God seeks a resolved heart

second chronicles chapter 16 second

chronicles chapter 16 and that let me

let me just read and before I start

because then if I start with the prelude

it's gonna become the sermon and I won't

even get a chance to read it it's

important to focus on this particular

scripture first a second chronicle 16

says in the 36th year of Aizaz reign ASA

is the king that we want to focus on in

the 36th year of aces reign that is his

kingdom his government Baasha king of

israel went up against judah and

fortified Rama to prevent anyone from

leaving or entering the territory of ASA

king of Judah so it sounds complicated

let me just simplify for you we have a

situation of war two kings

they're both Israeli Israelites but this

is the time when the Kingdom of Israel

was divided between the northern kingdom

and the southern kingdom and often they

were at war with each other usually the

northern kingdom was a very pagan very

sinful they had a lot of sinful kings

and the southern kingdom the kingdom of

Judah had a lot more opportunities where

they had very just good god-fearing

Kings and so they were at war with each

other what we have here is that the king

of the north even though he's an Israel

an Israelite comes and surrounds the

kingdom of the south and he's going to

attack it is preparing to siege it's

laying a siege on that and so it's a

moment of great danger and pressure for

the king of Judah okay whose name is åsa

so that's the does the idea here so what

does this King do it says that he then

took the silver and gold out of the

Treasuries of the Lord's temple very

important keep that in mind what he does

and of his own palace

and center to Ben Haddad the king of

Aram who was ruling in Damascus so what

does ASA do in the in the light of this

situation of siege and danger he goes

into the temple and takes out all of the

utensils and all of the objects that are

used for the worship of God there was a

lot of gold and silver in those utensils

he takes it out of the temple these

consecrated utensils these consecrated

objects and also goes into his palace

and takes out a lot of the Treasury that

he had treasure that he has and he goes

through this other powerful king who is

a pagan king he's not a believing King

he is a pagan man and it's a pagan

country that often was at war with

Israel as well and so he takes this

these consecrated objects and his own

money and property and gives it to this

third powerful King to bribe him into

going to war against the king of Israel

the north and northern kingdom to get

him out of the picture and to get him

away from attacking Israel so it says

took the silver and gold gave it to this

King ben-hadad and says to him verse 3

let there be a treaty between you me and

you a treaty and an agreement between a

believing King ASA and an unbelieving

King Ben Haddad as there was between my

father and your father see I'm sending

you silver and gold now break your

treaty with Baasha king of Israel the

surrounding King the attacking King so

he will withdraw from me this is a

diplomacy it has always been conducted

throughout history by all kinds of

governments based on reality not on

principles you know just realism sheer

interest that's all no spiritual

principles involved how can I get out of

this situation how can i establish an

agreement it doesn't matter about the

spiritual things I'm in a bind I need to

get out of it no matter how I do it I

just want to get out of this situation

so ben-hadad agreed with king ASSA and

sent the commander's of his forces

against the towns of Israel and they

conquered a john dan Abell my aim in all

the store cities of Naphtali when Basha

the king of Israel heard this he stopped

building Rama or Rama and abandoned his

work he was building a fortified city so

to speak to wage a siege and to just

wait it out until the Israel the Judeans

the people of Judah would give up and

you know accept defeat so he stops

building this fortified city and

abandoned his work then King ASA brought

all the men of Judah and they carried

away from Rama the stones and timber by

Asha this attacking King had been using

and with the materials that he gets from

this abandoned half fortified city he

built up GABA and Mizpah right so he

gets some benefit out of it he gets this

King out of his hair and he also gets a

lot of materials to build other cities

and so on and so forth not a bad deal in

a way right so verse 7 it says at that

time this is after the danger has passed

this is really important at that time

Hanani the seer in other words this is a

prophet of God sometimes prophets were

called seers because they saw in the in

the supernatural world they could see

visions they could hear from God they

saw things okay so this man is a prophet

of God full of the Spirit he sees in the

supernatural and he comes to the word

from God at that time Hanani the seer

came to ASA king of Judah and said to

him this is interesting because you

relied on the king of arum and not on

the Lord your God this is very important

again here you know he committed a grave

violation

he put his trust in a merely human

instrument instead of relying on God and

I don't clarify why in the case of ASA

this was particularly Grievous and

offensive to God

because you relied on the king of Arum

and not on the Lord your God the army of

the king of Arum has escaped from your

hand you know he simply left he wasn't

attacked he didn't lose man nothing he

just had to abandon the siege so he

escaped freely without any consequences

except that he had to abandon his plans

to attack so he has escaped from your

