Understanding What God Is Doing Part 1

October 17, 2022 | 248 | 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 | Understanding What God Is Doing Part 1 | October 17, 2022
  • Allen jackson: it seems to me that our nation has been on
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  • A pathway leading away from a biblical worldview
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  • For several years.
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  • It's not something that's happened in the last year,
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  • Or with the last election,
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  • Or with the last few election cycles.
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  • This isn't something urgent that has happened to us.
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  • We may have approached something of a tipping point,
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  • But it isn't new.
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  • The church or the community of christ followers,
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  • Whichever label you prefer for god's people,
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  • I would submit to you have been willing co-conspirators in what
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  • We have watched happen.
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  • This has not been done to us.
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  • Darkness does not overcome light.
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  • The only way for darkness to increase
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  • Is to diminish the light.
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • Cc by aberdeen captioning 1-800-688-6621 aberdeen.io
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  • Allen jackson: it's good to be with you again.
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  • Our topic today is "visions of the future."
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  • You know, god will give us insight.
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  • He will reveal to us what his purposes are for the seasons
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  • Ahead of us, not just our lives.
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  • We have led a very diminished spiritual life if we've imagined
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  • That our purpose of our faith is just to receive god's blessings
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  • For us and for our kids and our grandkids.
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  • God has a bigger assignment for us.
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  • He--we are at the center of his purposes in the earth.
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  • He will use you to get the generations ahead of us
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  • Understanding of what he plans to do.
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  • What an exciting privilege.
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  • Folks, that's more than the routine of going to church and
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  • Having a polite bible study.
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  • That's being partners with the king.
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  • We're going to look at that a little more closely.
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  • Grab your bible and a notepad, but most importantly
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  • Open your heart.
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  • Allen: we're going to talk about visions of the future,
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  • And the real heart of the discussion has to do with our
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  • Ability to see not just with our physical eyes but to understand
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  • The things of god, to see with our spiritual eyes.
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  • You see, i believe as christ followers and as the church of
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  • Jesus christ we should have an awareness,
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  • An understanding, an anticipation,
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  • An insight into what god is doing that people who don't
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  • Serve the lord would not have.
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  • And if we don't have that, then i think we need to try to
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  • Understand our faith and to understand why.
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  • It's really the goal of this.
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  • It's not a new thing with this generation.
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  • I don't imagine that we're somehow unique,
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  • That we've wandered off the path a bit,
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  • That no one's ever done that before.
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  • Clearly from scripture, that's not the case.
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  • But i do know that if god provides us with an awareness of
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  • Our condition he'll give us the opportunity to be different,
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  • And so we have to have the hunger and the desire to
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  • Understand our condition.
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  • Have you ever not felt well but you were afraid to go
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  • To the doctor?
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  • You didn't hear what they were going to say,
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  • Or maybe you didn't want to go to the dentist?
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  • Amen, brother. right?
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  • But ultimately you know there's really not a pathway to get
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  • Better until you get a good diagnosis.
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  • A good diagnosis, even if it's news you don't want to hear,
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  • Is the first important step to getting better,
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  • And i believe we're in that place as the church.
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  • We need god's truth.
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  • We need god's perspective in such a way that we can respond
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  • To it and we can put ourselves in positions for god's best
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  • In our lives.
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  • So that's our target through this little series.
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  • With god's help, we will work towards that.
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  • I want to start on isaiah 42.
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  • The prophet is talking to the covenant people of god,
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  • And he's talking to them about their inability to see but god's
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  • Willingness to help them.
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  • Says, "i will lead the blind by ways they have not known,"
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  • And he's not talking about physical blindness,
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  • "along unfamiliar paths i will guide them.
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  • I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the
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  • Rough places smooth.
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  • These are the things i will do; i will not forsake them.
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  • But those who trust in idols, who say to images,
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  • 'you are gods,' will be turned back in utter shame.
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  • 'hear, you deaf; and look, you blind, and see.
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  • Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger i send?
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  • Who is blind like the one committed to me,
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  • Blind like the servant of the lord?'"
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  • He said there's a uniqueness when the--
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  • When god's servants walk in darkness.
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  • He said it's a far greater limit than just forfeiting
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  • Your physical sight.
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  • "you have seen many things, but have paid no attention;
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  • Your ears are open, but you hear nothing."
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  • We have so much; so many freedoms,
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  • And liberties, and opportunities;
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  • And so many churches to choose from,
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  • And christian television, and christian radio,
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  • And the internet, and books, and bibles,
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  • And so much; and it seems to me that we struggle to comprehend,
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  • To understand, to have insight.
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  • It's not a new challenge.
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  • In matthew 23, jesus is speaking to the religious leaders of his
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  • Day, the generation to whom the messiah was sent.
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  • So there's not a shortage of a message.
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  • There is no shortage of the divine intervention of god.
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  • There's no shortage of the dramatic,
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  • The miraculous, the supernatural.
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  • It's impossible to imagine a better scenario than to be the
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  • Generation that welcomed the arrival of the messiah.
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  • Agreed?
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  • And you would expect the religious leaders,
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  • The one who studied the prophets and spent their lives in
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  • Religious training and are fully invested in religious service,
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  • To be the most welcoming of the group.
