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Breaking Barriers Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church Logo

Worshiping Wealth - Revelation 18 - In The End

Breaking Barriers / Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2024 8:00 am

Worshiping Wealth - Revelation 18 - In The End

Breaking Barriers / Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church

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Well hey church, we have a special guest with us that I want to introduce to you.

This is Kevin Quall. You know, one of the biggest partners that we have in our chosen ministry is Baptist Children's Home. You know, in the chosen ministry we are, we're excited to see what God is doing in regard to building families through adoption and restoring families through foster care. And so I wanted you to meet Kevin as part of one of our biggest partner groups that we work with. And so Kevin, can you tell us just a little bit about what Baptist Children's Home is doing, how you're connected, Christian Adoption Services, and all of that.

Absolutely Jonathan, it's great to be here today. And certainly Baptist Children's Home's ministry goes back a long way, 1885. And for many of us we think traditional orphanage, but BCH is way more than that, touching many many lives across the state. And Christian Adoption Services is one of the newest ministries to come under Baptist Children's Homes, where I had the privilege of leading for four years until we merged under BCH. And our mission is to connect vulnerable children with Christian families. And we do that in really three ways, and working with Christian families who God's called to adopt. The children we believe who are placed in these homes certainly are born into a lot of dysfunction, and the opportunity for them to be placed in a stable two-parent Christian home certainly ups the likelihood of those children to come to know Christ. And then also our ministry to birth moms, which I don't know of any other agency in the country that's caring for birth moms like Baptist Children's Homes in North Carolina.

Yeah, I'm really excited when you talk about that. One of the things that's happening here at Mercy Hill is a ministry that's called Families Count, and it's it's dealing with potential foster kids before they ever get into the foster care system. So what's happening there is we're doing some ministry kind of preventative work helping the families before their children ever have to end up in the foster care system. And so in light of that, ministering to the whole family, can you tell us what that looks like when you talk about ministry with the birth moms? Yeah, the moms is a mission field, a major mission field for Christian adoption services and Baptist Children's Homes in North Carolina. We have moms that call us.

They're six weeks pregnant, 40 weeks pregnant. Every year, Jonathan, we end up with about 300 moms that call our hotline in North and South Carolina. And for us it's just an opportunity to plant the seed of the gospel, to love on them, to care for them. Just last year we had 41 of those moms place their child for adoption, which was our biggest adoption year in my eight years.

We've been averaged at about 30, so we had 41 place their child on a two-parent Christian family. And what's very exciting behind that is because we had the opportunity to share the gospel, plant the seed of the gospel, already this year we've had 17 moms give their life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Isn't that awesome? That's incredible.

Yeah. You know, Kevin, I don't know if you know about this, but one of the things that we're chasing here at Mercy Hill is by the end of the year 2025, we want to see 200 of our families jump into either adoption or foster care both. And so I'm just wondering what you envision as our partnership continues and how you're helping us fulfill that dream. Well, I get the opportunity to preach and teach and talk about adoption in a lot of churches across North and South Carolina, but the Triad, man, is all about. I hear about Mercy Hill and just the culture of adoption and foster care this year is amazing. And to already be at 170 with 30 more families to go by next year, what an amazing goal and to reach that goal.

I really believe you're going to hit that goal and go way past it. But let me tell you how we can help with that. Certainly I'm excited about the event that's coming up, I think it's next Friday, where we'll be here, Christian Adoptions will be here along with Baptist Children's Homes. And really the question I get, I'm kind of known as the Adoption Guy. Everybody has my number, they don't know my name, Kevin the Adoption Guy in North Carolina.

So I get all kinds of random calls from people. And here's what I tell folks that are considering adoption. One is something for you and your husband or wife or whoever calls to pray about and to be called to, right? Because it is a divine calling.

