Summary: We can make it through the storms if we’ll turn to God and pay attention to the new course He sets.


Part 3

When the Warnings Have Been Ignored

Acts 27 & 28

March 29, 2009

Pastor Brian Matherlee

Clip of “Bruce Almighty”

Bruce is “looking for a sign” and asks for one from God. When a truck full of signs pulls out in front of him, he swerves to miss it.

What causes us to ignore warnings?

1. Pride

a. I know what I’m doing (centurion)

b. The Titanic’s captain & designer ignored the warnings because of pride.

c. Many years ago C.S. Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters. Screwtape was an assistant devil writing to his nephew Wormwood. Screwtape was telling his nephew how to make the "patient" leave the camp of the arch enemy, the Prince of Peace, and dwell in the camp of the real boss, the prince of darkness. I would like to share with you another letter, this one written by Twisttape to his apprentice Harshwood as they discuss his training and graduation from devil’s school. The letter begins: Dear Harshwood, I have read the notices that you are about to graduate and begin your work on earth. Glad to hear that your training went well. I see that you will be a graduate with honors. Splendid! Apply all of your knowledge to the task at hand, for the enemy, the Prince of Peace, God of Love is a resourceful enemy. Just when you think you have him in your grasp or one of this people, he pulls a trick and low and behold you stand empty, you lost your soul for the fires of hell. I would like to give you one piece of advice, one bit of wisdom as you begin your tour of duty in the enemy’s camp. Throughout my tour of duty, I have learned one thing about these humans which I feel can be so very useful for you. Humans usually have a very high regard for themselves. They think they are pretty good. They can see the faults, the sins, the evil in another, but they see only good in themselves. My advice to you my dear Harshwood, is to encourage that thinking. Encourage it for all its worth. The chief antagonizer, that Christ fellow, wants the humans to see their own sins, but Harshwood, blind their eyes, their hearts, their souls to that revelation. Let them think only of the good in themselves, and you, may dear friend Harshwood, will meet your quota of human beings who will spend the rest of their lives with our master, the lord of the heat and fire, Master Satan. Let them see that when repentance is called for it is not them who needs to repent. Let them see over and over again that they are really better than the guy next to them in the pew. When the pastor reads about John the Baptist, let them fall asleep, turn to other thoughts, so they will not realize that it is them John is talking to. Let them see that they are indeed really pretty good, no need for repentance, no need for forgiveness, and then you will have them. You will have them because they will see that they do not really need that Christ fellow, and they really need is themselves. Then, then they will be ours. For you see my dear Harshwood, when these humans see themselves as great, then they are filled with self pride, and they don’t need that Jesus fellow. This is how it will begin. They you will have them in your claws. Good luck on your tour of duty, my heart goes out o you as you use every trick, every scheme, every evil desire, every good intention, every proud thought to win souls for our side. Signed Your admiring friend Twisttape

d. Pride says, “I can handle it”, “I won’t go too far”. All the sudden you end up farther than you ever imagined.

2. Appetite

a. On the surface it may seem that the decision to try to make Phoenix was a practical one. The harbor was larger, and more protected.

b. But many commentators have suggested that the men decided to sail on because the larger town would have had more to do for them during the winter.

c. Jacob and Esau’s story.

i. Esau said he was starving, when in reality he was simply letting his appetite get the best of him.

ii. He lost everything because of his appetite.

3. Impatience

a. We can see the impatience of the men on board this ship. They wanted to get out of that little town. They wanted to have some fun!

b. Thinking we can get things the easy way or never have to work or wait skips the maturing lessons of life and builds faulty foundations.

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