Sermon 11.26.2017

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Knowledge

Hosea 4:6a My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge.

Most people would agree that it is good to have some sort of knowledge about a few things to get along in life.  We need knowledge of how to take care of ourselves. We need knowledge of how to take care of our children if we are so blessed to have children.  We need knowledge to carry out our professions whether we have a blue collar or white collar job. We need some sort of knowledge to do the job.  What would happen if I as a pastor got into the cockpit of an airplane and tried to fly that plane without any knowledge of flying planes?  At best it wouldn’t move, at worst I would figure out how to get it to move and then there would be a plane crash soon to follow.  The knowledge of how to fly a plane is essential for flying a plane and no one would argue that point.

In the time of the Reformation 500 years ago a lack of knowledge of the laity and even to a point the clergy was one of Martin Luther’s concerns. For this very reason, Luther worked years and years to bring the scriptures into the language of the people so that they would have better access to the Word of God.  This is also why the Church has been concerned with schools so that people knew how to read and have access to the Word of God.  When God’s people lack knowledge of the will of God and the actions that he has taken in through Jesus Christ the words of the prophet Hosea will ring true again in 2017.

Does that mean I have to be “smart” enough to get into heaven? Well of course not! Why then all this talk about knowledge and studying the Word of God. It is because of who the word of God is all about and that is your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The message of Christ is what the Church needs to be all about even still today.  We need to continue to search the scriptures to know of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We need to continue to hear the word of God proclaimed to us.  We need God and His Word for without it we will be lost forever.

God desires to be close to you so much so that he has made himself available to you in very real ways.  One of those ways that is vitally important is through His word and as we read, learn, and inwardly understand his word, the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ continues to grow in us.  What a blessing it is to be able to know God and what He has done for each of us.

1 Timothy 2:3b-4 God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Heresy in the American Religion

It has been a rough couple of weeks as people have gathered into sanctuaries of America over the past couple of weeks.  The story is that so many faithful worshipers have been gathering together only to see heresy spread through their preachers like wildfire.  If you know anything about religion you know that heresy is a big deal.  Now the people are not overly concerned about the morality of their preachers, but heresy is not acceptable.  They come to watch the preachers give them exactly what they want, yet now their heresy is ruining it all.  What is that heresy that I am referring to?  Is the Adoptionism or the idea that Jesus was not born divine and only later became God’s Son? Perhaps it is Arianism or the idea that there was a time when the Son of God was not in existence which is an attack on the divinity of Christ. Was it Modalism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism, Gnosticism and all of its forms? No, the sanctuaries that I am referring to are the big giant buildings (no not Joel’s church although plenty of heresy there) with screaming worshipers who have painted their faces to see there preachers preach with their wonderful ability to run fast, throw, catch, and tackle.  The worshipers are getting angry though because the heresy is afoot in those who are paid to preach.  They have rejected the god of the people. They have not given reverence to the god that is the United States Government and its greatest symbol the stars and stripes and the worshipers are pissed.

Anytime you want to cause an uproar start chopping down people’s sacred cows.  We have two sacred cows that have been brought out into the light.  We have the NFL and sports in general which is a giant idol in people’s lives.  We also have patriotism which can be a religion of its own.  Our idols are revealed when we believe that we cannot or are unwilling to go without something.  There are those who are so consumed by sports and in this case the NFL that they believe that they cannot live without them or they are at least unwilling to give them up or put them in their proper place. We have the country being elevated to an improper place in many people’s lives as well.  Can you imagine a time and place when America ceases to exist?  Nations have come and gone throughout the history of the world why would we believe that ours is any different?  Idols come in all shapes and sizes from our spouse and kids to our cars and money.  We as sinners can pervert all of God’s good gifts.  What idols are in your life?  Is it sports, a topic near and dear to my own heart?  Is it an unhealthy perspective on the country you live in? Is it something else?  Whatever it is, always know that Christ died for your idolatry as well as mine. He died for the idolatry of the people who disagree with as well. May God reveal to each of us those places in our lives where we have perverted His good gives and let us kneel before our God trusting in the grace of Jesus Christ.