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The NEWS That Changes Everything (Rom. 1:16-17)

Oceanside, Atlantic Beach 6-1-14 AM Sermon

 

 

1)      Intro

a)      Just after dawn on April 19, 1775 shots were fired in Lexington Massachusetts..

i)       British forces had been given the go-ahead to seize supplies. . .

ii)      This began the revolutionary war with the American Patriots (Sons of Liberty) and the British

iii)     The first shot fired, was known as the ďshot heard [thatís news] around the worldĒ[1]

b)      News† . . . is everywhere. . . news† entices us . . . entertains . . . informs †. . . enlightens us . .. amazes us . .. tantalizes . . . . teases us. . . . . ..† shocks us . . ..† .. news also disturbs us . .. .. news is all around us. .. .

c)      24 hour media outlets pump specialized stories day and night to fill our quest and hunger for news. . . .† . . . .at every turn there is a story† told and an audience to listening . . .

i)       Whether, politics, sports, international affairs, health and medical news, economic . . news is all around us. . .

d)      But in an information age, where we are inundated by all this media, there is a pressing questions for us to address

i)       What new is vital? What news is MOST relevant?† Most important?

(1)    Answering that question is answering a question of superior value .† .† .

(2)    And with that answer comes a decision about new that is irrelevant, less interesting, info we can let go of. . .

e)      Ever since the dawn of time, God-through information-- has enlightened manís path .. . has† given him understanding and wisdom.†† . has exalted him with dignity . .. comforted him in sorrow . . . and† directed our course

f)       In the information age . . . in a time when information is more accessible than at any other time in human history . . . hearts are starving for the BEST NEWS, the NEW of ULTIMATE VALUE. . .†

i)       Could it be that the world hears the latest story, but really still doesnít understand?

ii)      Could it be that hearing the latest and greatest headlines the world hears, but really doesnít understand?†

iii)     As the book of Acts Closes:

(1)    Acts 28:25-27 ††"The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:† 26 "'Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.† 27 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'

iv)     Indeed this morning there is news that has gone out into the world that enlightens everyone!†

(1)    John 1:9-10 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.† 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

g)      Our lesson today will focus ON

i)       First, what news is most relevant, most important to God.

ii)      Second, weíll look at three challenges to Godís News.

 

2)     What News is Most Important?† Most Relevant?† Ultimately Significant?†

a)     When the life of Christ is introduced to mankind by the Mark, God says. .

i)       Mark 1:1 ESV Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

ii)      Thatís news folks. . . Ė good news. . glad tidings, the gospel

iii)    Mark 1:14-15 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,† 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

b)     When JS spoke of sacrifice, listen to his words

i)       Mark 10:29-30 ††29 Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,† 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

ii)      Thatís sacrifice for the good news. . .

c)     When subject of adversity comes up before King Jesus, what is the message to be delivered in times of tremendous adversity .. .

i)       Mark 13:9-10 ††9 "But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.† 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.

ii)      In the midst of tremendous suffering. . . extra, extra . .. read all about it.. . . the gospel.

d)     In Mark 14. .. . 2 days before JS is to be crucified a woman comes before him . . . JS is literally be hunted . ..the great man hunt is on . . . Judas will ultimately help them .. .. but 2 days before heís put to death. . . a woman comes with an alabaster flask, she breaks it and anoints JS with it. . .some of JSís followers are outraged. . . they scold her .. .

i)       Mark 14:6-9 6 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.† 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.† 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.† 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her."

(1)   Notice what JS says. . . wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory ..

(2)   Where those who objected right?† Could it have been sold and given to the poor?† Absolutely . .. but, JS uses her sacrifice . .. 300 denarius. . . roughly a yearís wages for a labory . . JS uses her sacrifice to point to his sacrifice. . .

(3)   Notice vs. 8 she has anointed my body for a burial

(4)   At the center of this good news . .. is the story of sacrifice .. . suffering .. . anguish by our Lord. . .

e)     Whatís the message at the end of JSís earthly life, shortly before he ascends into heaven?. . . .

i)       Mark 16:15-16 15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.† 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

ii)      †Yes, the message for this old world. . .† . .. we know John 3:16 .. .

iii)    Thatís Good news. . . [tell me the old, old story]

 

3)     Three Challenges to the listener of this NEWS

a)     Intro

i)       Receiving and living out Godís good news faces several challenges.

ii)      Jesus says we have to count the cost (luke 14:28)

(1)   God knows that getting home is not going to be easy.

(a)   There is an easy way, and a wide gate that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13)

(b)   thereís a narrow gate and a hard way that leads to life (Matt. 7:13) .. .itís no walk in the park . ..

(c)   Paul says weíve got to run a race. . . and run so that we may obtain (1 Cor. 9:24).

(d)   Paul says weíve got to put on some Christian armor (Eph. 6). . . on our shoes are to be the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15)

(e)   There is this risk that the gospel that is accepted may be assumed, then confused, and eventually lost. . . how does that happen?

 

b)     Three Challenges to the listener of this NEWS[2]

i)       What happens when we Assuming the Gospel, Confuse the Gospel, or Lose the Gospel?

