October 26, 2008

Jim Neudorf - “The Kingdom is at hand”

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Sermon Recording: Download


Jim was our guest speaker. Jim and Grace had been PGIMF members since 1986, until moving to Squamish where their family is now active in a new Alliance church. Since Sunday was an Heritage Sunday, Jim began his talk by recalling the small group of university students that met secretly in Zurich (seven years after Luther posted his 'theses') for bible study, prayer and discussions on the relationship of believers and the State. Those students concluded that only individuals can be Christian, not their governments. They also concluded that scripture should be the sole guide for Christians, not the accumulated writings of theologians and church fathers or the dictates of City Councils (even when comprised of Christians). This unwavering stance eventually led some of our spiritual ancestors to bizarre points of view, but it led others to define positions and beliefs which are still espoused today. One of the topics frequently debated throughout our movement's history is the whole notion of 'The Kingdom' and its nature on earth. Matthew 3.1-3 portrays John the Baptizer as encouraging people to repent, not in order to avoid hell, but because "the Kingdom of heaven is near." Jim then asked us to hear John's words as a kindly invitation to join the movement, not fear it, suggesting that we "change our way of thinking, for the kingdom of heaven is near." The Lord's Prayer likewise indicates that the Kingdom is supposed to be on earth, 'at hand'. Jim suggested that we think of the remaining chapters of Matthew as the writer's attempt to show how this Kingdom can indeed be at hand and what it can be like (as seen through Jesus' teachings, his relationships with others, and his life style). Matthew 25 then essentially summarizes this portion of the writer's book by recalling Jesus' story of God finally judging people by placing them in two categories according to the extent to which their actions demonstrated that they not only loved God with all their heart, mind and soul, but loved their neighbours as themselves. [JEK]


Passage: Mt 3:1-3
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Jim Neudorf
Worship Leader: Andre Pekovich
Song Leader: Eric Hannan
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Usher: Erna Friesen
Zoom Coordinator:
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