February 22, 2015
Things are looking great! Until . . . . . . . .
A little info about the Day of the dead.
What does God think of death?
[1Co 15:20 ESV] But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
[1Co 15:21 ESV] For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
[1Co 15:22 ESV] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
[1Co 15:23 ESV] But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
[1Co 15:24 ESV] Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
[1Co 15:25 ESV] For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
[1Co 15:26 ESV] The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Even the Earth hates “the circle of life”
[Rom 8:19 ESV] For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
[Rom 8:20 ESV] For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
[Rom 8:21 ESV] that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
[Rom 8:22 ESV] For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
[Rom 8:23 ESV] And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Church Organization Issues ie Growing Pains
[Act 6:1 ESV] Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.
Hellenists were Greek Jews.
A couple observations.
Lake of organization VS hypocrisy (sin)
Was the church being hypocrites because there was unfairness?
Or was the church not organized to handle new believers from all over the world?
[Act 6:2 ESV] And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
This statement was not sin, not ego or pride, it was simply fact.
As the Apostles point out, it is not right for them to do that ministry.
Let’s get that ministry set up.
[Act 6:4 ESV] But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
[Act 6:3 ESV] Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
[Act 6:5 ESV] And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
[Act 6:6 ESV] These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
This ministry of organization and serving physical needs was very important.
There was a special service of inauguration.
The calm before the storm.
[Act 6:7 ESV] And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen doing everything Right
[Act 6:8 ESV] And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.
Still there is problems
[Act 6:9 ESV] Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen.
[Act 6:10 ESV] But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
Stephen was more wise,
had all the right answers,
backed with supernatural signs to boot.
So The Freedmen, attacked with deception, lies and hate.
[Act 6:11 ESV] Then they secretly instigated men who said, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God."
[Act 6:12 ESV] And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council,
[Act 6:13 ESV] and they set up false witnesses who said, "This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law,
[Act 6:14 ESV] for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us."
[Act 6:15 ESV] And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Why are these religious people fighting Stephen?
What did he do wrong?
Stephen Preached Jesus Christ.
Why is that so bad?
Humans hate God who made us.
[Psa 14:1 ESV] To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.
[Psa 14:2 ESV] The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
[Psa 14:3 ESV] They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Humans fight God.
[Rom 1:18 ESV] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
[Rom 1:19 ESV] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
[Rom 1:20 ESV] For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
[Rom 1:21 ESV] For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
[Rom 1:22 ESV] Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
[Rom 1:23 ESV] and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Humans without the Holy Spirit are zombies.
[Eph 2:1 ESV] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
[Eph 2:2 ESV] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--
[Eph 2:3 ESV] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
How do Christians fight zombies? Preach and Pray
[Rom 1:16 ESV] 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.
[Rom 1:17 ESV] For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
1. Speak Jesus’ Name
[2Ti 4:1 ESV] I 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:
[2Ti 4:2 ESV] preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
[2Ti 4:3 ESV] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
[2Ti 4:4 ESV] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
[Luk 18:1 ESV] And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
[Luk 18:2 ESV] He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.
[Luk 18:3 ESV] And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.'
[Luk 18:4 ESV] For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man,
[Luk 18:5 ESV] yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'"
[Luk 18:6 ESV] And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says.
[Luk 18:7 ESV] And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
[Luk 18:8 ESV] I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
God brings zombies to life! God gets the Glory!
[Eph 2:4 ESV] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
[Eph 2:5 ESV] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved—
That is what Grace is.
[Eph 2:6 ESV] and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
[Eph 2:7 ESV] so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
[Eph 2:8 ESV] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
[Eph 2:9 ESV] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
[Eph 2:10 ESV] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.