Summary: With privilege comes responsibility, but we need to grasp our privileges to prepare for our responsibilities. And our privileges include this: we are destined to be winners!
Winners in A Losers’ World
Note: This sermon was too long to complete for me (I usually preach 1/2 hour), so I ended up reworking point 2 into a second sermon.
1. Short term winners are often long-term losers.
2. The other day, I was messing with my stamp collection. I’ve purchased a whole gob of Russian stamps.
3. Many of those stamps contains busts or paintings of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.
4. Those guys made great promises to the Russian people; Communism was supposed to usher in an almost Utopian Era; instead, the people of the former Soviet Union are left holding the bag and trying to put the pieces back together.
5. The entire Communist movement was a movement of losers.
6. If we believe the Bible to be true, than we have to conclude that the vast majority of people will end up as losers.
7. Indeed, many people admit they are losers up front: you look at the rock music stars and the Hollywood stars, and their lives are depressing, cynical, and negative; they have done a good job convincing others to adopt their doom and gloom world view, and Generation X in particular has bought into it, lock, stock, and barrel.
8. Some from the current generation of teens have also bought into it, but most have not. Which is why I am excited about this generation of teens. They are, by and large, participators.
9. In one respect they are much better than Cynical Generation X because they do not easily give up on the quest for joy, and they have learned the art of enjoying other people rather than embracing a victim mentality.
10. But many of Generation Y will also lose, because they are seeking a short-term joy and not the joy that flows from living life with God first and then other people. Being social makes you happy in this life; being right with God makes you happy for eternity; being right with God and being social means joy on earth now and greater joy in heaven for eternity.
11. God’s elect are guaranteed winners in eternity, the theme of today’s message.
12. The Christian life is a responsible life, but the responsibility of the Christian life flows from its blessings and privileges.
13. That’s why lost people cannot understand us. Our great privileges motivate us to shoulder responsibilities that do not seem so great in light of our privileges.
MAIN IDEA: With privilege comes responsibility, but we need to grasp our privileges to prepare for our responsibilities. And our privileges include this: we are destined to be winners!
I. Because We Are God’s Elect, God is __Specially___For Us (31-32)
1. God is sometimes ____against____ people
· When we read Scriptures containing the word, “we,” we must ask who is meant by “we?” We…all people? Believers? Jewish believers? Leaders?
· Lost people often apply Scriptures to themselves that are written to believers…
So God is not FOR everyone:
Romans 9:13, “Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
Many examples of God being against people in Scripture: Pharaoh & the Egyptians, the population of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaannites, etc.
· What does it mean to be elect? We answered that last week
2. “Since” God is for His elect, who can stand against us
Literally, “If God for us, who against us?”
(1) NASB: Who can stand against us….
(2) We have many formidable enemies, and they often win the battle in our lives, but not the war….
· Demons, headed up by Satan, a word which means “adversary”
· According to Isaiah 14, Satan was created as Lucifer, the greatest angel; he thought he ought to be God and led a rebellion, taking a third of the angels with him; he became known as Satan, they as demons…
· But this was all part of God’s plan to glorify Himself…not surprised…
· And we are in the middle of this drama that has been going on for thousands of years…and all of us began on the wrong side…when God zapped us and saved us, we defected from the Kingdom on Darkness to the Kingdom of Light…
· If God took His hand of protection off of us, I believe Satan would destroy every believer he could….sometimes when God disciplines us, He releases some of that protection in some area…
· The world, meaning society and individuals who disregard God’s priorities and values
· Our own sinful nature which betray us and ally with the enemies above
3. The argument of the ___greater___ to the lesser