The Many or the Few?

August 23, 2010

A Sermon on Luke 13:22-30, Jesus answering the question: "Lord, will those who are saved be few?"

Sermon Talking Points:

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  1. In Luke 13:23 someone asks Jesus, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” How does Jesus answer direct the person back to first consider their own position before God? Why is it important that we put a name and a face on the people who’s salvation we are concerned about? How can we begin to tell them the good news? Look at Hymn 826, esp. v. 2: “Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling”

  1. What does Jesus mean by calling the door (to eternal life) narrow? Read Matt. 7:13-14. How does this contrast to the popular idea that “all roads lead to heaven?” Will there be few or many that enter eternal life? Why isn’t it loving someone to say that any road will get you there?

  1. What is the “door” or “gate” to heaven? Read John 10:1-2, 7-9. Cf. John 14:6, Acts 4:12; How do we enter by that door? What is found within? When is that door shut? Matt. 25:10; Heb. 9:27.

  1. Why will some think that they will enter, but will not? John 10:1-2; Matt. 7:21-23; 25:1-13; 25:41-46; Luke 6:46-49.

  1. How does Jesus describe the experience of being shut out of the kingdom of God? Reread Luke 13:27-28. Luke 16:19-31; Matt. 13:41-42; 25:30, 46.

  1. How does Jesus describe those who are welcomed into the kingdom of God? Luke 13:29-30; Matt. 22:2; 25:23, 34. To whom will we give all thanks and praise for bringing us there? How long does the feast and celebration last?

The Reproach of Christ

August 16, 2010

Sermon on Hebrews 11:24-26 for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost. Also related to the other readings of the Sunday, Jeremiah 23:16-19 and Luke 12:49-53.

Sermon Talking Points:

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  1. What would be the two different outcomes of Moses identifying as an Egyptian ruler or an Israelite slave? In the short term? In eternity? What was the challenge about it?

  1. Do Jesus and the Bible teach that the Christian’s life will be easy? Reread Luke 12:49-53; James 4:4; Matt. 10:16-42. Why then do we believe? Cf. Hebrews 10:24-26; Matt. 10:39.

  1. Explain these pitfalls on the Christian’s road: to be a hearer of the Word but not a doer (James 1:19-27; Ezek. 33:30-33); to stubbornly follow our own heart (Jeremiah 23:17; Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Matt. 15:18-19); to ignore God’s anger against sin and teach that all is well (Jer. 6:13-14; 23:17-22; Hebrews 12:5)

  1. What does Scripture warn about false prophets? How dangerous are they and what can they lead to? Reread Jeremiah 23; Matt. 24:23-28; 1 John 2:18-27; 2 John 7-11; How should we examine and test for false doctrine? (see previous passages) & Acts 17:11; 1 Tim. 6:2-10; Titus 2:1; 2 Tim. 4:1-4;

  1. Explain the temptation to water down or “sanitize” God’s Word. Why must this be resisted? 2 Tim. 4:3-5; John 17:17; 1 Cor. 1:17

  1. How did Jesus identify with us who were enslaved? How did He bear reproaches for us? What reward was He seeking? John 1:12. What is Jesus’ commendation, and why is it worth it? Matt. 25:23

Seek His Kingdom

August 9, 2010

Sermon on Luke 12:22-34 for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon Talking Points:

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1. Recount at length all the times when worrying actually got you somewhere or helped solve a problem. J Why doesn’t worrying help? List examples where worry or anxiety was actually harmful or counterproductive to you or the situation. Cf. Matt. 14:22-33.

2. Who doesn’t worry or need to worry? Who (or what) doesn’t have responsibilities? Reread Luke 12:24, 27. How can we learn from these examples?

3. If the lilies of the fields are clothed in splendor, how are we clothed? Rev. 7:9-14; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 3:1-17

4. What should we do if we have weak faith? Luke 17:5; Mark 9:24. What replaces doubt, fear, and worry?

5. What’s Jesus advice for getting rid of worry over possessions and material things? See again Luke 12:33-34; 2 Corinthians 9:7;

6. How have you experienced the “hilarity” or joy of giving? What is an opportunity for you to do it now? How does giving produce joy and cheerfulness, and help drive worry away?

7. How can we share in such an abundance, that we can give away joyfully? Reflect on the phrase: “It is the Father’s good pleasure”.


Rich Toward God!

August 2, 2010

Sermon on the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21, and a related passage from Ecclesiastes 2:18-26.

Sermon Talking Points:

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1. What was the “refrain” of the rich fool? What was his attitude about his possessions and life? How was the young man in danger of developing this same attitude? What is tragic about this attitude?

2. Why didn’t Jesus offer to settle the dispute in the way the young man suggested? What was the deeper problem? Explain in your own life what it means to be “rich in things and poor in soul.” What is the contrasting attitude that God desires? Cf. Phil. 4:11-13

3. See the small catechism explanations for the 9th and 10th Commandment. What does it mean to covet? How should we look at possessions instead? Matt. 6:19-21; Ps. 89:11; 50:10-12

4. When loved ones have died in your family, did it result in squabbles and hurt feelings over things, or did it bring reconciliation between family members? What made the difference? What was the heart of the problem (or the cause for reconciliation)?

5. Reread Ecclesiastes 2:18-26. What is the difference between Solomon’s attitude toward riches in vs. 24-25 and the rich fool’s? How does one find enjoyment?

6. How does realizing that all our possessions and even our life are on loan from God change the way that we live and manage our life? When can God call for the return of those loans?

7. How should we use our excess wealth or surplus? How do we become rich toward God? Matt. 6:19-21; 1 Peter 1:7, 19. How is Jesus our greatest and everlasting treasure?