The 3rd Sunday of End Time: Saints Triumphant Nov. 14, 2021
Text: John 5:25-29 CW 3 Year Series B 21:2286
Theme: The Victory of the Saints Is Sure and They Triumph in It.
It is as natural for a man to die as it is for him to be born. Death is part of life, and life leads to death. We may follow various occupations and interests during our time on earth, but we all reach a common goal – the grave. “Here we have no continuing city” (Hb.13:14). So let us “number our days aright that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” (Ps.90:12).
For those who are no longer with us, their bodies lie cold in the grave. At the start of our service, I read the names of members and friends whose time has ended here. They ranged in age from 3 months to 99 years. Although their bodies no longer live, they have not passed out of existence. They have not been defeated by death. In faith their souls triumph with Christ above. Indeed, they have conquered death and their victory is sure as they await the day when their souls will be reunited with the vessel God created to contain them – soul and body, together once more. But this time perfected at the Savior’s side. One day all believers will join them.
I. Why is their victory so sure?
Jesus began to answer that earlier when He said: “Amen, truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not come into judgment but has crossed over from death to life.” He continued in today’s lesson: “Truly, I tell you, a time is coming and is here now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will live.”
His disciples needed to hear those words because all hell was soon to break loose over them as they went into the world proclaiming the Gospel. Satan would attack them unmercifully as he tried to stop the Gospel from being heard in their preaching.
He hit them hard after Jesus ascended. Some were imprisoned; others were exiled; a few were crucified; some were beheaded; others were burned in the fire, their ashes scattered to the wind. But even though their heads would be cut off and bodies burned, Jesus promised that they would live on into eternity because they already lived in Him by faith while they were in this world.
Right there you have a precious truth that our members and friends who have died in faith in Christ know so well. Amid all the things that they had on earth, one thing was of supreme importance – holding to Christ their Savior. Believing in Him they had already come to spiritual life with God while here and they were in possession of an eternal life which no one could take from them.
All too often we make the mistake of thinking that eternal life is something which God will give us at a distant, future date. The fact is, if you believe in Christ, you have eternal life today. The Bible says, “You who believe in the name of the Son of God…these things are written so that you know that you have eternal life” (1Jn.5:13). God wants you, who look to Christ, to know that eternal life is your possession right now. Believe it! The Victory Is Sure. Why is it so sure? Because God, who is faithful, promised it.
What a difference that ought to make in our attitudes as we carry on in this world before the grave calls us! There may be difficulties that confront us; heartaches in the family; hardship in society; catastrophes, sad events all around. Although these touch our lives and may even take our breath from us, Christians do not pass out of existence, but their souls live on with Christ in an eternal life, uninterrupted, which God has already begun in them. That life continues as their souls leave this world at death, when soul and body separate (Eccl.12:7;Lk.16:19f), and the soul enters the joys of heaven above. It is a victory over death and hardship brought on by sin that is sure to all who believe. No one and nothing can rob you of it. In fact, you already live its glorious reality. What a difference that makes in our lives and attitudes now!
If you understand that…
– you were born in sin and thereby were dead to a holy God; but
– when you were baptized and heard the word of Christ, God the Holy Spirit brought you to faith in Jesus as your Savior from sin;
– so that you are forgiven and are alive through Him eternally;
…if you believe this and God’s promise, that’s it! In the Bible’s terms you are blessed with eternal life and are living in it. You don’t live in its fullest extent in heaven above, like our friends do, but you live the eternal life with God that they triumph in. And remaining in that faith, the victory is sure. Why? Because the Lord Jesus did it, said it, and promised it to all who believe.
Though men should cut off your head, though your heart should stop beating, though sickness should squeeze the breath from your body, yet, by faith you live and will continue to live and reign eternally with Christ. Even in the present you are a saint in the Lord Jesus, washed of your sins in His blood. His Victory Is Sure. And one day you will have a part in its fullness above with all those who have gone before us in faith. Those saints triumph forever in it.
II. Why do they triumph?
Jesus continued, “A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out. Those who have done good will rise to live, but those who have practiced evil will rise to be condemned.”
One can’t see anything else in those words except a reference to Judgment Day and the resurrection of the body from the grave. At the appointed hour, when time ends, “all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out.” Every grave will open. Those who have done things fitting for a life of faith will rise to live with God forever. Those who in unbelief have made it their practice to do evil things will rise to judgment and be condemned forever. But how will Jesus measure the good? How will He measure the evil?
He already answered that when He said, “Anyone who hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He will not come into judgment.”