Now I do believe James 1 27 is very clear for all of us. I've got three biological children that God has called all of us to be involved in this endeavor because he adopted us, right? And because he adopted us, we all have a role to play. But there's a special calling upon families to get involved in this mission. And so as far as Christian adoption services, that first question is God's call and then God's timing. And when those line up, we have four yeses, two from the husband, two from the wife, we want you to call us because we want to be that local ministry right here in North Carolina that's going to serve these families and love on them. We have several paths of adoption. We have international adoption and those are children, Jonathan, that are two and above in the Philippines right now that are waiting to be chosen to be picked, waiting to be picked to say, that's my mom and that's my dad to love on them. We also have domestic adoption, which is working with moms who are pregnant in North and South Carolina. We currently have a little bit of a waiting list, but it's an incredible ministry to get into. And once a family feels called to really adopt a baby here born in the Carolinas, that family will typically, a lot of them will have an open adoption be involved with the mom, which is very, which is wonderful, but our average wait time once a family gets in is about eight months, which is unheard of in the adoption world to receive placement. And then lastly is the fostering, the fostering to adopt through the Baptist Children's Center of North Carolina. We are licensed in all 100 counties and soon we can, we can serve all 100 counties with these kids that are in DSS and to place them, whether it be a temporary placement or if the TPR, the parents rights are terminated, that can turn into a foster to adopt situation. So we're ready and willing to serve.

And we hopefully can help you get above that 30 just with Christian adoption services right here in North Carolina. That'll be awesome. Hey, we are so grateful for the work that you're doing. I'd like to just take a moment to pray for you. That'd be wonderful.

Yes. Father, we are so grateful for the work that you are doing at Mercy Hill. And Father, we're also just so grateful for the work that you're doing through Baptist Children's Home and Christian adoption services. We thank you for the many years of work that Kevin has been doing. We thank you for the way that he's investing in us, not just in us, though, but around the whole state. Father, we ask that you would do more and more and more for the sake of families being built up and restored for your glory.

It's in the name of Jesus that we pray. Amen. Amen. Hey, guys, thank you all so much, Kevin. Thank you, man. Thank you so much for being with us today.

And for the way this this ministry has really been over backwards in a lot of ways to serve us and to help the families that we have that are stepping into this vital ministry. So we're excited for them. Let me give you all two quick little little nudges here for things that are coming up that are sort of in this vein. Okay, the first one is April 19th. We have a chosen interest dinner. All right, the chosen interest dinner.

What that is is very simply listen, if you are if your heart is drawn toward these things, if you're thinking about it, what you want to do. Hey, by the way, we're gonna be in Revelation 18. Okay, so go ahead and be finding that I should have said that earlier as I'm explaining some of this. But, you know, if your heart is drawn toward these things, then I want you to think about this interest dinner. Okay, this is not the only agency that we work through.

By no means there's gonna be 14 different agencies that are here to talk to us about how we can be involved in adoption. And my wife is gonna be the one speaking that night. And so y'all better come.

Okay, the campuses, y'all better come. All right. But man, it's gonna be an awesome, awesome night.

So that's gonna be on April 19th. Listen, if you are a young family, I'm gonna say something now that I pray will stick with you. I pray that it will end up being a conversation that you have on the way home today, whenever you hear this message, if it's on a podcast or whatever. Listen, you're a young family. You're just getting married.

We have hundreds of you guys here at Mercy Hill across our campuses. All right, we're we're chock-full of that young pro turning into that next phase of marriage and all that kind of stuff. Okay, what is your family gonna look like in the next five years? And is it only gonna be driven by biology? Or should it also be driven by theology? We have been chosen into God's family. You know what happens?

Chosen people choose people. And so my prayer is that for some of you guys that are like, man, we're just getting married, we're just getting engaged, good. Catch a vision for this stuff now. All right, and let's go to the interest dinner. Real quick, the other thing I want to say is this, guys, one of our other incredible partners is the Pregnancy Network. I have been looking for a place to put in the Walk for Life to tell you guys, man, let's go, let's support.

And I just haven't been in, I haven't done it in the last couple weeks, so I'm doing it now. All right, so listen, this is in that same vein, okay? I don't know if you realize this, but a lot of times the knock has been on churches like Mercy Hill, you care more about kids when they're in the womb rather than after the womb.

And that's why I want to pair these two things together. Don't you hear that we're talking about 200 families being raised up for adoption? That's lifelong after the womb, okay?

But that doesn't take away by no means the importance of thinking about in the womb, okay, and life in the womb. And so we just want to jump in with the Pregnancy Network the best we can. Guys, you can find out more about the Walk for Life, and we can't be, we couldn't be more excited to be partnered up with them.

