Istrouma Baptist Church Podcast

One of the popular tv shows during my childhood years was “I Dream of Genie.”  It was a show about a genie that lived in a bottle.  She had to do the bidding of her master.  Wouldn’t you love to have that?

 

We have something far better.  We have Almighty God to whom we can take our requests and He will answer them in a way that is best for us.

 

Sometimes it may seem that He is not answering our prayers.  We pray but it seems that our prayers don’t get beyond the ceiling.  Let’s look into the Word of God for an answer to the question, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?”

 

What Would You Ask?

“Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?”

James 4:1-3

 

  1. Hope in prayer
    1. It is promising
    2. It is puzzling
  2. Hindrances to prayer
    1. Our silence
    2. Our sin
    3. Our scriptural ignorance
  3. Help for prayer
    1. Call to God
    2. Confess to God
    3. Cling to God’s word
Direct download: IBC_20170716.mp3
Category:What Woud You Ask? -- posted at: 10:44am EDT

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

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