Seeing The End At The Beginning

October 21, 2022 | 252 | 27:29

Pastor Allen Jackson's mission is to help people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

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Allen Jackson Ministries | Seeing The End At The Beginning | October 21, 2022
  • ...
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  • Allen jackson: someone might be offended,
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  • And we accepted the notion that we had no right to push
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  • Our beliefs upon someone else.
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  • We complied politely, demurely.
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  • We yielded to the evil.
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  • Now, we're not gonna get to a better place till we've got
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  • The courage to acknowledge we were complicit with this.
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  • It wasn't something someone did to us.
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  • We volunteered.
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  • We heard the message, and we said, "i'll do that.
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  • I'll comply with that.
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  • I don't wanna cause anyone to feel uncomfortable.
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  • I don't want anyone to feel awkward.
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  • I don't wanna--" we even got a little expression.
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  • You know, in polite society, we don't wanna talk
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  • About our religion or our politics.
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  • Why not?
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • Allen jackson: it's good to be with you again.
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  • Our title for this session is "visions of the future."
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  • I believe god would give us a broader insight and awareness
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  • Of what he's doing in the earth than just our salvation.
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  • I don't wanna diminish our salvation, but i believe god has
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  • More for you and me particularly in this very unique season.
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  • This is a special session for us.
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  • It's our first time back outdoors for a while.
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  • It's the first of a six-week festival on saturday nights.
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  • We're outdoors.
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  • It's springtime in tennessee.
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  • You'll be able to tell my voice is a little croaky.
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  • Between the pollen and the wind, it's a challenge.
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  • Turn up your volume a little bit.
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  • Show me some grace, but, together, we're gonna ask god
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  • To give us a vision of what he has for us in the days ahead.
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  • Enjoy the lesson.
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  • Allen: the theme is, "visions of the future",
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  • But i want to start with what seems to me to be
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  • Very apparent, it's what we're struggling to see these days,
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  • Not physically see.
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  • We're having trouble to see with our understanding.
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  • We can watch what's happening, but it seems like
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  • The impact of it or the import of it is--
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  • Moves past us.
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  • If i had to provide a spiritual diagnosis, i would say
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  • There's a blindness upon us, a spiritual blindness.
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  • We look, but we don't see, and we hear, but we don't
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  • Understand, and we just continue in our routine.
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  • We gather and pray our prayers and read our bibles and do the
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  • Things that we know to do, but we're really not seeing.
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  • It's not--we're not the first generation to face this.
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  • It's not the first time god's people have struggled.
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  • In acts chapter 9, jesus--in acts chapter 1, jesus left.
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  • He ascended back to heaven, but in acts chapter 9,
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  • We find him back in time.
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  • He's back, recruiting, just like he recruited on the shores of
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  • Galilee when he recruited peter and james and john and said,
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  • "follow me, and i'll make you fishers of men,"
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  • Except, this time, he's not on the shores of galilee.
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  • He's on the road to damascus, and he's not recruiting
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  • Jewish fishermen.
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  • He's recruiting a rabbi, a pharisee of the pharisees,
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  • Saul of tarsus.
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  • He's a rising star in the jewish religious community, but jesus
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  • Understands his heart, and he has a life assignment for him.
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  • It's acts 9, and verse 4.
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  • It says, when jesus interrupted his journey, "he fell to the
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  • Ground, and saul heard a voice say, 'why do you persecute me?'
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  • And he said, 'who are you, lord?'
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  • 'i'm jesus, whom you're persecuting.
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  • Now get up and go into the city.
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  • You'll be told what you must do.'
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  • The men traveling with saul were speechless.
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  • They heard the sound, but they didn't see anyone.
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  • And saul got up from the ground, and when he opened his eyes, he
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  • Could see nothing.
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  • So they led him by the hand into damascus,
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  • And for three days he was blind.
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  • He didn't eat or drink anything.
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  • Now, in damascus there was a disciple by the name of ananias,
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  • And the lord called to him in a vision, and he answered, 'yes,
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  • Lord,' and the lord said, 'go to the house of judas on straight
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  • Street and ask for a man from tarsus named saul.
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  • He's praying.' and in a vision, he saw--he has seen a man named
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  • Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.'"
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  • It's a fascinating passage to me.
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  • It's a very different presentation of jesus than
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  • The one that we typically hear.
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  • People say to me, "jesus was all about love.
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  • He was non-confrontational.
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  • He was just happy and huggy.
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  • He just loved everybody."
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  • And when jesus came to recruit saul of tarsus, he put his face
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  • In the dust and struck him blind.
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  • All we ask you to do is share a coffee mug.
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  • I mean, it's really worth a moment's reflection.
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  • Jesus came with some intensity.
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  • He said, exactly, "why is it you're persecuting me?
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  • Now get your face out of the dust, and let somebody help you
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  • Into the city.
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  • I'm gonna tell you, i've got a job for you."
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  • There's nothing polite.
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  • There's nothing really kind about it unless you consider the
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  • Ultimate outcome.
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  • It's a rather dramatic intervention,
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  • And for three days, it was so impactful that, for three days,
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  • Saul didn't eat or drink anything.
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  • I'm thinking, if an unknown character strikes you blind,
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  • You might get a little focus too.
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  • And then we're introduced to ananias, a disciple of the lord.