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  • So if you look to the world today,
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  • You'd look at the nation with the greatest freedoms and the
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  • Greatest liberties and the most churches,
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  • The most access to the word of god and you'd think that would
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  • Be the place where the word of god would be alive and vibrant
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  • And the people most enthusiastic and most yielded and most
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  • Submitted to the lordship of jesus.
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  • Listen to what jesus says.
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  • Matthew 23, "you blind fools--"
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  • People say to me, you know, "jesus was all about love.
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  • He was a hugger, you know.
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  • Just had a big heart and welcomed everybody."
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  • Well, i'm thinking if you were in this conversation with him,
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  • When he looked at you and said, "you blind fools," that was not
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  • Just, like, a warm kumbaya moment.
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  • "which is greater; the gold, or the temple
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  • That makes the gold sacred?"
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  • I mean, he was coming for them, it's a larger context,
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  • And he didn't relent sentence after sentence,
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  • Moment after moment in public.
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  • He didn't take them in the quiet place over on the side.
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  • He took them on in public and said,
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  • "you're a bunch of blind fools. you're blind guides.
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  • Don't follow these people," he said.
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  • Jesus.
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  • In matthew 23, "you blind guides.
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  • You strain out a gnat but you swallow a camel."
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  • So can we establish the point that it's been a challenge for
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  • God's people through the centuries,
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  • Through the ages, different settings,
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  • Different historical contexts,
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  • Different political environments?
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  • All sorts of things changed, but the covenant people of god,
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  • The people that were walking in the greatest revelation of truth
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  • That was available to them found themselves
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  • Spiritually deaf and blind.
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  • So i think we have to pause for a moment and say,
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  • "is it possible?
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  • Is there any degree to which that could be said of us?"
  • 00:07:05.841 --> 00:07:10.812
  • You know, it seems to me that our nation has been on a pathway
  • 00:07:10.812 --> 00:07:13.014
  • Leading away from a biblical worldview for several years.
  • 00:07:13.014 --> 00:07:15.450
  • It's not something that's happened in the last year,
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  • Or with the last election,
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  • Or with the last few election cycles.
  • 00:07:18.620 --> 00:07:20.922
  • This isn't something urgent that has happened to us.
  • 00:07:20.922 --> 00:07:24.659
  • We may have approached something of a tipping point,
  • 00:07:24.659 --> 00:07:26.528
  • But it isn't new.
  • 00:07:26.528 --> 00:07:29.064
  • The church or the community of christ followers,
  • 00:07:29.064 --> 00:07:31.166
  • Whichever label you prefer for god's people,
  • 00:07:31.166 --> 00:07:34.102
  • I would submit to you have been willing co-conspirators in what
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  • We have watched happen.
  • 00:07:36.771 --> 00:07:38.773
  • This has not been done to us.
  • 00:07:38.773 --> 00:07:42.811
  • Darkness does not overcome light.
  • 00:07:42.811 --> 00:07:44.379
  • The only way for darkness to increase
  • 00:07:44.379 --> 00:07:46.114
  • Is to diminish the light.
  • 00:07:46.114 --> 00:07:48.383
  • So we have to have the courage and the boldness of soul to look
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  • At ourselves and say, "the circumstances which we find
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  • Ourselves is every bit as much self-inflicted as something that
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  • Has happened to us."
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  • They told us some time ago not to speak about our faith;
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  • That we shouldn't take our faith into the public sphere,
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  • To the marketplace, or to the corporate boardrooms--
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  • Or the corporate settings.
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  • That wasn't the appropriate place to talk about jesus,
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  • Or to pray out loud, or to discuss our faith or what we
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  • Believe how about--how that impacts our world.
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  • We were told to leave that out of the halls of the hospitals,
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  • Or the courtrooms, or the classrooms of our children.
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  • Wasn't welcomed in the halls of academia,
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  • And the reason we were told this was that someone
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  • Might be offended.
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  • And if you dared to transgress that suggestion someone would be
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  • Offended, and they would raise their hand and there would be a
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  • Microphone provided and they would say,
  • 00:08:43.471 --> 00:08:45.006
  • "i was offended," and the message would be reiterated,
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  • "you shouldn't do that. it's inappropriate.
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  • Stop doing that."
  • 00:08:49.411 --> 00:08:54.316
  • We were told we had no right to push our beliefs
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  • Upon someone else.
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  • Now, here's the awkward truth.
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  • We complied.
  • 00:09:01.790 --> 00:09:05.694
  • We politely and rather demurely yielded to evil.
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  • We took our faith out of those places.
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  • We took our language around our lord away from those settings.
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  • We made our faith a private thing.
  • 00:09:19.941 --> 00:09:23.311
  • We thought, "well, as long as we can gather inside our church
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  • Buildings and talk about what we believe,
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  • Surely we'll be okay."
