This will be my final newsletter article. Next month you will be greeted by your new pastor, Pastor Martin Luchterhand. The good thing is that there will be no interruption of ministry here at Crown of Life. The same truth of the gospel will be preached and taught in the future as it has in the past. Souls will still be fed and nourished with the same forgiveness that Jesus purchased and won for every sinner by His death and resurrection.
Do we always cherish what that means? Do we consider as often as we should how blessed we really are to be the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, our Savior? That is a blessing we never want to take for granted. Can you imagine what it would be like to be without Jesus, without faith, without any hope of a better life to come?
That is also why it is so important that we faithfully continue to use the Word and sacraments that the Lord provides for us through His called servants. It is through these means the Holy Spirit continues to do His work in us of preserving and strengthening our faith so that we will always be ready for the time He comes and calls us out of this life.
The last words of the Bible are these: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Revelation 22:20-21). It is Jesus Himself speaking these words through the pen of the apostle John. The word “Yes” is actually the word “Amen”. It is a word that means “truth”. Another way of putting it would be “It is true” or “You can count on it”. Yes, truly Jesus is coming soon. That “soon” can be anytime for any one of us or any time for the entire world. It’s a tremendous promise for the believer and a warning for the unbeliever. That is why the church of believers responds to the Savior’s announcement with the words “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”. Truly, we want You to come, Jesus – the sooner, the better. That is when we will finally be delivered from all evil and live forever in glory.
And then John concludes the Bible with the blessing: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” That is also my departing prayer and blessing for everyone who reads these words. May the grace (or undeserved love) of our Savior continue to be with you always. As He gave His life to save you, may you continue to trust in Him alone for your salvation. May you continue to faithfully serve Him with your life. Then we all will be reunited again permanently in that glorious home that our Savior has prepared for us. “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
I also want to add my sincere thanks to:
All who have been faithful these past four years in their attendance at church, the Lord’s Supper, and Bible classes. That is the greatest joy for any pastor’s ministry;
Pastor William Balza