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The Seperation doesn

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The Separation doesn’t have to be permanent

Genesis 3:22-24 & 2nd Corinthians 5:17

            There are as many reasons for people falling out with one another, as there are people in the world. A lie told, a hug not shared, gossip spread, an adulterous affair, any number of things can lead to people falling out & separating. A misunderstanding can break up long standing friendship.

            It doesn’t take much anymore for friendships or fellowships to end & lives to be destroyed. But no matter what caused the separation, no matter how long you’ve been apart; the separation doesn’t have to be permanent.

            When relationships break down & people are separated from those they love, it leaves a void in the heart that’s not easy to fill. Folks have tried all manner of things to fill that void, alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, just to name a few. Anything to numb the pain, anything so they don’t have to remember the shame or pain that separation brings.

            Young people over the course of your life, some things are going to happen that may cause you fall out with friends & feeling are going to be hurt & cause you to stop speaking to family.  Momma wants you to be a doctor, daddy wants you to be an athlete, but you want to be a cook, so you go your separate ways without speaking to one another.

Doesn’t it hurt your heart to not speak to someone you once shared laughs with? Doesn’t it tears you up on the inside to not be able to hold the one you use to enjoy comforting & that use to comfort you but now you are separated by anger, gossip, & insinuations.

             Yet out of all the broken relationships that have or will ever take place in our lives, none hurt as bad or cut as deep as being separated from God.  I’m not talking about being separated from His love. The bible assures us in Romans 8:38, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.”

No matter how high we get or how low down we are, nothing can separate us from the love of God. But we can be separated from His presence.  The bond of fellowship with the father can be broken.  There are some things we do that can cause God to withdraw His Holy Spirit from us.   Yet there is hope, because the separation doesn’t have to be permanent.

            I had to ask myself how did we get so far apart, what causes separations in churches, families, what causes friendship to be dissolved?   How did we get in this mess? How did we get to the place where when we speak now it’s not out of love but out of habit? How did we come to the place where we are separated from those that we love & that love us?  

Human history is plagued with separation & broken relationships, from the first man Adam to now, folks have been falling out with each other & with God. Yet that is not how God intended us to be with each other or with Him.

The bible says in 2nd Coirn. 5:19, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, & He has committed unto us the word of reconciliation”. Paul goes on to say, “Now that we are born again, we are ambassadors for Christ. At the end of verse 20 of that chapter Paul encourages us to be reconciled with God.  God wants us to not only be reconciled back to Him, but also with one another.

Yet in order for reconciliation or restoration to take place, we first have to understand how we got in this mess. You see before you can get out of something, you first have to know how you got in it. So God says, you must first understand the Cause, Curse t  & finally you need a Cure.

            So in order to understand just how separation takes place I believe it would be in order to review just how the first man, Adam became separated from his wife then from God.

 When God created man from the dust of the ground & breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, He stood back & said this is very good. The bible says God planted a garden eastward or toward the east in Eden.

            Picture a place where food grows but no body plants it; picture a place where when the ground needs water it comes from the earth & not the sky. Picture a place where sheep, wolves, cats & dogs live together in peace. It was a place where the lion didn’t mind laying down with the lamb.

 Picture a place where everything man needs was right at his fingertips. The bible says, God caused everything that is pleasant to the sight & good for food to grown. All Adam had to do was take care of it & enjoy the good life.

            In this garden God Himself had placed everything that man need or wanted even the tree of knowledge of good & evil. It was here in this garden that God placed man to have total dominion or control over every living thing. He didn’t have to punch a clock for work. He didn’t have to get out his almanac to see if it was planting season. All he had to do was live in harmony with nature & with God.

            He had four rivers to swim in. He was not lonely for God Himself came down & walked & talked with him in the cool of the evening. God even caused a deep sleep to come over Adam & took out one of his ribs & made him a companion or helpmate, for those cold lonely nights. Yes Adam had heaven on earth. He had a relationship with nature, with his woman, but most of all he had a relationship with God. But something went terribly wrong.

