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How Important is Your Church, Your School, Your Life?

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • August 15, 2020
    11:15 AM
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Father thank You for this worship power thank you for technology those that are worshipping with us in different places I'm praying that your spirit would move on all of us according to our roles right now Lord you put me in the role of prompter and teacher but I am to be prompted and taught myself I'm praying Lord for those that have gathered here to worship and I'm praying for those that are watching from somewhere else and I'm asking the Lord wherever this message goes may do what it's supposed to do show them that you're God and that I'm moving according to your word so save me Lord from saying anything I should and empower me to say everything I should in Jesus' name amen I do want to clarify some things last week sermon generated an awful lot of conversation and I had those conversations throughout the week some of them long some of them short but quite a few I want to state again that last week's message was a message to encourage you to move according to the dictates of your own conscience as you understand how you are to relate to that which is Caesar's and that which is not Ok. I had at least feedback from 2 people that they thought my message was if you wear a mask you don't have faith that is absolutely not my message I have no idea why you're wearing a mask I have no idea why you're not you wear that mask I keep them in my pocket I keep them in my car my message last week was know where you stand with God and know where you stand with the government and move according to faith so let this be the most noble congregation there is who respects all people across all spectrums with all kinds of conditions and all kinds of private elements to their life that nobody needs to know about or doesn't know about live according to the dictates of your conscience otherwise you're living as a weak conscience person. And this is a heavy burden to bear upon her knees so pray your way into the position you're in Know yourself I believe the churches job is to protect the vulnerable and challenge the strong so my hope is is that I do my part as a one of the mouthpieces of this institution to encourage you to be prudent and wise and thoughtful It is also my job to challenge you to let the Word of God separate down to the marrow so that if there is a route of fear that feeding the natural impulses of the soul to self-preservation that you say Lord take the sword of the spirit and cut it but some promises in my head so I am not afraid God's people have always been known for great love and no fear. That's a hard place to get to it's not casual We live in Age of such casual Christianity that the slogan ism is painful it's a disease and what we really need is a depth of person I'll be talking about that again here today it's absolutely imperative that we are the most broad minded noble hearted intelligent people we don't have a fragile society here we are playing in the context of the modern media forum where nobody can say anything without being canceled out of pigeonholed stand up for what you believe in a respectful way and don't be badgered into a position by anybody whether it's the bully of modern media or the bully down the corner of the bully at work I was bullied as a kid chased home from school I can remember those days I had my back against the chainlink fence and I'm surrounded by all the skids. You know I'm thankful to my mom you know I repeat stories that I can remember when she told the neighbors you can all fight and you can all beat him up but you have to do it one at a time that's fair but today you better know who you are you're going to be squeezed into the mold and that's what Paul says in Romans not to be don't be conformed to this world now my wife asked me this morning and this is part 2 of last week well I didn't really plan on it being but it will be it is you say pastor who makes you such an expert about what's going on I think I'm no expert I don't claim to be an expert about anything the only thing I might be an expert on over anybody else is me but I do know this and we're going to see it in the message this morning that as soon as fear takes over I know something's wrong and while I can't pinpoint exactly what it is I know there's a problem as I mentioned last week the great disease we're battling right now greater than even the coronavirus is the spiritual sickness of a fearful heart I was walking around the parking lot as I often do here thinking and brain and I looked over and I saw him something that was the same thing I had seen the day before when I was with all the tradesmen that were forming up the new driveway for the church school they looked over at it to the Baron Springs football team and some guys said I don't think their social distancing it was true they weren't It's Ok with me if they choose not to but then as I was walking around the parking lot here yesterday thinking and praying I looked over and saw him again and I thought to myself They come every day to do this they're just playing football but I'm playing for the game of life. And I need to be more committed to what I'm doing than they are to what they're doing Alan Porton as your church on Wednesday I was gathering up some of the materials for that new driveway in front of our school I got all done at the Home Depot I'd ordered all of my 1616 foot boards in the back of my truck and they were sticky now I needed a red flag to go on the back room so I saw this young man walk out of Home Depot is part right next to me and I thought I'll ask him if they haven't Do you have any red flags because you know you're responsible friends when you get something sticking out the back of your vehicle you need to put a red flag on it so people can see it he said yeah