Summary: The question I put to you today is, “Are you serving your King”. No country is going to be spared when all hell breaks loose, only citizens of the Kingdom of God.
Some of you may be following the story that Israel is strongly considering attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities by the end of the spring. We have to remember that any middle eastern war is a Holy war. Middle Eastern countries see the West as Christian, we’re all Christians to them. And who are the allies of Iran? Russia and China. Who is Israel’s most powerful ally? The US and the European allies.
Now I don’t mean to scare anybody, maybe it’s all propaganda, but the chances of a great world war are considerable right now. Economies are bad, religious fanatics are on the rise, and if the US and Russia and China get involved, this will be big. We know from Scripture that eventually something has to give, and the only people that God has made a covenant with are Christians and the people of Israel. Now just because you live in what many people call Christian nations, the fact of the matter is that real Christians are a minority in every country including the US and Canada. So citizenship in these countries means very little to God, only citizenship in his kingdom.
The question I put to you today is, “Are you serving your King”. No country is going to be spared when all hell breaks loose, only citizens of the Kingdom of God. The bible says even believers will go through some of the tribulation, but not all because no one could survive. There’s also talk of a rapture, and whether that is a quick mass death and resurrection, or a literal being zapped up to heaven in the blink of an eye while your washing the dishes, I don’t know. But I do know that only those who are identified as servants of the King will be spared.
Here’s what the first part of verse 10 in 1 Peter 4 says. “As each has received a gift, use it serve one another”. Stop there and let’s look at this.
Each one, every Christian, is to use whatever gift they are given. Let’s look at two words. First of all it says whatever, meaning there are endless gifts. The point I want to make is that these are not just the more supernatural spiritual gifts that are listed in other places in the New Testament, we’ll talk about those in a couple weeks. These are talents, skills that God has empowered us with that we just seem to naturally be good at, and are to use to serve God and others in this world.
And I believe that God gave every one of us at least one of these gifts. Notice it says gift and not gifts. I truly believe that each person in every church in the body of Christ has a special talent that God gave and fore ordained to be used in the body of Christ.
What do they call it when you enlist in the armed forces? Serving your country right? In fact they call the armed forces the services. Last week I told you we are in a spiritual war, and it is more important than ever to know which uniform you’re wearing. You were made to serve, and the choices are not the Navy or Army, but Satan’s world or God.
Now I want to take you to the book of Joshua, I think this is just amazing. Joshua in chapter two is preparing to take Israel into the promised land. For our purposes this morning equate Israel with Christians, and the promised land with Heaven, or where all the promises of God become your possession. Now some spies had gone in and come back with a report that there are some bad dudes in the Promised Land. But the people there have heard about our God and are terrified of us. …We need to know that the enemy is afraid of us, we don’t need to be afraid if we know who lives in us?
Now because of doubt and disobedience every person that left Egypt 40 years earlier dies before crossing the Jordan into the promised land, including Moses. Only those born on the journey are allowed in. So here’s the first thing I want you to see. The people were separated from the promised land by this great river, just like now every person is separated from God. But God makes a way for people to cross over into the promised land by drying up a path through the Jordan river, just as he has made a way across the chasm between us and God, and the promise of eternal life, through the cross. It’s a picture of what Christ would do for everyone who calls on His name centuries later.
So they get across and into the promised land and they in essence have a worship service. As chapter 5 begins we hear how the Amorite and Canaanite king’s heart’s melted with fear when they heard how these people got across the river. Amorite means physical or matter, what you can see and touch. Canaanite means controller, subjector, subduer. God is going to give them a victory over the physical or flesh represented by the Amorites, and the subduer, Satan, represented by the Canaanites.