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What is God Doing in the US?

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Matthew 17:1-13-WHAT IS GOD DOING IN THE US?

SBS:   Don’t worry about the mark of the beast.  I know this because I listen to the highly informative “Coast to Coast with George Noory” where he deals with the real issues of the day: UFO invasions, Bigfoot, and every conspiracy theory known to man.  RELAX         

Prayer: Our Father help us remember we are duel citizens.

Intro:  There are times to be quiet.  Alex Kershaw in Escape from the Deep  One of the greatest injuries to the United States Submarine warfare during World War II came not from Japan or Germany, but from a politician.  In 1943, sixty eight year old Congressman Andrew Jackson May, a member of the house Military Affairs Committee, held a press conference and mentioned the unmentionable-Japanese claims of submarine sinkings were way too high because they set off their depth charges to go off at too shallow a depth.

The Japanese learned of the statement and quickly adjusted the depth charges, costing an estimated ten submarines and eight hundred officers and men.  All because one man didn’t know when to be quiet. 

We need a lot less talk in our country today.  A lot less talk from people who are saying that we are going over the cliff or into the abyss; a lot less talk from people who think that they have the answer to every problem in the world and that answer is not Christ; what we need is for people to realize that there are times when you should remember the old saying but reverse it.  DON’T JUST DO SOMETHING, STAND THERE.

In today’s passage we will see Peter yet again speaking when he should have been quiet; doing something when he should have just stood there; talking when he should have been listening.

In our country we want God to be like Domino’s and deliver in 30 minutes or less.  Even Domino’s doesn’t do that any more.  We need to stop being in such a hurry and start listening.

IF WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT GOD IS DOING IN OUR COUNTRY WE SHOULD STOP RELYING ON THE NEWS AND START LISTENING TO GOD.

EVERY PERSON WHO IS HERE TODAY SHOULD GO OUT WITH A NEW RESOLVE TO LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF GOD.

This entire passage is an echo of  Moses on the Mountain meeting God, but one greater than Moses is here.

  1. LISTENING TO CHRIST PREVENTS PRIDE.    Vv. 1-4
    1. Pride comes from thinking our status is our own.  V.1  Peter, James and John could have been proud.  They were the “inner circle”  In Qumran there is a group of 12 and an inner group of 3. 

b.      Pride causes many to say foolish things.  V. 4a  “It is good for us to be here”  Think of Aaron’s excuse to Moses in Ex. 32:24  “this calf came out”  Sometimes there is great advantage to being quiet.  Andrew Bonar, a great man of prayer had a rule and that was not to speak to any man before speaking to Jesus.  I am the chiefest of sinners here.  “Boy that is some baby”

  1. LISTENING TO CHRISTS PREVENTS HERESY.  Vv.4b  Peter wants to build them three tents.  This harkens back to the feast of the tabernacles.  Feast of Succoth in modern Judaism.  I participated in one.
    1. Heresy comes when we worship the wrong people.  Christ cannot be put on the level with anyone else.  Christ’s kingdom should not be put on a level with any other kingdom.
    2. Heresy comes when we worship in the wrong form.  To worship correctly we must listen to what Christ says about it.
  2. LISTENING TO CHIRST PREVENTS FEAR. VV.5-8  We live in a world of fear and this has been a particularly fearful week.  We as Christians are not called to live in a state of fear but a state of hope.  We are at best, at best, duel citizens and our primary citizenship is in God’s kingdom.
    1. God is Awesome-Real meetings with God often cause fear.  In v. 6 the disciples fall down in fear, or throw themselves down as a sign of devotion.  The word used for “greatly” or “sore” is used of Peter when he was sinking, the Centurion at Jesus’ death.  This falling down is what Abraham does in Genesis 15, Daniel in Daniel 8:17;
    2. God is Gracious-Jesus touches them  v. 7

                                                               i.      The touch is a touch of kindness.  Their eyes are on the ground.

                                                             ii.      The touch is a touch of calmness.  Get up, there is no danger.

This is not the time to be silent or quiet about the power of our Lord.  This is not the time to settle for the word of man when we have the word of God.  This is the time to show those who don’t know Christ that there is no economic crisis big enough, there is no political problem gigantic enough, there is no issue in the world that is so difficult that it cannot be dealt with by listening to the Word of God and depending upon the Son of God.  We have been quiet and fearful for far too long, it is time that we showed those around us that no matter what they say the ultimate hope is not in the economy, the stock market, the political system, or the government; our ultimate hope is in the living God.  The word of God ought to affect everything that we do, how we vote, how we deal with money, how we deal with disappointment.  Stop being fearful talking about how bad things are and start being quiet and listening to our great God and savior Jesus Christ.

(The three elements of falling down, being touched, and being told not to fear are found in Rev 1:17.)

17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.

 The Great Preacher Vance Havner said this:

We need a heart warming.… The early Christians did not need a shot in the arm every Sunday to keep them going. They knew Jesus and they upset the world and worried the devil and gave wicked rulers insomnia and started something the jails couldn’t lock up, fire couldn’t burn, water couldn’t drown, swords couldn’t kill.…

You may belittle experience and speak of the dangers of emotion, but we are suffering today from a species of Christianity as dry as dust, as cold as ice, as pale as a corpse, and as dead as King Tut. We are suffering, not from a lack of correct heads but of consumed hearts.

Let every one of us today walk out of here knowing that the answer to the problems that our country has are not in a payment of mortgages but in a payment for sin, they are not in Republican but in a Redeemer, they are not in a Democrat but in a Divine voice from the very son of God.  Jesus Christ himself.  Without him we are without hope, but with him we are without fear.  Listen and you will hear that God still rules, the devil is still defeated and the Gospel is still something that the jails can’t lock up, fire can’t burn, water can’t drown, and weapons can’t kill.  Go out in Victory in the name of the one who is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the all powerful name of Jesus Christ. 

Benidiction: Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, increase in love, and expand in peace through the strength of the Father, the name of the Son, and power of the Holy Ghost. 

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Sermon text with italics and bold and John 3:16 and v. 20.

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