Nothing is Impossible with God
A Sermon Delivered to
9 June 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
As many of you know, for many years we have been working for a peaceful world for humans, animals, and the environment.
A large part of this effort has been to do everything in our power to free creation from its present corruption, and overcome the evil in this world with love.
And, at the same time, provide a sanctuary and comfort for those who deeply care about animals and don’t eat them.
In the process we often encounter people who see this as an impossible task and say that there isn’t any reason to even try, or they get so frustrated at all the evil they see and say that they want to bring harm to those who cause all these horrible evil things to happen.
We know that they don’t really mean to bring physical harm to them, but speak this way because they don’t know what else to say or do.
We always do our best to counter such statements, for we know violence only produces more violence, and that it is possible to accomplish our goal.
This is exactly what the angel of the Lord said.
When the angel of the Lord came to Mary to tell her that she was to become the mother of Jesus, and she questioned how this could happen, the angel concluded his answer with the following statement in Luke 1:37.
37. For nothing is impossible with God.”
And this is exactly the way we feel, even if it gets very frustrating at times.
And while there may be some complete sociopaths who reject every effort by the Lord to soften their hearts, we know how He changed our hearts and souls; so instead of wishing violence upon anyone who does evil, we seek and pray for the same changes to occur in them.
The apostle Paul also had this life changing experience, which he talks a little about in his letter to the churches in Galatia. (Galatians 1:13-24)
13. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it;
14. and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
What Paul was doing was very evil, but not really any more evil than the people committing all the atrocities against millions of our fellow human beings, and billions of the other animals in the world every year, in addition to the raping of the environment.
15. But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother’s womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased
16. to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
17. nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
When seeking God, the last thing a Jew expects to find is the Lord Jesus Christ, but that is exactly what happened to both Paul and me.
And similarly, He sent both of us to the gentiles, but my calling was to wake up the churches to their ungodliness and indifference to animals and the people who care about them.
In both cases, God did the seemingly impossible, for nothing is impossible with God.
18. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.
19. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
20. (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.)
21. Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
22. And I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ;
23. but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
24. And they were glorifying God because of me.
We have talked and corresponded with many ethical vegetarians and vegans who used to eat the flesh and by-products of the animal agriculture industries, and wear the skins of these animals, but now speak out against all forms of animal use and exploitation.
The miraculous changes that took place in their lives are no different than what happened to Paul and us.
The problem is, however, that the vast majority of these ethical vegetarians and vegans are not Christian believers, because they have been alienated by the hardness of heart they feel emanating from so-called Christians and their churches.
According to a national survey we saw several years ago, about 85% of people in the United States claim to be Christians, and they have relatively few ethical vegetarians and vegans among them. (Unfortunately, we don’t have this data for the rest of the world.)
And instead of being compassionate to all animals and the people who care about them, the churches actually promote animal suffering in the ways they act, which also explains why billions of animals continue to suffer and die every year.
Since the churches are to be the moral ethical guides of the people, they should be promoting the fact that loving God also means that we are to love the whole of His creation and protect it, including every other human being, every other animal, and the environment in which we all live.
Instead the churches have been continually corrupting creation, as they are now doing.
This is the message we are to take to the churches instead of separating ourselves from them.
Someone has to speak for the animals and the people who care about them, and that task has fallen upon us.
We can bring about this change, for nothing is impossible with God.