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  • We don't know his backstory, but he saw a vision.
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  • Saul can't see, and ananias sees a vision.
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  • And he said, "i want you to go pray for this character."
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  • Ananias is a little reluctant.
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  • He knows paul's reputation.
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  • And he said, "you need to go because, although he can't see
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  • With his eyes, i've shown him a vision."
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  • It's a fascinating interplay with me.
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  • You know, there'll be times when you can see physically, but you
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  • Can't see spiritually, or there are times when you may not--your
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  • Vision physically may not be as good as you would like it to be,
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  • But you can have great clarity spiritually.
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  • I'm gonna begin this study with this idea that we want you to
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  • Think about vision in more than just the clarity with which
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  • Your physical eyes can focus.
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  • We need spiritual sight.
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  • We need spiritual discernment.
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  • We need understanding hearts.
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  • We've lived too far in the world.
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  • We take worldly analysis of what's happening to our world.
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  • We settle for secular explanations for whether things
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  • Around us are good or bad.
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  • We've lost our spiritual vision.
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  • We're spiritually blind to too far great of an extent.
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  • We look to people who have no spiritual insight,
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  • No discernment, no spiritual vision, to try to determine the
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  • Direction we should go, how we should respond, what we should
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  • Think, and how we should feel.
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  • It's no wonder we stumble.
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  • It's no wonder we're struggling to find our way.
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  • In acts chapter 13, the story expands a bit where, just a
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  • Couple of chapters later, saul's begun his mission, and he
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  • Encounters, as he's traveling, a jewish sorcerer, a jewish
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  • Sorcerer who hinders the gospel, and this is the response, and
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  • They said, "'you're a child of the devil and an enemy of
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  • Everything that is right.
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  • You're full of all kinds of deceit and trickery.
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  • Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the lord?
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  • Now the hand of the lord is against you, and you're gonna be
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  • Blind, and for a time you'll be unable to see the light
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  • Of the sun.'
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  • Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he
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  • Groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
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  • And when the proconsul--" there was a governor there, a regional
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  • Governor who was interested in the gospel-- "and when he saw
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  • That curse come upon this jewish sorcerer, he believed in jesus,
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  • For he was amazed at the teaching of the lord."
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  • It's not surprising that paul would respond that way.
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  • He had a similar experience in his own life.
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  • He was opposing jesus.
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  • And when jesus introduced himself to him, he said,
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  • "you'll just lose your sight for a season."
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  • And this man is opposing the gospel, and saul turned and
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  • Said, "you'll be struck with the loss of sight, with the loss of
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  • Vision, with the inability to see with clarity."
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  • It was a curse for hindering the gospel.
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  • Do you believe there could be a curse for hindering the gospel?
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  • I don't wanna do that by my silence, by my unwillingness
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  • To stand up.
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  • So often, i think we imagine it's the ungodly, the immoral,
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  • The wicked, somebody else that would hinder the gospel, but
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  • When we refuse to use the tools god has given us, we hinder
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  • The proclamation of the gospel.
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  • I do not intend to be in that group of people.
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  • I don't want to be there.
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  • The outcome of this particular encounter is that the proconsul
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  • Saw what happened, and he believed.
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  • I've taken up with this notion of vision because
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  • We are stumbling as a people.
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  • Our nation has been on a pathway leading us away from a biblical
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  • Worldview for several years.
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  • It's not a new thing.
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  • It didn't begin with the current season or any recent election.
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  • That's just nonsense.
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  • We've been on this pathway for a good while.
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  • The church or the community of christ followers, whichever
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  • Label you prefer, we had been willing coconspirators
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  • On this journey.
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  • We have.
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  • They told us, some time ago, years and years ago, they told
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  • Us not to speak about our faith, not in the marketplace.
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  • Don't talk about it.
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  • Don't bring jesus into the marketplace, they said.
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  • Don't bring him into the corporate boardrooms.
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  • Don't talk about your faith in the halls of the hospital.
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  • Don't bring your faith into our courtrooms or into the
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  • Classrooms of our children.
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  • You certainly can't talk about christianity in those spaces.
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  • Jesus, we were told, was not welcome in the halls of
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  • Academia, and the reason that always was underlying those
  • 00:09:31.029 --> 00:09:35.500
  • Determinations was that "someone might be offended," and there
  • 00:09:35.500 --> 00:09:39.904
  • Would always be someone to raise their hand and go, "yes,
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  • I'm offended by that," and so they would look at us and say,
  • 00:09:41.773 --> 00:09:44.476
  • "you be silent.
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  • Don't you talk about jesus.
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  • Don't you bring your faith.
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  • We don't wanna hear that here.
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  • We're gonna separate these things."
  • 00:09:50.815 --> 00:09:52.150
  • And we complied with that nonsense.
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  • We went along.
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  • We said, "yes, we'll be respectful.
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  • We wanna be tolerant."
  • 00:09:59.157 --> 00:10:02.494
  • Someone might be offended, and we accepted the notion
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  • That we had no right to push our beliefs upon someone else.
  • 00:10:04.996 --> 00:10:08.299
  • We complied politely, demurely.
  • 00:10:08.299 --> 00:10:12.370
  • We yielded to the evil.
