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Summary: Chaos Theory is an interesting mathematical theory. But in life, we see another Principle at work, Controlled Chaos.

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Preached by: Rev. Larry C. Brincefield on May 30, 2004

at Belleview Church of the Nazarene

Title: Controlled Chaos: The Story of Pentecost

Text: Genesis 1:2; Acts 2:1-21

Introduction

1. Chaos Theory is a mathematical theorem…

• Math was never my forte…

• But let me attempt a very simplistic definition…

• Chaos theory was first developed by Edward Lorenz in the 1960’s…

• He was a MIT Meteorologist…

• And he was trying to predict weather patterns.

• And ultimately described something called “the Butterfly Affect”.

• Which you may have heard, whereby a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil…

• And through, an indeterminate number of sequences…

• Causes a tornado in Texas.

• And it became known as Chaos Theory.

2. It has also been illustrated by this little poem attributed to Benjamin Franklin:

"For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;

For want of a shoe, the horse was lost;

For want of a horse, the rider was lost;

For want of a rider, a message was lost;

For want of a message the battle was lost;

For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost!

All for the want of a horseshoe nail"

• In other words, because of a lost nail in a horse shoe…

• the kingdom was lost

3. Our world seems to be a place of chaos…

• war…

• terror…

• crime…

• pain…

• deteriorating health…

• surgery…

• catastrophic weather…

• erosion…

• decay…

• rust…

• illness…

• death…

• as we look at the world around us, we begin to see chaos everywhere…

4. But this morning, I subscribe to a different theory, let me tell you about it..

• I call it “controlled chaos”.

• At first, controlled chaos seems like an oxymoron…

• How can chaos be controlled?

• And if chaos is controlled…then it no longer meets the definition of chaos….

• Well, that’s what I want for us to explore this morning…

Read Text: Genesis 1:2; Acts 2:1-21

1. Chaos in the beginning…

A. Scripture says that before the creation everything…

• The world was “without form and void”

• The Message Bible says, “Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness.”

• The Living Bible says, “the earth was a shapeless, chaotic mass

• The world was in chaos…

• There was no form…

• There was no control…

• There was nothing of substance…

• You couldn’t stand on it…

• It was disorganized…

• It was a mess…

• It was confusion…

• It was a complete and utter turmoil.

B. And, if left alone…

• Our world would still be like that.

• But something happened that changed everything…

• Something happened to bring a measure of control to the chaos…

• And we find that something is actually a “Someone” Who we read about in Genesis 1:2

• the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

• The Holy Spirit settled upon the chaos…

• And God began His creative word in our world…

• First of all, He created light…

• And separated it from the darkness…

• And suddenly, the chaotic mess wasn’t quite as chaotic…

• Then God separated the disorganized mess some more…

• By separating the sky from the water…

• And then, He created dry ground separated from the water…

• And, by the time God was done…

• He had taken what was once a chaotic, disorganized mess…

• And brought order.

• He brought harmony…

• He brought tidiness…

• Controlled chaos.

• Now, if the story ended there…

• I’m sure I wouldn’t be standing here…

• And I certainly wouldn’t be sharing a sermon on this topic…

C. But we know that Sin entered that perfect utopia…

• And sin is the embodiment of chaos…

• And, as sin began to spread from one person to the next…

• Our world began to slowly deteriorate little by little…

• And after a period of time, it became a rampant, disorderly, chaotic mess.

• And God intervened again in Noah’s day…

• And cleaned up the mess…

• And restored a sense of orderliness...

• Controlled chaos.

2. Chaos at Pentecost

A. Prior to the events In Acts chapter 2, we see some very peculiar things…

• Everything had seemed to be coming together…

• Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth…

• And began to bring order…

• Out of the chaos of our lives.

• His teachings were powerful…

• They were moving…

• They were life-changing…

• But then, sinful men killed Jesus…

• And, even though Jesus rose again…

• And we see chaos begin to reign…

• We see fear…

• We see lives spinning out of control.

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