Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 1 January, 2017
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
The Life of Jacob (25)
Judah and Tamar
Scripture Reading: Genesis 38
Text: Genesis 38
I. The Sordid Story
II. The Parental Pain
III. The Wider Picture
Psalms: 97:6-11; 23:1-6; 108:1-8; 78:67-72
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Thought of God Our Creator
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:12-31
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9
I. His Perfections in Creation
II. These Perfections in Our Lives
Psalms: 8:1-9; 24:1-5; 144:3-10; 90:1-7
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
The December Covenant Reformed News is on the back table.
Copies of the Bible-reading programme for 2017 are also
Pray one for another: Pray for those in the congregation who
struggle with various illnesses and/or the infirmaties of
old age. Remember especially Mrs. Callender and Eunice
Murray who have been unable to worship with us. Pray too for
Timothy as he flies back to Cardiff for university tomorrow.
Monday evening’s Catechism Classes resume 9 January.
The Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to study further the
Old Testament holy war.
Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to
continue with Article 30, “The Government of and Offices in
Ladies’ Bible Study meets this Friday, at 10:30 AM at church
to study “The Home” in the Proverbs study guide. All are
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “Alpha and Omega”
S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will speak on “Christian
Contentment” Thursday, January 12, in The Round Chapel,
Margam, at 7:15 PM.
The church visitors, Rev. VanOverloop and Sid Miedema, and
their wives, plan to arrive on Friday, 13 January.
The Tuesday morning Bible study on 17 January will be led by
Rev. VanOverloop on “Paul’s Prayers for the Ephesians.”
Rev. VanOverloop will give a lecture in the CPRC on
Wednesday, 18 January, at 7:30 PM on “Content With Who I Am
in Christ.” Flyers are on the back table.
Keep Friday, 20 January, free for the congregational dinner
at Ross Park Hotel. A sign-up sheet is on the back table.
Offerings: General Fund: £668.20. Gift Aid Reclaim (April,
2015-April, 2016): £7,216.
New translations: 1 Spanish and 1 Portuguese.
PRC News: Byron Center PRC has formed a trio of Revs. Haak,
Huizinga and VanOverloop from which they plan to call a home
Dear congregation, How good and appropriate it is to begin
the new year worshipping with all of you in God’s house! As
we reflect on the past year, we say with Paul, “For what
thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy
wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God” (I Thess.
3:9). We pray that the Lord will continue to bless us in the
year ahead as we serve Him and grow together in the grace
and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rev. & Mary Stewart
Fear for the Future
Rev. John Heys
(Standard Bearer, vol. 46, issue 7)
Fear is here!
And though we wanted it otherwise, we brought it with us
into the new year.
Putting up a new calendar, calling the month by a different
name and the year by another number does not take away the
fears we had in the year that is gone by with startling
In fact, the very fact that we have to call the year by a
larger number simply means that we are a year closer to the
day of our death. And the thought of that death is what
gives us fear and many an anxious moment. Did not the author
of the epistle to the Hebrews write that Christ will
“deliver them who through fear of death were all their
lifetime subject to bondage?”
We have not in the year gone by slowed down this process
which brings us to the grave and to a confrontation with the
God whose we are and whom we have not served with that
diligence which is required ...
... there are those inroads into the church-world and those
vicious and subtle attacks upon the faith and spiritual
lives of our children. With all the amazing media of
communication and instruction today the approach is so
subtle and appealing to our youth. Shall we not have fear
for the future for them? They are exposed to so much more
than we were when we were their ages. The pleasures and
treasures of the world are so much closer to them and more
easily available with automobiles, radio and television.
They make more money so quickly as to be in a position to
seek all these. Family life is disrupted so soon and in so
many ways because of the complexity of our life.
And then there is also the whole church picture to strike
fear into the heart of the serious, concerned child of God.
Mergers continue to be realized. The enemy of the child of
God, who would remain distinct with the distinct truth of
God’s Word, grows bigger and bigger, more powerful and still
more powerful. And the heretics become bolder and bolder.