  • 00:10:12.370 --> 00:10:15.507
  • Now, we're not gonna get to a better place till we've got the
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  • Courage to acknowledge we were complicit with this.
  • 00:10:17.375 --> 00:10:21.079
  • It wasn't something someone did to us.
  • 00:10:21.079 --> 00:10:23.148
  • We volunteered.
  • 00:10:23.148 --> 00:10:24.549
  • We heard the message, and we said, "i'll do that.
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  • I'll comply with that.
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  • I don't wanna cause anyone to feel uncomfortable.
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  • I don't want anyone to feel awkward.
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  • I don't wanna--" we even got a little expression.
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  • You know, in polite society, we don't wanna talk
  • 00:10:37.629 --> 00:10:39.297
  • About our religion or our politics.
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  • Why not?
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  • Two forces that will shape your destiny and determine
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  • Your freedom and your liberty, you better talk about him
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  • When you're with your friends.
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  • We were complicit with that nonsense.
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  • Now we find that those same settings, the marketplace,
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  • Corporate boardrooms, the hospitals, and the courtrooms,
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  • Those same places are being dominated by a worldview
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  • That's unacceptable to christ-followers, and there's a
  • 00:11:05.090 --> 00:11:08.460
  • Very aggressive advocacy for the adoption
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  • Of that prevailing worldview.
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  • In fact, if you have the boldness to say, "i disagree,"
  • 00:11:13.698 --> 00:11:17.102
  • To oppose this new orthodoxy, you understand what happens.
  • 00:11:17.102 --> 00:11:21.539
  • You face the threat of removal from the public square.
  • 00:11:21.539 --> 00:11:24.676
  • There's legal threats.
  • 00:11:24.676 --> 00:11:26.010
  • Financial ruin is dangled before you.
  • 00:11:26.010 --> 00:11:29.147
  • We'll move events if you don't cooperate with us,
  • 00:11:29.147 --> 00:11:32.817
  • Bow to our ideas.
  • 00:11:32.817 --> 00:11:35.186
  • Whatever happened to the notion that one's personal beliefs
  • 00:11:35.186 --> 00:11:37.722
  • Should not dominate the public sphere?
  • 00:11:37.722 --> 00:11:42.393
  • I can tell you, from this vantage point,
  • 00:11:42.393 --> 00:11:43.928
  • We were foolish, church.
  • 00:11:43.928 --> 00:11:47.232
  • We should've held our ground.
  • 00:11:47.232 --> 00:11:48.666
  • We surrendered ground that god had no intention of us yielding,
  • 00:11:48.666 --> 00:11:53.738
  • And until we deal with that awkward truth,
  • 00:11:53.738 --> 00:11:55.874
  • I don't believe we'll get better.
  • 00:11:55.874 --> 00:11:57.375
  • It's time to speak up.
  • 00:11:57.375 --> 00:11:59.544
  • There's a whole host of things in the public sphere
  • 00:11:59.544 --> 00:12:01.146
  • That need a biblical worldview.
  • 00:12:01.146 --> 00:12:03.882
  • They're affecting our lives.
  • 00:12:03.882 --> 00:12:05.950
  • Open borders do not reduce poverty.
  • 00:12:05.950 --> 00:12:10.121
  • They don't.
  • 00:12:10.121 --> 00:12:11.589
  • Electric cars are not an expression of renewable energy.
  • 00:12:11.589 --> 00:12:15.794
  • Think.
  • 00:12:15.794 --> 00:12:18.897
  • The electricity comes from fossil fuels.
  • 00:12:18.897 --> 00:12:24.335
  • Your biological sex is not confusing nor is it difficult
  • 00:12:24.335 --> 00:12:30.074
  • To determine.
  • 00:12:30.074 --> 00:12:33.244
  • We're gonna have to find the courage to say these things.
  • 00:12:33.244 --> 00:12:35.647
  • There is no "free."
  • 00:12:35.647 --> 00:12:38.583
  • Someone pays.
  • 00:12:38.583 --> 00:12:42.387
  • Abortion really is the taking of a human life.
  • 00:12:42.387 --> 00:12:48.092
  • Liberty and freedom, they come from god, not from governments.
  • 00:12:48.092 --> 00:12:53.231
  • In fact, the story of history is that governments
  • 00:12:53.231 --> 00:12:55.233
  • Reduce liberty and freedom.
  • 00:12:55.233 --> 00:12:58.636
  • We are witnesses to the intentional dismantling of the
  • 00:12:58.636 --> 00:13:02.340
  • Values and behaviors which have provided liberty
  • 00:13:02.340 --> 00:13:04.342
  • And freedom to us.
  • 00:13:04.342 --> 00:13:07.145
  • Open borders are being promoted no matter the consequences.
  • 00:13:07.145 --> 00:13:11.249
  • The onslaught of transgender confusion upon our children
  • 00:13:11.249 --> 00:13:14.018
  • Is being mandated by an ever-increasingly
  • 00:13:14.018 --> 00:13:16.487
  • Authoritative government system.
  • 00:13:16.487 --> 00:13:18.623
  • It is evil to take an elementary-aged child and
  • 00:13:18.623 --> 00:13:21.559
  • Confused them about their gender or give them access
  • 00:13:21.559 --> 00:13:24.696
  • To chemicals that would alter it.
  • 00:13:24.696 --> 00:13:27.832
  • Don't be silent.
