The Great Call and the Four All’s

The Great Call and the Four All’s: An exposition of Mt. 28:18-20. This message by Roy Emmons was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, July 29, 2015.

From Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus declares:
1. a great claim: All authority is given to Jesus.
2. a great commission: teach all nations all things Jesus taught.
3. a great commitment: I am with you all your days.

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A NT Truth from an OT Struggle

An Exposition of 1 KingsA NT Truth from an OT Struggle, 1 Kings #19. An exposition of 1 Kings 17:17-24. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, July 26, 2015.

Intro:

There is a common misconception about our faith.  Some think that to trust in Jesus is to be delivered not just from sin but from all trouble.  There are those who urge folks in the midst of deep, dark struggles to just, “Trust Jesus” and all will be well.  That’s fairytale language.  That’s not the language of biblical faith.  To genuinely trust Christ is to be delivered from sin; its penalty and its power.  However, we have no assurance that it will bring in end to sorrow and suffering.  Quite the opposite.  Our Lord said, “In this life you will have tribulation…but take heart I have overcome the world.”  The Christian life is a life of both joy and sorrow.  It is a life of victory and defeat.  There are times when you enjoy the view from the mountain top and there are periods of darkness in the valley.  Our assurance is that we never face life alone.  That we are not left to depend on our wisdom, our strength or even our faith.  We are to rest in the presence, the power and the grace of our God.  Assured that He who began the good work in us will complete it.  There are times when we “feel” alone.  When we are convinced that rather than being for us, God is against us!  Oh, don’t give me that “spiritual look” like you have no idea what I’m talking about.  There are times when life is hard and you wonder where is this “good life” people talk about?  Times when you wonder if God is on vacation and you didn’t get the memo.

She was a lowly widow minding her own business down in Zarephath.  Famine had come to the land and she was at the end of her rope.  She was out one morning gathering sticks to make a fire for her last meal.  She had a son at home and there was just enough food for one final snack.  She was resigned to the fact that today would be their last day.  A man approached and demanded a drink of water.  As she approached him with the water he then demanded something to eat.  She explained her predicament and he said, the God of the Hebrews had other plans.  She was to make him a meal and then fix something for herself and her son.  If she would obey the word of Yahweh, He could supply.  So, she did and He did!  Day after day He supplied.  There was no great storehouse.  Just enough for the day.  Yet He never failed.  She came to believe and trust in this God.  Then it happened.  Her son got sick.  He grew worse until there came the day that, yes there was flour and oil but no son!  Listen to her response, “What do you have against me, man of God?  Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”  Our text this evening is found in 1 Kings 1 Kings 17 begin with 1 Kings 17:17.

Text: 1 Kings 17:17-24

Do you ever find yourself questioning God?  Wondering why in the world He does what He does?  Do you sometimes think, “I would have handled that differently.  I don’t think I would have been that cruel.”

His ways are not our ways neither are His thoughts our thoughts.
Ours is a questioning faith.
We are not told to “blindly” trust.
We are called to reason with the Lord.
We are called to search out His ways.
We are called to relationship.
Our faith is not in a doctrine or a system of belief or some code.
Our faith is in the person of God.

While we cannot ultimately wrap our minds around Him.  Though there will always be unanswered questions and mystery we learn to trust Him.  His character.  His goodness.  His grace.  He has proven himself trustworthy.  As we explore our text we are going to find a New Testament truth in the heart of this Old Testament story.

That truth is this…

Thesis: Our God works all things for His glory and our good.

That is the promise of Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  The good in Romans 8:28 is described in Romans 8:29 – being conformed to the image of His Son.  To make us like Jesus.  Forming Christlikeness in us.

There are three principles I want us to note from this brief text.

  1. The troubling ways of our God bring both profound joy and immense heartache.  (17:17-18)
  2. Providential darkness works to remind us that at the end of the day hope is found in God alone.  (17:19-22)
  3. Heartache and struggle in the hand of our Sovereign God serve to deepen our faith.  (17:23-24)

Conclusion:
Your life, as a believer, is not one of all sunshine and no rain.  It is not a life of perpetual blessing but a life of both joy and sorrow.  Yet the darkness leads us to trust ultimately in God alone which in turns serves to deepen our faith.