we've got them all get get you when I said no no no no no don't go get me one I'll go get it myself just where are they I didn't see them no no I'm going to go get you one I want to tell you this young man named Willie was a huge help to me and by the way when it was all said and done he was joined by a young man named Aaron and it took me a whole lot longer to do what I was doing because after they got my flag I needed some string and it was out of string and they had to go all over the store looking for it took a long time those guys were exceptional and I hung around long enough to tell one of the managers because these were both young men very young men what an excellent job they had done in customer service if they had not had the challenge they'd had I would have had the encounter I had because as I'm walking across the parking lot I did happen to have my mask on I usually wait to put it on till I'm in the store but as I'm walking across the parking lot someone says to me Pastor Kelly is that you that's what you have to do and you have a mask on yeah it's me can I talk to you so I walk over to his it's like a Dodge sprint or one of these nice vans He's a contractor in the area he doesn't attend a church in Berrien Springs and he tried to watch his church last Sabbath but he couldn't ended up watching hours and he wanted to talk about the message. We stood there for a while talking and then we turned to talking about the churchgoing said I've got some ideas he said you know there's some research that suggests that you can filter the air and knock down a lot of that corona virus with a certain kind of filter like oh yeah send that to my want to have it you know I stood there for probably 15 or 20 minutes busy weather then we stood there and prayed right out there under the can't canopy where you get your building materials at Home Depot and then I left when I left I came back here an appointment the person having the appointment was a young man a young father in our congregation he was gracious enough to wait almost a whole hour to visit with me and when we set out he had 20 slides and he want to show me the slides he wanted to to encourage and challenge me about issues that are going on our society we go through all 20 slides and he gets down to the last slide and on the last slide nicely done professionally laid out it says this is a time for action and I'm thinking to myself that's where the lines drawn for some people it's a time for in action but for this man young man father it's a time for action and I'm saying to myself Amen amen and then I come to the prayer meeting you know all the while my mind's working interesting encounters that I'm having and and the table with the hand sanitizer wasn't where Usually it's at that well I'm going to move it back and stick it right there I want to be really easy to get hand sanitizer I use this stuff by the way good stuff use it a lot and remember if you're sick stay home a man. Ok And remember last week I quoted from the Bering county website Health Department asymptomatic people very rarely spread the disease so you have many symptoms stay home of any doubt stay home because we're trying to be good stewards of public health after I move the table and I started walking by I saw there's 3 of these and this one had a weird label on it let's just say so I went to grab I picked up it's like Ok Lord I'm getting the message I'm getting the message somebody took a label from the General Conference slapped it across the front of this hand sanitizer and it says He said go can you say man friends what a great place to have a label that says he said go right there where I'm fighting coronavirus he said Go now you need to ask yourself this morning how important is your church this may not be your church and a person from Texas call me want to encourage me about the message this man of the limited through what he can do is making himself the leader maybe of a one man army maybe of more trying to take care of people in the city of Houston it was a great encouragement to me I appreciate him calling. But he understands the message when Jesus finished everything up he didn't say Now remember it's going to be easy and it's going to be wonderful and you can have great joy all the time he gets down to the very end after ease warn them that you're going to be an enemy just because you call me your buddy because you call me your lowered your friend and I want you to know something in spite of everything I've warned you about everything you could be afraid of I'm still telling you keep it go and move it along don't let it die because at the end of the day this church is about the value of a soul and Jesus knows a little something about then how important is your church if you had somebody that was evaluating your life and they could look at your schedule and they could look at your pocket book and they could listen to your words and watch your actions and discern your attitudes where would you be on a spectrum that would convince the world that this church matters and what it's about ought to be attended to if this church fell off the face of the planet and no longer existed as many will what in the world difference would it make how important is your church let's just do a quick little summary in the last segment we looked at some of these I'm not going to look at them all day and judge is 7 Gideon has 32000 men somebody tell me how many he lost in the 1st cleaving 22000 you've got too many people tell the scared ones they can leave almost everybody was scared to 3rd admitted it and they walked away gods and you still got some scared ones in there but I'm going to help you weed amount if they grab water on the go because they believe it's going to be a good day once the battle starts you keep them it was only $300.00 if they kneel down because they'd like another minute stuck between them and potential death send them home. Now I do want to look this up take