Hey, at all of our campuses, let's keep it going a little bit here, all right? I'm just thinking about how, you know, a couple of years ago, I stood on this very stage and was sort of just in the middle of a sermon, kind of threw it out. Some of you guys are going to remember this. We were, you know, we're talking about where we're going to be our next home and hub and, you know, what God is going to do in that. And I knew that the absolute best dot on a map for Mercy Hill, we all knew this, was the dead corner of 68 and Pleasant Ridge Road.
Some of you guys remember this. And I just in the middle of a sermon just kind of said, hey, you know, we know that that land is not available because we've, you know, we've checked and we've sent letters and we've done all this stuff. But man, it was after that, that day, I just kind of said, hey, if anybody knows anybody or whatever, and the very next day, y'all, we got a phone call that was like, hey, I actually know somebody over there. I mean, God has just lined this thing up and it has just moved in incredible ways.
And we are so grateful. If you've got a copy of scripture, turn with me to Hebrews chapter two, and we're going to continue our study here today. Guys, what I want to talk to you about this weekend is this concept of, you know, when we have control issues in our life, let me ask you a question. Have you ever felt the exhaustion of trying to control everything in your life? And I don't mean in a proactive way like we, you know, guys, we proactively as believers, we do a lot of things, you know, that God is calling us to do, and we need to continue to do those things. And there are things that we want to control in our life. That's not what I mean.
What I mean is it begins to dip into a sinful pattern. So let me give you an example. All right. You got, you got, you know, we all want to, we all want to disciple our kids to do well in school. We all want to make sure that they're doing the right thing and all that. But let's say little Johnny brings home a C. It's one thing to pastor them and shepherd them and to say, hey, we're going to do all things to the glory of God. It's another thing to scream and yell and then actually do their homework for them.
OK, because I can't stand the thought of little Johnny not getting the grade that ends up getting him into the college that gets him the job, because what if it reflects poorly on our family? Right. My point in that is that we can all of a sudden grab the wheel, take the reins back from God and sort of jerk things into a sinful direction. Let me give you another example. I think about college students at Mercy Hill. You do not have to do City Project to be spiritual at, you know, at Mercy Hill in terms of college. I know that.
OK, and actually, I meant to do this. Hey, at all of our campuses. OK, so we got Elon, we got High Point, we got UNCG, A&T at all of our campuses.
Can we welcome them back? Because we have not really done that properly. You know, but I think about our college students and I think about them and I'm like, man, you know, you could do a lot of things.
And but I have I have heard some of them out of their mouth say something like this. I believe God is calling me, OK, to do the City Project. But if I don't do the internship, then I'm not going to get the job. And I'm not what's happening in that moment. We don't trust that God is in control of our future.
Here's the big idea this weekend. Jesus is in control, though we don't see it all the time. Guys, we don't see it all the time, but he is in control. I have heard Christians say, this gets very serious, very fast. I have heard Christians even say this.
They've said, man, have you seen the news? It's chaos in the world. Church, it is the opposite of chaos.
Chaos means there's nobody in control. And what we see today is, and this is this is the trick. If we can trust Jesus with the world that is to come. Oh, my, what can we trust him with in this world? If we can trust him with our death, can we trust him with our life? Hebrews 2 five, for it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
It has been testified somewhere. I love that he always does that in Hebrews. Okay, it's in Psalms, all right.
What is man that you are mindful of him or the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than angels for a little while. You have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.
Now, guys, you're at Mercy Hill. You're hearing Jesus all over this passage, but you understand Psalm 8 is actually about humanity. But it really is about Jesus, okay.
Now, in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside of his control. Our series is called Jesus is Better. What does that mean? It means that he is better than anything that comes before or after, better than the law, better than the priest. What have we talked about for two weeks? He is better than the angels.
Why? Well, what we see here, and I know, I'm gonna get into this, okay. Psalm 8 is about humanity. Ultimately, it's about Jesus, okay. And so I'm gonna go ahead and go to the Jesus punch line real quick. But this is, I think, what the argument is in Hebrews chapter two, that one of the reason that Jesus is better than angels, although we've been talking about angels for two full weeks, so I'm not gonna go all the way back into that. One of the things he's saying is this.