Our God always works for His glory and our good.

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The Goodness of God

The Attributes of GodThe Attributes of God #11. This message on the goodness of God deals with the concept of His perfections. There is nothing lacking in God.

This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, July 22, 2015.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The Parables of Jesus

The Parables of Jesus

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The Parables of Jesus #15. An exposition of Luke 10:25-37. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 26, 2015.

Intro:

In the fall of 1985 we moved from the seminary in Fort Worth to the greater Pawnee, Ralston, Skedee metroplex.  In the spring of 1986 we decided we were going to try our hand at gardening.  I mentioned our intention one Sunday and early the next morning a tractor pulled into our driveway and soon a large garden spot had been plowed up.  I thought to myself, “That’s mighty neighborly.”  Once I turned on the television and found a preacher in a pastel suit complete with a red carnation.  He smiled and looking into the television said, “Howdy friends and neighbors.”  I turned the channel and there was a nice pleasant man in a sweater tying his tennis shoes, singing a song, asking me to be his neighbor!

I remember visiting with a man one afternoon and as we were talking I asked him about the other folks in the neighborhood.  He pointed to the north and said, with a frown, “That’s old man Johnson’s house.”  Then with a big smile he pointed to the south and said, “That’s my neighbor’s house.”  One was a neighbor the other was old man Johnson.  What is the difference?  Who is my neighbor?

That is the question posed to our Lord by an expert on the law.  That question sparked one of our Lord’s most famous parables.  A parable that sets forth in vivid color the true meaning of the word neighbor from a biblical perspective.

A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.  It is the use of the common, the ordinary, and the everyday to explain or illustrate the profound.  Lloyd Ogilvie calls the parables “the autobiography of God.”  For the parables are God telling us what He is like.  Our text this morning is found in Luke’s Gospel Luke 10 Luke 10:25-37.

Text: Luke 10:25-37

Luke with a few masterful stokes paints a vivid scene for us.  I want us to look at the context, the parable, and then consider its message for us.

  • The backdrop – a critical question.  (10:25-29)
  • The parable – an intriguing response.  (10:30-37)
  • The meaning for us – a valuable lesson.

As we come to determine the significance of the parable, we must remember that the purpose of a parable is to leave an impression on the hearers.  Remember parables were spoken not written.  The clear impression of this parable is that:

As believers, we are to actively, consistently demonstrate the love of God toward our fellow man.

This involves two things.

  1. Demonstrating the love of God demands that we recognize the needs of the hurting.
  2. Demonstrating the love of God requires that we respond to the needs of the hurting.
    1. His response was swift (34).
    2. His response was practical (34-35).
    3. His response was complete (35).

 Conclusion:

We reflect the life of God when we respond in the way our Lord responded to the lost and the hurting.  How often we read in the Gospels that He looked out over the multitude and saw them as sheep without a shepherd.  Or He looked out over the multitude and He had compassion for them.

We actively demonstrate the love of God by recognizing the needs of the hurting and responding to those needs.

First and foremost with the Gospel.
But also daily, practical needs as well.

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His Ways Are Not Our Ways

An Exposition of 1 KingsHis Ways Are Not Our Ways: 1 Kings #18: an exposition of 1 Kings 17:2-16. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, July 19, 2015.

Intro:

