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March 11, 2022 1:00 am
Christians are no longer the dominant cultural force in America. How do we live with lasting peace amid a pagan culture? In this message, we’ll find three vital lessons God gave exiled Israel to live in His peace—seeking the shalom of the city. Whatever job or situation we’re in where we’re the minority, we can be encouraged to remain faithful.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
The rain forest looking to Jesus phoned her once Christians were dominant force in American culture is no more. How do we live is a minority in a now pagan culture. The surprising answers come from Jeremiah chapter 29 where God tells captive Israel how to live in a faraway land from the Moody Church in Chicago this morning to win with Erwin Sir, whose clear teaching sauce make it across the finish line. Today we continue a series on the church in Babylon unleashing the power of the spirit filled witness vasculature you see a silver lining in believers being a repressed minority day when you asked the question, my mind immediately goes to pastor Nina Moeller during the Hitler era in Germany. He said that God is allowing Satan to shake. This is to separate the chaff from the wheat and that certainly is what happens once we begin to understand what is happening in our own culture. I've written a book entitled the church in Babylon because there is so much that we can learn from Israel's history. Now, this book deals with all kinds of contemporary issues for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here is what you do go to RTW offer.com or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 asked for the book the church in Babylon. Of course I'll be giving you this contact info again at the end of this message, let's learn from the past that we might have courage and hope for our future Scripture is very clear that we should pray for kings and for those who have authority over us. We should be praying regularly for the mayor and for those who advised him he counseled that is our God given privilege to pray for the city but you and I also know that when we pray those prayers we have to also pray for the real shalom of the city that is to say that men and women might come to the peace the shalom that God is able to give them, through Jesus Christ our Lord, let it be said of this church that we pray for the city that we seek its welfare because in its welfare. We also are blessed. Let me go on now to 1/5 instruction that is to say that that what we should be doing is to look beyond the present to the future to look beyond the present to the promises of God. Your Bibles are open. Notice it says in verse 10 for thus says the Lord. When 70 years are completed for babbling. I will visit you and will fulfill to you my promises and bring you back to this place for I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you and you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.
There many of you who long ago memorized the 11th verse of Jeremiah chapter 29 Jeremiah 2911. I know the plans.
God says that I have for you lands of wholeness to give you a future and a hope. And I understand why we take that verse of Scripture some time from its context, and we use it for ourselves. But did you notice that in its context. It is a reference specifically to Israel and the restoration God says after 70 years. I'm going to come to you and you're going to be going back and I have for you at future and a hope.
Now just think for a moment, let's suppose that you are 40 years old in Babylon. You survived all these difficult journeys in these difficult times, and there you are and you and you received this promise that in 70 years you will all go back. What would you be thinking what you'd be thinking. I'm thankful for the promise but is not can apply to me because I'm to die here and most of the people didn't die there and their children learned of the language of Acadian and when they came back 70 years later they had basically forgotten their Hebrew. This is indicated in the book of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah but that does not mean that there was no hope for that generation that would die in babbling those who understood the promises of God knew that despite the fact that they would not be going back. They would still inherit all of the promises of God given to those who believe. Abraham, for example, Abraham died in faith, not having received what was promised. It says in the book of Hebrews got it promised them all kinds of things, the land of blessing etc. etc. he died in faith in you and I sometimes don't see the fulfillment of certain promises, but we die in a looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ and we live in that hope in the Bible says also that someday our bodies will be transformed into the likeness of his glorious body. So we die without seeing all of the promises fulfilled.
But we need to die in the hope because we know that God's promises are true and in a time of hopelessness.
We look to him and were reminded of what he has promised us and God says that to Israel not having given the five instructions. What I'd like to do is to nail this down for us by three important lessons that grow out of this text that should help us here in the city of Chicago should help us as missionaries wherever we find ourselves.
We should be encouraged.
Lesson number one is this that God cares for his people. God cares for his people even when they are under judgment, even when they are under judgment. Now, I believe that the people obviously were there in judgment because they had disobeyed and the righteous suffer with the wicked by the way, the next message in this series. Whatever you do don't miss it because it's going to be entitled.
Conflicts of conscience. How do we live as members of the city of God in the city of man when we are asked to do some things that violate our consciences.