your Bibles and go over to the Book of Deuteronomy I want you to see something that many have not seen before and I want you to understand it's very relevant today didn't get around to me Chapter 20 you all knew that if a man got married he couldn't be called to go to war at least most of you did some of you knew that if he planted a vineyard he could stay home too and some of you knew that if he built a house he was supposed to be given a chance to live in it but a lot of you didn't know this you've read it and you forgot it and you might not have noticed it Deuteronomy 20 verse 8 after you've given all those reasons why a person could stay home then the officers shall speak further to the people and they shall say who is the man the is afraid and faint hearted let him depart return to his house so they might not make his brother's hearts melt like his heart God understood that fear was a disease and it spread like the plague and it could take an army down because faith is the victory not the size of the army and God's presence is the confidence not confidence in yourself God said and put it in place and it was to be articulated throughout the ages of Israel's existence before you go to battle tell the people that are afraid they don't have to come if they're afraid and 20000 of Gideon's men said that's me I'm going back home if you're not ready to die God doesn't force you to face death it's a good God we sir but fear has been an immobilizer of God's people all through the ages today is no different and it's important we could be honest with ourselves because being afraid is not the worst thing that could happen to you acting like you're not afraid and lying to yourself is much worse everybody's been afraid. Everybody will face fear and face it rig repeated really the things that used to make me afraid don't typically make me as for a by God's grace He's written many chapters of faith into my life and yours but the truth of the matter is we have to be honest and say I'm scared and if I'm scared I ask myself why and then I asked what I'm supposed to do in spite of being scared sometimes God says look we need to look at some things let's dig down to the foundation Let's get some peace in your heart and mind other times God may make you face something you didn't want to face and you come out the other side not feeling the same way but one thing God doesn't want is he doesn't want people going through life operating out of fear because the switch of fear once it's thrown will motivate people to do things they never thought they do you just think Peter last week sermon no Jesus I won't deny you and Jesus says it's going to be worse than you think you're not only deny me it'll be 3 times and Jesus didn't say the last time will be with curses and epitaphs it's pretty serious and now we go fast forward because some recognise in this whole coded situation and the power plays that are in process here some see a dry run for the kinds of motivational dynamics that will be in place when revelation comes to bear down on us the mark of the beast is implemented through fear and it won't be that hard most of us don't really want to face a time of trouble but God wants us to have the promises of his word like the 7 school talked about so that we have more confidence in his presence and less confidence in the issues of the future and less fear. God has us on a journey honesty is the starting point if you're afraid it might be that the church is just a little part of your life and Christ is not the center if Christ becomes the center the church will certainly not be too far behind I want to tell you how important the church was society has a goal it's not orchestrated I don't believe at least not in math I'm not a conspirator to say I don't think any group of human beings can work together well enough to achieve the goals that are being Cheve by what I'll call evil intent of the mastermind of Satan but I will tell you this standing in the way of Satan's goals have been to institutions maybe 3 the 1st institution in the way of the devil's goals has been the home so he began dismantling that with licentiousness wrong humor pleasure derision against fathers who were once esteemed in a society and were most children's heroes now their sports figures Satan began dismantling the institution of the hall to where of today the fractures and the weakness of our society because of the absence of dads usually not moms has taken and brought us to a position where it appears that confidence is not part of character in many situations the 2nd institution to stand in the way of the devil to achieve his goals is the church. Now the school is certainly a part of that and I'm not here this morning come on come in as much on the dynamic of public schools it wouldn't be that not train in a public school would be the end of the world and people were praying everywhere else but because the church and the home that come under attack and because the church is turned into a commodity like a business to give the consumer which was used to be the member what he wants it's awfully hard to hold anybody accountable so churches start looking like cheap 2 bit businesses unless they can but b. can become mega And then they can hire all the people they need for the lack of commitment that's in the congregation it's a serious and sober place where at 8 used to be that people like Peter Marshall Senate Chaplain could stand up and challenge and I'm not saying those challenges don't get given but they need to be given in many more places in the home certainly in the pulpit certainly in the church and with the whole and the church out of the way you've lost that which puts a little stiffness in the spine and strengthen somebody to say now just a 2nd wait a minute here I'm not sure that's exactly right but the value systems of the church were in the way the value systems of the home were in the way and so we can go from a society that holds