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Confidence in Crisis - Part 7: Covid-19 in a Post-Truth World

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • May 2, 2020
    11:30 AM
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Father thank You for the privilege of studying your word the opportunity Lord to gather not in presence but in your presence online I'm asking the Lord that this technology would be multiplied to carry your message for it in a movie or people to higher ground guidance in this time together and they would be taught they would be transformed these job very near to us now may we here which is sane in Jesus' name amen So afternoon I'm going to attempt to put my arms around some challenging subject matter and title my message covert 1900 posts truth world now I want to start by asking you if you know how to be heard we're living in an age where truth is very difficult to find. Because it's hidden behind what we call perspective and partisanship I can immediately discount what you're about to say if I'm not a seeker after truth by figure now from what angle you're launching yourself and as soon as I know where you're coming from I know where you're going and I can tune you out I can decide if you're worth reinforcing my preconceived ideas or if I want to be troubled by the potential that something you say my rattle my security so this morning this topic is challenging because many that are listening are from free democratic societies where the play and counter play of ideas is not only expected but some would have a philosophy that a right roll of citizenship would inquire you to engage politically of course politics and Ridge religion are the 2 things we're not supposed to talk about in public places much less a mix them. And it is not my goal to mix them here today except to say that if you're looking for truth or if you want to be truth in a post truth world there are some things you're going to have to do I want to start by reminding you that God's people have often found themselves under the persecuting power of a political system a religious system but I have a hard time imagining Daniel and shad rack me shack an event ago or hand and eye as a rock and this yellow sitting around in their Babylonian flat ragging on never again as or instead as they found themselves headed to the crucible of potential persecution I'm certain they were praying for a breakthrough not only for themselves but for all the myriad other Jewish men and women in that empire that had decided ahead of time that loyalty to God was going to come before everything else it's never recorded in the New Testament Scripture to my knowledge especially in the 4 synoptic gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John that Jesus takes a moment to tell his disciples how he really feels on a personal level and a personal a grievance against a political leader he has some very direct words for those political leaders but they are typically that they are typically direct they are to the person that needs to hear them or to a query or that will take them to that person when I really want to say it to you at the beginning of a sermon where I'm going to talk about truth and fear fear to live the truth fear to speak the truth a greater fear that the true spoken might not be heard because the instrumentality of our life might deflect. The worthiness of what we're saying it's imperative that our lives have bound up in them a divine nobility something that takes us to a higher level of credibility the very transformation that we're hoping will come into the lives of others must be in our own or else we will not be heard we will be easily pigeonholed or categorize and split off to the side so this morning truth amidst the coronavirus in a post truth world a dialogue a debate a contest between truth and fear I'm holding in my hands here an article out a j store the danger of public shaming in the Internet the subtitle says the ritual of public shaming is nothing new but today's brand of mass humiliation is more public more widespread and more scarred and more potentially dangerous It used to be that if you wanted outside the mores or the value system of your tribe your group that there would be somebody that would confront you and communicate their displeasure Nowadays everyone supposed to have their own truth and the freedom to live their own life but if you violate the new social mores the new social values you can immediately be crucified in the public opinion and held up on the World Wide Web as one who ought not to do that by myriads of people who have no interest in you and no desire to see restored or respected so we find ourselves fearful of where we might speak truth cautious about how we My lived truth hesitant to get outside the bounds that would bring some kind of duress upon a soul something less than affirmation. Years ago in a public forum Khrushchev of was commenting on Stalin It was a century of his predecessor in a public meeting and he was interrupted by someone from the audience who cried out You were one of Stalin's colleagues So why did you stop it Khrushchev was probably a bit taken aback at that moment but he roared out who said that it was agonizing silence in the room nobody dared to move a muscle and then he changed his demeanor and his tone of voice and he said Now you know why our fears make us traitors Shakespeare writes and Emerson would go on to say he has not learned the lesson of life who does not daily surmount a fear Cicero would add to it no power is strong enough to be the last scene if it labors under the weight of fear so I have a very peculiar objective in this message I'm here to challenge all listening to me as to the degree of prior cost counting that's gone into their journey with Christ and what their life will look like as circumstances compel them to follow their own convictions based on the Word of God verses the trajectory and the trends of modern society even inside the church our fears make us traitors something very thin