hand and this is the question that he

asks Aiza referring to a previous

situation that ASA had confronted and

that he had navigated appropriately

before the eyes of God and he says were

not the Kushites and Libyans a mighty

army with great numbers of chariots and

horsemen you can read about that in

chapter 14 by the way another situation

that he faced of grave threat we're not

they a mighty army yet when you relied

on the Lord he delivered them into your

hand so if you see that there's a

principle here being worked out in this

narrative whether you rely on the Lord

or whether you rely on human instruments

and methodology in your life and by the

way you can put any situation in your

life anything that you're struggling

with any great project that you have

your ambitions for the future in my case

you know heading a congregation and

wanting to build an English ministry in

a spanish ministry and be used of God in

the city it depends how you on whom you

rely and on what principles and systems

you rely and what you use are you as

your governing methodology your

governing principles okay so it's just

when when you this mighty army you don't

you remember before when you had an even

more powerful army and you relied on

spiritual principles and the Lord

delivered them into your hand and this

is one of the most famous verses in all

of Scripture and I urge you to underline

that verse and maybe even learn it

memory it has been a verse that has

governed my life when I've been wise

enough to pay attention to it I haven't

done it always and I've paid the

consequences when I haven't but this is

one of the most powerful verses in all

of Scripture right here very famous

verse very well-known verse says for the

eyes of the Lord

range throughout the earth that is they

hover over all the earth to strengthen

those whose hearts are fully committed

to him in other words God is always

looking for a man or a woman who has a

committed consecrated decided heart and

is totally committed to his plans his

methodology his principles and and whose

love is for God in the Spanish version

of this text it says that los de corazon

perfecto those who have a perfect heart

the idea is that committed is of strong

sort of focused laser-like commitment to

the Lord God is always looking for that

individual man or woman child or

adolescent it doesn't matter God is

always interested in a man or a woman a

child or an older person who is

committed to God in a in a ferocious

undiluted sort of way to show himself

strong

that's what again you know if you look

at other versions of this this is the

NIV version God wants to show himself

strong and powerful and favourable to

the person who has a committed heart to

him and he's always looking for he's

like a good employer looking for good

employees and and when you find a good

employee or a good leader for your

organization and you grab him and God is

looking like that is testing the hearts

of you and me always trying to determine

what is the what is the purity of this

man this woman's heart this young

person's heart are they willing to risk

everything for my glory or not and when

God finds that kind of individual he's

he's just ferociously in their favor

while ago my wife preached on Daniel

you're some of you might remember that

Daniel and his companions were like that

they had a strong heart for God it

didn't matter that they were in the

middle of a a hostile environment that

wanted to just extirpate and destroy

everything that every remnant of

godliness in them

and they said no we are determined to do

God's will and Daniel was characterized

by that commitment single-hearted

commitment to God's Way of doing things

he didn't care whether he got in trouble

or whether the King didn't think that he

was a team player he was resolved to

live according to God's principles and

this is why God then blessed him with

knowledge revelation success

effectiveness in what he did because he

was committed to God and the Bible is

full of such individuals and narratives

that show that when you put God first

when you resolve I'm thinking of this

verse that says I have decided to follow

Jesus no turning back no turning back

it's that idea you know you you have to

be resolved you have to decide if you

don't decide who you're going to follow

and how are you going to live your life

believe me life will make sure that

along the way you lose the vision it

will try to seduce you and wear you down

slowly through micro interventions at

every moment of your life to slowly

blunt your blade and take away any

sharpness that you have in terms of your

commitment to the Lord's principles in

methodology and loyalty you have to

resolve it you

have to absolutely think of a man right

now the image comes of a person who's

facing a strong headwind and you know

there is windy and the wind is headed

this way and he's trying to get the

other way what do you have to do you

have to lean into the wind because if

you go like this it'll blow you back so

what would be a normal stance which is a

vertical stance is not good when you

have a strong headwind against you you

need a an incline that kind of stance

and I think that this is the kind of

error that the church is living in and

each one of you and me are living in is

an era where the winds of a culture and

secularism are so strong that unless you

lean forward and you are militarily and

militantly and Phatak about what you are

determined to incorporate into your life

and into the principles of your life

unless you are absolutely decided and

determined you will blow you'll be blown