  • 00:09:26.982 --> 00:09:30.151
  • Well, today, some decades into this debacle,
  • 00:09:30.151 --> 00:09:34.723
  • We find those same settings, the marketplace,
  • 00:09:34.723 --> 00:09:39.561
  • The corporate settings, the halls of authority and power,
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  • Are being dominated by a worldview that is unacceptable
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  • To christ followers, and it's being expressed with a very
  • 00:09:46.801 --> 00:09:51.339
  • Aggressive advocacy for adoption of the prevailing worldview in
  • 00:09:51.339 --> 00:09:55.110
  • All of those settings where they told us not to use our voice.
  • 00:09:55.110 --> 00:09:58.980
  • Our children's classrooms, the halls of academia,
  • 00:09:58.980 --> 00:10:01.850
  • The corporate settings have all become platforms,
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  • Pulpits, if you will allow, for the proclamation of a worldview
  • 00:10:05.153 --> 00:10:09.057
  • That stands in opposition to that of a christ follower.
  • 00:10:09.057 --> 00:10:14.629
  • In fact, if you oppose this new orthodoxy,
  • 00:10:14.629 --> 00:10:17.999
  • You'll face removal from the public square, legal threats.
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  • You'd be threatened with financial ruin.
  • 00:10:22.570 --> 00:10:25.540
  • Well, may i ask a question?
  • 00:10:25.540 --> 00:10:26.875
  • Whatever happened to the notion that one's personal belief
  • 00:10:26.875 --> 00:10:29.544
  • Shouldn't dominate the public square for the
  • 00:10:29.544 --> 00:10:34.082
  • Vantage point where i stand today?
  • 00:10:34.082 --> 00:10:35.417
  • And this is upon--it's much upon me as anyone else.
  • 00:10:35.417 --> 00:10:37.952
  • We were foolish.
  • 00:10:37.952 --> 00:10:40.622
  • We were foolish and we will not get to a better place until we
  • 00:10:40.622 --> 00:10:46.995
  • Recognize that.
  • 00:10:46.995 --> 00:10:49.464
  • I think it's time for us to speak up.
  • 00:10:49.464 --> 00:10:52.600
  • The litany of what we're hearing is not always immoral.
  • 00:10:52.600 --> 00:11:02.110
  • Sometimes it's just illogical because once you separate
  • 00:11:02.110 --> 00:11:05.513
  • Yourselves from the moorings of god's truth and you begin
  • 00:11:05.513 --> 00:11:09.050
  • Redefining words and terms and expressions you
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  • Lose your boundaries.
  • 00:11:13.021 --> 00:11:15.490
  • Not all truth is subjective, and it becomes easier to be
  • 00:11:15.490 --> 00:11:18.793
  • Deceptive and to tell a lie than it does to tell the truth.
  • 00:11:18.793 --> 00:11:22.931
  • I made a list of some things we hear.
  • 00:11:22.931 --> 00:11:24.265
  • And they're not all moral issues,
  • 00:11:24.265 --> 00:11:25.800
  • But they all certainly have implications for our lives.
  • 00:11:25.800 --> 00:11:28.937
  • It's time to speak up.
  • 00:11:28.937 --> 00:11:30.271
  • The truth is open borders do not reduce poverty.
  • 00:11:30.271 --> 00:11:35.276
  • In fact, the case for our own nation, they will increase it.
  • 00:11:35.276 --> 00:11:40.749
  • Electric cars. and i don't oppose them.
  • 00:11:40.749 --> 00:11:44.018
  • If you have one and you want to give it to me,
  • 00:11:44.018 --> 00:11:45.620
  • I'm all in. no problem with that.
  • 00:11:45.620 --> 00:11:48.757
  • But just for clarity's sake, they are not an expression
  • 00:11:48.757 --> 00:11:51.159
  • Of renewable energy.
  • 00:11:51.159 --> 00:11:54.429
  • Think.
  • 00:11:54.429 --> 00:11:56.197
  • It takes a fossil fuel to make the electricity to drive that
  • 00:11:56.197 --> 00:11:59.467
  • Battery-operated wonder.
  • 00:11:59.467 --> 00:12:06.207
  • And it may prove to be a better mousetrap,
  • 00:12:06.207 --> 00:12:08.243
  • But it's not about environmental support.
  • 00:12:08.243 --> 00:12:12.947
  • Your biological sex certainly is not confusing and it really
  • 00:12:12.947 --> 00:12:18.319
  • Isn't difficult to determine.
  • 00:12:18.319 --> 00:12:21.256
  • And if there's confusion around it,
  • 00:12:21.256 --> 00:12:26.828
  • That is a very difficult place.
  • 00:12:26.828 --> 00:12:28.696
  • And i have tremendous compassion,
  • 00:12:28.696 --> 00:12:30.932
  • But it shouldn't be unleashed or expanded.
  • 00:12:30.932 --> 00:12:34.569
  • There is no free.
  • 00:12:34.569 --> 00:12:37.038
  • There just is no free. someone has to pay.
  • 00:12:37.038 --> 00:12:45.647
  • Abortion, honestly it really is the termination of a human life.
  • 00:12:45.647 --> 00:12:51.419
  • It isn't confusing. we need to go.
  • 00:12:51.419 --> 00:12:54.622
  • Liberty and freedom, liberty and freedom come from god;
  • 00:12:54.622 --> 00:12:57.692
  • They don't come from governments.
