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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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  • Jun20Sun

    Sermon: Do You Believe?

    June 20, 2021
                Last week we looked at the dangers of trying to rebuild the church by doing it yourself. We saw that there is a tremendous amount of information on the Internet that can help accomplish many things; almost an unlimited resource. Although many churches have attempted to gain knowledge from human resources, that is not what is needed to rebuild the church. Because of this effort to build and even grow the church with our own hands, damage has been done to the church. If an attempt is made to repair or rebuild with our own hands, it will fail causing many to never see eternal life. The only way David’s fallen tent can be repaired is if God does the repairing. This is why we pray Psalm 80:14 “Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, 15 the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself. 16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish. 17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. 18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. 19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” For God to repair and restore the church, the church must turn from its wicked ways by returning to God’s word. Jesus said that He would build His church but as we see in scripture everything changes when we reject His words. When man tries to take over the building process we end up with chaos and desolation and satan will be right there to help that process. Unfortunately man ends up listening to the words of satan instead of the word of God and we end up with what the church looks like now; desolate and powerless.
                For generations the church has looked to the plans of man instead of following the way of God as laid out in His word. Man always claims their plans came from God, but those plans look nothing like God’s plans as laid out in scripture and man’s plans are powerless against our enemies. Because man tries to negate God’s word, they become false prophets and God responds with Jeremiah 23:21 “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.” Jesus said there is only one way and that is His way. In the gospels we see that way laid out for us and then the church was to follow that way and do as Jesus did. The only way for us to do as Jesus did is to be clothed with power from on High. John said Mark 1:7 “And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Peter said, Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Jesus said, Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When the kingdom comes near, we then see the same power flowing that Jesus had and we then do as Jesus did. Matthew 11:5 “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. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” 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. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Man’s plans cannot give you this power.
                The only way for us is to follow God’s plans is to keep our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” As soon as we take our eyes off of Jesus, we sink. Matthew 14:25 “Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water. 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
                If we truly believe Jesus is the Son of God, then we trust Him at His word and we do not need to be afraid. Many in the church say that Jesus is the Son of God but at the same time reject Him by not listening to His words and by going their own way. You can’t say you are a follower of Jesus Christ and not follow Him. Knowing of Jesus is not the same as knowing Jesus. When Job was persevering he refused to give up. He said, Job 19:25 “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” David said Psalm 23:13 “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.” When you trust God and put your faith in His word, you gain a confidence that no matter what happens God is with you as you follow His way wholeheartedly. Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews goes on to say, 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
                The other day I read this verse in John. It really is an amazing verse to ponder. John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” The gospels contain some of these miracles and during our Lenten journey, we looked at the miracles of Jesus. As you read the gospels, you should be filled with awe and remorse at the same time; awe because of the amazing power Jesus displayed and remorse because we no longer see that power being displayed in the church. That remorse should lead you to repentance. We also see this verse. John 20:30 “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” There are two things we need to believe from this. The first is to believe everything you read in the gospels as there are too many who just believe they are stories or myths. I won’t even go into the absurdity of the teaching on the mythological nature of the gospels. The second is to believe those same miracles are possible for today. Nowhere in the bible does it say they are not possible for today. Most will believe what they read but draw the line there. They will say that was Jesus; it was a different time blah, blah, blah. Jesus himself said John 14:1 “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 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.” The only way for this to happen is to have the power of the Holy Spirit among us once again. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” Remember that some of those gifts were gifts of healing and miraculous powers. 1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” Whenever you hear that healing or miracles are not for today turn and run as fast as you can because cessationism is a doctrine of demons. You may not even believe in cessationism but you do not seek the gifts because inside you have bought into the lie that they just will not happen in our day. Many have chosen what they see with their eyes over what scripture actually states. They reject scripture and then this faulty belief does not lead then to repentance.
                Today we have the same people refusing to believe. Stephen said Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” Even when Jesus walked the earth many did not believe. Matthew 13:53 “When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” 20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. Mark 3:21 “When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” John 7:5 “For even his own brothers did not believe in him.” John 10:24 “The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.” John 12:37 “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” How many today still refuse to believe.
