COMPLETE SERMON NOTES
God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. 21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life
“The preacher promises a bed of roses for those who come to Christ, but those who are in Christ are evidently sitting on a painful bed of thorns” (Ray Comfort).
Looking at life thru the American Lens:
A very high % of those raised in Christians homes leave the church
Many show no evidence of faith
Most of those in America making a “decision” for Christ fall away?
Why are we seeing so many ‘glaring’ inconsistencies? False conversions based on a ‘wonderful life’.
Many live the Christian life because its not difficult.
Many promise a problem free faith, or a faith with minimal problems, yet we deal with a plethora of problems on a weekly basis? We continue to say, “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”
Unrealistic Expectations can lead to depression. WE NEED TO LEAN ON THE ROCK!
My relationship with God does not hinge on unanswered prayers, trials, difficulties, and persecution… It hinges on who He is…He is my foundation through the difficulties.
Key: Yes, God blesses, but don’t judge Him based on blessings and comfort. Paul’s motto was, “I’ve learned to be content in all things.”
Here is how we often “promote” the gospel: JOIN NAVY SEALS AND BE STATIONED IN HAWAII – Luaus, Snorkeling, Cruises to the Islands, etc.
Truth divides even families. Allegiance to God is stronger than allegiance to family. Skip to verse 32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
- There are times to stand, and there are times to flee – dual meaning (present and future)
- “Endurance” is a mark of genuine faith … Difficulty reveals sincerity.
39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it
Who or What are you living for?
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
If they hate Him they will hate you.
- There is a judgment some today…a day of reckoning.
We must ask, “Does the world love the way we ‘do church’?”
Do they appreciate that your church never challenges, or calls things into question? Do they like the fact that your church never makes them feel uncomfortable or offended? Are they grateful that you never discuss controversial issues? If so, you may want to reconsider Jesus’ words that true disciples will be hated by the world.
Controversial, “Jesus Teaches the Fear of God”
“Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion. Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself.” — Charles H. Spurgeon
27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
“And do not fear those who kill the body”: we can’t really relate to this in the USA.
- Why do most not promote the fear of God? “For they loved human praise more than praise from God” (John 12:43 NIV).
How to understand the fear of the Lord – cf. Proverbs 2:3-5: “Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”
Hell is not popular: Most can’t reconcile a loving God with eternal separation – so we ignore it: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’.”
- God doesn’t throw us there; a person chooses.
- No excuses: Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth…20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen…so that they are without excuse, 21 …although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God…but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools…”
‘Hell’ in the NT renders the Gk. word transliterated as ‘Gehenna’. The name is derived from the Heb. gê(ben) (benê) hinnōm, the Valley of (the son[s] of Hinnom, a valley near Jerusalem (Jos. 15:8; 18:16), where children were sacrificed by fire in connection with pagan rites (2 Ki. 23:10)…In later Jewish writings Gehenna came to mean the place of punishment for sinners (Assumption of Moses 10:10; 2 Esdras 7:36). It was depicted as a place of unquenchable fire—the general idea of fire to express the divine judgment is found in the OT (Dt. 32:22; Dn. 7:10) Innes, D. K. (1996). Hell. In (D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman, Eds.)New Bible dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
God Does Have A Wonderful Plan For Your Life – in eternity. BUT Most trust a green light more than GOD.
Names tell us a great deal – if I say the name of someone their character immediately comes to mind.
31 Do not fear…you have value.
EL ELYON – most high
- JEHOVAH JIREH – The Lord will Provide
- EL SHADDAI – all powerful God
- JEHOVAH SHALOM – The Lord is Peace
- JEHOVAH ROHI – The Lord is my Shepherd
- JEHOVAH NISSI – banner of victory
- JEHOVAH TSIDKENU – my righteousness
JEHOVAH SHAMMAH – God is there