Intro: Here we go again in the book of Acts. Today we are going to learn how to answer peoples questions. When we
LET ME EXPLAIN THIS ACTS 11
Intro: Here we go again in the book of Acts. Today we are going to learn how to answer peoples questions. When we are put on the spot we need to answer quickly and effectively and through Peter we will learn how to do that today.
Scripture: Acts chapter 11
Last week I talked about I talked about Cornelius the roman centurion and how he was actively searching for God. He was a gentile and through a vision from God he was told to have Peter come to his house and explain something to him. Peter also had a vision the vision about the sheet and all the unclean animals that could now be eaten. Peter argued with God and God said the same thing he did today in our scripture, “Do not call anything unclean that God has called clean.” Peter argued with God at first, but then he did as God commanded. He went and entered and ate in a gentile’s house. By following God’s commands he upset the church and he was required to give an explanation for what he did. And that is what brings us to today’s scripture.
Today’s scripture is about Peter who follows the will of God and is criticized for doing it. Peter comes back to Jerusalem and he should be walking into fellow believers throwing a party over the news of gentiles accepting the good news about Jesus Christ. Yet instead he walks into a hornet’s nest. The fellow believers and his fellow apostles, the very people that sat around with Jesus as he helped the roman man and asked that Jesus heal his servant, and when Jesus helped the Samaritan woman, are not blown away that Peter a follower of Christ would dare to enter and eat with a Gentile. They unload on Peter and demand to know why he entered and ate with a gentile especially a roman officer. Peter could have easily responded the way I would have been quick to do and got angry in return. Instead Peter plainly and effectively explains himself to the fellow believers.
Peter goes through his story again he says he I was in a trance and I saw all the animals both kosher animals and non-kosher animals, the God said kill and eat. At first I argued with God and said no, I know your laws and I never have or never will eat these unclean things. God then says do not tell me what I have made clean do not call unclean. Three times God showed me this vision. While I am having this vision 3 men come for me and tell me I need to go see a gentile and eat with him. I took 6 of the fellow believers with me as witnesses. While I was with Cornelius he told me of his vision from God, for me to come to him. God told him that I would bring a message and all of his household would be saved. As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came upon them just like it came upon us in the beginning.
That is when I remember what John the Baptist said when he said I baptize with water, but you will baptize with the Holy Spirit. So if God gave them the same gift that as he gave us, who was I to think that I could oppose God? When they heard his argument they could not object his logic and they all agreed and praised God. They agreed that life could be granted to the gentiles.
Ok that’s the story, I didn’t need to recap if, since I just read it to you, so why did I? I wanted to point out exactly how Peter effectively communicates and explains his answer to his accusers in such as way that they could not argue his point and by logic were forced to agree with Peter. We need to learn how to communicate in this way. This scripture teaches us how to effectively relay our point and put the accuser in a situation where logic directs them to acceptance of our point.
Peter starts out with the point that I thought like you did. I know that we should not eat these foods. God it is your law that says we cannot have them. Peter is putting himself in their position and saying I know where you are coming from. I get your frustration in thinking that I should not have done what did. Now that Peter is on the same level as his accusers, he switches to the facts. He brings up the fact that he had this vision 3 times; the number 3 has meaning, then he says at that very same time 3 gentile men ask me to come with them. He moves from a vision from God to men pointing out the correlation between the two. 3 gentile men, and 3 visions of acceptance of unclean things. Peter then says I brought along 6 witnesses so that it was not my word against yours. Maybe this also was for protection who knows. They had 3 men and Peter wanted some more reassurance, but anyway he tells his fellow believers I brought along extra men to observe my actions.
