Seeing The End At The Beginning

October 16, 2022 | 247 | 27:28

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 16, 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 going to 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 want to cause anyone to feel uncomfortable.
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  • I don't want anyone to feel awkward.
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  • I don't want to--" we've even got little expression,
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  • You know, in polite society.
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  • We don't want to talk about our religion or our politics.
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  • Why not?
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • Allen: 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 want to diminish our salvation,
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  • But i believe god has more for you and me particularly
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  • In this very unique season.
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  • This is 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 6-week festival.
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  • On saturday nights 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 between
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  • The pollen and the wind.
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  • It's a challenge.
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  • Turn up your volume a little bit.
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  • Show me some grace.
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  • But together we're going to ask god to give us a vision of what
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  • 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," but i want to
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  • Start with what seems to me to be very apparent.
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  • It's whether 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 the impact of
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  • It or the import of it is--moves past us.
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  • If i had to provide a spiritual diagnosis i would say there's
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  • A blindness upon us, a spiritual blindness.
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  • We look, but we don't see, and we hear,
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  • But we don't understand, and we just continue in our routine.
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  • We gather and pray our prayers and read our bibles and do
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  • The 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 we find him
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  • 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 jewish
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  • Fishermen, he's recruiting a rabbi,
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  • A pharisee of the pharisees, saul of tarsus.
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  • He's a rising star in the jewish religious community,
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  • But jesus understands his heart and he has a life assignment
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  • For him.
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  • It's acts 9 and verse 4.
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  • It says when jesus interrupted his journey,
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  • "he fell to the ground, and saul heard a voice say,
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  • 'why do you persecute me?'
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  • Now, 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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  • And 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
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  • He could see nothing.
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  • So they led him by the hand into damascus.
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  • And for 3 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,
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  • And he answered, 'yes, lord.'
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  • And the lord said, 'go to the house of judas on
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  • Straight street and ask for a man from tarsus named saul.
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  • He's praying; and in a vision he saw--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, so it was 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
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  • Help you into the city.
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  • I'm going to 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
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  • The ultimate outcome.
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  • It's a rather dramatic intervention.
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  • And for 3 days--it was so impactful that for 3 days saul
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  • Didn't eat or drink anything.
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  • I'm thinking if an unknown character strikes you blind you
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  • Might get a little focus too.
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  • And then we're introduced to ananias,
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  • 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 in a fascinating interplay with me.
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  • Do you know, y'all, there'll be times when you can see
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  • Physically, but you can't see spiritually or there are times
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  • When you may not--your vision physically may not be as good
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  • As you would like it to be, but you can have
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  • Great clarity spiritually?
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  • I'm going to begin this study with this idea that we want you
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  • To 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
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  • The direction we should go, how we should respond,
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  • What we should 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.
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  • We're just a couple of chapters later.
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  • Saul's begun his mission, and he encounters,
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  • As he's traveling, a jewish sorcerer, a jewish sorcerer,
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  • Who hinders the gospel, and this is the response.
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  • And they said, "'you are 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,
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  • And you're going to be blind, and for a time you'll be unable
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  • To see the light of the sun.'
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  • Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and
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  • He groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
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  • And when the proconsul--" there was a governor there,
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  • A regional governor when he--who was interested in the gospel.
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  • And when he saw that curse come upon this jewish sorcerer,
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  • He believed in jesus for he was amazed
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  • 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'd 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,
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  • He said, "you'll just lose your sight for a season."
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  • And this man is opposing the gospel.
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  • And saul turned and said, "you'll be struck with the loss
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  • Of sight, with the loss of vision,
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  • 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 can be a curse for hindering the gospel?
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  • I don't want to do that by my silence,
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  • By my unwillingness to stand up.
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  • So often i think we imagine it's the ungodly,
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  • The immoral, the wicked, somebody else that would hinder
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  • The gospel, but when we refuse to use the tools god has given
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  • Us, we hinder 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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  • Now, the outcome of this particular encounter is that
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  • The proconsul saw what happened and he believed.
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  • I've taken him on with this notion of vision because we are
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  • 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's followers,
  • 00:08:54.822 --> 00:08:57.058
  • Whichever label you prefer, we have been willing
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  • Co-conspirators 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 us
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  • Not to speak about our faith.
  • 00:09:07.935 --> 00:09:10.004
  • "not in the marketplace. 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
  • 00:09:20.514 --> 00:09:23.084
  • The classrooms of our children."