people accountable to stay married to a society that says you don't have to work and stay married you can be let out and if this morning you're the victim of a divorce. Or you participated in a divorce I'm not speaking to bring shame upon you what I'm saying is is that a society that for gets the value of a father and a mother in a home and doesn't hold a group of people accountable is playing games it's experimenting with Generation all empirical science the problem is you can't ruin a generation and bring it back easily but we're going to come to a place where the world's going to wake up and say we've got to get back to God we've got to get back to church it's going to be a neo conservative a neo or a new religious conservatism and everybody's going to be afraid enough just you can bet your sweet bippy if you never heard that phrase before I don't know exactly where it came from but you can be sure that somewhere down the road the fear this operative here is the devil being able to see the cards of society and he knows it's not too long now until I can play the final hand the straight flush of fear it's going to work so all and all of his men were hiding in the caves and for Samuel 136 David came up to a group of people that was standing around for 40 days listening to go I was taught the armies of the Living God Elijah gathered everybody on Mount Carmel and even after all day exhibitions that failed his people got close to him but wouldn't speak up and we think about David's mighty men their enshrined for their mighty acts of value but this morning I want to look at Nehemiah take your Bibles and go to the book of Nehemiah Nehemiah Chapter 6 I believe this chapter in the Bible might be the closest akin to anything my generations of life have faced Nehemiah Chapter 6 it's the plot to scare the leader in this case it's the plot to shut down the work of God How important is your church. Nehemiah Chapter 6 find the book of Psalms and start backing up and you'll be there in the book of Nehemiah Now when it was reported verse one to Sam ballot to buy a to Gershom the Arab into the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and that no breach remained in it although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates then Sam bow and guestroom sent a message to me saying Come let us meet together at Schaeffer him in the plain of oh no but they were planning to do me harm so I sent a messenger to them saying I'm doing a great work and I cannot come down why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you they sent this message to me 4 times in this manner and I answered them in the same way let's be friends their enemies of God they've tried to ruin the work before they see they're not stopping this man and his influence so they're going to try to meet with him privately and patch it all up but Nehemiah knows it's a trick Nehemiah is up against the disfavor of all the surrounding nations. Let's go to verse 5 that's plot number one with 4 attempts then Sam Bella sent a servant to me in the same manner of 5th time with an open letter in his hand in it was written it is reported among the nations and gash moo says that you and the Jews are planning to rebel therefore you are rebuilding the wall and you are to be their king courting their reports you also have a point to prophets proclaim in Jerusalem concerning you ugh King is in Judah and now it will be reported to the king according to these reports Oh come now let us take counsel together do you understand what's going on the last 11 years of the king of Israel when the nation was surrounded when Jerusalem was surrounded you know never can answer tried 3 times to get that nation to surrender he came in 606 b.c. he came back later the 1st was Daniel's leaving the 2nd was his equals leaving and finally he sets up Zedekiah Zedekiah rebels for 11 years and when when they get it when never can answer comes he tears the city to pieces Jerusalem was like for for someone who wanted a puppet king drew Slim was like the plague itself rebellion was woven into their hearts so when these men come this is after the 70 years after never can answer when these men come and they say oh you're using the old playbook you're going to set yourself up as a king they're trying to scare Nehemiah with the media and the media is going to make its way back and I don't know who this. Gosh movie is but he must have been a man of some credibility maybe he was the king's on the ground reporter. So you've got it all planned you've got profits to run before you you've got people to proclaim you kidding me how does he respond what is this word gets back it's not like you can get on the phone and call our Xerxes and say hey it's all a bunch of lies verse 8 then I sent a message to him saying such things as you are saying have not been done but you are inventing them in your own mind Plot Number 2 to scare him and it doesn't work Plot Number 3 actually let's read verse 9 for all of them were trying to frighten us thinking they will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done and then here's a prayer every every leader of anything needs to put this prayer in their mind and pray it day by day but now oh God strengthen my hands so let's go for the last plot when I enter the house of shame Maya whom you need to know appears to be a prophet the son of Delilah the Son of Man had to Bell who was confined at home in arrest in parallel to our current age it has nothing to do with disease it appears that he's confined at home because he's purporting himself to be a true prophet and associated with Nehemiah and his people is dangerous so he's kind of hiding now he said let us meet together and the House of God within the temple and let us close the doors of the temple for they are coming to kill you and they're coming to kill you at night now this man of God could say to himself they're going to get me they're going to get me it's going to get me it's