  • 00:13:27.832 --> 00:13:29.534
  • It's wicked.
  • 00:13:29.534 --> 00:13:33.938
  • Financial irresponsibility on our parts has delivered
  • 00:13:33.938 --> 00:13:38.243
  • Double-digit inflation.
  • 00:13:38.243 --> 00:13:40.945
  • International folly is realigning global financial
  • 00:13:40.945 --> 00:13:43.748
  • Practices which will leave all of us a poorer people.
  • 00:13:43.748 --> 00:13:46.885
  • They won't talk to you about it, but it's happening day over day.
  • 00:13:46.885 --> 00:13:51.022
  • The decline is precipitous.
  • 00:13:51.022 --> 00:13:53.057
  • Most prefer not to notice, and, tragically,
  • 00:13:53.057 --> 00:13:56.628
  • The church is strangely silent.
  • 00:13:56.628 --> 00:13:59.330
  • We're not in a political battle.
  • 00:13:59.330 --> 00:14:01.566
  • It's a spiritual struggle, and i believe the church,
  • 00:14:01.566 --> 00:14:05.136
  • God's people, are the key.
  • 00:14:05.136 --> 00:14:07.305
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:14:07.305 --> 00:14:11.342
  • Allen: we are walking through a season of instability,
  • 00:14:14.479 --> 00:14:17.081
  • Unprecedented in recent years.
  • 00:14:17.081 --> 00:14:18.983
  • We've never seen anything quite like this.
  • 00:14:18.983 --> 00:14:21.185
  • But i don't believe it's a time to be afraid.
  • 00:14:21.185 --> 00:14:22.921
  • I believe it's a time for a courageous response
  • 00:14:22.921 --> 00:14:25.156
  • From god's people.
  • 00:14:25.156 --> 00:14:26.991
  • Well, the team has pulled together some prayers
  • 00:14:26.991 --> 00:14:28.626
  • That we've been leaning on here at the church
  • 00:14:28.626 --> 00:14:30.428
  • Centered in the cross and its provision for our lives.
  • 00:14:30.428 --> 00:14:33.965
  • You see, our stability doesn't come from the government,
  • 00:14:33.965 --> 00:14:35.867
  • Or a political party, or an elected leader;
  • 00:14:35.867 --> 00:14:38.069
  • It comes to us through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:14:38.069 --> 00:14:40.738
  • It's not just our provision for eternity,
  • 00:14:40.738 --> 00:14:42.774
  • It's not just a get-out-of-hell-free card.
  • 00:14:42.774 --> 00:14:45.009
  • It's everything we need, the scripture says,
  • 00:14:45.009 --> 00:14:47.478
  • For life in godliness made available to us
  • 00:14:47.478 --> 00:14:49.914
  • Through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:14:49.914 --> 00:14:52.450
  • These prayers will ground you on a daily basis
  • 00:14:52.450 --> 00:14:55.053
  • To help you triumph over fear, anxiety, uncertainty.
  • 00:14:55.053 --> 00:14:58.356
  • We're not alone.
  • 00:14:58.356 --> 00:15:00.124
  • Almighty god has made provision fo us
  • 00:15:00.124 --> 00:15:02.293
  • And it's through the cross of his son, jesus.
  • 00:15:02.293 --> 00:15:04.963
  • Take these prayers, put 'em into your life on a daily basis.
  • 00:15:04.963 --> 00:15:08.032
  • They'll strengthen you, your family, your friends.
  • 00:15:08.032 --> 00:15:10.568
  • They'll make a difference.
  • 00:15:10.568 --> 00:15:11.970
  • Enjoy the prayers.
  • 00:15:11.970 --> 00:15:13.338
  • Female announcer: being a person who prays
  • 00:15:14.639 --> 00:15:16.040
  • Is not about how many minutes you invest.
  • 00:15:16.040 --> 00:15:18.409
  • It's about intentionally inviting god
  • 00:15:18.409 --> 00:15:20.678
  • Into all the moments of your life.
  • 00:15:20.678 --> 00:15:22.947
  • Make prayer a habit and see how the power of god
  • 00:15:22.947 --> 00:15:25.616
  • Begins to move in your home, your work, your relationships,
  • 00:15:25.616 --> 00:15:29.087
  • And your circumstances.
  • 00:15:29.087 --> 00:15:31.489
  • Pastor allen's book "through the cross"
  • 00:15:31.489 --> 00:15:33.558
  • Can help you get started.
  • 00:15:33.558 --> 00:15:35.727
  • You'll find 28 days of scripture, prayers,
  • 00:15:35.727 --> 00:15:38.529
  • And inspiring thoughts, all centered on the promises
  • 00:15:38.529 --> 00:15:41.666
  • Provided through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:15:41.666 --> 00:15:44.635
  • It's a daily way to strengthen your faith,
  • 00:15:44.635 --> 00:15:47.138
  • Grounding you in god's truth
  • 00:15:47.138 --> 00:15:48.940
  • As you the world continues to change.
  • 00:15:48.940 --> 00:15:51.209
  • Request "through the cross" when you donate $15 or more
  • 00:15:51.209 --> 00:15:54.412
  • Today at allenjackson.com,
  • 00:15:54.412 --> 00:15:57.081
  • Or by calling...
