Summary: A sermon that gives reason for hope using Phillipians 4 - 13 and other scriptures.
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
A camera is an incredible device.
.13: “I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me.”
It looks at a particular scene and records it instantly for posterity.
What it sees it records.
In the old days the taking of Photos was far more complex it involved the camera person putting their head under a cover to take the photo and the flashing of light and the etching of images chemically onto a plate.
The recording of old photos diminishes with age and the relevance of the old photos fade.
With the passing of time the pictures fade and get lost.
Many of our dreams and aspirations are like that. Do you remember when you had some childhood dream and it faded?
Hope - 2000 years ago was sharp and in focus.
But as time has moved on the technology and the focus has shifted – what was in sharp focus in the first century has – for a lot of the world – been made fuzzy and out of focus. – Morality, what is important and of vital importance has been faded and reversed. And we have lost hope.
Modern society moved on, left Christ’s hope behind, but has never been in a worse state.
Our focus has changed from God to ourselves here is what Billy Graham said in 1966. (Paraphrased.)
The decline in moral values we see in Western culture coincides with the decline in this culture’s view of God’s Word, the Bible.
It has been well over four centuries since William Tyndale was sentenced to death for translating the Bible into English. We find in Tyndale’s ashes not only a symbol of the impact that the Bible has made in our world, but also a symbol of the price paid by many heroes of the faith to give us our Bible. Miles Coverdale, who 400 years ago issued the first printed copy of the Scriptures in our language, was banished from England. The decaying bones of pioneer translator John Wycliffe were dug up 31 years after his burial and publicly desecrated.
Thus, when we read the Bible today, we must remember that every page has been preserved through the years by the tears, the blood and the agony of courageous men and women.
One of the greatest tragedies of America today is that the Bible is an open book available to everyone, but to millions of Americans it is a closed book—either because they leave it unread or because they read it without applying its teaching to themselves.
Men somehow think that in an age of scientific achievement, this ancient book is out of date. However, I am convinced that the Bible is just as relevant for today as it was for the first century.
America is facing a moral crisis that will ultimately determine the future of this nation. The security of America is not being threatened abroad so much as it is being threatened by immorality at home. We are in the midst of a moral struggle that is just as important for the survival of America as the revolution led by George Washington and his co-patriots.
Most Americans hate to admit we are in a crisis, but its bitter fruits are all around us. We are adrift without answers. No single authority rules our conduct. No church lays down the moral law for all. No tribal customs and taboos define the limits of our immoralities. We are free to be prejudiced or promiscuous, to cheat or chisel. We are left floundering in a money-motivated, sex-obsessed society.
Nowhere is the moral confusion more apparent than in the area of sexual morality. The country is paying a fantastic price for this moral-sexual confusion, which began a few years ago in this country and now has reached full tide. It is getting worse with every passing hour. It threatens the foundations of our democracy and the security of our republic.
We are rapidly becoming a secularized society. We are unwittingly accepting the idea that man is simply a physical being—that life on this planet is all there is. This materialism and secularism has captured millions of people in Europe and America. Millions now explain the universe without a reference to God, morality without the Ten Commandments, personality without a soul, the good life without hope of immortality. This is blatant secularism and humanism.
1966 50 years ago. The lens has turned sharply to the left since then and our morality is out of focus.
Christians have been caught up in this eddy or flow into the rapids of disintergration and today I feel that Christians increasingly need to be exploring themes of hope.