SermonHeavenly Love Includes Animals
An all-creatures Bible Message

Heavenly Love Includes Animals
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
9 December 2018
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Malachi 3:1-7
Luke 1:68-79
Luke 3:1-6
Philippians 1:9-11

Heavenly love includes animals, because a vital part of our loving God with every part of our being is to love the whole of His creation which includes the animals; for when this is a part of our being, the Holy Spirit fills us with Godís heavenly love to overflowing that we would share it with others, and this included empathy for the whole of His creation.
 
Do you remember last week that we talked about God created a vegan world, which describes His creation intent, and that there was no pain or suffering or death in heaven, which means that Godís heavenly intent is to also have every one of us eliminate all human caused pain, suffering, and death here on earth that we possibly can?
 
This is also why we say that heavenly love includes animals, for without any pain, suffering, or death, we cannot be raising and killing animals for food or clothing, or exploiting them in any other ways.
 
This seems to be a major problem for the churches to accept or act upon, for the majority of them just go along with the corrupt ways of this world and contribute to the violence that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
 
In Malachi 3:1-7, we have a prophetic message that told us how to have a peaceful world today, but humans have not taken advantage of what we are told, which in our opinion is the result of their hardness of heart.

1. "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

That messenger was John the Baptist, and most people didnít listen to his message then, and even to this very day, relatively few people are listening to the words of the Lord.
 
Perhaps this may also refer to Jesusí second coming in which case it will be either Elijah or someone coming in his place, for unless we change, we wonít recognize him then any more than we did at His first coming, and that will mean that most people will be too late.

2. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.

What is going to be refined?
 
The removing of our human hardness of heart that we can once again have the soft, loving, and empathetic heart that God created us to have, that we would feel the pain and suffering of the whole of creation, including all the animals.

3. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,
 
4. and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

These offerings will no longer be animal sacrifices, and we believe that there will be those of us who have His heavenly love and are sharing it with the world around us.

5. "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

We are not being told about those who ignore the pain and suffering of Godís creation, including all the animals.
 
But we do agree that these people do the things they do, because they donít fear the Lord our God.

6. "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

And perhaps they and we should have been, but that is something that we are trying to refine, too, by helping people to recognize the truth, and live in Godís heavenly love, which includes the animals.

7. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty.
"But you ask, 'How are we to return?'
NIV

People ask these kinds of questions because they havenít been listening to the things that the Lord has taught us throughout time, and itís high time we start listening.
 
In Luke 1:68-79, we have the written recording of what Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, said when John was bornÖ

68. "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come and has redeemed his people.

Zechariah is a true believer, but we also need to remember that this is also being written from a time of corruption on the earth, so we need to read between the lines to see the heavenly will of God, including the fact that heavenly love includes animals.
 
From what Zechariah said, we can see that he understands that Godís intent is to redeem His people, even if only a relatively small number of them truly listen and believe.

69. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David

Even though Mary hadnít yet given birth to Jesus, Zechariah understood that He was the Redeemer that God was sending into the world, and that John was to play a vital part in His ministry.

70. (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),  
 
71. salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us-
 
72. to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
 
73. the oath he swore to our father Abraham:

I hope we can all see that there is a lot more that Jesus will do, for His intent, as is the heavenly will of God, is to redeem the whole earth and not just the people of Israel.
 
True heavenly love includes animals.

74. to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
 
75. in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

This is true to this very day, but it is much greater than this; it includes the whole of creation, which is something that Thomas Ken seemed to understand when he penned the words of the Doxology: ďpraise Him all creatures here below,Ē for even the animals will praise Him when we as children of God help free creation from its present corruption.

76. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
 
77. to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,

This, if we are truly repentant, includes the horrible things that humans have done to the animals, for heavenly love includes animals.

78. because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
 
79. to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace."
NIV

Unfortunately our world is still living in darkness and in the shadow of death, and most humans donít seem to want to come out of it.
 
Ever since Jesus came, He has been trying to lead us into the path of peace, but people arenít listening, because they prefer to continue to live in this corrupt and evil world where they can get their pound of flesh, which continues to corrupt creation.
 
In Luke 3:1-6, we read about the beginning of John the Baptistís ministry, and how he announced the coming of our Messiah.

1. In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar-when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene-
 
2. during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.

Today, I donít believe that there are any Christians, even discouraged ones, who have not heard the word of the Lord speaking to them, and we all must act upon these callings.

3. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Today we know that human sacrifice and slavery are unchristianÖwell so is what is happening to animals.
 
Just like when Moses shouted out, ďset My people free,Ē we need the world around us to wake up to the fact that we must begin to rapidly demonstrate to the world why it is unchristian to exploit animals in any way for human food, clothing, or any other purpose; we need to once and for all time set Godís created animals free.
 
They are not ours to possess.
 
This is all part of clearing the way for the Lordís second coming.

4. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
 
5. Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
 
6. And all mankind will see God's salvation.' "
NIV

This is what each and every one of us should be doing in whatever ways that the Holy Spirit puts on our hearts and souls.
 
We cannot afford to keep silent any longer.
 
Itís our duty to our God and His creation.
 
As we read what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:9-11, letís keep in mind todayís message that heavenly love includes animals.

9. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
 
10. so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,

Well, if this is true in our lives, as it should be, then we should also understand that heavenly love includes animals, and that we can no longer exclude them as a whole, and that they, like us, deserve to be living free in this world, as God intended.
 
Animals are to be our willing companions and not our slaves.

11. filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.
NIV

This has not been a history lesson about John the Baptist or the advent of the first coming of Jesus which happened over two thousand years ago.
 
This should be a wakeup call to all of us that we are to be the ones living and announcing the advent of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
 
We are to be the John the Baptists of today.
 
We are to be the ones crying out in the wildernesses of this world.
 
We are the ones who are to be proclaiming the word of peace for the whole of creation.
 
We are the ones who must help others see that animals have souls and spirits just as we do and that they deserve to be freed from all the exploitation that has and is being inflicted upon them in this world.
 
We are to be the peacemaking children of God who help free creation from its present corruption, for heavenly love includes animals.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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