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07-04-15.01

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07-04-08.02                              vv                              07-04-15.02

Title:           “God… pleading through us…!”

FCF:            we’ve got to be convinced by the Spirit

D-Theme:   the compelling love of God

M-Thrust:   let the Spirit convince and persuade you

App:           Since God’s love is compelling… let the Spirit convince and persuade you…

Comment:  Put your post-sermon comments here

Subject:     truth and reason

Date:          D8C2473070B640C1A2EA3E59E4CC5AA0

Text:           2Corinthians 5:10-15               CTW: Acts 26:22-32

10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 12For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

• Introduction

•   Make some comment about the number of people present…

•   Relative to the number of people present last Sunday…

•   What is the difference…?????????

•   Why would we worship with nearly 70 last Sunday…

•   …and only ___ this Sunday…?

•   Why is there so little interest in spiritual matters…?

•   …such a small amount of willingness to commit…

•   …to the cross of Christ and the Christian life…?

•   Isn’t the message preached convincing enough…?

•   Isn’t the fellowship sweet enough…?

•   In an article called “Super Spectators,” USA Today writers asked sports fanatics to describe the lengths they would go to support their teams. One category of sports fanatics is referred to as the “Frequent Flyer.” Here are a few examples:

•   Eight times a season, Geo Verna makes the 5,000-mile round trip from Philadelphia to Seattle to watch his beloved Seahawks at Qwest Field.

•   Mike Pratt of Louisville, Kentucky, has been flying his Cessna to watch every Detroit Lions home game for the last seven years.

•   According to the article: “Pratt doubles up on weekends when his alma mater, Michigan State, has a home game, too, and flies 45 minutes extra (the flight to Detroit is three hours) to East Lansing. He’s still home by 7 p.m. for dinner on Sundays.”

•   When Frank Weishaupt was 11, he wrote to get on the New York Jets season ticket holder waiting list. After waiting eight years, he got his tickets. For each home game, Frank flies out of San Francisco to Boston and drives the last three-and-a-half hours to Kingston.

•   Jan and Van Rametta travel 6,000 miles from Washington, D.C. to attend every Seattle Seahawks football game.

•   Lou Raciti leaves New Jersey on Friday night and takes a vacation day on Mondays to make every Dallas Cowboys home game. The truck driver admits the $500-a-pop weekends are barely affordable. Says Raciti, “I started when I was single. I got married, I still continued it, and I’m now divorced. It’s survived through all that, and I managed to find the money and time to go.”

•   Sold out people do about anything for what they value. [1]

•   Why…? Because they are convinced it is worth it…

•   …that there is value and benefit to the activity…

•   …that they will be further ahead for the doing…

•   …than if they were to stay home and not do…

•   So here we are this morning…

•   Having just come from the celebration of the resurrection…

•   That glorious moment in history when Jesus…

•   Was declared to be the Son of God with power…

•   By the resurrection from the dead…

•   When God declared his love for all of humanity…

•   …by sending his Son to the cross to pay for our sins…

•   A message openly declared in churches across the country…

•   …heard by countless millions of people…

•   …who today are nowhere to be found…

•   And the reason they haven’t returned…?

•   They haven’t been convinced / persuaded…

•   …that worship attendance is worth the effort…

•   And the reality is we’ve got to be convinced by the Spirit…

•   No amount of great preaching…

•   No amount of wonderful fellowship…

•   No amount of quality child care…

•   No amount of in-depth teaching…

•   Can persuade us about the compelling love of God…

•   Surely those things are important and used of God…

•   To bring people into his kingdom and to faith…

•   But it is the work of the Spirit to convince and persuade…

•   …to bring us to the place of surrender and commitment…

•   Where we let the Spirit convince and persuade you us…

•   And what does the Spirit do in his work of convincing…?

•   He overwhelms us with the terror of the Lord…!

•   Then exposes us to the compelling love of God…!

• The Terror of the Lord.............................. v. 10-12

•  10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 12For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.

•   Have you ever experienced standing before a judge…?

•   …in a secular law court… being accused of law-breaking…?

•   Do you remember how it felt—especially if you were guilty…?

•   …what could you say…? What could you do…?

•   …other than stand before the judge and tremble…!

•   Have you ever experienced being called on the carpet…

•   By a boss or employer—having received an ultimatum…

•   …do this or lose your employment with our company…

•   …only to hear the boss say… “There’s nothing I can do…!”

•   Have you ever had to go home to your spouse afterward…

•   To tell them you have just lost your job…

•   And your only visible means of support for the family…?

•   How does that even begin to compare…

•   …to what it will mean for you personally…

•   …to appear before the judgment seat of Christ…?

•   When you look into the eyes of Him…

•   …who is perfect righteousness…?

Revelation 1:13-16

13…the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

•   Have you thought what it would be like to give an answer…

•   …to the judge of the earth when questioned…

•   …about your life, your deeds, your words, and actions…

•   Have you thought what it would be like to give an answer…

•   …when questioned about the things done in the body…?

•   If you have truly ever given thought to that moment…

•   Then you know something of the terror of the Lord…!

•   You know what it means to be a lawbreaker…

•   You know what it means to be a transgressor…

•   You know what it means to be full of iniquity…

•   You know that apart from Jesus Christ there is only…

Hebrews 10:27, 31

27…a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

•   The question is… based on that experience…

•   …have you let the Spirit convince and persuade you…?

•   Does that knowledge drive your life and make a difference…?

•   Does it bring to the fore of your mind…

•   …the value of living a life of faith as a Christian…?

