"Sinners In The Hands of a Loving God": What I Believe about the Afterlife

Bible Passage: John 3:16-17

Theme for the Week beginning October 18th, 2020:  “A Christian’s Understanding of the Afterlife”

  • An EXCITING video service just for children (and kids at heart) is found at the end of this service. Just scroll down!  (Thanks, LifeChurch!)  

 

The Prelude:  We Prepare Ourselves to Worship God

 

 We Gather Together
  • If you have family worshipping with you, give everyone a hug. 
  • If you are alone, take a moment and imagine the arms of the Loving Lord wrapped around you.  Send thoughts of love to those most important to you. 
  • Then, find a spot at your chosen place of worship.  Light your candle(s). 
  • Be silent for a moment, asking God to open your hearts to every good gift that God has for you today.

 

We Open with Prayer (based on Isaiah 12)

(If possible, please pray out loud):

God, you are our salvation;
We will trust you and not be afraid.
You, Lord God, are our strength and our song;
with joy we draw water from the wells of salvation,
We drink from your fullness, and we find new life.
Amen.

 

We Sing a Song of Praise: “Come Ye Sinners”

(UMH #340; Sung by Fernando Ortega and Amy Grant)

(Please sing along or just listen to this inspirational song)

 

We Call Each Other to Worship   (Based on Psalm 62:5-12) 

(If possible, read out loud.  If you are not alone, take turns reading the light and the bold lines)

Leader:    Our salvation comes from God alone.  He is our refuge, and a Rock of safety.

People:  We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him

Leader:    O my people, trust him at all times.  Pour out your heart to him, for he is our refuge.

People:  We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him.

          Leader:     God has spoken plainly—we have heard it many times.  Only Good alone can save us.

People:   We wait quietly before God, for our hope is in him.  

All:           God is our Rock and our Salvation.

 

We Pass the Peace of God to Others

If you are with others in your home, give each other a hug, and pray for those who will not have any human touch today.

If you are alone, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind at least one person who needs a call or email or card.  Commit to following through on this as soon as this worship service ends.  (If you have others in your household, they can do this, too).

 We Read the Bible:  John 3:16-17 (KJV)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
We Testify to God’s Grace:    “A Costly Love

Dave Trouten (New Brunswick, Canada); The Upper Room, June 2, 2020

Recently my son required corrective surgery for which the surgeon had to break his jaw in seven places. We knew the surgery was needed, but that only slightly reduced the stress. In a quiet corner of the surgical floor, we prayed.

“Are you scared, Son?” I asked him. “Yes,” he replied, weeping. “I am too,” I said.

I hugged him and prayed aloud as we turned it over to God — and to the hands of the doctors. I felt helpless and wished I could have prevented the drastic and painful procedure, but I knew that something beneficial would result from this suffering.

I couldn’t help but think what it must have been like for God to watch as people purposely harmed Jesus. Certainly, God knew that the separation and suffering that Jesus endured was for the greater good. But it was not without a heavy cost.

When we look at the Crucifixion, we recognize Christ’s torture and death; but how often do we sense the great chasm of separation between the Son and the Father because of our sin? Seeing just that small glimpse into the Father’s experience on the day of my son’s surgery helped me to feel even more strongly the love God has for me.

(Do you have a testimonial you’d like to share here during future services?  Send your story to thomas@hopefortulsa.com)

 

We  Sing a Song of Devotion: “Spirit Song”

(UMH #347, performers not indicated)

Please play the music video and sing along or just reflect.

 

We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
“Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God”
Series:  Confessions of a Church Pastor:  What I Believe About the Afterlife

(Note:  my sermon manuscript plus an article listing the different beliefs about Jesus’ atonement and the nature of hell can be downloaded from this page)

We Pray to the Lord

To receive the prayer email, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially …
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Elinor Bartleson and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Gail Arnold and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Brenda Stage and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Barbara Roderick and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Richard Bachelder and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Jerry Robison and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We pray for the continued recovery of Skip Hurt following surgery.
      • We pray for the continued recovery of Jan Colvin following a hospitalization.
      • We pray for our members and friends who are in nursing homes and rehab centers.
    • for those who suffer and those in trouble, and especially…
    • for the concerns of this local community, and especially…
    • for the world, its peoples, and its civic leaders, and for the earth that you have given to our care.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially those who are suffering and those who are responding, and for …                  
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn and for our new Superintendent, Connie Gibson.  We also pray for those churches that are now opening up and ask that those who gather would be wise and caring for each other.  We ask that you would protect all your congregations from harm and disease, and give us a mighty dose of your Spirit.  We pray for these and for other Christian leaders, including…
    • in communion with the saints, remembering all those who have gone on before us, and now form part of the Great Hall of Faith which encourages those of us who remain on earth.  Today we especially remember . . .
    • For my (our) needs today, which include…

Help us remember, Lord, that you are merciful and good, and quick to act in times of need.  We thank you for all of your many blessings that you graciously give to us and to the world you love.

Therefore, as your children on earth, we pray the prayer that our Brother Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name, 
thy kingdom come, 
thy will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those
who trespass against us. 

And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, 
and the power, and the glory, 
for ever and ever. Amen.

We Give Gifts to the Lord

Even during COVID-19, the work of Hope United Methodist Church continues!  Please take a moment to remember all the many blessings God has given you, and then go to www.hopefortulsa.com/give to make an online donation.  It’s simple to sign up–just have your checkbook, debit card, or credit card ready to provide the requested information.  You just have to do this one time.  You can continue to use this online portal in the weeks ahead to bless your church and your Lord. 

If you’d like to mail a check instead, please make it out to “Hope UMC” and send it to:  Hope UMC, 12424 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK  74146.  All donations are tax-deductible.  And thank you in advance!

Closing Hymn: “Softly & Tenderly” (UMH #348, performed by Joey Feek, Nov. 13, 2015)

(Joey Feek recorded this hymn and others while undergoing chemotherapy.  She passed away in March of 2016 at age 40)

Benediction (adapted from a 1698 hymn)

(Please read together aloud):

Through all the changing scenes of life,
in trouble and in joy,
may the praises of our Lord and God
our heart and tongue employ.  Amen.

 

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Enjoy this LOOP Show Worship-at-Home-for-Kids Video from LifeChurch!