Summary: We can get so caught up in our daily lives that we truly don't discern what God's Will is.

Jesus had essentially one sermon. Everything He did and said revolved around that one message which was "the kingdom of God is at hand." He reminded those who exercised power of any kind on earth that they did not have the last word.

He informed them that with His coming and in His person ... God was about to do something refreshing and radical ... something which would be liberating and which would challenge old ways of doing and thinking about things. Jesus came to call the powers that be into question and put them on notice that business as they had been doing it, business as they knew it, business as usual, was no longer acceptable.

Thus, every miracle He performed established His supremacy over forces and systems which till that point believed they had the last word regarding the human predicament. Every time Jesus healed a sick person He demonstrated that sickness and disease do not have ultimate control of the body because

God's promise, God's deliverance, God's power and God's comfort were present in Jesus. Every time He rebuked a demon He demonstrated that we do not live in fear of either the unknown or of evil because there is no evil power in hell, or earth, or sky which can keep one of God's children down. Every time He calmed a storm, every time He multiplied a piece of bread, every time He walked on a wave of water, He showed that nature was not in control, He was.

Every time He chose to reinterpret a religious tradition He showed that even the law and the prophets found their fulfillment in Him. Jesus came to declare that a new day was dawning, that God was already at work, and that business as usual, priorities as usual, living as usual was no longer acceptable.

The Pharisees, with their vested interests, came to Jesus to ask Him about this new kingdom that would change every familiar thing. Whether in the church or in the community, those with vested interests in keeping things as they have always been are always the ones most concerned about change. After all, those with vested interests believe that they personally have the most to lose by change. The Pharisees came to Jesus to inquire about this new kingdom. When would it come? How would it come? What would be the signs of its coming? Jesus informed them that the kingdom would come in the same way that the rain fell from heaven in the days of Noah and the fire fell from heaven in the days of Lot. The kingdom would not come without warning because God always gives His children a warning. But people would not pay attention to the warning that was given. For if there was one thing clear about Noah and Lot it was that nobody took them seriously. Nobody believed what Noah said about the flood.

And so all the while Noah was building the ark and preparing for the flood,

all the while that God was speaking to Noah, all the while Noah preached God's message of repentance, righteousness and judgment, the people ate and drank, they married and were given in marriage. They did business as usual even as the flood came and destroyed them all.

The situation surrounding the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was even more critical. Throughout biblical history the names of Sodom and Gomorrah have been associated with every kind of immorality. The sins of these two notorious cities was so hideous and so many and so abhorrent to God that they stirred the wrath of a righteous God ... and the destruction of these two cities became imminent.

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah had become hopelessly mired in their transgressions. Sin is an addictive habit, and it is possible to become so controlled by it that but for the blood of Jesus a person becomes irretrievably lost and bound. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah had done wrong for so long that they believed that they could get away with doing wrong forever. However, there comes a time, when heaven's patience with wrongdoing refuses to be tried any longer. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah continued doing business as usual, eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, not believing that time was running out for them.

The plan for solving the Sodom and Gomorrah problem was revealed to Abraham, God's friend. Abraham said to the Lord, "I know that Sodom and Gomorrah are wicked places deserving divine wrath, but there are some good people there. Will You destroy the city if I can find fifty righteous people there?" Let us never forget that every Sodom and Gomorrah has some good people. God's friends are found everywhere, even in Sodom and Gomorrah. A preacher once said that even in the worst of churches God has an angel or two in the membership who truly love the Lord, love the church, and who will try to work with the preacher. Even in the most corrupt situations there are always one or two good people, and we wonder what they are doing there. They are there because God is never left without a witness even in the most hopeless situations. I believe it is safe to say that even in the best places there are always one or two who don't want to see things progress. Listen, we are either going to progress or we are going to regress. Nothing, I repeat nothing, ever stays the same.

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