Jesus is better because God has subjected Jesus, subjected to Jesus the world that is to come. That's what he said. That was the phrase, y'all.
The phrase the world to come is a common Jewish phrase that just means the world in which all of God's promises and all of his purposes are fulfilled. You know, if you're new to Mercy Hill, and there's a bunch of y'all that are new to Mercy Hill because I've been looking at the first time guest numbers over the last couple weeks, okay. So a lot of y'all are brand new and that's great. Hey, if you're new, you're gonna understand. This is a church that talks about heaven a lot.
Okay, we do. And the reason is because there is something about thinking about what God is going to do in that next life. What is worship gonna be like? What is culture gonna be like? Work, creation, relationships, food, literature.
What happens in a billion years in a world that there's no sickness, sin, or death in all these areas that I've mentioned? I want you to think about what art will be like. I want you to think about what athletics will be like.
I want you to think about what Lexington-style barbecue will be like. You know what I'm saying? What's worship gonna be like? This is what we talk about, a world in which Jesus, and that's what he's saying, that that world to come is gonna be subject to the good rule. Now listen, we are supposed to be the rulers of this world. That's what Genesis tells us.
We have a mandate of that, a dominion mandate. In the next world where Jesus rules, what are these things gonna be like? The new heavens and the new earth, no sickness, tears, no war.
The lion lays down with the lamb. This is the world we're talking about. I catch this vision a lot. Y'all, I've mentioned this before, the vision that I have of my daughter who doesn't, right now, she doesn't speak.
She's non-verbal, she's six years old, our youngest daughter. One day God's gonna loose her tongue so that she can praise. Amen.
And I think about all of those who don't walk, they're gonna dance. That, okay, this is the world that we're talking about. Now, this is, if you haven't noticed, I love the book of Hebrews because it is a bouncing ball of argumentation, okay? You got, you know, there's a lot of logic involved.
And if you're wired that way, you really love this. I wanna build out the argument that the writer builds out. That's what we do at Mercil, it's expository. Let me just try to show you. I'm giving you the punchline.
The punchline is this. If we trust Jesus with the world that is to come, what should our trust in him be like right now? That's where he's going, okay?
But listen to how he gets there. All right, let's go back, verse six. What is man that you are mindful of him?
Or the son of man that you care for him? Guys, this is from Psalm eight. And this is, on first reading, if you go back, it's not about Jesus, it is always about Jesus. The Psalms are about David, us, Israel, Jesus.
I mean, this is, and it's very complex here, and layered because it's so rich. You made him a little while lower than the angels. You have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet. Now, in putting everything in subjection to him, this is the phrase. God's been clinging to this phrase this week. He left nothing outside his control.
But let's build this, okay? Because the first part of this is not necessarily straight about Jesus in terms of when David wrote it in Psalm eight. The Hebrews writer is picking up on this. What does it mean for Christians?
Listen to me, Mercy Hill. You've come into a church, we are gospel-centered. What does that mean?
I'm gonna tell you, I could say it in a bunch of different ways. One of the things that it means is this. We believe that Scripture has an everyday application and an everlasting application. That when you read stories with your kids about Daniel and Jonah and all of this, there absolutely is courage and morality and things to learn from the Psalms and all of that, but it is never just that. It doesn't end there.
It's bigger than that. You could say it like this. I'm gonna use a couple big words, okay? Because I did go to seminary, so I'm gonna use them, all right? Reality, the Psalms, the stories are about reality. They're about morality.
I understand that. They're also about soteriology and Christology. You know what that means? It means that they're always about courage, morality, all that. They're also about Jesus saving you, every one of them. I mean, you know, there was a guy at our seminary when we were, you know, a few of us in seminary, me, Pastor Bobby, all them, guy named Dr. Selhammer, and somebody said to him one day, how many of the Psalms are about Christ? He said all of them. No, no, okay, I got it, right? No, like how many of them?