The church begins to look and to sound more and more like
the world. It is NOT a case of the world looking more like
the church. The world is not trying to join the church; but
it is in the church that wants to look like the world that
it is declared that God is dead. Once again it is the case
of the “sons of God” seeing “the daughters of men that are
fair” and that these sons of God “took them wives of all
which they chose.” There is not anything in Christianity
that the world wants; but there is so much in the world that
many in the church want.
Fear for the future there is.
And fear for the future there must be. Only, let it be then
the fear of the Lord. We cannot avoid seeing all the dangers
in the world today. We are not blind to the trend all around
us in the world today. We, because we believe the Word of
God, can “see the day approaching;” and we know that because
man has set himself on a course of opposition to the living
God, he is on a collision course with the Almighty; and
dread disaster is just ahead for him. But then, seeing all
this with the natural eye and by the natural intellect, let
us by all means look also with the eye of faith.
Let the fear of God be the fear which we have for the
future. Then the mists will all roll away. Then we will see
victory and a blessed future. Let our fear for the future be
the fear that looks back to Calvary, to the open and empty
tomb, and to Christ seated at the right hand of God in
heaven. Let the eye of faith be fixed on Christ, and our
fear will not be one of terror and fright but of reverence
and awe, of amazement and respect before the God of our
salvation. We take all of our problems and cares into the
new year; but let us by all means take Christ along with us
into that year and into all the days of our life here below.
Let us walk in the new year in faith, even as we walked
throughout the old in that fear of the Lord, which is faith
and trust in Him as the God of our salvation.
The fear of the Lord or, if you will, faith in the God of
our salvation, is not going to change circumstances around
about us. If all men in the world would suddenly receive the
gift of faith from God, there would be a new society, a new
outlook, a new world-and-life view, a new approach to the
old problems, and a new dedication and consecration. And in
the new Jerusalem we will not have the problems that we now
have. There surely will be no fear of the criminal, nor fear
for want of food and drink. Fear of war will be no more. And
unemployment will be a forgotten word. No longer will we
fear that the minds and hearts of our children will be
corrupted. We shall have one gloriously large church, for
the prayer of Christ that “they all may be one” will be
fulfilled by God in the return of Christ and the destruction
of all sinful flesh. But in this life, there will be no such
universal and total conversion. And instead we are to expect
that the church remains a little flock in the midst of a
multitude that will continue their evil course and be a
threat to the lives of the children of God.
Besides, even in the life of the individual child of God
there is no sudden removal of all his problems when he is
converted. The converted drunkard, who has wasted his life
and has a body full of aches and pains and permanent damage
to his liver, heart, arteries and entire digestive system is
not going to be healed by his conversion and new walk of
life. And God is not going to lift the curse off the face of
this earth because we now believe in Him. That curse will
remain till the day of Christ.
But faith will give us a different goal in life so that what
now is such a dreadful loss and calamity to us does not
disturb us and fill us with such fear and terror as it did
in times gone by, never to return. And death does not seem
such a terrible woe to the believer, because he sees it as
his servant instead of his enemy. He sees it, not as the
doorway to hell and its torments, but as the gateway to
heaven and its glory. For by faith he sees victory over
death and the grave in Christ. And he fears God rather than
death which God controls so perfectly.
And faith keeps him steadfast and unmovable in the mist of
all the sorrows and disappointments that the flesh
experiences in this life. Faith, and its handmaid of hope,
keeps the child of God anchored in Christ in the midst of
all the storms, so that he is not driven upon the rocks of
despair and ruin. Faith makes him sing: “Jehovah is my
light,/ And my salvation near;/ Who shall my soul affright,/
Or cause my heart to fear?/ While God my strength, my life
sustains/ Secure from fear my soul remains.”
Indeed, have fear for the future. But let it be the fear of
the Lord which brings a peace that passeth all understanding
and assures that all is well, even though for the flesh
things go bad. For faith sees that all things without any
exception work together for good to those that fear God. For
the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
upon those that fear Him (Ps. 103:17). And if that mercy is
ALWAYS upon us and was upon us from everlasting and will be
everlastingly, what can or will harm us? Have fear for the
future, is my counsel to you. Have the fear of faith that
sees a glorious future in the day of Christ.
We are a year closer.
May that fear of the Lord also be here and abide in us till
that day arrives.