So far Peter has brought up the Old Testament and the Mossaic laws about unclean food and unclean people, now he switches gears. This is where he hits them with the left hook. Peter brings up John the Baptist words about Jesus. Peter says John said I baptize with water, but you will baptize with the Holy Spirit. He is making a direct reference to Jesus Christ. The men he is arguing with would all have been there when Jesus was baptized and would have remembered when these words were spoken. Then Peter says, remember how the Holy Spirit was poured out on us? Yeah remember that, we all agreed that that was from God through Jesus Christ right? To that they all would have agreed because it happened to them, then Peter keeps going you know when it happened it you that it was real and true, well guess what it happened to the gentiles too! They received the Holy Spirit too. If God gave us the Holy Spirit and eternal life was given to us, and I have just proven that the Holy Spirit was given to the gentiles who are we to say that God has not accepted the gentiles too? What God has made clean, we had better not say is unclean.
People have questions for us, and we need to effectively answer them.
No God, No Peace
Know God, Know Peace
Intro: Many people when they start reading the genealogies start skimming and skipping over these areas. But today we are going to look at the two families and two very different lifestyles. We will see one line that starts to worship the Lord and one line that doesn’t even acknowledge God. We will look at the lives and the people that came out of both families and see what made the difference e in their lives. Then I will challenge you to decide which family you will choose to be.
Scripture: Genesis 4:17-25
Well we better recap the last two weeks quickly. First we talked about Adam and Eve and the FALL. When the first sin disobedience; seemed so insignificant and mute, I mean all Eve wanted to do was to be like God, led to the downfall of us all. We saw how the little sin of the parents grew into the first killing by the jealous brother Cain over Abel. God banished Cain from the land of his parents and he was forced to be a wanderer for all his life. His nomadic lifestyle and long life spread his family and his evil nature throughout the land. In just a couple verses we get a picture of what was going on in the line of Cain.
First off we see there is no mention of God at all in Cain’s family. We do see though another killing. Lamech is saying if anyone kills Cain he is punished 7 times to anyone who kills him will be punished 77 times. Numbers are everything in the Bible. The expression that I talked about last week when Cain was punished sevenfold meant a complete and thorough. So when we have Cain’s great-great-great grandson saying that anyone who kills him would be punished 77 times he is saying that it would be way worse than that man. God had put a mark on Cain’s head and offered complete protection for Cain. Lamech takes it to another level and put’s himself above God, and threatens to punish worse than God could. We all have heard the saying, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” This is known as Lex taliones, and it is meant as a limiting factor.
Most people think that an eye for an eye means you are allowed to get even with the other person, to hurt them as bad as they hurt you. Lex taliones, is a limiting factor; if someone hurts you or takes something from you, then you are only allowed to do the same thing back not more. It stops people from repaying an evil deed with way more evil deeds. It stops someone from repaying the person who just took your parking spot, by slashing his tires, taking a baseball bat to his window, and keying his paint. When we read about Lamech, we see that he is establishing a system of you hurt me, and I will destroy everything and everyone around you. That type of attitude only breeds more hatred and evil.
A family or people without God are really a people lost and alone. Unfortunately, when people are left by themselves, people tend to get worse instead of better. The short summary of Lamech’s family shows us the variety of talent and ability God gives all people. It also shows us the continuous development of sin as time passes. I forgot the famous person who said this, I believe it was C.S. Lewis, but I’m not sure in my plagiarism right now so don’t quote me, while I quote someone else. It’s hard to give credit when you don’t know where the credit is due. Anyway here’s the story. I was listening to Ravi Zacharias. He was on a plane and talking with a young, green, straight out of college psychologist. He asked her if she could only give one piece of advice to anyone about what they could do with their life what it would be. She responded after thinking for a bit with this. She said I would tell them to get as much education as they possible could, and to never stop learning. To this Ravi replied with someone else’s quote who I can’t remember. If a man is caught stealing the steel pegs out of the railroad tracks and you send him to jail and educate him while he is in jail; when he gets out he will be smart enough to steal the whole train and tracks! The point of the story is the individual needs to be fixed first. We see Cain’s family was very advanced and talented, but as they became more advanced, without God they became more evil.