We have so many of our people that are going to be involved in this, and so I pray that you would as well, all right? Revelation 18, guys, here's the deal. Sermon's a little bit weird because this book is a little bit weird, okay? And we just got to know that, all right? That's how apocalyptic literature is.

It evokes emotion, man, it gets us to see some things, and from a high level it's very clear, but there's also just a lot moving around and a lot going on. I'm gonna talk to you today about the draw, the fatal attraction of worldly wealth. I want to talk to you about the deadly draw of worldly wealth, but at the same time, y'all, there's not, there, I'm looking at my notes today and it's like, man, you know, there's, there's just not a ton of, you need to do this, you need to do this, go do this, here's the five little application points and all that stuff, it really isn't that way. Here's what the Bible is gonna call us to do today. Come out of Babylon. That's what it calls us to do.

That's it. I want your heart, I want, my prayer for myself, for my family, for my kids, for you this weekend, is that our heart posture would be changed. We would be broken off of the fatal attraction of worldly wealth in the world, and that we would be turned to a greater kingdom and a greater treasure, and that's what I want us to get into today. Guys, Babylon represents the rebellion that is in the world and we've seen that rebellion crosses many waters, as the Bible has said. Actually, the Bible has painted Revelation 17, Babylon, as an image with another image, layered images, and that image was, if you remember, the image of a prostitute. What is the image of a prostitute supposed to bring up for us even today? And I know this is in your face, but this is what the Bible does many times, okay?

It doesn't really care about our sensibilities, alright? The Bible wants us to understand some things. What is the image of a prostitute supposed to bring up? It's supposed to bring up this idea that what is out there is more exciting than what God has for you in here. What is the idea of a prostitute? What's out there is more exciting than what's in the home, you know, or what's, and that's the allure.

It's not, it leads to destruction, but that's the draw, right? Notice me, come to me, one of the most powerful tools that Babylon has in luring in people in the world is worldly wealth. Now here's what I want to tell you today, big idea, wealth powerfully draws our hearts towards Babylon.

C.S. Lewis said it like this, alright, that wealth has a very strange way of knitting a man's heart to the world. Money rivals God because it gives us the things that we are supposed to be finding only in him.

That's why it's a fatal attraction, that's why it's a deadly draw, okay? No hands raised here, alright, but how many people would say I'd be happier if I had more money, okay? I'd see, oh, oh, I see some hands, okay? I know there's some hands raised at Clifton right now, okay? No hands raised, alright?

No hands raised. How many of us would say I'd be more secure if I had more money? I'd feel more important if I had more money. My voice would matter more if I had more money. I'd be able to accomplish my purposes more if I had more money.

Now do we understand the point that I'm getting at here? What we want, we don't understand, we're like well I don't worship money, I just think it'll make me happier and more secure and it'll make my life more important. Well that's kind of what worship is. It's kind of putting something at the chief end of your life that's like I chased that for my ultimate fulfillment.

I chased that for my ultimate purpose. I believe that thing will give me the importance and the status that I need in my life. That's the idea today is that money can rival God and money will mimic God and money even listen, even among the idols of the world there is one that is not like the other. That's why Jesus talked about it so much. That's why there's almost an entire chapter of the fall of Babylon devoted to the reaction of the world when it loses its wealth.

See it's a very simple, it's crazy, Revelation 18, but it is simple. There are two reactions to Babylon falling. The world reacts with a whale and the church reacts with worship. The church rejoices, the world moans and weeps. Why?

Because they loved the wealth and luxury that they found in this world. Let's dive in. Now here's what I want to show you. I mean we're doing a whole chapter and this is the beauty y'all of sitting in one place in the Bible for multiple weeks is why we do it. Okay there's a lot in this chapter that we've already covered in the other couple chapters that we've studied.

Okay so what I get to do today is prevail upon you that if you haven't heard those you need to go back because I'm skipping through some stuff here today. We're gonna turn the diamond. I want to show you an aspect of Babylon that is shown in two reactions. Okay one is rejoicing and one is weeping over the fall of Babylon.

So here's what we're gonna do. Verse 1 through 3 is the fall of Babylon. The angel comes, Babylon the mighty, whatever, it's fallen. Now here's what I want to show you. Verse 4 starts with something for the church that says come out of Babylon.

