Yesterday was 01-16-11 and the date was one Pastor Vince Giardino found gratifying. This year, we will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of our King James Bible, completed in the year 1611. And at that Sunday morning service, we found Michael at piano while Lori, Julia and he beautifully sang “Someday” for the music special.Our Pastor’s sermon was titled “Heaven – Due North”. The key verses he read were Psalms 48:1-2 and Isaiah 45:20-22. Pastor G. had in his hand a compass and, after making sure it pointed north, he firmly stated that the main rule in navigating with a compass is “trust the compass”. Getting lost is disorienting, so rather than relying on yourself, use the compass to find north as a reference point. Likewise then, Pastor recommended using our bible “as if it were a compass”. “Line yourself up with the book in the direction God wants us to go”, he said. He spoke of gyro-compasses used on airplanes and ships at sea. No matter how the ship is situated, the gyro-compass still gives the right direction. Similarly, life is full of storms and befuddling situations, “but if you are relying on the bible for direction, you will still get to your destination.”
Pastor came to point #1 in his sermon – Are you confident in your coordinates? In Luke 16:19-26, we find there is a “great gulf fixed” between Lazarus (in Abraham’s bosom) and the rich man (in hell). God made the earth with magnetism, with a hot molten iron at the center. This “fixed” point is what causes all compasses to point north. Thus, hell is a fixed coordinate and the destination of those not born again. Pastor Giardino asked if we are using our compasses (i.e. bibles) to help people out of the woods and toward the coordinates that are fixed in heaven.
We read Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14) about the Pharisee, whose pompous prayer was 35 words long, and the publican with a humble 7 word prayer. Jesus said “every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” Luke 18:14. We also reviewed the book of I John, which talks about God’s character and the structure of His love for us. Proverbs 10:12 was used to show how God’s “love covereth all sins”; God wants to cleanse us of all sin. We read John 1:1-5 to understand that Jesus came to show love to sinners lost in “darkness”. Although all men desire to go “north” to heaven, to trust in yourself is to be going the wrong way. You “must trust Christ as your savior”, Pastor Giardino taught, which is “the fixed coordinates to get to heaven … and more sure than any compass on earth … if you’d only be honest about your sin.” Even as the publican prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner”, so should we.