Sunday Services: 10:30 AM
505 South Sixth St. Burbank, CA
FaithView, For Storm Riders:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans 5:8
I remember the first college class I signed up for had a spot underneath that said; “Prerequisite Required.”
I wasn’t sure what it meant and figured I’d find out on registration day. On registration day I found out, and all my plans were torched by the condescending woman in glasses sitting at the table across from me.
All the classes I wanted to enroll in had this “prerequisite” thing attached to it. I was very frustrated and got angry when I learned—because I hadn’t taken the required placement tests—all I qualified for was, Remedial Jax 101. (small hyperbole there)
That’s my story; I’m sure you’ve had something similar in life, we all have. There’s something you really want to do, but there’s some hoop you have to jump through first. I’m not against all hoops. There should be some training before using a firearm, driving a car, becoming a neurosurgeon or jumping out of a plane. I get it.
When the day came—like it always came—when I wanted to feel hope. When I wanted to know there was a plan for my life. When I wanted to know that I could be forgiven for my terrible thoughts and deeds. I was happy to learn there were no prerequisites required. No hoops to jump through. What was required of me was very clear…No placement tests were involved…There was no introductory class to take…Man, when I learned all that, I was overjoyed.
The Scripture above is true…Christ died for us while we were still sinners. To experience his forgiveness, to have life, to figuratively be brought back from the dead…All I had to do was repent of my sins and believe in him.
I didn’t have to talk or go to a pastor or priest. I didn’t have to quote “The Four Spiritual Laws.” I didn’t have to recite the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed or any of the creeds of Christianity. I didn’t have to be in a church or kneeling at the altar of a church. I didn’t need to wear special clothes, I didn’t need to bring in a resume with references listing all of my good works, and I didn’t need to have any good works.
All I had to do was ask and believe.
Paul in Galatians has this great line:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is no gospel at all. Evidently some of the people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! “—Galatians 1:6-8
In chapter three of this same letter Paul asks the Galatians; “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?”
The dude from Tarsus is exhorting the church to not let anyone change the conditions of salvation and faith on them…on you…on us.
I realize the choir is reading this—believers—but it’s important for us to recognize the lies that are being presented to the world today regarding the reconciliation of our lives to Christ.
First, after 28 years in ministry, among the most heartbreaking of things to hear an individual say is; “There are some things I have to workout before getting right with God.”
The individual acknowledges there’s a need to get right with God…but somehow has been convinced that there are prerequisites to fulfill before taking that step. My experience with these folks has been that they never work out the things they say they’re going to work out…and never get right with God…And life–forevermore–remains a struggle.
The Scripture from Romans confirms the Lord’s love for us just as we are…We don’t have to stop any of our bad habits or even sinful acts before we come to him. After we come to him, his Spirit goes to work on us, but that is after–AFTER!– we’ve been regenerated/reborn. It’s very much the story of the Prodigal in a nutshell…”You’re my child! Just come home!”
I didn’t need to jump through a hoop or knockout any prerequisites before coming to God…and my life was changed forever.
The next lie, apostasy, being fostered by the church universal today…Is a works-based relationship with the Lord. This is Churchianity in full bloom. They won’t call it works…They’ll call in Kingdom Building (cough—justice—cough, cough) or something else…It will be meditative, contemplative—self-loathing to inspire you to physical action.
Is this action about surrendering your life to the Lord? Not really…It is more about surrendering your life to good causes…and how these good acts will make you feel about yourself. You’ll feel holy. You’ll feel holy and the person you’re helping for one night will have a hot meal and a place to sleep.
Am I against compassionate ministry?
Yes, I am. I’m against compassionate ministry when it’s not compassionate, and the motivation is to feel better about ourselves and to convince ourselves we are impressing God. I’m against misleading people into believing they are getting closer to the Lord not through prayer, study and discipline…but through works.
No one cops to this, but it’s out there making the rounds through denominational and non-denominational circles in the form of “New Wineskins” and “Rethinking Church” approaches/theories.
Churchianity today is in this business of ignoring the truth of Romans 5:8 and creating figurative hoops for people to jump through to have a divine interaction with God. To reestablish a relationship with God and, in some way, earn salvation from God.
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”—Matthew 6:1-4
I cannot share in terms plainer than these: Christ is for the asking at any time, in any place and to anyone—at any point in life.
Rejoice…We are blessed to live in a time Abraham (John 8:58) longed for. No one to go through, no one to efface ourselves to…Only Christ, the creator of all things, who loves and gave his life for us.
Collectible/Antique Sale This Friday & Saturday:
Join us this weekend in Martin Hall for Paul Cassity’s special sale. Lot of unique stuff…lot of cool stuff…Doors open at 6:PM on Friday night and 8:30 AM on Saturday morning.
A VBS Unlike Any Other:
You can sign up your child and their friends here on our website. Look the button up top, click, and follow.
Burbank Faith now has a Twitter account. You can follow us at; @BurbankFaithNaz
VBS Goes to Rome: The theme for Vacation Bible School this year is “Rome: Paul & The Underground Church”
The dates are June 26-30…Look at your calendar…share with your friends…Pray for Seana Zilbert, who is directing…Make plans to volunteer.
July is Camps Month: Remember July is camps month…Junior High, High School & Kids will all have separate camps at Granite Ridge.
District Assembly is July 12-14
(It is one month later this year due to General Assembly (Indianapolis) being held June 21-30.)
SrHi Camp: July 16-21
Kids Camp: July 23-28
JrHi Camp: July 30-August 4
Did You Know?
On this date:
…In 1970, in deciding the legal case “Walz v. Tax Commission of New York,” the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a New York statute exempting church-owned property from taxation.
May 6: Men’s Breakfast at Harry’s, 8:00 AM
May 7: Sunday Service, 10:30 AM…Sunday evening “Prayer Hour” from 6-to-7:00 PM
May 8: “Riders On The Storm”—7:00 PM
May 9: Women’s Bible Study—7:00 PM May 14: Mother’s Day
All Church Prayer Time: 7—to—7:30 PM
Worship Team Practices: 7:30 PM
Adult Bible Study—1 Samuel 18—7:30 PM
May 21: VBS planning meeting, following morning worship.
May 29: Memorial Day
June 26-30: VBS Week
As believers, we have to remain in continual prayer for all of our first responders…all our leaders…not a political party but for those carrying the heavy burden of leadership in our country and communities.