Summary: Being prepared for the troubles Christians are sure to have
READY FOR TROUBLE
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Pastor Brian Matherlee
We spoke this morning about trouble coming. Tonight, we’re going to look at the basic things that will prepare us and sustain us in the day of trial.
When’s the last time you had something happen and you questioned God? When is the last time you had your faith tested? If you’re not sure when then perhaps you don’t seem to be much of a threat to the devil!
1 Peter 3 tells us that living Christian is a sure path for trouble. Remember Jesus said the world will hate us because it hates him. And Jesus told the disciples in John 16:33, “you will have trouble.”
1. Sell out to Jesus
a. Set apart Christ as Lord
i. It’s a conscious decision
ii. It establishes Him as the agenda maker
iii. It simplifies life
b. Acts 5:29, “We must obey God rather than men.”
i. We can often find ourselves tested by the opinions of our culture.
ii. Perhaps we are tested to allow some things to slip by. But with God their must be total obedience.
c. Matthew 24:9-13 points out that when Christians are turned over to be persecuted many will turn away from faith and, in fact, will betray and turn on those they have loved.
2. Be courageous
a. We live in a culture submerged in fear.
b. People don’t want to face up to reality and so they drown their fears in many ways.
c. Crime is so prevalent that people barricade their homes, hide their children, sleep with guns.
d. We don’t trust people. We are leery to help someone in need.
e. In 1975, cuddly poodles were the most popular purebred dog in America, with 139,750 registered. There were only 952 registered Rottweilers, a fierce breed often used as a guard dog. By 1994, the poodle population had been cut in half to 61,775, while Rottweilers had increased 100 times to 102,596.
f. 1 Peter 3:14, “Do not be frightened.”
g. John 16:33, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”
h. Psalm 118:6-7, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
3. Be true
a. 1 Peter 3:16, keep “a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
b. Compromise is rampant. We are tempted to deny the reality of sin and we call it different things…that makes it go down easier.
i. In 1977, fish merchant Lee Lantz traveled to Chile and "discovered" the toothfish, a species the locals deemed too oily to eat. Thirty years and a name change later, Chilean sea bass is so popular with American palates that it’s almost on the verge of extinction.
ii. After Canadians developed an oil from the rapeseed plant, they still had to deal with the name. So, in 1988, the FDA approved a name change to Canola oil, and sales shot up.
iii. When the California prune board realized the words "prune" and "laxative" were inextricably linked, they switched to "dried plums" in 2000. People bought it, and in a documented focus group, preferred the taste of dried plums to prunes.
iv. In the 1960s, Frieda Caplan, an American produce importer, changed the name of the Chinese Gooseberry to the Kiwi fruit, after New Zealand’s national bird which is also round, brown, and fury. Popularity spiked.
v. Even though the bony fish known as the dolphin fish was unrelated to the mammal of the same name, diners still balked at ordering it. So in the mid-1980s, restaurants starting using its Hawaiian name—mahi-mahi—and all thoughts of Flipper were forgotten.
c. Just because we call something by a different name doesn’t mean it’s less lethal.
d. Sin is always sin and we have become too cozy with evil…even in our “Christian” homes.