Cause: V: 1-7

 

            In verse # 1 the bible says the serpent was more subtle or crafty than any beast of the field, which God made. So here we find the serpent being used by Satan to entice the woman. Wipe the image out of your head of Satan changing into a snake. Satan was a fallen angel then,  & he is one now. But he can & will use what ever is available to entice you & I into going against the word of God. So my advice to you today is if you don’t want to be separated from God, don’t keep company with the devil, no matter what form he appears in.

            Here he ask the woman a question, “Has God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”  Listen to her answer. “God said we should not eat of it neither shall we touch it lest we die.” One of the things that lead to separation & fallout is adding something to something that was not there.

Many Christians fall out not so much over he said, she said. But when something else is added to what was said. I told you one thing, but when you went & told it to somebody else, you add your little bit & by doing so you made what I said into a lie. For those of you who don’t know what a lie is, it is an intentional violation of the truth. Lies & liars are condemned in Scripture.

John 8:44, Jesus said Satan is a liar & the father of it. Revelation 21:27, “there shall in no wise enter into it any that defiles, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or makes a lie.” Revelation 22:15, “For without are dogs & sorcerers & whoremongers & murderers, & idolaters & whosoever loveth & maketh a lie.” A lot of

A lot of close friends have fallen out with one another, because of a lie & anybody that says they don’t lie, is lying. Even the patriarchs of old told lies.  Abraham & Ambeleich, Sarah lied to God. Jacob lied to his father Isaac. Even Saul the prophet lied to king David. But the bible says in the book of Numbers, 23:19, “God is not a man that He should lie.

            It’s a bad thing to lie on God, but here Eve does just that. In Genesis 2:17, God said concerning the tree of knowledge of good  & evil, “Thou shalt not eat of it. For in the day that you eat thereof thou shall surely die.” But Eve said, “we should not eat from it, neither should we touch it.”  Satan lied & tempted Eve, & Eve added her own words to what God had said.

            Whenever you add to God’s word you place yourself in a dangerous situation. John said in Revelation 22:18, “If any man or woman shall add to these things, God will add the plagues that are written in this book.  What God says is what He means.

            One of the quickest ways to end a relationship is to lie on a person. The first step that leads to separation from man or God is by lying. They failed to take God at His word. There is a warning here for each us today. The moment you fail to heed the word of God, separation takes place. Sampson can tell you better then I can. If you want to overcome temptation, you must know God’s word accurately. Because if you don’t Satan & people will try to twist the word of God to serve their purpose.

Another thing that will separate people from each other & God is blame. Satan had lied, man had been deceived, & verse 7 says, “The eyes of them both were opened.” When their eyes were open they saw they were naked. When their eyes were open they began to find fault with one another. They tried to cover themselves with leaves.

They bible says, God in the form of man came walking in the garden in the cool of the evening, just when the sun was going down.

I’m sure Adam use to look forward to the time he would spend walking & talking with God, but now that they have sinned, God’s voice doesn’t sound so good any more. Here is a man that use to run to meet God, now he runs from Him.  Here is a man that had known God’s love on the deepest level, yet now aware of his guilt he tries to hide.

Adam’s reaction to the voice of God shows us just far from God we will try to run due to sin in our lives. Do you remember when you couldn’t wait to pick up the word of God & let Him talk with you, do you remember when you couldn’t wait to get on your knees & talk with God? Now reading the bible has become a chore, & praying is something you do only in emergencies now.

We can go even further than that. Remember when you couldn’t wait to get to church because you knew a certain person was going to be there? You done lied on him & she done lied on you, now you don’t speak any more, matter of fact both of you talking about finding a new church home.

