Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, March 24 2019
      • Hebrews 13:1KJV1900

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        Adult's Night Out

        March 30, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM
        Food! Fun! Fellowship! Come plunder pizza with appealing pals!
  • Salt And Light
  • Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come)
  • Reckless Love
  • Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
  • We Believe
  • Open your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 4
    The final topic for this section of the Believe series is Sharing My Faith. The key idea for the week is
    Key Idea: “I share my faith to fulfill God’s purposes.”
    When it comes to sharing our faith, a lot of us want to know – how do we do this. What’s the method or procedure? If we have the right method - we have the solution. If I have the right method and the right answers, people will believe. We think that is the key to sharing.
    Problem. When sharing our faith is about a method, it’s no longer about faith, and it’s no longer about a relationship. When it’s no longer about faith or a relationship, it becomes a chore - and there’s fear and guilt - it becomes about winning or losing - it’s about right or wrong, pass or fail - and it becomes a comparison game ….
    If it were about methods, here’s another problem - how many of us have a method for sharing our faith? No method, no sharing. Not throwing out methods - or the need to learn - methods and training all have their place, all are important (I have in my Bible a list of salvation Scripture …) - however, we’re not called to methods - we are called to something else.
    What? We’ll answer that by the time we’re finished.
    Ever been to a beach or on a ship and looked out upon the ocean? We look at the waves, the colors, the sparkle of the sun - we’re captivated by the beauty of creation. In reality, we’re in awe of what we see - on the surface. Many of us are oblivious to the vastness of the ocean - its width and depth - especially what takes place beneath the surface. There’s a world down there - fish, sharks, whales, jellyfish, eels, coral reefs, canyons, volcanoes …. There’s a whole world down there - a world of survival, killing, eating, procreating, killing, eating … and for the most part we’re oblivious to it - even when we’re right next to it looking at it.
    Similarly, we are surrounded by a spiritual realm that preexisted our physical realm. Many who claim to be spiritual are oblivious to it. If we could see beyond the veil, we would see elōhîm - spiritual beings of whom Yahweh is the Elōhîm Most High. Elōhîm - Father, Son, Spirit, heavenly host - angels (good and bad), cherubim, seraphim and others.
    This spiritual realm is not out there somewhere out there in space - but here, next to us. There are powers, authorities and spiritual forces in the heavenly realm both good and bad that are at war and often intersect with our physical realm. And sadly, many Christians are oblivious to it.
    Think about this - at one point in history, the spiritual realm and the physical realm overlapped in a place called Eden. There was a rebellion and humans were denied access to Eden. God has been working in humanity to restore that access. One day, God through Christ will unite the physical and the spiritual into one new creation - a new heaven, a new earth, a new Eden. Until then, the spiritual infiltrates the physical.
    Understand,
    We coexist with unseen spiritual forces.
    Politics - governments - cultural movements - philosophies - historical events - current events - are not always of human origin or design. I don’t believe the spiritual influences everything, however, there are spiritual forces both evil and righteous at work in the world influencing the course of human history. Do not separate what is going on in this world from the real possibility of spiritual involvement.
    Sadly, however, many Christians are oblivious. Does this sound too much like science fiction? Fantasy? Conspiracy theory? Or Biblical?
    So what does all that have to do with sharing my faith? I’m beginning to believe that too many Christians are becoming too “theory-ess.” Rather than believing the whole Bible - even the weird parts, we treat much of it as theory - thus being “theory-ess” - and being too “theory-ess” effects how we share our faith. If we don’t believe, then why share?
    So, I got to thinking - what kind of people boldly and genuinely share their faith. My answer is not exhaustive, but this does give us a basis in which to compare ourselves. Similar to last week, I’ll list several things to consider, and as we go listen to the Holy Spirit as He encourages and/or convicts.
    People who share their faith are …
    1) People who Believe
    In chapter 4, the Apostle Paul is writing about sharing the gospel - the good news about Jesus Christ and His Lordship.
    2 Corinthians 4:5 NIV
    For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
    In 1 Corinthians, Paul said all I knew was Jesus crucified ….