  • 00:09:23.084 --> 00:09:24.952
  • You certainly can't talk about christianity in those spaces.
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  • Jesus was to--we were told was not welcomed
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  • In the halls of academia.
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  • And the reason that always was underlying those determinations
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  • Was that someone might be offended and there would
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  • Always be someone to raise their hand to go,
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  • "yes, i'm offended by that."
  • 00:09:41.902 --> 00:09:43.337
  • And so they would look at us and say,
  • 00:09:43.337 --> 00:09:44.705
  • "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 want to hear that here.
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  • We're going to separate these things."
  • 00:09:50.745 --> 00:09:52.380
  • 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 want to be tolerant.
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  • 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.
  • 00:10:08.396 --> 00:10:11.599
  • We yielded to the evil.
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  • Now, we're not going to 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.
  • 00:10:20.541 --> 00:10:22.943
  • 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 want to cause anyone to feel uncomfortable.
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  • I don't want anyone to feel awkward.
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  • I don't want to--" we've even got little expression,
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  • You know, in polite society.
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  • We don't want to talk about our religion or our politics.
  • 00:10:39.226 --> 00:10:41.729
  • Why not?
  • 00:10:41.729 --> 00:10:43.931
  • Two forces that will shape your destiny and determine
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  • Your freedom and your liberty.
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  • You better talk about them when you're with your friends.
  • 00:10:48.602 --> 00:10:52.740
  • We were complicit with that nonsense.
  • 00:10:52.740 --> 00:10:55.009
  • Now, we find that those same settings,
  • 00:10:55.009 --> 00:10:58.946
  • The marketplace, corporate boardrooms,
  • 00:10:58.946 --> 00:11:01.282
  • The hospitals, and the courtrooms,
  • 00:11:01.282 --> 00:11:02.650
  • Those same places are being dominated by a worldview
  • 00:11:02.650 --> 00:11:05.453
  • That's unacceptable to christ's followers,
  • 00:11:05.453 --> 00:11:08.022
  • And there's a very aggressive advocacy for the adoption
  • 00:11:08.022 --> 00:11:11.392
  • Of that prevailing worldview.
  • 00:11:11.392 --> 00:11:13.661
  • In fact, if you have the boldness to say,
  • 00:11:13.661 --> 00:11:15.830
  • "i disagree," to oppose this new orthodoxy,
  • 00:11:15.830 --> 00:11:19.867
  • You understand what happens.
  • 00:11:19.867 --> 00:11:21.869
  • You face the threat of removal from the public square.
  • 00:11:21.869 --> 00:11:24.271
  • There's legal threats.
  • 00:11:24.271 --> 00:11:25.639
  • Financial ruin is dangled before you.
  • 00:11:25.639 --> 00:11:28.709
  • "we'll move events if you don't cooperate with us,
  • 00:11:28.709 --> 00:11:32.446
  • Bow to our ideas."
  • 00:11:32.446 --> 00:11:35.249
  • Whatever happened to the notion that one's personal beliefs
  • 00:11:35.249 --> 00:11:37.952
  • Should not dominate the public sphere?
  • 00:11:37.952 --> 00:11:42.289
  • I can tell you from this vantage point we were foolish, church.
  • 00:11:42.289 --> 00:11:46.694
  • We should have held our ground.
  • 00:11:46.694 --> 00:11:48.929
  • We surrendered ground that god had no intention of us yielding.
  • 00:11:48.929 --> 00:11:53.634
  • And until we deal with that awkward truth,
  • 00:11:53.634 --> 00:11:55.936
  • I don't believe we'll get better.
  • 00:11:55.936 --> 00:11:57.371
  • It's time to speak up.
  • 00:11:57.371 --> 00:11:59.340
  • There's a whole host of things in the public sphere that need
  • 00:11:59.340 --> 00:12:01.375
  • A biblical worldview.
  • 00:12:01.375 --> 00:12:03.944
  • They are affecting our lives.
  • 00:12:03.944 --> 00:12:05.980
  • Open borders do not reduce poverty.
  • 00:12:05.980 --> 00:12:09.650
  • They don't.
  • 00:12:09.650 --> 00:12:11.285
  • Electric cars are not an expression of renewable energy.
  • 00:12:11.285 --> 00:12:14.688
  • Think.
  • 00:12:14.688 --> 00:12:18.826
  • The electricity, he comes from fossil fuels.
  • 00:12:18.826 --> 00:12:24.331
  • Your biological sex is not confusing,
  • 00:12:24.331 --> 00:12:29.170
  • Nor is it difficult to determine.
