Date: 26 June, 2016
Text: Topical Message on God's Sovereignty
Title: The Certainty of Uncertainty
Have you noticed that we are living in "uncertain" days? Britain has just voted to leave the European Union. Brexit has happened.
The markets are reacting to the uncertainty of how this is going to work out for Britain. (World markets)
Individuals are having to make investment decisions without knowing what is going to take place.
Businesses are looking into whether or not they should locate within the UK.
The Government is getting shook up as our Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to step down.
Britain - is seeking to unite after this momentous decision but Scotland will be seeking another referendum because they voted very strongly to stay in the EU.
Brexit isn't the only uncertainty. The US is in an election year and many are concerned about the outcome of that election.
On top of that we have - ISIS, Russia, China (South China Sea), Iran, etc.
I saw on the news this past week that scientist are warning about a moth plague (Diamond Back) of Biblical proportions in the UK.
As we enter these days of even greater uncertainty, I want to remind us this morning of the CERTAINTY in Uncertain days.
ill. Disney World - Riding Mt. Everest Roller Coaster - it seems uncertain - but there is a power keeping the coaster on the rails. It is controlled caous.
exp. Everything around us looks out of control at times, but what we will remember this morning is that GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL. He is the Certainty in uncertain days.
note: In approaching this topic in God's Word, it is like walking up to the Sea with a teaspoon to grab and example of salt water. This topic is througout God's Word. Nevertheless, we are going to look at some small samples of God's sovereignty this morning .
I. Nebuchadnezzar - the king who tried to steal God's glory.
ill. This proud king was warned by God that if he didn't humble his heart, God would humble his heart for him. He thought that he was in control of his life. But, God gave him a dream showing that his tree was about to be cut down. Daniel explained the dream to him and challenged him to change.
Daniel 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
Question: What would you have done if God gave you a dream warning you to change or be judged?
Pr 22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
ill. If you are looking up the road and the bridge is out - you are wise to put on the break!
exp. Nebuchadnezzar didn't do that - he was proud and He became insane for 7 years as God humbled him.
question: Why did God do this?
Da 4:17 ... to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Da 4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
Da 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
question: Do you think that you are in control of your life? What is God going to have to do to get your attention?
app. Why don't you just acknowledge God's sovereignty now before He proves His sovereignty later?
II. Pilate - God's governor who allowed Jesus to be killed.
· Jesus has been betrayed by Judas.
· The chief priests are seeking His immediate death.
· A Roman Governor of Judea, Pilate, tells Jesus that He has the power to put him to death or give him back His life.
John 19:10-11 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
exp. Pilate had the power of which he spoke - but WHAT HE DID NOT REALIZE IS THAT THE POWER HE HAD WAS ONLY BECAUSE GOD GAVE IT TO HIM.
ill. Satan's attack on Job was ONLY BY GOD'S PERMISSION AND RESTRAINED BY GOD.
Job 1: 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
· Christian, why are you frustrated by life?
· Is there anything in your life outside of the Providence of God?
· If God has allowed it, why don't you trust Him for His grace to go through it? 2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. JESUS WENT TO THE CROSS WITH THE CONFIDENCE THAT GOD WAS IN CONTROL OF THAT EVENT!
III. All kings - have a heart that is being guided by God.
exp. We could think that Jesus was only speaking of Pilate when he spoke of God's authority. But, God's Word clearly says that this truth applies to every authority!
Pr 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
exp. Are you worried about Borris Johnson, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton - there is no need to be. God is in control.
ill. SCOTLAND'S HOLLOW MOUNTAIN - Cruachan Power Station - Water is a powerful force, but you can direct it to do what you want it to do. They have a loche high on the hill which turns great turbines to generate power - the extra power runs pumps to put the water back into the upper loche.
exp. Government - is a very powerful force - BUT GOD IS THE ONE DIRECTING IT.
NOTE: this does not mean that we shouldn't vote- but it does mean that we shouldn't pout and fuss when the governement is contrary to our expectations.
