Call to Worship: Psalm 99:1 “The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; He sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. 2 Great is the Lord in Zion; He is exalted over all the nations. 3 Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy.” 1 Chronicles 17:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” 36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”
Songs: You Are God Alone - Steve Green
The Solid Rock - Nicol Sponberg
You Are / You Are Lord - Hillsong
Scripture: Colossians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Song: Alive in Me - JJ Weeks Band
Sermon: Do You Really Know Him?
Closing Song: Everlasting - Brian Doerksen
Benediction:- Psalm 80:1 “Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us. 3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.”
A couple of weeks ago we talked about being overthrown by God, which was not exactly what most want to hear. To make matters worse I read the cursed side of Deuteronomy 28, which is heavy, and if you read the part I left out, even heavier. I trust that you went away fearing God more than you did before but herein lies the problem; most do not fear God because they do not know Him enough to fear Him. Now there are two areas in this lack of knowledge. First you have Job as an example of whom we will talk later. God said about him that Job 1:8 “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Then you have those who lack knowledge because of apathy. Proverbs 1:28 “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.” Those like Job are seeking and trusting, waiting for God’s word to be fulfilled no matter what happens. The others have been taught that God is a God of love and would never turn from His children even though scripture is clear that he would. Deuteronomy 30:20 “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.” Unfortunately the theology doesn’t line up with scripture so in the end God turns his face yet for the most part most do not believe he would. The problem as Paul said in Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” There should be fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Most are not working out their salvation as they are simply living according to what they have been taught and do not seek God. Most are waiting for false prophets and false teachers to come in the future but as we know by now as 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.” Jesus said Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” This is already happening and millions are deceived and have fallen away from the truth yet they continue on the path they are on. There is only one gospel, as Paul said 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” 2 Timothy 1:11 “And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.”
We saw in our scripture reading they were taught the true gospel, this gospel by “a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf.” Paul then said “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Now this is where the question “Do you know him” really affects your life. If you are listening to this you should be asking who taught you, what they taught you. What was the doctrines and theology behind what you were taught? What was the denominational distinctive” Remember denominational distinctives is just a way of saying we follow false gospels because they are all different and stink. Most are taught they have the Holy Spirit yet there is no power. We just sang a song saying just that. The sang is how it should b, not how it is. The one verse said “It's already won, so whatever comes I know where I place my hope and trust I can overcome, 'cause of what's been done 'Cause of what You finished on the cross.” People then have been led to believe that because Jesus died on the cross, they are free no matter what. Satan has been defeated, demons are gone and all is good. Just go to church and be a good little churchgoer. Say a little prayer get wet and be filled with the spirit. But what were you filled with if there is no power. Yes I know people will say the power is salvation but what were you saved into? Just attend church, become a member or active on some committee and all is good. Meanwhile the church has been decimated because most importantly most Christians have no idea who God is nor do they know who satan is and the power he still has over this world. They lack knowledge and perish. Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil and we are to continue in. If as many say there are no power gifts; we will continue to be decimated. If satan was defeated at the cross, Paul would not have been sent out in to turn them from the power of satan to God. Acts 26:17 “I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” This form of godliness, this empty way that has been handed down to us leaves us desolate and unable to fight back. Now having said that because of the cross and Jesus rising and leaving us with the available power of the Holy Spirit, satan will be defeated but it is done only in the power of God. We cannot destroy satan on our own. So this lack of knowledge concerning who God is and who our enemy is causing our defeat.
Unlike the passage we read, we have teachers who shouldn't be teachers, preachers who shouldn't be preachers, and evangelists who shouldn’t be evangelists and since most don’t believe there are prophets and apostles we are not building the church but tearing it down. We are not seeing as we read earlier “In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” What has been growing are the distinctives of man. Why because what you have heard is not the true gospel. It should be as Ephesians 4:11 tells us “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” We don’t have that. What we do have is as Paul continues and says 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Since this is not happening we have Hebrews 5:12 “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” 1 Corinthians 3:2 “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” We have people who are 2 Timothy 3:7 “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk.” 1 Timothy 1:7 “They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” They don’t even care that James 3:3 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. Yes I realize this is hard to understand but think of this. If you were like me you went to church all the time. Sunday School, morning service, evening service, midweek, events, potlucks etc. Isaiah 56:10 “Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. 11 They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain. 12 “Come,” each one cries, “let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better.” But we did not know that we were on a path that led to certain death and destruction. This is what hap[pens when you follow false gospels. Proverbs 9:13 “Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”
Don’t be afraid to question everything you have been brought up with in this time of desolation. Proverbs 2:12 “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13 who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, 15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. 16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. 20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”
Having knowledge of the truth will keep you away from what is false. It will also drive you to truth if it is not present. Truth will also help you to persevere during trials. You turn from your wicked ways and follow God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “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.” You seek until you find it; you wait until you are clothed with power and told to go; you obey wholeheartedly the commands of God and do as He tells us to do by His word. If we will wait; we will see God. If you are seeking God wholeheartedly, turning from your wicked ways, you will find him even though all around you may be crumbling. Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” God allowed Job to go through a journey where he lost everything yet remained faithful. Job 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 27:13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” As you wait, do you believe that God will keep his word? Job was a faithful man. Yes he had lots of questions because he didn’t know God let satan do this to him. When his wife tried to get him to curse God and die, Job said Job 2:10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” At the end of his journey Job 42:7 “After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” But this is what I want us to see today. Yes there are people in the church who are clueless as to who God really is and the power available to us nor do they seek him. There are people who preach against this power and there are people who preach a false power but you are not those people. Paul said in Ephesians 2:2 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”
