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March 17, 2019 3:00 pm
Harvest messages are brought to you by harvest partners receive free email daily devotions or to become a harvest partner, please visit us firstname.lastname@example.org I told you the story not too long ago about two brothers that were arguing. One was the biological son to the parents. The other was adopted so the Senate was born to the parents said to his brother. You know what my parents are parents love me more than they love you because I their actual biological son. You were adopted, the adopted boy said well they chose me. They got stuck with you.
Did you know that you have been chosen by God himself before your parents are born before their parents are born before their parents were born before our first parents run planet Earth. Adam and Eve, before there was a planet Earth in the councils of eternity.
God Almighty chose you. He chose you to be his child. That's mindbending if you stop and think about it because God knows all things. You see, God is omniscient. That's where the just means all knowing. Imagine for a moment if you were omniscient you knew everything about everything and everyone. I'm not so sure I like to be a part could be. I would hate to know what people really think you be sometimes, but if you knew what the future would be and you knew what horse would. When that raisin would win the Super Bowl and fluid medal in the Olympics or whatever you do all things well if you were a betting person. I'm sure you would bet on the winning horse, not the losing horse yet God shows you because of anyone knows how big of a failure. You are into. If anyone knows how big of a failure. I am, it's me and my wife and I we we know better than anyone our own shortcomings, yet God shows us so we think. Why would God choose me honey what merit or goodness or equality did God see me. That caused them to choose our Tuesday.
I hope this doesn't disappoint you. It's not based on anything you did your you don't deserve it. I don't deserve it. I think the reason God chose us is the same reason he chose the nation Israel of the Jewish people. He said in Deuteronomy 7. I do not.
So my love upon you or choose you because you were more number you're actually less I chose you because I love you. Why did God choose you because he loves you know this, God loves you. God shows you. Now we start thinking about how did he choose us on what basis did he choose us and to we have any say so as to who gets chosen into isn't chosen and I wanted to know the greatest theological minds have debated this for centuries and I want to resolve it right here, right now, today, that was a joke by the way, something you really think so. No, I don't think so.
There's good people on both sides of this theological debate, but I think what we need to do is all agree on this fact. We have been chosen by God and we should rejoice that we been chosen by God that sometimes we talk about this.
We talk about the elect. The elect is a phrase that would be used to describe those who were chosen as compared to the non-elect and so one person put it this way, quote try to explain election and you may lose your mind try to explain it away, and you may lose your soul and call so what was the basis for the choice of God. Some would say it's irresistible grace. This would be the Calvinistic view the reformed view, irresistible grace, they would say God's irresistible grace is been extended.
You have no choice in the matter. You actually can't resist it, and some would even say they believe in something called double predestination, meaning that God already shows who's going to go to heaven and who's going to go to hell. We have no say so in the manner so God sitting up there and have anything heaven heaven and hell. I don't mean you I don't blame anyone I just just draw just drop this way heaven heaven the hell hell.
Hell, they'll heaven heaven and hell.
Hell, so just you going to hell you going to heaven.
You have nothing to say about it. God decides and they would even believe some in something called limited atonement, meaning that Christ only died for the elect are the chosen ones. So if you're not one of the elect.
Actually, Christ did not die for you at all, let me just say at the outset, I disagree with these views. I believe that Jesus Christ died for the sin of all of the world.
Jesus put it best when he said for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Earlier in Romans reread Paul writing Romans five when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly, scarcely for a righteous man, one will die. Perhaps you're a good man.
Some would dare to die. God demonstrated his love toward us that while we were yet sinners he died for us, irresistible grace. I think you can resist the grace of God because you have the human will affect Stephen even said to the members of the Sanhedrin before they stoned him. Why do you resist the Holy Spirit. Don't tell me it's irresistible it can be resisted, Christ died for the whole world, and the truth is eternal life is available to any body who wants it there so many verses that support that view of Revelation 2217 Jesus says whoever will let him come in believe and so it's extended to everyone.
Here's the thing, that it's hard for people to accept predestination, meaning God shows you and the free will of man are both taught in the Bible sometimes are placed side-by-side so we feel we have to choose one or the other but I don't think so. Here's the bottom line God wants all people to believe he's not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. One person put it this way and I quote God predestines every man to be say the devil predestines every man to be damn, man has the casting vote."
What is God wants. God loves you.
