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Education Reformation: The Prophet and the Professor

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • May 29, 2021
    3:20 PM
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Lord, we've gathered in your house, we've been blessed in song and reading and given now lord, may your hearts be impressed by your spirit. We love you, lord, may we walk in your path and know the joy you intended in jesus name a man. This morning I am going to tell the story surrounding the most famous verse in the bible. So if you don't know it, take a bible out of the pews, and let's turn to it together. It's John 316, many of committed this to memory. And this morning we're going to look at how it came into being. And this is what the bible says, say with me, for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who soever, believe within him, should not perish, but have ever lasting life. Now this nation is peculiarly a religious nation. And that tone or that culture is under siege. I have a article here up from the independent in the United kingdom. And it's entitled almost half of us millennials don't know, believe or care if God exists. The study finds a recent study. I'll read just a little bit more than 4 and 10 millennials in the United States do not know, believe or care if God exists. According to Arizona christian University research, a report produced by the university's cultural research center concluded that the generation of americans currently between 18 and 36, are threatening to reshape the nation's parameters. Be on recognition with 43 percent, either atheist or apathetic towards the existence of god. Now if I was a member of that nation, if this was my culture that was being talked about, i'd have to ask myself, what value does the presence of god bring to benefit in society? I know just the other day actually yesterday as I was pulling away from a department store, I watched probably 2 or 3 cars go through the intersection when the light was clearly red. Now I want to tell you law abiding is a beautiful thing. And I want to tell you, graciousness in the people you deal with. I was standing in a lie and somebody asked me if I'd like to go in front of them because all I had was one item. It's a beautiful, gracious thing. I can tell you that are cultures, atheist, the cultures in this world places i have been where the only value that's operative is me 1st. And if it's simple, is standing in a queue to get a ticket to go on a train or an airplane. Everybody crowding and having no qualms of conscience about cutting you off is cetera. What does it mean to you to live in a society where the attributes of god as evidence and the 10 commandments matter. Now, it's not hard for society lose its way. As a matter of fact, if you tinker with Education and you remain the presence of god from the character building, you're left with minds that are powerful, but with hearts that are untouched by the conscience untouched, by the sense of goodness and things that ought to be done for the betterment of man, not for money, not for personal gain. When it comes to the element of Education, if you could change the way the parents are parenting. And if you could change the way the teachers are teaching within a generation or 2, you could change the whole culture. And this is exactly what's gone on in our country over the last 50 years. And is Jordan peterson will mention a life without responsibility is a life without meaning. The problem is, is that we become wealthier and more educated with more opportunity. And we've lost the sense of our humanity of our flood this. We've lost the sense of our carnal nature, which is naturally bad. And we found a generation that don't, doesn't, isn't very where they don't reflect very much. There's an absence of this sense. There's a basic vacuum of calm reflection and thinking in our society and consequentially people are moving on. Not aware that they are lost in need of a savior and seen god and religion is in the way of progress. I want to take you into the bible, into a store, a man who saw himself in somewhat of the same way. Take your bibles there. If you're in John chapter 3, we're going to look at the story of a very intelligent man by the name of nick and amos, a member of the ruling class of the jews in the day of jesus. A one who did not see himself in need of the presence of the messiah. That was upon the face of the earth at that time. And yet indeed, his need would be brought to his attention. John chapter 3, looking at verse one, the new testament, gospel of john 4th book of the new testament. Now there was a man of the fair seas named nick edema as a ruler of the jews. The pharisees were a group of people that were in charge of making sure the society of the nation kept the law. The demon was one of them. This man came to jesus by night and he said to him, rabbi, we know that you come from god as a teacher for no one can do these signs that you do, unless god is with him. Jesus answered, and he said to him, truly, truly, i say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of god. Nik edema said to him, how can a man be born when he's old? He cannot enter a 2nd time into his mother's womb and be born. Can he? Jesus answered truly. Truly i say. And you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of god. That which is born of the flesh is flesh that which is born of the spirit. His spirit do not be amazed that I said you, you must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it. But you do not know where it comes from and where it's going. So as everyone who is bored of the spirit, the nic edema said to him, how can these things be? And jesus answered and said to him, are you the teacher in israel? And you do not understand these things truly, truly i say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we've seen and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe it? I tell you heavenly things, no one has ascended to heaven. But he who descended from heaven, the son of man, that's a reference to jesus. As moses lifted up, the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life. For