Look what it says. Then I heard another voice from heaven saying come out of her my people lest you take part in her sins lest you share in her plagues. Her sins are heaped as high as the heavens.

That most literally says they're glued together. They're stuck together and those sins are heaping all the way up to heaven. God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back others. See we're talking about the city that has devoured the blood of the Saints.

In other series, not sermons, we got into some of the persecution stuff. We see that earlier in the book of Revelation. Pay her back as she has herself paid others back and repay her double for her deeds.

Mix a double portion for her cup, for in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning since in her heart she says I sit as Queen, I am no widow and mourning I shall never see. Y'all the world will never believe the calamity that is coming upon them when God judges until it happens. They will never see it coming until it comes. For this reason her plagues will come in a single day and death and mourning and famine and she will be burned up with fire for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.

Now real quickly here I want to keep moving because I want to turn this diamond we're talking about wealth today and we're gonna get into that okay we're gonna see that but just quickly here I want to say this. Verse 4 says there are two calls to the Christian in Revelation 18. One of them is to come out of Babylon the other one we're gonna get into in a minute is to rejoice over its falling okay. So the first one is come out of Babylon and here's what it says I just want to make a point of this very quickly an application here come out of her my people lest you take part in her sins. One of the reasons that I want to call you away from the allurement of the prostitute of Babylon is because if you hang around long enough you will partake in the sins of Babylon and we don't realize that we don't think about that we all think that we're a lot stronger than we are listen if you don't come out of Babylon you will take part in her sins and the two thoughts that came immediately to my mind I don't know why these are the two but these are the ones I'm gonna go with or this number one for our incredible booming high school ministry middle school ministry if you got kids K through fifth you you just can't wait and I mean you're not gonna believe what happens when they get a middle school in high school I'm living that with some of my kids right now but I think about some of our incredible leaders and our incredible high school students and I just want to say to them man some of you listen are you making your home your closest circle of friends in school are you are you finding that place where you feel most comfortable are you finding those relationships and people that are not aligned with what God wants from you sure you're not drinking you're not vaping you're not doing drugs but I could tell you this even though right in this moment you might not be partaking in Babylon if you hang around long enough what do you think is gonna happen and so what the Bible is calling you and saying to you is come out make a decision right now come out of Babylon you don't hang around and see what's gonna happen you come out now the other thought that came to my mind was this man we got a lot of go-getters in this church we got a lot of people that man they're there they're you know circumventing the globe airports business hi this hi that okay maybe you're a high-end salesman and it's conferences and trips and then it's gambling and late nights and women are everywhere and sure you're not being unfaithful yet but are you hanging around and making your home with those who are running around with their wives and forgotten that they have little boys that are watching their every move at home they've forgotten those things and that's who we're making kind of our home with see maybe we're not partaking in Babylon today but maybe there are some of us that are getting a little too comfortable with it you know if that's where we are today I want to tell you it's foolishness all of us have been there at some point in our life me included we've all been in different places where we were becoming more comfortable when the world with the world than we ought to be but the reality is from Revelation 18 guys that is playing with fire right and that's what it's calling us to see men come out of Babylon we're gonna talk more about that here in just a minute this is what I want you to see this is where we zero in okay fatal attraction worldly wealth the deadly draw look at verse 11 and the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her since no one buys their cargo anymore scald silver jewels pearls fine linen purple cloth silk scarlet all kinds of scented wood all kinds of articles of ivory all kinds of articles of you know costly wood bronze iron marble cinnamon spice incense myrrh frankincense wine oil fine flour wheat cattle sheep horses and chariots and slaves that is human souls it doesn't matter what they're selling they'll do anything for a profit they'll do anything for their luxury they'll do anything for their comforts they'll do anything for what money gives them and here's what they say the fruit for which your soul long has gone from you and all your delicacies and all your splendors are lost to you never to be found again and the merchants of these wares who gained wealth from her will stand far off in fear of her torment weeping and mourning allowed now look what it says alas alas for the great city was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet adorned with gold with jewels with pearls for in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste and all the ship masters and seafaring sailors and all whose trade is on the sea stood far off and they cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning now look for some of you guys you're brand new