God want you to believe in him, God extends his mercy to you but you must receive their mercy. He is choosing you will you choose him if you extrapolate this out and take it too far. Some would even say well I can even tell a person God loves because of the not one of the elect and I tell them God loves them I might be giving false assurance to one of the non-elect. I'm afraid to go and just tell people to believe in Jesus because of their not one of the predestined ones and they believe they're actually going to hell are you kidding me, but this is the kind of theological pretzel people get themselves wrapped up in over this topic. Listen, it is not for us to worry about who is chosen who is not chosen our shop art commission given to us by Jesus is the go into all the world and preach the gospel deal. Moody was a great evangelist. I like him for maybe four reasons. Number one he was in evangelist number two. He was bald. Number three.
He was fat and number four. He was considered to be a bit illiterate so I relate to this God, but he was a far greater evangelist Oliver B.
But he made this statement and I liked it. I like it and I liked it too. But I still like it, he said, Lord, save the elect and then elect some more. That's good. Worry about who the elect are so-called of the chosen ones are. I was going to preach the gospel and I believe the ones that have been chosen by God will believe you want to know how to determine if you're one of the chosen ones believe in Jesus Christ and you confirm you been chosen by God, here's the thing going. The part that I feel like sometimes will debate so much about who is chosen and how their chosen and we won't ask the question why there chosen. In other words, why did God choose me.
What am I predestined for. What's the endgame here. What is God's will will give you two answers to that I could give you many mortgages is a quote a couple of quick ones number one God shows me to become more and more like Jesus every day. Why did he choose the sub become more like Jesus member we look at Romans 828 together which is all things work together for good to those that love God, another called according to his purpose.
And then it goes on in verse 29 to say or whom he called, he also predestined to be conformed into the image of his own dear son, why did God choose you because he wants you to become more like Jesus.
Number two God shows you so you would become a spiritually fruitful Christian I Jesus said in John 1516 you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you the you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain in whatever you ask the father in my name he will give to you, so why my chosen to bring for spiritual fruit so people can look at my life and see the evidence in it of a follower of Jesus Christ. But so many times in the Bible were called to appeal the people were told in Romans 1013, whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be say and then Revelation 2217 in the spirit of the bride say, come in. Here's that him that hearsay come and let him that is thirsty, and whoever wants to let them drink of the water of life freely.
But I could talk you all day long about the offer of God to loss people but were not going to take that offer to anybody.
If we don't care about loss people. It starts with a heart for them and that's what Paul mentioned in our last message that we looked at in Romans nine how much he cared about his fellow Jews that they would believe in Jesus. He said in Romans nine I would be willing to be forever cursed. That is cut off from Christ if it would save them also effectively think I'd be willing to go to hell if they could go to heaven and I'm so glad we don't have to do that trade our salvation for the salvation of someone else that salvation is Artie been purchased.
Not in a limited atonement.
But in an atonement for everyone who would believe by Jesus on the cross in a reversible believe he will forgive them. Of course, but that brings me to my first point.
If you're taking notes. Everybody needs to hear the gospel, no matter who they are. Everybody needs to hear the gospel, no matter who they are. No will think that donut outers need to hear go to skid Row and preach the gospel to them. Those people all of their problems going to the presence going to the jails freezer.
Those people hopefully don't get converted not robbing anymore right you go to the donut outers was just the donut outers need Jesus. Thank God you're never slow down or so out that he will reach out and save you. Listen to this. The up in the outers need Jesus to the person that seems to have it all together on the outside that person needs the Lord you might be down and out. You might be up and out, but they are still out but Jesus says come on in. Everybody needs to hear this. Every generation needs to hear it. Every baby boomer needs to hear the gospel every millennial needs to hear the gospel, by the way, so much is made about the baby boom generation and the millennial generation. I read an article that said that generation X is feeling left out, read an article that said baby boomers and the rising wave of millennial's are hogging the spotlight while Generation X is struggling.
Sorry Generation X, you need Jesus to every generation does now.
On the heels of the millennial generation. We have generation Z they been described by experts as the loneliest generation.
I think the challenges and pressures that young people are facing today are in many ways unprecedented. A lot of that has to do with social media and I was an early adopter of the smart phones is very excited about them now.
I wish I could gather them all together and one place and destroy them because I think in so many ways they are ruining our lives. They're having a very detrimental effect on the lives of young people that live in the virtual world and in this virtual world they live in their not able to communicate with one another.