  • 00:12:57.692 --> 00:13:00.261
  • In fact, the history is very clear.
  • 00:13:00.261 --> 00:13:02.430
  • Governments consistently--governments of
  • 00:13:02.430 --> 00:13:04.165
  • Every stripe, governments with different languages from
  • 00:13:04.165 --> 00:13:07.302
  • Different continents, governments reduce
  • 00:13:07.302 --> 00:13:09.637
  • Freedom and liberty.
  • 00:13:09.637 --> 00:13:11.706
  • Now, today we are witnessing the intentional dismantling of the
  • 00:13:11.706 --> 00:13:14.442
  • Values and behaviors which have provided
  • 00:13:14.442 --> 00:13:16.244
  • Our liberty and freedom.
  • 00:13:16.244 --> 00:13:19.180
  • Open borders are being promoted no matter the consequences.
  • 00:13:19.180 --> 00:13:21.883
  • The onslaught of transgender confusion upon our children is
  • 00:13:21.883 --> 00:13:24.485
  • Being mandated by an ever-increasingly authoritative
  • 00:13:24.485 --> 00:13:27.655
  • Government system.
  • 00:13:27.655 --> 00:13:29.791
  • Folks, it is unacceptable that our elementary children would
  • 00:13:29.791 --> 00:13:32.861
  • Be subjected to training in gender fluidity.
  • 00:13:32.861 --> 00:13:37.899
  • It's evil, but in all fairness we created the vacuum.
  • 00:13:37.899 --> 00:13:47.642
  • We took our faith out of those places.
  • 00:13:47.642 --> 00:13:50.879
  • We stepped away.
  • 00:13:50.879 --> 00:13:52.413
  • We didn't have the courage to stand.
  • 00:13:52.413 --> 00:13:54.148
  • We wanted the approval.
  • 00:13:54.148 --> 00:13:55.483
  • We didn't want to forfeit an opportunity.
  • 00:13:55.483 --> 00:13:57.018
  • We wouldn't--we didn't want to be called a name.
  • 00:13:57.018 --> 00:14:00.622
  • This is on us. don't be angry at somebody else.
  • 00:14:00.622 --> 00:14:04.092
  • You can't remove something as ungodly unless you replace it
  • 00:14:04.092 --> 00:14:08.263
  • With what is godly or you'll just get something worse.
  • 00:14:08.263 --> 00:14:11.399
  • If we don't have the intent to take our faith back into the
  • 00:14:11.399 --> 00:14:13.935
  • Public square, don't grumble about the ungodliness you see.
  • 00:14:13.935 --> 00:14:18.506
  • It's serious.
  • 00:14:18.506 --> 00:14:23.845
  • Financial responsibility has delivered--our financial
  • 00:14:23.845 --> 00:14:26.915
  • Irresponsibility has delivered double-digit inflation.
  • 00:14:26.915 --> 00:14:30.885
  • Internationally it's even worse.
  • 00:14:30.885 --> 00:14:33.988
  • We're realigning global financial practices that will
  • 00:14:33.988 --> 00:14:36.658
  • Leave us as a poorer people.
  • 00:14:36.658 --> 00:14:38.660
  • It's not talked about, but it's happening day over day.
  • 00:14:38.660 --> 00:14:43.064
  • The decline is precipitous most prefer not to notice,
  • 00:14:43.064 --> 00:14:47.535
  • And the part that's most awkward to me is the strange silence
  • 00:14:47.535 --> 00:14:50.438
  • Of the church.
  • 00:14:50.438 --> 00:14:52.974
  • We're not in a political battle.
  • 00:14:52.974 --> 00:14:56.110
  • This has been taking place for a long time.
  • 00:14:56.110 --> 00:14:59.013
  • It's a spiritual struggle and the church,
  • 00:14:59.013 --> 00:15:02.550
  • God's people, i promise you are the key.
  • 00:15:02.550 --> 00:15:05.853
  • Don't feel powerless or unimportant.
  • 00:15:05.853 --> 00:15:07.956
  • Your choices matter and what we choose to do in this season
  • 00:15:07.956 --> 00:15:09.991
  • Will make a difference.
  • 00:15:09.991 --> 00:15:12.827
  • Allen: we are walking through a season of instability,
  • 00:15:16.965 --> 00:15:19.600
  • Unprecedented in recent years.
  • 00:15:19.600 --> 00:15:21.669
  • We've never seen anything quite like this.
  • 00:15:21.669 --> 00:15:23.671
  • But i don't believe it's a time to be afraid.
  • 00:15:23.671 --> 00:15:25.506
  • I believe it's a time for a courageous response
  • 00:15:25.506 --> 00:15:27.642
  • From god's people.
  • 00:15:27.642 --> 00:15:29.110
  • Well, the team has pulled together some prayers
  • 00:15:29.110 --> 00:15:30.878
  • That we've been leaning on here at the church
  • 00:15:30.878 --> 00:15:32.947
  • Centered in the cross and its provision for our lives.