I like things neat.  I like when everything is in its place and it fits.  I prefer my life the same way.  I like when things are as they are “supposed to be.”  By that I mean, “I like it when things are the way I want them to be!”  I don’t like unanswered questions.  I don’t like unfinished business.  I don’t like strained relationships.  I like things predictable.  All that to say, I’m not a happy person.  I’m not happy because no one seems to cooperate with my system.  That’s the thing with systems.  They are neat, well ordered and predictable provided everything goes according to plan.  But what happens if others don’t know, don’t understand or just don’t care about the plan?  I remember a wise seminary professor who began class one morning by asking, “How many of you have read 1 Kings 12?”  We all raised our hands affirming the assignment had been done.  He said, “Good.”  Then he tossed the book across the room and it slid against the wall.  “Ain’t no one in your church ever read 1 Kings 12 so let’s talk about people.”  A system of theology is a good thing.  It is helpful to catalogue doctrines related to God and His ways provided you understand that your system is merely a guide.  That it is not and cannot be definitive.  It is an attempt to wrap your mind around the Infinite but it will break down.  He won’t cooperate.  He won’t fit in your box.  There is, and always will be, mystery to our faith.  His ways are not our ways neither are His thoughts our thoughts.  There are, and always will be, “head-scratching” moments.  Those moments when we think, “That didn’t go they way I thought it would.”  I often find myself in those narrative passages in Scripture thinking, “I didn’t anticipate that.  Why did He do that?  What’s the point of that?”  On Wednesday evenings we’ve been looking at the attributes of God.  Such a study ought to leave us awed by the wonder, the glory and the greatness of our God.  We ought to walk away saying, “He’s God and I am not.”  The 17th chapter of 1 Kings leads us down that path.  God does some of those “head-scratching” things in this text leading us ultimately to acknowledge He, alone is God.  Our text is found in 1 Kings 17 beginning with 1 Kings 17:2.

Text: 1 Kings 17:2-16

We’ve just been introduced to Ahab who has been crowned, “Worst of the Worse.”
He did more evil than all who were before him.
He did more to provoke the LORD to anger than all the kings who were before him.

R.G. Lee described him as, “That vile human toad of a man that squatted on the throne of the nation.”
You get the idea?
This was not a nice man.

The nation was under the judgment of God though there was relative stability (Ahab reign for 22 years), economic stability and security.  The prophet of God burst on the scene in 17:1 and abruptly announced the enforcement of the covenant curse.  “Due to your idolatrous ways there will be no rain until I say so.”  Our text picks up the story from there.

As we work our way through this text I want us to walk away understanding that…

Thesis: The account given in 1 Kings 17 helps to underscore the uniquely sovereign activity of God over the affairs of men.

We affirm the sovereignty of God not just in times of prosperity and blessing but at all times and in all circumstances.  As Job said, “Should we accept only good from God, and not adversity?”  (Job 2:10 HCS)  God is God at all times, in all places and in all circumstances.  He is God when we are blessed and He is God when we are cursed.  He is God when there’s money in the bank and when we are broke.  He is God when we feel like dancing and when we prefer to wail.

Our text reveals some things about our God that may not make sense to us, especially in the midst of a struggle, but are none-the-less true.  I want to point you to three of them.

  1. God’s judgment often includes the removal of His Word.  (17:2-3)
  2. The Ways of God are often beyond our understanding .  (17:4-9)
  3. The demands of our God require extraordinary faith on our part.  (17:10-16)
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Being in Torment, He Lifted up His Eyes

The Parables of Jesus

Being in Torment, He Lifted up His Eyes: The Parables of Jesus #14: an exposition of Luke 16:22-31. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 19, 2015.

Intro:

It is not a popular theme. I understand that it is not a pleasant subject and there is a sense in which I understand the lack of discussion.  It is unsettling and disturbing, so most folks would just as soon not deal with it.  But the fact is death comes to all.  Death is the most democratic institution on earth.  It allows no discrimination and tolerates no exceptions.  The mortality rate is a solid 100%.  One out of one dies!  The Bible is clear – death is not the end of personal existence.  Life does not end at the grave.  That makes the big question – “What then?”  What happens after death?  According to Jesus the fate awaiting those who reject the Gospel is as bad and terrifying as can be imagined – and everyone needs to be told.  Yet the doctrine of hell has fallen on hard times.  Baptists who were once known as those “hell fire and brimstone” folks have become too sophisticated to talk of such “old fashion” notions.

According to a nation wide survey in 1968, 70% of Americans believed there was a literal hell.  Eleven years later, in 1979, Newsweek conducted another survey and found that only 58% believed in a literal hell.  A 1988 survey found only 39% thought hell might exist and a year later; a Gallop poll found only 24%.  In 20 years the numbers fell from 3 out of 4 to only 1 in 4.  Martin Marty, in preparing a series of lectures on the subject of hell for a presentation at Harvard, surveyed the major theological journals of the past 100 years and failed to find a single entry dealing with the subject of hell.

