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What Are You Afraid Of?

Ken Kelln

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Recorded

  • March 25, 2006
    10:00 AM
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well it is to be together here in your house to look into your word to see what you have for us today and I pray your Holy Spirit to sync these truths in our minds and bless us with the presence of your holy angels to prompt us to your ways fully completely wholly committed to Jesus we pray in his name and then open your Bibles to Matthew chapter seventeen Matthew chapter seventeen here as a phrase in verse six that we don't find any other synoptic Gospels hears Jesus on the mountain with Peter James and John and the like and Moses come down and talk to Jesus and Peter gets all his failed tied in a knot you might say and says something that is inappropriate and then a cloud covers the mountaintop and what do the disciples here here in verse five a voice from out of the cloud said this is my beloved son with whom I am well please listen to him when the disciples heard this they fell facedown on the ground and were terrified no market loop don't say anything about them being terrified that Matthew mentions this if you heard the voice of God speaking to you today from out of the ceiling here or someplace would you be frightened well when the Israelites were out in front of Mount Sinai and the voice of God actually was Jesus the voice of God vote down from the top of that mountain in and just the four were set his voice cause the earth to shake the people were petrified they said Moses to do list though cannot talk to assess to frightening my question to us today is what are you afraid of what are you afraid are you afraid of things around us the world is falling apart you know that you can you can see and hear first Peter five eight says the devil 's going around like a roaring lion is a frightening well the Lord 's protecting hand is over us you see political unrest and war in Iraq and Afghanistan even in our Mexican border down here people are being killed lots of political turmoil and controversy over that issue we have social upheavals gangs and drug dealers almost at our doors right here you know you don't have to walk very far to find that just three weeks ago today we had a concert over the Orangeville Pavilion did you hear about that four thousand people each day thirty five dollars to go to that punk rock concert and afterwards fifteen hundred and upset enough and stirred up enough so that they went out and did five hundred thousand dollars worth of damage to the community writer of your show that six miles from here I think isn't it is a frightening about things that are happening to you personally school expenses actual or anticipated school failure family sickness or accident or even unexpected death in the family do those things right hospitalization just fourteen months ago I was admitted to the hospital her next door for a coronary artery bypass graft that's frightening especially when you know all the things that can go wrong at any records you are you using the complications you know what to do bad things can happen and it's probably best not to think about that when you're the patient you know and if it wasn't good I was able to replace my life in the hands of the Lord maybe I would've been certainly right and think about that when you're dealing with patients everybody who enters a hospital in fact if he's not frankly delusional it's right every patient is right remember that when you're dealing with perhaps more frightening is the prospect of Jesus coming and I'm not ready is that it will get Matthew seven versus twenty two and twenty three what did Jesus say there Matthew seven twenty two and twenty three this is a rather frightening passage many will say to me on that day Lord Lord did we not prophesy in your name that's great you know did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demons in your name perform many miracles and then I will declare to them I never knew you depart from me you who practice lawlessness statements like that that's rather unsettling for a Christian is is that right and you Jesus says there is even if you are performing miracles in his name that's no guarantee that your deadbeat say there lots of things to be frightened about if you're looking for them they're not hard to find the Jews were frightened in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah and afterwards the things that frightened and the very most was national apostasy corruption of the Jewish society when the remnant of Judah returned from battle and their leaders had learned their lesson it was very clear either follows the true God and his ways and enjoy independence as a nation and spiritual and financial prosperity or else ignore the true God forget about Sabbath keeping follow the ways of the pagans and enjoy their orgies and celebration of their worship of pagan gods and the result would be political and social and financial ruin the choice was clear follow God and prosper or rebel against God and suffer so the Jewish leaders set up rules etc. lots of rules you see that's the obvious thing that we do as humans if things are going wrong we make a law to fix it and they found out they made up a whole codebook of rules to govern every phase of one's life why is religious leaders saw that in order to meet every possible situation they needed lots of room every generation of rabbis added to the rules it was a work in progress not really come waited until two centuries after Jesus came to this world in his essay those rules were called the tradition of the elders today we caught Commissioner and the commentary on the these rules we call the Gemara I think that's what you pronounce it you put those two documents together it's called you've probably heard of the Jewish the Talmud was created to protect the Jewish nation from pagan idolatry and the resultant curses of God now have you read Deuteronomy chapter twenty eight verses sixteen to sixty eight all those curses that God pronounced upon Israel if they would not follow his ways and in the first fifteen versus of Deuteronomy twenty eight are the blessings that God said he would put upon them in every possible imaginable way if they would follow his ways now these were real blessings and Don was serious about this and the Jews one of these blessings so they need to grow because they knew that God was serious about the curses as well as the blessings and if you read Jewish history you can see that God