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                           SERMON NOTES

                    The Twentyfifth Sunday after Trinity

                                   November 24, 1996

                                    Matthew 24:15-28


"In Contra Faustum, Book 13, chapter 5, we read that although the Manichaeans did not accept the Scripture, they maintained that they believed the report concerning Christ.  Augustine replies: 'If you believe the report about Christ, see whether this is a proper witness; consider what disaster you are headed for.  You reject the Scriptures which are confirmed and commended by such great authority; you perform no miracles, and if you performed any, we would shun even those in your case according to the Lord's instruction, Mt. 24:24.'  He wanted absolutely nothing to be believed against the confirmed authority of the Scriptures, etc."

            Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I,  p. 172. Matthew 24:24.        


"Therefore we must cling alone to the Scriptures and to the Word of God, which say He is not here or there.  Where He is, there I shall be...Now whoever teaches me otherwise deceives me..."

            Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983 V, p. 376. Matthew 24:15‑28                  

"The church is recognized, not by external peace but by the Word and the Sacraments.  For wherever you see a small group that has the true Word and the Sacraments, there the church is if only the pulpit and the baptismal font are pure.  The church does not stand on the holiness of any one person but solely on the holiness and righteousness of the Lord Christ, for He has sanctified her by Word and Sacrament."

            What Luther Says, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 263.    


"When a theologian is asked to yield and make concessions in order that peace may at last be established in the Church, but refuses to do so even in a single point of doctrine, such an action looks to human reason like intolerable stubbornness, yea, like downright malice.  That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime.  Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God.  They are regarded as men worthy of contempt.  But in the end it becomes manifest that this very determined, inexorable tenacity in clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word by no means tears down the Church; on the contrary, it is just this which, in the midst of greatest dissension, builds up the Church and ultimately brings about genuine peace.  Therefore, woe to the Church which has no men of this stripe, men who stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, sound the alarm whenever a foe threatens to rush the walls, and rally to the banner of Jesus Christ for a holy war!"

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, St. Louis:  CPH, 1928, p. 28.