There has been a disturbing trend within the church in the past 40 years.  Groups of scholars gather for dialogue and inevitably they manage to “talk away” any doctrine they find disturbing or troublesome.  They take the Scriptures and look at each story, each event and determine whether or not it fits their view of God.  If it doesn’t fit into their system it is excluded.  “This must be something added later rather than a part of the original.”  I’m thinking that maybe it’s time for less dialogue and more monologue, and let’s let God do the talking.

Text: Luke 16:22-31

This is a familiar passage.  It is one of the most recognizable of Jesus’ parables.  There has been a great deal of discussion as to whether this is a parable or an actual account.  I’m convinced that it is a parable.  And that Jesus used it to punctuate his discussion with the Pharisees that took place earlier in Luke 16.  Keep in mind a parable is meant to be heard.  It is intended to drive home a point.  It is not intended as exhaustive theological teaching.  It serves to illustrate basic truths concerning the Kingdom of God.  The thrust of this story is to drive home the point that:

Thesis:  In the life to come, there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain.

Jesus, with the skill of an artist paints for us a moving portrait of the life to come.  The drama is played out in three acts.

  1. As the curtain rises on act 1 we discover a stark contrast.  (16:19-21)
  2. Act 2 – A startling reversal.  (16:22-24)
  3. Act 3 A frightening reality.  (16:25-31)

Conclusion:

The frightening reality revealed in this closing section is that it is forever.  The plain language of the text is that the condition in which one dies is unchanging throughout eternity.  The rich man in death did something he had not done in life.  He earnestly sought the grace and mercy of God, but it was too late.  Nothing could be done to ease his torment.  He sought to have a warning sent to his family that they might not suffer this same fate.  The response was that they had sufficient warning.  The Scriptures were clear.  Hopelessness, despair and isolation is the lot of those who die without Christ.

Now, the rich man was not damned because of his wealth.  Lazarus was not exalted because of his poverty.  The rich man was in hell because of his sin and his failure to acknowledge his sin and embrace Christ.  Your future life is dependent upon your relationship with God not your works.  Not how good you are or what you try to do.  The issue is what have you done with Christ?  Is this a message of despair?  No.  You’ve heard the message of the Gospel.  The door is open.  If you are not a believer.  If you have not trusted in Christ and Christ alone, I urge you for the sake of your soul – come to Christ!

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Hope in the Midst of Evil Times

Hope in the Midst of Evil Times: 1 Kings #17: an exposition of 1 Kings 16:29-17:1. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, July 12, 2015.

Intro:

“The times, they are a changing.”  In 10 years we have gone from 1 state allowing same sex marriage to it being the law of the land.  It’s called a moral revolution.  The sign that it is more than just a call for tolerance and a genuine concern for equal treatment is the fact that what is being demanded is that you not just accept same sex marriage but that you celebrate it!  What has been made clear in recent months is that this is not a matter of “live and let live” but rather you will agree with us, celebrate with us or we will bury you.  That’s a moral revolution.  What was once evil is now called good and what was good is now called evil.  There have long been calls for churches to lose their tax exempt status now that call is gaining traction and with recent rulings seems very likely.  Add to that long cherished symbols of our faith are being pushed from public view.  A common attitude being espoused is that religious liberty is a fine thing, so long as it is restricted to pews, homes and hearts – far from the public arena.  Politicians and activists speak of “freedom of worship” rather than “freedom of religion.”  Our founding documents assure us the right of the “free exercise of religion” not the freedom to worship.  I say all of this to say, “We are living in different times.”  They may be unique to us but they are not unique to the people of God.  Our forefathers have dealt with worse.  Many of our brothers and sisters around the world are dealing with worse right now!  Is there reason for concern?  Of course.  Yes, we should pray.  We should speak out.  We should vote.  Yet there is no reason to panic.  How are we to live when times are evil?  That is the focus of our text this evening found in 1 Kings 1 Kings 16.