All of them. It really is this way where you see there is an application for us every day. There is an everlasting application.
Now, this is what I wanna talk to you about. Let's talk about what it means when it's penned and how it affects our life, and then we're gonna talk about Jesus, okay? So let's think about this. What is Psalmate?
And we're not gonna turn there. But Psalmate was written by David as a commentary on what is called the dominion mandate of Genesis chapter one, okay? Now, what is dominion mandate and all that?
Essentially, here's what's happening. In Psalm chapter eight, David is having a mind blown moment when he considers Genesis one. Why, what happens in Genesis chapter one?
Well, let's read it. Then God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness, and let them, the man, okay, have dominion over the fish and the birds and every creeping thing and all of that. Here's what the Bible is saying, that God has created humanity, stamped us with his image, and said, you go and rule in a way that a good ruler rules.
You know the book of Proverbs. When a good king comes, the people flourish. It's like a garden that has a gardener.
It pops, it flourishes. This is what we were called to do. Guys, Genesis, Hebrews, Psalms, it's all getting mixed in. It's all being layered, and it's so rich. Psalm eight is David looking back.
He's looking back at Genesis one, and he's saying, hey, this is unbelievable to me that God would choose humanity to be over creation and to see it thrive and flourish. Can I give you one? I know we're not in Psalm eight. I gotta say this.
Just give me a couple minutes here, okay? Because I have no idea, the words are so powerful, the words of our mouth, and I have no idea what words have been spoken into your life. You might be newer today. You might be at Clifton High Point.
You might be at Northeast today. And I have, you met one of these college students from Elon or from High Point, I don't know. But you may be here, I have no idea what your mom and dad said to you about who you are, about your essence, about your identity. I have no idea the things that were said to you in school. I was watching a movie with our daughter the other day, and it was like an 80s movie about high school that was so crazy, you know, like all the bull, you know, just, if you think about these, you know, the society's kind of changed around some of these things that was so celebrated. And she's like, man, is that how school was? And, you know, and just talking about the bullying and just all this kind of stuff. And I was like, baby, yeah, but it still is in a lot of ways. I don't know what has been said to you.
I don't know what a former boyfriend or girlfriend or abusive situation, maybe even in a marriage, I have no idea. Do you know what David is so blown away over in Psalm 8? That you are the pinnacle of God's creation.
That's what he's blown away over. More than the waterfalls, more than the mountains, more than the stars, more than anything that James Webb could catch on a telescope. God has looked upon you, and here's what he says, you matter. You matter greatly to our God.
He did not give the animals, he did not give the stars, he did not give any of those things his image, but he's given it to you. And here's what he said, what I do, you do, because you're a little version of me. I've stamped you with my image. Watch how I created, now you take my creation and you further it, and you rule it, and you bring it forth, and you bring it into its fullness in your work, in your culture building, in your music. You go and do this because that's what it means to be in my image. You are the mountaintop, the apple of God's eye.
And I don't know what's been said to you, and I don't know what words have been there, but the word of God is so clear that you matter so much. Humanity, guys, whether in the womb or in foster care or in prison, pinnacle of creation. And we've got to value it in that way. You know how our society values it? By age 18 and graduating high school, your kids, my kids, without being checked, if they were normal, just everyday Americans, see 16,000 murders on that television in your home. Over 200,000 acts of violence.
What do you think that teaches them about the value that God places? You know what I was struck by? I remember this. You guys remember this movie called Independence Day back in the day?
That was Will Smith before, you know, okay. All right, so, you know, but you know what I'm talking about? Aliens raining down, you know, fire and nuclear bombs and people dying everywhere. The most intense scene of that movie is a dog about to get killed. I mean, it's the most intense scene.
I was listening to one of the morning news shows that's so popular on one of the radio stations here. They were talking about this very thing about how, hey, in a movie, I can't take it when a dog dies. Like, people can die all day long, but I don't.
I just can't take it when a dog dies. Y'all, it's wicked. We live in a wicked society that doesn't value humanity in this way. Y'all, humanity was given to rule.
