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Sermon of the Week


Here is this week's Sermon of the Week. If you would like to check out past sermons take a stroll through the archive for a variety of sermons.

WHICH WAY AMERICA?
EZEKIEL 22:23-31

Scripture Reading:Ezekiel 22:23-31.... Call To Worship: 2 Chronicles 7:14 Which Way America: Atheism, Agnosticism or Adonai? Introduction: "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope... I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another." Romans 15:4, 14 1. Politicians waving their colors today. Telling if like it is..... Telling it like it Ain’t.... Telling it like it will be... perhaps... maybe 2. People flocking to one standard or the other. Picking sides... Picking on each other... Each saying, "pick me." 3. Political slogans and slinging abound. We are in grave danger... Turn or burn! All is well if you just trust me... "Peace, Peace when there is no peace." 4. Passive and pragmatic solutions are offered. There is no answer... just go with the flow... just chill! There is an answer... keep your feet firmly planted on both sides of every issue. 5. If our nation has a problem, and she does; What is the answer to the mess we’s in? I. What Is The Problem or How Did We Get In Such A Mess? Problem # 1 - Ignorance... Isaiah 5:11-13 Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, Who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them! Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; But they do not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, Nor do they consider the work of His hands. Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; And their honorable men are famished, And their multitude is parched with thirst. I know already... my mind is made up... don't confuse me with the facts. I don't care to know any more than I know now... leave me alone. I don't know... I don't want to know... and I won't listen if you tell me. Answer # 1 - Hear The Word of The Lord... Hosea 4:1-10 NLV Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel! The LORD has filed a lawsuit against you, saying: "There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. You curse and lie and kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere, with one murder after another. That is why your land is not producing. It is filled with sadness, and all living things are becoming sick and dying. Even the animals, birds, and fish have begun to disappear. "Don't point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! Look, you priests, my complaint is with you! As a sentence for your crimes, you will stumble in broad daylight, just as you might at night, and so will your false prophets. And I will destroy your mother, Israel. My people are being destroyed because they don't know me. It is all your fault, you priests, for you yourselves refuse to know me. Now I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children. The more priests there are, the more they sin against me. They have exchanged the glory of God for the disgrace of idols. "The priests get fed when the people sin and bring their sin offerings to them. So the priests are glad when the people sin! 'Like priests, like people'-- since the priests are wicked, the people are wicked, too. So now I will punish both priests and people for all their wicked deeds. They will eat and still be hungry. Though they do a big business as prostitutes, they will have no children, for they have deserted the LORD to worship other gods. "Alcohol and prostitution have robbed my people of their brains." No faithfulness... no kindness... no knowledge of God in the land. The leaders don't lead... priests and prophets are empty because they have forsaken the Lord. Problem # 2 - INDIFFERENCE - I dont care. Proverbs 13:13-20 NASB The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded. The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death. Good understanding produces favor, But the way of the treacherous is hard. Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly. A wicked messenger falls into adversity, But a faithful envoy brings healing. Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored. Desire realized is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil. He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. Answer # 2 - Get Busy At Doing What Is Right, Good and True... Amos 6:1-14 NASB ‘Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samana, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes. Go over to Calneh and look, And go from there to Hamath the great, Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are they better than these kingdoms, Or is their territory greater than yours? Do you put off the day of calamity, And would you bring near the seat of violence? Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall, Who improvise to the sound of the harp, And like David have composed songs for themselves, Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, And the sprawlers’ banqueting will pass away. The Lord GOD has sworn by Himself, the LORD God of hosts has declared: "I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, And detest his citadels; Therefore I will deliver up the city and all it contains." Arid it will be, if ten men are left in one house, they will die. Then one’s uncle, or his undertaker, will lift him up to carry out his bones from the house, and he will say to the one who is in the innermost part of the house, "Is anyone else with your And that one will say, "No one." Then he will answer, "Keep quiet. For the name of the LORD is not to be mentioned." For behold, the LORD is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments. Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow them with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood, You who rejoice in Lodebar, And say, "Have we not by our own strength taken Kamaim for ourselves?" For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel," declares the LORD God of hosts, "And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To the brook of the Arabah." Faces of indifference: Ease... Prosperity... idleness... security... Indifference turns: Justice into poison... Righteousness into bitterness... holiness into sin. Problem # 3 - INDEPENDENCE ... Proverbs 16:18-21NIV "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD. The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction. I can do it myself ... I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul ... I am responsible only for me Answer # 3 - Everyone Needs To Get Their Lives In Order... Ezekiel 22:23-31 "And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, say to her, ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain. Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD has not spoken. The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice. I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads," declares the Lord GOD." Everyone has become corrupted: Princes... Priests... Politicians... Preachers... People all doing their own thing. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel." Proverbs 12:15 "Every man's way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice." Proverbs 21:2,3 II. What's The Answer or How Can We Turn This Trend Around? 1. We need A Banner For The Peoples... Isaiah 11:1-10a... NIV A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious A Center of our forces... John 12:26-33 "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. A Symbol of Leadership and Strength... Colossians 2:8-17 " See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." A Promise of Victory... 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 2. We need A Banner For The Nations... Isaiah 11:10-12... "In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth." God's Children Come From All Nations... Romans 9:6-8 "It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring." Romans 9:6-8 God's Children Beget Others For The Kingdom... Matthew 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." 3. We Need The Banner of Salvation... Isaiah 12:1-6 " In that day you will say: "I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you." The Banner of God's Testimony: Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. 1 John 5:9-21 " We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-- whatever we ask-- we know that we have what we asked of him. If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-- even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." Not treaties, alliances, United Nations, socialism, humanism, capitolism, materialism, welfare, democracy, armament, war on terror, not some strong man BUT JESUS The Banner of God's Love: Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God... John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." The Banner of Life: Jesus the Christ, the Son of God... John 14:5,6 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Conclusion: 1. This brings us to Problem #4... INDECISION... I want control of my own life. 2. Answer # 4... Surrender... Obedience to the Leader... John 3:31-36 "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." 3. What's wrong? People (even some Christian people) do not want to completely surrender to Jesus... completely surrender to His word... be responsible or accountable to anyone because they want the appearance of religion.. the benefits of religion without the sacrifice. Colossians 2:18-23... 2 Timothy 3:1-5 "Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. " But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.." 4. Jesus who is the Prince of Peace can bring peace to all peoples. Physical peace if even a majority surrendered to His principles of life. Inner peace to all who have surrendered their life to Him. Ultimate peace in the land of real living that He has prepared for those who love Him. 5. Our future hope as a people, as a community, as a nation, as a world rest alone in Jesus. 6. Independence and Indifference are the greatest enemies of mankind and ignorance is the mother of the both. 7. Personal pride is the root of all ignorance, indifference, and independence. 8. You may think that you are helpless to do something about what is happening to our nation but you are wrong to think so because the number one problem of our world is sin... the wages of sin is death! 9. Here is how you can help make a difference? Turn your life over to Jesus today (total surrender not a ceasefire). Promote Jesus in your everyday life (Study His life and be like Him in all you say and do) Present Jesus to others in all phases and places of your life. (Make disciples) 10. There is only one thing that will keep you from it... Indecison... Purpose in your heart to begin today. "...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14