Text: 1 Kings 16:29-17:1

When Solomon was made king God asked, “What can I do for you?”
His reply, “Grant me wisdom that I might rule Your people well.”
God honored that request and bestowed great wisdom on Solomon.
For the most part Solomon did rule well but he also acted foolish.
God made it clear the kingdom would be torn from him but not in his lifetime.
His son proved to be very foolish and the one kingdom split into Judah and Israel.
The Northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam instituted a rival system of worship.
Judah, in the South, was just as idolatrous.
The writer of Kings gives us summaries of succeeding kingdoms from a theological perspective.
Our text marks the beginning of a new era – not in a good way.
It’s hard to overstate Ahab’s influence when 6 chapters are given to his story!
Let’s consider his introduction…

From this opening word we discover…

Thesis: Hope in the midst of evil days demands that we honestly assess the times in which we live and continue to trust God’s providential hand in all things.

There are 2 things I want to point out along the way.

  1. Hope demands we honestly assess the times.  (16:29-34)
  2. Hope demands we continue to trust God’s providential hand in all things.  (17:1)

Conclusion:

Herein is our encouragement.  We need not despair when evil seems to triumph.  Even if it seems evil is making great strides and culture has completely shifted.  We are to rest assured God has already prepared His counter movement.  He will, in His time, raise up His instrument.  Therefore  our situation is never hopeless.  Whenever and wherever evil flourishes it is temporal and superficial.  Thought it appeared Baalism would win the day God brought Elijah, out of nowhere, and said, “Think again!”  We must never lose sight of the fact that whatever threatens to overwhelm us is already under His feet.

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A Question of Authority

A Question of Authority: The Parables of Jesus #13: an exposition of Matthew 21:23-46. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 12, 2015.

Intro:

You can’t argue it.  We all know that it is true.  We have more information available to us today than ever before.  Information about every subject under the sun.  Newspapers, books, magazines, newsletters, special reports, television, radio, all bringing us “vital information” that we must have.  You name it – we probably have a cable channel specifically dedicated to that very subject!  If not just “Google it” and you can find it.

You can’t turn around without running into some authority and their expert analysis.  Of course the experts never agree.  One group produces conclusive scientific evidence that we are the victims of global warming.  Another group emerges from a 15-year study in the Antarctic and informs us we are well into another Ice Age!  Remember Y2K?  Have you noticed every news station from the 3 local news programs to the big news networks have their own legal experts.  “Well, my authority says this.”  “Well, my authority says that.”  Back and forth we go with this voice shouting at that voice and that voice contradicting this voice and to borrow a line from William Shakespeare, “They are full of sound and fury signifying nothing!”  For all the increase in our knowledge we are, sadly, none the wiser.

In the midst of all the noise and confusion don’t you wish there was a clear and distinct voice?  An authority that could really be trusted?  One whose words have the unmistakable ring of authenticity?  There is such an authority and he speaks to the deepest needs of life.  He deals in truth, truth that relates to meaning and purpose.  To life and death issues.  Not everyone agrees with him.  In fact some violently disagree.  However, he is endorsed by the Leading Authority.

I want you to see him in action.  So come with me to Matthew the 21.

Text: Matthew 21:23-40

It was the week that changed the world.
The Passion Week.

During the Passover season, the time for celebrating God’s deliverance of the nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the Lamb of God came to secure the ultimate deliverance.

Loved by the multitudes and despised by the establishment, one thing was certain you could not remain neutral about Jesus of Nazareth.

For years the religious establishment sought his death.
Hostility mounted with each passing day.
Even in the joy and celebration of the Passover the tension was obvious.

The crowd who shouted, “Hosanna,” as he entered the city on Sunday never dreamed of what would happen on Friday but he knew.

His time had come.  The time determined by his Father in eternity past.
The time had come for the fulfillment of the promise made to Adam & Eve in the garden.
Portrayed in the events of the Passover.
Rehearsed in every sacrifice ever made.
Sung about by the psalmist and boldly proclaimed by the prophets.

Now he has come to the holy city to reveal himself as the Messiah.
There was no mistaking the meaning of his entrance on that Sunday.
It was no subtle message he declared upon his entrance to the Temple.
“I am here.  I am the Messiah, the Great King.  The Lord of the Temple.”
His actions raised the question of his authority, a question dealt with in our text.

Thesis: The events of Matthew 21 unquestionably demonstrate the sovereign authority of the Lord Jesus.

The authority of the Lord Jesus is demonstrated two ways in our text.

