That which is without limits—infinite! Literally Not Finite!
In practical application, for instance in trying to describe the nature of the Creator God, it is vital that we understand who we are! We are the creature with the finite mind who was created by the Creator to accomplish that for which the Creation was created in the first place!
A proper understanding of God must be reasonable to us even if hard to comprehend! So I have this opportunity to posit a view on the “Infinite”:
The Creator God that we worship, Who is the Father of Jesus Christ, Who Created all that is in this realm, while totally able to affect this realm as He sees fit, exists outside of it. He knows the end of it from the beginning of it because He truly comprehends its entirety, beginning to end, top to bottom, front to back, and has total access to it anywhere and any-when He chooses. To us His being and power truly are infinite, without limits, because from our point of view they are. BUT:
Our God exists in ETERNITY! Where He lives we have no clue concerning its structure except that Christ has assured us that He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us so that where He is we may be also!!
On this celebration of The Resurrection , I would like to say that His Word is good enough for me! When we join Him in the air and begin to comprehend the Purpose of God and see the place for which we were created to have fellowship with Him!!!! THAT will be when we begin to understand the infinite, maybe!
God bless ALL who believe in the One Who defeated death and the grave, paid the debt to justice for us that we could never pay, and loved us more than we can comprehend. To Him be the Glory now and forever, Amen.
Arminianism vs Calvinism…
Cut to the chase!
Calvinists say Its God’s choice and I can live with it.
Arminians say Its my choice and I can’t live without it.
Either God IS all-Powerful or He is not. If my choice over-rules His it is obvious He is not!
Where does Scripture say we have free will? Indeed it says we are captives to sin until the Lord sets us free and those whom He sets free are free indeed!
In honor of Nickel Boy Graphics I offer a Consider This:
The final decision concerning the dispensation of one’s eternal life is a fearful thing to contemplate. The idea that if I can do something that enables me to obtain entrance into eternal peace and the company of Jesus Christ brings with it the obvious opposite: that I can also do something that condemns me to eternal separation from same.
The idea that I can do nothing to help myself become eligible to live in eternal peace with Jesus Christ; that my eternal dispensation was predetermined and set before I was ever conceived in my mother’s womb is even more fearsome to contemplate.
One religion tells me one thing and another something else. Who can I believe?
Consider just what the ultimate plan of an Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent God, the Creator of all things, the Great Lawgiver and Definer of Good and Evil, is! Just what has God revealed to us that His plan is for what He has created and the occupants of it? In His eyes nothing happens by chance or takes Him by surprise.
John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” To live with Him in Heaven we must be willingly and willfully holy as He is holy. Living in holiness must surely then be the sincerest form of worship.
Who art thou, O man, that repliest against God, saying Why hast Thou made me thus? Can the creature who has no understanding of the plan and purpose of the Creator justly judge or even intelligently question the outworking of that plan?
!st Tim 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Our eternal destiny is in the hands of a God Who is merciful and just. I pray for His Mercy and fear His Justice for I know how undeserving I am of anything else. The Grace of God is the extension of His unmerited favor to us. While we were yet sinners Christ DIED for us.
The evil of this world is not carried into Heaven and our view of it or its purpose here is not eternal in scope. When sitting in judgment of God wouldn’t we do well to take our lack of an eternal perspective and perfect understanding into account! Surely if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt for doing the right thing for the right reason, it is God!
God bless any and all who make the effort to understand the Mind of God!
The Importunate Widow? About Discipleship?
Just how personal is the discipleship relationship? Who is the true teacher? Is the church the arbiter of the interpretation of the Word of God or is it between a man and his enlightenment by the Holy Spirit? Who is the final arbiter of Truth?
The Book of James speaks to discipleship in this way:
1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
The Parable of the Importunate Widow(Luke 18) speaks of it this way:
18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Paul speaks to Timothy(2nd Tim 2) these thoughts:
2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
Correct understanding of the Word of God is only found when the whole context of Holy Scripture is taken into account on any given topic. Peter and John(Acts 4) had this to say when the religious authority would have chastened them:
4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
There is no greater teacher than the Holy Spirit. That is His job! But He will allow you to err in your belief whenever you decide you know enough or have it completely figured out or are willing to believe what men say over what He is leading you toward.
So how much do you really want to know God? How much do you really want to face your sin nature? Picking up your cross is looking at yourself and seeing your iniquity in the light of God’s revelation to you then doing what is right in His eyes.
