18 Dec 12/18/16 “IF IT IS OF GOD, YOU CANNOT OVERTHROW IT” – Pastor Shane Idleman
We’ve been in the book of ACTS – God working through His people.
Christianity would have never survived w/ out God.
The hero is defeated and crucified – who is going to DIE for that?
— H.G. Wells, “I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.” YOU CANNOT OVERTHROW HIM.
— Napoleon, “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.” YOU CANNOT OVERTHROW HIM.
— Voltaire (died 1778), “Curse the wretch. In 20 years, Christianity will be no more. My single hand will destroy the edifice it took 12 apostles to rear.” YOU CANNOT OVERTHROW HIM.
But how do cults flourish?
Just because something flourishes doesn’t make it right – weeds flourish.
DOES IT LINE UP WITH THE TRUTH – is the fruit of the Spirit present?
We were created to worship God –
People are so hungry spiritually that they’ll consume anything!
The city of Karnataka – lower class “takes a bath by rolling over leftovers” from their food.
According to members of the Church of Scientology, an E-meter can be used to determine whether or not someone is carrying spiritual baggage.
In Kali temples of south Kerala they promote hook hanging – The ritual is performed to pacify the god Kali.
In western India, some parents volunteer to have their infants dropped fifty feet from the roof of a mosque and caught on a taut bed sheet in the belief that it will ensure their family’s good health and prosperity.
Be careful where you search for truth – all religions can be wrong, but…
ACTS 5:28 – Context: “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
1. What was the doctrine that was so upsetting?
~ Do you have this forgiveness – peace that surpasses all understanding?
2. If the world hates you – keep in mind that it hated Me first (cf. Jn. 15:18).
Clarification for newcomers: CHURCHES SHOULD BE welcoming, accepting, friendly, warm, hospitable places of worship; BUT they should also challenge, contend, and promote the truth; this, the world will hate.
ACTS 5:33 When they heard this [that they murdered Jesus – that He is the only way], they were furious and plotted to kill them. 34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. 38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
Gamaliel – Paul claimed to have been educated by this Pharisee.
Pharisee – religious leaders who knew the Law and desired HOLINESS. Josephus talks about their “separation”, simple life, and zeal for God.
KEY – We see a struggle in this group for the truth – Gamaliel and Nicodemus.
“Let this alone”- there are some things you need to give to GOD!
I want to encourage three types of people
The religious – they have religion but not a relationship. They explode when challenged – I’ve had Catholics, Mormon Bishops, and Atheists
The searcher – Gamaliel believed in God, but wasn’t sure about Jesus.
ACTS 10 – Cornelius sought God, and God brought PETER who said whoever believes in Jesus will receive remission of sins.
JEREMIAH 29:13 – “When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul.”
The believer – they believed that Jesus was who He said He was?
Philippians 1:6 – Take courage! He who began a good work in you will carry it out until the day of Christ Jesus –
(NIV. Jude 1:1-2) To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ. THE ENEMY CANNOT OVERTHROW HIM.
WE MUST REST IN HIM – cease working; refresh, repair, and renew.
CLOSING: “for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
ARE YOU FIGHTING AGAINST GOD? You will not prevail –
STOP RESISTING – Here are the facts: Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.
– J.B. Phillips said, “God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before. But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man — suffering, tempted, sweating, and agonizing, finally dying a criminal’s death — and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched.”
Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
- You Cannot Overthrow GOD