How To Survive the End of the World Part 3
The world we currently live in has changed whether we like it or not. In JRR Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, Galadriel, the Elf queen says about the change happening in middle earth; “The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost…
Yes the world has changed. We are living in an increasingly post christian culture. America was once a christian nation whose values were aligned with judeo christian values and ethics. Charles Dickens penned this opening statement in his classic, A Tale of Two Cities;
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…
The World around us has drastically changed over the past 40 years or so. In our increasingly post christian culture, the influences and values shaping emerging generations are no longer aligned with Christianity.
Tolerance? Tolerance may be a virtue and buzz word in todays culture but its not extended to Christianity.
•we are driven from public life
•denied 1st amendment rights
•actively discriminated against for our beliefs
We live in a quickly changing world. You might feel safe in the church world you and I live in, but step outside into the real world and things aren’t quite the same anymore.
So How should we live in this world in the last days? The Call is to Live Biblically. To live as Christ lived.
1 John 2:6 LB “Anyone who says he’s a Christian should live as Christ did.”
I Peter 2:21 NIV “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” WWJD?
What does it mean to be a Christian?
- Jesus explained what it meant to be a Christian in Matthew 16:24 (NLT). He said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me.”
- Put aside your selfish ambition – The desires we naturally have are in opposition to that which God desires (Gal. 5:16-17). But the Holy Spirit makes us a new person (2 Cor. 5:17) and gives us new desires (Rom. 8:9).
- Shoulder (Carry) your cross – The cross as a vivid pic that the disciples fully understood. To take up your cross meant to face death spiritually & possibly physically. Our sinful way of life dies (Rom. 6:6, Gal. 5:24) and Christ’s new life lives in us (Gal. 2:20). And for some, following Christ would cost them their lives physically.
- To sacrifice is to give up something for the sake of something else that is much better.
- What is my cross? The place of our greatest pain
The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
- Follow me – To be a Christian, we must follow Christ. We must act the way he acted. We must speak the way he spoke. We must love the way he loved.
- Embrace God’s will no matter what the cost
I love Jesus, but sometimes “Christians” frustrate me. Why? They fight & argue about the dumbest things. Too judgmental, act holier than thou, incredibly condescending.
1. With Humility
Humility – Modest opinion of one’s own importance or rank. To lower oneself; lowly; abasing yourself, “down to earth”.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. . . . Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don’t think of themselves.” – Rick Warren
Humility – The discipline of putting others ahead of self -the choice to value others above self – its a matter of faith
“Humility is self-forgetfulness.” – C.S. Lewis
Matt. 5:3 NLT “God blesses those who realize their need for him…”
It recognizes how inadequate we are by ourselves.
James 4:10 NIV “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up”.
People who are not humble think they know everything, no one can correct them, and they believe they have the answers to everything
Matt. 11:29 NIV “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
2. With Simplicity
Freedom from complexity. We live mismanaged lifestyles
Luke 12:15 NIV “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
•We have become slaves to our belongings – St Francis of Assisi insisted that true freedom lies in the abundance of life, not the abundance of possessions. Many times those possessions that we have acquired exercise power over us.
Matt. 16:26 NLT “How do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Living simply means that we carefully examine what it means to fully live. How? By focusing our efforts on things that are true, beautiful, and essential. Like Faith, Family, Healthy, Friends, and our Church, our Community
Psalms 131:1-2 Amp – 1 Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in matters too great or in things too wonderful for me. 2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me [ceased from fretting].
•’I think the devil has made it his business to monopolize on 3 elements: noise, hurry, crowds… Satan is quite aware of the power of silence.”
•”The Value of our western culture demands us to be busy…”
Eccl. 7:29 – “God made man simple: man’s complex problems are of his own devising”
“To much clutter in your mind leaves insufficient room for devotion to Christ” Remember – You NO to others will soon translate into a YES for God!
3. With Possibility (Faith)
Potentiality for favorable or interesting results.
Faith is… To have trust or assurance, confidence, conviction, belief, reliance in what God says. Trust that produces actions.
Matt. 19:26 NLT “With God everything is possible.”
Mark 9:23 NIV “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
•Believing when I donʼt see it.
(Hebrews 11:1) “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and
certain of what we do not see.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
•Obeying when I donʼt understand it.
(Hebrews 11:7 NLT) “It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save
his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about
something that had never happened before.”
•Persisting when I donʼt feel like it.
(Hebrews 11:27) “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the kingʼs
anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”
“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins. Not through strength, but through persistence.”- Unknown
•Trusting if I donʼt get it.
(Hebrews 11:39-40) “They were all commended for their faith yet
none of them received what had been promised. God had planned
”Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe” –Augustine
•The law of faith is the greatest law in the Word of God. Believe and ye shall receive.
• “I can get more out of God by believing Him for one minute than I can by shouting at Him all night.”- Smith Wigglesworth
4. With Charity (Love)
(I Cor. 13:1) “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…but have not love, I am nothing.”
•The more spiritual you become, the more love you will show to others.
Matt 5:44 The Message “I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Luke. 6:37 NIV“Do not judge, and you’ll not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
“Take away love and the earth is a tomb.” – Robert Browning
•Love takes no account of the evil done to it. Love does not filter its current emotional state through the screen of past hurts and offenses. Instead, it shows the grace and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ who loved us while we were yet sinners, even suffering the shame of the cross
•Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person. Natural human love requires a person to prove themselves before love is given. However, Christ-like love offers itself to those who are both lovable and unlovable. Instead of assuming the worst, it tirelessly looks for the best in others. True love hopes all things and lives with an expectant faith towards others.
(1 Corinthians 14:1 LB) “Make love your greatest aim…”
•Accept others unconditionally.
(Romans 15:7 NIV) “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted
you, in order to bring praise to God.”
“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for, and deserted by everybody.” – Mother Teresa
•Encourage others continually.
(1 Corinthians 13:7 LB) “If you love someone…you will always believe
in him, and always expect the best of him…”
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington
•Serve people cheerfully.
(1 Peter 4:10 NIV) “Each one should use whatever gift he has received
to serve others…”
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.” – Charles Dickens
•Forgive others freely.
(Colossians 3:13 NIV) “Bear with each other and forgive whatever
grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
“When you forgive someone, you set a prisoner free… and then you find that the prisoner was you.”
5. With Priority
Priority – Something given special attention
Luke 12:30-31 NLT These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
“If you don’t live by priorities, you’ll live by pressures. Either you determine what’s important in life or other people will determine it for you.” – Rick Warren
Matt. 10:39 The Message “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”
What are your priorities?
Relationship with God (Church, Prayer, Worship, devotions, God’s Word, telling others, giving) & Your Family (Time)
I HAVE DECIDED:
To follow the example set by Christ.
(1 Corinthians 11:1) Follow my example, as I follow the example of
(1 John 2:4 TLB) Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my
way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ
tells him to, he is a liar.
To declare my commitment publicly.
(Matthew 10:32-33) “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will
also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever
disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”
Here’s what you need to know before the End of the World
1. God loves us and does not want us to perish.
John 3:16,17 — For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
1 Timothy 2:4 — [God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2. All people have sinned. Sin causes separation from God.
Romans 3:23 — For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
James 2:10 — For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
3. Heaven is a free gift. You cannot earn or deserve heaven.
Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8,9 — For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.
4. We receive God’s forgiveness through faith, by trusting in Christ.
John 1:12 — But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Romans 10:9,10 — …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.