Call to Worship: Yesterday, Saturday morning, was an awesome morning to be awake albeit to early. Unfortunately that was 4:30 AM, so I tried to get some more sleep in the chair. That night the moon was full and lit up the house and the backyard as if it were daytime. When I got up, the moon was shining through the windows. So once I got going I looked out the front and there was the moon still shining brightly. Then I looked out the back and saw the glow of the sun rising. My first thought was wow there is the promise from God reminding us that “Psalm 146:6 “He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever.” A reminder to us that he keeps his promises to his faithful servants and that he is in control. Isaiah 45:18 “For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. 19 I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” Isaiah 44:24 “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, 25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, 26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers.” This morning we have great hope as again we see the sun rising and the moon setting and how beautiful it was. Jeremiah 31:35 “This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord Almighty is his name: 36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the Lord, “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.” Jeremiah 33:25 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’” Since these promises in Jesus also apply hold fast to his word.
So here we are in Lent focusing on confession but in a moment we are going to sing songs of praise. We sing this way because we still have hope and a future but not for long. Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.” It should be over for us but God will keep His promise to David. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So we sing praise to God know that he will hear our cry, if we turn from our wicked ways. We sing because Psalm 121:2 “our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” As we wait on the Lord, we know that he will empower us once again so that we can go but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Songs: You Are Good Travis Cottrell
Sing Your Praise to the Lord Rich Mullins
Joy of the Lord Rend Collective
Scripture: Deuteronomy 32:1-43
Song: Save Us Oh God Kevin Prosch
Sermon: Corrupted Ways
Closing Song: Create in Me a Clean Heart Keith Green
Benediction: Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” 1 Kings 8:52 “May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you.”
Sermon: Corrupted Ways
As we make this confessional journey through Lent, we must understand that we have been born into captivity and this is not how it is supposed to be. This has happened because those who have gone before us have followed other gods and the church continues to follow their wicked ways instead of turning back. Jeremiah says, Jeremiah 11:10 “They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors.” Jeremiah 16:11 “then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law.” Now you may be thinking wait a minute we have not followed other gods as we go to church every Sunday. I don’t have an wood or silver idol of anything in my home or on my land. I don’t worship anything or anyone but Jesus. But here is the problem. What Jesus have you followed? If that Jesus is not the one in the bible then you don’t. Paul said Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” So even then there were those trying to teach something else. We must follow the true gospel. Colossians 1:21 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” Why is this so important? 2 Thessalonians 1:8 “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.” We must believe the right testimony.
Following other god’s simply means we are not keeping His commandments as John 14:15 says “If you love me keep my commandments.” We had better make sure they are his commandments and not mans. The problem is most are not checking. They have just accepted that how they were raised was the right way. But this is where deception and delusion have entered the picture. Because we have not obeyed, this desolation has been allowed to happen. Again you may ask what desolation. Well that is easy to see if you look. Just take a look at what most denominations / independents believe. You can have anything from homosexuality to the rapture /tribulation. For example the other day someone gave Laurie this pamphlet. Finally we now know God’s plan of the ages. This is put out by Bible Believers' Evangelistic Association and available worldwide. This pamphlet is being handed out to people as if this is God’s word thus His plan for us. In our call to worship we read Jeremiah 29:11“For I know the plans I have for you,” I don’t think that is what God was refereeing to. You see this is not God’s plan according to his word as this is another gospel. Deuteronomy 32:17 “They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear.” This is not God’s plan but satan’s plan. Along with this are doctrines of demons such as ceasationism. We’ve talked enough about this in the past but what I want you to ponder is all the people that have fallen for this and have turned away from the truth. This is another gospel. You see people are waiting for this event to happen in the future but it is already happening and continues to happen. 1 John 2:18 “ Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.” People are waiting for something that has already started. People were already turned away when Paul was preaching and it has gotten worse as people don’t even know they have been deceived. They listen to men and woman preach the gospel but they do not test the spirits. You should take this pamphlet and anything like and say come on are you serious and throw it out. It is as bad as pamphlet from Jehovah’s witness or other cults.