important to think about yes truth is now about perspective and Parson ship both of which deny the fact that there is a day of accountability coming we will be held accountable for every thought every word every action every failure to act when we should of. And this is a sobering sobering thought so I want to remind you that Christianity was birthed in a crisis it was a crisis of truth on one side were the Sajid sees who had honeyed up with the Romans on the other side with the Pharisees who had sided up with Orthodoxy and traditional Judaism in the law and along comes Jesus who's not afraid to offend either or both all at the same time and who will also speak power to truth when necessary. The emotional fabric of the followers of Jesus was woven with the confidence of his love the security it created and a commitment to truth but I'm here to tell you Christianity was born in a crisis and it will be reborn in a crisis and some will be shaken away and shaken out because their fears will make them traitors scorned ridiculed stalked hated these are descriptions of the experience of those who follow Jesus when he was in Simon's house Simon thought if he only knew when he raised gyrus his daughter they laughed at him in Nazareth they wanted to throw him off a cliff they said he cast out demons by the prince of demons there was a conspiracy to kill him for healing a man with a withered hand and they picked up stones more than once to snuff out the life of Jesus take your Bibles and turn to the book of Matthew chapter 10 this is the calling of the apostles What an appropriate place to lay out what the calling might envision it's important for us to remember in the 21st century before the outpouring of the Latter Rain in anticipation of this great global religious showdown over God's word over God's love all over Eid him and aspects of worship it's important for us to understand what Jesus laid out and lined out as a proper expectation for following him now I'd like for you as you go through these things I'd like for you to ask yourself just put a little check by the ones you've experienced. The emotional fabric of the followers of Jesus fair warning be given count the cost before you come down start building the spiritual household of faith they're understanding what is going to entail here we go behold verse $16.00 Matthew 10 I send you out a sheep in the midst of wolves clothing so be shrewd as serpents and innocent or harmless as does it's hardly a posturing or a launch of security sheep amongst wolves it's going to take some divine presence for protection and sustenance verse 17 but beware of men for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues folks there's probably no one listening me here today unless they've come from the 1060 window or from an Eastern former Soviet bloc country who can put a check by verse 17 per se teen and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake as a testimony to them to the Gentiles. Probably no check there either but when they hand you over do not worry about what you are to say for it will be given you in that hour what it is you are to say for it was not be used speaking but the spirit of your Father who speaks to you Don't be afraid is jesus message these are the things that are going to happen but Greater is He who is in you than he was in the world going on for $21.00 brother will be trade brother if we put the pause there you might be able to check it to death no check and a father his child hard to imagine children will rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death and you'll be hated by all because of my name no Jack but it is the one who is enduring to the end you will be saved and when they persecute you in one city flee to the next I know of one person I can remember Dr Samuel Bach Yogi telling me stories of selling books in Italy as a boy young man riding a scooter the constables and their thugs coming up to him and grabbing him and pounding on him he made an active decision I'm leaving this place he followed the biblical directive but I know of a very few personally I have known of one some of you listening might have experienced some of this when they persecute you one city fleet in the next I tell you will not finish going through all the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes the work will continue to need to be done in this is the price will have to pay to do it France if you've grown up in a western democracy especially in America. You've grown up with no persecution or very little persecution for your belief system you've paid almost no emotional price Consequently it is not a precious jewel that you protected and has redefined to reshape who you are many look at it as a liability especially in an age of conformity in chapter 10 continuing on Jesus reminds us not to be afraid of those who can kill the body but can't kill the soul and that like a sparrow of whom have which is keeping track we being worth more than many are being paid attention to as well verse 34 the let's continue because Jesus in effect is going to say the following me will create problems inside of your family verse $34.00 do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on the earth I did not come to bring peace but a sword I've come to turn a man against his father a daughter against her mother a daughter in law against her mother in law and a man's enemies will be the members of his own household now some are able to check this you won't raise this in admin is Christian you won't raise raised as a Christian at all and following Christ broke you out of the family traditions your very presence and actions and thoughts and words create a conviction on other people and they didn't like it you are the problem verse 37 anyone who loves their father or their mother more than me is not worthy of Me Love son or daughter more than me not worthy of me doesn't take up their cross and follow me not worthy of me but whoever finds their life will lose it whoever loses their life for my sake will find it now I hope