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Δευτέρα, 26 Αυγούστου 2019

Today's Sermon in a Nutshell "A faithless and Perverse Generation" (Matthew 17:17)

Today's Sermon in a Nutshell

"A faithless and Perverse Generation" (Matthew 17:17)

It's kind of interesting because when people see me out and about, they'll often strike up a conversation and/or ask religious questions. As a matter of fact, I sometimes think I answer way more questions of strangers than I do my own parishioners!

However, with fifty percent of Americans now NOT attending churches, two of the most frequent statements I hear (which are both quit similar in scope) are, "I believe in God, but I don't attend church," or "I don't go to church, but I'm a good person." This then begs the question, can you be a good person and at the same time be a non-believer? My answer is always, "Yes!" There are many good people who are Jews, Muslim, Buddhists, Hindus...even atheists and agnostics. It is certainly possible to be a good person, do good deeds, help others, give to charity, and live by high moral standards and not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; our Savior. But no one can save their own soul; the Bible makes this perfectly clear. The Kingdom of God cannot be acquired outside of Christ, for He is the Door by which we must pass from this life unto the next. It is in His Name where we find grace, strength, and salvation. Therefore, without faith in Jesus Christ, we can still be decent and good human beings, but we cannot find salvation or overcome sin without the power and grace of God.

Regarding the necessity of attending church, the answer is also in the affirmative; not because we have to, but because we should desire to. The Bible has no concept of individual spirituality, meaning that Christianity is not something personal that has nothing to do with anyone else. Such a way of thought is very modern and stems from more recent Protestant thought. If Jesus is the True King and has prepared a place for us in His Kingdom, than His followers, by virtue of this fact alone are a "people" ruled by Him; individuals yes, but also as a whole, a collective, and a group.

Therefore, by virtue of being aligned in His Name, you are a member of Christ's church. The church is God's family and we are His children – heirs to His kingdom. Thus we gather together to pray as a whole: showing our love, support, and encouragement towards one another and to serve each other as servants of the Most High God.

Praying at home is good, but not attending actual worship services in church runs contrary to the very essence of our Lord’s teachings, for Jesus said that, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my Name, I will be there also!” (Matthew 18:20). Thus being in communion with God entails being in communion (community) with each other.

Fr. John

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