  • 00:12:29.170 --> 00:12:33.240
  • We're going to have to find the courage to say these things.
  • 00:12:33.240 --> 00:12:35.810
  • There is no free.
  • 00:12:35.810 --> 00:12:38.412
  • Someone pays.
  • 00:12:38.412 --> 00:12:42.149
  • Abortion really is the taking of a human life.
  • 00:12:42.149 --> 00:12:48.055
  • Liberty and freedom, they come from god,
  • 00:12:48.055 --> 00:12:50.457
  • Not from governments.
  • 00:12:50.457 --> 00:12:52.993
  • In fact, the story of history is that governments
  • 00:12:52.993 --> 00:12:55.196
  • Reduce liberty and freedom.
  • 00:12:55.196 --> 00:12:58.299
  • We are witnesses to the intentional dismantling
  • 00:12:58.299 --> 00:13:02.102
  • Of the values and behaviors which have provided
  • 00:13:02.102 --> 00:13:04.271
  • Liberty and freedom to us.
  • 00:13:04.271 --> 00:13:07.041
  • Open borders are being promoted no matter the consequences.
  • 00:13:07.041 --> 00:13:11.245
  • The onslaught of transgender confusion upon our children
  • 00:13:11.245 --> 00:13:14.014
  • Is being mandated by an ever-increasingly
  • 00:13:14.014 --> 00:13:16.750
  • Authoritative government system.
  • 00:13:16.750 --> 00:13:18.786
  • It is evil to take an elementary-aged child and
  • 00:13:18.786 --> 00:13:21.822
  • Confuse them about their gender or give them access to chemicals
  • 00:13:21.822 --> 00:13:25.259
  • That would alter it.
  • 00:13:25.259 --> 00:13:27.161
  • Don't be silent.
  • 00:13:27.161 --> 00:13:29.797
  • It's wicked.
  • 00:13:29.797 --> 00:13:34.068
  • Financial irresponsibility on our patch has delivered
  • 00:13:34.134 --> 00:13:38.339
  • Double-digit inflation.
  • 00:13:38.339 --> 00:13:40.841
  • International folly is realigning global financial
  • 00:13:40.841 --> 00:13:43.844
  • Practices which will leave all of us a poorer people.
  • 00:13:43.844 --> 00:13:46.747
  • They won't talk to you about it, but it's happening day over day.
  • 00:13:46.747 --> 00:13:50.517
  • The decline is precipitous.
  • 00:13:50.517 --> 00:13:53.320
  • Most prefer not to notice.
  • 00:13:53.320 --> 00:13:55.623
  • And tragically, the church is strangely silent.
  • 00:13:55.623 --> 00:13:59.226
  • We're not in a political battle.
  • 00:13:59.226 --> 00:14:01.795
  • It's a spiritual struggle.
  • 00:14:01.795 --> 00:14:03.898
  • And i believe the church, god's people are the key.
  • 00:14:03.898 --> 00:14:10.104
  • Allen: we are walking through a season of instability,
  • 00:14:14.241 --> 00:14:16.877
  • Unprecedented in recent years.
  • 00:14:16.877 --> 00:14:18.946
  • We've never seen anything quite like this.
  • 00:14:18.946 --> 00:14:20.948
  • But i don't believe it's a time to be afraid.
  • 00:14:20.948 --> 00:14:22.783
  • I believe it's a time for a courageous response
  • 00:14:22.783 --> 00:14:24.919
  • From god's people.
  • 00:14:24.919 --> 00:14:26.387
  • Well, the team has pulled together some prayers
  • 00:14:26.387 --> 00:14:28.155
  • That we've been leaning on here at the church
  • 00:14:28.155 --> 00:14:30.224
  • Centered in the cross and its provision for our lives.
  • 00:14:30.224 --> 00:14:33.560
  • You see, our stability doesn't come from the government,
  • 00:14:33.560 --> 00:14:35.696
  • Or a political party, or an elected leader;
  • 00:14:35.696 --> 00:14:37.865
  • It comes to us through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:14:37.865 --> 00:14:40.434
  • It's not just our provision for eternity,
  • 00:14:40.434 --> 00:14:42.469
  • It's not just a get-out-of-hell-free card.
  • 00:14:42.469 --> 00:14:44.838
  • It's everything we need, the scripture says,
  • 00:14:44.838 --> 00:14:47.074
  • For life in godliness made available to us
  • 00:14:47.074 --> 00:14:49.743
  • Through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:14:49.743 --> 00:14:52.112
  • These prayers will ground you on a daily basis
  • 00:14:52.112 --> 00:14:54.815
  • To help you triumph over fear, anxiety, uncertainty.
