Monday, October 16, 2023

October 15 Sermon and Announcements


October 15, 2023

There Will Be Wars and Rumors of Wars

Matthew 24:3-8

Jesus warned his disciples about the things that would happen

in the world as the end of this age got closer and closer. We

have talked about this before, but the disciples were convinced

Jesus would come back for his people during their lifetime.

Obviously, that did not happen. Here we are 2,000 years later

and we are still waiting for Jesus to come for his church. All

throughout history since Jesus made this announcement to his

disciples the world has experienced wars and rumors of war.

That is still happening today. For over 1-1/2 years Russia and

Ukraine have been at war. The United States of America and

many other European countries have been giving aid to

Ukraine. Now just over a week ago a group called Hamas went

into Israel and killed and kidnapped Jewish people as well as

some American citizens. The brutality of what Hamas did have

caused most nations to condemn what they did. Once again

America is drawn into another inevitable war.

I am not going to go into why these wars are taking place.

However, I will say this about the war that is about to officially

happen between Israel and Hamas. When God promised a set

apart people to Abraham, he made this promise to Abraham.

Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever

curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed

through you.” As God’s church, we must pray for peace, yet at

the same time, the church and this nation I believe must

support Israel.

Before we move on, Peter reaffirmed what God had promised

Abraham a thousand years earlier. Acts 3:25   And you are

heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your

fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all

peoples on earth will be blessed.

I have mentioned the two wars that are catching the attention

of most Americans but there also continue to be wars in Africa

and civil unrest in South America and elsewhere throughout the

world. Even tough Jesus warned that wars and rumors of war

will happen, he also called the church, his people, to do what

we can to strive for peace. In what we know as the Beatitudes

Jesus said in Matthew 5: 9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for

they will be called the sons of God.” So, we have an obligation

to do everything in our power to seek peace. The sad reality is

not only are there wars in the world but seems to be the

equivalent of wars in this nation. One group after another

seems to have trouble finding ways to live at peace with


Politics have become a nasty place in which neither side at

times is willing work with the other on anything. I still

remember hearing of how two leaders of their respective

parties dealt with their disagreements. In the 80s when Ronald

Reagan was president, clearly at that time he was the leader of

the Republican party. At the same time Tip O’Neal was speaker

of the House. As a Democrat most considered him to be the

leader of the Democratic party at that time. Throughout the

eight years Ronald Reagan was president he and Tip O’Neal

would have strong disagreements about what America should

be doing on a variety of policies. They would have meeting

after meeting to try to come to some sort of agreement. When

it was all said and done and the battles were over, they found a

way to not only not hate each other but on occasions go out to

eat together and do other things together. They found a way to

disagree without being disagreeable.

Whether we are talking about the wars going on around the

world or the ones going on in our nation, the church needs to

be committed to praying that the Lord can get all involved to

find a way to resolve their differences peacefully. In regard to

the wars going on in the world at this time that may be hard to

do because too many bridges may have already been burned.

However, in this nation and even in our churches, we need to

pray that the Lord can bring us together. In some cases, maybe

the best we will be able to hope for is to agree to disagree.

May we seek out God’s word for wisdom and guidance. May

the Holy Spirit reveal to us those things that can bring us

together. What Jesus told his disciples 2,000 years ago is sadly

true for mankind. There will be wars and rumors of war. This

will happen until the Lord calls his church home. That, however,

should not prevent us from doing all we can do to promote

peace in this nation in our churches and in the world. The most

important weapon in our warfare is prayer. That being said I

believe we should pray for the people of Ukraine to remain

independent of Russia. I also believe we should pray that Israel

remains a nation and that the most extreme elements of Islam

will be defeated. I also believe we should pray that our

churches and our nation can find a way to turn down the heat.

That all of us will be wiling to find ways to support in love one

another without demanding that we compromise on what we

believe. This is also true within families between friends, as well

as at the workplace. It can call start with you and me. Pray for

the Holy Spirit’s guidance on how and what to pray for. If

everyone would take the advice given in Romans 12:18, there

would be no more wars. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on

you, live at peace with everyone.” If we all would realize that it

does depend on us and I mean really all of us. God is still

changing hearts and minds one person at a time. May we

faithfully do all we can do to promote God’s holy and righteous

standard. I will say it again, “There will be wars and rumors of

war.” But God has given us a message of hope, of love and of

grace to share in a world, a nation, a community that is

searching for answers. You and I have been called to be God’s

ambassadors. May we answer that call in whatever way the

Lord leads us with, the starting point using our most powerful

weapon, PRAYER.

Pastor Larry


October is Pastor Appreciation month.

Sunday School 9:00

Tuesdays 9:30 Bible Study

October 17 1:00 Women’s Fellowship meets at the library—We

will learn about the history room.

Oct 21 1-4 p.m. Pumpkin Fest Oakley Brick Church

College Care Package snacks are needed by November 12. We

have 7 students so far.

Delegates needed for District Conference in Lanark Nov 3,4

Needed: Volunteers for Children’s Bible story in nursery during

worship. Please sign up in back.

Children’s message volunteers. Sign up in back.

Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

Keep in Your Prayers

Traughber family; Nora Hanaver; Jonah Martina; Jan

Bower; Larry Traxler; Randy and Michelle West; Mike Gentry; Carolyn

Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler; Doug Larrick; Ron & Kathleen

Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina Wilhelm; Carl and

Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim

Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Mayo and Darlene Hanaver; Stacie Warren;

Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; victims of disasters; victims

of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine;

Moracco; Israel and Hamas war

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Walnut Grove congregation and

the COB in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

No comments:

Post a Comment