  • 00:15:57.081 --> 00:16:01.886
  • Thank you for supporting allen jackson ministries,
  • 00:16:01.953 --> 00:16:04.689
  • And helping us spread salt and light across our nation.
  • 00:16:04.689 --> 00:16:07.392
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:16:08.026 --> 00:16:14.499
  • Female announcer: many of you from our broadcast audience
  • 00:16:14.499 --> 00:16:16.234
  • Have been visiting the middle tennessee area to attend
  • 00:16:16.234 --> 00:16:18.836
  • Services in person with pastor allen at world outreach church.
  • 00:16:18.836 --> 00:16:22.907
  • It's been encouraging to meet you, hear your stories
  • 00:16:22.907 --> 00:16:25.576
  • And worship the lord together.
  • 00:16:25.576 --> 00:16:27.945
  • So if you're headed to world outreach church in
  • 00:16:27.945 --> 00:16:29.814
  • The near future, we've made it easy for you to plan your trip.
  • 00:16:29.814 --> 00:16:33.551
  • Just go to the visit page
  • 00:16:33.551 --> 00:16:34.886
  • Of the allen jackson ministries website.
  • 00:16:34.886 --> 00:16:36.888
  • You'll find information for the airport, hotels,
  • 00:16:36.888 --> 00:16:39.190
  • Service times, and much more.
  • 00:16:39.190 --> 00:16:41.325
  • While you're there, let us know which service you plan to attend
  • 00:16:41.325 --> 00:16:43.928
  • So pastor allen can have a welcome gift especially for you.
  • 00:16:43.928 --> 00:16:48.166
  • This is also the best way for us to ensure he's speaking
  • 00:16:48.166 --> 00:16:50.835
  • For the weekend you plan to come.
  • 00:16:50.835 --> 00:16:52.904
  • Before or after services you can explore the church's
  • 00:16:52.904 --> 00:16:55.306
  • Beautiful campus, wander through the bookstore and grab coffee
  • 00:16:55.306 --> 00:16:58.576
  • From the café, just take a few moments to relax.
  • 00:16:58.576 --> 00:17:02.213
  • So don't forget, go to allenjackson.com
  • 00:17:02.213 --> 00:17:04.582
  • To let us know you'll be visiting.
  • 00:17:04.582 --> 00:17:06.451
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:17:06.451 --> 00:17:13.324
  • Announcer: we are committed to helping you grow in your faith
  • 00:17:14.659 --> 00:17:16.594
  • And have tools for your journey no matter your schedule.
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  • Get daily encouragement and insight with pastor allen's
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  • Daily devotion right in your inbox.
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  • Just sign up on the website.
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  • Join us on one of our livestream services right from your tv
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  • Listen to a powerful message through your favorite podcast
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  • App perfect for a commute, and make sure to follow pastor allen
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  • On social media to stay up to date with everything happening
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  • Here with allen jackson ministries.
  • 00:17:39.484 --> 00:17:42.019
  • Allen: i don't believe there's any question from
  • 00:17:45.490 --> 00:17:47.258
  • Scripture, and i'm not gonna take the time to develop in a
  • 00:17:47.258 --> 00:17:49.494
  • Lot of detail, but there is a curse that comes from god
  • 00:17:49.494 --> 00:17:53.664
  • For disobedience to him.
  • 00:17:53.664 --> 00:17:56.501
  • I'll give you one passage, and it's a familiar passage
  • 00:17:56.501 --> 00:17:58.503
  • To several of you, i suspect.
  • 00:17:58.503 --> 00:18:00.371
  • It's in the prophet malachi.
  • 00:18:00.371 --> 00:18:03.141
  • He's talking about in the context of how they manage
  • 00:18:03.141 --> 00:18:05.343
  • Their financial resources.
  • 00:18:05.343 --> 00:18:07.011
  • I don't wanna direct it to that particular theme, but i want you
  • 00:18:07.011 --> 00:18:09.814
  • To see god's response.
  • 00:18:09.814 --> 00:18:12.116
  • It's malachi 3, in verse 6.
  • 00:18:12.116 --> 00:18:13.885
  • It said, "i the lord do not change.
  • 00:18:13.885 --> 00:18:16.287
  • So you, o descendants of jacob, are not destroyed.
  • 00:18:16.287 --> 00:18:19.457
  • Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away
  • 00:18:19.457 --> 00:18:22.059
  • From my decrees and have not kept them," so, for generations,
  • 00:18:22.059 --> 00:18:25.930
  • They have been turning away from god's decrees.
  • 00:18:25.930 --> 00:18:29.267
  • Sounds like a pretty accurate description of the contemporary
  • 00:18:29.267 --> 00:18:31.836
  • Christian community.
  • 00:18:31.836 --> 00:18:34.572
  • Is that fair?
  • 00:18:34.572 --> 00:18:36.407
  • This isn't new.
  • 00:18:36.407 --> 00:18:38.342
  • It's been happening for a season.
  • 00:18:38.342 --> 00:18:42.713
  • "'return to me, and i will return to you,'
  • 00:18:42.713 --> 00:18:45.249
  • Says the lord almighty.
  • 00:18:45.249 --> 00:18:47.652
  • 'but you ask, "how are we to return?"
  • 00:18:47.652 --> 00:18:50.555
  • 'will a man rob god?