  • 00:14:54.815 --> 00:14:58.352
  • We're not alone.
  • 00:14:58.352 --> 00:14:59.887
  • Almighty god has made provision fo us and it's through
  • 00:14:59.887 --> 00:15:02.690
  • The cross of his son, jesus.
  • 00:15:02.690 --> 00:15:04.591
  • Take these prayers, put 'em into your life on a daily basis.
  • 00:15:04.591 --> 00:15:07.795
  • They'll strengthen you, your family, your friends.
  • 00:15:07.795 --> 00:15:10.297
  • They'll make a difference.
  • 00:15:10.297 --> 00:15:11.699
  • Enjoy the pryers.
  • 00:15:11.699 --> 00:15:14.268
  • Female announcer: being a person who prays
  • 00:15:14.268 --> 00:15:15.803
  • Is not about how many minutes you invest.
  • 00:15:15.803 --> 00:15:18.272
  • It's about intentionally inviting god
  • 00:15:18.272 --> 00:15:20.441
  • Into all the moments of your life.
  • 00:15:20.441 --> 00:15:22.509
  • Make prayer a habit and see how the power of god begins to move
  • 00:15:22.509 --> 00:15:26.246
  • In your home, your work, your relationships,
  • 00:15:26.246 --> 00:15:29.183
  • And your circumstances.
  • 00:15:29.183 --> 00:15:30.784
  • Pastor allen's book "through the cross" can help you get started.
  • 00:15:30.784 --> 00:15:35.122
  • You'll find 28 days of scripture, prayers,
  • 00:15:35.122 --> 00:15:38.258
  • And inspiring thoughts, all centered on the promises
  • 00:15:38.258 --> 00:15:41.362
  • Provided through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:15:41.362 --> 00:15:44.031
  • It's a daily way to strengthen your faith, grounding you
  • 00:15:44.031 --> 00:15:47.368
  • In god's truth as you the world continues to change.
  • 00:15:47.368 --> 00:15:50.637
  • Request "through the cross" when you donate
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  • $15 or more today at allenjackson.com,
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  • Or by calling...
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  • Thank you for supporting allen jackson ministries,
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  • Announcer: many of you from our broadcast audience have been
  • 00:16:14.395 --> 00:16:16.730
  • Visiting the middle tennessee area to attend services in
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  • Person with pastor allen at world outreach church.
  • 00:16:19.867 --> 00:16:23.237
  • It's been encouraging to meet you, hear your stories, and
  • 00:16:23.237 --> 00:16:26.006
  • Worship the lord together.
  • 00:16:26.006 --> 00:16:27.908
  • So, if you're headed to world outreach church in the near
  • 00:16:27.908 --> 00:16:30.144
  • Future, we've made it easy for you to plan your trip.
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  • Just go to the "visit" page of the allen jackson
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  • Ministries website.
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  • You'll find information for the airport, hotels, service times,
  • 00:16:36.950 --> 00:16:40.154
  • And much more.
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  • While you're there, let us know which service you plan to attend
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  • So pastor allen can have a welcome gift especially for you.
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  • This is also the best way for us to ensure he's speaking for the
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  • Weekend plan to come.
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  • Before or after services, you can explore the church's
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  • Beautiful campus, wander through the bookstore, and grab coffee
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  • From the cafe.
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  • Just take a few moments to relax.
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  • So don't forget, go to allenjackson.com to let us know
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  • You'll be visiting.
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  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:17:07.347 --> 00:17:12.686
  • Announcer: we are committed to helping you grow in your faith
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  • Here with allen jackson ministries.
  • 00:17:39.379 --> 00:17:42.049
  • Allen: i don't believe there's any question from
  • 00:17:45.352 --> 00:17:47.321
  • Scripture, and i'm not going to take the time to develop
  • 00:17:47.321 --> 00:17:49.323
  • In a lot of detail, but there is a curse that comes from god
  • 00:17:49.323 --> 00:17:53.293
  • For disobedience to him.
  • 00:17:53.293 --> 00:17:56.330
  • I'll give you one passage, and it's a familiar passage
  • 00:17:56.330 --> 00:17:58.398
  • To several of you, i suspect.
  • 00:17:58.398 --> 00:18:00.367
  • It's in the prophet malachi.
