Sermon Transcript – All Means All, Not Some

1 Year Lectionary – All Saint’s Day – Sunday, November 6, 2022 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:28The holy Gospel According to Saint Matthew the fifth chapter foreign
0:40Jesus went up on the mountain and when he sat down his disciples came to him he opened his mouth and he taught them
0:46saying blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven blessed are those who mourn for they
0:53shall be comforted blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
0:59righteousness for they shall be satisfied and blessed are the merciful for they shall receive Mercy blessed are
1:06the pure in heart for they shall see God blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God and
1:12blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven and blessed are you
1:18when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account rejoice and be
1:26glad for your reward is great in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you this is the gospel of
1:32the Lord in the name of Jesus all right here’s some of the lyrics from
1:37the hymn we just sang oh May thy soldiers faithful true and bold fight as
1:43the Saints who nobly fought of old and when with them the Victor’s Crown of gold alleluia alleluia and when the
1:52fight is fierce and the warfare’s long Steals on the ear the distant Triumph
1:57song and hearts are brave and again arms are strong Alleluia
2:04Alleluia and then you’ll note these themes of
2:10military action that you can find it in our hymnity but most importantly you can
2:15find it in our words in the words of scripture scripture is clear that each and every one of us we are to put on the
2:21full armor of God and yes that’s women and men alike but you’ll note there’s kind of a thing we do and that is is
2:27that the Traditions here in the states or Traditions around the world are a
2:32little different when it comes to burying people uh recently had the privilege of doing the internment service for Walter Kemet and Walter is
2:41in a military cemetery and he was buried with full military honors and it’s
2:47always awesome to watch a military funeral it’s it’s actually quite impressive especially when you have the
2:54honor guard come out and these guys they spit polish everything you can see your face in the reflection of the brass on
3:00their uniforms you can see your reflection in their shoes perfectly and they’ve got all their medals and their Awards and that ever everyone’s decked
3:06out perfectly and after the the service of the word then the military guys come
3:13out and they fold the flag and then there’s the 21 gun salute and
3:18have any been able to stand or sit through one of those without flinching with every single volley it just is
3:25designed to hit you right in the chest and of course the last bit of it is the playing of taps but I bring this all to
3:33your attention to remind you of something and that is is that here on All Saints Day we recognize All Saints
3:41I’m going to put the emphasis on all but those who have gone before us each and every one who has died in the faith
3:48their grave is a military grave a military grave of the army of the king
3:54of kings and Lord of lords and everybody who was a penitent believer in Jesus Christ and is received from Jesus the
4:01King full pardon and Reconciliation for their sins by virtue of him bleeding and
4:07dying for their sins it is important for us to recognize that each and every one
4:12of us we were born dead in trespasses and sins we were born on the wrong side
4:19if you were to put it in military terms in history that we might understand nobody I know likes the Nazis and and
4:27with good reason but we were all born if you would spiritual Nazis we were born
4:33fighting for the wrong guy Hitler’s kind of a stand-in for the devil and each and
4:39every one of us we were under his Sway and each and every one of us by the grace of God has been brought into his
4:45kingdom and now we are belligerents in a fight that has been lasting for millennia
4:51you know if you think about the wars of human history sometimes they stretch out a little bit
4:57you know 5 10 50 years not much longer than that maybe a couple of them 100
5:03years long or whatever the Hundred Years War you hear things like this but have you ever stopped to think that the uh
5:08the fight against God started by Satan which we’ve all participated in that has been going on for millennia
5:16and at the end of the day when we all rise we are described in the in our
5:21hignity and scripture as being a great host a great Army that Christ has raised
5:28up but the army that Christ raises up on the last day that great host they beat
5:33their swords into plowshares and they become an army of Eternal peace
5:38something to look forward to so as we work our way through our text today and boy do these all work to what
5:44together wonderfully I would like to remind you all that each and every person who is a baptized
