this is this is a really tangible application that we can get our hands wrapped around now because what what is it you have to do when you consider something?

If you say, I'm gonna consider that seriously. What is it you do? You stop, don't you? You stop, you put some time aside, and you, are gonna think about something. You're gonna make a plan based on some thinking.

So I personally, for example, don't really instinctively know how to encourage a 14 year old boy in the faith. I don't suddenly, you know, I don't know how to do it automatically, but I've got to meet and mentor a 14 year old boy, so in this church. So when I I do that. I sit down. I have to think about it.

And I I have to think right. So what how can I spur this young man on in the faith? How can I do that? And then I go and do it? So this is a brilliant thing, and this is something that we ought to be doing for the whole church.

It's not just the responsibility of the elders or the teachers. Did you realize? It's a responsibility that we all have for each other to spur each other on to love and good deeds. So this is a really tangible application. So, the first 2 drawing near to god and holding unswervingly to the truth are kind of ongoing things that we need to keep doing.

But this, this is something that we can do this week. So if you take notes, I want you to write this down. And if you don't take notes, I want you to write this down. So get your phone out and being serious, get your phone out or get a piece of paper and a pen or something. Or if you don't have either of those, then and scribe it on your brain.

K? I'm gonna set a challenge for us this week. Myself included to consider how we may spur 3 people on in this church or whatever church you belong to, towards love and good deeds this week. Okay? And if you're gonna consider it, you have to stop and think about it.

You have to come up with ideas. How am I gonna encourage this person on? And they're quite specifically. So I want us to consider how to spur somebody younger than us on, somebody younger than you on. Somebody the same sort of age or life stages you.

I've got this up on the the screen behind me and somebody older than you. So that's that's our challenge. And once you've considered how to do it, how am I gonna spur this person on? Then I want you to do it. Okay?

Don't just come up with the idea and then just don't do anything about it. Come up with the idea and then do something about it. Spur them on. And Carrie helpfully pointed out to me that spurs are the things that cowboys and people have on on on the back of their shoes. Right?

To kick the horse to make it do something. So you have Carrie's full permission that if someone needs to kick up the backside, instead of just nice words, then you can do that. So those are the 3 responsibilities. Yeah. Those are the 3 responsibilities we have to the family.

It's a gift that we have to enjoy, but we've got responsibility. And these are the 3 responsibilities. 1, draw near to god. Secondly, hold unswervingly to the truth and profess it to each other. Thirdly, consider how to spur each other on and then do it.

But there's also a warning and an exportation here too. So the warnings in verse 25. Take a look at that. Not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing. And I I know that church can be difficult sometimes.

I've seen that in my life, and I've seen it through my friends and my family. We are gonna have to bear with each other, in this world, with with each other's annoying habits, and we're gonna have to forgive each other when we get hurt. Just gonna have to do that. This isn't gonna work otherwise. But the danger of stepping out of the church when when you get upset or or when we get hurt is that you will grow cold.

That's the danger of stepping out of the church because you are not being in the church for other people to to encourage you to draw near to god. You're not having the truth profess to you. You're not having people spur you on, all those things that that we've said. So in this morning's sermon, Phil Cooper talked about, the the barbecue coals and how they they all stay hot and warm together. And if you take 1 out and put it on the side, it's gonna cool down and and be snuffed out.

It's the same for Christians. We need to be in the church to to to stay faithful and to stay, stay together. So the writer is urging you not to give up meeting together even when it's hard, because it is gonna be hard. Don't give up meeting together. And he says, as some were in the habit of doing.

And I think habit here is a good choice of word because What can start out as it are? Just I'll just miss it this once or, you know, I can't. I'm busy. Let me let me do it tomorrow. We'll let me go tomorrow.

We'll let me go next week. What can start out that can quite easily become a really bad habit. And bad habits are easily made and really hard to break. So the warning here is that the solution to church being difficult is not to give up meeting together. It's it kind of actually goes the instinct really, but the worst thing you can do if you don't wanna go to church is not to go to church.

So hang in there talk to people about what you're finding difficult, pray about it. Keep loving and serving people and don't give up on the church. That's the warning. So do you see yourself in that warning? Are there some bad habits that you've got into?

Don't give up on the church. And finally, at the end of verse 25, with all of this in mind, drawing knee to god holding on to the truth, spurring each other on, do these things all the more as you see the day approaching. And what day is that? It's the day of the lord's return when he comes back. To claim the bride as his own.

Because on that day, you will want to be in the family. You will want to have drawn near with that family. You will want to have professed the truth to that family. You will want to have spurred that family on to love and good deeds. And if you have if you have given up on that family, then you will see on that day that god had not given up on that family.

So as that day approaches, As members of god's family, as brothers and sisters, we ought to be doing these things all the more with god's help. So let me ask you these questions. Do you consider the church to be your family? Have you grown cold to the church maybe? Or have you abandoned your post completely?

Let me encourage you please to ask for forgiveness, to draw near to god again. And ask for his help to rekindle your affections for the family. Ask god that we would be a church that takes joy in each other and takes responsibility for each other as well. And remember my challenge, whether you wrote it on a piece of paper or your phone. Let's do that this week.

Let's do it. Let's 3 people, how can we spur them on? Think about it and then do it. So let's pray to finish. Heavenly father.

We thank you, and we praise you for what you've done through the lord Jesus. And sending him to die on the cross in our place so that we can be adopted into your family. Please help us to enjoy the church and the great blessing it is. And we thank you for it the gift that is. But please also help us to see our responsibility to it.

Please help us to draw near to you. Help us to hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess and help us to consider this week how we might be able to spur 1 another on. And to do all these things all the more as we see the day approaching. In Jesus' name, amen.

Preached by Ben Read
Ben Read photo

Ben is a Trainee Pastor at Cornerstone and lives with his wife Ceri who is a youth leader and helps run the women’s ministry in the church.

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