  • 00:18:00.367 --> 00:18:02.803
  • He's talking about in the context of how they managed
  • 00:18:02.803 --> 00:18:05.172
  • Their financial resources.
  • 00:18:05.172 --> 00:18:06.940
  • I don't want to direct it to that particular theme,
  • 00:18:06.940 --> 00:18:09.276
  • But i want you to see god's response.
  • 00:18:09.276 --> 00:18:11.578
  • It's malachi 3 in verse 6.
  • 00:18:11.578 --> 00:18:13.447
  • It said, "i, the lord, do not change.
  • 00:18:13.447 --> 00:18:15.682
  • So you, o descendants of jacob, are not destroyed.
  • 00:18:15.682 --> 00:18:19.319
  • Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away
  • 00:18:19.319 --> 00:18:21.788
  • From my decrees and have not kept them."
  • 00:18:21.788 --> 00:18:24.158
  • So for generations they have been turning away
  • 00:18:24.158 --> 00:18:27.394
  • From god's decrees.
  • 00:18:27.394 --> 00:18:29.229
  • Sounds like a pretty accurate description of the contemporary
  • 00:18:29.229 --> 00:18:31.665
  • Christian community.
  • 00:18:31.665 --> 00:18:33.834
  • Is that fair?
  • 00:18:33.834 --> 00:18:36.270
  • This isn't new.
  • 00:18:36.270 --> 00:18:37.771
  • It's been happening for a season.
  • 00:18:37.771 --> 00:18:42.176
  • "'return to me, and i will return to you,'
  • 00:18:42.176 --> 00:18:45.145
  • Says the lord almighty.
  • 00:18:45.145 --> 00:18:46.914
  • 'but you ask, "how are we to return?
  • 00:18:46.914 --> 00:18:49.783
  • Will a man rob god?"
  • 00:18:49.783 --> 00:18:51.685
  • Yet you rob me.'"
  • 00:18:51.685 --> 00:18:53.220
  • So god said, "if you'll return to me i will return to you."
  • 00:18:53.220 --> 00:18:56.623
  • And they say, "well, we don't know how to do that."
  • 00:18:56.623 --> 00:18:59.059
  • And then he turns them back to obedience,
  • 00:18:59.059 --> 00:19:00.928
  • To the truth that they know.
  • 00:19:00.928 --> 00:19:02.329
  • "'you ask, "how do we rob you?" in tithes and offerings.
  • 00:19:02.329 --> 00:19:04.798
  • You're under a curse, the whole nation of you because
  • 00:19:04.798 --> 00:19:07.734
  • You're robbing me.
  • 00:19:07.734 --> 00:19:09.603
  • Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that
  • 00:19:09.603 --> 00:19:11.872
  • There may be food in my house.
  • 00:19:11.872 --> 00:19:13.340
  • Test me in this,' says the lord almighty.
  • 00:19:13.340 --> 00:19:15.475
  • 'i'll open the floodgates, the windows of heaven
  • 00:19:15.475 --> 00:19:17.911
  • And pour out blessings upon you.'"
  • 00:19:17.911 --> 00:19:20.247
  • This is the covenant people of god.
  • 00:19:20.247 --> 00:19:22.816
  • It's not some ungodly pagan nation.
  • 00:19:22.816 --> 00:19:25.586
  • They have a temple.
  • 00:19:25.586 --> 00:19:27.221
  • They have sacrifices.
  • 00:19:27.221 --> 00:19:28.855
  • They have religious holidays.
  • 00:19:28.855 --> 00:19:30.290
  • They keep kosher rules.
  • 00:19:30.290 --> 00:19:31.692
  • They gather in synagogues and read torah passages.
  • 00:19:31.692 --> 00:19:35.128
  • And god said, "you're under a curse
  • 00:19:35.128 --> 00:19:37.764
  • Because of your disobedience."
  • 00:19:37.764 --> 00:19:40.267
  • But he holds out a promise.
  • 00:19:40.267 --> 00:19:41.702
  • He said if you'll return to the lord,
  • 00:19:41.702 --> 00:19:43.170
  • He'll return to you.
  • 00:19:43.170 --> 00:19:44.738
  • Did you know that disobedience results in a curse?
  • 00:19:44.738 --> 00:19:49.243
  • "so, pastor, i don't like to think about that."
  • 00:19:49.243 --> 00:19:51.612
  • It's a part of the problem.
  • 00:19:51.612 --> 00:19:53.580
  • It's a part of the problem.
