The ROCK
Come as You Are / Be Transformed! 

 


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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 

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  •     Why should there be a call to come to our senses when in the church most people who call themselves Christians think everything is good and the church is doing as it should. Most are content with what they see unless they are not content with music, fitting in, preaching, and will find another place to be content in. Most are not looking to the gospels to see what the church is actually supposed to look like. Most have been told this is what the church looks like. The gospels are just old, old stories they love to hear but don’t actually believe the stories are for today. The easy answer is if Jesus is the head of the church, the church must look like Jesus and do as He did. Ephesians 1:22 “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. then His body should be doing what he did.” Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” The church went in another direction instead.  Paul talks about those who have gone their own way. Colossians 2:19 “They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” We must get reconnected to the head once again so that the church will once again be the church we were called to be. Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” When that happens power flows through the church once again just as it was meant to do in the first place.

        As the title of this sermon implies, God’s people are senseless as they have chosen to follow empty and powerless ways instead of bowing and submitting to God who is sovereign over all. They even praise God in their senselessness. Jeremiah said Jeremiah 4:22 “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.” Jeremiah goes on to say Jeremiah 5:30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” This has happened because Jeremiah 10:21 “The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord,” and the people follow blindly. Jesus said, Matthew 15:14 “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Hosea 7:10 “Israel’s arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the Lord his God or search for him. 11 “Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless.” Psalm 94:8 “Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise?”This is a call to become wise instead of senseless and turn from our wicked ways to the way of truth. As we talked about yesterday, there are choices to make. Choosing wrong leads to death and destruction; choosing right leads to life and prosperity. Proverbs 1:20 “Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, 29 since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. 30 Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Isaiah 65:1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ 2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations— 3 a people who continually provoke me to my very face.” I am pretty sure it makes sense to listen to God’s word and come to our senses and repent and turn from wicked ways. Proverbs 2:1 “1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” The church does not fear God, therefore there is no wisdom and remains senseless. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” 1 Corinthians 3:18“Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise.” Don’t follow the proud because they will be brought low.  Ezekiel 28:2 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god.”

        When you look at the church, what do you see? First you will see assign that usually tells you what you will find in the building and what they believe if they have announced their denomination. Then you will see buildings of all shapes and sizes; some old and some new. Then you see people gathering in those buildings, usually on Sunday morning but if you are lucky some have Saturday night services which frees up your Sunday for other things. Yes, I know many churches have multiple services. These buildings usually hold their people on Sunday and the rest of the week are pretty much empty. People come to worship and hear someone preach. It is amazing how people trickle in late to a service, the one time that they actually gather. Then praise and worship takes place and if it is good worship, they feel connected to God even though God has said Amos 5:23 “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” Then the sermon comes and that is repeated week after week. When the worship is not good enough or the preaching doesn’t tickle the ears, then another gathering place is found. Churches work very hard though to keep their people, which is why true repentance is not high on the list of priorities. Yet most church growth today is from people transferring from one church to another. The problem is the church is declining and other religions are increasing which is strange since the church claims it is the only way. If the church had followed the true gospel the church would still be causing a stir. We are told Matthew 21:10 “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” Acts 13:44 “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” When Paul spoke, the city was in an uproar and quite upset with him. Acts 21:30 “The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions.” Now people flock to churches who have concert like Sundays, inspirational preaching and comfortable seating and a coffee. They are well oiled machines with no power. When people came to see Jesus, power came from Him. Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” This is not what the church looks like today.

        The powerless church is not what the church is actually supposed to look like. The church only looks as it does because it turned away in rebellion from the word of God to go their own ways. Church as it is today, is the result of manmade efforts and doctrines of demons. The church today is what the abomination of desolation looks like where truth has been thrown down and satan opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he set himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2)” The church today is what desolation looks like; captive and powerless under the rule of satan. Desolation in the Old Testament was destruction and being carried off to Babylon as slaves. Both then and now are the same, with only a remnant left. Following other gospels has led to a pathetically powerless church. It is pathetic because the church believes God is blessing and powerless because God is not blessing because of our apathy. It’s no wonder other religions are growing and the church is declining. That’s just numbers from statisticians and not new, as the church has actually been declining  and getting further form the truth ever since Paul (Galatians 1:6-9) was astonished people were following other gospels. The church has continued to reject God’s word and follow other gospels ever since. People did not follow Jesus for no reason at all; they want to be cured.