god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Now these next 2 versus a very important and they relate specifically to the article I mentioned 43 percent of our millennials not caring, knowing or believing in the existence of god. And we need to read them carefully for god did not send his son into the world to judge the world. But that the world might be saved through him. Praise god. Verse 18. He who believes in him is not judged. But he who does not believe has been judged already because he's not believed in the name of the only begotten son of god. This is judgment that the light has come into the world and men love the darkness rather than the line for their deeds were evil. Now let me make sure you understand what we just read. It's not the sole focus of my message. You have a very intelligent man who believes he's not lost. You have a prophet who has no professional education or training. He's a galilean itinerant preacher. You have a poor man who's come from evan, he's the creator of the universe. He spoke the cosmos into existence and the billions and trillions of stars began sparkling. He doesn't look like who he really is. He's sitting there in a poor man's garb while the mount of olives just outside of jerusalem, and a very well to do well informed. Well educated man too embarrassed to be seen with jesus in the middle of the day, finds him in the dark of night. He comes with a compliment for jesus, and jesus immediately tells him we can't have this kind of conversation. Because nick, redeem us. You don't understand who I am and you're not acknowledging your need a need only I can fulfil, jesus tells him unless you're born again, you can't see the came of god. Nick demon has been in the mindset of looking at things with the wrong set of glasses in our scripture this morning. We saw this spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Now dick demon has an interest in understanding jesus. Jesus has cleansed the temple in the last part of john. Chapter 2, he turned over the tables. He poured out the money. He drove the merchandisers out of the temple precincts. The children came and sat on his lap. There was joy, there was singing, a nick, a demon was, was under the same conviction that much was going wrong in the church, but he was not under the conviction that much was wrong in his own life. And so when he compliments jesus as a teacher, jesus says in effect, i'm much more than a teacher unless you're born again. You'll never go to heaven and for nick, a demon. This is a very alien thought because he's born of abraham and he thinks he's got an automatic pass into they haven't the courts. And jesus says that's not how it works. It's not your lineage, it's not your parents. It's not the promises made to other people. It's the relationship you have with me and it could be monsieur, a sinner. And you need what I've come to bring and you've got to be born again. Now it's not a story, line of physical rebirth. This is a story of spiritual rebirth. It's the nature of man, it's the selfish carnal nature, that is able to be re made into the beautiful nature of jesus. Nicotine doesn't really understand this, and that's why jesus is able to say to him, you mean you don't understand that the carnal nature has to die and a new nature has to be reborn. You don't understand this. And for all of you, listen to me here today. Religion without rebirth is drudgery. But when a person understands the gift of god and the great sacrifice of jesus and they understand their own sinfulness, maybe the 57 other percent. The 43 percent of the millennials. I'm inviting all millennials, listen to me this morning to understand jesus told nick edema what he tell you and me, and that's without a new hire. There is no eternal life. There is no future. The new heart as a gift you can't created it's given to you by jesus. He died all across to make provision for you to receive that which we've been thrown away by the Human race. They wanted to eat from the Fruit of the tree, the knowledge good and evil. They wanted to do it their way. Jesus came back to this or lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and made away for us to receive back which that which was handed over to lucifer who was represented a snake in the tree in the garden of eden. Yes, jesus is communicating to nick, deem us that all human beings are bad. They've been judged already. The universe doesn't need to judge you. Because the universe that's on fall in the whole, the angels have looked down a little planet earth, and they've said they're all guilty. And that's why jesus didn't come to judge because there's no question on the verdict. The heavenly courts were seated and went adamant. He chose to sin, it was clear, nothing was left up for discussion. Jesus came to gave us and give us back that which we gave away. Praise god. Now here's the truth. The story of this man, nick a demon, can only be read in the gospel of john and he's not mentioned anywhere else. And John will cover him at the beginning, and John will cover him in the middle, and John will cover him in the end. And there is something super important about this man, because if you're a parent or you're a teacher, or if you have any kind of potential influence, you need to understand this is jesus, the master teacher, the redeemer, talking with the teacher in israel. And this message is about jesus, the prophet he fulfilled 3 roles, prophet priest, and king, and about nick, a demon, the professor and something had gone wrong in jewish religion over a period of time. They had forgotten that every time they went into the sanctuary to sacrifice a lamb. They were reminding themselves that their sins, which were laid on the head of that lamb were what took life. And it was our sins on the head of jesus that led him to the cross and took his life as the god man for the god fully man. You see something had gone wrong in the nation of israel and there were a whole lot of them that didn't want anything to do with the bad people. They thought they were the good people. And this left jesus with a challenge, especially