back the the times that we are living in

are not good enough were are not good

for just neutrality and kind of a casual

you know sort of normal commitment to

the Christian life these are times for

militancy these are times for resolve

these are time for determination these

are times for radical commitment and and

you know radical commitment is never

elegant if you want elegance in your

spiritual life I'm afraid that you do

not will not make the cut I love

elegance but I have found that resolve

and passion and effectiveness in

military circumstances require sometimes

stands and an attitude in a behavior

that will not seem that kind of

objective dispassionate weighing both

options and yeah you know I could go

this way or that way because you know a

new

it's not a good value I think for war I

wish I could break that down a bit

soldiers and in armies at war are they

they don't have time for subtlety now

they know that subtlety may be

applicable but they also know that they

need a resolve heart and if they think

too much about the from the perspective

of the enemy they will lose their

resolve so they cannot afford to be too

even-handed when they're at war for

example if I'm at war and I'm in gonna

be in a fight against a man in a trench

from the from the other side and I stop

to think that that man is a father of

children back home wherever he came from

or that he is a son of an elderly woman

whose heart is dedicated to that son or

if I think that he is just as committed

as I am in his belief system and I

stopped to think too much about the man

that I might be killing to save my life

in the situation of war I may not do it

it will it will it will dilute my

resolve I cannot afford it to look at

things too much from his perspective at

that moment that moment requires that I

be totally committed to neutralizing am

I making myself clear here you see

sometimes I think we in the times that

we live we think too much about the

other side and and it's not that we

shouldn't but if we do we should do it

only so that we know how that other side

thinks and does things not to adopt

their perspective or to let their

perspective dilute and mix our resolve

and I think a lot of Christians make

that mistake in our time they spent too

much time in the enemy's camp

breathing in and absorbing and

processing how what the enemy thinks and

says and so it's not strange that when

the time for war comes they will be

lacking in the resolve and the clarity

that they require you see so that's an

important principle to keep in mind now

I've gone so far from where I was that I

don't remember what drew me into that

but that's it you know what I mean it is

this it is this thing about fully

committed full laser-like total

commitment to what you believe and and

and being in a situation of war and

being in a situation of great hazard you

need to be totally resolved because if

not you will be blown over you will be

defeated you will be co-opted and we are

people of God listen we are at war and I

know those images of war often do not

are not pleasurable to us when we are

very sensitive because Christians are

not supposed to be in war but the Bible

is full of imagery of war it's not just

it's not just the Old Testament such as

in this passage the Apostle Peter I

think it is says you know to be vigilant

because in sober because our adversary

Satan like a roaring lion prowls around

seeking to whom whom to devour the Bible

says that this weapons of our warfare

are not of the flesh but they are

powerful for the destruction the tearing

down of strongholds and the imagery of

war is all over Scripture now there is a

sensitive interpretation of this concept

in modern times that runs away from this

understanding of a kingdom at war which

is the kingdom of God

and what we do then we try to fix

Scripture we try to put some makeup on

it make it less rough less aggressive

but the fact is that Scripture is

aggressive the Bible says that the

kingdom of God marches in you so you can

find that passage the kingdom of God

advance

forcefully and forcefully means like

violently in the in the original

language the kingdom of God in this

earth always advances in a context of

force and struggle because we have a

mighty enemy who has no qualms about

realizing that he is at war with us and

so whatever inch the kingdom of God

acquires of land of territory of

cultural solidity is gained that at the

cost of great aggressiveness and

forcefulness I want to inject into you

this morning an attitude of forcefulness

aggressiveness militancy radicalness

because unless you do that you will not

please God and you will not stand in

this radioactive context that you live

in and I live in this church lives in

and the kingdom of God moves in if you

want to live life within the outlook and

the world of view of the Scriptures you

have to be aggressive you have to be

committed you have to be militant you

have to be resolved let the people

around you say whatever they want you

have to be according to how God has

prescribed it not according to how the

world or how elegance dictates so this

this prophet having seen the wishy-washy

way in which Asia deals with this

situation rebukes him directly from the

Lord it says you you're you're crazy

you've done a crazy thing that's what it

says in the Spanish translation by the

way you've acted in a crazy way for the

eyes of the Lord

ranged throughout the earth to

strengthen those whose hearts are fully

committed to him says you have done a

foolish thing you have done a crazy

thing and from now on you will be at war

in other words he could have destroyed