was serious about what he said God keeps his word you can count on but is that frightening it was frightening to the Pharisees in Jesus day and the persecution of those so-called heretics that the new Christian believers were called by the Jewish leadership was serious Stephen was stoned James the son of Zebedee was executed by King Herod at the instigation of the Jews Peter was to be next except in eleven out of jail you can read about that and ask chapter seven and twelve and the priests sent Saul of Tarsus to imprison believers of Christ he took on this task with enthusiasm only beloved he was doing the Lords work he was breathing threats and murder against these disciples of the Lord these Pharisees believe God 's promises of blessings and curses and they would stop at nothing not even murder to keep the Jewish religion pure and free of heresy that would contaminate the nation and bring down God 's judgments upon now clearly the zeal of the Pharisees was misplaced you can see Matthew chapters fifteen and twenty two in Mark chapter seven for details of Jesus knew of these rules and their natural consequences but what about the Pharisees whether motives correct what you think at least in a sense they were correct remember that was the Sadducees were the priests it really instigated Jesus that that wasn't the first two so much although they joined in on did God really lay the responsibility of keeping the knowledge of the true God on the Jewish people that was her job they were God 's chosen nation to preserve truth on earth and the Pharisees accepted this responsibility with gratitude it was a privilege but they made it very difficult for anyone who did not share their view of God even in the point of murder starting with Jesus but are the Pharisees unique and we seen other people like that never heard of the Puritans here in United States in the early America before independence they came to Massachusetts to escape religious persecution they did everything in their power to purify the religion of the Church of England including the rooting out of witchcraft in their respective communities about the witches of Salem hot lather is known by historians as foremost in searching out these witches and executing women who supposedly had communion with evil spirits are so-called spirits of the dead most historians proclaim that most if not all of the so-called witches in Salem were in fact innocent today I'm more concerned about evangelical Christians historians that feel that they which executions were appropriately not inspired and that we should emulate cotton Nader and his colleagues in stamping out witchcraft now is witchcraft evil either practicing witches in our communities today you maybe know some of them I don't know there are spiritualists in the end and the spirit is send out frankly witchcraft Iraq Harry Potter never heard of him know who has either these books and movies encouraging spiritism in our community today in case you haven't heard of it the writer of Harry Potter is a lady named JK rolling she goes by she doesn't claim to be the source of these stories even so much even of the sentence structure her writings the stories she says are mostly dictated to her by her spirit contact she admitted to crying over the tragic end of whatever stories ending and ending when she states she would not have chosen given her own inclination clearly these stories are straight from the devil himself and still some Christians even if you administration single of this is good literature it really tells you how to write things interestingly to me it demonstrates that Satan has excellent command of English language and he is a as mastered the superb art of telling good stories interesting spellbinding stories that is a frightening I hope it doesn't frighten you not begun by Harry Potter book let's look at second Timothy chapter three verses one to five minus is probably familiar territory to many of you second Timothy chapter three verses one through five this is Paul's last letter that he wrote to anybody just before he is executed all ascended Timothy here but realizes that in the last days difficult times will come four men will be lovers of self lovers of money boastful arrogant revile others disobedient to parents ungrateful unholy unloving irreconcilable malicious gossips without self-control brutal haters of good treacherous reckless conceited lovers of play here rather than lovers of God holding to a form of godliness although they had denied its power of why such men as these giving Denver seven always learning never able to come to the knowledge of truth Justice Jennison jamborees opposed Moses so these men also oppose the truth men of depraved minds read jacket in regard by the faith so Lord Jennison jamborees well they were magicians actually spiritualistic mediums in Pharaoh 's court at the time of Moses and Aaron is a skeleton through the rods down and making shakes just like Moses did Rosa Moses wrought it except Moses snake ate all the other snakes anyway these were these are things that we can expect today the devil working through with men and women in spirit as the sorts of things that go back to verse four it says here one of these characteristics as lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God in verse five having a form of godliness but denying the power of it these folks are Christians we think about these it is being you know that even of course you can expect them to be brutal and haters of good and know certain things that their Christians were talking about here backslidden Christians religion but religious people who are going to have these kinds of characteristics and everything else in verses one through five and the characteristics of either pagans and Christians but those look like backslidden Christians lovers of self lovers of money brutal reckless conceited this may be nothing new but it's brought to new heights of brutality and correctness corruption that what we find around us is there any wonder that Jesus had a question in Luke eighteen verse eight in which he said when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth is that apply to you that he won't maybe that's frightening but we do have something that tells the city really well in Revelation fourteen one through five sure he's going to find a funnier but only with difficulty now with the corruption all around us what should a Christian today due to stay unstained and uncorrupted is not a good question is that when you ask yourself well the Pharisees made and enforced hundreds of rules hot lather