This is what God has given us. There is something special about you today. And I want you to know that, you know, I remember I was working at a different church 15 years ago, you know, 12 years ago.
I was working at Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham. We had an intern guy come in one day, and he looked frazzled, man, hair crazy. He looked like he had been put through the ringer. I'm like, dude, what is going on with you? He's like, man, I gotta go home. We got this new dog last week, and it's, man, it's chewing up everything, keeping us up all night. I gotta go home right now and get him so he's not tearing up our whole house.
And he looked, I mean, the guy looked terrible. And I was like, hey, man, you know, they make this thing called a dog crate, you know? And like, the dog, as he's learning, will kinda learn to relax in there.
And then one day, you don't even need the crate. Like, he'll just relax there, you know? And he was like, man, I said the same thing to my wife. I said, why don't we put him in a crate? And she looked at me and said, well, how would you feel if you got locked in a crate all day? And he looked at me and he said, what would you say to that? I was like, well, I mean, if you guys locked me in a crate, I'd wait for you to leave. And then open it up and go in the kitchen. Make myself a sandwich. Okay, I've got thumbs.
I'm in the image of God. What does that have to do with it, right? What in the world does that have to do with it? There is something, I wanna just say this. I need to move on, all right? There is something so, I feel burdened. I feel burdened. There are people in our congregation, the words have woven into your very soul.
They've been spoken over to you and they are lies. You matter to God. He has given you.
I mean, David is blown away in Psalm 8. How could it be that we are the ones that are called to rule over? Now, let's get back into our text, okay? It's not just about humanity. It's gonna be about Jesus. Humanity was given to the world to rule, to bring forth more creation, dominion, mandate, okay?
But here's the deal. When Jesus comes, and this is the point that he's getting at here, he's grabbing Psalm 8 and he's applying it to the ultimate human, to the one who stands in for humans, to the one who founds a new humanity. After all, 1 Corinthians 15 calls him the last Adam, right?
This is a new, and this is what happens. Jesus, in the gospel, Jesus founds a new humanity that will ultimately rule over creation properly. Now, if I say, man, God gave it to us to rule over creation. I mean, just look around.
How are we doing, right? But Jesus is going to come, and we, united with him, co-regents, co-heirs, we have the opportunity to rule with him as well, and this is what we are going to see in the end. Now, look what it says. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him, but we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels.
This is what I mean. It's all about humanity, but it's all about Jesus. This is what Hebrews does. This is the pattern of preaching, church, that you are under. It is taken directly from examples that are just like this, where you see the writer of Hebrews say, hey, it was what it is, and it's true. Psalm 8, man, blown away, great commentary, but it's ultimately about Christ.
And that's what we try to do here every single week. Namely, Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death. See, what David was talking about, crown with glory and honor, man, God has given us this reign and rule. He's saying Jesus Christ ultimately, through his suffering and death, has received this crown of honor to become the first of a new creation, the first of many brothers and sisters, so that by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone. Don't you see what the writer is doing here?
Church. Psalm 8 is about humanity ruling over the earth and how mind-blowing that is. Hebrews grabs onto that and says, wait a minute, actually, it's about the man who will rule the right way, and he will bring you along.
How? Because he will taste death for us all. That's what it's about.
I mean, this is it. I mean, better than angels, of course, better than angels, because he is bringing us, he is gonna live properly, and he is gonna reign properly, and he is gonna bring us to do this with him. Jesus is better than angels because he is the one that is given control, again, over the world to come. All right, now this is all very, I mean, this is all very gospel.
You gotta understand, okay? How does he, how does Jesus become the one who is going to have control over and rule over the world that is to come? Well, he won that right on the cross and in his resurrection.
Jesus won his right to control the world to come at the cross and in his resurrection, in his suffering, and in his death, crowned with glory and honor because of that suffering and death that he might become the firstborn of many others, you and I included, if we have put our faith in Christ. 1 Corinthians 15 says it like this. Jesus is the last Adam, and he is the first of a new creation. He is what Adam was supposed to be. In the church, he is what we were supposed to be. He will rule that world in the way that we were supposed to rule this world. And you and I, this is like a theology class if we want to get way into this, and I don't have time for this, okay?