enemies for permanently the first time

if you would have just used God's

methodology which admittedly was very

risky but he did not he got a he got a

quick victory or a quick getting out of

a difficult situation but now this enemy

that he failed to destroy was free to

continue attacking him whenever he

wanted so he exchanged a minor temporary

victory for what would have been a major

Thoreau

culminating victory and this is the

question in your life I mean you know

many times we find ourselves in

situations where we can cut corners and

we can do certain things according to

principles of efficiency and human

effectiveness and practicality and all

these things and we may get away with

things at the short-term but in having

violated a structural systemic principle

we are simply pushing the machine either

wrinkle of the rug as we say in Spanish

a little bit further sooner or later you

have to pay the piper Satan never

forgets when you owe him a debt

Satan never forgets when you very subtly

made a pact and then at the end a deal

with him he will keep it there in his

pocket he has a long memory and he'll

get back to you and he'll you know just

like Don Corleone in The Godfather he

does your favor yeah great but then he

calls you one day and says hey you

remember that favor I did for you now I

need you to do this for me Satan is not

generous one bit okay so that always

keeps me sober and I tell you many times

this man who is preaching right now with

such conviction does wimp out this is

what I want from my life every day but I

I I sometimes do not have the courage

the courage fails me and and I confess

to you it's a struggle every day

but when I have had the integrity and

the courage to do that

man over the years I've seen the the

blessing and the benefit I just want to

encourage you come with me and live in

that struggle to to do things according

to God's methodology fight the war build

your life according to God Lee biblical

principles and you will have the victory

ultimately or before in the middle or

systemically in subtle ways but you will

have the victory and I'm addressing many

of you here this morning who are

struggling in different ways I mean you

know your life may be you may be trying

to get out of a rut in terms of a mental

struggle or a dependency that you have

or or you know family situations or

financials or your past is just a mess

and you're trying to get out of it and

break into normalcy or you want to have

a good career and you want to prosper

you know professionally and or you want

to just be a good mother and have

children that will be blessed of the

Lord and do a good job as a mother or as

a father whatever it is you're trying to

build this something you're trying to

vanquish an enemy you're trying to break

from the gravity pool of life that wants

to pull you down always use godly

principles use biblical principles use

Kingdom principles and you will never be

disappointed I will go to the bank with

that any time and so this is what this

prophet says - you have done a foolish

thing from now on and now this is

another point here ASA look how he

reacts because that's another thing

depending on on your heart how how

humble you are how willing to accept

correction in your life how willing you

are to abandon what you have set your

mind on you know many people don't

accept the truth just because they're

haughty

and they are simply proud and to admit

that somebody knows more than you is a

difficulty and so you just stand your

ground and you find ways to evade the

truth of what your pastor may be saying

or a counselor or your mentor or your

wife whatever just because you cannot

accept that other people may have more

the truth than you do so you you

obstinate and you stand there and you

simply continue and you find ways to

evade the truth people of God you need

to be pliant you need to ask God to give

you a soft plastic heart that will allow

itself to be molded according to the

principles of the word of God if you are

in a different place than I am right now

as I speak to you don't be offended by

what I'm saying don't continue don't

continue a monologue where you are

resisting the Word of God because I know

this is the word of God I cannot imagine

how you could find anything wrong with

what I'm saying

not because of who is saying it to you

but because I know that I'm standing

fully in the center of God's Word right

now

and so you need we need a humility we

need that pliability of heart to when

the truth comes to us bow before it and

stop the internal monologue long enough

to hear what God is saying to us I know

about that I also struggle with that

inclination to resist truth when it

doesn't come from me so ASA was angry

with the seer because of this instead of

saying God I have sinned like David did

for example when Nathan came to him he

had done a grave grave sin and the

prophet Nathan came to him in a similar

situation admonished him rebuked him and

and David bowed his head he didn't try

to justify himself he didn't try to come

with a counter-argument he said man you

caught me you got me

I repent you know so we have to do we

have to repent of the mind games that we

play there's a very well-known book in

the 90s I think those games people play

written by a psychiatrist if you ever

get a chance to read it

you know psychiatrists and psychologists

know about the games that we place

psychologically mentally to shield

ourselves from the truth all the

subterfuges all the escape routes that

we devise in order to run from the truth

and it hits us and if you have that

