All Souls Anglican Church | 02 9569 2646
The Journal

The parables of the weeds and the net

Dear Friends,
In Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 & 47-52
Jesus teaches about God’s Kingdom through the parables of the weeds and the net. In first parables we learn that there is a time of waiting until the final harvest but judgement will finally come. In the parable of the weeds we learn in 13:25 that an enemy of kingdom came and sowed bad seed and this brought growth of weeds. The lesson is that when people listen to the lies of the devil this produces unhealthy spiritual growth. The wheat and the weeds grow together and servants of the King ask if they should go and pull out the weeds immediately. He says that they are to wait till the harvest and then the weeds will be separated from the wheat, collected and burned. Jesus is speaking about the fact that there is an end time judgement when people will be excluded from God’s kingdom. The same theme appears again in the parable of the net. This parable is about God’s Kingdom in that it teaches us how God’s Kingdom works and what are the essential elements. Jesus is teaching us that judgement is not immediate but a final judgement will come at His return when the righteous will be separated from the wicked. In both parables we learn that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (13:42,50). When Jesus returns and people have to give an account of their lives there will be a realisation that the rejection of Jesus in this lifetime has eternal consequences. There will be regret and frustration because people have missed out on eternal life and will go to hell. Hell is characterised by eternal frustration and regret and anguish. Jesus warns us because He loves us and says in 13:43 that we must listen carefully and seek to understand this 13:51. IT is important to note that the separation of the righteous from the wicked and the good from the bad is not primarily based on moral character but on people’s response to Jesus in this lifetime. None of us get into the Kingdom of God because we are better than others. Salvation is a gift and we enter by faith or trust in Jesus and what He has done on the cross. Nevertheless those who put their faith in Jesus will over time see a growing obedience to God (Romans 1:5) and that their character will increasingly grow to be like Jesus (Galatians 5:22-26). In the passage for the 5pm service John 5:1-15 a lame man meets Jesus and Jesus asks him a question:- Do you want to get well ? This is an important question because sometimes people would rather keep their problems than change. It seems that the man’s faith is small but that is enough for Jesus and He heals him. Jesus told him to stop sinning. Jesus recognised that sin can destroy us now as well as result in us missing out on eternal life. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

 

Continue Reading..

Rev Hugh Isaacs preaches from Mathew's Gospel

Dear Friends,
Today we welcome Rev Hugh Isaacs to our morning service. He is the executive assistant to our Bishop. Hugh has kindly agreed to preach on a series about God’s Kingdom from Matthew’s Gospel. The first message today is from Matthew 13:1-23. In Mark 4:13 Jesus identifies the parable of the sower as an interpretive key to understanding other parables. This parable is about spiritual growth of the Kingdom and the key ingredient is the word of God. Jesus describes the seed as the Word of God 13:19-20. The seed falls on different types of soil or people’s hearts respond differently. When God’s Word doesn’t produce spiritual fruit in the lives of some people it is not a failure of the Word of God or the sower. People are responsible for how they respond to God’s message. In fact God’s Word always works because when some don’t respond the Word of God confirms people in the hardness of their hearts Matthew 13:11-15. In this sense the Word of God is always powerful and effective and exposes where people are really at spiritually. We should have confidence in God’s Word and the parable accordingly encourages us to keep sowing or telling other people about the Lord and about His love and death. We are encouraged that even though many reject God’s Word there will be some who hear and respond and their lives are changed forever. We must maintain a confident stance because the power for the Kingdom to grow in our lives is in the Word of God and not in ourselves. If we are discouraged we may neglect the important task of telling others about Jesus. Faith in God means that we trust Him with the results. At our service tonight Anton Triyanto who is Daisy Hong’s brother will be preaching on Philippians 1:21-30. Anton works for AFES seeking to reach students with the Gospel of Jesus on university campuses. Our church has just commenced supporting him financially and praying for him. He will share about student work in Qld and will also teach us from God’s Word about Paul’s testimony. In this section Paul who is a prisoner under palace guard is not discouraged by his circumstances but recognises that the Lord is in control of his life and in fact looks forward to the time when the Lord will take him home to heaven. In the meantime Paul seeks to encourage the Christians at Philippi that not only has God granted them faith and salvation but also the privilege of suffering for Him. May God strengthens us with this truth. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

 

Continue Reading..

