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The Mystery of God- Part 3

David Shin


David Shin

Dr. David Shin is the President of Ouachita Hills College.



  • March 4, 2017
    11:30 AM
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In our home as we are expecting in the next couple months radical transition in our lives with the Expecting of our 1st child it's been interesting to see the transformation that is taking place in the John Rocker of books that are stacked next to our beds. On my side of the bed it has gone from Alvin Plantinga's it pissed them ology to the Happiest Baby on the block. And baby why in tips for being a good birth partner Fascinating stuff I write add. And as I've been reading I came across this article on prenatal perception this was an article on A.B.C. news even before we were born we knew our mother's voice and could distinguish it from other voices. That's one of the key findings of an ongoing research project by Canadian and Chinese researchers who are studying infant development the research suggests that while still in the womb our brains were learning speech patterns and laying the groundwork for language acquisition The article goes on the article said that they took 60 women in the final stage of pregnancy all the mothers were tape recorded as they read a poem aloud the mothers were divided into 2 groups one heard the recording of the mother and the other heard the recording of another mother who was not their own. And the studies showed that in both cases the poem caused a change in the baby's heart rate the heart rate accelerated among those who heard their own mother's voice and D's celebrated among those who heard a voice other then their mothers in the womb they could perceive and hear and recognize their mother's voice their heart beat would accelerate fascinating want to invite you to open your Bibles to Luke Chapter one Verse 41 through 45 as we look at a no other prenatal perception that is recorded in the bible back in the 1st century Luke chapter one versus 41 through 45 you know the story Mary has just been told by the angel that she will conceive and have a son that her son will be none other than the Son of God The angel also tells her that Elizabeth in her senior citizen age is also with child so Mary goes to the hill country of Judea and goes to the house of Elizabeth in verse 41 The Bible tells us and it happened when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary that the baby leaped in her womb. Prenatal perception look at that Mary comes into the house of Elizabeth and says Hi Elizabeth I'm here and John the Baptist in utero Latin for in the womb I found out. In Utero leaps so. In the womb and in that moment Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and look at a words we pick it up in verse 42 then she spoke with a loud voice and said Blessed are you among women and bless it is the fruit of your womb for why is it granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me for Indeed as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears the way liebt in my womb for joy bless it is she who believed for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told from the Lord John the Baptist in utero in the womb recognize. The presence of divinity lete in the womb and as we progress in our message this morning I want to paint a picture of the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist a unique relationship Jesus and John the Baptist. Before birth there was some sort of I don't know what you call it in the womb there was some sort of acknowledgement some sort of connection between Jesus and John the Baptist Jesus and John were linked from birth even in the prophecy of the angel she not only says that Mary will have a son but also mentions that Elizabeth is 6 months pregnant there is a connection between Jesus and John the Baptist Not only that in their adult years Jesus and John were ministry partners. It was a relationship of deference and mutual respect look at the words of Jesus and John when they talk about one another Jesus said regarding I should say John said regarding Jesus he must increase I must decrease this is when the disciples of Jesus and the disciples of John were having a little bit of a rivalry and the disciples of John came to John and said look our crowns are going down his crowns are going up what do we do John said he must increase I must decrease good words for those of us that are in ministry men John said of Jesus I am unworthy to one time I his sandals. John baptized Jesus and Jesus said about John among those born of women there is no greater profit then John the Baptist as a lot of great prophets Moses in line Daniel But Jesus said the greatest prophet is John the Baptist so you can see that even in their adult years they were ministry partners and they were linked from birth but it goes deeper than that Jesus and John were family they were related by blood Luke chapter one verse 36 The Bible says Mary and Elizabeth were relatives and with some translations actually say that they were cousins Mary and Elizabeth so if you follow that translation you could argue that Jesus and John the Baptist could have been 2nd cousin pts. Or relatives at the very least they were related by blood so when you put this picture together they were linked from birth in adult years in their adult years they were ministry partners it was a relationship of deference and mutual respect that you spoke highly of each other and on top of that they were blood relatives they were related this was a an unusual relationship and when you take all of these factors into consideration it is mystifying the response or I should say the lack of response of Jesus when John the Baptist his cousin got into some trouble he had some problems look at in Matthew Chapter 4 verse 12 this is after the