Gene and Ethel VanDeman were guests at Bethany Baptist Church, Sunday. Gene makes pulpits and communion tables that he than gives to small churches with no charge to them. He does not ask for the cost of materials or labor, but some pastors and churches are giving some support to him. Gene said that since he is in his late sixties and his helper is in his seventies, he is praying for a young man to get a burden for this ministry to take it over when he is no longer able to do it. There are lots of small and beginning churches that need pulpits and other church furniture. Gene is hoping to build a larger shop, equip it with machinery capable of turning out a pulpit in a week’s time.
Pastor Bob Sorensen challenged individuals at Bethany to give what ever amount the Lord lays on their hearts for that ministry. What ever comes in for that ministry will be sent to the VanDemans for that purpose.
Dan Stillings sang and Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message he called, “Mercy Lost.”
In 2 Samuel 7:12-16, God told David that after his death his son would build the house of the Lord and that the Lord God would establish the throne of his kingdom forever. If that son should commit iniquity, God would chasten him with the rod of men, “But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.”
After Saul had sinned and disobeyed the clear instructions of the Lord, God withdrew his mercy from Saul. Saul did no longer enjoy the mercies of God and he did not display mercy in his dealings with David. He was evil and brutish in his dealings and would have even killed his own son, Jonathan, in a fit of anger. He set out with his armies to kill David whom God had anointed to be the next king of Israel. Saul died for his transgressions and because he made an inquiry of one who had a familiar spirit.
God offers us mercy. It is his mercy that enables his grace. By God’s grace we are remembered in our low estate, he redeems us, and gives us provision for our needs for which we should give thanks. Mercy, grace, and justice are attributes of God. Justice requires death for sin, but grace allows for forgiveness. Mercy lays the punishment upon Jesus so that we are justified by faith if we believe and accept that his sacrifice was for us. By the blood that Jesus shed, we can be saved from his wrath.
God’s mercy prevents His wrath from falling upon us. Nobody is good enough to get to heaven, but God’s mercy in Jesus on the cross allows my sins to be forgiven. The penalty for sin has been paid. We deserve to burn in hell, but God’s mercy gives us life. Adam and Eve, Noah, Lot, the nation of Israel and David all benefited because of the mercy of God.
We can not obtain this mercy by works of righteousness. God does not act because we earn it or deserve it. Can we impress God by our actions? By mercy God sees our frailty and weaknesses. We probably do not understand all there is in mercy.
God’s mercy is available to all who call upon him with a broken and contrite heart. When the publican prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner..” God answered, but when the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell and called for mercy, it was too late. God’s mercy does not reach into hell to those who have rejected God’s mercy in life. Now the door to mercy is open to “whosoever will.” The price has been paid, justice served by Jesus own death. Do not reject this payment for your sin. Why take a chance? You are not guaranteed tomorrow. Why not accept this offer of mercy now?