  • 00:15:32.947 --> 00:15:36.284
  • You see, our stability doesn't come from the government,
  • 00:15:36.284 --> 00:15:38.419
  • Or a political party, or an elected leader;
  • 00:15:38.419 --> 00:15:40.588
  • It comes to us through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:15:40.588 --> 00:15:43.157
  • It's not just our provision for eternity,
  • 00:15:43.157 --> 00:15:45.193
  • It's not just a get-out-of-hell-free card.
  • 00:15:45.193 --> 00:15:47.562
  • It's everything we need, the scripture says,
  • 00:15:47.562 --> 00:15:49.797
  • For life in godliness made available to us
  • 00:15:49.797 --> 00:15:52.467
  • Through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:15:52.467 --> 00:15:54.836
  • These prayers will ground you on a daily basis
  • 00:15:54.836 --> 00:15:57.538
  • To help you triumph over fear, anxiety, uncertainty.
  • 00:15:57.538 --> 00:16:01.075
  • We're not alone.
  • 00:16:01.075 --> 00:16:02.610
  • Almighty god has made provision fo us and it's through
  • 00:16:02.610 --> 00:16:05.413
  • The cross of his son, jesus.
  • 00:16:05.413 --> 00:16:07.315
  • Take these prayers, put 'em into your life on a daily basis.
  • 00:16:07.315 --> 00:16:10.518
  • They'll strengthen you, your family, your friends.
  • 00:16:10.518 --> 00:16:13.021
  • They'll make a difference.
  • 00:16:13.021 --> 00:16:14.422
  • Enjoy the pryers.
  • 00:16:14.422 --> 00:16:16.991
  • Female announcer: being a person who prays
  • 00:16:16.991 --> 00:16:18.526
  • Is not about how many minutes you invest.
  • 00:16:18.526 --> 00:16:20.995
  • It's about intentionally inviting god
  • 00:16:20.995 --> 00:16:23.164
  • Into all the moments of your life.
  • 00:16:23.164 --> 00:16:25.233
  • Make prayer a habit and see how the power of god begins to move
  • 00:16:25.233 --> 00:16:28.970
  • In your home, your work, your relationships,
  • 00:16:28.970 --> 00:16:31.906
  • And your circumstances.
  • 00:16:31.906 --> 00:16:33.508
  • Pastor allen's book "through the cross" can help you get started.
  • 00:16:33.508 --> 00:16:37.845
  • You'll find 28 days of scripture, prayers,
  • 00:16:37.845 --> 00:16:40.982
  • And inspiring thoughts, all centered on the promises
  • 00:16:40.982 --> 00:16:44.085
  • Provided through the cross of jesus christ.
  • 00:16:44.085 --> 00:16:46.754
  • It's a daily way to strengthen your faith, grounding you
  • 00:16:46.754 --> 00:16:50.091
  • In god's truth as you the world continues to change.
  • 00:16:50.091 --> 00:16:53.361
  • 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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  • Announcer: many of you from our broadcast audience have been
  • 00:17:16.951 --> 00:17:19.287
  • Visiting the middle tennessee area to attend services in
  • 00:17:19.287 --> 00:17:22.423
  • Person with pastor allen at world outreach church.
  • 00:17:22.423 --> 00:17:25.793
  • It's been encouraging to meet you, hear your stories, and
  • 00:17:25.793 --> 00:17:28.563
  • Worship the lord together.
  • 00:17:28.563 --> 00:17:30.465
  • So, if you're headed to world outreach church in the near
  • 00:17:30.465 --> 00:17:32.700
  • 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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  • And much more.
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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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  • ♪♪♪
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  • Here with allen jackson ministries.
  • 00:18:42.069 --> 00:18:46.107
  • Allen: and i want to take a few minutes and talk to you
  • 00:18:47.675 --> 00:18:49.477
  • About godly vision; the ability to see,
  • 00:18:49.477 --> 00:18:52.146
  • To have a spiritual awareness.
  • 00:18:52.146 --> 00:18:53.481
  • It's about understanding spiritual realities,
  • 00:18:53.481 --> 00:18:57.185
  • What really are the possibilities of god in the life
  • 00:18:57.185 --> 00:18:59.854
  • Of a person, what is the majesty of the king we serve.
  • 00:18:59.854 --> 00:19:04.992
  • We've lost sight of these things.
  • 00:19:04.992 --> 00:19:06.327
  • We're deaf to them.
  • 00:19:06.327 --> 00:19:08.529
  • We've traded them way--away in the market of public opinion.
  • 00:19:08.529 --> 00:19:13.434
  • We'd rather be seen as chic, or fashionable,
  • 00:19:13.434 --> 00:19:15.636
  • Or affluent, or successful, or well-educated than people of
  • 00:19:15.636 --> 00:19:20.508
  • Faith fully yielded to jesus of nazareth.
  • 00:19:20.508 --> 00:19:24.779
  • And we'll point to our church attendance or some moral
  • 00:19:24.779 --> 00:19:27.815
  • Scorecard that we don't think we violate too grossly,
  • 00:19:27.815 --> 00:19:31.919
  • But we've lost our vision.
  • 00:19:31.919 --> 00:19:35.623
  • I want to use abraham for just a moment.
