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Losing to Win

Our pastor shared a powerful message this morning at church. Pastor Brandon Korter is the pastor of the Bellingham Seventh-day Adventist church. His sermon this morning was titled: “Losing to Win”. Here are some of the highlights from his message.

Do not be Deceived. Deception goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

As we get closer to the coming of Jesus, the challenge to make right decisions is causing serious problems in our society. Being a Christian is not about focusing on ourselves. Our society is all wrapped up in SELF. Jesus said: “Do not be of the World. Be in the World.” Our society is centered around me, myself, and I. Greatest battle a human being will ever have is with ‘self’.

How do we overcome human nature?
Matthew 10:16-22
Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

You are either a sheep or a wolf. There is a clear line of demarcation. Do you really want to be a sheep? There are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus is assuming we are sheep. There is no half way point. Sheep have to be tended to often-sheep are very needy. Jesus understands our constant need of Him.

verse 17:
Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues.

What must we lose to get ready for Jesus coming? Are we willing to live by Biblical principles? We should live as an example. Kevin and Kenda are here worshiping with us today. They watched sheep here at this church.

verse 18-22
You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Remember Rwanda in 1995? Hutus and Tutsis were fighting each other there to the point of genocide. Hutus attacked and killed many Tutsis. Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Tutsis squealed to Hutus that there were Tutsis hiding in the SDA church. Hutus went in to the church and killed them.

If we don’t get our way, do we scream, fight, and kick back? Or are we concerned about the welfare of our fellow Christians?

Pastor Korter mentions a train ride from Lithuiania to St. Petersburg, Russia. He and his Australian friend applied for Visas before leaving. The officials at the Russian embassy in Lithuiania switched the photos on the two men thereby the Australian man’s visa had Brandon Korter’s photo and vice versa. Because neither men could read Russian, they did not catch the problem.

The train they rode on had four Chinese men in the same car that Brandon rode on. Brandon asked the men if they knew about Jesus. None of them had heard of Jesus and Brandon shared for about an hour about Jesus. Then the train was at the border in the middle of the night.

It was 20 below zero at 03:00 and the Russian border guard opened Brandon’s compartment and got right in Brandon’s face and said: “You have a big problem”. After 2 hours of conversations, the Russian border guards allowed Brandon and his Australian friend into Russia.

Brandon was living on the promises of the Bible that by being a sheep, he can share Jesus with others.

If we practice being sheep with each other, we can turn wolves into sheep with Jesus help.

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