Do you remember when you would get all excited when a certain brother or sister would call you. But because of a misunderstanding, when the phone rings now, you look at the caller ID before you answer. The people that use to bring so much joy into our lives now we hid from them. But God says to you today, no matter how long you have been apart from me or from your family & friend, the separation doesn’t have to be permanent.

When God found Adam (Not that he didn’t already know where he was or what he had done). He asked Adam,  “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree where I told you not to eat from?  Just like us today, instead of own up to our wrongdoing we love to blame folks.            Watch this, verse 12. The man blamed God, then the woman. The woman in turn blamed the serpent.

Somebody here today is not speaking to some family member talking about if they had not said this, I would not have said that. Some husband right here is blaming the wife for whatever trouble is in the home. Yes some of you children are blaming your parents because you don’t have what you think you have.

It was not Satan’s fault that the woman ate. It was not the woman’s fault that Adam ate. The bible says in the book of James 1:14, every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust & enticed. No body can make you sin. But pride will keep you from admitting that you & you alone are the reason for your separation from God & from each other. The songwriter said, “If I die & my soul be lost, it ain’t nobody’s fault but mine.”

If you want relationships mended, you got to admit you been wrong. If you want fellowship in your church again, you got to admit you been wrong. If you want peace with God the father, Confession is the key to restoration.

David a man after God’s own heart knew this. When God charged him with the sin of adultery & murder, David didn’t make excuses. In Psalms 51, David owned up to his sin. Listen to him, “I acknowledge my transgressions & my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned & done this evil in thy sight”

Because David desired to be back in fellowship with God he begged God for forgiveness. “Purge me with hyssop & I shall be clean. Wash me, & I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart O God; & renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from they presence  & take not thy Holy Spirit from me”

You see we don’t have to stay separated from God or from each other. Matter of fact Jesus said in John 6:37, “He who come to me I will not cast out.” If you want fellowship one with the other it’s time to stop blaming other people for what you have done.

Children blaming the parents, parents blaming the school, schools blaming the government, & like Adam here, everybody blaming God. The truth of the matter is, God has never done any of us wrong. Jeremiah 29:11, God says, “ I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace & not evil to give you an expected end.” What is that expected end? I’m glad you asked. That expected end is restoration with each other & with the father.

Disobedience comes with a curse.  First God cursed the serpent, then He cursed Satan, then the woman, “I will greatly increase thy sorrow & thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. Children have been causing headaches every since time began, so don’t think your kids are the only one. When Adam & Eve disobeyed God, they lost God’s grace. They lost the peace & happiness of the garden.

You lose a lot when you fall out with folks. You lose out on more person to encourage you. You lose out on one more person to help you bear your burden, you lose a friend. But when you are separated from God, you lose even more. You lose your joy, your hope, and your peace of mind. You lose a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

 

Men wonder why they have to work so hard, well the bible says, cursed is the ground because of you. In sorrow thou shalt eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns & thistles shall it bring forth to you & you shall eat the herb of the field. With sweat running down your face you shall eat bread. Until you return to the ground, for out of it were you taken. For dust thou are & unto dust shalt thou return.

Since God has assured me that I must die. Since God has assured me that one-day I have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account for the deeds done in this body. Since I have the promise that the wages of sin is death. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear the Lord say, “Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I want to hear God say, Come bless of my father, inherit the kingdom that has been prepared for you from the foundation of the earth.”

So God drove them out of the garden into the world, where they were subject to sickness, pain & eventually death. From obedience they fell to disobedience. From innocence they fell to knowledge of good & evil. From happiness & peace they fell to sorrow & pain. From reaching up & picking something to eat, they fell to having to dig in the ground for what ever the ground would provide. Yes sin carries a curse.

From life they fell to death all due to the cause of sin. So now they have been cursed fighting with one another, now they have been cursed with the drudgery of daily toil, but ultimately they were separated from God physically by death, for the bible says the wages of sin is death.

