Is The Bible An “Iffy” Book?
Iffy – things could go either way.
ACTS 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Watch – Don’t Arm the Enemy
17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
Drachmas value – 50,000 days worth of wages [millions of dollars today].
Fear Fell – Fear can be a wonderful motivator; a way to change course and refocus our priorities.
BUT any time we overemphasize one area of biblical truth (e.g., God’s goodness) to the exclusion of others (e.g., to fear God) we become unstable and sink.
Boat Balancing as an example.
“Iffy” – I will only present the entree so you seek out the meal.
“In the same way the sun never grows weary of shining, nor a stream of flowing, it is God’s nature to keep His promises. Therefore, go immediately to His throne and say, ‘Do as You promised’.” – C.H. Spurgeon
Wisdom and Guidance – Psalm 25:14, “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.”
Proverbs 3:7 – “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”
WICKED – Raw-shaw [twisted]: wickedness twists and contorts
Peace and Prosperity – Deuteronomy 5:29 – “Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!”
Isaiah 48:18 NIV – If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Peace is found in safety, comfort, and assurance – things the world cannot offer.
Finding God – Jeremiah 29:13, “If you seek Me you will find Me.” If you have not found Him, the problem is not on God’s side.
Knowing God’s Will – Rom.12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
IF you cease resisting God, surrender your life, and renew your mind through extended prayer, reading, and worshipping, you will “prove” what God’s will is.
To test, examine, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not).
Following Jesus – “You are my friends if you do what I command.” Jn. 15:14. IF you abide in me. IF you follow Me. IF you turn to Me. . .
IF you turn from false gods you will find the true GOD.
Repentance actually means changing and turning.
Ezekiel 33:11 – “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways’!…”
I CAN’T SEE THE BAPTISMAL – WE MUST NOT HAVE ONE!
. . . 23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way [this is normal – no commotion, no conviction]. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. 25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. 26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. 27 So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”
False gods in our homes and hearts: ISAIAH 44:14 He cuts down cedars for himself, And takes the cypress and the oak; He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it…16 He burns half of it in the fire; With this half he eats meat; He roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, His carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, Prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
Pre-programmed to worship – either Gods way or mans.
My god doesn’t offend me – i made him into what i wanted: in essence, i’m worshipping myself.
“Worship” – proskuneo – “to fall down before” or “bow down before.” It’s who a person is from the inside out – we worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).
Truly following God will cost you something – “If” you leave them…
18…“Confessing and telling their deeds.” 19 “Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.”
The greatest conditional promise ever made – words can’t describe it AND theology can’t explain it …
“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.” Jn. 3:16 IF – IF – IF
A little boy was lost until a police officer took him to a high place and showed him the cross.
Take me to the cross – I can find my way from there.
Worship team stay put – COMMUNION – The elements that represent what happened on the Cross are coming your way.
1. Will you take them in a cold, callous manner that represents mere formality.
2. Will you take them without examining your heart: “For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.…”
You’re weak and sick spiritually because you keep going through the motions without making an effort to change.
3. Will you make the biggest mistake of all and take communion without knowing the Person who shed his blood and gave His life for you?
How can we “do this in remembrance of Him” if we don’t know Him?
4. Or, will we take it with a joy filled heart focused on the greatest gift ever given to Man – God shed His blood for me?