when he dealt with the high class high minded good people like nadeem us. Nick edema was drawn to jesus, but he was still a little bit embarrassed to be seen with him in the middle of the day. So it comes in the night and I want everybody here to know the holy spirit is drawing people today, just like he did 2000 years ago when jesus was beginning his ministry. As a matter of fact, if you work for our church today, you need to understand that he's drawing all people some who have never given their life to jesus. He's drawing them. The love of god is calling them to be a part of his family. But for those that are in the family and maybe even leading the system or working for the system like nick edema, he's calling them to and there were many priests who responded. It took him awhile. Some were baptized on the day of pentecost, but there were some 3 to realize the corruption in the temple, the selling of animals right under the shadow of the sanctuary was wrong. Some came to jesus some didn't. And I'm talking specifically to parents and teachers today. Some will respond to the drawing of the holy spirit to reform and that god change and some will resist. All they want is the culture of the church. All they want is what they've known so far. But I want to remind everybody here today that jesus is leading his people on to higher ground and a deeper walk with him. Now, nick, a demon, finds an encounter in John chapter 7, with some of his friends turn there. John, chapter 7. He leaves jesus on that dark night on the mount of olives in chapter 3 and he goes away thinking jesus had said to him like moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. That's an old story. The israelites had been wandering through the wilderness. They were almost to the promised land. All of those years of wandering the snakes had never bid them, not one person. Of those 2000000 travelling through the desert had ever been bitten by one of the poisonous vipers that lived in saudi arabia. But they come up to the end of their journey, almost being complaining against god and against moses. Again, god withdraws his protection from that group that was one slaves and is on their way to the promised land and the snakes come out of the holes. And there's lots of snakes they've been suppressed and protected, that is the snakes depressed and the people protected all along the way. The snakes come out and they start biting. And the solution to the snake bite is not anti venom. It is a bronze serpent put on a pole that's held up and all you have to do is look and live. It's a miracle. You've been bitten by the snake. You're complaining. You're outside of the protection of god. God called you back to a moment of self awareness. You're not good, you don't deserve what he's doing. You've been bitten by the snake. In spite of the fact you're complaining against him, look to the snake and live. Now the snake does not have powers a matter of fact. You're saying to yourself why a snake on a pole? Why the instrument of death lifted up on a pole? The bible says in the book of 1st grant the and he made him who knew no sin to become sin for us. And other words, jesus took your sin and my sin. And when he died on a cross, it's almost as revolting as looking at that snake that snake showed the reason of death. Jesus hanging. The cross becomes repulsive as he takes on our sin and pays the price for that sin. That's nick lifted up in the wilderness will represent jesus when he's burying all of our sin hanging on the cross. Yes indeed. Jesus is teaching powerful lessons that will come back to nick de mrs. Mind. John chapter 7 verse will begin with verse 45. They've sent the temple officers to arrest jesus, but they come back without in verse 45, john chapter 7. The officers then came to the chief priest and the bears these and they said to them, why did you not bring him? The officers answered never has a man spoken the way this man speaks with tears cease answered them. You have not also been led astray have you Know, one of the rulers of the pharisees is believed in him. Has he? But this crowd, which does not know the law is cursed cadina's he would come to him before being one of them said in our lodge is not judge a man unless at 1st hears him and knows what he's doing, does it? They answered and they said you are not also from galilee, are you search and see that No prophet arises out of galilee in the 2nd chapter, we not only see that jesus has drawn nick a demon, but now nick deem us is going to defend. Now I want you to know what is like to be bullied. Most of us have at one point in time. I can remember as a 6th grader being chased home from school in my public school. I can remember my fence a big my, my body up against a cold chain link fence as I'm surrounded by a group of people. This is a bullying moment. This is the temple guards that go to arrest jesus. They're convicted by the power and the beauty and the love of jesus, and they cannot lay hands on him. And they do not bring him back to the pharisees. When they come back without jesus, those that hold the power are going to be little. Those who don't and they're going to make it look like they are a bunch of ugly word warning. Spoiler alert. Ignore ramesses'. Now we don't go around calling people ignorant, and we don't usually call people ignoramuses. But in effect, that's what these men were doing. And they basically said, you mean you didn't do what we said, and you're being duped by this galilee profit, or suppose it profit? There's nick, a demon watching it all. Now there's 2 things that play. If you're a person of power and you're a person who isn't, it's awfully unfair and unkind to, to take your power and use it to demean and be little someone who believes differently than you. As a matter of fact, when you find yourself in a conversation and a person has to resort to believe you will be literally, you can be sure they're on the wrong path. When a person cannot be call and deliberate an objective, when you're a form of a discussion that might even turn into a bit of a debate, maybe even an argument when you have to take passion in the midst of an