  1. The authority of Jesus is reflected in the fact that he cannot be intimidated.  (21:23-27)
  2. The authority of Jesus is made manifest in his stern rebuke of the religious establishment.  (21:28-46)
  3. The authority of the Lord Jesus is solidly based on his role in redemption.  (21:42)
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The Wisdom of God

The Attributes of God“The Wisdom of God”: The Attributes of God #10. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, July 8, 2015.

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True Patriotism

True Patriotism an exposition of Micah 7:1-20. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 5, 2015.

Intro:

I’m torn today.  This is the weekend for celebrating and glorying in the history of our nation.  A weekend for flag-waving and singing “God Bless America” but I feel more like mourning than celebrating.  It’s hard to sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land.  The events of the last week have served to remind me that we and our Christianity are increasingly not welcome here.  The decision of the Supreme Court making same-sex marriage the law of the land has brought an unsettling clarity to this whole issue.  The chorus of celebrations on the news and in our neighborhoods, and then the White House being lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the decision, it seems to make clear what most Christians knew deep down, “We’re not welcome here.”  What should be our response?  We must not respond with bitterness or hatred.  Sarcasm and vitriolic are of little value.  Rather we must never lose sight of the fact our speech and conduct most always reflect the love and grace of Christ.  At the same time we must not be silent.  We must continue without apology to speak and stand for the truth of God as declared in His Word.  The decision of the Supreme Court changes nothing for us.  We will speak the truth of biblical marriage and how if reflects the glory of the Gospel.  We have been given a mandate by our King.  We have something to say and we will not be silent.  In other words, we will be true patriots.

There are those who seem to think that true patriotism is best expressed through clinched teeth wildly accusing the administration and fellow Americans of the most vile acts.  Others seem to think patriotism is best expressed through unquestioned support and blind allegiance.  But simply put, a patriot is one who loves his country and zealously supports its interests.  The key, as far as I can tell, is the last part of that phrase – “Its (the country’s) interests.”  I love my country.  I am proud to be an American,  I wouldn’t trade it for anything but I do not wear blinders.

I confess that I have a higher loyalty and we, in the church, must not abandon our prophetic post.  We have a responsibility to speak to the nation – both the government and the citizenry.  We must not allow anything to distort our vision or silence our voice.  Corruption is corruption, evil is evil and injustice is injustice regardless of who is in “power.”  We must not fail to hold the moral rope.  We must not fail to point to a higher standard.  We must speak the truth with passion and conviction.

In May of 1776, just weeks before America declared her independence, John Witherspoon declared, “He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I do not hesitate to call him an avowed enemy of his country.”

Love of country and love of God are not antithetical.  God grant us the courage and boldness to speak with a true prophetic voice to the heart of our nation.  Our text this morning is found in the 7th chapter of Micah.

Text: Micah 7:1-20

Micah lived in turbulent times.
He lived in a time of great moral, spiritual and political corruption.
During his ministry the nation of Israel lived under the shadow of Assyrian domination.
Micah was charged with delivering the message of God’s judgment upon God’s people.
In delivering the message Micah became the voice of the oppressed.
His message was a mixture of doom and glory.

He spoke on the one hand of the judgment of God bringing the nation to ruin and yet he also spoke of God’s future grace in bringing His people to glory.

Though written 2800 years ago it speaks eloquently to our own day.  As we reflect on the grace of God shed on our nation and our responsibility as “Christian Patriots” I want to remind you that…

Thesis: The godly do not put their trust in the impermanent society in which they live but in God who is sovereign over all.

Where is your hope or confidence?
Are you trusting in the American way?
Is your confidence in a political party?
Is your hope in this world?

These are not merely rhetorical questions.  They are questions every thoughtful Christian must answer.

There are three characteristics of genuine patriotism in our text.

  1. The godly weep over evil and corruption wherever they find it.  (7:1-6)
  2. The godly humbly submit to God’s judgment and patiently await the vindication of His own.  (7:7-13)
  3. The godly rejoice in the grace and greatness of God.  (7:14-20)

Conclusion:

A genuine patriotism, a true love of country, demands that we live and preach the Gospel.  Ultimately the fate of our nation rests not in who is elected to office but rather what we as a nation do with the God of the Bible.  Your hope as an individual rests not in which party is in control but to whom you yield control.

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