    We talk about all kinds of things - but when do we get to the gospel? When do we get to spiritual things? I wonder if we don’t have spiritual conversations is because of a lack of belief. In
    2 Corinthians 4:13–14 NIV
    It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.
    We have to ask ourselves - do we believe or do we treat Christianity as theory. Do we believe what is beyond the veil?
    2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
    2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV
    For we live by faith, not by sight.
    Now,
    To believe (pisteuō) is a verb. It’s something we do. Belief influences behavior.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s easier not to believe. When we don’t believe, then we’re not responsible. When we don’t believer, we don’t have to deal with the spiritual - the weird, the bizarre, the unexplainable. It’s easier to be sophisticated and proper - unlike those uncouth freaky people who believe in the paranormal.
    Paranormal. Should Christians believe in the paranormal? Think about it
    Paranormal - para = alongside the norm or natural. Paranormal is synonymous with supernatural, transcendent, unearthly, other worldly - all Biblical terms.
    People who share their faith are people who believe. … we believe and therefore speak.
    G. Campbell Morgan - “If you do not believe do not talk.”
    Anyway …
    People who share their faith are …
    2) People who Long for Heaven
    2 Corinthians 5:1–2 NIV
    For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,
    People who share their faith are …
    3) People who have a Healthy Fear of God
    2 Corinthians 5:10–11 NIV
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
    Why do we persuade or convince or share …? Because we know what’s coming.
    Revelation 21:6–8 NIV
    He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
    People who share their faith are …
    4) People who accept they are Loved
    2 Corinthians 5:14–15 NIV
    For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
    This is one of the most important aspects in sharing our faith - at least I think so. The word compels in the Greek is synechō - it means to be seized.
    Compel - synechō = to be seized.
    What compels a person to share? Repetition here - it is the acceptance of the reality of God’s.
    At the root of sharing our faith is being seized by the unending unconditional love of God. Sharing our faith is primarily about being loved.
    Have I been seized by His love?
    Love is the key to sharing our faith - not the removal of fear. “If I wasn’t so afraid ….” I understand - but perfect or genuine love casts out fear. People will do crazy things, brave things, even overcoming fears in the name of love. Love is the key to sharing our faith - not more knowledge or methods. “If I just knew more ….” It’s not about knowledge - though that helps, but the truth is even dummies can love. I’m proof! When we fall in love - we get dumb … but this is not about loving God or loving others. This is about believing the truth that God loves us!
    Ephesians 2:1–5 NIV
    As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
    People who share their faith are …
    5) People who understand they Represent the Kingdom
    2 Corinthians 5:19–20 NIV
    that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
    Ambassador - representative - 24/7 - at work, at home, online, offline ….
    2 Cor. 6:1 says we are co-workers with God. What do ambassadors / co-workers do? The word reconcile means to exchange one thing for another - Biblically, Reconcile means to exchange hostility for friendship. Ambassadors share the message of reconciliation, helping others know they can become friends with God through Jesus Christ.
    This is not a one-size fits all. Not all Billy Grahams or …. So, what’s the key?
    Colossians 4:2–4 NLT
    Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
    Pray for and seek opportunities - for self and others. Let’s pray for others to have opportunities …
    Talked a lot about believing … that’s what this series is about. Whenever Jesus criticized His disciples, it was always in the area of faith - belief. At the beginning I said - we’re not called to methods. Well, what are we called to?
    We are called to be believers.
    “I get so wrapped (here’s my typo - warped) up in doing, I sometimes forgot about being - being a believer!”
    Forsaken our first love? Do we need to repent? Rev. 3:19-20?
    A B C
      • 2 Corinthians 4:5KJV1900

      • 2 Corinthians 4:13–14KJV1900

      • 2 Corinthians 4:18KJV1900

      • 2 Corinthians 5:7NLT

      • 2 Corinthians 5:1–2KJV1900

      • 2 Corinthians 5:10–11KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:6–8KJV1900

      • 2 Corinthians 5:14–15KJV1900

      • Ephesians 2:1–5KJV1900

      • 2 Corinthians 5:19–20KJV1900

      • Colossians 4:2–4KJV1900

  • Here I Go Again
      • Hebrews 13:1KJV1900

      • Download

        Adult's Night Out

        March 30, 2019 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM
        Food! Fun! Fellowship! Come plunder pizza with appealing pals!

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