The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on March 10, 2018 began with Elizabeth Castle and her Ministry Corner. Last week her Sabbath School class had the nursing home Sabbath School program. The group rolled out a welcome banner, then had special music, and shared their favorite Bible verses. The residents really liked this program. Rich Sutton gave everyone an idea of the Cuban mission project. Ricardo Reid then had a prayer for the Cuban-bound group.
Rodney Herra welcomed everyone and made a few announcements and read the membership transfers the first time (the second reading will be after the Cuban trip).
Abril (sophomore) and Felix (9th grader) then led the congregation in singing “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder”. Samantha (sophomore) played an introit. The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Work, for the Night Is Coming”. Rodney Herra then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”.
Leilani (sophomore) then called for the offering. Arlin (senior) and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to Adventist World Radio. The congregation sang the doxology, and Rodney Herra prayed for the offering.
Arielle Pierre then told the children a story about a little girl in China who insisted on sharing the gospel with her neighbors. Then she went from village to village telling about Jesus. Then two men in a big black jeep took her to a river and threatened her with death. She prayed – and the men fled. She and her parents thanked the Lord for her deliverance.
Leilani then read Matthew 28:18-20 “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Jara (sophomore) had special music, playing “In the Sweet By and Bye” on her flute and accompanied on the piano by Jeremy Westcott. The congregation joined in on the last stanza. Rodney Herra discussed the topic “Working”. The congregation sang “Bringing in the Sheaves”. Rodney Herra had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Jeremy Westcott – one of the academy teachers
Rodney Herra – works with the farm and the auto body programs / church treasurer
Following are some notes on the sermon:
1. Matthew 26:1-2 “1 ¶ And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, 2 Ye know that after two days is [the feast of] the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”
2. Jesus talked to His disciples about what was most important to them since He was turning the church over to them.
3. Matthew 25:1-13 “1 ¶ Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five [were] foolish. 3 They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
4. Ellen White says that believers in the Second Coming are innocent like those virgins. But many are unready for that Coming.
5. We should be watching that we have the Holy Spirit with us always, making us ready for His coming.
6. Matthew 25:14-30 “14 ¶ For [the kingdom of heaven is] as a man travelling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made [them] other five talents. 17 And likewise he that [had received] two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [there] thou hast [that is] thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, [Thou] wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
7. Most of the servants did as the Lord expected and improved their talents. We must improve our talents.
8. If we have the Holy Spirit, He will lead us on how we should use those talents.
9. Matthew 25:31-46 “31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
10. God is talking to us – God’s people – in all three parables.
11. Ellen White in the Desire of Ages in the chapter dealing with this parable says that the Lord makes His decision based on what people have done for the poor and suffering.
12. These illustrations were told to the disciples two days before Jesus died.
13. Nowhere in these parables do you see Bible studies or evangelistic meetings or canvassing, important as they are. You see personal needs front and center. Jesus attracted people because He cared for their personal needs.
14. If we want Jesus to come, do what Jesus did and minister to the needs of others.