Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Cannot Come Down

October 27, 2013

Misc. Sermons
I Cannot Come Down
Neh. 6:2-3

(Advance Slide #1)


(Advance Slide #2)

Are you doing a great work?
  • Maybe the case is that you were doing a great work.
(Advance Slide #3)
  • Have you come down from your “wall”?
    • I believe that there is a great work taking place here at Una.
    • There are precious souls that need to be protected, that need to be saved.
    • The work MUST continue…we must keep building!
It must upset the devil to no end when his efforts against us fail.
  • We face so many different types of opposition to quit building.
  • Opposition will build…it will thrive…it will come but we must keep building.
Servants of God will face opposition, but we need to recognize it for what it is.
  • It is the devil trying to stop things.
  • Upset him by keeping the work.
(Advance Slide #4)

Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Neh. 6:2-3

Nehemiah is in the process of rebuilding the wall.

(Advance Slide #5)
  • Chapter 4 - Neh. faced opposition, but was able to start back the work.
  • Chapter 5 - The poor were being oppressed, this slowed things down but Neh. was able to help them.
  • Chapter 6 - Now there is a conspiracy against Neh.
    • A meting was scheduled by his conspirators at the plain of Ono
      • There was no real business agenda for this meeting.
    • Neh. was suspicious that they might want to harm him.
    • Neh. needed to be on the wall, this meeting was not an excuse enough for him to come down.
The work had to continue, and they needed Neh.
  • They tried 4 more times to stop the work of Neh. and Israel.
  • 6:15 we read that the work was finished!

(Advance Slide #6)

Our work is difficult…it is trying!
  • If we want the enemy out and the safety of Christ within we need, no we MUST, keep going.
(Advance Slide #7)

Walls have two purposes:
  1. To keep the enemy out
  2. To keep those inside safe
(Advance Slide #8)

Are the materials that we use are important?
If a wall is going to withstand the enemy then it needs to be built of materials that the enemy cannot break through.
  • We too need to build our walls with materials that will withstand the enemy.
    • We need materials that have been covered in the blood of Jesus!
      • Our faith, our hope, the work that we do, EVERYTHING about us needs to be beaded on His work at Calvary.
(Advance Slide #9)
  • Isa. 26:1 “We have a strong city; He (God) sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.” 
Israel didn’t use pebbles did they?
  • There was a reason that they used rock….BIG ROCKS!
    • The big strong rocks would keep the enemy out.
  • What are you going to do to keep the enemy out of your life?
    • Will you study? Will you pray?
    • EX - Had all of the 3 Little Pigs built their homes out of brick it would have saved them future troubles!
(Advance Slide #10)

Why do we fail?
Do you ever wonder what we fail? Why do we walk away form the work so easily?
  • We call it a lot of different things:
    • They fell away, they quit attending, they are backsliding…well…why?
    • The reason is that there is a hole in our walls.
  • It could also be because the mortar that we are using is weak.
(Advance Slide #11)
  • Peter tells us how to strengthen our mortar.
    • "5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-11
  • In the song, The Battle Belongs to the Lord” there is this line, “no weapon thats fashioned against will stand”
(Advance Slide #12)

When do we need the wall?
The fact of the matter is that we need to resist the devil, not later but NOW!

(Advance Slide #13)
  • 1 Peter 5:8 refers to the devil as a "roaring lion”
  • While we work we must the ready and watchful!
The power that we need comes only through Jesus’ blood.
  • “There is power, power, wonder working power, in the blood…”
  • This requires a relationship with Him.
    • However, this takes more than a occasional trip to church.
    • It takes more than an occasional glance at the Bible.
      • This sill weaken ones mortar and will create holes in our "walls.”
If we desire to keep the enemy out it takes a lot of work.
  • It takes faith, it takes prayer.
  • We must also keep busy with the Master’s work
    • We MUST have a working faith in God!

(Advance Slide #14)

Neh. knew that he was engaged in a “great work”!
  • God’s work was THE MOST important thing for him.
    • Neh.’s opposition is not real different then the opposition we face today.
    • Can we learn from his words?
I believe we can.
  • When the devil temps us…when he distracts us…we must keep working!
(Advance Slide #15)
  • “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our Awesome Hope

Our Awesome Hope

October 20, 2013

Misc. Sermons
Our Awesome Hope
1 Peter 1:1-7

(Advance Slide #1)

It was the end of WWII a submarine was coming home.
  • It's home port was to be a dock in VA.
    • The crew had made it through the war without any damage to their vessel.
  • Just of the coast of VA for an unexplained reason the sub sank.
    • The Coast Guard was mobilized…divers were sent down and they heard the sound of tapping.
(Advance Slide #2)
  • It was morse code…this was the message…IS THERE HOPE?
Many people ask this question…maybe you ask it here today.

