October 29, 2017
Call to Worship: Psalm 95
Songs: Thrive Casting Crowns
Joy of the Lord Rend Collective
Made Me Glad Travis Cottrell
Scripture: The LORD Is God” Deuteronomy 4:32 “Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today. 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.”
Song: You Are God Alone The ZOE Group
Sermon: “God is Not on Trial”
Closing Song: Jesus Umobile Worship
Benedictions 1 Chronicles 29:10 “David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
Sermon: “God is Not on Trial”
Let’s go back to the beginning. Jesus said Luke 10:18 “I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Revelation 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Isn’t it interesting that Jesus said this after the seventy-two returned saying “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” and in Revelations 11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Just in case you wondering as we proceed. We are supposed to be and can be victorious over the evil one. In the garden they were told Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.” So man was banished from the garden along with the curses but at the same time the amazing grace of God calls us back. Skip ahead to the Promised Land. They are told every where you set your foot will be yours and no man will stand against you, yet they are defeated and cast out of the land. Skip ahead to Jesus. The sting of death is gone, power and authority are given yet they yelled crucify him crucify and they did. The Holy Spirit is given and like the seventy-two there was power available yet Paul said Galatians 5:7 “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.” 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.” Hebrews 10:29 “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?”
How many times have you heard the statement where was God or why would God allow? When anything goes wrong God ceases to not exist and is put on trial. He suddenly ceases to not be part of our world and takes the blame for everything. Most people don’t follow wholeheartedly nor do they follow the “if you obey” clauses in the His word because most do not know what the bible really says and therefore do not hold fast to the word of God. God did not fail when satan fell from heaven or when they were cast from the garden or the promised land or today when the church lies in desolation. Along with His word, God has been put on trial. They have called it irrelevant and rejected it. Rob Bell said a few years ago to Oprah "We're moments away. I think the culture is already there. And the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense," Now he writes a book called What Is the Bible? How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything.” Remember satan offers the world to us and men like Bell take it. This man is still popular and people still listen to him. One person said recently “I feel like I can finally be relevant and true to myself and others.” Another said, He is just what the church needs... he inspires, he challenges, he affirms, he teaches much like the way Jesus did.... and to have something that tangible is transformative and captivating in this world we live in where the church, the bible, and God has unfortunately been made into something dull, judgmental, hypocritical, and boring.... when you are given the right tools to see...you can no longer unsee...and that is what God does through Rob Bell.” Remember this is the man who feels the bible is irrelevant and that the church needs to catch up with the world. The sad part is this man and all those who follow him will find out in hell that his teaching was wrong.
His teaching is like others who accept the parts they like and reject those they don’t and add and subtract to all of it to make it line up with their pathetic views. Sure they say they follow Gods word but it is easy to see they don’t. Really it is just a figment of their imagination. As we have talked about most do not know that what they are following is not God’s word and therefore not the Jesus we are called to worship. It also means God himself has been rejected. Post-theism “describes an attitude that one is beyond the god question. The atheist label no longer makes sense because the question of god is a settled fact; a god doesn’t exist and never did, so one doesn’t lack belief, but rather proceeds with the knowledge that there’s no god and conducts their life as such.” You see people are still asking themselves if they believe the bible and is it true. One person said, “We need to look to the Old Testament and remind ourselves how God wants us to be close to Him. When we push him away, all hell breaks loose and we have no where to turn for help. We need to be like the Old Testament prophets who called people to come back to God.” Is it God’s fault that people turn away from Him and all that He offers us? All He asked is for us to be obedient to his word. This is why men like Bell succeed because they offer another way that is less invasive to their lives. It really is a deplorable deception. But this should be no surprise to us as Daniel was appalled by what he saw. Daniel 8:23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. 26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” 27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.” Then John was astonished by what he saw. Revelations 17:3 “Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.”
These abominations fill the church today. The deception tells you these abominations are coming in the future but look around and what do you see in the church. You too will be astonished and appalled if only you open your eyes and ears. The abomination that causes desolation has established itself. 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. See men like Bell and MacArthur think they are speaking for God. Matthew 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— We are in trouble. Millions of Christians have turned from the truth to follow these abominations. Just look at these for starters. Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable / abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” These are just some of the abominations. Deuteronomy 18:9 “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways / abominations of the nations there. Look at what Solomon did. 1 Kings 11:4 “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. 7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. 9 The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” You see God isn’t on trial, we are.