Then God drove or cast them out of the garden. Now somebody may look at this as more of a curse, but if you really beyond the surface, being driven out of the garden was a blessing. Some of us can’t forgive ourselves for what we call little things. Imagine having to live forever with the guilt & shame of what you have done.

Imagine having to live watching life go on, children being born & suffering. Imagine having to live through war after war. One devastation after the other, then imagine having to live with the fact that you caused it all to begin. Imagine longing to hear God’s voice, but never hearing it again. Imagine having to live forever separated from God the father

Some of us can’t imagine living with our wives another minute; imagine having to live with her forever with the memory of that tragic event. So God in His mercy drove them out to keep them from reaching the tree of live.

But because loves us so much He says to us today. “Yes you have fallen.” Yes you have stopped speaking to one another for this reason or that. But the separation doesn’t have to be permanent. So you may be wondering how can I have fellowship with my family & friend again? How can I feel the presence of God in my heart again? I’m glad you asked.

Got say I have a cure for the cause & the curse. (1) 2nd chronicles 7:14. The first step in restoration is humility. Yes you have to be will to admit you are not all that. You have to be will to stop looking down your nose at folks. You have to be willing to admit without God you can do nothing. To be humble means to surrender. Which means you have to give up trying to do things by yourself, for yourself, against yourself.

Then you have to pray. Now there is a new idea. Pray. Somebody said faith is the key, but prayer unlocks the door. When you pray, the bible says in 1st Peter 3:12, that God’s ears are open to the prayers of the righteous. God will hear & He will answer.

When you  pray, seek God’s face. You got to seek Him like a junkie looking for a fix. You got to seek Him like a mother seeks a lost child. Yea you got to seek Him like Jacob wrestled with the angel, & don’t stop until you find Him.

Then you got to turn, I said then you got to turn from your wicked ways. You know what I mean. The bible says there is a way that seems right unto man, but the end leads to destruction. You got to turn from cursing folks out to blessing them in the name of the Lord. Turn from hating one another, to displaying the love of Christ. Turn from leaning to your own understand, & acknowledge God & let Him lead the way.

God wants to have us back in fellowship with one another. God wants to have us back in fellowship with Him. He has made the way possible.  I heard Jesus say, “Prepare me a body & I will go down & redeem man back to us” that’s making a way. Jesus came down through forty-two generations, just to make a way.

He was born in a manger, wrapped in rags, just to make a way for you & for me. He was led from judgment hall to judgment hall, just to make a way. He let them whip Him all night long; yea He took the lick that you & I should have gotten. They led Him up Golgotha’s hill, just to make a way for a sinner like me.

They stretched Him wide & hung Him high, yea the sins of the world was on His shoulders. When the sun refused to shine, He was making a way. When they pierced His side, He was making a way. When, when, when He cried, “Father forgive them,” I tell you he was making a way. Yes God is a way maker.

He made a way for mother; He made a way for father. When He went down in the grave, & stayed there all night Friday, all day Saturday, all night Saturday night, then early one Sunday morning, He got up with all power just to make a way for you & for me.

Now that Christ is raised, He says to you & to me, “you have been separated from each other of this thing or that for to long now. You been separated from God longer than you have to be. He says it does not matter what you have done, or where you have been, the separation doesn’t have to be permanent.

Can’t you see God with His arms wide open, saying, “Come unto me all ye that are burden & heavy laden & I will give you rest. Can’t you hear God saying, come let us reason together, though your sins be scarlet, I will wash you I make you whiter than snow.

I can hear God saying, “If you confess your sins, I am faithful & just to forgive you & cleanses you from all unrighteousness. I hear the Lord saying I cast out Adam from the garden, but Jesus said, He who come to me I will not cast out.

Lord I want to come home again. Lord I want to feel your presence. Lord I want to be able to laugh with those I worship with. I want to be able to talk with those in my family, but most of all I want to be close to you. Fix me Lord & I shall be fixed.

I’m so glad that God is The God of a second chance.

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