(1)   CASE 1 - People are gathering around messengers rather than the message: Apollos, Paul or Peter, rather than Christ

(a)   Corinth Ė I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am a Cephas . . . the Gospel/ Cross are all confused

(b)   1 Corinthians 1:13 ††13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

(c)   Whatís happened to the gospel here?†

(i)     People may have assumed that the power belongs to Paul or Peter or Apollos. . .these men are mighty in the scriptures

(ii)   But, the process, the gospel has been confused and lost.

(2)   A man has his fatherís wife (1 Cor. 5:1-2)

(a)   A man is being intimate with his fatherís wife!† Itís not even named among the pagans!

(b)   Whatís happened to the gospel here?† Itís all confused.

(3)   Brethren take brethren to court over moral matters (1 Cor. 6)

(a)   Here the gospel is assumed to not have jurisdiction over moral issues.

(4)   Brethren get involved in idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14)

(a)   Itís confused!

(5)   They make a common meal of the Lordís Supper (1 Cor. 11)

ii)     Gospel Gets Lost

(1)   They no longer believe in the resurrection (1 Cor. 15)

(a)   1 Corinthians 15:1-2 ESV 1 Corinthians 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,† 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you- unless you believed in vain.

(b)   1 Corinthians 15:12-13 ††12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?† 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

4)     Illustration

a)     Let me ask us to think about a scenario . . . ††

i)       Imagine for a moment that Johnny and Suzy are teenagers of the congregations . . .. Letís say that Johnny and Suzy are 15-18 and every member at the Oceanside church absolutely adores Johnny and Suzy Ö† they live their lives in a way that brings glory to God and in turn all the people around them . .. Johnny and Suzy are impressive.

ii)      Over the next 10 years of making some decisions that could drastically impact their future. .. .where they go to college, if/ who they marry, where they go to church, what career path . . .

iii)    Is not tempting to think that if Johnny and Suzy attend just the right University, go to just church while away from home, make friends with just the right people, get married to just the right person, attend just the right congregation where just the right preacher is . . . . that Johnny or Suzy will go to heaven? ††††††† †

iv)    Questions:

(1)   Will the University apart from the gospel save us?† What about a particular congregation?† What about just the right friends?† What about just the right spouse? What about just the right preacher?

(2)   You see apart from the gospel, none of these will save . . . .

(3)   There is the real risk that our allegiances to these institutions can supersede our allegiance to the gospel . . . and ruin lies close at hand when this happens. . . .

(4)   Letís not accept, assume, confuse and in turn lose the gospel.† . . .

v)     May we never underestimate the power of the gospel. . . . when we let go of the gospel

(1)   Our marriages get wrecked b/c we lose the gospel, not b/c of what college I went to

(2)   Our homes get split asunder, b/c ultimately Iíve lost the gospel

(3)   Our performance at work goes down, b/c ultimately I let go of the gospel

(4)   Our friends suffer† . .our lives lie and ruin . . . and Satan loves every moment of it. . .

b)     Please donít Misunderstand ó I am not downplaying the importance of influence. . . What I am saying is that the ultimately good news that emanates from the university, the home, the church, is the gospel

i)       Matthew 5:14-16 ††14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.† 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.† 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

(1)   Yes our influence is important.† May we always be aware of the ultimate guiding influence ó the gospel

ii)      May we never be ashamed

(1)   Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

(a)   May we never be ashamed.

5)     Conclusion

a)     Friends, there is but one way home If we are ever going to get home ó and itís by the gospel

i)       The gospel says that precisely at the center of our lives is less of us and more of God . .there balance, there is harmony . .. and ultimately God is glorified

(1)   You see the gospel furnishes us completely unto every good work

(2)   Our marriages are stabilized and solidified by the gospel

(3)   My employment is stabilized and solidified by the gospel

(4)   Iím a better friend b/c Christ is my master and Lord and he rules my life . . he is Lord of my life and king

(5)   With the gospel, Christ isnít a back seat driver, he is the driver and where he leads, Iíll follow

(6)   It is God and the gospel that is furnishing this

b)     For all the news in the world, hereís a message that never grows old .. .

c)     His gospel is never changing. . itís power is never lost. . . and itís new every morning.

d)     Extra, Extra read all about it. . .† . hear the sweet voice of JS say . . come unto me I am the way . .

e)     May we not trivialize, marginalize or let the gospel take a back seat

f)       While we love when the gospel is accepted, may it not be assumed, confused, and then lost

g)     Have you obeyed the gospel?

i)       Hear.†† ďFaith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.Ē Rom. 10:17

ii)      Believe.† John 8:24 ďexcept ye believe that I am (he), ye shall die in your sins.Ē ASV

iii)    Repent.† Luke 13:3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. NKJV

iv)    Confess.†† Matt 10:32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. NKJV

v)     Baptized.† Mark 16:16† He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. NKJV† Are you tired of the turmoil of a life lived outside of Christ?† Why accept more?† Give it up.† Come to Christ!

vi)    Walk in the light.† 1 John 1:7† But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

 



[1] http://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/the-shot-heard-round-the-world/

[2] Accepting, assuming, confusing and losing the gospel are points taken from† J.Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living, and Speaking the Gospel (Downerís Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2010) 40.