that as we came to the last part of Matthew Jan There's a number of parents who can put a check next to those sentiments. In a world of indulgence and rights in an age of affirmation and and security of emotion is steam isn't there are still a number of parents who have stood in the path of children who are pressing on to a a chronological adulthood without a spiritual maturity or even a civic or societal maturity certainly not some of them relational or social maturity s. there should be a check by all kinds of people listening to me right now as they parroted through adolescence by some of those words but there are myriads who have decided that maintaining a relationship letting the child reshape the relationship with ungoverned uninformed and unexperienced ideas was a better way I'm here to tell you today that there is no way for the peace of Christ to arrive be protected inexperienced in your heart if along the way you don't understand there's a price tag for pursuing this Christ when a parent fails to follow a conviction to restrain or train a child or even to acknowledge a conviction that they should they are advocating a religious role and they have allowed fear of rejection by those that they've given so much to to wrongly shape their future and they won't be very fit for functional and beautiful fragrant marriages or effective journeys in adult occupations Yes there's a certain emotional stamina needed to follow Jesus where do you get it how do you keep it what if you don't have it. Well I want to encourage you today there's a build up phase there's a phase of crisis of transition there's a bold face and there's a fruitful face and I want to talk with you about all 3 of them take your Bibles and turn back to the Book of Genesis in the book of Genesis we see a man who decided in the midst of duress that he wasn't going to abandon who he knew he was called to be he was in a foreign country he found himself in a foreign prison he was a slave for a period of time but all along the way he retained a God given prerogative maintaining his identity in God Genesis Chapter $39.00 Joseph sold by his brothers improperly parroted times by his father found himself in an additional light caravan on his way down the part of 1st house in Egypt but like someone says everything he did prospered and it was noted and he was moved to the highest rank of preeminent steward in the House of pata for but there was one thing that was not his and that was the wife of Todd for a however she was a loose woman with little moral fortitude and she decided that the conquest of Joseph would be her next challenge day by day the invitations were given and finally with no other servant in the house one day she grabs him by the coat and says this is it and Joseph says no it's not he leaves his coat behind she cries out what Joseph knows next is that his his boss his owner didn't really believe his wife where he would have been executed on the spot but there was nothing he could do the social fragilities of the moment required some form of punishment for Joseph or embarrassment about his marital status and Joseph ends up in a prison. In that prison he interprets a few dreams but he's forgotten about and the glad did what Joseph shows us is that if we're going to stick to our value system the devil is going to try to leverage us leverage it against us but we should not want to be in the position where fears of coming persecution fears of loss as a result of the gain we've quired in Christ should turn us into a traitor Joseph remains true to what he believes in it appears that his life is ruined because of it except for one thing as John the Baptist said a man can only have what God gives him and so Joseph finds himself a year or 2 after interpreting a butler and a baker's dream he finds himself cleanly shaven was standing in the presence of Pharaoh and he goes from the prison to the palace in one day this is what God can do for a man he can work through but in the process of refining and preparing Joseph his value system his understanding of what God expected of him of truth cost him an awful lot there's no promotion there's no position there's no friendship circle there's no affirmation in this present age that is we're sacrificing the peace that passes understanding and if you're a parent doing it today or a pastor or an administrator or a teacher or a politician it's costing you too much for whatever it is it's giving God is calling all of us to be people of the book people of prayer resulting in people of being people of come diction and as a result of that yes there's going to be some turbulence read Matthew 10 every once in a lab I don't think I came to bring peace I came to bring a sword. It's imperative for us to understand that truth will always have to run into fear because fear is the elemental prybar of Lucifer to get us to a banded our identity with Gone Now I want to move to the 2nd person Joseph was free even though he was imprisoned this next man would find themselves not so free but influx take your Bibles and turn to the Gospel of John he was a man of preeminence indeed his academic achievements and perhaps his political ability to maneuver inside the institutions of Judaism made him the teacher in Israel but there was something unsettled in his heart and mind he did not have the fruits of the Spirit to come in a right relationship with God and when he heard Jesus speak he could tell there was something different and he wanted to talk to him one on one but fearful for what it might cost him socially he does it in the dark verse one John 3 there is a man of the Pharisees name nikka Demas a ruler of the Jews this man came to Jesus by night and he said to him Rabbi we know you have come from God as a teacher no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with Him The problem is is that Jesus wasn't just a teacher and Anika Demas needed a whole lot more than just a scholastic friend Jesus answered and said to him Truly I say unto you unless you're born again you cannot see the kingdom