Summary: Change happens whether we like it or not. God works to get us out of our comfort zone and into our dependence on him.
1. On the birthday of a 100 year old man in Maine a reporter interviewed the man and said, “100 years! Wow, you have seen a lot of changes.” The man replied, “Yes, and I have been agin’ every one of ‘em!”
2. Changes Come, Ready or Not
• 90%t of all the items in the supermarket today did not exist just ten years ago.
• It is estimated that 73% of college graduates are going into jobs which did not exist when they were born – 22 short years ago.
• George Washington traveled from Virginia to Washington D.C. by horseback. It could take him ten days traveling at a speed of twenty-five miles per day.
• When astronauts come back to earth, they travel at over 25,000 miles per hour. At that speed you could fly from New York to San Francisco in just a couple of minutes.
• “My great-grandfather rode a horse, but was afraid of the train. My grandfather rode on a train, but was afraid of a car. My father rode in a car, but was afraid of an airplane. I ride in an airplane, but I’m afraid of a horse."
3. Change is the cure for complacency
Wheaties began making cereal back in the late 1940’s. It was good, but it wasn’t particularly popular. So, in the early 1950’s they took a big financial risk and did something nobody else had ever done. They paid big bucks to have a popular athlete grace the front of the box, and their new slogan was, “Breakfast of Champions.” The athlete was an Olympic gold medalist in the pole-vaulting competition. His was a preacher, and his name was Bob Richards.
It worked. Wheaties became an overnight success and has been near the top selling cereals ever since. But they had to do something else, too. They had to keep finding new athletes that people knew. See, as the years go by, people forget names and accomplishments. A few years after Rev. Richards appeared on the box, people forgot who he was.
So, throughout the years, to be able to introduce the cereal to new people, they changed the outside of the box to be more relevant to the society of that day. But you have to notice something very important. Not once during all this time, did they ever change the cereal inside the box! It has remained unchanged in all these years.
• We have an Unchanging Gospel – to be seen AS IS – a GREAT RESTORATION Principle
o Baptism has been a great emphasis [Naaman]
o Repentance is tougher
4. The church today needs some serious repentance – we are failing to carry out the mission Jesus has given to us and we don’t really care.
5. Needed today is a strong reliance on God
6. Isaiah 43.14-19
I. The Impressed Oppressed
A. Israel’s Context – Oppression by Egypt; Assyria; Babylon
1. They knew their history
2. They believed God’s promises – good and bad
3. God made impressions on his chosen people
B. Our Adversary’s Oppressions
1. Remember that Satan HATES you
a. You bear the image of God
b. You follow Yeshua (Jesus)
2. He Oppresses Us with:
a. Sin – Isaiah 59.1-2
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
2 but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you
so that he does not hear.
[Addictions – Drugs, alcohol, food, pornography – Yeshua (Jesus) is the answer
b. Idolatry – Exodus 20.3-4
[People; Entertainment; Sports – OU; OSU; Thunder
c. Superstitions – So Paul, standing in the middle of the Areop′agus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. Acts 17.22
[#13 and Bungee jumper that died because the 13th floor was not included in the building directory – the floors went from 12 to 14 – his cord was too long by one floor
d. Traditions [Victories – HOME Groups; Children’s Bible Hour; Gene’s Little Friends; Home Before Dark; PPT; Video (our language); Eastern European Missions]
1) Nothing wrong with Tradition, per se – if there is meaning – “vain repetitions”
Jews were taught to build a fence around the Torah (Pirkei Avot 1.1)
2) Problem – exchanging ritual for relationship with God
a. Jews did it with circumcision; Sabbath; Kosher foods
b. We can become captives to: worship times (11 AM); Order of worship; Invitation and song; WED PM (Thursday in Auburn, AL) – at all?
C. Our God’s Opportunity
1. To be greater than the Adversary and his oppressions – Sin (DBR); Idols (Living God); Superstition; Tradition
2. With his Supernatural element – Holy Spirit – But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14.26