attitude that you will never grow in the

kingdom of God you have to have a soft

heart to know truth and to accept that

when you hear it so a Issa was angry

with the seer because of this as a

matter of fact he was so enraged that he

put him in prison and you imagined that

this man of God comes to correct them

and he puts him in prison and then it

says at the same time easily brutally

oppressed some of the people in Israel

what happened is hard became hardened he

proudly said well you know I've done so

many good things that I've done for God

I've served him here done it he had done

many great things if you read the

biography of Asia in the preceding

chapters he was a good king he made many

reforms and he did many great things

that honored the Lord but he did not

finish well and there's another

principle that we need to always keep

before our eyes but as his heart was

hardened when you resist the Word of God

and you become obstinate and you hide it

from yourself even if you think that you

didn't do it God knows the Holy Spirit

knows and the devil knows and so your

heart gets hardened you become more

obtuse you become more resistant you

become less sharp when the Lord speaks

to you the Holy Spirit is grieved that

because the Holy Spirit is grieved by

arrogance by pride by obstinacy these

attitudes that we have they grieve the

Holy Spirit and they hold back the

further revelation from God and so what

happens ASA

becomes hardened spiritually when you

persist in a sin that God has admonished

you against know that he won't reject

you completely but you will be fighting

the war of a blessing and success with

one hand tied behind your back at the

very least the enemy will have more

freedom to move as he wants in your life

because now you are entering into some

sort of agreement with him I'm going to

resist the Word of God no matter what it

says and so the enemy says ah that's one

of my principles that means that I have

entry into your life this is the way the

supernatural world moves by the way very

subtle ways so Aiza becomes hardened and

now he becomes an oppressor of his

people not only does he oppress God's

servant who told him the truth now he

begins to brutally oppress this good

king you know in a significant moment of

his life when he had he had a great

opportunity and a great temptation he

went the wrong way and then instead of

repenting he remains and he he ends up

in disgrace because this is the end of

his life the next few verses are just

you know about just the the final period

of his paragraph instead of finishing

his life well and gloriously as he had

lived it he finishes it badly and that's

something that stirs terror into my

being that after serving the Lord

I might end badly in this grace it sends

shudders through my being pray for me I

say I tell you right now

pray for your pastors pray for your

leaders let's pray for this church we

have had a good run quote/unquote let's

not abandon the price in the two thirds

of the way in two or more who knows you

know the the the image that comes to the

mind many times is a Billy Graham this

guy dies at a hundred years of age

almost and he had a glorious run public

like no other full of temptations I'm

sure this

somehow he finished well I'm sure when

he was dying he probably was breathing a

sigh of relief when I die if I die

before the Lord comes I hope I'll

breathe a sigh of relief my last breath

will be Wow thank you God I made it

I pray that that'll be the case you know

that I'll be able to when the gates of

heaven open for me

I'll go in with joy rather than regret

and pray that your life will you'll

stick to the end that you will come to a

glorious ending amen we got to be

pursued by that that consideration I

want to finish well Lord I want to

finish well every day get up and say I

want to finish well today I want to live

well in order to finish well and I will

be attentive to whatever correction

comes into my life one of the most

important principles are a godly life

and a successful living and good

leadership is make a covenant with the

truth make a covenant with the truth

psychiatrists and psychologists will

tell you that that is the key to good

emotional health neurosis always comes

from some denial of the truth in one way

or another emotional health comes from

openness to the truth and the whole

process of psychiatry and psychiatric

counseling is revolving around this idea

of allowing the client to become aware

of some truth that is repressed from the

past or from somewhere and to unify

himself with that truth when you unify

yourself with the truth you are covered

ASA resisted the truth and so he became

prey to further temptation now there's

so much that I want to say to you you

know I know time is passing but I'll

continue this sermon that I'm sharing

with you this morning is part of what I

hope will be a series of sermons

really what I'm most interested in is

not ASA but Jehoshaphat his son and his

biography and I hope to extract some

very deep spiritual truths from the

biography of Jehoshaphat Aizaz son who

succeeded him after he died so remember

that number one with my my meditation

this morning is part of something larger

in terms of other topics that I want to

discuss with you but I'm gonna go

further to frame this this sermon and

the few the ones are gonna follow which

is that I hope it'll be an opportunity

for me as your senior pastor to have a

dialogue with you so that you will get

to know me a little bit better and how I

think and why I do certain things and

why I don't do certain things because we

have a relationship here between you and