to this stuff okay I understand that that's every service I bet at every campus we're one of those churches and we a lot of new people come in all the time which we praise God for okay but here's the thing some of you guys grew up in a Sunday school and if you did you should understand what's about what's about to be said here you ready the merchants and the seafarers what do they say what city was like the great city now what does that remind you of who is like our God it's not what's on their lips what city is like the great city and they throw dust on their heads and they weep and they mourn alas alas for the great city where all who had the ships at sea grew rich by her wealth for in a single hour she has been laid waste y'all this is where I believe we need to zero in today as we turn the diamond there's a lot of things you could preach from Revelation 18 okay I know that we've hit a few things over the last couple weeks that I think would be applicable here as well but as we turn the diamond today I've got to show you the best that I can can you believe the reaction of the world when Babylon Falls there are two great reactions in this passage one of them is rejoicing we'll get to that but the other one is weeping the doesn't matter about the injustice of the world it doesn't matter that there are plagues and kids that don't eat at night and their poverty and famines it doesn't matter that there is evil and trafficking and prostitution none of those things matter why because Babylon afforded me what I love the most luxury experiences material possessions the respect that I can get for money that that I accumulate and that's the idea it doesn't matter how evil all of this is it doesn't matter how broken all of it is because it gave me what my heart actually loved fatal attraction a deadly draw to the wealth of the world and what happens when it's gone they do what anybody does when their little G God leaves them when an idol is crushed we're crushed and we weep and we wail why because they had worship money like it was God but you know humans aren't built to have their God ever leave them and so when they trusted money and wealth and luxury like it was God and God left them and their little G God left them and abandoned them what did they have left they weep and they wailed and they're crushed and their life can't go on you know how many people committed suicide during the Great Depression they're in the Great Recession Oh 809 you know how many people committed suicide in the burning Madoff scandal as tragic as that was it's horrible to think about but you know what what what was going on in those moments my God just got crucified there's no resurrection on the horizon and the thing that I have trusted the most now if you're new to church I want to try to introduce you to a concept here that we talk about a lot but I want to slow down for just a minute make sure we understand the reaction that you're seeing from these merchants and these seafarers is just the most it's the most straightforward case you can get and what happens when somebody is an idolater now I know that might be a little bit odd because you're like man idolatry that's worshipping a statue or whatever it is what does it have to be that y'all and I don't is anything we worship that isn't God that's what an idol is you know anything that we worship that is not God that's a good definition of an idol and I told you before a lot of times you know the idols of our lives manifest and three you know a lot of times there's a big three money sex power one of those even among that list is not like the other it's why Jesus talked about all the time it's why the Bible talks about all the times why there's an entire almost an entire chapter in the fall of Babylon devoted to one thing the destruction of wealth money can mimic God in a way that almost nothing else can like I demonstrated earlier hey how many of us would be helped happier how many of us be more secure how many of us would feel more important right if you sub anything else in there some of those like I'm not really sure how that connects money sort of connects to all that stuff right money sort of gets at this this place in our heart it's why Jesus had no problem confronting people on these things think about the rich young ruler oh I've been I've done everything I follow every single law okay let's shed the wealth and give to the poor man I can't go there can't go there you're right because I got to the bottom of it pretty quick right what are we trusting and this is the idea money can mimic God and and and I know some of us are like I don't really understand you know the idea of worship and idols like something you worship and I don't I don't really think I worship it let me give you an example of this okay there are places in the world where I the idol worship looks like what you're thinking okay you know where we just sent a team and are building a team over the next ten years in a certain place in South Asia there are many unreached unengaged people groups in this area that we're going to and no doubt okay no doubt there is there is straight-up idol worship when I've been in places like South Asia and other places man you see it I'm bowing down before a statue I'm cutting myself I'm burning incense I'm doing all these things and we get that in our mind okay and I understand that they're chasing something like that with their life they're bowing down before but is it really any different than the frat boy who lives every single day of his life thinking about the weekend he's working so he has money for the alcohol he's inviting the girls that he wants to see there everything about his life is creating the social buzz so that everybody will be there at the you understand I'm saying like if there may not be a statue of a bottle of beer that he's burning incense to okay but it's an idol nonetheless I put it as a chief end of my life an idol is anything that takes the place of God in our life and that