objective argument. I'm not talking about the passion is should be in place when you see a man beating a wife had a unique moment just this last week where I was driving down a road in this community. And I watched a man walk up and grab a stroller. Fortunately the baby wasn't in it and he lifted it up and he threw it down. And so I decided i'm not leaving. I just parked my car where I could watch what was going on. And I watched a very unequal conversation go on. Within the last 2 weeks here, where a man just be rated and be little for quite a little bit of time. A young woman with a young baby. While I didn't get out of my car to get myself inserted into it. I sat right there about 20 feet away with my window down, just watching there's something about an absence of respect and an imbalance of power that can create a very problematic situation. And it can be missed is watching this go on. And there's a battle going on in nick d, mrs. Mind. Not unlike the one that goes on inside of us. But when you lose your cool in irregular discussion, it's because you've probably lost your way. And it's important for you to understand if you're on the right path, you don't have to get mad to defend your idea. And if you're on the wrong path, getting mad might be the best evidence that you're headed to darkness, not light. Now it's not that there's never a place for passion, but when you're going to exercise passion, it might be better on behalf of somebody else than on behalf of your own self or your own idea. So here is nicotine is watching this, this dialogue. And it's interesting in the book, desire of ages, the author states that in the sanhedrin council, he had repeatedly forwarded the schemes of the priests to destroy jesus. But now I want to go farther into the book page for 60 in the full tide of their discussion. Soldiers, temple guard priests. In the full tide of their discussion, they were suddenly checked. Nicotine was question, does our law judge any man before it hear him know what he do? us silence fell on the assembly. The words of nic edema came home to their consciences. They could not condemn a man unheard. That's jesus. But it was not for this reason alone that the haughty rulers remained silent, gazing at him who had pare, speak in favor of justice. They were startled and chagrined that one of their own number had been so far impressed by the character of jesus as to speak a word in his defense. Recovering from their astonishment, they address nick a demon with cutting sarcasm. Art thou also from galilee search and look for out of galilee arise with no profit. You see friends, nick edema is waiting farther into the circle. He's letting his colors show this teacher that was afraid to be who he really was, who the convicting power of god was calling him to be starting to come out from behind the shadows out from behind the curtains and declare that he was for jesus. Now let's go to the last experience between nick d mas and the pharisees. In this case, pilot john chapter 19 verse 39. The 3rd and final chapter involving nick deem us john chapter 19 verse 39. This is nadeem us who had 1st come to him by night also came bringing a mixture of mer and alice about a 100 pounds of weight. So they took the body of jesus and they bounded in linen wrappings with the spices as the burial custom of the jews. Now in place where he was crucified, there was a garden in the garden, new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because the jewish day of preparation since the tomb was nearby, they laid him there. Jesus has died. Nick edema was there. Those words in his mind as the serpent lifted on the pole. Writing again a desire of ages, the author states nick a demon when he saw jesus lifted up on the cross, remembered the words spoken that night on the mount of olives. As moses lifted up, the serpent in the wilderness, even so the son of man must be lifted up that whosoever believe in the name should not perish, but have everlasting life. On that day when nick edema, se on that day when christ lay in the grave, nicky demons had opportunity for reflection. Listen this sabbath day this day for reelection. Is my life going the right way to have freedom in my heart? Are my sins forgiven. Is my life right? Would christ? nikki demon was thinking christ was dead lane in a grave. Nic edema had bought and brought 100 pounds of anointing spices. A clear light now illuminated his mind and the words which jesus had spoken to him were no longer mysterious. He felt that he had lost much by not connecting himself with the savior during his life. And now he recalls the events of calvary yesterday for nick, redeem us was calvary the cross. He watched jesus, he saw him die. And this is what's flashing through the mind of nic edema. The prayer of christ for his murderers father forgive them. And his answer to the petition of the die and thief. These spoke to the heart of the learned counselor, and again he looked upon the savior and his agony. Any heard that last cry, it is finished spoken like the words of a conquer. And again the earth reeling, he was re living in the dark and heavens and the rent veil in the temple, and the shivered rocks and his faith was forever established. The very event, the destroy, the hopes of the disciples. Convinced joseph verma thea and nic a demon of the divinity of jesus. An amazing moment. Nic edema comes forward right to the very front again, riding the desire of ages. Nick edema came boldly. He employed as well for sustaining the infant church that the jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of christ. And that time of peril, he had been so cautious and questioning was his farmer's rock. Encouraging the faith of his disciples and furnishing means to carry board the work of the gospel. He became poor in this world's goods. Yet he faltered not in faith. Friends, I want to end with this thought. If your apparent listening me here to day hear these words, great is the responsibility of those who take upon themselves the guidance of a human soul. The true father and mother counts this parenting a trust from which they can never be wholly release