Summary: God does not give up on us.
[Song – Call to Worship; Scripture Reading (Acts 1.6-11); Prayer
1. Acts 1.6-11
a. Last words of Jesus according to Luke
b. Importance of last words—dying man to son, “Take care of your mother.”
c. Nathan Hale (1755-1776) – "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
d. Red neck: Hey, Y’all, watch this.
2. The Disciples Ask a Minor Question
a. He brings them back to a priority of faith
b. Power is available until he returns
c. Get busy with what you have been told to do (10-11)
3. Recent Polls (secular and Christian) – USA is now 7-9% Christian (committed Christians, not “Christians in Name Only”)
a. Church attendance is down; churches are in a negative growth pattern
b. We are now in a mission field as real as first century Roman Empire
4. We Know:
a. Disciples went to Jerusalem to pray and the HS came at Pentecost
b. They preached the gospel with 3000 being baptized
c. Our mission is the same as theirs – to get the good news to people and requires the same power of God
d. QUESTION: Why aren’t we doing as they did?
• The answer is not in more worship services or formal bible studies
• We are always going to see dimly – 1 Corinthians 13.12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
• “We are educated above our level of obedience.” John Maxwell
• Many things are on a “need to know” basis and we don’t need to know Deuteronomy 29.29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
• [Premillennial? Postmillennial? PAN-Millennial – it’s all going to pan out
• We are not going to fully understand the Sovereignty of God (predestination) and the Freedom of Choice – quit worrying and start obeying
5. It’s too late for “church as usual” – predictable, boring, punch your time card church
a. We need God and his power to do only what he can do [Chinese Christians BTJ
b. Why aren’t we preaching the gospel?
• Maybe we have allowed other things into our lives to become more important than God.
• Maybe we don’t love God with all of our hearts, souls, and might.
• Maybe we have grown so accustomed to church that we see it as boring and predictable; others see it that way too and walk away.
c. This is bigger than worship services it is about our walk with God
I. The Depth of God’s Love – Hosea 1.2 (NLT)
2 When the LORD first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the LORD and worshiping other gods.”
A. Adultery of Israel Symbolized by Hosea and Gomer
1. Physical Adultery – Many Lovers/Prostitution (2.5, 12)
2. Spiritual Adultery of Israel in Parallel – 2.2-13, 14-15
B. The Longsuffering of God’s Love
1. When we love and are rejected we feel pain – not from strangers from ones we know – God, too
2. Hosea’s and Gomer’s Children:
a. Hosea’s – 1.3
3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son.
b. NOT Hosea’s? 1.6, 8-9
6 Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them.
8 After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. 9 And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.
3. The rejection Hosea felt illustrated how God felt/feels
a. Some are allowing things to separate us from God
b. God is the jilted, hurt husband with Israel and us
Song Lord’s Supper Song Contribution Song
II. The Determination of God’s Love
A. What is Our Response to Being Rejected by Someone?
1. “You don’t want me? Just move on. I’m cutting you out.”
2. “You don’t want me? I’ll show you, I’ll find someone else.”
B. Thankfully, God Does Not Give Up on Us, He Acts
1. He Sends Emptiness to Our Lives – 2.2-3
2 “But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—
for she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.