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Summary: The church is intended to change the culture where it is established. Too often the culture changes the churches. Will God "give us up"?

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1. [Joe Wright's Prayer -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0bTMQvTRMs

2. Looking at our Place in Our Culture

a. Called to change our culture -- Acts 17.6

b. Too often, culture changes us -- 7 churches of Asia

3. Our Temptation -- keep quiet and our faith to ourselves

4. Our Commitment -- first and second commands

a. Speak truth -- in love

b. Love as God loves -- Love sinners, hate sin

5. Time is Running Out! -- Romans 1.18-23

I. The Presence of God is Evident

[In a correspondence with Helen Keller, Philip Brooks(noted American Preacher) discovered that Helen (who became deaf and blind at age 19 months -- first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor's degree) knew God before she had words, she just did not know who he was. In her darkness and isolation she knew she was not alone; that someone was with her.

A. No Excuses -- if we do not know of God it is our fault, not God's -- Psalm 19.1

The heavens are telling the glory of God;

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

B. It Takes Effort to Ignore God

1. It is SIN to ignore God -- Isaiah 59.1

2. Acknowledging A God is not enough -- James 2.19

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder.

C. The Reversals Romans 1.22;

Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5.20

[Joe Wright's Prayer:

* Ridicule Truth -- "Pluralism"

* Worship Other gods -- "Multiculturalism"

* Endorsed Perversion -- "Alternate Lifestyle"

* Killed the unborn -- "Choice"

* Polluted the air with profanity and pornography -- "Freedom of Expression"

D. SHHHH!!!!!! Don't SAY anything -- it might makes us uncomfortable; maybe it will just go away; Don't DO anything, it might be inconvenient

II. The Person of God is Enlightening

A. "Popular" Qualities of God

1. Holy

2. Loving (Deuteronomy 7.6-11; John 3.16)

3. Personal Presence -- Exodus 6.7

and I will take you for my people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

4. Long Suffering/Patience -- 1 Peter 3.20-22

20 who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

B. "Unpopular" Qualities of God

1. Just -- Sin will be paid for

a. Purpose of the cross -- John 3.16; Romans 3.21-26

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.

b. The alternative -- "Man up and take your punishment"

2. Standards

a. Pilate: "What is truth?" (John 18.38)

b. Jesus -- John 17.17

3. Discipline -- allows consequences to our actions -- Patience runs out

a. Flood

b. Captivities of the Jews (serve me and be blessed; don't and won't)

c. Second coming

d. "Sin brings a tear to the eye of God." -- Ezekiel 33.11

Say to them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Conclusion

1. [Leadership Journal reports a survey that reveals: 77% of Americans believe that religion has lost its influence; and that 75% of Americans believe that society would benefit from religion

2. In catastrophes we ask, "Where is God?" --

* School Shootings -- we asked God out of our schools

* Crime rates -- we asked God out of our legislation; and took away deterrents to crime in teaching the bible --

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