  • 00:19:35.623 --> 00:19:37.325
  • He's a remarkable character.
  • 00:19:37.325 --> 00:19:38.659
  • Does anybody happen to remember which chapter--
  • 00:19:38.659 --> 00:19:40.061
  • Which book in the bible you meet abraham?
  • 00:19:40.061 --> 00:19:41.729
  • We meet him in genesis.
  • 00:19:41.729 --> 00:19:43.431
  • It's the book of beginnings, but it's in genesis chapter 12.
  • 00:19:43.431 --> 00:19:47.335
  • Very near the beginning of the story we're introduced to
  • 00:19:47.335 --> 00:19:49.737
  • Abraham and throughout scripture abraham becomes the father of
  • 00:19:49.737 --> 00:19:52.907
  • Our faith, the epitome of a man who believed god.
  • 00:19:52.907 --> 00:19:57.845
  • So he's mentioned both in the old--throughout the old and
  • 00:19:57.845 --> 00:20:00.414
  • Throughout the new testaments.
  • 00:20:00.414 --> 00:20:02.183
  • In john chapter 8 jesus is speaking,
  • 00:20:02.183 --> 00:20:06.087
  • And he's going to speak about abraham.
  • 00:20:06.087 --> 00:20:07.421
  • So i think he's telling the truth.
  • 00:20:07.421 --> 00:20:08.756
  • I trust jesus to tell the truth.
  • 00:20:08.756 --> 00:20:11.525
  • Can we agree? okay.
  • 00:20:11.525 --> 00:20:13.728
  • Says, "your father abraham rejoiced at the thought of
  • 00:20:13.728 --> 00:20:16.931
  • Seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
  • 00:20:16.931 --> 00:20:21.202
  • Jesus is alive on planet earth with an earth suit thousands of
  • 00:20:21.202 --> 00:20:25.172
  • Years after abraham lived and jesus said,
  • 00:20:25.172 --> 00:20:28.509
  • "abraham saw my day.
  • 00:20:28.509 --> 00:20:31.846
  • Abraham understood i would stand here,
  • 00:20:31.846 --> 00:20:35.783
  • And he rejoiced in it."
  • 00:20:35.783 --> 00:20:39.987
  • That has to kind of settle in for a minute.
  • 00:20:39.987 --> 00:20:43.057
  • Abraham had a vision, an insight, an understanding.
  • 00:20:43.057 --> 00:20:46.961
  • You see, the sight we need for our lives
  • 00:20:46.961 --> 00:20:49.330
  • Goes beyond our physical sight.
  • 00:20:49.330 --> 00:20:50.665
  • Your physical sight is of great importance,
  • 00:20:50.665 --> 00:20:53.768
  • But of equal importance is your ability to understand,
  • 00:20:53.768 --> 00:20:58.773
  • To see with your spirit, to see with your heart.
  • 00:20:58.773 --> 00:21:03.544
  • We have lost that.
  • 00:21:03.544 --> 00:21:05.112
  • We are the people isaiah was talking about,
  • 00:21:05.112 --> 00:21:07.448
  • But god extended to that generation an invitation and, i
  • 00:21:07.448 --> 00:21:10.518
  • Believe, is extending one to you and me.
  • 00:21:10.518 --> 00:21:14.055
  • In acts chapter 7, it's the story of the church.
  • 00:21:14.055 --> 00:21:17.525
  • It's unfolding, and we're going to step
  • 00:21:17.525 --> 00:21:18.959
  • Into the middle of a scenario.
  • 00:21:18.959 --> 00:21:20.294
  • Stephen, a critical component of this
  • 00:21:20.294 --> 00:21:23.898
  • Emerging church in jerusalem,
  • 00:21:23.898 --> 00:21:25.232
  • It's growing so fast that they can't keep up and the
  • 00:21:25.232 --> 00:21:27.601
  • Apostles appoint some people to help them,
  • 00:21:27.601 --> 00:21:28.936
  • And stephen is one of the young men selected.
  • 00:21:28.936 --> 00:21:31.105
  • We're told he was a man full of faith and the spirit of god,
  • 00:21:31.105 --> 00:21:34.642
  • That god did remarkable miracles through stephen's life.
  • 00:21:34.642 --> 00:21:37.078
  • And he's engaged in presenting the gospel in the streets of
  • 00:21:37.078 --> 00:21:40.181
  • Jerusalem and he's going to receive an outcome
  • 00:21:40.181 --> 00:21:44.518
  • Not unlike our lord's.
  • 00:21:44.518 --> 00:21:46.687
  • He's going to be murdered in the city of jerusalem because of his
  • 00:21:46.687 --> 00:21:49.757
  • Testimony for jesus.
  • 00:21:49.757 --> 00:21:52.560
  • And so the entire seventh chapter of the book of acts is
  • 00:21:52.560 --> 00:21:54.895
  • Devoted to the presentation stephen made.
  • 00:21:54.895 --> 00:21:56.797
  • Think of that.
  • 00:21:56.797 --> 00:21:58.132
  • How many characters in scripture have an entire chapter
  • 00:21:58.132 --> 00:22:00.067
  • Devoted to one of their presentations?