  • 00:18:50.555 --> 00:18:52.156
  • Yet you rob me.' so god said, "if you'll return to me,
  • 00:18:52.156 --> 00:18:55.059
  • I will return to you."
  • 00:18:55.059 --> 00:18:57.128
  • And they said, "we don't know how to do that."
  • 00:18:57.128 --> 00:18:59.263
  • And then he turns 'em back to obedience,
  • 00:18:59.263 --> 00:19:00.765
  • To the truth that they know.
  • 00:19:00.765 --> 00:19:02.366
  • "'you ask, "how do we rob you?"
  • 00:19:02.366 --> 00:19:03.868
  • In tithes and offerings.
  • 00:19:03.868 --> 00:19:05.203
  • You're under a curse, the whole nation of you,
  • 00:19:05.203 --> 00:19:07.705
  • Because you are robbing me.
  • 00:19:07.705 --> 00:19:09.807
  • Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may
  • 00:19:09.807 --> 00:19:11.809
  • Be food in my house.
  • 00:19:11.809 --> 00:19:13.177
  • Test me in this,' says the lord almighty.
  • 00:19:13.177 --> 00:19:15.646
  • 'i'll open the floodgates, the windows of heaven
  • 00:19:15.646 --> 00:19:18.616
  • And pour out blessings upon you.'"
  • 00:19:18.616 --> 00:19:20.952
  • This is the covenant people of god.
  • 00:19:20.952 --> 00:19:22.954
  • It's not some ungodly pagan nation.
  • 00:19:22.954 --> 00:19:26.023
  • They have a temple.
  • 00:19:26.023 --> 00:19:27.425
  • They have sacrifices.
  • 00:19:27.425 --> 00:19:28.960
  • They have religious holidays.
  • 00:19:28.960 --> 00:19:30.294
  • They keep kosher rules.
  • 00:19:30.294 --> 00:19:31.929
  • They gather in synagogues and read torah passages, and god
  • 00:19:31.929 --> 00:19:36.033
  • Said, "you're under a curse because of your disobedience,"
  • 00:19:36.033 --> 00:19:40.571
  • But he holds out a promise: he said, "if you'll return to the
  • 00:19:40.571 --> 00:19:42.640
  • Lord, he'll return to you."
  • 00:19:42.640 --> 00:19:45.076
  • Did you know that disobedience results in a curse?
  • 00:19:45.076 --> 00:19:49.880
  • "so, pastor, i don't like to think about that."
  • 00:19:49.880 --> 00:19:52.049
  • It's a part of the problem.
  • 00:19:52.049 --> 00:19:55.019
  • It's a part of the problem if the church is not aware, if
  • 00:19:55.019 --> 00:19:57.755
  • We're not looking and seeing and understanding who will speak,
  • 00:19:57.755 --> 00:20:03.461
  • Where will the message come from?
  • 00:20:03.461 --> 00:20:05.997
  • What, you want a politician to do it?
  • 00:20:05.997 --> 00:20:08.232
  • You want a pastor to do it?
  • 00:20:08.232 --> 00:20:09.600
  • You want god to raise up a voice?
  • 00:20:09.600 --> 00:20:11.068
  • He has raised up a voice.
  • 00:20:11.068 --> 00:20:12.403
  • He's given each of us one.
  • 00:20:12.403 --> 00:20:14.505
  • Are we willing to speak the truth?
  • 00:20:14.505 --> 00:20:16.574
  • Are we willing to face the truth?
  • 00:20:16.574 --> 00:20:19.076
  • Disobedience in our lives results in a curse.
  • 00:20:19.076 --> 00:20:24.382
  • The solution is the same for us as it was for the people of
  • 00:20:24.382 --> 00:20:27.885
  • Malachi's day.
  • 00:20:27.885 --> 00:20:29.987
  • It was repentance, a change of thought, and a change of action
  • 00:20:29.987 --> 00:20:34.191
  • Which results in obedience to god.
  • 00:20:34.191 --> 00:20:36.360
  • You can't just change your thought theoretically in a
  • 00:20:36.360 --> 00:20:39.063
  • Worship service.
  • 00:20:39.063 --> 00:20:40.665
  • We have to change the way we conduct ourselves.
  • 00:20:40.665 --> 00:20:44.135
  • It's a new pattern of behavior god is calling us to.
  • 00:20:44.135 --> 00:20:48.572
  • Now, this is exciting stuff, the possibility of faith to
  • 00:20:48.572 --> 00:20:52.443
  • Completely transform the world that we watch.
  • 00:20:52.443 --> 00:20:56.380
  • It's not a new idea.
  • 00:20:56.380 --> 00:20:59.016
  • I wanna take the time we have left and look with you at
  • 00:20:59.016 --> 00:21:01.719
  • Abraham.
  • 00:21:01.719 --> 00:21:03.521
  • God gave abraham a vision.
  • 00:21:03.521 --> 00:21:07.692
  • He showed him what was ahead, and it changed abraham's life.
  • 00:21:07.692 --> 00:21:13.230
  • Then i'm asking god to give us a vision, to let us see with new
  • 00:21:13.230 --> 00:21:18.135
  • Eyes, to see with our heart, and to see with our understanding
  • 00:21:18.135 --> 00:21:22.106
  • That we might be able to recognize what is ahead.