going to get me. He could have said there's only one place it's really secure in this town and that's to get inside the temple complex and that's to go inside the holy place and that's a go inside the most holy place and shut all the doors and bar it down and I'll be Ok right there and if it could get a little bit worse the prophet who's now acting as a false prophet says we're going to kill you they're going to kill you at night so never can you lay your head down on the pillow and rest because somebody is going to get you but I said should a man like me flee I want everybody listening today this morning to ask themselves what kind of man or woman do you want to be should a man like me Felician a woman like you flee and could one such as I go into the temple to save his life and other words of God's destined me to die it might as well be here in my bed or here in my home because if it's in the temple that's where it's going to be and as a matter of fact wouldn't it be a tragic tragic story if he runs to the temple and they shut all the doors and it now turns into a prison chamber for execution because somebody is conspiring against them you see France the safest place to be is where God said for you to be at the time God said to be there I will not go verse 12 then I perceive that surely God had not sent him but he uttered his prophecy against me because to buy and Sam ballot had hired him now I want you to know something Nehemiah knew that fear could not be allowed to motivate his decision making that's like me saying I'm not an expert it's a matter of fact all the data relative to how contagious this disease isn't and whether it's touching or singing or your eyes or your mouth or your nose. I'm no expert on I'm not going to purport myself to be an expert but Nehemiah knows what you can know and that is if you move according to fear you're moving according to the wrong thing and you're going to end up in the wrong place but he also reveals in his story line something important for you and me I won't know the facts about this disease and tell a year or 2 down the road if things settle out for a little while but when the dust settles it will be for me to know what Nehemiah didn't know he didn't know she Maia who had been a friend and a true prophet was acting as a false prophet and tell he made the right decision God's not letting me off the hook and he's not letting you off the hook how important is your church does it relegated cell to the outer margins is it a great socializing place or is its message and is its mission central to who you are for certain he was hired for this reason that I might become frightened and act according to accordingly and sin so that they might hear an evil report in order that they could reproach me think about a friend what was Nehemiah really given everybody how would Nehemiah have been defiled and how would he have defiled everybody else if they could have gotten Nehemiah to act afraid what kind of plague of fear might have broken down in the ranks of the faithful and shut down the work what role do you play in your home what role do you play with your friends what role do you play in this church and in society can you be made afraid the only way to get unafraid to get down on your knees and say Lord I'm afraid so David did what time I am afraid I'm going to trust in you the place I go when the fears all gather around me those unseen spiritual beings that are looking to flatter briber terrify me. It's to my knees it's the promises of God's presence it's the assurance of his word I will strengthen you I will help you I will uphold you with my right just right hand if he would have run to the temple he would have destroyed his ability to confidently lead the work force which had taken their cues from him if you go back to Chapter 5 you'll find that he says that he didn't even take his portion from the governor to feed himself all the years he was there you see the problem with fear is that is the elemental emotion tied to the most elemental self interest and Nehemiah was there to show them it wasn't to become a great man to become a king and he wasn't there to win over Sam ballot and Tobiah there are some people in your life you're never going to win over get over it. Sometimes the best statement about the nobility and purpose in the purposefulness of your character are your enemies Let It Be I was talking with a 40 year old young man father in this congregation just on Thursday night reminding them that it was about his age that it came to me probably way too late but it came to me that I have to be who God's called me to be it doesn't matter how much favor comes from other places so how much does your church matter what is the value of a soul this is Ok if we go out of business is it Ok if we go underground they'll come a time when maybe we have to but it won't be because we rolled out of the way so that the world's agenda of control through fear could direct everything how important is your school take your Bible turnover 2nd king 6 How important is it that our schools keep going well I want to challenge every parent listening to me 2nd Kings Chapter 6. It's absolutely imperative the understand the school is not a business we make no money at it we just poor money into it praise the Lord and we need everybody that attends it to understand they become a covenant part of the community to support it not everyone is a member of this church so the degree of support is somewhat different but all should understand it's fragility sinking 6 now the son of the prophet said well I shall behold the place where we are living is too little for us let us go to the Jordan take each of us from there a beam and let us make a place for ourselves that we may live so he said go but he did more than that the one said please be willing to go with your servants and he said I will go so I went with them and they came to the Jordan and they cut down trees but as one was felling