is why they're wailing over the wealth being lost they loved wealth and luxury and they mourn its loss even though in the rebellion of the world being overthrown God is making everything sad come on sure doesn't matter I lost what I love I love the world I love money I love what it gives me so it doesn't matter that we live in a world that is filled with brokenness sickness abortion prostitution hungry kids dying a preventable disease it doesn't matter that our brothers and sisters in Christ are persecuted all over the world it doesn't matter that this world is evil and in rebellion and there is pride and craziness and lies Easter Sunday Easter weekend what is pushed out from the social media accounts at the highest level of our government is Transgender Awareness Day so let's hit one side how about we go ahead and hit the other side though you know what because when someone finally steps forward in the state of Arizona and they say we're not gonna abort babies and we are gonna have one exception life of the mother but that's gonna be the band what do our so-called conservative stalwart what do they do well we need it we need to figure something out here let's be a little more sensible you know we got it we got to put some you know we got it we got to loosen this thing up just a little bit where is the backbone this is where we live and it doesn't matter that that's all going on because all of that can go on we can have all of that injustice we can have all of that brokenness we can have a life that is is filled with sin see the sneaky little reality here and I'm not gonna go all the way into this but you've heard Mercy Hills teaching on hell see people would rather have hell if it means they got a little bit of money with it they'd rather have rebellion on earth they don't want what God wants they don't love what he loves now I got to say this okay because I'm going pretty hard here all right so I got I got to say this all right I I chose not to do this at the beginning because I didn't want to caveat this but I think I need to caveat it now guys money is not bad I got to make sure we say that I don't want to say at the beginning because I want us to feel the weight of what's going on money is not bad but it is powerful and it is dangerous I'll give you two examples all right guys you're gonna know this if you ever taught your kids how to shoot a gun or bow and arrow that could actually hurt somebody I'm not talking about like a toy okay I'm talking about you ever shot told taught him how to shoot a bow or ever taught him how to shoot their pellet gun or step them up and shoot it shoot a real gun you you know what I'm about to say here everything about that encounter is incredibly serious there ain't no playing around there ain't no joking around that you know a kid can hear a different tone in his dad's voice when he hands him something that can hurt him doesn't mean it's bad right it's powerful it is dangerous we better handle it with respect it's very similar let me give you another example of this okay I woke up Friday morning I know I'm sorry I woke up Saturday morning this past Saturday morning in Ferguson North Carolina in a camper that was not my own okay and I look out the window and my nine-year-old and my twelve-year-old are in one of these four-wheeler it's a Polaris Ranger if you know like a side-by-side four-wheeler okay it's like seven in the morning I'm kind of just like rolling out there in there in this Ranger thing and they are going Mach speed chasing our herd of horses around this massive pasture chasing them with it with the thing okay and I'm just kind of like where am I you know what is happening here well I get to the bottom of the story and the guy we're there we actually there to ride horses he's a member of our church here the guy we go a few times a year he said hey man these got these horses have been sitting here eating nothing but green grass they're fat they're slick they hadn't been ridden they're gonna have so much energy I told your boys to get out there and run them then we want to run them for like 10 or 15 minutes and just get get him sweating man get him breathing hard and then we'll calm him down and then we'll go ride and I thought about that story because you know when you think about putting a nine-year-old on a horse I'm gonna tell you there ain't no playing around I'm not talking about a little pony at the fair I'm talking about man you're out in the mountains there's no cell phone you're miles from anything and you're getting on top of a thousand pound animal that you just chased on a four-wheeler okay and and now we're getting on top of there's no playing around there's no joking it's like now once we get going we can have some fun and all that but everything about what we're doing now is incredibly serious you know why because a thousand pound animal can hurt you pretty bad thousand pound animal is not bad I mean Ronald Reagan said it best outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man all right it's not bad but it is powerful and it is dangerous and you handle it in a certain way and that's what I want to try to get us to see here the biggest takeaway that I have in my life from Revelation 18 is do I have a sense of power and danger with the things that the Lord has given me they're not bad I want to use them for his kingdom my good his glory I want to enjoy them I want to leverage them man I do not want to be counted as the steward that buried everything I want to leverage this stuff but do I tremble a little bit before it or have I gotten so comfortable you know here's what we've got to understand you just got a raise that's a thousand pound animal sitting in your bank account you know you know that debit card that's a thousand pound animal that's sitting in your wallet it's not bad man it can be used for great good at the same time there is a warning that is associated with it we handled this in a certain way what's the warning look at Revelation 18 the merchants