temptation in the wilderness Matthew tells us now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison he departed to Galilee this is a peculiar passage because the Bible did not say when John Jesus's cousin was put into prison that Jesus went to go and rescue him from prison that is not what the Bible says the Bible uses this verb departed. He he departed How would you like that for a cousin you're in prison and your cousins like all right I'm I'm outta here. This is an unusual passage and you can see that in the desire of ages this was an issue in the minds of the disciples desire of ages page 562 then the disciples had wondered why Jesus with the power to perform wonderful miracles had permitted John to languish in prison and to die a violent death possessing such power why did not cry to say John's life now the question is Did Jesus have the ability to free John from prison absolutely remember the story in The Book of Acts when Peter was in prison an angel came released him from prison this was within God's capability he could have released him and the desire to be just goes on to paint a very interesting picture because while John is in prison it appeared from all X. charnel perception that Jesus was going about life as usual look at in page 215 but Jesus seemed to content himself with gathering disciples about him and healing and teaching the people he was eating at the tables of the publicans So while John is incarcerated while John is in prison while John is behind bars and languishing and rotting away Jesus is out there eating with publicans and sinners he's going about ministry as usual this was very challenging to John and you can see that there were doubts that started to creep into the mind of John the Baptist while he was in prison because he sent messengers to Jesus remember that story and what was the question that John asked of Jesus look our youth the war on or should we look for someone else. He was going into just a state of doubt arguably depression in prison to the point that he actually doubted the mission of Jesus a very dark time and in Matthew Chapter 14 The Bible tells us the story of how at a drunken party Herit makes a promise that he later regretted and John is executed and the disciples of John in Matthew Chapter 14 verse 12 came and took up the body and must have been a real Just treat. Taking the headless body of a person that they followed burying him in the wilderness and after that Bible tells us they made a beeline to Jesus. Can just imagine some of the sentiments that they were feeling at that time I don't know what they said but you can imagine what they were thinking. Jesus Here's your cousin the person that spent his entire life for one purpose that was to point the way to you your own flesh and blood was executed. And then you can see Jesus response it echoes Matthew Chapter 4. And Jesus heard it and he what does the Bible say he departed. Takes off again and departed from there by boat mystifying response by Jesus he departs when he hears that he's in prison and he departs when he hears that his own flesh and blood his cousin has been executed and this was a lingering question in the minds of disciples desire of ages goes on page 56 today disciples wondered why Jesus with the power to perform wonderful miracles had permitted John to languish in prison and to die a violent death possessing such power why did he not save John's life and then it says that this question had often been asked by the fairer sees who presented it as on answerable as an on answerable argument against Christ claimed to be the Son of God In other words this was a huge issue in the minds of not only the disciples but also the minds of Christ enemies the fairest they said look how can he be the Son of God who would treat someone like this here is John the Baptist Jesus clearly has power he can raise the dead he can feed thousands why didn't he intervene and save John's life and the desire of ages says that this was a question that no one had answers to it created serious challenges in the minds of even people that believe that Jesus was the Messiah and the book of How about summarizes the real challenge that we have with this narrative of John the Baptist about to Chapter one Verse 13 you are a purer eyes than to be holding evil and can not look on wickedness Why do you look on those who deal treacherously and hold your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he you can see the argument here. In other words God. You Haiti will not just stand there please do something please intervene now we know that Jesus that God is not the originator of evil but the question that is asking that applies to John the Baptist situation is why don't you intervene in circumstances like this and this is a question that we've asked at some point in our lives if we have not someday perhaps you will God why didn't you save my child from this rare genetic disease God why didn't you save my parents from this tragic accident why did my father have to die of cancer these are lingering questions that we face why did you not intervene and then we have other miracle stories that we hear all the time of this miraculous healing where Codd clearly intervene in the life of this individual but in the life of our loved one it seems that God has abandoned us how do we process this why then and not me why did you say Peter from prison and not John the Baptist these are serious questions that people haven't I have a former colleague of mine serve the Lord. For the majority of his adult life sacrificed people were saved as a result of his ministry. Had talents in gifts he was diagnosed with cancer and I remember they had an annoying thing service for him and everybody just knew that he would be healed absolutely no doubt the work of God could be furthered by this man being alive and I remember watching him