a beam the axe said fell into the water he cried out he said Alas my master for it was borrowed and the man of God said where did it fall and he showed him the place and he cut out a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float He said Take it up so he put it in his hand and took it how important is the school well the scriptures don't have lots of stories about schools but we have this one it's important enough to where the students themselves said we want to be in a better situation it was important enough that the prophet would have firm it from God it was important enough that the prophet would go it was important enough that the prophet would work and it was important enough that God would work a miracle so the school would go what kind of commitment do we have to ours you know this school like many other private schools runs on a bubble there's no Begin down behind it keeping it going it's in doubt by your commitments and when your commitments get when your commitments go down the vitality of the school goes down this church is fully committed to its school and I praise the Lord for that but I want to say something that commencement probably is going to grow as time goes on where are we act. Tomorrow we have a work be and invite you to come you can see in in the bulletin we have a financial go you look over the lay of the land and you recognize the 7 they have is Christian Christian education is under duress It's under siege I was walking this parking lot this week and I heard the sound the the heavy working sound of the diesel engine engine and I looked over the seam and truck was stuck in the sand and what they do they came along with a bulldozer they backed it up to the cement truck and the bulldozer moved the throttle and you can hear that big caterpillar engine bearing down and all of those treads digging in and that that cement truck you know what's rolling in that barrel is the stuff they're going to form a strong foundation where the cement truck is the school the bulldozer is the church the school gets stuck in the Meiers of modern society its lack of commitment all of the different things that come to it it needs a church to back up to it lay the blade on the frame of the cement truck step on the accelerator and move it out of the doldrums the sandy pit in which it's stuck that's you and me friends are we gonna do it this is where we're at I'm holding in my hands here a transcript from a report Aug 14th m.p.r. colleges that keep small isolated towns vibrant now pose a public health threat so it's quite a title makes it sound like if you've been isolated out little podunk will you better be careful and that is the point of their article all those kids coming in from all over the place may upset the coronavirus apple cart you could get sick so be careful but you need to know how it starts because we're in one of those towns the sterling college warriors are scheduled to take on the Macpherson college Bulldogs at home. If that familiar thought of shoe against football and cheered from the stands doesn't happen the college that keeps the central Kansas towns economy humming that gives it cultural viability vitality and a separate Sterling from the hollowing out that defined so many other small Midwestern towns might not survive what are they saying those little college towns pump lots of money into those economies so I guess all those kids that come back with their expensive tuitions bills are also doing something for the city to other than just bringing a boatload of coronavirus the school after 133 years could die and doom the town that takes such pride in the football squad and embraces the student body like family skipping a paragraph hundreds of small colleges dotting the country rely on students paying tens of thousands of dollars a year in exchange for a distinctive personal high touch college experience many of those colleges hung on year to year even before the pandemic now coed $1300.00 that cut off the oxygen sustaining the schools and the sports programs that drive in Rome and what's the point hundreds of little towns like bearing Springs could become the same ghost towns that all the other little Midwestern towns whose only real economy is antique stores and gas stations how important is our school what is our level of commitment how hard are we willing to push to make sure it goes pastors your schools deserve undaunting support but schools your schools our schools also need a unified accountability that make sure they have a timely purpose for the age in which we're living and we're not just to be a one knock off from the public school with a tag on our curriculum should get more focused you understand the spirit of prophecy tells us some day our kids are going to be preaching the message because they're preachers and their parents may be out of commission. What is the focus of our school is it time for us to adjust those curriculums in such a way that the school represents in its intentionality what society seems to be saying about signs of the end I got to thinking about it every school I've graduated from is out of business. With the exception of Andrews University our colleges are not immune from this how important are they what do you owe the schools you graduated from was it just you paid the money and you got what you paid for no you didn't you paid a fraction the church paid some that conference paid some and you paid some we're going to have to totally abandon this idea that the school gave me a service for a price you know the school gave you a sacrifice of service for a price. And that commitment to that school is about the inst is about the institutionalization and the intentional ization of indoctrinating our kids and by the way if you don't think our kids are being indoctrinated you should have heard the report I heard on n.p.r. about the summer camp in New Hampshire that set up especially for transgender kids now my compassion