of God It's a divine encounter nikka Demas is not willing to back down at the feet of Jesus just yet he represents too much of the bi polar opposite of all the privileges and progressives that he currently has and yet there's something inside him it's a battle that's going on. They go back and forth for a bit and Jesus leaves him with a visual image from the Old Testament as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so must the Son of Man be lifted up it's a theological encounter like none he has ever had before but he's not quite ready yet to follow Jesus turned over to the 7th chapter of the same gospel we don't know exactly how many months have transpired between John 3 and John 7 but we know that there's a battle going on in the mind of Neka Demas the Sanhedrin has sent the soldiers of the temple precincts to arrest Jesus but they come back empty handed It says the saw then the officers came to the chief priest verse 45 and the Pharaoh sees and they said why didn't you bring him and the officers answered Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks affairs these then answered them not hustle been the history have you none of the rulers of the fair seas have believed in them has he but this crowd which doesn't know the law is a curse now what we need to understand in this dialogue is that there was a chapter with Nikka Demas before this one what we need to understand in this dialogue is that nikka Demas is running under the radar of profession but that doesn't mean his conscience hasn't been pricked and there's not a wrestling going on which you need to understand is that those guards had enough gumption to communicate what was going on in their own heart and minds and at some degree yes they associate himself with this crowd. They were willing to be ignorant or ignoramuses according to the Sanhedrin but they were willing to go completely against what it was that was going on inside of them but what we need to know as the leaders of the Sanhedrin are talking with the soldiers there's a fair a c. who can hear every word that's being said and there's a choice in front of him and the choice is is he going to allow those soldiers ignorant though they be to put be the only ones that put their face into the wind about who Jesus is yes Neka Demas can hear them being scorned and derided and he's he's locked in the midst of a battle is he going to move none of us have gone along with what he's doing have we but they don't know that nikka Demas is seriously thinking about perspective t. then they can D.M.'s you came to him before John wants you not to forget that the battle going on inside of him is about to have a little exposé of potential loyalty being one of them that is he's a member of the Sanhedrin said to them our law does not judge a man unless infers hears from him what it is he's doing to us and. They spin around from facing the soldiers and they stare squarely into the man who's embarrassing them and taking away their line of logic none of us have believed maybe maybe not and they could be Mrs communicating us so much that he's automatically a follower of Christ but there are still laws regarding engagement there are still there are still dynamics of judicial integrity which must be followed and they have nothing but venom for nikka d.m. us. You're not also one of them from Galilee verse 52 are you go ahead and look and see there's an indication that he too like the soldiers might have a a tad bit of scriptural ignorance going on here because no prophet arises out of Galilee you see friends this world is good at scorning and shaming and when you add vigor into the mix we see the hypocrisy of the current age some of you may have seen the video I'm not suggesting that you watch it by mentioning it I know that that may happen of that social studies teacher in New York City who saw the kids in the park that was close playing football she got amped she got angry she said things she should have said she use words she should've used and then she went above all that and said I hope you die of a long long serious or painful death with Cove in 1009 when they came up here with the computer that is the phone rolling she didn't care of course after it went viral and millions and millions of people saw it she cared you know when we get into certain situations we're confronted with a decision is fear going to move us. Or is it going to be the confidence that we ought to do what's right here regardless of whoever or whatever thinks it's right why do I bring that illustration up because I'm concerned in the day in which we're living that we have pre-determined what is truth and we've chosen our course without engaging in the dialogues respectful they should be noble they should be free of partisanship they should be could never be totally free of perspective maybe not but is their god bigger than our human perspective who will lead us into the truth and set us free we have a challenge we don't live in the age of dictatorship we live in the age of democracy is there a way to actually engage about methods and procedures whether they be shelter in place is something else is there actually a way to do this in which a credible dialogue maybe even disagreement about what is proper should happen or must everybody that feels one way be in this camp and everybody that feels another way be in this camp do you want to be listened to would you like to rise above the fray then bring a prayerful nobility in the dialogue and don't be afraid now I'm not hurting people into the debates over how this thing should end or what the next step should look like but I am saying this every human individual craves affirmation we're leaky vessels our confidence in our security is constantly draining out of us we look for affirmation The problem is is that sometimes truth leads us and a counter affirmation course. It may be in a religious realm it might be somewhere else but I do know this nikka Demas may not have known exactly what truth was in the moment in John Chapter 7 but he knew this