If you are seeking and waiting on God then you can expect Ephesians 1:18 “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.” Yes we sang a song called alive in me, The very same light that pierced the dark. The very same word that stilled the sea. The very same spirit that tore the veil is alive in me. You're alive in me. The very same power that healed our hearts The very same love that sets us free The very same spirit that conquered death is alive in me. You're alive in me.” This is the power that is available to all who believe. But that power is not presently present. You see if we knew God, we would know that where the Spirit is there is power. The bible tells us yet the church refuses to listen. 2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.” This lack of knowledge, this apathy has destroyed the church and His people perish. Unfortunately for many today the knowledge of truth appears to be foolishness. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:26 “think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”
Again do not worry about you station in life, trust God and keep his commands. Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jesus said Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” John 14:7 “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”
Job went on a very difficult journey where he lost everything yet he was faithful and did not turn against God. He said Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Yes he had a knowledge of who God was but he did not truly know him until after this experience. This is where we are. I suspect that if you are like me, you desperately want to know God more and more. Even though we are following wholeheartedly and it appears hopeless to some, we know God’s word will prevail. Job had been questioning his experience trying to understand. His friends trying to bring him down, then Elihu comes in filled with knowledge. He says Job 32:33 “But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say. 2 I am about to open my mouth; my words are on the tip of my tongue. 3 My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know. 4 The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 5 Answer me then, if you can; stand up and argue your case before me.” Then God interrupts and says 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.” God then ignores Elihu questions Job. Job then answers 4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more.” He is on his way to knowing God. Then there are more questions. Job 42:1 “Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 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.” Job realizes he only had a small understanding of God.
Most Christians are not anywhere near the man Job was. The problem is hearing about God is not enough. Walking with the crowds yet not reaching out to touch him is not enough. Sitting there Sunday after Sunday is not enough. Being on committees and participating in programs is not enough. Giving of your time, making donations and tithing not enough. Jesus said in Luke 13:25 “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Stephen was preaching and said Acts 7:39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars.” Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Hebrews 10:26 “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.” For these who do not care about the knowledge of God, they will face God’s wrath. Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”
Knowing who God is imperative concerning our eternal life and where we spend it. If we think we know yet find out we have followed false gospels it will be too late. If we think we know and don’t know the difference between following God’s word and man’s word, we will perish. Listen to these verses from I John. 1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 4:6 “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” If we teach as Paul taught we too can say that. Our scripture reading said “You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf.” 1 John 5:18 “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” So if we actually knew that the whole world is under the control of satan. If we actually know that and knew where the power to defeat satan came from; wouldn’t we seek it so that we would live. Living in ignorance is not the answer.
Our journey in God’s timing will show the world who God is. We are part of David’s family so we too can say; 1 Samuel 17:46 “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.” We can also say with Elijah 1 Kings 18:36 “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Or with Elisha 2 Kings 5:8 “When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 2 Kings 5:15 “Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” Do you really know?
Unfortunately the church stands silent as when Elijah said 1 Kings 18:21 “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.” People are not even waiting to see God me. In our case people are not waiting for the power of God but to see us fail. How sad is that because there is a day coming when all will know the true God, the true gospel. But for now Titus 1:10 “there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” 2 Timothy 2:25 “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
The problem is most do not know their scriptures. Sure there are intellectuals who can talk circles around us but they don’t know the word of God, it is only a book to them. Jesus could say the same to them. Matthew 22:29 “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” The demons knew who Jesus was yet the church doesn’t know the voice of the shepherd. Mark 1:24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”” Jesus said Luke 8:10 “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.”
So we join with the disciples when they said John 6:68 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus said John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. If your life has trouble and you are persevering through do not give up. Paul said 2 Timothy 1:12 “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” Today are you convinced of “This Gospel” If you are Deuteronomy 4:39 “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
Like Israel we have been taken captive because of unfaithfulness. We too did not listen and were removed from the promises but due to God’s great mercy to us he keeps his promise to David and will bring us back. Ezekiel 39:21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. 22 From that day forward the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them. 25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 34:29 “‘I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’” Joel 2:25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you. 26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. 27 Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.” Just in case you have forgotten Peter stood up and said “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:” Don’t listen to the false prophets and be deceived.
So like Job we persevere. James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 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. 11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Jesus said he would give us power to do as He did, so do not fear, God is faithful to his word. Luke 24:45 “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Joshua 3:5 “Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 1:7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We serve an amazing God who is true to His word. Trust and do not be afraid for God is with us. Matthew 1:22 “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Luke 1:30 “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 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.” Amen