We never been more connected and disconnected at the same time and I think young kids will you know see only followers they have in social media or look at somebody else on Pinterest or Instagram in a while, look at them there living the perfect life in my life sucks what's wrong and they communicate through texting more than they communicate face-to-face conversations and maybe that's one of the reasons that the anxiety and the depression is so high among young people today and maybe that's one of the reason for the suicide rate is going up not plateauing, and certainly not going down but every generation needs to hear the gospel someone 45. Verse four says let each generation, intelligent children, your mighty acts. Let them proclaim your power, baby boomers, Generation X, millennial generation Z. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.
The answer is Jesus. For every generation number two, the religious person needs the gospel as much as the pagan person by pagan I mean is the nonbeliever religious person. Paul is addressing the Jewish mindset in verse six he says so wait. Then, has God failed to fulfill his promise to Israel. No, not at all. Those were born into the nation of Israel are actually members of God's people are being descendents of Abraham doesn't make them truly Abraham's children. So basically saying look just as reported to send mean you really understand what it means to be Jewish and what it means they have a relationship with God, you could apply that Christians to think sometimes people think well I was raised in a Christian home. I must be a Christian know you were just raising a Christian home sometime some of the worst sinners are people raising Christian homes because they rebelled against it. Sometime some of the greatest saints come from Christian homes.
It just depends on the person we love to put all the blame on the parents, but we have a say so and how we go in life, regardless of how we were raised or maybe not raised, but you need to have your own faith you tell about the faith of your parents you can live out the faith of your spouse or somebody else you need your own relationship with Jesus Christ. And here's the funny thing, one of the easiest places to get your heart pardoned to the gospel is actually in the church during a dangerous place right now that you know that probably didn't think so. It's dangerous in this regard. As you hear the truth of the gospel. You hear the truth of the word of God. You decide if you're going to be responsive or resistant to it.
Some of you know why you're here came here to make someone happy working there because your wife said of you don't come to church of the on never feed you again.
So here you are here to make your parents happy you here to make your kids happy you're a friend happy, but you're not open to what I'm saying or thinking just come on and please I'm praying and have your arms folded. Remember the rumpled 100 fold is gonna blown this off.
11 another kind of life thinking about what you gonna do after you get outta here and you know it's a bad thing to have that attitude and come to church and hear the word of God because your heart can get hard in the place right now to be getting some the same son that softens the wax hardens the clay example, the Pharaoh of Egypt and he spoken of here in nine chapter 9 verse 17. The Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh I've appointed you for this very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.
So you see, God chooses Joe to show mercy to some and chooses to harden the hearts of others, so they refused to listen. So were talking about the feral number him. Moses went to him and demanded the release of the Jews from his captivity, Moses did some pretty amazing miracles in front of the Pharaoh, including taking his staff throwing into the ground and becomes a snake within the Pharaoh had these magicians that work for him and somehow they were able to replicate some of these miracles and they threw their staffs to the ground and they became snake within Moses doubt they became a snake ate their snakes showing the power of God. Then Moses took a step in such into the Nile River and in turn to blood in the magicians of Pharaoh to good little water was left intended to blood seems regular been a better idea to turn the body. What about the good water again. But whoever said that sin makes sense as tax and makes you stupid.
But my point is Pharaoh once said that we read and Pharaoh hardened his heart. Another miracle Pharaoh hardened his heart. Another miracle Pharaoh hardened his heart Pharaoh hardened his heart. Then all of a sudden, God hardened Pharaoh's heart, God hardened Pharaoh's heart way what contradiction, no two sides of one calling yeah Pharaoh was the one that decided he was going to harden his heart in the presence of God and then God simply confirmed Pharaoh in the decision that he already made this phrase for God hardening Pharaoh's heart could be better translated. God strengthened Pharaoh he strengthened him in the decision. He had already made easy Pharaoh dedicated himself to evil direct opposition to God's redemptive plan. He chose evil. God did not choose it for him yet opportunity after opportunity to repent, but he chose not to so we can say, oh God did this to Pharaoh. Pharaoh did it to himself and the Lord confirmed them in the decision. He had already made. Yes, our hearts can get hard in church. Even because the author of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 312 to believers. Be careful, then, dear brothers and sisters make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving turning you away from the living God need to warn each other every day. While it still called the day so none of you will be deceived and hardened against God.
So now we come to the final movement of this chapter that were going to look at in Romans nine verse 19 or Paul tells us were like a lump of clay on a wheel well then, you might say why does God blame people for not responding, they simply done when he makes them do know don't say that. Who are you, a mere human being to argue with God.
Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it. Why have you made me like this.
