Faithlife Sermons

Dealing with Rebellion

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Introduction: Review this month’s lessons
Faithful friends
Should I Date?
Dealing with Temptation
The topic that we are going to consider tonight is a topic that, when mentioned, most adults picture a teenager in their minds. Once again, we are going to take a look at an issue that is not a teen problem, it is a human problem. However, most adults think of teens when it comes to this topic because the reality is (and this is a positive thing by the way) most teens have not learned to put on a show as well as adults have. Adults struggle just as much, if not more, than teens do with this issue, but just let me encourage you. If you can learn to deal with this issue now it will serve you for the rest of your life. The issue is rebellion.
How many of you know who Joseph Stalin was? When you think of Stalin, what do you think of? How many of you know what Stalin’s name means? (Man of steel)
As Stalin was on his death bed, he was quickly losing strength and knew that this was the end. Soon, Stalin would be no more. His daughter, Svetlana, recalls watching her father on his death bed and moments before his death he raised his fist in rebellion to God whom he rejected and denounced.
Did you know that, for a time, Stalin attended seminary? Stalin was well acquainted with theology and had a knowledge of the things of the Bible. Today, when we think of Stalin we think of evil. Something happened in Stalin’s life that caused him to hate God and reject the Bible. He obviously did not have a relationship with the God of the Bible.
Now, I do not think that you guys are going to become like Stalin, okay? It is unlikely that, in this room, there are future communist dictators. However, we all struggle with the same issue with which Stalin struggled. When it comes to rebellion we have a choice. We will either believe the truths of God’s Word or we will believe the lies that Satan, the world, and our hearts feed us.
Rebellion goes all the way back to the beginning with Satan. Satan was the universe’s first rebel. Satan believed the lie of his own heart when he thought that he could be just as powerful and majestic as God. Satan then renounced God’s authority over him, and, at it’s heart that is what rebellion is. It is stating that we do not need or even want God.
According to a Barna study:
61% of today’s young adults who were regular church attendees are now “Spiritually Disengaged.”
What does this mean? This means that if we had 60 teens in here (nearest easy number to work with), and if the numbers remain constant, when you all reach your twenties only 24 of you will still be in church. 36 of you will have left the church.
What does this communicate? Over time, only 24 out of 60 teens on average believe that God is worth submitting to.
Only 20% of those who were spiritually active during high school are maintaining a similar level of commitment.
What does this mean? Again, if we had 60 teens in here, and if the numbers remain constant, when you all reach your twenties only twelve of you will attend church as much as you do now.
So, out of 60 teens, Barna says that only 24 will still attend church in their twenties and out of that 24 only 12 will be as active as they once were.
What does this communicate? Over time, 12 out of 60 teen on average believe that God is worth serving.
There is good news for us. God’s Word teaches us how to deal with the rebellion that we all struggle with in our own hearts. If you can submit yourself to dealing with your rebellion Biblically, it is likely that you will still believe that God is worth submitting to and serving and you can be free from the lie that has existed from the beginning that says that you do not need God.
Signs of Rebellion (Jim Schettler)
Little communication
Limited interest in spiritual things
Low feelings
Lousy friends
Liberal impurity
Lack of gratefulness
Loaded questioning
All of these signs were evident in the life of Saul. Saul is the classic example of rebellion in the Old Testament. Much like when you think of pride you think of Nebuchadnezzar. When you think of rebellion you think of Saul. In Saul had received a very clear command from God and he disobeyed.
1 Samuel 15:23 NKJV
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
1 Samuel
In the first part of that verse Samuel draws a striking comparison. Rebellion is like witchcraft. That is pretty serious. Witchcraft, in the Old Testament, was punishable by death. What is witchcraft? Witchcraft is when you purposefully open yourself up to demons and the devil. So, the comparison communicates this: if we do not submit to our God-given authority, we leave ourselves open to the influence of the devil. How could that happen? As creator, God has the ultimate authority over all in the universe. The word we use to describe this is sovereignty. Which means, God rules over all. The Bible teaches us that God set ups and tears down kings.
Daniel 2:20–21 NKJV
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.
Proverbs 21:1 NKJV
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
The Bible also teaches us that minors (because we don’t want to refer to you as children) are placed under the authority of their parents by God Himself.
Ephesians 6:1–3 NKJV
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
So, to raise yourself up in rebellion against your established authorities (whether it be presidents, kings, or parents) is to raise yourself up in rebellion against the God who put them there and to believe the lies of Satan himself who is and was a liar from the beginning.
What do you think of when you hear the word rebellion?

Not All Rebellion Looks the Same

(The Prodigal Son)
Outward rebellion - the prodigal son
Inward rebellion - the prodigal son’s brother
The prodigal son’s rebellion was obvious. The prodigal son’s brother’s rebellion was a little less obvious. That is why preachers don’t preach on him as much. His rebellion was a little more sly. He believed that he was entitled to more because of how amazing he was. He didn’t care about a relationship with his father. He cared about what he could earn for himself.
Example: the rebellion of a little child
Don’t believe the lie that because you don’t look outwardly rebellious that you are okay. Don’t believe the lie that because you have fooled men you have fooled God. There is no fooling God. In the end, all our motives will be exposed.

Rebellion is Believing Lies

Satan rebelled when he believed that he could be like God.
Isaiah 14:12–15 NKJV
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
What do we believe when we rebel?
We rebel when we believe the lie that authority over us is bad for us.
We rebel when we believe that our authority is holding us back and when we believe that they do not have our best interests at heart. We rebel when we believe the lie that we can do it so much better than the leader that God has placed over us.
Example: fishing at Heritage
Authorities in our lives are not perfect but they are accountable to God. It is not our role to correct the authorities that God has placed over us. Sometimes our role is simply to let God take care of the person in authority.
Hebrews 13:17 NKJV
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Have you ever talked back to your parents only to find them crying later as a result?
We rebel when we believe the lie that we have done nothing wrong.
Read
When Samuel approached Saul this was Saul’s response
1 Samuel 15:
1 Samuel 15:13 NKJV
Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”
1 Samuel 15:14 NKJV
But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
1 Samuel 15:15 NKJV
And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
1 Samuel 15:16 NKJV
Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak on.”
1 Samuel 15:20–21 NKJV
And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”
1 Samuel 15:20 NKJV
And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
Although Saul believed he was in the right there were still consequences for his actions because he had truly disobeyed the clear standard given to him by God.

Rebellion Against Authority is Rebellion Against God

Romans 13:1–2 NKJV
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
God appointed all authority in your life.
God will punish those who resist Him by resisting their authorities.

There is Hope for the Rebellious

For the believer, rebellion can be conquered.
God commands us to simply obey
1 Peter 2:13–14 NKJV
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
He commands us to obey good leadership as well as bad leadership
1 Peter 2:13–14 NKJV
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
1 Peter
1 Peter 2:18 NKJV
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.
1 Peter 2:13 NKJV
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,
He commands us to follow Christ
1 Peter 2:21–25 NKJV
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
When you submit to your authorities, you are living out your salvation.
How was Christ able to live in submission to imperfect authority? He commited Himself to Him who judges righteously.
For the unbeliever, rebellion is forgivable
Jesus Christ is the only way to conquer rebellion!
The prodigal son came to his senses and submitted himself to the authority of his father and found forgiveness.
Conclusion: We must submit ourselves to our God-given authorities or you leave yourself open to the attacks of the devil. Don’t remove yourself from the protection of Him who judges righteously.
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