I and all the other pastors what I'm

gonna speak for myself as a senior

pastor so if you hear me if you hear me

say as your pastor know that I'm saying

as you've seen your pass or knowing that

there are other pastors I heal myself in

health as they say in Spanish just to

say that um

why because I think we have a kind of a

marriage between you and and myself and

you must know me and you must know why

this church does what it does and why we

do things in a certain way and what we

believe and why me as your spiritual

guide which I hope you'll see me as and

and your spiritual father which I hope

you'll see me as not because I am the

greatest thing in the world because

that's the position that I been placed

in and and I believe that when I speak

from here I speak with a certain

authority that is not mine and half of

the time I'm preaching at myself and

knowing how painful it is to preach

things that you know you have to apply

to yourself so I'm not only the

president of the Hair Club I'm also a

client I am I am always listening to

what the word is telling me as well and

that's what makes it so impress and many

times to preach these kinds of sermons

because they're risky as well because I

know I haven't gotten there completely

yet but I am a spiritual father

and the fact that I'm not simply sharing

some things as a you know just one more

person I have a certain Authority and

there's a certain price that you pay

when you come into relationship with a

spiritual father you you have to believe

that there's wisdom coming from him and

there's a certain level of integrity

that you need to be you you have to

allow yourself to be taught that's what

spiritual guidance is all about we live

in a time in the 21st century where you

know the the the the the pastor is like

a consultant you know you hear him and

then you decide whether you want to

listen to him or not then he's like just

a good friend who maybe a little wiser

than you but just a little bit that's

all and you have the luxury to say yes

or no or whatever I'm not I'm not asking

you to by the way throw your whole life

at my feet no I'm not I don't think is

this a controlling spirit in my being

but there is an expectation that as you

submit to the teaching of a a spiritual

guide having assumed that he has good

intentions and he won't manipulate or

exploit you there is blessing in that

and there's a covering that takes place

in that as well

it's a great responsibility I know how

great it is because I feel it all the

time in my life but really what I want

to talk about it's precisely why when

you see me do certain things you don't

understand why I do it and why I don't

do it because I'm trying to live

according to certain principles and so

this sermon illustrates one more thing

which is this that this congregation and

my ministry especially after this this

Sabbath that I took this sabbatical I've

come back with a resolution about my own

life to consecrate it further and I

think that this fact that I was baptized

just recently it's part of what God had

you know this level of consecration that

I am hungry for right now in my life

there are there loose loose pieces in my

mechanism that I need to strengthen I

know that and that I'm committed more

than ever to to cleaning up my life

strengthening it consecrating and

completely and and this congregation is

being called to do the same so

we need to revisit something some

assumptions some principles and know why

we do things and how we do it and why

you know and what methodology were using

and so on and we need to redouble our

efforts to continue following Kingdom

principles there is no change regarding

our adherence to principles of the

kingdom of God in this congregation more

than ever we need to redouble our

assumptions and our foundations and stay

Adam and if anything we need to tighten

our beliefs and the principles that

govern our life and you will find that

many times I will do things that may

seem kind of strange to you and it's

because I'm trying to stay in the

balance that I see in the scripture so

many times some of you in the

congregation may be alienated by some

things that I do for one reason and

others may be alienating by the same

thing that I do for other reasons but I

am I assure you I'm being lucid most of

the time and I know what I'm doing and I

know what you're thinking as well

and yet I've decided no matter what I

will continue doing what I'm doing until

you get tired of me but when you have

the perfect right to fire me of you like

you have that right by the way legally

and governmentally but the point being

last sunday for example let me give an

example last Sunday there was those of

you who were here Sunday and I'm looking

at the time here because we have the

Santa saint of the Lord's Communion I

hate to get into something that's you

know take a few minutes but please hold

on hold on it's important last Sunday I

I invited actually I didn't invite I

accepted the self invitation of a

ministry Christians for C F Christmas

for Israeli communities Christian

friends of Israeli communities the woman

who was here is a Jewish non-christian

woman she's an Orthodox Jew a woman of

principle who works with Christian

communities all over the world

strengthening

Jewish communities that are in places of

great peril what they were called

settlements which are an object of

controversy in our time because many

people in the secular world in Europe

and in that liberal News see Jews who

are moving into the areas of like

Samaria Judea Gaza the West Bank they

see them as trespassers even though that

