Istrouma Baptist Church Podcast

What Would You Ask?

“What Does God Say about Sexual Identity?”

Genesis 1

 

  1. Rooted in creation
    1. Number of genders
    2. Nature of genders
  2. Reflected in conduct
    1. Sexual boundaries
    2. Sexual brokenness
  3. Redeemed by change
    1. Checkered past
    2. Clean present
Direct download: IBC_20170709.mp3
Category:What Would You Ask? -- posted at: 11:57am EDT

This morning we’re starting a brand new summer sermon series called, “What Would You Ask?”  We invited you to submit questions that you would ask the Lord.  And you accepted the invitation!  We received dozens of questions.  From them we’ve chosen six that we will try to answer from God’s word over the next six Sundays. 

 

Let me give you an idea of some of the questions that we will tackle in coming weeks:

 

              “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”

              “What Does God Say about Sexual Identity?”

              “Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?”

              “Can Faith and Science Coexist?”

              “Can Man Be Free and God Be Sovereign?”

 

I hope you will join us for the entire series.  We also are planning to do a Facebook live chat each week to answer questions that arise from the questions we answer. 

             

We begin today by tackling a question that could be seen by some as offensive.  I want to ask you beforehand not to take offense.  I’ll read the questions as it was submitted, “Will Catholics go to heaven?” 

 

Out of curiosity I googled this question and the first result that popped up (after an ad) was “Can Non-Catholics Go to Heaven?”  Isn’t that funny?  The same question that some may have about Catholics, Catholics have about some of us!   This morning’s question could actually be posed for all denominations: “Will Baptists go to heaven?”  “Will Methodists go to heaven?”  That same question could be broadened beyond denominations to other faiths or religions.  Mormons?  Muslims?  Jews?

 

I’m reminded of an oft-told story about heaven.  A new arrival was getting a tour.  As he walked alongside an angel down a long hallway, they came to a room where the folks where excited.  They were shouting, clapping, shaking a tambourine, and running.  “Those are the Pentecostals,” said the angel.  Soon they came to another room.  The folks were solemn.  A priest in a colorful robe was in procession with candles and liturgy.  They were sharing the Holy Eucharist.  “Those are the Anglicans,” said the angel.  Soon they approached a third room.  The angel began tiptoeing and whispered, “Shhhh. Those are the Baptists and they think they’re the only ones here.”

 

Ouch.  Sometimes we might think that we are the only ones that are going to be in heaven.  It’s been said that when we get to heaven, two things will surprise us: who’s there and who’s not there. 

 

We are going to look at God’s word in an effort to answer this question: “Will [You Fill in the Blank] Go to Heaven?”

 

What Would You Ask?

“Will [You-Fill-in-the-Blank] Go to Heaven?”

John 3:1-16

 

  1. Religious denomination
    1. His high rank
    2. His healthy roots
  2. Real dilemma
    1. We are dead before Christ
    2. We are dependent on Christ
  3. Remarkable deliverance
    1. Heaven responded
    2. Heart receives
Direct download: IBC_20170625.mp3
Category:What Woud You Ask? -- posted at: 11:53am EDT

It happened on June 8, 2017.  A volunteer student mission team from Birmingham, AL was headed to Africa on a mission trip.  Their bus was involved in a crash.  Over 20 team members were injured and one of the teens, Sarah Harmening, 17 years old, was killed [picture of Sarah with her family]. 

 

Here was a text she sent to her younger sister, Katelyn, just before her death: “We are like a wisp of smoke. We are only here for a moment and this not about us, life is not about us, it’s about God who is eternal. So, I want to dedicate the one moment I am here, completely and entirely to Him” [Slide with full text of her quote].

 

Why would such a sweet girl, devoted to God, on a mission of kindness to impoverished people have her life come to such an abrupt end?  Why are there wars? Diseases?  Natural disasters?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  This is an ancient question.

 

Job, in what is believed to be the oldest book of the Bible, asked it.  Job 3:11, “Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire?”

 

David asked it.  Psalm 44:24, “Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?” 

 

Jesus asked it.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

 

At its root it wrestles with the problem of evil.  Here is how this dilemma was stated by the ancient philosopher Epicurus [put quote on screen]:

 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. [1]

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

 

The Bible affirms that God is omnipotent.  The Bible teaches that God is love.  How then does evil exist?  Why do bad things happen to good people?

 

Let’s launch today’s message from the words of Jesus in John 16:33b, “In the world you will have (C)tribulation. But (D)take heart; (E)I have overcome the world.”

 

What Would You Ask?

“Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”

John 16:33b

 

  1. The reality of suffering
    1. Guaranteed trouble
    2. Guaranteed triumph
  2. The reasons for suffering
    1. Transgressions against God
    2. Transformation by God
  3. The response to suffering
    1. Trust in the Lord
    2. Testify for the Lord
Direct download: IBC_20170702.mp3
Category:What Would You Ask? -- posted at: 11:49am EDT

Fight

“God’s Playbook on Parenting”

 

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

 

  • Parental don’ts
    • Don’t be absent
    • Don’t be hypocritical
    • Don’t be abusive
    • Don’t be permissive
  • Parental do’s
    • Do be jealous
    • Do be angry
    • Do be surrendered
    • Do be sacrificial

 

Direct download: IBC_20170618.mp3
Category:Fight -- posted at: 6:40pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_20170611.mp3
Category:Fight -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

A young man, newly married, went to see his pastor.  He said, “I think I love my wife too much.”  The pastor was surprised and a bit curious.  “What makes you say that?”  “Well,” replied the young man, “I can’t get my mind off her.  I think of her first thing in the morning.  I think of her throughout the day and can barely get my work done.  I can’t wait to get home to see her in the evening.  I even dream about her.” 

 

The pastor thought for a moment and then asked, “Do you love her as much as Christ loved the Church?”  “Well, I guess I don’t love her that much.”  “Well, then,” said the pastor, “Get busy!”

 

Men, a lot of us need to get busy loving our wives!  God is going to teach us this morning how to love her well.  Please turn in your Bibles to Ephesians 5:25-33 . .

 

Fight

“Husbands, Get Busy!”

Ephesians 5:25-33

 

  • Summary of his responsibility

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (v. 25).

    • Love is commanded
    • Love is compared
  • Specifics of his responsibility
    • Sacrificial love

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (v. 25b).

  • Sanctifying love

That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by . . . the word (v. 26)

  • Sensitive love

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church (v. 28-29).

 

  • Supreme love

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother . . .” (v. 31a).

 

  • Steadfast love

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (v. 31).

 

  • Symbolism of his responsibility

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church (v. 32).

Direct download: IBC_20170604.mp3
Category:Fight -- posted at: 6:30pm EDT

For the adventurous among us, there are some exciting and dangerous treks that you can take.  I’ll mention three (see attached photos) that I’ve taken from a list of the world’s top ten most dangerous hikes.

 

One is Mount Huashan in China.  It is a very steep mountain, with sheer drops of hundreds of feet.  The trail leaves you breathless.  In Spain there is a similar trail called the “Caminito del Rey.”  Many have died hiking that trail.  In fact, for some years the government closed the trail because of a spate of deaths there. 

 

My family and I have actually hiked the third trail I’ll mention.  It is called the Bright Angel Trail.  It is in the Grand Canyon.  Strangely enough, it may be the most dangerous of all.  Part of the reason it is so dangerous is because it is so close to civilization.  The beauty is alluring but the dangers are real.  110 degree temps in the summer.  Lack of water.  Dehydration.  Steep cliffs.  Overconfident hikers.  Strenuous climb—basically one mile up over 9.5 mile hike.  Each year there are about 200 rescues attempted.  About 12 people per year die at the Canyon. 

 

Life itself is a hike.  It’s a trek.  There is alluring beauty all around us but also hidden dangers.  This is true for your family.  You’re on a journey together and God wants you to make it to the destination safely.  To do so we must “watch our walk.”

 

In Ephesians 5:15-21 we will learn how to fight for our family by walking a secure, sensible, and spiritual path.