  • 00:19:54.281 --> 00:19:56.083
  • If the church is not aware, if we're not looking and seeing
  • 00:19:56.083 --> 00:19:59.319
  • And understanding, who will speak,
  • 00:19:59.319 --> 00:20:02.923
  • Where will the message come from?
  • 00:20:02.923 --> 00:20:05.525
  • But you want a politician to do it?
  • 00:20:05.525 --> 00:20:07.127
  • You want a pastor to do it?
  • 00:20:07.127 --> 00:20:08.829
  • Do you want god to raise up a voice?
  • 00:20:08.829 --> 00:20:10.430
  • He has raised up a voice.
  • 00:20:10.430 --> 00:20:11.932
  • He's given each of us one.
  • 00:20:11.932 --> 00:20:14.101
  • Are we willing to speak the truth?
  • 00:20:14.101 --> 00:20:16.470
  • Are we willing to face the truth?
  • 00:20:16.470 --> 00:20:18.905
  • Disobedience in our lives results in a curse.
  • 00:20:18.905 --> 00:20:23.744
  • The solution is the same for us as it was for the people
  • 00:20:23.744 --> 00:20:27.514
  • Of malachi's day.
  • 00:20:27.514 --> 00:20:29.283
  • It was repentance, a change of thought and a change of action
  • 00:20:29.283 --> 00:20:33.754
  • Which results in obedience to god.
  • 00:20:33.754 --> 00:20:35.922
  • You can't just change your thought theoretically
  • 00:20:35.922 --> 00:20:38.959
  • In a worship service.
  • 00:20:38.959 --> 00:20:40.460
  • We have to change the way we conduct ourselves.
  • 00:20:40.460 --> 00:20:43.664
  • It's a new pattern of behavior god is calling us to.
  • 00:20:43.664 --> 00:20:48.168
  • Now, this is exciting stuff.
  • 00:20:48.168 --> 00:20:50.070
  • The possibility of faith to completely transform the world
  • 00:20:50.070 --> 00:20:54.007
  • That we watch it's not a new idea.
  • 00:20:54.007 --> 00:20:58.178
  • I want to take the time we have left
  • 00:20:58.178 --> 00:21:00.580
  • And look with you at abraham.
  • 00:21:00.580 --> 00:21:03.250
  • God gave abraham a vision.
  • 00:21:03.250 --> 00:21:07.321
  • He showed him what was ahead, and it changed abraham's life.
  • 00:21:07.321 --> 00:21:12.893
  • Then i'm asking god to give us a vision,
  • 00:21:12.893 --> 00:21:16.530
  • To let us see with new eyes, to see with our heart and to see
  • 00:21:16.530 --> 00:21:20.434
  • With our understanding that we might be able to recognize
  • 00:21:20.434 --> 00:21:23.670
  • What is ahead.
  • 00:21:23.670 --> 00:21:25.205
  • Look at john chapter 8 in verse 56.
  • 00:21:25.205 --> 00:21:27.607
  • "your father abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day.
  • 00:21:27.607 --> 00:21:31.945
  • He saw it and was glad."
  • 00:21:31.945 --> 00:21:35.916
  • Does anybody happen to remember which chapter in genesis
  • 00:21:35.916 --> 00:21:38.318
  • We meet abraham?
  • 00:21:38.318 --> 00:21:40.921
  • Genesis is the first book of your bible,
  • 00:21:40.921 --> 00:21:43.690
  • And we meet him in chapter 12.
  • 00:21:43.690 --> 00:21:46.860
  • So from genesis chapter 12 we're told that abraham rejoiced
  • 00:21:46.860 --> 00:21:52.199
  • When he saw the day of jesus.
  • 00:21:52.199 --> 00:21:55.268
  • Jesus was thousands of years in the future,
  • 00:21:55.268 --> 00:21:58.271
  • And abraham saw him.
  • 00:21:58.271 --> 00:22:00.941
  • Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 13, "all these people were still
  • 00:22:00.941 --> 00:22:04.678
  • Living by faith when they died.
  • 00:22:04.678 --> 00:22:06.813
  • They didn't receive the things promised, they only saw them
  • 00:22:06.813 --> 00:22:09.449
  • And welcomed them from a distance, and they admitted
  • 00:22:09.449 --> 00:22:12.319
  • They were aliens and strangers on the earth."
  • 00:22:12.319 --> 00:22:14.988
  • Hebrews 11 is the hall of fame of faith,
  • 00:22:14.988 --> 00:22:17.691
  • And it says those men and women saw something beyond
  • 00:22:17.691 --> 00:22:21.294
  • What they saw with their eyes.
