This sermon was preached at Bellingham, Washington Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sabbath, 2 April 2011 by Pastor Brandon Korter.
Most of the world no longer looks at things as God does. Put yourself in God’s place. You just created the world and then created perfect angels and people. God took a big risk and gave people free will. By giving us free will, God gives us the greatest act of Love.
The great controversy began when Lucifer wanted to be as high as God was. One third of the angels and Lucifer were expelled from heaven and sent down to earth. Now the great majority of the world is in rebellion. Adam and Eve were perfect and then sin entered the world.
In early Bible times, people lived for 900 or more years and then they died. Then God brought the flood to cleanse the earth. The cycle of life started over from Noah and the 8 people who were on the Ark. People started to multiply and spread around the world. Once again, most of the people rebelled. Most people do not like being told what to do.
God grew impatient again and this time sent Jesus to the earth.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Jesus has chosen us to share in the same promise Abraham was given-the privilege of obeying God. Abraham obeyed God without complaining or questioning. How would you like to be Abraham and take off and leave your home and go where God sent him? He didn’t know what was going to happen.
Is Jesus coming soon? Yes! Jesus is coming for all. He wants no one to perish. He cannot save rebellious people.
We have strife, upset, guilt and other unhealthy emotions in our life. We feel shame and are down and embarrassed about how our life has gone. Do you know how people deal with guilt, depression or shame?
There is something going on in their life that they know is wrong. At the core of every human being, we are unwilling to obey God.
The church is not made up of buildings. The church is made up of people. The church will not be blessed by God if the people are rebellious. We live in a culture that doesn’t respect authority or other people because of our culture. We don’t like the idea of obeying anyone.
God has placed his Church on this earth so there is a people here that praise and love God and are willing to serve and obey Him.
Abraham was a wealthy man. He gave up his friends, family and wealth because he loved God. He chose to be in a dirty and wind blown tent. Abraham chose a hard life out in a wind blown desert because he loved God. He left a beautiful home, family and friends to be out in the desert.
Abraham had peace that comes with following and obeying God. This peace from God is a Priceless gift. Jesus loved us, went to the cross for us and just wants us to love God and His Word.
Do you think Abraham’s family thought that Abraham was a little crazy? Are we willing to be like Abraham? That peace only comes from Jesus. Do you realize why we have problems? We can have peace in all of our problems.
Paul was in prison. He had peace. He was alone, cold and hungry. He had a genuine peace in his life. How important is peace to you?
Abraham was called out to serve God and be an example to the people.
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
God is calling us to come out. Does it really work? In Hebrews 11:9, Abraham stepped out in faith. He had no idea where he was going. God had been so good to him and he stepped out. The word ‘sojourn’ means to wander. What answers does God have for us? Abraham was always dependent on God.
God has put this church here so His people can obey by faith. This principle of obedience goes against our culture. Obeying rubs people wrong. The Bellingham Seventh-day Adventist church will go on till the end. It is for this reason that we should obey by faith and step out by faith.
God, you have been so good to us. Some people say that to be obedient to God is legalistic. This concept is being taught today. People will say it doesn’t matter whether we follow God or the Bible.
Our hope is waiting with eager anticipation of the builder of the new Jerusalem. Our church is to be a light that shines in a dark place. If we are not obedient everything becomes lackadaisical. We should obey and love Jesus and shine in the darkness.
Many Christians condemn people’s sins. That is not what we are here for. God has called us to show people something better. We are to share His goodness, character and love. How do you show people God’s love, character, and grace?
When you obey, you can help God win back rebel people. They will be irresistibly drawn to Jesus. If your not willing to obey and share Jesus, we are saying we don’t love you Jesus. Abraham, Moses, and Noah loved God. It’s not about works. Its about obeying and loving God. God will win rebels back with His Holy Spirit.
Do you want to have happiness? You will be a power house witness. You will be an evangelistic witness to bring Jesus to others. It’s about the relationship of Love. You will live like Abraham did. You will have power to do incredible things for Jesus.
In Iraq there are Christians-not many as Iraq is an Islamic society. Iraq said to the people that you have to go to school Monday-Saturday. Adventists living in Iraq said they cannot go to school on Saturday. The government threatened the Adventists. The Adventists responded once again that they are unable to go to school on Saturday.
This dilemma got the attention of other Christians living in Iraq: Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians. The Adventists did not go to school on Saturday and were threatened with death. The news of this group of Adventists traveled all the way to Saddam Hussein. Hussein reviewed the dilemma and made a statement that all the other Christians had to go to school on Saturday except the Adventists. The Adventists were excused so they could worship God on Sabbath.
The other Christian denominations complained. Hussein said that the Adventists were willing to die for their faith. So all the other Christians were required to be in school on Saturday. Will you follow Jesus like Abraham did? Ask Jesus to come into your heart now and give you faith like Abraham had.