River Church NOLA
2021 Nov 7th Showing Fairness
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        September 19, 2021 - 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
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  • Beautiful One
  • This Is The Day
  • Love Came Down
  • Revelation Song
  • You would think that we really don’t need to be taught anything about fairness because at least some of us were taught to be fair in kindegarten and Sunday school. share your toys… games… popcorn… when it comes to pie, everyone gets the same amount
    But as adults we kind of need to look at the issue of why? Why be fair when it seems like so many people are not fair? Why I just look out for myself? The truth is that most people in our culture are not trying to be fair… they are thinking of themselves.
    The Bible itself is clear that…

    Life is unfair …

    It doesn’t hide it at all. We don’t live in a perfect world … that would be heaven and this is not. In Ecclesiastes Solomon gives us some examples. He says that…

    Criminals go unpunished

    Ecclesiastes 3:16 The Living Bible
    16 Moreover, I notice that throughout the earth justice is giving way to crime, and even the police courts are corrupt.
    Nothing has changed in 3000 years since Solomon. People seem to get away with a lot these days… we have politicians that owe a lot of money in taxes, but make sure you pay yours…
    Ecclesiastes 8:11 NLT
    11 When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.
    Just read the news and you see this every day. Criminals are emboldened… Now they shoot into crowds of children because they are after someone… they don’t worry about punishment.
    Many big cities have DA’s that do not prosecute crime. It takes years to get to trial. And the penalties are not fitting the crimes. Solomon is saying that all this crime is happening and the criminals are not punished and the victims lose out. Look at the contractor rip offs right now…

    2. The oppressed are not helped

    Ecclesiastes 4:1 GNB
    1 Then I looked again at all the injustice that goes on in this world. The oppressed were weeping, and no one would help them. No one would help them, because their oppressors had power on their side.
    If you study history, you know that it’s human nature for people to try and dominate each others. One nations tries to dominate another nation… we have fought wars to prevent that, but it happens. Political parties try to dominate the other. People try to dominate others… bullies. There is always some group somewhere that thinks they are better and so they try to dominate.
    There are countries where Christians are being hunted and killed. Usually about 1 million Christians are killed around the world for being Christian. China, Muslim nations… Solomon is saying that no one is helping them and that’s not fair. He’s right

    3. Politicians are unethical

    I know that’s hard for you to believe.
    Influence peddling… Illegal fundraising… cover ups… scandals
    The Bible says it like this…
    Ecclesiastes 5:8 The Living Bible
    8 If you see some poor man being oppressed by the rich, with miscarriage of justice anywhere throughout the land, don’t be surprised! For every official is under orders from higher up, and the higher officials look up to their superiors. And so the matter is lost in red tape and bureaucracy.
    Ecclesiastes 10:5–6 GNB
    5 Here is an injustice I have seen in the world—an injustice caused by rulers. 6 Stupid people are given positions of authority while the rich are ignored.
    You look at some of the elections going on today and go, is this the best America has to offer? When I look at some of the people who are in office and hear some of them talk, I go, how did some of these folks get elected?
    The Bible says that when ungodly people hold positions of authority (elected or appointed) they will abuse it (supervisors) and that’s not fair.

    4. Good people go unrewarded

    ...while evil people prosper.
    Ecclesiastes 8:14 GW
    14 There is something being done on earth that is pointless. Righteous people suffer for what the wicked do, and wicked people get what the righteous deserve. I say that even this is pointless.
    He is asking why good things happen for evil people and good people suffer.
    Sometimes evil people prosper… does it bother you when a horrible company succeeds and one that’s trying to do right doesn’t?
    Dishonest people get the promotion…
    Drug Lords, Mafia bosses and porn kings live in luxury...
    Have you ever lost a deal to unethical competition? Does it bother you when this happens?
    Solomon says tis isn’’t fair… and he is right. Have you ever been to the funeral of a young person and think, why did they doe so young?
    Ecclesiastes 7:15 NLT
    15 I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.
    That seems unfair… that the good die young and the wicked seem to live on and on…

    5. Capable people are unsuccessful

    Just because you have the skill set or talent needed doesn’t mean you will succeed. The good guys don’t always win in this world.
    Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT
    11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
    Atheletes train for years for the Olympics, but then get sick and can’t compete...
    We all know hardworking people who struggle to get by while some lazy person seems to have more that he should or inherits a fortune…
    The biggest salaries don’t go to the smartest people… athletes and actors make more than presidents…
    We all know someone who was passed over for a promotion because of their gender even though they were more qualified.
    So the Fact is, Life is not fair.

