Seventh Sunday after Trinity               26 July 2020 A.D.

Seventh Sunday after Trinity                26 July 2020 A.D.    Morning Prayer

Psalm 50    1st Lesson. Daniel 5:1-9, 13-20    2nd Lesson.  Romans 1:17-21, 28-32    

                      LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good                                    things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion,                            nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same;                                 through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                  Amen.

                                      “The contrast between good and evil.”

  Our three selections of scripture for this Seventh Sunday after Trinity is a study of contrasts.
Not really too hard to find these contrasts, being as the clear delineation between good and evil. When revisionist theologians and preachers are seeking a way to soften the message and main thrust of the Word of God; they will go to great lengths to avoid the “inconvenient” verses and passages of scripture that shine a laser-focused beam of truth on evil. 
 Why?  Because the Word of the Lord is very clear on what is good and what is evil.  There is no shade or scholarly interpretation of the message.  God hates evil.  We must daily ask God to avoid evil, we must daily seek His Word, read it, inwardly digest it, and “increase in us true religion, nourish(ing) us with all goodness.  
Why?  Because it is in our nature to flee from good, we are like the rental apartment cockroaches, when the lights come on they flee to the darkness.  
  When we address this very human nature to try and stay in the shadows of evil and sin, there is immediate conflict.  The neo-cons, the liberal theologian, the sociologist who claim to be of Christian faith, ALL try their best to soften the heavy blows of truth that come from the Word of God.
  When St. Paul was reaching out to the lost communities, both pagan and un-repentant Hebrews, he wrote about the great conflict or contrast between good and evil.
In this brief but damning passage of scripture from his letter to the Romans, Paul outlines this great gulf or contrast between good and evil.  The famous passage of scripture that shoved Martin Luther into faith, “...The just shall live by faith...”, illuminates the very issue at hand.
“...for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith...”.  This revelation comes from God, revealed by the Word (Christ Jesus) and illumined by the Holy Spirit.  
Now come the sticky part, the next couple of verses are very difficult to explain away, so many preachers no longer use them for sermon texts.  

  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
 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:
 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Notice, even though mankind has been exposed to the truth by way of the created world, understanding that God is eternal, they are without excuse when it comes to dismissing God, because they think they are smarter than their creator.  
What a sorry excuse the intellectual has for saying God is dead, or that God doesn’t exist, they are ignoring the very creation that points to a Creator, all to their own destruction.
  Also notice something interesting.  Nature hates a vacuum.  Mankind does too.  What does man do to avoid thinking about eternity?  He fills his life with everything and anything that keeps God out of mind.  Look at the list that Paul writes down.  That is the hell-bent world in a nutshell. As a secular author pointed out some 40 years ago, “...we are entertaining ourselves to death....”  Interestingly, he was spot on with his analysis.  We are so busy being busy we do not take the time to be still and know that God is there.  As David wrote, “ still and know that I am God...”.  Instead we fill our modern lives with anything that will keep us from meditating upon the Word of God.  

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

  So in all of this chaos and fervent activity, modern man is avoiding the obvious truth, instead running headlong into destruction and eventually eternal damnation. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

  I don’t know how much clearer the message has to be, but if we are ignoring it, we do so to our peril.  Beloved, come to the Lord, he will relieve you of your burdens that you obtained at your birth. He will save you from your sins, because he died in your stead upon the Cross so many centuries ago.  God has given us clear signs, we must turn from our wicked ways and live.
Repent and be saved.
Remember, many preachers are afraid of offending their folks, I am afraid of not serving my God and offering up my flock to the destroyer.  May God be praised in this time of chaos and evil, may we as a nation turn our backs upon utter destruction and turn back to God.

Let us pray:

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that Thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of Thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; Defend us Thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in Thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.