Hearing, believing in Jesus is “the good” that makes the victory sure. Good works can’t earn salvation. Christ did. But good works are a witness to the fact that we have salvation through faith in Christ. They are not the cause, but they are the proof of living faith.
What a grand comfort that must have been to those early saints when they faced death. And it is the same for us today.
When we mourn the death of a loved one who died, trusting in Christ alone, we know that his or her soul is even now enjoying the Sure Victory of the Saints above. They Triumph in It because Jesus promised it and delivered it to them. Like the Bible says, they “fought the good fight, they finished the race, they kept the faith. So now there is laid up for them the crown of righteousness which the Lord has given them.” In Christ they triumph for God has delivered them from every evil work that is practiced here below and brought them safely into His heavenly kingdom (2 Tm.4:18).
How sweet it is for them – to be done with sin, never again touched by one ounce of evil, or the remembrance of guilt for sin that haunts us here. “This is the covenant,” God said, “I will make with them after those days. I will put my laws on their hearts…and minds…And I will not remember their sins and their lawlessness any longer” (Hb.10:16f). Such relief! In Christ that promise is theirs forever. It is also ours who live by faith.
However, they dwell in it perfectly in the place where God “has wiped every tear from their eyes,” where “they shine like the stars for ever and ever,” where “there is no more sickness, toil, or pain.” Could we saints who believe here below catch a glimpse of the blessed state of those saints who triumph with their Lord above, we would never, ever wish our dear ones back into this vale of tears. But we rejoice in their great and glorious triumph, and say, “We long to be there, too!” One day, dear friends, one day in Christ.
You know, the more you see what those saints triumphant enjoy, and the more your hopes are set on the sure victory that is yours in Christ, the more your life right now will reflect happiness, no matter what is upsetting you. And the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phlp.4:7).
So, fight on, dear friend. You are in the Church Militant here below. Tenaciously cling to your faith in Christ as your relatives and friends did. Let nothing move you from it, for in faith the sure victory of the Saints Triumphant is yours. God grant it in our lives for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)
Church phone: 417.887.0886 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244
www.zionluthchurch.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Third Sunday of End Time: Saints Triumphant November 14, 2021
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those
who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:1-3
F o r O u r V i s i t o r s
The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.
U p o n E n t e r i n g G o d’ s H o u s e
“The LORD is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. The LORD’S right hand is lifted high; He has done mighty things! I will not die but live and will proclaim what the LORD has done.” (Ps.118)
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
The Saints Triumphant. How do you define “saint”? Someone who has led a really good life? Must one die before he can be called a saint?
Those who hold to Christ in faith as their only Savior are saints even before they enter heaven. Covered in Christ’s robes of righteousness, they let the Gospel shine through them in their everyday lives. Are they perfect? No, because sin infects everyone. But a saint knows and trusts that his sins are completely washed away in the blood of Christ. He then gives evidence of such faith in that which he says and does, and in the evil that he seeks to leave undone. He lives in the “light of the Lord,” triumphant in the Savior now, and one day eternally in heaven.
To that end we pray: O God, You have set the final day and hour when we shall be delivered from this world of sin and death. Keep us ever watchful for the coming of Your Son that we may sit with Him and all your holy ones at the marriage feast of heaven; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
Today’s Old Testament Lesson: Daniel 12:1-3
God, who protected His faithful people in this life, will not abandon them in death, nor on the Day of Judgment. Though there will be times of distress before that day arrives, He will keep them safe and finally deliver His saints to His heavenly kingdom. But the wicked will perish.
Today’s Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 10:11-18
Our deepest human need is the removal of sin. All the Old Testament sacrifices by themselves could not remove it. But Christ did. His one great sacrifice was enough to make all the others efficacious. Now, through faith in Him, He makes us holy, enabling us to live for Him.
Today’s Gospel Lesson: John 5:25-29
Although a person is dead in sin, he is made alive as he hears the words of Christ and believes in Him as the Savior. Through such faith the one who believes becomes a saint in the Lord here in time and will be glorified with God hereafter in eternity.
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The Organist: Jane Rips
The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: “Just as we should not deny that we are baptized and Christians, so we should not deny or doubt that we are holy in Christ…. When Christians call themselves holy after Christ, this is not arrogance; it is honoring and praising God (who redeemed them). For thereby we do not praise the holiness of our own works, but His Baptism, His Word, His grace, and His Spirit, which we do not have of ourselves. He gave them to us.” Martin Luther on The Title ‘Saints’
For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest, Alleluia! Alleluia!
Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christian Worship Hymnal (‘21) 880:1&3)
Outline of Our Worship
Remembrance of Our Friends Fallen Asleep in Jesus’ Name
Opening Hymn: #550
Order of Worship: Hymnal page 38, “Service of the Word”
The Ministry of the Word
Psalm of the Day: #118 Hymnal page 108
Response: “Afflicted Saint, To Christ Draw Near”
The Hymn of Faith: #270
Sermon Text: John 5:25-29 The Victory of the Saints Is Sure and They Triumph in It!
Our Response to the Word
The Lord’s Prayer. pg.43
The Lord Blesses Us
Closing Prayer & Blessing: Hymnal pages 43-44
WELS Connection Video (An introduction to the new hymnal)
Third Sunday of End Time: Saints Triumphant – Series B
Old Testament: Daniel 12:1-3 – The Time of the End
1Then at that time, Michael, the great prince who stands over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress that has not happened from the first time that there was a nation until that time.
At that time your people will be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. 2Many who are sleeping in the dusty ground will awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, to everlasting contempt. 3Those who have insight will shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who bring many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.
Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 10:11-18 – Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
11In the one case, every priest stood ministering day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which are never able to remove sin. 12In the other case, this priest, after he offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since then he has been waiting until his enemies are made a footstool under his feet. 14By only one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.
15The Holy Spirit also testifies in Scripture to us, for first he said:
16This is the covenant I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord.
I will put my laws on their hearts
and I will write them on their mind.
17Then he adds:
And I will not remember their sins and their lawlessness any longer.
18Now where these sins are forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
Gospel Lesson: John 5:25-29 – Life and Judgment
25“Amen, Amen, I tell you: A time is coming and is here now when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will live. 26For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
28“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and will come out. Those who have done good will rise to live, but those who have practiced evil will rise to be condemned.”
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.
C a l e n d a r & A n n o u n c e m e n t s f o r Z i o n L u t h e r a n C h u r c h
Divine Worship Service
Fellowship & Brief Bible Study
End Time 3:
Midweek Bible Class
Divine Worship Service
with Holy Communion online – Facebook
End Time 4: Christ the King
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Like children playing hide and seek, Jesus calls out to us through His Word, “Ready or not here I come!” Thanks be to God that through Jesus’ saving work on the cross, we have been made ready!
The Gospel Lesson: John 5:25-29 (answers are found on the back side)
- Describe the events of the last day according to verses 28 and 29?
- Agree or disagree. Verse 29 tells us that we will be judged by our works and not our faith.
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Clyde Johnson; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Norine Richardson; Jodi Milam; William & Laurie Moon; Patsy Mickelson; Pauline Jaeger; Dave Ballou now in rehab at Quail Creek Nursing Home; Lois Wiese; Barbara Long; John Workentine, Schulz’s brother-in-law; Khendra Murdoch & Jason, her husband.
No Face Mask Regulations Facemasks are not required in a church setting in Springfield. If you feel more comfortable wearing a face mask, you may certainly do so. Masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer are in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use.
Thank You to all last weekend and throughout the summer and year who have helped in keeping our grass mowed, our facilities clean, and have worked to enhance and keep going the physical blessings God has entrusted to our care at Zion. We appreciate all your efforts to His glory in these challenging times.
Advent Devotions Once again the pastors and professors at Martin Luther College has written a series of Advent Devotions that begin about two weeks from now on December 1. Pick up a copy in the narthex or fellowship hall.
Do You Know what’s in the recently published Christian Worship Hymnal? There are vibrant hymns, old and new; liturgical settings that follow the historical pattern of worship; an array of more psalms; personal prayers; daily devotionals; there is even Luther’s Small Catechism. Along with the Psalter book containing settings for all 150 psalms, the recently published Christian Worship Hymnal is rich in devotional materials for both the church and home. We invite you to examine copies in the fellowship hall or go online at https://www.christianworship.com
Sunday, November 21: Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck after the service
Thursday, November 25: Thanksgiving Day Worship at 10 am
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 26; Communed: 22; Bible Class: 10; Midweek Bible Class: 3; Offerings: $1,994..
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
End Time 4 – Christ the King: Daniel 7:13-14; Revelations 14-8; John 18:33-37 (CW 3 Year Series B)
Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:
- All who are in their graves, the dead, will hear Jesus’ voice and come out. Then He will judge all people in righteousness.
- At first glance, these verses, as well as other sections in Scripture (e.g., Matthew 25:31-46), teach that we are saved by what we do. To understand these verses, one must understand the relationship between faith and good works. Good works are the result and evidence of faith in Christ Jesus. No work can be good without faith. Faith in Jesus is what saves, but it can rightly be said that we are judged by our works. Our works are now holy and pure in God’s sight through faith in Jesus. Our works are the external evidence of our saving faith.
This week I am praying for……