April 14 Arrives Soon!

Trinity Lutheran Church has its first service in Norcross, Georgia on Palm Sunday, April 14!  All is set and ready for the preaching of the unmerited grace of God in Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord!  This is a new place at a new altar where people can gather and receive the eternal treasures of the Triune God!  This is a place where our Lord will snap the idolatrous chains of Satan that keep people trapped in spiritual death (Ephesian 2:1-10).   This will be a place where burden and guilt will be lifted off the shoulders of troubled souls by the forgiveness of sins in our loving Savior, Jesus (John 20:20-23).  We give God thanks for the mission heart and support from the Atlanta North Circuit for the purchase of the new hymnals and catechisms.  We also thank our Lord for our Florida-Georgia District who have given a generous gift to cover the cost of rent at Norcross Elementary School for 6 months.  It is time.  If we continue to wait until our weak sinful natures are ready enough to engage in the Great Commission, we will never move.  But our Lord Jesus Christ says “Go (Matthew 28:18-19)!” We trust the power of the Word of God to bring all the results.  We trust the Holy Spirit Who brings new life when and where He wills (John 3:3-7).    “Behold, now is the favorable time (kairos); behold now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)!”

Pastor Belton at Stepping STone Pic for Kairos Network black and white

The schedule for the day will be:

  • The Divine Service at 9 AM with Dr. Victor Belton preaching (pictured above left).
  • Bible Study for all ages at 10 AM.
  • The Divine Service in Korean at 11 AM with Rev. Min Soo Kim preaching (pictured below with his family).
  • Bible Study for all ages in Korean at Noon.
  • Food and Fellowship for all at 1 PM.

IMG_8912 (1)

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen!

~Thomas Ken

 

 

Evil and God

The question about evil continues to pop up as a reason for people to “not believe.”  It is very common for people to say that “I cannot believe in a God that allows suffering or evil.”  This all concerns the question of theodicy.  Theodicy basically probes the question “why does a loving God allow evil in the world?”  This is a legit question and people are very often legitimately asking this because they are seeking answers.  So . . . how do we respond?

Oddly enough, this question is concretely answered in Article XI of the Formula of Concord!  Crazy!   Thanks to Rev. Wolfmueller for putting this in front of us so succinctly!

 

Why Plant a Church?

Why should any of us be so concerned about planting a church?  Aren’t there plenty of Christian churches already around us?  Aren’t there churches with much better facilities?  And much more effective programs?  Wouldn’t they be better at helping people understand the Gospel and find a church?  Why do we need to be so concerned about what we are doing?  Read Matthew 28:19-20.  The words are “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have observe all that I have commanded you.”  Christ clearly commands us to go to baptize all nations and to teach all that He has commanded us.  The tense of this Greek word “Go!” basically says “having already gone,” baptize and teach.  This is not a job we ever walk away from.  It is protocol for the entire Christian Church on earth.  Also, we are assured here that until the close of the age, Jesus says there will be a holy Christian people with whom He will dwell.  He says “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  The question is, “how can these holy people be found or recognized?”  Martin Luther writes that these holy Christian people can be recognized by these seven things:

  1. Possession of God’s Holy Word in its entirety (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  2. Holy Baptism rightly administered (Acts 2:38-41).
  3. The Sacrament of the Altar rightly administered (Acts 2:42).
  4. The Office of the Keys exercised publicly (John 20:23).
  5. The Office of the Ministry called pastors who administer the above four things (Acts 20:38).
  6. Prayer, public praise, and thanksgiving to God (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
  7. Possession of the sacred cross in proclamation and participation (Galatians 6:14).

Luther’s Works, Volume 41, Pages 148-165.

Ask yourself.  Where can you find all these things in one place?

Although there are churches around us, these precious things are not all around us.  And yet these things are the reason for our courage.  Although we are sinners whose only consolation is the mercy of the cross of our Savior, time and time again we are steadied by our convictions in the Word of God and the necessity for the people around us to hear the eternal Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ clearly (Romans 1:16).  We are moved by our conviction of God’s mighty power in Holy Baptism (Romans 6:3-5), the necessity of the forgiveness of sins (John 20:23), and the great benefits of the Lord’s Supper (John 6:54).  People need the Good News of Christ in these days!  They need His concrete means of grace!  The Holy Spirit has given us the desire for others to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).  The result of these 7 marks of the Church is Christian love empowered by the Holy Spirit.

So . . . Trinity Lutheran Church is going into Norcross.  They will bring these blessings to the lost and also disciple the saved.  Keep them in your prayers as things begin on April 14, 2019!  Glory to God and salvation to man!

Holy Trinity Lutheran Logo with Schedule

 

 

Mission Field: USA in Georgia

LCMS-Mission-Field-USA-Page-Banner-Image

Beginning on May 8, 2019, there will be Mission Field: USA training offered at Living Faith Lutheran Church in Cumming from 9 AM – 4 PM.  This training is for pastors and lay people interested in starting a new Lutheran congregation, being a part of a church plant, or learning more about the process.

This training for doing missions is structured around the 7 marks of the Church (Luther’s writing on Church and Ministry III) and the framework of Witness, Mercy and Life Together.  For more information, go to http://www.lcms.org/how-we-serve/national/church-planting.  The Rev. Steve Schave will be onsite leading us on May 22.