  • 00:21:22.106 --> 00:21:25.042
  • Look at john chapter 8, in verse 56.
  • 00:21:25.042 --> 00:21:27.945
  • "your father abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day.
  • 00:21:27.945 --> 00:21:32.450
  • He saw it and was glad."
  • 00:21:32.450 --> 00:21:36.220
  • Does anybody happen to remember which chapter in genesis we meet
  • 00:21:36.220 --> 00:21:39.190
  • Abraham?
  • 00:21:39.190 --> 00:21:41.359
  • Genesis is the first book of your bible, and we meet him in
  • 00:21:41.359 --> 00:21:44.762
  • Chapter 12.
  • 00:21:44.762 --> 00:21:47.098
  • So from genesis chapter 12, we're told that abraham rejoiced
  • 00:21:47.098 --> 00:21:52.169
  • When he saw the day of jesus.
  • 00:21:52.169 --> 00:21:55.506
  • Jesus was thousands of years in the future, and abraham saw him.
  • 00:21:55.506 --> 00:22:01.078
  • Hebrews chapter 11, in verse 13, "all these people were still
  • 00:22:01.078 --> 00:22:04.615
  • Living by faith when they died.
  • 00:22:04.615 --> 00:22:06.917
  • They didn't receive the things promised.
  • 00:22:06.917 --> 00:22:08.853
  • They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.
  • 00:22:08.853 --> 00:22:11.455
  • And they admitted they were aliens and strangers
  • 00:22:11.455 --> 00:22:13.724
  • On the earth."
  • 00:22:13.724 --> 00:22:15.226
  • Hebrews 11, is the hall of fame of faith, and it says those men
  • 00:22:15.226 --> 00:22:18.863
  • And women saw something beyond what they saw with their eyes.
  • 00:22:18.863 --> 00:22:23.134
  • Folks, we need a new vision.
  • 00:22:23.134 --> 00:22:26.704
  • We need new perspective.
  • 00:22:26.704 --> 00:22:29.206
  • We need new understanding.
  • 00:22:29.206 --> 00:22:32.343
  • I can tell you that god, he gave abraham the whole panorama of
  • 00:22:32.343 --> 00:22:36.847
  • Redemption, that abraham, he saw jesus.
  • 00:22:36.847 --> 00:22:42.586
  • Abraham saw what god was going to do.
  • 00:22:42.586 --> 00:22:45.990
  • He stood at the beginning point of it all, and he saw all the
  • 00:22:45.990 --> 00:22:48.893
  • Way through to the heavenly jerusalem that was gonna come
  • 00:22:48.893 --> 00:22:51.729
  • Down out of heaven.
  • 00:22:51.729 --> 00:22:54.098
  • He saw it first in the family that was gonna be born to him.
  • 00:22:54.098 --> 00:22:58.068
  • Even when he was childless, he saw it in the patriarchs.
  • 00:22:58.068 --> 00:23:03.140
  • He saw it by faith in a nation that would be created, born in
  • 00:23:03.140 --> 00:23:06.510
  • Great suffering in egypt.
  • 00:23:06.510 --> 00:23:08.212
  • He saw that his descendants would go and suffer horribly in
  • 00:23:08.212 --> 00:23:12.683
  • Egypt, but he saw that god would deliver them.
  • 00:23:12.683 --> 00:23:16.420
  • He saw that the coming of a messiah through that nation of
  • 00:23:16.420 --> 00:23:19.056
  • People.
  • 00:23:19.056 --> 00:23:20.891
  • He saw it in the gospel going out to the nations, not just to
  • 00:23:20.891 --> 00:23:23.661
  • The jewish people but to the non-jewish people so that men of
  • 00:23:23.661 --> 00:23:27.698
  • Every kind, kindred, and race, could become a part of the
  • 00:23:27.698 --> 00:23:30.434
  • Family of god and the household of faith.
  • 00:23:30.434 --> 00:23:34.338
  • He saw the church.
  • 00:23:34.338 --> 00:23:36.674
  • Abraham saw the church, something so special to god, so
  • 00:23:36.674 --> 00:23:40.511
  • Unbelievably important.
  • 00:23:40.511 --> 00:23:43.047
  • It's amazing what the revelation of god brought to abraham.
  • 00:23:43.047 --> 00:23:47.251
  • It's all contained in that vision.
  • 00:23:47.251 --> 00:23:49.787
  • Abraham is the beginning of the vision, in one sense, the
  • 00:23:49.787 --> 00:23:52.690
  • Beginning of what god is unfolding.
  • 00:23:52.690 --> 00:23:54.625
  • I know there's other people in the story before we get to
  • 00:23:54.625 --> 00:23:56.460
  • Abraham, but abraham is the father of our faith.
  • 00:23:56.460 --> 00:24:01.899
  • Now, i can't tell from the text how much precision abraham was
  • 00:24:01.899 --> 00:24:05.970
  • Able to see with.
  • 00:24:05.970 --> 00:24:07.972
  • Of the biblical characters we know, it's paul who saw with
  • 00:24:07.972 --> 00:24:11.509
  • Such unique precision.
  • 00:24:11.509 --> 00:24:14.078
  • Abraham didn't know the infilling presence of the spirit
  • 00:24:14.078 --> 00:24:16.647
  • Of god.