and the seafarers they didn't give a rip about the brokenness of the world because it gave them what they wanted that's the fatal attraction that's the deadly draw man and it's very serious it's why Jesus Christ said in Matthew 16 no one can serve two masters money wants to master you first Timothy 6 10 the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil mark 10 already referenced the rich young ruler kept all the rules but he couldn't part with his wealth Matthew 19 listen to this it is easier then for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven now I want you to think about what the Bible is saying here it is easier then for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven think about what it says and then think about what it doesn't say what it didn't say is that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for a porn addicted man to get to heaven that's not what it said then a drug dealer to get to heaven then a biker gang member then to get to heaven then an adulterer to get to heaven then a prideful liar a thief that's not what it said what it said is for a then then then then then for a rich man to get to heaven what is that supposed to communicate to us is money bad no go read the book of Proverbs I mean you're gonna realize man you know a wise man there should be an inheritance to this left and all these different things that that God is calling us to do with our money and with our finances but at the end of the day we've got to make sure we understand it's a thousand pound animal you got to treat it in that way or else it'll grab you like it grabbed these merchants they didn't give a rip about the world because it gave them what they wanted now that's the first reaction second reaction is this okay this is what the Christian this is the church's reaction Babylon is falling all of her luxury all of her wealth and look what it says verse 20 rejoice over her Oh heaven you saints and apostles and prophets for God has given judgment for you against her then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea saying so will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence and it will be no more now if you want to check some of this stuff out if you're interested in this stuff you got to see the undertones here the book of Ezekiel Jeremiah 51 throw in the scroll and into the river and now you got the millstone going into the river and there's so much that's happening here but what I want you to see is this in Revelation 18 we're seeing Babylon totally destroyed and the church is called to rejoice over it now what does that mean I'm gonna tell you there are two reactions to the world falling to Babylon's rain ending and this is the this is the plainest I can say it y'all the church rejoices over what the world mourns you can't that's how stark the contrast is man I'm mourning because I'm losing my wealth and yet the Church of Jesus Christ what heaven itself is supposed to do is to rejoice over its falling why you know rejoicing and mourning these are not behaviors these are like heart reactions this is about what the heart loves and what the church looks in and sees here's what they're supposed to see all of the brokenness that we've talked about in this sermon everything that is evil in the world all the tears man it's all gonna come untrue and we are gonna be given a greater treasure than we ever could have found in the world anyway you know that that's why we rejoice I don't want you to think this is a little bit I don't want you to think this is like a victory dance like we're gloating because the world that's not the rejoicing you know what the rejoicing is what do you think happened when the children of Israel looked back and the Egyptian armies were swallowed by the sea what emotion do you think that was right that's what we're talking about it's not this concept of a victory dance it's a freedom song Jesus has won so here's what I call you today really by way of application and kind of conclusion honestly worship God and be drawn to his kingdom you know one pastor said it like this revelation 18 is an autopsy of Babylon you want to know what Babylon is about you read revelation 18 you see what people love it actually comes down to I think a good verse for this would be first John 2 15 do not love the world or the things of the world if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him you know we learn from Babylon there are people that love the world they love Babylon they love the luxury they love the wealth they love anything that this world can afford them more than they love the kingdom of God or more than God himself and so what I want to call you to do is to say listen hey today we've just got to be super serious I told you there's not a lot of like they're not like hey do this do this do this we've just got to understand this relationship that we have in a world where there is wealth and affluence and luxury and I know listen some of us some of us are like man I ain't wealthy I don't have luxury and all that look around the rest of the world okay I mean you know I mean I fully understand there there may be people in our church that truly are in poverty in our nation and if that and if that's you know that might be one category I understand but generally speaking if we say in America like man I'm poor it's like okay have you ever been anywhere in the world man do we understand what poor actually looks like in some places right and so for us I think we just got to understand this danger of luxury and wealth that is at our fingertips all the time I want to call you today church and to say come out of Babylon abandon the worldly system live for more than nice nice house a nice car a nice education a nice marriage nice kids a nice retirement a nice death with no pain and that's all we want and God has called us and put more than that in us hey he is saying you are made for more than possessions and promotions there is something else that we are called to be