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Sermon 2019.05.05

Here is a rough idea of what my dad taught this Sunday for those who are curious. I liked it.

He was speaking in Chinese, so this was me jotting English furiously on the fly. Started seven minutes into the sermon and sometimes I couldn't keep up, so missing verses and sentences here and there, not just where I managed to scribble the word “missing”. Totally my own interpretation of what he was saying, so any mistakes are mine:

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If your friends are rejecting God's word, they're not your friends.

Hypocrites praise God, with their hearts far from him. This is often the case with religious leaders. The Pharisees arranged the cross.

Abide in his word, then you'll know the truth. John 17:17 Thy word is truth. Reject the Word, reject truth.

If you are teaching that which contradicts the truth then you're teaching false doctrine. Some people think can they can update Christianity's ceremonies because “It's only a ceremony.”

God is not picky, to label him that would be an insult, but he is not lax or slack. The Old Testament is intricate, every detail fraught with meaning.

The strange fire was closer, but God said treat me as holy. If change an iota, then you're not setting something apart as holy. Like saying, "I can improve on the ship's captain's instructions."

Romans 3:4 - Let God be found true though every man be found a liar. God is right even if the entire world says something different. Naturally not everyone disagrees with God. But when you consider all the false religions and all the false Christianity out there, they make up a majority disagreeing with God.

... [missed]...

Even if an angel tells you something different, don't go with him to hell.

John 17:17 1. The word is truth. 2. It sanctifies us.

Reject the word, and you are rejecting sanctification. We are his special sanctified ones.

Glad he gave us the New Testament, not commands in list-form, but examples of real christians and their problems.

You and I also have problems. But can't say, “Well we all have problems, so we're all going to heaven.”

If we had to completely understand the Bible then nobody would be going to heaven. A genius can study the Bible for a lifetime, and still not know everything, but everybody can understand enough to start obeying.

“This part is not important.” What part of God's Word is not important? When he speaks he doesn't waste a word. I often waste words, God no.

Romans 1:2 - My brethren perish for lack of knowledge. [“Lack of education ... Bam! Elimination.” - "The Fox and the Hound" cartoon song, sorry couldn't resist.]

God can be patient with a lack of knowledge but not if we outright reject him saying, “If I accept that, it means my mom is in hell, so I can't accept that.” We reject him when we say our friends are more important, our life is more important.

Really the permanent is more important. We must be faithful unto death because the spiritual is more important than the temporal.

... [missed] ...

If we rely on God's word we can stand in the day of judgment.

Sometimes people are wrong because they don't understand. Diligently study to get God's approval.

Some don't know because they don't care, that's why they don't come to church, that's why they don't study at home. But God says if we are willing to know we will know.

Every age in the Bible had its preachers who were not starting new denominations but taking people back to the original Word... Ezra, Nehemiah ... One phrase repeated over and over, “As it is written.. ” They restored everything to “as it is written.” They discovered 100-year lapses.

But most people don't care and don't study. Or they study and they don't like it, and think they can change it to be more entertaining. God's way is too simple. It needs guitars.

But God has his purpose, Matthew 15 and 17, Deuteronomy 4 and 12. Don't add, subtract, change.

So study and learn and God will have patience. Nobody has complete knowledge but there is an ignorance that will send you to hell.

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:6-9)

Even if an angel... Joseph Smith, who founded the Mormon religion, said an angel gave it to him. He made many propheies that didn't come true. The Bible says if a prophet prophesied and it didn't come true, you needn't fear that prophet. He even got the death penalty in the Old Testament. Told a Mormon that once and it just went in one ear and out the other. That is why people will be in hell.

I'm not the judge. Maybe God will make exceptions because he knows extenuating circumstances, maybe he knows the person couldn't understand. But God did tell me who I can fellowship. We are to love our enemies but we can't call them brethren.

“Let's have a council to decide how to make worship more interesting. Let's have a council to decide how to baptize, by pouring, sprinkling or immersing. What do you mean, 'We need to go to the Bible', that implies if I don't get in the water I'm going to hell and I don't like that.”

We sing that song, “Jesus, Jesus, I rely on Jesus,” [Chinese version]... not if you're relying on your feelings. You only care what you like, not what God likes.

Faith means: I trust that God is right, and I trust that his standard is right.

How does he guide us? By a voice in the ear? Or a feeling? How do you know if it's from God or Satan?

If it's contrary to God's Word, even if an angel directly tells you anything different, or a vision, contrary to what you have already received, don't accept it, rely on Jesus, but what did he give us to rely on? His objective Word.

“He guides me by feeling,” is subjective. His objective word guides us.

How do we know truth, objective and confirmed? By the miracles. That's why we can rely on his Word.

1. No contradictions with past revelation. 2. Must have miracles confirming it. 3. The miracles don't have to be repeated. 4. Witnesses to the miracles is enough.

Next week we will look at the attitude of unbelief and the verses that address that directly.

Truth has no contradictions. No wonder smart people reject Christianity when they see all the contradictions being taught in “Christendom”.

Jesus prayed that we would all be one, so that the world could believe. His prayer was answered. We are all to believe as one. All true Christians do believe as one even though we have no headquarters. Look at those meeting in Singapore and Taichung and Hualien, all one, but it is the truth making us one.

1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken us but what we can bear. He restricts every temptation from exceeding your strength. If Satan had free reign the church would not exist. So don't give up. Some people smarter than me wonder why I can't see certain things. But like Paul, I may not have arrived, but I press on.

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Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (Eph 4:29)