  • 00:22:21.294 --> 00:22:23.130
  • Folks, we need a new vision.
  • 00:22:23.130 --> 00:22:26.767
  • We need new perspective.
  • 00:22:26.767 --> 00:22:28.769
  • We need new understanding.
  • 00:22:28.769 --> 00:22:32.072
  • I can tell you that god, he gave abraham the whole panorama
  • 00:22:32.072 --> 00:22:36.276
  • Of redemption that abraham, he saw jesus.
  • 00:22:36.276 --> 00:22:42.315
  • Abraham saw what god was going to do.
  • 00:22:42.315 --> 00:22:45.185
  • He stood at the beginning point of it all and he saw all the way
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  • Through to the heavenly jerusalem that was going to come
  • 00:22:49.055 --> 00:22:51.792
  • Down out of heaven.
  • 00:22:51.792 --> 00:22:53.693
  • He saw it first in the family that was going to be born to him
  • 00:22:53.693 --> 00:22:56.897
  • Even when he was childless.
  • 00:22:56.897 --> 00:23:00.167
  • He saw it in the patriarchs.
  • 00:23:00.167 --> 00:23:02.969
  • He saw it by faith in a nation that would be created,
  • 00:23:02.969 --> 00:23:06.106
  • Born in great suffering in egypt.
  • 00:23:06.106 --> 00:23:08.308
  • He saw that his descendants would go and suffer horribly in
  • 00:23:08.308 --> 00:23:12.446
  • Egypt, but he saw that god would deliver them.
  • 00:23:12.446 --> 00:23:15.549
  • He saw that the coming of a messiah
  • 00:23:15.549 --> 00:23:17.784
  • Through that nation of people.
  • 00:23:17.784 --> 00:23:20.020
  • He saw it in the gospel going out to the nations,
  • 00:23:20.020 --> 00:23:23.156
  • Not just to the jewish people, but to the non-jewish people so
  • 00:23:23.156 --> 00:23:27.093
  • That men of every kind, kindred, and race could become a part of
  • 00:23:27.093 --> 00:23:30.430
  • The family of god and the household of faith.
  • 00:23:30.430 --> 00:23:33.934
  • He saw the church.
  • 00:23:33.934 --> 00:23:36.136
  • Abraham saw the church, something so special to god,
  • 00:23:36.136 --> 00:23:40.240
  • So unbelievably important.
  • 00:23:40.240 --> 00:23:42.843
  • It's amazing what the revelation of god brought to abraham.
  • 00:23:42.843 --> 00:23:47.147
  • It's all contained in that vision.
  • 00:23:47.147 --> 00:23:49.549
  • Abraham is the beginning of the vision in one sense,
  • 00:23:49.549 --> 00:23:52.486
  • The beginning of what god is unfolding.
  • 00:23:52.486 --> 00:23:54.621
  • I know there's other people in the story before we get to
  • 00:23:54.621 --> 00:23:56.456
  • Abraham, but abraham is the father of our faith.
  • 00:23:56.456 --> 00:24:01.728
  • Now, i can't tell from the text how much precision abraham
  • 00:24:01.728 --> 00:24:05.665
  • Was able to see with.
  • 00:24:05.665 --> 00:24:07.701
  • Of the biblical characters we know,
  • 00:24:07.701 --> 00:24:09.402
  • It's paul who saw with such unique precision.
  • 00:24:09.402 --> 00:24:13.340
  • Abraham didn't know the infilling presence
  • 00:24:13.340 --> 00:24:15.842
  • Of the spirit of god.
  • 00:24:15.842 --> 00:24:17.878
  • That was to come on the day of pentecost.
  • 00:24:17.878 --> 00:24:19.846
  • Paul knew that infilling of the spirit of the resurrected
  • 00:24:19.846 --> 00:24:22.415
  • Christ, and it brought a preciseness to his revelation.
  • 00:24:22.415 --> 00:24:26.753
  • With paul we hear about the gentiles becoming fellow heirs
  • 00:24:26.753 --> 00:24:30.023
  • With the jews.
  • 00:24:30.023 --> 00:24:31.458
  • Paul saw it with such remarkable clarity.
  • 00:24:31.458 --> 00:24:35.295
  • It was unthinkable.
  • 00:24:35.295 --> 00:24:38.565
  • I don't know how clear abraham was,
  • 00:24:38.565 --> 00:24:40.967
  • But i know he saw it.