up front. In the midst of his chemotherapy singing and leaving song service with joy claiming God's promises and saying I'm going to be healed a few months later this family was gathered around his bed as he was writhing in pain and died one of his relatives told me she never wanted to see anyone die the way that her father died because to the very last breath he found no relief from the pain and everybody is asking why. Why don't you do something I don't want you steppin like you did for this individual. Now. I am not going to be so pretentious with Sabbath morning to claim to have answers to these types of questions especially in a 30 minute presentation many of these questions we don't have answers to at least this side of heaven but if you'll permit me I'd like to spend a little bit of time looking at 3 different aspects that are a part of John's narrative that will perhaps give us a little bit of a picture it won't answer all the questions but perhaps it'll give us something on which to hold on to and this is something that comes out from John's life and whites commentary in the desire of Ages is what we call the eternal perspective. Now when we think about eternity I don't think. At least in my mind this is not something that is easy for me to practice to process. How. Can we quantify eternity. This is our life it actually should be smaller than that. That is our life and eternity think about even if you live for a trillion years that's not even a dot in eternity. So from Gaunts perspective he cares about our life a man in the here and now now I do not want to give us the notion or the impression this morning that this life is immaterial that God does not care about our life and that we didn't should not ask God for things that are temporal but we also need to recognize that from Dawn's vantage point as he looks back in our life it is not just the finite 708090 if you follow the admin the health message praise God for that are 100 years of life God is stepping back and saying look I want to bless you in this life but he steps back and says look there is something much more than that that he wants us to be in gauged in. And some people look at me and say you know David that is such a stupid decision why are you doing that. Now I will say that I made many stupid decisions but there are certain eternal decisions that look from a temporal standpoint as very stupid look at Moses he could have been king and yet he put his lot with a bunch of slaves. It depends on which perspective that you look at and from John's life perspective he looks like a loser lived for 30 years never got married and in the prime of his life he's executed but when you back things up this is a challenging aspect Romans chapter 8 verse 18 yet what we suffer now is what does it say is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later now this is not minimizing the sufferings that we have in this life but when you back up and look at eternity and this is what the desire of ages says in page 224 death itself placed him John for ever beyond the power of temptation in other words he was seeing. I this is a challenging thing for me to process even from the standpoint of eternity but the desire of Ages is presenting this notion that the moment that John died he was C.E.O. old for eternity Yes he lived a hard life yes he was executed at the prime of his life but how can you quantify that compared to eternity because the next thing that John will know from his consciousness is the resurrection and eternity beyond So when you step back and we don't look at this life as everything eternity and that perspective helps us to say Good Lord I don't understand what and why this is going on now but I think you that one day. You explain things to me from the eternal angle desire of ages $224.00 God never leads his children otherwise and they would choose to be led if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as coworkers with him in other words when you stand with God on the sea of glass and you look back and say Lord thank you it was hard but I would not have been led any other way so the eternal perspective something that we need to take into consideration the other one I'll admit to you is difficult for me to swallow it's the experience of suffering now I want to be very clear this is not talking about children suffering genocide or even suffering because of our own faults the Bible talks about this notion in Matthew chapter 5 verse 10 blessid are those who are persecuted because of a righteous news some people have this martyr syndrome and they say oh I'm being persecuted I say no you're not you're being obnoxious. But it's not being persecuted when you're being persecuted for being on godly you need be nice the Bible is talking about being persecuted for righteousness' sake Peter goes on 1st Peter chapter 2 verse 20 but how is it to your credit if you receive this is the N.I.V. a beating who for doing wrong and endure it but if you suffer for doing good and you endure it this is commendable before God. This is a part of being a Christian now I know it's hard for us to swallow because we live in this age of the prosperity gospel if you serve God you going to get an S.U.V. You can have a big retirement are going to have a big home just put your hand on the screen and send your donation and you'll be blessed I mean this is the prosperity mental mentality that we live in but the Biblical perspective of what it means to follow God is the suffering Christ and the suffering Christian and I'm not saying that God will not bless us materially but there is an aspect of being a follower of Jesus that involves suffering like him for righteousness sake believe in Chapter one Verse 29 unto you it is given in behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for his sake I don't know about you but I like to avoid these types