Archive for April, 2015

Encouragement for Procrastinators

“No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant.

Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God.

If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.”

-Alexander MacLaren (1826–1910), Scottish preacher

To live is Christ, and to die is gain…

“At death, the Christian gains pleasure without pain. “You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!” Psalm 16:11. Hence pain will never follow pleasure–it will never be experienced at all. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away!” Revelation 21:4

In this sinful world, there is no perfect enjoyment. The sweetest cup of earthly bliss, has always more or less of the drops of the ocean of bitterness mingled with it. The brightest day of joy, is invariably followed by the dark night of sorrow. This world is a barren wilderness, and contains neither the fruit of the garden of Eden, nor the milk and honey of the land of promise. Here the pleasures of sin are but for a season–and they always leave a sting!

But in Heaven, pleasures will be pure, holy, exquisite, and eternal–ever yielding satisfaction and joy. To die and enter Heaven, will be gain indeed” as we will be with God for all eternity.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21

-William Nicholson, “Death, the Believer’s Gain!”

The importance of family worship

“They that pray in the family do well; they that pray and read the Scriptures (and Heidelberg/Westminster Confession) do better; but they that pray, and read, and sing do best of all.”

-Matthew Henry

Where do we see Jesus today?

“Today, we behold Christ in the gospel no less than if He stood with us.”

-John Calvin

Is There Evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection?

Did Jesus truly rise from the dead?  Did Jesus’ biographers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—record actual historical events?  Were they capable historians?  These are just some of the many questions that arise in our minds as we read the Bible.

Come and join us at our Easter Sunday service tomorrow at 10:30 am at Emmaus Road Reformed Church in Eden Prairie, MN (meeting at Eden Lake Elementary School 12000 Anderson Lakes Parkway, Eden Prairie).

And check out this video by Dr. Peter Williams as he gives a summary of the biblical evidence for the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus’ bodily resurrection.  Dr. Williams is the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpJzWF4lnG0

As we read the Scriptures, it is evident that the gospel writers had access to eyewitness testimony.  We are to read the gospels as historically accurate and reliable documents.  As Christians, we rejoice in the promise of the historic, bodily resurrection of Christ each Lord’s Day, including this coming Easter Sunday.

The gospel itself is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ.  If Christ did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is a sham.  But if Christ did rise bodily on the third day, then as Christians we have a certain hope that death has been defeated and we have the promise of the resurrection of our bodies and life eternal.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says:

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Good Friday Service: April 3 at 7 pm

You are warmly invited to attend our Good Friday Tenebrae service this Friday, April 3 at 7 pm at Emmaus Road Reformed Church in Eden Prairie, MN (meeting at Eden Lake Elementary School 12000 Anderson Lakes Parkway, Eden Prairie).  A Good Friday “Tenebrae” service (from the Latin word for “shadows” or “darkness”) has been observed in the church for hundreds of years. In this service, the Scripture readings in Matthew will trace the events of the final hours of Christ’s passion. Through the service we ponder the cost of our salvation by meditating on the depth of Christ’s suffering, his crucifixion, death, and burial. Though the Friday evening service is filled with solemnity, we know also of Sunday’s resurrection morning. Thus we may call the evening “Good.”