It's going to be the next message in this series but what God is saying here is that I'm going to take care of you look at look at what it says in the text it says, for example, in verse four, in the middle of the verse to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem. You can see also now in verse seven, seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you. God sent the people to babbling and even though they were there because of judgment. God says I'm not going to forsake you. Because I take care of you where I send you and you may find yourself today in a predicament that is very difficult. But God has sent you there, and God will care for you. There, now you say will what happened to George new know there he was in the will of God in Haiti and he is murdered when we asked the question of where was God when George new was killed. We have to answer it by asking this question.
Where was God when his own son is killed. The fact that God takes care of his people does not exempt them from the vicissitudes of life from the difficulties of life, or even death. But this much we do know that when we trust the care of God. There is no combination of angels and demons that can kill us. If God thinks we still have work to do. Let us rejoice today that we are in God's hands. No matter the circumstances to which we been brought to this moment, no matter the difficulties if you know Christ as Savior and you belong to God. We are ultimately in his sovereign hand. God is sovereign over his own people. But there's another lesson that grows out of this and that is that God is sovereign over the nation. He is sovereign over the nation.
You'll notice it says in verse 10, when the 70 years are over, I'm going to bring you back if you ever wondered how we know that the Bible is a dual authorship.
The Bible was written by man. It's also written by God, deep strike that I root so heavenly vine into our earthly sod. Most human, yet most divine. The flower of man and God. The reason we know it is one of the reasons is because of the predictions which I had time to explain it more carefully. But did you know that in Isaiah chapter 40 God makes a prediction that after the Babylonians are finished, the medial Persian Empire is going to capture babbling and working to be talking about that it's the handwriting on the wallets that night and a man by the name of Cyrus is going to let the Jews go back to Jerusalem. This is in chapter 44, God says Jerusalem will be inhabited. The cities of Judah shall be rebuilt and I will raise up the ruins.
It is God who says of Cyrus. He is my shepherd, he shall fulfill all my purpose, saying, of Jerusalem, she shall be built the temple the foundation shall be laid, etc. now you have to take this by faith because I don't have the time to delineate the timeline but just know this that Isaiah wrote these words about 100 years before Cyrus was born, and 150 years after he made the decree to allow the Jews to come back after 70 you realize what that means. It would be equivalent to you predicting who's going to be the president of the United States of America 100 years from now and then accurately predicting his most important foreign policy decision and naming him by name goddesses, Cyrus.
You are my servant, you're the one who is going to be used to allow the Jews to go back and Cyrus is not yet born. Bible says that God calls those things that are not in God is the one who knows the end from the beginning you maybe going for your own personal trial today were not in babbling, but could I just encourage you by saying this that God knows the intensity of the trial that you're going through, but God also knows it's duration. God says to Israel you will be in babbling for 70 years and 70 years. It was finally this is important. God's promises to us are fulfilled. Also in the future, even as we talk about the shalom of the city. We know that in the New Testament, it becomes abundantly clear that shalom actually resides in a person and it is his shalom that we should give to the world that is the peace of Jesus Christ, those Jews you know who are faithful, they began to see this, but not with the clarity with which we see it that ultimately our good. Our final shalom is the message that we have for the city of Chicago. You see what God said to Israel, I keep saying Israel. That was the inhabitants of Judah that were there in babbling gotchas. You have to be missionaries of shalom, you have to recognize that I have you there. Not only because I am refining you I'm not going to destroy you there, but I am going to refine you. There, but one of the reasons that you are there is to represent me to those Babylonians, whose hearts may be opened so that they would be able to accept my true shalom is going to come in the person of the Messiah and today are true.
Shalom has come to this world think for a moment about the words of Jesus have often pondered this Jesus is speaking to his disciples and he says peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Could you imagine those words in the mouth of anyone else we'd call that person a way men in uniforms with, gently lead them and we might not see them again. Think of that, think, think of the words.
Think of your sitting on the couch and that Freud is talking to you and Freud is trying to find out why you're not at peace. You know where you got this problem you got this problem and finally he says peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid wow that ever bless you. You even imagine or what if your friend were to say those words.
The only reason that Jesus Christ can say he is the true shalom is because our hearts are not at peace because of sin there.