The schedule is as follows:

9 AM – Order of Matins

10 AM – Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark

11:30 AM – Study in the Catechism and the Lutheran Confessions

Noon – Liturgical study

12:30 PM – Lunch Break

1:30 PM – Mission Field USA

2:30 PM – Pavement Pounders

 

Feel free to come for as much of it as you can!  Glory to God!  Salvation to man!

 

Trinity Lutheran starts in Norcross!

On April 14, 2019, Trinity Lutheran Church begins Word and Sacrament ministry in Norcross, Georgia!

Trinity’s new location will be at Norcross Elementary School (150 Hunt St. Norcross 30071).  Both worship and Bible study will be in the cafeteria.

Trinity Lutheran Norcross logo with schedule

Get the word out so that people looking for a good church in Norcross can start to gather!  Worship and Bible Study begins at Norcross Elementary School on April 14.  Plan on attending and supporting the ministry as it reaches out to all people in the area with God’s eternal Word and gracious Gifts!

More information on Trinity Lutheran can be found at http://www.TrinityLutheran.net.

 

Rev. Rojas on the Giver of Life

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:13-14


Meditation: The Author and Giver of Life

God is the Author and Giver of Life, and life begins at conception. When God created this world, He blessed Adam and Eve with the command to procreate: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). This wasn’t a command to “be productive” or to “work hard.” This was a command to “fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28) with people. Soon after giving this command, God reveals to Adam and Eve exactly how they will “be fruitful” and “fill the earth”—”A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” It’s a common misconception that “one flesh” refers to some spiritual union between husband and wife (think of the language of ‘soul-mates’ and ‘destiny’). But this is not what Scripture says. When Scripture says, “they shall become one flesh,” it means they will have a baby. An infant is the flesh of only the father and the mother combined. Every human being who has ever lived (except for Adam and Eve, and Christ Himself) are the combined flesh of their two parents: father and mother.

God didn’t keep the joy of creation for Himself—He gave it to us. (Christians should ban the term “reproduction” from their vocabulary; instead, use “procreation.” “Reproduction” is an industrial and business term that refers to inanimate objects. People started to use this word to refer to “making babies.” It’s crass. We “procreate.” This language affirms that there is a Creator—God—who “brings forth” His creation through His creatures. It’s a beautiful image.) God shares a glimpse of His joy of creation with us! The unspeakable joy that a father and mother have in seeing their child’s face at birth and then showering that child with undeserved gifts for the rest of his life is a splinter of the joy God has in creating and sustaining us.

God creates life through a man and a woman. If you ever want to know the definition of marriage and family, just consider where every human being came from—The sexual union between one man and one woman. When God chooses to make another human, when God chose to make you, He chose to first bring together your father and your mother. In doing this, He joined them together in the most profound and blessed union on the face of this planet. And, in God’s time and according to His Will, He caused you to be made in conception. He formed your inward parts. He knitted you together in your mother’s womb—He threaded your veins and arteries from your heart to your limbs, He formed your bones and jointed them together, He placed every hair follicle precisely where He determined it to be. And for all of this, it is our duty to thank and praise Him, serve and obey Him. Every human being is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Lamentably, there are many who deny this. There are many who claim that there is no Creator, that life doesn’t begin at conception, and that some people are not fearfully or wonderfully made. Some people advocate and pay for the murder of infants in and out of the womb(even nominally Christian denominations!), simply because they reject the undeniable and demonstrable truth that life begins at conception. Others are driven to despair and end their life because they hate their bodies, their life, and their entire being. They reject the fact that they are fearfully and wonderfully made by their dear Father in heaven who loves them. Birth defects and physical troubles don’t negate God’s love. These things prove that original sin and its consequence of death is real—This should move us not to deny this life, but to seek eternal life in Christ all the more!

There have been 61 million abortions and counting in the United States alone since Roe v. Wade (There have been 1.5 billion worldwide). This is a holocaust. This all comes from the denial of God as Creator, the Father, the Source, the Author and Giver of Life. When we deny that God gave us life, we will soon deny the life God gave to others. To murder infants—for whatever reason—is an abomination. This is an indescribable horror, one too ghastly to think about. Yet it happens every day.

The world denies God and the life He so graciously gave them. But it shouldn’t be this way with you. Don’t despise God or the life He gave you or the body He so fearfully and wonderfully knit together in your mother’s womb. Learn to accept your life as a gift of God and the life of others as gifts from God as well. Don’t fall into the “pragmatism” of the day that prevents children from being born through birth control or “Plan-B pills.” Learn to confess that children are a gift from God Himself and that we should never prevent God’s Will from being done. Husbands should never deny children to their wives, and wives should never deny children to their husbands (1 Corinthians 7:4). There’s never a good reason to prevent or end the life of a child. However, if you’ve fallen into such vice in the past before, repent. Repent and remember that God, the Author and Giver of Life, willingly gave Himself into death for your sake to forgive all of your sins. Remember that God loved your life and body and existence more than you ever could. He not only loved you into existence, but He loved you into His kingdom as He gave life and limb, flesh and blood for your salvation. The God who formed you in your mother’s womb made Himself to be in the womb of the Virgin Mary to redeem you, to live the perfect life in your place since His conception. He created you. He redeemed you. And now He sanctifies you with His Word.

Rejoice in the life God gave you now, and the eternal life He has promised to you through faith in His only begotten Son. Love and protect the life that He gave to your neighbor, even your neighbors you haven’t met yet still in the womb.

+ Rev. Roberto Rojas Jr.