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120 Years of Sunday Services | Classics Series

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[2 MIN READ]

The following blog is the newest installment in our Classics Serieswhere we revisit posts from days gone by. This blog was originally posted in June of 2013.


 
How many services have we had in 120 years of existence?

6-2-4-0

On Wednesday, June 5th [2013], our church will mark 120 years since her first public worship (1893) as Gross Park Congregational Church. That means, barring snow or other acts of providence, the lineage of this assembly has gathered 6, 240 Sundays. It all started with the vision and initiative of a man, William H. Hopkins, to reach this “outlying” community of Chicago that had only 3,000 residents at the time and not one church or Sunday School. Four women and 5 other men embraced Hopkins’ vision for the community.

Now, two church names and 120 years later, the community has evolved a couple of times and between the neighborhoods of Roscoe Village and North Center—our church is right smack in the center of the 2 neighborhoods—there are over 40,000 people surrounding our church. Numbers can be important especially if they represent souls who have not yet heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. The book of Jonah ends with God’s statement about the residents of Ninevah, that city the prophet Jonah went to: “And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:11). While I’m grateful for the number of Sunday services our church has enjoyed over her storied past, that number of precious souls means a whole lot more for our church. May the Lord Jesus see fit to rekindle Addison Street Community Church to embrace and reach our parish like never before.

4-0-0-0-0.

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On Truth and Freedom | Classics Series

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[2 MIN READ]

The following blog is the newest installment in our Classics Serieswhere we revisit posts from days gone by. This blog was originally posted in June of 2013.


 

What discovery have you made in your life that was absolutely liberating? For the  founding forefathers of our nation, it was democracy and our “inalienable rights.” Sometimes, we discover things that (though not as large) make our lives just a little bit easier from day to day. The words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John have been borrowed generously for centuries to empower us on our quest for that life-changing key. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Those words were spoken in the heat of an argument. The Jews had a hard time accepting Jesus’ authority as genuine and therefore couldn’t swallow his words. Jesus came bringing a message that would liberate people from their worst problem. The problem, however, was that they didn’t know what it was. They thought their problem was Roman rule, but really it was their sin. More important than national liberty was spiritual freedom. Jesus’ wrangling with the Jews that day still rings true today. Here are two takeaways from that debate:

  1. You can’t experience spiritual freedom until you realize that you are spiritually enslaved (John 8:34-36).
  2. Your response to Jesus’ word (that is, truth) will betray your spiritual parentage (John 8:39-47).

Your relationship to Jesus Christ is the most important question of eternal freedom.  How you respond to his sovereignty and his truth will determine your eternal destiny. I challenge us all to read John 8 and become familiar with the truth claims of this One that we adore today and every day. For in his words alone will we know true freedom.

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