Archive for December, 2011

Are you prepared to die?

This past week, my wife’s uncle died at the age of 79.  Death is a hostile enemy, and we as a family have been mourning and weeping over the loss of our loved one (Romans 12:15).  In our grief, I was reminded again that one of the main roles of your pastor is to prepare you to die well.  Thomas Boston (1676-1732), a Scottish preacher who pastored a tiny little church in the countryside south of Edinburgh, once said that “as the believer’s life is different from the unbeliever’s life, so also the believer’s death is different from the unbeliever’s death. For the unbeliever, death is a loss – the greatest loss; but for the believer, death is the greatest gain.”  Paul says in Philippians 1:21 “for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul says “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

What is the message of Christmas?

This Sunday at Emmaus Road Reformed Church we will begin a four-week advent series in the book of Isaiah.  The name Isaiah means “the Lord is salvation,” that is, “the Lord is the source of salvation.”  The sermon this Sunday will be on Isaiah 7:1-14 as we look at God’s judgment against the wicked (v. 1-13) and God’s mercy for his people (v. 14).

My prayer is that during this Christmas season, this series in Isaiah will point us to the redemption which comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  As we anticipate coming together for worship this Lord’s Day, I thought it would be helpful to post an article by Rev. Michael Brown.  The article, entitled Grace to You and Peace: Receiving the Message of Redemption this Christmas, was originally published in The Outlook, December 2005, vol.55, issue 11.  I trust you will be comforted with the precious promises of the gospel as you read this article: