1. On the birthday of a 100 year old man in Maine a reporter interviewed the man and said, “100 years! Wow, you have seen a lot of changes.” The man replied, “Yes, and I have been agin’ every one of ‘em!”
2. Changes Come, Ready or Not
• 90%t of all the items in the supermarket today did not exist just ten years ago.
• It is estimated that 73% of college graduates are going into jobs which did not exist when they were born – 22 short years ago.
• George Washington traveled from Virginia to Washington D.C. by horseback. It could take him ten days traveling at a speed of twenty-five miles per day.
• When astronauts come back to earth, they travel at over 25,000 miles per hour. At that speed you could fly from New York to San Francisco in just a couple of minutes.
• “My great-grandfather rode a horse, but was afraid of the train. My grandfather rode on a train, but was afraid of a car. My father rode in a car, but was afraid of an airplane. I ride in an airplane, but I’m afraid of a horse."
3. Change is the cure for complacency
Wheaties began making cereal back in the late 1940’s. It was good, but it wasn’t particularly popular. So, in the early 1950’s they took a big financial risk and did something nobody else had ever done. They paid big bucks to have a popular athlete grace the front of the box, and their new slogan was, “Breakfast of Champions.” The athlete was an Olympic gold medalist in the pole-vaulting competition. His was a preacher, and his name was Bob Richards.
It worked. Wheaties became an overnight success and has been near the top selling cereals ever since. But they had to do something else, too. They had to keep finding new athletes that people knew. See, as the years go by, people forget names and accomplishments. A few years after Rev. Richards appeared on the box, people forgot who he was.
So, throughout the years, to be able to introduce the cereal to new people, they changed the outside of the box to be more relevant to the society of that day. But you have to notice something very important. Not once during all this time, did they ever change the cereal inside the box! It has remained unchanged in all these years.
• We have an Unchanging Gospel – to be seen AS IS – a GREAT RESTORATION Principle
o Baptism has been a great emphasis [Naaman]
o Repentance is tougher
4. The church today needs some serious repentance – we are failing to carry out the mission Jesus has given to us and we don’t really care.
5. Needed today is a strong reliance on God
6. Isaiah 43.14-19
I. The Impressed Oppressed
A. Israel’s Context – Oppression by Egypt; Assyria; Babylon
1. They knew their history
2. They believed God’s promises – good and bad
3. God made impressions on his chosen people
B. Our Adversary’s Oppressions
1. Remember that Satan HATES you
a. You bear the image of God
b. You follow Yeshua (Jesus)
2. He Oppresses Us with:
a. Sin – Isaiah 59.1-2
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
2 but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you
so that he does not hear.
[Addictions – Drugs, alcohol, food, pornography – Yeshua (Jesus) is the answer
b. Idolatry – Exodus 20.3-4
[People; Entertainment; Sports – OU; OSU; Thunder
c. Superstitions – So Paul, standing in the middle of the Areop′agus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. Acts 17.22
[#13 and Bungee jumper that died because the 13th floor was not included in the building directory – the floors went from 12 to 14 – his cord was too long by one floor
d. Traditions [Victories – HOME Groups; Children’s Bible Hour; Gene’s Little Friends; Home Before Dark; PPT; Video (our language); Eastern European Missions]
1) Nothing wrong with Tradition, per se – if there is meaning – “vain repetitions”
Jews were taught to build a fence around the Torah (Pirkei Avot 1.1)
2) Problem – exchanging ritual for relationship with God
a. Jews did it with circumcision; Sabbath; Kosher foods
b. We can become captives to: worship times (11 AM); Order of worship; Invitation and song; WED PM (Thursday in Auburn, AL) – at all?
C. Our God’s Opportunity
1. To be greater than the Adversary and his oppressions – Sin (DBR); Idols (Living God); Superstition; Tradition
2. With his Supernatural element – Holy Spirit – But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14.26
a. HS inspired scripture – 2 Timothy 3.16-17
b. HS instructs us in his word
II. The Delight of the Delivered
A. There is a Universal response to Deliverance by God – JOY (Acts 8, etc.)
B. Israel’s Deliverance
1. Egypt –
a. Blood of the Lamb
b. Baptism in Red Sea – I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same supernatural [spiritual] food 1 Corinthians 10.1-3
1) Baptism unto Moshe (Moses)
2) Involves uniting with his leadership; vision; and goals
c. Moses and Miriam danced and sang after the crossing of the Sea
d. Receiving Instruction at Sinai – Exodus 19.8 (we will do and we will hear)
1) We worship/serve Someone/Something – 16 Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6.16-18
2) Some wanted to go back to Egypt – looking back to the “good old days”
C. Our Deliverance
1. From Sin and Idolatry – Romans 6.23; Ephesians 2.8-10
a. Blood of the Lamb of God
b. Baptism – into Yeshua (Jesus) – Romans 6.1-4; unite with him in his character; goals; vision; leadership
c. To follow his teachings – John 14.15
2. From Superstition and Tradition
a. Look past the outward to the heart
b. God’s intention has always been to include the internal as well as the external – Deuteronomy 6.4ff
1) Love is action
2) Involves heart/mind; Life; resources – all we have
1. You Will Forget
An elderly couple was having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. When they arrived at the doctor’s, they explained to the doctor about the problems they were having with their memory.
After examining the couple, the doctor tells them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down and make notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left.
Later that night while watching TV, the old man got up from his chair and his wife asks, "Where are you going?"
He replies, "To the kitchen."
She asks, "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?"
He replies, "Sure."
She then asks him, "Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?"
He says, "No, I can remember that."
She then says, "Well, I also would like some strawberries on top. You had better write that down cause I know you’ll forget that."
He says, "I can remember that, you want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."
She replies, "Well, I also would like whip cream on top. I know you will forget that so you better write it down."
With irritation in his voice, he says, "I don’t need to write that down, I can remember that." He then fumes into the kitchen.
After about 20 minutes he returns from the kitchen and hands her a plate of bacon and eggs.
She stares at the plate for a moment and says, "I knew you should write it down, you forgot my toast."
2. Sometimes we look back –
Thus says the LORD:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6.16
3. Sometimes we do not –
Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old. Isaiah 43.18
4. We learn from the past and develop faith for the future – or we are destined to repeat the past
5. Do not dwell in the past
a. Discouraging things
b. Prideful things
c. "When we have more memories than dreams, our life is over."
Maybe this is the value of Joel 2.28:
“And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.