if he left those soldiers to stand up and he stayed seated sitting down he was a coward he had decided fully for Jesus yet but he did know this people ought to be able to make up their minds without being humiliated derided without trying to bear up under the weather etc sarcasm of those at the height of the heat at the top of the pack there ought to be in a society like is ours a free place for discourse and discussion unfortunately truth has fallen in the streets and if you tune in to the New This news channel you get this message and if you tune into this one you get another and I want to tell you we are living in a precarious age it is a sign of the times and we ought to be seriously examining our own hearts to see what is the fabric of our emotional being can we follow convictions can we be men and women of nobility and kindness and principle and truth can we bear up under the withering sarcasm of a social media mob can we even stand up respectfully to our own spouse or to our own children what has become of the moral backbone of a country which was birthed out of persecution and which may find itself not too many chapters away from the new era of it is fear the really mentality of your life is that the dominating emotional perspective is there not a greater love inside that at least Seth Taishan have to face that on their own yes nikka Demas was in a posture where if he didn't move at all he was actually going backwards praise God he stood up and said On behalf of the soldiers there right. Let's go to the Gospel of John chapter 19 Jesus is dead is hung on a cross the theological images of the Book of Numbers and the serpent raised on the pole are now more than reverberating through his mind throughout the months of watching Jesus and reflecting on his life nikka Demas has molded over he studied the scrolls he's poured out his heart to God and when he sees Christ hanging on a tree he is probably along with the women that have been listening in surrender without hopes of ambition and the public acts of accolades and affirmation of of all those around them the women and Nica Demas they get it they see nikka Demas decides I'm done with the old way I've hidden too long behind privilege and progressives and I'm moving forward with the convictions of my life this man was the Son of God And so along with Joseph of Aaron the thea he says he will have a proper burial criminal they say they are abused maligned mistreated he was but in this moment he will have some measure of dignity the story line is about to change it's hard to go from where you're at to where you ought to be. Next week in conclusion of my series confidence and crisis I'm going to talk about the new way of things or what living in the world post covert 19 looks like or while it's dragging itself out on what is the new normal for God's people for the church yes it's hard to say this is been everything I've loved it's worse than that it's what my kids have learned I'm moving on because Jesus is drawing near I'm letting go because I'm under conviction as I study and pray don't study him Pray don't worry your convictions won't change open up the spirit of prophecy read the Bible in the midst of all that ask God to guide you give every preconceived idea you have about life style especially back into the hands of Christ to understand most listening to me right now unless they're older than I am I don't even know why we believe about our our way of living which is a type of worship even exist the consequence quench really we've gravitated into the same amusements the same a gauge Ment's the same entertainments as the world Consequently there is very little power to our lives individually or collectively and the conscience of the United States has been hijacked by a new secularism that has its own form of morality and when you get outside of it by condemning anything is right or wrong you are the new bigot you are in the new prejudice one welcome to the new world which isn't terribly new at all we're just right back about where Jesus was when he came the 1st time which means we're right about ready for Jesus to come the 2nd this is where we're at where is God calling you to perhaps that device is on too much perhaps the amount of money in your banks gotten too big. Perhaps your engagements with people who laugh at things you should laugh at your associations perhaps your pursuits of education or power occupation are out of whack and they're not about the glory of God they look and link up a whole lot more like the desires of of the devil which is worship Me Would you perhaps you find Facebook interesting but perhaps it's also interesting because it's your personal publicist and it puts you at the center of so many hundreds or thousands of peoples of lives use it for God If you can but I'm here to tell you our spirit our person is either moving after the likeness of Christ or we are being not so subtly woven into the fabric of reflecting a personage of not so divine origin Don't let the world squeeze you into its mold I'm afraid we've been on that journey for quite a little while but I'm not quite done turn back a page John Chapter 1866 verses are recorded about this man every one of the gospel writers gives him quite a bit of narrative space His name is pilot he's a politician of the Roman order and on the day of Jesus' crucifixion he's going to have a divine encounter now you need to remember something pilot is not so far gone that Jesus won't have a conversation with him pilot is not so far God that God will send a dream to his wife Tyler is not so far gone but that he too could join Christ and be run over by the mob maybe even lose its position in Rome he has a chance John 18 verse 28. When they led Jesus from k.-i s.