Paul encouraged people to follow his lead but only in so far as he followed Christ(1st Cor):
10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
10:32 Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
Will you pick up your cross and follow Him, or will you walk away sad? Or will you deceive yourself and quench the Spirit at the same time?
Today we will look at a very familiar passage and see if we are missing something! That passage is in the Book of Matthew Chapter 22 Verses 15-22.
15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
May God Bless the reading of His Holy and Inerrant Word.
When we think of ‘render unto Caesar’ the first thing we usually think of is paying taxes because that is what they were talking about. They asked Jesus if it was lawful for the Jews to pay tribute to Caesar. And He said RENDER UNTO CAESAR! Well we don’t live under Roman rule today. So we ignore the rest of the passage! Let us begin at the beginning and see what is going on here and see if there is a much more relevant meaning to this in our day and age!
The Pharisees had been embarrassed by Jesus a number of times before and they had just been told a parable of the wedding where everyone made an excuse to not show up . So the King sent his servants out into the highways and byways to bring in everyone they could find. The King then saw one who was not dressed for the wedding and asked him why! The man was speechless so the King told the servants to cast him into outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. The Pharisees knew that the invited guests who made excuses not to show up represented them in the parable. They were not happy. They had been slighted again! So they took council among themselves on how they could trip up this upstart from Galilee. They Got together with some Herodians. Herodians were not fond of Jesus either because they really wanted nothing to interfere with the dynastic line of Herod the Great whom they considered to be the rightful King of the Jews! He knew what they were up to. So when they asked if it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, He called them out on it. They were tempters and hypocrites! They addressed Him as MASTER, we KNOW you are TRUE, and teach the way of God IN TRUTH, and that You don’t especially care about ANY man, because You pay no attention to what KIND of men they ARE at ALL! Their Words, however, while trying to sound as if they honestly wanted to hear His wisdom on the issue didn’t fool Him in the least.
They showed Him the coin and the image on it and He uttered those famous words—Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s! And they were astounded and walked off shaking their heads. There was no argument.
But for US the story does not end there. In our Culture, just WHO IS CAESAR? You won’t like the answer because it puts the responsibility for every bad thing our government has ever done SQUARELY upon the shoulders of WE THE PEOPLE for one very simple reason. We Claimed it for OURSELVES! That’s right! Our government is OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people! WE are CAESAR! So when Jesus said render unto Caesar… He wasn’t just talking about the change in our pockets! We can’t point at somebody else and say they are to blame! The body politic produces the aggregate will of the GOVERNED in the USA. If we don’t want men in the women’s restrooms, we need to make so much noise about it and arrest those who violate, that their “discomfort in the men’s room “ will be nothing compared to their discomfort in the legal system. They DO have OPTIONS!
We need to re-establish decency and protect the innocence of our children. Indecency is the idea that our local schools must give sex education in all the prurient excesses of sexual conduct so our children can decide for themselves who and what they are! It is CRIMINAL and should be pushed back against hard enough that it goes back into the darkest of corners where it belongs!
We need to re-establish decency in what we choose to allow into our consciousness. There are too many things that cannot be unseen or unheard. WE THE PEOPLE are Caesar and we have a responsibility to the rest of mankind and to GOD ALMIGHTY for what we allow to be done in OUR NAME!
None of this requires us to be violent! It requires that we put on the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD and when we have done so, to STAND against all that assails us in the evil day.
SPEAK RIGHTEOUSNESS AGAINST EVIL. Silence is Consent!
Good Morning. Thanks for having us back! We should start this morning by open your Bibles to the Book of Revelation Chapter 3 beginning at verse 14. Revelation 3:14! When you are there please stand out of respect for God’s Holy and Inerrant Word. This morning I would like to see if it is BIBLICAL as CHRISTIANS for us to keep politics and religion at arm’s length from each other.
Revelation 3:14 the letter to the church of the Laodiceans.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
May God bless the reading of His Word to our deeper understanding! Please be seated.