to every child is struggling with change in your ism God's compassion but n.p.r. went out of its way to give a very large segment of time and in the scope of it all they interviewed a 36 year old therapist who basically said trying to control the thoughts of an elementary or middle age kid is repression really. Maybe in this morass maybe in this abyss of sexual addiction and confusion maybe there's more need than ever for a loving principled Christian to Sandy for a child their home may have fallen apart they may have no one to go to maybe now more than ever we need to point the way for this as it's love that makes you happy not sex and maybe we need to point our way forward to the idea that identity is found in Christ even if there is a denial of certain feelings and thoughts that have the power to drag me down and ruin me maybe we're in a moment in time when our schools are needed more now than ever and maybe it's time for us to jettison some of the things in our lives that would free up the resources to keep our schools going strong and the church has been committed and resilient and for those that are able to come tomorrow to help strengthen it may God be with you but I want to tell you something the efforts of this church to put the very best foot forward in leadership and curriculum and facility in culture and community it's important how important is your life are you supposed to just bounce through life like a pinball going from one pleasurable experience another motivated by feeling Have you forgotten friends that you're a pilgrim not a homesteader that you're not going to a party but you're going home that life is a battle in a March Have you forgotten there's joy in service how many meaningless hours have been spent in social media. Use it for the kingdom or don't use it at all strengthen your family with it or let it go but don't waste hours sitting in front of a screen finding data some of it silly and inefficient and ineffective for building anything up it's just kind of a way of looking in on somebody else's life of course it's interesting to a degree but. It's time for us to sharpen our pencil and shape our calendar so that we have time it's time to be at the prayer meeting it's time to realize that your experience affects my experience and my experience affects yours is it really time for us to sit around and watch modern day gladiators slamming into each other kicking pigskin through through uprights or bouncing it through hoops or or watching it go into goals maybe it's time for us to let go of some of that and invest our best talents in fighting back against a culture that's looking to snuff the life. This is how it's working you think you're going to get your kids casually get this mental word picture in your mind our culture right now is like a big anaconda and it's wrapped itself around our homes in our churches and every institution that stands for God and every time you breathe out it tightens down and eventually it's over if we're going to turn back the battle at the gates we're going to need some people to show up at the gates to turn it back quit looking for a false margin so you can rest there's rest for God from God And there's a day for rest but there is no outside rest that can give you the interest I know people that are tireless workers and they're more at rest in their spirit that people who don't do anything extra for anybody else but they hang out and they sit there on their phones and they never come away rested in spirit or even body or mind. I know people there are over working for a false security they're trying to outrace the devouring man the demands the ravenous demands of security get more save more have more stuff but you know what doesn't work that way when I think about the Apostle Paul my last scripture going to 2nd Corinthians 11 the Apostle Paul I asked myself early in the week Did Paul ever take a vacation and I thought to myself he never had an employer how could he take a vacation my conclusion was that all those long walks between cities and those long rides on the boat afforded him a chance to be out from an unease some of the pressures of life when we look at the life of Paul we come to this situation where we realize probably nobody but Jesus verse 22 or they Hebrew so my are you a 7 day and Minnesota my are they in Israel I so admire their descent of Abraham so my now they servants of Christ so am I why is he having to do this because he's competing for influence on the church and he's got to make a point please stop listening to those people and start listening to me I spiritually birth you in the spirit I speak like I'm insane verse 245 times well no let's not skip 23 are they servants of Christ I speak as insane I more so in far more labors in far more imprisonments beaten times without number often in danger and death most of us would bail out right there you're going to beat me up and throw me in jail so many times you're going to overwork me so many times you're going to threaten my life so many times and I've not signed up for this 5 times I received the 39 lashes 3 times I was beaten with rods once I was stoned. 