 

Fight

“Watch Your Walk!”

Ephesians 5:15-21

 

  • Walk securely (Eph. 5:15-16)
    • Time is passing
    • Time is perilous
  • Walk sensibly (Eph. 5:17)
    • Be saved
    • Be sanctified
    • Be submissive
    • Be Spirit-filled
  • Walk spiritually (Eph. 5:18-21)
    • Understand the requirement (Eph. 5:18)
    • Understand the results (Eph. 5:19-21)
Direct download: IBC_20170521.mp3
Category:Fight -- posted at: 6:17pm EDT

There have been some long wars in human history.  For example, the U.S. has been in Afghanistan for 14 years (by comparison, WWII lasted only 4 years).

 

In Europe, the French and English actually fought for 116 years over the rights to the French crown.  That war was called the “Hundred Years’ War.”

 

But the longest-standing battle in human history hasn’t lasted 10 years or 100 years or even 1000 years.  It has raged since Adam and Eve.  I’m talking about the “battle between the sexes.”   

 

Today God’s word offers us hope for history’s longest battle.  You can end this battle and have a home of peace and harmony!

 

Let’s open our Bible to Ephesians 5:21-25 for God’s battle plan as we fight for our families!

Fight

“Hope for History’s Longest Battle”

Ephesians 5:21-25

 

  1. Establish the context

Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph. 5:21).

  1. The principle of context
  2. The passage in context
  1. Embrace the counsel

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22).

  1. The wife is to submit willingly
  2. The wife is to submit worshipfully
  1. Experience the companionship

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior (Eph. 5:23).

 

  1. The husband is to submit by leading
  2. The husband is to submit by loving

 

Direct download: IBC_20170528.mp3
Category:Fight -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT

I suppose we all know what it is to fight with our family.  Even the best of families fight each other. 

 

One of the most famous figures of the 20th century was Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was a preacher and a dreamer.  He dreamed that the day would come when, as he put it, “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  For his dream and labors, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

After his death, his three surviving children were the heirs of his estate.  When money ran low, the two sons proposed that they sell their dad’s peace prize and Bible to generate some cash.  Estimates put the value of those items at some $20 million.  Their sister protested and eventually it went to court. 

 

That’s ironic.  Fighting over the peace prize.

 

But it’s not just the King family that fights.  We all fight with each other.

 

But in this new series we are calling you to put your sights on a different enemy.  Let’s stop fighting with our family and start fighting for our family!

 

The call to fight for our family comes straight from the Bible.  Nehemiah 4:14b says, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

 

Let’s fight!

 

Go225

“Fight for Your Family”

Nehemiah 4:14

 

  1. Your family has an adversary
    1. Recognize your adversary
    2. Respond to your adversary
  2. Your family has an ally
    1. Pray to God
    2. Post a guard
  3. Your family has an aim
    1. The aim is your family’s good
    2. The aim is your Father’s glory
Direct download: IBC_20170514.mp3
Category:Fight -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

I love “Fixer Upper.”  It is a show starring Chip and Joanna Gaines [show pic].  They take dilapted, dated houses and transform them into beautiful, welcoming homes [show pic of before & after of a home they’ve renovated].   The climax of each episode is the “reveal” when an old photo of the home obscuring their view is removed.  Now the new façade is unveiled to the delight of the owners. 

 

This morning we’re going meet a man that was totally transformed by Jesus.  We will see his before pic and his after pic.  His transformation touched many of his family and friends.

 

What happened to him Jesus wants to happen to us.  He wants to transform us and, in turn, impact the world through us.  That’s really what “Go Day” was all about—transformed people being used by God to touch the 225 for Jesus!

 

Go225

“Fixer Upper”

Mark 5:1-20

 

  1. The mercy Jesus shows (5:1-17)
    1. He comes to us (5:1)
    2. He changes us (5:2-17)
  2. The mission Jesus shares (5:18-19)
    1. The place: Go home
    2. The plan: Go tell
  3. The marvel Jesus inspires (5:20)
    1. The obedience of the man
    2. The outcome of the mission
Direct download: IBC_20170507.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT