This past Sunday I decided to write a letter to our congregation. We had just finished the book of Galatians which is really a letter Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia. This letter along with others in the Bible was very useful to pointing out stumbling blocks but also offering solutions. Whereas this letter was written to my church from me, I hope that it can be helpful to many churches and many followers of Christ.
Pastor Cory, a follower of Christ Jesus by the will of God. To the church in Sumner, WA, The Rescue. To those in Christ Jesus called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I wake every morning I thank God for you. I sit at the edge of my bed in the morning, as I let the soreness of night leave my body, talk to God. Thanking him for another day, but thanking him for who I am with. As the faces of people stream through my brain I realize that this body of believers does not fall short. You do not fall short in your love for God, for your pastor or each other. God has called you into a supreme sense of fellowship, and a joy of mine is seeing it in action.
I appeal to you that you would concentrate on this fellowship to bring about unity within our congregation. We would have no divisions and be one in thought. We would let our pursuit of Jesus bring us together. That we would not become a church that jumps from fad to fad. Or glorifies itself rather than our creator. I pray that your faith would be rooted in God, and the Bible.
We are living in a day where our faith in Jesus is and will be tested. And I know that your faith right now is being tested. You are tested at work, at home, with friends. And the test is simple. Do you speak of Jesus as your source of joy? Or do you place your praise and worship on man made things. I must remind you that you are always worshipping something or someone. I pray that it would be a someone, and that someone would be God.
I want to also write to you this morning about growth. There is physical growth. I have seen that our church is not just growing with adults but babies and children. And then there is spiritual growth. Now, more than ever in the course of human history, we need strong Christian families. I mean that with all of my heart. Because right now the Christian faith is under attack by those who would rather worship the idolatry of open religion-where whatever you choose is right. I pray for you that within your homes, the ‘rights’ and the ‘wrongs’ would be a matter of recognizing and not a matter of creating. God has spoken and we must listen and react to His voice, not our own. And so I would ask that you look inside your heart and help this next generation. Stop depending on others to do the work God has called you to do.
I know that you are a church of music. And that you long to worship Jesus in song. I must warn you as you sing. The hearts of the people of this church should be prepared before you enter this house of worship. Without doing so, you will sing songs with meaning them. I remember growing up with some of the great hymns.
-Sweet Hour of Prayer-When is the last time you prayed for an hour?
-Onward Christian Soldier-Are you still waiting to be sent?
-Serve the Lord with Gladness-Do you gripe about your service?
-The Whole Wide World for Jesus-Have you knocked on your neighbor’s door?
We need to start meaning what we say and what we sing.
Despite what you have heard about the church or have seen on media outlets, I see a bright day coming for God’s church. I see a day where God’s people rise again. This is not the time or the place to a drawbridge church; where we get everyone inside and hurry to pull up the drawbridge. I see a day where men and women take upon the armor of God for a purpose of action, not just as a security system. I see a day where the Revival of generations past becomes new again.
Think back when you were called. When you remember God calling your name. There needs to be a longing in your heart. There has to be a longing for the unsaved. A longing so strong that your faith is changed from a Sunday attender to a soldier for Christ. And I know it won’t be easy.
People despise the cross of Christ, because they despise the fact that they are broken. People do not want to hear that they are sinners. It comes across as offensive. But I plead with you brother and sister, as I am writing this letter to you, take heart. God is with you. He has never left you and will never leave you. And as simple as those words might seem, we need to be reminded. And when we are reminded of these words, there is nothing that can stop us. So is there anything stopping you! Pride, ego, worry, fear, anger. Bring them to the Lord sooner than later. Bring your sin to the Lord today and repent. God has so much more to show you. God has so much more to do through you and through this church. But we need to repent of our sin.
I pray that as I continue to preach here at The Rescue that it would be a demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power. In this way your faith will not rest on human wisdom but on the wisdom that comes from God. I am humbled to be your pastor and look forward to the days ahead as we strive to be apart of His Church.
I, Pastor Cory, have typed this greeting to you in my own hand. Let all who hear and read this letter know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That He died for you to save you from your sin, and that by believing in Him you will have eternal life.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you. Amen.