Let me just give you two references here. What does this mean? 2 Timothy 2 12, if we endure, we will reign with him. Too many of us, under the sound of my voice and at our campuses, are thinking about heaven like it's Cupid sitting up on a cloud like Pastor Brant talked about when you get in your wings and angels and all of that. It's none of that. What does it mean that you will reign with Christ?
Have you tracked that down? What does this mean, okay? 1 Corinthians 6 three, these are almost just teasers.
You need to go chase some of this down. Talk about it in your groups this week, okay? What does it say? 1 Corinthians 6 three, we will rule angels. That's what the scripture tells us.
Why? Because we're found in Christ. Because he is the new humanity. He is the one that will rule there the way that we were supposed to rule here.
We didn't, we failed, he came and died for us to give us a shot to come into his glory with him in the new heavens and the new earth. Now, all right, now, that's a lot of theology, okay? And some of us might be like, man, okay, I got it. It's interesting, what does it mean? Let's start kind of piecing this together, all right? Because I started the message, what did I start with? Nothing that I've even mentioned again.
What did I start with? I started with, why do you feel like you gotta control everything in your life? We feel like we gotta control everything in our life because we're afraid God isn't in control of the stuff in our life. And we're afraid that maybe the path that he has us on is not a path that we wanna go down. So the thing is, we have this temporal struggle of being a little bit like, man, I don't know if I believe God's in control or like his control. And yet, what is this passage trying to tell us? It's trying to tell us that Jesus Christ is in control such that he rules the world to come. That bleeds back into our world. There is nothing outside of his rule.
There's nothing outside of his reign. Now, why is it so hard for us? Well, he tells us, look what he says in verse eight. This is exactly why it's so hard. At present, we do not see everything in subjection to him.
That's why it's so hard. Because we look around in the world and here's what happens. The new cycle is scary, the household budget is busted, our health begins to fail, our kids were thriving, now they're not, we don't see everything as subjected to him as we will in the new heavens and the new earth.
What does that mean? Where we live is not there, but there are pieces of there that have already invaded back into this world here. Theologians call this the already, but not yet. This is what we live, this is where we live today.
We live in the already, but not yet. Don't you see, church, there are many ways that I could point right now where I would say, hey, do you see, I mean, with your eyes, the subjection of this world even to Christ and you would, I think, say amen and yes, like this. Have we not seen miraculous healings? Have we not seen the church work tirelessly to empty the foster care system? Have we not seen this church send people all over the world to spread the gospel? Have we not seen prayer answered? Have we not seen college students give their life to Christ like one did this week on the campus of UNCG?
Right, so we have seen all of these things. We look in at that and we're like, Jesus is ruling. I mean, you take the church, you take Jesus' reign and the church out of Greensboro, it's hell in two seconds.
That is the absolute, you pull out the believing teachers and nurses and firefighters and business people and churches, you pull out the nonprofits. I mean, you know, okay, you see Jesus' reign and rule here but then, man, we see the scary news cycle, the busted budget, the health part of something that is failing, the things that will not be in the next life and it's hard for us and I just want to acknowledge that. So I wanna say two things, okay? We gotta ask this question.
Number one, why is it that way? Why does God allow the brokenness of this world to continue in the way that it is right now? We see him invade in some areas. We see his reign and rule. In other areas, we still don't, you know, I mean, it feels like we don't see it but he is over it all. It is his choice to allow the world to stand as it is now.
Why? Now look, this is one of those places where you grab the Bible and you wrestle it all the way to the mat even if you don't like it. This is a chance for faith. If you want a message and a Bible and a church that basically just agrees with everything you already would think because of how you were raised or the socioeconomic status or the color of your skin or the politics that you were raised in or whatever, then, you know, that's not really faith.
