Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21)
Have you ever been part of an exclusive club? Maybe when you were growing up, you and your friends invented a special club that had some sort of requirements to become a member. Of course, such exclusive clubs aren’t limited to childhood. Most major cities in America have exclusive clubs, like the Union Club in New York City or the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee.
Is that what Christianity is like? It is it some sort of exclusive club where you need to know someone, pay some outrageous fee, or somehow meet other requirements to get in? In a way, no. God wants all people to be saved and join him in heaven—membership is open to all! That’s why he gave us the Great Commission, the command to his Church to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and by teaching everything found in God’s word. It’s a pretty simple concept, really; but one that is easier said than done. There are plenty of obstacles that we run into while trying to make disciples of all nations—the devil tries to undermine the work of the church and works against the gospel, the sinful world hates the message of the gospel and is hostile toward it, and our own sinful nature is lazy and makes excuse after excuse. And there are other obstacles that we face, like the lack of workers in God’s harvest field, the logistics of physically reaching the entire world, and a language barrier.
That language barrier is a result of mankind’s sin. After the flood, the Lord commanded the people to spread throughout the world, but the people refused, thinking that they could collect all of their power and build a tower that would reach to the heavens. Since the people refused to obey the Lord’s commands, he created languages. The people were no longer able to communicate with each other so, they were forced to spread throughout the world as God wanted them to. See Genesis 11 for more.
Creating languages served a good purpose after the flood. But when it comes to spreading the gospel to all nations, there are barriers to overcome. But the Lord met those barriers on the day of Pentecost. Pentecost, in a way, is an answer to the Tower of Babel. When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, they were suddenly able to speak languages they had never known before. When the people from all over the world heard the gospel for the first time in their native languages, they were naturally curious as to what was going on. Peter said that it fulfills a prophecy from Joel 2 about the Last Days. The last part of that quote is our verse above: everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
That’s Peter’s point as he preached on that first Pentecost day. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, through faith in Christ we are saved—Jew and Gentile, men and women, young and old—we are all one in faith. Everyone who believes—everyone, no matter where they come from, who calls on Jesus’ name will be saved no matter what!
We can’t help but marvel at the grace and mercy of our Lord! He not only sent his Son to live, suffer, and die for us, but he also sent the Holy Spirit to work faith into our hearts through the gospel. In a way, Christianity is like an exclusive club—but one in which all the requirements are met by the Lord himself, the founder of the club. Because of his grace, we belong to the most prestigious club of them all—and no special handshake required! So, we praise the Lord that he did not for favorites but has spread the gospel throughout the world so that people from every nation, tribe, language, and people—us included would join him in everlasting glory!
Pastor Andrew Frey
Pastor Frey has accepted the divine call to serve the Lord at Nebraska Lutheran High School in Waco, Nebraska as Campus Pastor and Dean of Students. His last weekend at St. John will be Sunday, June 20 and Monday, June 21.
Following the second service on June 20, there will be a farewell picnic at Plamann Park which everyone is invited to attend. Look for more information coming soon as we look to say farewell to Pastor Frey and his family.
The Freys will be having a garage sale over Memorial Day weekend as they are downsizing for their move to Nebraska—please feel free to stop by on Friday or Saturday!
Women of Faith and Men’s Bible Study:
You are invited to a summer cookout meal and farewell for Pastor and Kim Frey and Noah, Micah and Cece on Tuesday, June 8 at 12:00 pm (noon) at St. John. Bring your family. Meat and buns will be provided; just bring a dish to pass. Come for food and fellowship. Let us know if you plan to come; a sign-up sheet is on the counter in the entryway.
Call to Replace Pastor Frey:
Sunday May 16 we voted to extend a call to a graduate at our Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. In God’s perfect wisdom, we didn’t receive a graduate. We will now be looking to place a Divine Call to a Pastor in the near future. Look for more information about a future Call meeting. Even though we may wonder what the future is, we can trust 100% that God will send the right Pastor at the right time with the right gifts to serve the sheep at St. John.
Our Sunday morning Bible Study with Pastor Frey on the letter to the Colossians, will be taking two weeks off. We hope to finish up on June 13. Join us as we look at this important letter which highlights the person of Christ and his work of salvation.
Pastor Gartner’s class will not be meeting the next two weeks. We will resume on Monday/Tuesday June 7 and 8 to have our last lesson on Luther’s Small Catechism.
Updated Covid Procedures
The Church Council decided it was time to return to the children’s quiet bags. They will be hanging up underneath the bulletin board by the Pastors’ offices, if you are comfortable taking one for your child, please do so! The council has also decided that the time is right for the ushers to return to dismissing the congregation from the front instead of from the back of Church. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Worship Service Through Your Phone:
If you know someone who does not have the Internet and would like to still listen each week to our Worship Services, please let them know that you can now receive our weekly worship services by dialing 1-920-212-3625 each week and you will be able to listen to our Sunday morning Worship Service. Each week the service will become available to listen to each Sunday after 10:30am and you can listen to these services at any time during the week. If you have any questions, please call Church. Presently, we have about 3-5 people who are making use of this wonderful tool to hear God's Word.
We will continue to live-stream our services and post our worship folders online. We will be recording our Sunday 8:00 am service which means you can watch anytime after 8:00 am on Sunday morning. If you need any help accessing these resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can find our worship services at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCsQs-LDzlHE1NTjOaVaQ2A.
You can find a bulletin for each Worship Service so you can follow along here: https://stjohncenter-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/pastor_frey_stjohn-appleton_org/EqetvOMWflhLsfsLRcDkxSgBL2cnYkpiuk8Klh7d-r_XQg?e=07dSma.