2 Timothy 2:11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;12If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.
Today we celebrate the Festival of the Reformation. It is a celebration of the promise of God that His Word will endure, and will accomplish its purpose. It is a celebration of the promise that not even the gates of hell will prevail against the church. It is a celebration of the faithfulness of God. All this is what the Reformation is about, yet in the world around us, at the same time, there is a celebration of death, and a festival of evil they call Halloween. Let me be very clear. There is nothing evil about costumes, or candy, or visiting. But there is something wrong about glorifying the devil and his works and his ways. There is something wrong about a covetousness that seeks enough Candy to make yourself sick for many days. There is something wrong with a notion that this night we can do wicked things, and then turn away from wickedness. Its kind of like thistles in the field, one is too much, for once there is one, if you fail to act, next year there will be much more.
It may be that we are in the midst of a season of death, the life has gone out of the fields, the harvest has almost been gathered. There may be preparations for next spring’s planting, but winter waits before us. And in the midst of such feeling of gloom and waiting, you do not dwell on the barrenness, but on hope and promise. For there is grief, and there is grief, as indeed we see in scripture:2Cor 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. In other words, this is a time to prepare ourselves for spiritual growth. Its not like the growth is something that we do, God worked faith in us, God opens our minds to understand the scriptures, God in Christ forgives us our sins and make us a new creation, the only thing that we do, is to cast aside those things which stifle faith.
Romans 6:3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,
The questions are simple: Have you died with Jesus? That is have you been baptized, if so you have been baptized into Jesus death, Jesus death is important, because it was the price paid to set us free, not only from death, but from the devil and from all sin. And if we have received Jesus death, his holy precious blood for the forgiveness of our sins, then we can also know that we have received the gift of life, eternal life, and we will live with him, in perfect innocence righteousness and holiness, in peace and in joy, forever and ever. And the funny thing is, that you can ask almost anyone if, this were offered, what would they do to obtain it, and they would do almost anything. And this is the free gift of God in Jesus Christ.
The question before us is not do we want the gift, the question is now one of will we endure in the faith. And so we hold before us, not just the promise of life, forgiveness and salvation, but also a promise of reigning with Jesus. We remember the scripture:REV 2:10 ...Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Have we been faithful? If so then we need give thanks to God, for it is he who has given us the grace to endure. However, if we have not been faithful, then now is the time to repent, to turn from the ways of the world, and to return to the God who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. And what of Tuesday, well, in nothing else, what ever we do, we should do to the glory of God. If we see the darkness, we can remember where we were, before God came into our lives. And seeing that we have been delivered from the dominion of darkness, we give thanks to God for the richness of his grace, the bounty of his mercy, and for the salvation which is complete, and is ours in Jesus Christ.
You see, perhaps one of the greatest promises, is that above all and through all, God remains faithful, this is our hope, and our promise, in Jesus name.