Faith is that moment where you see something that's kinda hard and you wrestle it down and you say, you know what, you win. So okay, here's the question. Why is it the way that it is? Why is it, even though Jesus is ruling, why do we see the brokenness? The Bible has a simple answer. God in his wisdom is allowing this world to stand until the gospel reaches the ends of the earth. Now I'm not going all the way into a theodicy and the problem of evil and all that stuff.
That's not my point in this. What I'm saying is, what is God doing in this moment? I'm gonna tell you what he's doing. In his compassion, he's giving us time to finish the task. That's what he's doing.
He's giving us time to get all the way to the ends of the earth and to see people from every tribe and tongue because God is not some tribal deity to be worshiped in one language. He is to be worshiped in the prism of a thousand. This is who he is. This is it.
He is tarrying now. You know, you think about Matthew 24, 14, if you wanna jot that down. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come. That's it.
So why does it look like, what does it say? The present world doesn't look like it's under subjection to him all the time. It will one day, right now sometimes it doesn't. Why?
Because he is giving us time. And this world is broken. One day it will be regenerated all the way down to the very dirt. But that's not where we live. We live in the already but not yet. The second question though, and this is the one that I wanna start kinda closing things down with, right?
The second question though is okay, that's the why. But what do we do to fight to believe in his sovereignty and control and goodness here? Because that ain't gonna be a problem there. When we get there, that's not gonna be a problem. We're gonna live it in its fullness, every breath, every day.
But that ain't where we live, is it? So right now we have to trust and it's hard but there's a way to do it. And I wanna show you what that is.
Here's the application for this weekend. Trust that Jesus is in control now. That there is nothing outside of his dominion now. The danger for us today, I feel like, is seeing a bunch of theology but not getting all the way down to those control issues in our life and I don't wanna let us do that, all right? And so here's how I wanna say this, okay? Even if you're not a believer, and every weekend, every single service, there's 11 services that happen at Mercy Hill right now on the weekends, okay? Every one of them, there are people who are like, just checking it out, man. I'm just trying to figure out this whole thing is for me or whatever and I'm reading the Bible and all that, okay?
If that's where you are, this is one of those common things in humanity. You know what, you really want somebody to be in control. Like you wanna know that something is working together for good and gonna work out in the end. You know how I know? Because the only movies that have no resolution at the end, they get any traction, the only place they get any traction is some really stupid art festival somewhere. None of us can take a movie where there's no resolution. I mean, every once in a while, one of them pops up and everybody's like, oh, it's so good and we're like, no. What we actually want is the Christmas Hallmark movie where you know exactly what's gonna happen, okay? And yes, they got amnesia at the ski lodge or whatever but in the end, okay, in the end, you know how it works out. There is something in us that wants to know that our suffering is not meaningless, that the world is not chaotic. Well, that's an echo of eternity in our heart. And here's the beautiful thing. What this passage is trying to get us to see is even though sometimes things don't look like they're in control, there is a God who is in control and here's the crux of it, all right?
And I know there's a lot this weekend. Follow everything that we have said so far. Here's the deal. If we can trust God that Jesus is given that new humanity, first, you know, last Adam kind of ruling dominion over that world, if we can trust him with that, then what we've gotta do is this. You wanna know how to fight for faith here right now and trust God with your circumstances?
I don't know what's going on in your life. There's probably something every one of our life where like, man, it's hard for me not to just wanna grab the wheel and control, pull the reins, okay? You wanna know how we get there?
Because I'm dealing with some stuff like that too, okay? You wanna know how we get there? Take the glimpses of the reign of Christ in the world to come and bury them deep in our heart now. That's how we do it. We trust what the scripture says about what Jesus is gonna do in his sovereign dominion reign rule, however you wanna say it, there. And we trust, we bury that deep.
We get it fixed in our mind. Things like this, Matthew 19, 28. Jesus said to them, truly I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne. In the new world, we realize he rules. Revelation 21 is another good place for this, right?
You go there, you read that. Heaven and earth, you know, new heavens, new earth, what does it say? Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. When Jesus reigns, he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more.
Neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Just to sum the whole thing up again, you understand what the Bible is saying, that Jesus will rule in the way that we were supposed to. That he will bring flourishing for a billion years, and then that will be the first blink of eternity. He will bring flourishing all the way through in the way that we were supposed to. And this is what we see here, and we trust God for that. And here's the deal, if you're a Christian, you probably trust God with that world. You're just having a hard time trusting him with your finances here, right?
Or, you know, like I said, little Johnny's grades here, you know, or the health thing, or whatever. That's what we're having a hard time with. Well, what do we do?
We've gotta ask ourselves this question, great for groups this week. If I trust Jesus to rule the world to come, can't I trust him to rule this one as well? If I trust him for that, death, and life, why wouldn't I trust him where we are right now? So, I'm gonna give you a bunch of examples, all right? And then we're gonna close, and then we're gonna have an opportunity to pray, okay?
Let me give you a few examples here. I'm thinking about this, all right? When do we grab the wheel, and when do we have an opportunity to put faith on display?
Well, how about tomorrow morning, when we know the Bible calls us, God calls us to renew our mind on his word, to crack open his word, and then we sit there for like one second, and we're like, man, if I don't get on that email, it's just gonna stack up all day long. What are we doing in that moment? God, I can't trust you to work all this stuff out.
I've gotta grab, and I've gotta work it all out. One of our pastors counseled a guy who just said, he said this, he said, man, I know that this marriage is gonna be unequally yoked, but I'm worried that I won't have another opportunity, so I'm gonna go for it. You understand? That is exactly what we're talking about here today.
What is the answer to that? The answer to that is to say, hey, verse eight, there's nothing outside of his control, and if I trust him with the world to come, I'm gonna trust him with the world that is. Probably we have young families in our church right now that maybe have begun to give. We've got a lot of first-time givers in the last two or three months, and maybe, and I believe over the course of your life, God is gonna bless your socks off through this, but maybe over the last 60 days, it's like, man, things just kinda feel tight. I've seen all the Christian stories of like, man, I'm supposed to get a raise now or a different job now.
It's like, that has not happened yet. And you're in that moment right now, crisis of belief, faithfulness? Or do I need to grab the wheel and pull it back? Because I'm not, what are we saying? God, I'm not sure you're in control, and if you are, I don't really like where you're taking me.
And so I'm gonna have to grab the wheel and go in a different direction. Guys, don't we see this around churches all over our nation right now? 2019, 4,500 churches closed, only 3,000 opened. I think it was one of the first years over the last few where that has been kind of, you know, there's been a disparity that way.
That was before the pandemic. What do we think's happening now? There's a cascade, so here's what's going on. People in all of their wisdom, they decide, well, I mean, the church is failing, the church is failing, the church is failing. What do we do? Stop preaching about the blood.
Let's say Jesus is one of the ways, the truth and the life. What are we doing? What are we doing? What are churches doing in that, what are they doing? They're grasping for control. Well, God, obviously you're not in control of your own church, so we're just gonna change your word and try to help you out here. You understand what I'm getting at?
We do this all over the place. What about the fear and desperation that comes in a situation where even if you could grab the sinful wheel, there's nothing else to be done? Maybe some of you have lost somebody. Despair, you know, I would, you might be thinking, I would grab the sinful wheel, there's not one to grab.
Not even sure how it's gonna work out. You know, maybe you're thinking about a health issue or something like that. Guys, I wanna alert y'all to this, man. I'm going through something right now.
And it's been kind of evident, I think, over the last couple months, towards the end of the fall, you know, certainly the beginning of this year. The way I would characterize it before you guys is that I think I've had a small asthma problem that has turned into a big anxiety problem. I mean, debilitating type. And if you ain't never met somebody that's dealt with that, now I was like, man, now I know. You know what I'm saying? And it's like, man, I'm not, I mean, I'm not Superman. And I mean, and I want you to hear this.
I don't want anybody to be like super afraid or whatever. I mean, we're doing all the stuff, okay? We're doing everything that can be done.
Total transparency, directional elders. Man, every, you know, doctors and counsel. I mean, we're doing it all.