  • 00:22:00.067 --> 00:22:01.402
  • Not very many.
  • 00:22:01.402 --> 00:22:03.371
  • He's a young man.
  • 00:22:03.371 --> 00:22:07.708
  • I want you to note what he said about abraham.
  • 00:22:07.708 --> 00:22:09.510
  • It's acts 7 and verse 2.
  • 00:22:09.510 --> 00:22:10.845
  • "to this he replied: 'brothers and fathers, listen to me.
  • 00:22:10.845 --> 00:22:13.614
  • The god of glory appeared to our father abraham.'"
  • 00:22:13.614 --> 00:22:16.851
  • That's the defining characteristic.
  • 00:22:16.851 --> 00:22:19.754
  • The god of glory appeared to abraham.
  • 00:22:19.754 --> 00:22:23.924
  • Abraham saw the lord.
  • 00:22:23.924 --> 00:22:26.227
  • He saw his purposes. he saw his agenda.
  • 00:22:26.227 --> 00:22:28.996
  • He understood that there was more than just a ritualistic
  • 00:22:28.996 --> 00:22:32.199
  • Nature to his faith.
  • 00:22:32.199 --> 00:22:34.802
  • The god of glory appeared to abraham.
  • 00:22:34.802 --> 00:22:37.304
  • We need an appearance of the god of glory, but listen.
  • 00:22:37.304 --> 00:22:41.609
  • He goes on, he says, "while he was still in mesopotamia,
  • 00:22:41.609 --> 00:22:43.844
  • Before he lived in haran.
  • 00:22:43.844 --> 00:22:46.847
  • 'leave your country and your people,' god said.
  • 00:22:46.847 --> 00:22:48.783
  • 'go to the land i will show you.'
  • 00:22:48.783 --> 00:22:50.885
  • So he left the land of the chaldeans
  • 00:22:50.885 --> 00:22:52.219
  • And he settled in haran.
  • 00:22:52.219 --> 00:22:53.554
  • And after the death of his father,
  • 00:22:53.554 --> 00:22:55.022
  • God sent him to this land where you're now living."
  • 00:22:55.022 --> 00:22:57.258
  • God didn't tell him to take his father and lot with him.
  • 00:22:57.258 --> 00:23:01.328
  • Abraham didn't get it all right.
  • 00:23:01.328 --> 00:23:04.064
  • In fact, maybe before we're done with this series,
  • 00:23:04.064 --> 00:23:05.566
  • We'll look at some of the struggles that abraham had.
  • 00:23:05.566 --> 00:23:09.470
  • God told him to leave his family and to go to a new place,
  • 00:23:09.470 --> 00:23:12.239
  • And he participated kind of.
  • 00:23:12.239 --> 00:23:15.943
  • He took his father and he didn't make it all the way.
  • 00:23:15.943 --> 00:23:17.611
  • He stopped partway until his father died.
  • 00:23:17.611 --> 00:23:19.613
  • And he completed the journey, but he still had lot.
  • 00:23:19.613 --> 00:23:22.650
  • I heard one biblical scholar say that lot was a lot of trouble.
  • 00:23:22.650 --> 00:23:27.988
  • That's true.
  • 00:23:27.988 --> 00:23:30.758
  • "after the death of his father, god sent him to
  • 00:23:30.758 --> 00:23:32.526
  • This land where you're now living.
  • 00:23:32.526 --> 00:23:33.861
  • He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground."
  • 00:23:33.861 --> 00:23:37.932
  • God said, "i'm going to give this territory to you and your
  • 00:23:37.932 --> 00:23:40.201
  • Descendants forever."
  • 00:23:40.201 --> 00:23:41.936
  • But it's worth noting that in abraham's lifetime the only part
  • 00:23:41.936 --> 00:23:45.339
  • Of the promised land that was ever technically his was a
  • 00:23:45.339 --> 00:23:48.576
  • Burial plot and he had to purchase it.
  • 00:23:48.576 --> 00:23:52.346
  • When he died, the fulfillment of that was still a promise to him.
  • 00:23:52.346 --> 00:23:56.016
  • God said, "you walk this land and where your foot lands i will
  • 00:23:56.016 --> 00:23:59.153
  • Give it to you."
  • 00:23:59.153 --> 00:24:00.888
  • But it was going to be inherited by a later generation.
  • 00:24:00.888 --> 00:24:03.357
  • Do you have the courage to serve the lord so the generations who
  • 00:24:03.357 --> 00:24:05.993
  • Follow you will have a better life than you have,
  • 00:24:05.993 --> 00:24:09.396
  • Or have we become so self-absorbed,
  • 00:24:09.396 --> 00:24:11.232
  • So self-centered, so me first that our faith is entirely about
  • 00:24:11.232 --> 00:24:17.671
  • Realizing the benefits and let the next generations
  • 00:24:17.671 --> 00:24:20.407
  • Struggle for themselves?
  • 00:24:20.407 --> 00:24:26.881
  • "but god promised him that he and his descendants after him
  • 00:24:26.881 --> 00:24:29.250
  • Would possess that land, even though at that time abraham
  • 00:24:29.250 --> 00:24:31.685
  • Had no child.