when hunting for witches I knows and administer the looking for Akins in the camp that is I go looking for those who disagree with my theology and I try to see if I can pick them out expel him somehow the watchword is less clean things up what should a conscientious Seventh-day Adventist Christian be doing today to follow what Jane says in verse one twenty seven James one twenty seven races you should keep yourself unspotted from the world in addition to looking after the needs of the widows and orphans keep yourself unspotted from the world it seems like the plan of the Pharisees of the Puritans are those who seek to throw out the Akins doesn't seem like a very good plan shall we hide ourselves in monasteries or convents or mountains as hermits is not a good way to keep from being crooked you know I'm a pretty well practiced heresy I know how to make really good rules for people and I'm really quite good at spotting Akins in the camp and I've given some careful consideration as to how to get rid of them but then I look in the mirror and I find dirt on my face my heart is corrupt I am selfish and sinful I need the justifying cleansing power of Jesus myself I need a better way than the Talmud or witch hunting or a can expelling and the word of God has a much much better way open your Bibles to second Peter one versus two through four probably one of my favorite passages in Scripture that I keep going back to time and again second Peter chapter one verses to through four and Adrian if you'd like to get somebody to help you I I've put up some of these verses that I'm using today in a handout here all as a Bible text and if you don't get a piece of paper just get out your pen and start writing down a few Bible text Gazette solids on these pieces of paper but I thought it might be wise for us to look and see what the Bible has to say about this second Peter chapter one starting in verse two Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the I is him who has called us by his own glory and excellence now this is a long sentence here but let's go on numbers for form IVs that is his glory and excellence by these he has granted to us his precious and magnificent promises so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust so finally get to this work corruption clear at the end of this great big long sentence what does that sentence say what does it say to you it says there's something here called promises these promises are based on Jesus there based on his word that based on his glory and his excellence in these promises through them we may become partakers of the divine nature not my nature is corrupt I'm here to tell you that I try to do good things and I find that I can't do anything only as I depend on the Lord can I do anything that's any good for anything and he says I can change nature that's absolutely amazing and he also says how you do it while let's look at a few of these promises just to get an idea of what he's talking about here's a promised in John six verse thirty seven the one who comes to me I will in no wise cast out in Romans five one we are justified by faith we have peace with God in Romans five eight through ten while we were sinners Christ died for us and we are reconciled by God Philippians one six he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ Jesus says either if I started something in you I'm going to finish it on the naked complaint now is adding a promise Philippians four nineteen my God will supply all your needs according to his riches I am for these rich even supply every one of my needs now is that I promise I can depend on well do I now am I afraid of the judgment IQ will Jesus has gone ahead he bares my guilt in the judgment why should I be afraid when he has promised perfect that work in me Clare until he comes let's go back to first Peter one verse four hearsay is through these precious and magnificent promises by then you may become partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world these promises so I may be a partaker of the divine nature my corrupt human nature will be through these promises and through the working of the Holy Spirit partake of the divine nature my wants my desires my plans my priorities are transformed into God 's wants and desires and plans and priorities totally changes me through these promises now what is the natural result of claiming the promise acting on them depending on them basing my whole life 's decisions on their there's this word escape escape escape the correct in the world through lust well first of all really want to escape as that thought ever crossed your mind well we'll get to that just minutes sometimes not everybody wants to but if you really want to east as you can and here's a formula you depend on these promises one of my favorite promises is not ice is in Isaiah forty one verse ten here not prime with you be not dismayed for I am your God I will help you out strength you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand Isaiah forty three versus one and two fear not for I have redeemed you and so forth Isaiah forty verse eight the word of God stands forever Isaiah forty versus nine through eleven here is your God you will care for you as a shepherd cares for his sheep and at the end of Isaiah forty he gives you strength and vigor and allows you to rise up on wings like eagles I mean these are verses you've heard about that you depend your live life upon are they that important to me second Corinthians five verse fourteen I is that when I always wondered about it says the love of God some translations say constraints my Bible says controls me do I really want to be controlled is that is that our problem we don't really want anybody to control a but it's God 's love that controls this first John four eighteen perfect love casts out all fear first John five eleven through thirteen your really I will renew my will that first John five eleven through thirteen I don't find I find my evangelical Christian friends looking at this verse more often than I do my aunt and his friends and the testimony is this that God has given us eternal life that this life is in his son he who has the son has life he who does not have the son of God does not have life and don't forget verse thirteen these things I have written to you who believe in the name of the son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life is that a promise I can depend on I really believe it that is it do any good if you ignore is a promise there but you just kind of bypassing well second Timothy one seven God is given us power and