    Why does God allow unfairness?

    Why does God let it happen? Is he indifferent? helpless? uncaring?

    1. Unfairness happens because God gives the freedom to choose

    Deuteronomy 11:26 NLT
    26 “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse!
    From the beginning God has given people the ability to choose. In Genesis it says that God made mankind in His image which means we are different than all the other creation including our animals. The animals were not made in God’s image - you were. What does it mean to be made in God’s image?
    One way is that we have a spirit. God gave you a soul and spirit. This gives us the ability to talk with God and to have a relationship with him. Animals cannot do that.
    JOKE - Hunter was running from a bear out in the woods. While he was running he prayed, Lord make this bear a Christian. When he looked back, the bear was saying, Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies…
    You were made in the image of God.
    Another way you were made in God’s image is that he gave you the ability to choose. You can make moral choices… between right and wrong. Animals can’t do that.
    The freedom to choose is both our greatest blessing and our greatest curse.
    God wants you to do the right thing because you choose to … not because you are forced. We are not nor does God wants us to be puppets. You can’t make good choices unless you have the opportunity to make bad choices.
    But here is the thing, Every choice has consequences. You can’t have choice without consequences. Evil consequences are the result of evil choices. When people make bad choices, other people get hurt. If someone gets drunk and drives and hits a car with a family in it and kills the parents, it wasn’t God that did that… it was a person who made a choice to drink and drive.
    Why does God allow that? Why doesn’t he just take away all the evil in our world? It would be easy for God to eliminate evil in our world, but to do that he would have to eliminate your free will… your ability to choose. He is not going to do that, so one of the reasons why there is injustice in our world is that it’s the downside of God giving us the freedom to choose.

    2. Unfairness happens but God will settle accounts one day

    Ecclesiastes 3:17 The Living Bible
    17 I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everything man does, both good and bad.”
    due season - today is not the end of the story… The final chapter hasn’t been written. God has not balanced the books yet. But ultimately, a day of accounting and each of us will answer to the Lord for our actions. You may not believe in God’s judgement, but it’s coming and we will be asked, what did you do with my son? If you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will enter heaven. If you did not, you will spend eternity in hell.
    People may not receive justice here on earth, but they will receive justice. Isa says...
    Isaiah 30:18 NIV84
    18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
    If You don’t believe that, you will be depressed and anxious. The truth is people get away with evil all the time… just look at the last 2 years.
    God says: Just be patient! in due time… But why delay? Why not now?

    3. Unfairness occurs because it shows we need a Savior

    It shows what we are really like. There is this belief today where we want to believe we’re basically good & unselfish … so if that’s true, we don’t need God. I’m not a sinner… It’s the environment that makes us do all these bad things.
    Anyone who has been around children knows better. We are born with a selfish nature. Feed Me… I am the center of attention… Mine… We all like to think that we are basically good and just have some quirks… The truth is, we are born sinners.
    Without the Lord, Law and justice, people begin to act crazy because we are sinners.
    Ecclesiastes 3:18 The Living Bible
    18 And then I realized that God is letting the world go on its sinful way so that he can test mankind, and so that men themselves will see that they are no better than beasts.
    Injustice reveals human nature. It shows us what we are really like. Without God in the situation, we start treating people like animals.
    Just read the news… abuse… rape… violence… drive the I10 in NO East
    Evolution has taught us that man is just an animal with a bigger brain. God says that humans are not animals but we can sure act like them.
    There are people today that say that people are inherently good. If that’s so, How do you explain Austwitz… Bosnia… Sudan… China…New Orleans East?…
    Before God settles the score, we all need a Savior! One day we will stand before god… everyone will and when we do, we will not want justice… we will want mercy and Grace. That’s why Jesus came.

    4. Unfairness occurs so it can build character

    Romans 5:3 NLT
    3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
    Romans 5:4 NKJV
    4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
    Character is never built when things are easy. Character is built through problems and trials.
    Remember, God’s goal is to make you more and more like Jesus. To do that, he will take you through similar experiences that Jesus went through. Was Jesus ever treated fairly? If you follow him, don’t expect anything different.
    Suffering doesn’t automatically build your character. There are plenty of people who have gone through difficulties and have horrible character. Character is built when people chose to respond in the right way.
    Maybe you are going through a time where you are being treated unfairly and you do not like the hand you have been dealt. How should you respond?

