Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
At last count, 359 people were killed and over 500 injured a week ago today. How could this happen in, and to, a single church, let alone 3? Where was God? Why did He let this take place?
If there had been better communication, If the government had done a better job, If they had been watching for people with backpacks… IF -The simple answer is Free Will.
We are at war, this war has been raging since the beginning, when man was tempted and fell to the lies of the enemy. God said, “do not,” and our foreparents choose not to listen, chose to do what they knew they were not supposed to do, and, therefore, sin and death entered into this world.
Of those that were killed last Sunday, how many do you suppose are with our Lord and Savior? First, we know there was, of course, collateral damage to the attack on Christians as there would be in any church. Don’t misunderstand me, this was, and is, a tragic loss of life and all life is sacred. You need to understand, however, that just because they were in church does not make them Christians. I am not being callous, I am trying to save your souls, to get you to think, to get you to really understand and see that not all those who say they are Christians are really following Christ.
“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” – Matthew 7:18-23
Read 3:24- 4:20. How do I know that I am Christ’s? Let the struggling believer be comforted; let the apathetic church goer and the lukewarm be warned. The evidence of your salvation, of your belonging to Jesus, is God’s ongoing work of sanctification in your life! If you are saved by grace through faith then you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that you would walk in them. The evidence that God began a good work in you is that you are growing and bearing fruit! SEE ABOVE
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires,” are the desires of the flesh being crucified (Galatians 5:24)?
If you belong to Christ Jesus, If you are walking in the Way (the Truth and the Life), If you are following God’s word, If you are forgiving as you have been forgiven…
The Galatian Church was floundering, they were turning back to what they had come out of, they were stagnant, lukewarm, and turning from what they were called to be and do. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, was and is warning the church not to turn back to the law or the world.
Oswald Chambers said, “Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced His words with an “if,” never with the forceful or dogmatic statement— “You must.” For example, in John Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Conditional Promise
In Matthew He said, “For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well” (Matthew 6:14).
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. – John 14:15-16 Conditional Promise
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). Conditional Promise
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9, emphasis added
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:7, 9, emphasis added
What If the Church is not doing what it has been “commissioned” to do? What if we are not?
- What happens If you do or are?
- What happens If you don’t or are not?
Further Reading: (Highlight/underline the word “if”) 2 Chronicles 7:14, Malachi 3:10, Matthew 6:14-15, John 13:35, John 14:23, John 15:5-11, 14, 1 Corinthians 15:2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:13-14, Romans 10:9, Philippians 2:1-3, 1 Peter 1:5-8, 1 John 1:6-7, 1 John 4:12
God wants to be your provider, and protector. And that happens when you make a personnel covenant with God to tithe. And he wants to pour into your life blessings. Obedience in one area of your life will not bring blessings to all. Where you are obedient is where you will be blessed