•   Three reactions to the terror of the Lord…

•   Dejection, Rejection, Subjection…

•   Dejection

•   The thought that God could never forgive me…

•   …that I will stand before him without defense…

•   …and be condemned to an eternity in hell…

•   …throwing up the hands and saying “What’s the use…?”

•   Rejection

•   The thought that God would never condemn me…

•   …a good and loving God wouldn’t create a place called hell…

•   …and he wouldn’t send his own creation to such a place…

•   …besides, I’m not all that bad of a person anyway…

•   Subjection

•   The thought that God does condemn but wants to forgive…

•   …living life in subjection to the truth that is in Jesus…

•   …driven by the knowledge of the terror of the Lord…

•  …we persuade men…

•   Putting ourselves @ the disposal of the Holy Spirit…

•   …to be used as his instrument of convincing…

•   …living to see men and women persuaded to be Christian…

•   Clearly this is the case for Paul…

•   …he is driven by the knowledge of the terror of the Lord…

•   …living to persuade men…

•   But there is another thing that drives him and it is…

• The Love of the Lord................................ v. 13-15

•   In the sermon I preached for the Lenten series…

•   When I came to this part of the passage…

•   I referred to it as “crazy & compelling love”

•   Because Paul talks about being beside himself…

•   Or being of sound mind…

•   I am almost certain that he was thinking back…

•   To when he was before Festus and Agrippa…

•   And the accusation was hurled @ him…

•  “…you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”

•   Here he talks about being crazy for God…

•   Saying that the love of Christ compels us…

•   ‘…the fact that Christ loves us—causes us to act as we do.’ [2]

•   His love is the controlling influence in our lives…

•   We can’t imagine not acting the way we do…

•   Even if it means appearing to be out of my mind…

•   Because I know the terror of the Lord…

•   In the light of the love of the Lord…

•   I am compelled to tell you about Jesus…!

•   I am compelled to tell you that…

•  …if one died for all, then all died; 15and he died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and rose again…

•   I am compelled to talk to you about the cross of Christ…

•   I am compelled to speak to you about the love of God…

•   I am compelled to urge on you the mercy of God…

•   I am compelled to inventory for you the sin of man…

•   After all, how crazy and compelling is the love of the gospel…

•   The message that God became a man…

•   Took on the form of sinful flesh…

•   That he went to the cross and died there…

•   …as a sacrifice and offering for our sin…

•   That he endured unspeakable suffering and pain…

•   The Suffering and pain we deserved…

•   And God did it all that we might know…

John 3:16

16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

•  That we should live no longer for [our]selves, but for him who died and rose again

•   But you know…

• The Work of the Lord...................... Acts 26:22-32

•   Is to persuade men…

•   For no matter how persuasively the message is presented…

•   And surely there were none more persuasive than Paul…

•   Ultimately the work of persuasion and convincing…

•   Is the work of the Lord — the Spirit of the Lord…

•   What did Agrippa say to Paul in response to his questions…

•  “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

•   Perhaps he was like a guy willing to spend $500…

•   To see the Cowboys play @ home…

•   Who gave up his marriage and every other thing…

•   Because he saw the value and benefit there…

•   But when it came to the benefit and value of the gospel…

•   …and the sacrifice that God made on his behalf…

•   …there was something in his heart that said no…

•   He was almost persuaded…

•   And Paul, hearing how close this man was to surrender…

•  “I would to God that… all who hear me today, might become… such as I am, except for these chains.”

•   Can you imagine saying that to this king…?

•   Try to unpack that in your mind…! Is that audacity…?

• What about us…?

•   How do we understand Christ…? How convinced are we…?

•   Is there a difference between us and the world…?

•   Pastor and author Max Lucado describes some of the weak views people have about Christ:

•   For some, Jesus is a good luck charm. The “rabbit’s foot redeemer.” Pocket-sized. Handy. Easily packaged. Easily understood. Easily diagrammed. You can put his picture on your wall or you can stick it in your wallet as insurance. You can frame him. Dangle him from your rear view mirror or glue him to your dashboard.

•   His specialty? Getting you out of a jam. Need a parking place? Rub the redeemer. Need help on a quiz? Pull out the rabbit’s foot. No need to have a relationship with him. No need to love him. Just keep him in your pocket next to your four-leaf clover.

•   For many he’s an “Aladdin’s lamp redeemer.” New jobs. Pink Cadillacs. New and improved spouses. Your wish is his command. And what’s more, he conveniently reenters the lamp when you don’t want him around.

•   For others, Jesus is a “Monty Hall redeemer.” “All right, Jesus, let’s make a deal. For 52 Sundays a year, I’ll put on a costume—coat and tie, hat and hose—and I’ll endure any sermon you throw at me. In exchange, you give me the grace behind pearly gate number three.”

•   The rabbit’s food redeemer. The Aladdin’s Lamp redeemer. The Monty Hall redeemer. Few demands, no challenges. No need for sacrifice. No need for commitment.

•   Sightless and heartless redeemers. Redeemers without power. That’s not the redeemer of the New Testament. [3]

•   American civil religion—bootstrap religion…

• Conclusion

•   we’ve got to be convinced by the Spirit

•   the compelling love of God

•   let the Spirit convince and persuade you

•   Since God’s love is compelling… let the Spirit convince and persuade you…


----

[1]      Citation: David Slagle, Atlanta, Georgia; source: “Super Spectators,” USA Today

[2]      Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996, c1989). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (LN 37.13). New York: United Bible societies.

[3]      Citation: Max Lucado, Six Hours One Friday (W. Publishing, 2004), pp. 89; 90

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