The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


Here you will find service outlines,

sermon manuscript

and additional writings.

 Sermons



Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

View RSS Feed

Archives

  • Mar20Fri

    Day 24: Our Hope Is In The Lord

    March 20, 2020
                I drove by a church sign yesterday that said, “If you are sick stay home” in keeping with the precautions concerning the virus. This sign made me ponder the passage I had read earlier in the day from Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” As you can see this sign from a church is in direct conflict with this passage but sadly this applies to most churches. This is why we must turn from our wicked ways so that there is hope once again to do in the church what we have been called to do as we read in Matthew 10. Jesus said John 14:2 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
                Unfortunately for the church, scripture has become folklore instead of fact or truth, especially when it comes to the subject of healing. “Folklore is oral history that is preserved by the people of the culture, consisting of traditions belonging to a specific culture. These traditions usually include music, stories, history, legends, and myths. Folklore is passed down from generation to generation and is kept active by the people in the culture.” Instead of passing down the truth it has been modified by man and then passed down even though we have the written word of God. Paul said 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” He also told the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." Oddly enough we have it all written down yet most still do not acknowledge the truth of God’s word nor accept as the word of God but treat them as myth (a well-known story which was made up in the past to explain natural events or to justify religious beliefs or social customs) and as a fable (a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events) These have been passed down through the church as stories that the church loves to hear, they just don’t believe them possible for today. They are just old, old stories but not present day reality. You have the ceasationist who say God doesn’t do that anymore and you have the continuationists who believe he does but because the church is not seeing the healing as described in scripture they just accept that the church is as it should be. The church refuses to turn from their own ways and because of this, the power of God is not among us. We are supposed to as Jesus Mark 16:15 said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” So how does this happen? We must be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit before we can go, so we wait for His gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” No this is not happening in the church so yes closing the doors or telling the sick to stay home is the only option but there is another option most will not do and that is to repent.
                If the church would turn away and return to God, He would return to us and then we will once again have hope and the church will once again do as we were commanded to do in the first place. Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Our only hope to be saved from this desolation we find ourselves in is God. This week I have talked a lot about the weak and powerless church and the power of the enemy over the church but that is what happens when we disobey the commands of God. The rejection of God’s word has been going on for so long now it seems normal to be powerless and many have done quite well for themselves by what their hands have made in this powerless state. Church became an organization; some more oiled than others, who provide a service for people week by week. The one who does it best draws big crowds and makes lots of money yet as Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 16 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. “20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”
                Because of these false teachers who have led people away, the church stands powerless. Isaiah describes the condition of the church. Isaiah 1:2 “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand. Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 9 Unless the Lord Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11 “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. 14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! ” Once again like Matthew 10 we see a comparison to Sodom and Gomorrah and those who do not listen or obey. Jesus said in Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” All we have to do is repent from our sinful ways but as Jeremiah tells us Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.
                It is only by the grace of God that we still have hope. God’s promise to Abraham and David stand firm, so even though the church is in captivity, the remnant has hope of freedom from captivity and darkness. If the church would repent from their wicked ways, God said He would turn back to us even in the midst of this chaotic and despairing world and in the midst of a church covered in whitewash, we do have hope. Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 119:114 “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 105:42 “For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. 43 He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy; 44 he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—45 that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the Lord.” Isaiah 35:1 “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. 3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. 8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Psalm 42:5 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
                God promised to bless His people once again so we wait for Him to turn His face to us once again. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” David said Psalm 27:13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”