love and a sound mind or discipline Romans eight one there's no condemnation Romans eight thirty nine and thirty eight thirty nine nothing can separate you from the love of God and he read that verse nothing can separate me from the love of God it's in Christ Jesus now when you read your Bibles every day as you read your Bibles can you read a chapter in the Bible and not find some promise somewhere another some places in Leviticus you may have a hard time or maybe the first part of numbers but most parts of Scripture promises there all through the word I have just dug up a number here that are particularly precious to me and you can find lots lots more but you say how about the corruption that's inside the church 's stock the corruption within me the corruption the bill the world has infiltrated into the church is not right wing that existed while the divorce rate in the administration is not any different from any Disney in the community around us let us sound like a very nice statistic but there is corruption in the church we know that an Ezra and Nehemiah were concerned about that there was contamination in the church but we should do something about actually but what should we do about it well therefore versus forte passages here I think we should consider before making what we should do about it first of all is one that has been used in many ways is that chapter in Ezekiel Ezekiel chapter nine never registered recently it's a very short chapter kind of frightening but if you look in the verses four and verse six the two things that we should take from Ezekiel chapter nine are that God knows his saints who are sighing and crying over the abominations that are in the land that is to say in Jerusalem are in God 's church God knows and he protects them you don't have to worry about the corruption that's in the church has got to take care of you are right it's right there in Ezekiel nine the second thing is the parable of the chairs the Wheaton shares Matthew thirteen twenty four to thirty is a parable and then Jesus explanation in verses thirty six to forty three if you look at that parable your number of the events of the week and then an enemy came and sowed some Darnell similes and so the laborers came up and said let master all of these weeds out in your field let's will not in the master said what don't leave them until when until the harvest and when did Jesus say the harvest was was a harvest the end of the world and who are the reapers who are going to sort them out the Angels did God give me the job of cleaning up the church now he says the Angels will do the separations I don't have to do that but like that's something I do it now had he didn't give me that job he said I'll take care that an some of us have to swallow our pride because that's really what is and let the Lord take care of things like that another passage is Matthew eighteen Matthew eighteen fifteen through seventeen how do you deal with a brother who is at fault lability and personally very clear and you put with that what Jesus said in Matthew seven about judging Matthew seven verses one through five in order for brother has a spec and as I and you offer to help and when you have a much larger foreign body in your eye who has the biggest foreign body in his that before you start trying to straighten things out but let's go back to promises here I couldn't pass this up about cleaning up the church because what we really need is to clean ourselves up and have the Holy Spirit clean ourselves up and then the Lord will take care of the rest of Philippians four versus four three seven Philippians chapter four verses four through seven along with this idea promises in fact the whole book of Philippians if you get discouraged read Philippians Philippians is a marvelous book you can sit down and read it in half an hour he did that once a week it would be very helpful to me because it's all positive so much upbeat so strong in faith read the book of Philippians solo Philippians four versus four rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice let your gentle spirit be known to all men the Lord is near be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus that was our promise he says rejoice rejoice on every occasion and every circumstance in say rejoice about every circumstance he said rejoice in every circumstance don't be anxious about anything those that possible is that really realistic isn't that what always other promises are all about so we don't have to be anxious so base our first strength upon the Lord and not be anxious about anything instead he said tell God about it and let him deal with it and the result will be God 's unlimited piece that will protect you emotionally and mentally that is to set your heart your feelings and your thoughts will be protected if we tell God about these things and let him deal with it and rejoice in every situation when we ask anything more than that I think that promise for all of us today finally I'd like you look at first Thessalonians five versus twenty three and twenty four first Thessalonians five versus twenty three and twenty four this is a benediction at all proclaim this to the benediction P budget to the Thessalonians people are now may the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved completely without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully see who calls you and you will bring it to pass that is to say to bring it to pass on two conditions one is that we don't get anxious and fearful and do dumb things because of fear that's called losing faith in the second is we don't allow ourselves the delusion of thinking that we are righteous ourselves that's called Pharisee -ism or self-righteousness now these two concepts seem to be white apartment are really the same problem if we trust God only and not ourselves he's going to take care of everything else the protection is partaking of the divine nature and daily depending on these promises and if you look here that last part of verse twenty four in first Thessalonians five it says faithful is he who calls you and he will bring it could we ask anything more than that to keep us from being afraid a father thank you what he promises in your word upon which we can depend for our entire life and soul for now and for eternity I pray that you would get a seated grace that we may learn to depend on these promises to think about them to fill our minds and our thoughts with these promises so that we may be useful instruments in your hand your glory Jesus and

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