Then we have the line of Seth. Adam and Eve had another son and they named him Seth. Seth was the man who would stand in his older brother’s place and continue to worship God. This is the first time we see in scripture people worshiping God and it all started with Seth’s family and his choice to follow God. I didn’t want to read to you all the genealogies in chapter 5, but we will see that the world is saved in the flood by Noah who is direct descendant of Seth. Cain’s line was destroyed, Seth’s lived on. Two very distinct groups were emerging ; (1) those who showed indifference to sin and evil and taught their children to do the same and, (2) those who worshipped the Lord and taught their children to do the same. Notice a trend? For the family that has No God, they have No Peace. For the family that does Know God and worship him, they Know Peace.
My wife has always admired certain father’s because of the son’s they have produced. She has said to me he must have been a great Father to produce the quality of sons he has produced. That has challenged me as a Dad way more than you can imagine. I don’t just want to raise my boys. My boy’s will be boys if I raise them or not, but they will only be fine young men if I train them to be. I want to be a strong father who they love, respect, and at times fear. I want to show them what it means to be a man and how to act. I want them to grow up and be strong, independent, and good men. In order for them to do this, I need to teach them to first be dependent on God, and to Love God, and serve others. Of all the things I want to teach my children the only thing I hope they ever learn from me is to Love God first. Because if they don’t Know God, they can’t Know Peace. Adam and Eve had several sons and daughters, but the three we remember are the ones who either wholeheartedly loved God to the death or wholeheartedly rejected God. I want my children to all wholeheartedly love God, and as we all know I already had one who has followed my God in his death.
So my challenge for you today is this. What kind of family will you be? Will you choose to raise your children to Know God or will you raise your children with No God? If you don’t think that your family needs God, re-read the first 5 chapters of Genesis. It is very clear the two paths that the two different families follow. You must lead your family and your children and lead by your example. But every great leader, must first follow God. As I said earlier, I want my children to be independent adults but their independence must first come from a dependence on God. When I coached wrestling 2 years ago we had this great saying, it was never followed by the team, but it looked good on the shirts! It said this. Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way! I say Follow God, then Lead your family to do the same, and if you can’t Get out of the way. Because if you don’t Know God your family can’t Know Peace.
Intro: Today we are going to talk about chemistry and science and Lance is going to attempt to say some big words. We will read once again out of the book of Acts and talk about a young slave girl who was demon possessed and how Paul handled her when she announced to the world that Paul was speaking the truth.
We have just read about Paul and a demon possessed slave girl. This slave girl was a fortune teller and made her masters a lot of money. Fortune telling was quite a common practice in Greek and Roman culture. There were many superstitious methods by which people thought they could foretell the future, from interpreting omens in nature to communicating with the spirits of the dead. This young slave girl had an evil spirit in her and she made her master rich by interpreting signs and telling people their fortunes. When this slave girl saw Paul why then did she “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”
What this slave girl said was true so why would Paul silence her and send the demon out of her? Let’s answer this by going back to how Jesus handled a similar situation. In Luke chapter 4 verse 40-41 it says this. “As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus . No matter what their disea
ses were, the touch of his hand healed everyone. Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “you are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak.” Jesus rebuked the demons and told them to be quiet to show his ultimate power over them. Jesus would eventually reveal his identity according to God’s timetable, and he would not allow for Satan to hurry God’s plans.
You see Evil and God do not mix. Even though the demon was speaking the truth, both Paul and Jesus prove in scripture that Truth and Evil do not mix! If Paul accepted the demons word’s then he would appear to be linking the Good News of Christ to Satan and this would weaken his ministry. Jesus reaffirms this belief in Matthew 12:22-30 (READ Story)
Jesus was accused of getting his power from Satan, because he could cast out demons. This thinking is illogical and Jesus explains the divided house and tied up master. Jesus is in complete control and none of his power comes from Satan. Paul is re-enforcing this belief when he rejects the slave girls demon and silence it and cast it out in the name of Jesus Christ.
So what does this mean for all of us? I have had quite a few people to me and ask what I think about mediums and people than can talk to the dead. These mediums have very convincing stories and seem to only know things that would have had to come from their dead loved ones. Some of these mediums even seem to have a remarkable ability to tell future events with complete accuracy. These people that have heard these mediums are confused and want to believe them because it makes sense to them and there has to be truth in what they are saying. I will say this, yes there is truth in what they are saying, but Truth and Evil do not exist together. Our scripture tells us this. If Jesus and Paul rebuked evil spirits for telling the truth about who Christ is and was, why should we allow them to speak now?