(Advance Slide #3)
  • This is an important question to think about.
  • We live in a broken world, there are broken dream, homes relationships.
    • We have bills we can't pay, we're waiting on the doctor to call, for a job offer, for a marriage/spouse, for a family.
      • The question of hope is an essential one to life.
(Advance Slide #4)

I can speak with a 100% certainty that if you are like me you crave HOPE!
  • We will follow so many different fades in search of hope
  • When we are financially weak we become gullible and we val for scams…why? 
(Advance Slide #5)

Hope is more than wishful or positive thinking.
  • These are good, but we need something deeper…something genuine!
(Advance Slide #6)
  • Our situation might be bad, but we have a Savior/ God is still God
    • Paul said that there was one thing in which he put his hope in…
    • The security of an eternal r'ship with Jesus Christ.
LISTEN - All disappointment and discouragement comes when we put our hope in the wrong thing!

You may not need today's lesson, but maybe by the end of the week you will.
  • It might not be till next week, next month, next year.
(Advance Slide #7)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:3-7

1 Peter is 5 chapter long.
  • It is written to suffering Christians.
    • They were suffering some bad things, but worse things were yet to come.
(Advance Slide #8)
    • Nero would be ruling Rome and Christians would be fed to the lions; Christians would be used as human torches.
  • During this time to be a Christian meant that you would die.
(Advance Slide #9)

* So the message for 1 Peter is this…it may get worse but there still is hope!


(Advance Slide #10)

For this lesson I want us to look at these first seven verses and identify 5 reasons for our AWESOME HOPE!

(Advance Slide #11)

God chose me before I chose Him (vs. 2)
Notice in vs. 2, we can rejoice because all three: God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit all chose us.
  • A plan that was in place long before we were born…Go desired to save us.
    • It is as if God said, "I want them in the kingdom with me."
    • This indicates to me that there was no accident behind our choosing!
God wants us to be a holy person.
  • With this should give us confidence…it should give us hope!
(Advance Slide #12)

God has always treated me with mercy (vs. 3)
Remember that Jesus is writing to persecuted Christians, but notice vs. 3.
  • It begins, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"
  • Grace and mercy are amazing things…
    • We cannot work for them or even towards them!
    • We cannot make God love us more than He loves us right now!
      • Titus 3:5 "he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit," 
God always acts in mercy…why?
  • Because we are covered in the blood of Christ!
  • No matter how far I fall God's will treat me with mercy…this I have hope in!
You will notice in this verse there are some privileges to being a part of God's family:
  • We get to call Him Father…we ask and He listens!
  • Over 20 times in the NT you find that phrase, "Ask!"
  • James wrote, "You have not because you ask not."
(Advance Slide #13)

God has secured my future (vs. 3-4)
This is a guarantee…a guarantee of a living hope!
  • These verses are jammed pack with hopeful truth.
  • We just read vs. 3 here is 4 "to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,"
    • Another benefit or hope to being in God's family…we have an inheritance.
    • We know that it is our…"for you"
** South Carolina's state seal has this quote on it, "While I breath I have hope"
  • That's great, but in Christ we have an eternal hope!
  • Notice the 3 ways this inheritance is described:
    • Imperishable
    • Undefiled
    • Unfading
(Advance Slide #14)

God's power will protect us (vs. 5)
We are guarded!
  • "who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation" 
  • We do, and will, find ourselves in situation our natural reaction is to think that we are powerless and hopeless.
    • For a Christian…THIS IS A LIE!
We are guarded for a great salvation!
  • This means that we are bring "kept" there is a reason.
  • It has to do with our salvation.
    • We might walk away from Him, but He's not going to leave us.
    • No matter the mighty army that attacks we are guarded for our salvation in Christ. 
Paul wrote to his friend Timothy, "But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me." 2 Tim. 1:12

(Advance Slide #15)

At the revelation of Christ our faith will be found worthy (vs. 6-7)
Things may be bad right now, they might even get worse, but you have a great hope.
  • In fact, you have a genuine faith that has been tested.
  • The result of this faith will be the following:
    • "praise and glory and honor"…when?
      • At the revelation of Jesus Christ…when He returns again.
Isn't this our hope?
  • It is not an empty, wishful thinking…it's deeper it has meaning.
  • There is a certainty in our hope.
Is your life tapping out a panic message (like the submariners)…IS THERE HOPE?
  • There is, and it is an awesome hope!
(Advance Slide #16)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
  • How can we be filled with this?
    • This is the real question…listen to the words of Jesus.
(Advance Slide #17)
    • "Come to me all that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest"
  • We have to come to Him, submit to Him to receive His blessings!