    How should you respond to unfairness?

    1. You should accept it gracefully

    With God’s grace. Don’t be surprised when people treat you unfairly. They treated Jesus unfairly. Jesus said, In this world you will have trouble… We live in a fallen world.
    1 Peter 4:12 NLT
    12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
    1 Peter 4:13 NCV
    13 But be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings so that you will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory.
    You can’t prevent people from hurting you… you will be hurt, but you can choose your response. You can choose not to retaliate. Accept it gracefully and don’t become bitter and complain… You can see it as an opportunity to develop character.

    2. You should respond to offenders lovingly

    Do the opposite of what they expect you to do. When people hurt you, they expect you to retaliate… to get even. do the opposite.
    Matthew 5:43–44 NLT
    43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
    We respond lovingly because God tells us to and it keeps them from controlling you.
    One of the great scientists that America has ever produced was Booker T Washington. As a black man who lived years ago, obviously he went through many injustices and unfairnesses of life. Booker T Washington said…
    I will never allow another man to control my life by allowing him to make me hate him.
    Hate is a choice and we don’t have to hate. We can choose to show love. I can’t control what other people do, but I can control my response.
    Listen: Being loving doesn’t mean you continue to allow injustice to occur. On the contrary, We are to lovingly seek justice. MLK
    As Christians, we should fight for justice for others. But we do it with love…
    Jeremiah 22:3 NLT
    3 This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!
    We are to be concerned about justice and the laws… and about innocent … abortion.
    Proverbs 29:7 The Living Bible
    7 The good man knows the poor man’s rights; the godless don’t care.
    Even when everyone else is being unfair, we as Christians need to maintain our integrity and do the right thing anyway because we care. Do the right thing!

    3. You should wait for God’s help expectantly

    1 Peter 2:19 NCV
    19 A person might have to suffer even when it is unfair, but if he thinks of God and can stand the pain, God is pleased.
    God hears the cries of those who are treated unfairly. He notices you, he cares for you and he has a plan for your life. He hears you and one day will set things right.
    In the old days when cameras used film, you developed a picture by taking a negative and shining light through it.
    Your life might feel pretty negative right now but if you will allow God to shine his light through it, you will see a full color picture of what’s happening in your life and why. He will take that negative and turn it into a full color, beautiful picture with the light of God’s love in your life.
    If you don’t get God’s perspective, you will become cynical, bitter and disillusioned.
    So what do we do instead of retaliating? while we wait for God to make things right?
    1 Peter 4:19 NCV
    19 So those who suffer as God wants should trust their souls to the faithful Creator as they continue to do what is right.
    You will not get an explanation for everything that happens in your life in this life. But I don’t have to understand everything that happens. I just need to trust that God has my best interests at heart and that He will reward me if I trust him and do the right thing. When I do this, God will reward me for it.
    2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT
    17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
    God is faithful and he will reward obedience… he will reward your right response to unfairness.
    You may be going through a tough time right now that doesn’t seem fair or just. You don’t feel like you deserved it…
    that business partner who stole you blind.
    -a husband / wife who’s been unfaithful to you
    -that spouse who walked out on you.
    -that ungrateful child who is rebelling
    -the parent who mistreated you.
    -the friend who deserted you
    -the boss who took advantage of you
    Everybody has a story with some injustice in it.
    Prayer - Thank you Father that you don’t give us what we deserve. You are not only a God of justice, but a God of Mercy - or none of us would stand a chance. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ to be our Savior
      • Ecclesiastes 3:16TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 8:11TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 4:1TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 5:8TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 10:5–6TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 8:14TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 7:15TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 9:11TLB

      • Deuteronomy 11:26TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 3:17TLB

      • Isaiah 30:18TLB

      • Ecclesiastes 3:18TLB

      • Romans 5:3TLB

      • Romans 5:4TLB

      • 1 Peter 4:12TLB

      • 1 Peter 4:13TLB

      • Matthew 5:43–44TLB

      • Jeremiah 22:3TLB

      • Proverbs 29:7TLB

      • 1 Peter 2:19TLB

      • 1 Peter 4:19TLB

      • 2 Corinthians 4:17TLB

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