Today’s Evils

flip-calendar-1-1281977-mChrist our Lord spoke to His disciples saying, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).

Do we really believe this? Do we live according to these words? Do we as baptized children of our Heavenly Father, those who confess the truth of the Gospel according to the Lutheran Confessions, believe these words of Christ and live according to them? I would answer no, we do not believe them and because we doubt these words we do not live according to them.

How do I know this. Because of what I hear and see in our LCMS. If we believe that there are evils sufficient for today, then we shouldn’t worry about the consequences of tomorrow. However, that is what drives our confession and our practice in the LCMS; fear of tomorrow’s consequences.  We are timid and worry about what the proclamation of Jesus will do for us tomorrow. We worry about our retirement. We worry about attendance. We worry about the opinions of man and let that guide the declarations of Scripture. We let the lack of education drive our proclamation rather then the Gospel truth that, “For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:22-25). Christ the Lord did not say, ” Go, therefore, and worry about how people will think about you or what will happen to you.” No, He spoke to St. Peter and He still speaks to us today saying, “ He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” (John 21:17-19). Christ the Lord sent out eh Apostles and He continues to send out men today, not to tremble and worry, but to proclaim the Gospel and free bound sinners from sin, death, and the power of the devil. He sends us out to preach the law to reveal sin and the Gospel to forgive sin. This is the vocation of the Pastor and it is the vocation of the Church. Outside of this proclamation of the sinner’s justification there is nothing but poison, it is the devil’s playground rather then the Lord’s House. 

The vocation of the Pastor and the Church is to preach the Word to all sinners, but repentant and unrepentant. Dr. Martin Franzmann wrote the hymn, “Preach You the Word” (LSB 586) saying, “Preach you the Word and plant it home and never faint. The Harvest Lord who gave the sower seed to sow will watch and tend His planted Word” (LSB 586.6). In addition to this, article 28 of the Augsburg Confession says, “The same power of the keys or of the bishops is used and exercised only by teaching and preaching God’s Word and by administrating the sacraments to many persons ot to individuals depending on one’s calling” (Augsburg Confession XXVIII.8).

So, what should we do then? What does Christ call and send us out to do? What do the Lutheran Confessions prescribe us to do? To preach, teach, and distribute the blessed sacraments as if there is no tomorrow. Preach and free bound sinners like there is no tomorrow. Teach the doctrine of the Faith like there is no tomorrow. Visit the sick, shut-in, lonely, afflicted, depressed, anxious, traumatized, pregnant, widowed, and orphaned like there is no tomorrow. Celebrate the Sacrament of the Altar like there is no tomorrow. Baptize as if there is no tomorrow. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God as if there is no tomorrow. Love and serve your family as if there is no tomorrow. Love and serve your neighbor as if there is no tomorrow. Repent, and be forgiven all your sin as if there is no tomorrow.

In summary, let’s live like there’s no tomorrow. This isn’t a call to be hysterical or irresponsible, but rather a call to stop living a politically correct life of self- service and preservation. Let us take seriously the Words of our Savior and live by them. Let us preach the truth of God’s Word in season and out of season. Let’s reprove, rebuke, and exhort. It’s pretty simple; listen to Scripture and do it. When you fail, repent and receive holy absolution. Pray everyday that Christ keep you steadfast in the true faith and give you a heart of flesh that receives His Word and loves your neighbor. This is what will bring true unity to the LCMS. No political program, no compromises, no organizations that think they have the right answer be they confessional or liberal will ever bring true unity to the Bride of Christ. No, the only unifying work is the preaching of the Gospel and the distribution of the sacraments in accordance with the Gospel (AC VII). Let us preach the Word and receive the Word like there’s no tomorrow because there may not be. Come soon Lord Jesus, Amen.

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