On October 1 at the Sunday service the church “Philadelphia”, Izhevsk congratulated Natalia Gorbunova on her birthday. Ms. Gorbunova is a member of the Church Council and a deaconess of the church.

Deputy Head Bishop of the RCCEF in Volga region Vasily Evchick spoke a sermon, but before that he congratulated all the elderly members of the church on their holiday and reminded them the words of the Lord: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isiah 46:4).

Bishop supposed to think of the Scripture verses where the Lord calls the believers to purify themselves “from everything that contaminates body and spirit” (2 Corinthians 7:1). The Lord Himself specifies what exactly we must purify ourselves from (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). At the first sight, it seems odd that slander is in the same list with drinking and adultery, but the examples from the Bible will help us understand God’s attitude to the slanderers. Led out from Egypt by God and being in the desert, the Hebrews slandered Moses and God having forgotten the miracles God had done. God paid attention on that and sent venomous snakes among them (Numbers 21:5-7). Similar story happened to Miriam and Aaron who reproached Moses, and the Lord was not slow to punish Miriam by leprosy (Numbers 12:1-15). In both situations God responded not with an immediate help, but with an order that would guarantee people’s survival. These stories are didactic to us: when we ask our pastor for prayer, the Lord may not answer with the healing or quick solving of the problem, because He wants us to fulfill our part in obedience and purify ourselves “from everything that contaminates body and spirit”.

Carelessly spoken words about a person or God may seem insignificant but they show the state of our hearts. So happened to the 12 men who were sent to explore the land of Canaan.

Scared of the people of a great size, most of the explorers started to spread rumors and the Israelites started to doubt God’s promise and to grumble (Numbers 14:1-3). The result of that story is that the grumbled generation of the Hebrews didn’t come into the Promised Land, only their children did. As the explorers must have strengthened other people’s faith, so should we, founding our beliefs on God’s promises and not our fears.

Senior pastor Pavel Zhelnovakov reminded the believers that 2017 is going to an end, and it was named “The Year of Evangelism” in the RCCEF. Is there a pain for those who haven’t accepted Christ as their Lord yet? The pastor advised the church to think about it, and if we’re indifferent to the people around us, then we must change something in our Christianity.

Alisa Zorkina



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