Summary: The world believes that if they can be free of God, they’ll be free to do as they wish? But the Bible teaches us that everyone is a slave to something, but does that really make sense?
OPEN: I’m not sure who wrote the following words, but this story says a lot about mankind:
When my oldest son was about three years old, I was outside doing some yard work one afternoon. I took Kevin outside to play while I trimmed the hedges. Holding his hand, I knelt down beside him so that we could look at each other face to face. Slowly and carefully I said,
· "Now, Kevin, you can play here in our front yard.
· You can go next door and play in your friend’s front yard.
· You can ride your Big Wheel up and down the driveway.
· You can go in the back yard and play with the dog or play on your swing.
· You can go back inside and watch television.
· You can stay here and watch me trim the hedges.
· These are all the things you have my permission to do.
But you can NOT go out into the street. It is very dangerous there. You cannot play in the street. Do you understand what I’m saying?"
And 3 year old Kevin nodded his head and said "Yes, Daddy".
I let go of his hand and he ran straight to the curb, put one foot in the street, and then turned his head toward me and smiled, as if to say, "Foolish mortal!"
APPLY: Now – why would that little boy do that?
Why – after understanding all the freedoms his father had allowed him would he deliberately go out to the one place his dad had told him not to go?
He did it because that little boy is like so many people.
· They want to be FREE to do things “their way”
· They want to be FREE to live by their own rules
· They want to be FREE to be the ones who make the final decisions of what is right or wrong for them
This reality – that man often rejects the authority of his Father - lies at the very heart of the conflict between man and God. God created us and loves us. He wants to supply us with all kinds of blessings. As He told Israel in Jeremiah 29:11 - “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
But man - too often - looks at the Heavenly Father and knows what He’s promising but all they see are the restrictions God would place on their lives. Restrictions that are meant to be for their good, to keep them from harm - and they look BEYOND the freedom and the promises God wants to offer them - and all they see are the restrictions and in those restrictions they see nothing but prison walls to be broken down.
To get God’s best, they realize they have to let God have authority over their lives… and many people don’t want that. They want to be free from any authority so they can be FREE to do what they want.
ILLUS: Before I went to Bible College I spent a couple of years at a secular college and studied under philosophy professors who went out of their way to undermine the Bible and Christian morality.
They would make fun of students who stood up for their faith.
They would belittle Biblical morality and declare that there were no moral absolutes.
There was no such thing as absolute right and wrong
As I grew older I began to realize that their teaching was absurd.
When they declared there were no absolutes in life they were stating it as an ABSOLUTE fact. In other words – they were absolutely certain there were no absolutes.
Can you sense the absurdity in that?
But I also came to realize that these professors really didn’t believe what they were teaching anyway. The reason they worked so hard at undermining the religious upbringing of their students was because they needed to remove God’s standards from our lives and replace those standards with standards of their own.
These professors wanted to be God. But they couldn’t be God as long as God was in control of those students’ lives. These professors wanted to be FREE us of God’s authority so THEY themselves could be the authority.
That irritated the crowd, and they responded:
“We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone…” (John 8:33)
The Jews were saying: “We don’t want your freedom! No one has authority over us. We’re already free, we are slaves of no one.”