All of us want a life which counts

Dear Friends,
All of us want a life which counts and which has meaning and we invest great resources and energy and time to achieving this. God wants to give us significance as a gift. In Genesis 11 in the story of the tower of Babel as sin spreads throughout the world it reaches a new “pinnacle” as people want to make a name for themselves by leaving God out of the picture and resisting God’s call at creation to go further into the world and be stewards of the whole earth. The people try to make a name for themselves and in effect misunderstand God and His purposes. The great and fundamental sin revealed in Genesis 3 and now repeated in Genesis 11 is to be our own masters and live independently of God. In contrast God calls Abraham in Genesis 12 and promises to bless him and make his name great. What people strived for and failed to attain by their own efforts God gives to people as a gift within the context of developing a friendship with Himself. Our names can be great because God is interested in us and wants a relationship with us and this is what gives meaning and significance in life. The story of Abraham is the story of God’s response to the downward spiral of sin from Genesis 3-11 being God’s plan to rescue the world and reverse the effects of the sin of Adam and Eve and the curse. God called Abraham to leave his country, his people and his father’s household Genesis 12:1 and to go to land he will show Abraham. Faith for Abraham means trusting God for the future and His bare Word that He is good and has Abraham’s best interests at heart. God then promises to make Abraham into a great nation and to make His name great and for all people’s on earth to be blessed through Abraham and his decedents. Paul interprets this in Galatians 3:16 and says that the promises to Abraham were to his seed and the seed is Jesus. The NT teaches that the promises to Abraham are fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ who brings blessing to all people through His death on the Cross for our sin. We noticed in 12:4 that Abraham travelled throughout the land of Canaan to claim it symbolically. Abraham is an amazing man of faith because the main promise he saw was that God gave him a son to whom his name could be passed on. The promise of the land and nation and a great name would be fulfilled much later long after Abraham’s death in the person of Jesus. Abraham had to be patient and wait for God’s timing and trust him.This is still the same for us today. At the 5pm service we are looking at the people who met Jesus and tonight is the story of the woman who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume - Matthew 26:3-13. She honoured Jesus by anointing him for burial and Jesus recognises that she has done a beautiful thing in honouring Him. May God help us do the same. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

 

Continue Reading..

A new beginning with Jesus

Dear Friends,
The miracles of Jesus are displays of God’s Kingdom or rule coming in power. In Luke 18:35-43 a blind beggar cries out to Jesus : Son of David have mercy on me. This is an extraordinary proclamation because He understands that Jesus is God’s long awaited Messiah or king. This is more than just an account of physical eyesight restored. Jesus power to heal the eyes of this man shows that Jesus can also help people to see spiritually or understand the things of God. All of us are spiritually blind and just as Jesus has power to heal physical eyes he can also heal us spiritually. Before this incident Jesus has told the disciples about His need to suffer and to die for them and rise again. The key to having our eyes opened spiritually is the death of Jesus and His resurrection. When the message of Jesus is proclaimed God opens people’s eyes. In many ways the service of baptism is a testimony of God opening the eyes of people to see Jesus. In the baptism of Luka Wrege it is all about God’s grace and initiative and power to help Luka (and his family) understand Jesus’ love as he grows up. Before Jesus met this blind man he had an encounter with a rich man. The rich man didn’t understand how the Kingdom of God operated. He asked Jesus a question in 18:18 Good teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life ? Firstly if something is an inheritance you can’t do anything to earn it rather you just receive it as a gift. The rich man is contrast to the blind man. One is rich and though his eyesight is good he leaves Jesus sad and spiritually blind and the blind man though poor leaves Jesus with able to see and spiritually rich. It is interesting that Jesus asks the man in 18:41 What do you want me to do for you ? This may seem a strange question because the obvious answer is that he wants to see. But we must remember that this man had earned his living as a beggar and the healing of Jesus is going to change his life forever. Often people don’t want to leave their problems behind because they have learn to function on problems. This man was healed by Jesus and we learn he followed Jesus immediately and praised God for Jesus. He embraced the new life of Jesus. When the Lord blesses us the natural response is that you want to get to know Him. The baptism today it is about a new beginning with Jesus and there is so much more to learn. What about you - What do you want from Jesus ? At 5pm we are continuing our series in the Parables and we look at Luke 15:11-32 and the prodigal son. It is a beautiful picture of the father welcoming him home. This is what grace is all about - God gives us what we don’t deserve : love and forgiveness ! God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

 

Continue Reading..