CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
October 15, 2023
There Will Be Wars and Rumors of Wars
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
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
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.