So the point is here we overlook a lump of clay on the potter's wheel is all the little video we showed earlier and that that was in Greece actually to a potter's house that we went to, and does this gentleman was very capable of throwing the clay on the wheel and forming these amazing pots and you could see how incapable I was. I made a cute little dog a lot of clay but you know he was in some a lot harder than you think.
Basically you put the clay on some of you do this know a lot more about it than I do, but you get the clay in the wheelie begin to dig in your thumbs in your fingers and you have a concept like I'm been a make this lump of nothingness into this beautiful object to say when artist sits down in front of a canvas and they get their paints out. They have an idea in their mind. This is what I'm going to paint or the musician who picks up the guitar or sits at the keyboard or or pulls out whatever instrument they can apply and they maybe play a corner. Think about it they say a word or two in their starting to form. This may have an idea. So God has us on the wheelie says here's my plan for you is when I'm in a do for you know Micah to be pliable and open room. I can it be resistant. See I can sabotage God's plans for my life. God's plan for you are better than your plans for yourself, but you can still sabotage them.
By being resistant to them saying I don't want this. Some I like to think I don't get this. I thought it says the card three determines these things. Yes, he chooses you. But you must choose him as well.
Here's a principles of altogether in Philippians it says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, and then goes on to say, for it is God that works in you both to will and do of his good pleasure.
See, there's my part and there's God's part is God that works in me both to will and do of his good pleasure. But I need to work out my own salvation. What is that works for my own salvation.
Of course not, because salvation is a gift is not by works that were saved but by grace. The Bible says so work it out means to carry to the goal and complete as St. John and St. Paul said we can work it out. Only the baby boomers got the job right the millennial's are like what will have avocado toast for you later. I'm sorry nobody here's the thing just jumped. We can work.
I'm referring to John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles in his uncle we can work it out. That's inflammation okay forgot about that. Okay so work it out me is the idea of going into her mind and in the mine.
I find gold so I get the gold out of the mind. That's the phrase Paul is using work it out, develop, and explore it, discover and enjoy it more. Get out in your life and it's God that's ultimately doing the work in your life. God is a plan don't sabotage it. Samson was chosen by God and he had everything going for superhuman strength, a calling from God. But as you know, he was the he-man with the she weakness was in the he fell into sexual sin. And that's why when the Lord spoke to his parents and said he was going to give them a very special son. He also said of Samson. In Judges 13. He will begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.
He will begin he wasn't able to complete it because he sabotage the plan. Hey you're on the potter's wheel and he's working and it's coming together. I know things seem random at time. How many of you believe God's plan for you is better than your plan for yourself.
Raise your hand up a very good how many November thought that nothing is making sense and your life and you don't get a raise your hand up.
Oh, I hope you always and that's really good if you notice my hands up to other terms of said Lord I don't get this at all.
This doesn't seem to fit any plan. This makes no sense to me why are you doing this allowing this to be done. But remember when you don't understand what's happening, fall back to what you do understand I don't understand why this is happening. But here's what I do understand release and I do believe it. God loves me, the God chose me, the God can work all things together for good to those who love him. For God is in control of my life. She has a plan. So I fall back and then say Lord I don't get it, but I trust you. I love the words of Corrie 10 boom.
She said don't wrestle just nestle don't fight similar go-ahead Had They Known Way, Lord, how they known Way doll at the potter. I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still all yes you chose you. And yes, he loves you and don't let anybody ever tell you any differently in his plan for you is all going to come together and it's all going to make sense.
One day maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day it will. And until that day. Just be pliable clay on the wheel of the potter and watch with the Lord will do so let me close by asking have you been chosen by God, so I don't know I'll tell you how you can know now what. How believe in Jesus Christ you confirm that you were chosen by God, believing him but don't harden your heart to you hear this message I'm sharing with you. It is a lot either. I reject that I don't want that and every time you hear the gospel and don't respond to it. Your heart can get a little harder. Listen to this, the greatest inoculation against the gospel is the gospel heard but not heeded anything I want more time to greatest inoculation against the gospel is the gospel heard but not heeded know if you go to a foreign country is going to be exposed to some serious viruses. They may require certain shots before you go and what they're doing to give you that shot is putting a little bit of that thing you're going to be exposed to in your body so you can build up your immunity so in the same way. I hear the gospel, but I don't respond to it and I can actually develop an immunity to the gospel tone. Let that happen is everything you're looking for in life is available for you in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. My wife Kathy who you saw earlier likes puzzles. I'm puzzled by that. Why would anyone like puzzles I don't. We were in a hotel not long ago we walked by.