5:51penitent believer in Jesus Christ you are a saint I know that there’s this
5:58talk of saints as if somehow Saints are people who Aspire really hard to climb
6:04the ladder of righteousness and at some point they go from being a mere sinful human being to being a saint right this
6:13is just not true that is that is Works righteousness on steroids and you’ll
6:18note that this is the way Rome talks how do they know who the Saints are well first of all you have to be somebody
6:24notable in their religion then you have to die a blessed death and then people
6:30need to start praying to you and if you can verify three Miracles that you’ve performed post-mortem then they assume
6:38that you have attained a state of sinless perfection in this lifetime and therefore you were able to circumvent
6:44purgatory and go straight into the presence of Christ and you’ll note when you believe
6:49something like this and we all kind of tacitly do when you believe something like this you take away the Glorious
6:56gospel and the good news that we have in Jesus Christ listen Christ died for the
7:02ungodly I say this regularly you qualify and I qualify that being the case the
7:09Greek word for Saint is hagias my Greek students pay attention here nominative
7:15plural Hagi oi that right Hagia what’s a hagioi well we translate it as Saints
7:21and it doesn’t really do us any favors when we translate because the haggy or hagioi are the holy ones
7:29they have been made holy I recognize myself I ain’t holy we confess today
7:37humbling ourselves that we are sinful and unclean that we have sinned against God and thought were Deed by what we’ve
7:43done and by what we’ve left undone and rightfully so and you heard from Christ I got to be his representative but you
7:50heard from Christ that your sins are forgiven today and you’ll note that Jesus takes his bride and he washes her
7:57clean he is the one who makes her holy and he does it and out of his great love and
8:05mercy for his bride and you are that bride and so you’ll note we talk about
8:10All Saints we begin with the idea that we all are Saints and I know that you
8:18are sinners that’s the thing about this lifetime the world of paradoxes of light and darkness of Good and Evil and even
8:26within yourself well there’s the new person that you are in Christ the saint that Christ has made
8:32you and you still have your sinful Adam the Center that your father and my father
8:39have made us but let’s take a look behind the veil shall we let’s take a look at our first
8:44reading in the Book of Revelation and you’ll note this is what awaits all of
8:50us if Christ tarries this is where you and
8:55I are headed this is where Isla Linda is today this is where Arlen stangram is at
9:01this moment Peggy Sandberg and other notable members of this congregation you’ll note I’ve done more funerals than
9:07I’ve done marriages we need to fix this okay if if the my marriage rate isn’t on par
9:15with my funeral rate then the congregation’s kind of on Shaky Ground so you young kids well I don’t know what you’re waiting for but you need to work
9:21on this okay foreign that’s the second time I’ve done that
9:28recently all right why because this is reality Sarah this
9:34is reality I’m a realist all right
9:39but let’s take a look at our first reading from Revelation chapter seven and note what it says after this the
9:47Apostle John says I looked and behold it was a great multitude that no one could number from every nation from all tribes
9:52and people’s languages standing Before the Throne before the lamb they were clothed in white robes and palm branches
9:59in their hands crying out with a loud voice salvation Belongs To Our God who
10:05sits on the throne and to the lamb what a great beginning here in our epistle
10:11text all right at least our second reading boy is this just really good and
10:16the reason why is because we can see the theme Here salvation Belongs To Our God and indeed it does and Christ freely
10:24gives salvation to everyone who believes you do not have to earn the Salvation it
10:30is given to you and you’ll note that over and again in scripture our sin is described in terms of defilement our sin
10:37is described in terms of environment that mucks up and just causes our our
10:44clothes to be stained with filth and muck right guys remember The Princess Bride the queen of Filth the queen of
10:50garbage right that’s a great line right and the thing is is that each and every
10:56one of us because of our sin we have defiled ourselves we have stained our
11:02clothes we have mucked them up with sinful smelly icky yuck there’s a
11:09picture in the book of Zechariah in Zechariah Chapter 3. the high priest at the time that Zechariah wrote was a
11:15fellow by the name of Joshua and Joshua well we don’t know what he did but in
11:21Joshua chapter 3 we are privy to a conversation a happening that took place
11:27in the heavens and Satan and Joshua and Jesus himself there as the angel of the
