Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

How Can We Stand Against the World? by John.

2 Corinthians 1:18-2:11

1. So often, we are at a loss as to how to cope with the world around us.
2. Everything seems to be anti-Christian, doesn’t it?
(1) The government interferes with our worship and particularly with evangelism.
(2) We can’t pray or hand out Bibles in schools.
(3) Atheists are trying to wipe out all references to God in our governmental buildings.
(4) We know that the original settlers came to this country because they were persecuted for their faith in England, but publishers of school books want us to forget that. They are erasing that history. In the future children will have a hard time believing this country has Christian roots!
3. What can we do? We can’t take up arms against our own people in a holy war, can we? May it never happen!
4. Then, how can we stand against an anti-Christian world around us when it looks like Satan is winning?
5. How can we believe God’s will is being done?
6. There is a Biblical answer.

I. Our Faith is in God’s Word!

I. Every good and precious promise God has made applies to us! (v. 20).
(1) We may ask, is this God’s promise? ans. “Yes!”
(2) Does this promise apply to me? ans. “Yes!”
(3) All of God’s good promises apply to each of us!
2. Well, which ones, someone will ask? Let’s just mention a few.
(1) First, the forgiveness of sin.
a. When you come to Jesus all your past sins are forgiven, and your future ones, too.
b. As a Christian you still sin, but God has taken the penalty away.
c. Then why do I feel so bad when I sin? The answer is that sin breaks your fellowship with God. In John 3:19, Jesus said, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” Jesus said sins make us stay away from God! We are ashamed in God’s presence.
d. Isaiah 59:1-3 says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” When you sin, you don’t come to God because you know you are a sinner! You feel guilty! The Psalmist said the way to avoid feeling guilty is: (Psalm 119:11) “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” That’s the way to keep your prayer line open to your heavenly Father!
3. He also gave us eternal life. Billy Graham said, “That means I will live as long as God lives!”
(1) Eternal life begins in the here and now the moment we trust Jesus. In John 5:24 Jesus used the present, future and past tenses to demonstrate that truth. “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life”
(2) There are 3 present tense verbs there. “hear,” “believes” and “has.” If He had stopped right there, it would leave getting lost again open as a possibility, but he didn’t stop!
(3) He continues with the future tense and a past tense. “and will not be condemned: he has crossed over from death to life.” (That says it happened in the past, and it continues into the present.)
(4) The future is taken care of forever!
4. God gave us success, and He won’t take it back!
(1) Oh, I don’t mean riches, and I don’t mean fame. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
(2) In persecution, in peace, in everyday life, whatever takes place, God works it out for our good.
a. It may be painful, but it will be good.
b. It may be exciting and pleasing, but it will be good.
c. It may originate with friends, and that makes it good.
d. It may be the result of enemies. God allows it, and it will be good.
e. When God starts working in our lives, He never stops! Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
5. He has given us hope! And that is vitally important.
(1) Everyone has hope of some sort, profit, education, marriage, children, retirement, but that’s only for this world.
(2) We Christians are the only ones who have a real hope that is steadfast and sure. We base it on the words of Jesus, (John 14:1-4) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
(3) All of His hearers believed they would die! So they knew the way, only Phillip didn’t understand what Jesus was saying.
(4) His destination was to be beside His heavenly Father, and that’s our destination, too!
5. We can and do stand up against all the world throws at us because God is in control, (v. 21) “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,”

II. We stand because God has sealed us for Himself!

1. V 22 says, “He...set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come!”
2. God, the Holy Spirit, is our guarantee!
(1) He makes His home in our hearts and lives, and He is not a renter!
a. A landlord could throw a renter out!
b. No one can evict the Holy Spirit because He is the Owner!
3. In Matthew 10:28, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
4. We are sealed by God’s Holy Spirit, so we need have no fear of our Heavenly Father.

conclusion:

1. People, we can stand against the world. We can stand against everything the world can throw at us!
2. We can do it because we are not natural! We are supernatural! Born again!
3. We have Jesus our wonderful Savior!
4. We are sealed until the day of reckoning when Christ comes again by God’s Holy Spirit.
5. We have a home in heaven already built, already prepared for us by Jesus Himself, and He personally is coming to take us there!
6. We will always be with Him!
7. There is nothing the world can offer that measures up to that! There is nothing the world can throw at us that will make us turn our backs on Jesus.
8. But if there was, we could not do it, because God is in control! He controls and disciplines His children!

Emmanuel 12/11/2005

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