of verses but as move on John Chapter 15 verse 20 Jesus said Remember what I told you a servant is not greater than his master if they persecuted me they will persecute you as well this is a real aspect of being a Christian and what it means desire they just goes on the land the with the savior have come to John to brighten the dungeon gloom with his own presence gladly would have delivered his faithful servant but for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death John was to drink the cup of murder to him this is hard as the followers of Jesus should languish in lonely cells or perish by the sword apparently forsaken by God and man what a state to their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist to whose faithfulness Christ himself had borne witness had passed through a similar experience was. An angle that we just can't understand stepping back it's the suffering Christ and the suffering Christian that of ages $224.00 Of all the gifts that Heaven can be stole upon men fellowship with Christ in his suffering is the most weighty trust in the highest honor. The experience of suffering the eternal perspective and then we have the empathy of the Savior Hebrews Chapter 4 verse 12 for we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities Jesus understands he knows what we're going through is obvious as not a size breathed not a faint pain felt not a throb grief Pierce is the soul but the throb vibrates to the father's heart God is bending from his throne to hear the cry of the oppressed to every sincere prayer he answers here am I there is empathy Jesus understands what we're going through he is there to the challenges that each one of us face. As a book entitled Touching the Void. As written by Simpson he gives the account of how himself and his partner Yates were climbing a 20000 foot mountain in the Andes of South America and as they were climbing this mountain Simson fell and broke his leg there was a storm that began to come in. And they realized that they needed to get off this mountain and fast so they started to descend down the mountain they need to go at least 3000 feet down to base camp and through a series of circumstances Yates and Simpson ended up in a precarious predicament Gates was literally hanging or holding his partner Simpson over and dangling over a cliff and because of the frostbite Gates was unable to pull him up and Simpson was unable to pull himself up and so they dangled there for what seemed an eternity and the storm began to set in and Yates who was holding Simpson over the edge of the cliff had to make a fateful decision because he realized if they stayed in that position they would both freeze to death and so Yates pulled out his knife cut the rope horrific parade predicament Yates descended down the face of the cliff called for his partner could not see him could not hear him assume that he had died and went back to be skinned what had happened was Simpson felt down the cliff and into a curve OS his head was knocked unconscious Simpson awoke realized that his partner would assume that he was dead and what happened next was harrowing he realized he could not provide up the US so it's counterintuitive what you're supposed to do is crawl down hoping though to open up and so he crawled with a shattered leg for miles for 3 days. That man crawled hypothermia frostbitten on the verge. Of delirium and death came to base camp just hours before his partner Gates was about to go back to civilization. In Mountain NG lore this is the steamed us the most remarkable story an interview they asked Simpson What kept you going for 3 days crawling through snow and ice on the verge of death why didn't you just stop and just close your eyes and it will be all over and you know what he said he said the thing that kept him going was not that he wanted to avoid death that was not the thing that kept him crawling for 3 days you know what he said he said the thing that kept me going was that I did not want to die alone. What a wrong human desire he said look I crawl all the way back because I wanted to die in someone's arms it makes me think Psalms 23. Yeah they know I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I Will Fear No Evil why. For that aren't with me. I really heard. Window worship I'm not going anywhere. Jesus says look I can't give you all the reasons right now why you're going through this but I'm here. And. You're not alone. You don't have to go through this by yourself and I promise you here is Chapter 13 verse 5 I will say. I would never leave you know or forsake you. See the wrong ALL human desire is not to avoid suffering it's to avoid suffering own and Jesus says look I am here in the deepest darkest most traumatic moment of your life you are not alone I will never leave you or for sake you and if you could peel back the curtain from the visible to the invisible he would see. It with his arms around you in the darkest moment of your life closer than he's ever been before. With trust a man through the eyes of faith that's believe because it is a reality that Jesus is not going anywhere Let us pray. Our Father in heaven we thank you that you are not going anywhere we thank you that you will never leave us or for sake of us and though we feel perhaps sometimes that we've been abandoned that is the last time. You were closer than you've ever been before help us to believe with the eyes of faith. That you are there Lord we know that we don't have all the answers and we trust that when you're standing in your path that you know of your. Reasoning But right now thank you that you sustain that you have your arms around us that you're not going anywhere. Thank you for this promise helpless to hold fast and to endure. The real sea sings in Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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