11:33Lord were all present and here’s how this is described then he the angel showed me Joshua the high priest he was
11:40standing before the angel of Yahweh that’s Jesus and Satan standing at his
11:46right hand accusing him and isn’t that how the devil operates I don’t know what it is
11:52that you see in this guy Jesus he’s a complete sinner complete loser did you not hear what he just said did you not
11:59see what he just did he’s guilty guilty guilty guilty right
12:04hey and is Satan wrong when he accuses us not even close he’s absolutely right
12:11he knows the law very well he’s the worst attorney in all attorney and all of eternity and this is the other reason
12:17why attorneys are evil but that being said the Lord said to Satan Yahweh rebuke you
12:25o Satan is this God sitting there going yeah I know he’s guilty big whoop right
12:30the Lord then the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem May he rebuke you and then he
12:36says of Joshua is this not a brand plucked from the fire
12:42that’s each and every one of us because because of our sin and our rebellion and participation in the Dominion of
12:48Darkness we are all heading to hell but God has had mercy on us and he describes
12:55Those whom he saves as Brands plucked from the fire now Joshua it says was
13:01standing before the angel clothed with filthy garments I’ve done this myself
13:06and the angel said to those who were standing before him remove the filthy
13:11garments from him and to him he said behold I have taken your iniquity away from you and I will clothe you with pure
13:18vestments and I said let them put a clean turban on his head they put a clean permit on his head and clothed him
13:25with garments and the angel of the Lord was there standing by it’s a beautiful picture of our salvation and in our
13:31first reading today here we see this multitude of people from every tribe
13:36nation and language that you cannot count that you cannot number all clothes
13:42clothed in white robes how many brands have has Christ himself plucked from the
13:49fires of hell you can’t even number them it’s that big of a number of people
13:54and you can see then all the Angels then were standing around the throne having heard this exaltation that salvation
14:01Belongs To Our God and the angels then were standing around the throne the elders and the four living creatures on
14:07hearing this they fell on their faces before the throne and they worshiped God
14:13and they worshiped god with their lips and in their Proclamation affirming what that salvation belongs to our god they
14:20said amen blessing Glory wisdom Thanksgiving honor power and might be to
14:27our god forever and ever ah men
14:32um now that’s worship then one of the elders addressed me the
14:39Apostle John saying who are these who are clothed in white robes where have they come I love this answer because
14:46John doesn’t know and this is kind of a standard operating procedure when you read the prophet Zechariah or some of
14:51the other Minor Prophets God will show them a vision what do you see here Zechariah I have no idea Lord what is it
14:57you know that’s kind of the answer so he sees this great multitude he’s asked who are they he says sir uh you know right
15:06you know so he said to me these are the ones coming out of the Great Tribulation that’s you and I
15:12they’ve washed their robes made them white in the blood of the Lamb ah yes a
15:18baptismal reference if you would I always like to think that when we baptize right the Unseen element is the
15:24blood of Christ it’s the active ingredient the detergent if you would you bring a sinful person to the Waters
15:30of baptism and it’s the blood of Christ that cleanses them that makes them holy
15:35that makes them pure and spotless and Jesus doesn’t leave you naked in your
15:40sin he clothed you with his own righteousness beautiful picture
15:45therefore these are the ones Before the Throne of God they serve him day and night in his Temple and he who sits on
15:52the throne will shelter them with his presence they shall hunger no more neither shall they thirst anymore the
15:58sun shall not strike them nor any scorching heat I always think this is good news because my wife would affirm
16:03this I don’t like putting on sunscreen it is always like a chore for me and I don’t like other people applying it to
16:10me either it’s it’s embarrassing right so when we used to live in Southern California we would go to the beach
16:15often I would self-apply sunscreen with varying results is the best way I could
16:23put it because there’s like a section in my back that I can’t could never really quite get to and there were times when
16:28that section burned but it was always some piece of abstract art you know written in Lobster red you know and my
16:36wife would say why didn’t you just let me put sunscreen on you because
