Summary: I believe that the Christian world is in the midst of a very dangerous season. Research is showing a catacylismic shift away from faith in Christ. Jesus said most men's love will grow cold. A message to help in this season
The Temptation to let Go of What God has said
PPT 1 Series title Overcoming in a Season of Temptation and Testing
PPT 2 Reason for this series
In discussing the last days Jesus said:
Mt 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mt 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (KJV)
Mt 24:12 "And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
Mt 24:13 "But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. (NAS & NIV - most)
Most means more than half.
My job as your pastor is to work to make sure this body and you in particular are not part of the most of Mt. 24:13.
I want to give you some shocking research from Barna:
PPT 3 Graph of church attendance
13% of devout Christians have dropped out of attending church or watching online!
Barna reports 32 percent of people who identify as Christians have stopped attending church in person or online.
Pastor you are being so negative. I'm not being negative. Look at how God at one time described His watchmen:
PPT 4 text
Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
I am not being negative, I am barking because the thief, the devil is at the door. We are in a season of unusual
So this series is geared at overcoming temptation, and testing, which is the season we are in. In the first message I advised everyone to make sure they are wearing their spiritual mask.
Batten down your hatches, store up spiritual energy. Consider fasting along with your prayer life.
Fasting brings breakthrough and blessing.
Nehemiah fasted and then a breakthrough came to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Esther fasted and the plans of Haman to kill the Jews were completely turned around and he was hung on the gallows he had set up for the Jews.
Fasting needs to be a growing part of our daily lifestyle.
What is different about this generation than others which have gone through far worse things.
World Wars, 1918 flu killed 35 million, the great depression. In those times of testing people turned to God, in this one the facts are showing the opposite is happening.
PPT 5 Message title
So I started this series on temptation, and today I want to talk about the temptation to let go of what God has said. We will deal with other subjects in future messages.
I am starting with this one, because it is in point of fact the first temptation of man recorded in the bible.
PPT 6 Genesis 3:1
"Yeah, hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1)
Sometimes that is a good and legitimate question to ask yourself. Did I really hear from God?
When human emotion is involved it is quite easy to become spiritually compromised and your ability to hear accurately can be skewed but what your heart desperately longs after.
I have seen this mostly in the area of romantic relationships.
Illus: I met a woman who fell in love with a man, but had no actual relationship with him. He was in love with and married someone else. She told I am believing God for him to divorce her and marry me. She was believing God for him to commit adultery!
So it is a legit question that should be considered, but the when the devil asks it, the root of it is always the same:
To alienate you from God, to mess with your faith in Him, and to shake your confidence in His word.
Here are questions that "modern" Christians are struggling with:
Is homosexuality really a sin?
What's wrong with living together?
What's wrong with a couple beers?
What's the big deal if I don't go to church?
What's wrong with abortion? It's just a few cells. It's part of the mother's body.
Basic biblical truths are under assault, not in the world, they always have been, but in the church.
These matters have been settled, but the devil is asking people to abandon the bible and make the ideas of the cultural above the plain teachings of scripture. You cannot sustain a faith that has not accepted the bible as the unchangeable word of God.
Let's look at an example from the life of Jesus. Where satan asked, "Yea has God said?"
PPT 7, text
Mt 3:16 And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,
Mt 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."