My sermon title is called Bromethalin, does anyone know what that is? It is the active ingredient in TomCat brand Rat Poison. Two ingredients in TomCat Rat killer are Bromethalin and denatonium benzoate. The active ingredient, bromethalin, is highly toxic but is only .01 percent of the compound. The majority of Rat Poison is good food, but if you ingest it, then it will kill you. Truth and Evil do not mix.
We all believe in goodness and God I assume, but I am sure that we do not all believe in Evil and Satan. We live a life in a constant spiritual battle. Demons and Evil exist. How can we believe that Jesus cast out demons, but refuse to believe that they exist still today? The devil has, can, and will speak the truth in order to weaken and distort the truth. The snake in the garden of Eden said, “Did God really say not to eat this fruit?” He twisted God’s words. From the beginning of creation the very first sin that leads to the Fall of Man because the Devil mixed truth and Evil and Eve followed because it sounded like truth. Early in Jesus’s ministry the devil tries to speak truth and distort it and Jesus rebukes him, early in the church the demons appear again to speak truth and Paul silences them. Truth and Evil do not mix.
This is a reoccurring them throughout the Bible. It starts with the fall of man in Eden, it is throughout the Old Testament, multiple occasions in the gospels, in the early church and apostles, and is even in the ending in the book of Revelations. Satan knows and understands the truth and has used it against us, can use it against us, and will continue to use it against us. Satan is called a silver tongued liar for a reason, his version of truth and evil mixed sounds so sweet to our ears and it is understandable why we believe it.
It is my job to read God’s word and explain it to you. This is my understanding of God’s word, and it appears very clear to me that these are solid biblical truths. Stay away from Mediums, evil does still exist, demons are very real, we live in a spiritual warzone. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior you have crossed enemy lines and you stand against Satan. He does not take this lightly. Satan will manipulate the truth and make his version of truth seem sweet to your ears, do not follow it. Read God’s word and the truth. Put the truth on your heart and lips and safeguard yourself from Satan’s lies.
I challenge you today not believe what you want to believe because it feels right or makes sense to you, but rather to believe what you have read in God’s word. Eve justified the truth that the snake spoke to her in the garden and ate the apple, had she of listened to God’s word and rejected the snake’s words Evil would never have entered this world. Don’t give evil a foot hold on your life, learn the truth so that when you hear evil spoken into truth you will rebuke it as Jesus and Paul did. Remember only 0.01 percent of rat poison is bad food, but it will destroy the whole body of anything that devours it whole. That .01 percent of bad outweighs the 99.9% of good.
Make America Great Again
Intro: Today we are going to take a break from the book of Acts. We are going to be learning about “How to Make America Great Again.” And it has nothing to do with politics! And we are going to answer the question of Why do we give Bibles to our youth.
Why do we give out Bibles to our children?
Does anyone here know what this supreme court case was about? Edward v. Aguillard on June 19 1987? This was the supreme court case that struck down that intelligent design should be taught in the classroom alongside with evolution. Now this sermon today is not an anti-evolution sermon, I just want to bring this case and date up for a reference. Now I am not going to stand up here and explain the theory of evolution in great detail and exploit all of its faults, I am nowhere near educated enough to do that. But I am going to roughly introduce it in my own simple understanding. Evolution teaches that life came from a primordial soup. Which means billions of years ago gases and elements combined under pressure, and a spark maybe from lightning exploded and created the first single cell organism. Something living came from something nonliving. In time each living organism mutated and developed into all the living objects we have here today. I see several faults with this theory, but I am not a scientist so this is as deep as an explanation of Evolution as I will attempt here. I do believe though that in time sciences evolution theory will be one of sciences biggest blunders just like the earth being flat.