16:41just because it’s one of my things okay it’s that’s how this works so in the new Earth no the sun shall not strike them
16:49anymore amen no sunscreen the lamb in the midst of the throne will be there of
16:54Shepherd and he will guide them to Springs of Living Water and God himself will wipe away every tear from their
17:01eyes ah this is where those who’ve gone before
17:07us who’ve died in the faith this is where they are now and the joys that they experience are
17:13unspeakable and these Joys are yours they are yours because Christ has given
17:19them to you as a gift you do not need to earn this don’t even try his salvation
17:24Belongs To Our God and he is the one who has given it to you now we cannot talk about All Saints without also
17:31recognizing that all means all it doesn’t mean some I know the Calvinists they do this weird thing right you know
17:37you it says that and how does it go all have sin and fall short of the glory of
17:42God and all are saved this is how they talk but then you take them to a text like for God so loved the world that
17:48whosoever believes in him shall have eternal life he says whosoever that’s like everybody no no no no no that’s to
17:54some people it’s not whosoever it’s just some well it says all who believe they’re saved no no no no only some
18:02okay now it’s true that people end up in hell but the thing is is that when scripture talks about Christ bleeding
18:09and dying for the sins of the entire world that means he died for everybody and God is the one who gives us this
18:16gift so if you are here today because you want to hear the word of God because you’ve humbled yourself and by being
18:23here you recognize you need God note this then that Christ is here for you to
18:28forgive you of all of your sins and we who have been United with Christ and his death and his resurrection we are
18:34presently Saints now hence our second reading see what kind of love the father that he’s given to us that we should be
18:42called the children of God and I cannot read these words without thinking that John wrote them under the
18:49inspiration of the Holy Spirit as if there’s some kind of really neat gospel
18:54irony in it you know see what kind of love the father that he’s given to us that we we
19:00look at look around that we should be called the children of God I look at the folks here at Kong’s finger today and
19:06well it’s a Motley Crew it’s a Motley Crew I you know I I’ve hung out with you
19:12guys I know I can assure you I can swear on the Bible you’re all Sinners you know
19:18can you believe this that God has so loved us
19:23us that we should be called the children of God but that’s kind of the point and
19:28so John says and so we are you see the reason why the world doesn’t know us and
19:35they really don’t is that they don’t know God see beloved we are God’s children now you do not have to Aspire
19:44to become a child of God if you trust in Christ you are his child now and what we
19:50will be which hasn’t really shown up yet you get a foretaste of it in the resurrection of Christ but what we will
19:56be um has not yet appeared but we know that when Jesus appears we’ll be just like
20:02him we will see him as he is for everyone who thus hopes in him purifies
20:08himself as he is pure so a good way to think of it then is is
20:13that all saints Saints before us who’ve gone into heaven Saints who are here present now we all commune together we
20:22believe in the communion of the Saints I remember back when I was being confirmed as a Lutheran you know I was raised in
20:29Nazarene and that the church that we were confirmed in was one of these Urban Cathedrals with a high A-frame ceiling
20:35right and gloriously huge sanctuary and our pastor took us out into the
20:41sanctuary when we were talking about the communion of the Saints and he says I think of the communion of the Saints
20:46this way and he pointed up to like some huge rafter way way up you know in the A-frame he says that when we gather for
20:53the Divine service that’s where the angels are sitting right those who’ve gone before us this is where they are
21:00because we all worship together with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of Heaven We law to magnify your
21:06glorious name our liturgy says so that being the case you’ll note we
21:12all are united in one body and everyone who is in Christ has not perished they
21:18are alive as alive gets even though physically they’re not with us
21:24and Our Fate is the same as their fate the Glorious victory of when we will all
21:30be raised from the dead and so you Saints today hearing these texts note
21:38that you who are in Christ you are blessed you have a great Eternal hope
21:44and the reason for this is simple is because Jesus himself has humbled
21:49himself perfectly for you and he himself bore your sin your iniquity your filth
21:56and he bled and died in your place in order to give to you eternal life and he
22:04makes you his Saints you do not have to strive for this he has reconciled you to God he has paid your debt in full and
