20 Jun 6-20-15 “Unstoppable Love – God The Pursuer” – Pastor Shane Idleman
COMPLETE SERMON NOTES
Unstoppable Love – God the Pursuer
BACK-DROP: Prone to Wander (Father’s Day 2014): “Like a bird that wanders from the nest, so is a man who wanders from his from his place” (Proverbs 27:8).
“Wander”: to Depart, Stray, or Retreat … “Son, you don’t belong here.”
The Wander Within Must Be Restrained – Kings fell, Prophets lost their anointing, Priest were removed, and men and women throughout time …
Often, if the father wanders so will the children – “Today, virtually every societal problem, social injustice and behavioral abnormality can be traced back to absent, delinquent, misbehaving, drunk, or sexually immoral dads who didn’t respect or understand their enormous calling.” (Kenny Luck)
THE SAD FACT IS THAT MOST ARE WANDERING: – not rejecting, but wandering
“Who changed things from a God-centered faith to a man-centered faith, from ‘Take up your cross and deny yourself’ to ‘Bypass the cross and empower yourself? Who changed things from holiness being beautiful to holiness being bondage, and from the early Church being known for its high standards to the contemporary Church being known for its scandals? Who changed things from the people of God being a threat to the powers of darkness to the people of God being active participants in darkness?” ~ Dr. Michael Brown
~ The WANDER WITHIN must be dealt a swift blow – the schools resemble battle-grounds, the family is in chaos, sexual perversion is an epidemic, and truth is being mocked.
~This should cause every man to engage in worship and prayer – to tear down the works of darkness.
~ Al Whittinghill – “Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying on her feet because she is not living on her knees.”
“THIS HURTS!” Good…sometimes is healthy to mourn.
Real change is OFTEN preceded by tears.
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“I’ve done too much damage!” . . . but God. He is still pursuing!
You’d be amazed at what God can do with humility, brokenness, and repentance – like clay in the hands of a potter.
Unstoppable Love: God the Pursuer – to follow in order to catch
“Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good.” psalm 25:7; niv
“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” psalm 100:5; niv
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” romans 5:8; niv
Religion tries to reach up to God…do, do, do…
He pursues sinners – conviction, the Word, books, articles, blogs, friends, pastors, teachers, preachers, and His creation …
Charles Spurgeon said, “Men do not seek God ﬁrst; God seeks them ﬁrst; and if any of you are seeking Him today it is because He has ﬁrst sought you.”
IT’S NOT EASY TO ENTER HELL: We have to fight God, ignore Him all of our life, suppress conviction, and reject His pursuit.
HOW CAN A LOVING GOD_______? “The pride of your heart has deceived you.”
There are primarily two differing beliefs concerning salvation—free will (man is free to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation), or election (God elects only certain people for salvation).
Paraphrasing C.H. Spurgeon: “A great err is to neglect one side of the Word of God because we do not know how to explain the other side – that God is sovereign in all things and that man is free and responsible for all his actions.” Spurgeon added, “The system of truth is not one straight line, but two.” We won’t know where these two lines cross until eternity.
We are called to be faithful to the command to preach, witness, and proclaim the good news while understanding that God does the drawing, saving, and sealing.
Predestination/election is a process by which God, who lives outside of time, established certain parameters before the foundation of the world. He clearly called Noah to preach righteousness, Abraham to bring forth the Nation of Israel, and the prophets to call nations to repentance (e.g., Jeremiah was called before he was even born). God called John the Baptist, filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb, to prepare the way of the Lord. God also predestined Jesus to die on the cross: Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus as, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Clearly, these men and these events were predestined.
Ephesians 1:4-5 confirms both election and predestination…“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
We cannot discard election and predestination anymore that we can discard our responsibility as seen in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” We have a responsibility to confess, believe, and repent.
Romans 1:18-20 tells us that “we are without excuse” because God’s attributes are clearly seen; they bear witness to a Creator.
In the act of salvation, God receives all the glory and all the credit. Salvation is His work, not ours. We are never outside of His sovereignty and control. But WE MUST receive His offer of salvation. Jesus said, in Mark 10:15, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Man must repent and believe, but God’s sovereign plans will prevail. HE PURSUES; HE INITIATES; HE DRAWS; HE CONVICTS. BUT YOU RESPOND.
He pursues the wanderer. “Son, you don’t belong here. Daughter, you have value & worth.”
The enemy can’t stop His love – he can’t stop His pursuit – so he LIES:
I’m a failure, worthless, AND stupid … i can’t overcome this!
YOUR WEAKNESS IS THE KEY TO YOUR STRENGTH – He is pursuing you
Rom. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He’ll reach down and pull the Prostitute, the Adulterer, the Addict…
While we were still sinners, He loved us – He pursued us.
“Where can I go to flee His presence…?”
“Shane – I want this” – you have to embrace His pursuit.