             Today’s church has been deceived into thinking gathering on Sunday is the complete picture of church. When we look at Jesus, the head of the church, we see what the church should actually look like. Yes, there are gatherings but there is so much more. Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” That is what the church should look like. To see this, I want to look at Luke 7 that just gives a few examples of what the church should look like. First you had the faith of the centurion. Luke 7:2 “A centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. “Jesus was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” Then we had a widow and her only son who had died. Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.” These next words tell us what the church has forgotten. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.” Most have been taught these are stories and that is why we worship Jesus. What most have not been taught is that we were supposed to do as Jesus did. John 14:12 “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.” It didn’t say Jesus came to entertain people so they could say wow that was really great worship. He did not come to make them feel good about their sin so that they could continue to live their lives without ever changing. We are told that Joseph was told Matthew 1:21 “to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Call him Immanuel which means “God with us.” When God is with us, we have power over our enemies, and we are saved from God’s wrath. As we have seen in scripture, when God turns His face from us, we are defeated with no hope of salvation. 

        When God is with us, this is what the church was supposed to look like. The examples from above would have continued just as as they did with the disciples after Pentecost. I use this verse again because it wasn’t just Jesus who did this. Acts 5:15 “People brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” The church was not about sitting in comfy chairs, singing a few songs and listening to someone preach; it was supposed to be about the power of God, not the talents of men and women. The power is because 1 Corinthians 3:16 “you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst” When God dwells among us and we obey His words then Mark 16: 20 “the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” That means all disciples, as nowhere does the bible say that power was to end. The same power that came from Jesus, was to continue. Jesus said John 14:23 “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Take a moment and let that sink in. The creator of the universe wants to dwell within you. At this point you should be saying to yourself, wow why would I worry about anything? Why wouldn’t I want to search for wisdom and be senseless no longer?

            Disobeying God’s word looks like Israel being defeated in the Old Testament and what the church in desolation has looked like for generations; powerless to defeat our enemies. Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8) not to have the church destroyed by satan’s works. The church was given the same power and authority that Jesus had but we had to obey. Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” This power was not just for the twelve. Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” This power and authority was to continue, just as we saw in Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Yes, many in the church have come up with ridiculous reasoning as to why power and authority stopped. They say it was only to prove that Jesus was the Messiah and to start the church in new locations and then the power was set aside. That makes no sense as there were always new locations for the church to grow around the world and there still is. You have to ask yourself if the church is going into the world without power, is it really the church? Instead of repenting for rebellion, they even use as an argument the lack of evidence in the church of the power of God. How ridiculous is that? Nowhere does the bible say the power was to cease. What the bible does say is power will cease due to rebellion. A quote I like says, “Though we speak of the manifestations at Pentecost as being abnormal, yet we maintain that Pentecost was normal Christianity. My conviction is that the Divine power, so manifest in the Church at Pentecost, was nothing more nor less than what should be in evidence in the Church today. Normal Christianity, as planned by our Lord, was not supposed to begin in the Spirit and continue in the flesh. In the building of His temple, it never was by might nor by power, but always by His Spirit.” Scripture tells us. Galatians 3:1 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Notice here that when the Spirit was present there were miracles but not a lot is said about those miracles, it is just understand that they took place. 

        Let’s go back to Luke 7 and continue to see what the church was supposed to look like. John the Baptist had been preparing the way for Jesus but now he was in prison and about to die. He needed to be sure, so he sent some of His disciples to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else? 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.” Based on this Jesus answered the question. “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Even John had to decide just as the church today still needs to decide if Jesus is the Messiah. Remember we do not serve a dead king, but a risen Savior! The answer was just as the gospels tells us; there is power in the blood. Revelation 12:11 “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Hebrews 2:14 “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” We also see in Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” The gospels show us what this looked like but unfortunately today’s church does not look at all like this because of rebellion but that does not mean it is not possible. 

        It’s time to come to our senses and believe the bible once again and not the words of men and demons who distort God’s word and turn many from the truth. We need to understand the church today should look the same as when it started. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is still available even though most in the church would say it is not. How many times have you heard someone say if it is God’s will to heal He would and people pray and pray yet the healings don’t come and demons are not cast out? They say this even though the bible clearly says Jesus gave authority and power to heal and cast out demons. James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” That is what happened when the Kingdom of God came near and will happen again if the church would come to its senses. We would be given gifts of power. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers.” Most in the church do not believe this is possible and many who do are not seeing it. We are told that God dwells in us by His Spirit. 2 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.” The only answer as to why the church is not seeing power and authority is because God has turned His face from us, not because power was no longer  available.

