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What We Believe - Religious Liberty

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What We Believe – Religious Liberty

Secular:

The story about the Pastor…

-          Just entering pulpit

-          Back doors swing open

-          Masked gunmen enter

-          All willing to give their life for this Jesus…

-          Others leave

-          Okay Pastor… you can teach now…

-           

Biblical:

Section L - Religious Liberty
We believe in religious liberty; that every man has the right to practise and propagate his beliefs.

Romans 14:11-12

Personal:

Ever been given the gears over your faith…

Been challenged by co-workers… friends… family

Ever found yourself on the “protect against” side of things as they relate to our government…

… our world… built in Judeo-Christian values again has mixed up the idea of religious liberty…

True tolerance… the cry of every pluralist or secularist… is allowing the freedom of thoughts and ideas… and freedom of religion of its people.

Tolerance is not a favoured or state religion… nor is it state sponsored secularism it is right to express your beliefs and practices free from coercion or interference.

Bridge:

The paraphrased S.O.F. puts religious liberty this way…

Although God calls all people to believe in him and to come to him through Jesus Christ, this profession is to be a genuine personal response and not one imposed by civil law. Therefore, every person should have the civil right to practice and promote his own beliefs.

  • We know ultimately that we will all have to give an answer…
  • We know ultimately there will be those who believe and those who do not…
  • We know we are faithfully God first in all things…

Body:

All will give an account before God…

NAU Romans 14:11 For it is written, "AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD." 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

  • I remember in school…
  • Teacher would leave the room…
  • And… especially in the older grades…
    • Crazy things would happen
    • Spit balls
    • Yelling
    • Running around…
  • There was always that one kid who kept telling the others… we will get caught… there are consequences…
  • Inevitably the teacher would arrive… the culprits would be mid-spit ball…
  • Regardless of the situation… most times the spit balls on the board or that one kid’s legs hanging out of the garbage can were enough to tip the teacher off to the occurrence… and reap punishment…

  • We are to be faithful to the truth…
  • We have been called to be messengers of hope…
  • We have been called to share the Word of God… the love of Christ… the Gospel…
  • Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.'
  • Remember Isaiah’s mission…
  • And the Lord preach your little heart out and everyone within the sound of your voice will come running and praising me… because of you message…
  • NO… Isaiah has a brutal preaching assignment… those words do not return void… because they accomplish exactly what God desires…
  • Isa 6:10 "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed."
  • God is God of the results…
  • It is not our power… our skill… or our message that brings people to Christ… it is God…
  • God calls us to share the message…
    • And those to whom we are share… he calls them to be responsible to believe…. So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
  • No government morality… no state religion… no amount of societal pressure saves us… it is our personal relationship with Jesus Christ….
  • Regardless to what family we are born… in what country… under what amount of duress we said a prayer…. It is our personal relationship with Jesus Chris…
  • Every man and woman will give an account to God… and they will have to answer… Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

All will give an account before God…

Some will see heaven… many will not….

2 Timothy 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

  • Paul’s cry to Timothy is to be diligent in the ministry of God’s truth… because there are consequences…

Matthew 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…

  • It is comfortable to believe that through the exercise of religious liberty… that an “all-faiths” lead to heaven…
  • But that is not what Scripture says…
    • Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
    • Ever been on an amusement park train…
    • Ever been on a roller coaster…
    • The difference?
    • You have a contrast…
      • The highs are higher the lows lower… the distinction greater….
      • Like life… without suffering… how would we know joy…
      • Without pain… comfort
  • We are called not to give in to man-made faiths… half-truths and cozy theology…
  • We are to stand hard and fast as a testimony of contrast…. Light to dark… truth to lies… eternal hope to eternal despair…
  • Religious liberty allows us to contrast the hopelessness of humanity with the hope in Jesus Christ…

because… Some will see heaven… many will not….

 

Religious liberty allows us to live God first lives…

Mark 12:30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'

  • There is no place in our lives for those things that are contrary to God
  • To exercise religious liberty… as a Follower of Christ… is to live a God first existence… without coercion… it is about loving Christ and desiring to see him glorified….

Passion Obedience:

All will give an account before God…

  • Drives us to share
  • We let God be God of the results
    • Not about coercion…
    • Fight coercive actions
  • Passionate about truth… there is a quiz

Some will see heaven… many will not….

  • Recognize the urgency
  • Stand up for scripture
  • No time to relax…

 

Religious liberty allows us to live God first lives…

  • Live a life of contrast
  • Live a life glorifying God
  • Exercise your religious liberty and fight for it…

 

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