Remember, I said BIBLICAL. Is it BIBLICAL as CHRISTIANS for us to keep politics and religion at arm’s length from each other. In order for us to decide what the Bible teaches on a particular topic, we are supposed to take into account all it has to say on that topic as well as any teaching that BEARS on it from Genesis through Revelation. It is certainly a long established precedent that the sanctuary is NOT the place for political discourse. Believe it or not, where the pros and cons of a particular candidate are in view, I have to agree. BUT that leaves a tremendous amount of room for the examination of PRINCIPLES! What will We the People allow to become the law of the land? Remember we the people are responsible and will be held to account for what those who are elected to represent us determine to be acceptable in our actions as individuals and on the world stage in terms of what we will tolerate in the treatment of God’s Chosen People as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ the world over! Or how about just the treatment of human beings in general? Our presence as a power for good in the world has deteriorated a LOT and we need to correct that situation! Sounds might high falutin’ for the folks of Olney, Missouri to concern themselves about doesn’t it.
Today there is a context into which we ALL need to set this message. In the days of Noah Genesis 6: 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
2ne Peter 2: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
There are two points that we really must carry away from here today. God Loves Us and He has given us example after example of how VITAL, TRUE Holiness is to our ETERNAL LIFE!
So how on earth does some political thinker who penned the Tytler cycle back in the days of George Washington have anything to do with our worship today? It is summed up in a word: APATHY! It affects our witness, our walk, our families, our church, our communities, and our nation. It affects our citizenship not just in America, but our citizenship in the KINGDOM OF GOD! LUKEWARM!!!
Passion, no matter how depraved, can flourish in the face of apathy. Love thy neighbor does NOT mean allowing them to destroy OUR home to please themselves! We have to develop and maintain a sense of URGENCY and share it with family and friends FIRST HAND, not just a facebook message with an assortment of emoticons and a LIKE! God’s Mouth to their ears. The boxes of religion and ‘real life’ have got to go! Our FAITH IS our real life. It doesn’t get any more real than watching what we love but have taken for granted, be destroyed NOT because we COULD do nothing, but because we DID do nothing. Question: Would you consider me guilty of murder if I did not take the keys away from a friend that I KNEW was too drunk to drive, who then had a wreck that killed someone? What if they threatened to beat me up if I didn’t hand them over? Guilty then? Does it prove that I care more about a few bruises than I do about the lives of those lost if I gave in? Guilty of murder? Probably not. But wouldn’t I be guilty of APATHY? I weighed a few bruises against the possibility of a loss of life and well? chances are nobody will die if I just give the keys up. And when I’m wrong am I at fault? Depraved passion (friend driving drunk) WILL flourish if NOT MET with Passionate Righteousness (no keys no matter what!) Christ did not yield to the depraved passion of those who conspired to kill Him! He SACRIFICED Himself for THEM AND FOR US!
Look at the slow motion train wreck playing out before us because we who name the name of Jesus Christ have given the keys to those so drunk with “power” that they refuse to recognize their responsibility both to God and the rest of Mankind for their actions! So drunk with power that they are a law unto themselves, accountable to NO ONE, knowing only their own lust!
The church has decided that politics is anathema and has no business in the sanctuary. I’m here to tell you that the church is the ONLY entity capable of taking a beating if necessary to take back control of the BLESSINGS of freedom that God showered upon US! WE will SURELY be spewed out of the mouth of Jesus Christ as the LUKEWARM, apathetic, tasteless, gruel we have allowed ourselves to become! We sit around here claiming to have the ‘free will’ to accept or reject the ‘free offer’ of salvation made by THE SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL God we come here to worship, when in point of fact, if that is true at all, we should be out there USING that free will we claim to have by being either HOT OR COLD in worshipping Him! Standing up for HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS against the drunkards who want nothing but the satisfaction of their own lusts and denying any responsibility at all!
The greatest generation tolerated promiscuity. The baby boomers embraced it. Flower power and free love! We baby boomers tolerated a lack of responsibility and ambition so Generation x-ers concentrated on worthless degrees from college, got no useful skills out of High School and found it acceptable to let the grandparents raise their kids. The boomers placed little emphasis on our responsibility to Christ and Gen x-ers placed NONE! Only the form survives, virtually none of the substance. Faith is the substance of things NOT SEEN! We protect ourselves in every possible way from physical harm—seatbelts, helmets pads, training wheels, car seats the list is nearly endless and much of it government mandated! But we have ignored the most VITAL of safety equipment! We have failed to equip ourselves AND OUR LOVED ONES with God’s Armor! And we have allowed our government to kick God out of the public square! When we step out of this life and into eternity, how will WE be CLOTHED? If we have done nothing to glorify Him in this life beyond the little it takes to keep the doors open on buildings like this one, can we really expect Him to glorify us in eternity? What must we do to hear the words ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ If we continue to allow the tale of moral degradation we see ALL AROUND US to wag the dog of our responsibility to righteousness by keeping our mouths shut and our worship inside these walls, what glory SHOULD we expect. Jesus left HEAVEN to PURCHASE OUR ETERNAL LIVES! What do we do to show our appreciation when the going gets even a little bit tough? Loving our neighbor as ourselves absolutely does NOT mean standing on the sidelines in self-imposed helpless silence while every good and decent thing we have ever stood for is destroyed!