            I am amazed that people who believe there is no power just accept what these false prophets teach. When they say these verses about healing and miraculous powers are not available today, they don’t even question. Guess who told them to say that. Guess who knows that power would destroy his works. And yes, you are right, satan! It should shake you up to know that men and women are standing behind pulpits in the church and speaking on behalf of satan. We also must remember that satan is a master counterfeiter. There must be something genuine to counterfeit it. There are all kinds of counterfeit power, especially in the charismatic circles but this power is not what we see in scripture if you look and listen closely. It is similar but not the same. For example, people thought that the power of God was present because people fell to the ground on their backs. The bible tells us people bowed with their faces to the ground. Even with royalty you don’t see the streets lined with people lying on their backs. The thought of that should make you smile. satan does live the absurd. 2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” Mark 13:22 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” The power is not flowing due to the rebellion of the church, so be careful what you fall for.

        Most churches do not believe there is power available today. They don’t believe it is possible for someone to heal or to have authority over the demonic, so satan doesn’t even have to masquerade as they have already fallen for another gospel. Some have even been taught that signs and wonders would be demonic probably because of the verses above, so they do not want them. That’s just ignorance due to deception and a lack of understanding of God’s word. People look to the charismatic movement and then say we don’t want that and then ignore what scripture actually tells them is truth. It is right to reject most of the charismatic but wrong to reject the power available to all who believe. Scripture clearly tells us signs will follow the preaching of God’s word. There is an example with John the Baptist where we are told John 10:41 “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” We also saw Jesus in His hometown. Mark 6:4 “Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.” As we have already seen signs follow God’s word. Mark 16:20 “Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Hebrews 2:4 “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Acts 14:3 “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. If you are just seeking signs and wonders that is another story. Jesus said John 4:48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” If the church would wake up, once again His word would be confirmed by signs and wonders.

         Our only hope is for the church to come to our senses. This means turning away from man’s ways and returning to the only way, truth and life. The first account I want to look at is about the lost son, also known as the prodigal son, because he wasted his inheritance. It is very easy to read the account of the prodigal son and think it was just about a family. This is a story about a family, but it is also about the church. Luke 15 gives us several example about the lost. The first is the lost sheep Luke 15:6 “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Then we have the lost coin. 9 ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Notice the theme of repentance. Then Jesus talks about the man who had two sons. Here is the account of a son that finally came to his senses and returned home. Luke 15:12 “The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

        We also see another account of restored sanity, accept this was the story of a king. Daniel prophesied that King Nebuchadnezzar would lose everything. Daniel told the king what the dream meant. Daniel 4:24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.” Twelve months later what Daniel said, happened. “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” 4 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

        These are two accounts about men who came to their senses. When the young man finally hit rock bottom, he realized that he needed to go home to his father. We have already talked about severe famines and this man lived through one. The words I want to focus on are “when he came to his senses.” He realized how lost he was and how much better his life would be with his father. He did not just go back home; he confessed his sin to his father and repented. He said Luke 15:18 “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” His father saw him in the distance and loved him as he was watching for his return. He said let’s celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” King Nebuchadnezzar was in a similar predicament. He also had everything but then lost even his kingdom. Daniel 4:32 “Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” Finally the king lifted his eyes to heaven and, “praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.” His sanity and his kingdom were restored just like the lost son who had the “best robe and put it on him and a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

        This is not complicated. Just admit our ways are wicked and submit your life to God. If we want the kingdom of God restored to how it was in the beginning, we must come to our senses so that our sanity will be restored. When we truly repent of our sin of rebellion against God’s word, and we completely turn from our wicked ways and acknowledge that God is sovereign and say as King Nebuchadnezzar said “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. And stop asking “What have you done?,” then God will give us back the land. Our enemies will be defeated, and the church will go to the ends of the earth and then the end will come. The church will once again do as Jesus did. Luke 7:21 “At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” As of now, like the lost son there is a severe famine except it is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Ask God as Daniel did to hear our cry. Daniel 9:18 “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” When we come to our senses and realize how destitute and desolate we really are, we will come before our Father in Heaven and say Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Even Job after saying no wrong said Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Our only hope to have our inheritance restored and the kingdom of God to come near is to return to God. When we do, He will return to us. Mark 1:14 “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”