                If you believe in the miracles of Jesus, you must believe they are possible for today because Jesus is not dead. He told us “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.” Not only was he going to the Father, He would send us the Holy Spirit. Going to church, reading the bible yet not believing is rejecting Jesus. You may have never seen a miracle and many will tell you they don’t exist, but our belief starts with Gods’ word. You read and you believe God’s words over man’s. As Jesus taught, even His own disciples did not believe so it is not a stretch to say that there are many in the church today who still do not believe. Mark 16:9 “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” Matthew 28:16 “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Thomas at first did not believe the other disciples. John 20:24 “Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
                How many times have you read about the miracles and wished they were possible for today or have you even thought about it? Does your heart yearn within you when you read about the miracles or have you rejected them because you think signs and wonders are not for today or you have been taught that signs and wonders are only from satan? False teachers and prophets are everywhere. Matthew 24:23 “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” But remember Hebrews 2:4 “God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Mark 16:20 “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” Ezekiel also tells us about false prophets. Ezekiel 13:2 “Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” We have already been warned all through scripture about all the things we are seeing in the church today. Yes satan masquerades as an angel of light and 2 Corinthians 11:15 “it is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” Yes satan will counterfeit God’s work but there must be works of God to counterfeit, so if satan is presently counterfeiting there also must be true healing, miracles, signs and wonders and demons cast out which are all possible for today but not if we try to “do church” with manmade inspiration.
                We have Jesus right before our eyes but most really do not believe what they read. People have become so use to the old, old stories that they fail to understand what the resurrection of Jesus really means and the power that comes with it. Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 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.” They treat the living word of God like any other book. Instead of believing God’s words, they believe what they read about the bible from men and women who have rejected the power of God to go their own way. Take a look around and you will not see the power displayed by Jesus and this is not because it is not available but because this power is missing due to unbelief and disobedience. The only reason we are not seeing power is due to the rejection of God’s word. We do not have understanding as needed because God has turned His face from us, meaning we have also lost the wisdom that comes from the Spirit of Truth. John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Instead of the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit, the church has decided to create their own truth, which in the end is just deception and distorted words. Jeremiah 23:36 “Each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God.”
                We must believe the word of God. John 6:29 “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent. 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.” In Jeremiah we see a people who refuse to listen to the words of God. They hear the word of the Lord and then refuse to believe. Here are two examples of this. Jeremiah 26:2 “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. 4 Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you do not listen to me and follow my law, which I have set before you, 5 and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened), 6 then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city a curse among all the nations of the earth.’” You would think they would listen but no they would not. 7 The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord. 8 But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die! 9 Why do you prophesy in the Lord’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord. 10 When the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went up from the royal palace to the house of the Lord and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s house. 11 Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!” Then one more time Jeremiah says, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. 13 Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. 15 Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”
                This time we have the people approach Jeremiah, as they are desperate to hear from God, as they feared the king of Babylon. This shows the condition the church finds itself in and the response to repentance. Jeremiah 42:1 “Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. 3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 4 “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.” So here they are waiting on God to answer so that they will know what to do. 5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.” That sounds like an obedient people. Jeremiah then gives God’s answer. 7 Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest. 9 He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10 ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12 I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’ 13 “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey the Lord your God, 14 and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,’ 15 then hear the word of the Lord, you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. 17 Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 18 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘As my anger and wrath have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem, so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach; you will never see this place again.’ 19 “Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.”
                The people heard the word of the Lord and then rejected it. Jeremiah 43:1 “When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon. 4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. 7 So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord.” God then responds Jeremiah 44:2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.9 Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem? 10 To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors.1 “Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah. 12 I will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach. 13 I will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and plague, as I punished Jerusalem. 14 None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.” God spoke to them and they did not like the answer so they disobeyed.
                You may say that was Old Testament but look what happened to Jesus. John 19:13 “When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.” Matthew 27:23 “But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” Jeremiah told them what God said and they wanted to kill him. The Son of God came and they did kill him. Mark 15:13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” You may say well that was the Jews; the church is different. The problem is the Gentiles have followed in the footsteps of the Jews and have rejected the Lord. Hebrews 6:4 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
                So as Peter warned the Jews after Pentecost, we need to heed that same warning. Acts 2:40 “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” The message is still the same; save yourself from this corrupt generation. James tells us James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” Deuteronomy 32:45 “When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
                This all comes down to whether we believe. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” If you say you believe, then you must believe His words and not the distorted words of men about Jesus. John 6:63 “The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them. 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” God said if we seek Him we will find Him. Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” The church finds itself in a desperate position and must turn from their wicked ways. The church has done just as Israel and Judah did and turned away from God’s words but there is hope. Deuteronomy 4:25 “After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” By following other gospels we have been removed from the Promised Land. There is no power; our enemies have defeated us and the church is in captivity and lies desolate. Yet we have hope because God is merciful. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
                What Jesus came to give us is greater than the Promised Land. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” What will you choose to believe? Will you come into the light or remain in the darkness? Don’t let someone else decide your future who has taught you something other than the true gospel. Seek God and you will find Him.