  • 00:24:16.647 --> 00:24:18.382
  • That was to come on the day of pentecost.
  • 00:24:18.382 --> 00:24:20.217
  • Paul knew that infilling of the spirit of the resurrected
  • 00:24:20.217 --> 00:24:22.586
  • Christ, and it brought a preciseness to his revelation.
  • 00:24:22.586 --> 00:24:27.558
  • With paul, we hear about the gentiles becoming fellow heirs
  • 00:24:27.558 --> 00:24:29.927
  • With the jews.
  • 00:24:29.927 --> 00:24:31.729
  • Paul saw it with such remarkable clarity.
  • 00:24:31.729 --> 00:24:35.699
  • It was unthinkable.
  • 00:24:35.699 --> 00:24:39.003
  • I don't know how clear abraham was, but i know he saw it.
  • 00:24:39.003 --> 00:24:43.807
  • I'm reluctant to say it, but i believe it's true: thousands of
  • 00:24:43.807 --> 00:24:47.678
  • Born-again believers have no idea about this kind
  • 00:24:47.678 --> 00:24:50.614
  • Of heavenly vision.
  • 00:24:50.614 --> 00:24:53.817
  • It's just separate from us.
  • 00:24:53.817 --> 00:24:56.620
  • Our faith journey is defined by we're taught to read our bibles,
  • 00:24:56.620 --> 00:25:02.192
  • To say our prayers, to meet together.
  • 00:25:02.192 --> 00:25:05.863
  • It's as if we have a routine, and our routine is the sum total
  • 00:25:05.863 --> 00:25:10.768
  • Of our faith.
  • 00:25:10.768 --> 00:25:12.903
  • Folks, that is a very thin expression of what god would do
  • 00:25:12.903 --> 00:25:16.974
  • For us.
  • 00:25:16.974 --> 00:25:19.944
  • Abraham would be a complete stranger to that pattern that
  • 00:25:19.944 --> 00:25:23.013
  • We're so familiar with.
  • 00:25:23.013 --> 00:25:25.316
  • He had a vision of god which changed his life.
  • 00:25:25.316 --> 00:25:28.519
  • He was delivered from an empty life.
  • 00:25:28.519 --> 00:25:31.188
  • He led a life of unbelievable fulfillment.
  • 00:25:31.188 --> 00:25:34.558
  • He became the father of all who believed, both jew and gentile.
  • 00:25:34.558 --> 00:25:39.229
  • Did you know god has an unbelievable life for you?
  • 00:25:39.229 --> 00:25:42.533
  • He has a vision for you.
  • 00:25:42.533 --> 00:25:44.501
  • It's a tragic perversion of the gospel that we imagine
  • 00:25:44.501 --> 00:25:48.372
  • God would diminish our lives and that our great dreams
  • 00:25:48.372 --> 00:25:52.176
  • Should be apart from him.
  • 00:25:52.176 --> 00:25:54.478
  • A vision of the kingdom of god will change how you live, and
  • 00:25:54.478 --> 00:25:59.283
  • We're not gonna stop until god gives us that vision.
  • 00:25:59.283 --> 00:26:03.721
  • If we fail to have the courage and the boldness and the
  • 00:26:03.721 --> 00:26:06.357
  • Understanding when we could've used our voice in the previous
  • 00:26:06.357 --> 00:26:09.026
  • Years and decades, let's not make that mistake again.
  • 00:26:09.026 --> 00:26:13.964
  • Let's determine in our hearts to have a vision of heaven, a
  • 00:26:13.964 --> 00:26:17.668
  • Vision of the kingdom of god, a vision that sees beyond just
  • 00:26:17.668 --> 00:26:22.706
  • Satisfying my carnal nature, a vision that sees what
  • 00:26:22.706 --> 00:26:26.610
  • God is doing in the earth and will not turn loose
  • 00:26:26.610 --> 00:26:29.480
  • Until we have taken hold of it.
  • 00:26:29.480 --> 00:26:31.348
  • Your birthright in the kingdom of god is to know
  • 00:26:33.684 --> 00:26:35.986
  • The mysteries of god.
  • 00:26:35.986 --> 00:26:38.055
  • Your birthright is to know the mysteries of god
  • 00:26:38.055 --> 00:26:41.558
  • We haven't even asked.
  • 00:26:41.558 --> 00:26:43.427
  • Allen: our greatest spiritual learnings come not from studying
  • 00:26:43.494 --> 00:26:46.597
  • But from revelations from the lord.
  • 00:26:46.597 --> 00:26:48.499
  • That's my prayer for us today.
  • 00:26:48.499 --> 00:26:50.034
  • Let's pray.
  • 00:26:50.034 --> 00:26:51.402
  • Father, i pray you'll give us a revelation of yourself
  • 00:26:51.402 --> 00:26:53.537
  • And your purposes in the earth.
  • 00:26:53.537 --> 00:26:55.439
  • Deliver us from a routine and the habit of religion, and open
  • 00:26:55.439 --> 00:26:58.809
  • Our hearts to the moving of the spirit of god as never before.
  • 00:26:58.809 --> 00:27:02.680
  • I thank you for it in jesus's name, amen.
  • 00:27:02.680 --> 00:27:06.250
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:27:06.250 --> 00:27:26.303