Then you read about Sodom and Gomorrah where Genesis 18:20 “Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” Today we say ‘Oh its fine to have a homosexual moderator as the leader of a denomination, or to be post theistic and not believe in God, Jesus the bible and still call yourself a minister. Yes you still minister but your father is the father of lies. That is the United Church. By participating in this church and those like it, you are saying yes to all of this and no to the bible. If you are a believer you simply can’t be part of it no matter how you justify it. Remember I said we could talk about other subjects just like we did the rapture. One person said “When you see progress in other denominations it encourages the activists to keep fighting in their own denomination.” You can follow that journey also in the Anglican church. As they set aside the word of God, they get further and further away from the truth. This is what happens when you let reason, tradition and experience get in the way of God’s word. As denominations discuss and approve you see that the word of God being set aside. Scripture is clear. 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.” Revelation 22:15 “Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.”
When you are still trying to decide if God’s word is God’s word, you will stray from the truth. In the beginning- God. Don’t put God on trial it is not his fault, it’s yours. There is no way you can read the word of God and approve of this behavior. The good news is there is an answer to it. No we don’t change the word of God, we change. Paul continued and talked about the power to change. 1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” This tells us there is power available to change people. It is not about what society thinks; it is God we stand before. In their effort to be relevant in society they have become irrelevant before God.
God is not on trial. His word is not on trial, nor is the Holy Spirit on trial. We don’t have to prove the existence of God. We simply have to believe what commands us. Jesus came to destroy the work of satan. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” When we don’t believe the word of God, we loose because we have no power to defeat satan. This is what is available to us. Luke 4:31 “Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! 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!” 35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.”
Jesus gives us the same authority. After all that we have talked about these last weeks is it any wonder we remain powerless, Matthew 8:28 “When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” 32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.” So the demons were still here yet most of the church does not believe in demons nor do they believe that Jesus gave us the authority to cast them out. This power is available to us but do we believe. Most have been taught that this empty way of life handed down to us by our fathers is all there is but that comes from the father of lies. Our unbelief has caused this. It should be Romans 4:18 “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” We must believe the same. Mark 9:17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” Luke 24:7 “They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Mark 16:14 “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 28:17 “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”
God is not wrong; we are. God is not weak; we are. We are the ones who refuse the power He offers. It wasn’t a lack of power that caused Israel to be defeated; it was disobedience and unbelief. Numbers 13:32 “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 14:3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” This lack of power is because we have turned away from his word. Numbers 14:30 “Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness.” Numbers 26:64 “Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. 65 For the Lord had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
What makes us think we can disobey, turn away from God and His word and follow man’s teachings and still expect God to bless us? Till this day people refuse to accept the word of God as truth. We are not seeing power because God has turned his face from shining on us. We were told to obey God’s word not ours. Just like Israel was warned we are warned in them. People say that is the Old Testament okay 1 Corinthians 10:1 “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” But will you take it. So we have people not reading the Old Testament but yet we just heard the same thing I read in Numbers. We had better take this serious or the same will happen to us. Luke 13:23 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “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!”
We keep hearing songs such as great is thy faithfulness and yes God is faithful and merciful but we stand condemned if we do not believe. It is not about God’s faithfulness we need to worry about, it is our faith. His faithfulness is not on trial. He told us we would have power to defeat our enemies but we must obey. They were defeated in the Promised Land because they disobeyed not because God did not have the power. Nothing has changed. God loves us so much he gives us the choice to follow or not. Not following has consequences. There is power available to all who believe but we would rather reject the Sovereign Lord and do it ourselves. Malachi 1:14 “For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Daniel 2:19 “During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. 23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.” Psalm 75:7 “It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.” We have moved away from praying and believing that the Lord is sovereign. Psalm 71:5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 2 Peter 2:1 [ False Teachers and Their Destruction ] “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. Jude 1:4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
Once we fail to recognize God as sovereign, we loose his power. Once we stop fearing God we are finished. These decisions taking place in churches would never happen if God was sovereign in their lives and since he isn’t they reject his word as if His word can be tossed away like garbage. Many like Rob Bell think they are getting away with it but they stand condemned. If God is not sovereign in our life we are defeated. Our lives here are very short compared to eternity. Oh yes we can fix that by teaching Hell does not exist. That should solve it. Just as earthly authority is not respected from police to teachers, to those who govern nations and even the flag makes it okay to put God on trial and accuse him of not caring and not loving. The church has rejected the authority of the word of God. There is absolutely no fear of God. Romans 3:10 “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” But Psalm 55:19 “God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.” Instead of fearing God they say how could a loving God let this happen. Well if you have never read nor understand the bible you may ask that question but the problem is many are asking that question are supposed to be believers. The problem is they have believed in the wrong Jesus, gospel and spirit. They have been deceived. They don’t realize that they are the ones on trial and will be convicted and already are. 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. Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
God does not change but we have to. God is not on trial we are. Will we stand firm and wait upon Him. Or will the message Jesus preached apply to us. Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” Yes God loved the world even though we don’t deserve it and sent His son to die in our place, but he was innocent but shed his blood so that we might have life eternal but we must believe otherwise we have already been condemned.