Just before Jesus entered Jerusalem as Israel’s King, he told a parable that made it clear to his listeners that his kingdom will begin when he returns following a long absence. In the meantime, his true followers must serve him faithfully. The parable ends with an ominous declaration of the ruin that awaits those who reject him.
The hymns of this worship service develop themes that unfold in the story Jesus told: the kingdom we anticipate and the service we owe the King as we anticipate his return. The service concludes with a hymn that declares our resolve to serve him today and our hope of his presence tomorrow.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: 2 Peter 1:3-11
Hymn 504 We’re Marching to Zion
Note: Isaac Watts calls all who love the Lord to unite in joyful worship on the journey to our home in his kingdom.
Hymn 51 Jesus Shall Reign
Note: Isaac Watts summons us to praise as we anticipate Jesus’ return and universal rule: “Let every creature rise and bring honor and glory to our King.”
Scripture Reading 2 Peter 3:1-18
Note: The world asks, “where is the promise of his coming?” But they willfully overlook the Lord’s promises. Peter asks us, those who know that his word is sure, “what sort of people ought you to be” in view of the dreadful day of his return.
Hymn 585 Am I a Soldier of the Cross?
Note: Isaac Watts wrote this hymn to encourage introspection. Jesus requires his true disciples to take up their cross and follow. And so, we ask, “Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb?”
Message: Friends and Foes of the Coming King
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 403 I’m Not Ashamed
Note: This hymn by Isaac Watts answers the question posed by his hymn, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” (thus, both appear in our hymnal with the same tune). With resolve we sing,
“I’m not ashamed to own my Lord,
Or to defend His cause;
Maintain the honor of His Word,
The glory of His cross.”
Isaac Watts concludes with a vivid portrait of the day the faithful servant stands before the Lord:
“Then will He own my worthless name
Before His Father’s face.”
On that day, we will enter the eternal joy of the Lord!
Prayer Response: Joel Owen
Benediction: John Miles