Evolution is being taught in the classroom and there have been several attempts to teach intelligent design right alongside of it, but the majority of scientific community rejects the concept of intelligent design saying that it is creationism dressed up with scientific words, to which I reply well evolution is only Satanism dressed up with scientific words. Now follow me here as I am going to take this sermon a little farther to the extreme than I normally do.
In October of 1998 in Mississippi a teenager killed his mother and 9 other students, in December of 1998 a 14-year-old student in Kentucky killed 3 students and wounded several other in a student lead prayer group. In 1999 the Littleton school massacre happened. Later another school shooting in Springfield Oregon where a 15-year-old boy kills his parents and then goes to school and “just mows them down” re-enacting the terminator movie. Now I am done telling these horrible tales and many of you are wondering where I am going with this.
I am going to make a correlation that is a little radical, but please here me all the way. Creationism is not allowed to be taught in the school in 1987, by 1998; 12 years later these youth have only heard in school the theory of evolution as how life came to be. If evolution is correct, then that means that our life and our death has no more meaning than the goldfish we win at the fair. As far as science is concerned in its understanding of life, our existence is no greater or less greater than a piece of grass or a single cell organism, because it is all equal life. To a teenage who is trying to figure out life and how they fit into the grand scheme of this giant universe, evolution is very confusing. They feel completely unimportant and that none of their actions has any ramifications, because after all they are just animals.
Many of you are thinking this is a pretty extreme sermon, and this has to be as radical as I have ever been. I want you to know that I am not saying that evolution is the reason we have school shootings and that all bad things come from what is being taught in our schools. I know it sounds like that, but hear the whole sermon. The problem with evolution is that it takes away God form the equation and God is so pivotal to a child’s life. Children need to know that they are unconditionally loved, that they are wanted, needed, and that their life has a purpose. Where can anyone find that type of information? In the BIBLE!
Why do we give out Bible’s to our children? Because it gives all the answers to all of life’s tough questions! The Bible shows us that we were designed and created with a purpose! God had us in mind when he created the universe. God loves us and wants a relationship with us. Our actions have ramifications, and when we fail we can be forgiven and accepted. I wanted to give you scripture and pieces of the bible that would support what I am trying to say, but nothing I could come up with was as good as God’s Love Letter.
So I want to read to you this poem, that explains why I feel the Bible is so important for each of us to have in our hands. Read God’s Love Letter.
Before you leave today, I want to make this very clear. The reason we are having school shootings is not because of evolution being taught in the classroom, it is because a lack of God being taught in the household. God and his existence need to be taught, it is pivotal for our children and the children of this nation. If we really want to “Make America Great Again,” then we need to start giving credit where credit is due. Stand up for God, and show our children how important God is in your life. Give them God’s word, and read it with them! The word of God doesn’t do us any good if it sits on a shelf and collects dust. Do not use your Bible like a fire extinguisher, leaving it sit in the corner until in an emergency you need it so you pull it down and hope it still works. Use it daily like you use your car, you don’t get anywhere without it!
So here is my challenge today. You all have a copy of God’s Love Letter. I want the members of the crowd to help the new recipients of the Bible get each one of these scriptures highlighted in their Bible. As the older generation we need to show these young kids that we know how to use the Bible, so help them find the verse printed on your God’s Love letter.
As the Deer
Intro: Whoooo Hoooooo! Does everybody know what this weekend is? That’s right, opening weekend of the Wisconsin Gun deer season! Can you feel the excitement? Do you have any idea why I am so excited? Because Lance loves to deer hunt, so this week and next week’s sermon will be short!
Scripture: Psalm 42:1-5
It’s deer season so we had to put the book of Acts on hold again and deal with some seasonally fitting scripture.
Gonna start off with a science type question for you here today. Are you ready? Because I am going to ask you to answer. What is the source of life? What does almost every living thing need, and I say almost because there are probably a couple exceptions. So what is it, hint the answer I am looking for is in the scripture. That’s right water. As the deer panteth for the water so my long longeth after thee. I thirst for you God; the living God. I’m jumping all over here, do we have any wrestlers in the room? Wrestlers that have had to cut weight and a lot of weight fast? Wrestlers who have cut weight the wrong way, by dehydrating themselves?