II Peter 2: 10 ¶ But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
warning: Don't be one of those who speak without respect for earthly rulers! God put them there and he is in control of their hearts? "The kings heart.....
note: Just in case we disagree Paul - who was imprisoned for his faith and could have hated goverment said.....
A. All human authority is put there by God.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
question: Who gave you your parents, teachers, goverment, etc? God
ill. Have you ever gotten a present that you really didn't like? If you cared at all for the person who gave it to you, what did you do. You thanked them for it. You didn't criticize it. You didn't complain about it. Why? Because of the person who gave it.
app. If you are complaining about an authority - goverment, parent, teacher, who are you complaining against? GOD! God has never made a mistake in what He is doing in your life. You can trust Him for His best.
B. If you resist them, you are resisting the commands of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:
exp. There is in all of our hearts a rebel. Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Human nature resists authority.
app. But, when we resist - we aren't just resisting a human, we are resisting God. Resisting authority will always lead to punishment.
C. If you resist, you deserve the judgment you get.
and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
question: Have you learned to submit to authority?
ill. When plowing a field, a farmer would use a gode called a (prick) to make the animal follow his instruction. Remember - the Apostle Paul resisted Jesus for several years before he got saved. And God said to him. Ac 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
app. If you are resisting God's authority - it is tough.
ill. It's like a calf that hasn't learned to stay away from the electric fence - you keep reaching accross the boundary and getting a terible jolt!
app. If this is you then your life is uncomfortable and burdensome. Why don't you just submit and know the blessing of abiding within the boundaries God has given to you?
D. The ones who ought to fear government are those who are law breakers.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
question: A natural question would be - Is there ever a time you should disobey an authority? - it is WHEN that authority COMMANDS YOU TO VIOLATE GOD'S WORD, YOU OBEY GOD AND NOT MEN.
Acts 5:28-29 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
app. Not paying your taxes is sin. (Jesus even paid taxes.) Breaking the civil law just because you do not like it - is sin. The only time it is right to disobey government is when they command you to violate God's law. (Praise God - I don't know of one example right now of that in Britain.)
IV. The world - will never win against the will of God.
exp. Here is a different perspective of God's sovereignty? What about the fact that the world has no desire to be UNDER GOD'S CONTROL? Can they not just cast it off and rebel against God?
Psalms 2:1 ¶ Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
exp. We are studying Revelation on Thursday evenings and it is very interesting. But, what you find is that the judgments God sends upon the earth - many of them come from within human governement. There will be wars that cause death, famine, disease, etc.
exp. And you are reminded that everything that is happening as the world goes "out of control" in the end times - is under the authority of God.
ill: Just last thursday we found that Gentiles will control the outside of the temple for half of the tribulation period - but is ALLOWED BY GOD.
Re 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
app. Christian - are you afraid of the fact that the world is so anti God and it seems that they are suceeding in their rebelion against Him? They will never win. Jesus is going to be set upon God's Holy Hill in Zion. The Prince of Peace is coming! Don't despair - rather rejoice to live in the end times and see it coming together.
VI. Jesus - laid down his life and allowed Himself to die.
exp. As we conclude this morning, let us be reminded that the world did not succeed in killing Jesus. We've been studying John and found this in our text last Sunday.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
ill. I arm wrestled with my kids. I'm the greater power - right now.The only way they could win is if I let them.
exp. Jesus died - because he let Himself die. He came to die.
app. Friend - wake up - God's sovereignty put Jesus on the cross for you? Why? Because Hell is real and he loves you too much to let you go to hell withou doing everything He could to stop you.
conclusion: Life is uncertain - but we can be certain of this - God is in control. We don't know the future - but as the song says, "We know who holds our hand" and it is He who holds the future.
Perhaps this morning, your are full of uncertainty because you don't know God.
Perhaps there is turmoil in your heart this morning because you are resisting God.
Won't you submit to the greatest authority and know the joy of resting in Him!