living for you all of us today have got to come to terms with this man our wealth is killing us we store stuff up in barns and then we on the other hand spend money that we don't have I mean you tell me how the most wealthy nation on the face of the planet is also the most credit card indebted how could that be how could it be statistically that the more money people earn the less they give away by percentage how could that be there's a fatal attraction there's this deadly draw and I want to call to you today and I want to say man come out come out of Babylon today listen what is the search engine on your computer reveal about what you think about your security and your happiness being in the next possession man what what what is the promised land look like for us is it another vacation it's an upgrade in housing are we so fixated on our security that we can't even give our money away man I where do we go man many of us are convicted right now even by some of these things okay where do we go y'all the only place we can go is to that great treasure that teaches us to see through worldly wealth and to a greater treasure treasure y'all in the gospel here's what you get because of what Christ has done in the gospel you know how you break your heart off of the treasures of this world you seek a greater treasure and you realize that you have it in the gospel because in the gospel you are a son or daughter of the king in the gospel the way God feels about you doesn't rise or fall on numbers in a bank account because in the gospel he wants for you an eternal wealth not one that is fleeting that will that will die you know it will leave you when you die everything that you have right now is the future stuff of junkyards and yard sales everything that we have right and and and we die because somebody else they die because of somebody else God wants more for us than that he wants something of eternal wealth and treasure and here's what he did he has proven what he wants for you and his love for you and his goodness towards you by sending his son to come with a die on a cross for you he came because of the sin in our life listen every single one of us at some point in our life have chased the prostitute of Babylon we have chased that worldly wealth we have been part of the fatal attraction we have succumbed to the deadly draw at some point in our life man we didn't give maybe we thought about money all day long do you know in North Carolina you can buy a zoo right now for four million dollars did you know that there's also another one for sale for 16 million I looked at the pictures the 16 million dollar one is better okay I don't know why this stuff pops up on my newsfeed I'm looking at this and I'm like all of a sudden I'm like huh I wonder how much money you could make running a zoo you know all this stuff is catching us all the time it's like it's have you noticed everything on your phone is trying to get you to think about money possessions wealth that it's it the green the grass is always greener whatever the next thing is and it's coming to us all the time and some of us have succumbed to that we've thought about money all day long we should have been thinking about other things that God had for us some of us maybe have cheated someone somewhere down along the line we didn't do business the right way whatever it is guys for those things we deserve death and hell this is what we've got to understand when Babylon was cast in the sea we deserve to be cast out with her because we followed her but here's what the Bible tells us actually in Romans 10 it tells us a very interesting passage in Romans 10 where it says who will descend to the abyss to bring Jesus up from the dead now this is the point that it's this is the point I think Romans 10 you think about Revelation 18 here here's the point you and I get standing before God because Jesus Christ took the sinking of the millstone he took the sinking to the bottom of the river so that you and I could have a standing before God we didn't deserve it man we deserve to follow Babylon all the way down to the bottom but Jesus Christ went down to the abyss for us and then three days later he resurrected giving us the chance for the newness of life Jesus died on the cross to save us out of Babylon to give us new standing in his family so I want to call to you today hey come out of Babylon number one come out means you need to become a believer if today is the day of salvation for you I pray that you will admit your sin believe in Christ and what he's done and confess him as the Lord of your life I pray you do that today break your heart off of the wealth of the world see the end of that thing as destruction but then believer I would say this to you what is the relationship that you have with money and can we just think about maybe reorienting some of that today this is a heart level it's a faith it's a belief-oriented sermon that this is one where we come to the front of the altar and we pray God I just want you to reorient my affections man I know I'm thinking about this all day I know what the search stuff on my computer is gonna say I know all that God I want you to reorient me so that I would come to long for you and to feast upon you right money man wealth there is a danger there but it's not bad man let's pray that God will reorient our relationship to it let's pray father we come before you and Lord we ask that this truth from Revelation 18 would reverberate strongly in our hearts in our minds God I pray that it would reorient the relationship that we have around wealth may we not be the merchants and the seafarers and the kings of this earth that mourn the loss may we not be ones that say what a great city who is like her but may we say from Exodus 15 who is like our God God do this in our hearts do it in my heart in Christ's name we pray amen
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-13 21:15:59 / 2024-04-13 21:35:21 / 19

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