  • 00:24:40.967 --> 00:24:44.037
  • I'm reluctant to say it, but i believe it's true.
  • 00:24:44.037 --> 00:24:47.107
  • Thousands of born-again believers have no idea about
  • 00:24:47.107 --> 00:24:50.410
  • This kind of heavenly vision.
  • 00:24:50.410 --> 00:24:53.413
  • It's just separate from us.
  • 00:24:53.413 --> 00:24:56.283
  • Our faith journey is defined by we were taught to read
  • 00:24:56.283 --> 00:25:00.453
  • Our bibles, to say our prayers, to meet together.
  • 00:25:00.453 --> 00:25:05.492
  • It's as if we have a routine and our routine
  • 00:25:05.492 --> 00:25:09.696
  • Is the sum total of our faith.
  • 00:25:09.696 --> 00:25:12.532
  • Folks, that is a very thin expression of what god
  • 00:25:12.532 --> 00:25:16.670
  • Would do for us.
  • 00:25:16.670 --> 00:25:18.838
  • Abraham would be a complete stranger to that pattern
  • 00:25:18.838 --> 00:25:22.676
  • That we're so familiar with.
  • 00:25:22.676 --> 00:25:24.778
  • He had a vision of god which changed his life.
  • 00:25:24.778 --> 00:25:28.148
  • He was delivered from an empty life.
  • 00:25:28.148 --> 00:25:30.650
  • He led a life of unbelievable fulfillment.
  • 00:25:30.650 --> 00:25:34.220
  • He became the father of all who believed,
  • 00:25:34.220 --> 00:25:36.389
  • Both jew and gentile.
  • 00:25:36.389 --> 00:25:38.658
  • Did you know god has an unbelievable life for you?
  • 00:25:38.658 --> 00:25:42.195
  • He has a vision for you.
  • 00:25:42.195 --> 00:25:44.531
  • It's a tragic perversion of the gospel that we imagine god
  • 00:25:44.531 --> 00:25:48.435
  • Would diminish our lives and that our great dreams
  • 00:25:48.435 --> 00:25:51.371
  • Should be apart from him.
  • 00:25:51.371 --> 00:25:54.174
  • A vision of the kingdom of god will change how you live.
  • 00:25:54.174 --> 00:25:58.712
  • And we're not going to stop until god gives us that vision.
  • 00:25:58.712 --> 00:26:03.483
  • If we failed to have the courage and the boldness and the
  • 00:26:03.483 --> 00:26:06.019
  • Understanding when we could have used our voice in the previous
  • 00:26:06.019 --> 00:26:09.022
  • Years and decades, let's not make that mistake again.
  • 00:26:09.022 --> 00:26:13.360
  • Let's determine in our hearts to have a vision of heaven,
  • 00:26:13.360 --> 00:26:17.564
  • A vision of the kingdom of god, a vision that sins--sees beyond
  • 00:26:17.564 --> 00:26:21.935
  • Just satisfying my carnal nature,
  • 00:26:21.935 --> 00:26:25.071
  • A vision that sees what god is doing in the earth and will not
  • 00:26:25.071 --> 00:26:28.274
  • Turn loose until we have taken hold of it.
  • 00:26:28.274 --> 00:26:33.380
  • Your birthright in the kingdom of god is to know
  • 00:26:33.380 --> 00:26:36.016
  • The mysteries of god.
  • 00:26:36.016 --> 00:26:37.917
  • Your birthright is to know the mysteries of god.
  • 00:26:37.917 --> 00:26:41.321
  • We haven't even ask.
  • 00:26:41.321 --> 00:26:43.256
  • Allen: our greatest spiritual learnings come not from studying
  • 00:26:43.323 --> 00:26:46.559
  • But from revelations from the lord.
  • 00:26:46.559 --> 00:26:48.328
  • That's my prayer for us today.
  • 00:26:48.328 --> 00:26:50.096
  • Let's pray: father, i pray you'll give us a revelation
  • 00:26:50.096 --> 00:26:52.632
  • Of yourself and your purposes in the earth.
  • 00:26:52.632 --> 00:26:54.934
  • Deliver us from a routine and the habit of religion and open
  • 00:26:54.934 --> 00:26:59.039
  • Our hearts to the moving of the spirit of god as never before.
  • 00:26:59.039 --> 00:27:02.442
  • I thank you for it in jesus's name, amen.
  • 00:27:02.442 --> 00:27:26.266