the life of a child from his earliest to his latest days feels the power of that tie which binds him to the parents, heart, the ad and the words the very look at the parent, they continue to mold the child for good or for evil. And now if you're a teacher, especially the teacher shares this responsibility and he or she needs constantly to realize the sacredness. To keep and view the purpose of his work. And one last thought, heaven is a school deal for somebody. That's bad news. You don't like school, but don't worry. This will be the best school you've ever attended. They'll never be one moment of confusion. You'll never be one boring lecture. There never be one bullying moment. There never be one moment when you don't feel like you belong. Everyone there will find the thrill of learning because the classroom will be the University of the new jerusalem and the primary instructor will be jesus himself. It's going to be an amazing place that wouldn't be sad if we didn't graduate to that eternal existence, an opportunity. You see, all of our young people are to be taught by their parents and by their teachers. And of course, by others that their life has a purpose that there are duties and that there is this grand cause for which they fulfill a piece that nobody else could fulfill. Last week I was in canyon city, colorado speaking at a regional camp. Me and there is a gentleman there who has a ministry called the heavens declare he makes by knoxville or telescopes. Just as of late a billionaire from Texas called him up and want and brought him down to Texas, where he watched the launching of one of the lawn. Musk is rockets, and he wants to build a binocular telescope, where every eye piece is 36 inches across. It's never been done before. I mean, this is a 7 day admin, a scientist, a man of no ordinary ability. And he put on a slide show in which he made the statement, which was still fantastically impressive to me. My name is Jim burr, he said, when god was finished with the universe, he looked at it and he said, there's just one more thing I need to make. It won't be complete without you. And you are made unique. There is no unlike you in the whole cause most and God for saw in his omniscience, is all knowingness that you would be a unique creation in which the cosmos would not be quite the same. If you weren't there, imagine how he feels, if you're not there in the University of new jerusalem, to take all the things you learned on earth and let them have a folder, meaning, you see, for instance, the purpose of this life, this earth is just a preparatory school for those who desire to be drawn like nicky demons, was drawn a bit embarrassed of jesus no doubt. But are we willing to let jesus show us the things about ourselves that he'd like to change? He didn't come into your life to condemn you, even though he'll have to talk with you about some things that will need to change. But you don't even have the power to change them. Only jesus can do. But will you lead him? You seem friends, the day is coming soon in which the liberty of americans will be no more. The bible predicts that this liberty, lovey nation will find itself exercise in authority that makes the monarchs of the past look like child's play. And for americans being told what to do is very offensive, but something tragic is in the future. I don't know what it is. The bible doesn't tell. But something is tragic and traumatic enough in the future to where this nation which holds that lamp of liberty alight, is going to snuff it out for the well being of the world. I'm appealing to you this morning. We like nicky, be missouri, afraid to be different. We're afraid to say I'm with god and god's ways can't line up with this. We're afraid to lose friends. We're afraid to lose jobs. We're afraid family members won't understand. I'm appealing to you to let the drawing power of jesus draw you in and when you need to take a stand for jesus, like nick a demon did there with the temple guards? Go ahead, stand up, show your colors. And I'm appealing to you this morning, especially parents and teachers. Be who you're supposed to be, no matter what it cost you. Now I'm far enough into this parenting thing to where I want to assure you this. If you'll raise your kids for jesus teachers, if you'll dedicate your hearts completely to partner with the parents some day, most of those children will rise up and call you blessed. If, on the other hand, you cave in to their uninformed an undisciplined desires, you will watch the move, like a pinball from dysfunction to dysfunction until finally they end up caught an unavoidable trap of their own making. You see friends, jesus comes to each of us today and he says, I love you. I died for you. I'd like to save you. I'm asking you to read your life and follow me. Our educational system is set up to partner with parents to do that. There may be some listening me here today who ought to consider enrolling their young people in our schools, we accept from a variety of backgrounds. Our schools are not only for 7th day adventists, but they are places where parents who desire a better way in anticipation of having like the partner with our administrators in our teachers. And this morning, I'm appealing to this congregation to remember this. The lowly galilee and prophet who spoke to world into existence will speak to you too. And his he said to nick, a demon, i if I be lifted up, I'll make provision for the redemption of man. Like that serpent on the pole. It will be me hanging there for you. I'm not just the teacher nick d miss. I'm the savior of the world. And I've come to save you till you see friends. There is not a friend like the lowly jesus. He loves you. The day he's calling you that the prophet speak to you, like the prophet spoke to the pharisee of all. And they would walk in the narrow path of life. Trusting in jesus. We may draw nearer to jesus and he will draw near us. Ah, this media was brought to you by audio person, a web site 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, please visit w W W dot audio verse dot org.

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