22:11redeemed you and set you free and it is his good pleasure to give you the
22:16kingdom of God all as a gift because of what he has done he is the great Victor
22:22who’s conquered for us and so is it any Wonder then that Jesus’s inaugural sermon which is Our
22:29Gospel text his inaugural sermon The Sermon on the Mount does not does not begin with condemnations it doesn’t
22:37begin with I cannot believe that I had to come all the way down here from heaven in order to teach you guys a
22:43lesson so that you can finally get your act together and so that you can finally do what you need to do in order so that
22:48you can finally become children of God all right let me show you how it’s done this is not what Jesus did and
22:55thankfully that’s the case because you know that sounds more like my mother scolding me because I haven’t cleaned my
23:00room yet again which I was never really good at in the first place okay this is why I got a wife okay
23:08joke it’s a joke long live the patriarchy all right
23:17I knew that one but all of that being said what Jesus
23:24does say to all who believe in him he says these words blessed are the poor in
23:29spirit theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven blessed are those who mourn for they
23:34shall be comforted blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
23:40righteousness for they shall be satisfied back in the day when when I was attending a very legalistic Church
23:47these these words of Christ blessed are the poor in spirit blessed are those who
23:53mourn they were always preached as if they were to do a to-do list do these
23:58things then you will be blessed if you follow the program if you do the thing
24:05if you don’t dance drink smoke or chew if you give 10 of the gross income that you earn yeah every single this is by
24:12the way you’re not required to do that you you give then you will be blessed right but that’s not what Christ is
24:18saying he is saying that you are blessed now and he says what the blessing will
24:25be for you in the future let me explain blessed are the poor in spirit have you
24:31ever sat down and tried to cogitate What on earth does that even mean what is somebody who is poor in spirit and how
24:39is it that they are so blessed ah well this is the person who recognizes that
24:45they don’t have anything to offer God for their salvation they’ve given up
24:51they basically said listen if I have to be this good in order to get to heaven
24:56I’m so far down in the basement I can’t even reach up to here I got nothing
25:02that’s the person who speaks honestly about themselves the person who speaks dishonestly about themselves they see
25:09the standard which by the way is perfect Christ says be perfect as I am perfect as your heavenly father is perfect and
25:16that person says all right cool hold my beer I think I can do this it ain’t gonna work
25:22instead the person who sees the standard looks at their own lives and says I’m in deep trouble here I’ve got nothing
25:31that’s the one who recognizes that he is spiritually bankrupt poor beyond all
25:38reason that’s the person who is blessed because he comes to Christ empty-handed
25:43and he says I have really really messed this whole thing up
25:48the life that you have given me is one that I have squandered on myself
25:54in my own sinful indulgences in my own sinful passions in my own selfishness I
26:00haven’t loved God nor have I given him thought I haven’t even come close to loving my neighbor as myself and as a
26:07result of it Lord I’ve got nothing please have mercy on me
26:13that’s the one who’s spiritually poor and you’ll note Christ declares that one to be blessed
26:21blessed are those who mourn now we all mourn we recently mourned the passing of Isla
26:27Lind and the morning that Christ is talking about here is not that kind of mourning although it’s it’s closely akin
26:36to it it’s the morning very similar to what I just described for those who are poor in spirit it is a person who
26:42laments their own sinfulness they lament the fact that they have been a complete screw-up despite the fact putting on
26:49pretenses that they’ve got their act together right this is the person who says Lord
26:54please I have really really fallen so short I lament my sin and I’m sorry this
27:02is the one the the tax collector in the temple who couldn’t even look up to heaven who beat his breasts and said
27:08Lord have mercy on me I’m a sinner this is the one who that’s the morning here that Christ is referring to that shall
27:14be comforted and you’ll note this is a list of all the things that the Saints
27:20are and do everybody who’s a True Believer in Christ we know all of this very well
27:27blessed are the meek ah Christ was perfectly meek for us by humbling himself and being found in the form of
27:33of a man of a child of men right Christ himself became a servant and a slave for