Some of you here today your heart is not at peace and you don't know why what Jesus does is he breaks the barrier between us and God by reconciling us with God, we have peace with God, but Jesus also brings peace within our own hearts. The Civil War that some of you are experiencing with in that Civil War is brought to peace when Jesus comes to take over. So I ask you, you want to shalom the shalom that Chicago needs the shalom that our homes need.
It is found in Jesus, the Prince of shalom. Let's bow together in prayer our father we ask that you will help us to live in this great and wonderful city's needs are huge. All God.
We pray that you might enable us to represent you well that people might know that there is a Savior that peace is available through Jesus Christ our Lord, and may his mind be in us, for those who have listened to this message today who never believed on Christ.
Their hearts are restless, help them to know that peace is found in Jesus Christ. May they come to know him, and may we all bless this city for your glory in your honor.
We ask in Jesus name, amen and have a personal word with you. Are you at peace today. Could it be that there is something that you are withholding from the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you come to him filled with doubts that's fine just come to him come to him as you are receive the peace that he promised the forgiveness, the wisdom, some of you need wisdom because you are in a predicament and you don't know what to do come to Jesus and he will help you. He is after all the wisdom of God. I've written a book entitled the church in babbling and this book was written to help us navigate the present culture. I need to tell you that when I look at the world. Of course we have no hope for where it is going, but sometimes I am very concerned about the church of Jesus Christ itself. I see the church, oftentimes submitting to the culture rather than standing against it and that's why I've written this book. What I want us to be able to do is to have a loving witness but at the same time, a courageous witness that is desperately needed.
Right across the board in terms of our cultural issues for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Ask for the church in babbling and I hope you have an opportunity to write this down. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 you say pastor Luther you gave that info to quickly. While I hope by now you are able to get a pencil from somewhere and write it down.
RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us because running to win the glory of God is making a difference in time now for another chance for you to ask pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. The Bible sometimes uses more than one word for what seems to be the same thing. Making sense of this can be a challenge. Susan has gotten in touch with us to ask this, what is the difference between hello and Hades and which is most appropriate for the apostles Creed. Thanks so much for your questions is in a couple of things in the Old Testament you have the word she'll that is the Hebrew word she'll I think it's used 65 times in the Old Testament and what the ancient rabbis believed and I think they were right is that it really has two compartments because you know the righteous went into she'll and yet it's a place of activity according to Isaiah and other passages and also the unrighteous went into she'll so it can be the grave, but actually it is more than the grave. We learn that in the Old Testament when you get to the New Testament and Jesus tells that story about the rich man who went to Hades.
You see, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament was written in Greek.
When the New Testament quotes a passage from the Old Testament that has the word she'll it translates it as Hades and of course there we have two compartments. Don't wait. You have Lazarus on the one side and you have the rich man on the other. Now the point is, neither of these is hell. As a matter of fact in the book of Revelation. It says that eventually Hades is thrown into the lake of fire. Hades is the place where I believe unbelievers go today, but it is not their final destination. They are not cast into hell until they have been finally judged as indicated in the book of Revelation. Now the question of the apostles Creed a couple of comments. First of all it says he descended into Hades, most assuredly, I don't think it should read.
Hell, if anything, it should read Hades but there it might simply mean the grave, because once again, Hades can just be more general reference to the grave. But here's the point that I want to emphasize. It is not true, as some Bible teachers have alleged that Jesus went to hell in there he paid for our sin. I've heard it said that he descended into hell and there he took our hell and it is there in hell were we were redeemed know I don't believe that we were redeemed at the cross, the shed blood of Christ, the sacrifice that was made. It is there that we were redeemed and if Jesus did go into Hades, which I believe he would have if that's the way in which you interpret Scripture.
He wasn't there for very long. Lizzie because he said to the thief, today you shall be with me in paradise. So I don't believe that Jesus went to hell I even doubt whether or not he went to Hades.
I tend to think that he went straight to heaven and just to think his last companion on earth apparently was his first companion in heaven.
Thank you and God bless you. Thank you Susan, thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 Christians in America are rapidly becoming like Daniel and his friends in Babylon out of sync with their pagan environment. Next time I'm going to win.
Join us as we look at conflicts of conscience running to win is sponsored by the Moody church