But there is another important part for us to have this hope…we must be washed!
  • "Repent and be baptized everyone of you, for the remission of your sins."
(Advance Slide #18)

"27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save (to bring salvation) those who are eagerly waiting for him." Heb. 9:27-28

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Proven Love

Proven Love

October 13, 2013

Misc. Sermons
Proven Love
Eph. 3:18-19

(Advance Slide #1)

This is another basic, simple, but important lesson…why?

(Advance Slide #2)
  • What we believe about God affects our whole life.
  1. What you do
  2. Who you are
  3. How you handle your past
  4. How you look to the future
(Advance Slide #3)

If we can't answer these it is likely that we have an unrealistic view of God.

Some think of God as :
  • an impersonal force - sort of a distant diety.
  • an old grandfather - someone to confuse and "pull the wool" over their eyes
  • like an unpleasant parent - always judging and you can't get things right.
  • a cruel tyrant
When we don't fully understand God we fall into one of two categories.
  • Deny Him - try to play hide and seek from Him
  • Create our own god - make thins up in our own mind.
    • The fact is that our opinion doesn't change who He is.
    • What really matter is the TRUTH!
(Advance Slide #4)

Goal - to understand a little bit of what God is like because if we do not know we build a faulty foundation.

(Advance Slide #5)

18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 

This morning we are going to look at 3 ways that God has proven His love!

(Advance Slide #6)

Revealed Himself - the only way to know Him
He chose to reveal Himself to the world…how?
  • Through creation - shows God's organization
    • He aligned the planets
    • In the human body - how each part works
  • Through nature - shows God's power
    • The power within the sun, the wind, the water
  • Through His creativity - He likes variety
    • God is creative
    • God likes beauty
* The most important way that God revealed Himself is not through these means

(Advance Slide #7)
  • Through the Bible
  • 2000 years ago God came in human form so that we can know Him…to understand Him
(Advance Slide #8)
  • Newsweek - "2000 Years of Jesus: How Christianity Shaped the Modern World"
    • Lk. 2:32 - "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
    • Col. 1:15 - "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation."
    • Jn. 14:9 - "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father."
Was He telling the truth or not?
  • Either He is God or He is a fraud.
  • How do we know…"I'll prove it to you."
    • They will kill me
    • They will bury me
    • I will walk out of the tomb
      • He then appeared…Paul wrote that at least 500 saw and they were still alive go ask them!

(Advance Slide #9)

Rescued You - you might not know that you need saving or a Savior
Long before you knew you needed a Savior, God knew you needed one!
  • He wouldn't send His Son if you weren't worth saving.
  • Saving from what?
(Advance Slide #10)
  • Guilt of past sins - we all have some level of guilt
    • We have all made mistakes in our past.
    • Heb. 9:15 - "Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant."
(Advance Text on Slide #10)
  • A meaningless life - I really believe this!
    • John 10:10 - "He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him."
    • Some don't have an abundant life, but we do!
(Advance Text on Slide #10)
  • The fear of death - this is a universal fear of all
    • Someday you will die…its a fact!
    • Eternity will begin in one of two places.
    • Where you start eternity is where you will remain for eternity.
(Advance Slide #11)

Related to You

(Advance Slide #12)

Even before you were made God knew you…He had r'ship with you!
  • We are not here to make millions, live it up, and then leave the remainders for others.
  • We are here to glorify Him…to experience this proven r'ship of love with Him.
We were created as objects of His love.
  • Now…be honest, this is hard to understand!
(Advance Slide #13)
  • 2 Cor. 5:19 - "that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation."
    • Trespasses (sin) was not held against us.
    • Rather, He sent His Son instead of judging us!
Why? For a r'ship.

Have you ever "dropped someone's name"
  • The greatest name that we can drop is that of the one who has proven His love!
(Advance Slide #14)

How do we start?
  1. Talk, pray, ask - this is FAITH!
  2. Make a decision - that we want to live differently (repentance)
  3. Come to Him (this is submission)
  4. Then through baptism our sins are washed away!
Phil 4:19 - "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
  • This is not for everyone…only those that are in Christ.
Since He has proven His love…can you show your love back?
  • Without knowing HIm we will live a miserable life!
(Advance Slide #15)
  • This is my prayer to you….that you "may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."