This should not come as a surprise as we have been warned over and over again in scripture. For example Deuteronomy 4:1 “Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you. 3 You saw with your own eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor. The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, 4 but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today. 5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it.”15 You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt. Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.” This is pretty clear yet people do it anyway bringing all the curses listed in scripture, the worst being eternal damnation. This is just like Achan who did not listen and took the devoted things. Moses warned the people. Deuteronomy 31:29 “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord and arouse his anger by what your hands have made.” Deuteronomy 32:5 “They are corrupt and not his children; to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.” 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.” 4 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.”
We can’t continue with the corruption of God’s people. Judges 2:19 “But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.” This is what has been happening. Like the pamphlet I showed you and the teachings that go with it, the church continues to go down a path of corruption. Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” The problem today as we talked about is there is no fear of God in the land. No one seems to care if what they follow is truth or not. They just say it is truth and carry on not afraid of the question “what will you do in the end.” If we do not seek God or follow His ways, we really do not believe in him. Zephaniah 3:7 “Of Jerusalem I thought, ‘Surely you will fear me and accept correction!’ Then her place of refuge would not be destroyed, nor all my punishments come upon her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.”
So we look to Daniel for help as he shows us exactly what to do. Daniel 9:4 “I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong.” It doesn’t get easier than that. So then say what you did. “We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.” So then lets be clear what is going on here. 7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you.” The truth is we do not deserve to live but we serve a merciful God, the true meaning of grace. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.” This is then the part most do not want to hear because they do not understand who God is. “Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.”
The Lord will bring disaster on us if we disobey. Our unbelief will bring delusion also so people will continue to go in the same direction. So here is a description of what is happening right now and why the church is in desolation. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 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. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” This has happened to much of the church with only a remnant left.
Because of this the only thing we can do is plead with God. Daniel 9:15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. 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.” This is what we are to do but first you actually really have to believe that our sanctuary is desolate and Nehemiah 1:3 “the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” Until you truly realize how bad it is you will not plead for mercy. Solomon also tells us what to do in 1 Kings 8:46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.
The problem we have today is because of false prophets and teachers. 2 Peter 2:2 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories.” Such as the pamphlet I showed you at the beginning. “12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.” They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.”17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” This describes what has happened to the church. 2 Peter 2:20 “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” Because many have followed these corruptible ways, they have turned from the way, the truth and the life. They are deceived into thinking all is well when it is not. God will let them perish if they do not repent. Yes John 3:16 says, “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.” But John 3:18 also says that “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.”
So here we are at a crossroads. The question is do we really believe we need to repent like Daniel for the sins of those who went before us and for our own sins. King Hezekiah said when he purified the temple 2 Chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him.” He also said when preparing for Passover 2 Chronicles 30:6 “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” We have been told what to do but will we do it.
After the power of the Holy Spirit came on them at Pentecost, Peter began to preach with power. He said Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “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.” 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. People today think they have the Holy Spirit but there is no power so that can’t be the case. They only have 2 Timothy 3:5 “have a form of godliness but deny its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” That is how serious this is.
I watched a video last night of a person recently speaking of the rapture to millions yet for those who follow this way, they have been deceived because they refuse to turn from their wicked ways. This same person also linked up with a false prophet and the ironic part is this person wrote a book on Daniel’s prayer but yet refuses to turn from their own wicked ways. They don’t realize the Holy Spirit is not moving in power so they don’t seek or repent. They have been told the Holy Spirit is here in power yet there is no power. This deception is so great the church lies in desolation but we have great hope because of the sun and the moon, which reminds us of the promise to David. There will always be a remnant so as Daniel prayed, we pray and ask God to have mercy and remember His covenant. We will continue to pray until the power of the Holy Spirit flows again just as Peter said. “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.” We have great hope because this applies to us also. Luke 1:67 “His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
This is how it is supposed to be but it is not so we must confess for following corrupted ways. Deuteronomy 32:19 “The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” Our only option is to confess our sins and those who have gone before us and be like Josiah of whom it was said, 2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”
Today we conclude with communion. As we participate think of this blessing.
2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” So as we return to him we ask that God will bless us once again. Number 6:24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ 27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” 2 Peter 1:3 "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."