Apathy is one short step from dependence and dependence is the first step into BONDAGE! Few if any hearing this have ever experienced true political bondage. The twentieth century was replete with object lessons of it—Russia, China, Cambodia, Cuba, Viet Nam, the Caliphate etc. Countless millions were sacrificed to and by those who exercised absolute power over them. We all face death—such is the cycle of life on earth. BUT LET IT BE SAID OF US, We offered ourselves a LIVING Sacrifice to the One Who is the Giver of Life ETERNAL!
We Live in a place whose Founders sought the covenant blessing of God to establish. But we have gone the way of Laodicea–17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Do we in our heart of hearts sit in front of the TV or listen to the news and tell ourselves how bad things are getting but just don’t do anything because we are just hopeless? We do not need to be hopeless! Jesus started with Twelve and one betrayed HIM! He was not hopeless. What did Jesus do while He was here? He SPOKE THE TRUTH! Why can’t we do that? Whatever the subject is! Speak the TRUTH of it! Abortion is wrong! We know that! But Just telling someone who is firmly pro-choice requires of us an apology! What, you are not going to say ‘I’m sorry!’ because abortion is wrong? Well that is not what an apology is! The word apology means ‘offering a reasoned defense’. EVERYBODY KNOWS that there is something wrong with legal abortion, even those who claim to be pro-choice. The “lump of tissue” in there is not going to turn into a Buick! It isn’t going to come out a frog or a duck. We all know that the fertilized egg is a HUMAN BEING! With its own unique DNA identity! So the question then becomes, is it right to kill ANY individual Human Being without due process of law in this Country? Notice I did not say LEGAL, I said RIGHT! No Honest person who believes in rule of law, or ANY of the God-given inalienable rights we recognize, can say ‘Of course its right. The mother has the absolute choice of life or death of her BABY!!’ They can say but its LEGAL! Legal yes, It is legal but if you believe in God and HIS definition of what is RIGHT, there is no way you can agree with abortion on demand of ANY stripe or time constraint FROM CONCEPTION forward! It is Murder of the undeniably innocent. Thou Shalt Not Kill. The forced redistribution of wealth is THEFT! But the majority VOTED to take some from everybody and give it to “the poor”. Whether it is voted on or not, someone taking something from me that I did not agree to give them is by definition THEFT! But its legal! The outcome is that it has created a permanently dependent welfare class that votes for the politician who promises to give them more. Its not THEIR money they are playing fast and loose with! THEFT! Thou shalt not steal. I could go on and on but this is not the arena for that. NO! This is the arena where we prepare ourselves to be PREACHERS of RIGHTEOUSNESS! Righteousness is not a religious term without practical application! Righteousness is the context in which we are supposed to think and speak and act in the daily, hour by hour, minute by minute, exercise of our decision making and activity. Ours is NOT the Christian Religion. It IS living out CHRIST in the world. It is taking the keys away from the drunk because I AM my brother’s keeper! That is probably the hardest pill to swallow for me. I believe in suffering the consequences of my actions even when they are stupid. But Jesus has Commissioned us with a Greater responsibility!
So Will we go down in history as the generation who turned our back on the Founders’ covenant because we didn’t pass on the ONE undeniable FACT: If a sparrow cannot fall from the air without His notice, is it likely that a nation can maintain its freedom without His BLESSING? Let us today take up the mission of Noah and speak righteousness to the drunkards. Let us take back the keys and curb their lusts.
As we enter our time of invitation, with every head bowed and eye closed, let us open our hearts to the One Who Loves us enough to Redeem us from Death and the Grave, not asking but BEGGING for Him to give us opportunity to SPEAK HIS Righteousness into the world. Noah was ALONE as a preacher of RIGHTEOUSNESS. If there had been even five righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, the city would have been spared. Perhaps we can help spare OUR communities but we can’t do it alone.
Do we have our Hymn of Invitation?
If you feel His call on your life Now is the time. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. Closing prayer
Thanks again for having us here today! We hope to be seeing you again. God bless.