Summary: The second in a series of messages on the topic of an invisible "unseen" world that impacts our visible world. This sermon focuses on authority, submission, and rebellion.
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Rebellion equals freedom. We didn’t actually know how to say it like that, but that’s the premise from which we operated from the time we were about 12 or 13 years old, right? It just made sense. The best way to get free is to rebel against the rules, or ignore all the rules, because as long as I was keeping rules, I wasn’t really free. And we grow up and that sort of morphs into a more sophisticated version of the same thing. As adults, we know that rebelling doesn’t equal freedom because we know the prisons are full of people who rebelled and they lost all their freedom.
So, we’re too smart for that, but there’s still this insidious twist that follows us into adulthood, and the adult version of the same twist goes like this: "If I disagree with a rule, I’ll ignore it. If I disagree with a rule, I’ll disobey it. If I disagree with a rule, I’ll disregard it." It’s the same twist. It’s just the adult version. It’s somehow "I’m still going to be free and I’m still going to do what I want to do, but instead of just dismissing all authority, I’ll just take it one rule at a time, one law at a time, and if I don’t like the rule, if I think it’s too extreme, if I think it’s, you know, redundant, if I think it’s irrelevant, if I think I’ve kind of grown past that, one rule at a time I’ll evaluate and then I’ll decide one rule at a time, and if I disagree I’ll just disregard it."
Now you may not be willing to admit this in church, but everybody listening to this message in about five minutes or less can think of an opportunity or think of a situation where you’ve done exactly that. You know, 40 miles an hour, that’s stupid. It should be 45 here. Fifty-five, that’s stupid. It should be 65. Sixty-five, it should be 75. What happened to the good old days when you could drive 80 miles an hour?
But we’ve all done that. We evaluate it rule by rule. You know, you’re filling out your own taxes and you’re doing your deductions and you’re thinking, "This ought to be a deduction. This ought to be a deduction. This ought to be a deduction. These ought to be deductions. I mean common sense says these should be deductions. God would probably agree that they’re deductions." And there’s something, curfew, whatever it is . . . they’re many, many examples where we just, you know, because we don’t agree with it, we just disregard it.
We started this series last week. It’s called Twisted, and sort of the big idea of the whole series is that there is an invisible world that impacts our visible world. There’s an invisible world, an unseen world, that impacts our seen world. And, if you believe in God and/or heaven, you’re halfway there. You already believe in an unseen world. You already believe there’s a being who somehow impacts or controls that unseen world. It’s the other half that we tend to ignore.
Because last week we said just like germs, the invisible germs that float around all the time and are carried through the air, just like germs are invisible and yet have the potential to impact the visible world, in the same way, we discovered last week that there’s another invisible world that has the potential to impact us, not just physically, but impacts our decisions, impacts our relationships, impacts the way we think about things, impacts the way we view the world. It impacts our entire worldview.
And we said that you don’t need a microscope to see this other invisible world, like you need to see germs. All you need is a rearview mirror, because every one of us, every one of us can look back at a time in our lives--a night, a weekend, a trip, a stage or a chapter of our lives, a relationship--we look back now and we say, "How could I have been so blind? How could I have been so deceived? How could I have been in such a fog?" Some of us think back to times in our lives when people warned us and they said, "Can’t you see that what you’re doing is going to result in disaster?" and we really couldn’t see it. We were genuinely deceived. It’s not like we wanted to destroy our lives or mess up our lives or bankrupt ourselves. It just made sense to us.
Now we look back and go, "Wow. How could I have been so deceived? Why couldn’t I see it?" And the Scripture helps us answer that question. It says that beyond just your personality and beyond just the way you were raised and beyond just self-awareness or lack of self-awareness, or all the things that we tend to blame our mistakes on, beyond that there really is an invisible world, an unseen world.