27:39us all and he’s the one who calls us to meekly humbly confess our sins and when
27:46we do we hear these blessed Words of Christ that we will inherit the king the Earth itself blessed are those who
27:53hunger and thirst for righteousness they shall be satisfied blessed are the merciful those who have been forgiven
28:00and because they are forgiven they forgive they shall receive mercy and blessed are the pure in heart for they
28:06shall see God I remember coming out of legalism reading this
28:11again and saying well blessed are the pure in heart that can’t possibly be applying to me that’s the one that stood
28:18out because I know what comes out of my heart have you in fact you don’t really want to go in there it’s dark and
28:24there’s spiders it’s really gross and it smells bad too but all of that being said you’re going to note this the
28:31scriptures describe those who are dead in trespasses and sins of as those who
28:37have well they have a Heart of Stone but everyone who is truly in Christ Christ has removed their Heart of Stone the
28:44scripture says and has given them a heart of Flesh and all of this out of his great mercy
28:51and you’ll note then that who you are in Christ the new person that Christ has
28:56made you you are truly pure in heart hungering and thirsting for righteousness too do I hunger and thirst
29:03for it enough I would note I think that hunger may be filled today when we have the Lord’s supper right
29:09because there again we are assured of the Forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness of Christ that has given
29:15us by grace through faith and then blessed are the peacemakers these are the ones who having been
29:22forgiven by Christ go and tell their friends and neighbors Jesus has bled and died for you as well come be reconciled
29:30to God be forgiven for Christ’s sake you see this is the ministry of reconciliation that Paul writes about in
29:36second Corinthians 5 those peacemakers and we’re all those by by the way we are
29:42called now the sons of God and when you talk about Jesus when you
29:48tell the truth you can’t earn your salvation it’s all a gift it’s by grace through faith and that salvation isn’t
29:54found in no one else other than in Jesus Christ the world will accuse you of all
29:59kinds of evil they will call you arrogant they will slander you they will say all kinds of wickedness against you don’t believe me just start teaching
30:07some of the exclusive claims of Jesus on certain social media platforms and see what happens right it’s always
30:14interesting when I when I have a friend of mine who’s in the ministry who has contacted me and says well I’m in
30:21Facebook jail again what’d you do this time I posted a link to my sermon oh
30:29all right talk to Matt Richard out in Minot okay he’s been in Facebook jail a few times but thankfully Facebook that
30:36you know when you get put in Facebook jail it’s not for life you know it used to be on Twitter if you didn’t go in
30:41Twitter jails for life to ban you for life you know but Facebook jail they meet it out you know sent one sentence
30:47at a time one sentence at a time so he was he was only in Facebook jail for 30 days but that was his fourth or fifth
30:54time and all he did was post a link to his sermon keep that in mind it’s kind of a
31:00fascinating thing so what does Jesus say about those blessed are you those who
31:06are persecuted for righteousness sake theirs is the kingdom of heaven and blessed are you when others revile you
31:12and persecution persecution utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account Rejoice be glad for your reward
31:19is great in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you so brothers and sisters
31:25All Saints all means all you are in Christ you are forgiven your future is
31:33wonderful the Outlook is perfect the Outlook is face to face with God
31:39rejoicing and worshiping God in his presence with those who have gone before us and the new Earth the raising of our
31:46bodies all of this given us as a gift because of the great love and mercy of
31:52Christ all means all so what do we do today well I remind you that those of us
31:58who are still breathing we’re still at War we’re still in the fight
32:04and at the moment we must continue to wage the good fight of faith
32:10to preach the word tell people of the good forgiveness of Christ that there is in Jesus and to be persecuted if
32:18necessary and die if needed and that will eventually all give way you will
32:24either die and join the Saints who’ve gone before us or Christ will return someday but the white the Warfare
32:31continues and let us pray then that Christ gives us the strength to carry on
32:37to keep this Faith this wonderful gift that he has given us so that when we do
32:42expire and pass away that we can be buried with the full military honors that go for those who die in faith in
32:49Christ in the name of Jesus Amen
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