There's a puzzle in a table. She's a puzzle. Much is Walking like what always my time doing that was the food you know so not long ago, she was putting a puzzle together in our house and she caught Craig help me as a what's wrong she says I missing a piece of the puzzle. She had literally put the entire puzzle together in one piece was missing.
So we got in our hands and knees and were looking around and we finally found it under the chair and the puzzle was complete.
Like to be that way. We say you know what when I get all these things right. I know my life would be right. You know I got a graduate from high school that I have to spend a whole lot of money and get into some college nevermind. Okay, so the right. Hopefully my parents will forming and then I graduate from college and I'm a degree in datacenter pursue my career and then I buy my first house that I get married and she's not so good like you married again.
Now we have kids that we little older and we set up a retirement plan. Now we have grandkids and now we have this and now we have that than one day I get it all done and I say wait. Something's missing. The missing piece of the puzzle whereas it was not under the chair God has because I missing piece are looking for is not to be found in anything you can find on this planet will be found in drugs and a mean to make you the drug people and drugs will be found in alcohol as you look know you're not it will be found in more followers and social media will be found in fame. It will be found in good things like a family or goals that are legitimate because it's ultimately God you're looking for. Jesus Christ holds the missing piece and am looking for a thing you're looking for him and he'll come in your life and forgive you of your sin that you want him to come in your life right now. Don't harden your heart. The Bible says don't harden your heart so now it's on you see can say I want this. And I believe that human chosen by God, I don't want this. I reject the careful now because this is our offer of forgiveness.
Its resistible grace. Yes, it's grace. Yes it's amazing. Yes, it's there for you, but you can say no to it and some do. Far too many do. I hope you'll say yes I want Jesus Christ that you will then begin to discover God's plan for your life because Jesus who died on the cross for your sin and rose again from the dead, now stands at the door of your life, and he knocks and says if you hear his voice and open the door.
He will commit if you've never asked Jesus Christ to come in your life when it should do it right now as we close in prayer.
Let's all pray father, thank you for your word to us in your love for us. Thank you for your offer of forgiveness that is offered to everybody that will believe in your name I pray for any that have joined us who may not yet know you Lord, would you help them to see their need for you and help them to come to you this day. We would ask that all our heads about and our eyes are closed, praying together.
How many of you would say Greg, I'm looking for that missing piece today. I want that relationship to God you been talking about. I want Jesus Christ to come in the my life and I want him to be my Savior and I want to know that I'll go to heaven when I die, listen, if you want Christ to come in your life if you want them to forgive you of your sin if you want to find that missing piece you been searching for go to heaven when you die, would you just raise your hand up right now. Wherever you are and I'll pray for you. God bless you and God bless you. Anybody else raise your hand and say I want Jesus today. God bless you.
God bless you there in the back anybody else raise your hand up Iraq and see a please and I want Jesus today.
God bless you as well. God bless you. Anybody else God bless you, yes you guys that are watching on screens right now. Would you raise your hand.
Would you take this little step of facing yes I want Jesus to wherever you are. Raise your hand and say, and I want Christ in my life when I heads are still valid. Maybe some of you would say you know what I been that resistant clay. I've been hard being my heart even though I know it's right and I need to make a recommitment to Jesus today. Pray for me.
If that's your desire of some of you need to come back to the Lord again, would you raise your hand up right now. Let me pray for you.
God bless you, bless you. Bless each one of you nominally ask if you would please everyone of you that raise your hand. I want you to stand your feet, lead you in a prayer just stand up and I mentally join a prayer. If you raise your hand. Even if you did not what you want Jesus Christ to come in your life or you want to make this recommitment to him stand up and begin to pray together, you heard me right. Stand up, pray together and sideswiped the bless you guys stand up.
Don't be embarrassed you're with family here. The family of God. Anybody else even if you did not raise your hand but you want to make this commitment are recommitment to Jesus stand your feet are all going to pray together right here right now the bless you anybody else to wait another moment. Stand now and let me lead you in this prayer away one more moment the bless you all. Anybody else you on the campuses watching on the screen stand up there as well. Alright all of you that are standing. I want you to pray this prayer out loud after me again as I pray pray this out loud after me if you would pray these words Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but I know you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead, Jesus I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord is my God and friend.
Thank you for calling me and choosing me and accepting me in Jesus name I pray. Amen.
God bless each one of you they're afraid they're prayer the bless