And man, if the answer is you need to take time off, that is exactly what I'll do. Right now, under the advice of some people, that's actually not been the answer. There's other things that you can, you know, fears and stuff like that can get entrenched. And so, I mean, we're just, we're walking down that road.
But I'm gonna tell you, I'm bringing that up for this reason. You think I hadn't had the thought, God, what are you doing? Church is finally growing after three years, you know? Of COVID and of all the stuff. I mean, how many times have I said over the last three months, God, I've preached 1,500 sermons at this church in the last 10 years, you know? It's like, and now all of a sudden I stand up and I feel like I can't even breathe. It's a crisis of belief moment for any Henry Blackaby people, okay?
That's what it is. It's an opportunity to say, I don't understand this, but God, I trust you with the world to come. How could I not trust you with this world? That is hard, but that is what we are called to do. Side note here, man, I trust you guys with this.
Information is very vulnerable to, you know, put it out there for thousands of people. You know, if I don't preach next week or whatever, don't freak out, okay? It's like, I may be taking a week off because I'm having an issue, or I may be hanging out with Larry. I was born in California, okay? So, you know, or, I mean, I actually, well, we're gonna talk about St.
Weekend here. I'm already, before any of this, was slated to be off for like, you know, not preaching for two or three weeks in February, so don't freak out. I do just wanna say that.
Anna's like, you better tell them that. Okay, all right. But you guys understand what I'm getting at, right? Like, it's this concept of, do I trust God with that world to come? And I think for most believers, it's like, man, yeah, I do.
What verse eight said was, there is nothing outside of His control here. Nothing. And so we gotta lean into that and we gotta trust. Okay, all right, let me finish, all right, let me close. Here's what I wanna do. I wanna give you guys a quick question to take into your group this week.
Here's the question. What in my life am I trying to control because I think God isn't? And I don't mean, you gotta hear this with maturity, I don't mean that we're not proactive, and man, Christians are a flurry of activity, okay? I'm talking about that sinful grab the wheel, you guys know what I mean, okay? What is the area of my life that I'm grabbing for something like that? Or maybe you could say it like this. What in my life am I trying to control because I don't like the way God is controlling it? You know?
Maybe that's even a better question, I don't know. Let's take that into our group and let's wrestle with that this week, all right? Here's what I'm gonna call us to do at all of our locations.
Guys, man, every single week, we've gotten into a good rhythm of this over the last couple of months. Man, our altars are wide open. You do not have to come to the altar to pray, but I'm gonna tell you, sometimes putting your body in the position to pray will help bring the heart posture along. And so I wanna call you to do that.
Man, we really wanna have a culture of this, we're building this culture. You do not have to be in a crisis to come and pray, okay? It's like, man, you come and pray.
Pray for me, pray for our church, pray for our elders, pray for your family, whatever. But maybe for today, some of the prayer is, like, God, I'm identifying what that is because here's the deal. The Spirit has probably done put His finger on it like, you know, 20 minutes ago.
You know what it is. I'm grabbing this and I'm trying to wrestle it from God. Okay, if that's what it is, then can we come forward? Can we get on our knees and can we say, God, I am trusting you with X. I'm gonna trust you with this. Let's pray. Father, we come before you and Lord, I just believe at our church, you're gonna break some chains and people are gonna have some major, major, major breakthroughs this weekend.
God, I believe you're gonna do it for the sake of your glory, for the sake of your name, your fame, your renown. God, I pray those things that you have put your finger on in our life, Lord, I pray that you would give us the courage, the strength, the fight. We can't do it alone. Lord, I pray that you would give us what we need to hand it back over to you, not tomorrow, today. In Christ's name, we pray, amen.
Hey, at all of our campuses, I'm gonna invite us all to stand and guys, we have a chance. Pray, bring, sing, okay? We have a chance to come forward and pray at the altar. There's also an opportunity here for us to give. Guys, God gave us our best, his best. Man, we're gonna give him our best.
You can do that in multiple ways. At Mercy Hill, we pray that you will. And finally, let's sing, man. Let's praise and let's shout for what God has done.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-02 20:40:11 / 2023-02-02 20:59:50 / 20