Summary: We can best understand where we, as believers, have come from — and where we are going — by answering three questions.
Where Have You Come From? Where Are You Going?
1. When you have been a pastor at the same church fro 30 years, the Catholic kids in the neighborhood call you “Father Time.”
2. I have been here so long that when people ask how I am registered politically, I say I am a Whig.
3. I stole those jokes from Jack Benny, but he Whig joke may come true.
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania man says he has become the first member of the Whig party in more than 150 years to be elected to political office in Philadelphia.
Robert Bucholz was elected Tuesday a Judge of Elections in the Rhawnhurst neighborhood as a Whig, by a relatively overwhelming vote of 36-24, Philly.com reported Wednesday.
The Whig party was founded in America in 1833, but died out after it split over the issue of slavery in 1856.
Resurrected as the Modern Whip Party about five years ago, it drew Bucholz's attention because of its focus on seeking consensus, not rigid ideology, he said.
4. Sometimes things once popular become remote and popular again. Reversal of fortune theme is a common theme in Scripture.
5. The conversion of the gentiles is a case in point.
Main Idea: We can best understand where we, as believers, have come from — and where we are going — by answering three questions.
I. What Does It Mean to Be LOST? (21)
Even believers can feel disenchanted; Yancy’s book, Disappointment With God, addresses this issue.
But being alienated is the normal mod
us operandi for lost people
B. Hostile in MIND
Not same as being hateful to God; but, when lost people are told that God does not accept them until they repent and accept Jesus, they are resentful because of pride and will not submit to the gift of righteousness he offers. It is to this kind of God that they are hostile, the God who says my way or the highway.
Romans 8:7 - 8 (NASB) “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (8) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
I know a lot of really wonderful people who believe in God, but not quite the God of the Bible. When you discuss things more deeply, you discover their view of God is either of a God who is permissive, a God who has relinquished control to mankind, or of a God who himself is a hypocrite, who says he is loving but doesn’t act like it. The loving yet holy sovereign God of the Bible who knows and controls all is not appealing to them at all.
C. Doing EVIL deeds
Dennis Davidson puts it this way: “Though clearly identified and labeled in Proverbs 6: 16-19 and then in the fourth century as the seven deadly sins—pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust—these now parade in modern garb and are often given status by being cast in psychological company: self-expression, self-fulfillment, assertiveness, identity, taking care of my own being, the right of my own space, therapeutic enhancement. All these terms express deep emotional, psychological, even spiritual needs, but unfortunately they also become the easy snare of sin’s entrapment…” [sermoncentral.com]
1. Sin in contrast: Judas and Peter
2. Judas sinned out of hostility, Peter, weakness
D. Paul elsewhere refers to the lost as NATURAL persons
1. Natural persons have a good side (image of God)
2. But they have not been brought to spiritual life; maybe religious, but still inwardly hostile, even if they mask and deny it…
II. What Does It Mean to Be RECONCILED? (22)
A. To EMBRACE the death of Jesus as atonement
1. Why does Paul say “body of flesh?” To distinguish what Jesus offers from his death on the cross for us in his body and what the church, also called the Body of Christ, offers. Sadly, many trust church — or their church attendance — to save them. Jesus atoned, not the church.
2. Example: Free computer programs, but you must check a box to accept the terms &conditions.
3. Jesus offers freeware to you, but you must be willing to download his program and give him control.
B. To be PRESENTED as holy and blameless
1. Job, Elizabeth and Zechariah
2. Jesus our advocate/“Before the Throne of God I Stand”
C. To bring together former enemies and make them FRIENDS
D. Ephesians 2:1-10 covers the same material in DETAIL
III. What is the Difference Between SAVING Faith and Temporary Faith? (23)
A. Saving faith CONTINUES
B. Saving faith does not SHIFT from the Gospel