  • 00:24:31.685 --> 00:24:33.854
  • God spoke to him in this way: 'your descendants will be
  • 00:24:33.854 --> 00:24:36.790
  • Strangers in a country not their own,
  • 00:24:36.790 --> 00:24:39.660
  • And they'll be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.'"
  • 00:24:39.660 --> 00:24:43.297
  • What's he talking about?
  • 00:24:43.297 --> 00:24:45.399
  • Egypt.
  • 00:24:45.399 --> 00:24:46.734
  • "your descendants would go to egypt."
  • 00:24:46.734 --> 00:24:48.068
  • Abraham saw the horrible suffering of the hebrew slaves.
  • 00:24:48.068 --> 00:24:54.241
  • He understood what would happen to them.
  • 00:24:54.241 --> 00:24:57.444
  • "'i'll punish that nation they serve as slaves,' god said,
  • 00:24:57.444 --> 00:25:00.080
  • 'and afterward they'll come out of that country and worship me
  • 00:25:00.080 --> 00:25:02.950
  • In this place.'
  • 00:25:02.950 --> 00:25:05.152
  • And he gave abraham the covenant of
  • 00:25:05.152 --> 00:25:06.487
  • Circumcision, and abraham became the father of isaac and
  • 00:25:06.487 --> 00:25:10.558
  • Circumcised him eight days after his birth.
  • 00:25:10.558 --> 00:25:13.027
  • And isaac became the father of jacob,
  • 00:25:13.027 --> 00:25:15.529
  • And jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs."
  • 00:25:15.529 --> 00:25:19.767
  • It's safe to say that abraham
  • 00:25:19.767 --> 00:25:21.802
  • Saw the whole panorama of redemption.
  • 00:25:21.802 --> 00:25:25.773
  • He saw the whole thing.
  • 00:25:25.773 --> 00:25:30.177
  • It's staggering.
  • 00:25:30.177 --> 00:25:32.546
  • He had a--the glory of the lord appeared to abraham and his
  • 00:25:32.546 --> 00:25:37.151
  • Faith was so remarkable he saw the redemptive intent of god.
  • 00:25:37.151 --> 00:25:43.691
  • Jesus said, "abraham saw me."
  • 00:25:43.691 --> 00:25:49.330
  • God showed him their slavery in egypt and their deliverance,
  • 00:25:49.330 --> 00:25:53.434
  • That they would return to this land to worship him.
  • 00:25:53.434 --> 00:25:56.136
  • Would to god that most christian believers had that same
  • 00:25:56.136 --> 00:25:58.906
  • Understanding, that we could look beyond ourselves and our
  • 00:25:58.906 --> 00:26:03.611
  • Immediate desires and preferences and see the purposes
  • 00:26:03.611 --> 00:26:07.348
  • Of god that are in front of us and live in such a way that they
  • 00:26:07.348 --> 00:26:11.652
  • Might be fulfilled?
  • 00:26:11.652 --> 00:26:13.954
  • Allen: abraham had a heavenly vision that brought
  • 00:26:13.954 --> 00:26:16.290
  • The motivation to his life and his great faith.
  • 00:26:16.290 --> 00:26:19.727
  • Thousands of born-again believers have little,
  • 00:26:19.727 --> 00:26:22.830
  • If any, awareness of such an idea of a heavenly vision.
  • 00:26:22.830 --> 00:26:25.866
  • I want to pray for you today, that the spirit of god will let
  • 00:26:25.866 --> 00:26:28.902
  • That grow within us.
  • 00:26:28.902 --> 00:26:30.304
  • Father, thank you that you love us and that you've called us
  • 00:26:30.304 --> 00:26:33.107
  • More than just to be birthed into your kingdom but become
  • 00:26:33.107 --> 00:26:35.976
  • Citizens of that kingdom.
  • 00:26:35.976 --> 00:26:37.678
  • May it grow within us.
  • 00:26:37.678 --> 00:26:39.013
  • May it explode in our hearts in jesus's name, amen.
  • 00:26:39.013 --> 00:26:42.983
  • God bless you.
  • 00:26:42.983 --> 00:26:44.918
  • Allen: parents, we need a desire to see our children
  • 00:26:44.985 --> 00:26:47.321
  • Serve the lord.
  • 00:26:47.321 --> 00:26:50.290
  • If the christ followers don't have a desire to see
  • 00:26:50.290 --> 00:26:52.526
  • Our children serve the lord with their whole heart, mind, soul,
  • 00:26:52.526 --> 00:26:55.929
  • And body, where do we think the leadership
  • 00:26:55.929 --> 00:26:57.831
  • For the church is gonna come from?
  • 00:26:57.831 --> 00:27:00.768
  • Why do we aspire for them, for the same things
  • 00:27:00.768 --> 00:27:03.003
  • That the ungodly are seeking?
  • 00:27:03.003 --> 00:27:06.674
  • Because we don't attach enough value to the things of god.
  • 00:27:06.674 --> 00:27:11.078
  • We don't think the rewards are legitimate.
  • 00:27:11.078 --> 00:27:26.994