I am going to tell you a story of when I wrestled in college. I high school I wrestled 152 and 160. When I got to college my freshman year I dropped to 149lbs, of course I cut a leg off between high school and college so that helped, but needless to say I was very thin. In college you can wrestled down to 3% body fat and those were my glory days and I was consistently around 3-4% body fat. One night I had to cut weight before a tournament and I was locked out of the wrestling room so I could not get to the scale. All I knew was after practice I was still a couple pounds overweight, so throughout the night I had to keep working out and could not even have a sip of water. I remember that night was the worst night I ever had before a meet, I was extremely cranky, just ask Emily, and I remember walking in the next morning telling my coach I would never wrestle again if I didn’t make weight. I weighed in and guess what? I was 147.5. I was a whole 1 ½ pounds under weight so that meant I could drink a little water. I stood on the scale and drank back over a pound. Water has never tasted so good in my life. But that’s not then end to the story. When I weighed in it wasn’t the official weigh in. They moved the scale to another room and the floor was carpeted. It made a difference, because when I got on the scale I was a half-pound over, and I had to go run and cut weight again before official weigh ins.
Now I tell you that long story because this is how I relate to this scripture. I longed for water like you could not believe. Sometimes when we were dehydrated we would dip our tooth brushes in water and scrub our tongue just to taste the water. I understand the longing for water like David does when he is writing this psalm. David was exiled by Saul and he was in hiding in the woods and desert. David played the harp for Saul and used to lead these huge processions throughout the city of Jerusalem during all the religious ceremonies. David truly enjoyed worshipping the Lord in the Temple, now he was cut off and could not worship God.
I voluntarily dehydrated myself, so it was my own stupidity and stubbornness the stopped me from enjoying a drink of water. I could have had a drink if I wanted at any time. David as much as he longed to be part of the worship celebration and to worship God in the temple could not. If he returned, he would be killed. David felt as if he was cut off from God and the thought of this sent him into depression.
When can I go and stand before him? Day and night I have only tears for food. Do you see what happens when we feel like God is left out of our lives? If God is not present in our lives, something else will set in. Depression tears us down and makes us feel all alone and completely cut off from everyone else. We become spiritually dehydrated. Like being dehydrated our body tells us through thirst that we need something, and our body goes into limp mode retaining as much water as it can. When these feelings of anxiety and depression come over us our body tells us what we need, but we refuse it.
Now do not read too much into my sermon, depression and anxiety are very real physical ailments, but there are limits and situations that have simple fixes. Some cannot, but next week I will talk more about how we can overcome some of basic feelings of anxiety and depression.
So my challenge for you this week is to go home and read this the 42 psalm. I want you think about your spiritual walk and where you stand with God. Do you long for him like a dehydrated wrestler longs for water? And if you struggle with minor depression and anxiety look forward to hearing some simple answers to combat it next week. So as promised this sermon is short, and let’s get back to the woods!
The Power of One
Intro: So I am breaking my chain of sermon series that follow after out WK program. My sermon today has been inspired by all of you, and the Lord’s Acre. Last Sunday I spent my time hanging out with the doctor on Sunday morning instead of hanging out with you. As I was getting stabbed in the backside with two needles that were roughly the size of a giant redwood tree, I was thinking about how amazing everyone in our church family was. I was quite disappointed that I could not be here last Sunday, but I knew that church would be taken care of. I knew that each person would in their own way do their part to make sure everything went smoothly. That has led me into today’s sermon entitled The Power of ONE.
The Power of ONE. There is nothing that has ever been accomplished that didn’t first start with a dream, and then someone actually doing it. The marathon runner must take a first step, to finish a race. An artist must paint the first stroke, to finish a picture. A farmer must plant the first seed, to harvest the last field. Someone has to do something, in order for something to get done. It has always been this way, and it will always continue to be this way. The value and importance of each individual is no greater or lesser than any other.