3 times I was shipwrecked on one today I've spent in the deep I've been in frequent journeys and dangers from rivers dangers from robbers dangers from my country men dangers from the gentiles dangers in the city dangers in the willers dangers on the sea dangers among the Brotherhood I've been in labor and hardship through many sleepless nights and hunger and thirst of without food and cold and exposure and apart from all these external things there's the fact that I worry that my work will end up being a big 0 the daily pressures of the churches 3 reasons you need to think about this the credo the cross and the cloud Jesus is coming back people aren't falling out of the world into heaven they need no knowledge Jesus came to this world and recognize that we've been lauded by all the angels he was poor and he lived under pressure because of the poverty for 30 years his father died somewhere along the way and his brothers didn't appreciate him his mother even misunderstood him but he came anyway it was a warrant for debt it took him all the way up to the cross where Jesus was abandoned because of fear but all of his best friends and if that wasn't enough the night before he would have fallen prostrate into the arms of death simply because the weight of the world the sins was crushing out his life we don't get it we don't understand it it's beyond us and then they pinned him to a tree robbed him of his dignity mocked in scorned him and nobody except a thief on a cross would say Lord in that moment Jesus left it all he lost it all so that we could live again never was it convenient rarely Was it fun oft it was hard. And many nights he was cold and sleepless pleading for you and me Jesus left and the one thing he said after warning all of us that it wouldn't be easy if he said go go put it on and go it won't be long now Christ eastern sky that's that way a cloud half the size of a man's hand is going to appear it's going to get darker in the middle as it gets brighter around the edges it's going to be the darkest hour of Earth's history which means it's going to be a moment of tremendous crisis and we'll be waiting for our deliverance Unfortunately if people haven't been warned that some of what they're doing is warning against their eternal an arrogance they're going to lose it unfortunately there's hurting people that need to be loved hungry people who need to be fed people that need to be educated a whole new workforce and a whole new generation that need to be raised up unfortunately the excesses of the last 50 years and the question authority dynamic of our society has rendered us as pleasure seekers and the church as dying on the vine but Christ says go because I'm coming Christ says the value of a soul could be seen in the scars of my hands Christ says you are to be about your father's business Christ says it's all hanging on you Fortunately the Spirit tells us in the Word and in the spirit of process Somewhere in Time Crisis going to come down and take the reins into his own hands praise God. I don't want to be left behind I don't want anybody else left behind I can't work on fear it be a lot easier for me not to challenge you and you not to challenge anybody else but here's the fact if the church goes out of business so does hope so does love so does freedom so does liberty if the school goes out of business we can still educate at home in some measure and certainly for all of you that have been educated in a home give it your very best to make it a quality experience but the truth is is that these institutions focuses challenges strengthen us this church cannot go out of business this school cannot go out of business our lives are dedicated to the cross and the egg saltation of a Savior who a dialogue and this morning the scepter new now it is I'm calling you to ask yourself what evidence is there objective evidence not just wishes and once. What evidence is there that it all matters the most to me not in contrast to my family but with my family grown weary of people who who make sure that the lines are so drawn that they do nothing because no time's left over I believe in boundaries but once you draw a bigger circle and bring your family with you in ministry. This is where we're supposed to be God's going to turn back the battle at the gate we might be closer to the gate than we realize the press of the world on us. No fear. It's in back it's in the back glass of pickup trucks with guns slung across it it's false bravado it's the words of Peter smarting this afternoon I'm calling you to a new look at your life and a new look at the church which is the apple of God's eye it's the object of a supreme a guard in spite of all of its defects. There are lots of people listen to me right now who have sacrificed through their years and they have little strength left thank you praise God There are many listen to me right now they are sacrificing regularly and constantly for the work of God but there are some listening to me for home church is an add on to their life and the mission of this movement doesn't matter that much. God's calling me to call all of you to say it's not a cultural experience although there's culture that comes with it. It's a call it's a call to a new commitment in Christ in the smore not calling you. I'm calling you to commit to examine your lives carefully with God somewhere in the next 24 hours some of you know right now you need to make a different decision. We're about to sing a song that says Stand up stand up for Jesus while you're standing I'm calling you to think about what it is that motivates your whole life compete to go to hell in a handbag and it's Ok with us can they live in ignorance and darkness and never know there's a God you could love. For all the sacrifices in this room I praise God I don't want to discourage anybody. But for that which will reinstitute vigor and life vibrancy and strength and make the world afraid of the influence of the church again I'm calling for Christ so while we sing you make your covenant with God you know in your heart what needs to change you give it to em. Not for me to know just like I can't know if you're afraid. Not for me to say. The gods waiting to hear and he knows and he says child take my hand don't be afraid make this church great again through the power of the Spirit in your life in the collective unity of the church as a whole subgrade church I love this village church. We would go on with Christ unafraid let's stand and we're going to sing and while we sang Let us thank and commit stand up stand up for Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio to a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio for. Life to listen to more. W.w.w. audio or.

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