Comfort is not the Goal – POHFW

Preparing our Hearts to Worship

Comfort is not the Goal


In an effort to help you prepare for the April 9th, 2017, Sunday morning corporate worship gathering and to aid you in your own reflections on the question, “Is it worth risking everything for God?”, I wanted to pose a few questions and provide a few resources to prayerfully consider over the coming days. Our sermon is entitled, “Comfort is not the Goal”. The main Scripture for the day is Romans 8:18. The other passages are either referenced in the message or provide additional insight for reflection.


(Pick and choose from the many resources and options, which I have tried to make available for your devotional life.)


From the Scriptures

Read and prayerfully reflect upon some or all of these Scriptures. Ask God to shape your life and your church’s life to match the heart of God:

Read or listen to Romans 8:16-18, John 16:33, 15:20, 2Corinthians 11:23-28.

(You can read or listen to all of these passages in a variety of translations at


From the Creeds and Confessions

Heidelberg Catechism Q52, 57, 58

  1. What comfort is it to thee that Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead?  That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head, I look for the self-same One who has before offered himself for me to judgment of God, and removed from me all curse, to come again as Judge from heaven (Luke 21:28; Rom 8:23-24; Phil 3:20-21; Tit 2:13); who shall cast all his and my enemies into everlasting condemnation (2 Thess 1:8-9; Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10†), but shall take me, with all his chosen ones, to himself, into heavenly joy and glory (Matt 25:34; 1 Thess 4:16-17; [2 Thess 1:7]; Rev 21:1-7†).
  1. What comfort does the resurrection of the body afford thee?  That not only my soul, after this life, shall be immediately taken up to Christ its Head (Luke 16:22†; 23:43; Phil 1:21-23; 2 Cor 5:8†), but also that this my body, raised by the power of Christ, shall again be united with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ (1 Cor 15:52-54; Job 19:25-27; 1 John 3:2; Phil 3:21; John 5:28-29†).
  1. What comfort hast thou from the article of the life everlasting?  That, inasmuch as I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy (2 Cor 5:1-4; Rom 8:23†; 14:17†; 1 Pet 1:8†; Ps 16:11†), I shall after this life possess complete bliss, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man (1 Cor 2:9 [quoting Isa 64:4]), therein to praise God forever (John 17:3; 17:24†; 1 Cor 13:12†; Rev 4:9-11†; 5:9–14†; 7:15†).

† This symbol indicates references added in later editions of a confession or catechism

‡ This symbol indicates references added by editors of the RSB project

Belgic Confession Article 37

Article 37: Of the Last Judgment

Finally, we believe, according to the Word of God, when the time appointed by the Lord (which is unknown to all creatures) is come (Matt 24:36; 25:13; 1 Thess 5:1-2; Rev 6:11; Acts 1:7; 2 Pet 3:10), and the number of the elect is complete (Heb 11:39-40†), that our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, corporally and visibly (Rev 1:7†), as he ascended (Acts 1:11) with great glory and majesty, to declare himself Judge of the quick and the dead (2 Thess 1:7-8; Acts 17:31; Matt 24:30; 25:31; Jude 15; 1 Pet 4:5; 2 Tim 4:1), burning this old world with fire and flame to cleanse it (2 Pet 3:7, 10; 2 Thess 1:8). And then all men will personally appear before this great Judge, both men and women and children, that have been from the beginning of the world until the end thereof (Deut 7:9-11†; Rev 20:12-13; Acts 17:31; Heb 6:2; 9:27; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10), being summoned by the voice of the archangel, and by the sound of the trumpet of God (1 Cor 15:52; Rev 20:12-13; 1 Thess 4:16). For all the dead shall be raised out of the earth, and their souls joined and united with their proper bodies in which they formerly lived (John 5:28-29; 6:54; Dan 12:2; Job 19:26-27). As for those who shall then be living, they shall not die as the others, but be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and form corruptible become incorruptible (1 Cor 15:51-53; Phil 3:20-21†).

Then the books (that is to say, the consciences) will be opened, and the dead judged according to what they shall have done in this world, whether it be good or evil (Rev 20:12-13; 1 Cor 4:5; Rom 14:11-12; Job 34:11; John 5:24; Dan 12:2; Ps 62:12; Matt 11:22; 23:33; John 5:29; Rom 2:5-6; 2 Cor 5:10; Heb 6:2; 9:27; Rev 22:12†). Nay, all men shall give an account of every idle word they have spoken, which the world only counts amusement and jest (Rom 2:5; Jude 15; Matt 12:36); and then the secrets and hypocrisy [French: hypocrisies] of men shall be disclosed and laid open before all (1 Cor 4:5; Rom 2:1-2, 16; Matt 7:1-2).

And, therefore, the consideration of this judgment is justly terrible and dreadful to the wicked and ungodly [French: iniques et mÉchants] (Rev 6:15-16; Heb 10:27; Matt 11:22†; 23:33†; Rom 2:5-6†; 2 Pet 2:9†; Jude 15†; Rev 14:7a†), but most desirable and comfortable to the righteous and elect; because then their full deliverance shall be perfected, and there they will receive the fruits of their labor and trouble which they have borne (Luke 21:28; 1 John 3:2; 4:17; Rev 14:7; 2 Thess 1:5, 7; Luke 14:14). Their innocence shall be known to all, and they shall see the terrible vengeance which God shall execute on the wicked [French: des mÉchants] (Dan 7:26), who most cruelly persecuted [or tyrannized], oppressed, and tormented them in this world (Matt 25:46; 2 Thess 1:6-8; Mal 4:3; Rev 15:4†;18:20†); and who shall be convicted by the testimony of their own consciences (Rom 2:15), and, being immortal, shall be tormented in that everlasting fire (Matt 13:41-42†; Mark 9:48†; Luke 16:22-28†; Rev 21:8; 2 Pet 2:9) which is prepared for the devil and his angels (Mal 4:1; Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10†).

But on the contrary, the faithful and elect shall be crowned with glory and honor (Matt 25:34; 13:43); and the Son of God will confess their names before God his Father, and his [holy and] elect angels (Matt 10:32; Rev 3:5†); all tears shall be wiped from their eyes (Isa 25:8; Rev 7:17†; 21:4); and their cause, which is now condemned by many judges and magistrates as heretical and impious [French: mÉchants], will then be known to be the cause of the Son of God (Isa 66:5). And, for a gracious reward, the Lord will cause them possess such a glory as never entered into the heart of man to conceive (Isa 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9; Dan 12:3†; Matt 5:12†; 13:43†; Rev 21:9-22:5†).

Therefore we expect that great day with a most ardent desire, to the end that we may fully enjoy the promises of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Heb 10:36-38).

Even, so come Lord Jesus (Rev 22:20).


† This symbol indicates references added in later editions of a confession or catechism

‡ This symbol indicates references added by editors of the RSB project


From the songs, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church

Turn your eyes upon Jesus: Lyrics, Video

You hold me now (Hillsong): Lyrics, Video

And let this feeble body fail: Lyrics

When we see Christ: Lyrics, Video


For Thoughtful Reflection, Prayer, or further Study

What comforts in this life seem to keep you from risking for God?

What comforts are you willing to give up in order to see others come to Christ?

What steps can you take to give up this comfort and begin risking more for Christ?

Read and Reflect, or listen to, Frank Powell’s article, 7 Signs you love comfort more than Jesus

Read and Reflect on Rick Warren’s short article, God’s Goal is your Character, not your comfort


The Sermon will be available online on April 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm.





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