Ok let’s get on with all the analogies and one liners. Scripture tells us that when Adam’s sin came into the world so did death. Adam’s original sin brought death first to his son Abel, then too all of us. One man had the power to destroy life for all of us. That was an influential life? It is not what I would want to be remembered for, but both way Adam’s life and choice affected everyone. It was his choice that brought sin into the world and consequently sin’s judgment death. Many people have a hard time accepting this thought. How can one man’s sin whom we never knew cast judgment on us? That is not a fair God who would judge us by Adam’s sin. How can we be declared guilty for something Adam did thousands of years before?
I think that God would agree with this and say “sure if you can live a perfect life, I will not hold you accountable for Adam’s sins.” Yet each of us confirms our heritage to Adam by our own sins every single day. We have the same sinful nature and we are prone to rebel against God, and we are judged for the sins we commit. Because we are sinners it is not fairness that we need, but rather mercy. Adam gave us our sinful nature, and that sinful nature demands fairness and death. Jesus Christ gave us life and the Mercy that we need.
We are all born into Adam’s physical family – the family that leads to a certain death. We have inherited Adam’s guilt and God’s punishment. Because of Christ, however we can trade judgment for forgiveness. Jesus Christ offers us the opportunity to be born into his family. A family line that leads to life eternal; and victory over death. If we do nothing we will receive death through Adam, but if we come to God by faith we will receive life through Jesus Christ. Doing nothing and you die, do something and you’ll live? Pretty simple choice to me.
So why have I gone into so much detail today talking about Adam and Jesus and what they have done? My sermon remember is entitled The Power of ONE. We have learned that through Adam that sin leads to death. Scripture does not say, if you commit this sin, then you will die, but if you do this one then you might live, and this is just a little sin so don’t worry about it, or scripture tells us nothing about well that person is way too bad to receive Jesus’ Grace he can never accept forgiveness. Through Adam we all sin, and from that we will all die, but through Jesus Christ mercy we can all live. There is no weighted sin, nothing that is too bad to receive God’s Grace. There is power in one person. One person Adam led us all to destruction, but one person can lead us out.
Every one of you is a very powerful person. You have the ability to change your future and forget about your past. God has given us two great examples to show us that his love is greater than anyone’s sin. Look at how influential Adam’s life was? He has condemned us all through his sin. Jesus Christ life and death has completely changed the world, and our eternal life. These two people have given us guidelines to show us there are no limits of sin that cannot be conquered by Grace.
My challenge for you today is to become the powerful person you are. Life the life that God has intended for you to live. If you want to see something changed, change it. Do not be afraid to take more than you can chew. If you feel that God has called you to change the world, get to work. If you God has called you to change Mount Hope, change it. Do not be afraid to dream huge, but then don’t be too proud to start small. This church and community has, can, and will do great things. I see the strength of this church in each person. The strength that we have in unison is only possible with a bunch of strong willed people.
Friday and Saturday we were moving dirt around the church, and shoveling it into place under and around the deck. By we I mean I was sitting on the Bobcat watching 3 much more seasoned men shovel dirt. What impresses me is how quickly the bobcat bucket of dirt disappeared and was smoothed out, by the time I came back with another load. 3 individuals working in unison got it done.
We have new flooring coming to the basement shortly. I had nothing to do with it. We threw a couple people on a committee and they took care of it. Bathroom needs to be painted, throw a couple more people at it and it’s half done. The Lord’s Acre sale was one of the biggest we have ever had. Individual people showing their strength to strengthen the church! God has big plans for Mount Hope, you just have to listen to him, and start working.
Adam left a legacy on the world of sin and death. Jesus Christ left a legacy of mercy and redemption. Life is really simple. Two families, one choice. Which family will you be part of? We are all born into Adam’s family, but we do not have to stay in it. They say the strength of a community lies first at the family level. If you want Mount Hope to be a strong community, strengthen it by joining God’s family. Then flex your muscles and get to work. God has given you the power to change the world, you just have to listen and then take the first step. Let’s Pray