is Israeli land it's Israel but they

because of a because of a narrative that

has been adopted by the secular world

they are put into perspective as as if

they're trespassers and they are

invaders of Palestinian land which it is

not legally and internationally this is

Israeli land and but there has been a

narrative that has been adopted by

liberal organizations secular

organizations that do not accept the

narratives of Scripture when you take

out the the scriptural narrative of

course then you're going to determine

the rights of Palestinians and Israelis

in the light of international

governmental principle secular

principles and you will have a very

different perspective of things I have

taken the time I assure you of reading

the the relevant documentation about

this and I think I know enough and I

don't want to be presumptuous here about

this issue probably as much as any of

you here because I responsibly have

taken the time to read all kinds of

resources both from one side and the

other and to go even beyond what

normally most people do to read about

these principles I think I'm in good

ground here so I invite this is she said

Roberto because we know each other and

you know we visited Israel a while ago

and her ministry was very helpful to us

in visiting a couple of places that you

know actually her her representatives

that Sandra is Sandra is coming in a few

months this was done like him back in

February or March last year of this year

and so would you like to have her on a

Sunday I saw this as an opportunity to

enrich the congregation by having a

unique perspective

and I know again this is fine we are

very complex congregation here we have

highly educated people people who read

and who explore you know I know that uh

some in this congregation have a very

nuanced view of the palestinian-israeli

thing and of Israel as well others are

very radical pro-israel and so on and so

forth you know others are they say that

they are they would believe very

sincerely that they are pro-israel but

then are very sensitive to the

Palestinian perspective as well and

criticize Israel for the way that it

conducts itself and so on and so forth

so one or two or a small handful of you

may have been offended by the fact that

this was not a Christian woman speaking

from this pulpit but I believe again

that if we only hear first of all this

woman she has great experience in

speaking to Christian audiences and so

she would never say anything that would

be offensive to a Christian audience

actually her livelihood depends on that

by the way so I knew that it was safe

number one number two everything that

she said was biblical actually she was

reading the Hebrew Scriptures I was

trying to find out what chapter she was

on so I couldn't because it's all Hebrew

she was reading the Hebrew Scriptures

her teaching was very biblical her

perspective was very biblical and she

had a unique position because she is a

if you know if you hear some of these

things from from a Gentile who loves

Israel this this you know that's good

but if you hear it from a Orthodox Jew

who lives there with her family there's

a brilliant woman who could be making a

lot of money here in America but she

relocated to Israel decades ago with her

family out of principle I admire her for

that and I think that she could offer a

unique perspective about this situation

now some of you could have felt for

example that you know as I had a

wonderful conversation earlier someone

about the fact that you know maybe these

issues should not be placed on Sunday

but maybe should be talked about in a

smaller

or something under during the week let

me tell you I think when we make that

assumption we are making before that

another assumption which is that these

are issues that you know are to be

discussed in a sort of a partial sort of

way I think that the pulpit the Sunday

gathering is the moment and the time

when you are receiving doctrine as a

whole often you know small groups will

come and you know 10% of the

congregation may come to us discussion

the vast portion of you will not be

there at this moment when I'm speaking

to you from the from from this moment is

when the family of God comes in and we

are taught about the principles of the

kingdom of God now sometimes we have

visitors you know one of the mistakes

that many churches make is that they

have turned the moment of family

instruction into a moment to be overly

sensitive to a visitor or two who may be

offended by what is being talked about

in the family

my idea is that if you come into my

house and my wife and I and our children

having a conversation you will come in

knowing I'm coming into the house of

this person they are allowing me to come

in and you will listen to the discussion

of the family the intimate discussion of

the family but I think many

congregations in our time the 21st

century particularly have adopted the

idea that this time should be a neutral

time it should be a time when nothing

scandalous or upsetting should be said

where we reduce the gospel to its lowest

common denominator when we avoid

anything that may offend anyone and you

know what happens we end up serving just

like a a stale tasteless soup that does

not nourish anyone and that sacrifices

the needs of the congregation you see as

a pastor as your teacher your main

teacher let's say when I use the pulpit

I believe that these moments are moments

were young people and people who are in

the marketplace receive good arguments

and good teaching and encouragement to

go out there again to the University

that's going to try to destroy their

faith they're going to go into the

marketplace where people are going to

say shut up don't say that and don't

even believe it where our

religious rites are subtly being

wrenched from us under the guise of a

diversity and a liberalism that is not

liberalism is just it's a dictatorship

like any other because of the games that

people play again and that cultures play

and we many times fall into that

horrible demonic game and we bow to it

and the only time where you can be

instructed and and taught and enriched

and encouraged and indoctrinated in the

best sense of the word in the Catholic

sense of the word catechized is this

moment so while I love to be

encompassing and subtle and gracious and

inclusive you know I have a greater duty

which is to feed my flock and so this is

why this moment you know sometimes will

alienate people

I never seek to be needlessly alienating

I don't have a chip on my shoulder I

don't happen to believe that the more

alienating and the more confrontative

you are the better a Christian you are

the better a church you are no I

confront only when I have to but

sometimes the Word of God is this is

like a sharp it's a sword it cuts a

confronts it divides Jesus divides Jesus

is not just a unifier Jesus is a divider

this I this narrative that Jesus is only

a unifier is of the devil forgive me I'm

getting too intoxicated with my own

rhetoric let me lower it down a bit

the enemy has used that idea Jesus is a

sword that devices I have come to divide

divide families divide culture divide

the churches

he's a divider because truth divides

that's the nature of truth and that

truth confronts

sometimes when people come with lies in

their system in their heart when the

truth hits them it's like it's repulsive

all the demons of Hell inside sometimes

people who come to the church they were

they rebel and I'm not saying that

you're demonized by the way I'm saying

that some every once in a while there's

one or two people I've seen people come

to church and as soon as they hit the

atmosphere of the church they start

having headaches they start getting

angry and and ultimately they discover

that and they discover they have demonic

entities in them that are confronted by

the power of the presence of God in a

place many times so you know that that

moment when I make a decision like that

let me tell you I'm not making it

innocently half of the time I'm in agony

wondering what you think because I'm

very sensitive to what you think but I

am also deciding this is what I believe

as the father of this congregation this

is what I think it's good for them and

I'm gonna do it and you know I believe

me as I say it trust trust me in these

things you know and many times as I say

you know I will end up not pleasing a

lot of people for different reasons so

the people who think that only a

Christian should occupy this pulpit will

be offended the people who think that

we're too strong on Israel will be

offended the people that who think that

we're not strong enough will be a friend

I have people here who think I should be

more resolved toward Israel they are

offended Jesus never pleased everyone by

the way not even today the Son of God

and alienated many many people I happen

to believe that if you are walking and

Usher's please be ready so if you're

walking in the in the Word of God you

will walk a very perilous balance you

and I told somebody the other day I was

thinking I'm if this is the center of

the word I move like this I'm always

vibrating between one or the other like

that I'm you know sometimes I'm a little

bit off one side or the other I try to

stay close to the center as close to the

center as possible and sometimes

sometimes you may see certain things

that will you know rankle you a little

bit and so for me for example this idea

of Israel is at the heart of the health

of a congregation if a congregation is

ambivalent and ambiguous about Israel

it's it's a dangerous position to find

you

and spiritually this is not some minor

detail that you can choose whatever you

want this has to deal with the the

health of your understanding of

Scripture and how close you are to

prophecy to principles of the scripture

the Bible says that those who bless

Israel will be blessed we have to pray

for the Peace of Israel God gave that

land that to Israel as I say an eternal

inheritance it says and he took the he

took the the time to delineate precisely

the boundaries of that land and this

doesn't have to do anything with the

fluctuations of history or how armies

move and decide you know what kind said

this has to do with God and what he has

decided he doesn't change in his

principles congregations that bless

Israel will be blessed and will be

prospered this is not some minor issue

is a central issue so when I choose that

moment know that I am I'm parsing many

things that may not be apparent to you

but my desires to have a healthy

congregation and this is one of those

basic principles I will speak about

others you know if God gives me grace

and I pray that I ask you to pray for me

in the next few weeks I will be speaking

about issues that will have me hung by

some of you I will speak about racial

reconciliation I will speak about

immigration I will speak about gender I

will speak about other issues that

normally and I pray that the Lord will

give me the wisdom and the generosity

and the soberness to do it in a way that

is God glorify you and I want you to

know that if I speak that way I am doing

it with uh sincere heart I may be

mistaken at times you may not agree with

me but know that it is a sincere man

that is speaking to you