-s. into the Pretoria that's the Roman fortress right there attached to the temple precincts it was early and they themselves did not enter into the praetorians so that they would not be defiled But my the Passover I'd tell you friends it has to be one of the most gross verses in all the scripture they could have an innocent man has done nothing wrong but challenge their intellectual religious constructs and they won't be defiled by associated with pilot but getting pilot to destroy a man in the most grevious way the most gruesome way is something they're willing to do defiled by Pilot shadow and breath no using pilot yes their consciences seem to be an pricked pilot went down to them and said What accusation do you bring against this man and effect they said we don't need to talk to you about that if this man were not an evil doer we would not have delivered him to you so pilot said to them take him yourselves and judge him Pilar had a little bit of spine judge recording the year long the Jews said to him we're not permitted to put anyone to death and now pilot knew more of the story like he caught it he was an able political operative this was to fulfill the words which Jesus had spoken signifying about what kind of death he was about to die and pilot entered again into the Praetorian many summon Jesus he had already seen him he didn't have the marks of a a rod Ruff criminal criminal are you the king of the Jews Jesus said Are you saying this on your own initiative or did others tell you about me Pilar said I'm not a Jew Am I your own nation and your chief priest deliver to you do me what have you done my kingdom is not of this world and my king aware of this world in my servants would be fighting that I would not be handed over to the Jews but as it is my kingdom is not of this around so you are keenly. You say correctly that I am the king with this I've been born for this I've come into the world to testify to the true and now comes the crucible of the test for pirate everyone who is of the truth hears my voice pilot already heard the pilot was an able observer of people he could already see that jealousy an animus bitterness and injustice were wrapped all around this thing pilot can already tell by looking at Jesus and talking to Jesus though he might be a Galilean he was of noble birth of heavenly citizenship the conviction was already coming to bear on pilot that something was very wrong in this circumstance and it was up to him to do something about it but when Jesus elevated the challenge to one of moral superiority and laid out before pile that pilot you had to make a choice about Jesus pilot was offended and rather than stay on the track of enlightenment he took a post-modern verbiage and said what is true. It's interesting the conversation dies out he goes out to the Jews again and thinks that he'll get out of this thing but he doesn't and in the end the very simple truth of compassion and judgement and integrity is run over by political ambition and a lifelong habit of compromise and don't tell me there are many Christians of a broad spectrum of domination for whom this is not true today worse than that they not only run it over they've dishonored the ones who gave it to them is children. Worse than that they've dishonored them and they've disrespected them by articulating that the religious constructs trust upon them as children were wrong and harmful to their freedom and happiness in adulthood This is the society we're living in truth has stumbled in the street and there's a mob there to kick it to death except for one thing Jesus has promised to come down with zeal and raise it back up and he's looking to do it in you and he's looking to do it in me I live in Michigan every summer 2 thirds of the way through the summer these little trees with kind of a dark grey silver bark have these little bitty red balls hanging from them slender green stem going up to the tree we call them cherries they're as good as any cherries from any part of the rest of the world and when it's time to harvest these chicks some places they come up with these machines tarps go out on the ground around the base of the tree the mechanical hand goes out grabs that trunk and then in a few brief moments hydraulics operative in full form and fashion that tree is shaken. And the fruit falls off in the Book of Revelation We're told there's a day coming when we won't be able to buy or sell I want to assure you fear will make you a traitor I want to assure you got nothing religiously that can bear up under the burden of fear as Cicero would say I want to absolutely categorically affirm the words of Emerson that he who is going to live life rightly must face of fear every day because Christ Lee designed a higher ground. And the higher ground involves being conquerors not conquered by the elemental m. base in motion which is the 1st fruit of sin the mark of the beast will be a compliance with man made law in contradiction to the law of God the 10 Commandment law what will be an obligation of a global nature to be in some church worshipping on the 1st day of the week will stand in come stark contrast to those who are not in church on the 1st day of the week but are worshipping God on the anniversary of creation and redemption and soon to be celebration the love of God has the power to break the grip of fear and that love has to be practiced every day in the home at work at school or wherever we go but the mark of the beast might be visible and Sunday keeping but the essence of the beast is self-interest and fear which makes us a traitor to God I want to be thought about you have today by God's grace you might have tomorrow it might be this time for you to stand up for a conviction with your spouse it might be that it's time for the 2 of you to stand up and say in our house we will honor the Lord and that program doesn't and that activity doesn't and that when harm as harmless as it may be is in the way of something else that would advance God's Kingdom the new normal next week and looking forward to sharing with you but I'll give you just a little window inside the new normal if there is going to be something new and better is going to involve a real Serjeant's of refocus on the mission of God's church and the rebranding of God's people which will mean the gathering of God's people and a new emphasis on prayer and fellowship with the believers. Yes friends the mark of the beast might be Sunday keeping but the essence of the beast is fear and eventually fear is enough to abandon true in contrast to that is the seal of God which is reinforced by love in action no matter what it cost we forget all the time the Jesus coming to this world was the supreme risk Satan had brought force into heaven and force was met with force it was a war if you think that in the divine dynamics of disagreement there is no potential for loss you need to think again God himself was the target of the collective hate of a 3rd of the angels the harmony of Heaven was broken up there was risk in heaven and it was confronted and exercised it was put down that risk came down to earth the difference between heaven and earth is that God was the leader the governor you might say of the heavenly precincts but on planet Earth somebody else sat on the throne and Jesus Himself came as the divine Lamb of God into the mix of a generation a complete global generation of wolves trained by automatic resource to look out for themselves willing if necessary to deny for money or abandon for liberty and freedom Judas and Peter on the day of Christ's crucifixion Yes indeed upset the institutional. Equilibrium of the religious institutions of your day embarrass a priest or 2 with the knowledge that they didn't really know the word or the spirit of the word and they could be so willing to get you out of their way that they would cooperate with people they hate. The love of God moved him to take the greatest risk when this world was full and he knew where it was going it would be the contest station of love versus hate it would be the theater it would be the stage as it were for the exercise of free will was God who He said he was was a nut but the drama to be played out was more than a risk it was a promise the only question mark was could st overcome Jesus as he had embraced some measure of humanity when it finally came time scourged twice too weak to carry the cross Jesus begins to make his way to the pinnacle of the showdown where he leaves himself completely vulnerable to the viciousness of his enemy his disciples have left him. There he is friends yes there is some risk involved in following the truth probably what everybody knows but so few people say But Jesus wasn't afraid to say it he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief he understood suffering and he made it clear to everybody that followed him would suffer some too but it wouldn't be the inside suffering it wouldn't be the suffering of unrest in the soul it would be the sorrow of a loss relationship a lost opportunity it would be marginalization in a secular age it might be prison like it was for Joseph and for some that perhaps grown up in communist countries and stuck to their convictions friends nothing's changed you're going to pay a price to follow Jesus the real question is are you willing yes most of us listening today there at the height of the heap there at the top of the pile that the top dog in the dog pile. I'm appealing to everyone listening to me here today God's word speaks the holy spirit seeks us out in this moment of coven one teen we've been confronted multiple times with the dynamics of fear and now we get to put into the mix of all that how are we going to be when it's over especially since it's a wake up call to wake up the world will we be the the amplifier's of a beautiful noble loving appeal will we be willing to suffer are we going to change our lifestyles so that the vigor of the spirit of who we are could become like those of that follow Jesus yes they were timid in and of for and afraid there was a build up phase then there was the cross in the midst of that crisis they were changed Peter came out the other side preaching boldly He was a different man he went on from the bold face to the fruitful face that's a God seeking to get us ready to do it's time friends Today's the day we're to follow Jesus we're to stand up for what's right no matter what it cost us friendship love opportunity money whatever it might be we're walking in the path of Jesus we're following the path marked out by His blood stained feet and I'm appealing to everyone listening to me here today let perfect love casts out fear. It's time for us to believe in what he's called us to do and learn to hear his voice to not shun conviction but to embrace it to go back into the Bible and the spirit of prophecy and go back to the people we're called to be different. Malign to marginalize the free and Christ everyone gets to make a decision for and. Today's the day where we can still make decisions we don't want to be like those 5 virgins that wake up too late they don't have enough confidence in God to make the change you can't build a relationship in a short amount of time thing oh yes God Save the thief on the cross. But he's looking for a generation that would be interested in saving the entirety of this world and giving their all to do it young person your career your future that's the biggest thing you have to lay on the line middle aged person. All of the prestige the tools the experience the resources God's calling for seniors your prayers your spiritual death you don't have the ability to make money like you used to the gods calling you back to be amongst his people to go forward on your knees. Were to take a risk for Jesus knowing will be misunderstood but the nobility of our person will get the attention of the world and they'll know where they can find truth it's an alive transformed and a message they've never seen lived out. Of God help each of us to make that decision today. Indeed it's hard to know what's right and what's not who share in the truth and who as we can go to God understand it in loving Vita and make that decision today to walk with Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio post 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave w w w audio verse or.

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